In which my mom came to visit – Part II

And the adventure continues!

On Tuesday we…

Bored my mother out of her mind and presented my research at UW School of Dentistry’s Department of Oral Health Sciences Research Symposium | Perfected the art of eating dumplings at Din Tai Fung | Visited the Center for Pediatric Dentistry and got to meet the amazing people I work with | Had a mini winery tour in Woodinville and tasted flights at Novelty Hill/Januik, Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia wineries | swung by Gas Works Park to see the houseboats on Lake Union | ate Paseo sandwiches for dinner | found Graham’s picture on the wall and had Johnny drinks at the Moon Temple & recreated our favorite Bacon and Maple Syrup ice cream with the rest of the Benton’s bacon:

First winery - Novelty Hill/Janiuk

First winery – Novelty Hill/Januik

Watching them fill the barrels

Watching them fill the barrels

Second winery - Chateau Ste. Michelle where we had a flight of bubbly

Second winery – Chateau Ste. Michelle where we had a flight of bubbly

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And to finish it off - Columbia winery

And to finish it off – Columbia winery

As always, crowded Paseo. We were smart and called ahead on our way back from Woodinville

As always, crowded Paseo. We were smart and called ahead on our way back from Woodinville

So good! Mom agreed that this was one of the best sandwiches ever made.

So good! Mom agreed that this was one of the best sandwiches ever made.

Look Graham - we found our picture on the wall!

Look Graham – we found our picture on the wall!

A sweet end to a fun day

A sweet end to a fun day

 

On Wednesday we… 

Got up very early and took the Edmonds-Kingston ferry to the Olympic Peninsula | Froze our butts off on Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park | Visited the longest sand spit in the United States at Dungeness Spit | Ate my favorite sweet potato mexi-fries at Taco Time, a PNW version of fast food | Drove down the western edge of Puget Sound and Hood Canal past oyster farms and adorable cabins | checked into Alderbrook Resort and drank wine on our balcony overlooking the canal and Olympic mountains | Learned to filet Coho salmon from a master chef & finished the night off with a delicious seafood boil of shrimp, clams and dungeness crab:

On a boat!

On a boat!

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You can tell we were trying to fit a lot in when my mom has to start the morning off with a Monster energy drink!

You can tell we were trying to fit a lot in when my mom has to start the morning off with a Monster energy drink!

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It was pretty, but very cold and rainy!

It was pretty, but very cold and rainy!

Lovely view of the very cold mountains

Lovely view of the very cold mountains

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At this point we decided that hiking would just lead to hypothermia, so we headed down the mountain.

At this point we decided that hiking would just lead to hypothermia, so we headed down the mountain.

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Dungeness Spit

Dungeness Spit

Pacific Northwest Beaches aren't like those back East..

Pacific Northwest Beaches aren’t like those back East.. If you can imagine, five miles out into the distance is a lighthouse – it was barely visible for all the fog and rain.

Feet in the sand this time.

Feet in the sand this time.

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This time the danger was tsunamis, not volcanos!

This time the danger we needed to be aware of was tsunamis, not volcanos!

Then down the edge of the Sound to Alderbook:

Alderbrook Resort

Alderbrook Resort

Apparently it's a thing to seaplane down from Seattle to eat at the restaurant. Maybe in a different lifetime we'll be able to do this.

Apparently it’s a thing to seaplane down from Seattle to eat at the restaurant. Maybe in a different lifetime we’ll be able to do this. Or when we win the lottery – which ever comes first!

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View from our seats on the lawn. We make good resort people.

View from our seats on the lawn. We make good resort people.

Unfortunately my real camera is still broken, so this trip was documented through iPhone photos which can't do this place justice. I stole this from Alderbrook's website to give you an idea of our amazing view.

Unfortunately my real camera is still broken, so this trip was documented through iPhone photos which can’t do this place justice. I stole this from Alderbrook’s website to give you an idea of our amazing view.

Delicious dinner!

Delicious dinner!

Mm.. Northwest seafood boil!

Mm.. Northwest seafood boil!

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On Thursday we.. 

Said goodbye to Alderbrook and then drove over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge | Stopped by IKEA on the way back into Seattle so my mom could see what all the fuss is about | Checked out the REI headquarters downtown | Popped into some cute Ballard shops one more time | ate Fish and Chips at Ivar’s happy hour overlooking Lake Union and watched the seaplanes land | packed up and did some laundry & then headed down to Westward for one last meal out:

IKEA! The closest one to mom is 4 hours away in Atlanta. Also I am thinking about buying this mirror - it would fit perfect in this random nook in our bedroom.

