Wedgwood Pool

Seattle holds so many secrets. Hidden gems in plain sight, or in this case, neighborhood pools. There’s a private pool in the Wedgwood neighborhood east of Dahl Playfield that I stumbled upon one day a number of years ago BK (before kid). As it turns out, it hosts the Wedgwood Swim Club and boasts a waiting list comprised of more than 1000 families. It is the very same pool that my aunt and uncle have belonged to for 35 years. My cousin grew up swimming for this swim club and they spent all their summertime here. This summer they’ve invited Lake to join them for a few swim dates. At first Lake was pretty timid and skeptical, but with each visit he gains some more of his “sea legs”. 

All suited up!
Cool dude post swim

He worked up from the shallowest waters, clinging to my knee, to chest high (for him) waters where he enjoyed playing with the balls. He even lost his balance and went under a few times. He came up coughing but more and more comfortable each time. 

Happy Mummy, Proud Mummy

We went home and added our name to the waiting list. Maybe by the time we get our membership offer Lake will be grown and I can come for my own swim and sunshine time. We will see. In the meantime, much gratitude to Janet and Neil for sharing their community pool with Lake. What a special place for him to learn swimming and with such delightful teachers all around, like their friend Caroline and sister Auntie Claire. A perfect Summer’s day, I’m glad I spent it with you at the pool!

Yayoi Kusama

Lake made his first foray to the Seattle Art Museum today. Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit was the big draw. We took the Link and arrived right at 9:00 am to wait in line for the day’s admission tickets to be released at 10:00 am. While we were in line we made some friends and were blessed by a Buddhist monk with one leg. 


It worked out: we got the tickets and for a good time as well, 10:45, so we didn’t have long to wait. We met up with some friends (happy birthday Cami!) and went in to explore the art together.

We stand in smaller lines for time-stopping 20-30-second-immersions in each of her mirrored rooms installed here in the gallery. She first developed this concept phenomenon in 1965 with Infinity Mirrored Room–Phalli’s Field. 

Although there is no particular order to explore the exhibit. This was also the first one we went into. It kind of felt like going into the dressing room together with your friends at the mall. 


Lake’s favorite installation was the Infinity Mirrored Room–Love Forever (1966/1994)

Inside looking out.

It’s the one where you peek in the little viewing window. You can stay for as long as you date for this one. It was like being on an old fashioned carousel, except you stayed in one place and the light colors and patterns kept changing. Like looking into a real livekaleidoscope with technicolor lights.  

He also started warming up to the experience and had more and more fun in the next two. Polka-dot mania! Literally: Dots Obsession–Love Transformed into Dots, 2007, installed 2017. 

For our finalé we enjoyed the white “blank canvas” IKEA kitchen and studio apartment installation, all set up for adding dots: The Obliteration Room, 2002-present, installed 2017.

Although Lake liked removing the dots. Yet, as it turns out that’s not accepted interactive experience. Only adding dots. And only one sheet per group. And one must surrender the sticker sheet backing as you leave the room. Other than all that, we felt right at home in our super dotty studio apartment. Lake was especially attracted to the bicycle helmet. 


My absolute favorite was the Infinity Mirrored Room–Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. There is no picture because I was too mesmerized! At one point all the lights went out and it was completely dark. Then what equates to a million or more soft candlelight- type hanging lights came slowly back on. Amazingly beautiful. You might just have to see it for yourself!

Mr. Silky (friendly) contemplates Eternity and the thereafter

The AOE was like being in a field of fireflies according to Chip and Betsy from Boise. That’s something I haven’t experienced (yet), definitely one for the Bucket List. I would liken it to an impromptu installation my Dad made for us once or twice when we were young. 

Clear summer night in Quinault where the stars are so bright, you can see the whole Milky Way. Then Duane takes a shovel and spreads the coals from the fire and spreads them on the rocks of the nearby river bar. We walk on the river rocks interlaced with twinkling embers while the stars hang near overhead. 

Thank you Yayoi, for rekindling that memory and giving Lake some new neurons!

Duck Dodge

This week our Tuesday Lindsin walk took us to Gasworks Park where we always appreciate the stunning view of The City. Such a Summer’s evening it was! And there was a delightful surprise in store for us when we came in view of the water. Not only was the park full of folks, but the lake was full of boats. More sailboats under sail than could certainly be a sensible amount on such a moderately sized lake as Lake Union. A frolicking regatta! We gazed at the scene while Lake enjoyed his picnic dinner (milkies). It was rather exhilarating as we watched more than a few near misses, collisions between sailboats and the pier. 


This is the Duck Dodge! A Seattle tradition since 1974. Tuesday evenings on Lake Union from May 9th to September 30th this season, watch the lake fill up with courageous sailors starting at 7pm. 

A perfect day! A perfect evening!

