We checked out of the hotel today. We then headed over to the Museum of Flight at the Boeing Field.
The museum had so many artifacts from the Red Barn, complete with video histories. Even for a non-aerospace nerd like myself, I found a lot of the exhibits interesting. We didn’t take too many pictures because a lot of it was reading and some of the exhibits did not allow photography.
This was a pretty cool museum, with a NASA exhibit incorporated as well. I always love seeing NASA stuff, and this exhibit had some simulations that was explored.
This post is day 7/8 because…..our flight was delayed so much, that we didn’t arrive back in Austin until the next day. The flight was so cold, but the views as we descended into ABIA was absolutely amazing. (The picture in the footer of this website, was actually taken during this flight.)
While Seattle was absolutely amazing and I loved all the things we did, it was nice to be back in Austin once again. I love traveling, but it’s time to relax and catch up on some sleep.
After Mt. Rainier yesterday, I just wanted to sleep and rest because everything was hurting a little bit and the high altitude made me have a headache for most of the night. But, we ended up going to the Seattle Zoo.
This was the last place of the city pass that we were using. Despite Seattle having lower temperatures than Austin, it was still pretty hot and the zoo was pretty big. However, it was a bit of a disappointment, there were not a lot of animals (we couldn’t see a lot of the animals, or they were somewhere else at the time) and it was a lot of walking to see nothing.
There are not too many pictures because there really wasn’t anything to take pictures of, and the heat all got to us and we were pretty tired. I guess I got a good workout from all the walking though!
After leaving the zoo, we drove over to see Amazon and Microsoft’s headquarters. Amazon’s was just an office building, nothing exciting to see at all, so we drove to the Microsoft visitor center. It’s Sunday, so unfortunately everything was closed but we took some pics with the iconic sign.
I’ll keep this short, and just leave you the pictures!
I’ll keep the text on this short, and put lots and lots of pictures as Mt. Rainier is so beautiful.
Today was the day we decided to go to Mt. Rainier. I did not realize we would be going here before the trip, and I did not pack accordingly. Thankfully, I had the sense to throw some longer leggings into my suitcase and I had bought a new hoodie at Outdoor Nationals the week before, so I barely had enough layers.
We went to Paradise, at 5400 ft elevation and we climbed 2 trails, the Skyline to Myrtle Falls (1mi) and the Nisqually Vista Trails (1.2mi). We don’t usually hike, and we chose the 2 shortest trails but it was worth it. The views were absolutely amazing and being at such a high altitude was really something I had never experienced before.
This is where I regret not bringing a nicer DSLR camera as it would not have fit into our very limited suitcase space, and my phone camera isn’t the best. (Most of these pics were shot on my dad’s iPhone X).
That’s enough of me talking about it. Here’s pictures:
After sleeping in as long as we wanted to, today was a nice and chill day. Dad had some work to get done and needed all of us out of the hotel room, so we headed over to the Southcenter Mall.
Mom wanted to try 85 bakery, so we walked pretty much all around the mall before finding it in a small kiosk in the food court area.
Then we ate breakfast/lunch at the food court, and Mom and Kevin went to watch Ant-Man and the Wasp (that’s the name of the movie, right?) and Amanda and I went to walk around some stores but didn’t buy anything because the tax is so much higher in Seattle.
I did come across a super cute candy shop called Lolli&Pops and I bought some chocolate covered espresso beans, mainly for a little chocolate caffeine kick. Yea, I ate them all before I thought of taking a picture.
The mall was pretty large so I definitely got my steps in for the day just walking around.
After the mall, we went to pick up some misc. things we needed from Target and Bed Bath & Beyond, headed back to the hotel, and went to the pool.
It was a relaxed day which was nice after going to so many different places in the past 3 days.
I did do some research on Mt. Rainier as we’ll be going there the next day. Look for lots of pictures in tomorrow's post!
Expect the posts to be a bit shorter now as we had more relaxed days the rest of the trip.
Today was the day that I scheduled a college visit to the University of Washington of Seattle. We took the Light Rail all the way to the end and got off at the University of Washington stop. We actually got there really early and by the time we walked to the Husky Union Building, we still had an hour to kill so we walked around and saw some of the services within the building.
We did have a minor scare with losing Kevin, as he went to the bathroom, but somehow walked right past the closest one and ended up on the other side of the building. No worries though, we found him!
The campus visit started with a tour of the campus and we hit some of the spots that a student would normally go to in their day. One of the highlights was one of the libraries looked a lot like the Hogwarts dining hall. The architecture within that library was amazing and I wish I had gotten more pictures of the details, but since the room was a 100% silence room to allow people to work, we were not in there for very long. We also saw the world’s 2nd largest book (apparently it was the 1st largest but then some other students in another country got bored and decided to make a bigger one and that’s why the one at UW is the 2nd largest). I also learned that one of the most popular classes was a dinosaurs class. It doesn’t make any sense to me as to why, but then again, many decisions that college students make don’t make much sense.
Following the tour, we went back to the Husky Union Building and got a presentation by an admissions officer about the stats of getting into the school. I honestly can not really see myself going to UW, for the sole reason that it is too cold there, and it rains way too often for my liking. I am a true Texas gal and I like my hot weather.
We grabbed lunch at the student dining services and this was the first food that I’ve seen, to be slightly cheaper.
We then headed back to the Light Rail, and went to Westlake where we went to catch a Harbor Tours Cruise. I haven’t been on a boat since 8th grade, and as I found out, I get seasick. This put a slight damper on the cruise as the sights were beautiful, but I was a little busy trying not to faint or throw up. The tour guide was a funny man and gave us a lot of history of the Seattle ports.
