Two weeks ago, we had the opportunity to spend the weekend in Seattle when my mom was still around in Oregon. Seattle is in the state of Washington, just about 3 hours drive from Portland. This trip was really a blessing from God; we would have just made a day trip to Seattle if not for Eric’s US counterpart who generously gave us a 3D 2N stay in Downtown Seattle’s Holiday Inn for free.
3 hours should sound like a short and easy journey for most of us; it’s shorter than the distance from Penang to KL. But not so when you’re traveling with a child…the journey then becomes unpredictable. Sometimes if it’s a good day, your child may sleep through the journey; but on other not-so-good days, you may end up having to make several stops along the way. Thankfully, Cheryl took the journey to Seattle pretty well.
Living in a US city vs. the suburbs is a totally different experience altogether. First of all, the roads are like a maze. Even though we were using the GPS to move around in Seattle, it was still so easy to make the wrong turns and get detoured. There were roads built on top of each other which made it confusing for us to know which road the GPS was telling us to take. Not only that, at a cross junction, there could be more than 3 options to take (usually it should only be right, left or straight). But here, it seems as though the roads were simply placed there without much planning.
Parking was another big problem in the downtown area. Almost everywhere will cost you at least US$6-8 per hour and you would most likely need to do a lot of walking. Traveling with a baby made it more challenging so we ended up taking our meals a little farther from downtown area just to avoid the hassle of parking. Even the overnight parking at our hotel costs us US$10 per nite.
Nevertheless, there are also many interesting and nice places to see in Seattle. One of the famous tourist spots would be the Pike Place Market where you would see people throwing fish and many other stalls selling all sorts of stuff. Coffee fans like me must make a stop at the 1st Starbucks shop located at Pike Place and it is always packed with people queuing up to buy coffee. There’s also a gum wall which is a wall that people stick chewing gum that they have chewed on (to me it was quite gross actually). You would be amazed to see how people can find creative ways to stick the gum.
We also went to a couple of parks at Seattle. Some of them were really unique like the Gas Works Park which was previously a place to manufacture gas from coal. In the 1950’s, natural gas became obsolete so the City Hall bought up the place and turned it into a park. My favorite one was Kerry’s Park where it had a fabulous view of the city’s skyline and Seattle’s famous Space Needle. Apart from parks, we visited a few museums; one of which was the Experience Music Project (EMP) where Cheryl had the opportunity to try out the keyboard and drums and another one was the Museum of Glass which showcased many work of art made from glass. At the Museum of Glass, there was a program where children get to draw their own work of art from their imagination and if their design was chosen, the museum will make it into a glass sculpture.
On our way back to Oregon, we stopped by Olympia, the state capital of Washington. There we drove by some state buildings, took pictures and had dinner at a nice restaurant before heading back home. This time, Cheryl didn’t take the journey too well. She was crying a few times throughout the journey so we had to make a few stops. I guess she was exhausted from all the traveling in the weekend. It felt so good when we reached home, not because of Cheryl’s crying, but because we really missed home and was a bit tired of all the inconvenience of city living. I’m really glad that we’re staying here in the suburbs where life is slower paced, people are friendlier, places are easier to be reached, roads less confusing and there is ample free parking space for everyone.
Gas Works Park
Experience Music Project (EMP)
Museum Of Glass