Seattle Adventure | August 2018

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. 

Anna's currently reading My Life In Smiley and Simon's reading Last Shot (a Star Wars novel about Han + Lando). His shirt was a gift from Aaron's sister Lindi. 

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. 

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34 thoughts

  1. delia says…
    08/20/2018

    Thanks for this fab post Ali. Totally vacariously enjoyed every moment of the great adventure the 3 of you enjoyed. May NYC in December be even more wonderful. Enjoy!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. MariaElena says…
    08/20/2018

    Fantastic days for you!
    GREAT!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Mmshughes says…
    08/20/2018

    Love this!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. soonermama says…
    08/20/2018

    I loved this post. It feels rich in stories, love, and photos. Believe it or not, I've never been to Seattle so it also left me looking for plane tickets :)Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. laura_g_ says…
    08/20/2018

    Loved this!! Hubby and I booked a cruise to Alaska last March, so we flew in over CenturyLink field, rode the bus past the Space Needle, and saw bits of Seattle before we left the dock...(my August Challenge #5 will feature a bit of our cruise...loved seeing the pics of your Adventure..isn't great to document this for them to look back on??

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. onehappymama says…
    08/20/2018

    Oh, I just love this so much! That photo of you and Simon on the plane when he was little made me seriously tear up! Time flies by way too fast! Love how you all got away for a little adventure like that. Loved the photos as always and reading the words that went along with them. Thanks for sharing! XO!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. judyg says…
    08/20/2018

    Beautiful story Ali. Seattle is so amazing in the summer. Love that Uber is coming to Eugene. Barry and I “ubered” all over Washington D.C. and Philadelphia last week and really made it easier to see the sights.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. hgauvin says…
    08/20/2018

    What an awesome story! Life has come full circle in that we took a family trip in 2016 to Texas to see my nephew get married. Our girls, 24 and 26 at the time, along with their boyfriends (one is now a fiance), my husband and I had such a BLAST! I still have to document that trip. We still talk about it to this day - that's how much fun we had. Here's to telling stories!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. shelleeyore says…
    08/20/2018

    This is SO good!! What I really enjoyed about your story is that instead of just telling only about the details of the trip, you told about things that made your kids special. Little things about their personalities. That's the cool stuff they'll love reading about themselves in the future, I think! Using this post as a reminder to remember to share those types of details in my scrapping.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. lucrecer says…
    08/20/2018

    Such a wonderful recounting of your adventure with the kids. Loved reading this.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. jchurch2 says…
    08/20/2018

    What a wonderful experience to share with your kids. I can’t believe how tall Simon is! Loved this blog post. ❤️

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. mtercha says…
    08/20/2018

    It looks like you guys had a great time! Awesome! Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Leah_Sells says…
    08/20/2018

    So excited to see these stories pop up again on the blog. I feel inspired to get a few of my own stories written out.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Cookingmylife says…
    08/20/2018

    Wonderful wonderful Ali! You certainly inspire me to have gratitude for everything! One on ones or twos is so great for our relationship with our children. I wish I had been able to have those times when my 3 were young. Seattle is a favorite city! My son and his now wife lived there for a couple of years and I always looked forward to visiting there. Your stories are the best!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Ashleighsmom97 says…
    08/20/2018

    So awesome that you got to enjoy the trip with Simon and Anna. And even better share that with us!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. angieduncan says…
    08/20/2018

    Love this! I’ve been following you for many years, our boys are so similar in many ways :-) looking at Simons photos, reminds me of my Alex, with his book and hat when he was 16! What an amazing adventure! Can not wait to record our travel adventure to Europe next year.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. scrapfin1 says…
    08/20/2018

    Really enjoyed your post - so rich in words and photos.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. SueTR says…
    08/20/2018

    What a terrific adventure!!! It is awesome when the kids get to be the age where they are good fun traveling companions and the parental schlepping and organizing has backed down to normal levels. It's completely amazing you got a snap of Anna on the jumbotron, that is super cool and HELLO when did Simon get THAT much taller than you?? I remember last time we saw each other you were telling me he'd grown but that is just crazy! Also...I'm with you on the height/glass floor away from the edge thing... Let me know when you'll be in NYC maybe I can take the train down for the day and meet you guys!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. briel says…
    08/20/2018

    The best! All the love and all the fun. It's a treat to read your reflections on the journey.

    NYC is going to ROCK.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. ReginaCollier says…
    08/20/2018

    These are my favorite kind of posts from you. I absolutely love the stories you tell plus the photos.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. bookemper says…
    08/20/2018

    Oh, I love this! Thanks for sharing, Ali. What a wonderful experience.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. paulainauckland says…
    08/20/2018

    I love how your life is so rich in details that I simply can't include. The working relationship that you have with Chris & Tiffany is one to cherish, despite how it came about. I'm jealous. Lately I've been pondering how poor the relationship with my girl's dad is (read: non-existent) & I wonder how I could have changed things. Possibly not a lot, given he's isolated a lot of people with his actions, but it's something I am oddly grieving.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      08/21/2018

      I don't think its odd - it's probably very normal (the grieving). I totally acknowledge that it was a mixture of luck (meaning that Chris had the same intention as me) and very specific intention to create a relationship moving forward.

  23. Scrappydo says…
    08/21/2018

    wait - what? it was 2012 when you did that trip with Aaron?????? Where has the time gone??????!!!!!

    Also - having had my 16yo boy travel from New Zealand to NYC with a school trip (we fundraised like crazy, and he earned most of his costs), the experience for him to travel to a place like NYC was amazing. He was totally into so many of the things he wasn't expecting to like. The first day trip was to the Met - which after stoopid-amount-of-hours-travelling-time was an awesome way to get them out of the hostel and seeing things. He loved the early war / weapon exhibits, and surprisingly, also some of the art. So cool to see the photos he took.

    So much learning from this trip!!

    I think you guys will LOVE the experience of travelling with Simon at this age to NYC :)

    Now my excitement at that is out, love hearing about your Seattle adventure. Was that stadium the same one that the recent Rugby 7s championship was played? It looked spectacular on TV

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Northrigg says…
    08/21/2018

    Thanks Ali for your post. Feel to ignore! I didn't know about this place until a colleague told me. I live in CT but work in NYC. I recently took my kids to Gulivers Gate which is a minature world. It's near Times Square. I bought my tickets online and got 40% off. My kids who are both boys, 12 and 9, are/were both huge Lego fans. The world includes many minatures of historic sites/landmarks from around the world. I think this could be a good place to consider visiting on your NYC trip. We were there 2 hours, went early in the morning. It wasn't crowded and my kids absolutely loved it.

    https://gulliversgate.com

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Klimperklein says…
    08/21/2018

    Love everything about this post, Ali! Thank you so much for sharing. It‘s so enchanting to see your relationship with Anna and Simon portrayed in your photos and your words. ❤️

    Reply 0 Replies

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