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SAN FRANCISCO -NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT

i absolutely love living in california. we are fortunate to have so many adorable cities all within driving distance. each city has its own feel and dynamic making them all so unique. i thought it would be fun to spotlight a different neighborhood each month and share it here with you.

we just took a quick weekend trip up to san francisco so i thought why not start there first! its truly one of my favorite cities. i remember the first time my parents took us there. i was just a little girl and i fell in love hard on that trip. while the city is big and offers so much, i am going to narrow down to one neighborhood for you– mission/dolores park.

i love the neighborhood feel in the mission/dolores park area. its still very city but not in the sense of tourist and street acts. its very walkable and has so many great restaurants and shops. dolores park is a big beautiful green area with a fun park for the kids and plenty of lawn space to have your saturday picnic. the park also offers tennis courts, basketball courts, a soccer field and dog area. the homes are exactly what you dream of when you think about san francisco. old, charming and all so unique. mission dolores is super family friendly and one of our favorite places to explore. not to mention the view of the city from the top of the park is amazing! heres how we would spend the day in mission dolores–

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start the morning off with a few pastries from tartine. i love the pain au chocolat. if you’re looking for dessert get the banana cream tart.

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walk over to dolores park to let the kids burn some of that morning energy. mine love to play on the slides for hours. take in the views of the city.

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next up take a walk down mission. wander in and out of the cute shops on the way to la taqueria for lunch. this walk is just over a mile. the perfect amount of walking and shopping to build up an appetite. get the carne asada burrito make it “super” and get it el dorado. if you don’t feel like mexican food go to lucca ravioli co and grab a deli sandwich. get the dutch crunch bread. the best!

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zig zag back through the neighborhood and take in all the beautiful houses. i love the slow walk back. our bellies are full, holding hands with the kids just talking about life. i find my kids are just as interested in the beauty and uniqueness of each home as i am. we each say our favorite house on every block and why.

we’ll usually make a pit stop at bi rite- the most darling little market. i love browsing all their specialty items. they have a beautiful array of fresh flowers and don’t forget to grab a scoop of their yummy ice cream. if you’re only in the mood for ice cream stop at the creamery located on the same street.

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walk down to the mission dolores basilica its the oldest surviving structure in san francisco founded in 1776– truly beautiful.

for dinner grab a pizza at Delfina. eat at one of the tables outside and people watch or take it back to the park. now would be a good time to grab that banana cream tart!

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we do a lot of walking in san francisco. in my opinion walking is the best way to truly see a city. if you have little kids make walking fun. turn it into a game– we count houses or steps, we race, come up with competitions or just talk about things the kids are interested in. whats your favorite city? does it have neighborhood you’ve fallen in love with?

 

 

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ONO GRINDZ

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i wrote this post when we were living in hawaii. i haven’t checked this blog in so long. i hopped on and have a few posts i had never entered. since food is one of my all time loves i figure i better put this one out there. here are a few of our favorite spots to eat around hawaii. enjoy!

 

hukilau cafe- i love the macadamia nut pancakes, ivan gets the hungry hawaiian.

 

pap ole’s- we get the same thing here. their mac nut pancakes have a mac nut syrup on top. i prefer hukilau because they grind the nuts up into the pancakes. hukilau just uses regular syrup.

 

boots and kimo’s- in kailua. same breakfast. creatures of habit i guess.

 

teds bakery- donuts, spam and eggs, chocolate croissants, haupia pie.

 

fumi’s shrimp truck- hands down best shrimp truck. we like the spicy garlic shrimp, extra sauce.

 

ocean bree’z- spicy garlic shrimp. this sauce is more of a creamy sauce.

 

seven brothers- we split the paniolo exchange bbq sauce for teriyaki. so good and huge. fries are yummy too.

 

fiji market- the chicken curry is amazing!! half moon pie is a pineapple custard flavored treat. delicious!

 

impossibles pizza- 5 cheese, pepperoni, bbq. all of his pizza’s are so good. lately we’ve been just calling and asking him to make whatever he wants and its always good! he’s only open thurs-sat. get the ranch!

