Summer in the Northwest is such an amazing time. When the weather is 85 degrees and the sun is shining, you start to justify why living the rest of the year in soggy, gray weather is worth it. This summer will probably be my last summer living in Seattle, as my husband and I are planning to purchase a home in the ‘burbs, somewhere on the Eastside. After realizing my limited time left on this side of the bridges, I began to compile a list of things to do, before this summer ends. I wanted my list to be budget friendly or better yet, free, so it didn’t break our savings account.

The first thing on my list is the Bite of Seattle and even though it’s an annual event, knowing that I won’t be conveniently located in Seattle next year makes me more eager to go. Besides all the yummy food, “Back to the Future” will be playing on Friday night, for FREE, on the North Lawn. What’s better than a great meal, a good 80’s movie and weather predicted to be in the high 70s? Life in the city doesn’t get much better than that!

Next on my list, visit Pike Place Market. By 2016, the market will look completely different due to a $65 million renovation project. The restoration will include about 30,000 square feet of new shops, public space and additional housing for the elderly. The renovation is long overdue, but has stirred up emotions from merchants and tenants who love the market for its eclectic and distinctive look. Remodeled or not, the market will always be uniquely Seattle, so before the drastic change I plan to grab my camera and spend the day smelling the market flowers, sampling the local produce and people watching.

Also on the list, visit more parks. The Olympic Sculpture Park is one of my favorite parks, I visit the park often throughout the year, but during the summer something about the park comes alive. An early morning run, on a clear day will magnify the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. That view enough is impressive, but when you see the bright red sculpture situated between them, you get this feeling that you can fly. Appropriately enough, the sculpture which was sculpted by Alexander Calder, is titled “Eagle”. In the summer, the park offers free activities like yoga, Zumba and fun drawing stations to practice your artwork. I plan to take advantage of the free yoga and group Zumba class, rain or shine. Another park I plan to visit is Golden Gardens, but not just for the beach. I’ve visited this beach a handful of times and never realized there are 3 miles of trails to walk. I love visiting places and learning new things about them, it’s what makes the city special. Also on my list, Madison Beach Park, Lincoln Park, Carkeek Park, Discovery Park and Leschi Park, all because of the walkable trails and views.

The Smith Tower is also on my list to visit. It turned 100 this year and it’s a distinctive part of Seattle’s history and beautiful skyline. It was the largest skyscraper west of the Mississippi until 1931. It is the last manually operated elevator in the US and it’s adorned beautifully with brass detail and an open lattice door, which allows you to see the exterior mechanics all the way up to the top. The tower is 38 floors with the top three floors serving as a penthouse. The 35th floor is the Chinese Room and Observation deck. This floor offers a 360 degree view of the city, which is pretty spectacular. I missed the July 4th-6th promotion, when the entrance fee was the original price of .25 cents, but the current price of $7.50 is still a bargain when compared to what the Space Needle is charging. I love the history and charm this building has and the view is wonderful.

Finally, last on my list, is to rent a kayak on Lake Union. For $22.00 an hour you can rent a double kayak at Agua Verde and paddle through the lake enjoying a very unique view of the Seattle skyline. It’s a lot of work but the cool water breeze and the stunning view is definitely worth it. Its funny how much we take for granted, I’ve spent the last few summers in Seattle and when I finally decide to leave, I find all these awesome things that I want to do (or redo). There are so many things to do in Seattle and these are just a few things form my list. I hope to find new adventures next summer in my new neighborhood but until then I’m going to cherish my last summer in Seattle.

What adventures do you like to have during the summer?

Rithy Yip

Hi! My name is Rithy (pronounced “Raw-Tee”). I am the Lending Product and System Specialist for Verity Credit Union. Although I am new to Verity Credit Union, I have worked for Not for Profit Credit Unions for over eight years (and counting). My previous roles included everything from Teller, Loan Processor, Shared Branch Administrator, Accounting to Credit Analyst. In 2011, I completed my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Washington in Communications and Social Sciences. I love my current role at Verity Credit Union. I am responsible for research and development of new loan products and assist in managing our loan operating systems. I am learning new things every day and that excites me!

I live in Seattle and enjoy eating and running, but preferably not at the same time (trust me, gets too messy). I’m lucky enough to say I got to marry my best friend, who also happens to enjoy eating and running. In my free time, I also love to cook and spend time with family and friends. My family loves to get together and celebrate, and we celebrate in the best way possible, with lots and lots of food! Even when I’m not celebrating with family, I often find myself cooking meals for at least 6 people, even though it’s just for my husband and me. My love for food is also the main reason in why I enjoy to run!

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