Strolling the Poo Poo Point Trail with a Baby

Yes, that’s actually what it’s called.  Addie’s first day hike was along the Poo Poo Point trail.  How apropos for a newborn.

Here’s a handy tip: the Poo Poo Point trail (PPPT) is NOT the same as the better-known trail UP TO Poo Poo Point.

Our intention was to take Adeline, her Uncle Travis and Aunt Maggie up the novice 0.8 mile trail to the Poo Poo Point lookout, brew some backpackers beer and recline in our A-lites, soaking in the sun and the incredible view.  So being the party planner that I am, I read off the directions to the trail head for The Poo Poo Point trail (MISTAKE) and after a quick nursing session in the backseat of the car, off we went.  Addie’s first hike!  I could hardly contain my excitement.

Pretty quickly, we all sensed something was off.  Turns out the trail we were on did not lead us to the point in 0.8 miles but rather in 7.4 miles with over 1,800 feet in elevation gain. Umm. K.

Not to be braggy, but Tyler and I have definitely hiked more than that in our heyday but this scenario was a bit different.  We had intended to do this “quick hike” which I was sure Addie would mostly sleep through in the Ergo and then head off to a tried and true winery nearby.  It was the only sunny day of Maggie and Travis’s visit and we wanted to make the most of it.  So we decided to give up the Poo Poo Point dream and veer off onto another trail we came across called ADVENTURE TRAIL!  Well, that sounded even more perfect!!

Except “Adventure Trail” quickly turned into “Puget Power Trail” (yes, that was its actual name) which followed some towering power lines along a flat and brown gravely service road for 2 miles.

I think I was the most disappointed hiker in our group.  Addie’s first hike was supposed to be grand, full of wonder, PERFECT.  Except that’s not real life, is it?  We ended up somewhere we didn’t plan.  But after those two miles or so of power lines, we spotted another trail head – one that looked like it led into a forest of old growth and a soft, damp trail.

I don’t even know what that trail was called but we walked a few yards in, set up our hammock and chairs and sat back to enjoy.  It wasn’t the perfectly orchestrated hike I had envisioned but I should probably wise up quick to the fact that most of what you lay out as a parent will not go as planned.  And I could either a) sulk, unleash my frustration on those around me and be full of regret or b) adjust, make up songs with my husband, brother and sis-in-law about power lines, and allow God to take us somewhere unplanned.

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Strolling into Mamma Melina with a Baby

Maternity leave has been dreamy.  I’ll be real, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down.  I have had a job non-stop for the last 15 years and I’m not exactly what you’d label an “idle” person.  Sure, babies are a sizable amount of work but they also sleep.  Like, often.  What would I do with all of the newborn nap time?  Sleep?  Meh.  I’m not much of a napper.  Watch Bravo TV until my eyes bleed?  Sure, I’ve done that here and there.  Could newborn nap time have more purpose?  This question is still a bit of a mystery as I try to find the balance between “resting” and serving others with this insane gift of spare time.  I am #blessed to be off work until January 11.  Lots more strolling and contemplating to be had.

One big benefit to this chunk of baby-bonding time is coupled with the fact that my husband’s job is extremely flexible so he can sometimes join our strolls, creating impromptu mid-day dates.

Background: By nature, I desire stability while Tyler has always been more comfortable as a risk-taker.  Becoming a real estate broker was pretty risky and it took a lot of faith and prayer for me to get 100% on board.  Had I known it would be such an ideal fit for Tyler in every which way, I wouldn’t have dragged my feet.  And had I thought about what it would mean for his ability to spend so much time with me and Adeline, I would have ordered his first set of business cards years ago.

Today was one of those flexible days for Tyler so he joined us for a little stroll around University Village.  Once we had our window shopping fill, we decided to grab some dinner down the street at Mamma Melina.

