Playing tourist in Seattle

IMG_2703You know you’re a parent to a child with Short Bowel Syndrome when your vacations revolve around doctor’s appointments. At the end of June, we took Patrick for his semiannual transplant checkup in Seattle. As the friend we usually stay with was both very pregnant and in the middle of moving, we opted to stay in a hotel near the hospital this trip and make a little vacation out of the trip.

Amazingly, this plan of ours actually worked.

We decided on a late afternoon flight this trip, which offered us the rare opportunity to go through security without Patrick’s TPN running. That meant he could go through the metal detectors without needing to be patted down (which is good, since we forgot our stroller). This made the security process seem SO much quicker!

We arrived at the hotel in the evening and checked it to find that the hotel had decided to upgrade our room after I called to verify that my room had both a fridge and a crib for Patrick. Even though we were paying their lowest possible price, they upgraded us to a suite. Imagine our surprise when we walked into THIS room!

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Patrick’s favorite feature were the large windows overlooking the street. He spent most of his time in the room watching the cars.

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That first night was a late night. After a late run looking for ice cream (and settling for frozen yogurt), we got back to the room to realize I’d forgotten to pack alcohol wipes as well. So Brian had to make a run to Walmar for stroller and alcohol wipes, while I stayed behind to try to get Patrick to settle down to sleep in the room.

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The next morning started out really early. Patrick was up with the sun at 6 a.m. But despite being sleepy, we got to get out and have a lot of fun.

First, we went to the zoo. Patrick was a bit confused that there was a different zoo than the one we know at home. But it was great to let him see some different animals! Of course there were the favorites, the elephants and monkeys and tigers and giraffes. But he was also excited to see some different animals, too. Bears and penguins are both animals he knows from books but has never seen in person. One thing was constant, though.. He found a curious orangutan to play with.

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We heard one of the zoo docents explaining that this orangutan has an obsession with looking in people’s ears and Patrick was more than happy to oblige.

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We ended our visit by going to the farm section of the zoo. We thought this would be a big hit, as it had a petting zoo. However, the petting portion was closed and Patrick was starting to feel the effects of his late night and early morning.

So, we went and got some lunch. (Yummy gourmet burgers). Then, we headed back to the hotel and all crashed for a nice long nap. During our nap, his TPN shipment was delivered to the room and I ended up spending half of the afternoon discovering that one of the boxes hadn’t made it from the front desk to our room.

After getting that all squared away, we headed out for more fun. We drove into downtown Seattle to wander and get some dinner. We started near the Space Needle and then walked a ways to the Palace Kitchen, a Zagat rated restaurant. They looked at us a little funny for walking in with a toddler. But Patrick did GREAT there! And it was by far his favorite meal stop of the trip.

I decided to splurge, since Seattle is famous for seafood, and order some Sockeye (salmon). Patrick was asking for a taste, so I gave him some and he LOVED it! I could barely keep up with him! This kid has good taste, what can I say?

After dinner, we took the monorail to get back to our car. Patrick was so excited when we told him we were going to ride the train. (“Koo koo!”, as he called it.) And once we were in motion, the smile didn’t leave his face!

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By far, this was our most successful vacation day in Seattle yet.

Next post: Our checkup at Seattle Children’s.

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