Last week Anna, Simon and I traveled up to Seattle so that Anna could perform with the Junior SeaGals at CenturyLink Field during one of the Seahawks pre-season games.
This was Anna's third time participating in this summer camp and my first time taking her to the game. This is usually a special event for Chris & Tiffany to go with her but their schedules didn't line up this year and mine did so I took a turn and I'm seriously so glad I did. It was such a fun adventure.
With our blended family sometimes it can be challenging to figure out who is going where and when. As you can imagine, it’s expensive to take everyone especially if flying is involved. Breaking trips up into experiences for one or two or three kids seems to work well (Aaron even made a spread sheet to keep track of who has gone where and when and who is up next for an adventure).
It's been awhile since Simon and Anna and I traveled on our own and it was such a great reminder of how much I love traveling with them.
Elise made a comment on one of my Instagram photos during this trip that went something like this, "I can't imagine the day when my children are just my casual travel companions." My response was that "it is the best and worth the wait."
These two at 9 and 16 are fantastic travelers. They are excited to go and have generally decent stamina. Simon's ability to be flexible and patient has grown in leaps and bounds.
Most of the time when we visit Seattle we drive. It's a 5-hour car trip (sometimes longer depending on traffic) but since the kids had just come back from a week in the San Juans with Chris & Tiffany I had decided to mix it up and fly up there. From Eugene it's a super quick 1-hour flight and we were able to easily take Uber to our hotel downtown from SeaTac.
It was such a great reminder that you don't have to always go really far away to feel like you "got away."
For this trip I booked a room at the Embassy Suites Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square knowing that it would be close to CenturyLink Field. It ended up being right next door which made everything really easy when we needed to walk Anna over for practice and then for getting to the game itself.
The view wasn't bad either.
Anna's wearing a unicorn sweatshirt overall with hood from H&M that she would wear every day if she could.
You can see the stadium reflected in the windows of the building next door.
During our first morning we ate breakfast at the hotel and then Simon did some reading and Anna did some swimming before her practice began.
After hanging out it was time to get Anna dressed for her practice. They needed to wear their full outfits for this practice because they had their photos taken. She was so excited to be doing this again. She loves dancing and performing.
And she was really excited because she got to wear a little bit of makeup.
After she was all ready we walked around the block to the field for the check-in process. Tiffany had brought her up to Seattle last month for the initial practice weekend where they learned their dances.
As with all travel, there's almost always some waiting involved.
Simon carried his book with him everywhere. He can even read while riding in the car which is a total "no" for me because I get carsick.
She wasn't excited at all.
One of my favorite memories from this time during the trip was when she was standing in line with all the other girls in her age group and she was texting me while I was standing with other parents who were waiting for the main group photo before leaving (probably about 10 feet apart). They were lining all the girls up by height and I was telling her via text that she was shorter than the girl next to her and that she should switch places.
So she sent me a photo of me texting her.
Screenshots are so fun. She is so fun.
After they had their group photo taken I gave her a big hug and Simon and I were outta there.
While Anna was practicing for the big performance Simon and I visited MoPop - the Museum Of Pop Culture. This was our first time visiting this museum and it was so cool. They had a Marvel exhibit going on along with a Fantasy: Worlds Of Myth + Magic (included some Harry Potter stuff) and Infinite Worlds Of Science Fiction (probably his favorite that had a bunch of artifacts from movies).
After we Ubered (love that it's now a verb) back to pick up Anna we met up with some friends for dinner at Ivar's down on the waterfront. Love catching up and love that they got to meet Simon and Anna.
This is what is so great about traveling with Simon. There is joy around every corner.
After dinner the one things the kids really wanted to do was go up to the top of the Space Needle. They have been up there a couple times before but it's changed quite a bit since the last time with a whole lot more glass - both along the outside edge and even on the floor in a section they are now calling the Loupe (used to be the restaurant). The kids were all over the glass floor. Me, less so. Ha.
