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Since it has been so long since I’ve blogged, I feel like I should back up a little before I just jump right in …

The children and I have been on vacation in Oregon.  Texas Guy has joined us for as much of it as his work schedule and finances will allow.  I’ll try to back up further at a later time, to include some of the other details for you in regards to our adventure in the time that has passed since I last posted here.  It’s been a wild and crazy – or, at the very least, a busy – time.

I wanted to share about our day in Seattle, and it turned out to be too long for a little facebook status.  So, for now, I’m going to just jump right in and share it here ….

While here on vacation in Oregon, Texas Guy asked about going to Seattle.   …

Heck yeah!!  I love Seattle!!

I first went to Seattle about 7 years ago.  I fell in love with the city immediately!  I’m not exactly sure what it is about Seattle.  I have only spent a couple of busy, touristy-type days there on two different trips.  All I can say for sure is that I absolutely love it!  (I should also note, that I have only been there in the summer … on days when the weather happened to be dry and sunny and perfect.)

I love the water, …

… the views from the city over the water and to the land beyond, …

… the boats and ferries crossing the water, …

… the life along the water’s edge – the piers, the businesses, the parks, the boats, …

… the buildings in the city – the varying heights, the different styles and architecture, the different businesses and purposes …

… the sidewalks – that are flat and level, or steep and climbing up a hillside further into the city, or sloping downward leading to the water,   …   the different patterns, textures, and colors …

…  the crosswalks of painted, unconnected, white rectangles …

… the pedestrians everywhere, bringing life to the city  …  strolling, briskly walking, running … talking to another person alongside them, listening to whatever is coming through their earbuds, or just silently maybe with their own thoughts or listening to the sounds of the city  …

I love all these things about that city.  …  And, still, I think there’s just something more that I haven’t put my finger on yet.  Because I have been to many cities, of many sizes, in multiple states.  But, something about this one was love at first sight!

Well … whatever it is … I was thrilled when Texas Guy suggested we go!

As we were preparing for our day, we were all together, the children waiting for direction as to what type of clothing to choose.  I looked at the weather – it was currently in the 60’s with a predicted high of 79 degrees.  And with that information, it is an easy decision.  Thank goodness for weather services.

So there we sat, Texas Guy and I, silently.  And the children stood there waiting, silently.  And I knew I should then do as I always do – tell them what type of clothing to wear and what to bring.  But, my brain just didn’t seem to be getting me to the next step.  What in the world is going on that I can’t do the next simple thing? Something I have done more times than I’ll ever remember in the decades that I have been a parent?  Something that I did numerous times before I became a parent.  What is stopping me?!?!

And then Texas Guy said it …

“I don’t even remember what 79 degrees feels like.”

And that was exactly it.

Summers in Texas will do that to you.

We finally made the best decision we could, truly unable to recollect even vaguely what exactly 79 degrees felt like.  And then we were back up and running.

I did most of the driving on this trip.  So, I wasn’t able to facebook a little at a time as the day went on.  It’s a nice way to share and interact with my friends and family.  Also, it is instant, rather than trying to get to it later – which has taken me days to do. …  But, this may be best … Now I get to share it here.

Our trip started a little later than we had meant for it to.  I don’t remember exactly why.  I know we stopped for gas in Oregon right before crossing the bridge to Washington. I think we got turned around once or twice (easily remedied and no big deal).

We stopped in Chehalis, WA for lunch.  Everyone was hungry and Texas Guy was having trouble looking ahead on our route so we just chose the next off ramp.  It didn’t look very promising from the freeway.  But, as we drove it led to a nice little town.  We chose a place to eat, parked, unloaded everyone, and then realized that it was more of a resale shop.  So we looked around and walked over to another place.  These are one of the things I love about road trips – the ability to change routes, take an unplanned stop, unintentionally find something new.

We ate at Market Street Bakery.  The food was perfectly delicious, not too expensive, and great for eating in the car.  Texas Guy had an egg salad sandwich, I had a delicious ham and cheese croissant (yum!!), the older girls each chose a different quiche and raved about it, and the little ones helped themselves to whatever they decided they liked.  They had many more tempting looking items and I hated to walk away with just my lunch.

Now I don’t remember how or why this happened, but we ended up stopping in Tacoma, WA.  Texas Guy found and navigated us to a place called Frisko Freeze.  It’s just a small, old burger shack. And I could smell grease coming from one of the little windows.  Eeek.  But, Texas Guy said the reviews were good.  We ordered milkshakes and they were a nice treat and very good!  Even better was Texas Guy’s malt.  I don’t have any memories of having malts when I was growing up, but, I’ve tried a few recently.  They’re ok.  Nothing to write home about.  But this one was really great!  Texas Guy never seems impressed when he orders a malt but said this one was really good, just like he remembers malts to be when he was a kid.  So, apparently, I do like them!

And now I’m craving a Frisko Freeze malt.

And I can’t do another thing with my brain because it can think of nothing else.

I just checked … 151 miles away … almost a 3 hour drive.

