:: FAMILY GATHERING 2021
another year, another EPIC Frasier/Casertano/Lucier/Williams/Smith family gathering! we had to switch gears for this trip: the original plan was to head north to Canada for a two week stint in Banff and Jasper National Parks. COVID however had other intentions with the border closed, and when Canada finally declared July 22nd as the opening, our plan was shot given our reservations previous to that date. luckily we had a decent backup plan with some campground reservations right on Lake Quinault on the Peninsula. we had perfect warm weather and enjoyed awesome paddling on the water, some walks over to the neighboring Quinault Lodge for the occasional cocktail and bite, and a nice family hike around the area to enormous Sitka Spruce, Doug Fir, Western Red Cedar and hemlock trees (we’re talking like the largest ones in the world as well).
next up, we headed to an Airbnb on some waterfront in Hood Canal for the next three days. again the weather was wonderful for more paddle boarding and kayaking (and the occasional seal sighting), and the house had tons of amenities for everyone, including a game room in the garage with ping pong (yes!), shuffleboard and electronic basketball. i’ll definitely remember the awesome iron fire pit by the water we used on a chilly evening. i’ll also remember the neighbor who was none too keen about me flying the drone (yeah, not filming your house angry man).
we packed up and headed to our house in Seattle, where everyone somehow managed to squeeze in for a two night stay. we did some touristy stuff downtown: a ridiculously packed Pike’s Place Market), MOPOP (a fun, interactive music museum) and walked around the Seattle Center grounds. on Monday we headed over to the Yakima River Canyon for one of my most favorite activities…river tubing! i was so excited the whole family joined…in spite of a little scare when Carolyn and Jill toppled over into the cold water the float was a success.
we packed up for the final destination of Cannon Beach down in Oregon, the second trip there for us in just a few months. we had long walks in the sand, an evening fire on the beach in front of the iconic Haystack Rock, a muddy but memorable hike again on the Tilamook trail and some tasty meals at the beach house. we said our goodbyes and hit the road once more to head home.