We Came, We Saw, We Conquered.
My daughter and I officially made it to the parade and stadium rally and back, all within 8 hours, most of that time spent just trying to get there and then trying to get back home again. In the end, it involved waiting in line for a bus for nearly an hour and a half at a local Park n’ Ride at 9am, before finally realizing that we weren’t ever going to get on a bus (since nobody had been able to actually get on one the entire time we’d been there, and the man at the front of the line told us he’d spent the night there and still wasn’t on a bus yet) and then giving up on that idea but deciding, in the spirit of adventure and “once-in-a-lifetime”, to walk 6.7 MILES from the park and ride to downtown Seattle on foot, including having to cross the I-90 bridge (with a phone whose battery had died before we even set off on the walk and was thus entirely unhelpful, either as a mapping device, a clock, or a means of communication), and then having to navigate our way through a crowd of over 700,000 people (larger than the entire population of Seattle, by the way) to get down to the parade and, finally, the stadium.
But when you have a great walking buddy like my amazing 7 year old daughter (not a single complaint the whole day, though I did carry her the last mile or so because she totally deserved it!) and then you also make sure to entirely go with the flow and leisurely make your way there—taking breaks to play at parks, get cookies and bagels and apple juice, sit on various benches to either “people watch” or look out over the sun-drenched majesty of the city and the mountains and the landscape from a higher vantage point, or just telling each other silly jokes and making up silly games as you walk, well, it ends up being a whole lot of fun, and entirely worth it. There’s that whole bumper sticker cliche about happiness being in the journey and not the destination, and today that proved itself true at least a hundred times over. Yes, I wanted to see the Seahawks parade, and be a part of the biggest celebration in the 150 year history of our wonderful city, but I realized that, in our herculean attempts to just get to the thing, what actually ended up meaning far more to me than the celebration itself, by a mile, was the chance to spend all that time walking around and hanging out with my amazing daughter on a sunny (if freezing cold!) Wednesday in Seattle when, normally, I would only get to see her about an hour in the morning and an hour at night. What a treat to get a day with her, crazy and crowded as it was!
Plus she got to cheer for her favorite Seahawks very, very loudly AND get a Hello Kitty Russell Wilson mash up shirt—and I don’t think it probably gets much better than that in her world. What a day! What an experience! What a complete drain of all emotional and physical energy (my legs might very well fall off; my fitbit recorded me taking 23,000 steps today).
A once in a lifetime experience, for sure. And I mean that literally - we will never attempt to do that again; Seattle was a magical, beautiful place to be today, but also an insanely crowded and difficult one to move around in.
And so that’s how I’m closing the chapter on the first Super Bowl victory in Seattle’s history. You can only win your first championship once, and you can only celebrate the first one for the very first time once (which is why it felt so important to make it to this one), and my daughter and I managed to do both this year, along with 700,000 others—including some truly wonderful and kind random souls (8 in all) who let me borrow their phones to check in with and/or text my wife throughout the day.
And now, hopefully, my daughter will be telling her own children and grandchildren about once being a part of this magical, historical day in Seattle.