Summer in Seattle

Ah, finally summer is here in the Pacific Northwest and we couldn’t be more excited.  Chicago was great for outdoor activities that mainly revolved about street fairs and patios, but Seattle has so much more.  Below is a list of what we enjoyed last year and what we are hoping to explore this year:

  • Kayaking at Green Lake and beyond.  And beyond I mean getting enough courage to venture onto Lake Union or Washington maybe this year.
  • Stepping out at street fairs and festivals.  Did I mention the majority are free?  Unlike Chicago where you can expect to pay a “suggested donation” of at least $10 every time.
  • We can’t wait to go to Bumbershoot again in August; great way to spend his birthday weekend.

First Snowshoeing Adventure

Alex and I went snowshoeing with some of my co-workers for the first time over the weekend.  We rented our snowshoes from REI and were on our way.  I had never even considered going snowshoeing until we moved out here and even then I was more focused on skiing.  However, snowshoeing proved to be just as fun–and a great workout!

We made our way to the Red Mountain Trail through the Commonwealth Basin.  Starting off slow was key as we each got accustomed to our snowshoes.  But we were off soon enough and trekked through the icy snow where, in some spots, would have went passed my waist if I fell in.

The weather was beautiful: lots of sunshine and blue skies.  The hike was about five miles round trip and boy did we feel it.  However, it was a great time and an awesome way to see the mountains.  We can’t wait to go again!  I think we found our new weekend activity.

So pretty.

So pretty.

Where's the sign?!

Where’s the sign?!

So much snow!

So much snow!

We made it!

We made it!

Red Mountain

Red Mountain

Our First Visitors!

This Labor Day weekend was great; we had our first visitors to our new place here in Seattle: Alex’s sister and brother-in-law.  Arriving later in the night this past Friday, we headed over to Brouwer’s in Fremont.  Alex and I loved this place a few weeks back and so did they.  The beer selection is just awesome!

They weren’t just in tow to see us though; Seattle’s Bumbershoot festival was this weekend too which was the perfect excuse for them to come up from San Fran.  Before we headed over to the grounds though, on Saturday we had a good breakfast at 5 Spot on the top of Queen Anne and then took Leo on a walk about Discovery Park.  He loved getting outside, but by the later afternoon, we were ready to head over to the concerts.

The grounds were close to our place and we scored parking nearby which was great.  Over the next couple of days, we heard some great new acts: The Heavy, THEEsatisfaction,  Ana Tijoux and The Helio Sequence.

When we wanted a break from all the music and crowds of people, we decided to take them to Mt. Si and were determined to finish it this time.  We were nervous though: we thought it was going to take the whole day.  But, to our surprise, we were up and down in four hours!  They wanted to take Leo with them, so by the time he got all the way down the mountain, he was wore out, but he loved the hike too.

On top of Mt. Si

It was a great weekend with them and we can’t wait to have them up again!  And our other friends in other places: you’re welcome to come anytime too!

Tiger Mountain

Today was the perfect day for another hike.  Last week, Alex got some hiking boots (mine don’t get here until Monday) so he wanted to get out and give them a try.  The West Tiger #3 Summit at Tiger Mountain sounded like a good bet as it wasn’t as easy as Discovery Park but not as difficult as Mt. Si.  So we made the 30 minute drive and found ourselves at the bottom and made our way up.  It was a bit more difficult that we had anticipated with a steady, upward climb pretty much the entire way.  However, we kept at it through rocky pathways only wide enough for one or two people to larger walkways more steep than rocky.  When we reached the top, it was somewhat of a letdown as the views were obstructed by great pine trees all around.  Nevertheless though, we were excited that we made it to the top and took a little break before heading back down.  It was only about two hours up and a little less going down, so definitely not as long of a trip as Mt. Si (we estimate that it will be about six or seven hours round trip for that one when we do it again in a couple of weeks).  We love getting out and doing these hikes on the weekends.  They are a great way to see more the state and to get in some exercise at the same time.  Can’t wait for more!

 

The Stair-Master from Hell!

We really wanted to get outside today, so we headed over to Mt. Si for a nice hike.  Alex did some research and we got super excited that this would be an actual hike; no paved roads that claim to be hikes.  We drove the short hour or so it was to get there and the parking lot was pretty full.  We had read that it can get busy on the weekends, but the 8-mile round-trip excursion was a bit busier than we had anticipated.  We started on the hike up and soon discovered that we probably wouldn’t make it all the way up and back down today.  Mt. Si was kicking our butt!  As someone from another blog coined it: Mt. Si is the stair-master from hell and it surely was!   But we can’t wait to go back next weekend and do the whole thing.  This time though, we are going to get there much earlier in the morning and pack a little lunch to snack on for when we do get to the top.  We are loving this outdoor stuff!

Huge pine trees!