Friday, February 23, 2018

2017: The Year of Travel | Seattle & Portland

2017 was deemed the year of travel right from the start. It was full of adventures and our biggest travel year to date. We started the year in Seattle and Portland, spent the the kids' school breaks in Los Angeles and traveling the east coast (Boston, NYC, Philly, DC), took the kids on their 2nd trip to San Diego Comic Con, celebrated my birthday in Disneyland, and followed Andrew to a conference in San Francisco. There was even more traveling happening when I went to more places because of my Posh business including Costa Rica, New Orleans (where Andrew also tagged along), and Las Vegas.

Because I haven't been very good at keeping up the blogging, I figured a series of catch up posts were in order to sum up the trips. It was an epic year full of travel which included 5 family flights, 14 states visited, and a renewed sense of wanderlust as we get into 2018.

We have been to Seattle more times than I can count and we're creatures of habit when it comes to our visits here. Although I thought we'd basically done everything already and was reluctant to go a second time within a year, I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed basically repeating our Seattle in a Day adventure in 2011.

Our big touristy things to visit were the following:

I could watch the otters at the Seattle Aquarium all day long.

Seattle Aquarium: I'm not a big fan of aquariums usually, but this is one of my favorites because of the otters. I don't know about you, but otters are among the cutest animals on the planet and you'll likely fall in love with them here. Watch them play, be sure to catch a feeding, and just stare at them until someone pulls you away. They have other cool things here too, but the otters are by far the most memorable.

Up close and personal with the hippos at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Woodland Park Zoo: Again, I'm not a huge fan of zoos. (Maybe I'm not a huge fan of animals in general?) But this zoo is one I would gladly get a membership to. We gave ourselves most of the day to spend here and although it was our second time visiting we weren't able to see everything. Isabelle was especially sad the bug exhibit closed just as we got there and that we had to pull her away at the end of the day to make our dinner reservations. Memorable highlights from this zoo is their walk-through bird feeding exhibit. For $1, you get a stick with bird feed which helps you get up close and person with all the birds.

The butterfly exhibit at the Pacific Science Center is a favorite!

Pacific Science Center: We visit this interactive science museum every single time we go to Seattle. It's one of my favorite science museums we've been to and we know this place inside and out. If you've never been, I would highly recommend it. There are exhibits for all ages and their shows are great too. Our favorite exhibit here is the butterfly house where you are immersed in a tropical atmosphere surrounded by butterflies.

We have driven through Portland a number of times on our way to/from Seattle and we have a very strict schedule each time:
  • Powell's City of Books: My sister first told me about this place on our first visit to the area and we've been making special trips ever since. We literally go out of our way to make a pitstop here and have even taken Isabelle here for her birthday once. If you're a bookworm or enjoy bookstores at all, this is the mecca of bookstores. We always leave with an excessive amount of books. 
  • Cheryl's on 12th: Another tradition of ours is to eat lunch here. This restaraunt is a short walk away from Powell's and won our hearts the first time they brought complimentary beignets to our table. We had beignets here before we remember having them anywhere else and you really can't go wrong with them. Our favorite item on the menu is the Croque Monsieur which I have gotten every time I've come here, albeit only a handful of times.

Starting the new year off with an excessive amount of sushi.

With Seattle and Portland under our belt, I was off on at least 2 more trips within rougly a month of each other (Costa Rica and New Orleans) before we went on another family trip to Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more on posts on our 2017 travels. 

Have you been to Seattle and Portland? What are the things on your to-do list?
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