This year, for Father’s Day weekend, we took a trip down to Seattle. Three and a half years ago, when our eldest just turned one, we attempted the same trip.  To say it was a disaster would be an understatement. Imagine a baby screaming for the entire 2.5 hour drive, refusing to sleep, massive vomit all over dad (whose birthday we were trying to celebrate), and parents finally giving up and driving back home at 2am. It has taken us nearly 4 years to pluck up sufficient courage to make the trip again.

I’ll be honest, the trip down had me wondering whether Seattle was cursed for us. The I5 bridge is still out and the detour added more than an hour to our trip. I will say, based on our trip home, I think the hour detour was due to Friday evening rush hour because the trip home was painless! After the detour, I got a $93 speeding ticket for being 5 miles over the speed limit (I’d missed the sign where the speed limit dropped)…erg!  Finally we experienced the frustration of Apple maps in the States; they work great in Vancouver but horribly in Seattle. After attempting to locate our hotel in an incredibly dodgy neighbourhood, we switched to Google maps and our curse was broken.

We arrived at the Hotel Monaco – it is beautiful, brilliant and an absolute MUST when in Seattle. Upon arrival, our boys were encouraged to find a toy in the toy box. I expected the standard shared-toys one usually finds in a communal kid box. However, our boys were delighted to discover a treasure trove of brand new toys. The toy they selected they got to keep!

Hotel Monaco

We booked “You Otter Try The Monaco” package; Hotel Monaco has partnered with the Seattle Aquarium to celebrate the opening of their new otter home. In the Otter package you receive: 2 discounted tickets to the Seattle Aquarium; otter pops (sweet treats); valet parking; a stuffed otter (proceeds go to the Otter Conservation program at the Seattle Aquarium); a live otter-cam in the hotel lobby; visits from Aquarium staff during the wine hour (hosted bar in the evening for guests) throughout the summer. It is a terrific package with prices starting from $259.  We couldn’t have asked for more from our stay! The customer service at the hotel is excellent: the staff are keen to assist; the valet service is prompt and efficient; and the front desk staff are sincere and most helpful.

goldfish bowl

After check-in and toy selection we headed up to our room. There we met Max.  Max is a goldfish. Not only is the hotel super kid-friendly, it is also pet-friendly. If you don’t bring a pet with you, Hotel Monaco lends you a goldfish to keep you company. Our boys were over the moon with Max! Our first day in Seattle was very quiet: just checking into the hotel and talking non-stop about Max. We knew the boys needed rest as we had lots of activities planned for Day 2 and Day 3 of our visit to Seattle.