Bloedel Reserve-1.5+miles, little elevation gain
Pass-pay to get into the park Difficulty-1/5 Rating-4/5
Hidden Lake- 1.5 miles out and back, very mild elevation gain
Pass-Northwest Forest Pass Difficulty-1/5 Rating-3.5/5
Snoqualmie Falls-1.4 miles out and back, 250 feet elevation gain
Pass-none Difficulty-1/5 Rating-3.5/5
Last week we had Chris’ family come and visit us! His parents and all his siblings were able to make it except his brother and Andrew and Andrew’s new wife Kerby. Somehow we were able to squeeze them all in our house so it was a constant party the whole time they were here.
They made the trip from Arizona by car (well truck.) and we were just a pit stop on the rest of their summer plans. They were on their way to Nauvoo to perform in the pageant. They decided this was the only time they could come so they took a two day detour (24 hours each way) to come play with us!
It was crazy but so much fun! We put our parents in the kids’ room. The older McBride kids in the office, and our kids in our room. My kids loved sleeping on their air mattress in our room and they were sad when I took it down after the McBride’s left. It actually worked out quite well!
Nadine and Bryan had been to Seattle before, but I’m not sure if they got much sightseeing in when they were here before. None of the big kids had been before so we were really excited to show them around!
Early Saturday morning is when everyone arrived. I had made up beds for them already so we helped unload and we all went to sleep! We woke up several hours later semi refreshed, but ready to start our day. Nadine (Chris’ mom) told me she wanted to go on a ferry so we decided to start with that.
Saturday we took a bus downtown (this way they were able to see how Chris gets to work as well.) and hoped on a ferry. By the time we made it to Bainbridge Island we were ready for lunch so we got pizza there. After Pizza we hoped on a shuttle bus that took us to the Bloedel Reserve. We have been there now three times I think and it is still one of my favorite places! Totally worth the day trip there! We were able to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the Northwest. After the reserve we went for Ice Cream at Mora! We love it there, but boy was it crowded, they also raised their prices for summer tourist season, but it was still worth it! Chris and I like to split a banana split and it is delicious!
After Mora we walked back to the ferry and headed for home. The McBride’s wanted to see Chris’ work so we took them to his building. We talked about doing Pike Place Market then, but by then most of the shops were closed up, we were beat so we decided to save that for another day!
When we got back to the house Ashley (Chris’ oldest, younger, sister) stayed home with me and we made dinner (Chili and Chili dogs with corn bread muffins) for the crew while everyone went to Ella Bailey Park to enjoy the great views of Seattle and to let the kids run out their round 2 energy!
That night we stayed up visiting and catching up.
Sunday we were able to sleep in and take it easy until church. After church we came home and ate some lunch/dinner (Tater Tot casserole with a side of tater tots and salad) and then went to take them to some of our favorite free places. First we went to the Ballard Locks (free parking there after 6pm.) We were able to watch a lot of boats come through. It was super busy! We saw a lot of sea lions swimming around and we enjoyed the fish ladders as well. The kids got to roll down their favorite hill there and run and have a good time.
After the locks we loaded up and went to see the Fremont Troll. A weird place but a must see! Ashley was our first visitor who likes Grey’s Anatomy like I do, so we did some fan girl stuff and drove by the Meredith Grey house in Queen Anne! For those non fans that were with us, they still enjoyed the drive and looking at the awesome houses. The houses here are so different than the houses in Arizona and it is just fun to drive around see them. We did have a few close calls with the McBride’s truck, but we made it out just fine! (One street was too tight to turn down so they took a detour.)
Sunday evening we did more visiting and laughing. We planned out the rest of our trip that night (mostly). We decided that the next morning we would wake up and go to Leavenworth. Nadine’s aunt and Uncle live there and she really wanted to visit them. We figured the 4th of July would be too crowded for us in Seattle to do much anyway so Leavenworth it was!
Monday we woke up and packed up for our mini trip to Leavenworth. We didn’t want to get there super early (since Aunt Joan and Uncle Jari wouldn’t be there until that afternoon anyway) so we first stopped by Discovery Park. Ryan was able to show off his skills on the zipline and we did a very mini hike, no beach.
We drove by a few houses that we put bids on, but didn’t get just so they could see the areas we were looking at. (Mostly in Shoreline.) We then went to stop and eat some Thai food. Sadly it was closed so we drove back by our house and we got fish and chips from Little Chinooks. (Another must see for us when we have company or just want fish and chips!)
