Beauty from Ashes

"They will be called oaks of righteousness; a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." Isaiah 61:3

Seattle, Day 1 September 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — katiemears @ 10:33 am

Getting ready to fly out!

Last weekend, Michael and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Seattle to celebrate our 6th Anniversary. I know, 6 years is kind of random for a huge trip but, we had planned to take a big trip last year for our 5 year anniversary. My sister became pregnant with my niece and was due just a few days after our anniversary, and I became pregnant with Claire, and there went our trip.

So, we promised we’d make it up this year but wanted to wait till Claire was old enough to not be too much of a handful for my mom, who volunteered to watch the kids for us. What a blessing! Not only is it amazing to take a trip without kids but, what is more wonderful is knowing they are in such great hands. The kids had a blast visiting Grandma’s house and I’m pretty sure Claire both ate and slept better for my mom than she does for me!

Thursday morning we loaded up the kids for the trip to Tampa. Conveniently enough, my newest niece, Pearl, had made her way into the world the Friday before so we had to get to Tampa early enough to catch a glimpse and a snuggle with Pearl before flying out of Tampa International. So, why Seattle? Lots of people have asked us this. Last year we signed up for a Delta SkyMiles credit card and one of the perks was receiving a free companion pass (basically buy one ticket, get one free for the same flight). So, we wanted to go somewhere we had to fly and the flight would be fairly pricey to get our money’s worth! We started looking into Maine but decided since we only had 3 days, we didn’t want to go somewhere we had to rent a car and drive from airport to our destination. Michael especially has always wanted to go to Seattle and one of his favorite preachers, Mark Driscoll, has a church in Seattle. We love the West Coast and Seattle is somewhere neither of us has ever been. Since I am much more traveled than Michael, it is sometimes hard to find places neither of us has been. So, Seattle it was! Then, our anniversary isn’t until November but, we wanted to go before it got TOO cold out there and at a time that’d be most convenient for my mom to have the kids. So, Labor Day weekend it was!

We flew out of Tampa at 6pm on Thursday night and didn’t arrive there until 11:50pm PST (2:50am in Florida!) We got our bags, found our shuttle and headed straight to our hotel. I so wished we hadn’t flown in the dark because our route took us from Tampa to Minneapolis, then Minneapolis to Seattle, flying us right over North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and the entire state of Washington. Would have loved to see those Rocky Mountains from above!

Sunset out the plane window

So, onto the REAL Day 1!
First highlight of Day 1 was sleeping in as late as we wanted! Of course, when you have small children and have just traveled 3 time zones over, that’s not so easy! We wound up getting up about 9am Seattle time, getting ready and heading out. Wow! What a welcome surprise to walk out of our hotel to the coolest Fall morning and bright sunshine! It was such amazing weather!!!! We found a corner cafe, got some coffee and breakfast and enjoyed sitting at a sidewalk table. We knew Seattle would be a big city but, it didn’t really feel dirty or scary like some big cities. And pretty much every street you looked down you could see the beautiful bay looking back at you, which certainly added to its beauty. We decided to walk down to the Seattle City Centre to walk around. This is where the Space Needle is. We walked around and saw the science museum, a rock n roll museum, the space needle, and more. We had about an hour to kill so we decided to go into the music museum. It was about the only part of Seattle that disappointed us but, this is mostly because we’re not as into music as some.

Afterwards, we had a 2pm reservation for the Duck Tour. If you’ve never been on a duck tour, it is not your average tour!

Duck!

The “duck” is a car which rides the streets of the city, but can also become a boat to go into the water. The tour guides on the duck are crazy entertainers. Ours wore some funny hats and wigs, told jokes, and played hilarious music LOUD as we rode through the streets. It was such a fun tour! We got to float into Lake Union, the lake on which the house scenes in Sleepless in Seattle were filmed.

Downtown Seattle from Lake Union

After our tour, we walked down to the Bay, walking through a scuplture park right on the water, and had an early dinner at Ivar’s, a famous seafood restaurant, where we feasted on crab cakes, clam chowder, and fish and chips. While at dinner, we saw tons of people wearing Seattle Seahawks gear. We asked one lady about it and if there was a game going on. She let us know there was a preseason game vs. the Raiders that night in just a few hours. So, we randomly decided to go down and see if we could get some tickets! We bought some $120 tickets from some nice Canadians for $20 a piece! Score!

Before the game we got to go into Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners and see the stadium. I was so sad there was no Mariners game that weekend (big baseball fan here) but was excited to enjoy the football game. This was Michael’s first time in a NFL stadium/at a NFL game so, he was pretty pumped. It was a beautiful stadium and beautiful night for a game. And, the Seahawks won! Great end to a wonderful first day!!!

The Mears at Century Link Stadium

Stay tuned for days 2 and 3!

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