Thursday, January 13, 2011

Family Reunion in Seattle: Part One!

Before my return to the states, I made the choice to take a trip to Seattle to visit my brother, Derek, and sister-in-law, Cami, soon after I arrived back on USA land. Back in October, I bought a ticket with some of the little money I had left (judge me), and they offered to help me with the rest of my expenses while I was visiting. For all their wonderful hospitality in letting me stay with them for ten days and showing me around the area, I have been helping out with the cleaning, laundry, and cooking. They didn't ask me, but I thought it was a good idea. It's actually been great because I've been teaching Cami some new tricks in the kitchen and she's been teaching me how to craft.

My sister-in-law, Cami, is an AMAZING crafter! She is creative and versatile. She has the ability to see something, a project or an object, and come up with a way to make it cuter, usable, or just better. I'm kind of amazed by her, and slightly jealous of this skill... I can now do a basic crochet stitch, create glass-looking magnets, make a vintage-record clock, and cut out vinyl lettering. Yep - I'm a master. Okay, not even close, but I feel the drive to be more creative and try out some new projects - haha! If you want to see more of her amazingness (and you should!), check out the link below and enjoy some pictures (some of the stuff we made is pictured below) and tutorials from her craft blog - plus, she's pretty dang funny.

Anyway, aside from crafting and cooking with Cami, I have spent time watching sports and shows with Derek, playing games, seeing downtown Seattle and the Pacific Science Center, taking my first Zumba class(which I LOVED! I plan to sign up for a class as soon as I have a job!), and going to the zoo! I still have five days left here too! Perfection.

The day after I got here, my brother and Cami took me to downtown Seattle to see the Pacific Science Center. It was totally awesome! We walked around some of the different centers, learning how water works, how to do mind-puzzles (Derek is SO good at those...), playing with computer graphics, watching naked mole rats race, played with the little kid areas, AND going to the butterfly house. I LOVED the butterfly house! It's a giant, tropical room with TONS of butterflies surrounding everyone. Right away, a beautiful butterfly landed on Cami's arm and stuck with her for a bit. As we continues around, a few more landed on her and Derek, but none on me... I guess I wasn't sweet enough. Haha! It was still super awesome...

After our time up there, we headed over to Pikes Place Market - a giant shopping market, where the original Starbucks is located. Haha! We sampled a million and one jams, dips, fruits, breads, that were all really great. We saw beautiful dried-flower bouquets, a very loud street performer, cool jewelry and pictures, and just had fun wondering around for a few hours. It was a really neat place... We got lunch down there too - Gyros. Man, gotta love me some lamb.

Sorry to all you "strictly herbivore" folks out there.

After Pikes Place we headed back up to the Science Center for... The Harry Potter Exhibition!!! The Science Center had the traveling exhibition stop in Seattle for the month of January, on into February, and I happened to come at the perfect time. It was the most awesome exhibit, but I'm sad that I wasn't able to take pictures. Usually, I am able to sneak a few good shots, but security was really tight, so I didn't test my luck. Haha! It was a cool exhibit though, with closes, props, set, and video from all the films and characters in the series - WAY awesome!

That was all on Saturday... WOW! Haha...

Sunday was church and the BSC championship game - both great. I was rootin' for Auburn, so that was nice... and I like church, so that was good too.

On Monday I went to Zumba, and then came back to shower before hitting up the local mall with Derek and Cami. I'm not usually a mall person, but this was a call one - it reminded me of San Diego's outdoor mall that I loved to go to growing up.

Tuesday I hit up a cool book-shop with Cami while Derek was in meetings and then got pizza before heading to Derek's work-site with him. He is in charge of one of the after-school program sites for the YMCA here in Seattle and works with kids K-6. He has some adorable ones! It was nice to see him in a action for a bit before sending everyone home early in preparation for the snow-storm. When it snows here, barely snows at all, they shut down everything. So, after watching the snow fall for a few hours on the porch that evening, I awoke to the news of a snow-day for Derek and Cami. YAY! This meant that they had no work... and we could spend all day playing. Haha!

So, that's what we did...

We headed out to the zoo for the day and it was basically deserted. We were able to see a lot of animals up-close and with no crowd surrounding us... plus, as we sang the Lion King songs and reenacted recent SNL skits for the animals, we found that some seemed to be captivated long enough for Derek or me to grab some good pictures. Haha! You think I'm kidding, but I'm really not. Especially with those meerkats.... They really perked up!

After the zoo we came back to the house, made some soup, and played board games, and watched some Psych and 30Rock for a quiet evening at home... It was good. Life here in Seattle is good - I have the best brother and sister-in-law a girl could ask for, and I am SO glad I made the choice to come and visit them. I'm a lucky girl.

Sidenote: The new nanny in Germany says that Nico and Finn are doing well, and that makes me really happy... I have really been missing them this week. I'm glad to be home, and ready, but I'm also missing certain things - especially the two little boys who taught me so much about childcare, life, and myself.

Song of the Day: Cami posted this song to her facebook the other day and I fell in love with it and the subtle hilarity of the video - the video really is worth watching for four minutes of your time. Here is The Temper Trap with Love Lost. It's great!!! Enjoy!

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