Finally we decided that it was time to head out for Leavenworth. We stopped and did a hike near Lake Wenatchee. The hike we did was called Hidden Lake and it was just under 2 miles. The hike was perfect and not very difficult and Hidden Lake was very secluded, serene, and beautiful! (Highly recommend this hike for those that just have a short time, but still want nice scenery.) We stopped and hung around Hidden Lake so the kids could throw rocks in and we could take some pictures then we hiked back to the car. We didn’t make it to Aunt Joan and Uncle Jari’s until around 8pm. But they had a perfect 4th of July spread out for us and we had hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and amazing pasta salad. It was a perfect 4th of July even if we didn’t see fireworks! It was fun to watch everyone catch up! I think the McBride’s hadn’t seen Aunt Joan and Uncle Jari for around 12 years!
Tuesday morning we got up and let the kids play in the yard and they were in heaven! We loaded up and we spent most of the day in Leavenworth walking through their downtown area. It was a cool little place! It looks like a set of some sort. Its a German town so it really is a lot of fun! We had pizza for lunch there and walked down by the river on our way back to the car. We went back to Aunt Joan’s and Uncle Jari’s house to load up the rest of our stuff and were on our way.
(Aunt Joan is Nadine’s mom’s sister. Grandma Tanner and her sister Joan are a lot alike and I’m not sure if it helped me not miss Grandma Tanner as much or make it worse. In fact the night we were there Lilly said her prayers and gave thanks that we were able to be with Grandma Tanner!)
On our way back to our house we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls. Another favorite place of ours to take guests. We saw the falls from the top and we were all feeling adventurous so we hiked down to the bottom of the falls. I love that hike and I think it is so pretty! I think we all had a great time and enjoyed ourselves! We didn’t get back to our house until 9:30 pm. I quickly made dinner (spaghetti and garlic bread) and then we all went to bed!
Wednesday Chris had to go back to work. But I was still able to play tour guide to the McBride’s! We went downtown on bus again, but this time we walked through Pike Place Market. The McBride’s have a special talent of taking their time and really absorbing where they are. They can stay at a place and really soak it in. I think the longest I had been in the market before was less than an hour. With the McBride’s we were there probably close to three hours! I think Nadine especially liked it and they got some fun stuff! We did get snacks at a Russian Bakery. We got cherries to enjoy. Some of the crew got T-shirts there. (They LOVE t-shirts….Ashley…Brianna….). I got some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (that is what I LOVE!!) And we just walked around!
After the Market we went to the Aquarium. Again their talent came out and we spent more time there than I ever have before. We really got to see every exhibit. 🙂 It was a lot of fun showing them things and enjoying ourselves!
We ate at the Alaskan Sourdough Bakery and some of us got sandwiches while others got clam chowder in bread bowls. Chris was able to come and meet us, which was a lot of fun! We did a quick walk through Target, then caught the bus home.
At home the kids had quiet time and some of us went to Fred Meyer to get supplies for a fire. (Brianna wanted to have a fire on the beach.) We stocked up and when Chris got home we headed out for Golden Gardens. I think everyone in Seattle had that idea because it was packed. It was so busy that we didn’t get our fire. Brianna (Chris’ youngest sister) was a great sport and had fun playing on the beach with the kids. We did luck out and the sky was amazing that evening!
We went home super tired and planned out our last day with them!
Thursday morning we didn’t wake up super early and we took our time getting out of the house. (It was actually really nice and much needed.) We went to Goodwill for Ashley to find some jackets and for the crew to find some last minute stuff for Nauvoo. I think almost everyone found something and we had a good time. Then we headed for Issaquah! We stopped at the Costco there for lunch and gas and then we headed for Cougar Mountain Zoo.
We all had a really great time! The zoo was tiny and not crowded at all . (A much needed break from the super crowded Market we were at the day before.) Again the McBrides helped us other set of McBride’s slow down a bit and really look at all the exhibits. In fact, there were a few exhibits that Ryan LOVED so much he wanted to stay and look at while everyone else moved on! At this zoo we were able to feed and pet most of the animals. They have a lot of reindeer, several tigers, a few cougars, and a lot of other animals. It was at a beautiful location and really was a lot of fun to go to! I highly recommend it and I think we will be back for sure, plus its only half hour from our house, not too shabby!
After Cougar Mountain Zoo we went home. Prepared dinner. (Hawaiian Haystacks) Chris came home we ate and then we went to Full Tilt, an ice cream/arcade place. They have a lot of pinball machines and a pac man machine, plus a few other games. I think everyone loved it and it was a perfect way to end the McBride’s stay! That night we went home visited some more and went to bed!
Friday morning we woke up, McBride’s loaded up and they were off to Nauvoo. The kids and I have spent some time getting our house back together and recouping from the awesome trip! The McBride’s have even made it to Nauvoo! Yay!
We had a great time and even if we are all exhausted we love having company, especially family company! We love showing off our new home, and our new life! Thanks for coming McBride’s! The only thing that would have made it better is if Andrew and Kerby were there!