Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pike Place and Northward Bound

Sunday morning, we got up, ate, and packed up the car.  We had a few hours before meeting back-up with my brother, so we headed downtown around 1030.  We hadn't originally planned to hit Pike Place, but driving through Seattle the day before made me want to go down there.  Plus, we had a few hours to kill.

The weather was fairly decent.  Cloudy with patches of blue sky.  First stop was to get some coffee.  This is the first Starbucks:

Having been there a few times before, we opted to head somewhere else.  The line was very long and the store is VERY small.  Neither condusive to strollers and kids.  So we walked further down the street to Tully's.  It was pretty empty.
Miles loved these two dogs!

Then we went back down to Pike Place.  It was very difficult to keep track of a menadering 4 year old!  We got down below and found some large lillipops from a little candy shop.

Miles watched a little video at the shoe museum.  We wandered around down below and looked at a few stores.

While I was taking this picture, I let go of the stroller and Isla went rolling down part of the street.  Some guy stopped her (maybe three feet from me).  Mom fail!

We then heard from my brother that they wouldn't be able to make it to the park, so we headed north to Bellingham for the second part of our trip.  We stayed in a Comfort Inn in both cities and both times had a king mini suite, but this room took the cake!  For $99 a night, we got quite the nice little room.  You walked into the room and were greeted by the fold out couch (with plenty of room to fold it out!), a separate TV and plenty of room for the pack n play.  The bathroom, kitchenette and closet created a pretty large partition and hallway to the other part of the room.  The other part of the room housed the king bed, furniture, and a separate TV.  It was soooo much nicer to have a little space between us and the kids.  We were able to put them to bed and still keep the lights and TV on in our part of the room.  Success! 

We were early to check into our hotel, so we got some ice cream from Dairy Queen then checked in.  We got settled then headed to Auntie Annie's apartment for some dinner.  I felt it was a bit chaotic with both kids in her adorable and not-that-small-for-a-studio apartment, but I think we ha a nice dinner.

When we got back to the hotel, we were greeted with the fire alarm/smoke detector going off.  Since Miles has been alternating between Batman and a fireman, we had brought both costumes with us on our trip.  His fire hat and a fire coat happened to be in the car, so we went back to the car for him to get dressed up.  He was thrilled to "help" the firemen.

This guy stayed with the truck while the others "cleared the building", so Miles helped him hold down the fort.  The other guests loved it and he became the center of attention!  He was more than happy to drive, as well.

We were bummed to have to wait outside until I realized that an actual fire truck would have to come to deem the building safe for reentry.  The firetruck was very entertaining for our family.

After we were let back in, we got ready for a swim.  While in the pool, the smoke detector went off twice very briefly.  Miles hated it...it was very loud!  I'm guessing they were resetting it or something.  The fixed the problem.  After swimming, the kids enjoyed a bath and went to bed and Ben and I relaxed a bit.

Science Center

After Ikea and lunch, we hit up the Pacific Science Center.  I was so excited to take the kids, espeically Miles!

I was so afraid Miles was going to fall in the water!  He liked looking at the dinosaurs.

We first walked quickly through the dinosaur exhibit.  Miles didn't like the sounds or moving dinos.  We progressed into the exhibit about space.  He loved the space shuttle!

The lighting was really really poor, so please forgive the quality of these.

Isla joined him and enjoyed sitting in the seat as copilot.

Then we went to the play area with all the hands on things for kids.

I remember a bubble exhibit when I was a kid, but they don't have that anymore.

Again, Isla the copilot!

The wheel he's turning made a helicopter blade go around.

Then the kids made some music in the music room.  All kinds of things to bang on!

Isla always enjoys climbing and sliding.

And she's subjected to role of copilot yet again:

He's helping her put her buckle on...such a good big brother.  Someday she'll push him out of the drivers seat!

They also have some sea creatures you can touch.  Miles enojoyed it.  Isla wouln't put her hands in the water.

But, she was happy to look!

Miles loved digging these marbles with the digger.  He did really well.

Isla especially loved all the wacky mirrors.

This rope is to pull up a 250kg weight on the end of a lever.  You can slide the rope along the lever to make it easier or harder to lift.  Miles liked swinging from it :).

