All tagged seattle

Out and About with Kids: The Teddy Bear Suite

Last year, we stumbled upon the Teddy Bear Suite at the Fairmount Olympic Hotel Seattle during our staycation. This year we made it a point to check it out again while we were downtown on Black Friday. This year marks the nineteenth anniversary of the Teddy Bear Suite. As a curious toddler, Jasper was very enthusiastic about the teddy bears and spent our entire visit repeatedly saying "teddy bear". Since he surprisingly does not own any teddy bears (just other kind of animals) I did not know he could even say teddy bear.  It is so fun to see his little spirit develop and how freely he gives of his love and excitement to all he encounters whether that be a mail truck or a room full of teddy bears.  

Holiday weekend staycation

Some days time just gets away from me. Usually, it is a bi product of having too much fun, staying up too late, and packing too much in. But this past week has been filled with doctor appointments, too many viruses, too much coughing, not enough sleeping and lots of medicine for our family. However, I am happy to report we are on the mend and grateful we survived this long Thanksgiving weekend of trying to have fun amidst feeling crummy. 

How do you combat the blues?

As I have gotten older, I have slowly realized the importance of being vulnerable. As a society, we often focus on the importance of serving others, but I think it is equally important we allow others to serve us. I used to think I could do everything on my own, but since losing a child and then subsequently having another one, I have learned the value of community. When something big happens in your life people usually give vague offers like, "if you need anything let me know" when in reality you would much rather someone offer to walk your dog, rake your leaves or make you dinner without having to ask them.

The Museum of Flight and some post election thoughts

Living in a household which is predominately male means I have the unique opportunity to spend my time reading, watching and doing things I might not otherwise. Take for instance the Museum of Flight.....Although, I am not especially interested in aviation, aeronautics or space travel I have a boy whose eyes light up at the sight of a rocket and who has the uncanny ability to suck me into his world. Often I find myself forgetting where I end and he begins. Although we are two very different people with vast interests, we spend the majority of our days as one. 

Seattle Japanese Garden at the Arboretum

On Jasper's birthday we paid a visit to the Seattle Japanese Garden at the Arboretum. The Seattle Japanese Garden is a 3.5 acre park located in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle. The garden is located in the southern end of the Washington park Arboretum on Lake Washington Boulevard East. The last time I visited the Seattle Japanese garden Jasper was a few short weeks away from being born. It was fun to be able to take him on such a glorious day for his first visit. The sun was shining, the leaves were gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange. One of the gardeners was even kind enough to let Jasper rake the leaves for a few minutes. As I watched Jasper successfully maneuver a rake almost twice his size I could tell this was a highlight of his day. I love how children don't view anything as work- just play.  

South Lake Union Block Party

For the past several years we have made it a point to stop by the South Lake Union Block Party for burgers, sunshine and an all around good time. This year we had an eager toddler in tow who was ready to get in on the action himself. Most notably during the block party, he played a little chess, chased bubbles, grabbed more than a few bananas from the free Banana stand, chowed down on burgers and picked up his first library card accompanied by a temporary tattoo of the downtown Seattle library. After the Block Party we made our way down to South Lake Union Park for a little splashing around in the water to cap off our night.

South Lake Union Park

This Summer we have discovered a new favorite place to hang out- South Lake Union Park. Although we have always liked this place, we just recently discovered the joys of it on a hot Summer day. For cooling off we love the epic splash pad, when we get hungry we like the healthy and convenient made to order lunches they serve at the MOHAI and the best part of all is the constant buzz of air traffic overhead and boat traffic on the water. 

Pike Place Market

In the summertime, Pike Place Market often turns into a mob of tourists. I feel like a fish swimming upstream as I make my way through crowds of people. Despite all of this, I still like to go there for the fresh flowers, cheese, some of the best fresh seafood I can find and always Ellenos greek yogurt. 

Summer Guide to Seattle

The two questions I get more than any other is "What are some non touristy things I can do with out of town guests?" or "What should I do when I come to visit Seattle?" Today, I will set out to answer those two questions and give you a variety of ideas of things you can do both near and far.

Sailing Lessons with Lake Union Charters & Adventures

On a cloudy, overcast day we met Captain Ron on the shore of Lake Union to take part in our very first sailing lesson. Many companies start their sailing lessons in the classroom, but Lake Union Charters and Adventures likes to get you out on the water and operating the boat immediately. I was little intimidated at the thought of sailing my own boat, but Captain Ron was patient, relaxed and fostered a non judgmental environment for learning.

The water taxi to downtown Seattle

With the viaduct closed for a couple of weeks we have decided to avoid the headache of traffic and stick closer to home on the weekends. Last weekend, we headed out on an adventure in the city. We hopped on the water taxi and within minutes were across the water and in the city. The weather was fantastic so our first stop was lunch down at Pier 56. After lunch, we made a leisurely stroll along the waterfront to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Afterwards, we made a quick stop at Pike Place Market to pick up provisions for dinner with friends. After grabbing a baguette, macaroons and a couple pounds of clams and mussels we headed back to the water taxi. Before we knew it we were back in West Seattle running around on the grass with Jasper and enjoying what felt like a lazy Summer afternoon. Such a perfect way to spend a hassle free day in the city.

