August 8-11th, 2009 – Spokane & Seattle, WA

August 8th – Spokane

When we found out that Jesus and family were moving to this side of the country, we made plans to visit.  We had so much fun during our visit there.

Brittany and Cole just love Shane, and had a lot of fun playing with him.  Jesus took us downtown to visit their local mall and Riverfront park.  We loved both places!  The mall was huge, and had lots of shops to visit, but the kids really wanted to get over to the park which was right near the mall.

Taken from the Spokane Falls Skyride

Riverfront Park was so much fun.  They were having some sort of fair during our visit, so we got to hear music, get food, and there were carnival-like games going on.  They had a Spokane Falls Skyride that we all went on, that took you down to the falls and back.   It’s a 15 minute ride in an enclosed cabin that can hold 6 people, so thankfully it wasn’t too hot outside, or that might have gotten uncomfortable.  The ride had great views of the falls and then it returned to Riverfront Park.

Us in the big red wagon

After the ride, we decided to walk around the Park, it seems to have everything here!  Amusement rides, a carousel, an IMAX theatre, and even mini-golf.  One of the kid’s favorite spots was free, thankfully.  The huge red wagon!  I’ve never seen one of those red Radio Flyer wagons supersized before, well now I have!  The kids loved climbing up into it, and sliding down the handle slide, and playing on the monkey bars underneath it.

As you can imagine, all the playing worked up quite an appetite, so we walked over to The Old Spaghetti Factory.  I had never eaten at one before, but it was “oh so good!”  We got there right when it opened, and was able to get a table..apparently they had reservations for the rest of the night, and it would have taken a minor miracle to get a table had we gotten there later.

Yummy Food!

We had a lot of fun spending a few days with Jesus and his family, but it was time to move on to Seattle!   To see more pictures from our trip to Spokane, visit the photo album.

August 11th – Seattle

One of Scott’s requests was to visit the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, WA.  The place was huge, with construction going on as well, and we drove around for a bit before finding the Microsoft Visitor Center, which is what we wanted to check out.

Microsoft Visitor Center

We finally found it, and it was a fun place to visit.  Lots of products to play with, music to listen to on the Zunes, games to play on the Xbox 360, even computers were there for browsing the internet.  Cole and I found a cool touch screen machine that we played a game of checkers on while Scott was playing games, and Brittany was on the computers.

They had Software store inside, but it was only open to employees, which really bummed out Scott as he wanted to check that place out.  We did visit the gift shop, and ended up buying some stress squishy balls to take home.  Hmmm…Microsoft selling stress balls…that just seems ironic to me! 8)

Seattle Public Library

Nerd Alert!  We also visited the Seattle Public Library.  I don’t normally seek out libraries when I visit a new place, but this one had an interesting write-up in a magazine about it’s architecture, so we had to check it out.  It was a HUGE place, and the architecture was indeed quite different! It had 11 floors, I’ve never been in a library that big, and yes, we did visit each floor, even the Atrium level at the very top.

We visited Pike Place Market, and walked by the very first Starbucks ever.  Both places were crazily busy!  Pike Place Market had tons of fresh produce, fresh flowers, arts and crafts, and unique food from all over the world.  I felt like cows being herded through a crowd, trying to drag my son through all the people.  Scott tried to get a coffee from the original Starbucks, but the line was ridiculously long.  Neither one of us handles crowds very well, unfortunately.

The original Starbucks

We walked back to our car (which we had to park several blocks away), and was thankful for the fresh air, and the much-less crowded streets.  We decided to head over to the Space Needle.

Space Needle

Built in 1962, the Space Needle served as the symbol of that year’s World’s Fair. It has since become the symbol of Seattle, and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.  It’s 605 feet tall from ground to top.  The Space Needle elevators are high speed and can travel at a rate of 10 mph, or 800 feet per minute. Actual travel time from the ground level to the top in the elevator is 43 seconds.  The observation deck is 520 feet above ground level.

From the 360-degree observation deck, you could see everything in the Seattle area, it seemed.  Float planes taking off on Lake Union.  Ferries, cruise lines and cargo ships cross Elliott Bay. The skyscrapers popping out of nowhere, an the city streets are buzzing with activity. We didn’t purchase a day and nighttime ticket, but it was nice that they had a display that showed what the view was at each hour of the day including at night, with all the lights.

One of the views from the Observation Deck of the Space Needle

After leaving the space needle, we visited the surrounding areas around the Needle and then headed over to Zeek’s Pizza on a recommendation from a co-worker.  Very good pizza, and we even got to watch part of the Seattle Mariner’s game on TV.

For more pictures from Seattle, click on the photo album!

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