July 25th, 2012
Day 2 of the Allstars trip started in Paradise! We stayed at the Paradise Inn in Mt. Rainier National Park. It truly was a beautiful setting with Mt. Rainier just outside our window!
The rooms are very small and not the type of accommodations we would normally choose. The bathroom was down the hall and shared by all, as were the showers. The Inn was built in 1916 by a German carpenter. I wish I had taken more pictures of the Inn - it is beautiful!
Upon checking into our room we were given instructions to keep all food contained and off the floor! They say they do their best to keep the critters away, but sometimes you will find an unwanted guest in your room! They were clearly referring to mice, so I was a little freaked out at that point!
The room was so cozy and the beds very comfy! They gave us robes and shower shoes, and we slept with the window open all night! It was wonderful!
In the morning, we were so very tired and ended up lounging in bed for much longer than we had planned. When we finally rolled our lazy butts out of bed, we decided to only do one hike and a very family friendly one at that!
The Nisqually Vista Trail was a 1.2 mile loop with only 200' of elevation gain. The paved trail wandered through forests and meadows and offered stunning views of the Nisqually Glacier and Mt. Rainier. We were surprised to find the trail covered in SNOW!! Yep, thick snow at the end of July!! We almost built a snowman, but we didn't have gloves and that stuff was COLD!!
This was our last day in the mountains. After the hike, we started making our way down the mountain through the Nisqually exit. Again, I did not have any directions. Seeing as the gps was not working on the mountain we were hoping to see signs for Seattle!
After leaving the park area, we stopped at the Copper Creek Inn Restaurant. We had not eaten anything other than trail mix since Monday in Atlanta, so I was craving something more substantial. I was also a little queasy from being in the high elevations, so I needed a light meal and LOTS of caffeine!
We ordered the grilled cheese and french fries and shared. It was so goooood! The bread was freshly made and the grilled cheese was cooked just right! The Copper Creek Inn Restaurant is World Famous for their blackberry pie, so we HAD to try it. It surely was delicious! Of course, I have never had a blackberry pie before, so i really just have to take their word for it that it is the best! I wish we had gotten some pictures of our food, but I think we were just so exhausted from jet lag and hiking, because we didn't get ANY food pictures on this trip! Shocking!
With full bellies we started back on the road towards Seattle. We did want to make a side trip to Snoqualmie Falls, but not having directions we had to wait and see if the gps was going to work. Thankfully, it did! Especially thankful because the road we were on ended up being CLOSED, so we had to take a detour! Never a good sight when in a strange place!
Thanks to Madison's phone, we made it to the Snoqualmie Falls and what a beautiful site. The trail to the bottom of the falls is closed until 2013, so we could just view it from the platform near the Salish Lodge. Just as well though - my feet were sore from all that hiking, and I just don't think I would have been able to make it back up if we went down!!
After getting some great shots, we got back on the road again for the short trip to Seattle. It was only about 30 minutes away, and we were so excited to get to the city and begin all the festivities for allrecipes.com 15th birthday celebration!