Sunday, October 12, 2014

How to Have a FREE Vacation

I'm here today to help teach you how to enjoy one week of vacation for FREE! Tip number one:Have AWESOME friends! Yup, that's it.

Seriously, though, we had an incredible week off in Seattle, all thanks to some pretty great people. It's so fun exploring a city you know like the back of your hand. No wasted time finding parking or looking up addresses or getting lost. We got to stay downtown near the Seattle Center. We left our car in Ballard with Dan's dad and used the bus all week, saving LOTS of $$ on parking and gas. Our dear friends got us into a museum that would have been over $70 for just one day. Visiting during the first Thursday of the month will get you into many museums for free, too.

We started the week in Ballard, thrifting and eating-what we do best!

On our first full day in the city, the sun was shining bright above the buildings. Such a great way to start a vacation, especially in the NW!!

The boys and I headed to the roof of our apartment to check things out.

We began the week at the Children's Museum, since we were just a 60 second walk to the Seattle Center. 

There was a little village exhibit with homes from around the world. Elijah was drawn to Ghana (duh) and spent quite a bit of time making me a dress. He then told me he wanted to be a seamstress in an African market someday. I honestly felt so proud! He'd be so great at it, too! His eye for detail and color, I'd love for him to make me clothes!

There were so many great rooms to explore. Ruthie Mae even got to climb around a bit.

In the construction zone, Dan and the boys actually built a fully functioning bench! Well, Laz helped a little bit.

After "work", Lazzy picked up groceries and some flowers for mama. I have to say, the pretend grocery store is my favorite in children's museums. Not sure why-I HATE doing the grocery shopping in real life!

Kids who are on the state insurance plan get in free, so we only paid $16 for two adults. Considering we spent 4 hours there and didn't pay for parking, it wasn't too bad of a price. On our short walk home, we explored the Space Needle a bit.

This is Elijah climbing up the Space Needle, ha!

Seattle is a really cool place, but one thing I'll never understand is their ability to build giant ugly red sculptures in the middle of somewhere beautiful. At least you can climb on this one!

We ended the day with dinner and sunset stories on the roof.

Day 2 was spent at the Pacific Science Center, again just a 60 second walk from the apartment. Our best friends got us in for free!!!

I just love these silly mirrors!

We spent time in the butterfly house, searching for our favorite-the Monarch Butterfly.

We've been to butterfly houses before, but this time was especially cool since we've just recently had a caterpillar infestation. The boys knew what they were looking at!

After lunch with our friends, we took a break from the museum and rode the monorail downtown ($12 round trip for the whole family). The kids LOVED riding in a train above all the cars. It drops you off at the West Lake Center.

Pike Place Market is always a fun spot to putz around.

We showed the boys the gum wall in Post Alley. It was incredibly gross, but kind of cool, too.

After some treats downtown, we headed back to the Pacific Science Center for a planetarium show. The boys were able to keep up with the lesson on space programs and constellations. Basically, we did homeschool on our vacation and the boys had no clue.

Again, so many fun exhibits and things to explore. We spent 4 hours here before heading back to the apartment for another roof top dinner.

Budding Beethoven.

Another amazing sunset.

Thursday happened to free museum day in Seattle. We went north to Ballard to get the car and made a few pit stops before meeting grammy at the Asian Art Museum. First stop-the Fremont Troll.

Next, a picnic lunch at Gasworks park.

The pipes were so much fun to climb!

We then headed southeast to Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. I probably miss this neighborhood the most. I was a nanny and went to school there for a few years, right when Dan and I started dating through our first year of marriage.

It was my first time visiting the Asian Art Museum. They were running a beautiful Deco Japan exhibit. It's as if they knew we were coming!

Grammy (who is amazing!!) gladly took our boys to her house for a few days. We had a weekend with just one baby and it was great! On our way back downtown, we stopped for sushi.

We got back to the apartment just in time for yet another amazing view.

The day wasn't over yet. First Thursday free museum day was still happening so we bused it down to the SAM.

Friday was our entire free day without the boys. We decided to spend the day near UW campus, our old stompin' grounds. First stop-Thai Tom of course!! Ruthie was squealing for more peanut sauce and who can blame her? It's the best!

We walked off the thai food on the Ave, and browsing books at daddy's favorite bookstore near UW.

 That evening, we had dinner with dear friends from our former Seattle college life. It's always refreshing to see them and their growing children and to reconnect. Saturday morning was another quiet one. The morning was so quiet. I got to have "me" time while running on the most beautiful urban trail. Of course, there was a giant ugly red statue ruining the view, but I just ran past it and moved on. Oh,'re so silly.

The rest of the day was spent at a wedding (sadly no pics) with some more college friends. We celebrated and had ice cream and coffee. It's really great attending weddings when you're 9 years into your own marriage. Such great reminders of what you promised each other so long ago. We picked the boys up from grammy's house before heading back to our apartment for one last night.

Sunday morning, we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to our apartment. We headed to West Seattle for church at All Souls, then a picnic lunch at Alki Beach before heading home to Bellingham.

I'll tell ya, it was probably one of the most fun vacations we've had. I am so thankful for the generosity of our friends and the time away from our usual gig in Bellingham. We came home refreshed and ready for another week, which was good because it's been busy!!

No comments:

Post a Comment