 

sandy’s sandwiches- sandy puts all the love into his sandwiches. you can tell by the way he explains the process. we love the turkey brie.

 

elephant thai truck- pad kee mao, vegetarian noodles, ka pow, spring rolls. this truck is amazing and the outdoor seating is so perfect at night.

 

opal thai- this is ivans very favorite spot. opal is so nice and pretty fun too. you tell him what you like/dislike and he orders for you. trust him! its all amazing.

 

kahuku farms- fresh from the farm. you can see it all being grown right there. get the pizza and do yourself a favor and get the banana bread with ice-cream. the best dessert ever.

 

pupukea grill- get the poke!

 

matsumotos shave ice- coconut add cream.

 

hi slush- you can find them at the waimea farmers market thurs 2-5 or turtle bay until 4. the pineapple slush with extra honey is heaven.

 

leonards malasadas- i love the plain sugar and the chocolate filled. ivan likes vanilla filled. if you’re staying on the north shore and don’t want to drive to honolulu they have a food truck location by old navy in waipahu.

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And Ivan’s favorite sspam musubi from 7-11

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HOW TO MOVE TO HAWAI’I

i get asked questions all the time about moving to hawai’i. how we did it? what we brought? how to find a house? if there’s anything we would/wouldn’t do if we did it again. so i’m going to break it down for you. keep in mind we didn’t have a company we worked for shipping our stuff. every cost was out of pocket. we also live in the north shore so thats all i can speak on. honolulu or “town” as we call it is very different.

 

we shipped our cars. i don’t know that this matters so much. we like our cars. they both have low miles and are in good shape. it costs a little over $1000 and takes around 10 days. we were already selling everything and didn’t want the hassle of selling cars too. ivan’s is payed off and we don’t owe much on mine so it made sense. cars rust here and unless you’re living in the city NO ONE cares what you drive. i will say if you like your car and its worth a decent amount– ship it. one thing is no matter if you ship or buy here you will get roaches and ants in your car. i don’t think there is any way of getting around it. some people bug bomb their cars. i’ve heard it ruins the interior so i didn’t want to risk it. you can put those roach traps in it. just watch that your little ones aren’t playing with them. it’s gross i know!

 

packing, oh i remember this like it was yesterday and it is the worst. i didn’t know what to take, sell or leave. you will live in your swimsuit and maybe 3 other outfits. i haven’t worn any shoes but slippahs (flip flops) and my kids rarely wear shoes. our house is very minimally stocked and i notice most people live the same way. its pretty warm year round so you don’t need jackets or pants. you can buy everything you need at costco. the lighter you pack the better. a friend who had recently moved to the u.s. from denmark told me only bring the things that really mean something to you. i think thats a great way to think of it. you’ll want family pictures and your kids art work but don’t really need books you’ve already read. purging is hard but so liberating too. we’ve never had less stuff and it feels so good! i can clean up the house in less than 10 minutes and we are off to the beach.

 

we did not send a container and i am so glad that we didn’t. it’s expensive and in my opinion not worth it. i have yet to meet a single person that sent a container over and doesn’t regret it. you can buy everything you need here. yes its harder to come by nice thing but the good news is no one cares and several times a year costco has furniture. you can join Facebook groups dedicated to military people moving and selling/giving away their furniture for nothing. there is a furniture store in honolulu called pacific home. super cute and beachy. super expensive. i wouldn’t buy mattresses or couches on craigslist. bedbugs! also tj maxx will become your best friend.

 

house hunting is very very difficult from the mainland. most landlords will not want to deal with you until you are here. its definitely a slower pace of life so don’t expect to get an email response the same day. people are not in a rush and really don’t care if you are. coming from seattle where i could get amazon to deliver anything i wanted in under two hours was a big adjustment. i have my real estate license in hawaii and our office is right here on the north shore. we direct everyone looking for a rental to look on craigslist and check it constantly. this area is a hot rental market. most listings will be on craigslist and potential gone by the time you call. another piece of advice is lower your standards way lower than you think. you will easily pay $3,500-$4,000 a month for 1,000 sq. ft house not updated. you can’t come here thinking you’re going to get the same 3,000 sq. ft house you have on the mainland for $2,000 a month. i’ve talked to a few people lately who’ve moved here or are in the process and are freaking out that they can’t find a place because its too far out of their budget. its expensive, more expensive than you think. most houses have an ohana house on the property which is basically a small guest house. if you’re lucky its only your family and who ever lives in the ohana house. sometime houses are rented by level. we even looked at one property that had 4 families living on it. this is very normal here and you feel like you hit the jackpot if you get a single family house. make sure to check the listing that it says single family and not duplex or apartment.

