Yes. Please Bless America.

America! You rock! We had such a fabulous time South of the Border last weekend. Seattle is GORGEOUS and I’m moving there. Period. Just as soon as I convince the other four important people in my life to do so too. Cheap Bastard had to agree with the Seattle love. We’ve come to the conclusion that anywhere along the West Coast must be absolute heaven (CB’s been to San Francisco and can’t wait to take me there one day), so after the kids move out (ETA 12 years) I want to go south. True, we will probably need a couple of million dollars by then to buy approx. 300 square feet of living space, but really who cares? You guys have Tivo! And outlet stores! And these really cool shaped oval tissue boxes that I just had to buy some of, because they were OVAL and ours are not and because they had metallic hippie-esque designs on them and ours do not. Yes, I bought two at Safeway on a whim, along with a travel Boggle game (cause we were travelling and yeah…because it was by the OVAL tissue boxes) and a four-pack of the cutest little bottles of Zinfandel wine. AT THE SAFEWAY! Where people buy food…they have liquor! WEEEEEEE! You Americans are fun. (Also? They have liquor at 7-11. By the Cheetos. Liquor.)

Our trip started on Friday morning with an hour long wait at the border. The U.S. border guard was quite friendly, although she did grill us about our jobs and made us open the van door, because the windows are dark and she couldn’t see whether we were indeed transporting our three children or endangered species from the Canadian Tundra. It’s so funny how thorough the US border is compared to coming home to Canada. The US border guard checked out all of our birth certificates and licenses, she asked CB and I about our jobs, she wanted to know the purpose of our visit and, of course, were we transporting any citrus fruit (which HA! Not likely. We cut off all access to citrus fruit the week before, just so none of us even had evidence of it in our bloodstreams. You can never be too careful). The Canadian border however, basically said “Welcome to Canada, eh! Please pass politely through.” Damn and I had all my receipts and ID and everything ready to show them. I was sure the Canadian border guard would be impressed with my many purchases. Most especially the OVAL tissue boxes.

After the border we stopped for lunch in Bellingham where I was chastised by my teenager for ordering my sub on “brown” bread instead of “wheat” (“they don’t say brown bread here Mom.” *eyeroll* “They looked at you funny.”) Then we were off to the outlet stores at Tulalip. Oh. Sweet. Lord. It was Nirvana. Zeenee bought Nike Shox that would cost us $170 at home for $59.99US. Bella got brown Converse runners and an outfit to match from Gap. Budgie bought a cap from Adidas and a green shirt (because it’s all “go green or go home” with him lately. EVERYTHING must be green, his favourite colour). Cheap Bastard got…oh, probably something. And I got clothes from Layne Bryant, three new pairs of shoes and a new handbag and wallet. No, the handbag wasn’t from Coach. I did go in (twice) and drool, but although I had the money to get something, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that much on a bag…I. JUST. COULDN’T. Oh the humanity. I got a beautiful black leather bag from Wilson’s Leather and a wallet to match. I think it looks very chic, so I’m happy. Maybe I’ll go the Coach route one day. One day when I maybe have three hundred bucks just sitting around doing nothing. Maybe.

Saturday we headed to the Woodlands Zoo in Seattle. Indeed, the most impressive zoo I have ever been to. The animals had giant, lovely habitats and were they ever animated. The grizzly bears were bounding about when we got there…and swimming! They have their own, fully stocked salmon stream where they can just reach in for a snack whenever the need arises. The baboons were swinging (although there was that poor hobo baboon we saw sleeping under a cardboard box apart from the other more affluent baboons), the apes were playing…hell, even the Kimodo Dragon moved a toe for us.

