An unforgettable weekend in Seattle

This past weekend, August 22-25, Nathan and I jumped on a plane and made the trek across America to Seattle, Washington.  We had been invited to the wedding of a good friend of mine and it was the perfect excuse to get away from DC for a short “babymoon!”

Originally we really weren’t sure we were going to be able to pull it off.  Flights were ridiculously expensive (around $600 each), and we didn’t have a lot leftover in savings from our Thailand trip.  One day I stumbled on the rewards website of Nathan’s credit card company, and he had enough rewards to cover his entire flight and a portion of mine.  So we booked our flights and we were all set.

This trip we flew with Frontier Airlines, a discount airline neither of us had used before.  We found out quickly why Frontier’s rates were so low- absolutely every amenity comes at an additional price.  Carry-on bags are $25 if purchased online- $50 at the departure gate.  Seats are automatically assigned wherever they want to put you, and if you want to change seats it is anywhere from $8-$50.  For some reason we ended up getting one free carry-on bag each and free seat changes (we only took carry-on bags).  My guess is 1. I am a member of every airline I can possibly be a member of, 2. We booked through the credit card company who may have benefits with the airline.  Other fees on the airline include drinks (water is the only free drink), food (no free snacks), and you have to swipe a card to use the in-seat TV.  We didn’t end up buying anything on the plane since we always take granola bars and water bottles from the airport.  Flying pregnant wasn’t really a change at all.  We made sure one of us was in the aisle seat on every flight so I could get up to use the restroom whenever I needed!

Our first flight was delayed, but we knew ahead of time via TripIt Pro (great purchase for frequent travelers!).  So, we eventually took the metro to DCA and got on the plane about an hour after it was originally scheduled.  Only downside was that our connection to Seattle was very short, so not much time to grab anything to eat or stretch our legs.  We did get a quick bite at a Chinese fast-food place, but the food was SUPER spicy, which was probably a terrible risk before getting on another plane!  Fortunately it worked out for both of us 😉

Our second flight from Denver to Seattle was a quick 2 hour 15 minutes.  When we got in to Seattle airport, we called the free shuttle from our hotel to come pick us up.  It took about 25 minutes to get there and we were both getting pretty anxious.  Still, worth it to have a free trip!  That night we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express SeaTac in a King Non-Smoking room with the military rate ($170).  We had gotten in to Seattle around 11:30pm, so it didn’t make any sense to get a pricey hotel in downtown Seattle for twice the price.  Check-in was super easy and the room was decent but clean, which is the most important part.  I’m not sure if all the rooms are the same, but we ended up with a suite which was pretty nice.  It had a separate room with additional TV and couch.  The absolute best part of the hotel was the free continental breakfast.  It had eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, cereal choices, bread choices (bagels, etc), and juices, coffee, milk, water, etc.  It was a HUGE perk to staying outside of the city and made the stay completely worth it.  We ate around 7:30am and both ate too much!  After breakfast, we jumped on the free shuttle to the Central Link Light Rail which was the first stop.

The light rail cost us about $2.62 each, and took about 45 minutes to get from SeaTac airport to Westlake station.  We got off at Westlake and walked two blocks to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where we were given a Ford Fiesta for our corporate rate of $74.66 for two days.  We drove it a couple blocks to Pike Place Market, found a good two-hour parking spot, and walked to the Market to hang out for a bit.  The weather was cool, but perfect for a light sweater.  We enjoyed walking around, checking out the original Starbucks, and gawking at the HUGE shrimp and crabs in the seafood section.  If you visit Seattle, you HAVE to go to Pike Place!  We ate a snack of baked brie at the Athenian Grill, bought a pack of strawberries from the Market, and a mini cheesecake from The Confectional.  Lots of good food!

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After Pike Place, we drove a few blocks to Pioneer Square and wandered down to the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop.  The Shop houses numerous oddity trinkets and gifts and has the BEST fudge.  It also has a few ancient artifacts, including two entire human remains as a “free museum.”  We enjoyed browsing the shop but didn’t buy anything.  Wandered up to some used bookstores and guitar shops and then got back in the car to check out the Space Needle.

When we got to the Space Needle, they didn’t have any open spots for another hour, so we decided we didn’t have time and didn’t want to pay $50 to go up to the top for a few minutes.  We wandered around in the gift shop and talked to the restaurant hosts about possibly eating there another day (if you eat there, you pay a flat rate for your meal and get to see the view at no additional cost).  Then, we got back in the car and drove to Ballard where we were going to check out the Locks but changed our minds and decided we were hungry instead.  We ended up at Chinook’s at Salmon Bay eating fish tacos and looking at the view of the fishing boats docked around Salmon Bay.  When we were done with lunch, we returned to our car to find we had a FLAT tire!!  Luckily Nathan is an expert tire-repairer, and he got the spare on in no time.  The wedding was about two hours away, so I was getting very nervous!  Spare on and good to go, we made the 45 minute drive to Mukilteo, where we checked in to the Hilton Garden Inn Seattle North/Everett through HotelClub for $140.11.  Our room was OK, but the bathroom was tiny and the door was very awkward.  Also, there was free parking but no free meals.  A little cafe in the lobby area had breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a price.

