Happy Birthday to me! Well, it was a few days ago. It was spring break so I decided that it was the perfect opportunity for the kids and I to go to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). I had never been there before and kids 12 and under were free (and Jax turns 13 next month so let's go!).
We drove through the pouring rain (we had the worse spring break weather all week!) but it had stopped by the time we got downtown. I found the SAM then circled around blocks and blocks and blocks looking for parking. Street parking downtown is very limited and what is available has a 2 hour limit so I knew we needed to find a lot. I went to my old stand-by lot which is actually very close to the aquarium and a few blocks away but there was just one skinny little space available (the cars on either side were parked on the lines) and I knew that my SUV would not fit in there.
I went back and drove around looking for a parking ramp that could accommodate the height of my vehicle. Um, there are NONE. I did see that the height at the Westlake Center was listed as 11' some inches but once I drove down the ramp, that height is for delivery trucks only and the lower levels for passenger vehicles was only 6'4" (my car is slightly over 6'5"). Nooooo! The guy had to get out of the little booth and stop the cars coming down behind me to give me room to make a very awkward 85 point turn to get around and drive back up the ramp and out onto the street. I was sweating (and swearing) at this point. Aaargh! I should have switched cars with Stephen that day.
The kids and I drove even further away and I finally found a small lot that had some available spaces. Hurray! Well, once I checked the prices I found out why there were some available. I paid $24.95 (the cost of 4+ hours up to 24 hours)! The guy told me that he'd be needing the receipt back when I left. Um, I don't think so. It was my credit card receipt and while the cc number was not printed on there, I know that he was going to re-use my ticket and give it to someone who was going to pay cash (and he'd pocket the money).
So the kids and I now had about 12 blocks to walk back to the SAM. Usually not a problem but all three chose not to dress for the weather. It was not raining but it was windy. The chose to keep their rain coats in the car and were only wearing hoodies which the wind whipped straight through. They didn't complain (since it was my birthday) but they shivered all the way there.
It really did not take as long as I figured it might to get through the exhibits. I really enjoyed looking at all of the works of art. The kids were mostly bored but they pretended not to be and did behave. The only grief I got was from Cars demanding to know why it was part noon and he had not had lunch. ~eye roll~ That kid definitely is ruled by his very picky stomach.
After we went through the museum (it is not nearly as big as I had anticipated), we headed to the restaurant which is a little fancier than I expected. Dex had a $10 gourmet hot dog (minus all of the fixings that made it gourmet, of course). Cars was the only one to order off the kids' menu(again, 12 and under so we were under a timeline for Jax but he wanted an adult-size meal). ;)
We headed back outside and hiked our way back to the car, stopping at Nordstrom so I could buy some eye make-up (happy birthday to me). I went out the back entrance of the lot so the guy could not flag me down to get the receipt (heh).
Stephen came home early from work and he grilled burgers for us and we had a vanilla cake with chocolate icing that I had made the night before. It was a very lovely evening and end to a great day spent with my kids.
School starts back from break tomorrow. I feel a little ripped off since the weather was absolutely horrible all week but it is Seattle and it is spring time. I heard a rumour that there really is a sun behind those clouds. I hope we see it soon.