Seattle, Washington - A Day Trip
Activity: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 haven't guessed yet what I'm talking about, this will give it away: the Space Needle. Is Seattle totally awesome or what? I wish we lived there. I'd go to Seattle Center everyday.
The Children's 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 Arthur's 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 Children's Museum is actually geared towards kids under ten years-of-age. The have a pretend mountain forest with trees; kids' 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 I'd be bored. Let's face it, sometimes it's fun playing like a little kid again.
While Dad took Cole and I to the Children's Museum, Mom took Nathe to see the Jimi Hendrix exhibit. You should see the building it's in. It looks like huge waves of metallic colours. Mom said it's 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 they're a little before Nathan's time though. Mom said she had to drag Nathan away from the Nirvana station. I'll never understand what he sees in that Grunge music. Nathe said they even had an Avril Lavigne outfit. That would've been cool to see. Not as cool however as Michael Jackson's 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 could've 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 there's 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 Nathan's attention for two hours. Next time we go back, I'm going there for sure (unless there's another Arthur show).
You're not going to believe what's next door to the Experience Music Project-a 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 it's worth about one dollar. Nathe's just jealous because he got skunked. What we didn't have time for were the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle. I'm 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, "Buzz off, you bunch of losers." You should see how big VIP's head is. He looks like King Kong. There was a baby gorilla too. He reminded me of Coleman; jumping on everybody's back to get a piggyback ride. Dad liked the elephant habitat. You should've seen the baby elephant. He kept chasing these ducks. I think they were teasing him, because every time he got too close, they'd fly away quacking. What's 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 they're almost back home.
I liked the nocturnal animal exhibit. You're not supposed to talk when you go in there, because it disturbs the animals. It even had aardvarks. (In case you didn't know, Arthur is an aardvark). We even saw huge bats hanging from these trees. Some people were cleaning the bat cage. I'd never do that. What if a bat poops on your head? The spiders were pretty cool too. I've 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 haven't told you about, and would never forgive myself if I didn't, is the shopping. Wow! It'll blow you away. First there's 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. I'm sure Mom wanted to buy a bunch, but she didn't have a vase to put them in. Next were the fruit and vegetables. You should see how perfectly in rows they're lined up. I wouldn't want to have that job. What if somebody takes an apple out on the bottom row? "Fish, get your fresh Fish," 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. Aren't salmon slippery?
From there it was downhill all the way-literally. We went down a ramp to discover all these shops you'd never find anyplace else: vintage collectibles and clothes, sports cards, coins, movie paraphernalia, and best of all a magic shop. Nathan and I couldn't resist: he got a tube of liquid smoke and a fart bomb, and I bought a bottle of stink perfume. I guess it wasn't too smart of an idea to open it up in the car-but I was curious. Coleman said it smelled like a dumpster and Mom said it smelled like throw-up. Anyway, if you go to Seattle, don't miss the Pike Street Market. It'll surprise, amuse, and entertain you.
We also went to a neighbourhood called Fremont. We were just stopping for an ice-cream cone and realized, "Hey" this place is really neat." It was right up Mom's alley: vintage clothing and collectible stores and ethnic restaurants. Only we couldn't 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 couldn't finish it.
The only other place we shopped at was Bellevue Center. Our hotel was right across the street. I've 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 Victoria's Secret. The boys didn't get anything. Actually there weren't 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 there's a ton of things to do in Seattle. I want to go back for our summer holidays, and see some of the sights we didn't 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.
:It's like I said, Seattle is totally awesome. There's so many activities you can do, you'd never get bored in a million years. It's the closest big city in the United States from Vancouver. It's 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 couldn't 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 Bellevue-and that wasn't 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, it's 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 that's 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 everyones' birth certificate and parents need photo I.D. Otherwise you may be going home a lot earlier than you planned.
Area:Washington State, USA
Season:You can go to Seattle anytime you want. However, if you're 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 there's nothing stopping you from shopping in the rain. According to my Mom, it's better to shop when it's raining, because there aren't as many other people.
Educational highlights:Did you know Seattle Center is where they held the World's Fair in 1962? It takes up 72 acres and includes the Children's 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 didn't do any driving. Dad says she'll be disappointed, because it'll never be as good as the last time. He doesn't like shopping and drove all the time. I betcha we'll be back there this summer.