Adventures in Seattle: The city that kidnapped our daughter

In 2006 our lovely daughter and oldest child, left for college 1,000 miles away to the home of The Space NeedleAmazon, Grey’s Anatomy, and the world famous Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

A spectacular view of Downtown Seattle from Alki Beach 


That conniving city kidnapped her, kept her superbly happy and did not encourage her to return home. Alex spent four fantastic years going to college at the University of Washington. Now all grown up and graduated, she loved it there so much that she has decided to make Seattle her permanent home.

I had a very difficult time adjusting in the first six months of her departure. But slowly, very slowly, I understood that my independent daughter was an adult who made a choice to go out of state to a wonderful university in the Northwest.

Although I missed her terribly, I was never angry, just sad that she wasn’t nearby. I was unable to see her as often as I wished and missed our time together. That being said, Craig and I decided to embrace this new city of hers and experience everything it had to offer. That was eight years ago and we have done an excellent job!

After traveling to Seattle on countless trips and earning piles of airline miles, we have adopted the Emerald City as our “home away from home”.  We have enjoyed so many amazing things while traveling there during each of the four seasons  We have endured a windy, rainy and cold December, to cool, crisp Spring days with puffy clouds for miles, to a blistering, hot and sweaty August. Not every building is air conditioned in the city and therefore heat waves can be extremely uncomfortable. Seattle is the place where it rains, but frankly it doesn’t rain as much as people think it does. It is more common to experience grey skies and the air thick with drizzle than to have a driving rain storm. I think secretly Seattlites are happy that more tourists haven’t figured out the weather isn’t as terrible as most people believe. This well kept secret keeps out-of-towners from moving there! I must say however, when the weather is nice, there is no more beautiful city than Seattle. It is breathtaking.

During the past eight years we have attended college football games, watched The Sounders, (the pro-soccer team) and sat in Mariner Stadium enjoying a baseball game on a Sunday afternoon. We have sampled delicious cuisine, visited most of the attractions this glorious city has to offer and enjoyed nature in all of its splendor.

Summer is coming to a close and I have been thinking a great deal about all of the families who are saying good bye to their college students and some of these students are leaving for the first time. To these parents I offer this suggestion: Embrace it, embrace the new city where your child will spend the next few years. Whether it is thirty minutes away or 3,ooo miles, explore this new place they call home and it will enhance your life as much as it will your student.

We absolutely love Seattle and I wanted to share just a “sprinkling” of my photos from the last eight years in the enchanting Emerald City of Seattle Washington:

Alexandra on her first weekend in Seattle (2006)


 Lovely Spring flowers in the park


The Quad at the University of Washington


 The Huskies of the University of Washington running on the field


 The Huskies beat the USC Trojans in an unprecedented win. (I loved it)


  The Space Needle on a grey day in December


 The iconic coffee of Seattle


 A view of the Seattle skyline from the deck of the ferry to Bainbridge Island


 The guitar tower at the EMP (Experience Music Project) at The Seattle Center


Enjoying beers and playing darts at Bravehorse Tavern


 Pike Place Market on a rainy day at Christmastime


 The famous Pike Place Fish Market


 The spectacular flowers at Pike Place Market


A lovely Fall day


Cheering on The Sounders


 A view of the Space Needle from the Chihuly Glass Exhibit


Pancakes at Portage Bay


 Our favorite walk around Green Lake


Although our daughter has moved far away, we have explored and embraced her new home. This eight year adventure in Seattle has been enlightening, fulfilling, and absolutely WONDERFUL! We are so thrilled to be able to enjoy Seattle as the locals do. Craig and I look forward to our trips to be a part of her life there and hope to sometime soon even purchase a condo so we can become actual part-time Seattlites.

Do you have a city that is your “home away from home”?








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40 thoughts on “Adventures in Seattle: The city that kidnapped our daughter”

  1. Loved reading this! We have totally embraced NYC and Wilmington and feel like they’re 2nd homes to us now. I think it’s great that we have such string, independent kids Suzanne. I so enjoyed this and your beautiful pics.

