We went to Seattle! For my birthday this year we decided that a few kid-free days would be about the greatest thing I could ask for. So we packed up our Arizona version of warm clothes and headed to the Emerald City.
Neither of us had been to Seattle, or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, and we were both enamored by it. We googled all the things to do and see and eat, and tried to fit in as many of those things that would work with our schedule. But also, we didn’t want to do something just because it was there if it wasn’t something that we were dying to do. For example, on our last morning we went to the Space Needle but due to fog, they told us that visibility up there was very low. So we opted out to save ourselves the frustration of paying lot of money to look at the inside of a cloud. This was a little new for us, as in the past, we sometimes fall into the trap of doing something just for the sake of having something to do. But not this time. Not the new us. The more budget-conscious, intentional us. 🙂 No, but really. We did try to be a little more thoughtful of our spending, and really tried to spend on things that would really improve our experience, and save on things that were just convenient or because we were looking for an activity.
That being said, since our time in Seattle was short (and cold!) and I don’t feel like we are ready to provide a full travel guide, here are three different things that brought us a lot of enjoyment.
- Robot vs. Sloth
Okay, with a name like that, how can it NOT be awesome? Robot vs. Sloth is the CUTEST little art store a block away from Pike Place. Haven’t you always wanted a print of a robot hugging an octopus? Or a sloth fighting a hedgehog with nunchucks? What was that? You need a picture of a mermaid kitty? Well look no further, because the art here has all of that! They have different sizes of a ton of different prints, they have shirts, hoodies, wall decals, pins and buttons, magnets, etc. We ended up buying a couple of prints for our kids’ toy room and then buttons for the kids to put on their backpacks. And I still can’t get over how much I love them. What I like about buying art on vacations is that it will remind you of the trip, and it isn’t something that you see every day. You should ask me about my spooky mansion photo in my room sometime…its the same kind of thing from a previous trip. Anyway, this store is a must see, even if it is just to be amused by and drool over all things darling inside. And you probably won’t find this on a must-see list that you google, so there’s that. 🙂
- Stay Downtown
One of my favorite tips when staying in a big city is stay downtown and walk or take public transit as much as possible. Seattle was especially convenient because their Link Light Rail system was super convenient. Often when trying to get from airports to hotels, I feel like it is always a little tricky to either figure out the metro system or you have to walk super far, or take a bus or another train just to get to the main train. Not in Seattle. You literally follow the arrows out of the terminal in the airport and you walk directly to the light rail. And get this: it was THREE DOLLARS, for each of us to ride from the airport to Downtown Seattle. That is so cheap! And it was so convenient! And once we hopped off at our stop, our hotel was about a block or two from the station, which was crazy convenient. I honestly couldn’t recommend this more.
Our first day we pretty much didn’t leave the Downtown area, so we didn’t even use much transportation. The next couple days we used a combination of buses, light rail rides and a couple Ubers, but overall, it was all cheaper than renting a car, paying to park it at our hotel, paying to park anywhere else you go, and then you can also avoid the fighting after the navigator bosses the driver into going the wrong direction somewhere. Not that we would know much about that. 🙂
In the future when we go to Seattle again, I might rent a car for a day just to get me a little further out of town, but again, I wouldn’t do it just for the sake of getting car because you need transportation. It would be more strategically planned when wanting to explore Bainbridge Island or go up to a few other parks and such that were tricky to get to when we were walking and it was raining.
- ICE CREAM
I scream, you scream, I can’t stop screaming about this ice cream! We went to Salt and Straw while there, and because it was November, it had my very favorite seasonal ice cream flavor, Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecans. GOOOOOOOOOOOD HEAVENS! It is the best ice cream flavor I’ve had in my life! Salt and Straw in general has amazing staple flavors that are available all year, but each month their specialty flavors can be a fun treat, and November was straight up heaven in a waffle cone.
We also went to Molly Moon’s ice cream shop, which apparently one of the owners of Salt and Straw used to work at before going rogue. It was also super delicious. I got a sweet cream and they had lemon curd that you could add on top and it just doesn’t get better than that in my mind. Philip also liked what he got (though I can’t remember what it was for then life of me), and overall we said we would definitely go there again.
Both shops were a bit of a walk from our Downtown hotel, but totally worth the mile long walk uphill in the freezing cold, to go eat ice cream and get even colder. And all that walking made me feel like I was at least working for my ice cream a little bit. I’m sure it all equals out.
There were a lot of other things that we did that we loved or that we felt made our trip fantastic, but most of those can be found on a top 50 things to do list somewhere on the internets.
And since this blog is supposed to be semi-about finances and such, this was our first time using travel rewards points to book a hotel! We’ve been using flight points for years, and this trip was no exception, (thanks to Southwest fall fare sales in June!) but we were able to use our Chase Ultimate Rewards to book our hotel and it was so easy and convenient! We are working on diving into travel rewards, but it is more like wading in moderately fast. 🙂 I’ll be sure to share more on that in another post.
All in all though, Seattle is amazing. And so is sleeping in and not having small children that like to wake up extra early on vacations and eating whatever we want without having to think about what we would order for picky kids. It was a much needed vacation for us lovers.