West Coast Travelogue: Seattle, WA

You tired of my travel blathering yet? Well not to worry, we are nearing the end of it. I’m really enjoying re-living my trip but it’s totally making me want to take another one soon! After Portland we headed up to Seattle to visit with my husband’s sister and brother-in-law. One good thing about having large families spread around the globe (literally!) is that you have reasons to visit all these fun places and free lodging when staying there! Yep, it’s all about the free lodging 😉 j/k, peeps, j/k.

We were in Seattle for an entire week and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The first evening we were there, my sister-in-law took me to see Jane Eyre: the musical. It was in a small theater and while neither of us were quite sure what to expect we both loved it! The English teacher in me just thrived on some good classic literature being acted out in front of me.seattle, wa (15 of 8)

Sunday we enjoyed visiting my sister-in-law’s church and then heading down to south Seattle- Federal Way in the afternoon to visit some friends from back home who moved out west several years back. So fun to connect with friends along our way!

Monday and Tuesday my brother-in-law took off work so he played tour-guide and took us all around town. We got to see the troll under the Fremont Bridge, enjoyed checking out the houseboats in Fremont, and explored the Public Market. We enjoyed walking up and down the Market and checking out all the vendors. I loved all the flower stalls! We ate lunch in the market area at some walk-ups: so fun! The boys were great sightseers and I think they enjoyed all the hustle and bustle as much as we did.

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Tuesday we went down to Mukilteo Beach and discovered that a Seattle beach is much different from a South Carolina beach. But it was fun to explore the shore, throw rocks in the water and take the Ferry to Whidbey Island. The boys absolutely loved the ferry ride! We wanted to explore Whidbey Island but we hadn’t brought the car with us on the ferry so we just wandered the beach a bit and then got back on the ferry to Mukilteo Beach.

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My sister-in-law was so kind to offer to babysit the boys for us while we were visiting so we could enjoy a day in the city kid-free. First off we headed over to Ballard to check out Drygood Designs– the last fabric store on my list to visit. What a fun store! They are in a really small space (moving soon, I was told) but they have an excellent selection for the space! I had so much fun perusing all the fabrics and accessories. I was very good (since I’d spent all my money in Portland!) and only bought a fat quarter of some nano iro along with a few yards of leather cording. Seriously, that took some self-control! And I actually remembered to take pictures of this fabric store so here are a few for you.

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Belltown also had a great selection of fun little shops that we enjoyed exploring. We spend the rest of our kid-free day walking around downtown, sampling local eateries and checking off some sightseeing: The Olympic Sculpture Park, the Space Needle and Seattle Center (though we didn’t go up the needle), and Kerry Park. I loved the amazing skyline view we got from Kerry Park and the houses all around it were so beautiful. It was fun to walk around and pick out our favorites. 🙂 You could even see a little of Mr. Rainier from the park- it’s the little white peak between the two buildings on the right.

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In the middle of all our sightseeing, we got to meet up with another friend and former Greenvillian at Macrina Bakery (so good, by the way.) It was only for an hour but it was fun to catch up a bit with Betsy and chat. She blogs over at Yellow Elm and has some great info about exploring Seattle among other things. I used her blog as a stepping stone to decide what we wanted to do while in town.We happened to time our trip to Seattle to coincide with my in-laws coming in for a visit too so we spent the last several days there relaxing around the house and spending time with family. They came from TN so it was nice for all of us to meet in WA for a few days. The boys enjoyed getting thoroughly spoiled with attention from the grandparents as well as Aunt Emily. We discovered a free petting zoo a few miles down from our house  and met up with another long-time friend there for a few hours. So interesting how several of our friends have moved out to the Seattle area recently!

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And from Seattle, we began the trek back down the coast and toward home! I’ve got one more post to share with you about our adventures down the Pacific coast and then we are done!


West Coast Travelogue: Grass Valley, CA

Whew, I didn’t mean to take so long of a blog break but traveling with 2 children under 3 is a full-time job and I just couldn’t get the time or brain space to do anything else! We are back home now and beginning the unpacking and transitioning to East Coast time and real life again- not an easy task for any of us! As fun as our trip was, I am happy to be back and looking forward to spending some time sewing again. I’ve missed it! Because this was such an epic trip for our family, I want to share a bit of a travelogue of our experiences and adventures along the way. More for the fact that I don’t want to forget any of this time than I think that y’all are interested in reading about it. I met up with such fun people and had so many great experiences that I want to memorialize this trip forever. But who knows, maybe some of you would also like to read about our time on the West Coast. If not, just ignore anything with the travelogue title and you’ll be good to go. I’m going to dive right in today with the first 5 days of the trip (and the reason we went out in the first place), my brother’s wedding in Grass Valley, CA.

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BTW all of these pictures are taken with my iPhone 5 so the quality is not as great as they would be with the real camera but travel takes place too quickly for big cameras! Also I’m trying to share different pics than I did on IG so if you follow me there (@oliversfancy), you won’t get a complete repeat!

Getting ourselves out there in the first place was a fun adventure! We made every effort to pack very light because we knew that would would have laundry facilities along the way. (sometime soon, I will tell you about my fun challenge of capsule wardrobe packing) Even so, bringing 4 people, 2 car seats, loads of snacks, clothes and accessories ended up being quite the haul!

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The boys did fairly well for their first flying experience: key being lots and lots of snacks to keep the crankies at bay! Oh and watching the airplanes in the airport was quite fascinating.

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The wedding went off beautifully and we all looked smashing if I do say so myself. 🙂 Only ended up with one not-so-great shot of my little family but glad to have gotten something. By the way Oliver is wearing his Vintage May outfit. He has gotten quite a bit of wear out of those skinny jeans and I can’t wait to make him more for this fall/winter!

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Siblings oldest to youngest…Can’t believe 3 of us are married now!

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Bride and groom with my two munchkins. They love Uncle Jared and can’t wait to get to know Aunt Stephanie more.

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Oliver needed his own “pretty flower” and was so pleased when the flower lady gave him one. Then he ran around brandishing it like a sword so he kinda missed the point of the flower. Such a boy-child. 🙂

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The night after the wedding, we took the boys to the Nevada County fair which was in town that week. So fun! I don’t think I’ve ever been to a state or county fair and I loved the experience. It’s not a super cheap experience but it was worth it for the fun memories with the boys.

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We let Oliver pick about 4 rides to go on and he especially loved these car rides! I loved the fact that we all got to go on the carousel. I’m such a kid at heart and love to ride those every chance we get. And Eliot didn’t get left out of the fun either. He loved seeing and petting all the animals!grass valley, ca (9 of 11)Funny fair story: Oliver dirtied his shorts and we had to do an emergency change but the only pair of shorts I had on hand were Eliot’s 12 month shorts. I didn’t say a word, just slipped those shorts on Oliver (couldn’t believe they actually buttoned!) and he walked around in 12 month shorts the rest of the night, none the wiser. He would have been upset if he had known, but thankfully he’s a skinny kid or he would have been the kid at the fair with no pants!

grass valley, ca (11 of 11)Checking out the monster truck jam happening on the other side of the fence. And snacking on some yummy kettle korn! A must-try when they cook it in the kettle right in front of you.

grass valley, ca (10 of 11)And thus ends the first part of our 3 week trip. Next up, San Francisco and my first fabric store stop. Yep, I’ll be sure to let you know about all the fabric stores I visited along the way. (and the crazy amount of fabric I brought home!)