Sunday, July 8, 2012

Seeing Seattle (Part 1)

We made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go visit Seattle for a few days!  We left Tuesday evening and drove about five hours to our hotel in Bellevue.  After a grocery store dinner and some sleep, we were ready the next day to go see the sites on the 4th of July!  Josh got each of us a CityPass, which included admission to the zoo, the aquarium, science center, space needle, and a harbor cruise tour and the music museum.  We were able to hit every site except the music museum, so we felt like we really got our money's worth and took in a lot of Seattle's sites.

The weather was gorgeous both days we were there, and even the elusive Mt. Rainier was visible!  The kids were pretty excited to see the zoo.  It was their first request.  The big kids have only been to the Hogle Zoo, and even then it's been a while, and I don't think Diddles has EVER been to one, so it was a lot of fun to experience it with her.  

 It reminded me so much of going to the zoo for Marie and Emily's birthdays.  Every August we would pack up and drive to the National Zoo and spend the day roaming the grounds and looking at every animal imaginable.  It was fun to relive this memory with my own kids.  Good times!

 Each kid experienced it in their own way.  Boo was fascinated by the map, and bossing us around and telling us where we were to go next.  Yaks would make very thoughtful observations like,  "Mom, I know how you can tell a boy lion from a girl lion.  The boys have manes and the girls do all the work.  I think that's why she's napping." 

Diddles just shoved her siblings out of the way to get the closest look possible.  She could not get enough of the zoo!
We got to see the elephants at their bathing station, which was the closest I know any of them have been to an elephant!  The elephant handler would give it commands like "turn around", "present your right foot", etc. and it would get rewarded with carrots or sweet potatoes.

Boo and Yaks watched for a few minutes.  Diddles stood there completely mesmerized for a full 15 minutes, only uttering the word, "E-fant" a few times.

We missed out on the special pass to go up and feed the giraffes, and you can tell from this video that Diddles doesn't quite understand why she can't "hold" some food to feed the baby and the mommy.  Note Boo with the map in this video!  Keeping us on track.  :)

 The aviary had some seed sticks you could buy and the birds would fly down and eat the seeds.  This was pretty fun, and I think we dropped about 5$ on seed sticks! 

 The grounds were absolutely gorgeous!  Shady, winding paths with hundreds of varieties of trees and bushes.  It was really something.  It's definitely a place to go if you want to beat the heat!  I wore my jacket the entire morning! 
Don't you just love hydrangeas?
After the zoo, we were ready for some lunch.  We put our name in at a pizza place called Serious Pie, and then wandered down the street.  Dahlia Bakery was up the street,  and we bought a loaf of artisan potato bread (with bits of potato skin visible in the moist, delicious bread)!  I'm still kicking myself that I didn't buy a triple coconut cream pie bite.  It's FAMOUS for them!

When we finally got our table at the pizza place, Boo was again disappointed that they didn't have "just cheese" as a pizza topping option.  This was a gourmet pizza place, so the closet thing we could get to, you know, Little Caesar's, was the Buffalo Mozzarella/red sauce/sweet basil and the Sweet Fennel Sausage/peppers/provolone.

After lunch we took a walk-through tour of Pike Place Market, which is CRAZY with two kids and one independent toddler.  I couldn't get through there fast enough!

We toured the Pacific Science Center, where the kids relaxed at a Laser light show, enjoyed the butterfly room and the Dinosaurs exhibit.

Our last stop of the day was to the Space Needle.

Yaks thought we were really going to be launched into outer space, so it was a bit of a downer that it was just a quick elevator ride to a deck.  I know he looked bummed in these pictures, but it's merely his latest pose for any photo we take.  "Oh, you're taking a picture?  Well, here's a frown for you."  Isn't that charming!?

After this stop we were all exhausted.  We headed back to the hotel and they had a lovely little manager's snack set up with trail mix, veggies, dips, sodas, etc.  That, coupled with our leftovers in our hotel room, and we were pretty much set for the night.  Fireworks started at 10pm, but the thought of packing the kids back up and trying to figure out public transportation was just too much for me.  The kids all took baths and zonked out before 9pm!  It felt a little unpatriotic to miss out on the BBQ's and the fireworks and wearing the red/white and blue, but it was a good day, just the same.  The Pacific Northwest is beautiful!

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