Monday, August 27, 2012

A day with Opa and Lou

It’s been over two years since my father (“Opa”) has been to our house.  So when he mentioned that he and Lou could perhaps stop by Seattle on their way home from a trip to Alaska, we jumped at the chance to see him!

This one-day stop-over has been on our calendar since last April, which assured that all four kids and their SOs could be here. 

Not many words are required to communicate what a great day it was!  EVERYONE was together!

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Look at this great couple.  Would you believe that they’re in their 80’s?!

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I love my daddy!

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Opa hadn’t met any of the SOs before.  So this was his chance to meet “Kat’s Josh…”

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“Peter’s Michaela…”

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And “Elisabeth’s Danny.”

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And to spend some time with Aleks – who had lots of conversation with Opa… none of which I photographed.  But I did capture this great shot of Aleks!

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I just snapped away all day, so here ya go!

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We even got some group shots.  I love this one of the four kids.  This is Peter saying, “Yeah, my sibs ROCK!”

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And Opa with his grandkids…

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And even one with me and my four amazing kidlets!

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It was such an amazing day with the one thing in life that truly, truly matters – family!  Thanks Dad/Opa!

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Capital Hill: A mother-daughter walking tour

Last Thursday I had a job interview in downtown Seattle.  I love working in downtown Seattle because of views like this.

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The commute sucks, but the view almost makes up for it. 

Yes, I’ve had quite a few interviews lately.  Once everything comes together I’ll tell you all about it.  My fingers are especially crossed for an upcoming interview this coming Tuesday.  Cross your fingers for me too, won’t you please? 

After the interview I headed from downtown Seattle to Capital Hill, where Elisabeth lives in this… er – church.

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No really, that’s where she and Danny live!  The interior of this beautiful church has been converted into ultra-modern 6-floor condos called “The Sanctuary.”  It’s quite an interesting place!  You can read more about it here.

First things first.  At about 1:30 PM we decided to have a (very) late breakfast here.  It was scrumptious!

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Every few months, Coastal Kitchen focuses on a different international city.  This month’s city is Versailles.  The cuisine changes, the d├ęcor changes… everything changes, right down to the “potty mouth” language lessons playing in the bathrooms!

The food was delicious (if I could spell – or pronounce -- what we ordered, I’d tell you what it was), but it was obvious once we left that a walk was in order.  So we went back to Elisabeth’s place to pick up Grace the horse-dog and headed out on a three-hour walk!

If you live in or around Seattle, you hear about Volunteer Park a lot, but in my 17 years living here I’d never been there.  Until now.

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First stop: the water tower that was built in 1906 as a city reservoir.

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We climbed up one side…

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…enjoyed the view outside…

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and inside…

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…and headed back down the other side.

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After the water tower, we walked around the Asian Art Museum.  Not “around,” as in, in.  But around, as in, around. 

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Because Grace the horse was with us and I’m not sure about the museum rules, but I’m pretty sure dog-horses are not allowed inside.

Grace was more interested in the coy pond anyway.

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This is called Black Sun.  It’s a sculpture by a guy named Isamu Noguchi that, if you stand in just the right place, frames the Space Needle beautifully.

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This is the park conservatory. 

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“In the park, at the conservatory, with the… statue of William Seward”?  No?

This is Grace:

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She may be huge, but she’s just a teddy bear.  What a sweetie!

This sign near the park cracked me up.

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The Lake View Cemetery sits right next to Volunteer Park.  Seriously, who knew all this stuff was on Capital Hill?  Not me!

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The place is huge

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There are graves from well over a hundred years ago…

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…and also the cemetery's most famous graves, those of Bruce Lee and his son Brandon.

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Once we left the cemetery, we admired some of Capital Hill’s majestic, beautiful houses.

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They remind me so much of the house in which I grew up in Berkeley, California!

The views, looking right onto the University of Washington, aren’t bad either!

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My favorite part of the walk was the deep, dark Interlakken Forest.  I mean Park.  Who knew that there was a big, lush forest pretty much in the city of Seattle?  It even feels like old-growth forest – though of course it’s not.

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And there’s a road that’s for pedestrians and bicycles only. It’s seriously beautiful!

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On the way back to Elisabeth’s place, Grace stopped for a drink of water outside the dog-oriented Starback’s.  Notice the rings just for dog leashes and the ever-present bowl of water.

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A good three hours after we started our walk, we were back at Elisabeth’s place. 

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What a great day it was! Obviously because I got to spend an afternoon with my daughter, but also because I got to know Seattle just a bit better.

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