Wishing [ I ] Was Northwest.
Anyone growing up in a small town knows the feeling of wanting to venture out and see something new- whether that be an hour away or further. As a kid I would dream about visiting New Mexico to explore heritage on my mom's side of the family and the evergreen landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. (And I still do...:))
A few weeks ago I was visiting Sisters of Nature and came across a white screen tank that captured my interests PERFECTLY. So naturally I researched the owners because I assumed the rest of their products were equally amazing!
Tory and Tahnee, sister entrepreneurs of Wish You Were Northwest and natives of Seattle, Washington, took frequent road trips with their parents around their home state and surrounding regions! From their love of the PNW they have designed a full collection of classic apparel and accessories for the trailblazers, coffee lovers and nature seekers.
While reading their stories about the PNW and creative inspiration, I smiled thinking about my own road trip memories. I hope you will do the same! They offer a personable travel guide through Washington state while talking about the beauty of "off-roading" and why it's still cool to plan a getaway in your neighborhood!
1) In your bio you talk a lot about family and weekend vacation memories. Any particular memory from a past trip that has always inspired you? Any traditions your family has while traveling?
TORY: We did so many day trips, it's hard to pick a specific one. But I do know we ended up in Leavenworth, WA, quite often and the drive to get there is this beautiful road with a river on one side and boulders with tiny waterfalls coming down every so often on the other. When we were very young, my sister and I would wrap ourselves in blankets in the backseat and my dad would roll the windows down. We would scream and laugh every time we passed a waterfall because of how cold the air would get, and that would make my mom laugh, too. It's something so simple, but memorable to me for some reason. The tradition I remember most is we would always stop at this little corner store on a country back road and we'd each pick out one thing for the drive. I always got Jr. Mints or an ice cream sandwich. We always had our dog Biscuit with us, who was like a little brother to me. And then my dad would turn the music up - often it was Sting, Milli Vanilli, or Collective Soul - while we meandered around to different parts of the state for the day. So nothing has changed, really. I still play loud music and eat Jr. Mints while driving around the northwest!
TAHNEE: My favorite memory was traveling the 101 from here to Southern California with my family at 11. It was the first time I really remember seeing the PNW coastline and I loved it. It also helped me see how unique our area really was with its endless trees, fresh air, and breathtaking scenery. We always had the tradition of being able to stop and pick out a couple junk food favorites we never got at home, and we always listened to super loud music pretty much the whole drive. I loved how time sort of stopped and I could lose myself in daydreams as we drove. The rest of those road trips were pure spontaneity.
2) Must-see landmark in the PNW?
TORY: I don't really know if this counts as a landmark but I'd have to say La Push beach is my favorite place!
TAHNEE: It's too difficult for me to choose just one favorite place here! My top three are Lake Crescent, Second Beach in La Push, and being a city girl at heart, I love an early morning visit to Pike Place Market.
3) Favorite local coffee shop or eatery in the PNW?... or both? :)
TORY: Coffee shop: I actually get my coffee from Starbucks 95% of the time. No shame! But my favorite place to get a white mocha is Gretchen's Place in Laurelhurst (Tahnee first told me about this spot!) and Cafe Cesura in Bellevue has an amazing honey-cinnamon latte.
Eatery: The Commons in Woodinville is awesome. I'm also a sucker for drive-ins, and my all time favorite one is a little place called Pilchuck Drive-In in Snohomish. They have the best grilled cheese sandwiches and peanut butter shakes. I force all my friends to go there :)
TAHNEE: My favorite coffee shop for about 13 years now is Gretchen's Place tucked in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of NE Seattle. Breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe in the University District is the best!
4) Best part about being the co-owner of a small business and sharing your home through WYWNW?
TORY: I love the the excitement it brings. I love all the unknowns. I love collaborating with my sister and making our own rules. I love learning as we go and overcoming challenges. It's been a passion-filled journey for me and I don't want to take a second of it for granted.
The best part about sharing our world is how rewarding it's been to connect with people, especially through Instagram. It's such an uplifting community and I'm constantly inspired and humbled by the creative, encouraging, and talented people we're lucky to come in contact with!
TAHNEE: The best parts about co-owning WYWNW is working creatively with my sister, and all the amazing people we get to connect with on Instagram.
5) For a first-timer in the PNW, what hiking trail(s) or outdoor sport(s) should they add to their agenda?
TORY: Specific places for first timers: Mt Rainier National Park, La Push, Diablo Lake, Leavenworth (especially at Christmas time). One of my favorite things to do is go off-roading with my husband and our two dogs in our Jeep. My advice is to take the back roads, the side roads; the roads that look like maybe no one has been down them in years. Take pictures, be spontaneous, and decide to lose track of time for the day. That's my favorite way to explore the PNW.
TAHNEE: First time visitors to our area should visit the Olympic Peninsula. I feel like it encompasses all that is so magical about the PNW. Mt. Rainier is awe inspiring and a must-see as well. As far as hiking goes, there are endless options but Rattlesnake Ledge in North Bend has some pretty breathtaking views, or if you're wanting a camping adventure, The Enchantments in Leavenworth.
6) What do you love most about being from the PNW?
TORY: How many different types of scenery we have access to in such a short distance from each other. It's really difficult to get bored here!
TAHNEE: I love being from the PNW because of the versatility of our area; to the mountains or the coast in just hours from the city. I also love having distinct seasons. I didn't realize how much I liked and needed that until I was in college in Southern California. I found myself longing for rainy drives and the possibility of snow during the holidays.
7) Why it is important that people make it a point to explore their communities and support local creatives?
TORY: It can be easy to fall into the "grass is greener" mentality, but sometimes all it takes to break out of that is to adventure in your own hometown. Every city has something to offer, and you can find inspiration anywhere. You don't need to be somewhere else or be someone else to be content. As far as supporting creatives goes, I feel like there is a renewed desire for authenticity in our generation. I think we all are inspired by the idea of starting something from scratch that was born out of passion. Everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone can relate to that. So that's why I think it's important to support your local makers. It all goes back to the American Dream.
TAHNEE: I'm all about really falling in love with where you live. The best way to do this is to get out there and explore and connect with people, and get into community. Being in community changes everything. Supporting local creatives is a part of connecting with community and an important part of feeling rooted and having pride in the area you live.
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