Tag Archives: seattle

Low-Key Seattle Weekend

One of our themes as of late has been to explore the wonderful city in which we live. This past weekend’s neighborhood of choice was Ballard. We very seldom make it to Ballard because it’s not easy for us to get to, but there is a lot that neighborhood has to offer.

{view looking out towards Golden Gardens on the Ballard waterfront}

{view looking out towards Golden Gardens on the Ballard waterfront}

After Alex ran a few errands on Saturday morning we headed over to Ballard to grab lunch, visit a furniture consignment shop and take a stroll on the beach at Golden Gardens.

{lunch at Porkchop & Co was delicious, albeit quite expensive for lunch}

{lunch at Porkchop & Co was delicious, albeit quite expensive for lunch}

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{toes in the sand... ahhhh summer is almost here!}

{toes in the sand… ahhhh summer is almost here!}

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The weather was spectacular all weekend. I just can’t get over how fortunate we have been to have had such a truly gorgeous spring here in Seattle. It has been really hard to remember that it is only the beginning of May because it sure feels more like July here.

{we've all but given up on our backyard until later this summer when we re-do it, so for the time being, it is Jackson's territory to do with as he pleases}

{we’ve all but given up on our backyard until later this summer when we re-do it, so for the time being, it is Jackson’s territory to do with as he pleases. we’re fine looking out above the grass as we sip our summer roses on the patio}

Aside from our day in Ballard we had a lot of time at home to enjoy the nice weather and get some things done around the house. We spent a lot of time enjoying our new Adirondack chairs, courtesy of Alex’s parents, and hanging out with Jackson and Henry. Of course on Saturday evening we found ourselves at Bottlehouse – we had to stop in for a nightcap after our dinner at the Madrona Alehouse.

{our front porch is even more red!}

{our front porch is even more red!}

{coffee on the porch is the best way to kick off a Saturday}

{coffee on the porch is the best way to kick off a Saturday}

{WFP... working from porch}

{WFP… working from porch}

{homemade ice cream is the best!}

{homemade ice cream is the best!}

{first peonies of the season - so gorgeous!}

{first peonies of the season – so gorgeous!}

A Date with our City

It has been a really strange winter for us since we haven’t been skiing, due to lack of snow. Now that winter is more than half over we have been finding ourselves a little bored and needing things to do. We decided to be tourists in our own city and spend some time on the weekends exploring some of the parts of Seattle that we don’t get to very often.

Like most big cities, Seattle is a city full of diverse, unique neighborhoods. I think that the neighborhoods are what define Seattle, and probably most cities, and make the residents feel like they’re more connected. We live in the Madrona neighborhood, which is straight east of downtown about 10 minutes. Our neighborhood is quaint and adorable. It really feels like we live in a small town because our neighborhood is so tight knit. But then you realize we have 8 feet between our house and our next door neighbor’s and you remember we live in a city. There are so many neighborhoods with their own individual charm, so I hope we can plan some fun weekends around the city.

{a cute map of the neighborhoods in the city of Seattle}

{a cute map of the neighborhoods in the city of Seattle}

Last weekend we headed downtown for an afternoon of strolling through Pike Place Market and hanging out at the flagship Nordstrom. There are so many hidden gems in Pike Place Market. Just walking on through is fun in itself, but stopping at the various shops and stands is quite an experience.

{cloudy day over Elliott Bay}

{cloudy day over Elliott Bay}

Our first stop was the Spanish Table, a Spanish shop that we had never been to before. We perused the aisles and ended up finding some wine that we had enjoyed in Spain last summer while on our Priorat wine tour. That was a fun find!

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From here we went to refuel on mini donuts. There is a really tasty donut stand that typically has a line 20 people long that we decided to stop at.

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One of my absolute favorite shops in the market is DeLaurenti, an Italian specialty store. They have a huge fine cheese and meat counter and their staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. We picked up a few cheeses and meats to take over to the Millers house that night.

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DeLaurenti was having a little wine and cheese tasting event while we were there so we had to stop and check it out.

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After our time at DeLaurenti, Alex’s tolerance for people and crowds was wearing thin, so I picked up a couple bouquets of flowers and we headed to Nordstrom to do a quick run-through.

{say cheeeeese!}

{say cheeeeese!}

We had initially hoped that our day would wrap up at Kerry Park, an iconic green space that overlooks the city, but it was so overcast that we decided to skip it. Hopefully Kerry Park will be on one of our next weekend dates with our city!

What to Eat & Drink in Seattle

I just posted a list of things to do in Seattle. Because there is so much to do in Seattle that was enough for one post. Similarly, there are so many wonderful restaurants to try in this foodie city. I’ve started a list, which I plan on updating periodically, of some favorite restaurants and bars in Seattle.

