Our five-day jaunt to Seattle had an inauspicious beginning. We almost missed our flight, thanks to our inability to find an available taxi, followed by the ill-fated maneuvering of our gypsy cab driver, who insisted for mysterious reasons on avoiding the West Side Highway and instead ended up stopping at EVERY.FREAKING.LIGHT between our apartment and the Holland Tunnel, and then chose the heretofore unknown Pulaski Skyway instead of I-78 to get to Newark Airport, resulting in our sitting in an endless single lane of traffic and turning what could have been a ten- to fifteen-minute leg of the drive into nearly an hour of inert torture.
Once we got to the Continental terminal, we were stymied by a check-in layout that required us to use multiple elevators to get where we needed to be, then by the inability of the personnel to process our credit card payment (for my over-50-pound suitcase o' Baby Support Equipment), then by seemingly endless security lines. Plus I had to buy sufficient water to make roughly 500 ounces of formula (since you never know when you might end up stranded on the tarmac for ten days or so). We made it to the gate just as boarding commenced, which to me is almost the same as missing the flight altogether. I like BUFFER TIME.
Fortunately, that was the low point of the trip. It turns out that Felicity is a spectacular traveler, and the airline gods smiled on us this time around so both going and coming back were smooth and on-time (in fact, yesterday we landed about 40 minutes EARLY -- when does that happen?). The baby ate or slept through most of the air-time, wasn't bothered by her ears popping, charmed the flight attendants and refrained from letting loose any blowout diaper extravaganzas while the seatbelt sign was illuminated.
What a good girl.
We stayed at the Four Seasons, which was pretty much off the hook (what? is that, like, NOT HIP? are the kids not using that term anymore?) -- great location; cool lobby with a sleek fireplace and comfy couches; and almost astonishingly nice and helpful staff. The hotel had upgraded us, so we got a one-bedroom suite. We didn't even try to act cool when they brought us to our room -- we practically skipped around in circles, exclaiming over the view! the dining area! the bathroom bigger than our living room! the TV embedded in the mirror! amenities for the baby!
(Whenever people mention that they got upgraded by a hotel, I want to grab their arm and demand, BUT HOW? WHY? Did you know a secret handshake? Are you important/famous in some non-obvious way? Is the manager related to you? In our case, if you're curious, it was because we booked through the Amex Platinum Card, which has an onerous annual fee but offers some sweet travel benefits, including room upgrades when available at participating hotels.)
Our room overlooked the pool, hot tub and fire pit, which we somehow didn't get around to using (perhaps because I was so tired most of the time that it felt like my spleen might leave my body; the baby adapted to the three-hour difference quite well -- there were 3am wakeups, yes, and she was up at five for the day, but since we went to bed around, um, EIGHT, it wasn't the end of the world -- but somehow I was just bone-breakingly tired throughout).
Nevertheless, we did enjoy the spectacular sunsets (arranged, I can only assume, for us personally):
We did the Seattle Things that ones does -- the market, the Waterfront, a harbor cruise, Seattle Center, the Art Museum, walking in the rain without an umbrella, visiting the Holy Land that is the original Starbucks. All good things.
We also snapped this photo for Jive Turkey (true, it should say "Brewster" rather than "Beaver", but somehow this made me think of her anyway. That sounds sort of wrong. I THOUGHT SHE WOULD FIND IT AMUSING IS ALL.):
And as long as we're on blog tie-ins, on Friday morning Joe, Felicity and I swung by to visit Linda, which was delightful and she was very gracious considering I emailed her out of the blue when we were already in town, forced her to rearrange her schedule, then came in and let my kid drool all over her floor. It was so fun to meet Dylan and Riley, who are as sweet and funny and adorable as you'd think they would be, and of course a pleasure to chat with her. Bloggie-friends, unite!
We also had lots of quality time with family (my parents were out visiting as well). Felicity had some STRANGER DANGER! angst upon first getting reaquainted with her Grammie and Granddad, but eventually that passed and she let her relatives near her without her face melting into a mask of terror. She was cool with her cousins (perhaps their varying degrees of red-headedness clued her in that they were related to her and therefore safe), and let them paw all over her (in a very sweet way); but when poor Grammie tried to hold her and give her a bottle the first day, she was having none of it. Rejected with extreme prejudice.
Let me show you the ropes, little one.
Dangerous levels of cute.
Adorable pigtails, to which Felicity can only aspire.
I love how it looks like the girls are deep in conversation. They're nine months apart so one day I hope they'll be thick as thieves.
A good time was had by all.