Seattle Summer 2016. Last Summer we had another great trip to visit family & friends in the Pacific Northwest. We spent first week of the trip in Hawaii which was a hard act to follow ! We managed to pack a lot in to our two weeks in and around the Seattle area, starting out with a ride on Grandpa’s boat in The Puget Sound off Whidbey Island. Francis loves Grandpa’s boat! We also went out whale watching again with our family naturalist Grandma Jill. We’re really fortunate to be able to go out on the Mystic Sea with Jill who volunteers on the boat, we usually see some of the resident and visiting Orcas who frequent the area when we go out on the boat but this time we saw a Humpback which was a first for us. The highlight of the holiday was a backpacking trip to Chain lakes at Mount Baker in the North Cascades with Andy’s brother Tim and his three boys. We hiked in and camped out by one of the lakes for two nights and it was absolutely idyllic, apart from the black flies- a particularly vicious breed that made the Scottish midge seem relatively tame! We also celebrated mine and Andy’s birthdays while we were there which was a real treat. Waking up in a pristine mountain wilderness next to an alpine lake takes some beating! We hiked out and went to visit friends in Bellingham (always a favourite stop over !) before heading back to see friends in Seattle. This year our trip coincided with Seattle Seafair which is a big weekend of water races, parades and airshows. We took plane obsessed Francis to see the Blue Angels ( which are the US equivalent of the Red Arrows ) do their show over Lake Washington. The most exciting bit of the whole experience for me was being able to stand in the middle of the floating bridge that runs over the lake and is closed to all traffic for the event every year. This is no mean feat considering that the road that crosses the bridge is the busy 1-5 freeway that runs from the Canadian border all the way down the coast to Southern California. It’s not everyday you get to shut down one of the busiest roads in America! The Blue Angels show were pretty impressive too! After a quick trip up the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle we spent the last few days of our trip chilling out by the river at the beautiful campsite at Salmon Le Sac in rural Eastern Washington. We’re already looking forward to our next trip to the States, I hope you enjoy the photos!