O'Shea Summer Tour: Part Two and a Half

After we were on Vashon we decided to take advantage of being so close to Seattle and see some sights and an old Reno friend! It was lovely weather, though maybe a bit hot, but no rain so we got to do a lot of walking and sightseeing as well as some good solo runs down along the water; here are some of the things we did:

Eat/Drink
Pike Place Market - We had to get our tourist on and stroll around - the girls were especially excited to see fish being thrown around - so we headed for a visit before dinner one evening. We popped into a cheese place that had a big ol' cheese making vat and picked up some cheese and crackers to snack on as we walked around. Although we did not wait in the loooong line, we saw the original Starbucks and this former barista felt a twinge of pride at that cool old sign. The Market is definitely a busy place, but we went later in the afternoon (4/5pm) and were able to get around and pop in and out of shops easily.

Japonessa - We made reservations for this busy spot and were so excited when we realized it was happy hour! We got a ton of sushi and great cocktails for less than we usually spend on all-you-can-eat in Boston and the girls got to enjoy bowls upon bowls of rice (they LOVE it). This was a short walk from our hotel, which was great because I could have rolled back after!

Do
Pacific Science Center - After getting some advice from friends who are locals that this was a lot better than the aquarium, and then seeing how small the aquarium is, we made a good last minute decision to come here. It was really awesome and had things that both girls enjoyed including walking through a bunch of dinosaurs and a very cool bubble show. There is also a beautiful butterfly garden which is where I sadly realized that it totally creeps me out to have butterflies on me and had to run out of a little quickly :)

Space Needle - After the museum we went to grab a Starbucks and were contemplating going through the lines and money to go to the top. A sweet young woman who was also in line overheard us talking and told us that she was an elevator operator about to go on shift and she would be happy to have us as her free guests for the day. It was such an incredibly kind offer and we got whisked in past the lines like VIPs! The kindness of strangers is something I am such a firm believer in, and it never fails to disappoint! The views were, of course, incredible and they also had a yummy beer brewed just for them and huge bags of popcorn, so everyone was very happy. The cheesy pic we had taken is kind of my favorite thing ever and is definitely getting framed for our gallery wall!

Stay
We are Hilton Club members so we used a few of our rewards points to get a bit of a discount at The Arctic Club which is a DoubleTree. I thought we were getting a suite with a separate bedroom, but it was just a big room that also had a pull out couch in it (not my first time doing this, whoops!). It all turned out fine and we rotated sleeping arrangements so that everyone got in their beauty sleep. The hotel was super cute with lots of retro decor and walruses everywhere! We got in before our room was ready so we hung out in their beautiful lobby by the fireplace while Annie slept and Maddie enjoyed some of those yummy chocolate chip cookies they are known for. It had easy walking access to everything we wanted to see and the restaurant downstairs had an amazing brunch (and really wonderful service). If you ever stay, do not pay the crazy rate for their valet because there are a ton of lots and garages around (and free Sunday parking) so you can save a lot of money with a little planning of when to be in and out of the car.

Kiddo Suggestions
Seattle has a lot of hills, so plan accordingly with your mode of transportation. We used the stroller a little more than usual knowing that those little kid legs would get tired as easy as our backs would with the Ergo.  We had a car because of our trip to Vashon and probably could have done without it once we were in Seattle, but it was nice to be able to drive to the museum and to the airport when it was time to go.
Sea-Tac Airport pro tip: the rental cars are all off of the airport property and accessible by a shuttle ride so on our return trip I dropped the family and all of our stuff (car seats, stroller, travel crib, luggage) and then took the car back so I could just hop on the shuttle and not have to haul everything on and off of it like when we arrived. It was totally Matt's idea and it was genius. We have rented car seats before and this is always a good option too, but we really like a challenge to see how much we can pile on our suitcases :)

And then, we were home sweet home...for three whole days before we were off again! Here are some of my favorite pics from the Seattle end of this trip:
A princess and her fireplace. 

The size of that butterfly was just not right with me. 

Bugs are so cool!

Tourist shot.

But not as touristy as this GEM!

Rice!!

The Seattle Art Museum was closed as we passed it but we got a solid pic.

That sky, though!



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