Since our last trip to the United States, when we were able to visit my uncles in San Francisco, Elise and I have been excited to return to visit more of the West Coast of which we knew so little. As it turned out, my old friend Zeia was getting married in Seattle, providing a fantastic excuse to explore a small part of the pacific northwest.

Although we were able to meet up with her brother in Kosovo this past spring, and every time I return to visit my parents I also get to see her parents, I have not seen Zeia since her trip to visit us in Germany so many years ago. It was a fantastic celebration on the water at the Seattle aquarium along with a day on Lake Washington to relax and enjoy the cool water and view of distance Mount Rainier. It was a great chance to catch up with Zeia as well as meet the extended family and see some faces I haven’t in years. I just hope that she and Aidan will decide to visit us in our new home as well.

We had a great time exploring a bit of Seattle including a trip to Bainbridge Island across Puget Sound and having lunch with an old friend from college before taking off for Portland to meet up with another old friend, Lenore, from our days in Hungary. We then took off south past Mount Saint Helens, stopping to enjoy the amazing azure waters of Crater Lake before following the coast into the redwoods. We had been fortunate enough to have visited Muir Woods on our previous trip to San Francisco, but spending an afternoon hiking amongst the redwoods (sequoia sempervirens or ever-living sequoia), the scale of these magnificent trees became more apparent. And it was not just their stunning heights, but also the realization of the scale of time as we humbly strolled through a silent forest of these giants.

Finally we ended up back in San Francisco, staying with Elise’s cousin and enjoying a few lazy days, wonderful meals, and a dinner out with Al and Jerry which we won’t forget. Thanks to everyone who made our trip so fantastic!

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