Seattle Summer Vacation with Kids

We had planned an RV trip across West Texas to New Mexico for spring break earlier this year.  That plan went bust when the RV we planned to rent wasn’t working, which I’m now learning is commonplace with RVs.   There is something always broken on the dang things – just too many contraptions to maintain.

The kids, especially Miles, really wanted another attempt at an RV road trip. So for their 2021 summer vacation, I hatched a crazy plan to fly to Seattle, Washington and rent an RV. Then drive it to one of the national parks (Olympic or Mt. Rainier) in the area.  I figured summer in Seattle would be mild weather.  I do love the Pacific northwest scenery, too.  We all needed a long break after a year of Covid lockdown.

It wasn’t easy given the reopening travel madness. RV rental prices were crazy high. I found a reasonable priced RV to rent on RVShare (it turned out to be problematic rental, unfortunately, but it still worked).

Julie went along on this trip as I thought it would make it all easier with the kids.  I’d been to Seattle two times before many years ago.

We spent eight days in July using some cheap seats I found on Alaska Airlines – three days in Seattle downtown at the Hyatt House Seattle, which was next door to the Seattle Center/Space Needle Park, then four days renting an RV. Hyatt House is a great concept hotel with small kitchenette and large rooms – highly recommended.

The first three days went pretty good: weather was nice, there was lots of things to do and see.  The kids loved the park with the water fountain, elaborate jungle gym.  I liked the Space Needle and Museum of Pop, which were on my bucket list of places to visit. The Pacific Northwest sunsets were stunning.

Pike Place Market was just a tourist zoo.  While it was nice for some pictures, it was too crazy busy for my liking. I really didn’t enjoy it much – long lines for everything.  The Seattle Aquarium was ok, but I’ve been to better.  We also did the Seattle Great Ferris Wheel.  The Asian food was a highlight – fusion, Thai and Vietnamese. 

Seattle had some interesting things to do. I like the scenery on the waterfront.  Many of the city business skyscrapers were still was noticeably shuttered due to the pandemic.  There is a noticeable homeless problem.  The inflation on food was noticeable. Many stores remained shuttered or at limited capacity.

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While we had some initial problems with the RV rental. It was an older 31ft Class C and it looked better in the pictures online. At last minute, we decided to head to Mt. Rainier National Park, as it appeared closer than Olympic National Park

Mt. Rainier National Park is vast, like maybe the largest national park I’ve ever visited.  The scenery is nice.  It was packed with tourists.  The parking lots in that place were built for far fewer cars, so that was an issue. The steep mountain roads were rough on the RV engine. We had some nice hikes.

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We happened upon some really nice RV parks, which were trip highlights. The kids loved being in the RV (the ‘house on wheels’) so it all went fine.  We had a mishap with another driver hitting the RV (not our fault) but those things happen.  I did really love scenery with the rolling hills and tall trees, with mountain lakes and vistas everywhere. 

Except for the RV mishaps, everything went well. The kids loved their summer vacation.

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