I love my dad. He is one of the most hard-working, brilliant, and patient people that I know. He and my mom have inspired me to chase difficult dreams and to persevere through tough times. We are very similar in so many ways. I feel lucky to have such a great father.
So when he decided to see me last December, I almost couldn't believe it. This was a big deal to me and it meant so much.
We spent the week doing a bunch of Seattle things that I hadn't done, but had always wanted to do, and some things that dad wanted to do, too. It was such a fun and relaxing week! Luckily, the weather was mostly cooperative, especially for early December. Perfect coffee-drinking weather, and also ice cream weather... Molly Moons waits for no one (season)!
Pikes Place wasn't too crowded - we ate a ton of fish and chips and checked out the amazing views of the Sound. With Christmas on the horizon, lights were strung around the city, giving it a beautiful glow. The festivity could almost be felt in the air.
Ah, the Seattle Aquarium. Kids were still in school, so the place was relatively empty. The pros of visiting during the week are boundless!
My favorite part was the sea lions, and also watching my dad stick his hand in the tide pools with almost no hesitation. I don't know why this surprised me, but he went for it! We both did!
The volunteer told us that our skin is too strong for anemones to harm, but we were skeptical, considering that our fingers felt weird for a good 30 minutes after spending time in the pool. Hmm... but, what an experience! The little animals give your finger a "little hug," (aka stinging you on a micro level) and felt like jello, but soft. (?) You'd just have to be there.
Seattle is a unique city, in that it is largely surrounded by water. Pockets of fresh water are strategically kept separate from the salty water of the Puget Sound.
Enter Stage Left: the Ballard Locks.
If you haven't seen the Ballard Locks, you gotta go. I've lived in Seattle for years now and kind of dismissed them as unimportant. What a dummy!
The locks are one cool invention - these huge gates adjust water levels to transport boats in and out of the salt water to the fresh water of South Lake Union. We watched massive fishing boats coming in from the sea, as well as sail boats out for an afternoon of recreation (I assume). Cool stuff.
On Thursday, Neal, dad, and I drove down south. Why Thursday? Because every first Thursday of the month, numerous museums in Seattle are free. F-R-E-E. And my dad taught me to never turn down free stuff.
Especially really cool free stuff, like the Boeing Museum of Flight. Free from 5-9, which turned out to be plenty of time (go to the right, first. you'll thank me later), all the exhibits are open to the public to explore. I was floored seeing old planes like Air Force One, and the Concord, and being able to walk through them. Dad really enjoyed the museum too; seeing all the planes made him happy, and I was happy seeing him so happy.
Speaking of heights, my favorite part of the week was going up into the Columbia Tower Observatory. The Space Needle is awesome, especially due to its historical value, but if you want a view you have to go to the Observatory.
This was originally on my "maybe" list of things to do, but while we were eating brunch one morning, something crazy happened.
The sun came out.
After brunch, we scooted downtown to the Columbia Tower. I am SO glad that we did. I had never been, and the views of Seattle were unbeatable. It was so fun pointing out all the sites. We could even see Mt. Rainier. In DECEMBER. Huge. Watching the ferries come in and seeing the sun rising over the mountains was worth every penny.
And so, dad, thank you for making me feel like one special daughter. And thank you for buying me a new car battery. :]
I hope you and mom can come to Seattle again soon!