Best Things To Do In Seattle

Just a week ago, Frank and I headed to the Emerald City with Frankie. We were going to a cousin’s wedding but also had enough time to explore and enjoy a nice family vacation there.

We rented a condo on Airbnb in Capitol Hill, which ended up being the perfect location for getting around the city. If you haven’t used Airbnb yet to book a trip, use my code to get $40 off: www.airbnb.com/c/jhickman71.

These are the places we checked out.

Alki Beach

It’s a very small beach and it was very quiet when we were there on a Friday morning. It reminded me a bit of California. Although it was a bit too chilly for me (and probably for most people), there were a few kids on floaters out on the water. Right across the street from the small boardwalk, you can find a few restaurants where you can grab a burger, smoothie or ice cream. A few fire spits are available, first come first serve, offering beautiful views of the city.

Golden Gardens

We didn’t actually get to hang out on the beach, although we had lunch right next to it and got to see a boat being put on the water right next to it. It’s the beachiest beach you can find in Seattle. The locals say it’s a great place to BBQ. You can see stunning views of the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

Ballard Locks

Boats use the locks to get lifted or lowered into either Lake Washington or Puget Sound. If you’re lucky enough you’ll actually get to see a boat pass through. Make sure you walk down to see the Fish Ladder where the salmon make their own journey from or to Lake and Sound.

Space Needle

Frankie was actually the first one to point out to me that if we walked up the street from our condo, we could see the “Space Noodle” in the distance. I had to swallow my fear of heights and ride up the 520-foot elevator (without looking down) where you’ll definitely want to take panoramic photos galore.

Green Lake

This lake is located in north central Seattle. Its 3 mile-long walking and cycling path is one of Seattle’s most popular outdoor recreation areas. It has baseball fields and a large playground, perfect for Daddy to play with the kid while Mommy gets a run in! Across the street from the baseball fields, you’ll see several little shops and cafes, making it easy to grab a quick snack.

Pike Place Market

Walk across the Waterfront and go up the stairs to find a busy, busy part of town with various vendors (and lots of homeless people). You get to see what you would see at other markets but it’s still a must see, in my opinion. We had a delicious lunch at Etta’s.

Pacific Science Center

Founded during the World’s Fair, this museum was the first science and technology museum in the country. Kids young and old are sure to find something that will fascinate them here. You can spend a few hours here, but don’t forget to check out the dinosaur exhibit and the  Tropical Butterfly House.

Artists At Play Playground

Located between the Museum of Pop Culture and the Seattle Center Armory, you’ll find the big playground where you can stop for a quick jaunt.  Although it’s recommended for kids ages 5 and up, our 2 1/2 year old had a blast exploring the climbing tower (with parental supervision) and running around the play area. It’s a fun and free activity to do!

Seattle Aquarium

This was one of our favorite activities. Located on Pier 59 on the Waterfront, this aquarium has a touch section where you can touch anemone, sea urchins and sea cucumbers (if you dare!). You can see all sorts of fish, as well as squids, sea lions, sea

The Great Wheel

Although we didn’t ride the Wheel, we did walk past it many times. I didn’t know that it’s actually not your typical carnival ride type of wheel, but more of a sightseeing option that lasts 15 minutes.

Woodland Park Zoo

This is another fun activity to do with kids, but of course grown-ups will appreciate the animals too. My son has been loving penguins lately so that exhibit was one of his favorites!

Fremont Troll

Frankie had fallen asleep in the car while we made a little detour to go see the troll. A bit of an unusual “sight”…I did not know what to expect when I was told we were going to visit the troll! Situated under the Aurora Bridge, a great place for a quick selfie, is a large statue of the creature clutching a Volkswagen.  I probably would not recommend for young kids who frighten easily.

Puget Sound Cruise

This 60- minute cruise around the Sound is a great way to take in the views of the city from the water. They have longer cruises but the hour-long option was perfect for us to do right before dinner.

I hope these ideas help you out on your own trip to The Emerald City! There are more things I hope to do and look forward to taking another trip out there with my family in the future.

xo,

Julia

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Cape May Summer Memories

We just got back from a few days down in Cape May, NJ. This was our second trip this summer with the previous one being back in June. I had a lot going on with my online training and FitCamp and didn’t get a chance to blog about the first trip so I will talk a little bit about both now.

