Places to Visit »Farrel-McWhirter Farm Park

farell19545 Redmond Road

A long weekend gave us a perfect reason to finally leave Seattle’s city limits and see the surrounding area. It’s truly a beautiful part of the world and a mere thirty minutes away we found the child friendly farm park Farrel-McWhirter to while away a pleasant morning.

Goats, huge pigs, cows, chickens and horses, all the animals our kids usually only see in picture books were there, up close and personal.

If the sun gets too hot in the open fields that can host picnics and birthday parties, green trails canopied by giant trees offer quiet walks.

Lots of fun to be had on the swing set and van was particularly taken with the potties in converted silos.

It’s a great drive over the water when traffics easy.

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Posted on July 17, 2013

Places to Visit,Spend a Couple Hours »Woodland Park Zoo

xzoo601 N 59th St  Seattle, WA

Despite long lines to pay for parking and enter, Woodland Park Zoo was a wonderful way to spend a perfect weather Sunday.

With two young kids, you just can’t see it all in one visit, but we made sure to see “real monkeys playing in the trees” at Van’s request, huge elephants, some otters that took a liking to Mimi, and a of couple napping joeys. We rode the beautiful vintage carousel and took time to feed the colorful birds (a highlight for the kids).

The zoo is as green as you would expect from a lush city like Seattle with lots of shady trees, quiet pathways and a big green yard to just run around.

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Posted on May 5, 2013

Places to Visit,Spend a Couple Hours »Pacific Science Center

pscfinal200 2nd Ave N, Seattle

Gears, wires, pipes, machines – these are my son’s passion. Naturally the Pacific Science Center, a hands on kids science museum was totally up his alley. We could have spent all day in the lobby room with its pulleys, gears, wacky mirrors and levers and he would have left satisfied.

Fortunately, though, the exhibits offered even more excitement including a tots area with water play and toys to climb, animatronic dinosaurs, a petting area with sea creatures, and a butterfly pavilion.

Mimi had a nice time too with plenty to look at and even a quiet nursing room!

Some reviews online complain that exhibits are sometimes old but they are missing the point. Kids love this place dated animatronics, duct tape and all.

When we decided to move to Seattle, the wealth of child friendly activities appealed to us. Not that NYC doesn’t offer them, but here, everything is easier to accomplish. In fact, we hadn’t even set out to go to the museum, but a morning drive happened to bring us there and it was a lovely spontaneous family fun day.

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Posted on April 21, 2013

Places to Visit »Magic Forest

Us Route 9  Lake George, NY

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Magic Forest is a magical place. Now that we have a baby to take – even more so.

A creepy awesome place that’s a must on any Lake George visit.

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Posted on June 3, 2012

Places to Visit »On Vacation!


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Posted on May 27, 2012

Places to Visit »Best of 2011 – Places to Visit

Well, we definitely didn’t do as much travel this year, but we still had some fun adventures on both coasts and in between. Friends recommended some amazing spots too!

1. Block Island

2. Disneyland

3. Minneapolis Children’s Museum

4. Austrian Castles (Astrid)

5. Tyddyn Llan, Llangollen, Wales (Dana)

6. Leviathan Installation (Shaun)

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Posted on December 27, 2011

Places to Visit »Disneyland

20111213-120617.jpgAnaheim, CA

Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. I loved it as a kid and did just as much taking Van for the first time.

Sure, he may not remember it but his happiness was overwhelming on It’s a Small World.

The Peter Pan ride is as awesome as ever and I had forgotten just how wild toads wild ride was! (drunk driving straight to hell could be an alternate title).

Blue Bayou was no joke price wise but a nice place to rest. Thecroque monsieur us one of the craziest things I’ve ever eaten. Ham and cheese in fried dough with powdered sugar and raspberry sauce? Wow.

In retrospect we would have made a whole day if it rather than several hours but I plan to go back again and again.