 

be prepared for lots and lots of bugs. flying roaches that are several inches long and little light brown ones. two types of ants, little tiny sugar ants that will flock to any crumb on the floor and giant ants the size of spiders. so many mosquitos, centipedes (we’ve encountered more than i would’ve liked) millipedes, geckos by the hundreds and lizards. the geckos just live with you and you get used to them. like little friends.

 

hawai’i is an amazing place to live. the people are the sweetest. life is slower and we really enjoy it. you live with less consuming and more happiness. if you have the chance to move here i say do it. it really has been such an amazing experience for our family. getting back to the basics in life is such an amazing feeling!

 

 

 

 

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MOVING TO OAHU

it’s been so long since i’ve had a chance to sit and write. i love blogging. i really do. one of my favorite things is to look back through my blog and see how much my family has changed. these babes don’t keep. they just keep growing and how sweet it is for me to be able to look back at all the special memories we’ve shared. the bigger these kids get the busier i feel and the less time i have to write. i catch myself playing catch up, and as much as i’d like to stay on top of it, catch up is better than nothing at all. so here goes the last few months and i hope to get back to regularly writing now that the dust has settled.

 

seattle was amazing for henri and reassured us that leaving az was the best thing we could’ve done for him.  he did so great in seattle. not one steroid, inhaler or allergy pill. you would’ve never known he suffered so much back in az. but we all hated the rain. its depressing, dark and cold for far too long for this family to be happy. not to mention we felt like too big of a family for the city. i totally get why families move to the suburbs. we missed our yard!! seattle was such a fun experience. we made the best friends, who better come visit us in hawaii!! i’m so grateful for the time we had there and the chance we had to experience city living. as our year was coming to an end in seattle we knew we could either stick out another year, move east to the burbs or make another leap and move to hawaii. our vacation to hawaii was a blast back in january and it just felt like the right move. hawaii was in the running initial when we decided to move to seattle. of course its scary moving to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean but we always go with the mindset- what’s the worst that could happen? we don’t like it and move home? if thats the worst thing that could happen i think we are in good shape. we knew seattle wasn’t our forever so we did it, we moved all the way to hawaii.

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the sunshine has been so amazing. living in az my whole life i had no idea how much i really need that vitamin d to stay the happiest momma i can be. its been a welcome weather change. so we are here. we’ve bounced from vacation rental to vacation rental. searched high and low for a house. we moved here april 27 and just moved into our house july 1. finding a house ain’t easy. its a humbling experience house hunting in hawaii. houses are mostly weekly vacation rental, overpriced or horrible living conditions. we knew if we were gonna make the big move to hawaii we wanted to live on the north shore. its rural up here, leaving us very few options for housing. we feel so grateful to have found a place that is clean, updated, isn’t shared and has a yard. being back on an acre just feels right!

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i started real estate classes right away and got my license. i found a great brokerage close to the house. i’m so excited to dive right in. i’ve always loved houses. i know, how weird does that sound? but really i love looking at them, i love driving neighborhoods wondering what they look like inside. i love model homes, old run down homes. all of them. i think this will be the perfect fit for me. i’m really excited for this new adventure and so lucky to have ivan who is so supportive and my biggest fan.

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whats life in hawaii like? amazing! its beautiful. the people are so nice. i don’t know if its coming from the city where people are sort of closed offor if i just had so many people warning me that no one likes the haoles, that i was scared we would be hated. but its the opposite. the hawaiian’s are so so nice. people stop and let your car in while in traffic. they wave and say hi. island life is definitely slower. in seattle we had everything at our finger tips. i could get amazon to deliver within the hour. groceries right at my door step. everything is a drive from where we are but i’m ok with that. hawaii has a lot of fun programs at the community center, library and jr. life guard all super cheap or free. the ohana is the most import thing and it shows. we are all so so happy.

