March 25-30, 2014

Last summer Anne-Marie, Ellie, Isaac, and Kenny were flying home from Florida when weather from a hurricane cancelled a lot of flights. They got vouchers for volunteering to wait. Anne-Marie promised them a spring break trip. However, since we got 3 additions to the family she could not take them. So I took some time off work and Ellie and Isaac chose Seattle as our destination. Kenny didn't really care where.

Our journey began in the nearly vacant Colorado Springs airport.

After the flights and a quick shuttle ride we got to the hotel at 12:30.

We ate breakfast then went straight to the space needle. Unfortunately it didn't open until 10, so we had to kill some time. We spent the time visiting a nearby park. These flowers made noise when you walked near them, each one making a different sound.

There were some sculptures too.

A seahorse.

No idea what this little guy is called.


A cool totem pole.

Finally on top of the Space Needle (or Space Point as Isaac insists it is named).

Downtown Seattle, Elliot Bay, and one of the worlds busiest/largest seaports.

A beautiful day in Seattle I guess.

Back down from the Space Needle.

A little early for the spring flowers, but still very nice for us Coloradans.

An awesome fountain that sprays in sync with music. Would have been more fun on a warmer day, but the kids still played in it.

More sculptures in the park.

Catching a 3D Imax movie.

Kenny loved this big chess board.

A butterfly room in the children's science center.

My new camera from Linda Simpson takes amazing photos.

Butterfly feeders.

A box full of chrysalises.

A water table demonstrating how the tide works in the Puget Sound. The kids could add dye and see how it flowed.

At the famous Public Market.

Rachel the Pig.

Fish at the Public Market. We saw them throwing the fish when a new catch arrived.

The gum wall at the Public Market. The kids really wanted to see this. I had no desire to see it, it's as gross as it sounds.

They each added to the wall.

Colorful, but still gross.

I thought the wall covered in play bills was much cooler.

Does this mean PDA is regulated in Seattle?

Even though the market is close to Elliot Bay it's a long ways above it.

Check out the light fixture.

We walked down to a public pier.

Then we hiked all the way back up to the market. There were some tulips for sale, but rumor had it that in a couple of weeks the place would be full of fresh flowers.

Lots of fruits and vegetables for sale. We bought some apples, and oranges. Our favorites were the Pink Lady apples and the blood oranges.

Lots of grains and pastas too.

Just for mommy we all had some fried butterfly shrimp. Kenny hated it, the other two liked it.

More tulips.

We finished the day off swimming in the pool at our hotel

Day one had been way too much city for me so on day 2 we headed to Snoqualmie.

The falls were flowing strong and were very beautiful. A family from Canada was nice enough to take our photo.

You don't see many falls like this in Colorado.

There's a cool outdoor train museum in Snoqualmie.

Then we drove to visit some other falls, but the road came to an abrupt end at this snow bank. Just around the corner is a stuck pickup. The kids asked if we should help get him out. I didn't think our rental Jetta was up to the task.

So we found a hike lower down to some other falls. It's amazing how everything is so covered in moss there. We even saw a car that had moss growing on it. Not an abandoned car, but one still being used.

Big trees there too.

The falls at the end of our hike. Not quite as spectacular, but very tranquil location.

Then we found another hike down to a beach. Notice the blue sky starting to show.

A natural vine arch on the trail.

The nices weather we got the whole trip.

It's a long set of stairs to get down to the beach there. These just lead to the top of a three story structure that would finally take us down to the beach.

I took this from the top of the structure looking down on the boys playing on the beach already.

Not really any sand on the beaches, just lots of pebbles. A wide variety of rocks carried down by the glaciers that carved the sound.

We saw a bald eagle perched on a tree top. I'd never seen one in the wild before.

Then we went back to the needle to watch the sun set.

Some clouds came up on the horizon so we didn't see it set on the horizon, but it was still beautiful to watch over the sound.

A little color in the clouds over downtown too.

The city lights looked pretty cool too.

The end of another long day in Seattle.

The glassworks next too the needle was impressive when lit up at night.

No trouble putting the kids to bed.

Day 3 we headed for the zoo.

I loved the duck exhibits we got to walk through.

My favorite of course was the penguins.

We even got to feed the penguins.

We saw an enormous python.

Ellie liked the kookaburra.

The kids howled a lot trying to get the wolves to answer. No luck.

They had a pair of big Grizzlies.

Isaac's favorite was the Actic Fox.

We also hear a Perigrine Falcon presentation.

I think this guy was Kenny's favorite.

After the zoo we went to the aquarium.

Isaac swimmin' with the Jellies.

They had pools where you could touch starfish, sea urchins, and anemonies.

An octupus just hanging out.

Kenny chilling out in the underwater dome.

Watching the seals play.

A seal watching the kids play.

Ellie loves otters.

A rainbow while we waited outside for our dinner.

We had to try a seafood place.

Isaac really wanted the Willy's Whopper. The staff was taking bets on whether or not he could finish it.

He did pretty good, this was all he left uneaten.

The next day we slept in and took our time getting to our boat tour of Elliot Bay.

Our boat for the voyage.

Ellie was the only soul brave enough to join me on the upper deck. Isaac and Kenny stayed inside.

Leaving the pier. The aquarium is the blue building in the middle.

The space needle seen from Elliot Bay.

Kansas wheat being loaded up to be shipped to Japan.

I gave the kids $5 for snacks this is how Isaac and Kenny spent theirs.

Downtown Seattle.

A battleship in dry dock.
Cris Ratelle pointed out that this is the destroyer USS Momsen.

I did get the boys out briefly.

A container ship being unloaded. We learned that 10,000 of these containers a year fall off and are lost during transport. We also learned that there are 136 Starbucks within a 5 mile raidus of the Pier from which our boat came.

A very large Coast Guard vessel.

Getting our land legs back.

Isaac taking on a big hot dog now.

we found a troll under a bridge. He's got a volkswagen beetle in his hand, and yes Ellie is picking his nose.

We went geocaching and walked across this bridge.

The Gas Works park.

Such green grass.

The park is an old Gas plant that converted coal to gas. They kept a lot of the old equipment and just made it part of the park.

A xylophone band in the park.

Warming up by a fire that I believe a homeless person left burning.

The kids running up a hill in the park.

A seaplane taking off. Apparently this freshwater lake is an international airport.

After playing at the park a bit we went to church. I've been listening to Mark Driscoll's podcasts for years so we went to one of his churches.

There are 15 Mars Hill Churchs in Seattle and this one has a Saturday service plus 4 Sunday services. Mark rarely preaches on Saturdays. Lucky for me though he was preaching at this one on a Saturday.

I was expecting it to be a mega church, but it was hardly bigger than our church in Woodland Park.

When we flew out on Sunday we finally saw Rainier for the first time.

If you ever visit Seattle, beware of parking there. Between parking fees and tickets (tried my best not to get them but failed) parking cost me over $160 for the trip.