A couple of weeks ago, Brandon and I left our children and doggies behind (thanks to family for taking them in!) so we could venture back out to Seattle. The last time we were there was when Oscar was 10-months old – and he came along! (Awww! So I may have just went back through those photos with a tear in my eye…our little Oscar, such a cutie pie!) This time, we made our trip all about photography. And friends. And good food. And pretty sights. OH, and wine, obvs. 🙂
Our good friends, Shannon and Matt, took us in for the first part of our trip. They live just outside of Seattle in the town of Snoqualmie, where even their gas stations are gorgeous. Seriously. The Shell station was a like a mini-lodge with wood beams and stone pillars. I digress. We made it out to Snoqualmie on a Friday evening, when Shannon & Matt and their AWESOME neighbors celebrate “Fun Fridays” throughout the summer. That’s when all the neighbors in the cul-de-sac pitch in for dinner (we’re talking ah-mazing smoked steak and salmon, pasta salads, pizza, fresh fruit…quite the spread!) the kids run around keeping themselves entertained, and the adults circle up their camping chairs and eat, drink, laugh, and just enjoy each other’s company. It was so nice of them to include us! We were ready to move in right away after meeting this awesome crew. 🙂
Snoqualmie is nestled up in the mountains, offering beautiful views many times throughout the day. The clouds move in and out quickly this time of year, so there’d be a rain shower for 20 minutes, then the sun would shine for 2 hours, and then another small shower would move in. We wanted to showcase the mountains a bit during Shannon & Matt’s recent shoot, but alas, the mountains were snuggled in tight with the clouds that day. But as Brandon and I were out and about scouting locations prior to their shoot, we did manage to capture a photo of Mount Si – which is the mountain Shannon can see from her kitchen window while drinking her coffee. I hate her. 😉 One morning, Brandon and I stopped by Snoqualmie Falls. We hiked down to the bottom of the falls, as well, but I think the views are a bit better from up top. If we would have had our waders on, we probably could have gotten a better view of the falls from the bottom, but alas, we did not plan appropriately. Nevertheless, it was great hiking and adventuring with my best friend. Before Brandon and I met up with Erin and her family, we spent some time on the west side of Seattle enjoying views such as this…Then after Erin’s family shoot, we all enjoyed an evening out to eat at Endolynn Joe’s. Great food and even greater company. 🙂We convinced Shannon & Matt to take a day off work so we could venture around town together. We ended up spending the majority of the afternoon at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. And having been a Starbucks partner for five years during/after college, this was an awesome experience. The entire ambiance was so relaxing: you could sit and watch the freshly roasted beans spill into a large cooling bin, then watch the beans move through Willy-Wonka style pipes to get along to the next step in the packaging process; you could sit at one of the coffee bars and strike up a conversation with a barista and learn about how the coffee is brewed; or you could just sit and enjoy the company of friends. 🙂 I still have a deep love for this company. 🙂Me & Shannon. Love this lady.…we have a good time. 🙂Connected to the Tasting Room is a fantastic restaurant named Serious Pie. Ohhhhhh the pizza. Such good pizza. I love pizza. And I love this photo of Matt & Shannon captured during our lunchtime fun. 🙂 Brandon loves himself a good root beer float. 🙂 And of course, after lunch, we had some more coffee. 🙂 Chemistry class at Starbucks? Perhaps. 😉 Here’s a barista whipping up some siphon-brewed coffee. After our short stay (too short!) with Shannon & Matt, we rented an Airbnb apartment just a few blocks from Pike Place market for the remainder of our stay. It was our first Airbnb stay, and it worked out perfectly! While it was nice to have a lovely place to crash, we still spent the majority of our time venturing around town to see what we could see. After checking into our apartment, the sun was making its way back out after a few showers, so we headed up to Kerry Park, and arrived just in time to capture a bit of a rainbow!
The next day, we visited the Japanese Gardens – an intricately manicured garden that gave a first glimpse of some fall color popping through! Here’s Brandon doing what he does. 😉 One evening, our sweet friends Amanda & Paul, who have been living in Seattle for a little over a year now, hosted us for an incredible dinner. And let me tell you, these two know how to cook! They prepared marinated/grilled salmon, chopped salad and grilled shrimp, and homemade gnocchi with pesto. Ohmygoodness – it was fantastic! We talked and ate and drank for about 7 hours. I so enjoyed our evening with them. When can we get together again, friends?! 🙂The next day was a gorgeous morning, so after enjoying a leisurely breakfast at Le Panier in the market, we headed to Gas Works park just north of Seattle to relax and take a few photos. After Gas Works Park, we realized we weren’t too far from Ballard Locks, so we stopped by there for a bit to watch the boats come and go. Then we headed out to Discovery Park. With just a bit of hiking, we made it to the shoreline… …where there is a quaint lighthouse. And if the weather cooperates, you can even see the Olympic mountain range across the water. Love this. We also made a quick stop through the Olympic Sculpture Park before having our last dinner out at Etta’s. Shannon & Matt recommended the restaurant, and it was very good! I just don’t think you can go wrong with any of the Tom Douglas restaurants while in Seattle.
While, yes, we missed our babies back home, it was so nice to truly relax, enjoy each other’s company and the company of great friends. We so loved this trip and hope that we can do it again in the future!