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so is this where we settle? i don’t know. we are here for now. maybe it’ll be forever. maybe it’ll be for a bit. maybe we’ll eventually land back in az. i do miss home, family and friends. we feel so lucky to be on this adventure. i know moving around isn’t for everyone. but for us, we love it. we love all these new experiences. i can’t think of a better gift to give my kids than the experiences they get living in different states, experiencing other cultures. we were sitting on the lanai today and ivan and i were talking about how amazing this life is. you have the ability to do anything you want. you can achieve any of your goals and dreams with hard work and dedication. don’t let your fear of what if hold you back. going through all we went through with jack and being so close to losing him makes the what if it doesn’t work out and what if we have to go home all ok. because we still have each other and thats all that matters.

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ill post some fun activities and places we love here in hawaii for anyone visiting later this week.

 

 

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VANCOUVER

for our anniversary we took a weekend trip up to vancouver bc. we took the kids along with us. we really like taking the kids on vacations. its fun to get away for a date night but we love bringing them with us to make new memories and have fun experiences. vancouver is only 3 hours away so the drive is easy. the weather was beautiful and sunnier than seattle. our first stop was tacos at our favorite spot then off tho the hotel which was right in the middle of gas town. gas town is a super cute neighborhood in vancouver. lots of shopping and cute restaurants.

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we like taking the kids with us on vacation but we don’t like sharing a room with them. their room looks like a bunch of hard partying rockstars stayed in it. the kids had a suite adjoining ours. while ivan was out grabbing dinner and i was relaxing in my bed they were trashing the place. our room had sort of a twisty hall leading from ours to theirs that did a good job muffling the sound. i walked over and was surprised to see these party animals having the time of their life. not to worry i cleaned it up.

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we grabbed treats at thierry. the place was packed! the dessert were tasty and elle felt so fancy picking out her own box of chocolates.

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the view from our room was beautiful. we were on the 28th floor and coaxing ivan out onto the balcony was no easy task. he’s very afraid of heights. he inched his way out for a good 3 seconds to check out the view before heading back in. vancouver is one of my very favorite cities. great food. canadians are the nicest people ever and the shopping is pretty great.

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OAHU

for christmas this year we decided to gift the kids with a trip to hawaii. they don’t need anymore toys and i love giving memories that last a life time. christmas morning they each opened a box with a lei, swimsuit and bracelet that said hawaii. they were so excited! i think i might have been the most excited. our trip was booked for january. i’ve been told by pretty much everyone to take a vacation in january to help break up the rain so thats what we did. we decided to go to oahu. ivan and i have been to the big island and the kids have never been to any of the islands. oahu has a lot of family friendly amenities. we had the best time. hawaii was a great change of pace from city life. the hawaiian’s are such nice people and the island is so beautiful!

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first stop leonards for malasadas. we tried one of each. the coconut ended up being our favorite. they come out hot and fresh so eat them right away!

 

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next up was matsumotos for shave ice. once again coconut was our favorite. lots of condensed milk on top please! the kids liked rainbow.

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elle always posing. ha! i have to tell her to sit and smile otherwise she’s doing a strange pose, half the time it looks completely uncomfortable.

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one of the most beautiful sunsets i’ve ever seen. i mean look at those colors. stunning! we grabbed pizza with some friends who live in hawaii and took it to the beach to watch surfers. impossibles pizza is right up there with some of the best pizza i’ve had. i liked the pork and sweet onion pizza. the ranch is soooo good. ivan liked the pepperoni and sausage.

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we spent the morning at pearl harbor. i wasn’t sure how this would go over with the kids but they loved it and it ended up being one of my favorite moments of the trip. the video you watch before you go on the boat out to the uss arizona was so informative and interesting. they have actual footage of the attack. it was a great history lesson for us all.

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dole plantation for dole whips.

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chinamans hat. i’d love to paddle out and hike it next time.

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view from pillbox hike. we only made it about half way up. we all had flip flops and swimsuits on. not the best hiking gear. the view is beautiful.

