Before Vivian was born, we traveled a lot. We love exploring new places and experiencing new things. We also love taking a break from reality, resting, and making some unique and special family memories. Obviously, having a baby makes all of that so much harder. But, not impossible! Since Vivian was born, we’ve continued to travel, but all but one of our trips has been to visit family. We were overdue for a Chambers family trip and since we want to travel to destinations that require flying as much as possible before Vivian turns 2 and we have to start buying her an airplane seat, we planned a family trip to Seattle. None of us had explored this city before and so we were all excited for this new adventure.
The last time that Vivian flew, she was almost 9 months old and not yet walking. We were wondering how she would do flying now that she is 13 months old and nearly running. Luckily, the 2+ hour flights to and from Seattle went off without a hitch. She spent a good chunk of each flight walking up and down the aisles. Up and down, up and down… She’s lucky that she is so cute and most people get a kick out of seeing a tiny little walker excitedly strolling the airplane aisles.
After we arrived in Seattle, we ate lunch and then checked into our wonderful VRBO home-away-from-home rental in Fauntleroy. From our little apartment, we had amazing views of Puget Sound. Already, our weary souls were being refreshed! We spent our first afternoon and evening walking down to and around Lincoln Park and taking a ferry ride through Puget Sound. We weren’t planning on taking a ferry ride, but the ferry happened to be docked in Fauntleroy when we were walking by, and so, despite not having any baby supplies with us or knowing where the ferry was going or how long it would be on the water, we boarded it! Our adventurous spirit worked in our favor and we had a lot of fun riding the ferry to Vashon Island, Southworth, and then back to Fauntleroy. After our ferry and park hiking adventure, Dan went to the local grocery store and stocked up on wine, cheese, crackers, and other goodies for our stay. We had grand visions of Vivian going to bed at around 8pm, like normal, and then us sitting outside, drinking wine, and watching the sun set. Our visions were quickly blurred when we put Vivian down for bed and instead of rolling over and quietly falling asleep, like she normally does, she screamed and howled. We are not a CIO family and so we picked her up and she hung out with us until she finally fell asleep way past her bedtime (and, frankly, ours, too!).
Day 2 had us venturing into downtown Seattle where we went to the Pike Place Market, Seattle Aquarium, Miner’s Landing/Great Wheel, and Starbucks Reserve Roastery. It was a long, but fun day. We have never been a family who lives and dies by Vivian’s schedule. She eats, naps, nurses, and plays wherever we are and wherever we go. So, she ate at Pike Place Market and while we wandered around the city, she nursed at the Seattle Aquarium and Starbucks Reserve Roastery, she napped in her stroller as we walked, and she played everywhere! After a very packed day, we were happy to head back to Fauntleroy to relax in our rental. Well, until we were super duper tired and Vivian was still up!
On Day 3, we headed back into the city. First, we stopped at the Sunday Ballard Farmer’s Market where we quickly grabbed some very yummy and hot-out-of-the-oil donuts. Then we met up with my extended family for lunch and a long overdue catch up. After all that food, we walked through the Olympic Sculpture Park and then to the Seattle Center where we went to the top of the Space Needle and visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass. The Seattle Center was abuzz for the Northwest Folklife Festival, which, honestly, was just a giant, dirty hippie festival. We braved the crowds to see the International Fountain and then made a beeline for our car and our nice, quiet, clean rental!
After two days in downtown Seattle, Dan and I yearned to get out of town and away from the crowds. On our third day in Seattle, we left Seattle proper and drove to Snoqualmie to see and hike to around the falls. We accomplished our goal of getting out of town, but not of getting away from people. Since it was Memorial Day and the falls are a popular destination, there were a lot of people checking them out. We hiked 3/4 mile down to the Snoqualmie River and then hiked back up to the top of the falls. Vivian loved hiking and we enjoyed seeing her have fun running around.
After our adventure in kinda-sorta nature (well, we were in nature, but so was everyone else!), we ate lunch and then searched out a winery where we could taste some local wines. The first winery we attempted to find wasn’t where Google said it would be. So, we tried again and ended up at Fivash Cellars. We drove through a suburban area and parked in front of a house. A gentleman (the winemaker) stopped doing some yard work in front of the house (his house), greeted us, and invited us into his living room to taste his wines. Before walking into his house, he took off his shoes, and so, to be polite, I asked if we, too, should take off our shoes. He replied, “if you want to,” which I took to mean, “yes, please.” So, we tasted his wines with him in his living room in our socks:-)
My gosh, I’m getting exhausted now just writing about all of our activities! You’d think that after hiking, driving, eating, and wine tasting, we’d head home to rest and relax. But, nope! Next up, we drove by the Fremont Troll and then we went to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. This was one of our favorite activities during the trip. Although the fish ladder didn’t have any fish swimming through it, we did get to see boats move through both the large and small locks – all moving from Puget Sound to Lake Union. It was all very interesting to watch, although, afterwards, we were all nearing our breaking point!
We made one last stop at Fremont Brewing to taste some local microbrews and then we finally went back to our rental for the night.
On our last day in Seattle, we grabbed coffee (of course!) and made our way back to the airport and then finally back home. We had a wonderful family vacation and made many happy memories that I know we will cherish for years to come. It was really special to explore a new place as a family of three:-) Next up…something a bit more relaxing, perhaps, and tropical (Hawaii?!).