Monday, September 1, 2014

"Why Aren't We Flying? Because Getting There Is Half The Fun! You Know That!"

 Ooo-de-lolly, brothers and sisters, did we ever take a vacation. We spent a week in Washington State and had all the family togetherness we could handle. It was pretty great.

 We headed out on a Saturday morning, kiddos all tucked into their seats, with movies available, when they wanted them. We stopped at our favorite donut shop in Portland (Blue Star - deeeelicious), and then hit the road in earnest.





We stopped in Tacoma (only a couple hours from Portlandia) and met James's cousin, Joe and his wonderful girl at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. We walked around and saw what there was to see. It was nice to stretch our legs and visit with family. 











We said goodbye at the zoo exit, and we forged on to Seattle. The kids were super excited about staying in a hotel room - less excited about sharing a bed, since they both kick in their sleep, and Miss V is restless and takes a long time to fall asleep. We experimented with every configuration, and we ended up starting them in separate beds each night, then moving them to the same bed, once they were both asleep (with a big pillow down the middle). We moved them together, because they complained bitterly about being kept apart, because they are weirdos. Sleep was just part of our adventure though. We had an amazing view out our window, and we couldn't wait to go explore.









Our first cool stop was the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. This ended up being a favorite for all of us. The kids have brought it up again and again.






















The kids each had cameras as well. The J-bird had the camera he received for his birthday, and Miss V had a kid-safe (destructo-proof) camera my mother gave us. Their photos were really fun to go through. Here are the J-bird's shots from the Chihuly exhibit:








And here are Miss V's:




















I enjoyed seeing things from their perspectives My favorite was this series. Here's one I took of James and the kids:





Here's the one Miss V took in the same spot:




 And here's the J-bird's shot:









I'm also fond of this set. James took this shot of the three of us, all taking photos. Take a good look at Miss V's camera...

 ....this is the photo she took. I love it so much.






 We wandered back over to our hotel, seeing the sites, and that was our first evening.
















The kids were up bright and early the next morning, ready to visit the Space Needle.




The J-bird wasn't super sure. He thought we'd be standing on the roof. Once we got up there though, he really loved it.















Once we'd viewed Seattle from the sky, we took the elevator back down to the ground and hopped on the monorail, so we could go visit Pike's Market.









Flying fish!





Juuuuuust in case our children weren't exhausted enough, we took them to the Science Museum. It was awesome, and we had a wonderful time, but whoo, buddy, were we ever tired when we were done.

























The next morning, we went to the Five Spot for breakfast. My friend, Megan had recommended it, and it was really great! They change the decor and theme five times a year, and we were there for a Texas theme. 



After breakfast, we drove out to Treehouse Point in Issaquah. The treehouses at this place were built by Pete Nelson from Treehouse Masters on Animal Planet. James and the kids really love that show, and Treehouse Point is a half hour drive from where we were staying, so James had reserved us a spot on one of their tours. It's a really neat place. People stay in the treehouses, so the tours are arranged around the checkout times. We actually got to up into all of them, and it was very cool, though I am pretty scared of heights, so there was that.




















After climbing all over Treehouse Point, we went back into the city and visited the Pinball Museum, which was another absolute highlight for all four of us. This place is Wonderland. You pay admission at the front, and then all the machines are on free play. It was wonderful. (But then, I love pinball)





(the J-bird took this photo)



When we got back to our hotel room, the J-bird made a pinball game of his own, using his souvenir pinball.


And then we all just blew off a little steam...





The next morning was our last one in the city. We decided to go for broke and take a DUCK TOUR. It was wonderful. Seriously, if you can take one of these, DO IT. The guide was hilarious, we rode all around the city, learned tons of trivia, saw tons of sights, AND we got to go out on the water. The kids really enjoyed it and so did James and I.
























The face of uncertainty, as we headed onto the water...














We had a little lunch after our tour, and then we hit the EMP Museum. This one is pretty great. There's a good mix of exhibits that appeal to adults and stuff for kids.
























Once again, we were all very tired at the end of the day. Our time in Seattle was very fun, but the vacation was only half over. We were heading into National Park territory next...



To Be Continued

(Did you seriously last through that whole thing? I shake you warmly by the hand. That was ridiculous.)













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