Marking Time in Paradise – Mt. Rainier

Remember how excited Brian was to see all that snow stacked up? It was so amazing we had to go back for more.

Our previous visit to the visitor’s center on Mt. Rainier was just before the regular spring season, and the lodge was closed. We made plans to go back on our last full day in Washington so he could see the inside and have a nice lunch. We loaded up in the van with my dad and his wife and headed up.

The sun was behind the clouds for the first time in eight days, and the air was cooler and we finally had some of that famous northwest rain drizzling down on us.

But it didn’t stop the wildlife. How cute are these two little fat ptarmigan? They bopped around the parking lot area, pecking for seeds while we stayed warm inside.

We didn’t spend much time looking out the windows though. The interior was too impressive to miss (and much warmer).

We showed up at 10:30 thinking we would have a nice Sunday brunch, but the restaurant was closed. Oops! With an hour and a half to wait until they opened for lunch, we had plenty of time to poke around in the rafters and explore the gift shop.

See Brian way down at the other end? That’s him in vacation mode, just relaxing and soaking up the atmosphere.

He hasn’t been able to do that in a long time. His job in Brazil was too stressful, and took up all the space in his brain so there was no room left to really enjoy life and nature and how amazing things can be.

I’m glad he finally got some breathing room. This trip up to Washington with all of it’s outdoorsy activities and stunning natural landscapes was just what he needed.

I’m also glad he wanted to relax and hang out on this day, and not join these nut jobs who were strapping on their snowshoes to head out for a two day hike in the snow while it was raining. Brrr.

It did look exciting, but I was happy to soak up the heat of the fire an stay warm this time.

It was our last full day there, and we wanted to soak it up slowly. As it turns out, waiting around with nothing to do while the restaurant is closed is a good way to just chill out.

We grabbed a deck of cards from the gift shop and played a few wild rounds of Scabby Queen while we talked about memories and family, and laughed over stories of past fishing trips.

And before we knew it, it was time to sit down for lunch.

We were good and hungry by the time we sat down, and were really ready for a good meal. Since we were the first ones seated in the giant dining room I was hopeful that they’d bring our order right out.

Brian got a lovely shot of me telling him to hurry up and sit down! I’m hungry and I want to get my food! (Because I’m classy like that.)

And how beautiful is that room? The whole lodge was pretty amazing, and I especially loved looking at the old photos on the walls of guests sitting by the fire nearly a hundred years ago. It still looks almost exactly the same.

So our last day there was quiet and slow, spent with family playing games and sharing a meal. The trip was coming to an end and it was time to pack our bags and get ready to go.

We had a beautiful eight days to get to know the Seattle area. Brian has added another state to his “Been There” list and seen yet another piece of America. We got to spend time with my dad, which doesn’t happen enough, and we were able to see everything we set out to see while we were there.

We saw enough to know we most definitely want to come back. We’ll add this one to the “I could live there” list.

On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.

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About akil3655

A Scotsman and his American photographer wife traveling the world and writing about it. Tales, reviews, photos, interviews and crazy goings on. Because you never know what's going to happen.

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