Happy Friday, friends! Lotte & I just got back from the sweetest little trip back east where we got to do so many fun things! Some of these fun things included visiting Lake Wallenpaupack, pool lounging with family and meeting more family out for dinner … Steph & I even snuck into the city where we met up with some of my friends for brunch before seeing Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in Plaza Suite.
It’s been a rough couple of …. years?! Honestly. With our last trip back to New York being the roaring success that it was (ahem…it was not), it was nice to head back this time, even with just the two of us, to see our beloved friends and fam.
Ignoring the news for a few days provided a much-needed reprieve, as well.
Anyway, friends, here’s some of what we got up to …
Bis bald, friends — I hope you’re all hangin’ in there this summer and finding yourselves some happiness 😉
The ferris wheel was the perfect way to end our trip, because the girls (and especially Grace) were OBSESSED. Seriously, you’ve never seen more excited kiddos! Here’s a bit of what we saw on our last day …
And that was our trip in a nutshell, friends. Our car service picked us up at 5:30 the next morning to head to the airport.
It was a whirlwind, but a wonderful one. One of our main objectives when we moved out to Colorado was to explore this side of the country more. So glad we are finally able to tick Washington State and Olympic National Park off the list.
Have a great week, friends — and happy summer, for those of you who are in it already, like we are. I hope yours is safe and super fun <3
We sure are lucky to have these things available to us.
Anyway, back to Day Two. It’s a trek to head to Olympic National Park from Seattle. We caught a 30-minute ferry to Bainbridge Island and then drove another 90 minutes to the visitor center and then to do the Moments in Time Interpretive Trail. That’s a lot to do with three littles, but the car we got was comfy and they snacked and watched videos (and, shockingly, napped on the ride back to the ferry at the end of the day) and all was good. We almost bailed on the trip when the weather looked iffy (it turned out perfect!) and seemed like too much effort, but I’m so glad we didn’t!
Chris and I were discussing how, in most cases, the things we almost bail on usually turn out to be some of our favorite memories. It’s a life lesson, for sure.
Anyway, here’s a bit of what we saw!
After the visitor center it was about a 30-minute ride to the Moments in Time Interpretive Trail, which was unbelievably gorgeous. (And, by the way, FREE! Entry into the park was totally free, too, but you can — and should — make a donation online!) The bluest water, the mossiest rainforest, and all the bird chirping you could ever want in life.
So incredibly serene.
Back at home we made dinner for the girls to eat out on the deck, while Chris and I ordered sushi from Umi Sake House, which was every bit as sensational as advertised.
After Emilia was down, Chris took the older girls for a jaunt on the pier (which we could literally see from our living room window), where they took in the sunset view and played a bit of soccer.
And that was our Day 2 in a nutshell. Our third and final day is comin’ at cha tomorrow … and it was also a big one 😉
We’re back from our long-awaited trip to Seattle and Olympic National Park, and I can confirm … if you’ve had Seattle on your bucket list for a while, BOOK THAT TRIP NOW!
We had the absolute best time on our little 3-day stay. We planned to fly in late on Wednesday, after the girls got out of what was supposed to be their last day of school before the summer. The school ended up closing two days earlier, though, for renovations. We tried switching to an earlier flight but they were booked out. So we didn’t end up getting in until around 9 pm (on what was NOT our best flight), but luckily the Airbnb where we stayed was only about 20 minutes from the airport.
Accommodation: We stayed at this Airbnb, which had very many amenities. It was right on the water, and was walking distance to literally everything a tourist could want. There was a 24-hour doorman, garage parking, a pack and play and highchair and childproof locks on the doors. There was a small balcony facing the waterfront, a shared hot tub and a rooftop. All the things you could possibly want for an awesome stay. Price: $1990 for four nights
Airport transfer: We set up a car service from Starline Town Car & Limo Service to pick us up at the airport and drop us back off, and it was totally and absolutely worth it. With the five of us, three carseats, a double stroller and all our bags, it was a lot less stressful knowing that we’d have door-to-door service in a car that would definitely fit all of our things, and that we would definitely have a ride for our 5:30 a.m. pick-up to head back home. Price: Approximately $300 (this included tip, taxes and other fees.)
Car rental: We rented a car on Friday to drive into Olympic National Park. We had to get a big one, obviously, so that’s always a bit more pricey. Price: $260
Food: We spent about $500 for food,most of which was coffee. (Not really, but we did do a bit of a “coffee crawl” around the city, which I would highly recommend.)
