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!

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In which there was a sunset boat ride

I came home the other day and Jeff wasn’t home. I called to check in and he said I wasn’t going to be happy with where he was.. My first though was that he was playing with our friend’s dog, and I was sad that I’d missed that. Instead he was on the boat, on a gorgeous Seattle evening with our friend Tom. I was seriously jealous until Tom said they could pick me up if I could drive down to the Huskie’s Stadium. Which I immediate hopped in the car and did. They picked me up off the UW boat dock and I got these pictures and a wonderful sunset in return. Thanks so much Tom!

Montlake bridge over the cut separating Lake Union and Lake Washington

Montlake bridge over the cut separating Lake Union and Lake Washington

Party of 40 some odd sailboats in the middle of Lake Union. Apparently they do this every Tuesday night.

Party of 40 some odd sailboats in the middle of Lake Union. Apparently this is a sailboat race that (d)evolves into a party every Tuesday night.

The Fremont Bridge and sunset.

The Fremont Bridge and sunset.

Seattle skyline at night

Seattle skyline at night

Gas Works from the water

Gas Works from the water

Gas Works via Instagram

Gas Works via Instagram

 

In which we tricked Bri into getting on a Duck Boat

My co-resident Bri loathes the Duck Boats in Seattle. You know the ones. They surface in any major touristy city – D.C., San Fran, Branson, Newport, KY, Boston, Philly, Boston and Stone Mountain, GA and are amphibious tour busses (boats). They’re slightly.. okay, really annoying – a major feature is that they use loud quackers to get locals to wave at them and acknowledge their presence.

Duck boat on land

Duck boat on land

Any real local just kind of tolerates them as a tourist attraction and sometimes this toleration boils over into true abhorrence, à la my friend Bri. She has told me multiple times how much she hates them and that no matter what, never in a million years would she get on one. Never, one must always remember, is a very strong word. 

Bri’s birthday was this past week and so Kat and I concocted a brilliant plan to get her on one of these tourist traps. First, Bri owed us pedicures for part of our birthday presents from back in March. So off to Wallingford we went to collect at Night Lite Nails.

Clockwise from upper left: Bri, Kat and I.

Clockwise from upper left: Bri, Kat and I.

And then lunch at my favorite Mexican place in Seattle, TNT Taqueria:

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From there we convinced her through a series of lies and half truths that we were going down to the Seattle Center and managed to make it there without too much suspicion. The only trouble was when we neared the Duck Tour station (“Oh I just want to check the price of a ticket for when my family comes in town…”), she began to suspect the inevitable and took off running away down the block. Luckily we had more co-ressies meeting us there and Matt graciously tracked Bri down from her sprint and carried her back to her own special seat on the Duck:

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All touristy annoyingness aside, it’s kind of nice to see your own city with someone else driving. I learned a lot today and hopefully it’ll make me a better tour guide for our all visitors out here.

Nice picture of the Market without having to dodge traffic

Nice picture of the Market without having to dodge traffic

The Waterfront without trying to find parking

The Waterfront without trying to find parking

Bri began to forgive me after I gave her a commemorative birthday duckie I stole from work (we give these to the kids too small enough for the toys from the coin machine).

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It's awesome how much public art our city has, especially downtown.

It’s awesome how much public art our city has, especially downtown.

Seattle landmark Pink Elephant Car Wash (first automated car wash in the nation) - where Elvis cleaned his pink cadillac daily during the 1962 World's Fair

Seattle landmark Pink Elephant Car Wash (first automated car wash in the nation) – where Elvis cleaned his pink cadillac daily during the 1962 World’s Fair

Over the Aurora bridge - so nice to have the luxury to take pictures and not be concerned while driving so far up!

Over the Aurora bridge – so nice to have the luxury to take pictures and not be concerned while driving so far up!

We picked an awfully good day - you could see the Mountain out in all her splendor.

We picked an awfully good day – you could see the Mountain out in all her splendor.

