We are back from Seattle! Our little family of three popped across the country last week and had a blast visiting the Pacific Northwest.
And when I say "popped across the country" y'all know this was no small feat with a toddler in tow. These were actually flights 33, 34, 35 and 36 for our little man. That's right, as of our return flights back, Parker has now been on 36 airplane flights. Luckily most of those were flown before he turned two and required his own seat and (full price!) ticket. It's also worth noting that even though he needs his own ticket, he can still accompany us through TSA Pre-Check which is all sorts of awesome (read more about my love of Pre-Check and Global entry here).
We decided for this flight we'd go ahead and purchase kid-friendly headphones so that Parker could watch video on our phones and iPad (we started allowing him to watch short video clips after he turned two). We really liked these by Lil Gadgets as they fit our little man's tiny head, were volume-limited, and had a built in jack for an adult pair of headphones to join in. They come in several different colors, and Parker just loved being able to select the color for the ones we bought: green! Of course, lots of snacks, books, and walks up and down the aisle way were also necessary in keeping a happy and entertained toddler while flying.
We arrived in Seattle and (after picking up our rental car) headed straight to visit my sister, her husband, and their newborn baby, Luke! Parker finally has a cousin!
It was so novel to hear my husband referred to as "Uncle Max" - it's so much fun being Auntie and Uncle!
From there, we headed into the city where we had a room at the Seattle Hilton. Ten points to husby for securing a bay view!
The next morning we headed out to Lower Queen Anne to visit Max's sister at her summer internship. She tipped us off that the monorail picked up near our hotel and would drop us off at the Space Needle. Parker is pretty much obsessed with trains right now, so riding the monorail was easily a trip highlight for him.
As soon as he saw the Space Needle, he pronounced "Baby ride that! Up, up, up!" and we assured him that we would. (He also exclaimed "Baby want to climb that mountain!" when we saw Mt. Rainer, but unfortunately that wasn't really an option this trip!)
Mimi's workplace was gorgeous, and we enjoyed a fabulous sunny time outside in the courtyard and touring the facility.
We grabbed a late breakfast from a food truck at the Seattle Center (Parker is all fascinated with food trucks right now so he was pretty much having the time of his life).
I really just couldn't believe the fantastic weather we were experiencing. Such a beautiful day!
We popped back on the monorail to head back to the hotel, then drove out to visit LiLi and Luke.
I can't even with this cousin love!
We helped LiLi with cooking and housework, then headed back to city proper where we picked up dinner from MOD Pizza, a Seattle-based chain that conveniently had a location right across from the Hilton. My mini pesto pizza had some sort of fig-balsalmic reduction that was twelve kinds of delicious. Plus, the restaurant was sufficiently noisy to cover the sounds of a tired toddler.
And since it was vacation, next on the itinerary was milkshakes in bed. In fact, I think this needs to be a vacation tradition for us :)
Since we (read:Parker) were still on Central Time, our days started really early (which was actually nice since we got to pack more in). So the next morning bright and early, we walked over to Pike Place Market which was just a few blocks from our hotel.
We had so much fun browsing the fish, produce, flowers, and baked goods from all the vendors.
After perusing the market, we headed to the hotel parking garage and piled in our rental car. Max maneuvered in downtown craziness (it was fleet week and packed!) and in ten or so minutes we were in Queen Anne, now home to my dear college friends. They had a gorgeous brunch spread for us - just look at those colors! Seattle bounty at its best, and it was delicious.
It was so special to catch up in person and have the next generation meet!
At this point, Parker had not napped in several days. And this makes for a hot mess. He had been too excited to nap on the plane, and didn't nap at LiLi's the day before, so we tried everything to get him to sleep at the hotel that day. Y'all, this baby just does not want to sleep while traveling. So after almost three hours, we gave up and headed out to dinner with Mimi. And our hot mess.
Parker had his very first sleepover at Mimi's that night! Her place had an elevator and a view of the Space Needle. I mean, no other sleepover is going to top that!
Max and I hopped on the monorail to head back to the hotel and enjoyed the sights of the city at night!
The next morning we headed back to Mimi's on the monorail to pick up Sweet P (feeling very well rested and like we were forgetting something, ha!).
We bought tickets to go to the top of the Space Needle, and while we were waiting for our time slot we did breakfast outside. I'm telling you, the weather was phenomenal.
You just can't go wrong with an everything bagel and a latte.
This ginormous fountain also provided entertainment.
And it even got chilly enough to bust out our coats! Heaven!
Parker loved the elevator ride up the Space Needle, and provided commentary for the entire 40 second ride ("Up, up, up! Up Space Needle!"). Here we are on the observation deck!
The other thing we knew Parker really wanted to do was ride a boat. Mimi knew of a water taxi that did just a 15 minute trip across the Puget Sound to West Seattle, and it sounded perfect for Parker's first boat experience.
Sunnies for days!
Once across, we dined outside right on the water. We caught some of the air show that was going on for fleet week, which was extra neat. The Blue Angels were staying at the hotel right next to us, so we had been seeing them all around in their uniforms, and it was awesome to catch them in action.
Hawaiian shaved ice? Yes, please.
Back on the city side, Max and Meredith took Parker back to the hotel to (hopefully) nap while I hightailed it to Pike Place Market to pick up goodies for my sister (and also just because I would live there if I could). Max stayed back at the hotel with Parker (who had a bit of the sniffles and ended up napping and just sleeping through the entire night) and I braved downtown in our rental car to visit my sister one last time. Um, y'all should have seen me stopped on a hill in our Chrysler 200. I could barely see above the dash and steering wheel; it was twelve kinds of comical. Also, thank goodness for navigation. I got to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening with this sweetness.
So incredibly happy for this little family!
The next morning we had to make one last trip to Pike Place before heading to the airport. Mostly to get this yumminess.
Ellenos yogurt, also hands-down the best yogurt I've ever had. Especially the Marion Berry Pie flavor. We were lucky to actually eat it everysingleday while we were there. And now I'm in withdrawal. And while our flights out to Seattle were all rainbows and unicorns and everything was on-time, our flights home to Alabama involved a gate agent that couldn't figure out how to check our bags, separated seats, and a layover in Charlotte that turned into multiple hours. We finally boarded for our last leg past midnight Charlotte time. Parker kept pointing out that everyone was sleeping. Him, not so much.
But we made it and we're back! Happy weekend!