April 25-27, 2014
This weekend, Trey and I took a quick trip to Seattle. I had heard about a FTU event (Frequent Travelers Univiersity) that weekend. When I found out the Rangers would be in Seattle playing the Mariners, we had to go. Susan and Natalie were originally scheduled to go, but had to back out because Natalie had a dance performance.
We left Friday after work. We flew Southwest using my Companion Pass, so the round trip only cost 17K points and $15 for both of us. We arrived in Seattle, late, and took the shuttle to the hotel. I had reserved the Hilton Seattle Airport for a cash and points rate of $50 + 12,000 points per night. We got a small upgrade and each had our own King beds. The room was nice and we crashed pretty hard.
Saturday morning, Trey climbed into bed with me, at 4am. He said, “It’s 6 in Texas.” plus he was cold and lonely in his King bed. He wanted to wake up, but I put him off until 6, Seattle time. We got ready and had breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast spread was nice and it was free! I did have the option to pay $8 to upgrade to the full breakfast buffet, which I did the first day. After breakfast, I went to the FTU event, at the hotel next door. FTU is a weekend long event where people share knowledge about using and earning air and hotel points. At 12:30, I left the event so we could explore Seattle. We took the LINC, a local train, which goes from the airport to downtown. It took about 30 minutes. When we got downtown, we hopped on the Monorail. The Monorail was built in the 60’s for the Worlds Fair. It is a short ride that goes from downtown to the Space Needle. When we got there, we paid the $35 bucks to go to the top.
The top had gorgeous views of the city and surrounding areas. We had a great view of a lake that had a continuous flow of sea planes landing and taking off. The day was really nice, but the spotty clouds restricted the view of Mt. Rainier. We stayed at the top for only 15-20 minutes before we were ready to go. After the Space Needle we took the monorail back to downtown so we could go to Pikes Market. The short walk to Pikes Market, through downtown was filled with interesting characters. Lots of beggars, preachers, protesters, musicians and the like. I think Trey was a little scared. Pikes Market was like a really cool farmers market.
Inside the Market, it was shoulder to shoulder with people looking at the vendors. They had flowers, fruits and vegetables, fish and meats, crafts, and tons of food options. This is also the home of the famous Pikes Fish Market. We hung out to what the guys throw the fish and make lots of noise. They had a huge crowd and would call people up to go behind the counter to see if they could catch a fish. The one thing I noticed was that they used the same fish every time. A few years back, we did a study at work on the positive attitude and fun of these workers at this little fish stall. We moved on and saw a long line at a mini-donut stall. This place must be good. We waited in line and bought a dozen hot mini-donuts. They were good. We also bought some fish and chips from a vendor. It was pretty good to, but not as good as the donuts.
After the market, we had planned on finding the original Starbucks, but we were worried about time. We had a baseball game to get to. We took a taxi to Safeco field and waited for the gates to open.
When they finally did, we rushed to the outfield for batting practice. It was pretty crowded. I did end up catching a ball, on the fly. Trey stood at the wall asking players for a ball, but never got one.
After batting practice, we went around to our seats, a few rows behind the Rangers dugout. Trey was about to get autographs from Sin-Soo Choo and Martin Perez. The game started and the Rangers got behind, early. King Felix Hernandez pitched for the Mariners. The park was full (not sold out) because of King Felix and because it was Saturday, otherwise, I think it would have been pretty empty. The game was close and the Rangers ended up winning 6-3. Safeco is a really nice park. They fans were really good to us, even though we were wearing our Ranger gear. It started raining after a couple of innings, so they closed the roof, which was pretty cool. They have tons of food options. We only had popcorn and Dippin Dots (the ice cream of the future). They had a festive section called the King’s Court. All of the fans wore yellow King Felix shirts and crowns. They also had yellow “K” signs.
After the game, when went down to the Rangers dugout to watch the players leave. Our cousin, Blake, tossed Trey ball from the dugout. Trey bought his Mariner Moose stuffed animal then we rode the LINK back to our hotel. We got to experience the Seattle rain, but we were prepared.
The next day, we had breakfast in the hotel, I attended a few more sessions at FTU and then we headed to the airport. At the airport, we got to meet Richard from the Fast and Loud TV show. As we were walking around the airport, someone gave us a $36 voucher for food, so we ate at a nice seafood place called Anthony’s. Our bill was $36.24.
The flight back was on Southwest, again. We had a layover in Albuquerque that was delayed about an hour. They one eventful part of the flight was that I had my first go-around. A go-around is when the plane is about to land, and just before the wheels touch down, the pilot throttles up and goes back in the air. Once we were safely in the air, the pilot said the wind had a sudden shift and he wasn’t comfortable landing.