Seattle Summer Kickoff.

Hello SUMMER!!!  It was 90 degrees here in Seattle yesterday – what a way to kick off the month of June!  The scary part is that it was actually 90 degrees here in April too, which is WAY too hot for this part of the country.

This weekend we were lucky enough to be hosting my best friend Lindsey – who flew 6.5 hours all the way from Orlando to come spent three glorious, sunny days with us.  I am sure she was thrilled to leave Orlando and find out Seattle was having a heat wave!

We picked her up early Thursday morning, and headed straight to brunch.  We went to Stock in Ballard – my new favorite spot.  The veggie hash with duck egg is to die for, and they happen to carry our kombucha too!

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After that we headed back to the house to attempt some afternoon naps.  Graham had fallen asleep for 0.2 seconds on the car ride home from the airport, and apparently that was enough for the day.  Cullen wasn’t even considering it.  So after a brief battle at home, we gave up and headed back out into the sunshine.

We decided to spend the evening exploring around Queen Anne, with a quick stop at Kerry Park to enjoy the gorgeous skyline view.

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And since the kids didn’t nap and were acting crazed already, a stop at Molly Moon’s for ice cream would surely make that better – right?

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Definitely wrong, and they acted like insane monkeys the rest of the day.  But Lindsey and I got ice cream, so it was still worth it.

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We hung out and ate dinner at the Queen Anne Farmer’s Market – the first one of the season!  The boys started to crash and enjoyed the live music with some buddies.

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The next morning, we took Cullen to school and then Lindsey, Graham, and I packed up for the beach.  But since it was National Donut Day, we figured it was only right to celebrate with a little Mighty-O action. 

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Lindsey couldn’t have timed her visit any better.  In addition to all the glorious sunshine and super warm temps we were having, it was record low tide on the Puget Sound.  The low tides here are INCREDIBLE, and it  brings out all this amazing sea life and beach access that is usually all underwater.  We went to Carkeek Park and saw tons of Northwest ocean creatures, like this big starfish!

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And lots and lot of giant Dungeness crabs!  These are the boys’ favorite. 

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We hung out all morning, and I think even Graham could appreciate the beauty of the glistening water, white-capped mountains, and endless beach.  He laid on his back in the sunshine playing with rocks and soaking it all in.  I sure hope these kids realize (someday) how lucky they are to grow up in such an amazing place. 

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We picked up Cullen from school and headed home for nap time.  Everyone was totally worn out from the sun and the heat.  Lindsey and I rested and fueled up for a fun second half of the day.  I had my babysitter come around 4pm, and Lindsey and I headed out the door on one of my favorite hikes.  We walked from my house to Discovery Park, and ended up looking out at this…

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The weather couldn’t have been more glorious, and the park was practically empty. 

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We hiked five miles – the loop trail down to South Beach and back up – and stopped many times along the way to soak up the sights. 

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We hiked for a little over two hours and then hurried home to change and get ready for a fun dinner out!  I really wanted to do something with a great view of the water, but we weren’t feeling fancy or like spending tons of money.  A friend made the perfect suggestion – the West Seattle Water Taxi!  We rode the boat the 10 minutes across the Sound, which was so cool and something we will definitely do again.

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We hopped off the taxi and walked right up to the order window at Marination Ma Kai – it was perfect!  I got the kimchi fried rice with sexy tofu AND the tofu tacos because everything sounded too good and I couldn’t choose.  And I ate it all.  We sat at a patio table with unobstructed views of the city at sunset, and it was total perfection. 

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On Saturday morning the kids were up painfully early.  The sun is rising here officially at like 5am, but it starts to come up around 430 and shines right in our bedroom windows.  But I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – I will never, ever complain about too much sunshine.  We sipped our coffee and hung out while Casey set up our booth at the South Lake Union Farmers Market.  One we were ready to go, we went to Madison Park Beach for the morning, to show Lindsey the lake side of the waterfront.  The kids splashed and dug in the sand, and I didn’t take a single picture. 

We went home and hung out and rested up for the big event of the day – a boat ride!  I was so proud of myself for actually planning ahead for once.  When I found out Lindsey was going to come visit – long before I knew what the weather would be – I booked us an Electric Boat on Lake Union.  It was just a bonus that it happened to be 85 degrees and the perfect day for being on the water! 

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We also invited my dear friend Lacey, and it was so fun to have a fun activity and great friends to share it with.  The boat has an awesome setup with booths all around and a big table in the middle. 

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Graham was super scared when we first got onto the boat, and was pretty much frozen for the first ten minutes.  By the end he was “driving” the boat, and couldn’t wipe the smile from his face. 

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The kids absolutely LOVED it, and two hours was the perfect amount of time for them (and for us!) to enjoy.

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Lake Union was bustling!  We cruised past GasWorks and all the houseboats.  We had originally planned to dock at Ivar’s and get dinner to go, but there were so many boats waiting that we decided to just drive around and eat the snacks we brought instead. 

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There are few things in life that I love as much as being on the water, and this was definitely one of my top Seattle experiences ever. 

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Definitely a really fun night to remember, and something I sure hope we do again! 

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Since we didn’t end up eating dinner on the boat, we fed the kids a quick dinner at home and then the adults grilled out after bedtime.  I made this really delicious grilled eggplant salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and balsamic glaze.  It was really good and I will definitely make it again – highly recommend!

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Since Sunday was Lindsey’s last day with us, we filled it to the brim again.  She and I headed to a morning class at Inspire Pilates – my current obsession.  It was brutal and we were both super shaky afterwards – always a good sign! 

After pilates, we met up with Casey and the boys who had been setting up for the Fremont Sunday Market.  We got ready and walked over to Discovery Park again, but this time we caught the shuttle down to the beach!

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The low tide was increddddddible.  Lindsey and I had just hiked there two days prior, and the water on Friday was all the way up to the rocks at the lighthouse you can see in the distance.  On Sunday morning, it was out several hundred feet. 

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We found tons of giant crabs, anemones, sea cucumbers, giant clams, and so much more.  I know I’m a broken record, but I just can’t get over being able to do things like this by walking out our front door.  Northwest beauty will never get old for me!

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Such an amazing weekend with my best friend and my little family.  It was such a fun sneak peek of summer, and there is so much fun still up ahead. 

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Despite my attempts to resist overbooking us this summer, little by little more fun things have crept their way onto our calendar.  In addition to working Friday, Saturday, and Sunday farmer’s markets with the business almost every weekend, we also have lots of visitors headed this way, as well as a bunch of local travel (and one big New Jersey trip!). 

And in between all the trips and visits, we’ll be hitting up swimming lessons, hanging on the beach, and living outside until the rain starts again.  It is truly the most wonderful time of the year!  Happy Monday, friends!