Reaching the tail end of summer, things at work are beginning to get busier, an ominous sign for the busy season to come after Labor Day. Thankfully, the tail end of summer also meant the oppressive smoke that's plagued Puget Sound over the past weeks has finally begun to lift, and I took full advantage of the improved air quality with several walks around Redmond. This time of year, the Powerline Trail smells so strongly of ripe blackberries, you almost get a sugar rush from the air. Among the more exciting developments at home this week, Andy finally completed our new queen size bed frame, so we have a new bed! So far I've slept terribly on it, but I'm hoping I just need some time for the memory foam to break in. Andy absolutely loves the new mattress, so I'd feel terrible if we had to swap it out for something more expensive on my account.
The weekend was a busy one, starting with my second annual Peter Rabbit Tea Party hosted by the family next door to mine from my childhood. Like last year, the menu was entirely gluten and dairy free, and so delicious! While the kids played and explored the magical garden - they even found a real Peter Rabbit in the form of a wild rabbit wandering through the yard - I drank far too much tea while catching up with my oldest friends. We even had a brief rainshower during our afternoon tea to clear out the last of the lingering smoke. Sunday morning, I met my mom and sister at the Seattle Aquarium - my first visit since I was very little. The trip was my mom's request for her birthday, and it was a lovely to explore the small space and watch my oldest niece react with wonder to the creatures in each exhibit. The diverse and vibrant coral was particularly beautiful - and astonishing when compared to my recent memory of snorkeling over the bleached and dying coral in Hawaii only last summer. The reminder of how beautiful healthy coral can be was a heartbreaking reminder of how damaged wild reefs are.