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Bri, Karen, Kat, Matt and Karin

After we crossed over into North Seattle we entered for a quick dip in Lake Union in North Lake

After we crossed over into North Seattle we entered for a quick dip in Lake Union in North Lake

In the water we got incredible views of Gas Works Park

In the water we got incredible views of Gas Works Park

Gas Works and Kite Hill

Gas Works and Kite Hill

Matt, Ian, Me, Bri and Kat

Matt, Ian, Me, Bri and Kat

Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat

Sleepless in Seattle Houseboat

Group shot on the Duck

Group shot on the Duck

We also saw the charred boats from last week's 4th of July fire.

While in North Lake we also saw the charred boats from last week’s 4th of July fire.

Out towards the Ballard Locks going towards Puget Sound

Out towards the Ballard Locks going towards Puget Sound

View from the back of the Duck

View from the back of the Duck

All in all I found it an enthusiastic view of our adopted city. There were some lies (we do not call the Burke-Gilman Trail the “Spandex Highway” even though there are a lot of bikes) and some history lessons (in 1889 the Great Seattle Fire destroyed the entire 25 blocks of the city, but only one person died), a few good city pictures and a lot of fun with the co-ressies. Bri said she didn’t like it, but she’s smiling in all the pictures, so you be the judge:

Ian, Me, Matt, Kat, Jim, Karin, Bri and Karen

Ian, Me, Matt, Bri, Jim, Karin, Kat and Karen

In which we celebrated with Illuminations

For the 4th of July, Jeff’s friend Tom graciously asked us on his boat to watch the fireworks on Lake Union. I’m fully enamored with this holiday: fireworks, food, patriotism, summer – it’s perfect. Add watching the display from a boat, and it was even more so.

Cloud rolling in, but they quick rolled back out

Cloud rolling on to Lake Union, but they quickly rolled back out

John Adams, who erronously thought it would be July 2nd that would mark the date, wrote to his dear Abigail:

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

We brought Texas caviar, 24 pimento cheese sandwiches, strawberries and blueberries with whipped cream and watermelon vodka on board with us. We were popular.

We brought Texas caviar, two dozen pimento cheese sandwiches,  almond cake with strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream and watermelon vodka on board with us. We were popular.

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The view from the city was amazing

The view of the city was amazing

Ah, this city at night!

Ah, this city at night!

There was a fire on some boats in dry down in North Lake Union - fortunately no one was hurt, but $1.5 million in damages was done.

There was a fire on some boats in dry down in North Lake Union right before the show – fortunately no one was hurt, but $1.5 million in damages was done.

Getting read to watch the show

Getting read to watch the show

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They light the fireworks off a barge parked right in front of Gas Works Park. Around 50,000 people crowd onto the hill to watch – so very thankful we were on a boat and not fighting the crowds!

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th!

 

In which I have a fun weekend off

What a nice, lazy-staycation! Jeff played hooky with me on Friday and we had breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe. Dungeness crab eggs benedict for him and lemon curd French toast for me – yum!

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The sun was shining all weekend – it was perfect! I went on a 7 mile run around Lake Union on Saturday and then walked an additional two miles back home from Gas Works Park. It was nice to know I still had a long run in me.

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Sunny skies from the University Bridge overlooking Lake Union

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The Center for Wooden Boats and MOHAI in South Lake Union

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MOHAI in South Lake Union looking North

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Crossing the Bridge into Fremont, the Center of the Universe

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Waiting for the Fremont Bridge to lower after letter a sailboat pass into Lake Union

Saturday was also our first opera of the season. I got Jeff tickets for Christmas because he always enjoyed going as a kid with his mom. We ate delicious Northwest inspired thalis at Poppy before the show and then headed down to McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center. We saw Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) – it was fun and I enjoyed opera more than I thought I was going to.

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I’m looking forward to our new two shows in February and April!

All in all a perfect, lazy weekend off 🙂