Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Seattle (the eats & the adventures)

Nobody likes vacation recaps.  So instead I bring you a picture heavy post, as well as some of the things we did & places we ate.  Seattle in an amazing city that has so much to offer.  We were visiting for a week, and I still feel like I didn't have enough time to do everything that I wanted to do with the boys.  Liam knows that he was born in Seattle and that Conor & I met there and went to school there, so he often asks if he has already been somewhere or not.  I love taking him back to places he went as a baby, as well as showing him my old favorites.  Being back on the University of Washington's campus with both boys in tow and a pregnant belly was so surreal for sure.  I would love it if one of our kids decides to go to UW (although we really need to move back to Washington for that in state tuition!), especially since they would be the 6th generation on my side of the family to go there!

Pike Place Market

The Eats:  Being pregnant & all, I had to hit up some of my old favorites, but I had new places on the list too.  Here's the highlights with roughly the neighborhood there were in:

Rachel's Ginger Beer (Pike Place Market)
We always get a growler to go, a cocktail while there, & soft serve cones for the boys.  
Everyone is happy!

Beechers (Pike Place Market)
Mac 'n Cheese, followed by grilled cheese & tomato soup.  That is all.  
Bonus points for scoring a spot at the high table.

Ellenos (Pike Place Market)
You haven't had greek yogurt until you've had this!  
Can also be found in many Seattle grocery stores!

The Commons (Woodinville)
This place just screams trendy Seattle.  It's farm to table(ish) in an ethically pleasing environment.  Possibly my favorite eats of our visit! Bonus points for outdoor seating!

Tutta Bella (Wallingford)
Best spot for kids!  They get to play with dough while the food is being cooked!  
We love their pizza & their gelato.

University Kitchen (U District)
Best Teriyaki ever (and bubble tea)!  This has been a favorite of ours since we were freshman at UW, and might possibly be the first place we headed to outside of the dorms!  So.... our technical "first date"? ;-)

Portage Bay Cafe (U District)
One of my favorite breakfast spots.  Hard to choose just one thing, but go for the eggs benedict!

This was on my bucket list!  Oysters oysters oysters (and small plates).  We were lucky enough to snag a table without waiting (in the sweet spot between happy hour and when people who don't have kids eat dinner).  We were the only people in the joint with kids, but it was one of those occasions where they were their sweet angle selves!  So pricey but so so worth the food & the experience!

 Safeco Field (Mariners Game)

What We Did: We were actually visiting Seattle because Conor was taking a finance class at UW.  So we made a vacation out of it and brought the boys.  We had the weekend & nights all together, but I was on my own with the boys during the day.  Seattle has so much to offer, but I feel like we did a pretty good job of getting out and seeing a ton, especially since we had quite a bit of rain during our stay!

Mariner's Game
We're crazy and took our kids to a 7pm baseball game!  But it was so worth it.  They couldn't believe the huge stadium compared to our minor league one.  We bought cheap bleacher seats, not knowing how long the boys would last, but then the sweetest usher took us special seats behind 1st base!  We saw a home run (yay for fireworks) & a M's win!  Plus the boys got their first game certificates!

Museum of Flight
I did this solo with the boys.  They loved it and were in awe of all the planes, mostly loving the fact that they could get in some of them.  We saw everything, but I felt like I rushed them through this place to do it all before nap time.  It wasn't crazy busy which was a nice break from the typical Seattle madness.

 Museum of Flight

Woodland Park Zoo
One of my favorite zoos.  We were there on quite a rainy day, but it was still doable.  I wanted to see as much as possible but the boys were slow movers with friends.  We saw maybe only a quarter of the whole thing in a couple hours, but the boys loved it.  Especially the hippos (which we don't have at our zoo) and the new baby gorilla!

Ferry Boat to Vashon Island / Maury Island Marine Park
A ferry boat ride is always one of the highlights for the boys.  We need to take a longer ride at some point, because the short ones are just not long enough to enjoy time up top.  We went to Vashon Island (a quick 25 minute ride from West Seattle) and from there hiked to the shore at Maury Marine Park (about 3 miles round trip I believe).  There were plenty of seashells filling the boys' pockets after  just a few minutes there.  We often had to assess our collection and only pick our favorites.

 University of Washington

 Fremont Troll

Golden Gardens
I think this is my favorite spot in all of Seattle!  I love the surprisingly sandy beach & the views.  The sailboats just poured out of the harbor as everyone was getting off work.  We watched boats zip by as well as sea lions jumping in the waters right in front of us.  The weather was still a little chilly, so we didn't bring stuff for a dinner picnic, but they do have fire pits available.  I came here plenty in college, so it's another special place to be back at with the boys.  It's such an oasis just right in the city!

 Golden Gardens

 Paradise Valley Conservation Area

This was a spot I didn't spend nearly enough time!  But it was the perfect meeting spot to chat with old friends while the boys roamed the playground.  When we lived in Seattle, I always thought I would get my daily run in around Greenlake once Liam was born.  I always envied all the women with their jogging strollers and numerous mom friends.  One day that will be me perhaps! 

Ferry to Vashon & Maury Marine Park

Our time was far too short!  The boys were loving the hotel life, and I was loving being in walking distance to so much.  We had the chance to see many friends, even lucky enough to be hosted by a few.  We met up with new friends (goodness I love Instagram for that!) & explored new places.  Seattle will always have our hearts and is a place we often talk about moving back to; although, the current situation with the housing market is keeping us far far away for now.  But I would love to visit as much as we can!  Until next time...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Finn's Football Bash

I love planning & hosting parties, but I also hate big groups of people.  So I like to keep things small & intimate!  With no family living here in Utah, we just invite some of our closest friends & neighbors to help celebrate on birthdays.  I knew our little sports fan would love a football party, so our theme was born...and easy!  I had a little creativity in my own mind, but I also went straight to pinterest for help with some of the details!  The goody bags were put together mostly with Amazon finds (eye black stickers for the win!).  But I particularly loved making footballs out of the icecream sandwiches & having Conor write up some "plays" on the butcher paper table.  We kept things easy (for the first time ever) and served pizza (Finn's favorite), chips & dips, and some fruits & veggies for a health factor.  Little gatorades for the kiddos, beer for the adults.  Note: blue gatorade stains faces.... in the most adorable way ever!

I also asked Conor to put together some field goal posts.  I thought all the kids would have a blast putting together a little pick up game.  And of course we needed a field, so a few cans of chalk spray paint later and we had yard lines and an end zone with FINN written across it.  It turned out perfectly and was the big hit of the party.  There was also plenty of tackling happening over certain footballs and what not.  Fun was surely had by all, but most importantly the birthday boy!  He loved it!  Every part of it!  He kept talking about his football party and gave me the sweetest surprise hug in the middle of it all.  That was worth all my efforts right there!

It was a great evening celebrating our little Finny.  He was the happiest boy being surrounded by many of his favorite people.  Days like these leave me full of joy.  Those final minutes laying with him before he fell asleep, reliving his party, were some of the best!  Welcome to 2 buddy, I have no doubt you'll keep being the little loveable pistol that you current are!

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