Thursday, November 25, 2010

Visiting Seattle - Part 5 (The Voyage Home)

Leaving Seattle Christina and I chose to get off the interstate and take the scenic route through the Cascade Mountains on Highway 20.

It turned out to be a great decision. While not the fastest route, it was extremely scenic. We literally started by driving through lush rainforest.

Deeper along the route it became the usual Rocky Mountains landscapes with all the familiar sites.

Eventually we got out of the mountains and ended up in Winthrop. The town had a great old school western theme to it. We fell in love with it.

We stopped at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery for a pint (fantastic stout) and a photo op.

Our final stop in America was at where else: Walmart.

(Spoiler Alert) Somebody's x-mas sweater is in the picture...
30 beer for $17 and 4 good bottles of wine for the price of 1 in Canada.

Visiting Seattle - Part 4 (The Gluttony)

Like any good roadtrip Christina and I completely pigged out. When I'm surrounded by that much fresh seafood I can't help myself. Some highlights.

Slurping down oysters at The Brooklyn. A great spot!

 Mimosa's for lunch at Cutters Crabhouse plus some of the best bread I have ever had.

We went to a big grocery store in Chinatown and picked out fun drinks. I ripped the top of mine and threw it away without realizing it had an opener in it to push down a marble and actually get to the drink. I tried pressing that bastard down for about an hour then gave up. Learn more about the drink here.

Pyramid Breweries samplers across from Safeco field. 
The Pale Ale was my favorite, Christina liked the Apricot.

 A refreshment break on the waterfront after some wicked chowder.

 Soda for the masses.

 Crazy amounts of highballs and draft as FX McRory's

 Too much good food and drink. We needed a caffeine injection. No better place to go then the original Starbucks. Note the original old school logo.

 Final supper at the Fisherman's Restaurant. The four course Crab Feast for 2 is fantastic.

I cam home from the trip about 8 pounds heavier then when I left.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Visiting Seattle - Part 3

Some additional cool sites from Seattle.

Safeco Field - home of the Mariners.

 The day before we left Edmonton longtime Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus died and the team held a public ceremony for him at the ballpark. This was the fan monument on the outside.

 My brother Geoff and I had gone to the ballpark a few years back and it's an impressive building. It was great to back. Behind me you can see the banner celebrating Dave Niehaus.

 The receiving line for the memorial was on the field, and was massive. It snaked around the field up the first base line by the dugout, up to the main concourse and then wrapped around up there to the third base line. Crazy! We chose not to wait around to pay our respects.

 While wandering around we came upon a park with a waterfall in the middle of the city. The park stands where UPS was originally founded and was created and maintained by the company today. It was quite stunning, especially as it's pretty much hidden.


 Macy's had it's Christmas display in full effect. I liked the reindeer barn.

Along the waterfront there was a massive free sculpture garden. At first when we came around a corner I thought this tree was real and not a metal piece of art.

 I'm a fan of waterfronts. It must be the prairie boy in me - with all of the life around it they just seem cool.

Other highlights were the Public Library, which was a very cool modern building and easily the best library I have ever been in. Best of all its free to enter and explore.

Another very cool thing we did was take the Seattle Underground Tour in Pioneer Square. Great tour guides, cool settings under the street level and a fantastic history lesson. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Visiting Seattle - Part 2

I'm just going to come out and say it. Seattle is waaaaaay cooler than Edmonton. Everybody has been going gaga over our Edmonton's Art Gallery, which is really nice, but it doesn't even compare to the Experience Music and Sci-fi Museum in Seattle. They look similar, and both say that they are state of the art but Seattle's is just killer.
Seattle on the left - Edmonton on the right.
(Not my pictures - stolen from Internet)

As soon as you enter the main area of the Experience Music section you come across this crazy middle beam structure of musical instruments, primarily guitars.

 After touring the Seattle music wings full of cool Hendrix, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana etc., memorabilia you can actually go into sound booths and create music or just bang around on cool equipment. Christina mixing sound on Eurythmics hits.

 A cool motion recognition machine where the sound responds to where your hands cut the beams between the glass pillars. Super cool.
 Face melting!!!

 The Sci-fi side was hosting a huge Battlestar Galactica exhibit in the Sci-Fi section. I never really watched the original but I loved, loved, loved the latest series.

Here's Starbuck's fighter.

And the sexy Tricia Helfer red dress. Yowza!

Back in the regular sci-fi section they had a ton of cool stuff, too much to mention. I liked the costumes from Blade Runner. Mostly just because the striped pants would make me look skinnier

I highly recommend anybody going to Seattle to check out the Experience Music and Sci-fi Museum. It was definitely a highlight for me. I think Christina liked it too.

If you turn around directly from where the above picture is taken you'll be right at the Space Needle.

We were completely lucky that the day we decided to try the Space Needle was the only day it was not cloudy in Seattle for the span of a couple weeks. The view was outstanding.

Back on solid ground we headed for the International Fountain which we noticed from above.

 There was a group of little girls hanging out waiting for the fountain to start up as we got near. Once the water actually started they began chanting "Water, Water, Water". After a few second the rainbow started to appear, they quickly changed up their chant to "Water and Rainbow, Water and Rainbow, Water and Rainbow". For the rest of the weekend for no reason me and or Christina would just start chanting that.

I got a little daring and went into the regular stream of the fountain. People on the outskirts were all yelling at me or commenting about how I was going to get wet. Little did they know that with my mustache I'm so greasy that the water slides right off.

All of these sites and attractions were within a block of each other and located on the outskirts of the downtown. The cool part is that if you wanted to travel back and forth between this area and the heart of the downtown you could take a monorail. That's right a monorail, just like in North Haverbrook.

 Riding it was fun, but a little freaky as when it took a big curve the whole cab moves with the curve like a gyroscope. Definitely cool.