I Un-Heart the Seahawks (Part 2)

It is only fitting that today, on Halloween, I share with you the horror that was the Patriots’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Okay, fine, I’m exaggerating.  It was really only the end of the day that was horrifying.  The rest of the day was great.  We started out with a hot breakfast at the hotel with a bunch of other Patriots fans, a little bit of NFL countdown, and a lot of layering and team gear.  Then we hopped the shuttle to the light rail and headed down to the stadium!

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There were Patriots fans all over the train, and even more when we got to the stadium!  There isn’t a lot of tailgating due to lack of parking near the stadium, but there were fans everywhere, street vendors, and live entertainment from the very talented Seahawks band!


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We explored outside the stadium a while, then decided to make our way inside the stadium to watch warm-ups.  Finally, I was in the same building as Tom Brady!!!

We decided that since we were making this a once in a lifetime experience, we should experience the whole thing, including stadium food.  I’m telling you, if our politicians are really so worried about inflation, they should visit a football stadium.  It makes the price of gas seem rather insignificant when you pay $4.50 for a bottle of soda.  (And really, at nearly $5 each, don’t you think they should let you keep the cap to your soda)?  Apparently, there are magic bubbles in the Sprite and Root Beer that they sell there.  So, after spending a small fortune on sodas and hot dogs, we made our way to our seats!



We had a great view, which was perfect, because it was almost time for warm ups.  And that means . . .



And because you should always give credit where credit is due . . . (and because their uniforms are awesome):


It was really fun watching warm-ups and seeing what goes on before a game.  Before we knew it, the stadium was full and they were singing the national anthems (yes, anthems).  Oddly enough, despite the fact that there were a gazillion Patriots fans in town and the fact that we were sitting in the visitor’s section, we were completely surrounded by Seahawks fans.


After the national anthem, the announcer introduced the Seahawks starting defense.  Each defensive starter was introduced individually with a shower of fireworks.  It was pretty cool, although I did feel a little sorry for their offense, which was not acknowledged at all.  I think that tells you everything you need to know about Seahawks fans and how they feel about their team!


And then it was time for the main event!  The first play of the game . . .


At that point, we realized why our shuttle driver had suggested we bring earplugs from the hotel.  I didn’t believe it could be as loud as he said, but WOW . . . it was even louder.  My ears were still ringing when we got home at midnight that night.  But it was worth it.  The whole game experience sucked me in.  It was so cool to be able to see everything happening during a play, as opposed to just what the TV cameras want you to see.  It was also really interesting to see what goes on during the commercial breaks.

We learned a lot about Seahawks fans during this game as well.  For starters, they are crazy.  And intense.  And so very loud.  They are not at all attached to Russell Wilson.  They hate him one second, and love him the next.  Seahawks fans all know that they got beyond lucky on the blown call in the Green Bay game.  They know they should have lost.  I even heard a few cries of, “Bring back the replacement refs!”.  And finally (and most importantly), they hate the Cowboys just as much as we do.  When the score of the Ravens-Cowboys game was announced, the entire stadium roared its approval of the Ravens’ win.  It just goes to show that even polar opposites can find common ground, at least as far as the Cowboys are concerned.

We saw a LOT of awesome things during the game.  The first nugget of awesomeness was Wes Welker scoring a touchdown right in front of us!  Witnessing a Brady-Welker TD in person made both our days.  Seattle also dropped a punt, which turned into a crazy play.  We had an official review controversy when Russell Wilson lost the ball and the refs ruled it a fumble (when it was clearly an incomplete pass).  They reviewed it and still ruled it a fumble, which did not really please our Seahawks seatmates.  Also, thanks to my dad lending me his binoculars, I was able to binocu-stalk Tom Brady all over the field!  THAT was fun.  The big screen also helped me out with that from time to time as well.


And for three glorious quarters, everything went swimmingly.  The players and everyone in the lower levels got soaked by the rain, but we stayed warm and dry where we were sitting.  Tom Brady had thrown a couple picks, but the Patriots still had a two touchdown lead, and life couldn’t get better.  So of course, the Patriots’ good for nothing, heart-attack inducing defense felt the need to re-emerge and make things interesting.  And things went downhill from there.  The Pats’ defense made Russell Wilson look like Aaron Rodgers, the Seahawks rallied, and scored a last minute touchdown to beat the Patriots by a point.  No offense to Russell Wilson, but the credit for the Seahawks win goes to the Patriots’ defense, no to him.

