We’ve been back almost two weeks now, but I’m still missing the absolutely amazing summer weather we had for our week in Seattle! Ahhh. This was the first family trip we’d done (other than occasional weekend jaunts to Corpus Christi) since going to my parents house in Charlotte in April 2016. Our last trip to Seattle was more than three years ago — Emma was Charlotte’s age at the time, and she was the only kid (vs. 4 kids this time) — so we were overdue. We were all looking forward to the getaway, and of course to seeing my sister and meeting our new niece/cousin. My sister used to live in Auburn, but they moved to Bellevue about six months ago so it was also fun to see their new house and as a bonus, Bellevue is a lot closer to things than Auburn!
We flew in on Wednesday evening and decided to head downtown to Seattle Center the next day. I wanted to take the girls to the top of the Space Needle, thinking Emma would like it! She did — but before we got to the top, we had to wait in line for more than half an hour. That was tough for all the kids, and they were all pretty over it by the time we finally did get in. I think Emma’s favorite part turned out to be the elevator…and the popcorn she begged us to get from the snack bar. Nonetheless, I’m glad we went up there. The weather was great and we could see for miles. And hey, we got a free group photo out of it that actually turned out pretty well!
On Friday, we went to Coulon Park on the south shore of Lake Washington. The kids enjoyed the playground for a while, and we had a yummy fish and chips lunch at the Ivar’s there before exploring the dock/pier for a while. That afternoon we relaxed back at the house and the girls enjoyed playing in Elizabeth’s new sandbox.
On Saturday, we picked blueberries at Larsen Lake Blueberry Farms in Bellevue, not far from Katie and Joel’s house. I’d never picked blueberries before and it was really fun! The season was just starting so a lot of the berries were still green, but within an hour we still had enough ripe berries to fill a large mixing bowl. I think Charlotte ate at least a hundred of them right then — straight off the bush and into her mouth, no less. Ha! Over the next few days Joel made blueberry muffins and blueberry crisp, and we all ate the rest by the handful. They were so good!
That afternoon, we went over to my friend Jen’s house and then out to dinner with them — and apparently I took zero photos of any of that. I know Jen took a photo of the two of us, so I’ll have to get it from her! Also, I have to mom-brag for a moment because we had 6 adults and 6 kids at a restaurant and there were no meltdowns or crazy behavior. In fact, one of the waitresses complimented my sister on all our well-behaved kids as we left. Good job kids!
On Sunday we headed back into Seattle to hit Pike Place Market. We got there early — before 10:00 — and that turned out to be a very good thing. We had time and space to walk through the market, get some snacks, and watch the famous fish throwing before the crowds arrived. By the time we left the area around 1:30 or 2:00, it was PACKED. Later that afternoon, we finally took a walk along the pipeline that runs near Katie and Joel’s house. There was an elementary school just a couple blocks away that had some play equipment for the girls to enjoy, and it was a nice little walk.
On Monday we met up with Jen and her kids again at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. This was the only day where we had overcast weather! There was a great playground here including a zipline that Emma LOVED. I’ve never seen a zipline like this at a park before but it was so cool — and now I think all parks need ziplines! We had lunch at Panera afterward where all of the kids were amazingly good again.
Tuesday was our final full day in town, and we decided to visit yet another awesome park. Seattle has so many great parks! I’m sure they’re dreary in the fall and winter but man are they beautiful in July. We headed over to Seward Park on the west shore of Lake Washington where we found another great playground and a nice little spot where the kids spent 20 minutes throwing rocks into the lake. We stopped at a bakery for treats on the way home, and that night Joel built a fire and we made smores. Mmm!
Alas, Wednesday dawned and we had to go home. Our flights to and from Seattle three years ago with toddler Emma were the worst flights we’ve ever taken with kids thanks to solid half-hour chunks of screaming each way. I was VERY nervous about our flights this time since Charlotte is at that same tough age — mobile and squirmy, but lacking the attention span to spend the 4-hour flight watching movies like her big sister now can. But overall, Charlotte’s trend towards clinginess worked in our favor and it was nice to have the whole row to ourselves. Jose and I agreed that she earned a B+ for the flight out and a C on the return…but compared to Emma’s D- three years ago, I’ll take it! Ha! We’ll have to buy 4 tickets from now on since Charlotte is almost 2, and while that hurts from a financial standpoint, it’ll be nice not to have a lap child anymore.
Hopefully we’ll be back before another 3 years have passed!