Bloedel Reserve- 1.5+miles, little elevation gain
Pass-pay to get into the park Difficulty 1/5 Rating-3.5/5
When I would dream of visiting Seattle, it always included a ferry ride. When Chris and I came to Seattle looking for a place to live, I really wanted to ride the ferries, we just didn’t have time. Every weekend I wanted to ride the ferries, and this weekend we were finally able too!
We got up fairly early on Saturday morning to catch the bus to downtown. Just like our last bus ride, the kids loved it! They love being able to look out the windows, move around, and sit next to their parents. After our bus ride we had a short walk to the ferry terminal.
I have an Orca card (its good for the buses, the ferries, and I’m sure other forms of public transportation.) and so does Chris, but Chris’ work pays for his and it doesn’t include the ferry so we had to buy a ticket for Chris.(The kids are free!) Once we got Chris’ ticket, it was pretty much time to board the ferry. Ryan chose our spot on the top deck. It was such a nice sunny day, we were had great views of the Cascades and the city. Once we started going the kids got chilly and we had to go inside.
The ferry ride was fairly short, about half hour to 40 minutes to get to Bainbridge Island. Once we were on the island we didn’t really know what or where we were going to go. We were pretty close to downtown Bainbridge Island, but since we had never been we didn’t know that. My visiting teaching companion had told me about a place that she loved going to called Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge. Right outside the ferry terminal there was a bus saying that it takes people to the reserve. We decided that since we didn’t know of anything else to do we would go there.
The bus ride wasn’t too long, and we were the only people on the bus which was really nice. The driver gave us a mini tour of Bainbridge Island which was nice as well!
We got to Bloedel Reserve and we ended up getting a season pass while we were there. I’m glad we did because it was SO pretty I already want to go back. I think it will be a great place to take guests. They will be able to ride the ferries, and then see some beautiful scenery! Its 150 acre garden. There are great walking paths taking you through different types of gardens. There are flowers, water falls, a zen garden, and so much more. I wasn’t sure how the kids would like it, since its basically just walking around, but they loved it! Before we started our walk, the people who work there gave us a “treasure” map for the kids. Basically it was a scavenger hunt, but instead of collecting things you just try to find whats on the picture, in the garden. Ryan wanted to find all the treasures and he kept a close eye out. I was impressed with all the things he was able to find by himself! Lilly mostly liked running on the pathways. We spent several hours there and I loved every minute of it!
After that the bus came back for us. Again we were the only people on it, and the bus driver took us right to downtown so we could get ice cream. He told us that we could call for a pick up, or we could just walk to the ferries.
Before we left for the island we told Ryan he could get ice cream. The whole day he was asking for it. So finally we were able to stop and get some. The shop we went to was really good. They had a great selection and the flavors we got were amazing!
After our ice cream we walked back to the ferries. Our timing wasn’t quite as good this time and we had to wait about 20 minutes for the ferry to come. At this point it was getting later in the afternoon, the kids had been walking all day, and the only food they had in them was ice cream so they were getting pretty grouchy. They were ready to be home, and so were we.
Once we got on the ferry Ryan crashed so Chris had to carry him all the way to the bus stop, probably about a mile or so, all up hill. (Another steep hill.) Lilly didn’t want to walk so I carried her up. We had to wait about 15 minutes for the bus to come, and once it did come the kids had several melt downs. We were so happy to get home!
All in all it was a great day! I loved riding the ferries, and walking around Bloedel Reserve. It was a bit long for the kids and next time we may just take our car. (It costs a bit more to bring your car on the ferry, but it might be worth it.) I am looking forward to going back soon!