July 27th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Travel, Uncategorized

As I start this post I am back in Seattle and will head to my hotel this afternoon. I catch a plane tomorrow morning to go back to KS again.

My day as it unfolds:

Until then I am starting out in the Capitol Hill station getting ready to get back on the light rail. Came up this way to go to Dick’s Drive-In for a snack (burger, fries, vanilla shake) before I go to Pike Place Market for another snack. I am debating going to the International District for another snack but not sure yet. There’s a lot of good stuff to eat at Pike.

Capitol Hill is a really cool area. I would like to explore around there a little more and may be doing just that in a few weeks when some family gets here. There’s a restaurant in that area that I want to find – I just haven’t been there yet.

Got to Pike and went directly to Mee Sum Bakery for both a baked and a steamed bbq pork hombow. Been a year since I had one and it was delicious as always. The area was busy as hell and I didn’t stay there long. I saw a little boy there that had a shirt on that said “Snacks first, then pants”. Cracked me up.

Seattle is just swarming with a lot of people. It is also pretty warm so I decided to head to my hotel and went back to Westlake station to head south to check in. I also was not very hungry with what I had eaten on the two stops I already made plus the heat was nothing I wanted to hang out in. No International District this go around.

My usual hotel was booked up so I am trying out a new place tonight. It’s actually more convenient to the airport so if it works out I’ll probably be changing my hotel preference to this new one.

Seattle is such a cool city. It has major homeless issues and can be expensive but there’s no denying it’s an interesting place to hang out, eat great food, and have a lot of fun. Be prepared for some huge crowds though.

I got to the hotel and it is damn good to be in the A/C. I walked 3/4 mile from the light rail station to get here and it was almost all in the sun. Good to get exercise though and as of right now I have walked a little over 4 miles today.

I took a walk to get dinner and ended up having Japanese at Masae’s Teriyaki. I have really never been a fan of teriyaki, but the teriyaki I have had in the past has been pretty heavy on the sweet taste and not much savory. This was a perfect balance. It was delicious and filling, and I even ate the slaw that came with it. I thought I would at least try the slaw since I didn’t see any of that nasty stuff called mayonnaise on it.

Since I will be making several trips back to Kansas in the near future I will maximize my time while I’m in Seattle, finding some new places to eat and interesting things to see and do. Today worked out pretty well, and I can even get over here earlier to have more time to do stuff.

I’m anxious to get back and spend time with my dad. This cancer thing has really surprised us all and it sucks. Life is always too short and I try to make the best of it all the time. This will be no different for any of us – we’ll enjoy the time we have and make the best of the situation.

That’s all for now.

March 19th, 2017

Adventure, Outdoors, Travel

(I started this post on March 19th and was too busy to finish it)

It has been a great time the last few days. Angie and Alexis came out to visit and we have been all over the place.

The first few days we stayed at the Hotel 5 in Seattle. It is a pretty cool boutique hotel downtown near the Space Needle, the Five Point, and many other fun and interesting things to see, eat, and do. I would (and will) stay there again and I recommend it to anyone.

We went to the Pike Place Market – always a good place to visit for great food and people watching. After that we went to the Five Point for some food and then headed back to the hotel to kick back a bit and figure out where we were going when.

The next day we went to the MoPOP (formerly the EMP). Alexis is a Kurt Cobain fan so she had to see the Nirvana exhibit. It’s a good thing we went when we did because today is the last day of the exhibit. Our timing could not have been better. It is traveling to Brazil, then back to here to be displayed again in some form but probably without some of the things we saw. There was a volunteer guide who was a huge Nirvana fan since ’92 that did a guided walk through the exhibit. It was very interesting to hear some of the things she talked about.

We left there and went to the Waterfront area and walked around. Seattle is such an awesome place.

The next day started out with decent weather in Seattle and then turned poopy as we headed southwest toward the coast. Lots of rain. Copious amounts of rain. We went to Aberdeen, WA…Kurt Cobain lived there as a kid. We got to see the park named for him and it is just down the street from the house he grew up in. I have been through Aberdeen a few times before and it ended up being an interesting place to visit.

