We spent this past weekend hanging out as a family in the Seattle area. You can view pictures by clicking here. Before you go to the web album, I'll give you a brief overview and a couple other points of information:
1. Pictures are not in order. That is because some of them are from my camera, some from Ed's, and some from Sarah's. Sorry.
2. The swimming pictures are not real great because it was SOOOO dark in the pool area and in order to get the pictures to not be blurry, I had to use a fast shutter speed, which, even with a high ISO, created dark pictures. Unfortunately the pictures turned out even darker than I thought they were when I look at them on the screen. So, I tried to add light to a few of them, so they look really weird. I should have just gone ahead and used the flash, but I am still trying to learn my camera and was trying out lots of different things. I just didn't try that one thing. Sorry about that.
3. The trip:
We left on Saturday after Sarah's game and headed down to IKEA. Lots of traffic awaited us, but we finally arrived and had fun walking through there, eating there, and buying some cool stuff. We did not get lost. Only people who can't follow signs (parental units) get lost in IKEA.
Saturday evening we had snacks at the hotel and swam. The hotel was 100% full and so the pool was also quite overcrowded, so we didn't stay terribly long in the pool that evening. We played charades in the room and just generally had fun together until bedtime.
Sunday morning we had breakfast and swam before heading out to the Seattle Center. We ended up driving because we were afraid that it'd be dark by the time we were headed back to the hotel and we didn't want to be on a bus in downtown Seattle in the dark. We found a parking place really close to the Space Needle for only $5, so we were happy with our decision! We had some lunch in the Center House and then headed downstairs for the museum. This place was also extremely packed, and we noticed it was mostly packed with couples who had only one child. I think that's what children's museums are for...at least if you think they're going to be educational. Two parents + one child + educational & fun activities = great children's museum. On the other hand, two parents + 4 children + educational & fun activities = a lot of running from one thing to the next. But it was fun anyway.
Then we had Baskin Robbins ice cream and went back to the hotel for a swim. This time it was almost completely empty, so the girls had a great time. We had snacks in the hotel and then watched "The Tale of Despereaux." It was quite good, but a tad scary. I was very surprised there were no nightmares that night! We put the little ones to bed and then Ed & I played a game of Uno with the two big girls. They thought that was absolutely the coolest.
Monday morning we again had breakfast and swam and then packed up and headed out. The girls were so tired, as were Ed & I, so we didn't do anything much on the way home and arrived home around 2:00 in the afternoon. That was nice because the girls had a chance to play and then get ready for school and even go to the GEMS Skating party, which I was quite sure we would not go to. But they begged and pleaded, so of course I caved. :)
4. Evaluation: I would not probably stay in that hotel again. For the price and for all the rave reviews I heard, my reaction was "Really? Why?" I will not probably take my kids to the Seattle Children's Museum again. Too much money for what is there, plus the two oldest ones are really too old for it, even though they advertise as being for ages 1-10. Will I take my family on an out-of-town weekend again? Absolutely! We loved every minute of hanging out together with zero distractions.
Enjoy the photos!