Budgie and Bella insisted that they needed their own cameras for the trip, so we had purchased disposable cameras for them with 27 pictures each. We went to see the grizzly bear exhibit first. And Budgie had used up all 27 pictures by the time we left the grizzly bear exhibit. And I just know there’s gonna be a crisis when we get those pictures developed because the boy must have thought he was Austin Powers with that camera. “Yeah baby! Work with me baby! You’re a tiger. No, you’re a grizzly bear. Look at me. I’m not even shooting you. I’m not even pointing the camera at you. I’m just that good!” Budge would launch himself at the window with his camera at the ready and run, run, run, shoot. He didn’t even plant his feet and stop before he would….CLICK! Oy, we’re going to have many shots of brown blur and one sulky eight year old on our hands when those prints are developed. I’m so not looking forward to that. But the Seattle Zoo? Highly recommended. Just go there. You can thank me later.

Sunday found us downtown at the Space Needle, where the children assisted the City of Seattle by “supporting” their most recognizable attraction:

“Raise your hands if you’re Sure.”
“Daaaad! I, like, can’t believe you made me get up here. Just, like, take the picture already. People are so looking at me. Like, grrrrr.”

“Look at me baby! I’m a tiger. No, I’m a grizzy bear. Look at me. I’m not even hanging onto this thing. I’m that good!”

We didn’t go up the tower, partly because the kids arms were tired from all that work and partly because Bella would have screeeeeched the entire way up and down. No heights for her please. Instead, we decided to go to Pike’s Market via Monorail. That would be easy we thought. There were signs everywhere screaming Monorail! Monorail! Three dollars for the Monorail! Come ride the Monorail! (is that Simpsons episode running through your head right now? It was through ours.) So we head up to the monorail. Past the surreys for rent. Monorail! This way to Monorail! Up the walkway. Monorail! Up to the platform. Monorail! To a sign that said: “Monorail! This Location Coming Soon!” No Monorail!

So we walked the eleventy billion blocks from the Space Needle to the market. And my sister-in-law whined for the eleventy billion blocks to the market. Girl doesn’t like to walk. I know from when we lived in North Vancouver and decided to start walking every night. The first night we started out on our program and the sidewalk dared to go five degrees uphill. She saw the slight ascent and quit right then and went home. Girl. Does. Not. Walk. And she soon realized that all those blocks we were walking downhill would result in a climb afterwards. And Girl was not happy. And all of us and Seattle heard about it. Thank God for the public transit system that delivered us safely and happily to our car afterwards.

We closed the Tulalip outlet stores down on Sunday and didn’t arrive home on Canadian soil until 11:00 that night.

…my OVAL tissue box sits proudly on the back of the toilet in our bathroom. A souvenier and a reminder of how much I want to go back…like, next weekend maybe Cheap Bastard?

Time until I’m back with my family: 4 hours, 41 minutes

Laundry List: Still working through the many suitcases of clothes that I’m convinced are having babies whilst I’m at work this week. Plus the cat was mad at us for having the audacity to leave her at home for the weekend (she had a sitter. She got fed)…so she threw up on our bed. Obviously, that was my first trip to the washing machine as soon as we got home.


5 responses to this post.

  1. wow – I’m from the US but you make me want to go to seattle (and REALLY appreciate my box of tissues)

  2. Glad you had a great time! And we also found out at the last minute that the Monorail was closed. The walk from our hotel to the Science Center was only about 15 minutes – nothing compared to how far I walk here! Pike Place Market was cool too (we walked there as well) but the kidlet freaked so we couldn’t stay long enough to get some fuuuuudge. Or those yummy mini-doughnuts.

    Wah – I can’t wait to go back!

  3. Hey, landisdad & I went to Seattle for our 30th birthdays (oh for the days of spontaneous travel!). It is a great city and very beautiful. Glad you had fun!

  4. you are SO funny! you had me splitting a gut reading that!!

    I love Seattle too, we tried to move there in 98 but too much red green yellow and purple tape!! good luck with you though! but now I am leaving my precious west coast and heading up to the big white north…..gulp!

  5. We have so much liquor here you wouldn’t believe it!

    C’mon down!

    Oh, and your kids are so cute! I could totally hear their voices with the captions you gave their pictures. Funny!

    We obviously use a lot of !!s here in the states.

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