Sunday, August 25, 2013

1st 2 Weeks in Seattle or You can Turn Left on Dexter

We discovered the fountain on our 1st walk through Seattle Center, lots of kids and family's enjoying the incredible water works. 

After the fountain we walked upon the PartyCamp's challenge to the World's Largest Water Balloon Fight, and volunteered to fill balloons for this fund raiser for the Children;s Hospital 

They put the Home Depot Bucket loads in a plastic sack and stored them in plastic swimming pools, their goal was 300.000 Water Balloons for the event.

Next it was time to update our Infant CPR and Home Safety. Lia scheduled us for the class and we learned how to keep the New Millennium Babies SAFE!

Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in Bellevue. Teams of Dumpling makers!

Next Russell took us to get Seattle's finest Indian food at Chili's!

The South Indian dudes moved into the previous Chili's restaurant and saved some money by just keeping the name and signs. 

Our neighborhood hardware in easy walking distance, we also have a Whole Foods, Safeway, Metropolitan Market, and Pikes Market!

Thursday's at the SAM Sculpture Garden are free concerts, food trucks and a great vies of the Thursday night Sailboat Races on Elliot Bay. This park is the neighborhood park for Bell town, it is just 2 blocks away. 

Food Trucks are a popular choice, these Three are lined up at the Thursday night Concert. 

We got to see a girls punk type band called the Taco Cats, pretty funky.

They sang a song about Tanya Harding and the Lyrics went " Watch Out!Watch Out!Watch Out!"

The Latest Sculpture

A great view of the Thursday night Races

Hempfest 2013

All you gotta do is buy an old School Bus and Paint it up.

All your friends can Ride!

No Tobacco Allowed

No Cotton mouth but I wanted to give this solution a try


See what happens when you make it legal? Hear the Music at 

I wondered what it was like here in 1969

Free Spirit!

We checked out when the view became obscured at Sea Level. 

We went over to the Friday Night Free Concert at the Mural in Seattle Center, it was less hazy.

A great Landmark to get your bearings.

The Saturday Event was Happening 

Load up Boys and Girls

Massive Water Balloon fight see it at  

After the almost 8 minute water balloon fight was over they gathered up the swimming pools and used them for sleds to slid down the sides of the huge fountain at Seattle Center. 

These people will find every single way to have Fun in the Sun, why stop the party just cause we ran out of Water Balloons? 

Another Friday Night Concert at the Mural

Then on Saturday we went to the Brazil Fest at Seattle Center
Feijoada, a Brazilian dish was worth the $6.00 

The West Coast is all about Beer and I especially like the Indian Pale Ale's or IPA's.  I decided  if you were gonna live in this neighborhood you needed to know more than if it taste good, you need to know Why!. So I started a spread sheet to rank those beers I have tasted and Joined so I can learn about the brewing process etc. After all a lot of the ingredients like the Hops come from the other side of the Cascades in the Yakima Valley!

1st 2 Weeks in Seattle or You can Turn Left on Dexter

We arrived on Friday afternoon the 2nd of August. Stopped by our daughters to pick up the keys and drove two short blocks to enter the Garage to our 2nd Avenue Condo spot on the 12th floor. Lia gave us a short course on the Rules for the Garage on how to enter and exit and Walked us up to show us our new Diggs. She had it already furnished so our move in was easy. I made several trips up the elevator to empty our car and she invited us to Kushibar for dinner. It was just a short walk down 2nd Avenue. The food was Comfort Japanese for sure. Almost a feint memory now as we have in just a few short days gone from a very slow live aboard life to Seattle Downtown Urban in just a few short breaths. The Japanese beer helped to ease the new paced motion. We crashed in our 640+ square foot pad and felt no motion so high above Sea Level.
Saturday after having coffee staring out the window on Elliot Bay we emptied some of our space saver bags and ventured outside for a walk through the neighborhood. They again invited us for a early Dinner at Din Tai Fung Dumpling House in Bellevue. Wow, what a intro to Seattle. I think they must have been really excited to get us here in time for our new grandchild to arrive. Then Sunday it was off to another of Russell's favorite's, Chili's. Reportedly the best Southern Indian food in Seattle, we were convinced!.

