Today we are in Seattle.
I was woken this morning by the 3 kids doing a horrific rendition of the 1980’s pop song “Don’t You Want Me?”. Considering they stayed up watching "Underdog" later than Mrs. Grumpy or I, they sure had a lot of energy when they woke up. I had no idea 80's pop was in the movie's soundtrack. Or maybe they changed the channel after we passed out.
After getting them dressed (which required me threatening to volunteer the boys for some electrical conductance experiments) we went down to breakfast. We'd run out of Diet Cokes, so I wanted coffee to wake up.
Unfortunately, the hotel had somehow managed to run out of coffee by the time we made it downstairs. Fortunately, there was a Costco nearby. So we reloaded on critical (and not-so-critical) supplies (20 lbs. box of laundry soap, 48 cans of Diet Coke, 1 box of pancake mix [NO! I HAVE NO FREAKIN' IDEA WHY WE NEEDED TO BUY PANCAKE MIX!], tomatoes [just in case, I guess], and tape) and I bought a soda cup at the snack bar and kept refilling it. Of course, by this time the kids were afraid they'd die of starvation (they hadn't eaten in what, an hour?), so they all wanted hot dogs, too.
On a side note, is there anyone else out there who remembers the married days before you had kids and a cheap date was a trip to Costco and 2 hot dogs for $3, and you thought that was awesome?
Then we dragged the kids down to Pike Place market and the aquarium. As we drove, the kids were stunned to see the Space Needle really exists. They'd assumed it was just a prop on iCarly.
Aquariums are cropping up on every corner in North America these days, but there are very few that I really like. Seattle is one of them (the others are Vancouver and Boston, though I haven't been to either in years). Actually, I haven't been to that many aquariums when I think about it. I know there are many others, but none of them in North America have octopi I want to vote for.
As we walked into the first exhibit hall, a guy came up to Marie and said "Hey, little lady, would you like to touch my sea cucumber?"
I was about to call security until I realized he worked there, and, indeed, was carrying around a live sea cucumber in a big plastic bowl. I looked around and saw quite a few people carrying sea creatures to show kids, and was reassured that a pedophile hadn't snuck into the aquarium. Or, if he had, at least he wasn't hiding in the bathroom.
It's really embarrassing when your kids start hitting each other in a fight over which of the starfish in the "hands-on" tide pool is Patrick. Or ask the nice lady working there why he isn't wearing pants, like on the show.
While walking between the buildings I noticed this interesting architectural feature overhead.
As you can see, it's a door to nowhere hanging off the 2nd floor. I secretly hoped that on the inside of the door was a sign that said “smoking patio”.
After the aquarium we wandered around Pike Place Market. I like this place, and could spend all day browsing. I have a fond memory from the 1990's when I was in Seattle interviewing for neurology residency. Due to flight schedules I had a whole day to kill, and spent it wandering around the waterfront and Pike Place area. I dodged flying fish, bought books, had someone take my picture next to a cardboard cutout of a T-101 Terminator (I figured in a few months patients would see me that way), and ate anything that looked good (which was a lot.). By the end of the day I was poorer, fatter, and barely fit into my suit for the interview the next day.
But now, with 3 wild kids, the best you can do is window shop and keep them out of stores where they might break something.
One item here that caught my attention was this poster for a lighthearted musical. I was somewhat sorry to see the show’s run was over by the time we visited.
Seattle has some things that other cities just can't match. My kids, in particular, loved the famous Wall of Gum (picture below). This is exactly what it sounds like. Since 1993 people have been sticking their gum on a wall at the market, and it's now several inches thick. It’s been named the 2nd germiest attraction in the world after the Blarney stone.
Of course, all 3 of them wanted to add gum to it. We didn't have any (shit! why didn't we think of that at Costco?). So to prevent widespread unrest I bought an overpriced pack of gum, and they all chewed a piece and then stuck it up.
(yes, that’s Frank. Due to him turning a kid in for eating clay, he’s now in the Wingnut Elementary School witness protection program).
Immediately after this picture was taken, Frank, for reasons known only to him, rubbed his hands all over everyone else's gum! So I was assigned the job of slathering him with Purell (don't leave home without it).
We stopped at Ivar's for dinner and
And that's the way it is.