The trip felt like we were going home. Home. Conor & I lived in Seattle for 5 years, and it has always been a city that we both loved. We bought our first home there & had our first baby in the city. It's where I pictured raising my family, at least in the early years. Driving into the city our first day, I was instantly reminded of how much I loved being surrounded by water. Seeing & breathing it every day. It just becomes a part of you. And the trees & the foliage! The city is so green. I am in awe of how such a large bustling city has grown in the middle of such a beautiful setting. And while we were lucky to be treated with sunny, gorgeous weather, I actually believe the city is best seen under the gray haze of clouds & rain that cover the city much of the year. It gives Seattle that moody feel that I love. I know I'm different than most, but some places are just too sunny for my liking, and Utah is one of them!
We were only visiting for a long weekend, but we still tried to fit in as much as we could with the boys. We stayed with Conor's best friend Paul who lives in Woodinville (hello wine country!), which is this perfect little community right outside the city. He's pushing hard for us to make a move back, and he was quite convincing. Paul had to work our first day there, so just our little family headed into the city. Liam was in awe of all the bridges & tunnels. Sail boats & container ships. Seattle is every little boy's dream! We started our day at Pike Place Market to hit a few of our old favorite spots. I loved how comfortable we were being back in the city. We got to play "tourist", without having to deal with all the tourist struggles. We knew exactly where to park, when to go where, & what to do. Boom! It felt good to be back amongst the chaos that is the market on a Friday morning. We made sure to watch them throw some fish as we walked to the best little donut stand. A dozen tossed in cinnamon & sugar served straight out of a brown paper bag. We snacked on a curb & enjoyed some of thee best people watching. Before leaving, we popped into Rachael's Ginger Beer for some growlers to go as a little hostess gift, but more importantly for cocktails! This is a must stop. The ginger beer is phenomenal, the drinks necessary, & there is soft serve ice cream to keep the kiddos happy while you tip it back. New favorite cocktail: ginger beer, gin, aperol.
That evening we wine tasted in Woodinville a bit (interesting with two kids in tow), and then settled in at Paul's for some barbecuing & a bonfire. Everyone was happy & relaxed; it was actually the kind of vacation we had wanted. The boys loved the wide open space to run around with Paul's two dogs. Again, Paul was selling as on a move back real hard!!!
Day 2, we decided to take a ferry boat to Whidbey Island! The ferry boat was likely Liam's most favorite part of the whole trip. Cars can drive on boats people!!! It just doesn't get any cooler than that! Unfortunately, the ride is only 15 minutes; much too short for our liking. Once on the island, we drove some property owned by Paul's girlfriend's family. It was Finn's first time dipping in his toes in the ocean! Although technically we were in the sound, but ocean water... so it counts! And while Liam has been to Hawaii & San Diego, he's never really been to the sea shore which is totally different than the beach. Here we collected shells (sand dollars were his favorite), listened to muscles & clams spitting. Touched a jellyfish & some crabs (that scared me to death when they would sneakily crawl past my toes!). And having two extra adults on hand to help with the boys, always makes for more relaxing outings. It was such a special afternoon together!
The shore was followed by lunch at a winery. Followed by a long drive in which both boys slept. Followed by more barbecuing & late nights with friends. Our time flew by far too quickly, and I had barely even made a dent in the long list of things I wanted to do with the boys. I remember visiting Seattle as a child with family, and my dad constantly pointing out places in the city where he lived, or ate, or whatever. Random memories. And there I was doing the exact same thing! Conor & I really wanted to visit the UW campus, but it didn't rank high on our list. That didn't stop us from telling Liam all about certain places & things in which he had no idea what we were talking about. I suppose he should get used to it, because he has a lifetime of it ahead. If Liam or Finn ever decide to go to UW for college, they will be the 6th generation (on my side of the family), which is a big deal!!!
So our final day, we packed our bags for the airport, but stopped at the Ballard Locks for a picnic lunch first. I knew Liam would love seeing the boats going out to sea, as well as returning from some adventure. The salmon were jumping like crazy as we watched the boats being lowered and raised. Sunday morning is a busy time at the locks, so we saw plenty of action. Liam was busy picking out his favorite fishing boat, while Finn spotted all the seagulls. There were also seaplanes & police boats; again, a slice of heaven for all little boys. This place holds many of my childhood memories, so it felt special to be back there with my favorite people.