Last night brought a thundering night…we lit candles in the open window letting the fresh breeze of rain relax our senses. My not so little hopped in my bed sharing stories of her day and reading Tortilla Sun till she fell asleep. I feel lucky my 12 year old still snuggles with me. The perfect way to end a Thursday evening.
The summer warmth made it so easy for a quick midnight stroll through Pike Place Market. Seeing Seattle this late at night was a first for my daughter, we decided to make an adventure of it.
Before our late night adventure we made our way downtown to a surprise birthday party for my cousin Golden. Not only was it her birthday weekend but also our cousin Chey was celebrating hers. It has become somewhat of a tradition in celebrating them together as they are a day apart. With my camera in hand I attempted to capture many moments and do an impromptu photoshoot.
There aren’t enough days in the weekend. ~ Rod Schmidt
Our weekend started Friday night having a bar-b-que with a few of our neighbors. We brought out our grill, marinated shrimp, andouille sausage, chorizo and our neighbors brought more food from burgers to a few sides. We gathered for a few hours cracking jokes and sharing stores then the three of us headed inside for our Friday film night. After staying up late watching Captain Marvel and Always Be My Maybe we actually woke up naturally at 8 a.m. ready to prepare for our day with friends. By the way if you have not seen either I think they are a must see. I am a huge fan of Ali Wong and Randall Park and the hilarious surprise of Keanu Reeves, it was AMAZING!
Although we woke up perfect that did not last too long. I was several blocks away from our house before I realized I left my cell phone behind. So of course I had to turn around which was frustrating because we ordered two dozen tamales from this amazing spot in White Center and I was worried they would not hold the order if we were late. After trying to refrain from speeding and being too fast and too furious we made it only 15 minutes later that our expected time.
It was a beginning of summer party with our friends at their home just two blocks down from Alki beach. I miss living by the beach hearing the rolling water and waves reaching the shore. It was calming listening to the waves and even the smell of the seaside took any stress I felt earlier that day away.
We continued our weekend with friends meeting them at Round1 for bowling celebrating JB’s (son of our friend) 12th birthday. The kids did pretty well leaving the adults in the dust. I had never been to Round1 and did not know what to expect. It had karaoke and arcade games. It was a bit pricey. We bowled for several hours before letting the kids loose in the arcade while us parents hung around to discuss all the things our kids are doing and the people they currently are. Although sometimes we miss those toddler days it’s so wonderful to see them become these beautiful preteens, with attitude. Ha!
Here are a few links I found interesting this weekend. Enjoy!
“When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air–it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.” ~ Georgia O’Keefe
Wide open spaces capture your attention sinking you into its vastness. One can feel so small but yet so large with life soaking in the fresh air. Not a soul for miles. Just you, the wind whispering the richness of this soil, the fresh hint of rain, gentle kisses from the sun. And in the evening the closeness of stars. I can only agree with her sentiment, New Mexico is different and not like anywhere you’ve seen before and it’s mine.
I fell in love with New Mexico nine years ago when I came with my husband and our daughter to his family’s ranch. Forty miles outside of Taos and a few miles before entering one of the oldest cities in Colorado, a recently paved road leads up toward the mountains to a humbling place called Amalia. His grandparents 14 1/2 acres leading up to a river and expanding toward the mountains is part of a land grant. There is not much to do here as you are forty miles from the nearest stop light and the “corner” store is at least 15 minutes down road. Family and friends stop by on their way to wherever they are going, a short visit turning into lunch then dinner. It is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. A place to recharge. Not a street lamp in sight, only the stars.
Although with time comes changes this little area remains slightly untouched. There are still viejitas who live down dirt roads with minimal modern “luxuries” and/ or electricity cooking to perfection empanadas and tortillas on wood burning stoves that melt in your mouth you can’t wait to dip them in red or green chili. If you are looking for the best place to hunt antiques ask no one else. My favorite viejita is one of my husband’s cousin. She is a feisty hip-hop loving viejita in her mid 70s never leaving home without her hita (her 38 special) and she’s never to shy to share her opinion. Each visit we are to never leave empty handed.
Our first stop in Taos was Michael’s Kitchen for their red chili. My breakfast of choice was a Christmas style Martin’s Breakfast Burrito made with scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, diced green chile and hash browns wrapped in a flour tortilla. The Christmas style comes into play in the way of the burrito being covered (or smothered) in both red and green chili sauce. Let me tell you 1. I had to split the burrito and 2. I made sure to get extra red chili. As a Seattlite we are big on our Starbucks coffee but Michael’s had excellent coffee. You can buy it here at their online shop.
