In lieu of long family vacations, and in the interest of giving everyone their fair share of parental attention, we take each of the children on the occasional overnight trip with mom and dad. We find that Frog handles and enjoys the trip better when mom and dad are not splitting their attention and patience between the siblings, and Diva relishes the opportunity to be the center of attention once again.
Frog had a trip to Seattle in April for a Neurology appointment. To make it more of a family outing, we also went to the aquarium and watched the otters, the Seattle Center where we ate lunch and played at the Children's Museum, Jump Planet where we bounced and ran and bounced some more, and then spent the night at hotel with a swimming pool. Lots of fun and lots of memories.
This weekend was Diva's turn. Diva has a new camera that we put to good use. As you can see, she was in her element.
First order of business was getting to Seattle. This involves a ride on a Ferry Boat and a salted, soft pretzel.
Next we checked into the Sheraton. The Seattle Sheraton has a great swimming pool on the 35th floor with amazing city views. Unfortunately, the pool was closed for renovation. Not to dwell on the unexpected, we made reservation for dinner at The Melting Pot and left early to get some shopping in before we boarded the monorail. Unfortunately the monorail was not running - one train off line for renovation, the other broken down.
Our short walk became a real hike. By the time we located the restaurant, we were famished. It was a good thing too, because there was a lot of food. Cheese fondue starter, salads, mixed grill fondue entree (chicken, steak, salmon, and prawns), and a Smors Chocolate Fondue dessert. Diva had a ball.
We rolled out of the restaurant with enough time for a much shorter walk to the Seattle Center where we attended the Seattle Children's Theater production of High School Hamlet. This was the culmination of a summer drama program for high school students. They were very good and it looked like they had an awesome time putting the show together. We left the show with time to find Diva some Cotton candy before searching for a cab - none to be had in the city that night, apparently they were swamped with would be monorail riders. After waiting for 20 minutes or so below the Space Needle, we hiked back to the hotel where everyone collapsed until morning.
After a quick Continental breakfast, we stowed our bags with the bell captain, checked-out of the hotel and headed for the Seattle Art Museum for the Inspiring Impressionism exhibit and the family fun program. We were lead with a group of families quickly (we looked at three whole paintings) through the exhibit while the docent explained how an artist draws a human face. Then we headed to the art studio where the kids were given materials and instruction on how to draw their own or their parent's face. Diva did a quick pencil sketch of Mom, then we headed back to the exhibit so we could really look at the art. Many of the pieces were familiar, but there is something awe inspiring about seeing them in person, observing the dimensions of the brush strokes, seeing the texture of the paint, feeling the energy of the piece itself, and a little thrilling to see the artist's signature and know this is really what he/she created. We were hoping to see some of Degas' ballerinas. They were not a part of the collection but some of his other work was there - breathtaking. We followed the Museum with a quick lunch where Diva made her own Pizza. Then we headed to the university district to the Center Stage Dance Store to get Diva a properly fitted pair of ballet shoes for the upcoming year.
It was after 5pm when we made it back home. Frog was happy to see us and ready to come home from Grandma's, although all reports sounded like a good time was had by all at his sleepover. Diva picked out a large Lolly-pop for Frog which he enjoyed with relish today.