Saturday, January 11, 2014

Our weekend trip to Seattle

The day after my inlaws left was our 8th anniversary (and husband-ji was still off work for the holidays) so we decided to do a quick vacation down to Seattle for the weekend. It was so much fun! It reminded me that we need to do little weekend trips like this more often.

I scheduled the trip for many reasons. The first - is that I wanted to celebrate our anniversary by doing something out of the ordinary, as a family. The second - because I wanted to see how Maya traveled again (the last time was our Venice trip, when she was 11 months). And thirdly - I knew we would all be missing my inlaws so much after they left, that we would all need a distraction!

Seattle is a 3 hour drive from Vancouver (1 hour to the U.S. border + 2 hours to Seattle). Since we had gotten our Nexus cards, we didn't have to wait in line at the border - a big convenience! It was so nice to not have to think about the border wait times when we were planning our trip. We decided to get in the car when Maya was ready for her nap and she slept the entire 3 hours and woke up just as we arrived at the hotel! It was such an easy drive - thank god!

We stayed at the Westin hotel downtown and it was very kid-friendly. On arrival, they gave us a little care package for the baby (with a rubber duckie, plug outlet covers, a night light, and band-aids). The Westin hotel group is known for it's soft "heavenly beds" and we were surprised to know that they also had a "heavenly crib"! We had stunning views of the waterfront and floor to ceiling windows and every day we would look at the sunrise and sunset. Maya also loved to look out the window and point to all the cars and boats.

(View from our hotel room at the Westin)

Since it was husband-ji's first time exploring Seattle, we had to do some sightseeing so he could do his photography. We went to the Space Needle, the Children's Museum, Pike Place Market, and then we did some shopping.


(Husband-ji and Maya - on the go!)

Almost right in front of the hotel was the monorail (similar to Vancouver's skytrain) which took us directly to the Space Needle. It was so convenient and only a 2 minute ride - and scenic too. The monorail was very safe and it was filled with families and tourists.

The Space Needle was nice - but there was no strollers allowed up - which was annoying! They didn't even really have proper stroller parking - you just leave the stroller outside. I thought anyone could just steal it as it was just sitting there, so we had to go back and get our Ergo baby carrier. By the time we did all that, Maya had a huge screaming attack on top of the Space Needle! Oh, parenthood...! 

(Maya's tantrum at the Space Needle...LOL!)

(View of downtown from the Space Needle)

A stone's throw away from the Space Needle is this place called the Children's Museum, which I LOVED. It is basically like this huge indoor play place where you can just let your child play. They have different rooms with different themes - they had an underwater room, a building blocks room, and my favorite was the world village - miniature rooms from different countries. It was fantastic! She could have played for hours there.

(Maya plays with the Tuk-tuk at the Children's museum)

We also checked out the iconic Pike Place Market which was so cool to walk around. It was a little crowded, but the stroller easily fit in with the crowd. They had fresh fish, tons of fruits and vegetables, beautiful flower bouquets, and fresh pasta vendors - one was even selling chocolate flavored spaghetti! Maya loved to look at all the happenings at the market.

(The iconic sign)

(Pike Place Market)

(Pike Place market - famous for the neon signs)

(Mouth-watering chillies!!!)

We also did some shopping downtown, and in the outlet malls on the way back to Vancouver. Everything in the U.S. is so much cheaper, and it seems like everything is constantly on sale for 50% off! You just can't get the same selection or prices in Canada. My personal favorites were Nordstrom Rack in downtown Seattle and the Carter's outlet in Burlington, WA. We also went to the main Nordstrom (a.k.a. the expensive department store) and everything was on sale there too! I found this beautiful little kid's line called Peek that had Indian-inspired prints.


(Peek kids line at Nordstroms)

We also checked out this fantastic bookstore - Elliott Bay Bookstore - which is the best bookstore in Seattle, in my opinion. It has a fantastic selection and you can just spend ages in there. I remember going there with my parents when I was little - it is one of the few locally owned businesses that is still thriving. The had an excellent children's book section with a fantastic selection. I had to get some books for my little bookworm! They had a little princess castle in the children's section - and of course Maya wanted Daddy to sit with her! I found this beautiful little book for children of gay dad parents called "Daddy, Papa and me".

