Sorry for the delay! We’ve been visiting with lots of friends and family, which has been awesome, but hasn’t left much time for blogging.
Here’s a run-down of our final days in Seattle.
One of the things Havarti really wanted to do in Seattle was go to a Mariners Game. I think the last time we went to one, The Muse was a toddler. So it’s been a while.
I know it’s sacreligious to the die-hard baseball fans, but I actually prefer watching baseball on TV to watching it in real life. But there is a fun energy to being at a stadium, and Safeco Field – if it’s not too feminine to say about a baseball venue – is really lovely.
No, BoyWonder’s not picking his nose. Really.
They also have awesome food. You can get almost anything at Safeco, including really good sushi and gluten-free hot dog buns. I even bought an organic orange. Gotta love those Seattlites and their hippie dippy ways. 🙂
It was Kids Day at the field, so the kids got a free t-shirt and got to run around the bases after the game was over. I would love to say that this whole experience was idyllic and whatnot, but we had walked around downtown for two hours before the game, so the kids were a little wiped and gripey. It got really hot in the sun, BoyWonder got bored, and we climbed a jillion stairs to move to seats way up in the stadium for shade during the sixth inning, only to stay there for ten minutes before being told that we should get in line for running the bases if we wanted a good spot in line.
So we spent the last two innings in line to run the bases, with only about a dozen people in front of us. That was awesome, except that we misjudged how quickly the ninth inning was going to go, and Havarti was gone looking at some souvenir stuff and the girls were gone to the bathroom when the line started to move down to the field. Luckily, the attendants let BoyWonder and I duck over to the side and reinsert ourselves after the family came back, albeit much further back in the line.
Then when it came time to run the bases, the girls jumped right up there when their turn came, but BoyWonder hesitated. It was loud and a bit chaotic, so the girls couldn’t hear us calling them to come back to get him, and they wouldn’t let parents run with the kids. BoyWonder kept vacillating, wanting to go, but not wanting to go by himself. Thankfully, after the girls hit home base we were able to send them again, this time with BoyWonder in tow.
Then everyone was happy for about five minutes before we had to walk back to the car, which prompted further whining.
It wasn’t our best moment. But I’m sure the good memories will win out over the gritchy ones in the long run. They always do.
Bainbridge Island Ferry
After the game, we decided to take the Bainbridge Island Ferry, just for kicks (and to get a good view of Mount Rainier). That was fun, but freezing on the way back. I wore a skirt, and trying to keep myself warm and keep my skirt from flying up over my head in the wind proved tricky. I’m amazed that these shots came out as clear as they did.
I love taking the ferry, though. Seattle really is a sparklingly gorgeous city in the summer, and it’s fun to look at it from the water. We missed the ferry we wanted to take back, but ended up on the one with the sunset. So that was good. The sun setting behind the islands is just beautiful.
Apple iMovie Camp
The girls had a cool time learning how to use iMovie at Apple Camp. They do these camps at most (or all?) Apple stores, and they’re FREE! You just have to sign up. It’s three days, for an hour and a half each day. They made storyboards and learned a bit about how to use Garage Band on the iPad, too. They made some pretty silly two-minute movies. And hey, free t-shirt. 🙂
Pike Place Market
Going to Pike Place Market is one of our very favorite Seattle activities. It’s just an experience in and of itself. Colorful, lively, funky – and always crowded – it’s just a unique Seattle attraction that never gets old for us. We like to buy a bin of organic berries and eat it as we walk along. They have crazy cheap flower arrangements, and of course, the famous fish-throwing fishmongers. They really do throw the fish every few minutes. It’s oddly entertaining.
I loved that the silver man was ordering coffee, so I took a photo of him.
This is where they throw the fish. Couldn’t get a photo of it, though. They don’t really throw them at random – they have the fish on display on ice in front of the store, and when someone picks one, the guy up front throws it to the guy in the back to be packaged. I’m pretty sure they just throw them for fun sometimes, though. I would.
BoyWonder got a new stuffie cuz Mommy’s a sucker.
We still use the Ergo for BoyWonder. That thing has been the best parenting investment we’ve ever made.
