...because we all have our motley moments!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Seattle on a Shoestring: Our First Kid-Free Vacation!

My husband and I just took a vacation without the kids for the first time ever. Before this, they've never even slept over at anyone's house without us, so we really weren't sure how they would do over a long weekend away from us. Our oldest is 5 1/2, so we figured it was time to break away and enjoy some alone time. Something we NEVER fully appreciated before we had kids!
We lucked into a pair of round-trip tickets to anywhere AirTran flies in the continental US. I wanted to go as far as possible, so we flew to Seattle on Thursday last week, determined to see the city without renting a car (Seattle on a shoestring). This meant we had to catch a city bus at the airport into downtown Seattle, get off in the underground bus tunnel, then find our bus to the Inn at Queen Anne, where we stayed. We got explicit instructions from the inn, including bus numbers, so we felt pretty confident when we stepped onto the 194 at the airport.

Why does that sign say North to Seattle...aren't we IN Seattle?!

Apparently there are two 194 buses. The one we boarded went SOUTH to Tacoma instead of NORTH to downtown Seattle. This sign was part of our unplanned walking tour of the interstate system of Tacoma, south of Seattle. At this point, I was thanking God we did not have the kids with us. We finally found the bus stop we needed and only had to wait about 30 minutes for the right bus. We rolled into downtown Seattle about an hour and a half later than planned, but hey! We were on an adventure! These kinds of mistakes have much less impact when you're not hauling car seats, luggage for four, a diaper bag, and a stroller!

Our trip was really great, but totally exhausting! Pike's Place was very cool, and we took a 2 1/2 hour cruise of the locks, where we saw the Sleepless in Seattle floating home. Don't say houseboat unless you want to catch the evil eye of a floating home owner. The Sleepless home is on the market for a mere $3 million, by the way. It's the green one with red trim on the left:

Here are some more pics of our trip:

This is where the fish fly at Pike Place Market

That's the famous mascot of Pike Place, Rachel (cast in bronze)

We drank LOTS of coffee in Seattle. There's a coffee shop on every block!

This one's for you, Miss Rachel! Check out the steep tilt...our calves were killing us by day 2!

The Famous Space Needle

City Scape: View from the Water

I don't know why we waited so long to take a vacation away from the kids, but now that we have, I already have a plan for the next one! And KID 1 asked me several times this week "Mommy, when can we go on vacation again?" I told him next month we would all go on vacation and he said, "No! I mean when can we go on vacation without you and Daddy?" They stayed at the ranch with my mom and helped feed the cows. They rode the 4-wheeler down the fence line to check the fences, and even had to round up a stray cow and mend the fence where she broke out. They got to be real ranch hands and they LOVED it! They barely missed us!


Liz said...

Fun! Love the pictures. I'm so glad you and Paul got to get away.

Maria said...

You go girlfriend! I love those hubby-only trips. Family vacations are great, but not having to take care of the kids 24/7 is also nice once in a while. So, where's the next trip?

fawnda said...

we had to brave the NYC public transportation when we went to visit Karly a few years ago... we were glad not to have kids yet... although DH was NOT happy to lug our suitcase through NY!

Sounds like you all had a good time!

Donna said...

It was great, but I'm planning a more relaxing trip for next year in our own time zone...like, a white sandy beach where the most interesting thing to see is the next wave washing over my toes! Sightseeing is hard work, ya know?!!

Rachel said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip for you and the kiddos--the pictures are great! Thanks for the shot of Sur la Table--that's a fun store.

Karly said...

Wow! You are so brave to go as far across the country as possible on your first trip away! It looks like it was so much fun. Good for you, Donna! I am so glad you and Paul took a much deserved vacation just for you two!! I enjoyed the pictures.

Paul and I are getting away for a few nights over Memorial Day weekend. We are leaving the kids with my parents. We are so excited! It's always so nice to take some time for us, and the kids usually like it to!

I agree that a beach sounds amazing!

Lindsay said...

I think leaving the kids for awhile and taking a vacation is super important. I think it's good for both the couple and the kids. We've gone on several kid free trips and it's always wonderful!!!

Sue said...

It's nice to know that you don't need a ton of money to have a great Seattle vacation! It sounds like you had a nice time away!