Monday, February 2, 2015

Our Trip To The Emerald City

We recently returned from a 4 day trip to Seattle to check out our new home and the surrounding area.  On countless occasions during the trip, I kept saying "This is so much like Scotland",  both in and out of the city.  The city itself is beautiful, with a mix of old and new, stunning views at the end of roads and my favorite thing - TOTAL WALKABILITY!!!!  I've lived in 4 states so far and none of them have had decent sidewalks and public transport as we do in the UK to speak of.  Seattle, I am happy to say, is the total opposite.  There really are Starbucks everywhere, and crazy people, and friendly people, and dogs - I've never seen so many dogs.  We even saw somebody walking their cat on a leash down a busy street.  The husband intends to take our Molly to his work to see how she does.  Apparently it's the norm at the campus where he'll be working, which I think is hilarious!  We did a few touristy things too - we gagged at the sight of the gum wall, watched huge salmon being thrown around at Pike Place Market and ate a massive pile of crab legs and shrimp at The Crab Pot before riding the Ferris Wheel.   While I did also want to visit Uncle Ike's, I didn't really think it would be appropriate with the kiddos...! 

Just walking around!

Delicious crab legs!

The nasty gum wall :)

Seattle had recentlymade it to the Superbowl Final, so there were blue and green lights and Seahawks flags and signs everywhere.  I know jack about American Football, but it's easy to feel the excitement going on for the local team.  My soccer mad child is more excited to see the Seattle Sounders play, so of course, we bought both the boys Sounders shirts to the dismay of our friend Lennie, who is a Portland Timbers fanatic :) Unfortunately, the Hawks didn't win the Super Bowl, but man, they sure had a lot of support!

Our hotel, The Fairmont, was amazing.  We had afternoon tea in their Georgian Tearoom which was a great experience for the kiddos.  The hotel was in the middle of downtown, so we walked to lots of different restaurants and for once, no arguments about who had to abstain from drinking to drive us home.  We visited The Space Needle which was great fun - for the husband and the kids.  I suffer from vertigo attacks every couple of years, so just going in the elevator to the top had me sweating and nauseous.   I literally took a couple of photos of the amazing views at the top, then went straight back down to the bottom to wait for the rest of the family, who luckily aren't affected by such ridiculous things.  If you come to visit us, I will gladly take you to the Space Needle, but I sure as hell will not be going up top with you!   

The fancy Georgian Tearoom

Afternoon Tea, yes please!

Trying to be posh...

View from the top of the Needle before rushing down!

We drove out to Snoqualmie which is about 30 miles to the east of Seattle, and where our rental house is situated.  Our landlord was happy to show us round as the kids and me hadn't actually seen it yet. Luckily, the husband chose well and we all loved it.  Snoqualmie is pretty rural and is surrounded by trees, mountains and gorgeous scenery, there's even a ski resort 20 minutes away.  The spectacular Snoqualmie Falls are a mere 2 miles from our new home and can actually be walked or biked to from our front door.  Snoqualmie also has it's own Brewery, which of course, we had to try out.  The beer was amazing and I'm pretty sure we'll become regulars there.  The closest Walmart is about 28 miles away, so my tales of woe from the Walmart parking lot will be discontinued, but that's definitely not a bad thing :)  There are enough stores around that we won't starve, and there are more than enough activities, trails, restaurants etc around that I have a feeling we will love living there.  The only down side I can think of is that houses up there are twice the price of those here in Tennessee - and half the size, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing.  Less to clean right? 

Snoqualmie River

Snoqualmie Falls - 2 miles from our house!!

It did rain for our first couple of days, but to be honest, because it was a lot warmer than here in Tennessee, it didn't really matter and never felt uncomfortable.  It certainly doesn't stop the locals from doing outdoor activities, there were still people running, hiking, biking and just outside doing their thing.  Just like Scotland really!  We also took a drive out to Rattlesnake Lake which is pretty close to Snoqualmie and had a hike around the crystal clear lake and into the woods.  People were so friendly, literally everybody said hello and the kids had a blast petting people's dogs.  There are walking trails everywhere, we will never be stuck for something to do for sure.  When the sun does come out, the views are just incredible.  Mount Rainier is massive and looks like it's been superimposed above the landscape.  Just amazing!  We took a drive out to Kirkland which is a lovely wee town on the banks of a lake.  Again, another very walkable place with lots of cute restaurants, bars and stores and a nice walk along the lakefront. 

Pretty Kirkland

Rattlesnake Lake

So, it's safe to say that our trip to the Northwest was definitely a success, and the kiddos are really excited for when we move there at the end of March.  They were especially pleased to hear that school there doesn't start until 9am - a massive hour and a half later than here in Tennessee.  Me, I was pleased to see that I can utilize Amazon Fresh at our new address, and even more happy when I saw that they also deliver wine, beer and my favorite champers to your door.   Yep, its the small things in life...! 

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