Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mark Another One Off of My List

We went on our first official family road trip (to Seattle and back) last week. I don't think I've driven that far since I moved out to California ten (!!) years ago.  It went surprisingly well. We listened to the entire collection of Peter Rabbit tales--quite violent really--Peter's dad gets baked into a pie after having an accident in Mr. McGregor's garden, Squirrel Nutkin is nearly skinned by Mr. Brown (not that he didn't deserve it. That's one fricking annoying squirrel.)

And we stopped at a variety of non-kid friendly parks along the way. Note to husband, if you ask your male teenage server where a nice park is, you're guaranteed to find a rusty swingset set in a blazing hot non-shaded, n0n-gated cement pad. With some friendly pedophiles lurking around the co-ed bathrooms.

Actually, it wasn't that bad. The kids didn't mind the 100 degree heatwave.

They just jumped into the lake.

Although it was a little bit ganky. It actually reminded me of being a kid at Kilpatrick's dam, wanting to go into the water, and eventually getting tossed in after what seemed like hours of endless whining and badgering. 

After that lovely little dip, we were delighted to arrive at the Silver Cloud Hotel in Seattle. We  booked it over Priceline, so we didn't really know what to expect. But it's always a good sign in my book, when your hotel has fluffy white robes (hello, pretty woman) and aveda spa products.

They also bumped us up to a suite for free, which was totally awesome!

The kids liked having their own little room and we broke our no TV rule while on vacation, so they soaked in hours and hours of cartoon garbage while we slept in and read the newspaper in bed--a dream come true. 

The other cool thing about this hotel was that it had a salt water pool on the roof! Here's the view:

The next morning we set off to tour the space needle (number 67 on list of things to do before I die).

Andrew's cousin Mate (sounds like Mah-Tay, he's from Hungary) showed us all around because he's a realtor in Olympia and spends a lot of time in Seattle. 

The kids were not overly impressed with the space needle because while we were standing in the enormously long line to buy tickets, they saw a carnival next door that they were dying to check out.

I'm not sure why driving around in a circle in a fake car is so much fun, but they were like ecstatic when we finally let them go on a ride. We even went on the ferris wheel, which was really high. (Nobody seemed to inherit my fear of carnival rides . . . i.e. the zipper which Trudy tricked me and Stacy into going on all by ourselves!!! Heart Attack City!!!)

On our last day in Seattle we checked out Pike's Market.

They had a lot of nice flowers (including the ones growing on the roofs.)

Andrew was enticed by the smoked sturgeon.

And they really did have some kick-ass berries. We ate these humongous organic raspberries that were bigger than strawberries. They were SOO good!

Then, we went to my favorite place, Starbucks. (This is not a pc thing to admit in California, but I've been addicted to Starbucks ever since my old roommate Shannon was a barista there and brought home free samples every week.)

This is the original starbucks that introduced the world to the three dollar cup of coffee. I didn't want to look like a total tourist by taking pictures inside, but it was really cool in there. The baristas are up on this coffee-making stage, kind of like Coyote Ugly meets Juan Valdez. We brought home some original pike's market blend, but it really doesn't taste as good at home as it does straight from the coffee shop.

We've been reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so we were psyched when we saw this sign for Turkish Delight.

Is was not happy when we passed by without buying anything.

It seems there's a big glass blowing community in Seattle (who knew?)

and a fair share of Harry Potter fans!

I was sad to leave Seattle, but we had many other adventures in store for us. We drove on to Covallis, OR to visit Nagymama, Andrew's grandmother. She celebrated her 88th birthday last week and seems more like 28.

We went to the park (which incidentally is the most boring place on earth. When my kids outgrow parks I will be singing praises to the heavens.)

But the next day we went to the beach which was a vast improvement.

Here's Nagymama sporting her Mazatlan T-shirt and trendy shades at Nye Beach.

We weren't sure how cold it would be, everyone warned us that the beaches in Oregon weren't like California beaches. But it turned out to be a really nice day.

Anderson and Isabella started playing with a couple of kids in the water and it turned out that their mother graduated from Alliance High in 1992. It was a really weird coincidence that of all the beaches we could have visited, we happened to go to the one where Sonia Kosmiski and her family were visiting and our kids just happened to play together and we just happened to start a conversation about where we were from. And we knew each other and it was weird and awesome.

After the beach, we drove into Newport for some lunch. We decided against the chicken leg. Actually, that's just someone's bait for their crab trap.

If we would have known that crabbing was such a big thing, we would have tried to plan an extra day there so we could try it ourselves.

Ah well, there's always next year. After this trip, I'm feeling much more brave. . . maybe we'll go to Spain for our summer vacation next year. (It's on Andrew's list.) We'll see.


SisterTwo said...

Isabella is getting so tall! Glad you survived the trip. Traveling with children is always so much fun! The car rides just seem to fly by. Andrew's grandma still seems to have the energy of a 20 year old. Wish I had some of that.

Mardell said...

That really looks like fun. I loved Pikes Place when we were there. And the coffee is goooood.

Sister One said...

We got to watch a glass blower when we were at Niagara Falls. It is so cool to see how quickly they can make those pieces!

Great post --- I laughed and laughed.