All tagged Seattle
This past Summer, we enjoyed a spectacular meal at Hama Hama Oysters with Outstanding in the Field. The meal was one of the highlights of our Summer and we were privileged to enjoy Sea Wolf Bakers bread right before their brick and mortar opened. Seven months later, we finally paid a visit to their retail shop and enjoyed a few tasty treats on a slow Saturday.
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a floral arranging class where I learned the art of the hand bouquet from Cozbi Hultz, floral Designer and Owner of CJP&CO. I learned how to use my hands to create a bouquet of appropriate scale, proportion and beauty. I have always had a strong affinity for gorgeous blooms so being able to work with them for an evening was a real treat for me. There is nothing more fun than learning from an expert and walking away bursting with inspiration.
Well it happened, we finally got a real bonafide, school was canceled, more than three inches of snow fell snow storm. Whenever we see snow in the forecast we first get excited and then usually become skeptical because the white stuff never seems to show up. This time it wasn't really talked about or expected and then bam, Monday morning we woke up to a Winter Wonderland.
In my opinion, each day should consist of six things: fresh air, inspiration, exercise, creativity, meaning and play. When a day feels off it is usually because it is lacking in one of these categories. It had been a long time since we last visited the Olympic Sculpture Park and during our couple hour visit I was reminded why it is such a fantastic place- especially for children. At the Olympic Sculpture Park you will find large scale art pieces to interact with, sweeping vistas of the city, mountains and water and most importantly, for this little two year old hills to run up and plenty of space to run free. The train tracks which run parallel to the park and the constant air traffic overhead provide additional entertainment.
It is easy to forget about places like Pike Place Market when it is cold outside and rainy days become the norm. However, Pike Place Market is still a vibrant, thriving market place even when the thermometer drops. The biggest appeal once the crowds thin are you can easily find a parking space and you are no longer elbow to elbow with tourists. In between appointments we made a quick pit stop at Pike Place Market for the essentials: Ellenos yogurt, a bag of fresh green grapes, a couple apples and a bouquet of fresh flowers. Most importantly, amidst the fresh produce and tchotchkes I was able to find a little hope of Spring. Often when I think about heading downtown I can talk myself out of it. However, these type of spontaneous trips remind me how much richer life is when we approach life with a little bit of wonder and fill each day with adventures that make our heart sing.
Last year I came to the realization of how wonderful Volunteer Park is for little ones. Volunteer park is diverse and spacious with plenty of room to run around, things to look at (from the sculptures to the water tower) and spots to picnic at. One of my favorite places in Volunteer Park is the children's playground which we often find empty and has a designated area for little ones. Between the Volunteer Park Conservatory, the open spaces, the playground and Volunteer Park Cafe nearby it makes for the perfect morning out with your little one, best friend or mother.
Even though we have an annual membership to the zoo we tend to visit rather infrequently. Although I like the idea of my child being able to see animals he might not normally see, I oftentimes leave the zoo with mixed emotions. On some visits all the animals are sleeping and I always worry they are depressed or unhappy living in such cramp quarters. About a month ago, we visited the zoo and had a fun filled afternoon watching many active and seemingly happy animals. The penguins and hippos were the highlight of the day, but riding the carousel is always Jasper's favorite part.
When you live in Seattle it is not very often that it snows. Last week, we were blessed to wake up to not only one, but two snow days. It was so exciting it felt like Christmas had come early. It was the perfect day to cut the tags off of Jasper's new snow bibs and break them in. Once we were bundled up we headed out for our snowy adventure. Sadly, on both days the snow quickly turned to rain and like most wonderful moments in life, it was a bit short lived.
I want to provide my children with a life of fun, discovery and adventure. I once heard of a mother who asked her children every time before they got in the car "Do you want to go on an adventure?" Going on an adventure sure sounds a lot more enticing then getting in the car to go to the grocery store, run errands, or go to the dentist when you are a child. I want to create an environment where creativity and imaginations thrive before the stresses of life i.e. homework, school, tests, bullying, and peer pressure take over and the magic of childhood quickly fades.
