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  1. #16
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    Seattle rain...

    ...is really more a gently falling mist. Most of the time. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I was always confused by the concepts of "raincoat" and "umbrella".

    Any reasonably water-resistant coat will keep you comfortable. Even a tight wool fabric will be fine - hence the flannels of the 1990s. Wear layers, as it could be 40 degrees or 80 degrees in early June, and one of those layers should probably involve a hood.

    Besides, you'll be popping in and out of restaurants/shops/museums. The only time you really need to *worry* about being wet is if you're hiking -> can't stay warm -> risk of hypothermia.

    Mind you, Murphy's Law now says that you'll get torrential rain for days when you visit. In that case, pick up a cheap umbrella when you arrive.

  2. #17
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Excellent advice, Morfydd.

    Speaking of wool - you might want to visit Filson while you're south of downtown visiting us - our factories/shops are blocks apart.
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  3. #18
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPritchard View Post
    Next important question, what type of raincoat do you use? My wife and I have seen some in catalogs. Should it be as long as a trench coat?

    Should we wait until we arrive to shop around?

    We do have waterproof windbreakers. Don't know if that is enough.
    I think Morfydd answered this, but your windbreakers will be sufficient. I wear a Patagonia raincoat - mainly for hiking.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  4. #19
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPritchard View Post
    We aren't that sure about any of the trips we've seen to the San Juan Islands. Living here in the Tampa Bay area, we have seen a lot of seaside areas. Three years ago we toured Portland and the Oregon coast.

    We will be visiting Victoria, BC. Not sure if we will have enough time for Vancouver.
    If you are interested in seeing whales the San Juans are a nice place to visit. There is plenty of hiking to do and there is even a park where you can sometimes see whales from land. I would go to Victoria over the San Juans, there is a lot more to do that is not worth missing. Butchart Gardens is a very interesting sight in Victoria as well as the Fairmont Empress. Victoria is a very easy city to walk in, most attractions are within walking distance of the ferry terminals. Butchart Gardens is around 18-20 miles or so outside of Victoria. Depending on how interested you would be in the gardens there is a tour bus that will drop you off at the gardens that allows plenty of flexibility. The tour bus departs from the Fairmont Empress and unlike the city bus drops you off right at the entrance of the gardens. You can stay the standard two hours in the gardens or more or less if you prefer since the tour company also has shuttles that departs from the gardens. There are also whale watch tours that leave out of Victoria that go toward San Juan Island that would provide you at least the opportunity to see the islands and some whales. Victoria is also home to a wonderful museum, The Royal B.C. Museum, which is a must see if you like museums.

    To get from Seattle to Victoria B.C. you can take the Victoria Clipper, which could seem pricey but it is about a 3 hour boat ride and drops you off right in the heart of Victoria.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katy View Post
    Butchart Gardens is a very interesting sight in Victoria
    buchart gardens is one of the few things i remember from my trip to victoria island in the late 1980's. we took the ferry up from seattle to victoria (or perhaps from vancouver to victoria) and stayed there for two days. i also remember we had very good pizza. it was different, perhaps greek, but very yummy! everything in victoria was very pretty - a great experience altogether.

    it's funny what you remember after so many years. i was probably 15 then...

  6. #21
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    Thanks Katy and Maverick.

    Butchart Gardens is on our agenda for our day at Victoria.

    We will be in the Olympic Coast area and will travel to Victoria for the day via Port Angeles.

    I don't see a need to bring the rental car over since there seems to be plenty of transit to the gardens.

    My wife and I enjoy walking and the downtown area is what we are interested in.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  7. #22
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by BPritchard View Post
    We will be in the Olympic Coast area and will travel to Victoria for the day via Port Angeles.

    I don't see a need to bring the rental car over since there seems to be plenty of transit to the gardens.

    My wife and I enjoy walking and the downtown area is what we are interested in.
    I used to work for the passenger only ferry that travels from Port Angeles to Victoria. I would definitely recommend it. They can get you set up for everything you want to do in Victoria. You can purchase your round trip ferry tickets, your butchart gardens tour, entrance to the museum and IMAX and even whale watching all at one place. It's a small company owned by a very nice family. The owners Jack and Terri are the sweetest people you will ever meet. Jack will go out of his way to make sure you have a great trip. They even serve cocktails on board! Just make sure your passports are current and give them a call around the end of may when their season begins or you can make your ferry reservation online and call them to make the arrangements for butchart gardens etc. victoriaexpress.com and if you take the morning ferry the butchart gardens bus leaves directly from the terminal when you arrive in Victoria! Let them know what hotel you're staying at in Port Angeles and they will pick you up in the morning free of charge, saving you a few bucks on parking for a day (parking prices keep going up!)

    Also, while in Port Angeles don't miss Hurricane Ridge! It is absolutely beautiful and if on a clear day provides the most amazing view of the strait. I've even come pretty close to some deer while up there! Though it seems overrated with all of the twilight stuff I would recommend eating at Bella Italia in Port Angeles if you will be in town during dinner time. They have a huge wine selection, great bruschetta and awesome food! I had their manicotti and it was the best I have had in washington. Their deserts are also great as well. I always get the chocolate moose but their tiramisu is great as well! If you want to eat there make sure to call for a reservation, since twilight it has gotten insanely busy.

