Snowmen and Sea Otters

What a strange couple of weeks it’s been. First we had a crazy snow storm where we had more snow in one day than we usually get in a year. Luckily we didn’t lose power except for a couple of hours on a snowy day before the actual storm hit. However, we were ready just in case: Wood for the fire, camping gear, ski jackets, the works.

It’s disconcerting to see this much snow, especially when you haven’t dealt with snow on this level for nearly seven years. Seriously, aside from a brief stay in Queenstown in July, it’s been a while since we’d done snow. We lived on an island for four years! Because of that it was actually fun, at first, until the cabin fever set in. We did build a snow man which is always fun. The key to enjoying snow is to not actually drive anywhere. Seattlelites have a bad reputation about driving in snow. However, it’s a little unfair given that the city has so many hills: freezing rain and hills are not a good combination.

Baby Sea Otter Seattle Aquarium

Baby Sea Otter Seattle Aquarium

So you can bet I was glad when it melted all away. We spent our first blue sky day heading downtown to the aquarium where a baby sea otter had just been born a few days earlier. When we went to see it, the sea otter was still only nine days old. They don’t even know if it’s a boy or a girl yet. They currently have people monitoring mother and baby 24-hours a day. It was kinda hard to see the baby who spent most of its time floating around on his mother’s belly, although she did set him down on some rocks a few times while she was getting some grub.

The Seattle Aquarium is a quick and fun stop on the way to doing other downtown stuff. It really only takes 2-3 hours to get through, but there’s some interesting displays. My favourites included the harbour seals that got rather excited when we approached. I think they thought it was feeding time. They actually got out of the water, and approached the gate. Then there’s a couple of giant Pacific octopuses and a jelly fish display. I love watching jellyfish. It’s funny how something can be so relaxing to see when I’m out of the water, and yet make me tense as can be if I see it in the water.

Near the aquarium is the Seattle Antiques Market and I really do recommend a stop at this place. It’s become one of my favourite antique markets here just because of all the interesting odds and ends. Old sea chests? Check. Wooden propellers? Check. Vintage slot machines? Check. To me this is how an antiques store should look. We didn’t stay long since the parking meter was about to run out, but I could certainly see spending some time on a rainy day just combing through the inventory.

One thing that really made my day on this trip downtown was that I finally had the feeling of familiarity. It felt like home. Places were starting to look familiar and I had a better sense of direction than on previous trips. I gotta say, that’s a nice feeling, even for a restless traveller like me.

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