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 Graham comes to visit

My little brother Graham got back from Afghanistan in May and he’s on his way out of the Marines next month!

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Fresh off the plane

On his way to Tennessee, he and his friend Nick stopped by for a few days in Seattle. I feel like I’ve been practicing for his visit every time others came through and now we have the Seattle circuit just about perfected. We haven’t seen each other in over a year, since our grandmother’s 90th birthday in Nashville, so we had some catching up to do. Here’s what we accomplished:

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park

Gas Works Park with the Seattle skyline and Space Needle across Lake Union.

The Fremont Troll under Aurora bridge

The Fremont Troll under Aurora bridge

Both Nick and Graham are in the 1st Marine Battalion - Engineers whose symbol is a castle. It took a lot of convincing for them not to steal it.

Both Nick and Graham are Marine Engineers whose symbol is a castle. It took a lot of convincing for them not to steal this from the Ballard Locks Engineers.

Ballard Locks

Fish ladder – Ballard Locks

Ballard Locks - in the Seattle rain

Ballard Locks – in the Seattle rain. At this point I don’t mind the misting, in fact, when a visitor comes I hope that it rains a little. I don’t want people thinking that I complain over nothing or that I’m lying about the meteorologic properties of this place.

Graham is going to hike the Appalachian Trail at some point in the next year or so, maybe even Nick will go with him. We visited the REI headquarters downtown so he could stock up on some gear and also bask in the outfitter wonderland that is that store. Naturally we needed to test out his new purchases out on a hike, and where better than Mount Rainier National Park? Unfortunately the Mountain was obscured on our drive down, so the boys couldn’t see her glory. We ended up going to an area in the northern end where I hadn’t been before to hike a trail called Green Lake.

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Graham and his new backpack – checking one National Park off the list. We stuffed it full with everything we could find in the car to simulate the real thing.

On the trail

On the trail – that is a fallen tree above Graham, they grow them big here.

Old growth forests, plenty of moss and waterfalls did not disappoint along the way.

Old growth forests, plenty of moss and beautiful waterfalls did not disappoint along the way.

Nick, Graham and I

Nick, Graham and I – Ranger Creek Falls

Green Lake - a little different from the Greenlake in Seattle we live near.

Green Lake – a little different from the Green Lake in Seattle we live near. A little more alpine-y and snowy.

It was about 10 miles up and back - a lakeside picnic broke up the trip.

It was about 10 miles up and back – a lakeside picnic broke up the trip.

Wubby and I.

Wubby and I post-hike in the valley 

On the way home, after stopping by the Carbon Glacier Distillery that was on the way from the trailhead, the clouds parted just as we were entering the city. I told the boys to look out the back window of the Jeep and there was stunned silence at the sight of Her. All day Graham had been joking that we should go to the top of Mount Rainier and I kept telling him that was impossible in May, but he hadn’t believed me. Now he did. It reminded me of my first glimpse when I was up in Seattle for the pedo interview so many years ago. She still takes my breath away – I swear one day I’ll wreck the car from staring at Her too much when I’m driving.

The next day we started playing tourists in my own city, starting with the Space Needle:

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View of the Mountain from the top.

View of the Mountain from the top. When I first went up in the Space Needle when I came out for the interview, there were clouds between it and downtown, so I had no idea there was even a huge-ass mountain yonder. Now I know that the Space Needle is not worth the $20 “airfare” unless it’s a clear day. We couldn’t have picked better weather for it though – 360 degree views from Mt. Rainier to Mount Baker to the Olympics, Sound and even our tiny Greenlake.

The boys enjoying the view.

The boys enjoying the view.

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To continue playing tourist in my own city, we took the Monorail downtown. For $2.50, it's worth it to get the 15 clocks downtown from the Needle.

To continue playing tourist in my own city, we took the Monorail downtown. For $2.50, it’s worth it to get the 15 blocks from the Needle. It was my first ride too. 

We started off in the Market with my favorite drinks - Rachel's Ginger Beer. I'd never actually been to the flagship store, we buy it at our local farmer's market (yes, I just hated myself a little for typing that), but it's super cute and they taste so refreshing - especially with rum!

We started off in the Market with my favorite drinks – Rachel’s Ginger Beer. I’d never actually been to the flagship store, we buy it at our local farmer’s market (yes, I just hated myself a little for typing that), but it’s super cute and they taste so refreshing – especially with rum!

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Then on to the Market itself.

Then on to the Market itself. Please note the ferry boat going across to Bainbridge.

We saw the trinkets, and watched the thrown fish.

We saw the flowers, and the thrown fish.

And took in views of Elliot Bay and the Cascades..

And took in views of Elliot Bay and the Olympics…

..and downtown with the waterfront from the pier.

…and downtown with the waterfront from the pier.

The boys liked the gum wall - Graham added to it.

The boys liked the gum wall – Graham added to it.

And they weren't too impressed with the original Starbucks. I blame the spoiling them with Rachel's Ginger Beer first.

And they weren’t too impressed with the original Starbucks. I blame the spoiling them with Rachel’s Ginger Beer first.

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The next day I had to go back to work, but not before dropping the kids off for kayaking in Lake Union at Agua Verde:

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Not pictured of the things we accomplished: running around Green Lake, eating Mighty-O doughnuts, taking shots of absinthe at Carbon Glacier Distillery, touring my work at the Center for Pediatric Dentistry, eating Paseo sandwiches, drinking at the Moon Temple and on Murphy’s back porch, eating home cooked meals, visiting the EMP museum and recovering from all our adventures in the hammock. We. Did. It. All.

Cheers to an excellent visit. Come again soon Wubby!

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