Sunday, December 15, 2013

October 11-13 Seattle Trip

Way back in October, I started working Saturdays, and knew that I wouldn't have another Saturday off until Thanksgiving, at which point the weather wouldn't be great and we'd be traveling to see family for the holidays.  We also knew that come spring time when the weather started to improve, I would be super pregnant or have a newborn and we wouldn't be up for much travel.  As a result, we decided that the one weekend I didn't have work in October needed to be a mini family vacation, since we never had fit one in during all the chaos of our summer.  I have to mention that we were really blessed that I was hardly sick at all this weekend despite battling morning sickness.  It was a major concern for us that had us considering cancelling our trip, but despite our worries I only had to take one or two of my anti-nausea pills the whole weekend and we were able to enjoy time as a family.

So, with all that unnecessary explanation, on October 11th we headed out after Steve got off work and drove to our hotel in SeaTac.  It was a classy place, folks....
This was the frame (but only on one side) of our bed.  But, it was a bed and it suited our needs and budget just fine.

Saturday morning we woke up and headed out for our first day of adventure to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

We saw lots of fun animals of course...

 Pretty Kitty!  It's nice to get pictures during a zoo keeper's talk where he throws meat and has her attention...

 Steve's favorite... A bit obvious maybe, but I love him anyway.
 These guys were amazing and walked right up by us!

 Everyone was cracking up at these guys totally falling asleep while sunbathing.  The tongue out is a nice touch of course.

Don't worry, I didn't just take pictures of animals, though.  See, proof that we were there and that the girls had fun.

 Mckayla enjoyed the mirrors in the petting zoo of course.
And Ellie loved the touch tanks, even if she couldn't remember the "one-finger touching" rule...

Of course, not everything went smoothly.  The last thing we did on our way out was let Ellie ride the carousel, because she really wanted to, and we were hoping she'd be over her past traumatic carousel experiences.  It was good we did it and left, because it went BADLY, but it probably didn't help that she was exhausted...  Here she was, excited to ride the lion (which she was excited to choose) before the ride started.  She screamed and cried the entire time the ride was in motion though....  Eventually we'll have to see if she does alright on a stationary carousel animal...

Our favorite part of this day though, came at the very beginning of our zoo visit.  The aquarium now has a stingray touch tank (barbs removed for safety).  Ellie wasn't real sure about touching the rays off and on, but did touch one and talked about it randomly for weeks after.  It was awesome!  The first picture here is showing that they always have a worker on hand to watch over the touch tank and who has a plastic sting ray so nervous children can practice how and where to pet the animals.  Ellie loved the stingray, came back to touch it many times, and at one point tried to take off with it...
 Our camera had issues going from the cold outside to the humid tropical aquarium at first, but this is where Ellie touched her first stingray!  Mckayla enjoyed watching everything as well...
 On our second time around Ellie obviously didn't feel secure being held up over the tank anymore, but she did enjoy playing in the water and trying to touch the rays who swam by her just a little too deep to be within her reach.

After the trauma of the carousel, it was way past nap time, we'd seen all the animals, and it was time we headed out.  We enjoyed driving around the beautiful park that surrounds the zoo though, and even drove past two different families of raccoon!  Here is one set.
 Of course, the girls didn't enjoy the beauty of the ride as much as we did.  They were participating in activities other than sightseeing after such a long, exciting day.

The rest of Saturday was spent eating pizza and watching tv in the hotel room as the weather wasn't good enough to do anything outside.  But we had fun cuddling and hanging out in our room together.

We had decided, after much discussion, to stay over into Sunday too, where this trip would be our only one in quite some time and for quite some time.  So, Sunday morning we headed to the Imagine! children's museum in Everett.

I love these pictures of Steve using his vet training to help Ellie take care of sick animals in the vet hospital.

 Mckayla and I headed off to a toddler area for some of the time.
 Ellie enjoyed driving a bus.
 And an airplane.
But then was ready to be a passenger again on her next flight.
 She spent a TON of time playing in the water area, as she does at every children's play place we've ever visited.
 And then enjoyed building with Daddy to round out our time there.
 Mckayla's favorite activity was playing in a black light area with shapes that fluoresced.
It was great to be there on that day because the weather was rainy and cold.  That meant we couldn't take advantage of their amazing roof playground, but we had so much fun in their light areas, building, pretending, and watching Ellie play and play and play on a pretend stage they had there.  She is such a ham!  Neither of us have any idea where she gets it...

After a few hours at the children's museum we hit the road and headed home to get ready for work the next day.  It was just a quick little weekend trip, but we had a lot of fun with the girls and enjoyed finding time to do something special as just our little family.  We can't wait for our next little adventure with these amazing girls!

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