Monday, March 30, 2015

Exploring the neighborhood

We arrived to Seattle on a Friday afternoon and had been trying to decide when we'd be ready and able to start really hitting the house-hunting. As it turned out, we started the very next day and didn't really ease up at all. I think we looked at over thirty houses in the first 10 days we were here. 

After a few rough days in the beginning, we figured out that the girls were most cooperative if we scheduled house tours for the afternoon, plus then Jon could work all morning. So the girls and I would find things to do in the morning, working around Ivy's nap, and then Jon and I would wrestle the girls through a variety of home scenarios - e.g., occupied, full of personal belongings; staged, full of classy decorative items; empty, full of doors and light switches to wreck; or new construction in various stages of completion, full of messy/sharp/dangerous building materials and open holes...

One of our first priorities was to sample the local favorite donut establishment, Top Pot, which has a KILLER iced cake donut. It's pink with rainbow sprinkles and it's so delicious and I don't normally care for those at all. 
I think Ivy started this day with a chocolate donut and we ended up at a fairly terrible (local?) taco chain for lunch where Ivy ruined this shirt. I think I washed it and threw it away...
 We've been checking out all the parks near our apartment, and wherever we happen to end our house hunt. I think we were at this park before 9am and I realized we definitely need some warmer clothes...
Ivy loves to swing but I can only push her for so long. She and Alice both love to hang over the big girl swings and twist them around. Or look pathetic, whatever.
We've also been enjoying our frequent trips to the Central Market near our house. It's a huge market full of all kinds of delicious local and exotic stuff, with a "Live Seafood" section in the meat department. I organize our list so that we end there and I let the girls visit the "aquarium" if they've behaved. The backside of this tank now holds lobsters, which I hear as "monsters" when Ivy pronounces it...
We've been doing a lot of hanging out at home, making "art" and being silly. We were very optimistic in thinking that Ivy could manage without a restraint at the table. We bought the new Bumbo booster seat, but couldn't get it tight enough and she was able to unbuckle it herself, so it was virtually useless. There were a few days between when we returned that seat and when the replacement came in the mail, and it just made me laugh to see her trying to sit at the table like a big girl. She would really prefer to do this every night, but she just won't stay in her seat, so...
Ivy spends most of her time being generally hilarious. Like this.
She loves to wear these placemats like a hat, and I always think she looks like a Little Oyster from Alice in Wonderland
A long time ago, I promised the girls that we would buy boots when we got to Seattle. Ivy's been talking about it for months. "Drive to Seattle, and buy boots?" So we made that a top priority once we arrived. Ivy wanted this hat, too...
boots boots boots boots
As we've been house-hunting, we drive past the Boeing factory an awful lot. One day, Jon wanted to stop to see this Antonov An-124 (Jon says I can also include "Volga-Dnepr," in case that means anything to you. He also suggested I get the Cyrillic from Wiki. No.). It's huge. The second largest plane flying today. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything while we were watching. Ivy and I stayed in the car to rest and stay warm, but Alice ran around and admired the enormous plane with Jon.
Last weekend, we took the girls for their inaugural visit to the Pike Place Market. We got croissants and coffee at Le Panier, and the girls finished their steamed milk while watching milk turn into cheese at Beechers.  

 The girls are obsessed with their rain boots and coats. We thought it was going to rain but it turned out to be a pretty clear day, just windy and chilly.

We strolled through the market and happily accepted samples of tasty apples, grapes, and mangos. Unfortunately, Ivy then thought that the whole market was a buffet and we had a hard time keeping her fingers out of all the produce and the fish (she really likes to poke the whole fish and cooked crabs on ice, for some reason).

Some day, I'm going to try cooking fiddlehead ferns. They are just so cool!

We stopped to watch the fish-throwing. No one was buying any fish at 10am, so they were just tossing around their rough-looking prop fish... Alice later said that was her favorite part, so there you go.

Alice also really enjoyed this sculpture that looked to me like a whale tail, but was titled "Tree of Life," and had a bunch of rebar roots under the glass.

We brought Alice's camera with us to the apartment. I forgot to let her take photos on the road trip, which is probably just as well, because it doesn't have a very long battery life and she uses it up looking at the photos she's already taken, and taking blurry photos out the window and of her feet and of Ivy. She was excited to take her camera to Seattle, and I loved what I found when I downloaded her shots later. 

 So weird to see photos from this perspective, taken by my child who is not even five.

Le Panier was crowded, so to keep Alice busy, I told her she could go take photos of the beautiful pastries. She ran over and ran right back, hesitant, telling me "But Mom, I'll get lost if I go alone!" She was like ten feet away, and I told her I could see her and would keep my eye on her the whole time. So she headed over to the display case and this is what I found.

This picture is kind of hilarious to me. Jon looks drunk on croissants.

This monkfish was horrifying.
And then I found a series of photos of Ivy on the toilet, one of the times when Alice kindly indulges Ivy when she wants to "go potty," without really telling us.... Not my favorite, but very sweet. And these photos are so cute.

 And this very artistic perspective of our thermostat.

We've been enjoying the seaside park in one of the towns where we'd really love to live. Where there is lots of beach and not very many people, and a playground, and we can wear warm clothes and rain boots into the water. It's wonderful. 

Alice, in a spinny thing, of course.
Collecting rocks and treasures. 
We are really enjoying ourselves here, we're having a good time exploring the area and are grateful for the weather literally every day. We had a few good days of rain and I really just can't imagine getting tired of it. With California's drought, and so many years of being constantly hot and dusty and dry, we feel like we're watching gold falling from the sky. 

We hope to have share some house-hunting updates in the next week or so. I'll leave you with this, for now!


  1. Loved reading your blog and seeing all the photos. Alice ,s photos are also very good. My father in law worked for British Airways and used to need to fly to Boeing factory back in 1970s, lovely to see your photos of it.


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