Two weeks ago I got a spur of the moment opportunity to follow our Texas A&M Men's and Women's Basketball teams to the first round of the NCAA tournament. Our men were playing in Spokane and our women in Seattle. My parents were so generous to invite me along, they said I looked like I needed a break ;-). I'd always wanted to visit that part of the country and had never had to opportunity before so I jumped at the chance.
We left my parents house at 4:15 am Friday morning Texas time (2:15am in WA)
We flew from Houston to Seattle and then to Spokane where we went straight from the airport to our seats at Spokane Arena to watch our men play Utah State.
Then men played well and we advanced to Round 2
After the game it was still pretty early so we walked around the gorgeous river that runs through Spokane. It was the most pleasant and sunny afternoon!
Spokane is really pretty!
After a delicious dinner at a local seafood restaurant we went to a hotel and watched a movie and then crashed from our long day.
The next morning, Saturday, we jumped up, ate breakfast and drove 4.5 hours clear across the state of Washington to Seattle. We had just enough time to check into our hotel and head down to check out the Pike Place Market.
The Tulips were Amazing!
We spotted the original Starbucks
The fresh seafood was impressive
Then we walked back to our hotel and caught up with the band and yell leaders in sending off the ladies to their game the Aggie way.
BTHO Portland State!
Then we caught a bite to eat at the Cheesecake Factory and then hopped a cab to the beautiful University of Washington's campus to watch our game.
Check out the band for the opposing team. Median age of 58? Must be volunteers or something but they were pretty enthusiastic
After a slow start, the Aggies dominated the second half and advanced on to Round 2
After the game it was early evening so we took a cab over to the Space Needle.
We picked the perfect time to go because we didn't have to wait and went straight up to the top.
The views were AMAZING!
But the wind was blowing harder than I've ever experienced before, we were freezing and could hardly stand up straight!
Love their hair in this one!
The next morning, Sunday, we got up early and drove all the way back across Washington, taking the beautiful scenic route to Spokane. We saw miles and miles of apple orchards and a ski resort and lots of snow. We barely made it in time to watch our men play Round 2 against Purdue. It was an exciting game and went into overtime but heartbreaking as the Aggies lost at the buzzer.
It was a LONG sad 4.5 hr drive back across Washington to Seattle. In all we spent about 10.5 hrs on the road that day!
The next day was Monday, our last full day in Washington. I had the very special honor of meeting up with my friend Tracey for lunch at the Fox Sports grill in Seattle. Tracey was the very first mom that I met online that was walking the same road as I, when my boys were born so early. Her miracle Jaymin was several months further down the road of this journey and had already graduated from the NICU and was home.
Tracey reached out to me when the boys were so tiny and very sick and she encouraged me all the way through our nicu stay. I'll never forget how a video montage she shared of Jaymin's NICU stay gave me such a sense of hope for my boys. Since that time we've continued to stay in touch and follow each other's blogs which is great because I have gotten the privilege to watch Jaymin grow from a little guy into a now big healthy preschooler and big brother to a gorgeous full term toddler.
What a special opportunity it was to finally meet my friend Tracey in person and she was just as sweet as I imagined she would be!
Afterwards I met up with my parents and we enjoyed our afternoon off by going to a movie. It was so great to sit down and watch a non kids movie in peace!
Finally that evening we went to watch the Lady Aggies face Gonzaga. Our team really struggled and sadly we lost this game at the buzzer also. It was a tough ending to our tournament dreams!
After the game was over at 9pm we rushed to our car and drove the 4.5 hours BACK to Spokane because our flight (which we tried ever possible way to change/cancel to no avail) left early the next morning.
Finally at about 10pm Tuesday night we made it safely back home to Texas. It was a long whirlwind trip but I had such a fun time cheering on my team and spending some great time with my parents. It was just like old times! Love you Mom & Dad, thanks for everything!
I'm so grateful to my awesome husband who was on board for letting me go on this trip. We lined up a string of sitters to help while he was at work, his family came up for the weekend to help out, and I'm so thankful for our good friends the Riggs who kept the boys Monday night while Kenny had to work out of town. A HUGE thank you to them!! Adam & Andrew LOVED their very first sleep over with friends.
Bright and early the next morning after my return, the boys had a dentist appt. They got their first xrays too. I was very impressed with how well they did. They continue to have preemie related enamel issues but so far no caps are needed.