Call us adventurous, call us crazy, but on Saturday morning the 10th we hopped on a Seattle bound airplane with the girls for our ‘spring break’ vacation. We thought the early morning airplane ride might be a lot for the girls to handle, but surprisingly they did pretty well. Since food is one of the only things that keeps Lydia’s interest for long periods of time, we let them both eat as many snacks as they wanted. Consequently, we went through almost an entire bag of Teddy Grahams, but that along with books and a nap for Lydia and a Clifford DVD on Daddy’s laptop for Alethea kept the girls busy for the duration of the three hour flight.
After we arrived, we got our rental car, picked up a pack ‘n’ play from Peter’s cousin’s house and then headed to my aunt’s house in Tacoma to get settled in. We had dinner at a fun restaurant in Puyallup called the Powerhouse. The building was constructed as a power substation for the Puget Sound Electric Railway in 1907. Good food, cool atmosphere. We recommend it.
Alethea didn’t eat much though, and we discovered why shortly after we arrived back at my aunt’s place. “I need to throw up,” she told me as I was getting the girls ready for bed. And thus began the worst night of vacation ever that involved not one, but two sick little girls, multiple bedding changes and not much sleep. Uggg…. “Tomorrow will be better,” I kept telling myself.
Sunday morning came and the girls were done being sick, so that was good. The weather was overcast, but not pouring rain, also good, so we decided to try Point Defiance Park. We originally thought we might visit the zoo there, but Alethea was fairly adamant that she didn’t want to go. Keeping in mind the $30 in wasted admission fees that preceded our disastrous tour of the Nashville Zoo on our last vacation, we nixed the zoo plan and went for the free Owen Beach instead.
Owen Beach, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA
The beach was nice. Gorgeous scenery. I’m sure with better weather we could have stayed all day, but it was in the low 40s and we hadn’t brought mittens for the girls, so once they got whiny, we decided to try to find lunch. At first Alethea balked at the idea of another restaurant, but finally she conceded that if we could find a quiet place that served peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, she’d be okay. A quick consultation with our GPS revealed that we were less than two miles from a place called the Antique Sandwich Co. I pulled out my cell phone and with a brief call confirmed that they indeed served PB&J. On the ride over, we wondered what parents on vacation used to do before Garmin and iPhone and crossed our fingers that the Antique Sandwich would be quiet enough for Alethea’s taste.
It was perfect! Not only was it quiet, with PB&J on the menu, but it had a stage that was covered in toys! The girls played happily while we waited for our food and then we dug in. Alethea didn’t eat much again, but Lydia thought the gourmet peanut butter with all natural raspberry jam was pretty doggone good.
Antique Sandwich Co, Tacoma, WA
After lunch we headed back to my aunt’s house for some much needed naps. That evening we ate at my aunt’s house and got to visit with my aunt and uncle, as well as my Grandma Frances who lives with them. We were really glad to be able to see them and for my grandmother to get to spend some time with the girls. Although I enjoyed visiting with my family, I sensed that Alethea wasn’t having a blast. “Tomorrow will be better,” I told her, “We’ll do something really fun!”
Monday arrived rainy and cold. That further cemented our initial plan, which was to visit the Children’s Museum in downtown Tacoma. After talking it up to Alethea and telling her how much fun it was going to be and how there were going to be lots of things for her to play with, we drove downtown, found a place to park and walked over to the museum, through the front doors, only to discover that one feature of the museum we hadn’t known about was Member’s Only Mondays. Groan! After declining to purchase a $100 annual membership, we headed back out into the rain, to make the six block trek to the History Museum. Alethea decided to punish us at that point by refusing to be carried, so we trudged slowly down the sidewalk, to arrive at the State History Museum’s locked doors marked “Closed Mondays”. To make a long story short, Peter ended up carrying a screaming Alethea eight blocks through the rain back to the car, where we buckled in two screaming girls and drove to a playground where we mused over the fact that we’d spent a bunch of money on plane tickets to find ourselves on a wet playground in 40 degree weather while our friends back home basked in an un-Minnesota-like 70s and sun. “Next year, we’re doing Florida,” we agreed.
The one bright spot on Monday happened that evening. It really was wonderful watching my grandmother play with the girls. She truly enjoyed them and I’m so glad they got to see her.
Alethea, Lydia and Great Grandma Frances
Monday was our last day in Tacoma. “Let’s get an early start,” said Peter that evening. “I’ve checked on everything we want to do in downtown Seattle and it’s all open on Tuesdays, so if we get packed up fast enough we can visit the aquarium and then spend some time walking around Pike Place Market.”
“Sounds good,” I replied. “Tomorrow has got to be better…”