A Day with Mark

My brother Mark arrived yesterday to spend the week with us. The kids are super excited to have him and enjoy the attention he gives them. Last night Mark and I enjoyed drinks at Bastille in Ballard where Mark knew the bartender serving in the back room. Every time he visits he shows me some more of the Seattle night life. Seriously, I don’t hit the bars unless he’s in town. But it’s always worth the wait since he picks some of the best in town based on drinks, bartenders, and/or atmosphere.

Today, Mark, Ethan, and I grabbed a DQ ice cream and walked around Edmonds Fishing Pier while Autumn had her afternoon nap. After napping a couple hours, the whole gang loaded up and headed to Gas Works Park. It was a pleasant late afternoon visit filled with lots of activities in the area: crew, sea planes, boaters, kayakers, kites, and more. We finished off the evening with awesome pizza from Ridge Pizza in Phinney Ridge. We highly recommend  grabbing a Carmelita and some garlic bread.

Early afternoon reading time.

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Seattle World Rhythm Festival at Seattle Center

The 19th Annual Seattle Rhythm was held this weekend at the Seattle Center. We took the opportunity to hear some of the drumming after our morning swim. We went down for the Scottish drum corps but they cancelled at the last minute. Nonetheless, we enjoyed hearing drumming and watching dances from various cultures. The kids enjoyed all the different styles of drums and costumes. Though we only saw a few of the acts, it’s worth a visit next year.

In addition to the festival, we strolled around the Seattle Center where we saw the almost complete Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. That’s looks fantastic. View the photos and link below. The kids also picked up a couple of balloon swords from a nearby vendor. $1 balloon swords = Tons of children fun.

This type of festival is another reason why we love this area so much! There is always something unique being offered for the family.

Danza Quetzalcoatl de Olympia Danza Quetzalcoatl de Olympia: Aztec Dance

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Saturday Morning at Alki Beach with Don

This morning we headed over to Alki Beach in West Seattle to meet up with our good friend Don. We’ve been to West Seattle (25 minute drive south of us) a couple times but this was our first visit to Alki Beach. Don suggested the location and it was well worth it. It offered great views of the Puget Sound, relaxing beach, and just happen to have nice weather. We sat, drank coffee, and talked with Don while the kids played in the sand and water.

Don and us go back to June 2004 where we met while in the Peace Corps. He was our neighbor during pre-service training in Dilijan, Armenia. During training we use to walk together to and from language lessons each day. It’s great that years later we ended up in the same area where we (Brett and Don) are both community planners for different federal agencies. He’s also our partner in crime in playing a mean game of “Settlers of Catan”.

Laura, Don and the kids at Alki Beach

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Hiking Season has arrived! First Stop: Lord Hill Regional Park


With the sun shining a bit more than usual, and the temperatures staying above 55 a tad longer, the family is more inclined to hit the trail more frequently. On a favorable hiking day, we tend to do 2-4 mile hikes with the kids. Those miles don’t always work well in the winter or rainy days unless you want to deal with crying, cold kids who never want to hike again. On the other hand, we continue to “break” them in with mild easy hikes that leave them wanting more. Continue reading “Hiking Season has arrived! First Stop: Lord Hill Regional Park”

Trip along the Olympic Coast

Olympic National Forest – Hoh Rain Forest

Laura and I took two well-deserved days away from the kids, work, and normal routine of life to visit the Olympic Coast. Having lived in the Seattle area for two years, we have never spent quality time on the Coast. We chose to visit in October because we knew the leaves would be changing colors and, despite the possibility of rain and no visibility, it would be an excellent time to visit.

Also, Autumn finally learned to sleep through the night and have someone else put her to bed besides Mommy. It would be our first time away from Autumn but we were ready. We were thankful that Grandma Karen came up from Oregon to watch her and Ethan. Continue reading “Trip along the Olympic Coast”