Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trip to Japan...NOT! (Part 1: Seattle)

Most of my readers know that we were supposed to take a trip to Japan earlier this month - the main reason was to visit Grant's brother, John.  We were going to fly from Seattle to Misawa Air Base in Northern Japan on Sunday, June 12, on what's called a Space Available flight, which is a military thing.  We've flown Space A before, way back when Kendall was just a few weeks old.  That time we flew from Ohio to Germany.  Space A is just what it says - if there is space available on the flight, you can get on.  Which means you don't have guaranteed seats.  Which can be a problem.  We ran into a few of those problems back in 2008, when we were trying to fly back to the States from Germany.  It worked out, just not when we thought it would.

However, with this particular flight to Japan, Grant did a lot of research on it, and from what he could tell, the flight was hardly ever full, which meant there was a good chance we'd get on.

We bought one-way tickets from Long Beach to Seattle, leaving the day before the flight to Japan.  Since the weather in Japan was supposed to be warm and humid, and even tropical where John lives, we packed for such weather. 

So Saturday morning, we headed up to Seattle.  I've never been to the Pacific Northwest before, so I was excited to see a new part of the country.  Grant had been up there before, because his mom is from Seattle.  But the last time he was there was probably over 20 years ago.

Once we got in, we took a shuttle to our hotel.  It wasn't even noon yet, so our room wasn't ready.  We walked down, probably half a mile or so to Subway to get some lunch.  Then we walked back to the hotel, and our room was ready.  So we checked in, and amazingly, we all took about a 3 hour nap.  We had already had a long day, so we were definitely tired.

After we woke up, we got a car to take us to the Market.  I'd seen it on TV so many times, it was cool to finally see it in person!  And I was surprised to see that it was so much more than just a fish market.  It had pretty much everything you could want there.  There was even a pasta booth that had dozens of homemade pastas.  Since I'm a pasta lover, I was intrigued.  We also visited the first-ever Starbucks, which is right there by the Market.

Once we got our fill of the market, we started making our way to the Space Needle.  I'm not gonna lie, we wandered around for a while trying to figure out how to get to the monorail, but we finally found it, and that was a great way to get to the Needle.

We thought when we got to the top that it would be windy and cold, but it actually wasn't!  And it was a nice, sunny, clear day, so the view was great.

Once we finished with the Space Needle, it was getting kind of late (well, late for kids anyway), so we started making our way back to our hotel.  Instead of spending the money getting another car or taxi, we decided to use the public transportation.  Which was great!

We got back to the hotel, went to bed, and got up early the next morning for our flight.

When we got to the airport, we were surprised at how many people were there!  I started getting a bad feeling about the flight, and loooooong story short, we didn't get on.  Not to worry, though.  There was a flight to Tokyo the following Tuesday.  So we decided to rent a car, go see some of Washington State, and come back and try again.

To be continued...


  1. I'm so excited to read more about your trip! You guys are so awesome and adventurous!

  2. What a beautifully clear day in Seattle -- a real treat!