All tagged weekend

Edmond's Saturday market

A couple weekends ago we found ourselves up in Edmonds on a Saturday afternoon. Much to our delight we stumbled upon their farmer's market. Living in Seattle it is often difficult to find a farmer's market which isn't on a Sunday, so we were excited to peruse the fresh vegetables, flowers and handmade goods. We were excited to walk away with an assortment of locally made goods. We bought some amazing peanut butter chocolate fudge and milk chocolate toffee, handmade caramels, a head of garlic, a pound of fingerling potatoes, a bouquet of fresh flowers and a gardening tool. Sounds like we have a bit of sweet tooth doesn't it?!

Roche Harbor in the Spring

Spring time is one of our favorite times to travel. The weather usually cooperates, flowers boxes and hanging baskets are bursting with color and it is generally a quiet time compared to the hustle and bustle of the Summer. When we visit San Juan Island we like to spend at least a few afternoons and evening at Roche Harbor. We like the laid back, easy pace of the area and find it to be devoid of all the ferry traffic and tours which come in and out of Friday Harbor. We also love to kayak out of Roche Harbor with San Juan Outfitters and one of our favorite places to eat on the island (Madrona Bar and Grill) is located here too.

A weekend at Bird Rock Hotel

In the midst of downtown Friday Harbor and just a short walk from the ferry terminal there is a lovely place to stay called Bird Rock Hotel. It is a small, unassuming place, the type of place you might even walk right past if you did not know the charm awaiting you once inside. Bird Rock Hotel is a boutique hotel with a historic exterior and a modern interior. Rooms range from deluxe with harbor views and jacuzzi tubs to simple European style sleeping rooms with shared baths down the hall. Each room is unique which makes it a fun experience to stay there again and again. There are so many things I enjoy about Bird Rock Hotel, but the comfortable beds, location and delicious continental breakfast awaiting me each morning are three of my favorites. This is our second time staying at Bird Rock Hotel and just like last time we loved every minute of our stay. 

Point Robinson

During our visit to Vashon we spent one of our mornings down at Point Robinson. Point Robinson is a ten acre shoreline park and marine conservancy located on the east shore of Maury Island overlooking East Passage. This site has provided fog and lighthouse service for vessels since 1885. The park has a sandy beach shoreline which wraps around the point, a saltwater marsh, and upland woodlands. Jasper particularly enjoyed the beach (he is obsessed with carrying around tiny rocks), the wooden swing and cement pathway in front of the Keeper's houses. No matter how you spend your time at Point Robinson there are spectacular views of East Passage, Tacoma, and Mount Rainier from anywhere on the shoreline.

The Lodges on Vashon

Last week, we had the opportunity to stay on Vashon Island while we checked out the Lodges on Vashon. Even though I have visited Vashon Island numerous times, I have never spent more than a day there. Living in West Seattle, Vashon Island is a place I look at across the water pretty much everyday without thinking much about it. It is a beautiful place, but I have never considered it a destination for a weekend adventure. Now that I know such airy, light filled, and hip accommodations exist I foresee many more trips to the island in my future. Early one afternoon, Jasper and I boarded the ferry for our ten minute crossing to our island getaway. With the sleek water taxi service from downtown, Cameron would be joining up with us after work. 

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.

Washington Park Arboretum in the Winter

It is easy to think in the middle of Winter that everything is brown and dead at the Washington Park Arboretum, but with our temperate climate nothing could be farther from the truth. The Washington Park Arboretum has 230 acres of land with a wide assortment of plants, many found nowhere else. The Washington Park Arboretum is operated jointly by the University of Washington and the City of Seattle and is immaculately taken care of. There is a beautiful camellia garden bursting with different shades of pink and white and the crocuses are beginning to pop up along with the magnolia trees getting their flower buds. It is a fragrant time of year too and if I knew a bit more about flowers I could tell you exactly what I was smelling. The other fantastic part of Winter at the Arboretum is that its relatively vacant in comparison to Spring and Summer, so if you don't mind donning a warm coat and hat you can have the place pretty much to yourself. 

A staycation at the Palladian

I have recently learned the joys associated with a staycation. I used to think in order for it to be considered a "real" vacation it needed to include a plan ride or a long drive. Now, especially as a parent to a small child; I understand vacations in a broader sense. A vacation can consist of a day or two away and all that needs to occur is a break from your normal routine. Basically, it is the adult equivalent to a child getting a day off from school and really just a good excuse to play hooky. A few days ago, my husband and I packed a small suitcase, sent our sweet little boy off to Grandma's and Grandpa's and for a couple days and enjoyed the perks of hotel living at The Palladian and being a tourist in our own town. 

Ebey's Landing

As the sun hung low in the sky we set out on the Ridge Trail which intersects with the Bluff Trail at Ebey's Landing. We walked the picturesque half mile through rolling farmland to the bluff where we watched the sun quickly dip below the horizon. Watching the sunset in the Winter always feels like a rare treat for a number of reasons, but primarily because the skies are usually shrouded with thick gray clouds and because it occurs so early in the day it is easy to miss.  

Snowshoeing at Cypress Mountain

One of our primary reasons for visiting Vancouver was to go snowshoeing. There isn't one, but three fantastic places to go snowshoeing all within twenty minutes from the city.  However, between getting late starts each day and the extra holiday traffic we were only able to visit Cypress Mountain this time. On the day we were up there the glorious sunshine and blue skies combined with a fresh dumping of snow made for one heavenly day. The snow shoe route we took was one of those straight up the entire way. When we are out snowshoeing I am always thoroughly impressed with Cameron's ability to carry our heavy son on his back. He never complains and makes it look so easy. I am reminded time and time again how much fresh mountain air and family time is good for the soul. I am continually grateful for these two adventurous dudes and how much they make every single day special.