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can you tell elle loves the ocean? we loved kailua beach. the water is a beautiful blue-ish green and there were virtually no waves.

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sunset and pipeline on the other hand had 30 ft waves. we swam in this very spot in sharks cove 2 days before these massive waves came in. they were amazing to watch. i could’ve sat there for hours.

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we took a stroll around the temple.

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my boys. jack didn’t once get called a girl, which is amazing. he fit right in with all the surfers. his hair curled right up too. making it even more impossible for me to cut. i wish henri’s was long again. maybe someday. i don’t know what it is with boys and long hair but i think theres nothing better.

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my kids get a long so much better out in nature. we’ve been really cooped up in seattle with all the rain. just getting outside and being kids was so good for them.

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take me back!! like right now. i loved every minute of that warm sun.

 

some of our hawaii favorite-

impossibles pizza

leonards

pupukea grill- best poke

kahuku shrimp- spicy garlic shrimp (way better than giovanni)

matsumotos

dole plantation- dole whip

papa ole- mac nut pancakes

north shore taco’s- this was avas favorite. i liked the shrimp taco’s and pineapple salsa

seven brothers- burgers

boots and kimo’s- mac nut pancakes

lanikai juice- acai bowl

magnolia bakery- banana pudding

duke- hula pie

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THANKSGIVING IN ARIZONA

initially we were going to arizona for christmas but ivan ended up having to start a big job two weeks before christmas and didn’t want to stop working for vacation just after starting. so we decided to  go back for thanksgiving. we needed to bring our dog pearl back to az to live with my parents. we don’t have a fenced yard and she hated the rain. it really was so sad. i’d open the door to take her for a walk, she’d poke her head out and if was raining turn right back around. she wasn’t happy here and she loves my parents and their 2 acres she can run around on. we actually got her from my parents so they are a familiar place for her. we get pictures of her from them all the time and will take her back once we have a better place for her. since we had to take her with us and she was too big to fit under our seat on the plane and i did not want to put her with the cargo, we ended up driving back. wow, that drive! its a long one. we left wednesday night after i taught a class at church. we were going to leave thursday morning but we were too excited to get there and thought we’d get a few hours out of the way. we drove straight through. stopping only a few hours to sleep in the car. we landed in phoenix friday morning. dead tired with kids who slept just fine and were ready to play! the minute we pulled up to ivan parents house we handed them the kids and crashed for 3 hours. ivan went in to work and we visited with family.

 

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ivan put this giant tv in the car ontop of the cooler so a + h could play xbox while the other two could watch the tv in the car. way to much technology happening here. typically they can only watch tv or play xbox on saturday so you can imagine how happy they were.

 

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we played at our best friends house. they have the best backyard and toys! this board was a big hit with my kids. unfortunately for them this toy is not practical for seattle! henri loves that phx shirt. its actually a phoenix marathon shirt from those same friends. she is the race director for the phoenix marathon so we are always big supporters!

 

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my sister in law braided jacks hair. ha! he’s the prettiest little boy. he hasn’t had a haircut yet and i know he needs one but we really have become so attached. with everything we’ve gone through it feels very emotional to cut his hair. we are headed to hawaii in a few weeks, i figure we’ll cut it when we get back.

 

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matta’s for lunch! we’ve really missed this place. seattle just doesn’t do mexican food like az. that sunshine too! when we left seattle it was pouring all the way to the california border. the sun felt so bright!!

 

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soda shops are popping up left and right in az. of course it makes me laugh because a soda shop wouldn’t last 2 minutes in seattle. i had to give it a try and may have stopped by a few more times after that.

 

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thanksgiving morning i ran the turkey trot 10k with my sister in laws. i haven’t run much here in seattle so it was killer. every thanksgiving ivans family hosts the child crisis center. the child crisis center is a place children can go when they have nowhere else or when they are placed in cps custody. its a temporary place while they wait to go back home or are placed in a foster home. we usually host the east valley crisis center but this year we hosted phoenix too. its such a wonderful tradition. i love watching my kids serve these beautiful children. they each get assigned a child to help get their food, make them feel comfortable and be a friend to them. of course its very emotional and we all want to take the kids home. at the end santa comes and hands out stockings full of christmas gifts. this is one of the best days of the year.

