Category Archives: Things to do in Seattle

Suncadia with the Kids, a Vacation Near Seattle

It started with a phone call.

My friend: “So you are going on a relaxing getaway”. I answered with a “yea” and just left it at that. In my head, I was really thinking. Relaxing? Are you kidding? With infant twins and a 4-year-old? My friend laughed as if she could read my mind.

This trip really surprised me. It was somewhat relaxing, not sunbathing topless near the pool relaxing (not that I would know), not hmmmm I love being bored relaxing but really pretty amazing.
Warning: the word relaxing has been used way too many times in this post but it is really because I want to remind myself to relax and not worry about finding other words to describe this nice tingly feeling.

Suncadia, located just 90 minutes East of Seattle is a year -round mountain resort with lots of recreational activities: golf, kayaking, biking and during the winter, skiing and other winter sports.

Here is the bedroom.

The bedroom overlooks a little garden with a hot tub.
This is the most amazing detail of this trip, especially because we could put the kids to bed and then relax in the tub.

The trick was that they have happy hour every day from 9 pm at the Portals restaurant. One of us would go down and get some wine by the glass, (5 dollars a glass) and the other would put the kids to bed. I highly recommend this to twin parents who never get a break, or parents of any age or just anybody who needs a break.

The kitchen and living room are fully equipped with a washer and dryer, full kitchen including a blender, dishes, toaster, dishwasher and everything that you need to assemble dinner (except the food). We cooked and made our own dinners for some of the time. Note for next time, we should have gone shopping before we came because going to the grocery store seemed like a daunting task when you have a beautiful resort that you never want to leave!

We dined at the Portals restaurant.

The panoramic view from the restaurant is breathtaking. The restaurant was kid-friendly but still classy. This is not easy to pull off for a restaurant, it was almost as if all the kids that came in were on their best behavior. I think it was more the fact that the restaurant is roomy enough that you don’t really feel all the children in the room. I expected the restaurant to be really expensive as it is many times at these types of resorts. The prices were surprisingly reasonable, entrees at $12-15 dollars. I made a remark about the prices and they explained that this lower priced menu has only been around for about two months (the menu on the website is still the older one). The food was executed very well and we tried a myriad of items with Northwest ingredients.

They spoiled our son with a perfect fruit salad as we discussed what to order.

Every time, the babies needed a few minutes to expend energy, I took them to the little waiting room equipped with lots of kids books right near the dining room.

The view from the dining room.

We spent our day at the pools. They have water slides for the older kids and indoor and outdoor pools.

The spa was beautiful. I had one of the best massages of my life. It was the Glade Spring Signature massage which included a Paraffin Wax treatment for my feet. I really hate people touching my feet but this was such a warm and comfortable feeling and my feet were so soft afterwards.

In the morning, we had a little visitor. He was hanging right outside of the hot tub.

If you are planning a weekend away, the 7th Annual Harvest Festival is coming up on October 5-7th and October 12-14. These family friendly weekends include live music, kids activities, pumpkin patch and tons of stuff to do. More details can be found by calling the Suncadia Resort.

If you are going to visit Suncadia, bring your bike and go on a little bike ride in the wilderness. They have many bikes for rent as well. They also have activities like kayaking and other sports. Evenings can be spent around the bonfire, making s’mores pack up those marshmallows and your fancy chocolate.

If you are looking for a special place to spend your summers or winters, Suncadia just recently sold 30 Lodge condominiums during a sales event conducted by Kennedy Wilson. During this event, more Lodge residences were sold in one day than in the last two and a half years at the resort. In addition, Suncadia recently released more than a dozen new homesites in the Rope Rider neighborhood with prices starting under $100,000. Hmm. One can dream. Right?

Do you like reading about things to do with the kids? Do you need another vacation idea? Maybe a staycation? If so, read about my staycation downtown here.

Disclosure: I occasionally receive compensations in the form of trips, dinners or cookbooks. In this case the trip was covered by the public relations company handling Suncadia. I will say without hesitation that my responsibility is to my readers and that this will not affect my view or review. This trip was truly wonderful!


Filed under Kids Stuff in Seattle, Things to do in Seattle

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center

Every time I go downtown, I pass the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and wonder what is behind those buildings.
I don’t know why it never occurred to me that the visitor building is a great place to just pop in and look around. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a special media event at the foundation and I got to explore the visitors center.

I walked in and was greeted by photos of faces telling a story. The walls are decorated with images of people of all walks of life, all cultures and all ethnicities. Beauty. The most beautiful part of it is that the images are of people who have helped the foundation and people who have helped the foundation, with no signs of hierarchy, side by side as to remind us that people are people first.

There are so many causes that they are helping with; vaccinations, hunger, clean water though I was naturally drawn to the images that resonate with me.
As a friend calls my situation (the first year with a baby or babies in my case), I am in the trenches. This is partly hormonal from abundant nursing sessions and partly caused by sleep deprivation.

In this image, a mom practices kangaroo care, basically carrying her baby skin to skin can improve the health of the baby. There is so much beauty in this photo. When my twins were born, keeping their tiny bodies close to my skin helped them gain weight and overcome their premature issues. Even here in America, with access to so many nurses and lactation consultants, not many know how much this contact of skin on skin can help your baby thrive well as help the parents.
The Bill & Melinda Gates visitor center has interactive exhibits that explain all the work that the foundation does. Each exhibit highlights critical issues around the world. The walls tell the story and there is step by step explanations on how they choose a cause, from how they started by donating money and later realized that in order to make real progress, you need to listen to people, to parents, farmers and students and then advocate for those in need. And then take action.

I thought that this electronic tattoo baby monitor is a brilliant idea.

I left there inspired, thinking of how I could explain all this to my son when I got home. It is a great place to take your older child and learn more about what this world needs and to remind us of everything we have access to. Next time you are wandering around Seattle Center, cross the street and enjoy this exhibit, take a few minutes to learn, relate and become more involved.
More information here

There are plenty of things to touch, turn and experience and learn how to take action and make changes. It is a great exhibit for all ages but I could see this being particularly impactful on pre-teens or teens who want to make a difference in lives. I will be taking my three and a half-year old there to explore and learn more about causes around the world and when I have guests from out-of-town, I will take them there too.


Filed under Things to do in Seattle