We were still the last to board, thanks to long lines at check-in, but after a quick flight we were soon on the Light Link Rail in Seattle on our way to meet our friend Dave. Dave is a good friend from Atlanta who just relocated to Seattle and we jumped at the chance to spend some time with him and to take a quick family vacay.
Our first (rainy) afternoon there we headed to the Seattle Aquarium. Calvin had so much fun! He especially loved the tropical fish - so colorful! - and the underwater dome.
|Cool green anemones|
|Felt board fun|
|Crazy beautiful. The tropical fish are just amazing.|
|Calvin was making friends with the fishies.|
|Nemo? Is that you? Also, photo cred to James for a great shot :)|
|Octopus dance party! Oh my little toddling octopus, you are so cute!|
|Dave and Calvin check out the seal.|
Back at Dave's place, Calvin made friends with Izzy. Calvin loves dogs. He was thrilled to play with her. And Izzy, to her credit, was very friendly and patient with Calvin :) Here's Calvin getting a kick out of feeding Izzy:
The next day we went to Seattle Center to check out the Space Needle and the EMP museum. As we stood in the long line waiting to get on the elevator at the Needle, Calvin kept asking (signing) "more fish?" Guess the aquarium was memorable for him :)
|Another gorgeous photo from James! Looks like a postcard.|
It was sunny when we arrived but by the time we made it to the top the clouds had rolled in and it started to drizzle. Before too long, the sun peeked back out on one side and soon there was a rainbow stretching out over the city!
|View from the top... a rainbow over the rainy city!|
|A rare chance for a pic of all 4 of us! Thanks Dave!|
|Henry snuggles with Dave|
Off to the EMP museum...
|Doing a little construction of his own|
|The music exhibit had instruments to jam on|
The next day was Monday and Dave had to work. James and I took the babies over to Pike's Place Market. We started out with coffee from the original Starbucks (I mean, we were tourists, it's like the law for tourists to get coffee there) and uh. ma. zing. pastries from Piroshky Piroshky next door. Dave had told us about Piroshky Piroshky and how you can smell the yummyness from the street outside and how there's often a line wrapped around the corner.
After we ate, we started making our way through the crowds of the market.
|Gorgeous wall of fruits and veggies!|
|Calvin was scared of the monkfish. Can you blame him???|
|Play time at Dragon's Toy Box, a shop near the market|
After spending all morning at Pike's Place, we trekked across town headed back toward Seattle Center. The plan was to stop for food then go on to the Children's Museum for the afternoon. We ended up grabbing a bite at Bambino's.
|Calvin is eating a leftover piroshki.|
There was something special about this particular moment for me. James and I were drinking our microbrews and enjoying our bread and cheese plate while Henry had his bottle and Calvin polished off his piroshki. The sun was getting low and the room was all glowy. The babies were being adorable as usual. And I just had this thought that this is just what I wanted for our family. This is it. This is the dream. To enjoy meals together. To be able to go out to restaurants like we did before the babies, only now with the babies, and still enjoy it. To travel as a family. Be touristy, be outdoorsy, do hobbies, eat yummy food... together. Whatever challenges we've got behind us or ahead of us, we've got this. We'll still be able to do this. Or at least something resembling this. Somehow we'll figure the rest of it out if we can just hang on to moments like that one.
Shortly after this magical moment, Henry massively spit up all over himself and me. And a little on the floor.
But it didn't ruin it :) We just changed our plans a bit. James and Calvin went on to the Children's Museum and I took Henry to Dave's apartment to get cleaned up.
|Judging by how wet his sweater was when they got home, Calvin loved this water table!|
|On a mission.|
He's so cautious and deliberate and it takes him so many tiny movements to get turned around at the top of the slide!
That evening we braved dinner out. Dinner out with the babies is a little scary because it's pushing bedtime and therefore pushing the probability of baby cranky-ness. Everything went fine. Maybe it helps that our kids are so darn cute. I like to think it makes it slightly less annoying when Calvin is throwing crayons on the floor.
I was sad to say goodbye to Dave and to Seattle the next day, but it was time to head home. Despite another rushed entrance onto the plane and some minor drama when the airline people couldn't figure out how to fold up our stroller, the flight went great. Both boys slept almost the entire time. Nothing like the Crying Episode of 2013.
It was so great to spend some time with a friend we rarely get to see and also great to explore a new city. I hope we have many more family trips like that one ahead of us. Someday I'd really like to do a long road trip up the coast from here to Seattle and maybe even on to Vancouver. When the kids are older, maybe. In the meantime, Dave, please come visit us down here in Cali!