The kids had a lot of fun in this room with zippers, weights, textures, mirrors, etc.  It was fun to watch them explore.  Then we went back near the beginning to the bugs!

By this point, Isla was back in her stroller, so we skipped the butterfly room.  There are no strollers aloud :(.  I knew if we took her back out, that getting her back in would be torture and we'd be fighting a meltdown.

When we went back through to the start, Miles changed his mind about the dinosaurs, so we checked them out, too.

Back outside, there are some water toys, squirters, etc.  Miles enjoyed spraying things, like a good fireman!

Then Ben and Miles did the human hamster water wheel!

Watch Miles' feet in these two pictures.  First he started with his feet up high to help get it going...

Ben would get it going too fast and miles would end up on his belly!  He thought it was fun :).

We had a great day at the science center.  It was everything I imagined it would be :).  Miles kept asking if we were going to go back!

Road Trip!

A few weeks ago, we packed our bags, loaded up the car, and hit the road.  This is our first trip just the four of us and the farthes Isla has been!  I was nervous and excited.  We got up "early" (0700ish) in hopes to hit the around 0800.  Well, you know how that goes...0830 rolled around and we were finally moving.  We hit the bank for some cash and then headed for coffee.  It was then that I realized I had left my phone at home and we had to turn around!  We hit I90 at 0930...oh well!

Despite my fears, the kids did remarkable well in the car.  Miles asked, about 30 times, "are we there yet?"  It must be something you're born with!  We stopped at one rest stop, then not again till Ellensburg.  We ate lunch in the car, but hit up McDonald's for a snack and to let the kids run around.  The weather was ok for driving...random cloudbursts with downpours, but otherwise mostly sunny.

It poured right before we got to Ellensburg, so the toys were a bit wet.  We had to change Isla's pants when we got back to the car!

They enjoyed eating french fries and nuggets (they split a happy meal) and stretching their legs.  Then we got back into the car and headed to North Bend for a bit of shopping.  We arrived around 2:30.  We stayed for two hours...big mistake!  When we left, we knew we were going to hit rush hour.  It took us 2 hours and a slight detour to get to our hotel in Kirkland...woops!  During this portion of the ride, Miles proclaimed that, "I hate this car.  I don't want to sit a minute longer.  I hate sitting!  My bummy hurts!  I hate this car!"  It made me laugh :).  Other than that, both kids were great.  Isla slept all of 10min, but there were no major melt downs or tantrums.  They read books and talked to each other.

Afer arriving in Kirkland, we had dinner and headed back to our tiny hotel room.  It was a bit of a disastor.  Our King "mini" suite sure was mini!  Miles slept on the couch instead of the pull out bed because if you pulled the bed out, you had to climb over it to get to the bathroom!  Insane.  Also, with the bed out, there was no room for the pack n play for Isla...not that it mattered.  The first night, we all four ended up in the king bed by 9:30!

The next morning, we headed south to Renton for an Ikea run.  We hadn't planned on hitting up Ikea, so we didn't bring money for shopping and also didn't have room in the ol' Forester for anything.  We did purchase a new "sparky" dog, as Miles gave his old one to Auntie Annie for her birthday one year.  Sparky came in handy!  We met Tim and Heidi and the girls at Ikea.  Somehow I managed to not get any pictues of them or Ikea...apparently I was slacking!  We wandered around and daydreamnt about having an Ikea near home...

Then we hit up the only (or one of the only) Popeye's Chicken places this end of the country.  Ben loves thie place!

After Renton, we went back north to Seattle for a trip to the science center.  The day was decent...partly sunny with some scattered sprinkles.

Miles is holding his new Batman that we purchased at the outlet malls for a non-outlet price!  He loves it and carried it everywhere all week!
We also admired the Chahuli glass garden from outside the fence.  That yellow "flower" is made from glass!!!  Beautiful.  The exhibit was a bit spendy, and not something the kids would have appriciated (not to mention that we would be paranoid taking toddlers/little kids in there!)...so we snapped this picture and moved along :).

I have about 300 picures from the science center, so that it coming in it's own post.  Our trip got off to a great start!