James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

James + Reece + Lola + Jessica

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Gas Works kind of 4th...

Let's pretend the Fourth of July wasn't a month ago...

We survived the inevitable Seattle Juneuary, and by Independence Day we were more than ready for some sunshine.

I'm here to tell you, if you can hold out until the Fourth, Seattle will reward you with near-perfect weather for the rest of the summer.

I kicked off my Independence Day with a long run along the Elliott Bay trail.
The sky and water were a stunning, clear shade of blue, the few clouds in the sky were a lovely shade of white and thanks to this new-fangled contraption they call the sun, my shoulders turned a patriotic shade of red.

Our next item of business was the procurement of our traditional red, white and blue Slurpees.

Poor James was less than content about having to share.
I think America needs to adopt a fourth color, or we may have a rebellion on our hands next year.

We walked the three miles from our apartment to Gas Works Park, home to the biggest Independence Day party in the state.

With live music, free activities, swag and food booths from local vendors and unbeatable people watching -- this really was the place to be.

Gas Works is beautiful on any given day -- emerald rolling hills (granted, they're covered in geese poop), waterfront views of Lake Union and the city skyline and a breeze perfectly conducive to kite flying.

 The park is the site of the old Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant.
The city left the factory equipment alone, and it's now covered with ivy.
It's oddly beautiful and would make the perfect setting for a horror movie -- all at the same time.

I've said it a million times before, but this city is unbelievably family friendly.
There was plenty for the kids to do and see, and most of it was free, which, let's face it, is awesome.

Lola got really into the bean bag toss and tried to sneak one of the bags under her dress when I finally told her it was time to move on.

 I tried to show the girl how to work the hula hoop, but she just stared at me, looked around and finally whispered, "Stop it, mom. Just stop."

Apparently she can't handle my moves.
To avoid further embarrassment at the hands (or hips) of her mother, she took the hula hoops, placed them safely on the ground and jumped.

And then there was the giant, inflatable slide.
Lola has a complicated relationship with such things.
She's always entranced by their size and grandeur, but when it comes to actually going down one, she quickly launches into panic mode.

But I'm happy to say she did her country proud (because nothing says patriotism like enormous bouncy slides) and braved the beast.
I was right behind her.
In a skirt.

Those poor, poor people at the bottom...

A highlight for our family was the free kite-building station.
Reece quickly volunteered to help the kids construct their flyers.
This was serious business.
Very serious.

 Unfortunately when it came to flying the kites, Reece was in competition with about a gazillion other people.
His heart broke a little (seriously) when his kite became entangled with that of a 7-year-old kid.
I think more tears were shed by the 28-year-old.

 I love this holiday.

My kids were troopers, and it helped that they kept getting free treats, drinks and trinkets from each booth we passed.
Lola's day was made when a "super nice lady" painted an American Flag on her cheek.

 My day was made when we spotted this boat while walking over the Fremont Bridge:

 The big Seattle fireworks show happens right on Lake Union.
The fireworks are shot from a barge near Gas Works.
It would have been amazing to stay for that show, and back when we were young and full of courage and energy we probably would have attempted to do so.

But with two exhausted babies (admittedly, Reece and I were probably more exhausted that our children), it was easier to come home, put them to bed, eat spaghetti and watch the show from our roof.
Too bad our apartment manager failed to mention you can only see a portion of the fireworks from the top of our building, thanks to the building behind us.

As the drunken lady standing next to us on the roof put it (minus a few expletives), "You can see just about everything else in the city from here, so I guess we can't complain too much."

Though we were a little sad to miss out on our traditional family and friend BBQs and festivities in Utah, it was a good Fourth of July in Seattle.
A very good Fourth, indeed.


AZR said...

I hate to break it to you, but if you have had a dry July in Seattle, it is an exception to the rule. Usually it isn't until mid August that you can count on sun :)