Christmas Eve & Day in Seattle. What's there to Do?
Plenty...You just need to know where to look and be willing to think outside the box.
It was wonderful to sleep late Christmas Even morning! Although I am a planner of daily activities and we planned on going to the MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture), we weren't operating on a precision time schedule and we didn't HAVE to be anywhere except for our dinner reservations at 7:00 that night, so not being in a rush, we headed across the street for our morning coffee at Starbucks (shocker, I know!) and with the museum opening at 10 am, after a light breakfast of coffee (hot cocoa for Sarah) and some croissants, we headed over to the Westlake Center Monorail to catch a ride over to the Seattle Center Monorail stop where the Space Needle, the MoPoP, the Pacific Science Center and Chihuly Garden & Glass Exhibit are located.
For $5.00 an adult, round trip and $2.50 for kids, it's a great deal and if the weather isn't being cooperative a great way to get to these sights without hoofin' it through the rain. Which reminds me....do Seattle people not use umbrellas? the only umbrella users appeared to be tourists just like me. Are locals just used to it? Did I look like a dork using one? Seattleites can you help me out here? (Seattleians?)
We were some of the first people to get to the MoPop that day and I'm sure that it was Christmas Eve had a huge impact on the number of people we'd see out and about that day, but it was almost like we had the place to ourselves.
And that was AWESOME! The museum had so many totally kick ass displays: "Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited", "Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds", a photo exhibit of David Bowie, "Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film", "Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction", "Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic"
I had purchased our tickets ahead of time via Groupon, so be sure to check and see if there are any current specials. I saved about $8 per person that way. We paid the $5.00 extra to view the Muppet exhibition, because I am a HUGE Jim Henson fan. I can't listen to "The Rainbow Connection" and not burst out crying the minute I hear the banjo at the beginning. He impacted the lives of SO MANY children and adults and his passing was truly a loss to this world.
While we where there, we also went to the David Bowie Photo exhibit and although these were just photos, the photographer mick Rock captured
his true essence.
AND....then there was an amazing series of movie memorabilia from some classic Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy TV shows and movies. We were in geek heaven!!! I can guarantee you recognize something in each of these pictures...
After we went to the MoPop, we decided it was time to go grab some lunch so we headed to MOD Pizza (made on demand) and DAMN it was yummy!! While we were walking around we came across some random sculptures and things just screamed "take a picture". Once of the things that I did like about Seattle compared to other cities, Orlando and Honolulu for example, is that the panhandlers weren't overly aggressive. There were a number of street perfromers and they were amazingly talented and I would give a few $$ here and there, but never once did I feel like I HAD to give anyone money or like the panhandlers were aggressive. It was Christmas, so I was generous and I used this an opportnity for Sarah to show compassion and caring for her fellow man. She had dollars set aside to give to those she wanted to. My goodness, I love the person she has become!
After Lunch and walking around the city we headed back to the hotel to crash. The weather began to look like it was going to rain. We had dinner reservations at Ruths Chris Steakhouse at the Hyatt Hotel across the street at 7:00 pm that evening, as that was one of the few nicer restaurants that was near the hotel and within walking distance. It didn't rain, though.
IT BEGAN SNOWING!!! (commence the laughter because I know y'all are thinking "Girl, that is a flurry. That barely counts!") Remember, we are from Central Florida. Snow is like a super, duper treat for us beach people. We'll take what we can get!
Yes, I have to admit we were the idiots outside the lobby of the hot exclaiming "It's snowing! It's Snowing!" I didn't care. Sarah and I were so excited at the chance to have a white Christmas. After a few minutes we headed back inside and it was nappy time! After a groovy nap, I decided to get up and start to get ready for the evening, since I knew it would take me longer to get ready and when I was done I could pop downstairs for a pre-Christmas cocktail.
Our reservations were at 7 and it was like a 3 minute walk from the hotel and yes, it was STILL SNOWING! Granted it was just a wee dusting but it was snow. As far as dinner goes, well, the next time I spend $375 on dinner, it better taste a hell of a lot better than something I'd get at Outback. I'll talk about it on my Seattle food page, but seriously, what a waste of money. In retrospect, I should have taken most of that money and given it to people in need especially in light of how we were spending Christmas morning. Lesson learned. :(
We woke up to a White Christmas. Yes, the snow was falling and it was amazing. It was the first white Christmas in the Seattle are in 7 years and I don't even remember the last time we saw snow on one of our Christmas trips to Tennessee to fist family. We were so excited!!!! You can really tell from the look on Sarah's face!
One of the things my family and I talked about prior to our trip was doing something on Christmas day to help our fellow man, rather than just sitting in our hotel room watching reruns of "A Christmas Story" on AMC. So after contacting a few local shelters in the downtown Seattle area, we decided to spent our time Christmas morning/afternoon volunteering at a local shelter serving Christmas dinner to those in need, doing various things such as serving food, cleaning, preparation, decorating and greeting Christmas Dinner participants.
The staff at The Salvation Army William Booth Center have to be some of the nicest people around. The William Booth Center is a men's shelter, but on Thanksgiving and Christmas their doors are open to everyone for their holiday dinner. We decided to work a shift from 10:30 to 1:30 and the Salvation Army was located about a 10 minute cab ride from our hotel. When we arrived, we were greeted by the staff and got to know some of the other volunteers and started working on decorating the place for dinner, which was already being prepared.
It was a crazy day....rather than people just going through a line, cafeteria style, we sat them down and served them dinner and let them relax while we did all the work. I have to admit, it was CRAZY BUSY and we were all running around like chickens in a pen, but we all had a wonderful time AND we were doing what God put us on this planet to do...help our fellow man. It was such a rewarding experience.. I highly recommend donating your time, as well.
To learn more, please visit the Salvation Army website at https://volunteer.usawest.org which covers the Seattle area.
The William Booth Center is located at:
After we grabbed a cab back to the hotel, we crashed out of sheer exhaustion. We were headed over to the AMC Theater at Pacific Place to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi for an 8:15 showing and although we had reservations at the Warwick Hotel restaurant, Margaux, but since we still had leftovers from the night before, we decided to just cancel our reservation and give it to someone else since they were totally booked. We just hung out at the hotel and went to the movies. I know it doesn't sound really exciting, but we were headed out to Vancouver early in the morning and we were together as a family, enjoying our time together.
Isn't that what the holidays are all about?