OPUS Vancouver- the perfect getaway from Seattle

After Christmas, we were excited to spend time in one of our favorite cities- Vancouver, B.C. Although it had been a couple years since we last visited I was reminded how much I love Vancouver and the diversity of its surrounding neighborhoods. I like to think of Vancouver as the hip, more refined and established older sister to Seattle. Whatever characteristics I like about Seattle it seems Vancouver has in greater abundance or accessibility. My two great loves are the water and the mountains. Vancouver like Seattle has both, but in Vancouver the mountains are so easily accessible from the city it makes me envious. 

South Lake Union during the holidays

Downtown Seattle is such a fun and vibrant place this time of year, but there is also a lot going on in other parts of the city. We wandered down to South Lake Union during our staycation over Black Friday and were delighted to find so much to see and do. There were ships open for touring with complimentary hot cocoa and coffee, choirs performing, and an opportunity to make and festively decorate your own wooden boat from the Center for Wooden Boats. The best part of all these activities, was they were either free or by small donation. 

A wintry hike up to Snow Lake

We have now reached the point in the year where there is not enough snow to snow shoe, but most of the hiking trails are covered in either snow, ice or both. It can be a bit treacherous making your way up and down safely, but it is a beautiful time of year especially when the sun decides to shine. On Thanksgiving we wanted to get outside for a bit before going over to my parent's house for dinner. We decided on Snow Lake because it is a moderate hike and we knew we could do it in the time that we had. Once on the trail it was a tad colder than I had anticipated, so next time I will need to be better prepared for wintry conditions.

A pit stop in Portland

On our way home from the Oregon coast we decided to take a little detour and meet up with our friends in Portland. Since I easily daydream about going to Portland at least once a month, it was a no brainer when the opportunity presented itself. There is something about Portland that feels so young and hip. The food scene cannot be beat and I love how easy it is to get around. We met up with our friends for lunch at Por Que No and then walked down Mississippi Avenue looking in the various shops. Some of my favorites include: Black WagonPaxton GateLand, and Pistils Nursery.

A first birthday in the woods

As soon as Jasper was born I was eager to start thinking about his first birthday celebration. Although it needn't been elaborate, I knew it needed to be special. Between our love for the outdoors and the beautiful area we live in, I knew it needed to be connected to nature. I was uncertain how to make my dream a reality until I started to look at venues and nothing felt right. My husband suggested a place we have visited the year prior; a beautiful glass house in the woods. Immediately, I knew the house had the vibe I was looking for, the only problem was it was small and almost two hours away from Seattle. Would my guests be willing to spend an entire day traveling to my son's birthday party? Would I be able to pull off a party in a remote location?

The North Cascades

In my opinion, one of the prettiest areas in all of Washington state is the North Cascades. It is breathtakingly beautiful at every turn, more hiking trails than you'll ever have time for, and feels remote, yet is easy enough to get to. Our first encounter with the Freestone Inn was a couple days after our son, Asher passed away. Unaware of our circumstance, we were greeted with a warm welcome, a friendly smile and a cozy room complete with a large soaking tub, stone fireplace and lovely views of the property. Since then, we have made it an annual tradition to return to this special place year after year. The Freestone Inn is located on Wilson Ranch on a gorgeous piece of property. We have been fortunate enough to visit the property during the SummerFall and Winter and there are different things we enjoy about each season in the North Cascades. 

Pratt Lake

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. 

Hike to Melawka Lake

This Summer we have made a conscious effort to branch out and visit several new alpine lakes. Even when it comes to hiking it is easy to find your favorites and visit them again and again. Between the changes seasons and weather in general each visit is a new experience. A mere 40 minutes from Seattle is the I90 corridor where there are countless trails to tackle. Our goal, if we continue to enjoy hiking for many years to come is to eventually visit them all. 

Recently, we had Jasper spend the night at my parent's house and enjoyed a beautiful hike to Melakwa Lake. Melakwa Lake is part of the Denny Creek trail. Denny Creek is a popular trail for families, but as you continue on the trail for a few additional miles you can find yourself at a beautiful, uncrowded alpine lake. There is no place that invigorates my mind and body more than being in the mountains. I feel my most content breathing the fresh air and being surrounded by trees. I am truly a Pacific Northwesterner at heart. 

Ice Cream Cruise

For Jasper's nine month birthday we wanted to do something festive. So the moment I saw a large bouquet of multi colored balloons hanging off the dock I was interested. Below the balloons sat a little sandwich board which advertised an Ice Cream Cruise; a one hour cruise around Lake Union. It looked festive and fun, so on a whim we hopped aboard. The sky had been threatening rain all morning so the boat was only minimally full. We set out on our cruise around the lake as a light rain started to fall and seaplanes buzzed by overhead. One of my favorite things about Lake Union is it is always a bustling place. In a five minute span you might see a stand up paddler, a sailboat, a kayaker, a seaplane and a helicopter. There is no shortage of boat traffic or things to look at. 

South Lake Union Adventure

Some Saturdays we leave the house without a plan. Our main goal for the day is always to have fun, but we don't always have the details ironed out. One such Saturday we had loosely planned to rent a paddle boat at The Center for Wooden Boats, but a combination of high winds and the Seattle Dragon Boat Races soon changed our plans. Instead, we ended up spending the entire day at South Lake Union Park. We watched the Dragon boat races, walked around The Center for Wooden Boats, toured an old tugboat, took an Ice Cream Cruise and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Duke's. It was such a diverse and fun way to spend the day together as a family.  Jasper loved watching all the water and air traffic. He kept craning his neck every time he heard another plane or helicopter fly overhead. With the recent revisions to South Lake Union Park it has become a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.