Earlier this month Baby L and I went to Seattle and Bainbridge Island for sister’s weekend. Actually it’s sisters-in-law weekend, but Mountain Dad’s sisters are as much mine as his.
The weekend happened to be the hottest on record with temperatures reaching 90 degrees every day we were there. That wouldn’t be a big deal in most places but Seattle-ites apparently don’t own air conditioners and Baby L was strapped to my body the entire time. Walking thirty minutes from the Bainbridge ferry to the Seattle Center was hot and sweaty, but what we saw once we got there made it all worth while.
The Seattle Center is home to several Seattle attractions including the The Children’s Museum, Seattle Repertory Theater, KeyArena and the iconic Space Needle. Truthfully I wasn’t excited to see that, but right next to it was a real attraction – Chihuly Garden and Glass.
After the hefty $23 entrance fee, the sisters, Baby L and I explored a whimsical world of colorful glass. The artist, Dale Chihuly, has made his career by creating unique blown glass sculptures. His work has been on display all over the world and several museums house his pieces. This permanent collection at Chihuly Garden and Glass has many beautiful sculptures made completely from colorful glass.
The full size ocean room was my favorite featuring blown glass jelly fish, sting rays and octopi. The detail was amazing.
Having seen blown glass workers in action, I know what they do is not easy. Between heating and blowing they have seconds to create the shape they need before the glass begins to cool. It’s fast, hot work, but the results are beautiful.
I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, especially in the garden room where glass reeds and flowers sprouted up in a dizzying array of color. I also enjoyed the gardens and atrium, as the glass was the perfect compliment to the plants.
Hip Hip Hooray! Tomorrow is the day! April 18-25, 2015 is National Parks Week!
National Parks feature heavily in our outdoor adventure plans. For the last five years our family has purchased the America the Beautiful pass, which allows access to any federal land for the entire year. The cost is $80.00, which I think of as both a donation and a challenge. If we can visit enough National Parks in one year to cover the cost of the card, we’ve done pretty well.
Here are three ways to celebrate National Parks week – I hope you enjoy!
1. Free admission April 18-19, 2015. If you live near a National Park, or want a quick weekend getaway you can explore for free this weekend. All Admission fees are waived Saturday April 18th and Sunday April 19th 2015.
2. Plan a vacation. Summer will soon be here and you have to do something with your tots, right? Plan a trip to see some of the nation’s beautiful spaces. Here are some links to our favorites:
Denali National Park, Alaska
Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
Independence Hall, National Historical Park, Pennsylvania
3. Be a Junior Ranger. Tots of all ages can enjoy learning about the world around them through the Junior Ranger program. Just complete the pamphlet for each park you visit and your child can receive a patch.
Over the Thanksgiving Break the whole mountain family drove out to Bainbridge Island, Washington. While there we got to experience a full day of heavy downpour, freezing temperatures and snow. But even with the less than ideal weather we had a great time. It’s always good to visit the ocean.Here are five fun things to do with your tots on Bainbridge Island.
1 – Take the Ferry
The trip started off with the ferry ride from Seattle where little g asked “Are there real fairies on board?” Sorry honey, not that kind of fairy. Walkers, bikes and cars all get on the boat for a 35 minute cruise across the water. My tots loved it except for the wind.
2 – Go Shopping
Bainbridge Island’s main drag is full of boutiques and restaurants. It’d be a great day trip from Seattle for a little adult shopping, but the nearby Calico Cat Toys had a great selection of kid toys and games. With the kids we opted for some ice cream at Mora’s where we enjoyed great flavors like blackberry and lemon bar. Frog sculptures around the island are fun for kids to find.
3 – Fort Ward Park
Being who I am, I was on the hunt for green space. And for an island they have plenty. Fort Ward Park is right on the coast with a paved hiking, biking trail that borders the rocky beach. Big E and Mountain Dad was in heaven looking for shells and sea glass, even in the breezy weather. Little g on the other hand wanted nothing more than to be held and have a snack.
4 – Lytle Beach
Since I live in landlocked Utah I tried to spend as much time at the beach as I could, even with freezing temperatures. Lytle Beach could also be described as Little Beach, an end of the road strip of rock and sand surrounded by a residential area. On the small section of public access Big E and I found a huge jelly fish, but the cold weather cut our trip short.
5 – KiDiMu
The tots loved the Kids Discovery Museum, and I did too. The upstairs exhibits were my favorite – A giant litebright, puppet theather and adjustable golf ball roller coasters were fun for both adults and kids. On the main floor, imagination abounds with a pirate tree house, kid sized shopping center, doctors office and boat.
Bainbridge Island was a quaint place to visit with lots of fun activities and beautiful forests and beaches. Next time I’ll plan a trip in the summer, but even with bad weather it was a great trip.