After spending the first four days of our trip driving all over creation to see various family and friends, we finally took a day to head to downtown Seattle and enjoy the touristy stuff. As a huge bonus, Dave's aunt (the one who surprised us with her presence on day two) decided to tag along for part of the day! We were all very excited about that, especially given the intense
We made our way to the downtown area after breakfast, with much excitement! Aidan had been begging for days to go to the Space Needle, and since that particular place is such a huge and happy childhood memory for me, I was dying to take him. But first, we were to meet our auntie at the Seattle Aquarium. I couldn't wait!
As we neared the core downtown area, I started noticing that Emily, the lovely British woman inside our rental car's GPS, seemed to be getting confused. She wasn't sure where we were, nor which way we should go. The bigger issue was that her uncertainty did not cause her to stop giving us (what ended up being poor) directions. We got a bit turned around. She even told us to get out of the car once and walk the rest of the way. True story! We were not amused. Oh, and how about some road construction to further complicate navigation? Why not?
With all that said, though, I do love downtown. As a sheltered Alaskan kid, I'm always so blown away by the massive buildings. I think they're pretty.
We finally found our way with the use of two iPhones. We read there was a parking garage right across the street from the Aquarium. We found that and ventured in, only to learn it was cramped, damp, creepy and smelly. The smell of urine was a lovely distraction from the fact that the doors seemed to have locks and bars on them where they shouldn't have. By some miracle we made it out of there alive and wandered across the street.
While Aidan was totally captivated by the Aquarium, I was flooded (see what I did there?) by childhood memories of the place. It was just wonderful to be back there.
Did I mention it was a good time? The Seattle Aquarium is actually not all that large, which might be my favorite thing about it. You can see everything in a couple of hours, and still leave feeling impressed and like you've done something to connect with nature.
After the Aquarium, we wandered down the boardwalk not-very-far, looking for lunch, and found the Crab Pot restaurant. I thought the place was cute and I felt inexplicably compelled to buy a tee shirt there that said something like "I got crabs at the Crab Pot!" I talked myself out of it just in time.
After we filled our bellies and said goodbye to our auntie who had other commitments for the afternoon, it was time to tackle another attraction. Aidan first spotted the Great Wheel last winter in a skyline shot of Seattle during a Seahawks game on TV. He asked if we could go on it when we went to Seattle. To say he was excited about this would be an understatement...
I'm proud to say the kid had no idea that was really nervous about this! I definitely wanted to do it, but I'm not big on confinement nor being way off the ground, and on top of that I have balance/vertigo issues sometimes, so it was a bit scary. But we climbed into our lovely enclosed private gondola and off we went! It felt pretty weird at first since the gondola was rocking, but after the first couple times around, I got used to it and felt comfortable enough to enjoy it and take some pictures.