Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Non-tourist Touristy Stuff

My cousin Tonya is in town for work (hurray) and was able to arrange to fly in a few days before the rest of her team so we could have some family time together (double hurray)!!

When making the plans for our weekend together, I asked Tonya what she'd like to do. Her request was to get on the water (if possible) and see the insider non-tourist touristy stuff because she'd already done the standard stuff (Pike Place Market, etc). Hmmm... what do we locals do? Laundry, shuttle kids around, clean up dog fur ... hmmm.... not very exciting!

I dusted out a few cobwebs from my brain and started thinking about fun ways to get Tonya out on the water. Fortunately, we were looking at a non-rainy weekend, which made planning a bit simpler. I was struck with the idea of having lunch at a restaurant on the Montlake Cut called Agua Verde. It is a two-part business: 1 part restaurant, 1 part kayak/paddle board rental. Perfect!! Once I devised the plan, I told Eric about it and he agreed that it would be fun. He liked the idea so much that we decided to turn it into a whole family outing instead of just a cousin thing. Even better!

I picked up Tonya at the airport and we headed to Agua Verde for lunch and pinged Eric when we were about 30 minutes away from being ready to hit the water. He and the kids hung out at home until then so Conor could take a nap). After slathering ourselves with sun blocks, donning our life jackets, and getting some basic instructions ("yield to all other boats; kayaks are at the bottom of the boating food chain" was my favorite piece of advice), we headed out.

This couldn't have been a more perfect adventure. The weather was stunning and the cut was an ideal setting to kayak. There were a few boats, but not the rush hour-esque that it tends to be during the summer. Because we had the kids, we were instructed to stay within the cut and not go into Lake Union (too choppy), but that was fine by us and we had a great adventure! We tootled behind a family of Canada geese for a bit, looked at the houseboats (and laughed at how one that was falling apart ... literally; it had a tarp for a roof) had a price tag of over 1 million dollars), and ogled the yachts in the yacht club slips. (My apologies to the yacht owner whose mighty expensive boat I bumped into with my kayak ... it was an accident and I didn't do any damage!) (My extended apologies to Eric/Conor and Tonya for also colliding with your kayaks during our adventures .. I suck at braking on the water!)

After an hour, we hoisted ourselves out of our boats and headed off for a refreshing ice cream treat together. All in all, a mighty great way to spend a Saturday in Seattle!

Attentively listening to our 30-seconds of instructions

My co-pilot

Off we go!

Annika was a natural kayaker; she had the system down immediately;
if there's ever a mother/daughter kayak team at the Olympics, we are so there!

Tonya paddling away

Tonya either pointing at I-5 or calling her next homerun ... not sure which!

Eric and Conor making waves


Annika and me

Conor got a chance with the kid-size paddle near the end of our adventure

Eric and Conor could be the father/son team in the Olympics!

Eric and Conor on their final approach

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