Breakfast / Brunch

  • Salty’s on Alki {take the water taxi from downtown across Elliott Bay to West Seattle to Salty’s for an absolutely incredible brunch – can do dinner here too – incredible seafood, pricey}
  • Hi Spot Cafe {either drive to Madrona neighborhood or take #2 bus from downtown, very budget friendly, amazing coffee}
  • Portage Bay Cafe {there are a few around town}

Lunch

{downtown}

{not in downtown}

  • Paseo {Ballard and Fremont neighborhood – this is a little hole in the wall that is was commonly featured in “top 10 best food in the country” shows on Food Network – it’s a Cuban sandwich shop that has recently changed hands but they make a damn good meal}
  • Homegrown {Capitol Hill – Melrose Market or South Lake Union} – awesome sandwiches

Dinner

{downtown}

{not in downtown}

  • Quinn’s {Capitol Hill – “traditional” Seattle gastropub with really funky combinations – great bar, too}
  • Poquitos {Capitol Hill – Mexican – great bar, too}
  • Bar Cotto {Capitol Hill – divine pizza}
  • The Whale Wins or The Walrus and the Carpenter {both in Fremont neighborhood – oysters/seafood}
  • Restaurant Zoe {Capitol Hill – one of my favorites – great “Seattle” food that is constantly changing}
  • The Harvest Vine {Spanish restaurant with unbelievable wine and out-of-this-world Iberico Pork}
  • Ray’s Boathouse {Ballard neighborhood – great bar and seafood – incredible view}
  • Daniel’s Broiler {Leschi neighborhood – incredible view and steak – pricey!}
  • Tilth {Organic, seasonal “Seattle” food – pricey}

Bars

{wine}

  • Purple {downtown – wine bar w/ good food too}
  • Bottlehouse {Madrona neighborhood – drive or take #2 bus, or Uber/cab – awesome wine, wonderful food, exceptional service}

{cocktails}

  • Zig Zag {downtown on the Pike Place Hillclimb – a bit of a hole in the wall}
  • RN74 {downtown – excellent wine too}
  • Bathtub Gin {a few blocks from downtown – speakeasy style}
  • Knee High Stocking Company {Capitol Hill neighborhood – speakeasy style}
  • Canon {Capitol Hill neighborhood}
  • Fremont Mischief {a whiskey bar that offers tours in the Fremont neighborhood}

{beer}

  • Pike Place Brewery {in Pike Place Market – good for lunch on a rainy day, too}
  • ReinHaus {Capitol Hill neighborhood – German beer hall w/ bocce ball}
  • Chuck’s Hop Shop {Greenwood, Central District neighborhoods – neat beer shop w/ over 100 beers}

Happy eating!

Things to do in & Near Seattle

I have been asked three times in the last day for suggestions of things to do in Seattle. I figured it would be helpful to put together a list of some of my favorite things to do in Seattle for people coming to visit our beautiful city and its surroundings, plus it’s handy to have when people come visit us to think about what to do!

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Seattle is an extremely casual city that is surrounded by lakes, mountains, the Puget Sound and views that you will never forget. With a population of just over 600,000 people, our small but diverse city is home to famous musicians, actors, tech gurus, the 2014 Super Bowl Champions, and a lot of traffic. We have incredible food, world-class wines, and Washington is the world’s largest producer of hops. The people here are sometimes friendly, almost always eclectic, generally extremely smart and very environmentally friendly. We’ve got decent public transportation options, namely the city bus and there is a light rail between downtown and the airport that is undergoing a major expansion. The climate here is pretty mild year-round. Summers are moderate, but typically sunny with no humidity or mosquitoes, whereas October through June, well, it’s usually the rainy season. There are few days when you actually need an umbrella – bring a good waterproof jacket with a hood and you should stay dry and blend in with the locals. You’ll understand why we drink so much coffee if you come during the winter. I hope you enjoy your trip to Seattle!

{View of Lake Washington from Leschi}

{View of Lake Washington from Leschi}

What to do in Seattle…

Have a car and want to get out of town?…

{Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place in April}

{Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place in April}

Don’t just stick to the city of Seattle! Get out for a day or two and explore the surroundings. There are mountains just 45 minutes outside the city, incredible wineries a quick 25 minute jaunt away, and some pretty amazing scenic viewpoints you can see in just a day.

