Seattle Trip Days 4-7

Today I am recapping the rest of our awesome trip to Seattle.  If you missed the first few days, you can read here.  Today I am recapping the last 4 days and as I reminisce I am shocked at all we did every single day.  

Seattle had so many awesome things for everyone and my sister (who lives there) did a tremendous job of laying out an itinerary. She picked all their favorite restaurants and we got to experience local life too which is my favorite ;).  

So, it was Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) and we had another full day.  My brother-in-law had to work.  As an aside, he works for Amazon and Thanksgiving is kind of a big time of year in the retail industry apparently ;)!  We headed to the Pacific Science Center and we all had a blast.

The guy at the ticket counter was so sweet and saved us money by having my sister get an annual pass.  It saved us money and she gets to enjoy it all year long with their new baby!  I love when people help you out.  We missed out on the laser show and Imax theater since it was a holiday week but those sounded like fun add-ons!  

There were tons of fun exhibits with hands on activities for the whole family.  This is my family's jam.  My parents shine in their grandparent roles at places like this.  They become big kids themselves and I love to watch all the sweet interactions between everyone :).  

We went into the butterfly house.  Solon accidentally stepped on one, the verdict is still out on whether it was already dead.  We think so but there were some alligator tears none the less.  My mom was trying to end the experience on a positive note and dipped her finger in the sugar water but the Docent quickly came over and asked us "if we would like someone to put fingers in our food."  We did get some nice interactions with the butterflies before moving on!  

The last two sections of the center were our favorite.  My kids love anything to do with water.  We had to pry my mom and Lucy out of this section and then there was an exhibit with large instruments and brain exercises.  If you know my family, we are all highly competitive so it turned into the strongest family member competition.  I won a few, my sister won a few, Scott won a few.  It was fierce competition.

We ended our time there with the water exhibits outside in the rain.  We got so used to it raining and we all had hoods.  I just wish I had bought a stroller rain cover.  It's the only thing we forgot, so I call that a win.  We headed to the Armory for lunch.  Just a short walk, from the science center.  

By the way, most of these attractions are located in Seattle Center (the monorail, science center, children's museum, Chihuly, children's theater, outdoor skating rink, space needle, another museum we didn't go to and the coolest playground we never got to which is the only thing not marked off my kids wishlist). 

My favorite food of the entire trip was a no name cake from the pizza place in the Armory.  They are like a ding dong but so much better.  Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering thinking about them.  I literally had one almost everyday and asked if they shipped.  Sadly, they don't but I am making my sister bring me some when she comes for her shower in February.  

After lunch, we walked to the space needle and finally took the coveted elevator to the top.  Along the way to the elevator, there is a ton of historical information on how they built it.  Can you believe they built it in less than a year for the World's Fair?  

There's a revolving restaurant inside but it's closed for renovation while they put the glass floor in.  It was a cloudy day but you could see for miles and it was fun to get panoramic views of the city.

Solon was so excited to find what he really wanted for his souvenir at the gift shop.  A lego Space Needle (it's an off brand) but that's all he wanted.  Phew, we found it.  He was stoked.  After we made our purchases, my mom and sister took the kids to the children's museum while my dad, Scott, Madelynne and I headed to the Chihuly museum.  He is a famous glass blowing artist and the displays were beautiful.

My favorite part of the museum was the live demonstration they did.  It was about 20 minutes and they actually blew glass (see photo below).  I have never seen anything like it and it's such a beautiful art form.  This art blowing group retro-fitted an airstream trailer and they tour the country sharing their talents.  They are only at the Chihuly glass museum in the off season (so they won't be there if you go in the summer).

My sister and mom were underwhelmed by the museum but the kids loved it.  They especially loved the PNW exhibit.  So much better than a glass exhibit.  I would have needed a paper bag, not super kid friendly!

So, at this point normal people would have called it a day but since we are adopting my dad told us about this authentic Chinese restaurant and we decided to go.  Why not?  We headed over by monorail to Din Tai Fung.  While we waited, we watched them make soup dumplings in the window. 

My dad travels to China several times a year for work so he was so excited to have us try all the foods.  I now know what to order when we go.  We all loved the soup dumpling and potstickers (there might be a more technical term but there are pictures thank goodness).