Our getaway in June came in at a great time, giving us the opportunity to treat my Mom to a little road trip with us (although all her help with Frankie really was a treat to US), celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary and a mini birthday celebration for me as well. We stayed at my sister-in-law’s house that is just a short walk to the Cape May Cove making it easy to get to and from the beach with little Frankie. As a fact, everything is pretty walkable in this charming little resort town.

Our first night, the 4 of us had dinner at The Rusty Nail where I ordered a delicious lobster roll with a side salad, naturally. Frank and I indulged in a couple of dark and stormy drinks and we enjoyed the live music playing in the background. Eventually my mom took Frankie back to the house for bedtime while Frank and I took a drive out to Sunset Beach to take in the views.

All of us at The Rusty Nail


Beautiful sunset!

Aperitifs at The Ebbett Room

Fun at Congress Hall

Heartbreaker smile


Cape May Zoo

 

The following day, we headed down to the beach for some fun in the sun and then Frank and I had a fancy date night at the Washington Inn while my mom and Frankie enjoyed some yummy local takeout. Great spot for a more upscale night out – we had great service too.

The 3rd day we had another beach day and then ventured to Congress Hall in the afternoon.  They were hosting their Carnival On The Lawn event- face painting, balloon animals, games for kids and parents of all ages, including a mini train ride. Frankie had the time of his life running around the lawn while the 3 of us took turns chasing him around. Unfortunately what was supposed to be a relaxing, lazy night later on, did not end without a little scare. Frankie woke up about an hour after falling asleep, crying hysterically. Thinking he was potentially sick, we decided to not take any chances and took him to the ER 20 minutes away. All ended up being well but I was so glad my mom was with us. The Dr believed it was some discomfort caused by gas but it was one of those things we’ll never know for sure. Our boy was back to his usual happy self the next morning and we were able to quickly pack up our things and head back home.

I was able to keep up with my marathon training schedule and do some running while down there. I did a 6 mile run to the Cape May Lighthouse with Frank on Saturday and a long run consisting of 2.5 miles with my mom, 6 miles with Frank and a couple more on my own on Sunday.

Our latest trip last week was unique in that we had 2 family members from Seattle also there. They are here for my in-laws’ 50th wedding anniversary party next weekend. This time we stayed in a motel just 2 blocks from my sister in law’s house and one block from the beach. The staff was very friendly and our room was kept very clean. I was nervous about sharing a room with Frankie but he did great about sleeping in his portable crib- he slept for 12 hours every night!

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The quiet street where The South Winds was located.


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The South Winds Motel


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Walking on the beach with Daddy

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My absolutely handsome boys

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Leading me on more adventures


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And the kid ran away with the spoon…

Our first night there, we decided on take-out from The Rusty Nail –once again I got the lobster roll and salad combo. Frank also got the fish tacos he so much enjoyed the previous time. The 2nd night there, we did our traditional date night at 410 Bank Street while our nephews babysat Frankie after his bedtime. I can’t even tell you what else is on the menu because my eyes instantly search for their Voodoo Shrimp, which I have gotten now every single time I’ve been there. I think it’s been 4 or 5 times now. It might be time to try to recreate it at home soon! The new thing we noticed this year is that they now carry Cape May wine. We opted for their chardonnay which was delicious! After sharing a scrumptious bread pudding dessert, we settled up and walked back to our Motel, taking the time to walk by Congress Hall and the night scene.

The 3rd night was the big family dinner at the Merion Inn, home to the oldest bar in NJ. everything on their menu will make you drool. I got the sea scallops with jasmine rice and vegetables. A bottle of 2016 Argentinian Malbec Rose by Altavista was shared with my mother in law and sister in law.  This historic restaurant was fantastic for our large party and our waitress was lovely with Frankie. Speaking of whom, he had a small taste of chocolate (perhaps only his 2nd time ever) and we now understand what parents refer to a “sugar rush”- we took him out of his stroller during our post-dinner passeggiata and he took off like a little bird freed from a cage! It was so cute and funny and people walking on the promenade couldn’t help but smile as he ran by them.