 I was not worried about all the sudden increase in calories. The Hills in downtown Seattle will manage that easy. The 1st week we did not even get our car out as we walked our new neighborhood discovering the three  grocery stores in a mile or less walk, a hardware store, the Center for Wooden Boat where I submitted my volunteer form back in June and the Seattle Art Museum's Sculptor Gardens and the Seattle Center both just a few blocks away where lots of free events are held continuously throughout the year. On our first strolled through the Seattle center we walked into the's effort to make a new Guinness Book Word Record Water Balloon Fight and raise $75,000 for the are Children;s Hospital. We met the Lead Organizer (the guy you see in the youtube link) and his father who made the incredible manifold for filling the water Balloons. The goal was 12,000 people attending the water Balloon fight for the record. We went to see the event and after the big fight was over we talked to a volunteer who said she thought they missed the mark and had just under 8,000 attending the event and just over 200,000 water balloons. The actual water balloon fight was over in less than 10 minutes but it was intense! See the fight portion here:
Then the 2013 Seattle Hempfest showed up. In Washington marijuana is legal for personal consumption, in fact the Police were handing our packets of Doritos! We heard 250,00 would attend this over the three day period. We wanted to go see it but not get in the Thick of it!. We decided to go the first day early before the crowds showed up just so we could walk through and check it out. We stayed about 2 hours and as the throngs filtered in we filtered out. I told the Admiral that I saw lots of stuff with "Peace" on it but saw nothing with "Love" on it, She said she did. Compared to our festivals in the late 60's and 70's where Love was dominant I noticed the difference.
Thursday's were spent at the Sculpture Garden at free concerts and Fridays at the Seattle Center with the Concert at the Mural. They also had a cool music and light Show that was projected onto the water at the giant Water Fountain that brought a couple of thousand out for the evening.
And finally since I am in among the West coast Beer Drinkers I decided to learn just what it is I am drinking. Driving through the Yakima Valley we saw lots of Hop Farming mixed in with all the vineyards and other Agriculture. I have set up a spread sheet to rate all the IPA's available up here. I am using the various products website as well as to research,  a fun project for the winter months.

We have traveled by time machine to 2025. Everyone in the neighborhood is very intelligent. The average age is 35 I am sure. There is a genuine concern for the environment by every person and the State government! Most work for the Tech industry, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Cisco, ....and and and. The life is fast but most are considerate and friendly. They all really value their time away from work. The creative energy is felt throughout the city. The major thoroughfares can be a nightmare if you are in a hurry but we are not. The surrounding beauty of the Cascades, the Olympics combined with Puget Sound are incredible and inspiring.

I am looking forward to volunteering as a sail instructor at the Wooden Boat Center and the Admiral has a appointment for us both with the Volunteer Coordinator at the Seattle Symphony.

Oh..., and if you are driving down Denny Way, don't worry, you can turn left on Dexter!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

To Seattle through the Yakima Valley and the Snoqualmie Pass

We stopped in Baker City for Gas and heard it was a nice place to visit but the entire town had a Boil Water order so we decided to just drive through and take a look and head on to the Yakima Valley. Does anyone know what the little orange thing is that is reflecting in the windshield? (it's the Spot!)

Yakima Valley ahead at the bottom of this really long downhill run. 

The Orange signs say " Runaway Truck Ramp 1 he could be going pretty fast by then. 

Here is the Ramp, Good luck Truckers!

Down in the Yakima Valley youo could see the irrigation viaducts all along the way

A light sprinke began as we entered the Cascades. 

We were hoping the clould would not get any lower, but we kept going higher so?

We pulled off to get some fruit before going through Snoqualmie Pass near Ellensburg for peaches, cherries and apples.

Glad to have light traffic as we started through the pass with one lane closed.

Going down for the last time on the back side of the cascades and the Snoqualmie Pass to Seattle

The Spot was off a bit, I put it on the patio balcony and pushed the button, the black arrow shows where we really are. 

A view of Elliot Bay, this is where I will have coffee every morning.

A stroll through Seattle Center near the Space Needle, Serendipity!, We sat down and helped to fill balloons for the Guinness Book World Champion Largest Water Balloon Fight Challenge. That is Bill in the back ground, he built these balloon filling manifolds where several people could mass produce Water Balloons. Their goal is 300,000 Water Balloons! 

We walked down to Pikes Market to relearn that area aand found this guy playing a Didgeridoo, here is what it sounded like:
To Seattle through the Yakima Valley and the Snoqualmie Pass

The last leg was anything but anti-climatic. We highly anticipated driving through the Yakima valley as the las time we were there was in the winter and we got to see a couple feet of snow and a challenging drive through the Snoqualmie Pass with driving snow. This time with perfect weather most of the way we godd a great look at the Yakima Valley in all it's glory with agriculture of all types, vineyards, and beautiful green vistas as far as you could see.  I was really anticipating the Snoqualmie Pass since the last time we drove though to see our daughter (who was working in Prosser  for the Yakima Herald as a reporter), it was windblown snow and challenging visability with considerable traffic. This time we just had some light rain and a bit of fog or low clouds. I sort of was surprised when we had made it to the other West Side of the Cascades without much of a challenge. perhaps I had Already driven through enough mountain passages that this was not that big a deal, however I know it is not a Winter trip. We dodged a bullet as we came into Seattle as 90 was closed and we managed to squeeze our way into the traffice exiting for 405, a alternative toll road. We were patient and made it at crawl speed through the heart of Seattle and through downtown to our daughters condo where she mest us outside with keys and a short escort two blocks away to our new slip on 1st Avenue in Bell Town in downtown Seattle. She had to go back to work and I started right away unloading our stuff. After several trips up the elevator to the 12th floor we were all in.
We spent the next couple of days exploring our new community by foot. In fact we did not get the car out of the Garage for the next 6 days. How long does it take before a new place feels like home?