 

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i ran into target on the drive home to grab a few activities for the car. if you can believe it the kids were burned out from all the movies. i had to snap a shot. the target was massive! all on one level, no elevators or escalators. it had every food you could ever imagine down to anything you could want for your home. i love super target and its probably up there with one of the things i miss most about home.

 

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all this snow!! utah, idaho and eastern washington were covered in it. we had to drive through a pretty big snow storm in utah. that was scary! we are not used to driving in snow so of course we were scared to death. we drove about 15 miles an hour for hours. it made the drive feel like forever.

 

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did you know idaho has a grimaldi’s pizza??!! it does! we were so happy. grimaldis is a favorite and we have several locations back in az but non in seattle so this was a welcomed surprise. i actually really like idaho. its clean, beautiful and feels like a small town with some big town amenities. great shopping too!

 

going back to az felt so comfortable. we picked up right where we left off. the kids didn’t want to go back to seattle, a few tears were shed. i was nervous about coming back. i didn’t know if it would feel like home or if we’d all still be longing for az. we pulled into the city and saw all the bright lights and big buildings and it felt good, it felt like home. i breathed a sigh of relief. we were back in our house in our city.

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WEST SEATTLE

 

 

 

 

 

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we spent the day in west seattle. i haven’t spent too much time over there but the time we have has been really fun. we had lunch at husky’s deli. its a cute little convenience store/ sandwich/ ice cream shop. we grabbed sandwiches and wandered the store. that candy case is impressive. a lot of people seemed to be coming in just for the ice cream but the line was long by the time we were done eating so we thought we’d save it for another day.

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one of the most beautiful parks in the seattle area is lincoln park. its easily one of our favorite place to explore outdoors. the trees are enormous and beautiful. the colors are striking. the kids could spend all day there. henri in his socks and birks! he’s just trying to fit right in. ha! i give up trying with these kids.

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the first time we came to licoln park was on vacation in the fall and let me tell you these tree’s were the most beautiful shades of yellow. its worth spending a day in this park.

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HOME

over the weekend we houses hunted. we called houses from craigslist + trulia + zillow. any site we could find offering up a rental. we drove around. we stopped in at open houses. we made appointments to meet realtors. house hunting here is nothing like it is in az. house hunting in seattle is madness. pure chaos. i met other couples doing the same thing we are. uprooting their life and moving to seattle. they were staying in hotels too. they figured they’d find something when they got here just like we did. they’d been seriously hunting for 2 1/2 weeks and still nothing. you look at a house and its over priced + outdated + hideously ugly + stinky + next to a cemetery + bad school district + sketchy area and list goes on. but because the inventory is so low and the techie’s are taking over the city you put in your offer with 90 other people and before you can hit send you get an email that its taken. then you cry and you stress and you wonder what you’re even doing anyways. a cashier at the busiest costco i’ve ever seen in my life (even on the worst of worst days at costco, this was at least 10 times worse) said they’re one of the busiest costco’s and they are jam packed every day. he said seattle has grown immensely over the last 2-3 years and the cost of living is now higher than NYC. say whhhhat?!!!

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july is a busy month in seattle so we sort of jumped from one hotel to the next. sunday night as we were pulling up to our new hotel and ivan went inside to check in, i got on my phone and looked on craigslist again. a listing popped up. no pictures. my dream neighborhood at the top of the hill + middle of the city. great school in walking distance. i made ivan call. he got back in the car and said lets go look at it. she lives in arizona (coincidence? i think not) she said the keys under the mat. we drove straight over. he walked in through the back door and came to the front to let us in. i looked at his face and he shook his head yes. we ran inside to the most amazing craftsman style house. built in 1917. original hard woods. original built in cabinets. original door handles + windows. pretty much original everything. 3 bedroom with a huge master upstairs. 2 bathrooms, thats unheard of here!! aside from the hideous colors on the wall from the previous renter (we are painting) it was perfect. everything i had dreamt of in my head. my perfect seattle house. she said she had been praying for a family and praying that family (us!!!) would find it on sunday. we had been praying for this house. it was so easy + effortless. thank goodness she didn’t upload photos or this house would have had a line around the corner.