This day seemed to turn into the tour of countries and foods because we ended our day at the Rhein Haus for bocce ball and German food.  I had the most delicious holiday mule drink there and they had delicious soft pretzel bites.   Everyone had fun playing bocce ball.  #competition 

At that point, we were all exhausted and ready to head home.  Our rental had a hot tub on the roof so the kids were excited to go home and swim before bed.  It was fun to sit out there and take in the city skyline at night.  

The next day was Thanksgiving and we had no sight seeing on the agenda.  We were all excited to have a day at home to play games.  My Aunt and her family live in West Richland and my grandparents were visiting them from Iowa SO they all came over to celebrate Thanksgiving together.  

My sister ordered all the food from Whole Foods since we were in a rental it worked perfectly.  We just had to warm it all up.  My mom set the table so cute with our favorite traditional crackers and flowers from the farmer's market.

After dinner, my family humored me with some party games.  We laughed so hard and my grandparents happily participated in all the feather races.  First, pass the feather by straw and then the feather race.  Seriously, I am beginning to think I have a competition problem.  ;)

Since, it's so rare we all get together for a holiday we had to capture the moment.  We decided the last major holiday we were together was Christmas 2000.  My heart is so happy to think that my grandparents had all their children's family's represented and we got to FaceTime with those that were not there.

We ended the night with another hot tub soak and then the adults played some games before bed.  We had one more day in Seattle to explore the next day!

Friday morning, we got up and we were all so excited to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  The kids were pumped to drive the car right on to the ferry.  Solon, especially, loves to fully enjoy each city's transportation opportunities.  That's a son of a civil engineer for you :).

It was brunch time when we arrived so we went to the Madison Diner.  It wasn't very big but we only had to wait a bit and you guessed it, I got the Crab Benedict.  So good. 

After lunch, we explored the quaint downtown and browsed the shops.  The kids enjoyed the large open grass area and we just enjoyed the cutest little island around.

That afternoon on our way home, we stopped back by Ballard for some coffee, cupcakes and shopping before heading home to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday with my family's favorite raclette dinner.  We also gifted my mom with a list of our 60 favorite things about her.  We each contributed items.  A fan favorite was Solon's - "I love your lake shed".  We finished the night, with you guessed it, one last hot tub soak before we packed up and headed to bed.

The next morning, we got up and wore our matching shirts I made for my mom's 60th birthday.  We all love White Christmas (Vera is named after it of course) and snapped a few selfies before packing the car and rolling out.

I snapped a couple of pictures of our rental.  It had 2 units - both the main house and the basement.  We rented it all out to accommodate our large family but there was more than enough room.  There were some really cute features including the toy kitchen, roof top hot tub and a whole room of bunk beds the kids enjoyed.

The toilet above was also a hot topic of conversation all week.  Seattle is known for their environment conservation efforts.  This toilet had a sink that turned on when you flushed the toilet and you washed your hands as it refilled the tank.  The only downside was if someone dripped as they reached for the towel, the next user would have a damp experience ;).  The kids thought it was hilarious.

We had the best city hosts in my sister in law and brother in law.  They love their home and they had fun showing it off.  We loved having locals give us the tour.  It makes the trip more special!  Before we left, Solon had to say goodbye to their dog who had spent a few days at the dog hotel.

That boy wishes we would get a dog but my heart is still healing from the loss of our last pup and the puppy stage does not sound tempting to me with 3, soon to be 4, kids so we enjoy visiting them.  I am pretty sure it will be the first thing he gets when he is a gainfully-employed adult though ;).

Then just like that, we were in a jet plane headed home.  Funny story, we pre-boarded first and right after we got on, they found puke on the floor in first class (not us!) so they stopped boarding and we hung out on the plane with the crew for about an hour while they waited to clean it up.  The kids got to visit the pilot, try on their hats and get wings.  

And just like that we were back home and ready to kick off the Christmas season.  I love traveling with my family.  There are crazy moments but when I look back all I remember is how fully present I was.  There were no chores to do, emails to respond to and to do lists to mark off.  The memories, I hope, will be forever tucked in our hearts.  We are already counting down the days until our next BIG trip ;). #Chinaherewecome

 Until next time, keep on keeping on with a joyful, faith-filled, purposeful life.  #tribekoko
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