The Other Happy Hour

22 Jun
The Other Happy Hour by melissajonas
The Other Happy Hour, a photo by melissajonas on Flickr.

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BOKA baby

19 Jun
BOKA baby by melissajonas
BOKA baby, a photo by melissajonas on Flickr.

I enjoyed a champagne cocktail with a late lunch today at BOKA. Sylvia enjoyed a well-deserved nap.

Not officially happy hour by the clock, but definitely a happy hour.

BOKA happy hour runs from 2:30-6pm and includes $4 small plates that are delicious. Servers are incredibly friendly and the food is good. When Sylvia’s awake, we take advantage of the lobby for exploring/admiring art while we wait for our food. The decor includes walls that change colors–always a hit with the toddler set.

BOKA is located at 1010 First Ave Seattle, WA 98104 on 1st between Madison & Spring in the Hotel 1000 building.

Lottie’s Lounge

17 Jun

Geraldine’s is a default destination for breakfast/brunch for the parenting crowd in SE Seattle. I enjoy the bright colors & comfort food at Geraldine’s, but even before we had a kid I couldn’t handle waiting in line. Now it’s not an option; if there’s not a table available when we arrive, we find somewhere else to go.

What many parents don’t realize is that Lottie’s Lounge–right across the street–also allows minors. Brunch is good and generally not nearly as crowded. The staff are welcoming and the stage space is perfect for playing with cars or coloring at the table. Bloody Mary Brunch features 6 Bloody Marys and 6 takes on the Mimosa. Good stuff.

I usually prefer to make my own brunch because I can eat in my pajamas and let the kid run around in the backyard. When I go out, it’s for early dinner (aka Happy Hour). This is where Lottie’s really shines. Specialty cocktails that change seasonally and good beers on tap. Good food to nibble while you enjoy your drink(s). Ingredients are locally sourced, fresh, and often organic.

Lottie’s happy hour runs from 2-6pm daily. If you’re out with a non-foodie kid (and/or you really like dairy), they have a heavenly mac & cheese, cheese bread and/or grilled cheese sandwich. The hummus plate is  a dependable choice and all their sandwiches are good.

Plan ahead: there isn’t a changing table or flat surface for changing diapers. Bring a cushy blanket (or use your jacket) and use the floor if you must. Take stinky diapers home with you. It’s not a big space, so if there’s any kind of crowd please fold your stroller & stash it. Lottie’s is a lounge–understand that while kids are allowed outside the bar proper, it’s not aimed at families. It’s a watering hole. As always, please tip generously, keep your child contained & entertained and–for the love of all that’s holy–clean up after your kid. I’m going to say it again: tip generously.

Before or after your Lottie’s treat, explore the rest of the area. There’s a lot to love in Columbia City: nice library, cute toy store, outstanding kid’s consignment shop and a fantastic farmer’s market. The Seattle Gymnastics Academy has a variety of ways to tire your kid out. Avoid driving if you can, because parking is tough. It’s a pleasant walk from the light rail station to the business district (especially in nice weather). Columbia City boasts at least a dozen very good restaurants and a growing number of venues to see live music. Good times for all ages.

Parenting while distracted

14 Jun

The Prime Minister of England forgot his kid in a pub. It’s international news.  Because the location happened to be a pub instead of a tea shop, tongues are wagging doubletime. I highly doubt this incident had anything to do with alcohol consumption–both parents were probably sober enough.When you think about it, it’s surprising this doesn’t happen more often. 3 kids in 2 cars with lots of extra adults milling about is a setup for forgetting someone.

Let’s focus on how Cameron’s policies affect all kids in England, not on how his 8 year old daughter spent 15 minutes waiting for her parents to collect her from a pub.

14 Jun

It shouldn’t be national news when a kid stays in the bathroom a little too long. I’m surprised the security detail wasn’t more responsible–it is their job to keep track of these folks.

FreeRangeKids

Hey Folks — Here’s a little anecdote to start your day. Apparently the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, left his 8-year-old daughter in a pub. It was (almost) the usual kind of mix up: He left with his bodyguards and assumed she was with his wife and the other kids. Mom (or, I guess, “Mum”) assumed the girl was with daddy. In fact, she was in the bathroom and emerged to find her family gone.

While the Associated Press reports the parents were “distraught” when they realized she wasn’t with either, they called the pub and learned she was fine. She’d been separated from the fam for about 15 minutes. So why is any of this worthy of anything more than an amused smile that we’re all in this together?

SEE THE POST BELOW THIS ONE! That’s why!

In Tennessee, a woman who couldn’t find her kids for a short while was…

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Seattle Center Next 50

14 Jun

People often forget that much of Seattle Center is public space. There are some fantastic activities within the Center grounds that require a fee for entry, but there are also tons of ways to enjoy yourself for free. There are also two businesses as of June 2012 that sell beer–Pie and the burger joint. Many events feature beer gardens, which will not allow your kid but can be navigated if you plan your visit with extra adults. Lots of  potential happiness!

We almost always take the Monorail, because it’s cool. It’s cash only, so be prepared. Get a round trip ticket only if you can remember where you left your ticket stub… Kids under 4 are free.

These are 50 ideas I came up with off the top of my head/with a little digging on the Seattle Center website. What will your next 50 visits to Seattle Center be like?

    1. Learn more about the history & current activities at the Seattle Center via a self-guided tour
    2. Watch people wander the grounds
    3. Picnic in the grassy areas (or inside on one of the adorable toddler tables)
    4. Run in the grass
    5. Watch a free outdoor movie 
    6. Winterfest trains and more
    7. Watch skaters do tricks at the skate park
    8. Enjoy a great workout as part of the Seattle Center Fitness Programs
    9. Build a tower or slide down a slide in the family room upstairs in the Armory (formerly known as the Center House)
    10. Attend a Concert at the Mural–FREE live music brought to you by KEXP!
    11. Play in/around the International Fountain (big fountain with great music)
    12. Check out some art 
    13. Splash in the Fountain of Creation near the Vera Project
    14. Watch the elevator go up and down the Space Needle
    15. Climb on/jump off rocks
    16. Watch buskers perform all year round
    17. Bite of Seattle (free admission)
    18. Seafair Torchlight Parade 7/28
    19. Indigenous Cultures Day 8/18
    20. Seattle Symphony Community Celebration 10/21
    21. Community Created Events:
    22. June 2nd – Robothon
    23. June 21st – Go Skateboarding Day
    24. June 24th – Seattle Bot Battles 10
    25. July 14th – Spirit Walk
    26. July 19th – 31st – Seattle League of Arts – Art Show & Sale
    27. July 29th – Hispanic Seafair
    28. July 29th – Shakespeare in the Park
    29. Sept. 23rd – Arts Crush Kick-Off
    30. Oct. 7th – Buddy Walk
    31. Northwest Folklife Festival + 19 other FREE festivals throughout the year as part of Festal
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Folklife 2012

Bubbles and wine

14 Jun
high chair happy hour by melissajonas
high chair happy hour, a photo by melissajonas on Flickr.

Sometimes High Chair Happy Hour is sitting by the tub with a glass of wine while the 2 year old plays.