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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One Day in Seattle with a Toddler

Last year, we celebrated my {golden} birthday with a long weekend in Boston. This year, for Doug's 30th birthday, we flew {with miles of course} to the opposite coast to explore the Pacific Northwest. With two nights in Seattle {stayed with family, score!} and two nights in Vancouver, Canada it was a refreshing family getaway. Read on to see how we spent one {real} day in Seattle with a three year old and check back tomorrow for our trip recap of Vancouver, BC.
Nothing better than big squishy hugs for mommy as we wait to board the plane.
After landing in the late afternoon, we spent our first {half} day in the suburbs with family and explored the piers at Redondo Beach. Clear skies, sunshine and lush greens were a refreshing escape from Chicago's cold and dreary start to Spring. I wish we saw people crabbing though! Maybe next time.

The next day, we had one full day to explore downtown Seattle. And honestly, by the late afternoon I was surprised that there wasn't anything else we wanted to see or do in the city! Here's what we did and where we ate.

What we did:
1.  2 hours at the Space Needle - $40 for 2 adults and 2 kids under 3
2.  Olympic Sculpture Park - let the kids run around outside while taking in the gorgeous views for free
3.  1 hour at the iconic Pike's Place Market for free
* We had a car and street parking was easy to find and cheap (anywhere is cheaper than Chicago!)
* I had no idea Seattle was SO hilly - as steep as San Francisco!
* We did not go to the piers since it was naptime, we saw the amazing views from the above three places and figured it wouldn't be much different from Chicago's Navy Pier (tourist traps, selling crap kids don't need, etc)

Where we ate:
* Breakfast - Top Pot Donuts really good coffee and better than your average donut, but not amazing.
* Lunch - Pike Place Chowder quick light lunch outside, delicious chowders and Dungeness Crab roll. FYI - it's located in a commercial/pedestrian alley.
* Dinner - Ray's Boathouse (20 minutes north of the city) we loved sitting at the window right on the water as the sun was setting, but wished we were outside.  While yelp said it wasn't good for kids, I didn't feel out of place bringing our {well behaved} 3 year old. She ate the bow-tie pasta for her meal while Doug and I started with the Spot Prawns. Doug's Grilled Spring Run King Salmon was so fresh and the perfect amount of char while my Sablefish in Sake Kasu was so light and buttery, but unfortunately too salty.
* Brunch - 5Spot casual diner in the Queen Anne neighborhood. Doug didn't care much for his Red Flannel Hash (corned beef, beets and poached eggs), but I LOVED my bacon and candied pecan praline pancakes with caramel syrup and a side of hash browns. Mia enjoyed her Mickey Mouse pancake and its always a plus when her meal comes with fruit.

Enjoying our Top Pot Dougnuts on the go before hitting up the Space Needle an hour after it opened.

So being my first time to Seattle, I was expecting the Space Needle to be this towering fixture in the skyline. I was a little disappointed to see how tiny it was amongst the cityscape! Can you spot it??

But nonetheless, it was a gorgeous day with beautiful views of the city, water and mountains. And I'm all for activities that keep the kids busy and they're still free!

Afterwards we drove a few minutes to Olympic Sculpture Park where the kids could run around while we take in some more gorgeous views. Someone thoroughly enjoyed being outside spinning, twirling and singing princess songs as we soaked up the sun.
People thought they were twins in their matching outfits. But really they are {second} cousins and 9 months apart.

Then it was time to see the iconic Pike's Place Market where everyone says you must see them throw the fish!! Unfortunately, we tried twice. And saw no fish throwing! I admired the lush and super affordable fresh flowers and longed for open-to-the-public floral markets in Chicago.

We grabbed lunch at Pike Place Chowder, which is hidden in the Post Alley. It was a quick, casual, delicious and somewhat outdoors. The kids ate pizza from the store next door.

After that, we didn't really have much else to do! Seattle can definitely be explored in one day. Or did I miss something?? Good thing we had a car, so Mia could take a long nap. Before going up to Ballard to eat dinner at Ray's Boathouse, Doug and I drove around Mercer Island checking out million dollar homes with our redfin app.

Then that was it for our one day in Seattle with a toddler! The next morning we ate brunch at the 5Spot and we began our 2.5 hour drive up to Vancouver, BC, Canada. Well, after Doug was issued a couple hundred dollar ticket for going 35mph in a 20mph school zone. On his birthday. On vacation. At 930am when kids should already be in school!!

Thank you to my aunts and cousins for hosting us! Have you been to Seattle before? What'd you think? Did I miss something? Check back tomorrow to hear about the rest of our trip in the Pacific Northwest!


Agatha said...

love the pic of Mia on the pier, looking out at the water! and great shots of the market, too.