Butterflies, Science, and Seagulls in Seattle. Oh my!

A cousin of mine that I haven’t seen in probably 15 years, who now lives in Michigan (but originally from the Seattle area, like me), flew out to visit family in the Pacific Northwest for spring break, with her 7yr old daughter Kaitlyn. I HAD to take this opportunity to see Michelle, and wanted Emma to meet her second cousin.

So, from the Canal (where we “stayed” for the weekend), we headed to the Bremerton ferry dock to ride over to Seattle.  We parked on the Bremerton side (for only $5 bucks for all day!), and walked on (more on this parking adventure later in this post).  Here is Emma at the fountain and sculpture park they have by the ferry terminal.

And climbing…

Emma has been on a ferry several times before, but the first few times she was less than a year old, and the rest of the time has been sitting in the car on the car deck below.  This time she got to take FULL advantage of being “topside”.  Personally, I didn’t think she was going to like the wind out on the front deck……WRONG.  She stood out there in it THE ENTIRE WAY.  She would take a huge gulp of air, then turn around and point her nose up into the wind. She looked at me and said “I can breathe in it (the wind), I just can’t talk in it!” Haha.  I snapped a few pictures, then huddled behind the shelter to shiver, then popped out to snap a few more, etc.  Here she is enjoying it……

 

 

We docked in Seattle, and my Cousin Michelle, her Mom Marilyn, Kaitlyn, my Uncle Rick were waiting for us on the other side. Emma and Kaitlyn met and pretty much instantly got along like they already knew each other. 

Arent they cute?….

I was so glad to see that, but of course, Emma being an only child, she CRAVES other kids.  She will walk up to ANY child, and just say “Hi”. So many times we have been sitting in a restaurant and a family will sit down next to us and she will start looking over at the kids, then back at me, then she’ll ask “Mom, can I go meet them?”.  I hate telling her no, but jeeeeez, they are having dinner with their family, and while YOU are not shy, some kids might think your nutso just going up to them like that (not to mention interrupting dinner).  It makes me feel bad sometimes that she is only child.  I had always planned on having more than one, but then I got divorced, and well, that just was not in the cards, I guess.  But hey, maybe someday she will have step brothers or sisters. Ok….sorry, that was a major side track!  Back to our day…..

First we hit the food court at the Seattle Center to get the animals (kids) fed.  I have not been in the Seattle Center since probably middle school.  Michelle and I were both amazed at how much smaller it seemed now.  And not as many cool places to eat, although, cool at 38 and cool at 14 probably differ greatly.  🙂  This may shock you, but Emma and I ended up eating pizza.

Next up, Pacific Science Center. Uncle Rick ended up surprising us by paying for us ALL to get in.  Thanks Uncle Rick!! There were SO many cool things to see there!  If you have kids and haven’t taken them yet, DO IT!  

Parents Warning: those sneaky people placed the gift shop right inside the front doors.  We had to create a quick diversion accompanied by the promise that “we’ll stop at the gift shop on the way OUT”. We spent some time checking out the bodily functions area, bones, balance, etc. I touched a sheep brain….EEWW. It was soft, and strange.  Emma wouldn’t touch it.  She’s such a chicken!  Lol. Then it was off to the planetarium.  Lot’s of cool stuff in there.  A HUGE rubix cube.  That was way more exciting for the adults (a.k.a. children of the 80’s) than it was for Kaitlyn and Emma though, considering they didn’t have a clue what it was.

 

There was also a tide pool for investigating sea creatures. Em actually TOUCHED them. When I took her to the Seattle Aquarium a couple of years ago, she wouldn’t touch anything. They even had a little hermit crab habitat at the tide pool, that contained my worst nightmare…….a NAKED hermit crab, without it’s shell.  Gross. Then it was on to the snakes, reptiles, naked mole rats, which are actually cuter than a naked hermit crab.  No joke. Really. 😉

The next stop was the highlight (for me anyway) of the visit.  The Tropical Butterfly Exhibit.  I had been in it a loooooong time ago, when it was still part of the Woodland Park Zoo, but it has since moved to the Science Center. They import 500 butterflies a week for the exhibit (raised responsibly in sustainable rainforest farms). You walk in and there are literally hundreds of butterflies everywhere you look.  Sometimes they land on people, which is very cool.  Now I know that they like bright colors like orange, pink, and red.  If you go, where a shirt that color and you’ll increase your chances of a landing.  I was wearing dark blue, darn it.  Luckily, part of the Otterbox I have on my iPhone is pink, and a large butterfly landed on it!  Wooohoooo!  I happened to have my digital camera in my other hand (I was a double fisted shooter in there), and despite being totally retarded at doing anything left-handed, I was able to snap this shot….

Here are a couple others I took….

Oh!  Anddddd, here is one of THE RAREST and MOST beautiful of ALL the butterflies…. 😉

Had it not been for the fact that it was about a zillion degrees in there with 80% humidity, I could have spent all day in there playing with the butterflies.  They are SO beautiful and amazing.

After that, we headed back down to the waterfront, and stopped to have some grub at my favorite fast-seafood restaurant in Seattle, Ivar’s.  Baby Prawns n Chips for me every time I go, and a cup of their famous white chowder.  Ahhhh it’s hard to beat Ivar’s. 

I think Kaitlyn and Emma had more fun on the pier feeding and talking to the seagulls than they did anywhere else that day.  Left up to them, we would have fed the seagulls every morsel of food we bought! 

After feeding every seagull in Elliott Bay, Emma and I hopped back on the ferry back to Bremerton. More freezing to death in the wind. Well, Emma was, I was shivering behind the shelter watching HER freeze to death in the wind. 

This brings me back to the parking topic.  I was excited to see it was only $5 for parking in the garage near the terminal on the Bremerton side.  That’s cheap!! Especially since it’s $25 for parking at the Seattle Center. Upon arrival back in Bremerton, we walked off the ferry, stopped by Starbucks for a coffee and a hot chocolate (for Emma) and walked over to the parking garage. As I was getting closer to my car, I noticed an envelope on my windshield. What could that be I wondered…..I know I paid for parking before I left. I opened it, to see a parking fine…..WHAT? (Grrrrr).  Apparently, I read the tiny sign wrong on the pay box. It was $5.50 (even though there was a LARGE red lettered “Parking $5” sign out on the street in front of the garage). I guess they ment “AROUND” $5…..not actually $5. Guess how much the fine is?  $30!!!  Yes…..I have been assessed a THIRTY DOLLAR fine, for FIFTY CENTS. Really? This sounds like a TRAP to me. The sign outside says $5, and the paybox itself says $5.50! I had steam billowing out of my ears.  I tried calling, and of course no one answers, you have to leave a message, which I did, and big surprise, no one has returned my call. I was so mad I didn’t even think to take photos of the “trap” to plead my case. I take photo’s of everything else under the sun, jeeeeez, how could I not think to do that (again, Grrrrr).

Click here to see more pictures of this trip in the photo gallery….

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