Summer seemed to slip through our fingers this year, because before we knew it it was over. It had been awhile since we last visited the Volunteer Park Conservatory and this time Jasper did a whole lot more than walk around with his hands behind his back. It never ceases to amaze me how a little boy's mind works. Jasper found every wheel to turn and button to push during our brief visit to the conservatory. I was there for the flowers, but he was there to keep me on my toes. After our trip to the conservatory Jasper loves to play at the adjacent park and we both enjoy lunch at the Volunteer Park Cafe afterwards. You really can never go wrong with crisp autumn air, sunshine, flowers and my favorite little sidekick.
Every March we make our annual pilgrimage to my alma mater to see the cherry blossoms trees. Since the window to witness them in their full glory is relatively short, it is usually quite crowded- but fun nonetheless. You will see people taking engagement photos, pregnancy photos and just photos in general. This year we witnessed a sweet little baby in full UW cheerleading attire being held by the world's proudest papa. Just like that I am reminded how each of us thinks we love our children more than the next person and how in that moment we feel like the luckiest person alive. Life is grand, muddy puddles, wind storms and March who acts like a defiant toddler never wanting to decide between whether it wants to be Winter or Spring or both.
All of the sudden my little baby has turned into a walking, talking, dog loving, board book aficionado and I could not be prouder. Just when I think he has reached the best age, a month goes by and he becomes even more delightful. Last week, as I was admiring how his new haircut made him look older I reflected on the past fifteen months. Often, it is hard to imagine what life was like prior to his arrival. He fills my days with laughs, giggles, smiles and the occasional display of independence. It is an honor to have a front row seat to see the person he is going to become, to be his safe haven and the recipient of his endless affection. He is the friendliest, most outgoing guy I know and for as little as he is he has a heart the size of an elephant.
Some days the weather is crazy here. One minute it is pouring rain, the next sunshine and then wait another minute and a strong gust of wind will hit you in the face. Sporadic pretty much summed up the weather this past weekend which repeatedly shut down Snoqualmie Pass and halted our plans for a Saturday of snowshoeing. As a last minute change of plans we decided to spend an afternoon exploring closer to home by hiking down to Snoqualmie Falls followed by brunch at the Salish Lodge. The trail down to the falls is only one mile round trip so it is an easy hike even for little ones.
I have not spent a whole lot of time doing specific "kid" things with Jasper because usually he seems to be enjoying himself regardless of what we are doing. However, on his birthday I wanted to do something special for him and yet memorable for us. I finally decided on going to the Seattle Aquarium. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and at the end of our visit we decided to splurge on the annual pass. I am uncertain how many times we will actually visit the aquarium over the next year, but their toddler programs are on my radar and I am excited to spend more time exploring the aquarium myself. There is no end to the sights, sounds and colors at the aquarium. Jasper favorite spot was the tide pools, in particular the wave machine which turned on every few minutes to mimic the tide. I love this age of discovery and I am trying my best to capture his imagination and keep each day interesting.
I love Fall and everything associated with it. So when I decided to take a few photos of Jasper for his upcoming birthday I knew the pumpkin patch and apple orchard would be the perfect place.
Each Fall we make our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. Actually, we enjoy the pumpkin patch so much we normally visit two. The first one we typically visit is Carpinito Brothers. We like to go the last weekend in September before the crowds to find our basic orange carving pumpkins, mini pumpkins and gourds. The second patch we like to visit is Gordon Skagit in the beginning of October for our heirloom pumpkins and apple picking. This year my parents were able to join us for Jasper's first pumpkin patch and wheelbarrow ride.
This Summer, we have tried our best to take advantage of what has seemed like endless glorious weather. A couple weekends back we spent the entire day hiking the 11.5 miles to Pratt Lake. Aside from the air being hazy from all the fires in the North Cascades, it was a wonderful day spent together as a family up in the mountains. I have to give my husband major kudos because he not only hiked, but carried Jasper on his back almost the entire way. Since Pratt Lake is such a long hike it deters a lot of people. As a result, we found ourselves alone most of the time on the trail. It was a scenic hike where we passed through several different types of landscapes and encountered endless types of terrain. It was a beautiful hike, albeit long and one I am eager to do again as an overnight adventure.