It’s cold and gray, let’s go to the zoo!

A couple weekends ago we finally had a cooler day here in Seattle. One of those “typical” summer days; a little breeze and a couple clouds in the sky, even a threat of a drop or two of rain. It. was. lovely! and I was scheduled for a couple different volunteer shifts at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Let me tell you…the time to go to the zoo is a day just like that.

The animals are active, comfortable and enjoying a break from the beating sun that makes them so sleepy (who can blame them? I’m the same way!).

Check out these not so awesome quality pictures I got just wandering through the zoo:

 

Another fabulous thing we have going on at the zoo, is families are always growing! Right now we’ve got a handful of littles running around. Gorillas, giraffes, snow leopards, just to name a few! What fun it is to have an up close view of parenting from so many different species. Can you believe that it’s my duty, at times, to hang out and watch these guys for hours?

 

It’s such a great time to get a little end of the summer field trip and spark an interest in your littles. If you miss the end of the summer, here’s an insider tip: wait for one of those rainy days that isn’t too miserable, go to the zoo’s website and see if they are having a rainy day discount. On those days you get in for a pretty great discount, generally face far fewer crowds, AND most likely you’ll see some really playful animals!

The zoo is always a joy, in all my years of nanny and childcare it’s the one outing I encouraged as often as possible. So much so you can now find me there most weekends, being a big kid at heart. Animals, more animals, a playground or two, snack shacks, picnic spots and free roaming peacocks…who doesn’t love going a little wild?

For more info on rates, hours, events, and daily programs go to:  http://zoo.org.

bird

Hey rooftop, don’t forget about the patio!

Okay, admittedly I have focused all my green thumb energy on the rooftop. I just have such high hopes for it. It was a major selling point for us when were house hunting and unfortunately it’s so rarely used. It’s super hot and a wind tunnel so umbrellas are a hassle (sometimes even a hazard if you aren’t paying close attention). I’m getting side tracked…stay tuned for the dilemmas of the rooftop, today is the patio’s turn.

The patio is quiet and concealed. My idea is to turn into a South Park hidden jungle. I want plants that are “manly” and make you feel immersed into another land. Big leaves, tall grasses, spots of bright reds and oranges (no pinks or purples here ).

However, we really have neglected getting anything going in this space. In my spring splurge I did get a pot large enough to plant the lilac that has been growing slow and steady across many locations and years. Also a discounted ground cover that was planted 9 months later and with little hope of recovery.

With the replanting of the rooftop, the patio was given a little more attention. Two new planters (husband is going to paint them…someday), a couple Coleus varieties (oops, they look a little pink and purple. shhhh, don’t tell the hubby!), black grass (I don’t recall the name), and a cool green grass that blooms these neat orange flowers.

Montbretia - Western Isles Wildflowers

 

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I was reigned in by the better half so it’s only a small improvement but has got the wheels turning!

man garden

Maybe by next summer we will be able to enjoy this space with family and friends. We long to have  space enough to entertain, enjoy amazing company, and chow down on some yummy snacks…all without having to leave our home.

Small steps in the right direction!

Supporting local business and improving my health!

Hey guys, if you are gardening this summer, just want to give a quick shout out to two local companies who are worth supporting for all your garden needs. Be sure to check them out.

McLendon and Cedar Grove– you rock! Thanks for being a great alternative to the big name stores, you know who I’m talking about. You may be slightly smaller but with a much bigger service and customers focus. We choose you guys any day!

Rooftop garden, how do like them apples? No really, do like this better??

As I mentioned last week, the rooftop garden is in need of some serious help. Stupid thing is, I have all the seeds, crushed egg shells, soil/compost, and pots needed to start again…I’m just lazy.

Well, not so! I am happy to announce the rooftop has been replanted! We’ve got a few different types of leafy greens going. The round pots are spinach and mixed lettuce courtesy of my father in law who only uses the best seeds. I’ve also found in the clean up that the onions are hanging on for dear life. I have replanted them with a bit more spacing and hope to at least have a couple young onions into the early fall.

We are also going for a couple radishes (which I have had success with in other locations), kale and Swiss chard (long shots I know at the late stage), and a row of spicy mixed greens.

Here’s hoping.

Me Kwa Mooks Park

Apologies that my reflection is in the picture but it was a sunny day and I was trying to be quick.

Here is a cool park to enjoy in West Seattle…and it’s not Alki! Let me introduce you to Me Kwa Park in the south end of West Seattle. What a fun find!

Full disclosure, this park was discovered on a quick google search after a run to the nearest Petco. I convinced my husband I would do a speedy recon of the park and grab pictures as quickly as possible but I “just had to check it out!”

The drive to this park is great. Cute houses of all ages and sizes. Amazing views of the sound. Interesting shops. Parking is abundant and this being said on a Saturday at 2 pm.

This guy caught my eye because it’s a little of everything. Trails through forest, grass lawns with BBQ pits and picnic tables and across the street…beach access!! Dogs must be leashed and no smoking permitted, just an FYI. Also saw a port a potty  right off the street for those who need to spot to go nearby.

park side                                                      beach accessbeach combing

As summer is winding down, why not take advantage of the tides and this gem for some beach combing. Grab a marine life guide or smart phone and see what creatures share the same city as us! Or enjoy the shade and learn about some local plant life. Or best yet, let the learning happen naturally and as I always suggest, pack a picnic and just enjoy time with your family and friends while taking in some awesome views.

beach view

Seriously?!?! This is where I live??

Fun free spot for a picnic AND lots of photo ops of your summer cuties!

