The first Friday in August, we went on a date to celebrate our sixth anniversary. It was also Adam's last day of work before his three weeks of paternity leave, so we had a lot to celebrate.
We walked around the Olympic Sculpture Park and then had an amazing dinner at Matt's in the Market.
It was such a fun evening! I wish we could go on dates every weekend, although they wouldn't all have to be at quite so fancy restaurants.
The next day we went to Fox Hollow Farm in Issaquah, where we played in a giant box of corn...
saw all sorts of farm animals...
worked on our driving skills...
admired the beautiful farm house...
and went for a pony ride.
Allie arrived on Tuesday evening. (She was on vacation the whole month of August, but visited my parents and brother for the first week of her time in the states.) I picked her up for the airport and we headed straight to Molly Moon's for ice cream! On Wednesday, we all had lunch at Cafe Rio, then Allie and I painted Claire and Maggie's nails before heading out for pedicures of our own. On Thursday, we had lunch at Chick-fil-A, walked around the lovely (and free!) Bellevue Botanical Gardens, packed for our trip, and made our traditional Nutella pizza to celebrate Claire's feast day.
We left for Canada on Friday and arrived home the following Sunday, with a still a full week ahead to enjoy Adam home and Allie with us! On Monday, we just unpacked and did laundry in the morning while the girls had a joyous reunion with the playroom. That afternoon, Allie and I snuck out to shop for the rest of the fabric for Betsy's photo project and leisurely browse at Trader Joe's, where we picked up supplies to do an "appetizer night" for dinner. We got these amazing caramelized onion and feta tartlets, "Parmesan Pastry Pups" (basically pigs in a blanket on steroids) and their Unexpected Cheddar with Rosemary Raisin and Mango Ginger crackers.
On Tuesday, Adam and I took the girls to the weekly kids' concert at our local beach park. We went the other Tuesday he was off too (the day Allie arrived) so we got to see both of our favorite children's musicians - Recess Monkey and Caspar Babypants. That evening Allie and I went to a Matilda Jane party at our friend Libby's house.
On Wednesday, we took them to Remlinger Farm in Carnation. It's basically the most amazing place in the world for small children - a little amusement park, a train that takes you around the property, a petting zoo, and pony rides.
Both Fox Hollow Farm and Remlinger Farm are really fun, but if I could only pick one (and I definitely might next summer when we have to pay admission for three children!) I would go with Remlinger Farm hands down.
That afternoon, Allie generously watched the girls while Adam and I went on a Theo Chocolate Factory Tour. You can't bring young children with you and we find it harder to arrange a babysitter during the day, so we've wanted to visit ever since we moved to Seattle. It did not disappoint! We loved getting to learn more about how this fair trade bean-to-bar company works. And we really loved getting to sample a whole bunch of chocolate. We brought home Chick-fil-A for dinner (and chocolate from the factory store) as a thank you.
On Thursday, we all hiked to Franklin Falls. It's about an hour drive east from us and a one-mile hike each way, making it totally doable for little kids.
We were very proud of Claire and Maggie for walking the whole way, with really very minimal whining. We celebrated with floats from XXX Root Beer on the way home. We went to our town's summer food truck night for dinner that evening.
On Friday, Adam and I took the girls swimming at the public pool. (I took them by myself the first Friday in August, the same day we went out for our anniversary. I'm really glad we made it there twice this summer.) That afternoon, Allie and I had tea at the Heathman Hotel in downtown Kirkland. Last summer, we had afternoon tea at the Salish Lodge overlooking Snoqualmie Falls. We thought that one was slightly better, but the convenience of the Heathman is hard to beat. When she's back on vacation again next year, we'll have to round out the trifecta by trying The Georgian downtown.
Saturday was Allie's last day with us and we tried to squeeze in as much fun as possible! We spent the morning walking around the farmer's market, where we bought two purple peppers and a painting of Mount Rainier as a belated anniversary gift to each other. We had burgers for lunch at the Tipsy Cow, picked up lemon ginger scones for breakfast the next morning at Midori Bakery, braved the thorns to pick blackberries at Bridle Trails Park, went to 5:00 pm Mass, got take-out pizza and chocolate chip cookies from Deru Market, and helped Allie get her suitcase under that pesky weight limit. I drove her to airport early the next morning to spend a few days visiting friends in Houston before heading back to the Finca. Then we spent Adam's last day before starting work again in a very exciting fashion - stocking up on groceries at Costco.