Nestled among homes in South Seattle there is a hidden gem. It is a welcomed surprise, a beautiful 20 acre Japanese Garden known to locals as Kubota Garden.
In 1927 Fujitaro Kubota, a self taught gardener, purchased five acres with a mission to show the beauty of the Northwest in the art of the Japanese garden.
In the garden you can find streams leading to waterfalls, rock formations, beautiful trees and many beautiful spots to have a romantic picnic.
The garden has been a favorite of photographers, weddings, picnic goers, and sunrise chasers. On a visit with my family we got glimpses of young lady getting her Quinceanera photos taken. I wish I’d taken photos of her beautiful white dress that was sparingly covered in pink flowers. But I didn’t want to disturb them. We also stumbled upon a first date among trees near this pond sitting on a green plaid blanket sharing hard cider.
My husband and I have visited a few times and for the first time we discovered the waterfall. Neither of us new it was here and was such a pleasant surprise to discover with our daughter leading the trail of followers we collected on our stroll. It is the perfect escape amongst the urban surroundings. I highly recommend a visit.
We’re in the last few days of vacation slowly preparing to get back into the busy days of school and work. It has been nice to wake up to the sun peaking through the blinds. No alarms, no rush to get ready just easing into the day. Some days grey and rainy but wonderful just the same. It has been nice binge watching new and old television shows, movie and game nights galore. Few early evenings were spent in the kitchen making sweet potato pies and chocolate cookies that rarely made it to the next day. Ending 2018 was spent with ones I love hanging on with heaving eyes trying to make it to midnight. If you’re wondering I did in-fact make it. I could not have asked for better people to spend that time with.
In this morning of 2019 I am excited about the things to come. The positive changes of life as if I am seeing the new year with the optimism of youth. In looking forward to the new and exciting magic of life sometimes we must look backward taking inventory of things that helped shape our present and exhale in serenity that we’ve made it through. I will spare you the exhausting details as there are so much I am still going through and learning to process. I will tell you there has been loss, near loss, injuries, weddings, and births. Life has its way of serving curve balls nearly knocking you off its axis testing your balance. May be that is what I am still needing to find. That “perfect” balance. To help keep me focused I decided this year I would share my 2019 Resolutions to not only put my intentions into the universe as they say (speaking them into existence) but to find them and hold myself to it. I am typically a quiet goal setter, a shy goal setter. As one of my resolutions states it is time to do more of the things I dreamed of, to step out of my comfort zone.
Here are my resolutions in no particular order:
Read more (never stop learning)
Watch less television
Help my daughter navigate the trials of youth
Take weekend trips – explore more of the Pacific Northwest
Fully belly, happy heart was the theme of Saturday’s family brunch. Mimosas flowed while the cooks cooked. Laughter filled the room rivaling the noise of the neighbors deck building. This past Saturday we had a lot to celebrate. My husband’s great aunt Ida along with her daughter Lisa came to visit and grandpa Roberto has been doing great in his journey. This past April my husband’s grandfather suffered a stroke which left him temporarily blind and the ability to only communicate is Spanish. Recovery has been slow but he can see fully in one eye and partially in the other. He is back to speaking both English and Spanish. However, that storyteller in him I have come to know all these years is what we all miss. He is still a jokester at times, which is wonderful when you’re having to learn how to manage life differently. We remind him as much as we can of how far he as come.
My aunt Ida is so much fun and would have to be a favorite of mine (shhh, don’t tell my aunts). My husband and I had her laughing as much as she made us laugh. She and my not so little were inseparable from the moment we walked in the door. Per usual I was again in trouble for not calling or texting enough. We teased Lisa about her fireman, looked at old photos from the 1800s trying and almost arguing about which baby it was in the photo with great grandma Eliza.
Brunch as total Pacific Northwest spread. My husband made jerk shrimp and toasted baguettes to be dipped into the buttery juice from the hot skillet. My mother-in-law made two quiche, one with crab with corn and the second meat lovers of sausage and bacon for the few of us who don’t do crab. There was also sliced potatoes with melted cheese, fruit plate (those strawberries were delicious) and last but never forgotten the melt in your mouth salmon. This trip was a first of few things for cousin Lisa who’d never had salmon or figs before.
Chata waited for anything to fall from the table sitting near anyone she could before giving up and lying on the carpet.
I tell you there is nothing more special than Saturday brunch with family………..