On Sunday, we woke the live-in teenager up early and headed south to Seattle.

Happily enough, we were out of the house on time, and the drive to the Peace Arch was uneventful.  The wait at the border was about a half hour, but getting through was one of the easiest crossings I’ve ever had.  I think I said that last time I crossed the border too.  There must be something about my demographic that is appealing to the border guards.  We had a letter of permission for Kayla, but it proved unnecessary and that was a good thing too, because the letter indicated that we were the aunt/uncle of Kayla but I told the border guard Kayla was Gwen’s cousin (which is correct).  It might have been awkward if he asked to see the letter.

We raced down to the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip where Gwen and Kayla shopped while I entertained Aidan with the motorized ride-on toys (which he’s happy to play on without putting any money in) and pushed him around in a car-shaped ‘stroller’.  We were there for about 3 hours, and between the two of them they only bought $180 of clothing.

From there we drove down to Seattle proper.  The plan was to go to the Space Needle and then hit the Pacific Science Center and follow it up with a visit to the Pike Place Market.  Well, when we got to Seattle Center (eventually … the traffic on I-5 was heavy and slow; it took us an hour) wow was it crowded.  We had no idea it was such a popular summertime place.  We went to the Space Needle with the logic that we had to do it at least once.  It was a long wait, expensive, and somewhat underwhelming.  But, we’ve been up the Space Needle.  It was the only place we took pictures.

After the Space Needle, we were all rather tired and it was around 4pm, so we gave the Pacific Science Center a miss.  We headed down to the Pike Place Market and gave it a quick run-through.

Heading north again, we had supper in what has become our traditional suppertime venue in coming back from Seattle: The Flying Pig in Everett.

After a more eventful supper than I’d have liked (Aidan knocked over a full glass of root beer on the table) we headed up I-5 again.  About 30 miles south of the border, we tuned into News 1130 (traffic on the 1’s!) and heard that there was a 1:30 wait at the Peace Arch (that’s 90 minutes!) and a two hour wait at the Truck Crossing.  And no wait at the other border crossings.  We immediately took the next exit off the highway, pulled out the Eee and fired up the GPS and Streets and Trips.  It didn’t take too long for us to get a route to the Aldergrove border crossing (which is the next one east from the Truck Crossing) and then we were off on a back-road-of-Washington tour.

And the Aldergrove border crossing?  *AWESOME*  A total of *5* cars ahead of us.  And once again, no interference from Canada Customs.  Even having to drive back up the Valley meant that we got home at least an hour before we would have had we come up the Pacific Highway.

How tired were we on Monday, though?