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Posted on December 13, 2011

Places to Visit »Naples, CA

in Long Beach

We just spent a week visiting family in Southern California, mostly in the lovely Long Beach enclave of Naples which boasts canals and water front mansions.

It’s like rich person Disneyland.

While not necessarily a tourist spot, if you do find yourself in the area, it’s a great place to stroll along the water and peep into people’s unshuttered fancy homes.

Being on display seems to be the thing here. So feel free to gape inside well lit dream houses (often with questionable decorating taste- I’ll never wonder how Horchow stays in business again).

The range of architectural style is vast and it’s super fun to pick “your” home out (I opted for a 70’s dark wood and glass cube).

After peeking in all the neighbors windows and admiring the impeccable gardens (now heavy with Christmas decorations) you can stroll nearby to the very cute Mother’s Beach playground where Van and his cousin Bixby enjoyed the swings.

Also be sure to take a boat ride on the canal if possible.

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Posted on December 3, 2011

Places to Visit »Mall Of America

8100 24th Ave S Bloomington, MN

What can I say. I love malls. I find them soothing and comforting so comments of ugly American consumerism need not apply. Maybe it’s because they are largely lost to me.

Gone are the days when my parents would drop me off to meet Sara, Dana, Michelle and Laura. We’d hit the Chick-fil-A and Orange Julius before making ourselves ill on several pounds of candy.

Dana would get a new Spencer’s gifts poster (a black and white hunk holding a baby with the words “a hard man is good to find”, if I remember correctly) and we’d prowl the wide halls for cassingles, mood rings and the latest offerings from Express and Contempo Casuals.

Good times…

Such fond memories always beckon me to malls so how could I resist the Mall of America while in Minneapolis?

Three sprawling stories with an amusement park and an Orange Julius on every corner, the mall is a monster but not one that could not be tamed.

We conquered her in a few hours and left with some sweet clothes for Van and the new found knowledge that H&M is the best spot for cheap and adorable baby clothes (who knew?)
There was no Chick-fil-A and Contempo Casuals is long gone to our world but I found the experience as fab as ever.

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Posted on September 7, 2011

Places to Visit »Minnesota Children’s Museum

10 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN

On a recent visit to Minneapolis, we took a day at the Children’s Museum of Minnesota. Now, I remember LOVING such hands on places while growing up, and while most of the exhibits were for kids older than Van, we had a blast.

From a lego land exhibit about knights, castles, and dragons (with a joisting corner to boot!) to a tiny town where kids could don costumes (like firemen and postal workers), from an indoor jungle with simulated clouds and lighting kids could move themselves to a sidewalk art patio, there’s plenty here to keep a kid happy.

Van loved looking at everything and made fast friends with the stuffed animal puppets that littered the rooms (surprisingly not available at the museum shop – Van absolutely loved the woodchuck and I would have got it for him, but alas.)

The most awesome part for us though, was the baby room, where kids under 3 can let loose. Van was thrilled to spend time in the padded lily pad area that had mirrors, toys, and fun stuff to climb around.

What a great idea! (Will have to see if our local museum boasts a similar room and make a date to go there soon if so).

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Posted on August 14, 2011

Places to Visit »On Vacation Again

Be back soon !


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Posted on August 7, 2011

Places to Visit »Austrian Castles

Riegersburg and  Kapfenstein, Guest Written by Astrid

One of the many day trip options in Austria is going to see it’s castles, we were staying in Styria and decided to visit the more well known castle Riegersburg.

The fortress is built on volcanic rock and parts date back to the 1200s. It’s about a 20 minute hike up to the castle and as you get higher the view gets more beautiful, on clear days you can see as far as Hungary. The scenery alone is worth a visit! Once you’ve trekked up through the many entrance ways and moats you are rewarded with a beer garden (thankfully almost every tourist destination in Austria will reward you with beer and wine) where you can enjoy a cold Gosser or wine spritzer!

