Last Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m., my sister and I boarded a plane and began our five day trip to Seattle.
Seattle trips are nothing new for us. My dad was born and raised in Seattle and all of his family still lives there. Growing up, we went out to Washington just about once every other year. Because of our summer jobs, my sister and I couldn’t go this past summer. Since neither of us had seen our grandparents since June 2010 and I hadn’t been out to Seattle since July 2007, we decided to take a rare winter trip to the Pacific Northwest this year. I’ve been to Seattle in December before, but I was three months old when that trip occurred, so my memory of the occasion is pretty vague 😉
On Monday, my sister and I spent the day in downtown Seattle. My grandparents live on the East Side, so we don’t often make it to the city itself. We had a good time wandering around the Westlake Center and then stopped for a bite to eat at The Crumpet Shop.
Neither one of us had ever tried crumpets before, but it sounded like fun so we went in. It’s a ridiculously cute and kitschy cafe and we both loved it. We ordered two crumpets and split them. First up was our crumpet with ricotta cheese, pesto, and ham.
And for dessert, a crumpet covered in Nutella! This was my first Nutella experience, and given its popularity in the healthy living/food blogging circles, I was pretty excited to try it.
The Crumpet Shop is right by the Pike Place Market, so we went there next. I’ve been to the market several times before, but it’s a lot different on a Monday afternoon in December than on a Saturday in July. There were still a lot of people there, but it was a lot less overwhelming than usual.
We both got beautiful prints of paintings a woman at the market did and found this amazing stand that sells all sorts of crazy pasta, including chocolate pasta! The market was definitely the highlight of my day in Seattle (aside from purchasing Coldplay tickets for a concert this summer, but I just so happened to be downtown when that occurred, so that doesn’t really count 😉 ).
Even though I had my fill of shopping on Monday, Tuesday our grandparents dropped us off at Bellevue Square in Bellevue. The Square is a pretty large mall in downtown Bellevue with most of your standard mall offerings. While wandering around my sister and I came across Blissberri, a self-serve frozen yogurt place. Even though everyone else in the healthy living blogging community has 20394823 of these available in their hometowns (or so it seems), there are absolutely NONE in my area. We stopped in and made the craziest wonderfulest fro-yo combination known to man. Behold:
Chocolate and peanut butter frozen yogurt swirled together topped with yogurt chips, chocolate chips, Reese’s chunks, Oreo crumbles, brownie bits, gummy bears, hot fudge, and blueberries (to make it healthy, obviously). We definitely went crazy, but since this craze has yet to catch on in our corner of the country, we felt totally justified in doing so. It was AMAZING.
On Tuesday night our grandparents took us to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens where they have the coolest light show I’ve ever seen.
This was not a let’s-cover-every-plant-in-lights-and-see-what-happens sort of deal. The entire garden was filled with light sculptures. You know how in the Rose Parade all of the floats are made from living materials? Imagine that but substitute Christmas lights for roses, and you have Garden d’lights.
If you’re anywhere near Bellevue during the Christmas season, I highly recommend this. It was worth every penny and was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
On Wednesday, our last day out west, my sister and I spent a lot of time outside. We went for a walk on the nature trails near my grandparent’s place in the afternoon, but the real excitement of the day came in the morning.
Bald eagles! We heard them when we were outside my grandparent’s place around 11:00 that morning and found them on top of a fir tree. My grandparents have lived in their current area for almost 20 years and have never seen bald eagles, so this was quite the treat.
We came home yesterday and encountered all sorts of travel problems after our flight out of Seattle got us to Chicago too late. We missed our connecting flight and all flights within an hour of our home were booked for the rest of the day. I had the opportunity to practice my Mom voice on grown-ups (“I need to get home today *hard stare*”) as opposed to unruly summer campers for which that voice is normally reserved. Unfortunately the Mom voice doesn’t create seats on booked planes quite like it gets chatty eight-year-olds to listen to safety instructions at the climbing tower so eventually we gave up, took the Blue Line downtown, walked to Union Station in the rain, bought tickets for the next train home fifteen minutes before it left, and finished the last leg of our trip by rail.
Aside from our homeward journey, the trip was wonderful. I love seeing family and being out west, so it was a fantastic five days.
Where did you go on your last vacation?