another seattle park: carkeek park

we had gorgeous weekend weather and decided to pick another seattle park to explore. this time, we found ourselves at carkeek park in northeast seattle. this park is over 200 acres and offers the most spectacular views of the olympic mountains and puget sound than anywhere else we've been so far. i have to say it rivals (and even beats in my opinion) the beauty of alki beach. there is a lot of variety in terrain, with a huge beach, open grassy spaces, and woody trails. salmon can be found in the stream that runs through the park and there are areas where dogs can run off leash. there are about 6 miles in trails, but they are all pretty short and run into one another. this definitely isn't the site for serious hikes, but would be a great place for some trail running. additionally, dogs are not allowed on the trails that cross the stream, nor can they access the beach. so, if you want to take full advantage, leave the pups at home. we ended up taking them back to the car to check out the beach for a few minutes, but never got the chance to visit the stream.


skagit valley tulips

we finally got to see the skagit valley tulips, and they are incredible! located about an hour north of seattle, the town of mt vernon hosts thousands upon thousands of visitors every spring for the tulip festival. the tulip festival lasts for the entire month of april every year, regardless of bloom dates (which can range over a month). they rotate their crops and have many fields spread over about 20 miles of land. the flowers in this section (roozengaarde) are the very same that are grown in amsterdam. they ship flowers all over the US throughout the year and have more varieties than i could even look through. you can also order bulbs or buy potted or freshly cut flowers on site. we ended up taking home several bunches and can't wait until they open! i imagine there are different varieties available every week, which of course makes we want to go back again and again! there are also daffodil and iris fields in the area (as well as several wineries), but we didn't make it to those this time around.

it was impossible to actually capture the enormity of these fields on my point and shoot, but i hope these photos give you some idea as to how incredible this place really is. we only walked through about a quarter of the area, missing hundreds of varieties and millions of tulips, but the area is so vast i can't imagine doing it all in a single day. if you plan to come to seattle at all next year, come in early april. spring in the northwest is a can't-miss event, and the tulips are absolutely unforgettable! but i urge you to bring your fanciest big girl camera. you'll regret it if you don't. :)


the reason i moved to seattle

after a whole lot of frustration and self-advocacy, i received this email this morning:

"Dear Ms. GoHollo,

Congratulations! After careful consideration of your application, the MSW Admissions Committee is pleased to recommend you to the UW Graduate School for admission to the MSW day program for fall quarter 2010. We recognize the strengths you will bring to the school and selected you from a pool of over 600 applicants. We look forward to seeing you in September!"

it has been such a long journey, but i have appreciated the obstacles.

thank you for holding me up these long, long months.


a canadian easter

anthony got the rare opportunity to take a day off, so we took advantage by driving up to vancouver, british columbia for easter weekend. of course a huge rainstorm followed us all the way from seattle to vancouver! (for those of you expecting tulip pictures, the soggy drive prevented us from stopping in skagit to see the tulips, but we've already got that rescheduled.) however, i was prepared with my galoshes, rain coat (with hood!) and umbrella. once we checked in, we decided to brave the elements and walk to english bay. it was beautiful, but i got the sense it's breath-taking when the weather is clear. still, we were able to pull out the camera and get a few shots during the downpour. we walked all over the west end, and were chilled to the bone by the end of it!

the next day we did more exploring on foot through gastown and chinatown. we even walked around the convention center to see some remnants of the olympic fanfare. the scenes from the convention center were spectacular, with views of the water, mountains and even gastown (behind anthony in the picture). in chinatown, we stopped at the chinese garden. we didn't do the full tour, but still enjoyed the beauty of the public park. areas like this (and we came across a few) really reminded me of seattle. lots of beautiful, nature preserving parks and gardens surrounded by sky scrapers and city noise. i think it's what makes such big cities desirable places to live. you've got all the amenities of city living, but pretty much anywhere that you live in the city you can still walk to a beautiful open space.

on our final day (easter sunday) we enjoyed the vancouver art gallery (particularly the visceral bodies exhibit) before walking to easter brunch. overall, we had some hits and misses (we couldn't find an open dim sum restaurant in chinatown, but instead got great veitnamese in a PACKED hole in the wall), but enjoyed our short vacation. next time we head to canada we're hoping to spend a weekend in victoria, british columbia. long weekend anyone?

stay tuned for this weekend's tulip festival!