I will admit that it was beyond disappointing to have the Patriots collapse and lose the game like that.  But I have to say, it was a REALLY exciting game.  I didn’t want to watch a blowout or a snoozer, and this game went down to the very end.  There was nothing boring about it, and despite the loss it was still one of the most awesome days ever.  The only thing that could have possibly made the day better was a win.  But on the bright side, we got to see fireworks go off when the Seahawks won, AND we both got a free short stack of pancakes at IHOP that night before we went home, thanks to the Seahawks scoring at least 23 points.  So there’s that.  Free food makes up for a lot of things.

Besides, the Patriots’ loss didn’t seem nearly as painful once we got on the road to head home and I checked my fantasy score, only to discover that the TBFC was losing to my HUSBAND by thirty points . . . with a 34 point game from Jordy Nelson sitting on my bench.  Oy.

And THAT concludes the epic story . . . the trip of destiny, the game of a lifetime, and probably the closest to Tom Brady and the Patriots that I will ever get.  Which is probably good, because if I ever get anywhere near that defense, there would definitely be some yelling.  I am so glad we splurged and took this trip, because it was SO worth it.  Even if the Patriots had to lose for us to get it.  Next up . . . Foxborough?


I Heart Seattle! (Part 1)

It has been two weeks, and I feel I have finally recovered (enough) to share our Seattle trip with everyone.  Nathan and I took a trip to Seattle to watch the Seahawks-Patriots game on Oct 14.  Having never been to Seattle before (which is weird, considering how close we live to it), we decided to go up a couple days early so that we could spend our Saturday doing some sightseeing.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn by the airport, which I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone taking a trip to Seattle.  For $75 a night, we got a super nice hotel room, a delicious free hot breakfast every morning, and free 24-hour transportation to and from the airport, light rail, and multiple restaurants (even after we checked out on Sunday morning).  As someone who is always hunting for a bargain, I would say we definitely got it with the hotel!

The weather forecast for the weekend was rain, rain, and you guessed it – more rain!  So, Saturday morning, we layered on our Under Armor, raincoats, and hats, took the hotel shuttle to the light rail station, and took off for a little sightseeing in the rain.  It is amazing what you can do with a smartphone and a map of Seattle, and we had the whole day planned out.  We had two goals – see as much as we could see, and only eat at local Seattle restaurants.

Our first stop was Pioneer Square, to hit Smith Tower and the Waterfall Park.  I had read about this park on the Pioneer Square website and naively thought there was a real waterfall in the middle of downtown.  Yes, ha ha, joke on me.  It was a manmade waterfall in a courtyard, in a neighborhood where the only people seemed to be homeless, druggies, or just plain creepy people.  Funny how the website didn’t mention THAT part.  But the man-made waterfall was pretty.


Smith Tower wasn’t open yet (note to self – nothing opens until 10).  So, we made our way north into a less-creepy part of Pioneer Square and had some authentic Seattle’s Best Coffee (definitely better than Starbucks!) until the tower opened.  Never heard of Smith Tower?  Until the night before, neither had I.  We had been debating whether the $19/person fee to ride to the top of the Space Needle was worth it, when we saw that someone mentioned the Smith Tower online.  For only $7.50/person, you can ride the manually operated elevator (super awesome) to the 35th floor and access the observation deck.  You can see downtown, the waterfront, and even the Space Needle (on a clear day, you can also see Mt. Rainier).  You can also check out the Chinese Room on the 35th floor, which features a ceiling made of porcelain discs imported from China, and a 300 year old “wishing chair”.  The story is that if a single woman sits in the chair and genuinely wishes for love, she will be engaged within one year.  We got to the Smith Tower when it opened, and we had the entire place to ourselves for the half hour we were there.  We got a personal tour of the Chinese Room, and it was amazing to be the only ones on the observation deck!  I am guessing we couldn’t get that at the Space Needle.  The Smith Tower was one of the best stops of our day.






After Smith Tower, we continued heading North toward Pike Street Market.  We planned to ride the light rail, but once we started walking it just seemed easiest to keep on walking!  On the way, we made a nerd stop so that I could check out the Seattle Public Library.


The library building is so cool and unique.  It is TEN whole floors, and the fourth floor is this lovely surprise:


I kid you not; the entire fourth floor is red.  Except for the bathrooms.  (Which was disappointing, because I really wanted to see what an all red bathroom would look like.)  The fourth floor was also surprisingly deserted.

