Seattle With a Tween

For Rhys’ special birthday trip, he chose to go to Seattle. As a music lover, this was the obvious choice. After five very busy days, I offer you some must hit places.

1. Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. This was my second time on this trip and I learned even more. Rhys loved the “potty jokes”, witty tour guides, and interesting history. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t love wandering around in a historical underground?

Underground Seattle

2. MOPOP Museum. This was my third visit here. I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! Bringing Rhys this time made it even better. When you first walk in there is a giant, two-story television screen playing music videos. As Rhys said, “I can’t look away!” As far as I can tell, the Jimmi Hendrix display is a constant, but then other exhibits change. This time we saw an exhibit for Nirvana, Prince, and Pearl Jam as well. We visited a video game room, where we laughed so hard we cried. There was also a tribute to horror films and science fiction. We spent four hours here and could have stayed! My little guitarist put this down as one of his favorite places in Seattle.

3. Pacific Science Center. This was my first time here and I made a huge mistake! I planned on a couple of hours here. I had to DRAG Rhys out against his will. We could have spent all day here easily! There is so much to explore for the tiniest of kids to adults! We participated in our first Virtual Reality experience. We went “diving” with dolphins and whales. Afterwards, we studied bees and other insects, played giant checkers, explored healthy lifestyles, played in the iLab, and then we HAD to go.

4. Chihuly Garden and Glass. I have this on the list, mostly because it was my mom’s favorite place. Rhys enjoyed the glass, but he thought he could have moved through quicker. When my husband and I went to Seattle last year, we were able to see a live demonstration of how they blow the glass. We were not as fortunate this year, but they have a cinema room that explains a lot and shows some of the processes. As an artist himself, Rhys enjoyed learning the process. If you haven’t been yet, you need to go. You will be mesmerized by the beautiful glass designs.

5. Space Needle. You didn’t think I wouldn’t include the Space Needle on a things to do in Seattle list, did you? I believe this is my fourth time to visit. My suggestion is MONDAY! This visit, we went straight up without having to wait. We also got a table to enjoy some beverages after we walked around the top twice. We sat at the table, enjoyed each other’s company, and admired the view. The restaurant still isn’t finished (2019), but they did have the glass floor this time.

A few final thoughts …Seattle is “multi-leveled”. While it is designed to walk, it is hilly! Don’t hesitate to use the public buses (we used Google Maps to get to stops and times). They are easy to use and handicap accessible. We rode the bus almost every day! Make sure to have dollar bills and quarters. The food in Seattle tends to be pricey and according to a 12-year-old, “a little weird”. Meaning, it’s great for foodies, but it was odd for my son’s palate! We found a restaurant that made all three of us happy! Definitely try Elliott’s Oyster Bar while in Seattle. It had gluten free items for me, “normal” food for small fry, and fabulous seafood for my mom. And amazing desserts! Don’t miss out on the ice cream and flourless cake!

We stayed at the Homewood Suites Downtown Seattle. I highly recommend this hotel. The suite style rooms are fabulous for families traveling together and there is a whole kitchen, which helps save on the food bill! They have a full breakfast in the mornings and during the week they have a happy hour reception from 5-7. This was our dinner most nights. Finally, we did a tour at Theo’s Chocolate Factory for the first time. I’m a huge chocolate lover, so we might have bought a chocolate bar or two at the end. Theo’s is doing great work in making chocolate while being environmentally conscious!

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