Chihuly Garden And Glass | Seattle

chihuly-0I didn’t know a lot about Dale Chihuly until an upcoming trip to Seattle came up in conversation.

“You have to go to Chihuly Gardens,” almost everyone told me.

That was enough for me. I added it to my list, most of which only included local cafes, a few bookstores, but not many tourist attractions. I was told that it’s the most incredible place and that even photos wouldn’t be able to capture the pure depth, art, awe and size of these glass sculptures — both of those statements are absolutely correct.

In this garden museum that hides in the shadow of the Space Needle, I was introduced to Dale Chihuly and the concepts of his glass-blown sculptures. We walked beneath draping chandeliers constructed with dozens of individual bulbs of hand-formed glass in vibrant colors. We oohed and ahh’d as walked entirely around a sprouting garden that reminded of an Alice in Wonderland dream sequence set in outer space.

In the audio room, we cooled off (I was there during Seattle’s heat wave … it was a real thing for like 72 hours), and watch four videos on Chihuly, his quirkiness, his vision and his purposefully over-the-top creations around the world.

We ended the tour with a few moments of silence in the massive glass house, staring up at my favorite piece, this 100-foot-long mass of fiery flower-shaped glass. The structure — representing Chihuly’s love for conservatories — spans 4,500 square feet of light-filled space.

It was easily one of my favorite Seattle destinations. And now I want to become a glass blower. Thanks, Seattle.

chih-3chih-1But first, the museum starts with a Pendleton exhibit. I’m not sure why, either, but I liked it.chihuly-2 chih-2And then there was glass. And a lot of it on water: chih-5 chihuly-3 chihuly-4chihuly-18Each — shall we call them tentacles? — is an individual project, but is joined together on the same base to create one larger piece. chihuly-5A hallway ceiling. Can I get this sized to my bedroom ceiling, please?: chihuly-6 chihuly-8 chihuly-9 chihuly-10chihuly-17 chihuly-11 chihuly-12chihuly-14 chihuly-13 chihuly-13aBananas on the brain?: chihuly-15 chihuly-16This is my favorite. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit in the backseat for the roadtrip home. chihuly-20chihuly-21 What are some of your own favorite Seattle jaunts?

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Life Lately, the Seattle version

pikes-1So let it begin. This is the first of numerous Seattle posts I’ll be sharing very soon. You’ll see so much tourist-a-licious stuff and sights I saw with my local cousin and things I researched and read about before I made my way north (like a whole store dedicated to cookbooks and an awesome nursery with a cafe and koi pond! No, I’m not your average tourist).

To begin, here is a little sampling from a few days in the Emerald City. I saw the charm of the city and why so many of my friends want to pack their backs and move there.

Breakfast on Capitol Hill:seattle-40A store for cookbooks! seattle-4The markets!pikes-26What did the chicken say to the unicorn?pikes-22Pendleton blankets at the Chihuly museum:chih-1My favorite glass-blown sculpture by Chihuly:chih-7The Space Needle from my hotel bed:needle-1That time Frida and Diego had me over for taco Tuesday:pikes-53Places like this:seattle-1Elvis, keep your hands to yourself:pikes-21On top of the Space Needle at Sunset:needle-13My favorite author wrote a book about opening this restaurant, so I had to go:delancey_2Downtown Seattle from the west side:beach-5When in Seattle, visit this massive nursery:nursery-1My favorite eats: Lemon curd yogurt from the yogurt guy and Piroshky’s. OMG. Both at Pike.pikes-11True tourists hunt for bridge trolls.seattle-2The oldest Starbucks is a happening place:starbucks-4


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A little low-country boil

boil_1It’s getting close to Friday, which means everyone is likely planning parties and food and outings for the weekend. I could go for a little low-country boil, a little of everything tossed into one pot and then scattered on the table for everyone to reach and grab what they want. Happy Thursday! What are you cookin’ up for the weekend?

