Our first destination goal was Seattle, to visit Sarah’s uncle Bob and aunt Carol. After four plus days on the road, we were all looking forward to staying in one place for a few days and catching up with family.
Our first day, Wednesday, we got to hang out with Carol while Bob was finishing his work day. We enjoyed a walk to a local park where there was a fantastic playground and a hopping weekly farmers market. After going back to the house, the adults chatted and prepared dinner, and the kids were happy to have a table to spread out their Legos.
Clearing the table for Legos actually lead to a serendipitous highlight of our trip. Carol had a pile of mail she was moving for the kids, which caught Griffin’s eye. He saw a flier and said, “Is that Yayoi Kusama?” Carol, stunned, looked at Griffin completely speechless, wondering how he knew this artist.
A little background: The week before we left on our trip, Griffin and Maggie attended a week-long art camp with a local artist, Kari Maxwell. We met Kari a few years ago when we bought a painting from her at a house party. I later found out in addition to being a very talented painter, she also has classes and workshops for children called the Create Everyday Classroom. I signed the kids up for a camp they could attend together (the first time they fit into an age category at the same time!), and it happened to be the week before we left. The kids came home overjoyed each day with their experiences with Kari. She’s a teacher who is focused on process, and Griffin and Maggie each came away with so much knowledge and desire to create! On the first day of camp, they learned about Yayoi Kusama and her Infinity Rooms. This study obviously made an impression on Griffin.
Back to Seattle: Griffin recognized Kusama on a flier for the Seattle Art Museum, which was hosting a huge exhibit starting that Friday. We could not believe the synchronicity! Carol informed us that the advanced tickets had been sold out for months, but we figured we could swing by the museum so the kids could at least see a poster. We made plans to head there on Friday.
On Thursday, Bob took the day off to take us on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. The kids had never been on a ferry, and they were surprised to learn that being on an island felt like being on the mainland! We had clear views of both downtown Seattle and the ever elusive Mount Rainier. It was a beautiful day. We ended it by eating dinner out on Bob and Carol’s newly refurbished backyard patio. We all slept like rocks.
Friday, we were excited to learn that Carol was not needed at work, so all seven of us headed into downtown to hit the famous Pike Place Market. We took public transit, and riding an accordion bus was nearly as exciting to Griffin and Maggie as the destination itself. At Pike Place, the kids were in awe of the hoards of people, the flying fish, and the seemingly endless choices for what to have for lunch.
After a sunny meal overlooking the sound, we headed to the art museum. Shockingly, there were rush tickets available to see Infinity Mirrors, so we snatched them up! We were all so excited. We never would have even thought to go to this amazing exhibit had it not been for the kids, and there was something incredibly special for everyone that Griffin and Maggie were the leaders of this particular adventure. The infinity rooms themselves were other-worldly, and we all felt so lucky to have gotten a chance to experience them. Griffin and Maggie were the only children there, too, and we had several docents express their delight that we had three generations attending the exhibit together.
After a really wonderful visit, we bid farewell to Bob and Carol on Saturday morning. We barely scratched the surface of Seattle, so we’ll be back!