In other words, it wasn’t the cheapest trip for three days, but we were prepped for that going in and had saved up. We knew we didn’t want to scrimp, since neither of us had been before, and knowing that ahead of time helped us not feel guilty spending while we were there.
It was also the first time the girls traveled with their own money from their allowance. This was clutch when Lotte would point to a $20 useless trinket and I could say, “Sorry, you don’t have enough money for that!”
After a short rest (and Chris shopping at the market for fresh ingredients for our dinner), we grabbed a ferry to walk to Alki Beach.
After our afternoon walk/beach trip, it was back to the Airbnb, where Chris cooked up his delightful pasta dish for dinner and the girls hit the hot tub with Chris. Friday morning we would be heading out to Olympic National Park … can’t wait to share that adventure with you tomorrow!
I know — we all end up saying the same thing every year. The time flies, and suddenly your kids are so old you can’t believe it. It always amazes me.
Anyway, I digress. The REAL news to report this week is that WE FINALLY GOT TO SEE OUR AUSSIE NAN AND POPPA! After far too many years of Covid-induced distance, Chris’ parents were at last able to hop on a plane and fly back to see us. Lotte & Grace had not seen their grandparents since October of 2019, and Emilia had never met them. So to say that this was a monumental event for everyone is an understatement.
The Connor’s trip coincided with the girls’ spring break, which was lovely because we were able to spend a week in Winter Park together, as well as have them experience taking the girls to and picking them up from school.
In other words, we’ve simply had the most amazing time and I refuse to believe that it will be ending soon. Our plan is to head out to Australia for Christmas this year to catch up with all of our Connor family, so we’re all very busy keeping our fingers and toes crossed that that can still happen.
In the meantime, we have no less than 20,000 photos to keep on loop from our time over the past two weeks.
Besides having Nan & Poppa here to just live our lives with us for the past two weeks, the trip out to Winter Park was so much much. We stayed at this Airbnb, which was the perfect location for viewing the best times to visit the hot tub and swimming pool (a favorite activity amongst our group), and it was a short walk to the sweetest little sledding hill with community sleds to share. The girls also had an absolute blast hanging out in the bunk beds together.
Our itinerary included a visit to Grand Lake, as well, which was one of our stops on our first-ever vacation as a family of five last year. Chris cooked delicious food, we played games, explored a new-to-us ski town, and generally had a delightful little getaway.
You might imagine that two visitors from Australia would be exhausted after all of the above, but that’s just not how my in-laws roll. They are up for absolutely any and everything, and they are happy to do as many activities as possible when visiting their grandkids. So, we thought taking them to visit the Denver Museum of Nature and Science would be a fun activity for the girls’ last day of spring break. This place is so fantastic for kids, since it’s created for them to be able to run around and touch whatever they’d like. We had the best day, followed by a lovely dinner at Jack’s, one of our favorite neighorhood joints.
And now we’re staring down the final few days of our visit with these lovely people which, to be honest, we’re all a bit in denial about. Seeing family is always the best thing in the world. Saying goodbye … not so much. To have something to look forward to — like our trip in December — does help soften the blow, I’ve found.
I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your spring season. Until next time … bis bald!
Life continues to be heavy, friends, and I know we’re all feeling it. Around the world it seems like we’re going about our daily lives — sending kids to school, getting dinner on the table, meeting work deadlines (or trying to) — while emotionally, we’re all dying a little bit inside.
The stories and photos out of Ukraine are heartbreaking, and what the kids are going through … it will be with them their entire lives. It feels wrong that this is happening, while I’m over here typing up a blog post, including photos of how we’ve spent our “carefree” time over the past few months since the holiday. It doesn’t just feel wrong, it is wrong.
And yet … here we are. In 2022, we live in a world where one insane leader has enough power (and money) to force an entire country of people into an unwarranted war, while we sit idly by and watch. All the donations in the world can’t stop us from feeling lost, but it’s all we have. Today I donated to World Central Kitchen (and TripAdvisor is matching my donation). This organization is currently working at a 24-hour pedestrian border crossing in southern Poland and has expanded to provide meals to refugees as they flee to the neighboring countries of Romania, Hungary, Moldova, and Slovakia. If you can, consider donating here, or at any number of organizations doing amazing work.
I can’t stop reading and thinking about and praying for the people for Ukraine, even as I try to keep a normal face for my kids. We’re so incredibly lucky to live where we live — despite the issues we put up with — and I hope we never, ever forget that.
Bis bald, friends — I hope you’re doing well. Here’s a little bit of what we’ve been up to lately.