Beach time and my favorite parks around the city

In general, I try to pack as light as possible. In my beach bag I like to pack the following: sun hat, flip flops, a sarong which can double as a blanket to sit on and a towel, sunscreen, a variety of snacks, a small plastic bucket and a large water bottle. I have found the more I bring, the more stressed I feel about keeping track of it all. When you are out in nature, more toys generally does not equate to a better time. Also, unless Jasper is going swimming I do not bother to put him in his swimsuit or swim diaper. I find it to not be worth the hassle and most of his Summer clothes are quick dry anyways. 

From South Lake Union to Gasworks Park

One Saturday we set out for the city with our only agenda to be outside and have fun. What ensued was a day of firsts, discovering new gems of our fair and city and stopping for good eats along the way. Our first stop was the Center for Wooden Boats. We had hoped to rent their paddleboat, but unfortunately it was still broken so instead we headed over to the MOHAI to watch the seaplanes come and go and the sailboats dance around Lake Union. 

Spring time at Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is a big tourist destination in Seattle, but it is still one of my favorite places to go for gorgeous fresh flowers and reasonably priced vegetables. Especially now that I have a toddler in tow, I try to be strategic about when I visit and I try to keep the length of my trip to a minimum. Although Jasper is a very social little boy, I have noticed he starts to get stressed and anxious if a place is too busy or chaotic. My favorite time to visit is in the morning between 9:30-11am or after the lunch rush from 2-4pm. As a general rule of thumb, the sunnier it is outside the busier the market tends to be. 

A walk around the neighborhood

I don't know about you, but we are so excited Spring is here! We have been craving longer days, warmer temperatures and are currently in the process of planting as many vegetables as we can in our little plot at our community garden. We are day dreaming of window boxes overflowing with flowers, wearing flip flops and not having to wear a jacket for the foreseeable future. As of late, we have enjoyed getting out as much as possible and exploring every nook and cranny in our neighborhood. Our little man is all business when he is exploring and I would not have it any other way.

The Conservatory

All this wild weather we have been experiencing lately called for a trip to the Volunteer Park Conservatory. I love this little escape in the city and that for an hour or so I can be transported to a warmer, lush climate.

Come on Spring, I am ready for you!

Spring time in Seattle

I know it is not technically Spring, but it has certainly felt like it the past couple of weeks. We have enjoyed the warmer weather immensely and have tried to spend a majority our of day outside when time permits. The bonus of being a Northwest native, is unless it is pouring rain than I consider it a good day to be outside. Jasper is completely content to spend as much time as possible outside where he likes to spot all the birds, planes and dogs he sees. These days there is also no greater thrill than his shadow or the brush of the wind on his cheeks. All these things combined make it both completely fun and utterly invigorating to be outside.

Family date to the Seattle Aquarium

Now that Jasper is so mobile, it is fun to see what new things he discovers with each visit to the Seattle Aquarium. This time it was the little cut out in the window he repeatedly delighted putting his hand in and out of, last time it was the harbor seals and every time he is fascinated by the white spotted jellyfish. I appreciate how their is an indoor and outdoor area to the aquarium which makes it appealing for both rainy and overcast days. We love being outside and don't mind getting rained on, but it is also nice to be able to come back inside and warm up a bit before heading back out. Jasper has opened my eyes to a whole other side of the aquarium I would not think to appreciate it and that is its prime waterfront location. He loves standing on the dock by the harbor seals watching the cars zoom by on 99, the helicopters and birds fly around in the sky and the ferries and sailboats cruise by on the water.


For those of you who haven't heard Filson opened a new flagship store in the same building where they develop, sample, cut and sew their goods. This store is extra special not only for its location, but because they offer some limited edition items not available anywhere else. A couple weeks ago we finally paid a visit to the new Filson flagship store in SODO.  Once inside the large wooden doors we were greeted with a two story photo of Iditarod dogs. To say my dog obsessed son was delighted at this sight is the understatement of the year. Drawn into the space by this photograph, we made our way up the winding staircase to reach the main floor of retail. The vibe was masculine and moody, but I immediately felt at home in the space. Between the juxtaposition of steel against the exposed wood beams, the richness of the leather and coziness of the plaid it was a very inviting space. Even the taxidermy felt luxurious and thoughtfully placed.  As we spent the following hour searching high and low for the perfect gift for Cameron, I made note to return to this wonderful space soon.  My only critique would be that I wished they had a children's section. My little mountain man would look awful handsome matching his Dad in one of those plaid shirts.  

Volunteer Park Conservatory

Jasper has reached the age where he is super engaged and interested in all the places we go. He is no longer interested in napping in the stroller or being carried in the Ergo so rather than an accessory to my every day he is an active and interested partner in crime. In an effort to capitalize on this period of time in our lives and engage his brain in new and exciting ways I have made it a point to devote two days a week to outings. Living so close to downtown Seattle we have a wide array of interesting places at our disposal ie. parks, outdoor markets, museums, children theater etc. I have decided to invest in a few annual passes and then just try my best to make the most of what is around me. We can only visit the local park for an hour or two a couple of days a week before we are both bored and in need of additional stimulation.