44 Seattle Walk

After driving most of the day from Walla Walla to Seattle, we decided to go for an evening stroll around the block of our hotel. Lake Union is simply stunning. This family of geese was enjoying their own stroll.

45 Seattle Walk

Love these kids!

46 Seattle Residence Inn

Our hotel was pretty spiffy. Thanks to the fact that Alex works for Marriott and gets some amazing deals, we were able to keep our lodging costs down and had (FREE) full breakfasts and pretty yummy dinners for all of the nights we were in Seattle.

47 Seattle Blue Skies

Whomever said there is no such thing as blue skies in Seattle didn’t go the 2 days that we were there….absolutely amazing blue skies and the temperature was perfect.

48 Pike Place copy

One of our must-see stops was Pike Place. We love Farmers Markets and we especially wanted to try some fresh seafood and see local crafts. It didn’t disappoint.

49 Pike Place

The produce was beautifully displayed and reasonably priced. The vendors were a delight!

50 Pike Place    51 Pike Place

We had read great reviews on Beecher’s Homemade Cheese and their mac & cheese. It was delicious…..but didn’t hold a candle to Ethan’s mac & cheese. Still, worth the experience.

52 Pike Place

We bought a large container of the World’s Best and Mariachi’s and found a bench to sit down and share. We ate our dinner, while enjoying some accordion music of one of the many musicians in the area.

53 Pike Place copy

Seattle is such a colorful city. I would like to come back someday, with about 2 weeks, JUST for taking pics.

54 Gum Wall     55 Gum Wall

We located the famous Gum Wall. Simon, who had been working on an entire pack of gum (Alex bought everyone their own pack of gum, for the occasion…so sweet), was ecstatic to actually have permission to take his gum out of his mouth and squish it onto a wall.

56 Gum Wall

Simon couldn’t blow a bubble and the lighting was horrible….but we did eventually get a bubble with 5/6 kids. LOL

57 Gum Wall

This wall is pretty amazing. My pics are washed out because of the lighting, but it was worth the short trek down the stairs to experience The Gum Wall. Just be sure to check for gum on your shoes before you leave….so sticky!

58 Gum Wall copy

There’s my piece of gum….second pink string over from the left! 😉

59 Starbucks    60 Starbucks

When searching for the original Starbucks, this was the place I found online…..which is not the original Starbucks. The pic on the right is the first Starbucks. Once Alex and I had placed our orders (Caramel Apple Spice and Chocolate Mint Cocoa….YUM!), we asked about purchasing mugs and that was when we were informed that this wasn’t the first Starbucks. The first store is actually a couple of blocks away, on Pike Street. The original store doesn’t have any seating, though, so it was nice to sit and enjoy our yummy drinks. When we were done sharing our hot treats, we headed down to the other Starbuck’s. These beautiful men were out front, singing some pretty amazing barber shop. While I was in line, the rest of the family came along and I guess these men grabbed Simon and started singing to him. He was kind of shocked and hid behind Aaron. So funny!

61 Starbucks   62 Starbucks

Proof. This is the First Starbuck’s Store. LOL And the servers there are super friendly. Aaron and I purchased mugs (we like to collect one from each trip we go on….we LOVE LOVE LOVE drinking tea in our family).

63 Starbucks   64 Starbucks

I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t keep the original Starbuck’s insignia….then Alex pointed out the boobies. I guess I have seen too many Renaissance paintings. Didn’t even phase me. Here is our third drink. We got the Caramel Apple Spice, this time iced. SO DEEEEELICIOUS! I felt bad about drinking most of it by myself (not really).

65 Pike Place

Lots of seafood vendors, all advertising easy shipping.

66 Pike Place

67 Pike Place

68 Pike Place

I told Aaron to pick someplace to do a tasting of the seafood (since he is the seafood connoisseur). Jack’s Fish Spot was spot-on! Not only was the food fresh and absolutely amazing, the service was equally awesome. This fellow isn’t Jack (I asked), but he took really good care of our family of 8. He made sure we knew we were loved….lots of samples, some free fish & chips thrown in, and he gave us a great deal on some candied smoked salmon (Aaron’s favorite). It was so much fun to eat here.

