Planning to Visit Japan

We've been trying to plan a trip to Japan for several years now. This fall the stars aligned and we are actually making it happen! Brian visited Japan in 2014 for work, traveling to Tokyo, Kyoto, Utsunomiya, and Nagoya. He came back raving about the experience—the architecture, the cuisine, the hospitality, and the efficiency and …

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Exploring Elbe, Washington

On our recent weekend getaway to Mt. Rainier National Park we made a loop through the park, entering via the northern entrance and leaving via the western entrance. This route is ideal if you’re heading to the park in the morning because the road follows the sun, meaning Mt. Rainier’s summit is perfectly lit as …

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Washington Hikes: Alta Vista Loop

On our recent trip to Mt. Rainier National Park, we opted to stay at the Paradise Inn for an evening and dedicate our weekend to hiking around Paradise. After an incredible morning hiking at nearby Sunrise, we finally arrived at Paradise to find that the clouds had rolled in, blocking much of the summit and …

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Washington Hikes: Narada Falls

During our recent trip to Mt. Rainier we decided at the last minute to check out Narada Falls on the recommendation of my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. They had visited Mt. Rainier during their time here and said it was a nice, quick stop on the way out of the park. They were right--the falls is …

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Washington Hikes: Sunrise Rim, Burroughs Mountain and Sourdough Ridge Trails

We celebrated our anniversary weekend at Mt. Rainier National Park, hiking around Sunrise and Paradise and spending the night at the historic Paradise Inn. We stopped at the Black Diamond Bakery for an amazing breakfast on our way down to the park and arrived at Sunrise around 9:30 a.m. to begin our hiking adventures. Although …

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Southern Olympic Peninsula by Motorcycle

We’ve explored the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park on a handful of occasions, including a long weekend motorcycle trip to Forks, Ruby Beach and the Hoh Rainforest with a loop to Cape Flattery and a scenic ride along the Strait of Juan de Fuca a couple of years back. Since …

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Happy 10th Birthday, Heather’s Compass!

I can't believe it, but Heather's Compass is officially 10 years old! Thank you to those of you who subscribed or stumbled upon posts and took time to read about some of the amazing places in the world that I have been lucky enough to explore and experience solo and with family and friends. Much …

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Vancouver: VanDusen Botanical Garden and Kitsilano Beach Park

When one of my good friends said she was going to be in Vancouver for a work conference, I requested time off from work and planned a day trip to go see her. Brian was traveling for work so I thought it would be a fun solo road trip! We love Vancouver and have enjoyed …

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Muir Woods and the California Coast

We met my in-laws in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend and decided to split our time between sightseeing downtown and driving along the California coast. We ended up spending two days along the coast, making our way north to Novato for the night via Muir Beach and Muir Overlook and then retracing some of …

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Sightseeing in San Francisco

We met my in-laws in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend, flying direct from the relatively new Paine Field in Everett, Washington. (This airport is only 15 minutes from our house and has revolutionized our west coast travel!) My in-laws were at the tail end of an impressive roadtrip, having flown into Vegas and traveled …

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