Thursday, December 18, 2014

10 year anniversary trip: Seattle

We took my aunt and uncles advice and rode the hour-long Bremerton Ferry to Seattle so we could approach the city from the water. I almost felt like I was back in high school having my dad drop me and my date off at the ferry terminal. Chris had some last minute work emails to respond to while we rode the ferry but without 4 kids clamoring for my attention, I completely enjoyed the quiet and the beautiful view. I. LOVE. THE. NORTHWEST. 

We had an early start to the day and couldn't check into our hotel for a few hours so we took our time walking from the ferry terminal in Seattle to the hotel. We took a few blocks detour to a cool toy store and purchased some puzzles as a Christmas gift to Gwen. We walked by a yummy looking teriyaki restaurant and stopped there for lunch. It was quite fitting since we had teriyaki for our wedding lunch. Our walk took us past Pikes Place Market and we made a mental note of the shops there, intending to find a bookstore after we checked in since we were pulling around our suitcase. 

The Seattle Marriott Waterfront Hotel is so nice! The guy at the counter was very pleasant and polite even as he told us that since our names were not on the reservation anywhere he couldn't check us in. HA! I explained that my dad made it for us, since he's giving us this hotel stay for our anniversary. The guy still looked uncomfortable so I offered to call my dad on the phone. My dad spoke to him and smoothed it out and that was the last of our worries for a few days! Since my dad is a platinum elite gold diamond king member whatever, we got the royal treatment with a top floor, balcony room right next to the concierge lounge where they served a free (for us) breakfast, snackbar, appetizers around dinner, and nightly dessert. I wish it would've had a hot tub or spa or something but alas, it was not meant to be. 

Once we got settled in our room we left right away to find a bookstore in Pikes Place (it was actually kinda of tricky to find!) but it was fun to roam the city alone with Chris. We found a used book store and each picked out a light read. We shared a dinner at Anthony's right across from our hotel before tucking ourselves in for a night of reading. Still tired from our trip out, I fell asleep around 8:30pm! The next morning we woke up and finished reading our books while the TV was on. Then made reservations for later that night to eat in the Space Needle restaurant. We grabbed a light lunch as we shopped at some stores in the downtown area and then took the monorail to the Space Needle.

If you have a reservation, you can go up the elevator to the looking deck 30 minutes before it to enjoy the view for free. My phone died before we could go up and so I just have some pictures from Chris' camera (which was also almost out of batteries) before dinner. 

They require every guess to have a minimum food and beverage charge of $35...which isn't hard to do considering one of the daily specials was going for $120...for a single entree! Chris took this as a personal challenge to maximize our order for the minimum cost. We ended up sharing an entree, each ordering drinks, and getting two sides to total exactly $70. But in the end I wanted to try a dessert so we split one and spent a bit more.  For the prices we were expecting some obviously delicious food and were not disappointed.  The whole restaurant rotates and every table has a view of the city, so by the time we finished our meal we had made almost 2 complete rotations. At one point, they had snow machines shooting out snow from the top and watching the flakes swirl in the air felt very pretty and nostalgic even if it was fake. 

We had an early dinner and by the time we walked back to our hotel we were ready for a movie and watched a DVD we had brought with microwave popcorn and some M&Ms from the concierge lounge. 

On our last full day, we spent the morning lazing around the room some more and then ate some crepes for a light late breakfast and walked a ways across Seattle to a free Art Museum. We spent an hour walking around there discussing technique, aesthetics and naked women although I'm fairly certain we didn't fool anyone. At any rate we really enjoyed the beautiful pictures. We were right by an elementary school group and liked watching the kids too. They had some crazy names! Here are our favorite paintings: mine was the snowscape and Chris' was the ducks.

Then we walked back to the main part of downtown and took the monorail again to the Science Center area where we met some dear friends Justin and Amy (from Grad School but they now live in Seattle) for lunch at a Mexican Restaurant! It was so fun to catch up with them sans kids (at least for us...they brought their beautiful 3 week old baby for me to drool on).  Then we walked back across the city to go see an afternoon showing of The Hobbit. For opening day, it wasn't that crowded. Then more walking back to the hotel. We thought we'd grab dinner sometime but were kind of tired from walking. We popped in the concierge lounge again and barely made it in time for the appetizers. We watched some TV a bit before falling asleep pretty early again. 

Our last morning was lazy again. We watched TV and showered and packed. We had planned to walk along the waterfont visiting classics like the Ole Curiosity Shop and getting fish and chips at Ivers on our way to the Ferry Terminal but it was raining and the shops were closed for construction but it didn't really matter since we found out we had to catch the soonest ferry back so my dad could pick us up and be able to get Hailey at 2:00 from school. 

All things must come to an end and this anniversary trip was no exception. Sigh. Time to get back to real life!

A little back story: My parents have told us ever since we got married that we could look forward to a trip away at a Marriott Resort for our 10 year wedding anniversary. They would provide the points for the hotel and babysit our kids and we would figure out the rest. I'd been dreaming about a warm beach somewhere for many years but as the 10 year mark drew closer and Frederick was still heavily nursing when our anniversary actually happened in the summer, we put off planning anything until we settled in our new house more and for Frederick to be closer to a year old and I could wean him. Because of other events this next summer and the cost of buying a house and starting renovations we realized a month or so before now that it would work best to do our anniversary trip while we were in Seattle. There goes the warm beach idea. I was a little worried that this trip (as amazing as it was) would still seem kind of like a let down. I know I'm showing how whiny and spoiled I am by admitting this, but its the truth so here it is. I tried to prepare for this by expecting to battle sad feelings of not being at a warm beach somewhere and try to enjoy exploring my childhood hometown city. Sometime during the second day, I realized that the whole experience was feeling like a date that never ended. We went from eating out, to museums, to eating out, to shopping, to eating out, to movies, to eating out etc. It was like we had 12 dates in a row and THAT felt so luxurious! So I hung my hat on that thought and really did enjoy it. Those 4 days were the most relaxing part of our 3 and a half weeks home for Christmas. I am so grateful my parents gave Chris and I this chance to focus on just being together. Its the first time we could do that in a very long and stressful 2 1/2 years. 

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