69 Pike Place

And he insisted we get a picture with him….such a great experience!

70 Space Needle

After 4 hours at Pike Place, we were pooped! We went back to the hotel to recharge and grab some dinner (FREE). Then we headed out to get some photos of Seattle and visit Puget Sound. On our way, Aaron pointed out how close we were to the Space Needle. He asked me if I wanted to get some photos….um, yeah! He took a detour (we have loved being able to use Google maps….I am so lame, I just barely learned how to use it) from our route and he let me out, to get a better shot. He said he would just turn around the block, come back and pick me up. I took some pretty awesome pics….for about 15 minutes.

71 Space Needle Detour

I began wondering if he was going to be able to find his way back to me. I stopped a lady and asked her about driving around the block. She informed me that because turning right at the end of the block would take my husband back onto the freeway, he might never make it back. I LOL….then kind of cried inside. I decided to take more photos and said a prayer he would be able to make it back quickly. Aaron is actually really good about gathering his bearings and figuring out directions, so I wasn’t too stressed. But because we only had about 1 hour of daylight left and a lot of pics to take, I have to admit I was a little worried.

72 Space Needle Detour

Finally, my knight in Toyota Sienna came riding along….to rescue his damsel on the corner. I was able to get a great shot of our van with the Space Needle. Well worth the 20 minutes of worrying. 😉

73 Seattle

I know, the lighting is atrocious, but everyone is in the shot and facing forward. I was just happy to find someone who knew how to snap a shot without asking a million questions.

74 Seattle copy

This was my favorite shot of Seattle. Even though the skies were blue the entire time we were there, this is the shade of color that Seattle evoked in my heart. Such a sentimental, slow-paced place to visit and enjoy. Aaron couldn’t stop raving about how much he loved Seattle and the atmosphere here.

76 Golden Gardens Beach  77 Golden Gardens Beach

The drive out to Golden Gardens was like a dream. While we were driving along streets that reminded me of the Avenues in Salt Lake City (only with much more foliage and narrower streets), we were blasting the soundtrack from the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (which is now one of my top 5 movies, btw). Aaron purchased  the soundtrack for me, especially for this trip.

We arrived at Golden Gardens Beach, just as the sun was starting to loll and drop. The kids got to touch the Puget Sound (they all said it was a little to cold for doing more than toe-dipping) and enjoy some beach time. The sand is scattered with coal from all of the fires (there are around 30 firepits along the beach), along with small shells and smooth, black pebbles.

78 Golden Gardens Beach   79 Golden Gardens Beach

We had a sweet family who offered the kids some roasted marshmallows…which we gladly accepted.

80 Golden Gardens Beach   81 Golden Gardens Beach

And Simon combed the beach for some broken shells and smooth stones. Every one he brought to me, came with the question, “Are these ones pretty enough?”. To which I replied, “These are perfect!”

82 Golden Gardens Beach   83 Golden Gardens Beach

I think that Golden Gardens will forever be etched on my heart. As we drove out, I was able to see why it is called the Golden Gardens. If ever you are able to visit, be sure to go on a sunny day, around dusk. Absolute bliss! Even though it was only a little over an hour that we embraced this area, it touched deep into my soul.

84 Seattle copy

The drive back into town was equally beautiful to the drive out, just different. I think it is safe to say that we love Seattle.

85 Seattle Temple

The next morning, we were able to visit the Seattle Temple and do some more baptisms and initiatories.

86 Seattle Temple

Love these young men!

87 Gravesites88 Gravesites89 Gravesites

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by to see Bruce and Brandon Lee’s gravesites (Aaron is a HUGE fan). The boys weren’t completely sure of who these men were, so we decided to watch Dragon with them later that night (The Crow will have to wait a few years still).

90 Gravesites

91 Seattle to Portland

And this is the next morning, driving from Seattle down to Portland. I just had to share a shot of what the freeways look like. You would literally not know you were in a major city for much of the commute. LOVE SEATTLE!

Pura Vida!

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