360.398.2258 karen@karenmullen.com
Discover Washington State

Discover Washington State

When my husband Leo and I lived in Missouri, we spent nearly every weekend exploring and seeking new ways to enjoy our state. We didn’t spend a lot of time in the two biggest cities, St. Louis and Kansas City, but we devoured the countryside, spelunking through caves, canoeing rivers and driving all over hootenanny to join local festivals. During our nearly four years in Springfield, weekends extended to visiting a monastery, tracking down old mills and even touring fish hatcheries as we began to run out of ideas. Everything changed after moving to Washington State.

Now remember, I love Missouri with an undying love, especially the people, but it’s hard to beat Washington for sheer variety and an endless list of adventures.

I was born and raised in Washington and then spent seven years in Missouri. I’ve now lived in the Northwest an additional 29 years, and I still feel like I’ve barely seen our state. Every year I try to add new sites, but the old favorites are hard to pass by.

Merging my love of travel and photography makes perfect sense, and taking students to these special locales in Washington State increases my joy. I love teaching, and Northwest Photo Journeys pull together most of my greatest joys. The other two biggies are God and family. I pre-scout Photo Journey locations, usually with my youngest son, Leo. And I’m reminded of God everywhere as I view his glorious creation. So it’s all good.

Below are a few Washington favorites.

Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, WA

Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, WA

Canal at Bow, WA.

Canal at Bow, WA.

Bridge at Diablo Dam, Newhalem, WA.

Bridge at Diablo Dam, Newhalem, WA.

The mausoleum at Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA.

The mausoleum at Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA.

Bagley Creek at Mt. Baker, WA.

Bagley Creek at Mt. Baker, WA.

Pipe Bridge at Leavenworth, WA.

Pipe Bridge at Leavenworth, WA.

Our Europe Journey Begins

Our Europe Journey Begins

Twelve years ago I took my four kids on a tour of Europe – nine weeks covering 14 countries. Ben was 19, Lainie 17, Gabe 13 and Leo only 2. Leo was an awesome traveler, but he doesn’t remember anything beyond an encounter with a giant parrot in Greece. Today I began part two: a second Europe tour so that Leo, now 14, will have his own memories of European adventures.

Gabe is joining us and Lainie is already in France, walking a pilgrimage. Ben and his wife Andrea stayed home. We launched this adventure from Vancouver, B.C. Ben, now 31, drove Leo, Gabe and I to the airport. We flew to Toronto to Halifax to Glasgow. I’ve always thought that problems on a trip create the most interesting memories, so we started our day in Glasgow with plenty to remember. I rented a car, which I did the last time, so I knew I could handle driving on the other (wrong) side of the road. The trouble came with the stick shift. I learned to drive on a stick, but navigating it with my left hand, keeping on the left and trying to figure out where to drive was too much. Within five minutes, smoke began pouring out of the boot (hood). We pulled over in Paisley – home of the lovely design – and the locals soon came to help. It seems we speak a foreign language, as it took several tries on both sides to interpret our conversation, but in the end they loaned us a phone and gave us much comfort in our trial. The repair man took me for a spin to watch me drive and recommended (strongly) that I swap for an automatic. I did. And yes, I burned the clutch.

Our first home is a castle-like youth hostel, and our room is in the top of the turret. I booked this before we left and got my full reward: the “aahs” the boys exclaimed when we first viewed the hostel. We wandered Glasgow and especially loved the Necropolis, City of the Dead. It’s a Victorian-era graveyard filled with massive tombs and fallen stones. We lunched at a pub, stopped by a Gothic cathedral and dipped into the city long enough to hear bagpipes and buy cheese and croissants for our next meals.

Necropolis

A mammoth tomb

tomb

Everybody wants to be remembered for something!

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Our awesome youth hostel “castle” in Glasgow.

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Gabe and Leo walk the Necropolis.

 

Glasgow Cathedral

Leo and Gabe study a relief map near the cathedral

Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Chambers. Just a lot of lovely architecture.

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