First word of advice, pay attention to what your fiancée says about any future vacations. When Jennifer and I got engaged, I remember her mentioning that she wanted to see whales. Therefore, with our limited budget and having the knowledge of her interest in whales and my interest in a honeymoon, we quickly decided that the Pacific Northwest was calling our name.
Luckily, we had a summer wedding and going to the Northwest in July is always a smart decision. So, Seattle it was. We would be able to see whales, we would be away from the heat, and we would both be visiting a city we had never been to. The next task was figuring out what else we were going to do. Of course, I knew we were seeing some whales, but I wanted to go for a week or two. We needed to fill up the time. I knew Seattle was home to many different companies and music, so I started from that point. How much time could a visit to the original Starbucks really take (turns out about 10 minutes...each time)?
Seattle is the home of Boeing, Microsoft, REI, Nirvana, Hendrix, Foo Fighters, and I am sure some other things. Out of all the attractions I just listed, we ended up doing one. That has to do with an indecisive set of newlyweds and time – and money. After realizing all of the wonderful things we could do in Seattle, we decided to cement that in as our honeymoon. But there was one catch. We would need to budget really well, and that's when the magic phone call was made.
One of my best friends, Brettne, told me about registering for our honeymoon. She told me it is sometimes viewed as tacky, but she thought it was a great idea. She was right. I proceeded to get online and simply Google, "Honeymoon Registry.” That’s when the next magical act happened and Traveler's Joy emerged. I clicked on the link and it immediately looked like a great place to register. And then BOOM, we were registered for our honeymoon. It was probably the single greatest idea I ever went with (besides marrying Jennifer of course). It was so easy to get set-up and even easier to guide people to the site to give us what we really wanted – a great honeymoon. I always hear complaints from family and friends that certain websites are very hard to navigate, but not Traveler's Joy. Everyone that used it said it was a breeze.
We received enough to pay for two-thirds of the trip and we were stoked. We ended up adding Portland to our trip and staying a few nights there so that we could experience Voodoo Donuts. They have some of the funkiest donuts you will ever come across.
After Portland, we headed to Seattle and stayed at Hotel Monaco downtown near all of the hubbub. On the train from Portland to Seattle, we made plans to go on a wine tour, a Boeing tour, a ghost tour, a chocolate tour and an underground tour. In addition, we ended up catching a Mariners game, went to Pike Place, took a harbor cruise, visited the Space Needle, went to the original Starbucks (a few times), and, of course, went whale watching. All of these things were well worth the experience. Although whale watching was the reason we went to Seattle, I can't say it was the best part. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but it was cold, windy, the boat was full of kids and – to be completely honest – it was a bit too long of a trip with very little whale action.
Instead, the best part of the trip for me was a little place called "Tea and Crumpets" in Pike Place. Jennifer spotted the place on day one, but we didn't try it out until the day before we left. I think that was a huge mistake. Well, it may have been a blessing depending on how you look at it. If we had tried "Tea and Crumpets" on the first day, we wouldn't have eaten anywhere else for breakfast or lunch (they weren't open for dinner). Then we would've missed out on some of the great food we had. That being said, it might have been worth it. As an American who has never been to Europe, I had never had a crumpet, and according to the "crumpeteer" (what she called herself), these were authentic crumpets. They were phenomenal. In fact, so much so that we made sure we had enough time before our flight home to stop in and have some crumpets.
I would recommend Seattle to everyone during the summer months because of the weather and all of the places you can go that will entertain you for days. But if you go for a few minutes, or just for one thing, go to "Tea and Crumpets" in Pike Place. It’s worth every penny and could potentially change your life. Well, maybe not change your life, but it could really improve your day. Reluctantly after approximately $3,000 spent in the northwest part of our country, we left and came home as a very happy married couple. We were happy to be home, but we left knowing we'd be back. Oh yes, we would be back.