Little Beach Outing

Yesterday, Frank and I were feeling better and wanted to get outside to enjoy the nice day (good thing, btw, as it is currently 58 degrees and raining sideways).  We decided to venture across to West Seattle’s Alki Beach for a little sand and surf.  It was really lovely and not crowded (it being 10 am on a Tuesday).  Frank played several rounds of “dump and fill” with his bucket and shovel, we blew bubbles, and mostly just took in the scenery.  Sometimes I can’t believe I live here:

Summer of Frank!

With the due date fast approaching (only 5 more weeks to go!), it hit me recently that these are the last few weeks I have to devote 100% of my attention to Frank.  I honestly don’t know how that Duggar woman does it, because I just love being a mom of one and am a little more than apprehensive about having two!  Probably should have thought about that before I got myself knocked up again, I know.  Bygones.

And so in the grand tradition of Costanza’s infamous “Summer of George!”, I have decided to declare the rest of the time before Beans’ arrival “Summer of Frank!”  Said declaration only slightly marred by the fact that it is not actually “summer” in Seattle, but rather a very rainy and unseasonably cold “spring.”  No matter; Supermom doesn’t need 90 degree weather to make fun!  On the days we are able to get outside, we do so.  On the other days, we improvise!  We’ve been exploring the many options for rainy day fun in Seattle, and we really like our local community center (about 4 blocks from home).  Twice a week, they open the gym for toddlers only and set up two bounce houses and about 10-12 Big Wheel/tricycle/pink jeep-type vehicles for the kiddos to drive.  You just pay $2 and you can stay for hours!  Another of our newly-discovered favorite activities is going to the mall and renting one of those strollers that looks like a racecar or firetruck.  Who knew this would keep the kid entertained for hours of shopping?!  I even tried to get him to exit the vehicle and play in the playspace, but he just kept walking out of the area and getting back in the racecar!  And, of course, he sang “Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car” (a Wiggles hit) for the duration of the ride.  Frank is officially obsessed with the Wiggles.  Which I wouldn’t mind, except that we only have three of their videos and I have them MEMORIZED!  I dream of Wiggles songs and ridiculous pirates and dancing dinosaurs.  AAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH!

Anyhoo, on our few warmer and sunnier days, Frank and I have taken to the outdoors!  As I’ve probably mentioned in a prior post, Frank loves the buses in Seattle.  Living so close to downtown, we see them all the time.  Plus, our house is on a fairly busy street where the buses pass several times a day.  I know he would love to ride the bus somewhere, but I haven’t done it yet ((a)because I’m chicken that I’ll do something wrong, having never really used public transportation much, and (2) because I am still highly dependent on my car, esp. being so pregnant and not wanting to be stuck at the mercy of the bus schedule).  I thought a good compromise would be to take a bus tour of the city, and to make it fun for a 22-month-old, I went with the Ride the Ducks tour!  I’m pretty sure they have these in a bunch of places, but it is a big bus that is also a boat that is also shaped like a duck.  Or, in Frank’s world: HEAVEN.  So we went!  And it was great.

Of course, I bought a $3 duck quacker so Frank could quack his way along the route.  Loved it.  The tour took us downtown through the market, down to the ferry terminals, over to Safeco Field, up through the eclectic Fremont neighborhood, and finally onto Lake Union.  I think Frank liked the water part the best.  Indeed, I thought he might jump overboard at one point!  It was so nice to be out on the water and to see all the beautiful water houses (learned the difference between water houses and house boats, btw — it’s actually fairly basic-you have to drive the house boats around the lake once or twice a year to prove that they really are boats).  The coolest part for me was seeing the water house used in the movie Sleepless in Seattle!  Check it out:

Can’t you just see Jonah running around the deck and hopping in the boat with his little kite??  The house is currently on the market for $2.2 million if anyone is interested.

Last week, the Summer of Frank tour landed us at the Ballard Locks and the famous Smolt Slides!  The Locks are the part of the shipping channel where boats pass between Lake Washington and Puget Sound (the salt-water bay eventually leading to the Pacific).  The Locks also house a gorgeous botanical gardens and some original shipping buildings built in the early 1900’s.  In the spring and summer, one of the bridges over the channel offers a great vantage point to the baby salmon (smolts) migrating from the lake to the bay.  They’ve set up these high-tech slides to control the number of smolts going through at any one time, and so you can watch the slides and see all the little fishies flying out into the bay!  They’re so cute!  And they looked like they were on a super cool water slide at Wet ‘N Wild!  Unfortunately, we just kinda happened upon this activity and I didn’t have my camera.  But, I’m sure we’ll be back many times this summer.

This past weekend and at least the early part of this week, the Summer of Frank is taking a hiatus.  All three of us have come down with a nasty cold and are trying to take it easy for a few days.  In other words, I’m watching more of those blasted Wiggles than I’d like to be.  But that’s okay.  I’ve discovered that the only time Frank stops long enough to snuggle with Mommy anymore is when he’s under the weather.  So, I’m soaking it up!