Fun adventures in the Seattle area

This post has been on my "to do" list for several months!

After my brothers visited us in late January (see photos from that trip here!), they had so much fun they wanted to come back to Seattle! So 8 weeks later, they were back in our living room for a fun 7-day visit! We packed in lots more fun (and even frugal) adventures and here is a photo log from their trip. :)

Pike Place Market was one of their favorite places last time, and they wanted to go there again to see more of what we had missed last time. :) We got to the parking garage at 9:28am -- any time before 9:30am the parking is $8 for (I think?) 8 or more (10?) hours. Anyway, since parking can get pricey really quick in Seattle, we just left the car there all day and walked a lot. :) The bus is free downtown BUT we country-folk couldn't figure out the routes and how to use it. Haha!

Vital Tea Leaf Company store in Seattle

One of the shops in Pike Place Market is the Vital Tea Leaf company. As tea lovers, this place was super fun!

The Chinese ladies there sat us all down (3 adults and 3 kids!) and brewed tea for us. They brewed probably 5-6 different kinds and served them to us in thimble-sized cups. (Seriously, this is the size they use?!) They even brewed herbal infusions for the kids (no caffeine) and other kinds for us. It was fascinating to see just how they make their teas.

Vital Tea Leaf company
(L to R: Eliyahu, Tammy, Ruth, Rich, Phil, and Yehoshua)

They will do this for free for anyone interested, so if you love tea and have the time to sit and enjoy some, this is a great new cultural experience! My brothers and I enjoyed it so much, and ended up buying some teas (and a tea set) simply because we had such a blast! :)


Just a tuckered-out Baby Roo. :)

The Seattle Space Needle

Joshua had to work during much of our fun, which is why he isn't in any of these photos! This is the children and me up in the Seattle Space Needle. Normally this is a more expensive tourist-y attraction, but my brother Phillip had gotten a good deal on a season pass package which for $30 allowed him and a guest unlimited trips, plus 4 more free tickets, free drinks, etc. So for $30 we all got to go up and it was fun!

But I personally would NOT pay the $16.50 per person it normally costs. It was somewhat crowded (even on a cool, somewhat-overcast March day!!) and considering the other "up high" options in Seattle like...

Looking up at the Columbia Center. It's tall!

The Columbia Center. Which, when you're standing next to it on the ground, is really difficult to photograph! ;)

A couple weeks before my brothers came, we were driving through Seattle and I said "I wonder what that tallest building is. Wouldn't it be cool to go up there?!" I looked online and found out that there was an observation deck on the 75th floor and from the reviews, it sounded like lots of fun!

Basically you go in the building and on the 4th or 5th floor there is a security desk and after taking your $5 per person (I don't remember being charged for Eliyahu-3 or Ruth-1) they escort you up to the top. There are 2 sets of elevators that whisk you up about 35 floors at a time, in just a few seconds. :)

Looking down on the little guys... haha!

This is what some of the other skyscrapers looked like when looking out of the Columbia Center. The cars looked like matchbox cars, and the people were so tiny! It was fascinating and a beautiful view of Mt. Ranier, Lake Washington, Puget Sound, and a good deal of downtown Seattle.

Rich in the Columbia Center!

My brother Rich, holding Eliyahu in front of one of the large viewing windows. It is all enclosed, and the view isn't 360 degrees, but the windows do go quite a ways around. I liked the view better than the Space Needle, personally. It was also MUCH more laid back and NOT so "tourist-y", which we loved! :)

Mount Ranier. So beautiful!

In March, truly clear days are kinda hit and miss... this was the most we could see of Mt. Rainier that day.

Pip and Ruthster

My brother Phillip, holding Ruth. :)

The Ballard Locks

Another fun free activity was visiting the Locks in Ballard. Since we had never seen locks before, it was interesting to us. The kids enjoyed it, too! The only cost was $2 for an hour of parking.

Eliyahu and his Doggie... :)

Eliyahu and his Doggie... always together. :)

Rich and Yehoshua

Richard and Yehoshua. :)

The floating bridge in Seattle

We drove across the I-90 floating bridge to head out east to visit friends in Moses Lake, Washington.

From Snoqualmie Pass

A view from a rest stop near the Snoqualmie Pass.

Hiking near Moses Lake, Wa

Out in desert land! Moses Lake is dry and sandy. We went hiking near Goose Lakes in the Columbia Basin wildlife area. It was a long hike (several hours?) but we had lots of fun! :)

Tammy and Candy

My long-time friend Candy, her dog Hercules, Ruth, and me. :)

Ruthster, looking cute as usual

Ruth isn't usually too shy. :) She had a good time on the farm!

Eliyahu rides a horse!!!!!

A highlight for Yehoshua and Eliyahu was getting to ride horses! Here is Eliyahu, beaming. :)

Yehoshua rides a horse!!!!!

