University of Washington - Cherry Blossoms by Michael Morris

Between hectic work schedules and frequent spring showers, having the opportunity to get out and take a few photos on a weekday is an elusive goal for us this time of year. It’s for this reason that we were thankful to have a short window of opportunity last Thursday to race the approaching rain clouds and the quickly setting sun over to the University of Washington campus, where the cherry blossom trees on the quad are in full bloom. When we arrived, the weather was perfect—cool, lightly breezy and a calm grey sky—the kind a photographer loves dearly.

When the cherry blossoms bloom in late March and early April, the already gorgeous UW campus becomes even more captivating. The quad was full of people relaxing, taking a leisurely stroll, throwing frisbees and letting their dogs meet and play with new friends. Special thanks go out to our friends Rei and Aman for coming with us, encouraging us to get out at the end of a long day, and for lending a hand while we tried to capture the lovely campus. We’re already looking forward to going back and seeing more of the sights around campus!

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Day at SFMOMA by Kristi Wallace Morris

Last week flew by so fast, following a long and busy GDC. Our lofty plans to roam the city for art districts and good Mexican food quickly fell to pieces as we all realized that we couldn't muster the energy to stand on our feet any more than we absolutely had to. So instead, we opted for a lazy Saturday.

We started with a relaxing brunch at Samovar, a short walk through Yerba Buena Gardens then off to the SFMOMA at the recommendation of our friend Shailendra. This was a great way to wind down and recharge. The museum is stunningly gorgeous and so peaceful. Just what this introvert ordered after a people-filled week. While modern art isn't my favorite—I don't always get the style—there were a lot of quirky and interesting pieces that are worth the visit.

Brunch at Samovar

- Smoked Duck Hash with Earl Grey

- Salmon Eggs Benedict with Four Seasons Oolong

We ate here three times last week. It's just that good! Mike especially recommends the smoked duck hash if you're feeling something hearty and savory. My personal fave was the salmon eggs benedict. Biscuit, salmon, avocado crema and poached eggs on top. How good is that?? If you’re in the mood for something sweet, order the Challah Country French Toast. And of course, get some tea! I especially loved the Four Seasons Oolong (bright, floral, refreshing) and the Goldon Phoenix Oolong (sweet, peaches, deep). You don’t be disappointed!

Lunch at Super Duper Burgers

- Super Burger

- Garlic Fries

Always a great option for a quick bite. Treat yourself to a dipped cone too!

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A Sunday Stroll in San Francisco by Kristi Wallace Morris

My friend Aman and I decided to catch an early flight out to San Francisco on Sunday to enjoy a leisurely afternoon before the rush of GDC. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect—sunny, warm, and a bit of a breeze. (Way more sunny than our poor Seattleite eyes were ready for.) We met up with our dear friend Rei then set off down Market Street towards the Ferry Building.

Lunch at The Slanted Door

We started our adventure with a lunch at The Slanted Door, a James Beard award winning restaurant that serves up modern Vietnamese food. We ordered a few rounds of the pineapple spritzer and a feast to share:

- Crispy Vegetarian Imperial Rolls
- Grass-fed Verde Farm Shaking Beef
- Lemongrass Chicken
- Confections and Chocolate

Shops We Visited

Blue Bottle Coffee (Buy a bag of the Bella Donovan!)

Beekind

Dandelion Chocolate

The Gardener

Far West Fungi

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Christmas Tree Shopping at Swansons Nursery by Kristi Wallace Morris

For the past few years, we have had a tradition of picking up a fresh Christmas tree from Swansons Nursery in Ballard. This tucked away urban oasis has always been one my favorite places for an afternoon escape from Downtown. Holiday season is no different with evergreens galore, twinkling lights, reindeer friends and plenty of holiday cheer. The nursery was abuzz with families throughout despite the chilly December rain.

After my obligatory pit stop in the indoor plant section, we headed over to find "the" tree. We carefully examined each type—Noble Firs, Fraser Firs, Nordmann Firs, and Burton Blues. In true Pacific Northwest fashion, we went with a Noble Fir for it's gorgeous bluish green needles, aromatic fragrance, and full shape. It's perfect!

The tree decorations are off to a good start, but we have a few more lights and ornaments on the way. More photos of our pretty little tree to follow soon.

(P.S. That’s our tree in the front on the left of the first photo!)

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Tillicum Place Cafe + Chihuly Garden and Glass by Kristi Wallace Morris

The last two weeks have been a total blur for Kristi and I between Thanksgiving, our belated anniversary vacation (more on this coming in our next blog post) and my final exams. But before all of this, on the Wednesday of Thanksgiving Eve, we had the rare pleasure of both having the day off work with no preexisting commitments. We chose to spend this time enjoying bunch at a local hot spot that we’ve hoped to visit for quite some time - Tillicum Place Cafe - and visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass at Seattle Center.

Our brunch started with a chamomile, rooibos, hyssop and rose petal tea for Kristi and an Americano for me - both accompanied by a buttery tea cookie. Alongside our beverages we ordered a house-made baguette served with salted butter and delightful apricot jam. For an entree, Kristi ordered a wild mushroom and gruyere quiche from the menu and I went with the daily special - a fluffy French toast topped with fresh whipped cream and orange marmalade. Everything was exceptionally delicious - we look forward to returning for another meal.

Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibits the works of Tacoma, Washington-born legendary glassmaker Dale Chihuly. His beautiful works are featured in museums across the globe. While not the largest museum in Seattle, the stunning exhibits each possess a sort of awe-inspiring impact that make you want to pause and really enjoy the delicate details in the glass. Between the indoor galleries and the garden, there is plenty to take in at this museum, rain or shine!

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Retreat at Loeffers Cabin by Kristi Wallace Morris

This weekend we traveled to Tee Lake, WA with a our dear friends, Tracey and Alex. It was such a treat to visit Tracey’s family lakeside cabin in the woods. The cabin was full of vintage finds, family heirlooms, and a vibe that is distinctly Pacific Northwest.

We started the Saturday afternoon with some take-out teriyaki from a little spot in Belfair—we were ravenous—but it hit the spot. Once the cabin warmed up from the wood burning stove, we put on the kettle for some spiced tea and a few rounds of Dominion. (Mike and I were obliterated, but we loved every minute of it.)

That evening, we had a campfire feast: burgers, hot dogs, apple cobbler, and s’mores. Maybe we went a bit overboard… Roasted marrow on brioche buns, anyone? It was gluttonous and delightful. Once we were too cold to stick around the fire pit, we hurried back into the cabin for whiskey and cocktails to warm us right up. We laughed so much that our sides hurt.

This morning we started our breakfast with a humble breakfast, and a few more rounds of Dominion before calling it a day. We had such a great time in the Loeffers Cabin. It was the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle.

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