Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Visit Back to Seattle

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a few weeks now.  Sometimes the words flow effortlessly, and other times they don't at all.  Often it's when I can't quite find my voice.  When I'm not even sure how to put my thoughts into some form of a coherent mess.  This is how I feel about our Seattle trip.  I have so much to say, or at least that I want to say.  And I feel like I will surely miss the mark.  There will be no possible way to capture the big feelings of heading back to Seattle for the first time since we moved 3.5 years ago.

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.

Next, we popped across the water to West Seattle, our old neighborhood.  We lunched at Cactus, right there on Alki Beach.  Pounding margaritas as quickly as we could, because two little boys were far more excited about walking along the beach.  I ran this beach my entire pregnancy.  Once Liam arrived, I walked it nearly daily with him.  We had a routine which always involved a stop into Starbucks halfway through our walk.  I dreamed about the days that he would be toddling around.  Dipping his toes in the water, digging in the sand.  The beach is only 5 minutes from our first home, so I knew it would be a big part of our lives.  I was so sad to be leaving our little corner of Seattle when we moved.  So it really felt like we came full circle, when we walked the beach as a family of four.  And then we of course had to drive by our old house, just to check on things.  It holds such fond memories for us!  I was definitely feeling emotional as we drove away that afternoon.

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.

There are so many things we didn't get to do & people we didn't get to see, but we will be back.  Oh we will be back as soon as I can get us back.  We would love to actually move back eventually, but for now, we'll settle for frequent visits!  And I know Liam is on board too.  Since we have returned home, his new favorite toy has become a ferry boat & he's been making his own version of the Space Needle with his blocks.  He's obsessed with the Space Needle, and we didn't even visit it, just looked from afar.  

This recap was lengthy (I apologize), and in no way accurately describes what a special trip this was.  But I'm hoping that when I look back at the photos and the words here, that I will be remembered of the emotions & the feelings.  Of what this city does for my soul.  
Because goodness.... I miss it! 


  1. What a magical trip. Home is always the best place to be.
    I loved this little peek at such a place so special to you.
    This weekend I've surprised Scott with a trip to Seattle to visit his best friend, and I'm dying for all the details of his experience.

  2. What a lovely trip and your photos you captured are equally lovely! I have never been to Seattle but have always wanted to go, and you've just moved it higher on my travel list! I hope you get back for more visits, and one day to move back. Would you rather move back near your parents or back to Seattle?

  3. Seattle looks beautiful! I wish we could visit one day. And I hope you move back one day as well, it's clear you miss it.

    liz @ j for joiner

  4. It really does look like such a magical place for a little boy!! Seattle has never even been on my radar for places to visit (sorry, I'm just a beach kinda girl) but I think you just moved it on up the list! :)

  5. What an incredibly special trip. I want you to be able to move back, haha. Just reading this you can definitely feel your love for the city. I hope it works out for you (whichever way is best). The photos are stunning and it is so cool to show off a city you love so much to the boys.

  6. Aww what a GREAT trip! I can only imagine how bittersweet it is to be back in the city where you had your first baby! Hoping you guys can get back there more often! (And now I want to visit, too!)

  7. Aw, you definitely spoke to my heart. I can definitely relate with the feelings of wanting to be HOME. And Seattle is truly an amazing city, we visited in 2011.

  8. My goodness this post was so fun to read. Seattle is on my list of places I want to visit, it reminds me a lot of Victoria/Vancouver and I would live there in a heartbeat. I understand your sentiment about the rainy haze, I love that and Southern Alberta (much like Utah) is way too sunny for my liking. I love overcast weather.

    I know you said you had a hard time putting this post into words but you did it perfectly... I could feel the emotion behind everything you wrote... and your pictures, as always are beautiful!

  9. What a special trip! I've only been to Seattle once to visit our home office. I was tied to my work group since we only had 1 rental car. We are supposed to go back in December and now I want to get out and explore this city that you love so much. Beautiful recap of your time there and beautiful pictures as always!

  10. Seattle looks amazing. Nothing like going home!

  11. Love love love this. It's obvious how much you guys miss this place. I've never been to Seattle, but it's definitely on my list. It looks like a magical trip. Love the beach photos. Hope you guys can get back there soon.

  12. Love this trip! I got a little teary reading it. I'll just blame the pregnancy hormones. But how fun to take your kids back to a place that has been home.

  13. Would love to visit Seattle someday.
    I love this!! There is definitely something SO sweet about sharing special places, things, and memories with your little ones. Sounds like it was a fabulous trip, beautifully captured as always. :)

  14. ohhh what a beautiful post :) i look back on my australia recap post all the time, and though i didn't really talk about my feelings in that post, it definitely brings them back to the surface just looking at the pictures, so i hope this post does the same for you. i also hope you're able to get back and visit a bunch! what a wonderful place. i agree about living near the water - i miss it SO much. however, i do not agree about the sun - bring on all the sunny places hahaha


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