Riegersburg has a great witch “Hexen” exhibit where you can learn about the witch hunts of the 1600’s and check out some awesomely designed exhibits. The most interesting witch who’s story is on display is the Rose witch, who was burned and decapitated bc she was able to grow roses year round and during a particularly harsh winter.

After the witch exhibit you enter Riegersburg proper where there are some predictable but still breathtakingly opulent living quarters and banquet halls. My favorite display was a Knights feast of nobles stuffing themselves with food and wine, only to vomit after on the “vomiting bridge”.

If after this display of gluttony you start to feel hungry you can take a 15 minute drive to have lunch at castle Kapfenstein.

Kapfenstein is an old castle again with beautiful views, an amazing restaurant and vineyards that surround it. The family that runs the restaurant also owns the vineyard so the wines are not only affordable but really delicious. We had great weather so got to sit on the terrace and enjoy a lovely rose and lunch of new-austrian fare with a focus on seasonal and organic (yep everyone’s doing it). The chef is also a believer in making vegetarian dishes as relevant on the menu as the hearty meat fare (Marcus had Ox)!

Plus we saw a salamander scurry by during our meal, a memorable day…


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Posted on July 27, 2011

Places to Visit »Block Island

Off the Coast of Rhode Island

Block Island is not the easiest place to get to (it requires a ferry ride and a reserved spot for your car about a year in advance) but once you’ve arrived the long journey is forgotten and only peaceful, lazy, summery thoughts fill your head.

Most of our days were spent with the family at our rental house (PS, do NOT rent from Phillips Realty lest you want a bunch of bogus charges) where we bbq-d, fed the local ducks, and Van, showing his true city kid ways, found himself weary of this thing you call “grass” and a lover of trees.

Otherwise we could be found dining on seafood (see my wrap up here) and at “Baby Beach” a beautiful stretch of sand you’ll find underneath the Stephen King-esque abandoned Surf Hotel.

It’s the beach closest to town on that side and is perfect for babies and children (hence the name) because the water is calm, the waves gentle.

We loved spending afternoons here, Van especially, who was kicking and giggling in the ocean so much he had to take a beach nap with his pops.

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Posted on July 19, 2011

Places to Visit »On Vacation!

See you in a week!


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Posted on July 2, 2011

Places to Visit »Leviathan Installation by Anish Kapoor

at the Grand Palais In Paris Through June 23, Guest Written by Shaun:

Just got back from Paris and saw an overwhelmingly massive installation by Anish Kapoor at the Grand Palais titled Leviathan.

Leviathan seems to stray away from his general use of reflective mirrored surfaces and this time the material is canvas and rubber blown up into three connected balls.

The first part of the exhibition enters inside the structure where pinging noises can be heard bouncing around. It’s dark and bloody from the inside, then you are directed outside of the structure and into the Grand Palais where you see the full size and scope of the piece.

It is pretty much impossible to describe how large this piece is, but if you happen to be in Paris, the installation is up till the 23rd of June.

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Posted on June 17, 2011

Places to Visit »Vauxhall City Farm

165 Tyers Street, London, Guest Written by Dana:

Vauxhall City Farm is a really adorable city farm that is free to visit. It has more animals than you would expect to see including pigs that to have their belly scratched, though I have only seen them peeking their noses out of their stalls.

There’s a cow statue that Bea got to milk, since we couldn’t get the other cows near enough to pet. Also ducks and rabbits.. and some chickens with feathered feet!

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Posted on June 11, 2011

Places to Visit »Battersea Park

London, Guest Written by Dana:

I have been coming to Battersea Park at least once a week, if not 3-4 times a week for the past 4.5 years of my life in London. a few cafes, a children’s petting zoo, ducks and swans in the lake, huge playground with areas fenced off by age group, big fields, beautiful gardens, fountains, ice cream.. probably the most underrated London park and my favorite.

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Posted on June 9, 2011