It’s a Parade!

All week, while I was taking Joy to art school in Wallingford, I’d seen signs for a Family Festival and Children’s Parade this Saturday. I thought it might be fun to check out.

So late Saturday morning we hopped on the bus and joined the other families and ‘Wallyhood’ locals on N 45th St to await the parade. I didn’t really know what to expect, or what the purpose of the parade was, but once it started, it became clear. It was the perfect opportunity for the local businesses and services to promote themselves, and also a chance for the children and adults to perform (or just look cute and wave.) Lots of family and friends were cheering and clapping from the side. I loved it.

But first, we had to wait for something to happen. Here’s the street pre-parade:

To keep busy, Joy whipped out her notebook (which we now never leave the house without) and started drawing. Evan also thought this would be a good idea.

Joy doing some precision work

Evan’s was a man with a mustache!

After a short while, things were looking up. A brass band! It was awesome. They looked and sounded amazing! They were from the local high school.

Here are some of the other paraders. So many groups went by, but I just included a few here.

A children’s theatre school

And one of many amazing drum/dance troops

Not sure what these ladies were doing, but they looked lovely. And they were strolling so serenely.

This is was a children’s daycare group. They just scooted and biked along, with the occasional wave. The chillest parade ever!

This was the ‘Magic Bus’. We didn’t catch exactly what that was, but we felt for the Dads, pulling the kid-laden bus from the front. (Actually, it’s impossible to see from this photo, but there’s a boy in the bus with an Australian flag. Joy was the first to notice it. 🙂 )

Random horsehead dude. Again, looking totally chilled as he walks down the street. (It’s possible he wasn’t even in the parade, maybe that’s just how he does his Saturday mornings!)

This one I took from the cafe where we had lunch and watched the rest of the parade from the window. Clowns! Of course!

The parade went on for a lot longer as we sat and enjoyed lunch. People who happened to live on the street just stood on the front porches taking photos. And as it ended, we saw the ‘performers’ walk/scoot/pogo back the other way to meet up with their families for the rest of their Saturday.

It was a neighbourhood parade – not super big or crowded, but a casual, colourful, fun celebration of the community. Fantastic way to spend our Saturday morning. 🙂


Art Gallery

Joy did a week of day camp at an art school nearby. It seemed to go well, both for art-making and friend-making. She completed a variety of different projects using various mediums and tools, and each day they worked on something new. She also has a drawing book in which they practised their technique and made sketches before doing the final version

She brought home a big bag full of her projects today, and they look amazing.

Evan has also been experimenting with drawing and even a little writing at home, and I included some of his art too.


The newly installed wall of art

Acrylic paints

Eagle, pen and paint. I think this one is outstanding!

Flowers, crayon and collage

Neon paints, fireworks themed for the 4th July

Chalk and tape

Clay fish

Clay strawberry bowl


Spider under rainbow

The artist explains his vision

Train (and haircut!)


A feat of engineering. Evan’s own invention.

Happy 4th!

I’m ending my unexpected blogging hiatus with a Happy 4th of July!

We had been looking forward to our first one here in Seattle, since everyone has been telling us how busy and buzzing it is. Also, it’s the official ‘beginning’ of Summer in Seattle (which is, just quietly, another clue to the state of the weather here!)

It didn’t disappoint. On the evening of the 3rd, the giant (and we hoped firework-laden) barge pulled out into the centre of the lake, clearly ‘glimpsable’ from our living room. Cue insane excitement from the kids. (You can imagine how long it really seems for the fireworks to start, when you start waiting a full 24 hours before!)

And then the 4th dawned with blue skies and perfect sunshine. We walked up to beautiful Queen Anne where houses were decorated with flags, and the house-proud QA locals were out tending their beautiful and perfectly manicured gardens. We met some friends for a lovely, chilled play at a nearby park and took some photos.

After a late afternoon nap (mostly for Evan, although I may or may not have have fallen asleep on the couch. I admit nothing) we had dinner and then walked down to South Lake Union, where families were doing the usual picnic blanket/snacks/games/waiting around thing you do before watching fireworks. It was really nice to just be able to walk down and stroll around, just hanging out. At this point, we felt SO lucky and grateful to be living so close! There was a band, food, flags, and painted faces, and just a generally festive and very patriotic feeling. Much more so than you get on Australia Day – at least without a sense of irony or sarcasm.

The fireworks start at 10pm, which is so late, but necessary since it’s actually not dark until then! We decided to head home to throw the kids into a bath before the show, for a speedier be-awed-by-fireworks-and-then-shove-them-into-bed-as-quickly-as-possible process.

Our landlord knocked on the back door at this point and invited us to join the rest of his tenants on the rooftop of his apartment building (just behind our place.) YAY! We joined them for a bit of small talk and waiting.

And then it was all: “Wow! Look! Wow! A red one! A green one! A star! Wow!” and various other exclamations. Evan didn’t stop talking from the start of the show to the finish. “I’m not scared!” “This is fun!” and similar.

Once the show was over, it was all: yawn yawn yawn – but that was all of us. 🙂

Here are some pics from the day.

People arriving at Gas Works Park

The fireworks barge

Happy 4th, Space Needle!

People at South Lake Union

Ready to go!