Thursday, August 1, 2013

Washington Trip~ Day One, Saturday, July 20th~

First of all, our trip to Washington was a "go", because I'm married to a man who knows how to plan excellent vacations, and strategically find great deals!
When Richard first began talking about visiting Washington state (he lived there from age 9 through 16), I wondered if the visit was possible without a very long road trip!
Richard had read stories about people earning points through credit card sign-up bonuses, to redeem free hotel nights and free airplane flights.
 
Richard used these free points earned through sign-up bonuses along with points earned through business travel, to plan a wonderful vacation for our family!
All our hotels were free during our Washington trip, and we only had to pay for one airline ticket.
We had to pay for our "fun stuff", of course, as well as our rental vehicle. Not much different than taking a vacation a tad closer to us.  :)
 We parked our vehicle at the Metro Link (long-term parking), and purchased round-trip Metro tickets. We would still be able to use them on our return home in 11 days.
The Metro Link took us all the way to the Lambert Airport in St Louis.
The children were excited over their first flight, and SO full of questions (making it difficult to think at times)!
 
We had one suitcase to check-in with Alaska Airlines... 
 .... and 5 carry-ons we took through security.
 Wohoo! Our Airplane!!  :)
 We were on a direct flight to Seattle, Washington!
Caleb & I sat across the aisle from Richard, Ashlyn & Antonin.
Richard had created a "window seat schedule" so the kids would have equal window time, but
there wasn't a window next to Caleb's seat!! This slightly messed up the window seat schedule.  Since my seat was next to Caleb's, I didn't take photos of scenery out the window.  I know ... I should have added my name to the "window seat schedule" ... haha!   :)
Instead, I read Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.  It seems to be the book of my choice when I have the chance to read.   :)
A stranger was sitting on the other side of me, and we had a nice conversation or two. She asked what I was reading, and I gladly shared with her.    :)  :) 

 Eating snacks and drinking beverages was the kids' favorite part of the flight, of course (besides their turn to look out the window)!  :)
We enjoyed a very smooth, uneventful flight.
Once our plane landed at the Seattle Airport and taxied to our arrival gate, Ashlyn exclaimed, "We're here... and I haven't even barfed yet!"      :)
~~~~~~~~~~
We claimed our suitcase in the Airport's baggage area, then headed for Seattle's Link Light Rail.
 
 
The kiddos hadn't slept well the night before in anticipation of our trip, so they were very tired.
 We arrived at our stop before the kids got too comfy... then looked for the Streetcar we would take to our hotel.
By this time, it was dark, and quite difficult reading the street signs. We wandered around before finding the correct Streetcar stop. Should you ever take a trip to Seattle and want to take a Streetcar, don't look for "stations". Streetcar stops are much like Bus stops- a small sign and covered/sheltered bench area.   :)
[this photo was taken a few days later]
 
We all breathed a sigh of relief when we reached our hotel.
The time was around 11 p.m. PST (1 a.m. CST), and need I say that we fell into bed? 
We were tired, yet grateful to have arrived safe & sound in Seattle!  :)
Ten whole days were ahead of us ..... what would we see? What fun was ahead??  :)

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