Monday, July 19, 2010

Grumpy Summer Vacation, Day 5



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 were assaulted by fed the world's fattest seagulls again. On the way back to the hotel, Craig and Marie capped off the day by eating the damn tomatoes, sending seeds flying through the minivan.

And that's the way it is.

35 comments:

AlexDreamz said...

Dr. Grumpy, if you're still in Seattle on Tuesday, make sure and take the kids to see the Fremont Troll! They'll run off some energy, and you and Mrs. Grumpy can lean against a post and try to FIND some energy! :)

TheLittleFlower said...

I think the second floor doors are a relic from when stairwells were too small for furniture. At least that is what I did with the second floor door at my last house. It was built in the 1920's and there was no way I could get any furniture up the tiny stairwell to the second floor. BTW, I am really enjoying your vacation. It's almost as good as the car trip my hubby and I took with our kids this year...

The Bus Driver said...

my memory of pikes market was an allergic reaction to fresh cherries..... not very fun @ 13 yrs old lol.

evitafjord said...

We're on day #7 of our EPIC ROAD TRIP and spent today in Seattle too. We ended up at the Pacific Science Center and missed Pike Street because we didn't realize that it closes at 6. Pike Street is on my husband's bucket list for this trip, so we'll be heading back into the city in the morning to dodge fish - and maybe add to the gum wall.

Kim Kasch said...

I love Seattle - lived there for 3 years with my 3 kids and hubby until we came to our senses and realized Portland is way better ;)

Dr. J said...

I need to go to bed now after vicariously experiencing your day!

Miss Kismet said...

Love that Frank has a Batman t-shirt on :).

Where are we going next? I so feel like I'm a part of the Grumpy tribe. Pass the tomatoes, kids!

merinz said...

Thank you or sharing your holiday with us all.

On the subject of chewing gum - my son's teacher had a jar of pieces of used gum on her desk. Any child caught chewing gum in her class had to put theirs in the jar and take a used piece out.

Needless to say - no one chewed gum in her class.

ER's Mom said...

You would probably like Monterray's aquarium as well as Chicago's.

Seattle's is great. Took our kids there 4 years ago. Hmm...might have to plan another trip.

And I see Mrs G's obsession is still present... ;)

Don said...

Well, my wonderful wife and I have been known to have our anniversary dinner at the local Taco Bell when the money was tight. We just celebrated our 31st anniversary, even though I'm working over 800 miles from home, so we must be doing something right.

The Good Cook said...

Oh my... a wall of gum?

And I have always wondered if my Costco membership worked at ALL Costco's nationwide.. I am assuming it does?

Taryn said...

Pre-kids / post-kids, a trip to Costco is NEVER cheap! I really enjoy your blog, thanks for sharing that great sense of humor with the rest of us!

The Mother said...

I never went on a date to Costco. I'm way too old. They didn't exist when I was dating.

Thank your favorite deity my hubby is healthy--I don't think I could do the date thing again.

Tanya said...

Seattle is a beautiful city, glad you got to share it with the family. As for Costco-Hubby and I go there all the time for a cheap date; for us that means several trips around the store for the free samples...did I mention we're cheap?

Anonymous said...

Costco is where I take my family for Sunday brunch.

Li'l Azathoth said...

BTW, if you and Mrs. Grumpy are looking for a REALLY romantic date spot up there, Costco corporate headquarters is in Issaquah, WA, in the Seattle suburbs.

Li'l Azathoth said...

In San Luis Obispo, CA, there's a gum alley.

It's like the wall of gum, only you're surrounded by it on both sides.

Anonymous said...

In Bangor, Maine, our house had a door on the second floor--so you could get out of the house after the snow drifts had completely barricaded the first floor. I reject the obvious conclusion that there was once a stairway and prefer to think that the builder just provided for a snow contingency. (Maybe he came from Maine.)

C said...

Darn it, now I want to go to Seattle.

I'm so glad you are enjoying your vacation.

Jacqueline said...

Awwww...I now I want to go on a Costco date!

At church camp, we had a "gum tree" where everyone put there chewed gum...I'm told it has been there for years and years...pretty interesting to look at, as it was on the way to the "devil's bathtub" yup...no joke.

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Great post, so much to comment on. Smoking patio, hilarious. Gum wall, disgusting. Touch my sea cucumber, disturbing.

But it's "Cancer: The Musical" that, no pun intended, struck a chord with me. One can only imagine the songs (okay, I'm going to do more than only imagine . . .)

"This is the dawning of the age of oncology, age of oncology. ON-COL-O-GY! Oncology . . . "

Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog...think I might need to make a visit to Seattle.

BTW, seagulls = sea RATS. I want to re-name them!

Anonymous said...

Doc, I thought you might be interested in this.

MRI slices of produce, animated:

http://insideinsides.blogspot.com/

I thought it was cool, anyway. :)

The Shrone said...

How about the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on Pier 54? For free you can see Sylvester, the famous mummy, oddities in jars, and shrunken heads!

Feistess said...

Are those those campari tomatoes? Those are pretty much crack in vegetable form. They are the closest you can come to a home grown tomato, and like the saying says, money can't buy you happiness or home grown tomatoes.

Kim said...

Costco is great in December. Not only do they give out free samples of cheese and cocktail weenies, but they give out free samples of wine, too!

Anonymous said...

I havent been to the Seattle aquarium in years!!(does it still have that stuffed shark hanging from the ceiling??) I live in the other side of Washington and have gone there quite a few times as a kid. But everytime I go there with my kids, the aquarium is always closed, but we did go in the spaceneedle and see the guys throwing around fish at Pike's place. And the troll under the bridge is pretty cool...Seattle has some pretty cool places.

Sassy said...

You need to send the picture of the 2nd floor door to fail blog!

Anonymous said...

I think you hit the one time of the year when it was not raining, although you do get to enjoy our grey skies. It might be a nice place to visit, but I don't like living here, miss the sun.

Anonymous said...

Damn...now I really wanna see "Cancer! The Musical!" Think it will gain notoriety from your blog & have a run in the DF-Dub??? :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other poster regarding Sea Gulls, We've called them "sky rats" for years.

They were actually amusing when we would take a huge triple decked steam ship from Detroit to Boblo Island (a since defunct amusement park) and they would pace the boat, catching food tossed to them in the air. At least then they had to work for it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and one other term to share:

jet skiis = water lice.

TracyKM said...

OMG. This is all about my kids. And why we don't do anything with them anymore! We really want to take them on a cruise but the thought of 5 of us in one of the tiny cabins that barely fit the 2 of us when we went kidless....and my climber 4 year old....I can't wait to read more about the cruise portion!!!

Have Myelin? said...

I really want to know what happened to the pancake mix. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Costcos in central Canada have hot dogs and poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds)--free heart attack for $6. That includes the diet Coke

 
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