We worked our way up the coast and their first-ever view of the Pacific Ocean. We got to Ruby Beach and did some beach walking despite the weather. We tried to find some tide pools but did not see anything – possibly this was due to the rough water.

We ended up getting a room in Forks, WA. Yes…THAT Forks. It was just a place to stop for the night and not hunting for vampires or werewolves. We found a decent, older motel for a decent price. Tomorrow’s destination was to get to Port Townsend and then get back to Seattle a day early to avoid not getting a ferry and them missing their plane.

We headed north and east from Forks on US 101 and stopped at Marymere Falls for a hike. We went through Port Angeles and Sequim and stopped there for Angie’s first taste of Thai food at Sawadee Thai. We then headed on towards Port Townsend for some sightseeing, shopping, and walking. Such a cool town to visit and hang out in. Afterwards we got on  the Bainbridge ferry – another first for Angie and Alexis. The water was pretty good so no scary ride this time…other than the hordes of prom-going teenagers. Not on e of the girls had a sweater, jacket, etc. and it was definitely not a warm day.

We made our way to the hotel near the mall and we found our way to that mall the next day after we went to visit Jimi Hendrix’ grave.

It was a good visit and we had fun. They got to see many things, but there is so much up here to see and do.

Big Day Tomorrow!

Adventure, Just things, Travel

Tomorrow, Angie and Alexis fly in to SeaTac and I will be picking them up after dropping off my trailer at a storage facility. I will be gone for a few days and I want it in a secure location while I am gone. Plus, it will not be in the way if someone needs to get by.

We will have a great time I am sure. I have been wanting to hang out in Seattle for a while and do some exploring but I am excited about the whole adventure. There are many things to see – the Pacific Coast on US 101, monorail, the Hoh rainforest, MoPOP, Pike Place, the Five Point, food, food and food. Most of all, fun shall be had. Since they have never been here before it will be all new to them and they are excited to get here.

The work season is going to be ramping up shortly so I am trying to make the most of any remaining time off I have left. I hope to get the trailer out and about before work resumes so I can enjoy some quiet time away.

I will be contacting my insurance agent to see about getting the trailer damage from my trailer tire fixed. I hope they will cover it. Most of the damage is beyond what I can repair myself. I have it taken care of pretty good for a temporary fix but it really needs to be done by the pros.

I’ll post pictures as soon as I can post them. We will be wandering about for the next few days so it may not be until after I return.

 

Boy… Have We Had Us Some Fun!

Just things, Travel

Wall Art in the alley near the Gum Wall

Wall Art in the alley near the Gum Wall

I just got back from taking Meghan to the airport to go back to SD via Denver. She got in last Tuesday night and we had a great time the whole week. It is about 2 1/2 hours each way… IF you get to the ferry on time AND the drawbridge is not up AND the weather is good.

Wall Art in the alley near the Gum Wall

Wall Art in the alley near the Gum Wall

We had the office holiday bash Tuesday with some great food and co-workers, and we have spent time on the beach. Wednesday we went on the beach and walked about a mile looking at things. Then, in the afternoon, the biologist took Meghan out onto The Spit in a closed area about 3 – 3 1/2 miles out to do a bird count and talk science.

WARNING!!! SCIENCE IN PROGRESS!!

WARNING!!! SCIENCE IN PROGRESS!!

Sue and I were walking along talking and Meghan had stopped as we kept walking. She said “What the hell is that noise?”. We went back and heard a huffing noise and discovered that there was an elephant seal pulp juvenile in the weeds! Way cool! Sue said that is kinda rare so that was quite a discovery. As we were heading back to the mainland we got to see a snowy owl – Meghan’s first.

Friday we went to my favorite city – Seattle.

