Monday, November 10, 2008

Seattle Fun

Finally, photos! Emi and I had a good time in Seattle, but as with every trip, it was a learning experience. We got on the road later than planned on Wednesday morning (Miss Emi woke early and decided to 'help' with my shower!). We made the trip uneventfully and arrived around 130 (longer than I had thought as Emi needed more run-around time than I had planned for). Unfortunately, she decided to nap about 20 minutes before we arrived at the hotel. I had my book ready, so we just sat in the parking lot while she slept. That meant that we didn't get to the zoo until close to 3pm (I had rearranged our trip as rain was expected for Thursday). Sadly, I didn't clue in to the fact that winter hours had taken effect, the Woodland Park Zoo closes at 4pm during the winter. Oh, and there are no discounts on entrance fees for late-in-the-day visitors. Adults are $11.00 and under 3 are free, but there was NO way I was paying $11.00 for less than an hour there. Seriously ticked me off. But, there was nothing I could do - I could pay and go in, or not. So, we didn't but I just didn't have the heart to pack Emi back into the car without any running around time.

So, while it was chilly, I walked us over to the Rose Garden that is next to the zoo (part of the zoo?) and let her loose. Oh my. Did she ever have fun. I honestly snapped pictures as fast as I could, but that gal was just too busy to mess with silly ole mama wanting a pretty picture! Many of the roses were done for the year, but there were a few here and there that were still mostly blooming. I decided to try to take some pictures a la Lythrum and they didn't turn out too badly.

And, here are the sweet Emi pictures ....

Much too busy to smile ~ See my new tooth?

Running along all the wonderful paths

Blink! ~~ Is my hood still on? (She loves hoods!)

Gazebo ~ Fountain

Playing in the gazebo ~ Picking up ALL the leaves

Sweet Sweet Girl

Yes, there are a lot of photos. I am thankful I got all these (there are many more that are too blurry), as I got very few of our next day's outing.

By the time we got back to the hotel, we were pooped and ready to be inside. We had a quick dinner, some snuggle and reading time and then off to bed. For both of us! Good thing, as Emi was up EARLY the next morning.

Thursday we woke to the rain I knew was going to be there. We had breakfast, shower/bath and packed our backpack for the day. The Seattle Aquarium doesn't get the greatest reviews but I thought it was a very nice little aquarium. Sure, there are bigger and fancier ones, but this one had a lot going for it. It was, however, packed with school kids. I knew it was a possibility as one reviewer had said to go after lunch as the schools tend to do their field trips in the mornings but afternoons don't always work out for us as well. We had a great time, but it was hard to take photos in there. No flash photography, so you had to pick and choose areas where you could get enough lighting. With Emi going all over the place, that wasn't going to happen. That and the fact that I wanted to share this with her, not be looking through the view finder the whole time. Choices.

The first thing we saw when we got there was a diver in with the fish. I think that might have freaked her out a bit, as she stood behind me and peeked around. He kept waving at her and then tried talking to her (very cool, by the way!) but no go. She wouldn't go near the glass. Drat, now that would have made an awesome picture. But here is the diver:

We (okay, I) waved goodbye and off we went to see more. They have quite a few pools where you can gently touch the creatures. Since Emi is still working on gently, we by-passed those. There was so much to see and do, I do think she got a bit over stimulated. That was one of the reasons I choose Seattle over Tacoma (which has a larger zoo/aquarium, I am told) and I think I made the right choice. While it was still a lot for her, it was much less that it could have been. One of the things that fascinated her (and me) was the jelly fish exhibit. There was an arch (looked like it was made out of really thick glass/acrylic) that you could walk under. The jellyfish floated around and around, hard to explain but so awesome. The photos honestly do not do this justice.

We spent quite a bit of time in the dome, but photography in there was horrible. Not one photo turned out. We both loved it, she had to stand RIGHT at the glass with her little hands pressed against it just watching non-stop. Entranced, completely. We also saw the seals that were playing outside in their pool. Total fun, floating on their backs, washing their faces, splashing with their tails and sitting in the rain preening. Emi ate it all up, mimicking everything they did. Sadly, we too were in the elements (outside, but covered - sides were open) so I didn't want to get the camera out. We didn't get too wet, but damp. And so worth it. I had to drag her away and to me, that equals a baby girl having the time of her life.

Funny enough, the stuffed animal she choose at the end was a river otter. We didn't see them (not sure how we missed them, we saw everything at least twice in about 2 hours or so). I think she thinks it's the seals that she loved and that's fine with me. She was tickled with her little otter and I loved watching her have to make a decision. She could pick one, and only one. I didn't really think she'd get that, but we'd come across another animal and she'd pick it up. I would tell her 'one' and hold up a finger. She'd look back and forth and hand me back the one she didn't want (as much). I was darned tootin' proud of her. No theatrics (and she can toss some good ones, let me tell you!), no whining, nothing. Chose her river otter each time and was happy happy with it. Still drags him around (by the tail, poor guy - we are going to have to find him a tough guy name).

All and all, even with all the rain, a good trip. I look forward to hitting Seattle again maybe in the spring and taking Jeff along. Maybe a bit longer trip (easier with another set of hands). But Emi and I did really well and had a really great time.


"J" said...

Great pictures!!!!! =) Sounds like yall had a great trip!!!! That was just RUDE of the zoo!!!! Someone needs to change the rules!!!!!!

Gina (Caleeo) said...

The aquarium sounds just perfect. I love the story about picking out the river otter, I can see that happening! Love the pics!

Lythrum said...

I'm so glad to hear that your trip went well. I am so impressed with all of the things that you do with her. I feel like a slug in comparison because the most we have really done with ours is to take her up to the park last weekend.

Lythrum said...

Oh, and BTW I loved the rose picture. I really like the form on that one, it's different than the standard ones. Good job!

Beth said...

Please check your e-mail and write me back so I can send your prize (Baby Einstein DVDs)!

Jill Scott said...

It looks like the trip was a success, even without the zoo.

Barbara said...

Oh so sweet! Love the river otter story! It sounds like she had a blast and you can always do the zoo another time :)

Magi said...

You guys are becoming quite the seasoned travellers!

I don't know if you saw Jim's answer to your photography question. Basically, we always have a camera handy and try to catch her unawares. We get lots of blurry shots, but we also get some great ones. Our cell phones are what helped her connect the process of taking her picture with the result. Now we're in a stage where she tries to pose. These pictures aren't as good because she gives a small clenched smile when she says cheese. Luckily, she likes to pretend she's a monster and growl. Now we ask her to smile like a monster. This is giving us some great shots.

Good luck!

Allie's Mama said...


The photos were amazing! Emi is
such a cutiepie!!!!! Thanks for
the post about the side dishes
I will get on here and check it
out. I hope your family has a
wonderful holiday!!!



Shelle said...

I can't figure out how I missed all of these blog posts, looks like you've been busy!

I want so bad to make a trip to the Oregon and Washington, I wouldn't even mind the rain. It looks so beautiful. Sure looks and sounds like you guys had fun in Seattle, love the photos. Could Emi be any cuter?