1) The Pacific Northwest is just as beautiful as you think it is.
2) Coffee shops ARE everywhere ... but that doesn't mean the coffee is always better. (Best cup I had was waiting in line to get on a ferry. Thanks, Crusty Crab man.)
3) If you wanna feel competitive, take a whale-watching boat out to see the orcas. If you think people trying to catch a bride's bouquet throw elbows - you ain't seen nuthin' until the whales are spotted. HOLD ON TO THE SIDE OF THE BOAT or risk being pushed over so that the person beside you can get the picture they want! Kids are in just as much danger, fyi.
4) When hanging out with adults, you will seem like a super-parent for bringing your family of five across the United States. (Especially if they are very well-behaved.)
5) Don't forget your pajamas if you are camping in a colder climate. You will then have to go into town to buy something and look like a walking advertisement for that town.
6) ALWAYS bring more clothes for your children than you think you need.
7) When transferring the groom's ring from the box to the shell it will be carried in, do not drop it. It will sink immediately. And then every person there will give advice on where to find it.
8) Finding a metal detector on a Sunday morning, in a tourist town, that you then use to find said ring will make you into a hero.
9) Weddings on the beach at sunrise are beautiful, even if there is no sun because it's raining for the first time since you arrived.
10) Hotels are worth every penny after four days of camping.
11) Apparently if the airline misplaces your carseat/stroller, you can RENT one from them.
12) The airline will return the missing carseat/stroller HOURS after they call at 6 in the morning to let you know that they will be returning it to you.
13) Men are just as captivated as women by toothless, smiling, good babies. (Except for plain ol' jerks who recline their seats, but sit forward in them. And then sigh loudly every time they are kicked by babies who are very excitable.)
14) If you plan to bring home shells/sea glass/beach rocks - rinse them before you put them into your suitcase. Otherwise your bag will smell like rotting seaweed.
15) Hero or not, colds will attack anyone standing out in the rain for hours not properly dressed...