With & With Out Ryan. Seattle.

Recently, my husband Dan and I ventured to Seattle for a weekend getaway. We were lucky enough to plan it alongside Dan's 30th birthday and it turned out to be a lovely celebration in the Pacific Northwest. What a beautiful place! My love birds on Instagram detailed thousands (literally thousands) of fun, exciting and delicious places to must-see. We could have built a two week itinerary with the recommendations! On the plane ride up we stuffed all the recommendations into two and half solid days . . . which left us with full bellies, full hearts and sleepless. Literally, we slept so little. Up early, falling asleep late. Sleepless in Seattle. ;)

Aside from our own plans, the lovely souls living in Seattle had a few surprises for us. I've never traveled to a place where the locals treated me with such love and generosity. What an incredible place it was.

Below are photos from our trip. Our favorite places, Seattle's surprises and the smiles that came easy while we traveled with Ryan shining above us . . .

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Since first learning about Seattle when I was little I've always wanted to see three things. Albeit they are the three most classic Seattle spots, there is something really special about seeing popular landmarks that you've only read about or seen in movies. Whats better is getting to experience them with someone special. One of my most favorite things ever was experiencing holidays and fun places with Ryan. The face of your excited happy child never gets old.

The Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the gum wall in Post Alley was first on my hand written list. All three exceeded my thoughts. I cried when I saw the Space Needle, I kept grabbing Dan's arm saying "Look! I can't believe it! Can you see it?!" It was awesome. I took Dramamine before riding to the top, because I get motion sickness and the elevator is FAST! Ryan would have loved the elevator ride. I imagined him asking a million questions and then running around like crazy round and round the top. There was also a cafe at the top and I'm sure he would have asked for a hot chocolate. Once at the top we saw everything and the best sight for me was the house boat from Sleepless In Seattle. Once I spotted it I had a huge yearn for my mom. We have watched that movie thousands of times and I know she would have shrieked in excitement with me as we.

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We ate our way through Pike Place Market and although I hate the smell of fish I didn't mind it here. It was all part of the experience. The best places to eat for us were; Beecher's Handmade Cheese for their "World Famous" mac & cheese, Rachel's Ginger Beer, Biscuit Bitch and this place that had the largest cookies but I can't remember the name. This marketplace is jam packed with tiny places to eat which I'm sure are all amazing. We walked through each day and found something new each time.

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The gum wall was seriously disgusting and incredible all at once. I don't remember how I learned of it, but once I had I'd been dying to see it in person and add my chewed art. The colors were so bright and some people even left their mark by stretching out the gum to create letters. Ryan would have loved this as all to much. He'd first want to touch it and I'd probably spend my efforts on keeping him from getting to close. Then we would have stayed in that alley for far to long as he chewed gum piece after gum piece to place on the wall. "Just one more mom, pwese!" I had mentioned to Dan in a whisper "Ryan would have loved this..." Dan agreed and as we started to walk away we spotted his name . . .

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Each day I played a wicked game. How many cups of coffee can Jacqui drink in 24 hours? I maxed out at 6 the first day and the next just settled on having 4. But Seattle is like the coffee capitol and there is a cute cafe on each corner! The coffee was gooood. My favorites were; Uptown Espresso, Oddfellows, Pegasus ... all of them are honestly delicious.

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We walked through the Olympic Sculpture Park one morning. It was beautiful. The park is right on the water and it feels so cool to walk in between giant art installations. Thank you to the sweet stranger who recommended this place to us!

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 Just look at this guys smile! It looks so easy and relaxed. Dan is at his best when traveling.

Just look at this guys smile! It looks so easy and relaxed. Dan is at his best when traveling.

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I don't know where these white feathers came from, but they were everywhere and seemed to fall from the sky. Maybe there was a pillow factory somewhere I had no idea about. But I sure did love finding them everywhere we went. Maybe I look to far into things for signs from my little man, it makes me feel comfort though. I love having an open heart and really searching. I have to believe Ry is working hard up there to send me little love notes, he knows I can see them.

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One night a sweet stranger left red balloons tied outside our hotel. I ugly cried in gratitude. We left them blowing through the night. On our last morning, while waiting for our cab back to the airport Dan went and un-tied the red strings to keep.

 Jacqui & Ryan

Jacqui & Ryan

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The Fremont Troll was weirdly cool and another spot I had seen in a movie. The day we went to see the Troll it was congested with tons of kids so we didn't get any good photos. Though Dan and I stood there for a long while. Both quiet. I think we were both thinking of Ryan playing in the mix with the rest. He would have been the loudest. He would have been partial to play with the girls. He would have seen the others climb and jump off the trolls arm ... then find my eyes as to ask "Is this Ok mom? Can I do that?" I'd walk closer and try to take photos of him.

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We traveled on a ferry to Bainbridge Island which was fun and somewhat relaxing. It was windy out on the deck and I fell asleep on the ferry twice. Bainbridge was beautiful and we ate our way through that little island too.

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We plan trips that we would have with Ryan. Family trips that get us out of our reality and into a world were we feel Ryan shine warm on our faces. We feel Ryan always, but when we travel we see him in different places. We dream of his physical body with us and his soft hand in ours. For whatever reason, smiles come with ease when we travel. Tears flow too, but we lean on one another and promise each other that we'll be alright. Ryan was showing us himself in everything while we walked through Seattle . . .

Thank you Seattle for having us and showing us three a magical time.