I spent this weekend on the Kitsap Peninsula. It requires a ferry ride, so just that in itself is pretty great. Life is a little slower there and it was a great place to seemingly say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Saturday was gorgeous, sunny and warm and we spent the afternoon outside playing lawn games, then enjoying a bonfire long after the sun went down. On Sunday, I woke up to an overcast sky, dropped temps and football!
While the summer here has been amazing, I’m looking forward to a real fall. With sweaters and rain and apple picking and baking and tea and fall foliage, which is already starting to show up on some of my hikes.
Hike to Melakwa Lake
Before the summer ends, though, I have to share one of my favorite weekends I had this summer, when my parents came to visit me! It’s already been a few weeks since they were here; they came out in mid-August. When in the F does the time go?
They have visited Seattle a few times before – with me when I was looking at schools here and when they traveled through on their Alaskan cruise – so I tried to come up with some outside the tourist box ideas of things to do.
On their first full day, I had to work, so they did some exploring on their own before we went to the Mariners game. I don’t remember who they played, just that there was a second it seemed like they had a chance, then they lost big time! But, everyone stuck around because it was the last fireworks game of the season. It was a ton of fun. If you go to a game, I’d recommend upper level on the first base line, it gives you great views of the field and the city.
Saturday morning we took the ferry to Bainbridge and walked around the town. They have a great farmers market on Saturday morning and just a ton of cute shops to wander.
On their on-their-own day, my parents found the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. It’s really close to my place, but I’d never been there, so we went there on Sunday morning. It’s pretty incredible! The coffee is crazy fancy, which is a little overwhelming, but I love that it’s authentic coffee, not fluffy coffee. I could spend a long morning hanging out there!
Then we made our way to the Seattle Center to check out the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Again, overwhelming! The art is gorgeous and there’s so much of it!
Then we needed a little break. I was calling the days they were here “active rest” because we were hiking all over town and that was plenty of exercise to keep me sleeping soundly at night!
We went to check out the Ballard Locks, which allows large boats to go between the Sound and Lake Union. We were there for a while watching them load up the large locks, then filling it up and letting the boats go through.
Definitely falls into the unique category for tourists, but I thought it was fascinating. There’s also a salmon ladder to help the little fishies go between, I still want to go check that out soon!
That night, we stayed in and my mom and I made chicken and waffles! Yum. I got to test out my new waffle maker and learn how to make our classic family meal from the pro.
On Monday, I took the day off work to share my love of Pacific Northwest hiking with them. I researched a few hikes to find something lovely and manageable and landed on a 3-mile hike in Mount Rainier Park, Tipsoo Lake and Naches Peak. It had a little elevation, a lotta awesome views of Rainier and we ran into a handful of PCT hikers heading to Canada! It was also very dusty and a looong drive, but worth it!
And then, because it’s beautiful and because in Washington, you can go from mountains to sea (Sound), we spent some time at Golden Gardens, a beachy beach in Ballard, where we saw some seals playing not too far out from shore.
We ended their trip with a tradition started on my last two trips to Seattle before my move – a last meal at Ivar’s on Lake Union. With great views of the city, the lake and of course, seafood, it’s a great way to say goodbye to my city love (only this time, I didn’t have to say goodbye).
I told them we were knocking out everything in the city because next time, I want to take them to the San Juan Islands, or maybe the Olympic Peninsula. There are just so many wonderful options!