we didn’t really mean to — but this season we saved one of the very best trips for last. the summer has been starting to feel like it’s wrapping up and we just knew we wanted to sneak away one more time to look at each others faces, do none of the dishes and do all of the together things. a quick 40 minute drive down the cutest shoreline of the Hood Canal and we rounded the corner to Alderbrook and didn’t look back.
i feel a little crazy saying this but, is it possible it takes some good practice to relax? we’ve taken five overnight trips this summer and I think i’m just finally beginning to know a little something about how to leave it all behind when you peel out of the driveway. sure there are crucial things like how to pack with purpose so that no one cries in the morning (aka, mom.) and who should sleep in which beds for optimal eyes stay shut periods. but i think i mean more in matters of the heart. if you ask Jake, he can set his clock by my first morning on vacation we-have-no-plan-and-time-is-flying-by-and-we-haven’t-started-having-fun-yet-so-now-I’m-freaking-out freak out. but this time, with the fjord as a backdrop and the soundtrack of waterfall you can hear from all around the grounds and a restaurant with all the best food at our fingertips, i think we did relax right.
Alderbrook sits 2 hours between Portland and Seattle and hugs the shores of the Hood Canal with larger than life windows that take in the gorgeous Olympic Mountain view. right from the moment we drove up, we could tell we would feel right at home here. from the highest lobby ceilings with a hanging canoe to the double sided fireplace wrapped with couches and rocking chairs, i’m even not lying when I say we spent solid chunks of time just flipping the pages of the gorgeous coffee tables books, letting the girls get refills of cucumber lime water and playing Zoey instructed checkers. shouldn’t that be the mark of a great stay? when you don’t even need to leave the lobby to feel rested? mission accomplished.
food is rarely a priority for us on these trips. usually, we’re packing costco sized fruit and living out of brought-from-home tupperware squeezed in a mini fridge. but this time we let the Restaurant at Alderbrook bring the heat. i’m a glutton for anything eggs benedict and guys, I had it two mornings in a row! once on Dungeness crab cakes and once homestyle, but both equally incredible. and? parmesan crusted breakfast potatoes for the smack-down win.
the resort is home to the two sweetest kitties, Alder and Brook — get outta’ here with your cuteness. Quinn is in a serious animal phase right now! all about the chase, and no idea what to do with them when she corners them, but I wish i could record her squeal when she sees one and play it as my ringtone for always. our sweetest hosts even welcomed the girls to our room with a stuffed animal version of Alder and it’s officially the family bedtime cuddle item of choice. currently, the girls are on an every other night sharing rotation.
can you handle Quinn being swallowed by a life jacket? I cannot. serious. game. face! the morning we checked out we snuck out to the water one last time to take a little family ride around the dock in a paddle boat. I’m not exaggerating when I say zoey did the steering the entire. time. girl can spin some serious water donuts! let’s just say we’re all banking that her driving skills in 12 years are slightly improved. I was a little nervous how two babes in a small boat would do! I may have envisioned a squirming 11 month old who just wanted to try walking on the water. but thankfully, both girls did excellent! no freaking out, all the calmness in the world. true north westerners they are, already soothed by the waves.
as the years go by and the girls get older, we’re learning all kinds of things about how we want to celebrate birthdays as a family. we love throwing the giant extended family party with all the cousins and all the balloons and homemade cake. but we also have realized how important and special it is to us to have a day, preferably their actual birthday if we can swing it, to keep them all to ourselves. to talk all about the day they were born and all the the things they’ve brought into our life and find all the ways we can to cherish them. I will be thankful every day that this special trip away landed right on Zoey’s 4th birthday. we woke up the morning of the 9th to a knock on the door from the Alderbook staff, arms loaded with a plate of birthday breakfast cupcakes, 4 balloons, and the sweetest set of art supplies. they could not have hit a closer bullseye with my fantastic four year old. for the rest of the day, she was on cloud nine. way to set the bar high, guys! we are so so grateful for such sweet and attentive hosts. truly, amazing.
s’mores on the water and watching the sun drop behind the mountains — we breathed in this last little bit of summer with so much gratitude and rest. choosing to slow down and leave our sweet life with all its responsibilities behind for just a few days a month was the best choice we could have made in this season of our life. we couldn’t have asked for a better partner for our last getaway of the summer! we do our absolute best to only recommend what we believe in, tried and true, and we genuinely add Alderbrook Resort + Spa to that list. just a short trek away from home, but miles away from anything but respite, we added so many memories to our family’s bank! super special thank you to Jenn and the whole team Alderbrook! we’ll be back!
during our stay, we snuck out for a little cruise on the Lady Alderbook to hear all about the history and culture of the Hood Canal! to see our photos and read more about that awesome experience, check it out here!