Ever since, my life has been a tug of war between being a parent and a business owner. But my feet still itched for travel, to tramp on unfamiliar ground, to see and experience the beauty of the natural world, of which I owe everything. Needless to say, I needed a break, and so did my wife, who runs the shipping department of the family business. We talked and planned out a vacation with our two year old, but instead of flying him with us anywhere, my wife ventured south to Florida for ten days in the spring with her mom, while I watched my little boy. Then I had my turn, which I cashed this precious freedom and time on a trip I’ve yearned to do for decades.
It’s been at the forefront of my mind for many years that I needed to see and experience the old growth forests of the Olympic peninsula. For the past few years, I often commented that all these trees in Ohio were toddler trees, young growth after being subject to clear cutting by humans. I knew I had to see the forests untouched by man, unspoiled by civilization, and filled with the original magic and wisdom only places such as these possess. I began planning several months in advance, aiming to breathe life into this 10 year old blog. Thank you dear readers for sticking around throughout my adventures, and for weathering the COVID storm and not leaving this corner of the internet covered in cobwebs and forgotten dreams.
After much research, I zeroed in on the spots I had to see, the trails I wanted to hike, and I found the ideal accommodation in Domaine Madeleine. Port Angeles is a coastal town which acts as the northern entrance to the Olympic National Park, which offers a perfect place to jump off from. The town offers coastal views, a port with shopping district and good food, lavender farms, and some of the best natural areas you can find within minutes of downtown.
I had ten days with no responsibilities. Just to be, to explore, and to find some sense of calm outside the hustle and bustle of my busy life. I chose Domaine Madeleine for a perfect getaway, and I wasn’t disappointed. Domaine Madeleine is a nice establishment, but it isn’t so nice that it feels as though it only caters to the ultra wealthy. All amenities one could hope for, and more were provided for. I particularly enjoyed the common room with extra toiletries, snacks and just about anything you could easily forget to pack, yet they provided for their guests.
The grounds are stunning! With a full-time gardener on staff, you can really tell they have a love for plants and flowers. But what was the most unique which stuck out above all else was a detail I fell in love with and would keep me coming back was the fact that the owners took the zen/spa life approach to the next level with their gorgeous zen gardens. There is a coy pond, secret private nooks for meditation escapes (my favorite part!), amazing plants and flowers, and towering trees, which had an almost Japanese garden inspired. Near the coastal side of the property, there’s a big covered bed which is well worth a good book and a lie down. The views are lovely, and on a crisp warm day, there’s nothing better than laying out, staring up at the clouds coming in off the water, and simply meditating to the rhythm of the surf.
Domaine Madeleine can be found surrounded by beautiful fields of lavender and other cultivations, and when you turn down their private drive, you’re met with a dazzling array of colorful wildflowers. When arriving, you get the feeling that you’re in a private escape, which is further solidified by the fact that each room has it’s own outside entrance and parking spot. My room had a king bed, huge tub, tv, sitting area inside and out, and a private bath. I never once felt like I was being intruded on by other guests as I thoroughly enjoyed the private, secret getaway style feel that was provided there for me. It was wonderful. I felt my years of built up stress wash away with my time there over the first few days and when it was my time to head south for my next accommodation, I was sad to say goodbye and remember thinking I wished I could have stayed much longer. If you’d like to learn more about Domaine Madeleine, visit their website at www.domainemadeleine.com