Following the cruise, we went back to the Light Rail, and headed back to the hotel. At this point, I was becoming a real pro at the whole Light Rail system.
We did a lot today so this post may be a little longer. I do not apologize for that as it was a lot of fun and I want to remember all the details.
After sleeping in for a little bit (we all had to play catch up with sleep given how little we got the day before), we got up and faced the day. We purchased the Seattle CityPass which allowed us to visit 5 of Seattle’s top attractions at a lower cost. We had already used once of the tickets yesterday at the Aquarium and today, we decided to head over to the Seattle Center and see the Space Needle.
Taking the Light Rail, we got off again at the Westlake Station, then walked a block to get to the Seattle Center Monorail station. This was a pretty cool platform and reminded me of one of the Dr. Seuss rides at Universal Studios. The monorail is a 2 minute ride that covered a mile of ground, and pretty much seemed like it whisked you to a whole other city.
The Seattle Center seems like a separate place from Seattle. Pretty much at all points, you can see the Space Needle standing tall, and you could easily spend more than 3 days there. Unfortunately, we only had 1 day to spend there, and the first thing we did was go to the Space Needle. We chose a good day to go, as it was a weekday, and there was not a long line. There was still construction going on with the new viewing platform, but we could still see most of the attraction. Seattle really is a beautiful city. It was nice and windy and with the new glass window installed, it was truly amazing to see.
After the Space Needle, we walked around to find some food. We came across the Seattle Armory (I’m still not entirely sure what that place was) but it had a lot of food options. One downside about Seattle: the food is EXPENSIVE! I’ve included a picture of a really cute bubble tea shop but we ultimately chose not to purchase anything as the prices were about 2x what I would pay in Austin.
Instead, I got some chicken and waffles for lunch. I know, I came all the way to Seattle and I chose to eat a southern classic. This was my first time eating chicken and waffles (am I a true Texan?) and while the waffle wasn’t that good, the chicken was amazing. Or maybe it was just because I was hungry? Either way it was good.
After a little bit of rest, we decided that we only had time to go to either the Pacific Science Center, the Museum of Pop Culture, or the Chihuly Garden and Glass. We ultimately chose the Science Center and we actually ran out of time to see everything! I really recommend this center, even if it was a bit childish, there are a lot of things that you wouldn’t see in other science centers. This was definitely one of the best places that we went to.
When the Science Center closed at 5, we decided to go find more food to eat and we ended back at the Armory. Surprisingly, a lot of the shops also closed at 5, but we found a few places that we could eat at the at dinner at 5. Yes, we a lot of food this trip. We waited until it was almost sunset before going back to the Space Needle (our tickets got us into the viewpoint once during the day and once during the night within the same 24 hours.) We didn’t want to wait until it was too dark as we still had a hour journey to get back to the hotel, so we decided to walk around the gift shop of the Chihuly Garden and Glass building to see what the museum offered. Honestly, there was a lot of breakable items in the gift shop, so it probably was a good idea that we didn’t go inside the exhibits as Kevin would be a high risk of breaking something.
We finally ventured back to the Space Needle, and it was a great time to go because the sun was starting to set a little bit, and the clouds had cleared up so that you could see Mt. Rainier in the distance. We took some more pictures and decided we were tired for the day and headed back to the Monorail to go to the Light Rail, and an hour later, we were at the station closest to our hotel.
We did have some difficulties with the transportation back to our hotel as the shuttle service didn’t come for 45 minutes and we were stuck waiting at the light rail station in the dark for about an hour. However, the hotel manager was super nice and fixed the problems as best as she could.
This was a good day overall, despite the transportation difficulties, we all had a good time. We went to sleep a bit earlier as we would have to get up pretty early the next day.
After being back home in Austin for about 8 hours, it was back to the airport again, this time to Seattle! This was our annual family vacation and it was planner full of things to try, places to eat, and spots to visit.
After waking up at 2am cst, a 4 hour flight, and landing at 8am pst, we had already been awake for 8 hours and we were just starting our day. We got to our hotel, and as tempting as it was to just lay on the newly made bed and sleep, we braced ourselves and headed out for the day.
The Link Light Rail is the transportation of choice in Seattle and it is extremely convenient. We took the light rail to the Westlake station where we immediately found a din tai fung to eat lunch. The food was so good. 10/10 recommend.
Then we headed over to the Seattle Aquarium. It was near the pier and in a really nice location but the aquarium was a bit disappointing. They didn't have a lot of animals but the best part were the river otters.
Then we walked over to the Starbucks Reserve, but I didn't want to try any of the reserve blends so we just walked around and looked at what they had to offer. We headed over to Pike Place Market and saw all the fresh flowers and produce as well as the flying fish stand.
We were ready to head back to our hotel, but saw the first Starbucks on our way to the light rail and stopped by. Since it's the summer, there were quite a few new drinks out and I took my chances and tried out the Salted Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew which was served in the trendy "no plastic straws" lid. I actually really liked the lid and despite original concerns that my drink may spill as I walk down the street or while on the Light Rail, I didn't spill a drop!
After that pit stop at Starbucks, we took the Light Rail back to our hotel, got some fast food, and went to sleep. It had been a long day, with us being awake for about 20-22 hours.
It's quite a bit colder in Seattle than in Austin, and I definitely did not pack enough clothes for this. We chose a good week to come to Seattle too because it was about 110+ degrees in Austin and after being outside for 5-8 hours a day last week, the colder weather was a welcome change.