I’m glad I spent it with you. 

“I’m all ready to set sail!”

Lake is trying to tell me he’s all ready for his first sailing lesson. Maybe this will be a better setting: the only boat out on Newman Lake with Grandpa. Truly dodging ducks, and not other sailboats!

Captain Duane Murphy on Newman Lake, WA. June, 2017

Weekend Warriors

Lake is quite the budding weekend warrior. We are all really. This weekend we packed up the whole family and headed to Mount Rainier National Park for a camping and hiking adventure. Mummy was rather nervous. It was our first camping trip with Lake. It was our first camping trip together as a couple. It was our first time going to the mountains without reservations. All concerns aside, it was a smashing success. 

The Egg goes car camping

We take our 3 door 1998 Honda Civic and pack it full of supplies for the weekend. Actually Michael does all the gear packing Thursday so that we will be ready to go early on Saturday morning. We have enough of everything for four adults and a baby. The “Germans” are coming with us, that’s Jo and her fellow au pair friend Doreen, and they kindly organized the food. We have an absurdly full car, a veritable warrior party on wheels, and lots of entertainment for Lake and each other. 

Jo and Doreen, experience tent camping with a proper campsite
Much to my relief, we nab one of the last campsites at Silver Springs (a really fantastic one by the river) and set up our tents before heading up to Paradise. Jo and Doreen are unaccustomed to setting up their tent in the daylight in a proper campsite as they are often following extremely rigorous itineraries and setting up camp any old where after midnight without regard to specific sites per sae and collapsing camp under the scolding camp host’s watchful eye. It’s a refreshing experience for them, I think. Michael sets up our family tent with the help of a very interested Lake. 


With relief we unload the car of our overnight gear (Doreen especially was a bit cramped!) and then off we go! We are looking forward to what we hope will be perfect timing for the mid-summer wildflowers. 

Indeed it is spectacular! We hike the Alta Vista trail, having fun, taking in the panoramas, admiring the wildflowers, playing on the snow, and glisading. Michael and I reminisce about climbing up to Camp Muir in the fall of 2015, Lake in his first trimester, and how we came back last fall with Lake as a baby. We love the Paradise of Mount Rainier.

Basking in the love!


It’s special to share our beloved mountain with our German friends!
 

On Sunday, we enjoy a relaxing morning in camp. Hey, we survived our first night out! We easily break Camp and head back into the park. We visit the Ohanapecosh River suspension bridge and have fun lazing about on the riverbar. 


Lake loves it!

After saying goodbye to The Grove of the Patriarchs, we drive up to Sunrise, the highest point in the park accessible by car. It boasts amazing views and is much less populated than Paradise. It is only my second visit to this gorgeous location and everyone else’s first time. We are so glad this is how we cap off our weekend warrior tour of the Park. The wildflowers are on display high above the White River, as viewed from the Silver Forest Trail. 


I was last here when I was 18 years old and summited Mount Rainier with the Mounaineers via the Emmons Glacier. 

Reminiscing from my Mount Rainier climb

Sunrise was our final visit before heading back to the city and on the way home we got to talking about Bucket Lists. Run marathons, Climb Mount Rainier. Hot Air Ballooning. Travel abroad. After living life fully for nearly four decades, the bucket list needs some serious thought and updates. We will revisit and review the Bucket List in an upcoming blogging session soon. For now, we roll with spontaneity and are living strong in the moment, loving the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. What will be next for the weekend warriors?

The Weekend Warrior Crew

Secret Weapon 

Every mum, everyone really, best have a secret weapon. Pink turtle neck sweater was recommended to me once as a hot beauty tip from a friend. It pardons all transgressions against your youth and casts a pretty glow on your (now) bright face and eyes. 

I like a fun print sheath dress. Pink helps. So easy to slip on, much easier than the ubiquitous yoga pants. Then, Voila! the sick husband, fussy baby, bloody split lip (yours, not theirs) hungry for milk even-though-you-really-ought-to-be-out-the-door-already-baby vanishes, and you look instantly ravishing. 

Today, this morning, called for that dress. 

Secret Weapon

And we had a perfect day… I’m glad I spent it with you (and at work)!

Ends of the Earth 

My phone offers me a route update. We can save four minutes if we take this route:

Today 10 mph corners constitute the fastest route available to Portland.

We take it! Somehow, somewhere, this sunny Saturday finds me out near Yelm, making my way slowly but surely to Portland. We have friends in Portland, really good friends. 

I will go to the ends of the earth for these friends. 