Next up after the library was a quick stop to see what a City Target looks like (they have separate escalators for your cart!) and then it was off to Pike Street Market!  I can’t believe how huge that place is.  You could spend all day there and probably not see everything.  We checked out the shops, the farmer’s market, the fish stand (yes, we got to see a fish getting thrown – there is nothing quite like seeing a giant dead fish fly through the air!), and the antique market.



Next, we continued walking our way north until we reached the Olympic Sculpture Park.  It is right on the water, a few blocks west of the Space Needle.  It features several unique sculptures, along with an excellent view of the Needle itself.

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From the Sculpture Park, we made our way to the Space Needle.  We felt we had gotten our view and money’s worth at the Smith Tower, so we didn’t go up to the top, but we enjoyed the atmosphere.

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At that point, we realized it was only 1:30 in the afternoon.  It’s amazing what you can get done when you get up early!  We had seen nearly everything that we wanted to see in just a few hours, despite the fact that we had walked well over two miles at that point.  We slowly made our way back toward Pike Street Market via Belltown.  We stopped at a little eatery called The Lucky Diner for a little snack to tide us over until dinner. They serve breakfast items all day, one of which is a delicious dish called Home Fries.  Yummmmm.  Belltown had tons of cool little shops and restaurants, and I wish we had stayed a whole week so that we could eat at every single one!  We made a slight detour so that I could see the Nordstrom flagship store (fancy and expensive, as always) and check out the downtown Nordstrom Rack (ten times busier than Portland, yikes!).  Then we headed down the Harbor Steps to check out the Pike Street waterfront.




At this point, we had walked over four miles and my legs were to the point that I could walk no farther.  So, we painfully climbed back up the ten million Harbor Steps to cap off our night with dinner at the Pike Street Market.  We picked the Pike Place Brewery (also called Pike Place Pub), because not only did it look like a pretty cool place, but it came highly recommended for great food (especially good burgers).  And frankly, a good burger is the way to our hearts!  The restaurant was awesome, and the food did not disappoint, prompting Nathan to claim that it was “the best burger I’ve ever had in my life”.  If you know him, you know this is a big deal!


By the time we finished dinner, it was 6 pm.  The market was closed, we had seen everything we wanted to see, and we were dead on our feet!  So we hopped the light rail back to our hotel to prepare for the big Sunday ahead of us.  One of the best parts about our day Saturday was how many other Patriots (and USC) fans we saw out and about – we definitely were not the only ones sightseeing.  It was really fun to say hi and wave to complete strangers who shared our team spirit (and even more fun when people mistook us for being from Boston!).  We had the most fantastic day exploring Seattle, and I am so glad we went a day early to take advantage of it.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and the big game!


Another Happy Happy Birthday!

Today we are wishing a very happy birthday to the best husband ever!


He looks so thrilled to be moving from mid to late twenties, doesn’t he?  He should be, because I made a delicious cake to celebrate the occasion and put him into a sugar coma!


Make a wish!


Happy birthday to the best husband I could ever have asked for.  We love you, Nathan!

*For those wondering about the cake, you can find the recipe at this awesome blog.  I followed her recipe exactly except for making white cake instead of chocolate, and tripling the amount of peanut butter cups.  Super rich but also super easy, and no cake decorating talent required (always key when I am involved).


Birthday Shout Out

Today, I want to give a short but sweet birthday shout out to the smartest, coolest, prettiest, and most fun medical school student in the world!!!  That’s not even me being biased, it’s just the truth.


Happy birthday Erika!


A Lesson In Adulthood . . . From Teenagers?

What makes a person a grown up?

The term “grown-up” or “adult” means different things to different people.  The definitions have changed and blurred over the years.  Especially in this age, where many young adults live at home longer, spend more time in college, and wait until they are older to get married.  Some people classify being an adult as reaching a certain age, like 18 or 21.  Some people classify it as a stage in life, like moving out on your own, getting your first full time job, getting married, or becoming a parent.  Some people consider it being financially independent.  And some people consider adulthood to be a frame of mind.

I would argue that being an adult is some combination of these things.  A 16 year old child actor can be financially independent and emancipated from their parents, but that doesn’t make them an adult.  On the other hand, a grad student may live at home while pursuing their advanced degree, or might receive financial help here and there from their parents, but they are still an adult.  So, the most logical definition of an adult would be some combination of the above mentioned factors.

