So where did we go? Anderson Island!!! Where is that you ask? We had no idea either until we discovered it this past year. Basically I did a vrbo search for a place to rent that was around $200/night and was within three hours of our home. Anderson Island popped up and after doing some research it seemed like the perfect spot for our 2018 Surprise Trip. Anderson Island is the southernmost island in Puget Sound. You get there by taking a twenty minute ferry ride from Steilacoom, WA. There are only about 1000 residents and we found the roads to be sleepy and the parks to be plentiful and so nicely kept up. It was the perfect place for our family to unwind. There is one little general store and a cafe so we packed in all our food and rented a nice little house in the trees.
But our adventure started before we arrived to Anderson Island. We drove up Hwy 12 and made a pit stop at Mount Rainier. Sadly, it had been probably fifteen years since we last went with the kids (meaning we only had two at the time). Only an hour and half from us and we find ourselves so busy that we haven't carved time to experience the beauty of Mount Rainier. Chloe had a free 4th grade pass into any National Park and it is just about to expire so we decided we should take advantage of some hiking.
Our first hike was to the Grove of the Patriarchs. The trails were well-maintained and we had a great time even though it was a bit chilly.
After that hike we decided to go on another hike to Silver Falls. It was beautiful as well.
|Just missing one awesome Elder!|
|Chloe was sure to capture EVERYTHING!! Between Alysee, Tyler, and Chloe taking loads of pictures -- I'm not sure why Birch and I even bring our camera anymore.|
|Getting ready to load the ferry.|
|We rented a little house in the forest on Anderson Island. We saw deer everywhere but this site was especially sweet to see right out the kitchen window.|
It was about a mile hike to the beach...really I should say it was a mile walk. The trail was so well maintained with markings naming the tree types. The trail was through a forested area that lead straight to the beach. I kid you not -- we only saw one other person while were there. This marine refuge was full of crabs of all sizes, millions of sand dollars, starfish, tons of shell fish, shrimp, little eel looking fish, etc...
|Hours squealing with delight when finding a new creature.|
|Check out the size of that crab -- sure would have been fun if we were allowed to take one home to cook up.|
|Chloe carried around that starfish like her pet.|
|Not sure why Tyler is making the nasty face - we learned that the black sand dollars are still alive and the white ones dead.|
|The kids loved digging down and trying to pull out or squeeze these slimy clams - geoduck and razor clams.|
|Coop looking for a treasure.|
After spikeball everyone (minus me that needs the water temperature to be at least 80 degrees) jumped into the fresh water lake. They had a couple of fun docks to swim to and even a high jump and slide.
|The boys showing off.|
|Coop going down the slide.|
|Swan dive by my Lover|
|I pumped up a raft that everyone had fun in as well.|
|Me basking in the sun.|
|Chloe going down the cute little baby slide.|
Saturday we hiked out to James Point. This hike goes through the forest and along a little peninsula. It wasn't as exciting as Andy's Marine Park but it was still beautiful and a lovely walk.
|Ditto Family as James Point|
|These boys LOVE frisbee golf!|
|Coop said it was a really neat experience.|
|Boiler Bay in Bellevue, WA|
|Packin' in the grease|
I'm already excited to start thinking of next year's trip!! Sure do love my family!