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Life Lately

five-1The blooms have popped up in the backyard. five-2 five-2aA friend made me a salad for lunch recently and she mixed a can of tuna to go with it. It was my first time having tuna since high school, and now I’m totally on a tuna kick. I love the albacore from Trader Joe’s, and I mix it with a little diced red onion, celery, dill pickle and TJ’s organic mayo that reminds me of Miracle Whip (I realize some people think that’s gross, but to me, it’s like childhood summers). Then, I add my favorite: fresh summer tomatoes.
five-3 I take salads for lunch most days, and I try to keep them interesting. This is one of my favorites: strawberries, spinach, asparagus, cous cous, toasted almonds and raspberry vinaigrette.five-4 When a friend from Missouri, who lives in D.C., but has spent the summer in Russia, comes to visit, you splurge on dessert and talk about the research she’s doing for her PhD in Russian history. You just do.five-5 My sister made me dinner one night. Cous cous spinach salad with vegetable samosas and mint chutney. She’s on her way to being vegan, and it’s fun to see what she’s eating.five-6 I’ve been trying to stay away from too many breads, but the other day I bought a loaf of seven-grain bread from the farmers market, and made garden tomato sandwiches with it all weekend. I divided the loaf so I could freeze some of it. Didn’t last long, though, because I thawed it the following weekend and binged on more tomato sandwiches.  five-7 I celebrated National Night Out in my aunt’s neighborhood last week. It’s one of my favorite neighborhood events. The dough and sauce is provided, but everyone brings their favorite toppings. Then, they’re fired in the brick oven and we all share. five-8 five-9 five-10 five-11 five-12 five-13 My new obsession is the veggetti, the little gadget that turns vegetables like zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and carrots into noodles. I’ve made shoestring baked sweet potato fries, fettucini alfredo, garlic pasta with portobello mushrooms and a Greek salad with Feta cheese. I love it!five-15five-14five-16It was even my dinner at the movie on the lawn.
five-18 And then there’s this, renewing my passport.five-19 Because this is happening in a few months, and I’m so excited.five-20

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Sharing beef stew with friends

dinner_1Nothing goes together like beef stew and summertime. What? You’ve never heard that? I recommend it.

My friends Mike and Andrea fearlessly combined the two earlier this summer. Bowls of hearty beef stew (made by Mike with Guinness) were paired with refreshing salads, like Maggie’s watermelon/arugula/feta/red onion salad. We dipped crusty French bread. We savored Eric’s homemade brew. We sipped Mike’s wine (that we sorta helped contribute to when we helped harvest grapes here). In the end, there was, of course, singing with the guitar and banjo.

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Baby Rowan (or, the newborn who sleeps in the garden … he’s already cool like that)

blog_rowan_6290blog_rowan_6179_2blog_rowan_6223I love that the first time I ever saw little Rowan Peter he was wrapped tight like a wonton and fast asleep in his crib in middle of rose bushes and a bean tower. He’s a special one, that little Love Bug, the one who brings so much love and so many smiles to his parent’s faces. I recently shared Shoshanna and Eric’s maternity session in their garden (here), and I was so happy when Shoshanna asked me to visit again, and to capture Rowan in his first week of life. Perhaps more than most, Shoshanna and Eric understand love and loss and desire, and it makes my incredibly happy to feel the love so strong between these three. I love every one of those snuggles and smiles and turtle stretches (all of which I’m sure he will roll his eyes at in 15 years).

Thank you, Eric and Shoshanna, for letting me into the cocoon of your home during such a precious time.

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Kelli & Ryan say I Do | Aptos wedding


I met this ’60-s lovin’, doe-eyed girl with an obsession for zombies and Hershey’s Cookies & Cream almost a year ago. And then a few weeks ago, I watched her marry the blue-eyed, videogame-loving boy she’s been gushing ever since.

On the steps of an old building surrounded by a towering forest in the Aptos hills, Kelli and Ryan said their I Do’s amongst thirty of their most-cherished people.

It was a day they won’t forget. One that started with floral arrangements designed that morning at the inn and a wedding dress’ broken zipper (good luck, actually). There was champagne and strawberries, endless layers of liquid eyeliner, a pink little sum’n, laughs between friends, phone calls from the groom and the that rush of relief and excitement when the show was ready to hit the road.

The ceremony was heartfelt, with the ceremony lead by a best friends and lovely poems read by close friends. In the end, there were plenty of kisses, lots of laughing, hair-flinging dancing and cheers by everyone.

Congratulations, Kelli and Ryan. Thank you for letting me capture your details.


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