Yehoshua loved every minute!!

Horseback riders...

My two brothers went out riding for a number of hours with Candy. Here they are in front of one of the many impressive rock formations. I also uploaded a short clip of the horses splashing in some water. :)

On horseback...

Yehoshua and Eliyahu rode horses again the next day (we stayed overnight). :)

And... those were most of the best pictures. :) We had a really fun time! Washington is a beautiful, diverse state and I loved getting to explore more of it! :)


Re-posting comments that were on this post: Tanya wrote: Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your brothers! Riding the horse would be my children's highlight too. Neat to see a bit more of the landscape of where you live and now enjoy. :) Thanks for sharing! ~Tanya - mama to 5 with #6 on the way. :) Abutton wrote: Washington is such a wonderful state! I was able to visit some friends there last month, and I had a lovely time! All of the water and the mountains were just amazing, especially since I've lived in the midwest all of my life. :) Susanne wrote: Those building were too high for me! I'll skip Seattle, but I love the country side pictures. I didn't know that there were dry wind swept places in Washington. Beautiful! Noah wrote: I'll have to check out that tea shop with my hubby sometime. We LOVE tea and it looks fantastic! My oldest son (4 1/2) LOVES horses too. :) He's done a couple of riding classes, and usually he's one of the only boys! I had no idea that you could go up in the columbia tower. Definitely will put that on my to do list. And cheaper than the Space Needle (by a lot!). Mrs.W wrote: I loved seeing your pictures. What a fun day! I have enjoyed reading about your family and I have loved all of your recipes I have tried. I don't know how long I have been visiting your site (long before I actually registered). I don't comment much. :( Your kids are adorable. I can't believe how much Ruth has grown. It seems like just yesterday I was reading about her birth. :) Thanks for all of the work you put into your blog. I love it. Aline wrote: Your pictures are soo beautiful. I love seeing pictures of the US, especially the countryside. There's nothing like that in Europe. Everything is so grand! And I love seeing pictures of your family too, so I very much enjoyed this post! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. That tea place certainly sounds great. Joelle wrote: My husband and I were in Seattle for his continuing medical education neurology meetings in April and we went to Pike's Place Market, the aquarium, the space needle, etc. We also drove over to Mt. Rainier since we have a national parks pass, but unfortunately it was a very cloudy day and we couldn't see much of the mountain. We absolutely loved the Seattle area. We even halfway contemplated moving there someday. Samantha wrote: Thanks for sharing! It looks like a lot of fun was had by all. I can't believe how big Eliyahu is now; he looks just like Yehoshua used to look! And Roo is big too and her hair is longer too. Your kids are the cutest!! That is interesting that the Vital Tea Leaf company serves the tea in thimble size cups. Kind of cute ;) My parents were in Seattle some years ago... I think it was 2003 (?) and they saw the Space Needle and some other tall buildings but I don't remember if they went in any or not. Does your friend Candy live fairly close by? (Tammy: 3 hours away :D) Kristin wrote: I'm glad you enjoyed Eastern Washington. The west side seems to get all the attention but nothing beats the East side for beauty, if you ask me! My husband is a wheat farmer in Northeastern Oregon (practically Washington). Out here, the rolling wheat fields tell the seasons better than any calendar. The wheat is just starting to head and in the next month or so will ripen up. Then we'll harvest and the cycle will start again! It is so lovely. We've got lots of hills and mountains with views just as good as the Space Needle...and a lot less expensive! I do enjoy Seattle, though, and will have to find that tea shop the next time I visit! Thanks for the fun travelogue! Anonymous wrote: I didn't realize that you were in Washington. I live in CA now and am homesick. I grew up in Lake Stevens/Mukilteo and lived in Bellingham area for 9 years before moving here. I'd love to be back but God has His reasons and He has asked us to stay. I enjoy your recipes and blog but usually don't comment. Thanks for all you share. Anonymous wrote: The tea ceremonies are so much fun. when we adopted our 2 daughters from china, we went to the tea market in Guangzhou. it was like a mall with 3 stores that covered over a block and then more stores around the mall.I bought several tea sets for my girls at $5-10 american each. the price here is usually around $50-100. I bought a bamboo tray for $10. We also bought several cakes of tea for amazingly unexpensive prices. Many of the shops had loose tea in burlap bags setting outside their doors. After seeing many feral cats using the bags as kitty litter, I will never buy loose tea again :)

Tammy, I have been enjoying your recipes for so long, and only today noticed that you live in WA. We live in Eastern WA, in the tri-cities. I am 27 just like you, and have a two year old named Ruth! How fun. Thank you for your wonderful recipes, they have made my large table very grateful and every belly content. My blog is, if you ever want to stop by! You have such a lovely family.

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