But perhaps one of the most damning signs of adulthood is a lesson provided by the younger generation – a lesson in what the phrase “turn in to your parents” actually means.  A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of chaperoning a group of high school kids on an overnight athletic trip, and they delivered that lesson loud and clear.

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Teenagers are incredibly noisy.  Did you know that?  The words, “Indoor voices please!” actually came out of my mouth.  When I heard myself say that, I cringed – the first time.  Because another thing about teenagers?  They have very short term memories.  So I uttered those words not once, not twice, but three times.  Oy.  By the third time, I was no longer cringing.  I really just wanted them to be quiet.

Teenagers are also not great listeners.  The building we stayed at was unfortunately a victim of the same useless, malfunctioning Kidde smoke alarms that are found in my house.  The group bathrooms didn’t have a door, and the steam from the showers set off the smoke detector in the hall.  Of course, the girls didn’t care for it beeping.  Nor did they listen to me when I said, “Leave it alone, it’s just the steam.  It will turn off on its own.”  Now, those seemed like pretty clear instructions to me.  But to a teenage mind, I actually said, “Yes, please take down the smoke detector and mess with it.  Who cares that removing smoke detectors is a federal offense, and we are guests at an army base?” 

Needless to say, I was not happy when I returned two minutes later to find them with the smoke detector in one hand and batteries in another.  I asked what they thought they were doing, and they replied that it wouldn’t stop beeping.  I told them to put it back up immediately.  Several confused faces looked at the ceiling and then at me.  “How are we supposed to get it up there?”

If I were a cartoon character, steam would have started coming out of my ears.  But this is real life.  So, I did the only logical thing I could do – told them off.  “How did you manage to get it down?  I told you not to take it down, and you did it anyway, so you get to figure out how to put it back up.  I don’t care how you do it, but I will be back in five minutes and it better be attached to the ceiling!”  And thankfully, it was.

The fun didn’t stop there.  Before we could leave the dorm that we were staying at, we had to clean the place spotless and get it signed off.  But the thing is, you can’t start cleaning until everyone packs up their stuff.  And as it turns out, teenagers move at approximately the speed of a turtle.  For the first time, I understood why my dad was always nagging my sisters and I about taking ridiculously long showers.  I mean seriously, how long does it take one person to take a shower?  And why does it take twenty minutes to brush your hair?  At one point, I finally sent one of the girls in to tell the other ones to get moving and get out of the shower, or else I would come tell them myself, and I certainly would not be nice about it.  And once I finally got them to get dressed, pack their stuff, and get it outside, I learned the hard way that teenagers do not voluntarily clean anything, and was forced to transform myself into The Evil Cleaning Drill Sergeant.

If there was any doubt that I am nothing but a cranky old adult, I hunted down the coaches of the other team that we shared a dorm with when their girls made a mess in the bathroom and then did not help to clean.  Seriously, they completely disappeared.  I had already made my girls clean the entire dorm, and I didn’t think it was fair that they have clean the entire bathroom too.  When I asked the girls from the other team about it, they said, “Well our coach said we didn’t have to because we are seniors.”  HA!  Well, I am apparently on my way to being a senior citizen, so that excuse was not going to fly.  So I went outside, found their coach, and said, “Excuse me, but the dorm and bathroom have to be signed off on for being cleaned before we leave.  My girls have cleaned the entire dorm out by themselves.  What are your girls cleaning?  I would suggest the bathroom.”  The coach looked at me like I was mental, but ten minutes later a bunch of grouchy teenage girls filed up the stairs to clean a bathroom against their will.  SUCCESS!!!  The Evil Cleaning Drill Sergeant strikes again!!!!

* * *

I disliked the word “grown-up” for a long time, because I associate it with the world “old”.  And we all know how I feel about being old.  But the trip a few weeks ago made me realize that in comparison to teenagers, I AM old.  (And also, I am apparently turning into my Mom and Dad.  So, congratulations to me.)  But you know what?  I like being an adult.  I like indoor voices, going to bed at a reasonable time, and taking naps after dinner.  And besides that, my mom and dad are pretty cool, and always right about everything (including the fact that no one needs to spend 45 minutes taking a shower, no matter how much you love hot water).  And I do like being right.  So if being an adult means turning into them, I guess it can’t be all bad.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go to bed.  This old lady needs her beauty rest so that she can take on Seattle this weekend.  Go Patriots!!!!