It is hot, hot, HOT in Seattle – temps in the high 80s and lower 90s, which can be uncomfortably warm when you don’t have AC.  We’re doing all we can to stay cool, sleeping with the windows wide open and the fans cranked up high.  Jules hasn’t worn proper pajamas in over a week.

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And every chance we get, we head out in search of water to splash and wade and swim and paddle.  A few favorites:

The Jefferson spray park is a staple – we find ourselves here once or twice a week.  Juliette usually spends 10 minutes or so just watching the other kids run wild, then runs her fingers through the fountains a little tentatively and is thoroughly soaked by the time we leave.

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We spent Saturday morning at Gene Coulon park in Renton, and this place is money!  Big beach with plenty of shade, a big roped-off swimming area, and the perfect mix of sand for scooping and rocks for throwing.

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We’ve been trying for the past couple of weeks to get Juliette into the little floaty boat she loved so much last summer, but she’s fiercely protested every time we’ve pulled it out.  And since she wasn’t using it on Saturday, we let another little girl take it for a spin.  Of course, that was all it took for Juliette to start begging for a turn – her “mine!” reflex seems to be stronger than ever.  Nonetheless, questionable motives aside, she had a blast kicking around the shallow end.

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Pants are for chumps.

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We were feeling particularly adventurous on Sunday and drove over to Enatai Beach in Bellevue to scope out their boat rentals.  Juliette isn’t a particularly big fan of sitting still, so when we set out in our canoe, we knew we were taking a risk, but I was hopeful that with enough enthusiasm and enough snacks, we could make it work.  We paddled under the I-90 bridge and a heron pointed the way to the Mercer Slough, which was a perfect, peaceful oasis of green.

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And Jules?  She loved all of it, “helping” with the paddling, searching for baby ducks, sitting so contentedly in my lap.  We’ve had our share of failed outings lately (we might never be allowed back to our new neighborhood breakfast joint), so it felt really, really good to try something new and have it go off without a hitch.

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I just checked the forecast and it looks like we’re in for at least another week of this heat.  Googling “Seattle beaches” now…