We absolutely love holidays in our household. I think any excuse to get together with loved ones and eat good food is a good one, so for holidays year-round we typically go all out when it comes to entertaining! That is at least until we became working parents to two kids and lost a little of our steam for party throwing.
It’s not that we don’t enjoy it anymore… just life with a new baby is an exhausting one, especially when she is the kind of baby that doesn’t like to be put down, so that leaves only one of us to cook/clean/prep all on their own. The past few years on the 4th we busted out our smoker, spent a whole day baking pies and slow-roasting a brisket, but we knew it simply wasn’t in the cards this year. We however couldn’t find it in ourselves to simply not participate, so we started brainstorming ideas. Drive to a firework show maybe? That still does not sound fun when baby’s bed time is 8pm and fireworks blast off at 10… plus factor in all the sitting in traffic, crying in the car seat… not appealing in the least.
All I wanted to do was watch a firework show peacefully with my babies, and roll quickly into bed after (let’s be real… sleep is precious these days!). That’s when I came up with the idea to pick an area where we could watch the fireworks over the water and do a staycation there! We debated Seattle and Edmonds, but ultimately landed on downtown Bellevue drawn by the amenities and closeness.
We booked at the Westin in downtown Bellevue, and thanks to some travel rewards points our stay was actually free! If you have never stayed at the Westin in Bellevue before, there are some notable awesome factors. For one, parking was FREE which was an awesome surprise, especially since I was prepared to pay $30 per car overnight! They also feature fantastic views of downtown Bellevue, Meydenbauer Bay, and are walking distance to absolutely EVERYTHING… I can’t imagine a better location! To top it all off I called asking for an early check in which they accommodated me on, and upon check-in the offered me a noon check out the next day. Heaven!
My 4th of July sweeties in their matching outfits… so precious!
Logistically we were only a block and a half away from the Downtown Bellevue Park where all the 4th festivities were happening, so we checked in, loaded up the double stroller and in under a 10-minute walk were there! At the Downtown Bellevue Park there was a large stage where bands were performing, food trucks galore, and lots of kid-friendly things to do from playing on the playgrounds to the giant field of bouncy houses they set up. We grubbed on our own personal preferences of food trucks – I went the Asian food route and enjoyed some delicious bbq pork Bao buns and lumpia, hubby a corn dog and shoestring fries, and our daughter went with a nice old-fashioned 4th of July hot dog! After feasting we walked over to the kid section of the park that was full of inflatable bouncy-castles and slides, so naturally my 4 year old was in heaven. We bounced to our heart’s content.
After that it was time to cool off and re-fuel, so we went back to the hotel and hit the pool for a quick dip. The pool was indoors on the 4th floor, which was nice here in the PNW where outdoor pools aren’t always the warmest idea. We then dried off and walked a block to Joey, a local favorite restaurant of ours. On the way back we stopped across the street at the Cheesecake factory and each picked up a slice for ourselves to enjoy while watching the fireworks.
To end off the night my 4-year-old and I went for a quick pre-firework dip in the hot tub while hubby and baby laid down for a power nap. Once back in the room I snuggled up in a cozy hotel robe, turned out the lights and watched the downtown Bellevue fireworks from the comfort of our hotel window while snuggling my babies. Once the show was over we immediately crashed for the night and woke up SO REFRESHED in the morning. It was so fantastic that we were able to enjoy all those amenities at such a close distance without having to worry about any transportation logistics!
Truly, if you are in need of a relaxing weekend I so suggest trying a staycation weekend like this! I think what made it so great is that we felt like we got away without the crazy travel on either end of the holiday. It was such a fun way to enjoy the 4th and re-charge, I think we just may turn it into an annual tradition!
When is the last time you did a staycation? And where did you go? I would love to hear other suggestions in the Northwest!
X.O. – Abbey Co.
One thing I always share when I post about going out with both babies is my love for my Phil and Teds “Dot” stroller! It is the same width as a single stroller, while having the ability to pack two kids at the same time. I hate super wide strollers so it has been fantastic! It is easy to collapse/convert and it is so great to travel with. I am not sponsored by Phil and Teds, but do get a small kickback if you purchase using the link below. Thanks for your support!