A treehouse stands nestled between two firs on Mark and Michelle's private property in Redmond, Washington. Two elegant staircases lead you to the 280 square foot space that somehow feels larger than life, and suddenly, you forget that you're only 30 minutes from the city.
Several months ago, I became a storyteller for Riparide, a company that helps travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path accommodations find soul-filling escapes. When I found out my first assignment was a treehouse, I was ecstatic.
Mark Banks designed and built The Squirrel's Nest as a project with his daughter over a decade ago, and the home stands complete with modern appliances, quick wifi, a hanging loft, and two massive balconies. As I pulled up to the gate, Mark and his partner Michelle greeted me warmly with a tour of the property. A couple of hours later, my friend Julie (artist, model, and fellow Riparide storyteller) joined me in the trees, and we spent the entire evening on one of their two massive balconies. I slept in the cozy overhead loft while Julie took the bed, rocked to sleep by the sound of the wind, and then complete silence. We slept remarkably well.
Even though Julie and I are both local, we weren't as familiar with the east side and decided to take a drive about the area. Stopping for coffee at Aroma Cafe, we were stunned by the artful minimalism of this converted home turned business. We admired the menu, taken with all of the options (wild orange lattes, truffle mochas, even a savory rosemary syrup -- how can one choose?).
After, we popped by an antique store and headed to Snoqualmie Falls. We ended our day out at Snoqualmie Point Park, one of my favorite hidden gems on the east side. Julie and I had grand plans for visiting wineries and exploring a bit more, but when we arrived back at the treehouse, neither of us wanted to leave.
We wanted to savor every moment in this space instead, wandering through the nearby trails and getting lost in our books instead.
To Mark and Michelle: thank you for all of your kindness in hosting us, and creating such a wonder amongst the trees.