Estelle Visits Seattle: Part Two

So, after visiting Fort Casey state park on Whidbey Island, we drove to....another state park. This time, Deception Pass and we drove straight to West Beach. Apparently you can see all the way to Vancouver Island from there on a clear day. It wasn't nearly clear enough for that, but we still enjoyed walking along the beach and helping the little girls hunt for seashells. 




We climbed up to this neat bench perched on top of a rock pile.



And from there we took a short hike to a look-out of the Deception Pass Bridge. 



We drove over the bridge and landed in Skagit Valley, where the annual tulip festival is held each spring. Naturally, we had to stop at Snow Goose Produce for ice cream, fresh waffle cones, and a beautiful view of Mount Baker.



It's just over an hour from there back home, but with three hungry, whiny toddlers in tow we decided to stop at Cafe Rio in Lynnwood for dinner. 


On Saturday, we went to Snoqualmie Falls, a thirty-minute drive towards the Cascades from home. 



After checking out the view from the top of the falls, we hiked down to the bottom. 



Claire and Estelle could walk down by themselves, while I wore Maggie in the Ergo. 



Hiking back up was definitely the more challenging part! The last time we did it, I was two days away from having Maggie. I still can't believe that didn't put me into labor...

But, we made it back just in time for our 11:30 lunch reservation at the Salish Lodge, the hotel atop the waterfall. We were actually seated a table right by the window, with a fabulous view of the water. Of course, the food was delicious as always! As we were walking back to the parking lot (the one on the other side of the street that's connected by a pedestrian bridge) we continued up the hill to see where the Lodge keeps all the bees used to make their in-house honey. 

The girls all immediately fell asleep in the car, so we drove around the towns of Snoqualmie and North Bend for a while until it was time for our 2:30 steam train ride at the Northwest Train Museum.  



The train ride was a huge hit for Claire and Estelle, but a little too long for Maggie's attention span. 


The coolest part by far is riding up to the top of the falls. You can only get this view by train! 


Back at the depot, they have lots of train cars and engines to explore.


After Mass on Sunday, we had lunch at our favorite local restaurant, The Tipsy Cow Burger Bar. 


After the girls napped, we took the a Argosy cruise around Lake Washington, which leaves from downtown Kirkland. 


We saw Bill Gates' house in Medina. Apparently their private beach is made with sand imported from the Caribbean!


But more exciting was all the fantastic views of Mount Rainier from the water. 


As you can tell from the above picture, the girls' behavior was quickly sliding downhill about halfway through the journey.



So we spent the rest of the ride letting them run in circles around the empty lower level of the boat. 


Back on land, we had a picnic dinner at the marina and ended the evening with a trip to our favorite gelato place. We had such a great time showing them around Seattle and watching the cute cousins play together. Can't wait to see them again soon!

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