  • Drive yourself {better yet, hire a driver} to Woodinville for an afternoon of wine drinking. With more than 100 wineries to choose from there will be something for everyone! Some of my favorites are: Trust, Dusted Valley, Mark Ryan, Gorman, JM Cellars, J Bookwalter, Patterson, Darby… All of these, save for maybe JM Cellars, are within a block of each other. You’re welcome. A fantastic rainy day activity.
  • While you’re in Woodinville, check out the events happening at Chateau Ste Michelle’s incredible estate. They have an awesome summer concert series.
  • Need food while in Woodinville? The Herbfarm is Washington’s only 5-star restaurant, which of course comes with a hefty price tag. More reasonably priced is Barking Frog, The Commons, Purple and Red Hook Brewery.
  • Again, another stop on the Woodinville trip is to do a brewery tour at Red Hook, see an outdoor movie, or just grab a cheap bite to eat/beer. This is great to do on a rainy day!
  • Take a ferry {with your car} to Bremerton, drive about an hour to Hurricane Ridge. Go for a hike. Enjoy.
  • Head southeast towards Mount Rainier and go to Crystal Mountain. Incredible ski resort, but if that’s not your thing, you can take the gondola up to the top of the mountain for lunch or dinner and one of the most amazing views you may ever see {if it’s clear, that is!}. This is a great all-season option.
  • Drive east towards the Cascade Mountains and go for a hike. There are thousands to choose from. Some easy ones include: Denny Creek, Tiger Mountain, Snoqualmie Falls, Snow Lake, or visit the Washington Trails Association for more options. Or, go for a hike on Mount Rainier – there are several to choose from for all ability levels. Be mindful to note if the park/trail requires a recreation pass – these can be obtained at REI – there is one on the way to Snoqualmie Pass off of I-90 in Issaquah.
  • Take a tour of the Boeing Factory – this is about 45 minutes north of Seattle. This is a great rainy day activity!
  • Alternately, visit the Museum of Flight – this is different than the factory and is just 10 minutes south of downtown.
  • Head north to Deception Pass and/or Whidbey Island. Spend the day there and eat a lot of cheese. If you’re visiting in April be sure to check out the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. If you play your cards right, you might just have time to go whale watching...
{Ruby Beach}

{Ruby Beach}

Visiting for a while and want to go stay somewhere out of the city?…

{Cultura Winery}

{Cultura Winery}

Washington state is unbelievably gorgeous and diverse in its landscapes. We’ve got mountains, streams, an ocean, rainforests, lakes, a desert… You name it, we’ve probably got it! If you have a couple extra days and a car/other mode of transportation, I would definitely encourage exploring some of the many things that Washington has to offer.

  • Spend some time on the San Juan Islands {a 1.5-2 hour drive north to Anacortes + a ferry ride over to whichever island you choose}
  • Visit Olympic National Park and the Washington Coast {this is one of those “it’s the journey and all of the destinations” trips, so plan on stopping and getting out of the car a lot.}
  • Do a wine weekend in Yakima {2-2.5 hours from Seattle} – be sure to visit Cultura Winery, Dineen Vineyards, Two Mountain Winery and Treveri Cellars
  • Take the Victoria Clipper to Victoria, BC {about a 3 hour boat ride to Victoria}
  • Visit the idyllic Bavarian village, Leavenworth, about 2.5 hours northeast of Seattle – go in October for their annual Octoberfest, visit in December for the icicle lights or make the drive in the summer to enjoy wine and hiking. It’s great any time of the year!
{Sunset overlooking the San Juan Islands}

{Sunset overlooking the San Juan Islands}

Want to know where to eat/drink? Check out some of my favorites!

5 years in seattle

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! No wonder the last five years have been such a blur. 08.08.08 marks the date that Alex and I relocated to Seattle to start our life together. Now five years later it’s hard to believe how much our life has changed since then. We have so much to be thankful for, but today, I am feeling nostalgic and thankful for the memories we have of our first five years in Seattle.

The beautiful Seattle skyline has changed since we moved in 5 years ago.

The beautiful Seattle skyline has changed since we moved in 5 years ago.

Who knew that Washington was such a spectacular state?! We are so lucky to live here. We have had so much fun over the last five years exploring the glory that Washington has to offer. Thankfully we still have a lot left to see.

Hiking to the snow in July.

Hiking to the snow in July.

Mount Rainier is so majestic.

Mount Rainier is so majestic.

We have gotten to know the emerald city quite well in the five years we’ve been here. We have a lot of favorite things about the city and a lot of not-so-favorite things about the city.

We lived next door to the Pike Place Market and it certainly has its perks; however, the allure sure fades after a while.

We lived next door to the Pike Place Market and it certainly has its perks; however, the allure sure fades after a while.

Bottlehouse will always be a favorite on our list.

Bottlehouse will always be a favorite on our list.

Skiing at Crystal Mountain has truly changed our lives. I don't want to imagine how boring our lives would be without skiing.

Skiing at Crystal Mountain has truly changed our lives. I don’t want to imagine how boring our lives would be without skiing.

Friends are so important and Alex and I are so lucky to have made such good friends here in Seattle.

Sounders game.

Sounders game.

My bridal shower.

My bridal shower.

Carrie and Sara.

Carrie and Sara.

Ski buddies

Ski buddies

Of course we have a lot of “firsts” with Seattle, which is why it will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Our first house.

Our first house.

Sold!

Sold!

Our first pets, Oliver and Henry.

Our first pets, Oliver and Henry.

Our first dog Aspen.

Our first dog Aspen.

We are still finding more and more to love about this great city. It has everything we could ever hope for and more. Seattle and Washington are pretty much perfect for us.

Wine country a mere 2 hours away.

Wine country a mere 2 hours away.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park.

Hanging out in downtown.

Hanging out in downtown.

Skiing is our favorite!

Skiing is our favorite!

Here’s to making new memories that will continue to keep us falling harder for our beautiful residence. Life just keeps getting better and better!