Perfect Sky

Yesterday was the most perfect water taxi commute.

Bluebird skies, puffy white clouds and a stunning skyline. Life in Seattle at it’s best.

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Sunset 4:27

Yep, you read that right – Wednesday as I waited for my bus “sunset: 4:27pm” wandered across my phone screen. 4:27 pm. Welcome to the wintertime downside of living in Seattle.

This week it got cold. The cold that we have been hearing rumors about. I knew that it would be pitch black by the time we got home, and it was freezing cold on the dock, so I hatched a plan to make this random Wednesday a little more special. I stopped by a coffee shop to pick up a latte and hot chocolate, and then met my sweet husband down at the water taxi dock with treats in tow.

This simple surprise made our sunset commute special. The sun was down before we even loaded the boat, but our hands were warm and hearts appreciating life and love.

Perfect Balance

When we bought our house on Vashon Island (well, really, it was long before we started looking) I was so excited to move out of the city. I craved a slower pace, quiet, community, safety and darkness. Moving to the island has brought us all those things, and more, and we really could not be happier with our choice.

What I was not expecting was how much this move has brought me into the city. When we lived in West Seattle, downtown Seattle felt like a trek, an adventure, and somewhere I was only willing to go if I had to. Or a special occasion. It really had to be worth it for me to drive, deal with traffic, deal with parking, PAY for parking, and then get overwhelmed by the business of it all. No more.

Now I commute into the city every day. I arrive by water taxi (infinitely more relaxing than a traffic jammed car or crowded bus), and then walk through the early morning streets to my bus stop. Businesses are just waking up. Coffee shops all smell of fresh beans and cinnamon rolls. The streets are still pretty quiet. In the afternoon I ride us bus into the city, and then walk through the busy streets that no longer seem foreign. I recognize the Pioneer Square tour guides, the changing shop displays and the Real Change homeless guy in red shorts. I wave and he waves back every afternoon.

I am really liking my time in the city. Matt and I sometimes choose to stick around and go shopping or out to eat. Happy hour? Sure! When we lived “in the city”, meeting up downtown was just a hassle. Now it is easy, because we are already there.

After happy hour, or just the daily walk down to the water taxi dock, we meet up and return to the best part of our life…being home on our little rural island. Our little retreat just 20 minutes from the city, it is the perfect balance.

coming home to this is a great way to end the day

Life Before the Sunrise

I am thinking of this week as a test for moving to Vashon. Matt was put on an extra early shift this week (starting work at 6 rather than 7:30 AM), and instead of having him suffer through an hour long bus ride that early in the morning, I offered to do an early morning week too so that we could carpool, me dropping him at the office on the way to work. Plus I am winning major wife points 🙂 So far things have gone well. The mornings are not feeling rushed, and commuting together actually gives us more time together; a nice way to start the day! We are in the car by 5:35 headed towards Seattle on totally empty streets listening to NPR and watching the sun come up. By 6 we are both at our desks at our respective offices, and ready to tackle the day. Well, not quite. This morning I am actually at a coffee shop in Bothell writing email and writing a quick blog post before an 8:30 meeting.

Yes, these mornings have been early, but clearly they are doable. Monday I was half asleep after lunch, but my body is adjusting. So why is this what our commute from Vashon would look like? Well, assuming Matt is still on his 7:30 start schedule, we would have to be on the 6:10 water taxi to make it. I usually start my day at the office around then as well, so we plan to commute together on that schedule, taking advantage of a day skewed towards early, so we can take the (hopefully!) 4:30 water taxi home. Oh the joys of commuting on the water. It will take some adjustment when the times comes, but I am really looking forward to being on the island.

On that note, we are still waiting for more houses to come on the market. And are making plans for chickens in the next few weeks. Life just never slows down!

Sunny Date Day in Seattle

This early fall weather has been such a treat! Sunshine every day, no rain in sight! Of course, it means that our grass and garden are dry as a bone and looking pretty awful, but we Seattleites sure are loving the sunshine treat!

This weekend Matt and I took a date day to Seattle. Water taxi then shopping at Sur la Table, mini doughnuts and lattes in “our” park by Pike’s Place Market (where we got engaged), then an international grocery shopping adventure to Uwajimaya. We were successful in our quest for phin filters to make Vietnamese coffee! Woohoo! What a great, beautiful day to spend together.

Sunday Matt worked, and I filled my time with kickboxing, returning our last wedding gift return (yay!), and making a huge pot of chili. Oh yea, and reading for school.

Sleeping in, Chocolate, Succulents, & the Viaduct Closure

Another full weekend: check.

Matt and I filled our two days off with sleeping in, then going to Seattle via water taxi to check out the Northwest Chocolate Festival, then registered for wedding gifts at Macys! It was fun to run around with the scanner gun and talk about what we want our future house and kitchen to look like.

Sunday we both worked out (me kickboxing at the gym, Matt pumping iron in the basement) then we went out to run errands. We picked up 4 huge flats of succulents for centerpieces (craigslist is awesome!), then to Costco, grocery shopping and finally our circuit of thirft stores to get more centerpiece glass dishes (to hold the succulents). We need to start planting!

It was a great weekend. My brain was on alert all night for this morning’s commute though. The viaduct is closed and that makes traffic out of West Seattle a bit of a nightmare. Luckily both of us ran into no major delays this morning and got to work on time. Fingers crossed it stays that way! Tonight is fish tacos…Happy Monday!

Seattle International Beer Festival

4th of July means fireworks and hotdogs, but to me, the 4th of July also means BEER! The International Beer Festival in Seattle to be more specific. For the past 4 years, my dad and some other friends have enjoyed this local event, and this year was no different. Actually, it was rather different this year since it was sunny and not raining J

We got in line around 11:30 (which is totally the way to go…get there early before the beer sample lines are too long). That way by the time the rest of Seattle is lined up in the sun (and you have had too much sun) you are almost out of beer tickets and ready to get home anyway. We have a very specific goal at the beer festival: try as many as we can and pick a winner. How do you do this with only 10 tickets? Divide and conquer.

Our group was 5 strong this year: me, my dad, Corey, his son Andrew, and Corey’s dad. We each would get a 4 oz sample, bring it back to the group and divide it up between the 5 of us. Luckily we are all hoppy IPA drinkers so there is not too much disagreement over which ones to try. This year we had a few favorites. One of my top picks was Sour Willy.

Mom and dad headed straight home after the beer festival leaving me to mass-transit it across Seattle. I took the monorail from Seattle Center to Westlake, then walked to Pike’s Place, then took the water taxi to West Seattle, then the free shuttle near to my house, and walked the rest of the way (yes, I was exhausted and dehydrated and sunburt when I got home but it was fun!). It was a stunning day to be trekking across the city.

I love 4th of July weekend traditions! Looking forward to next year already!