Washington - A Day Trip
The Pike Place Market is mom's favourite
This is the place where you can actually see the vendors throwing salmon
We started our day with a great breakfast at the Jitterbug Restaurant in Wallingford
VIP was ignoring everyone
It was like a dream come true: incredible shopping, a zoo that even
had gorillas, a fun forest with games and rides, and best of all Arthur.
If you havenít guessed yet what Iím talking about, this will give it away:
the Space Needle. Is Seattle totally awesome or what? I wish
we lived there. Iíd go to Seattle Center everyday.
The Childrenís Museum is the best. We saw a real live Arthur. I even shook his hand. They recreated a miniature version of Elwood City. I got to camp out in Arthurís backyard, go to the Sugar Bowl, and see myself dancing on a video screen to the Arthur theme song. They had a really neat gift shop too where Dad bought me an Arthur T-shirt. I went all out and bought a D.W. and Buster doll with the money Auntie Karen gave me for my birthday. The only problem was I think I was the only big kid in there. Most of the stuff in the Childrenís Museum is actually geared towards kids under ten years-of-age. The have a pretend mountain forest with trees; kidsí neighbourhood; city made of pipes, levers, and pulleys; and an imagination station where you can create a work of art. I still liked it, even though the lady at the front desk thought Iíd be bored. Letís face it, sometimes itís fun playing like a little kid again.
While Dad took Cole and I to the Childrenís Museum, Mom took Nathe to see the Jimi Hendrix exhibit. You should see the building itís in. It looks like huge waves of metallic colours. Mom said itís called the Experience Music Project. I guess because it has lots of ways you can learn about music and try out different instruments, even become a recording star. Nathan said the first thing you see when you walk in the front door is a huge tree covered in guitars and other musical instruments. Can you imagine, 600 guitars? Mom really liked the Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan exhibits. I think theyíre a little before Nathanís time though. Mom said she had to drag Nathan away from the Nirvana station. Iíll never understand what he sees in that Grunge music. Nathe said they even had an Avril Lavigne outfit. That wouldíve been cool to see. Not as cool however as Michael Jacksonís black sequin jacket. Nathe said it came with a matching silver sequin glove.
Mom said they got to play an electric guitar. I wish I couldíve done that. I want to take electric guitar lessons, but Mom and Dad keep making up excuses. Apparently the Experience Music Project has rooms with drums, keyboards, and even microphones. You can actually make your own CD if you want to. This is hard to believe, but Mom said thereís also a stage where you can perform in front of cheering crowds. Imagine being a star for five minutes. Anyway the whole Experience Music Project sounds awesome. It would have to be to hold Nathanís attention for two hours. Next time we go back, Iím going there for sure (unless thereís another Arthur show).
Youíre not going to believe whatís next door to the Experience Music Projectóa Fun Forest. Mom and Dad told us to forget it, but we managed to squeeze fifteen minutes out of them. Nathe and I tried a few games and Coleman went on the dragon ride. I came out the big winner with a rainbow striped fish stuffie. Nathe said itís worth about one dollar. Natheís just jealous because he got skunked. What we didnít have time for were the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle. Iím not sure I want to go up the Space Needle anyway. It goes 600 feet up in the air, and I get nervous just looking at it.
The other big attraction we visited was the Woodland Park Zoo. I loved that place. We stood in front of the gorilla habitat for half-an-hour waiting for VIP (the male gorilla) to turn around. He finally did, and gave us this look as if to say, ďBuzz off, you bunch of losers.Ē You should see how big VIPís head is. He looks like King Kong. There was a baby gorilla too. He reminded me of Coleman; jumping on everybodyís back to get a piggyback ride. Dad liked the elephant habitat. You shouldíve seen the baby elephant. He kept chasing these ducks. I think they were teasing him, because every time he got too close, theyíd fly away quacking. Whatís neat about the Woodland Park Zoo is all the animals are living in their natural-like habitats and they have plenty of room. They must wake up in the morning and think theyíre almost back home.
I liked the nocturnal animal exhibit. Youíre not supposed to talk when you go in there, because it disturbs the animals. It even had aardvarks. (In case you didnít know, Arthur is an aardvark). We even saw huge bats hanging from these trees. Some people were cleaning the bat cage. Iíd never do that. What if a bat poops on your head? The spiders were pretty cool too. Iíve never seen such big spiders before. Thank goodness they were behind glass. We were lucky to catch feeding time at the tropical rainforest. The attendant fed the birds these gigantic live moths. Actually I felt sorry for the poor moths. As soon as the lady let them go, they were picked off by a bird and turned into lunch. But I guess if they were out in the wild, the same thing would happen.