  2. What gorgeous photos! I have enjoyed most of my visits to Seattle–I say most because I spent the coldest Christmas of my LIFE while visiting my husband’s family many years ago. That damp cold was ferocious! If I remember correctly we never saw the sun for about 10 days either so winters are not for sunny-minded people like me. But when the weather is lovely it can be an awesome place to vacation. So glad you have “adopted” it as a special place for yourselves.

    • Thank you Kathy! I know how those grey days can get to people. It is interesting that has not ruined the city for my daughter. She grew up in a sunny climate, but she just loves all of the seasons. We don’t see much change in the seasons in So Cal. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  3. Seattle is one of my favorite places, love your pictures and your decision to embrace the community your daughter chose, how wonderful for all of you. PS There are lots of great places to explore outside of Seattle too–islands, mountains, lakes–Washington is an incredible state!

  4. Good for you to embrace it! I am in Portland and it is the gray skies that can daunt people’s reserve more than the rain to enjoy the NW. I say you don’t shovel rain, you know what to wear everyday for 5 months and while wearing a nice raincoat you can wear anything underneath and no one knows!

    • So true! That is so funny. Additionally you don’t have to worry about your hair either, because the rain is always a great excuse!

  5. Great photos of Seattle. I have two cities I consider “home away from home”. My husband and I have spent the past two winters in Mesa, Arizona. The other city is Vancouver, British Columbia, which has been my daughter’s home for the past four years. It has a similar climate as Seattle and I love the city. I haven’t been to Seattle yet, but am hoping to get there soon. Many of the things you’ve shown in this post are on my list of things to see.

    • Donna, you are fortunate to have other cities you call your second home. I love Vancouver as well! Arizona is a beautiful state to visit in the winter! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you Betsy!She has been traveling on her own with People to People since the 6th grade. She is independent as well as fearless. I could have never taught her the “fearless” part!

    • It is very difficult to have her living so far away. When she left for college I cried every day until February, until my husband said…”She is away at college, she didn’t die.” I cleaned up my act and began to live with the idea. She is sooooo happy there!

  6. Very good point about embracing the city (or town) where the kids go to school. Ours have given us the chance to get to know Washington, DC, New York, and Kalamazoo, and we have found things to love about them all. Great pictures too!

  7. When Kate went to school at UBC in Vancouver, we became honorary Canadians for 6 years. Now she’s in Chicago and we’re spending our time getting to know that great city. While Alex moved to Oregon State, we got a twofer…Corvallis and Portland. And now…onto Amsterdam. Yup, I agree, encourage your kids to move to great cities and your experience is enhanced a few times over.

  8. I enjoyed your post, and you have a beautiful daughter. When our kids leave home it will be nice if they choose somewhere great for us to visit or even move to like Seattle! Our oldest daughter is returning this month after living in Korea for two years, and our other daughter is moving back home to finish school so our house will be full once again, though probably not for long.

    • Thank you Shelley! Were you able to visit her in Korea? I hear that sometimes the Empty Nest gets full again and then empties out again. Kind of like a revolving door!

  9. It’s easy to see from your photos and the one weekend I’ve spent there how your daughter could be so charmed by Seattle, it’s a great place. I had no idea it was called the Emerald city, but would think your lucky to have it as a ‘second home’. Enjoy!

  10. We’ve been planning a trip to Washington for years and can’t wait to get there after seeing all your photos to drool over. You covered all the must see places on my list, sigh!!! When our kids left for college, it was for fortunately within our state of Wisconsin. The Masters degree took them 1000’s of miles and we didn’t have Skype then yet. Talking to them on internet via facebook, Skype, etc. sure helps shorten the distance.

  11. We are planning our first empty nesters trip to Seattle next month. We have never been there. Do you have any hotel recommendations or suggestions on what area to stay in.?

    • Hi Deanna: I am excited for you! Yes I would recommend staying in the city so you will be able to walk to all of the activities in the city. We always stay at the Grand Hyatt or the Olive 8 (also owned by Hyatt) If you would like more details or have other questions, please email me and I will help you further.

  12. Hii,
    Seattle is one of my favorite places, love your pictures and your decision to embrace the community your daughter chose, how wonderful for all of you.

    thanks for the information.
    Bliss Brand Store

    • Thank you! She has been there 12 years and now will be married there in October!We have embraced Seattle as our second city!


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