Drat.

Must focus …

Once we entered Seattle, we were looking every direction, trying to see everything.

And I was driving, also! Yikes!

Our first stop was … wait … let me back up a little here …

The night before the trip, I had put the children in bed, then needed to shower and decide what we were going to see and do in Seattle, and it was already late with an early  morning and full day ahead.  Then it occurred to me – Texas Guy has never been there before, he’s just kicking back not doing anything, so why not ask him to see what there is to see and do and choose what interests him.  Why not?

So, I suggested it to him.  He did not jump at the opportunity.  So, using my most enthusiastic voice, I encouraged him and then skipped off to my shower feeling happy to have successfully gotten some help and looking forward to an early-late bedtime (rather than the late-late bedtime I was facing).

When I finished showering, I picked up my dirty clothes and my phone, and clicked on a facebook notification.  While on fb, one of the most recent posts was from Texas Guy letting everyone know that we will be going to Seattle and one of our stops will be to see the grave sites of Bruce and Brandon Lee.  And then my thoughts to have Texas Guy find somethings for us to see and do echoed in my head – “Why not?” 😉

So   …   Our first stop was the grave sites. We took pictures – actually, I took approximately one gazillion pictures because Texas Guy’s phone doesn’t make it quite as obvious as my phone does when a picture has been taken.  I always forget, and then I always click the button twenty times, then I say “Huh, it’s not working.  I don’t know what’s wrong.”  Then I take twenty-seven more until Texas Guy gets back to me and says, “No. I think you got it, dear.” and then shows me all gazillion pics that I just took.  (My math may be incorrect here.  I think twenty plus twenty-seven doesn’t equal one gazillion … where’s my abacus?)

Our next stop was the Columbia Center.  Fortunately, a friend had reminded me that it was supposed to be taller, less expensive, and just as good as the Space Needle.  We found a parking space, Texas Guy paid for our metered spot, and we walked the half mile there.   Our pace was slowed a bit by the four children in tow.  And by the time we got there, rode the elevator to the 73rd floor, paid, and looked around it was time to feed the meter.  But, not enough time to walk back – just enough time for Texas Guy to hustle back. We decided that he should move the car to a parking lot that we saw while walking because it would be less expensive and we wouldn’t be worried about the time.  So, back down the elevator he went.  And then he called …

Me: Hi

Texas Guy: Hey, can you toss the keys down?

Me: Uhhh … (as I look around in my purse, then realize what he’s asking me to do, then realize that I can’t drop them out of a window that doesn’t open, to the ground 73 stories below … some things take me a while I suppose).

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There’s Texas Guy, calling me to let me know he had forgotten the keys.

So, he decided to just feed the meter again – because, without the keys, what other option did he have.  Then he calls again …

Texas Guy: The stupid thing will only let me put 5 minutes on it!

Me: Huh?!  Why?!

Texas Guy:  I don’t know!  Now what am I supposed to do?!

Me:  Crud. I don’t know. … Uuumm … did you read the sign? Is parking free after a certain time?

Sure enough, parking was free.  He had booked it back to the vehicle to pay for 5 minutes.

Then he dragged himself back to the building (because he didn’t want us walking through the streets alone) and rode the elevator back to the 73rd floor.  It was good that he came back, though.  He only saw the view from two sides of the building and was glad to see the other views.

Now, I’ve never been to this building or to the Space Needle.  So, this was really fun for me!  I figured I’d only do it once.  But, really, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again sometime.  Amazing!  So fun to see this city that I love from that angle.

Afterwards, we walked back to the car and we were ready for dinner.  More than ready.  Everyone was very hungry and we didn’t think we would be able to have them walk the mile to our destination.  So we loaded everyone back in and drove there, found a parking spot, and (as it turns out) had to pay for parking (after leaving our free parking spot).  This trip was not researched, planned, or put on a schedule.  Have you noticed.  But, sometimes, that’s the kind of trip that I feel like taking.

We had dinner at The Crab Pot.

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The older girls and I had been there before.

2013-08-21-SeattleTrip32a6 years before  …  Where does the time go??!!?? …  Whaaaaa!!

I like that it’s on the water, and seafood seems appropriate.  However, we’re not huge fans of seafood.  But, I knew this place had stuff that we liked.  (It also has a fun gift shop nearby. I bought a pencil.  I heart pencils!)

Dinner was delicious, and despite being very tired, all the children did really well – yay!

And I realized something.  As we finished dinner, I realized that the sun had set and I was now looking at the lights outside, from boats and the land surrounding, reflected in the dark water.  It was beautiful!  I hadn’t thought of it before, but I’ve never seen Seattle at night!!

Now I hope to someday go to Seattle, maybe on a weekend, and maybe (dare I say) without any children, and see the city at night as well – look out onto the water, and across to the land on the other side, go out on the water and see Seattle from that view at night, and maybe view the city at night from the Columbia Center … and see the sunset from … well, anywhere!!!

That would be amazing!!!

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