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Our friend’s wedding was held at Rosehill Community Center which is an absolutely gorgeous place for a wedding.  It overlooks the Puget Sound and has plenty of room for a large get-together.  We were so happy to be there and had an absolute blast!  The bride was Korean and the groom was Norwegian, so we definitely enjoyed the Korean/Norwegian fusion food made by their mothers.  Absolutely delicious.  We also enjoyed the “photo wall” they had set up and took a bunch of goofy pictures 🙂

 

Back at the Hilton, we settled in for the night but I could not sleep.  I could hear the neighbors snoring!

We took our time getting up and settled on paying for breakfast at the hotel.  It was decent, but $19 per person.  At 9:45am, we checked out and drove a few miles to the closest Enterprise to switch out our rental since we were driving on the spare, and they gave us a Chevy Spark!  It was hilariously tiny but ended up being awesome to park.  Also had great gas mileage!

After picking up the rental, we drove back to Mukilteo and got on the Mukilteo Ferry to Clinton, Whidbey Island.  The ferry was a drive-on and cost us about $19.  It was only about 15 minutes to the island and the ride was a bit chilly!  Our goal on the island was to follow this itinerary.  So, we started out driving a few minutes to the town of Langley, where we found the coolest little glassblowing shop and grabbed a cup of coffee at the Useless Bay Coffee Company.  The blog above said there would be tons of bunnies in Langley, but we did not see a single one!  Also, the coffee shop where they got their pastries was closed until lunch, so we made our own way 🙂

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After Langley we drove about 15 minutes to Greenbank Farm.  When we got there, the Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation (WAIF) was having a benefit, so we had a lot to do!  There were dogs EVERYWHERE, doing tricks, playing games, and wearing crazy outfits!  We voted for “King & Queen” and wandered through the art and cheese shops at Greenbank Farm.  Eventually we made our way to the Whidbey Pies & Cafe, where we shared a slice of salted caramel apple pie.  The best pie I think I’ve ever had!! It was delicious.

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Since it was around 12:30, we decided to drive straight to Coupeville instead of wandering the parks from the blog, so we drove about 20 minutes to Coupeville and grabbed lunch at Toby’s Tavern.  We both skipped the mussels (even though that is what they’re famous for!) and got some good ole fried seafood instead.  A note about Toby’s- they don’t allow minors and it is a very busy bar, so not a good place if you have kids with you.  They seemed to be short-staffed, so we were there about an hour even though we were sitting at the bar.

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We finished lunch and wandered down to the Coupeville Wharf to look out at Penn Cove.  Along the wharf you can see all the mussel shells which is very neat!  On the way back, we stopped and grabbed some huge ice cream cones at Kapaws Iskreme.  I got the salted caramel, but I didn’t LOVE it.  I would love to go back and try more flavors!!

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Ice cream gone, we made the drive to Deception Pass State Park.  Entry to the park is $10, but is also valid at all the parks on the island, so keep it with you if you plan to visit any other parks.  We scurried down to the beach, then hiked up a steep trail to the Deception Pass bridge, took some pictures, and hiked up the Goose Rock Summit trail.  The view at the top is AMAZING.  The trail is quite difficult, so be prepared!  It isn’t too long, but is fairly steep.  We were both out of breath when we got to the top.

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It was getting late, so we jumped back in the car and headed back toward the Clinton ferry.  We made a quick stop at Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve to see the views there, and Nathan couldn’t help himself but to get in the ocean!  He said he could see white when he dunked his head because it was SO cold.  I touched the water and quickly decided I was happier staying dry!  He’s such a kid sometimes 🙂

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The ferry home took a while because we were there during a busy time.  We waited in line for about an hour before we could get on (I believe we got to the ferry around 4:30pm).  Once on, the trip was a quick 15 minutes and we were on our way back to downtown Seattle for the night.  On the way, we dropped off the rental car at the Enterprise on 3rd Street (two blocks from our hotel) and checked in to the Fairmont Olympic with our AAA rate ($185).  A quick shower and snacks/drinks at Japonessa down the street with the newlyweds was a perfect ending to the weekend.  Once back at the hotel, we collapsed in to bed and overslept our alarm, then had to run to the light rail to the airport to catch our 10am flight out of SeaTac.

Overall it was an unforgettable trip.  We saw the sights, did a little hiking, traveled an island, and ate some amazing food.  We loved our weekend in Seattle!

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