Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thanksgiving 2009 - The Family, Snoqualmie Falls, and Rattlesnake Ridge

My family invited themselves to the West Coast for this year's Thanksgiving. Mom, Dad, and Briana (her husband didn't make it this year, didn't have enough leave time after starting a new job) joined Robb and me for the long weekend. It was the first time Briana has managed to visit Washington and it was nice to show her around!

Everyone flew in on Thanksgiving day and evening. Briana's flight was really late, so dinner was an all night affair. Briana is a vegan (no animal products of any kind - no butter, cheese, milk, eggs, meat, etc), so Robb and I spent a lot of time planning a menu that she could eat. We had a traditional turkey and my family's favorite fried corn, but just about everything else that evening was vegan and it was all delicious - mashed potatoes, couscous stuffing, lemony garlic spinach, etc.! Briana said it was the first time she has been stuffed at Thanksgiving in years. (Normally when she goes to other people's Thanksgiving celebrations she brings herself a frozen meal and that's generally all she can eat.) Unfortunately my great-grandma's pumpkin pie recipe did not turn out okay. My mom conveniently forgot to tell me that I should use electric beaters to mix the ingredients. So the pumpkin pie was a bust, but luckily I had made a German chocolate pecan pie, which was more than enough for dessert (Bri had vegan pumpkin doughnuts we had bought.)
(I was excited Briana was there!)
We decided to make Friday an outdoorsy, Pacific Northwest day. We first headed to Snoqualmie Falls. Robb and I hadn't been to the Falls yet, but we had been wanting to go. The Falls are featured (I think) in the show Twin Peaks. They were truly magnificent. I think that may have been the biggest and most forceful waterfall I have ever seen.
(Briana and I were presenting the waterfall.)
Our next stop was Rattlesnake Ridge for a 4 mile round-trip hike in the midst of the Cascade Mountains. This was a hike that had been recommended to me before and I was glad to finally get there and share it with the family as well. It was a steady incline up to the top of Rattlesnake Ridge. Around 3/4 of the way up my Mom's shoes completely fell apart and she had to flop up the rest of the mountain and then flop down. While it looked like a painful way to hike, it was really funny to walk behind her and see her make her way up the mountain. And I think she was grateful to hike through the pain because the views at the top were spectacular. Rattlesnake Ridge is definitely a hike you'll want to do in the Pacific Northwest; it's not too difficult and the views are a great payoff at the end, especially on an overcast day!
(Robb's on the left side of this picture can you believe how immense this view was?)
The rest of the weekend was low-key. We made it to our favorite Indian restaurant in Federal Way. We walked around Pike Place Market. We went to the vegetarian restaurant Cafe Flora. We spent time together and drank lots of coffee and wine - a very traditional family reunion for us!

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