Seattle Waterfront Panorama

Seattle Waterfront Panorama

Meghan wanted to go to Pike Place Market. The weather turned out to be sunny and gorgeous. Got to hit the Chinese bakery again for bbq pork hom bow and steamed pork buns. Damn tasty stuff there. We wandered around acting like tourists because, well, we WERE. We looked inside the first Starbucks “just because”. Surprised there wasn’t another “first Starbucks” right across the street from it. After that we wandered around and finally found it… the infamous (and, I believe, original) “Gum Wall”. Seems as though theater patrons used to stick their chewing gum on the wall of this building in an alley below Pike Place Market. They finally gave up on scraping it off and it is disgusting, yet intriguing.

The Gum Wall in Seattle

The Gum Wall in Seattle

The Gum Wall in Seattle

The Gum Wall in Seattle

The Gum Wall in Seattle

The Gum Wall in Seattle

Saturday she went out on a dead bird survey with one of the local experts, who was also quite interested in the wolf study she is going on next week. After she got done and I finished up my work we went out to do a trash pickup along the beach. We found the body of a young Dall’s porpoise that washed up on shore. These animals look just like a small killer whale.

While I worked on Sunday she did the “Twilght Tour” over on the western shore area. We went out for pizza and beers and then went to watch the Seahawks blister the ass-end of the 49ers.

Yesterday we went running errands and I took her over to the Madison Falls area that I went to previously.

Forest near Madison Falls

Forest near Madison Falls

After that, we came back and went to the lighthouse to empty their garbage and pick up beach debris. She got a tour while we were out there and got to go up in the lighthouse.

But, today it was back home for her and leave in a few more days to Minnesota. I am off the next two days so it is back to my routine as well. Need to hit the gym to work off some cheese dip, cookies, and cake. Tomorrow is massage day and then off to the hot tub.

November 14, 2012

Travel

Seattle skyline aboard the Washington State Ferry crossing over from Bainbridge Island

Seattle skyline aboard the Washington State Ferry crossing over from Bainbridge Island

Seattle… one of my absolute favorite places after hanging out there all day. So much to see and do, and an energetic, lively city. I had a great time there today.

I left town and Chris from work called me to ask something and I told him I was headed to Seattle. He gave me some pointers on getting around and it came in very handy. I got around pretty well considering I have never been there before.

I drove over to Bainbridge Island. It is rather interesting how a boat becomes a regular mode of transport instead of a highway, but we did not have many large bodies of water in Colorado so this is definitely a new experience for me. The Eastbound trip is free, but Westbound is only $7.70. With $11 for all-day parking at the lot I was only out less than $20 and it would take more gas than that, plus parking fees in the city. A pretty cheap day for transportation.

I got over there and it struck me as to how long it has been since I have been in a big city. Colorado seems like a lifetime ago and I have been gone about two months, so the last big city I was actually in was probably Denver maybe three months ago.

Ferris wheel on Seattle waterfront - it's 175 feet high!

Ferris wheel on Seattle waterfront – it’s 175 feet high!

I was told to get off the boat, go left a few blocks, then go right and up the hill to Pike Place Market. Well, I got sidetracked and walked six blocks past it looking at things along the waterfront. I turned around when I discovered my “oops” and went back south and found my crossing to get there.

After climbing numerous steps (Seattle was built on a hill) I got to Pike Place Market. We were here nearly 20 years ago, and it looks the same as I remembered it. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, food vendors, flowers, shirts… you name it. I wandered around a bit and went across the street to another building that was more of the same. I was on a mission… a mission for steamed pork buns that Chris talked about. No, it is not a pig’s ass in a double-boiler. It is a fluffy steamed dumpling/biscuit thingy stuffed with Mongolian BBQ pork in the middle and they are oh so tasty.

I did not find them right away, so I settled for an outstanding blackberry scone from a bakery to get me by. As I wandered around eating that and looking and getting ready for my next destination some wasted tweaker was stumbling around and tried to pick a fight with me. He was out of his mind and I got the hell away from him as fast as I could. I went around the block and as I came around a cop was escorting him away from the area rather forcibly.

I went up the street a few blocks, then went left a few blocks and got on the monorail. It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair at the same time the Space Needle was built. That was kinda cool and very retro to say the least. Chris had mentioned the “music museum” and I had forgotten all about that until he mentioned it and said “you can’t miss it…” and he was right… we rounded a corner on the monorail and there it was.

