You promised to meet your pal and her mini for coffee and a playdate. But what you ought to be doing is shopping for your niece's birthday present, and come to think of it, get it wrapped and in the mail pronto because the big day is coming soon.
Better head to Mail & Dispatch/Sip & Ship to make an otherwise hectic morning a pleasurable, one-stop adventure.
A long-time local favorite for Ballard residents, the charming shop and quintessential neighborhood hangout spread its wings in 2008 with a second Greenwood location. Owners Stephen and Diana Naramore created these shipping storefronts to house everything you can think of to take care of any postal-related need, whether it's mailing letters and packages or providing private mailboxes and a notary service.
You can also sip a yummy latte (with a loving heart swirled in the foam) or browse the tasteful selection of gift items like Sweet Petula beauty products, Ugli dolls and children's books, plus gorgeous letterpress cards and wrapping paper. In the Ballard store, there's a killer selection of Ballard tees and hoodies for adults and kids, and also onesies and bibs. (And who doesn't want to show their Ballard pride?)
If the fact that both locations have a play area with toys to amuse the kiddos doesn't convince you to return again and again, the frequent shipper and sipper clubs will. Send ten packages or buy 10 drinks and the eleventh (package or drink) is on the house.
Ballard Mail & Dispatch, Sip & Ship
1752 NW Market Street, Seattle
Greenwood Mail & Dispatch, Sip & Ship
8560 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I wrote this earlier this week for RT -- but if you're ever in the Ballard or Greenwood area, you must check it out. What a great neighborhood hangout. I think we could use one in downtown Bellevue.
Add to my list of Things I Love About Living in the PNW.. cheap airfares to San Francisco and you get there in less than 2 hours!!
Just got back from a four day getaway to the Bay Area, where my BF from college, Lynn, lives. Ever since we left Oberlin so many years ago (wowie, could it have been 18 years ago? it could. it has.) we have always lived on opposite sides of the country and yet we've managed to see each other at least once a year. This of course became more complicated when we both had kids... which we did in succession. She had Wesley in April of 1999 and I followed four months later with Priya. Then she had Will in October of 2001 and 9 months later with Jayan. She then had Johnny in July of 2005... (I said Uncle...or perhaps Auntie is more apropos??)
The kids had not been together in a few years and so this was a four-day, 24/7 playdate for them, and what a ball they had. Unfortunately, we landed and the rain started. And continued. For 4 days. (Northern Cal. desperately needed the water, though. They were nearly in drought conditions.)
As the 6 or so inches came down, we did as much as we could for indoor fun, which included: A morning of bowling at Strike bowling alley (which is like Lucky strike here in Bellevue)and a visit to Build-a-Bear workshop (with the oldest two being 9, we figured there wasn't much time left for all of them to still want to do it; and of course #3 Johnny had never been because the third child never gets to do anything cool); we saw the movie Paul Blart Mall cop (which is capital H-hilarious); and of course we had plenty of wii-time and a rockin' living room dance par-tay.
By far our best excursion was when the rain actually held out for a few sun-filled hours and we explored Pier 39, then took a boat ride on San Francisco Bay, where we cruised to the Golden Gate Bridge, and then around Alcatraz and back. Had a yummy lunch of clam chowder and did a quick tour of Chinatown.
Lynn and I both agreed that while it was a touristy way to see the city (and we'd probably never do it if it was just the two of us) it's always a different, even better, experience when you see it through the eyes of kids.
The biggest compliment came from Lynn's son Wesley, who told me, "Auntie K, this is the BEST WEEKEND EVER. My mom never takes us anywhere." (hee hee)
Confession: When we lived in South Florida, I was the same way. Never took my kids to the local tourist attractions because, well, when ya live there you just don't consider it. That changed when we moved here last summer and explored a lot of Seattle. (It helped that we didn't know a soul so we might as well have been on vacation.. )
So now we can't for their visit to Seattle. My kids have already promised to take them to the Needle, the EMP, the Aquarium, a Mariners game and even the annoying duck tour.
Oh, and did I mention cheap airfares? We found $110 roundtrip airfares on Southwest and I was absolutely overjoyed by the fact that there was no jetlag or timezone change to deal with.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Here's today's installment of RT.. (the kids and I have to admit we enjoyed "researching" it.)
There's a chill in the air in Bellevue and it has nothing to do with this season's wacky winter weather patterns. It's the explosion of Fro-Yo: four frozen yogurt shops have opened in downtown's core biz district. While all of them offer essentially the same style of nonfat, low-cal, tangy soft serve yogurt, there are distinctions - from flavors and toppings to prices and ambiance/décor of the shops - that, depending on your preferences, will make you choose a fave.
At Ce Fiore, try the Chocolate or Acaiberry (topping alert: Fruity Pebbles and Gummi Bears!) or go for the waffle topped with yogurt, fruit and honey. The décor is minimalist cool, with a flat screen TV and a great banquette the kids will want to climb on.
At 3Berries, there are three flavors -original, green tea and pomegranate -and the littles will love sitting in kid-size table and chairs.
Red Mango is in Bellevue Square, which means the lines can be long. But it's worth the wait for super tart yogurt that comes in original, green tea and pomegranate flavors (topping alert: dark chocolate and Captain Crunch!)
Shnoo just might have the coolest name of them all, and if you can't decide between original and green tea, you can get a mix of both. A Shnoo bonus: If your sweet tooth isn't satiated, there's a Top Pot donuts next door that ought to do the trick.
Ce Fiore, 10435 NE 4th St., Bellevue, 425-213-1000
3Berries, 11028 NE 8th St., Bellevue, 425-453-4332
Red Mango, 1031 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, 425-451-8073
Shnoo, 10602 NE 9th Place, Bellevue, 213-864-5771
P.S. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention another Eastside old school fro-yo fave, TCBY, which is in the Loehmann's plaza in Factoria. Check out Waffle Cone Wednesdays, where kid-sized scoops on waffle cones are just 99 cents.