I think it’s safe to say that this upcoming move to Korea is officially real. Our first pack out – our long-term storage, or the stuff that’s going to stay in the states while we head overseas – happened yesterday, and we’re in the throes of packing for our next pack out now. Life is moving quickly, just like we knew it would. For some reason though, I always think we’ll have more time than we actually do, and with the reality that we move in 42 days, it’s becoming very real that our time is running out. There’s no way we’ll finish our JBLM bucket list in its entirety, and there are definitely going to be things we’re going to miss about Washington. I mean, that’s good though, right? It makes you want to come back!
I’m going to be forever grateful for our time in the PNW because it showed me what really matters: adventure, family, and fun. I wanted to share some of the things we’re going to miss about Washington in case others are like me and didn’t want to move to Washington…it might just surprise you!
Things We’re Going to Miss About Washington
I think it’s safe to say that nobody is surprised about this one. The hiking here in Washington is simply phenomenal. Washington will forever be the place our children learned to hike, as well as the place that Ryan and I learned to love hiking as a family. I hope one day we’re able to come back and do a thru-hike of the Enchantments when the kids are a little older because that will forever be a dream of mine!
The Food & Dining
Being so close to two major cities (Tacoma and Seattle) opened up a world of dining possibilities and, thankfully, a lot of them are actually local! There’s Duke’s in Ruston, known for its epic seafood dishes, Bair Bistro in Steilacoom – the perfect breakfast and brunch joint, Matador in Tacoma, hailed for its Mexican dishes, and so much more. We don’t eat out a ton, but there is no shortage of great food and dining out here.
The State & National Parks
Whether you hike or not, both the state and national parks in Washington are worth the visit. Many offer short, flat trails or scenic overlooks where you can simply soak up the beauty all around. We’ve had the opportunity to visit Mt. Rainier National Park, Millersylvania State Park, Tolmie State Park, Kopachuk State Park, Saltwater State Park, Olympic National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and Olympic National Park.
Access to Pacific Beaches
I spent most of my formative years on the East Coast with easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, and when I lived in Florida for my first two years of college, I was just minutes from the beach. After five years in Utah, two years in northern New York, and a year in Arizona though, I began to doubt we’d ever see the ocean again. We’ve had so many opportunities for beautiful ocean beach days in Washington, and we will always love visiting Ocean Shores!
I know it sounds silly, but the trees out here in Washington State are just spectacular. We visited the Hoh Rainforest last year, and that dense, lush green forest is enough to take our breath away. While I’m excited for new scenery in Korea, there’s a reason Washington is known as the “Evergreen State,” and it’s safe to say that the trees are simply mesmerizing.
The Farmers Markets
While these are primarily seasonal in Washington, the farmers markets out here are amazing! Because the climate in Washington varies so much from East to West, it is the ideal state for growing some of the best fruits and veggies. Plus, Washington is one of the country’s top producers of apples, pears, and raspberries. Pro tip – if you’re in the JBLM area, you have to visit the Steilacoom Farmers Market each spring/summer.
The Epic Mountain Views
There’s a saying in Washington State – “live like the mountain is out.” It rains a lot here in the PNW. From October until nearly May, rain is a common occurrence, and the gray skies can definitely wear on you. When the sun shines and the skies are clear though, Washington boasts some of the most incredible mountain views. From the Olympics to the Cascades and Mt. Rainier, I will definitely miss seeing these epic mountain views.
For those who’ve followed the blog for some time, you’re probably as surprised as I am that there are so many things we’re going to miss about Washington. I was convinced I’d hate it here, and while I don’t love JBLM, I’m forever grateful for the opportunity we’ve had to live in this beautiful state. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back to visit someday!
Tell me – have you ever been to Washington? What did you love most about it?