As always, Seattle is beautiful.
Growing up south of Seattle in Federal Way, I always loved coming up to the city with my parents. Moving away after high school it's always been all the different views of the water that I miss.
These guys were totally into the glass benches that tip back towards the glass. I preferred to stay closer to the inside edge.
The next day was game day and we followed a similar chill routine in the morning before the afternoon/evening activities.
That's also totally one of the things I like about traveling with these two - we share the same pace. Our pacing is slow and relaxed generally. We don't like to be in a hurry and we like to be early in order to avoid being in a hurry. Hmmm, wonder where they got that from?
After dropping Anna off - she had to be at the stadium at 1pm for a 7pm game time start - Simon and I did a workout together. He's working on his Physical Fitness Merit Badge for Boy Scouts so I did the workout he and Chris set up together with him in the gym at the hotel. I love his commitment. Boy Scouts has been a truly great experience for him.
Love this dude.
We got to the field when the doors opened around 5pm and started to make our way up to our seats. The seats came as part of the SeaGals camp package and ended up being way up top. It's great for the city view but not great for seeing anyone you know on the field. It was also really sunny in our seats when we first go there so Simon and I got a snack and sat down out by the food vendors to wait because it was too hot. Simon read for a bit and then got tired and laid down to take a nap. He definitely got his ability to take a nap anywhere from me. It didn't last long before a security person came by and said he couldn't lay there and by that time it wasn't as hot in our seats.
The view. I'll take it.
It was super fun to be here for the Seahawks game. The last time I was at a game was when they played at the Kingdom which was imploded (literally) back in 2000.
I've been to two previous events at CenturyLink Field: I saw U2 there with Chris and then took Anna to see Taylor Swift a couple years ago (where she also fell asleep on our chairs part way through the concert - it's a thing with my kids).
Layout from the Spark Story Classroom telling the story of our adventure to see Taylor Swift at CenturyLink Field.
Half-time finally came around and all the girls (so many) who were participating in the camp came out onto the field to perform their dance routines. We weren't sure exactly where Anna was on the field so I started just watching the jumbotron and I told Simon to do the same and to try to take a photo if he saw her up on the big screen.
All of a sudden there she was. And we cheered really loud and took as many photos as we could.
After halftime we had to pick her up so we decided to head out after that and go back to the hotel to hang out.
As you can see, they were pretty done with the day.
What's awesome about this is that their attitudes weren't bad at all, they were just legit tired.
I love them.
The next morning our pace was leisurely once again with some screen time and reading time before heading to the airport to fly home.
This will always be one of my favorite sights.
Making sure to get myself in the story I set my phone on a table next to us and turned on the self-timer and hustled back to take a sip of coffee.
Paolo was working on the day we flew home so we got a few minutes to chat.
Looking at this photo totally takes me back to a very little Simon flying for the first time with Chris to meet me in Florida in 2006. I remember talking to Chris on the phone and him telling me how great Simon had done on his first flight and how that was the first of many adventures to come with him on airplanes.
I love that he loves to just go. I love his sense of adventure and his desire to see the world and I want to keep cultivating that for him and for all the kids.
Love these two so much and I'm so thankful to get to be their Mom and to get to experience life with them.
Looking forward to another adventure coming up this December when Katie and I take Simon and Elliott to New York City for Simon's 16 year old trip (he turned 16 in January). Simon's been talking about going to NYC forever to visit some of the iconic places he's seen in movies. Initially I'm planning on figuring out how to tell December Daily® stories while traveling once again. You might remember I took a trip to New York City in early December back in 2012 when I created a 4x6 December Daily® album. That was the first trip Aaron and I took together not long after we met and I worked on that album while we were traveling. I'll share more about my plans for that as we get closer to the holidays - it will likely play into how I set up my Foundation Pages in advance.
Here's to get aways that aren't far away and for making time.