We wanted to take a family trip with just the four of us sometime this summer, but we didn't really get around to planning one until late June or so. Add to the mix that we didn't have any particular place where we wanted to go and we probably could have thrown darts at a dartboard and ended up happy. Instead, we used some online price tracking tools to find the cheapest flights to anywhere from Salt Lake City. After throwing out Vegas and Boise (we've visited Vegas a number of times, and Boise...), flights on Southwest to Seattle came in on the lowest end of the spectrum. We checked the Mariner's schedule and picked a weekend when they would be in town to set up our visit.
It was fun to take the girls on the airplane. They both were champs and seemed to enjoy themselves. It was also nice to not have to pay for any checked bags because between the four of us and our carseats and stroller, we had a bunch.
The weather was absolutely perfect for our entire trip. The temperature hovered around 80 degrees and we didn't get a lick of rain. Every day in Seattle we had gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier (at 14,411 feet the mountain is the second tallest in the lower 48, but it is one of the most topographically prominent mountains in the entire world).
The first thing that we did once we landed in Seattle was to gasp at the greenery all around. Coming from the uber-dry state of Utah, the dense foliage and beautiful trees are always amazing. Once our gasping was completed, we jumped in our rental car and headed over to Pike's Place Market. I wanted to visit a small Russian bakery, Piroshki-Piroshki, for lunch where Ada and I shared a cheese and meat piroshki (a small meat and cheese filled bun). Alison grabbed lunch at a French bakery before we headed over to watch the fish-throwers. This was Alison's first meat in over four weeks (I had broken my vegetarianism earlier that morning with my favorite Caesar salad bagel from the Salt Lake Airport).
Waiting for Alison and Ada taking a bathroom break.
Apparently she is storing some lunch in her cheeks for later.
We lucked out and didn't have to wait long for the fish sellers to start throwing their wares. They really rocket those things. I almost felt bad for the lady standing behind the fish catcher. She about had a heart attack because she almost got a face full of cod. Luckily, the fish was caught.
Ada was a little nervous to touch the fish, but I convinced her to do so. Before long she started hitting and pounding on the fish on the tables like crazy. It took all that I had to restrain her because I was laughing so hard.
This bronzed pig just outside the market must be a popular icon in Asia, because the whole time we were there, even when the girls were climbing on the pig, there was an Asian reporter and camera crew doing some sort of feature story on the pig.
Our biggest fight the whole time was who would get to sit in the back of the stroller. We did out best to have the girls take turns, but neither one wanted to sit in the front of the stroller. Of course, we bribed whoever was sitting in the front of the stroller with extra treats, fruit snacks and candy.
Next we headed down to the waterfront, but on the way we made the obligatory stop at the bubble-gum wall. We had to take extra care to keep the stroller away from the wall because both Ada and Kate were grabbing for the chewed gum specimens.
Our first Seattle attraction was the Seattle Aquarium. We opted to purchase Seattle City Passes to save on admission to 5 of the 6 included attractions that interested us.
The aquarium was fun for the girls. They enjoyed touching the starfish and seeing the various marine animals.
Our next attraction was a 1-hour fairy ride (oopsie, I meant ferry ride) around the Seattle harbor and Elliot Bay. The girls enjoyed being on the boat and we got some great views of the city. One of my favorite features of our camera is the panoramic pictures, so I'll have a post of just those pictures (but don't expect them for another 6 months or so...).
The Space Needle from the harbor.
Mommy and Kate.
We stopped and ate dinner at some seafood place on one of the piers on our way back to our car. Alison and I had hamburgers (we forced Ada and Kate to share some fish and chips at least).
We stayed the night at Red Lion Hotel in Bellevue. We had wanted to stay closer to downtown (or even in downtown), but all of the hotels were surprisingly expensive this entire trip. We apparently picked the very height of the tourist season for the Pacific Northwest to visit.