The Visitors

Doesn't that title sound like a book? But it's not. Or maybe it is and I don't even know it. Well, either way, it's the blog title for the post about my parents visit to Seattle.

My parents have been to Seattle before, but it's been just about 20 years. We had a family vacation up here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest when I was about 8 years old (ok, do the math and you'll figure out my age). My dad had a Burger King convention in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. We made a trip out of it in typical O'Neill fashion. We went to Mount Saint Helen's, Olympic National Forest, Seattle, and a brief stop in Spokane. I remember loving Seattle even though we only had about a day and a half here. My parents didn't have quiet the same memories; not bad, but just not the best.

With that little story, I was determined to make this trip the best visit for them. Some of the plans were out of my control and I had to pray -- primarily about the weather. The rest I could control and plan in advance. Here is a sample of my game plan:

The weather turned out well for the most part. We had to be slightly flexible on Saturday since we encountered some heavy rain and the fact that our plans took us near the university when there was a big U of W football game. However, we managed to stick to Friday's plans to a tee. Want to hear more? Well, ask no longer. Here's some of the activities and restaurants we enjoyed this weekend:


  • Julep: Β Let's start with some background on this topic first. A Seattle friend shared Groupon with me, which is a daily email coupon from somewhere or something in Seattle. A few weeks ago a groupon came up that was a facial and pedi combo at a palor just a few blocks from my store. It was a great deal, so I bought two combos - one for me and one for mom. I was very excited to say the least, so the very first thing we did was get our pedi and facials. That would be mom and I, not the guys. It was quite fabulous. I just may have to return. Our faces were so soft. It was nice.

  • Columbia Tower: You might remember this activity from Irene's visit. Josh took my dad up the tower while my mom and I got our nails done. It turned out to be a gorgeous fall day, so they could really see the city (no rain = visibility). I didn't hear full reports back, but I'm sure my dad and Josh talked about where different things were in the distance.

  • Pike Place Market: This is a Seattle must for all visitors. It wasn't crazy crowded since the tourist season is over. We did get to see all the pretty flowers and fruits. My dad, in typical John O'Neill style, stopped to look at the meats and cheese very carefully (those of you who have taken a trip with him should know this one). Basically, we had a nice walk through the market. We bought some honey crisp apples since we were lured in by the free apple tasting. How could we resist? The only thing I wanted was find this blueberry guy (he has a commercial even!), but there was some construction going on and apparently he was on vacay. Lucky duck.

  • Kerry Park: Of course, we had to make a stop at our favorite Seattle downtown view. It was gorgeous as always. Think Grey's Anatomy. If you've been to my Flickr site, you've seen this site many times already.

  • Museum of Flight: Wow, this is a cool museum. I was hooked when we I found the stories about some folks that received the Metal of Honor. We also got to tour an older Air Force One and the British Airways Concorde. Also, there were parts about WWI and WWII, Nasa and Space, and much more. We got to get inside some pilot seats too. I think my dad was in heaven. Everyone had a swell time.

  • Bellevue: Originally we were going to head to University Village, an outdoor mall that was like the Forum in Encinitas but bigger. However, with heavy rain and the football game happening, we opted to go to Bellevue instead. Bellevue has a nice indoor mall and just a general pleasant area with good restaurants. We spent our Saturday afternoon roaming the stores and my mom on the Christmas hunt already.

  • Ballard Farmer's Market: You've seen this one enough on my blog already to know that this is something Josh and I enjoy. We enjoy it so much we decided to spread the love to my parents. My dad, again, was very interested in the foods and local merchants. It was Halloween, so when I saw the caramel apples, I had to was good.

  • Retail Core: This is the part of downtown Seattle that houses all the retail stores - Gap, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, Brooks Brothers, and all that good stuff. I didn't get to spend this part of the parent tour since I had to close on Sunday evening, but it was a nice closing to the Seattle weekend for my parents.

Kerry Park I'm the Captain (Pilot) The Original


  • Macrina: This is one of my favorite places to get bakery goods. I knew that if I liked it, my parents would probably like it as well. I mean, muffins, cookies, and scones...oh my! And Macrina did not disappoint. My mom declared it was her favorite bakery place. She love, love, loved the fruit coffeecake. My dad mentioned the scones were crunchy, but soft on the inside. Well done Macrina!

  • Fresh Bistro: This is our newest restaurant find. It's in West Seattle. Every time we get stuck in this construction and it takes several tries before we get across to the other side of the water. It's been worth it though. Tasty lunch option. You might hear more about this place soon.

  • Palace Kitchen: This was the big dinner out in the town. It's a Tom Douglas restaurant, a famous Seattle chef. You may have seen his spice rubs around your markets. The menus changes often, but the chicken is always on the menu. I had it and now I know why. How do they get it so moist?

  • Essential Bread Co: This competes with Macrina for breakfast and bakery options. My dad said it was 50/50 between Macrina and Essential. Tough life here in Seattle.

  • Purple Cafe: We ate here before moving to Seattle. It's a nice restaurant and wine bar. There are four of them throughout the Seattle area. This time we went to Bellevue. It has a "bit of this, and a bit of that" lunch combo which is awesome.

  • Anita's: Crepes. Need I say more? Oh, dessert crepes. Delish.

  • Volterra: Josh and I have walked by this place since our arrival and have been waiting for a chance to try it. I had an acquaintance recommend it, then I saw an article in my Cooking Light magazine, and I checked up and saw good reviews on yelp. Sooo...all signed pointed to try it. And that is what we did for brunch Sunday morning. I had these delicious pancakes. Everyone enjoyed. Yum!

And there you have it. The weekend in activities and food with my parents. The weather "worked with us" since our only rainy day was the one we planned for the museum. Otherwise excellent fall weather with all the colorful leaves. It was great to see my parents and share our new home with them. Hurray for a successful and very nice weekend with my parents.

I love you mom and dad! Thanks for visiting!!