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Washington Boys Tour


This week we had an unusual alignment of events: no nanny, grandparents out of town, no school for Max, Lilia back at school, and first grapes off the vine for Mum. I have quite a bit more vacation to use than Lisa, so rather than kill time with Wild Man in Sonoma County we took a quick trip two states north to Washington to explore for a few days. We stayed in the quaint downtown neighborhood of Queen Anne, where a latte will cost you $4.85 and they sprinkle powdered sugar on your morning croissant when they serve it to you. It was the perfect launching spot to explore Seattle, our little apartment was a block off the main drag and right on the metro route so we could catch the bus downtown.

We arrived in Seattle around midday on Wednesday. With the afternoon to kill I thought it’d be fun to catch the state ferry across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island, a wealthy sleeper community with close to as many boats in the marina as there are houses. We strolled the main street and found a great little pub on the water for dinner, their buckets of peel-yourself poached prawns were fabulous, Max and I raced to the bottom of the bowl. The ferry was definitely the largest boat Max has ever been on, and probably the second largest for me, he was in awe of the fact that cars could drive on and off like it was a road on water. $8.50 for a round trip, great little adventure and probably the best way to see Seattle from the water.

On day two we explored Seattle Center and downtown Seattle. The Boeing IMAX theater at the Pacific Sciences Center was playing a short feature on engineering marvels of the world, was a cool flick, definitely the biggest movie screen either of us had ever seen! Pike Place Market was great, so many colors and smells. Was fun to see the original Starbucks across the street from the market entrance. Highlight was Max getting in quite a heated argument with one of the bearded fishmongers about the difference between thongs and sandals (he was wearing a pair of Havaianas). The crowd and especially the fishmonger were killing themselves with laughter with Max emphatically arguing that he was wearing thongs and not sandals. The fishmonger took such a liking to Max he gave him a fistful of fresh smoked king salmon, had to be more than $10 worth of fish, Wild Man was in heaven gnawing on it!

I kept in mind that the little fella is only just four years old and can’t run around all day without a rest, so we hopped on the famous Ride the Ducks tour for 90 minutes mid-afternoon to give Max’s legs a bit of a break. Such a touristy adventure is not my typical cup of tea, but it was actually quite fun and our tour guide was an absolute hoot. The energy this guy put into his job was astonishing, especially given he’s probably done it 100+ times! We finished off the day with beers and brats at a great German alehouse in the Pioneer Square district. Max was asleep before I closed the door to his bedroom.

On Friday we got out the city and explored some of the mountains around the outskirts of Seattle. With the prime weather I considered heading down to Rainier National Park, but eventually decided it was too much for a single day and instead headed into the Cascades along the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River. We drove to the top of Snoqualmie Pass and spent the day with a handful of short hikes to highland lakes and towering waterfalls. Wild Man did a fantastic job of hiking, had way more juice in those little legs than I imagined he’d have, although there were certainly a lot of shoulder rides along the way. As with our trip to Portland last harvest, we tried to hit as many waterfalls and swimming holes as could, the spot in Olallie State Park was a great find, we spent a couple of hours relaxing on the banks of the river.

We capped off our trip with a sojourn to Ballard – home of the famous Ballard Locks – to The Walrus and the Carpenter. The Walrus is a raw food bar specializing in local seafood. I wasn’t so sure Max would appreciate it – he doesn’t quite have his sister’s palate – but he loved sitting up at the bar where he could see all the action. He wasn’t so keen on the cured salmon, but downed the house-cured oysters and I struggled to get a bite of the pork belly confit. He was in heaven with the maple bread budding with whipped cream to finish our meal. Great spot in the industrial area of Ballard, will definitely take the rest of the family if we’re every in Seattle all together.

Washington Boys Tour  

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  1. G Pa Y says:

    Quite a remarkable journey for you boys. Glad it was a great success.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a fun boy’s trip!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great pics. It looks like you guys had a cracking time