Thursday, July 28, 2016

Seattle "Vacation"

Much to our surprise, we are nearly six years into what we thought was a two-year stint in Memphis. We are really enjoying living here...with one exception. Tennessee is far away from family. We can at least get to Kansas City in a day's drive, but getting to Seattle is much more challenging.

Therefore, when Jon found out about a class he had to take for work being held in Seattle, we quickly decided that the girls and I would tag along and turn it into an opportunity to visit family. So, last month, Lena got to take her first plane ride, and we left behind the heat and humidity for a taste of a Pacific Northwest summer. It was a great time...I'm just not sure we packed enough warm and water-proof clothes.

Elsa's doll, Tom, also made the trip
We spent the first week of our two-week stay with family. Our grand plans of hanging out at the lake were thwarted by rain and cold, but we did get to introduce the girls to the ocean and the beach, which they loved. While we are very fortunate that we are able to take time off to see family, those trips can't really be considered vacations, so it was nice to sort of merge the two for our second week when we headed into the city.

Jon's class was in downtown Seattle, so the night prior, we moved into our hotel home for the week. Each morning, he ventured out on public transportation while the girls and I found something to occupy our time until meeting up again in the afternoon. No doubt one of the highlights for Elsa was getting to have scrambled eggs at the hotel's complimentary breakfast every day.

We kept things pretty low-key on the first day by walking to a nearby park. There was a lot to do with swings, slides, and a sandbox; and it was nice to be able to play outside without it being oppressively hot. For lunch, Elsa enjoyed her first real taste of teriyaki chicken, and following that treat, we headed back to the hotel for naptime.

That night we went out to dinner with one of Jon's co-workers for another one of our Seattle must-haves: salmon at Ivar's. We capped off the evening with a stroll through the Olympic Sculpture Park on the waterfront, feeling like the combination of tourist/local that we were.

The next day, the girls and I met the cousins at Remlinger Farms. Everyone had a blast riding rides (over and over and over), but the big hit was the pony ride. I was so proud of Elsa because she's come a long way from her first pony ride experience that ended in tears before it even started.

Elsa atop Bumbleberry the pony
We met at a friend's house for dinner, and then continued that trend the following day by meeting another friend at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma. We are rather partial to the Memphis Zoo (especially considering we live five minutes away), but the ambiance of Point Defiance can't be beat. We got to feed the budgies and ride the carousel, too, which are definitely special treats. With all of the activity and fresh air, I was not the least surprised that both girls promptly fell asleep in the car on the way back to Seattle.

Location, location, location!
Thursday we were on our own, so the girls and I headed downtown to the Pacific Science Center, or as Elsa likes to call it, the science museum. We had fun checking out the naked mole rats, but the highlight--for me, at least--was the butterfly house. The most memorable part for Elsa, however, was the seagull that tried to take our lunch while we picnicked outside.

In an attempt to have as much seafood as possible while we were close to the ocean, we went out for sushi when Jon finished with his class that evening. Elsa ate as much shrimp as she possibly could, or as much as we would order for her. This girl has expensive taste.

We capped off our "vacation" the following day by stopping at Green Lake on our way out of town (after enjoying teriyaki yet again). Even though the water was cold, Elsa wanted to dip her toes in the lake, and Jon obliged.

Gratuitous cute photo to prove Lena was there, too
So, not a vacation in the truest sense, but we'll take what we can get. Maybe next time Jon and I can sneak in a little getaway sans can dream, right?


kathy moran said...

I enjoyed reading this! Having spent some time with Elsa and Lena a few weeks ago helped me picture them with detail. They are so delightful!

Having never been to the Pacific Northwest, it was nice to get a "tour" of some sites and activities. :)

Spoon said...


It was wonderful getting to see you in Blue Springs--thank you for being so accommodating of us! You should definitely visit the Northwest--in the summer, anyway, when it's not quite so rainy. I'm sure you'd do more "adult" things, as opposed to the zoo and science center. ;)