Last weekend we did something VERY out of character. We spent the weekend in downtown Seattle. We had a really good time and we don’t regret it, but I’ve still found myself thinking, â€œYikes, that was expensive!â€.
It all started when a friend of our daughter’s asked if she’d like to attend a Santa breakfast downtown at a very high end hotel. This friend’s parents are both doctors and had bid on the Santa breakfast at an auction that benefited a local hospital. The package included a table at the breakfast (for 10 people), an overnight stay (just for their family) at the hotel and an exclusive 1 hour meeting with Santa in a private setting after the Santa breakfast. We were thrilled to be invited and quickly said yes.
We went back and forth on whether to just drive up on the morning of the breakfast, or â€œpull our skirts up a bitâ€ and spend the money to stay in the hotel overnight. Originally we decided to just drive up for the breakfast on Sunday morning but then I was able to find a promotion where we got a $100 gift card if we booked one night. That ended up dropping the price from $240 for the night, to $140 so we booked it.
All in all, we are very glad we spent the night and attended the breakfast. When we arrived, we found out that they had put us on the top floor of the hotel in a preferred room and they even brought us a complimentary afternoon snack of Christmas cookies and soda. The views were outstanding and my wife kept saying, â€œI’m so glad we came, I’m so glad we came!â€ Seeing the excitement in her eyes told me we’d made the right decision.
The next morning was nothing short of magical for our daughter. She’s 7 and a half and slowly approaching the point that she won’t believe in Santa Clause anymore. This was probably one of the last years that we’ll get to experience her excitement at the thought of Santa coming down the chimney, (please don’t tell her we have a fireplace insert with a small round pipe that goes all the way up to the top. As much as she likes to believe in Santa, I don’t think she would be able to get past how unlikely it would be for Santa to squeeze through that small pipe). Anyway, with the help of the hotel staff and our friends, we were able to really set the stage for something great. We all filled out short bio’s on each kid and sent those ahead of time so that Santa would know some key details about each kid when he talked to them. We also snuck a small present for each child to Santa ahead of time so that they each received something that they wanted from him. When our daughter sat on Santa’s lap and he told her a few things about herself, she was blown away. Then, when he asked her what she would like for Christmas, she told him she really wanted a Harry Potter book. He magically reached in to his bag and pulled out a wrapped present for her and it was exactly the book she wanted. It was priceless. Since then, she has been telling everyone she comes in contact with that she met the real Santa. It’s one of those memories that will stick with her for the rest of her life and was worth every penny.
So, how many pennies are we talking about? Hotel cost $140 for the room. $40 for valet parking (the only option). Dinner on Saturday night: $150. (We paid for our friends meals and drinks. It was the least we could do to say thanks). Total cost for the weekend: $340. Like I said, this was out of character for us and I don’t think we’d do this every year, but it was definitely worth doing one time.