    If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me!
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  8. #23
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    Smile Thanks to everyone!!!!!

    I appreciate all the suggestions! Thank you very much.
    As we get closer to launch date, I may have more questions.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  9. #24
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    Smile Hotel Selected

    We'll be staying at the Red Lion on Fifth avenue. Our AAA rep got us rates at $118.00 per night, Jun 19 - 25.

    We looked at places outside the city which are cheaper. However, we would rather pay extra to be downtown than transit in during the day.

    Plus, we can return to the room and rest up before we go back out at night.

    Looking forward to using my new TB bags.

    Just got back from a mini vacation to Savannah Ga. We drove.

    My EGO contained the my electronics, mini 9, and other items. The Ruck Sac was my camera equipment bag and to hold a light windbreaker or other items.
    The Medium cafe bag held maps, books and other items. Both worked together quite well.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  10. #25
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    Smile About one month and counting

    Our trip to Northen Washington State is next month. Can't wait.

    Arrive in Seattle June 16th. Staying at the Red Lion on Fifth Ave in downtown. Very close to Pike's and the waterfront. Getting a rental car on the 20th to tour some outer areas of Seattle. Being a programmer, a visit to the Microsoft campus in Redmond is a must.

    The 22nd to the 25th we will be staying in a cottage on Whidbey Island. Has a washer/dryer, so we can pack less clothes. We will tour San Juan Island during this stay. We will be renting a car on San Juan for the day. About the same price as ferry passage for the rental car. Plus, easier to ferry over as a passenger without the worry of time constraints for car passage

    The 25th to the 29th finds us in Port Angeles at the Olympic lodge. One day will be a trip to Victoria, B.C. The rest is the Olympic peninsula.

    We have a red-eye flight back to Tampa at 10:30PM. This gives us time to tour areas on the way back to the airport.
    Been there. Done that. Can't remember.

  11. #26
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    Just a fast heads-up on transit: on June 11th, all the Puget Sound bus schedules will change. Many routes are going to bite the big one due to lack of money to keep them operating. If buses aren't cut altogether, they'll certainly run less often.

    If you made notations on buses to get you to local sights and attractions from your hotel, make sure to do it again just before you leave, or you might be standing at a bus stop in vain. http://metro.kingcounty.gov// for King County Metro Transit and Sound Transit is http://www.soundtransit.org/

    Bus schedules the first week after a change are few and far between, even on the buses, so keep a notebook with either web page printouts or jotted times with you.

    If you're going to do the touristy sights (Space Needle, Harbor Cruise, etc.), look into a City Pass at the first major site you go to. It saves you a lot of money if you were going to see everything anyway.
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  12. #27
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    we just got back from a week-long trip to the area in April. We flew into Sea-Tac and then rented a car to drive out to the Port Angeles/Sequim area. We spent a few days touring/hiking the Olympic National Forest, then ditched the car. Ferry over to Victoria where we only rented a car one day to get way out of the city limits - else walking or public trans was just fine. From there we spent the last few days in Seattle. We were going to take the Victoria Clipper ferry, but due to timing in the off season, we chose to fly back on Kenmore right near downtown seattle at Lake Union. From there we used public transportation and walking as our primary means to see the city. It was great! The lightrail even has a stop just a short walking distance to the Tom Bihn store - and if they are open you can stop by! We had a great time seeing the sights and used a car less than 50% of the time.

    Enjoy! Summer will be fabulous weather!

  13. #28
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    I don't think I'd worry much about major bus changes post June 11th. Most of the major changes are in the suburban bus routes outside of the city proper. But those are unlikely to affect most tourists. The route changes that I could find for Seattle busses seem to be pretty minor on the whole, and I couldn't find any changes at all for the bus service to the most popular tourist destinations.

    One thing to be aware of is that our so-called Waterfront Trolley is now a bus rather than a trolley. But it's free! So are any rides within the downtown core--which for tourists means that any bus trips between Belltown on the north side--good restaurants and bars--and Pioneer Square on the south side--again, restaurants, bars, shops, the Underground Tour, historic old buildings, etc.--are free of charge.
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  14. #29
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPritchard View Post
    Our trip to Northen Washington State is next month. Can't wait.

    Arrive in Seattle June 16th. Staying at the Red Lion on Fifth Ave in downtown. Very close to Pike's and the waterfront. Getting a rental car on the 20th to tour some outer areas of Seattle. Being a programmer, a visit to the Microsoft campus in Redmond is a must.

    The 25th to the 29th finds us in Port Angeles at the Olympic lodge. One day will be a trip to Victoria, B.C. The rest is the Olympic peninsula.
    .
    Perfect timing! The showroom will be open June 19th from 12pm - 4pm

    Side note: The Olympic Lodge is beautiful and has a great golf course as its back yard
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPritchard View Post
    One day will be a trip to Victoria, B.C. The rest is the Olympic peninsula.
    When in Victoria, you should try to make the High Tea at The Empress Hotel. You are expected to dress for tea so some planning is needed, but the meal is delicious and it is a unique chance to experience a classic British ritual.

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