Hey all, here’s a little spot to ponder for your next picnic. The view is amazing, the smell enchanting, the fountains and benches sprinkled all around make it seem a little like a secret garden. This is a perfect spot to stop and smell the roses…the Rose Garden at Woodland Park Zoo! The garden is free to the public (unless you pay to park in the parking lot…I don’t mind the 2-3 block walk from a side street) and often overlooked by the zoo visitors.

Often you will see one of the zoo’s peacocks roaming the garden, a deer spent a little time there earlier this summer, rabbits, birds and all fun bugs of summer can be found here. Just sit down and let the magic of summer surround you!rose garden hours

It’s also the most wonderful spot to grab amazing photos…of the flowers, yourself, the gazebo, or that special someone who is picnicking with you! Too many fantastic spots to choose! Hurry though…when the seasons change, so does the beauty of this garden ( and the hours ).

cool thingrose

Let’s try this again rooftop garden

At the beginning of spring I was so inspired by all things green and blooming. I convinced my husband to let me splurge at the local garden store and buy “all the things we’ll need for produce this summer…it’ll save us on the grocery bill!” Being an awesome guy and knowing I have this endless optimism that all things will work exactly as planned, he agreed and I went nuts. I got the tomatoes, pea starts, onions, beets, strawberries, cauliflower, a few fuchsias and a couple succulents. For sure these things would grow and multiple as the summer began. We would be able to run to the roof for our daily vegetables, and even have enough to share with our neighbors. We were set.

Then the summer started and the sun shone brightly. And continued to shine daily, at temps Seattle is not accustom to, with no rain in sights. We broke record after record and the garden paid the price. I watered, I waited until the sun was set and temps were “cooler,” an attempt to avoid frying my personal produce stand. To no avail, my garden suffered greatly. My peas went crazy and were toast before I had the time to harvest many. My cauliflower leaves grew fast and furious and yet the cauliflower made to the size of a quarter before slowly turning brown and shriveling into nothing.

dead

The tomatoes are my one rejoice. The ones planted in the corner survived the heat and with a little beating (yes, I beat the plants, trick I learned from my father in law- helps pollinate), they have been producing all summer. I’m hoping with the change of weather and cooler front coming in, that continues to be the case. I’m also hoping it means I little less manual watering trips, not that I mind but at the end of a long day I’m always okay with mother nature helping out a little.

tomatoes

The goal now is to take out all dead, dying, and disgusting items and replant some things for a late summer/fall harvest. More to come on that…

Oxbow Park…one of many “out of the way” parks around Seattle

It’s that time of the summer where you might feel like  you’ve been to the same 4 parks 100 times and they are starting to lose their appeal to all…here is a fun little spot right off of I-5 in south Seattle (near Boeing). It’s generally pretty quite at all hours and well maintained. I’ve seen photo shoots under the sculptures, kids on the playground, couples enjoying a grasses picnic spot, and even two of Seattle’s new Limebikes (bicycle share for iOs and Andriod users and can be seen in photo below)!

I’d love to say I visit this park often but most my enjoyment is on my commute to and from work as i zip past and am shocked by how few folks really utilize this park. Sure it isn’t huge but it’s so interesting. Where else in Seattle do you get to rest in the shade of a giant cowboy hat?!? This place is a must see, at least once in your life!

The weather is just perfect for grabbing a little lunch or dinner to go at one in Georgetown and heading over to the park to enjoy! Need any suggestions on where to go? I’d be happy to share a couple of our favorites with you, just ask!

I dare you to check out this park and tell me what you think!

oxbow*This is the park around 7 am this morning…please excuse the super dirty window lens you are seeing this through 😉

Free weekend fun for all!

The weekend is nearly here and I’ve got a couple fun ideas for you and your family…best of all, they’re free! My favorite type of event 🙂

The first weekend in August is Seafair weekend in Seattle. This is an entire weekend of fun along the shores of Lake Washington. Hydro plane races, air shows put on by the Blue Angels, wakeboard demos, and BMX stunt shows. Depending on what interests you, find a park near the water (early!!!), pack snack and waters for all, a couple blankets to sit on and enjoy the celebration! For a full list of the schedule visit here. Be aware, some parks do charge admission/parking so research before heading out.

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At the Seattle Center:

-The Fountain!!!! Get your splash on and enjoy the sun!

-5:00 PM Summer Playground Party
Summer fun, music and creative play for the pre-teen crowd FREE
Next 50 Plaza

-As mentioned in a previous post, they are also hosting free movies at the mural starting at dusk. This weeks movie is LaLa Land

Free and fun for the art enthusist:

-Seattle Art Fair is going on this weekend. Many galleries are free and the fair is distributed throughout downtown. Check it out right here!

-Looking to get some music into your weekend? Why not visit the Ballard locks and enjoy a concert at the Locks? Take a glance at the calendar at  Hiram M. Chittenden Locks .

Have a fun free event in Seattle that I may have over looked? Please share here! We are always looking to add to our Northwest Bucket list, when it’s free its even more enjoyable!

Have an awesome weekend everyone! Stay cool and play hard!

 

How was your weekend?

Hey all, hope you’re enjoy all the joys of summer! Just wanted to send out a quick shout out to a wonderful weekend. What could be better than a couple hours floating on the river? Maybe watching bald eagles fishing just feet away from said float? I had an amazing weekend, spent celebrating a fabulous brother in law’s birthday. Eating, floating, surrounded by children’s laughter and fantastic food…I will not complain!

How was your weekend? What did you get up to? Who went to the bite of seattle, or participated in the Capital Hill block party? Maybe you saw or even went to the WNBA All-star game?

Inquiring minds are dying to know where you got your fun on this weekend! Go ahead and share.