Monday, July 25, 2011

A Seattle Whirlwind Adventure

As I write, I'm sitting on the floor of the Seattle airport at the only free outlet I can find, recharging my computer.  The kids and I are on our way to Hawaii!

We have a 6 hour layover here in Seattle, so I had the crazy idea of renting a car, driving to Seattle and having an adventure.

I think this idea came to me because I once took a personality test that asked what I would do if I had a 5 hour layover.  The options were something like:

a.  Find a seat and a good book and wait out the layover
b.  Take a bus into the city and see the views
c.  Find a bar in the airport and drink as many beverages as possible

I picked "b" because I liked thinking of myself as the adventurous sort of person who would dash out to see the sights, but back then, I probably was really an "a" person.  Now that I've got 3 kids, I think "c" has taken over.

So I booked a rental car even though they were all crazy expensive, got the advice of some friends who've been to Seattle, and decided to fulfill my own picture of myself--with 3 kids in tow.

Of course, this personality test came before the days of 9/11, extra security, and no liquids under 3.4 ounces.  By this morning, as we left the house at 6 a.m., I really wondered if I was crazy.

It wasn't so bad.  It took forever to get to the car rental office (I now know why it was the least expensive).   It took four tries of loading and unloading our carry-ons into car trunks to find a car that worked (1. too smoky, 2. trunk too visible in a hatchback, and 3. a back seatbelt didn't buckle).

Two days ago the weather report said Seattle would be cloudy--we got here and it's rainy.  But the girls, who've devoured the Twilight books, are well-aware of weather up here in Washington so weren't fazed.

"Can we go to Forks?" they asked.   For those who haven't entered the Twilight universe, Forks is the home of Bella Swan and her vampire friends--who all live in Forks because it's the cloudiest space in our country.  I have no idea where Forks lies in relation to Seattle so had to veto that option.

We visited the Space Needle and they took pictures while I sat in the car so I didn't have to park.  (On a cloudy day it made no sense to go up)  We went to Pike's Place and watched fish throwing, visited the original Starbucks, wandered among a zillion shops, ate Chinese char siu bao and French crepes, plus bought 3 of the most delicious white peaches I've ever tasted.

Ling's job was to read my iphone and navigate me around Seattle--this didn't work very well, so we did a lot of U-turning.  Other than almost crashing into a blue car as I tried to pull over, we survived the trip and made it back in plenty of time.

It might be crazy to do Seattle in 4 hours or less, especially if it's only to fulfill my own dream of myself, but I have to say, it was pretty fun!

They're calling for us to board--next time I blog, I'll be in paradise!


Roland said...


Scott MacLean said...

Wow, fun to actually find out what you all did in Seattle! BTW, did you ever land in paradise? Inquiring husband wants to know if you are safe...