The weekend before last was the annual Redmond Lights festival. We go every year. They line the Sammamish River Trail with luminaries, and there are light displays, musical groups, and plenty of holiday cheer. What’s not to like?
This year we have a family bike, and Redmond is one of our frequent destinations, so we started working on a plan to go by bike. This is December in the Northwest, which means it is often rainy and cold. We get snookered every year, and don’t bring enough layers, and somebody ends up cold and cranky. On the bike, we’d need to be more careful. So we planned to have dinner near the event so that we could warm up before the ride home. And we figured we’d bail and take the car if the weather looked too bad (like last year, when it was 19 degrees or something).
We watched the weather as the week went along, and sunset that day was dry and over 50 degrees. If there was any year to go by bike, this was it. We spent a little too long unsuccessfully looking for the battery operated Christmas lights that I’d bought to string on the hooptie, and headed to Redmond. Everybody else on the Eastside apparently headed to Redmond that evening as well, as the festival was packed. We enjoyed the walk, squeezed our way to the front to see the handbells and living Nativity (6yo’s favorites), had a meltdown in the traffic jam approaching the drummers, recovered enough to spend a long time watching the hoopers, and then went to find dinner. We went into a few restaurants and Redmond Town Center, both of which had hour-long waits for a table for six, and called a few more with the same result.
Okay, change of plans. I’m glad I’d thought to lay in a supply of grocery store mac & cheese (not our usual fare), so we had a snack at Starbucks (one good thing about having them on every corner!) and biked home. On the way we stopped to look at some light displays we’d seen around the corner. A bike is a great way to look at lights! Everybody had a great view, and we could meander as much as we needed. If we get another nice evening, we’ll go out again.
In the meantime, I’m glad we avoided the car traffic for Redmond Lights. This was definitely a bike success.