EMP - seen from the monorail

EMP – seen from the monorail

EMP seen from under monorail

EMP seen from under monorail

EMP and Space Needle

EMP and Space Needle

EMP and monorail

EMP and monorail

It is called the “EMP”, or “Experience Music Project”. It was built by one of the co-founders of Microsoft and houses many things from his personal collection. I just HAD to go in there of course.

I went in and they had an exhibit about Sci-Fi and another one about horror movies. It was actually kinda cool to see props and masks form some of the classic movies and TV shows. Star Trek uniforms, Kirk’s command chair surrounded by Tribbles, prop weapons… many things.

Robbie the Robot

Robbie the Robot

Pub sign from "American Werewolf in London"

Pub sign from “American Werewolf in London”

Alien

Alien

Mask from one of the original "Mummy" movies

Mask from one of the original “Mummy” movies

Mask from "The Creature From the Black Lagoon"

Mask from “The Creature From the Black Lagoon”

After seeing these I went upstairs for the reason I came here – music stuff. There was a Nirvana exhibit. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a big Nirvana fan, more specifically Kurt Cobain. I like Dave Grohl, and I think they had a few songs that were okay, but not a big fan of Cobain. I must say, however, that seeing the history and knowing that they started out in that area really made it feel a bit different in that room. Then I thought about Soundgarden and Pearl Jam from the area as well and you can kind of see where the grunge movement came from just by the vibe the city has. I saw a video with Queensryche and remembered that why are from there, as well as Heart. Some big names in music came out of Seattle. As I left, THE biggest star of all Seattle came to mind…

I walked out of that room to hear something familiar… that unmistakeable version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”. I looked down the hall, and in what they call the “Sky Church”, on a screen the size of a drive-in movie theater, was Jimi Hendrix. I went in there and sat down to watch and was mesmerized all over again. Just phenomenal. Watching his fingerwork, technique, and his concentration just blows me away still after all these years.

They are getting ready to open up a Hendrix exhibit, but we were able to walk along the outside of the glass walls and see some of his clothes with descriptions. Very interesting to see the stuff.

They had another room full of the history of the guitar. Some old rare ones in that display, and it was quite sizable as well.There are rooms to play guitar, bass, keys, drums, do vocals, and just be musical and learn how to play. Thee was plenty more to see, but I will let you discover it for yourself. It is a very interesting place and I would recommend it to music buffs.

Instrument sculpture in EMP - over 700 instruments!

Instrument sculpture in EMP – over 700 instruments!

I left the EMP and went to the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. It was cool, but I must say I liked the one in Denver about 10 years ago much better. They had a bunch of the artifacts from his tomb, whereas the other exhibit I saw was more about all of the Egyptian pharaohs and talked more in depth about the culture. It is still cool to see that stuff and see just how lavish it all was given how “uncivilized” we think of older cultures.

I left the Science Center and went back to the monorail and to the Pike Place Marketplace. I will NOT be denied a steamed pork bun, dammit. As I got closer to the Market, Chris just happened to call me again about something and I found the place he goes to – Mee Sum Pastry. I ordered up two potstickers and a pork bun; he gave me a baked one instead but I found it out too late but thought I would just take it home for later. I ate the potstickers and then went back and ordered a steamed one. It was excellent, and the potstickers were as well. Heading back down towards the water I thought “Oh… what the hell…” so I ate the other one too. It was so good. After Chris told me about Chinatown in Seattle I told him we need to go there sometime to check it out. He has been there so he knows the places to stop.

I got down to the waterfront again and stopped by the Ferris wheel and this time walked under it:

Ferris wheel

Ferris wheel

I will have to come back to ride that next time.

I made a few last stops before I got back on the boat to come home. One was quite memorable… the Ye Olde Curiousity Shoppe. A rather unique place that you can look up on the internet. But, just to tease you, I leave you with this picture:

Shrunken heads and torso in the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

Shrunken heads and torso in the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

Seattle – a great city that I will be visiting more of!