Alki Adventures.

What a weekend – one of our best yet.  It started as any weekend should – with pancakes.  Perfect, fluffy pancakes topped with strawberries and syrup. 

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And then we loaded up our car and headed out to West Seattle.  How did it take me an entire year to get here?

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It was our first weekend of gorgeous summer weather, so we decided to head to Alki Beach – a spot I have been hearing about since we moved here.  West Seattle has some of the most spectacular views I’ve seen out here, with a gorgeous city scape on one side…

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And breathtaking mountains on the other.  Incredible.

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I am cheesy and lame, but I get so excited for Cullen that he is able to grow up in such an awesome place. 

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Our original plan was to get there early and go for a run along the beach path (hence the workout clothes).  It turned out there was a big pirate festival at the beach on Saturday, so we sat in a lot of traffic and had to park pretty far away.  So our run turned into a very long walk, which was just as well as it was pretty crowded on the path.

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As we walked and soaked in the surroundings, Casey spotted a bald eagle on the beach!  A year later and I’m still in awe of the Northwest landscape and wildlife.  Very cool.

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Being around the mountains typically leads to me stopping and taking no less than 300 photos.

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I just never want to forget all this good stuff.

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We walked all the way up to the beach,which turned out to be a 2.5 mile stretch from where we parked.  Our plan was to throw down a blanket and hang out for a bit, and for some reason I assumed we’d be able to rent an umbrella.  The sun was blazing and hot, and with no umbrellas in sight, we realized we’d need a shadier spot for Cullen.

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We ended up walking back along the path until we found a grassy spot under a big tree.  I think we were all ready for a break!

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Before we left, I packed a huge five pound bag of cherries that we picked up the night before at our market.  Thank god we had them – we were all starving from walking so far without any lunch in our bellies.  The three of us crushed the whole bag.  Tis the season.

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We sat for a bit to give Cullen a break from the stroller and let him climb and crawl around.  If it weren’t for being really hungry, I could have sat there all day.

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Eventually we packed up and headed back to our car – a total of over five miles walked along the waterfront.  My legs were feeling it!  We drove over to Chaco Canyon – one of our favorite Seattle restaurants.  This was our first time trying their West Seattle location, and I was surprised that it was much larger and even had a kids’ play area!  Too bad our “kid” was way too pooped to play.  He rarely sleeps in his car seat, but our afternoon outside had him wiped.

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Casey got the Mighty Mo-Fo – 0ur take on a reuben sandwich with housemade seitan, sauerkraut, mustard, cucumbers, sprouts.

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Sarah went with the THC – molasses wheat bread with housemade garlicky hummus, smoked paprika tempeh bacon, vegenaise, cucumbers and sprouts.

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And since I hadn’t already had enough cherrries for the day, I got the Cherry Chutney Pizza – a savory raw pizza topped with curry cherry chutney, fresh sprouts, our savory cashew cheese, and dehydrated tamari date onion rings.

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With a side of Thai Mushroom Soup.  Both were absolutely delicious.  I think I could have eaten three or four more of these pizzas.

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We got home just in time for Cullen’s dinner.  The weather was so nice I couldn’t stand to be inside.  I dragged the high chair onto our patio and we all dined al fresco!  Plums and sweet potatoes for him…

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And homemade Revel bowls for us (a play off my favorite restaurant dish).  Sesame oil brown rice, crispy blackened tofu, spiced mushrooms and kale – all topped with a drippy egg.  A slightly labor intensive meal, but so so worth it. 

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Sea Salt dark chocolate Theo for dessert.

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Such a fun day!  It definitely won’t take another year to get me back to Alki Beach – this time I will pack my own umbrella.