They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but I’m not sure how much truth there is to that statement, especially when it comes to me and my mom. She’s awesome- selfless, patient, affectionate- and I’m… not. She decorates her house for almost every holiday and/or season, and I had a Christmas tree this year for the first time in four years (because she came over and put it up when I was out of town). Another area where we differ is travel- she has her spots she likes to go to and will go back whenever she gets a chance and won’t fly over water. I, on the other hand, had a conversation with Joel the other night where we agreed we have a lot of places we need to go before we go back to Boston (which is easily our favorite spot) and am planning a trip to Europe next summer.
Taking into account my mother’s travelling preferences, it’s not surprising that a lot of our vacations growing up were to landlocked places we’d repeat, and Seattle was not on the list. So despite it being a direct flight or a terrible but doable drive, I found myself at 27 years old never having been to the Emerald City, and I probably would have made it to 28 or even beyond if not for my younger sister, Bailey. She’d traveled with us on our long Boston/New York trip, so I knew she could hang for a trip with Joel and I, and an adventure seemed like a fun gift for her 18th birthday/graduation. (Remember that note about my mom being selfless? Yeah, a lot of the gifts I give also involve me doing the gift with them. I don’t even leave the “no truly selfless act” argument up for debate). I gave her a few options and thought she would for sure choose concert/Padres game/zoo in San Diego, but she surprised me and opted for a Red Sox series in Seattle. She’d actually been to Seattle before, but as a baby for a heart surgery, so Joel, a frequent Seattle visitor and reformed Mariners fan, was in for a long weekend with a couple of Seattle newbies!
Our first full day was packed with activities and a lot of walking. After our tour of the stadium, we walked to Pike’s Place market and wandered around there for a while, mostly people-watching, although we did stop at Le Panier for some legit macarons. We did the touristy pictures in front of the Market sign and the gum wall, loitered around the fish stands hoping they’d toss a fish to each other, and checked out all the flowers for sale, but my overall feel of Pike’s Place is that it’s fairly overrated. Maybe I did it wrong?
After Pike’s, we wandered down to Pier 57 and took a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel. A ride is relatively expensive, but we had to knock it off our list, and you get a decently long ride with some awesome views of the city.
Between our early dinner and the game, we didn’t really want to go back to the AirBnB (which was about 20 minutes from the stadium and super tiny but perfect for what we needed- a place to crash at night). It seemed like a waste of time and also we’d paid $10 to park in a garage a block away from the stadium because we got there early for the field tour. Instead, we wandered around the blocks surrounding Safeco, checked out the football/soccer stadium we’d be touring the next day, and went to a memorabilia shop where I got jersey to wear the next evening. Then, we went to the field and found spots to sit and watch batting practice. We even sat by the season ticket holder who had the Ichimeter (the Ichiro hit meter back in the glory days). It was hot, but a good spot to soak up some sun and enjoy a Frosé or two while learning about the Mariners from one of their super fans.
Despite the Red Sox loss, Seattle day one was a win. We knocked out some tourist stops, ate some good food, and had a great view for some fireworks. And we still had 3 days left in the city!
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.