All photos are now clickable.
Then we drove through Yakima Valley and along the east side of Mount Rainier. It was very scenic drive. Yakima Valley was very impressive and covered with orchards and hop gardens. I did not know this but 78% of all hops grown in America comes from Yakima Valley! Town of Yakima was large but rather boring with not much to see.
The highlight of this day was visiting Patty Hoover's Besito Xolos farm near Yakima. Patty is one of best and most famous American breeder of Xoloitzcuintle or Mexican Hairless dogs. Her dogs are known all over the world. Our son got his dog Jivaro from Patty few years ago. Patty was extremely kind and friendly lady. She allowed us to tour her kennel. All her dogs were absolutely beautiful including the coated ones. They were kept in small groups in very large enclosures with plenty of space to run. She also had wonderful rose collection including some old fashion heirloom roses. We will definitely be back since we want a companion for our dog Dobby.
We were seriously considering the 5-year old girl on a right:
While east side of Mount Rainier had nice nature and all roads were open, we did not get a chance to drive to the Sunshine; highest point you can reach by the car at the elevation of 6400 ft. There was no point of doing it due to clouds and poor visibility. We will have to repeat this route, hopefully with better weather.
We arrived to Bellevue close to 9pm and had dinner at Monsoon; modern Vietnamese restaurant. We really liked this restaurant. They represent a blend of traditional Vietnamese cuisine with Pacific Northwest innovation. Our waitress was very knowledgeable and classy. We ordered imperial rolls for appetizers. Alex ordered claypot catfish (caramelized idaho catfish, cracked pepper, scallions) and I ordered flank steak. Catfish was stewed with a lot of onions that gave it delicious sweetness. My steak was grilled to perfection and served with fresh vegetables, Vietnamese sauce and rice noodles.
We checked to our hotel pretty late and got pleasant surprise. They were booked solid and instead of the modest room with queen bed that we booked we were upgraded for no extra charge to a suite with a living room, a bedroom with king bed and two bathrooms. Cool!
We were planning to spend first half of our day 7 walking and driving in Seattle. However, it did not look lake Seattle wanted us there. There was construction, road work and closed freeways, bridges and streets everywhere. After spending couple of ours sitting in traffic we decided that this time we can do without Seattle and left.
We got to Vancouver, Canada much earlier than planned and spend couple hours on Granville Island browsing through small shops and galleries. We were too tired today to go to a restaurant and had wine, fruits, fresh bread and cheese dinner in our hotel room. It was pretty relaxing and very tasty.
To be continued....