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just when i felt defeated it all fell into place. this move has been stressful. i’ve been homesick. i’ve wondered if we are making the right decision. but its all fallen into place. fairly perfectly. i mean house hunting for weeks but really only 2 days here in the city, when those other people were here for weeks, is pretty awesome.

IMG_8710gotta put your park somewhere. on top of the pharmacy at the u village. i mostly took this photo as a reminder to myself next time we are shopping and need a break. theres a park.

 

i have to says driving in the city might be my worst nightmare. i think public transportation is in my future. all the bridges + tunnels + traffic, oh the traffic!!! seattle has LA beat big time. i get so confused and then stressed. shopping is no easy task. we rented a van because ivan’s truck and trailer are still in az. (he’s flying back to pick them up and drive them here) i then had to drive around from store to store searching for furniture. buying beds + sheets + laundry soap + everything else you need to fill a home. i drove to the target north of me because my city target only has garage parking and i couldn’t fit the van in only to find out that target also only had garage parking and i had to park half way down the road. i filled up my cart and checked out. they don’t have plastic bags in seattle and i had to purchase two tiny paper bags (about half the size of a normal brown paper bag) the cashier was so kind and tried to jam everything he could into them. 3 sets of sheets + mattress pads along with laundry detergent i had to stack up and carry out. all these things i’m learning about city living. like don’t pile your cart at target when you’ve parked 5 blocks away.

IMG_8719view from the bottom of our neighborhood

 

then we walk through our neighborhood to the edge of the hill and look out over the water to the most amazing view. or we go to the movies in the middle of the city and i look out the window on the escalator heading up to our theater and i see a view of the city. our city. we are slowly finding our spots. we drive up that long steep hill out of the hustle and bustle of downtown to our quiet neighborhood and it feels good, really good. i know soon enough it will feel more like home. henri has done great, no allergies and thats what its all about! so even though i’m tired and stressed and sometimes miss the ease of arizona, henri being able to breathe is all that matters. thats it.

IMG_8720view on the way up to our theater

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LANDING IN SEATTLE

friday morning we went to breakfast with great grandma and grandpa, helped clean up around the house and headed out. we stopped in portland to stretch our legs and grab some taco’s at por que no? then we were off for seattle. the drive took forever. between stopping for lunch + gas + jacks new game of i have to go potty every 9 minutes, i thought we’d never get out of the car. we got in pretty late. we drove a few neighborhoods to check out some houses on our list and headed to the hotel.

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saturday morning we headed to pike place market for some 10am mac and cheese at beechers then wandered the city with the kids. henri and jack were both in desperate need of shoes so we stopped into nordstrom. that and the anniversary sale they’re having lured me in. the kids love the city and ava was telling me how much she likes having everything so close. i was shocked, she’s always the one saying how much she loves the country and asking me why i would ever want to live in a city. i guess she’s coming around to the idea.

DSC07174DSC07194DSC07213DSC07217DSC07211for lunch we went to serious pie. we ordered the sausage and roasted pepper + fried egg and arugula + buffalo mozzarella and basil. the crust was amazing! the kids loved the mozzarella and of course jack ate all the sausage. its a cute little place downtown and the table was perfect for our family. seattle restaurants are much smaller than the ones back home but everyone seems really accommodating and always stores our giant double stroller.

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we did some house hunting and let me tell you its left me depressed. the one house we saw online and sent our application in right away was already taken. another house we looked at was in terrible shape. tiny + expensive, smelled like animal urine and was falling apart. oh and it turned out to have another family living in the basement with a shared laundry that had a quarter machine attached to it. icing on the cake was the cemetery RIGHT next door. as in nothing between the house and acres of graves. i walked through and talked to the owner who was showing it to another couple at the time. she was so kind and helpful and said to let her know if i wanted an application. an application?? no!! i want to run like the wind, thats what i want!! not to be a total bummer, we do have a few houses to see on monday and i’m really hoping some new ones pop up. wish us luck. we need it! so far henri’s allergies + asthma are great! ivan not so much.

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