What I havenít told you about, and would never forgive myself if I didnít, is the shopping. Wow! Itíll blow you away. First thereís the Pike Street Market. We got there at 5:00 PM, just as everyone was packing up. They have an outdoor marketplace section where artists sell pottery, jewelry, t-shirts and other neat stuff. Further in we saw huge bunches of flowers, mostly tulips. Iím sure Mom wanted to buy a bunch, but she didnít have a vase to put them in. Next were the fruit and vegetables. You should see how perfectly in rows theyíre lined up. I wouldnít want to have that job. What if somebody takes an apple out on the bottom row? ďFish, get your fresh Fish,Ē we heard a man calling. I laughed when he threw the salmon halfway across the stall. The guy at the scale caught it, no problem. They must practise that. Arenít salmon slippery?
From there it was downhill all the wayóliterally. We went down a ramp to discover all these shops youíd never find anyplace else: vintage collectibles and clothes, sports cards, coins, movie paraphernalia, and best of all a magic shop. Nathan and I couldnít resist: he got a tube of liquid smoke and a fart bomb, and I bought a bottle of stink perfume. I guess it wasnít too smart of an idea to open it up in the caróbut I was curious. Coleman said it smelled like a dumpster and Mom said it smelled like throw-up. Anyway, if you go to Seattle, donít miss the Pike Street Market. Itíll surprise, amuse, and entertain you.
We also went to a neighbourhood called Fremont. We were just stopping for an ice-cream cone and realized, "Heyď this place is really neat." It was right up Momís alley: vintage clothing and collectible stores and ethnic restaurants. Only we couldnít spend much time there because it was already 6:00 PM and we had to drive home. We ended up going to the Cold Stone Creamery, where they create ice-cream dishes for you. I had a Birthday Cake Surprise with brownie cake batter ice cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles. It was delicious, only I couldnít finish it.
The only other place we shopped at was Bellevue Center. Our hotel was right across the street. Iíve never seen so many cool shops under one roof. Mom bought me a pair of Puma runners at the Puma store, and she got some underwear at Victoriaís Secret. The boys didnít get anything. Actually there werenít that many boys clothing stores in the mall. I guess manufacturers have finally figured out most boys are like my brothers, they wear the same thing everyday.
Anyway, this is what we did in two days. If you go you might do totally different stuff, because thereís a ton of things to do in Seattle. I want to go back for our summer holidays, and see some of the sights we didnít get to this time.
Age group: Who wouldn't want to go to Seattle? There's something for every age group to do.
Expense rating: I know what you're thinking: Seattle costs big bucks. You might be surprised to find out our hotel only cost Mom and Dad $100 a night, American that is. And it was a Hyatt to boot. How much more you spend is up to you. You don't have to go shopping and food is priced about the same as in Vancouver. When it comes down to it, Seattle is probably cheaper than lots of Canadian cities.
: Itís like I said, Seattle is totally awesome. Thereís so many activities you can do, youíd never get bored in a million years. Itís the closest big city in the United States from Vancouver. Itís kind of neat to see how many ways were the same and different. One thing Mom noticed is the parks are better maintained in Seattle. She walked to Meydenbauer Beach Park and couldnít believe how manicured the grass was, plus clean bathrooms.
: The worst part about going to Seattle is getting there and coming home. I had to sit beside Nathan for two-and-a-half hours. Talk about cramped. Nathan kept muscling in on my space. Finally, I had enough. I started pushing back; next thing you know we were fighting. Dad got mad, stopped the car and went for a walk. That put a fast end to our bickering. Plus the traffic in Seattle is bad. It took us almost an hour to get from Seattle Center to our hotel in Bellevueóand that wasnít even during rush hour.
Details: Going to Seattle is as easy as pie, you just stay on the same road the whole way. Once you get traveling south on Highway 99 from Vancouver, itís clear sailing all the way. It leads you straight to the Peace Arch US-Canada border crossing and after that you go on Interstate 5 (I-5) and thatís it. The only problem is the Peace Arch border sometimes gets really busy, so you might want to try one of the other two crossings, Sumas or the Truck Crossing at Lynden. For those you need to go on the freeway going over the Port Mann Bridge. Remember to bring everyonesí birth certificate and parents need photo I.D. Otherwise you may be going home a lot earlier than you planned. I know my Dad looked at this website before we left: Seattle Vacation Reviews
Area: Washington State, USA
Season: You can go to Seattle anytime you want. However, if youíre thinking of doing a lot of sightseeing, you may want to wait for better weather. You may not see too many lions and tigers running around in the rain or snow. But thereís nothing stopping you from shopping in the rain. According to my Mom, itís better to shop when itís raining, because there arenít as many other people.
Educational highlights: Did you know Seattle Center is where they held the Worldís Fair in 1962? It takes up 72 acres and includes the Childrenís Museum, Experience Music Project, Pacific Science Center, and the Space Needle.
Fun for the adult?: Mom would like to go back to Seattle for our summer holidays. She likes shopping and didnít do any driving. Dad says sheíll be disappointed, because itíll never be as good as the last time. He doesnít like shopping and drove all the time. I betcha weíll be back there this summer.
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