One of the most memorable parts about the trip was how much he enjoyed his big cousin Emmy’s company. He’s at the stage where he calls every kid (and sometimes adults) “the baby” so he kept referring to her as that. Endless hours were spent coloring with chalk on the sidewalk- and maybe even the front steps too. Oops. He has nearly perfected making circles, which are “bubbles” and he even learned to color them in.

My marathon training once again continued- 6.7 miles on Saturday and 11+ on Sunday. Since my sister in law does a lot of running when they’re down there, she took me on a couple of routes I probably wouldn’t have done on my own, which was great.

We enjoyed all the great things that Cape May brings: fun times together, delicious cuisine (umm hello Jersey Shore seafood!) and the carefree, simple life that the beach brings.

We look forward to more adventures down at Exit 0 again soon! I can’t believe how much more we did with Frankie this year compared to last year’s trip. He’s growing so fast!

Does your family do a beach vacation every year? If so, where?

Xo,

Julia

Frankie’s First South America Trip

It’s been over a month since we got back from our trip to Paraguay. It was a way-too-brief visit to my family but an unforgettable trip regardless that filled us with new memories to cherish.

It was our first time taking Frankie on a plane so we were naturally super nervous. Overall, he did great on the way there and did even better on the way back. Funny though, that on our way back home he didn’t have his own seat and slept so much better. On my lap. Sigh.

This was my first time visiting since my Grandmother’s passing just over 2 years ago. I was feeling extremely emotional weeks before the trip. I vowed that I would spend every minute I could with my family. That meant we did not do much exploring and didn’t get to visit friends that lived in other cities.

During these 8 days, our only exercise was a 3 mile run at a park minutes away from my Grandmother’s house. We ate delicious homemade food and decadent desserts EVERY.DAY. We took a siesta almost every day. We had 0 regrets. 

Whenever I return from Paraguay I’m left a little depressed. I feel blue thinking about how far away I am from so many people that love me and whom I love. I feel blue thinking that I may not see some of them the next time I return. It was also great to meet some family members I’ve never met before.

I’m so happy that we were able to make a quick escape and visit this past August. I hope to be able to visit again within the next 2 years.


Do you have family in another country or even another state that you don’t see often? 

Xoxo

Frankie’s First Beach Trip

Yesterday we got back from a 4-day trip to Cape May down at Exit 0 of the New Jersey Turnkpike. It was Frankie’s first road trip and his first time at the beach. Although it took him a couple of days to really “get it,”by the last day, he was bouncing and splashing in the water with his Dad holding him up. 

First toe dips in the ocean.


Unfortunately he had a terrible diaper rash and tummy issues so I was a nervous wreck the whole time.  The first night was the worst- he was up way past his bedtime which led him to being cranky and overtired and waking up multiple times that night. Being out of his element and his routine was rough on all of us but overall we still a very nice time. Frank’s family was also spending time down there so we were able to sketch in some fun memories with Frankie for all.

We stayed at this lovely B&B that I found on Airbnb. Coopers Guest House was a very charming white colonial with teal trim. Located just a block and a half from the beach and a few blocks from downtown, its location was excellent. We were also only about 1 mile away from my sister in law’s house so meeting up with them didn’t take a long time.

Cooper’s Guest House.

Cute Colonials across the street.

Some more Colonial charm.


Friday night, Frank and I put Frankie to bed and snuck off to have a dinner date night at our favorite restaurant, 410 Bank Street. Their cuisine has a French-New Orleans medley with Caribbean flair. We both had our favorite dish there, the voodoo shrimp. I swear, this stuff must really do voodoo because it’s soo delicious you’ll take your bread and soak up the scrumptious sauce until your plate is practically clean and not even care.


At night, Frank and I would make a drink and bring Frankie’s monitor down to the front porch with us. One of my recent best ideas 👌🏻

Frankie loved the seagulls and all the small airplanes flying around. He was also fascinated by all the bicycles everywhere! It was a nice trip and even though I could’ve done without the diapey issues, our boy was a champ. We shared good laughs and Frankie got to spend some time with his Hickman family. 

Hickman cousins.


What road trips or beach trips have you taken this summer? 
Catch you later!

Xoxo