Glenn and I had a great day out and about with my parents yesterday. We started first with a little lunch at their house, where my mom extolled the virtues of the pressure cooker. And indeed, her lamb stew was delicious and chock full of beets, potatoes, carrots, leeks and onions. This was followed by a little Russian Caravan tea and quite possibly the best big chocolate cookie I've had...in a while...from the Essential Baking Company in Seattle. We loaded into my Dad's new Jeep and headed to the Woodinville-Redmond Road (Hwy. 202) on our way to Molbak's, our favorite nursery for years. Of course, things have really changed on Hwy. 202...here you'll find the new Napa, or at least the Northwest Napa. My Mom insisted that we stop and see this Italian kitchen store on the way there. She sent my Dad and I in there while she waited in the car with Glenn. So, at this store we met the owner, Francesca and her daughter Gwen (I wish more people would consider beautiful names like these for their daughters, instead of the no longer original Ava, Isabelle, Zoe, Sophie and so on). She was so cool and knowledgeable about all the pieces in her shop, which she imports directly from craftsmen in Italy. I could have gone crazy in there, but I only walked out with some beautiful dishtowels, handstamped in beautiful colors on 50/50 cotton/linen. A little spendy, but worth it. Spending some cash at a local business is good for the economy, I say. Back in the car and on our way to Molbak's. We had a blast looking at the spring blooms, from Camellias to Ranunculus. And my Mom pointed out some attractive small planters for the kitchen that had fake greens in them...which I usually poo-poo fake plants, but you know, since I am so bad at keeping houseplants alive, they just might be the ticket for adding some greenery in the house. Also, we saw some "porcelain fountains". The meaningfulness of this will be left for another post. :-) After some caffeinated beverages and a sweet treat, we decided to head over to University Village in Seattle, my new favorite "outdoor" mall. My parents and I are both in the market for a new sofa or sectional. My Mom found exactly what she wanted at Pottery Barn. If you're in the market too, consider the Pearce Sectional at 30% off! I am still debating what I would like for our living room, but that's not a decision I can make without Brad anyway, so I'll have to wait to drag him out for some shopping. So after some additional shopping through Restoration Hardware and Crate and Barrel, the shops started to close and we headed back to my parents' house. More stew! Glenn was a champ the whole time. I can't say enough what a good baby he is. He's so awesome. And of course, my parents were awesome and fun. What a good time. Thanks for being patient while I fed Glenn, Mom and Dad. And thanks for spending the day with us. I look forward to doing that again. Last... Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope you have a great day. -Zo and Squigs Interested in a fun Sunday drive? Travel to the Woodinville-Redmond Road, off of which you'll find the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, the Willows Lodge and touted Barking Frog Restaurant, among others...and the Redhook Brewery. There are so many tasting rooms along this road and it is really beautiful driving through this valley. For more information about Washington State appellations check out Puget Sound Wine Growers Association website or Wines Northwest website.