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Our summer vacation commenced on July 4 as we dashed out the door not looking back and remembering to bring Lou’s milk cup, which was left to fester in a sealed up apartment enveloped in full blazing NYC summer heat. We left Harlem behind for Los Angeles pastures including immediate cocktails and barbecued kalbi. It’s only in the summer that you work to keep yourself busy with such leisurely activities – making peach cobbler due to an abundance of mom’s garden grown peaches, swimming at the pool for a number of reasons and figuring out what the night’s drink will be to go with whatever’s being grilled. Lou has discovered the beauty of having space, a backyard and a vehicle. Staying with my parents is always (usually, no, for the most part 😉 ) a delight and there is no place like home like their backyard next to the hot grill and fire pit going on a 7th s’more.

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Enjoying a sunny day in Seattle is finely celebrated by going to the beach. The water may be still be frigid in June but when the sun comes out, it’s GLORIOUS! Couple that with a sautĂ©ed prawn, garlic tapenade and caramelized onion sandwich from nearby Caribbean food outpost Paseo and you’ve got yourself a winning day.

Paseo Caribbean Restaurant – Ballard
6226 Seaview Ave NW

When home in NYC, Union Square Park is the park we most frequent. Lou loves the sandbox as do I since I can sit back and not be on the chase chanting no. Even a plastic cup will suffice as an object of curiosity. From Harlem, it's just four stops on the 4 or 5. The next time we get to the park, it'll finally be time to go out in shorts and crocs (Lou). Union Square Greenmarket at Union Square is also one of the best farmers market in town held on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays offering items such as ostrich eggs, dried lavender, duck breast, and gorgeous seasonal produce galore.  

During the last few days of winter, we made it to The Standard Ice Rink in the Meatpacking District. The rink nests just in front of the hotel where all passerby Standard-y guests can see you bask in all your ice skating glory. There is a petit chalet where you can rent skates and an area to indulge in aprĂ©s (and avant) skate treats. The photo on the right was taken almost exactly four years ago in Siberia. That’s Lake Baikal I’m standing on, in ice skates as well, during the winter of 2007 when I embarked on my first trip out of the states to accompany Olivier (the Great and my now husband) to amazingly accessible Siberia. Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest freshwater lake in the world, with more freshwater than the Great Lakes combined. Skating on the lake was pretty radical and the ice was so clear and so dark and there was almost a mile’s down worth of water beneath. The cracks were majestic though petrifying if they happened to actually crack while you’re out ice skating on the lake, which did happen. The sounds you hear before the ice cracks are thunderous booms coming seemingly from afar though you feel it in your bones that it’s going to come way too close for comfort and if you’re me and you’re not that great of an ice skater to begin with having ice skated very non-seriously in Hawaii while growing up, you’ve froze wearing the unfortunate skates with only a narrowed vision of the others skating far away to the truck for some safety. Just then the crack appears just a few feet from your feet and you realize you remain alive above the ice. Olivier took the photo below just moments before  the whole cracked ice thing. The moment was unforgettable and now that I think about, falling on the rink at the Standard would not have been the end of the world.

Occasionally when we travel Lou naps in her car seat and instead of disrupting perfectly good slumber in the process of a stroller transfer, it's easier to hook her up to the wheels attachment. If she wakes, it's yet another perspective of a world so new.