There was a “Police Activity Lacey, Use Alt Route” warning on the freeway signboard just north of Tacoma, so not knowing what sort of police activity and of course not wanting to put Lake in danger or get stuck on I-5 if the road was closed (I’d experienced that before when the police cars in front of me began weaving lanes and slowing down incrementally until they were stopped and the entire freeway was halted. A police chase having progressed to a foot chase by the side of the freeway)… so we exited the freeway inTacoma in search of this vague suggestion/mandate of an an ALT ROUTE. It was so hot I was getting temperature warnings on my phone and I was worried it would “freeze” on me and I would be lost. Literally lost. We have no A/C in our trusty 98 Honda Civic, the Egg, and I really didn’t know where I was going save following the GPS map directions prompts. 

We did make it six hours later, after our tour of Yelm, and Rainier, and after losing and finding my car keys in the grass at a rest stop near the Oregon border (Thank you Ramona Shore!)… It was all worth it to see our friends. 

Yea! We made it to Portland!
First stop, Sellwood to catch up with Rachel!
 

Next stop, Kindrick Family… Tolle’s best friends and now Lake’s best friends too! We arrived! We slept really well that night!


Sunday picnic in the park


Lake loves playing with his sweet cousins. They spoil him and call him “Baby Lake”, though Maicy did acknowledge that he wouldn’t always be a baby and that maybe they could then call him “Big Baby Lake”. He loves climbing up or sliding down the slide and being pushed high on the swing. 

Napping soundly between such fun playing with friends

Thank you Portland Friends for a rejuvenating weekend. Against all odds! We will travel to the ends of the Earth to be with you!

Thriver

Lake is so tough. Daddy’s a rock. Mummy’s gaining grit by necessity, to keep up with the rest of the family! Lake is just so unflappable. It’s true what they say about falling down and getting right back up: if you’re looking for inspiration, just watch a toddler learning how to walk. So concentrated, so unfazed. Grandpa noted, it looks like he’s walking a tightrope. Lake had his big (minor)surgery last week Friday and it went really well. No more ear tag, happy button, duplicate tragus, branchial cyst, etc. It’s been named a lot of different ways over the past year but no one would remove it at Northwest Hospital when he was newly born or in any of the Doctors’ offices or back alleys since then. So last week we found ourselves in the hands of the handsome plastic surgeon at Seattle Children’s. 

It’s an ethical decision to put your baby under general anesthesia for an elective cosmetic procedure. Would he have wanted the ear tag when they were older? Would he have pierced it and made it his own? Now we will never know. It was a really minor procedure, that somehow got inflated as time passed. Anyhow, we made it through, and Lake is not just a survivor, he’s a thriver!

Bring it… I’m ready for my big day!
Living it up at Children’s!
Proud: the feeling after courageous performances!
Let’s eat a peach!
Then, in the thick of it and all the heat, Lake managed to come down with a full on case of conjunctivitis and cold. He’s giving me the tissues for my nose to pretend blow. He’s been getting his nose wiped so much.

He’s such a trooper. Survivor!


Thriver!

Snow, Lake! Snow Lake

I have two favorite go-to hikes from Seattle: Snow Lake and Lake Serene. This week we took Lake to both of them. Here’s some pictures from our hike to Snow Lake with Jo. 

Now, dear reader friends, we will need some recommendations! What would your favorite hike be to take a 13 month old, 20 pounder? Please let us know in the comments: where would you like to see us go next?

Having a blast on the trail!

Beautiful views and fresh air
A snow arch over the trail!

Snow, Lake!

We made it to Alpine Lakes Wilderness, just!

Snow Lake ridge summit

View of Snow Lake, all snowy!

By the afternoon, the water was really rushing over the trail. Lake forded the creek. 

Lake Loves to eat some fresh dirt!
Happy Hiker post-hike!

Lindsin Along

Tuesday evenings, through all kinds of weather, Lake and I, we go Lindsin. Lindsin with the Lindser… and we have so much fun! This spring we established a new routine. We meet at the UW Tower courtyard fountain when I get off work to make the most of our daylight. Jo meets us there to drop off Lake, all outfitted for adventure. Dry double nappy, a single spare, and windbreaker or sunscreen as appropriate. Lindsay works super early so sometimes she even gets her hair done before meeting us at 5. 

So we meet up, play a little,


then we go adventuring. Yea! Lake loves it too!


We have a set start time, but we keep our Lindsin itinerary open. So we can enjoy the spontaneity. We are very agreeable and like-minded so it has always worked out beautifully. Gasworks is a standby.


 If it’s nice weather and on these long days we also favor Greenlake Park.

The whole family loves the Lindser

And sometimes, not too often, we meet on a different day. Like this week, we met for a day hike on Saturday and went with the whole family out Lindsin. We Lindsed out past Gold Bar and right up under Mt. Index. We Lindsed all the way to Lake Serene and jumped in for a swim!


Lindsin along the trail!

Trail snacks for everyone!

We made it to Lunch Rock! Time for a swim!

The Lindsers post-swim at Lake Serene