As I get a moment early in the morning, with the girls still asleep, I catch up.<br />n<br />nThursday: Met up with Jean and Rick at the <a href=”” title=”Pacific Science Center”>Pacific Science Center</a> at the Seattle Center (where the famous Space Needle lives) and spent a few hours there. The featured exhibit involves dinosaurs, and they had animatronic specimens on display, which Rebecca just loved, as well as fossil skeletons, some authentic, some reproductions. The center also had a lot of hands on demonstrations, akin to the Exploratorium or the Discovery Museum, and a live butterfly habitat where you could go into their environment and check out all the butterflies fluttering around. There are many colorful, exotic species from around the world.<br />n<br />nEarly afternoon, Bryan and Lea showed up and we all went on a tour of the city with the <a href=”” title=”Seattle Ducks”>Ducks of Seattle</a>. They bill it as a party tour, and the captain strives to live up to the reputation, with corny jokes and puns and all. Gotta say, going down that boat launch then directly into the water was an experience in itself! Also, we could make out Mike’s exact apartment from the water of Lake Union.<br />n<br />nThe tour lasted a good couple of hours, and afterward, Rick and Jean had enough so they bailed, handing the tour guide reins over to their kids. We went back to the Science Center since Rebecca didn’t yet have her fill of dinosaurs, and once they closed up at 6PM, we headed toward the waterfront for dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Yeah, I know it’s a chain, but it was an easy decision, and not far from where we were.<br />n<br />nAfter heading back to our hotel, it was just about 10 minutes before the 9PM cutoff for kids in the pool. We quickly dressed and headed down there with seven minutes to spare. Rebecca was having the thrill of her life in the not-so-warm waters of the bigger pool when the clock struck nine, adults sans children began showing up in droves, and we had to leave. She didn’t like that rule and was very vocal in demonstrating her disapproval.<br />n<br />n<br />nFriday: Main plan for the day was to meet up with Bruce and Ann and go out on their boat. We all decided it would be good to have a leisurely morning, so we had some breakfast at IHOP, and headed over to the flagship REI store to get a new backpack for Rita. The one she brought was my old one from college and was causing her some discomfort. About an hour or so later, with a new North Face pack in hand, we took off on side streets, Rebecca napping in her car seat, towards the Seattle park where we’d launch.<br />n<br />nNeed to note here that coordinating it with Bruce via cell was very handy. He called to say instead of us driving all the way up to his place to meet up, then driving all the way back to the launch area was a waste, and we should meet at the park. He gave me the name of the park (<a href=”” title=”Magnuson Park”>Sand Point Warren G Magnuson</a>) and some general, but good, directions. REI has a WA state park info ranger in a kiosk, so I inquired about the park with him. He seemed to not be aware of that park, but had a flyer he gave me which showed the park, and greatly helped us find the place.<br />n<br />nAt the launch site, we got all our stuff together, put the boat in the water, and shoved off. We experienced some mechanical difficulties, first in the form of the engine dying when in gear and throttling up, then the temp gauge showed the engine getting hot. We confirmed the gauge wasn’t lying, so we idled back over to the dock, trailered up, and drove back to Bruce and Ann’s.<br />n<br />nThere, we spent the rest of the day just hanging out, swimming a bit in the pool, catching up, and Bruce and I even did some diagnosis work on the boat. We concluded that it was definitely the impeller not pushing water into the engine. That’s a more major job, so it’ll have to be one for Bruce at a later day.<br />n<br />nLater, Bryan, Lea and her new Matt showed up for the BBQ dinner, and it was more catch up and talking and generally having a great time hanging out.<br />n<br />nDespite the troubles with the boat, we did all have a great time, and big thanks to Bruce and Ann both for taking the day off to spend with us. And of course, once our place is finished, we’d be more than happy to reciprocate!<br />nlazy morning, breakfast at IHOP, flagship REI, boating (sort of) in Lake Washington, impeller problems, Bruce and Ann’s pool, hanging out, new neighborhood behind their house, Bryan and Lea (and her new Matt) came by, BBQ, another late one but well worth it.