We had some family come in from out of state for a visit this week, so we decided to see how much of the sights in and around the Seattle area we could cram into a few days.  My wife, her mom and her cousin together took over 1100 pictures in 3 days as we visited some pretty amazing places.  As I was consolidating all the digital photos on a few DVDs for everyone to share I was struck by the colors and the beauty of this place where I'm so fortunate to live.  So I thought I'd share a few with all of you.

We started with a trip up to Hurricane Ridge which is just south of Port Angeles and at the very North end of Olympic National Park:

 Hurricane Ridge

Next we took a short hike through the woods to Marymere Falls and along the way we had to stop and try to capture the size of some of the giant trees -- four cousins joining hands couldn't quite reach halfway around this one:

Giant Tree in the Olympic National Park

We ended our first day with a stop at Salt Creek Recreation area where we hoped to visit some awesome tide pools on the shore of the Straight of Juan de Fuca.  Unfortunately we had bad information about the timing of the tides so we arrived right at high tide rather than low tide.  Not that big a loss, though, because the sunset was awesome:

Sunset on the Straight of Juan de Fuca

The next day we got up, took two ferries to Friday Harbor on the San Juan Islands and went out whale watching.  We saw many Orcas:

Orca near the San Juan Islands

For our third day we returned to Seattle proper to visit the Pike Place Market...

Pike Place Market

and while seeing guys throw huge salmon is cool, we were struck by the beauty of the produce:

Produce at the Pike Place Market

We finished our time by letting the kids play in the International Fountain at the Seattle Center:

Seattle Center International Fountain and Space Needle

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  And who would want to miss all of this?  Here's hoping those of you in the northern hemisphere are having a good summer and that all of you get a chance to stop and look around sometime soon.  :-)

- Danny