Thursday, January 30, 2014

Travel: The Emerald City

Well gems, it's been decided. For our mini-vacation this year, we're heading to Seattle!

Because of Jack's crazy work schedule and our love of travel, we decided that once a year, we would take a vacation. Whether it be a two week adventure or a weekend getaway, once a year (at least!), we decided to skip town.

Where have we been? In 2011, we spent a long weekend together in Michigan. In 2012, we spent another long weekend in Austin. In 2013, we spent half a week in New York City, and another seven glorious days in Mexico. Oh, and we also road tripped to Ohio to see Mumford & Sons. Not to mention all the trips back and forth to Wisconsin, we've covered some ground together, and can't wait to do more. We've got the travel bug. 

While we originally had planned on heading to Ireland this winter, the possibility of moving and getting a dog are also up in the air during that time, so we thought it would probably be a better idea to hold off on Ireland. While I have to admit I was a little sad to put our Irish vaca on hold, I had to remind myself - Ireland will be there whenever you're ready to visit. Plus, the thought of moving into an apartment and possibly being a dog mom did help to soften the blow :)

So where do two spirited 20-somethings go for a long weekend? We gave ourselves a few options to choose from. We wanted to head to a city we hadn't been to (if possible), was easily walkable, had exciting Labor Day activities (the weekend we wanted to travel on), and had relatively inexpensive direct flights from Minneapolis. Luckily, we had a few great options to choose from (Seattle, Boston and San Francisco, to name a few). While I thought we might debate this one out, Jack immediately said he wanted Seattle, and I wasn't one to argue. Lots of restaurants and shops, farmers markets, a beautifully rugged outdoor landscape, coffee galore and cloudy skies? It wasn't hard to immediately say yes!

Not wanting to wait any longer, we booked our tickets that night, and are in the process of securing an apartment on Airbnb for our stay. If you've never used Airbnb before, I highly recommend it on your next trip! We used the site when we went to New York, and ended up saving hundreds of dollars by staying at someone's apartment rather than paying for a hotel room. Not to mention, our hosts were great, gave us recommendations on where to go and genuinely were excited to have us. Don't worry - you don't have to actually stay with someone! Many people rent out their entire apartments, so the entire thing is "yours" during your stay. That's what we'll be doing in Seattle, and by doing a quick cost comparison, we'll be saving almost $150/night.

What I like about traveling with Jack is that he's on board for living like locals when we travel, and for saving money wherever possible. While in Seattle, we're planning on hitting up Pike Place Market for groceries, and doing a bit of cooking at our Airbnb apartment. While we'll obviously eat out (we're excited to try this chowder, head to a few breweries and get the best coffee in the country), I'm a big fan of cooking, and Jack's a big fan of eating my cooking, so it'll be the perfect mix of tourist vs. local while we're there. But don't worry, we're contemplating splurging on Bumbershoot tickets (the 2014 lineup hasn't been released, but if it's as good as last year, we're IN).

So that's our big, exciting travel news for 2014! We're in the very, very beginning stages of planning now, but I'm sure I'll be posting rather frequently about it until August. I hope you don't get sick of me!

Have any of you been to Seattle? If so, what are your "must-see" sites?

Have a great Thursday, gems. Be safe in the snow!

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