Arrington Vineyards

There was a summer music event at Arrington Vineyards while we were in Nashville — the perfect excuse to finally visit! I’d been itching to go since my parents moved to Tennessee.

It was absolutely beautiful. I loved enjoying dusk with my family, my little love, and a glass of wine. We had the 2014 Syrah and it was amazing. (It even impressed my mom, who is the most discerning wine drinker I know!)

While there I got a couple sneaky tips, helpful if you visit during an event: In the main house there’s a bathroom around back that had no line whatsoever (there were about 10 women in line in the tasting room up front!). You can also purchase wine (and do tastings) from the cellar, which was less crowded and therefore lightning fast.

And in hindsight, I wished I were wearing a floor-length summer dress or light linen pants to keep out the bugs.


Downtown Nashville

Today was BEAUTIFUL and we got to spend the whole day downtown, doing the touristy walk along Broadway, and enjoying the Live on the Green music festival.

Marilyn moment!

They even had a kid’s show! Mr. Steve was fantastic … except he did this thing where he came off stage and asked the kid’s questions. My brave little nugget got out there right in front, but he didn’t have time to talk to everyone (obv), so she got skipped and her little heart was crushed. Learning moment! (She recovered quickly, don’t worry.)

Then there was the wading pool and the fountain. At first, Grammy Jo told her not to get too wet. Bwhahahaha! Not. Happening. Hence me always packing multiple sets of clothes. You just never know with this little one. 😉

I wish I could package up the amount of joy bursting from these photos and give it away.


Vashon Island

One of my FAVORITE places in the Pacific Northwest is Vashon Island. On my family’s last full day here, we took a ferry over to enjoy as much as we could in one short afternoon.

First of all, ferries. LOVE THEM. Can’t get enough. A ferry ride is an adventure in and of itself, regardless of where you’re headed.


The last two times we’ve gone to Vashon, our first stop is a little beach we happened upon once. At the time, I think we meant to head to Maury Island (not really an island), but got sidetracked by this beach. Now it’s a favorite place. (I believe it’s called Tramp Harbor, or KVI Beach.) We could (and do!) explore here for hours. Bring an extra set of clothes AND shoes for the kiddos! And maybe even extra socks for yourself. 😉

Besides being a beautiful place to simply sit and be, it’s also fun to tromp around, searching for crabs (there are thousands!), getting squirted by clams (hilarious!), and searching for pretty rocks, shells, and sand dollars.


After getting good and dirty, it was time for lunch. We love grabbing picnic food at the Vashon Thriftway – it’s the best grocery store ever! … Side note: my new favorite thing is rosé in a can. Life. Changing. 😉

We asked the cashier where to have a picnic (I was thinking on the little patch where they host the Vashon Farmer’s Market), but she recommended Ober Park just a block away. It was the perfect picnic and play spot! We had a blast!

After lunch we went to see the bicycle in the tree, and putzed around in some stores.

Thank you, Vashon, for being so lovely. We’ll see you soon. 😉

The Ballard Locks

I have no idea why I love the Ballard Locks (officially the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks) as much as I do. When I moved here over a decade ago and heard about the locks, I thought they sounded boring. Then I worked at a café a mile or so away, and I’d run over there often after work.

First of all, the grounds are incredible. Even with a thousand people around, walking through feels somehow peaceful, or maybe just homey.

And then WHY, oh why, is watching a huge receptacle slowly fill with water SO enrapturing?!? I have no idea, but it is. Thinking about how the locks were built and why is really interesting. And then it seems archaic somehow, so un-technological, so hands-on. I love that.

And I won’t lie — it’s also fun to people-watch the folks who come through. Some on enormous, super fancy boats or yachts; some on humble fishing boats; some filled with families who are sun-burnt and wind-blown. You can see why they all love being on the water.

The funny thing is, these are the only photos I have of the locks. LOL. You’ll have to go see it for yourself. 😉


After you’re bored of the locks, there’s the salmon ladder. It is surprisingly exciting to watch giant salmon through the windows, trying desperately to jump or push their way to freedom.

If you stand in there and watch people watching the fish, you’d think they were secretly watching a Seahawks game on their phones. All of a sudden, salmon #1,863 jumping over the wall is somehow as exciting as Beast Mode pushing over the line. (I am TOTALLY right there with them, btw.)


fishy faces!

Besides all that, there are sculptures to play on and around, and old, unused train tracks that lead to the locks. The kids loved playing train with Aunt Emily, and I won a $5 bet that I couldn’t balance-beam the length of the track. Booya!


FINALLY, if you go, have dinner at Chinooks, and sit outside if it’s nice. Brunch there is my favorite, but it’s pretty amazing overall. And if you have one, bring a grandpa. They’re the best. 😉

I am dying LOL!