We haven’t had any rain for the last 31 days here, in Seattle. So that means, we have spent most of our time outdoors lately. Honestly, I am a bit sick of the sun and the long days (seriously, it was like 96 degrees last week and I thought I was going to melt or spontaneously combust or something, don’t ask me how I managed to survive growing up in San Diego without air conditioning, because 96 degrees feels insanely hot to me now – if I didn’t have a phobia of grizzly bears, I’d just move to northern Alaska). Anyhoo…In case I haven’t made this clear, we actually live on the Eastside of Seattle, which means that we live on the east side of Lake Washington (there is also a West Seattle, but I’m not going to get into that today). If you live in Seattle, proper, it is a major metropolis with the typical metropolis type of things, including lots of public transportation, so you don’t have to drive a lot. On the other hand, the Eastside is a group of smaller cities, with fewer attractions and much fewer public transportation options. So we Eastsiders are constantly having to decide if an activity in Seattle is worth driving across one of the two bridges that cross Lake Washington (one of which, costs money to use and is often closed for boats to go through), fighting the traffic on I-5, crossing four lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic within 1/2 mile to get off of I-5, fighting the traffic in Seattle, finding a parking spot, fending off the bum who insists he’ll show you the proper way to pay for parking so you’ll tip him, paying an extraorbitant fee to park, and then walking a mile to our destination. During the summer, when all of the good fieldtrips are crowded with public school kids, I’m much less likely to decide that the drive to Seattle is worth it.
So last week, I decided to trek out east to a farm that qualifies as an actual “Eastside attraction”, Remlinger Farms.When we first moved to the area, almost two decades ago, this farm was pretty much just a farm, with a fun pumpkin patch tour, train ride, and hay jump. Over the years it has grown and become more…. hmmmm, I find myself at a loss for the right word here. It still has a train ride, which of course garners two thumbs up in the kid category. It also has some small carnival-type rides, which is cool, except that they all close between 1:30 and 2:00 PM for lunch, which is just annoying. In addition, they have a restaurant and market. The market carries a lot of the produce that Remlinger Farms purportedly grows (they are famous for their pies, and there is a good reason why). It also carries a lot of handmade-type stuff that you might find at a craft show. I’m not sure if the hand-made items are local or not. Be forewarned, if you go there, it is best to just walk straight through and not start looking at stuff, unless you feel like you have too much money at the moment. It is really hard not to justify “buying that wonderful basket”, and “oh there’s the cutest set of dish towels”, and “just look at that doll, isn’t she the sweetest thing”, and “I HAVE to have this eggplant shaped cutting board”, and “would you just look at the sun hat, have your ever seen something so darling”, and “Pineapple Screaming Hot Pickles would be the perfect Christmas present for Joey”… and, you get the idea. Despite my sarcasm, I actually love looking around the market, but it takes a lot of willpower on my part not to break the bank there.
Remlinger Farms does also have U-Pick, but I personally prefer to pick from the smaller farms in the area when we are just doing U-picking. There are some animals there, which may or may not still be 4-H animals, I didn’t see any 4-H signs this visit. You can’t pet the animals, though you can feed them some food for 25 cents. While feeding the animals, you will also be able to experience the dubious joy of inhaling their wonderful aroma! They still have a hay jump, but it is much bigger and attaches to a hay maze. I didn’t think Dora would like the hay jump, since she tends to be very sensitive to textures, but it was her favorite part of the trip. They also have some ponies that you can ride, which you might or might not feel comfortable with, since the ponies just walk around and around and around and around and around and it seems kind of mean not to give them more of a variety of stimuli, but don’t let me bias you on that issue. They also have a lot of old tractors, an old bus, and an old fire truck, which are very popular with the kids. The kids can’t actually drive anything, mind you, but they climb up and pretend to drive.
In addition, Remlinger Farms is host to a large fort/tree house thingy, which has a tunnel built into it, which kids seem to love.
This alpaca looked even cuter/goofier than usual, as he had just been sheered. I’ve never understood why there are so many alpacas in the area. There used to be a lot more, but many of the alpaca farms have made way for housing developments. Oddly, we have a Llama lake in the area, but I’m not sure if I have ever seen a llama in the area. The lake was supposedly named after a llama farm that used to be there, but I sometimes suspect that an ignoramus named it “Llama Lake”, after an “alpaca farm”, so it should actually be called “Alpaca Lake”, which really doesn’t have the whole alliteration thing going for it. Of course, I don’t actually know how to tell the difference between an alpaca and llama myself.
Anyway, Dora had fun at Remlinger Farms and I didn’t have to fight any traffic, so all in all, it was a fun day.
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