Domestic Detour

The past 18 months have not been kind to us travel bloggers. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to evacuate South America in March 2020 and cancel all our global travel plans for the rest of 2020 and 2021. Finally, this fall, instead of resuming international travel, we will be taking a domestic detour.

Domestic Detour in Western Washington

After a year-and-a-half of toilet paper treasure hunts and countless trips between the couch and the refrigerator, we are healthy, vaccinated, and ready to hit the road again. For the next two months, we will be staying in the western USA, driving through Western Washington and then on to San Francisco, California.

Sol Duc Falls, Western Washington

Western Washington is a natural and cultural wonderland. Our month-long road trip itinerary includes the beaches and rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula, waters and islands of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, metropolis of Seattle, and hiking trails in the Cascade Mountains.

Jacqueline (Jaco) and Eric on their boat, San Juan Islands, Washington

To re-unite with loved ones, we will be visiting family while touring Western Washington. Esther’s brother Eric and sister-in-law Jacqueline live and work outside the town of Port Angeles on the Juan de Fuca Strait. My sister Mary and her partner Dave live in Mount Vernon north of Seattle.

Hilly and Chilly San Francisco (Summer 2014)

After our road trip through Western Washington, we will set the parking brake and stay a full month in hilly San Francisco. We have rented an apartment in the Cole Valley neighborhood, adjacent to Haight-Ashbury and just a couple blocks from Golden Gate Park.

Lincoln Park, San Francisco (2014)

As a third-generation San Franciscan, a month in the city by the bay will be a homecoming for me. I am excited to re-visit my old stomping grounds, keen to explore new places, and interested to see how things have changed over the past few decades.

Bella’s Trucks (“Twilight” movie and book versions) and our white Subaru, Forks, WA

By driving through Western Washington and San Francisco, visiting family and familiar places, we will ease back into the rhythm of travel. Before long, we hope to continue our international plans, but for now, we are happy to be back on the road, following a domestic detour.

Another Detour, Dungeness Bay, Washington

Feature Photo: Jaco and Eric’s Guest Cottage, Port Angeles, Washington

Blogger’s Note:  In June 2021, we sold our home in Reno, Nevada and moved 850 miles (1,370 km) south to the Sonoran Desert and the city of Tucson, Arizona. In Tucson, we bought a home in an active adult community with a golf course, fitness center, and crowded social calendar. In Arizona, we hope to enjoy the warmer winter weather and a more healthy lifestyle while we rest between future travels.

14 thoughts on “Domestic Detour

  1. I did a happy dance when I saw this post in my email! Good to know that you are traveling again. As are we… we are currently on Vancouver Island and will probably cross paths with you (I’ll wave 🙂 ) as we travel home mid-September. The west coast – including the west coast of Canada – is so beautiful and well worth many months of exploring. Good to know that you are in Tucson now. Hopefully you will write a post or two about that adventure too. Happy trails!

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    • Hi Janis! After all these months, it is wonderful to publish a new blog post and to receive your delightful comment. I am happy to hear that you too are experiencing new adventures along the spectacular west coast of North America. We are truly fortunate to be able to travel overland to such beautiful places and ease our way back into travel again. By mid-September, we will be hiking in the Cascade Mountains, so be sure to direct your waves upward as you pass by. We’ll be keeping an eye out for you.

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  2. Joe, how lovely to get this update. Congratulations on your move to Arizona, sounds like you have a lovely new home and community around you.
    I like your 2021 travel plans. The US is so huge that I am sure you will see a lot of new places, I have not visited any of the places you mentioned, so I will be looking forward to following along.
    Fantastic that you will also be able to visit family on the way and re-connecting with loved ones.
    We are finally going to do the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage, something we have wanted to do for such a long time, fingers crossed we will make it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gilda, Your recent domestic travels in the UK inspired us to get back on the road ourselves. It is so refreshing to experience new things every day, and wonderful to pay our family members much overdue visits. I am extremely proud of you and Brian for committing to hike the Camino. I have visited Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and hiked portions of the coastal route in the Basque Country. The challenge is genuine and the enthusiasm of the pilgrims we met was infectious. Buen Camino!

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  3. I’m so glad that you two are traveling again! I don’t blame you for holding off a bit longer for international travel, and I think you’ll have a wonderful time on your trip through Washington. We were planning to hit the Northwest coast before Covid hit, and I hope we can do that next year. As for a month in San Fransisco, all I can say is: enjoy!!! And I look forward to reading about it.

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    • Thank you, Ann! Over these past 18 months, so many have suffered with their health, struggled financially, and even lost loved ones. In comparison, our cancellation of international travel plans is so trivial and inconsequential. We are so extremely lucky to have the ability to travel again, and will try to never again take our good fortune for granted. I sincerely hope that you and your husband can realize your interrupted plans to visit the Pacific Northwest. The area is lovely and we are enjoying ourselves very much.

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    • Thanks, Neil! It is great to hear from you! As much as I love lounging on my couch all day, it is wonderful to get up and go outside again. Although the northwest corner of our great country is not known for its favorable weather, we have been blessed with abundant sunshine, mild temperatures, and clear (non-smokey) skies. Indeed, we are having a blast following your example of just walking around and looking at things. Cheers!

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  4. Hey Joe! (Cue guitar riff). Great to see you posting again, great that you’re hitting the road once more. Moving house is – well – one way to fill the travel gap I suppose! Really look forward to reading your next moves. There is actually a chance that we may be doing a California road trip next year, so added interest on that score too. Enjoy, and good luck!

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    • Hey Phil & Michaela! Where you goin’ with that map in your hand? Some place fun and interesting, no doubt. I have been following your experiences through Crete, and plan to use your itinerary to outline our own future visit. For Esther and me, it is wonderful to be traveling and posting again. We have missed it dearly, and are really enjoying our return to the road. We wish you continued safe and happy travels!

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  5. Glad to see you posting and traveling again, Joe. And congrats on the move and new home purchase! Your upcoming travel destinations all make sense, and the opportunity to see your old haunts in SF sound like fun. I look forward to those posts. Stay safe! – Marty

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    • Thank you, Marty! Besides longing to resume my amateur side-hustle as a travel blogger, I have also missed your friendly comments and our affable correspondence. I hope you and Gorgeous are staying healthy and remain in high spirits. Although it was frustrating to postpone our international travels, we are delighted to have the chance to return to a couple of our favorite domestic areas. As a bonus, masks are strictly required here in Washington, and will likely be so in San Francisco. Although I am dismayed that we are still dealing with the pandemic, I have been reassured to see folks taking it seriously here.

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  6. Joe, it’s good to hear that you’re back on the road again. I guess that for travel junkies, this was bound to happen. It sounds like you’re making some interesting stops, and a month-long rental in SF sounds wonderful. And while I don’t envy your physical move to Tucson, it’s always exciting to try out a new place.

    This is the time of year when we’d normally be taking a long trip somewhere abroad, and we both really hate to have to miss it. But, as you know, with all the uncertainties and potential hassles, it just isn’t worth the risk. So we’ve been traveling regionally around our home and enjoying it. My personal philosophy is that if you look hard enough, just about everywhere has something interesting to see, so travelers just have to work a bit harder. Have fun on the road and take care. ~James

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    • Thanks for the wonderful comment, James. It is great to hear from you. I think we have very similar perspectives on the risks and potential rewards of our current travel environment. Even though our usual international plans had to be put off, we are fortunate to still be able to travel closer to home. As you so eloquently say, there are so many interesting and beautiful places to visit right in our back yard. It feels good to be on the go again, and are having a lovely time on the road. ~Joe & Es

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