Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day Eight: Independence Day

I actually wrote most of this post as a Word document during our flight yesterday. However, we didn’t get home to our Internet access until midnight last night, so I’m publishing this post today. Read on…
Mary and Ed on the flight back to Phoenix
So here I am on Day 11 of our honeymoon trip. I’m currently flying at about 35,000 feet somewhere between Seattle, Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona, typing my blog post on a teeny-tiny little table sandwiched between teeny-tiny little airline seats. I’ve had a wonderful time, a honeymoon I’ll never forget, but I’m ready to be back in my own home, for a few days at least.

Mount St. Helens as viewed from the plane window

We’ll only be home for a day or two before we’ll be packing up the kids and heading out on our long-planned family vacation to Colorado. Ed and I hope this next vacation will be a bit more restful than the last!
And, of course, I’ll be blogging our Colorado trip, too. That means that now I have to quickly catch up on what we’ve done these past 3 days in Seattle and Portland! Let's get started:
Day 8 - Sunday, July 4th: Independence Day

Our luggage waits outside while Ed waits in line inside.
After disembarking from the cruise ship, a shuttle carried us back to the airport in Seattle, where we picked up our rental car, a nice little Nissan Altima. Ed was quite impressed with the compact car’s performance and gas mileage.

Ed likes our new little rental car.

Rather than going straight to Portland, a 3-hour drive away, we headed back to downtown Seattle to tour the Space Needle. Since this was my first trip to Washington, I wanted to see at least one of the area’s popular sights before we moved on.

The Space Needle in Seattle, WA

Ed thought it was ironic that we got off the ship and traveled 20 minutes to the airport, only to turn around and travel back to the Space Needle so we could look down upon the ship we’d just left behind!

The Sapphire Princess is still docked below us, taking on new passengers.

The cost was a bit exorbitant ($18 each), but the view was spectacular. I had a young man ask me to take his picture while he perched on the railing and played his violin with the Seattle skyline behind him!

Amazing view from the top of the Space Needle

There was some sort of jazz festival/carnival going on below the Space Needle. After we came down, we enjoyed watching a band from Ecuador playing some music on their flutes and strings. Very cool!

Mary clowns around on the steps in front of the Space Needle

After leaving the Space Needle, we drove directly to Beaverton, a suburb of Portland where Ed used to live (1999 to 2007). Wow, more amazing greenery! The Portland area is gorgeous. I might consider moving there if I weren’t so happy and established in my beloved White Mountains!

Homes built into the hill above a tunnel

Around 4:30 we checked into our room at the Shilo Inn and unpacked only the bare essentials before heading off to visit one of Ed’s best buddies, Jerry. I really liked Jerry. What a great guy!

Ed and our rented Altima in front of the Shilo Inn

The beautiful grounds of the Shilo Inn ($50 per night on Priceline!)

After visiting for a bit, I mentioned that I’d like to see some fireworks, being that it was the fourth of July and all. Jerry got on the phone and called some of his and Ed’s long-time friends, Dave and Paige, and soon we were on our way to their house. It seems their homeowners association puts on an annual “small neighborhood display” just a few blocks from their house.

Waiting for the fireworks to begin: Dave, Paige, Ed, Jerry’s dog Cody Bear, and Jerry

Small neighborhood display? Ha! They estimated that about 15,000 people showed up to watch a fireworks show that lasted 45 minutes and was as well done as any others I’ve ever seen. It was fun watching the show and visiting with Ed’s friends.  Dave and Paige were so sweet to invite us to intrude on their evening!

A beautiful burst of color!

It took us a very long time to drive out of Dave and Paige’s packed neighborhood and return to the hotel, but it was worth it to have a one-of-a-kind Independence Day experience so far from home.

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