There are also some great street musicians down there. These guys were our favorites. They sounded like a real old-fashioned band, singing in four-part harmony along with playing their instruments. I wish I’d gotten their name.
The Muse was actually going to try some busking (that’s the technical term for playing on the street for tips) with her violin to make some money towards her own i-Pod. Apparently, you can busk almost anywhere without a permit. Very cool. Unfortunately, she came down with some sort of virus and was sick in bed with a fever for four days – right through the weekend she had planned to busk. Bummer. She might try again in Chicago.
Red Grammer Concert
Speaking of musicians, we got to see our favorite children’s musician, Red Grammer, perform while we were in Seattle. If you’re not familiar with his music, you should be, especially if you have young kids. His songs are positive, fun, sweet, and catchy, and not annoying at all. He’s won Grammys and stuff. And Red himself is just pure joy. Our kids have always loved his music and his concerts.
He had the kids (and some adults) come up to help act out a song. The girls had a blast, as you can see.
You can find Red’s music here: www.redgrammer.com. “Teaching Peace” is a fantastic album. They’re all good, but that one’s my favorite.
Mt. Rainier Camping
I’m not a camper. If we had an RV, I’d probably be more amenable, but I’m just not that big on dirt. I love nature, love the outdoors, but I love to be out in it for the day and then tuck into my cozy bed in a house with a shower and a kitchen sink.
However, our one night of camping at Mount Rainier National Park was pretty cool.
The first two hours kind of sucked because it was a bit hot and muggy, and we stupidly decided to take a hike. The kids complained. I tried to be a good example by not complaining, but I wanted to. My people really don’t do heat.
This tree section shows what year each of its rings was formed.
Saw this little fellow on our hike. I promptly shoved this photo out of my mind after taking it. Not a fan of snakes.
This was a natural hot spring. Kind of gunky looking now, but many years ago they used to have this section of the park as a hot springs bathing spot.
The water in general up there is crazy clear. Straight off the mountain.
After that, though, it got a lot more fun. We literally brought nothing to do and very basic foodstuffs. Our campsite was right above a really pretty river lined with rocks, so we spent a lot of time tossing rocks in the river. It’s amazing how long kids can spend throwing rocks (probably because most of their life they’ve been told not to throw rocks).
We also spent a lot of time around the fire just hanging out. BoyWonder tossed little bark pieces into the fire, The Muse played with my and Dolittle’s hair, and Dolittle made up silly stories to entertain us. It was the most basic fun, but really great. We’d been spending more time on electronics than I feel comfortable with lately, so some unplugged time where we literally had nothing but nature and our imaginations for a day was very therapeutic.
If you sat at the picnic table, this is what you saw.
We took a drive to get a good view of Mt. Rainier.
Sleeping in the tent wasn’t bad. We have these Wenzel self-inflating mats we bought off of Amazon, which work really well. I was really surprised at how comfortable they are to sleep on. I didn’t feel any ground beneath me at all – like sleeping on a firm mattress. I would actually prefer a cot, but the mats are cheaper.
The coolest part of our camping trip was on the way home, though. We wanted some good views of Mount Rainier, and Havarti had heard that Crystal Mountain ski resort had a gondola you could ride up in the summer for a great view. So we went there and splurged on the gondola ride. It was worth it. Mount Rainier right there in your face! And you could see Mount Baker well, too. And even a bit of the top of Mount St. Helens. Just an amazing vista. And apparently we were there on the best day they’ve had all season long.
Right there in the middle in the back is the top of Mt. St. Helens.
Hard to capture this view in a photo, but it was incredible.
And there were some very friendly chipmunks there, too. I think the kids liked them more than the mountains.
Mt. Baker, I believe. (There’s a small chance it’s Mt. Adams, but I’m pretty sure this was Baker.)
We just love Seattle. Lots of interesting things to do, absolutely gorgeous parks (I didn’t even include any photos of those, but the arboretum is just lovely – and free!). And so so SO much to see and do within a day’s drive. We didn’t even get to the Olympic Peninsula, which was a bummer. The whole area is filled with natural beauty. Definitely worth a visit, if you ever get a chance.
Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.