(Elliott Bay Bookstore)

(A book for children of gay parents)

The only bad thing about our trip was that we couldn't find any good restaurants. This is partly because it was the one thing I forgot to research before we went down. The only one restaurant we tried which was good was the Athenian - located in Pike Place Market. I found out about this place because I asked a fruit vendor girl which was her favorite place....which is what I should have done for every restaurant - locals always know the best places! The Athenian restaurant was mostly a fish place but it did have a veggie burger and grilled cheese for husband-ji. It was only as we were leaving that I realized a scene in my beloved Sleepless in Seattle movie was filmed there! I was a little star struck after that!


(Fish n' chips at the Athenian restaurant)

(OMG... at the Athenian restaurant)

We also got a chance to visit husband-ji's cousins in Bellevue, which was really fun. She played with her little cousin who is 3 years old and they had a lot of fun. The new generation!

(Maya playing with her cousin, Aditya)

We also took Maya swimming at the hotel, which was the perfect thing to do to get her tired before our drive back!

(Maya practicing her swimming skills at the Westin hotel pool)

Overall, I felt Seattle was really baby-friendly. There were tons of families out, the whole city was stroller-friendly, and lots of things for toddlers to do (a miracle!)

Now that we have our Nexus card, we can go down on any long weekend! Next time, we would like to explore more...It was really nice to get out of town for a few days and it made me think that we should do it more often - at least once a season. I was also really happy that Maya traveled well.

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What do you think, dear readers? Do you think it is important to take mini-vacations from time to time? Where do you like to go? Have any of you ever been to Seattle & have any recommendations for next time?


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23 comments

  1. Hey we should coordinate a trip some time.. I'm six hours away from Seattle and like to go from time to time :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you :))) It was fun this year!

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  3. I live so close to Bellevue! We should have totally met up!! Seattle downtown doesn't really have great dining options unless you know where to look. Happy Anniversary :)

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    1. So cool! I like Bellevue a lot - our cousins are there, and we also stayed in downtown Bellevue last time and enjoyed it. What are your favorite restaurants in Bellevue area?

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  4. I'm happy you enjoyed your trip to Seattle! What a lovely family you have. ♥
    I'm new to your blog. Nice to meet you. :)
    I look forward to reading about your next adventure.

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    1. Thank you for reading! Nice to meet you too :)

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  5. I lover her swimming picture....shez luking so sweet

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    1. Swimming is my favorite thing to do with her :) she's a pro!

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  6. I have been to Seattle on two occasions but only for a stop off. I actually have these dreams of living there one day since I was young!! I think its the whole grunge era that I was into as a teenager. Nice photos Alexandra, nice to see saw Tom Hanks seat!!

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    1. OMG you have to visit! It is so cool there, and it still has that grunge-era coolness left over from the 90's!
      I only realized it was Tom Hanks seat after, I totally died!

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  7. next time you guys go to Seattle, ask us for dining ideas, we know tons of good places!

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    1. Yes!!!! I totally forgot to ask you! You guys' share our foodie tastes so I will definitely be getting a list ;)

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  8. Happy Anniversary. I especially love the photo of your husband toddler wearing :)

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    1. Thanks Amanda!
      OMG me too.....one of my favorites....it's practically mom porn!!!!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!!

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  9. Do not miss Piroshki in downtown Seattle the next time you go! Loved reading about your adventures. Maya is cute as a button.

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    1. YUM! I just checked out the menu online....lots of vegetarian options for hubby! Thank you :) I love recommendations!

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  10. You said you husband ji is from Hyderabad, but your Twitter profile says Indian-Tamil. Is he a Tamilan moved to Hyderabad?

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    1. Yes, he is from Hyderabad. He is both Tamil & telugu (his parents had a love marriage, they married outside their communities - dad is Tamil, mum is Telugu). Religious customs we do Tamil Iyengar style.

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  11. Hi Alexandra,

    I love your blog! I'm dating a super sweet Bengali guy. The past month (and next two) has been "meet the parents" in preparation for engagement and your articles have helped SO MUCH!!! Thank you!!!

    I'm glad to see you guys enjoyed my city! The one pic of your husband was taken in front of my office building! If you guys ever come back down, let me know if you need any help here with awesome places to go!

    -Chelsea

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