What a trip! My friend and I joke that when you travel with young children it's not a vacation--it's a "trip."
But it was fun nonetheless!
I'm so grateful that our school has a two-week Fall break. We left on Sunday afternoon and arrived in Seattle late that night. In retrospect, we should restrict our travel to within our boys' typical windows of awakeness. They are not much fun when they are tired!
We stayed in an inexpensive bungalow that we found on Airbnb. It's really nice to have separate bedrooms for each boy; it increases the likelihood that they will sleep (we bring a noise machine for each of them when we travel).
On Monday, we explored the amazing Arboretum, which I highly recommend. Then we headed over to Chihuly Garden and Glass. We had been reading a book about it in the weeks leading up to our visit, which really built our excitement about the experience. Then we couldn't resist going up in the Space Needle.
The next day, we connected with one of Matt's awesome life-long friends and took a ferry out to Kitsap Peninsula. The car ferry in and of itself was a grand adventure. Once on the island, we played at the beach (yes, Henry did end up completely naked and in the frigid water) and even spotted humpback whales frolicking in the water.
Afterwards, we swung by the University of Washington. It's one of our traditions to stop by colleges when we travel, so that Henry and Tate develop positive associations with it. Henry has decided he would rather attend a quieter university, but we had fun. We ended our night at an awesome pizza restaurant, dining next to their chickens.
On Wednesday, we drove to Portland and stayed at an amazing guesthouse on a family-run farm. We had a big adventure on Thursday, which included a visit to a neighborhood park, a bike ride around the city (we rented bikes from here), and a stop at food trucks for lunch. Yum! I also recommend this dinner place for delicious pot pies: Pacific Pies.
Even with direct flights both ways, it felt like we had to spend a lot of time traveling to and from the Pacific Northwest, in part because we squeezed in two cities that were three hours apart. The experience made us re-evaluate our plans to rent an RV and travel to Big Bend for Spring Break. I'm thinking we should go somewhere (warm!) that has more of a homebase camp kind of thing (amenities that are family-friendly?) with the opportunity for day trips. Any ideas?
We also made sure to pick up an ornament for our Christmas tree tradition!