A Quick Weekend in Rose City

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As I’ve mentioned before here on the blog, Ben and I always love exploring Portland. We spent a rainy Friday night and Saturday there this past weekend, and brought our dog Kai along for the fun. Our list of things-to-do in Portland keeps getting longer and so we keep going back!

We started our Saturday with coffee at Coava Coffee Roasters, where we sat outside with Kai. Then we had brunch in the rain on the porch at Interurban. We got there just before they opened at 10 AM, got a table right away, and had the porch to ourselves (thanks to Kai!)–we had just enough shelter to keep us dry while we ate and the food was great.

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After brunch we browsed a couple of shops along N. Mississippi like Animal Traffic, Annex Footwear, Salty’s Pet Store, and Worn Path.

Then we visited Renegade PDX in the rain.

Next we got lunch at the Alberta 15 food cart pod, I popped in for a quick browse of Modern Domestic, and we got another dose of caffeine to fuel our drive home at dog-friendly Case Study Coffee Roasters.

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IMG_3732^I had to pull out my camera for the perfect “raindrops on roses” shot.^

See you again soon, Portland.

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Whale-Watching in the San Juans

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On Saturday (June 27) Ben and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. We spent the day whale watching in the San Juan Islands on the Victoria Clipper whale watching boat. It was a breathtaking day to be on the water–and we saw lots of orca whales.

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My favorite thing about the trip was the way the whales shimmered in the sun, gliding in and out of the water. They are so graceful and majestic.

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Fiber Art at Fresh Flours

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Hey friends, if you’re in Seattle, I hope you’ll stop by Fresh Flours bakery in Ballard soon (5313 Ballard Ave. NW) I encourage you to go for a sweet treat and because my art work is hanging up for the months of June + July. Double good, right?

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I love how the artwork looks in this space, especially on the brick wall. (Don’t we all love a good brick wall.

If you’re not in Seattle, I hope you enjoy the photos! :)

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Fiber Art Show at Sassafras Boutique

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Hey friends. I’m so excited to have a collection of original fiber art on display at Sassafras boutique (2307 1st Ave.) in Belltown! It will be up during the Belltown Art Walk this Friday night, June 12, from 6-9pm, or you can stop by the shop Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 10am-6pm.

Sassafras stocks a well-curated selection of locally designed clothing and accessories. I loved this shop the moment I first walked in a few years ago and am so honored to have my work on display there.

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Jose Rizal Bridge

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Last weekend Ben and I drove to Jose Rizal Park in Beacon Hill (South Seattle). We explored the park a little…Kai liked the off-leash dog area a lot…grass and dog friends!

The Jose Rizal Bridge is just near the park, and the views of Seattle are pretty awesome.


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^my super quick video from the bridge^

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Flower Market

The Seattle Wholesale Growers’ Market is open to the public on Fridays from 10am-noon. The market is in Georgetown, a neighborhood in South Seattle.  I went over there yesterday to check it out. The wholesale prices aren’t available to the public, so shopping at the flower market didn’t necessarily save me money, but it was fun to walk around and see all the different flower options from local growers. I bought a few bunches to make a bouquet for my kitchen.



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Waterfront Bike Ride (Victoria, BC: Part 2)

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My favorite part about our weekend in Victoria, British Columbia, was the bike ride we did along the waterfront. The Hotel Grand Pacific, where we stayed, offers complimentary bikes to guests, so with some good advice and a map from the front desk we took a late afternoon bike ride along the waterfront to Dallas Road. We didn’t bring a picnic with us, but there were some parks that would’ve been perfect for that! Isn’t it beautiful?

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Riding around on a bike is such a fun way of exploring a new place. 

“It is splendid to feel the wind blowing in my face. . . . The rapid rush through the air gives me a delicious sense of strength and buoyancy, and the exercise makes my pulse dance and my heart sing.” -Helen Keller, on riding a bike.

See more about our Victoria trip here.

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Victoria, B.C. (Part 1)

IMG_0023^Scottish Highlands Parade in front of the British Parliament Building^

Last weekend Ben and I went to Victoria, British Columbia via the Victoria Clipper. It’s a trip we’ve been meaning to take since we moved to Seattle, and then I won a trip last fall (!!!) through the Clipper’s Fall Photo contest on Instagram (@clippervacations), so it was clearly meant to be ;)

We crammed in plenty of good eating, walking around town, a bike ride along the waterfront, a self-guided tour of the British Columbia Parliament building (free guided tours are available too, we just didn’t time it quite right for that), and the famous Butchart Gardens.

I’ll share more about our bike ride and the gardens later, but for now here are some of my photos from the Parliament Building and wandering around town.

