Seattle has been on our list for YEARS! Ryan had to go for work so the kids and I joined him at the end of the trip. Ryan worked all over the Seattle area and the kids and I got a really late start on the day we drove in, so we basically spent one day there.
We got in around 8:30pm and put the monkeys straight to bed. The next morning Ryan went to work and I excitedly spent a little alone time doing some Blessed by Birth marketing until everybody woke up, then we all ate breakfast. Since we don’t have cable at home, A always begs to “watch a couple kid shows” in the morning on days we stay at hotels… and unfortunately, on this day I obliged. I had really wanted to go “hike” around West Hylebos Wetlands Park together, both to explore all the greenery and to check out the historic cabins, but I wrongly assumed we’d have time later that day so I let them watch Curious George AND Daniel Tiger before getting them dressed and getting us all out the door.
We ran an errand, accidentally got on a scary freeway (big cities, man), got stuck at a light for almost 20 minutes because I was turning left and everybody going straight kept gridlocking the intersection so that nobody could go when their light was green (big cities, man), had to detour a couple of times because of road construction, and then finally (over an hour after I had expected to be there!!) grabbed lunch at Marlene’s Natural Food Market & Deli in Federal Way, which is where the hotel was. There was also a branch in Tacoma, FYI. Health food stores are of course expensive as a rule, but this one really wasn’t too bad. I needed baby wipes and was pretty surprised to see that the price was fine, plus their smoothies were cheap which is NEVER the case as you probably know.
After lunch I ran another errand, got a little lost even with the GPS because of road construction, and then somehow it was already almost 3! Big cities, man.
We pulled into the parking lot of the West Hybloes Wetlands Park, but then I got a call from Ryan saying he was off early because of a change in plans and that he’d be working elsewhere in the morning so we should actually head into Seattle NOW if we wanted to see it at all. So we hurried back to the hotel to change everybody’s gross smoothie-covered clothes, do the potty-diaper boogie, and fill up lil bellies with snacks… and then we were off, to the Seattle Aquarium!
There was lots more traffic and scary freeway driving (luckily with Ryan driving this time), and lots more road construction… and parking was a bit crazy. But we did eventually get there! And I was only accosted by one person asking for money!
The kids loved the aquarium! Favorites were the harbor seals, the sea otters, and the octopus. A touched a star fish, which he thought was awesome, and C was generally enamored with all the fish. (We went to a pet store the next day and she excitedly shouted fiiii! Fiiii! when we got to the fish area!) One word of advice… we were there in time for both the octopus feeding and the seal feeding, but both of our big kids were really disinterested in the feedings and honestly kind of just annoyed by all the grown-ups hovering around them so they couldn’t see the animals very good any ways. I’d say skip the feedings if your kids aren’t ultra-interested.
We got to Pike Place Market around 5:30, which is apparently not a great time to get there since they close at 6, but still.
There was supposed to be a cool gluten free restaurant inside but we couldn’t find it so we ended up just walking around a little and then heading to dinner at an Italian place called Razzi’s.
Razzi’s, you guys! Oh man. This is the first time we have ever encountered gluten free calzones OR gluten free mozzarella sticks, both of which were excellent. Even re-heated. =]
We opted NOT to walk in the Space Needle with the kids but did want to see it in the evening skyline… but of course the Canon’s battery died before we could take a picture =0
I debated even sharing but I guess I just will because it’s my blog and I can say what I want here!
Seattle felt REEEEEEALLY overrated to us. We both agreed that it would probably have been very different had we not gone with kids. Pike Place Market had a lot of quirky and interesting things to see, but we just perceived it as crowded and stressful because were trying to all stay together. The aquarium was neat, but definitely nowhere near as cool as others we’ve been to, and yet it was the most expensive we’ve ever been to. It cost us $70 to all get in but it felt a lot more like a $40 aquarium. We had to pay to park by the aquarium, then got a $43 parking ticket for getting back to the car four minutes late. Then we had to pay to park for our dinner too. Big cities, man.
Seattle was expensive, crowded, trafficky as heck, and felt generally unsafe. I don’t mean that in a naïve, small-town way. I’ve lived in Phoenix and I’ve visted big cities many times. Phoenix, Denver, Minneapolis, Portland, Austin, Salt Lake City. I walked alone with my baby in downtown Minneapolis at 1am once, and let me tell you, I felt 20 times safer there than I did in downtown Seattle with Ryan by my side and in broad daylight.
This isn’t something I say often but I’m going to say it now: I personally do not consider Seattle a great place for family travel.
Have you been? If so, did you have a (hopefully!) completely different experience?