Hello Friends! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I’m so sorry! I’ve been so busy enjoying summertime, and Ali’s been so busy with her skating practice, that we haven’t had time to work on A Doll’s Picnic in a long time. But we plan to do a lot more writing in the weeks to come, I promise! First of all, I never finished telling you about our trip to Washington! But before I do, I have some news! Guess what?! I have a new name! Here it is: Natalie Alexis Christine. Do you like it? You can call me Nattie for short, as long as you promise not to call me “Tallie” (it sounds too much like Ali). I love my new name, and I love Ali for giving it to me. She says besides just being a pretty name, Natalie is also the name of a writer she admires: Natalie Goldberg. How cool is that? Anyway, here are some summer pictures of me at Lake Siskiyou at the beginning of July. I had a great time exploring an old weathered tree stump that was on the shore and looking out at the lake. I didn’t go swimming that day though… it was pretty late in the afternoon and Ali said the water was awfully cold! I did get to go swimming for the first time last weekend though! The lake water was still cold but very refreshing on a hot afternoon, and I enjoyed floating on my back and playing with my new beach ball. I have a new bathing suit, too! I don’t have any pictures yet, but next time we go I’ll be sure to take some, okay? It was really fun to get in the water with Ali and Dave. Ali made sure to dry me off very thoroughly afterwards, and the next morning she washed and conditioned my hair. I felt like I was in a salon! So, back to Washington! I still have so many pictures and adventures to share! Remember we drove north along the Puget Sound after leaving South Bend? Well, we arrived that afternoon in a beautiful little town called Port Townsend, which is on the very northeastern tip of the Olympic Penninsula. I thought it was such a lovely place! We got to stay for two nights in a gorgeous bed and breakfast called The Old Consulate Inn, which is a beautiful Victorian house built in 1890!
Here’s what it looked like on the outside: It is on the top of a hill just across from the old county courthouse. Washington has the most amazing historical courthouses! They’re really grand. Anyway, we could hear the clock bell ringing every quarter hour. The Old Consulate Inn has three stories and a wrap-around porch! We had a room on the second floor called “The Rose Room.” We could just see the harbor from one of the windows:
There was also a claw-foot bathtub, beautiful old-fashioned furniture, and a cozy study nook: Us dolls felt at home right away!
I loved the wood staircase, and all the old Victorian decorations. I especially loved that there were books on the bedside table and a whole library downstairs! The proprietors must love to read, just like me!
We enjoyed exploring Port Townsend that evening and the next day. There are a lot of old houses and buildings there, like this one in the downtown: It’s a really pretty and interesting downtown. There are tons of art galleries, restaurants, several bookstores, an art-supply store, a toy store, and even a yarn store! I saw this pretty sweater on a tree in front of the yarn store: Ali says this is called “yarn bombing.” Isn’t that funny?
We saw lots more flowers! I love how people plant them in baskets or window boxes right outside the shops and along the sidewalks. I think Washington has more flowers than anywhere else in the world!
But I think what I loved best of all was the beautiful harbor and the view of the Puget Sound.
There’s way more to explore in Port Townsend and the Olympic penninsula than we could see in only one and a half days, but we saw enough to know it’s a beautiful place we’d like to go back to sometime. It was a little sad to have to leave so soon, but on Tuesday morning we were eager to take the ferry across the Puget Sound to the Seattle side for more adventures. Us dolls were super excited about the ferry ride, because these boats aren’t just for people, they’re for cars too! They’re like big, floating parking lots: you drive your car right onto them, and they take you right across the water to wherever you need to go!
We watched eagerly as our ferry approached the dock. It docked right in front of the road, and we watched the load of cars and trucks drive off.
Then, finally, we got to drive on! We were so excited! It felt really weird to park on a boat!
The ferry ride was really smooth and comfortable. Except for the slight tippy feeling, you would hardly know you were in the middle of the water. We actually got to take two ferries: the first one took us across to Whidbey Island, which is located right in the middle of the Puget Sound, and is the largest island in Washington. I liked it a lot. There were lots of tall evergreen forests and open grasslands and meadows. We stopped to see a really cute little town called Coupeville, where Ali and Dave took a little walk along the shore and saw these flowers: Then we drove south down the island to the next ferry terminal, which took us across to the mainland. We checked into our motel room in Everett, which is just 25 miles north of Seattle. After all the excitement and traveling, we were glad to have a little relaxing time in our room. And then… guess where we went that evening??? I’ll give you a hint:
That’s all for now! I’ll tell you all about it next time! Love, your friend Natalie Alexis