Sunday, October 19, 2014

Seattle: Summer of 2014 (part 2)

Our third day in Seattle was also Jimmy's 33rd birthday. He LOOOOOVVEEES breakfast (I don't really care for it), so I let him choose a place to go eat. After consulting my roommate, and spending hours on Yelp, he decided that Toulouse Petit was where he wanted to start his day.

I had the Spicy Creole Andouille Hash and it was SO SO SO good. If all breakfasts were like this, I would have no problem.

After we stuffed ourselves, he headed to the original Costco, another location chosen by the birthday boy. Here's a photo of the Costco (sample) lovers, in front of the original wall.

We then headed to the Museum of Flight, and needless to say, the boys were over the moon *haha* with all the cool planes, gadgets, and simulations.

Check out the SR-71 in the middle of the building!

Mommy and T in the Shuttle Trainer.

With a real space suit!

Practicing the crash landings.

Stepping out of the Concorde.

T with the first 747.

Little guy flying lessons.

T fell asleep on our way to the Space Needle, so we grabbed a quick, nutritious lunch at the 7-Eleven, which consisted of sodas, chips, and cookies. This was my second time up the Needle, but there's something about watching the excitement of my 3-year old that made it all worth paying $21 again.

*The line to buy the tickets was ridiculously long, especially in the sun. Jimmy, being sun-phobic as he is, busted out his cell phone and proceeded to purchase the tickets on his phone. 2 minutes later, we beat the line and had our tickets for the elevator. We just had to show the receipt from his email at our appointment time. Boom!*

The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the City Center. We especially enjoyed the International Fountain. Unfortunately, the photo below doesn't do any justice to the grand scale of the fountain.

Birthday dinner was from Mod Pizza

For dessert, my roommate took us to A La Mode Pies, located across from the Woodland Park Zoo. It was well past 9pm, but because Seattle is totally awesome, it was still bright out. 

We took the pies across the street, where T had fun playing on this awesome structure.

By this time, it was past 9:30pm!

We ended the night at Kerry Park, where we were able to see a gorgeous view of the city.

Thank you for an amazing time! Seattle, we love you! (and we love my roommate too!)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Seattle: Summer of 2014 (part 1)

Alrighty, I'm almost caught up to speed. 

In July, we flew to Seattle to visit my college roommate. It was Jimmy and T's first time in the Emerald City. The last (and only) time I visited was in November a few years ago, when the rain poured down with no mercy and when boots and umbrellas were a must. 

This time around, I got to enjoy the beautiful weather. We rented a ridiculously massive and junky car from Rent-A-Wreck, and drove it around the city like a boss.

Our first stop was the Pike Place Market.

My friend's fiance is from Seattle, so he gave us a super comprehensive list of places to see and eat. The Ivar's clam chowder was one of them. I got the sampler with 3 different types of chowder. They were delish.

We also stopped by the original Starbucks.
The next set of photos are all from ONE DAY. I knew my roommate was amazing, but her super powers were in full force when she took us on a tour of Seattle's hotspots. One day with her included the following: Snoqualmie Falls, sandwiches at Paseo, Ballard Locks, Fremont Troll, Gasworks Park, Molly Moon's Ice cream, dinner at Pacific Fish and Chips, and a stroll at a neighborhood park.

Snoqualmie Falls is a 268 foot waterfall located between Snoqualmie and Fall City, Washington. It was a quick, scenic drive from Seattle, with an easy hiking trail that leads to the bottom of the falls.
The view was absolutely gorgeous!

Within an hour, we were at the bottom of the trail. That's including our many snack breaks for this little monkey.

You see those people near the fall? They jumped over a locked gate and climbed down a steep set of rocks. Some people had infants in their baby carriers! We didn't do any of this, of course, since we are law abiding citizens.

Lunch was at Paseo, a delicious Caribbean sandwich joint with the most amazing sandwiches EVER. Jimmy should know...he eats my homemade sandwiches for lunch everyday.

After lunch, we headed to go see the Ballard Locks. At first, I didn't quite understand the concept, but after seeing it firsthand, I realized how totally awesome this place was. Basically, the lock links Salmon Bay with Lake Union and Lake Washington. But, because the water level drastically changes, the lock makes it possible for the boats to enter and exit. It also helps prevent the fresh water mixing in with the sea water.

...and because a picture is worth a thousand words, here are some images...

We were also able to go under the lock and view the salmon ladder.

You could only view this during certain times of the year, so we were super lucky to be able to see the salmon swim upstream! Pretty cool stuff.

Afterwards, we found ourselves under the George Washington Memorial Bridge, where we hung out with the troll. I later found out that the troll is holding an actual Volkswagen Beetle, with a California license plate. Yikes!

We then headed to Gasworks Park to enjoy the beautiful day.

We also "tried" to fly a kite.

We then stopped by Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream. They had the most interesting flavors, like Earl Grey and Lavender. Kinda reminded me of ice cream places in Japan. Nevertheless, we inhaled the ice cream in record time.

We wrapped up the day by sharing a meal at the Pacific Fish and Chips.

And strolled around a park and jumped into a fountain (which, I would NEVER recommend doing...we both slipped on moss and almost got soaked!)

Whew!!! What a day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Jelly Belly Factory

On our way to San Francisco, we stopped by the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield. If you ever get a chance, I recommend checking this place out, even if you don't really care for Jelly Bellys (like me). This factory has a ginormous store, a cafe complete with Jelly Belly shaped hotdogs and hamburgers, a free 40-minute tour, and endless lots and lots of samples.

Because all the schools in the area planned their field trip on the same week, the wait for the tour was almost 2 hours long. What? Who has time for that? Well...we did. What else did we have to do? Apparently, nothing but stand and wait around.

While Jimmy and I took turns waiting, our little guy enjoyed his lunch - Jelly Belly shaped hotdog, smiley french fries, and a drink in his very own souvenir cup.

He also suckered us into a giving him a quarter or two.
The tour itself was very interesting and informative. It was my second time (or maybe my third...Jimmy brought me here while we were in college). 

Photos/videos were not allowed on the tour. Here's a picture of me and T while waiting...and waiting. 

Once we got into San Francisco, we had one goal. Visit the Exploratorium. Located in Pier 15 on San Francisco's Embarcadero, the Exploratorium offered a wide array of hands-on learning experiences, including science experiments, unusual instruments, a tactile dome, and an outdoor gallery. As you've noticed, we kinda really love museums.
*The admission is free for teachers. Be sure to visit the website and request a ticket beforehand*

We will definitely be going back.