IKEA! The closest one to mom is 4 hours away in Atlanta. Also I am thinking about buying this mirror – it would fit perfect in this random nook in our bedroom.

To cap off the PNW Natural Disasters to be aware of the evacuation route from: Floods! Seen in Renton.

To cap off the PNW Natural Disasters to be aware of the evacuation route from: Floods! Seen in Renton.

REI headquarters

REI headquarters

Ivar's for fish and chips. This is where UW Pedo had the applicant dinner when I interviewed, so it was fun to show mom where my Seattle journey truly began.

Ivar’s for fish and chips. This is where UW Pedo had the applicant dinner when I interviewed, so it was fun to show mom where my Seattle journey truly began.

And then Friday morning, it was all over way too soon and we headed back to the airport. I kept saying we needed three more weeks, or at least three more days, but in reality we made the very best of what we had: we ate some of my favorite Seattle food, visited two of the prettiest national parks in the nation, saw all the typical Seattle touristy things plus the all tucked away places that make this city home. We really did win Seattle.

To give you an idea of all the places we visited, I’ve marked them on a map:

This is the greater NW Washington area we covered.

This is the greater NW Washington area we covered.

And a more specific Seattle-area one. We. Covered. Some. Ground.

And a more specific Seattle-area one. We. Covered. Some. Ground.

When I was little people always commented on how much I looked like my mom. As I grew up I realized that this similarity extended far beyond features and the phrase “I am my mother’s child” was especially applicable to me. This trip was not only a chance to show one of my best friends our new city, but it was also a chance to hang out with Future Me. I am so lucky, blessed and grateful. It was so much fun. Can’t wait for the next adventure!

In which we hike the Dungeness Spit

Forgive my lack of posts, I’ve been on a month long anesthesia rotation and maybe it’s long hours around the gasses or the 4am wake ups, but when I get home all I want to do is try not to fall asleep until 8pm so I can go to bed and do it all over again the next day.

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It’s been a wonderful rotation though, and I’ll be sorry for it to end. I’m on a week of vacation this coming week, so there is no excuse for me not to play a little catch up on the old bloggy blog. First: our little corner of the internet turned ONE YEAR! on May 21st which is 1) way longer than I thought I’d keep this going and 2) kind of a nice accomplishment. I should’ve done some great post about it, but well I didn’t.. so here’s hoping any future hypothetical children get a better first birthday party.

A map of all the countries (43!) where people have stumbled upon our blog. We've been viewed 4,142 times (4,000 of which are probably my mom).

A map of all the countries (43!) where people have stumbled upon our blog. We’ve been viewed 4,142 times (4,100 of which are probably my mom and aunts..).

We had originally planned to drive down the Pacific coast this week and see San Francisco for my week of vacation, but for a variety of reasons we decided that we’d use the time to play our favorite game of tourist in our own backyard instead. This weekend we started off by popping up to Victoria, British Columbia for a quick get away. We hopped on the Edmonds-Kingston ferry like the pro Washington ferry riders we now are and sailed over to the Peninsula.

We bypassed the huge Renaissance Fair going on in Port Gamble and first stopped by the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, home of the Dungeness Spit, the largest natural sand spit in the US (I know, I know, contain your excitement).

DSC_0388 It’s this huge stretch of sand, rock and driftwood that juts out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the passage of water that separates the Peninsula from Canada and connects the Pacific Ocean to the Puget Sound.

DSC_0385This hike is famous for its wildlife, especially its abundance of bird species. To be honest, I was in it for the seals, sea lions and otters of which we didn’t see ANY! Lame nature not showing up when it was convenient for us. So we had to make do playing around the driftwood ourselves:

 

DSC_0381At the end of the 5.5mi stretch is a lighthouse where we enjoyed a well earned picnic lunch. The grounds and light used to be maintained by the US Coast Guard but is now kept up by the New Dungeness Light volunteers who pay to come spend a week every two years on maintenance and giving tours. They’re a bunch of adorable elderly folks who were finishing up their week when we were out there – they even passed us on our return hike in their “Keeper Mobiles”. PS – you too can sign up to be a light house keeper, how awesome does that sound??

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From the top you could look out and see Victoria, BC – our next destination!

As well as the long hike back to the mainland.

As well as the long hike back to the mainland.

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After lunch we hiked back to the mainland so we could continue on our way to Victoria (nothing like booking a non-refundable hotel room to make you quick hop step it back so you can catch the last ferry to BC!).

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After 11 miles of sand and driftwood our legs were feeling it, but as far as hikes go this is a good one. And despite the lack of adorable baby seals I was hoping for we had amazing weather, which can be just as good.