It is raining as I type these words and it was raining when we arrived. Luckily, we had some sun in between these moments. Seattle is a different kind of place. Bad traffic, hard to navigate streets, alternative transportation that is difficult to figure out….but amazing and beautiful view of water and mountains. Then there is that rain. We tried to visit Lake Sammamish Park once we arrived. It was our introduction to the rain and having to pay to visit anything. Granted, this is a state park and it does make some sense to park to use. But as we went along, we paid for the privilege of using anything anywhere in Seattle.

Our first full day, we visited the Seattle Aquarium and took a harbor cruise. We bought a city pass the adults to use. Gabriel and Sophia were mostly free everywhere we planned to visit…but first we had to find a parking spot. Not an easy thing, and not cheap.  Both the harbor cruise and the aquarium were fun, but traffic seriously was a nightmare.

We meet up with good friends for dinner that night at Skillet (it used to be a food cart in an airstream!!!) The kids had a blast with their Aunties Antje and Jess, and so did we. We took a rather long walk before and after dinner in the rain, but it was a good experience.

The next day was sunny (yea!) and we took advantage of the sun to visit the Seattle Space Needle. Glorious views of the sounds and Bellevue. Lovely. Then we visited the Pacific Science Museum and caught an IMAX movie. Sophia (and Gabriel’s) first movie!

Lunch was at Pike Brewing Company in Pike Place Market. Great beers! I really like the Kilt Lifter and Jon liked the seasonal Old Acquaintance. I have to admit to being disappointed with Pike Place Market. I guess I had expected a real farmer’s market type of place, based on what I had read about. The reality was a very touristy place with very little food and mostly t-shirts and tchotchke.

The next day the kiddos and I met up with Antje at Woodland Zoo. It was nice to have a few hours to walk around and catch up. Sophia just adores her Auntie Antje! They rode the carousel and made elephant ears out of the large leaves. I miss seeing Antje (and Jess) as much as we did when they lived in Tucson, but it is so nice to pick up right where we left off! Isn’t it nice to have friends likes that? I feel fortunate to have a number of friends like that…

For our last day, we decided to avoid the traffic and head east to Snoqaulmie Falls. Unfortunately, the falls (and their trails) were under construction (hydro-power improvements), but we did visit the train museum and the Snoqualmie Brewery. What can I say – Sophia has her playgrounds and we have ours. We really have to start brewing our own when we get back to Tucson!

We rounded out our last day with a walk through the green spaces scattered throughout Bellevue. Phantom Lake (where you have to pay to launch your boat, but not to park!), is connected to the larger greenway. We wandered through pathways and found some blackberries to nibble. It was a nice way to spend an hour.


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