Sunday, September 23, 2012

Small Boy Spotted Flying High Above Seattle

After a few timing and booking delays held us up for some time, this past Saturday the LIAYF crew and I were finally able to take advantage of a Lukas' FINAL 5th birthday gift. Yes, we tend to draw things out on occasion.

Mrs. LIAYF and I bought the Helicopter Ride for 3 as a birthday gift for Lukas last fall.  This was actually part of a Living Social deal, proving that if you are patient enough to wade through the 50 or so email 'deals' a week you might just find something worthwhile to purchase.   Anyway, we have been sitting on it all this time and our year window was about up, so rain or shine we were touring the Seattle skyline on Saturday.

Thankfully, it shined!

We took off from Boeing field just south of the city, hovering about 20-30 feet above the ground for a minute or two, which was a sensation unlike any we had ever experienced.  Needless to say it was pretty cool.  

We were immediately so taken with the gorgeous views of the city and surrounding region that we didn't say anything as our pilot headed East over Lake Washington towards the city of Bellevue.  We had wanted to ask if he could instead fly West and do a flyby of our neighborhood and modest home.  But instead, within minutes we had crossed the lake and our pilot, Charles, was pointing out a somewhat less modest home bordering the lake.

If you hadn't guessed, the home in the center of the picture above belongs to one William Gates Jr., otherwise famous for being the richest man in the world.  And just to think, a 5 minute helicopter ride to the west would bring you to a house owned by a family in the other 99.99999% (number of .9's a completely random guess). 

Anyway, just after that I remembered to ask if we could fly west and was informed that we didn't have the time.  Not on the Living Social special anyway.  Given that, we would simply have to enjoy some to the other sights, the region had to offer.  So we turned and headed back towards Seattle.

Lukas was relatively quiet during the trip, which was proof that he was pretty impressed since he is usually talking non-stop, and would certainly have been checking out all the cool buttons and levers the small copter had to offer.  We did, however, communicate with him through the headsets and he was particularly impressed seeing several playgrounds and soccer games being played as we passed over.

Minutes later we were back over the city, taking time to circle the hills on the north end and watching the cruise ships leaving Elliot Bay before flying close to, and around another famous Seattle Icon, The Space Needle.

After banking around the Needle we proceed down along the city waterfront to the south end where the Seattle sports stadiums are located.

And to my utter surprise and enjoyment, since I am a huge Seattle Mariners fan, the pilot flew us almost directly over Safeco Field allowing us to look down into the stadium, where the team was busy practicing for a game with the Texas Rangers. 

I'm sure it's not a coincidence that the Mariners won this game.

From there we continued on south back to Boeing Field to finish out this fantastic trip from Helicopters Northwest, which we would definitely recommend to anyone visiting the region.  

Best of all, Lukas absolutely loved his final birthday gift, calling it "Cool" and giving it his final seal of approval.


momnextdoor said...

Very awesome present! Very awesome! We've taken Bud on a helicopter ride and he did the same thing, sat quietly entranced the entire time. Sooo worth the money!

Print some of those pictures and he's got the best show and tell item for a long time to come! :-)

daniel said...

Excellent! I'd love to do something like this. My wife would never get in a helicopter though. Some of my kids would, some wouldn't. Unfortunately I think the cost just wouldn't be worth it for me alone. You got some great views!

Dan said...

Those are some fantastic photos. What was the name of the helicopter company you flew with? It looks like something my son would love to do (even if dad has to pay full price).

Juli said...

That is so awesome.

And to think... all Oldest is getting this year is a new bike. :)

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Momnextdoor - That's a great idea! I think he would get a big kick out of showing off some of those pics.

@Daniel - All you need is to convince 2 of them. And it really was a smooth ride. Not scary at all. But soooo cool.

@Dan - It was Helicopters Northwest. I keep seeing other Living Social 'Helicopter Rides for 3' deals so check them out because it was worth it.

@Juli - Lukas got a bike too, but it was a used one. The gift was kind of for us too! :)

Homemaker said...

Really awesome. Totally jealous. And when you said "another Famous Seattle Icon" I'm assuming you meant "in addition to Lukas."

J-Tony said...

That is so awesome. I'm sure he'll remember it for the rest of his life. Thanks for the pictures too.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Homemaker - Ha! I guess to some of my followers perhaps we (he) have become synonomous with this city.

@j-tony - Thanks,
I hope so. Especially once he becomes a reader of the blog too.

Portland Dad said...

Jealous, that looks like an awesome ride

Diplo_Daddy said...

How incredible cool! Seattle is an amazing city, both from the air and on land. Many years ago, my wife and I visited your city and went to the top of the Needle. What an awesome view.

The only helicopter ride I’ve ever taken crashed. That was during my military days.

To make a long story short, the front landing gear collapsed during a routine landing, punching a massive hole in the control console between the two pilots. Smoked filled the cockpit area. And before we knew it, the rotor blades on top of the machine, began beating up the ground, tossing dirt and debris high into the air. I witnessed the entire accident. I’ll never forget it for as long as I live.

That scared the hell out of me. No injuries though. The helicopter was a complete wash, and had to be airlifted back to base.

A few hours later, a replacement helicopter was sent to pick us up from the crash site and flew us back. A few guys flatly refused to go.

James said...

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James Kaufman, Editor

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