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When it comes to happy hour seating, Mamma Melina has two options – 1. the bar area (which technically doesn’t allow minors, no matter how cute – see above) and 2. two couch seats which both happened to be occupied.  The rest of the restaurant was empty (apparently, no one else eats dinner at 3:52pm… wutt?) so the bartender/waitress went out of her way to get us happy hour priced seating in the main dining area.  Her words: “I refuse to turn you away – we’ll make it work for you three.  You deserve this.”  What a lovely way to be greeted as new parents!  HERO TREATMENT!  I will take it.

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There was plenty of room to park our stroller right next to our table.  Oh, and free street parking plus a free 3-hour lot underneath the restaurant.  Quality, substantial, well priced happy hour food plus adult beverages running from 3-6pm (longer on Tuesdays and Thursdays).  The best part of having a little impromptu date night with your newborn at Mamma Melina? Hands down – the art that’s uniquely displayed on the ceiling!  Perfect for newborn gazing from a reclined stroller.

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Side note: Tyler drew a fascinating parallel between a) newborns strapped into car seats which are snapped into strollers and b) old men snoozing in La-Z-Boy recliners on casters.  Next risky business venture? Possibly.

Mamma Melina offered us a place loud enough to belly laugh and not get starred at but quiet enough to hear each other the first time (a delicate balance for a date night choice).  While Addie snoozed, we reminisced about our teenage years with braces (I dutifully wore my rubber bands, he did not), what it will be like to travel to Nashville in October with a baby (he will masterfully pack and prepare our gear, I will bring a boatload of snacks), and how good prosciutto is on pizza (duh).

Strolling into MiiR with a Baby

After hitting up the Kirkland waterfront, my sister (Shari, 32), niece (Meredith, 6 months), my husband, (Tyler, almost the big 3-0) and our daughter (Adeline, 3 weeks old) headed back across the 520 bridge to Seattle onward to the neighborhood of Fremont.  We had recently discovered a newly developing area of Fremont worth a little stroll.

Destination: MiiR. Purpose: Beer for a cause.  How very Seattle of us.

MiiR has been made known for their cool bikes and trendy bottles paired with deliberate and sustainable giving.  Tyler had heard that they opened up a flagship store where they sold their products in conjunction with inviting their customers to pull up a chair, enjoy a coffee or a draft brew and either a) work remotely (again, how very Seattle!) or b) split a French Toast Mighty-O doughnut with a loved one.

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Obviously, MiiR will continue to be a dreamy place for #daddyaddie time.  See above.

Disclaimer: this place is “baby-friendly” as in no one checked Addie’s ID at the door but their aesthetic is oober young/hip/trendy (think crisp white walls + white counter tops with succulents on the tables.)  They did have changing tables in the bathrooms though. In fact, they were the HIPPEST changing tables I had ever seen – super modern, stainless steel, rectangular.  No koala bear stickers to be found on those bad boys.

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It is a fairly quiet place so if you’re looking for a spot to bring a cranky baby or some white noise rather than white-everything-else, you may want to consider the outdoor seating area.  Indoor seating should probably be reserved for napping newborns as to not tick off the Warby Parker-wearing telecommuting graphic designer fiddling away on his MacBook Pro at the table next to you.

I’m one of those PNW hippies that believes talking to your child about real things very early on is important for their development.  Or maybe it’s just good for my continued brain development as a temporary stay-at-home mom to take a break from baby-talk and discuss the alleviation of poverty and the concept of clean water with my 3-week old.  In addition to the aforementioned cold brews, doughnuts and outdoor seating, my favorite part about our visit to MiiR was explaining to Meredith and Adeline how MiiR operates, using the illustrative wall visuals to animate their concepts. Start ’em young, I say.

And keep mommy’s brain from turning into mush by continuing to do kid-friendly yet adult things with sweet Adeline.

MiiR offers you a trendy and clean space to sip on an adult beverage without forcing you and your newborn into a dark bar at two o’clock in the afternoon.  The tables and chairs are spread out enough to easily maneuver a stroller around.  And I know you’re curious about those LEGIT stainless steel changing tables in both the men and women’s restrooms.  And did I mention the doughnuts?

PS: Tyler said I should also mention that in the future, while I stroll, Adeline will ride the MiiR Bambini.

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