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As far as restaurants go, our two favorite spots were Red Fish Blue Fish (1006 Wharf St.) and Brasserie L’ecole (1715 Government St.)

We also enjoyed checking out The Dutch Bakery (718 Fort St.), Little Jumbo (506 Fort St.), North 48 (1005 Langley St.), Murchie’s Tea & Coffee, (1110 Government St.), Veneto in the Rialto Hotel (1450 Douglas St.) and Ferris Oyster Bar (536 Yates St.) If that sounds like a lot of meals, it is!–we ran around to a bunch of different places snacking and ordering small plates and it was such a fun way to try a lot of spots in a short time.

We had more restaurants on our list that we didn’t make it to, so maybe next time, Victoria…

IMG_0022^The Fairmont Empress Hotel^

IMG_0029^Canada’s Oldest Chinatown^

IMG_6940^Victoria’s Inner Harbour^

IMG_6944^Parliament Building at Night^

Here are a few resources I found to help us plan our weekend:

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More about Victoria to come!

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Urban Hiking: West Seattle

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Our Seattle weather over the weekend was beautiful, dry, and sunny. Ben and I decided to go on an “urban hike” around our neighborhood, West Seattle. We packed lunches and water and had a general itinerary in mind for our day: a 7-mile walk, mostly along the water. I had walked around many of the places we visited on our urban hike before, but never in one loop. The thoughtful pace of a very long walk like this had me noticing flowers, houses, signs, tiny parks and public spaces, restaurants, and shops that I’ve never spotted before.

We started out at the Alaska Junction, walked to Me-Kwa-Mooks Park on Beach Drive, and continued to walk along Beach Drive to Alki Beach Park, where we stopped to eat the sandwiches we’d packed and use the public bathrooms. Next we walked up to the Admiral Junction and grabbed coffee at Freshy’s, a place I’ve noticed before in that area and have been meaning to try for awhile. We continued our loop by walking down California Ave. and back to the Alaska Junction, which is near our house.

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If you want to give a West Seattle Urban Hike a try and don’t live in West Seattle, I’d suggest taking the Water Taxi from downtown Seattle and begin your walk at Seacrest Park, where you get off the Water Taxi. Walk along Harbor Ave., which will become Alki Ave. Continue along the Alki Trail, and you’ll get to the Alki Lighthouse. Seacrest Park to the Alki Lighthouse is 2.7 miles and will take about an hour to walk. Now begin walking along Beach Drive to Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, which is 1.2 miles and will take about 30 minutes. You can then walk from Me-Kwa-Mooks Park to the Alaska Junction, which is about 1.3 miles and again should take about 30 minutes. (Be prepared to go uphill for this section of your walk.) At this point you’ve earned some food. Stop at Bakery Nouveau for a pastry and coffee or Coastline Burgers (4444 California Ave. SW) for burger and shake.

If you’re following the itinerary above you’ll have walked over 5 miles. If you’ve had enough, catch the free Water Taxi shuttle that will take you from the Alaska Junction back to Seacrest Park. If you want to do more walking, going from the Alaska Junction back to the Water Taxi dock at Seacrest Park will add another 2 miles to your trip.

Let’s recap that loop:

  • Seacrest Park – Alki Lighthouse
  • Alki Lighthouse – Me-Kwa-Mooks Park
  • Me-Kwa-Mooks Park – Alaska Junction
  • Alaksa Junction – Seacrest Park (by foot or shuttle)

If you don’t want to do the Water Taxi both ways, hop on the C line bus at the Alaska Junction and you’ll be back downtown in 20 minutes.

Check the times for the Water Taxi and shuttle here.

I’d love to know if you give this a try, or if you have an Urban Hike in Seattle I should try next!

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Above and Beyond: Balancing The Rush of Life with Nature’s Quiet

Hike to Annette Lake, Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington State

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Above the tree line and beyond the cell signal.

It’s a place you work to find. You arrive sweaty, out-of-breath, and full of wonder. You can close your eyes and listen to the quiet. It’s a good place to be.

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Last weekend we hiked to Annette Lake with Kai. As we got closer to the lake and climbed higher on the trail we found ourselves stepping through snow and sliding around a little bit at times, but we trudged on and made it to the beautiful, serene lake with light snow falling around us.

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I love taking time to do a weekend hike. As we hike, each step takes us further away from the crowds of the city, our offices and computers, and the buzz of being plugged in to email and social media.

Looking up at the trees as you walk along, or at the mountains that loom above you, you feel a connection with everything that surrounds you in that moment, and a disconnection from the routine rush that life can be–so often the rush we create for ourselves.

I come home from a hike refreshed, and more motivated to go above and beyond the rush of life: to seek the quiet places.

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