Sunday, June 30, 2019

Seattle Vacay: Day 3 (Fremont Troll, Chocolate Factory Tour, Walk to BBQ & Playground)

Friday morning, it was my turn to go for a run. I wanted to run over to the east to the water: Lake Washington. I knew it was crazy hilly, but I wasn't quite sure how bad it was until I got out there. I stumbled upon a Nature Area (looked it up later and it's called Leschi-Lake Dell Natural Area). It felt so good to run on trails and through the trees.

Had to stop to snap this view at the lookout:

There's the water! I decided NOT to go all the way down because I knew I'd have to come back up, I rand down to that road and decided that was close enough before turning around and heading back.

Going back up included this massive set of stairs.

After my run we got on the way for the day. Plan was taking a bus up north to the Seattle neighborhood of Fremont. Aunt Betty was meeting us there and we had scheduled a Chocolate Factory Tour that was happening at 1:30. Mary not feeling the best still. I think most of her issue was she wasn't eating good and was low on sleep.

Isaac has a wiggling front tooth he'd been working on.

We did have to transfer buses once to get on the one that would take us all the way up.

We made it. Stopped for a pick-me-up at Starbucks before meeting up with Aunt Betty.

We walked two blocks over to see the famous Fremont Troll under the bridge.

Spent a little bit of time there before walking back to the center of town for lunch. We actually expected this area to be more spread out but we quickly realized it was small and we had much more time before our tour than we realized.

Emma was fascinated with the stones in the sidewalk:

Statue of Lenin:

For some reason Fremont is known as the Center of the Universe. Which includes the statue of this rocket here:

We had lunch a little Mexican restaurant near the rocket then walked down to the water. We had a lot of time to kill before our tour. Looking back I wish we would have walked east to Gas Works Park because I think we would have had time. But we stayed west of the bridge near the chocolate factory. We hung out along the Burke-Gilman trail, watching boats and taking it easy. It was cold in the shade and hot in the sun. So we spent a little bit of time in both.

These grass dinosaur structures were located right in front of the chocolate factory.

The time finally arrived and we went to check in for our story time tour at Theo Chocolate Factory. They offer a kids focused tour once a week and I made sure to reserve our spot as soon as I could a couple of months ago.

There was a couple other families. She took us back into a room where we heard a story about where chocolate comes from, a little bit about the history of Theo Chocolate (which we had read on the wall in the opening area) and we got to sample many different kinds. Thomas was so cute and quickly picked up on the "hold my hand out to get chocolate".

We learned about the cocoa bean from the theobroma tree. See where the name comes from ;-) I never knew it was such a large pod and then inside was the white gooey sticky pods, then INSIDE of that was the cocoa bean.

After the story she took us into the factory viewing room. I was disappointment we didn't get an ACTUAL tour in the factory, but it was fun to see it all from afar.

Learned more about the process of making chocolate once it comes to them in bean form. What they do with the beans, cleaning, cooking, mixing with various ingredients, and getting them into the molds. In this room the kids tried cocoa sugar and cocoa nibs and a few more samples.



Cocoa nibs not so good, very bitter.

Mary perked up a little with samples and the chocolate sugar. Each kid got a cocoa bean and learned how the outer shell needed to come off then how nibs are basically the bean crushed.

After the tour we walked into the gift shop for more samples and the chance to purchase chocolates.

The kids were being stinkers and you could tell we were all tired and needing to get Mary and Thomas to nap. We said our goodbyes to Betty and hopped the bus back to the house.

Mary fell asleep on the first bus.

Got on the second bus:

Once we got home Mary took another rest and Thomas went down for a nap. We found a sea food place that was somewhat in walkable distance. It was about a half a mile and passed two playgrounds. The plan was to walk there for dinner then hit a playground on the way home. Well when we arrived we discovered it to not really be a restaurant but a fish market (with eating area) but it was CLOSED. It closed at 6:30pm and it had happen to be 6:50. We needed some things at a nearby Walgreen's so I ran in there while Kyle figured out another plan for dinner. The Walgreens was swarmed with homeless so that wasn't a fun experience. He did find a BBQ place a block down the road. Crazy how the atmosphere of a neighborhood changed in a mere cross of the street. The BBQ place was really good, Kyle said it felt a lot like placed he went to in Austin, TX. We filled our bellies then headed back for home. We stopped at the park just 3 blocks from our place and let the kids play. They were SO happy to get to run and frolic. Thomas was so happy to finally be free. We didn't stay there long because it was getting late.

Walked back home and everyone went to bed in preparation for our early morning wake up to make the train to Portland.

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