The weekends are usually the (only) time we squeeze Jarred’s car out of the parking garage, brave the traffic and venture to destinations outside of downtown Seattle. Downtown is fabulous and offers more than enough to entertain a person for their lifetime. But be that as it may, we moved to the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of more than just the city center.
Hence the reason we found ourselves one weekend with Shawn and Kelsey on a spur of the moment hiking adventure to the top of Tiger Mountain. The skies were finally a brilliant blue after a week of haze and Shawn was itching to run off the side of a mountain with a parachute. Some refer to the act of launching oneself off a cliff as the sport of paragliding, but I’m pretty sure this dangerous adrenaline rush could just be classified as crazy. Keep in mind I say this from someone who has voluntarily jumped out of a plane before.
Kelsey and Shawn had joked that I would be taking a tandem flight and I hadn’t (yet) ruled it out of the realm of possibilities. I was somewhat open-minded until actually witnessing this recreational activity and several newly discovered aspects looked less than appealing. Namely the massive amount of equipment required. Throughout the entire steep hike Shawn had to lug all his supplies in a “backpack” that Kelsey and I both could have easily fit inside.
After watching several unsuccessful launches and numerous questionable tandem departures, I can say with confidence that you will not see me sprinting off the side of a mountain anytime in the near future. I do need to add that on his first attempt Shawn catapulted himself into the air with ease, but I’m perfectly content excluding paragliding from my list of conquered activities.
Fortunately for us, Kelsey frequently lets Jarred and I crash outings with her fun coworkers. Most recently Smartsheet plus the Witts attended Oktoberfest on the waterfront in downtown Kirkland. Considering my German heritage and my love for all things edible from Deutschland I was more than excited. Between the bratwurst, steins, yard games, live music, biergartens, lederhosen and dirndls – “Oktoberfest with a Northwest twist” did not disappoint.
One Friday we decided to deviate from our norm and actually explore an area within Seattle – Discovery Park. The park spans 534 acres, which awards it the largest park within the city. The weather that afternoon was perfect, sunny and low 70’s, so in order to beat the crowds we skipped out early and headed in the direction of Magnolia Bluff around 3 o’clock.
We didn’t have a set itinerary, but instead were resolved to see where the path leads. Our one requirement was that whatever route we took deposited us near the lighthouse we knew was somewhere along the tidal beaches. We pulled into the park grounds and had no idea where the starting point of said path was. We initially parked in the north parking lot only to realize after viewing a map that we were positioned as far away from the lighthouse as possible. We jumped back into the car and tried for round two. After parking in the east parking lot, which happened to house the visitor’s center, we discovered the south parking lot would be the prime starting position for our desired destination.
On our third and final try we deposited the 4Runner in the south lot and began the leisurely stroll through forest groves en route towards the beach. I couldn’t help but sing John Mayer’s lyrics “discover me discovering you” the entire walk. I know jbabe really enjoyed my repetitive rendition of John’s four words. After a thirty-minute saunter we made it the beach, saw the lighthouse and were able to enjoy a mostly uninterrupted (by photobombers) view of the Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountain range.
Upon returning home from a delightful afternoon traipsing through Discovery Park we were ravenous and ready to immediately replenish any precious calories that were lost. Jarred and I are still on somewhat of an Indian food obsession so we strutted over to Nirmal’s in Pioneer Square and proceeded to order more food than is socially acceptable for two people. We were already stuffed by the time our entrees arrived, but with impressive/disgusting determination we managed to also devour those. The Witts are not going to let good Indian food ever go to waste.
As we rolled out of Nirmals we decided a stroll through the neighborhood was more than needed. I love Pioneer Square and all the neat restaurants and stores located there. Enticed by their succulent display we wandered into a little boutique called E. Smith Mercantile. Upon venturing further into the store we quickly realized E. Smith offers a lot more than initially meets the eye. If you continue past the mercantile portion of the shop you run into a very small, craft cocktail bar. We enjoyed the remainder of our evening nestled on barstools enjoying the atmosphere. If you’re ever find yourself in Pioneer Square you must slip into E. Smith’s. You’ll thank me later.