i was trying to think of a place we haven't been to before (or been to in a while), but that also wouldn't require us to spend a whole lot of money. i had a few places in mind, but many required admission of some sorts. not quite what i had in mind for my impromptu field trip. so, 50 minutes later, we ended up in snoqualmie. the last time we were there, we only made it to the falls, before the projectile incident (a.k.a. kid throwing up in the middle of the people bridge on the way back to the car). needless to say, we never got a chance to explore the rest of the area. i'm so glad no one got sick this time around! we were able to spend some time exploring the falls again, and then had enough time after to stop by the northwest railway museum, just 1 mile south of the falls.
january 2015 was the last and first time we were at snoqualmie falls. we went on a day shortly after some massive rains in the area, and the falls were huge! the roaring water sounded like constant thunder, and there was so much spray coming from the waterfall, that it felt like you were getting rained on when we were at the lower lookout point (even though it wasn't rainy at all).
yesterday's falls experience felt so different. the sun was out, we weren't shivering or getting soaked from the sprays of water, and the falls seemed tiny in comparison to the last time we saw it. we spent a little more time reading the signs, talking about the falls, observing, and practicing our nature knowledge of the plants we saw along the nature trail.
after a little lunch break, we packed up and made our way to the northwest railway museum. the museum is located in snoqualmie's historic downtown. just a look down the main street makes you feel like you just stepped back in time. restaurants, boutiques, and other shops make their home in historic buildings lined up and down one side of railroad avenue and the area around the museum. the depot at the museum also adds to that feeling of nostalgia and charm.
admission to the museum grounds and the depot are free. you can also get guided tours and train rides for additional fees, and they have a few train-centric events going on at the museum like railroad days, day out with thomas, and the santa train. the kids were happy to just roam the grounds. they loved being able to run along the tracks, hopping the rails, climbing up on the trains, and having time to just play.
we popped into the freight room, where we learned about some of the railroad's history, and the kids got to fiddle around with an old cast iron stove and an old machine showing the diagram of the tracks and signals.
i would have loved to stay a little longer to explore the shops (and snack on kettle corn), but i knew better than to stick around longer than i should and risk getting caught in traffic. side note: this here is my go-to site before we travel anywhere requiring a trip on the freeway. if there's a back-up, we know to take the back ways!
snoqualmie is an easy drive from seattle, so i'm pretty sure we'll make it back there again soon for another daytime adventure. i'm so glad we decided to take a break from our usual weekday grind. it definitely hit the spot!