Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Washington spectrum.

The reason why Meesha and I went to Washington was actually this little bundle. She was being blessed, so we flew into Seattle, then drove over to Yakima for the blessing, then we all drove back to Seattle for a couple more days to play together. What is so surprising about Washington, is the difference in the landscape from one side to another. 
Meesh and I took a walk along Cowiche Canyon while we were in Yakima on Saturday, and it was gorgeous in its desertty way. Then I went back and ran it Monday morning. 

I was glad we took all of the pictures on Saturday so I could just enjoy the run Monday.
Dogwoods or willows? I love those bright red stems.  I think dogwoods of some sort.

Driving back over the Olympic pass (OK, I kept mixing up mountains while I was there, but I think these were the Olympias) we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls. 
That mysterious fog! This is what I picture for the Pacific Northwest!
They had some educational plaques there talking about the falls, and our pictures matched their "flood season" pictures. It was truly a massive amount of water. 
We beat Kira and her family by a few minutes, so went inside The Salish Lodge and Spa for hot herb tea with a view of the falls. My friend said she was proposed to here. I could see that! It was posh. I kind of wish I were back there now.
We rode the ferry the next day over to visit my Aunt who lives in Sequim. I tried to go back and figure out which ferry, and Kingston-Edmonds sounds familiar...psssh. I don't remember. 
Here are our little cousins all together. Poor Keaton was the only boy. I wished over and over again I had brought Kai. 

We took the ferry over, then drove and drove. We went right through Port Angeles (for you Twilight people --you know who you are!).

Then my Aunt Dawn drove us even further (God bless her! --I was done driving) to an enchanted forest for a walk. 

A little cabin right out of a Thomas Kinkade painting --it was even right on the edge of a lake!
I took this picture to help us remember where it was. 
I was enchanted while I was there --couldn't be counted on to be responsible. 
We don't have woods like this in the real world where I live.
Green lace.
Furry tree creature.
And the ferns! I love them and they hate it where I live!

Tree shelter for little golden-haired fairies.

These last two were for a second waterfall we got to see. Yeah. No idea the name, but it was just as pretty. 
Vacation is over, but I squeezed every last drop out of it that I could!

Friday, March 28, 2014

...and the rest of Seattle.

There were a few other places we had to see while in Seattle. One was the gum wall. Actually...I probably could have done without that. Eew.
I've always found one of the best ways to see a city is to walk it or jog it. That first morning waking up in the hotel room, it was a struggle to make the decision to go outside because it looked so gloomy and drizzly, but once I was out, I was happy. This was...not my most challenging run. More fun to stop and take pictures of everything.

Anyone know what this building is? Right on the water with a big bird on the top. I thought maybe it was the Seattle Seahawk's building...or a brewery..
Huge ship being loaded with grain. There was a sign that told how many tons of grain were shipped out every day and it was impressive, but since I ain't a numbers girl it didn't stick in my head.
Speaking of grain...we hit up three or four different bakeries while in town. I tasted some amazing bread. This was Macrina bakery where we went for what turned out to be brunch (like 11:30). We were hoping for breakfast, but you know how that goes with a little kid on vacation. 
Brin was a trooper overall though! She really was so good natured for the whole trip. This day though --because of brunch, we were starving about 4:30. I told her we had to go get "Linner". Oh.My.Goodness. She did not like that word! It was so funny. She kept repeating it and saying how it wasn't a real word and was stupid. I think it got stuck in her head or something. I was cracking up.
Down on the water is a huge Ferris Wheel. Brin wanted to go on it the whole trip, and finally talked her mom into it the last day. I wasn't super excited about it, but planned on going with until I saw the price was $13.00. Then I decided to pass. 

The Space Needle. It was part of our city pass, so we went. Meesha and I were happy to stay inside with it this rainy and look out through the windows, but Brin wanted to see!

Our last full day in Seattle, we were there with Kira and her family too, and they suggested the Chittenden Locks, and fish ladder. I had never seen either of these things in person before, so I was game. 
Do you know what's hard to get a good picture of? A river lock. See this boat above? They close the river off upstream and downstream from it, putting it into a little water pen. Then the water level raises or lowers to match the part the boat wants to go into, and the forward gate opens up for the boat to move forward. I guess with the tide, the river level and sea level can be really different and this keeps the passage safe. 
Second hardest thing to get a picture of? A fish ladder. These were windows looking into it. The fish are trying to swim upstream, and the "ladder" gives them places to rest on their way. Otherwise with the dam, they couldn't make it upstream. OK honestly? I'm kind of worried about the comments i'm going to get with my simple, uninformed explanations. Be nice --this is the gist right?

Loved this sculpture at the locks.
I felt so spoiled seeing all of these flowers here in early March! They were way ahead of us in their spring season.
Around the locks was a beautiful botanical garden, and I took picture after picture. Here are just a few.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Seattle Aquarium and EMP

Meesha and I decided to buy a city pass since it would be a better deal than paying admission to all of the stuff we wanted to see in Seattle. Too bad they didn't have a parking pass while they were at it. We probably paid 80.00 in parking while we were there. First on my list of things to see was the aquarium. While this wasn't as impressive as Monterey's aquarium, it was still wonderful. I loved it.

Dreamer's tide pool. This had all of the animals I wish I could see when I go to the tidepools out at the shore.

Lots of "pisaster ochraceus" which we found all over Monterey when I was there for a spring semester in college, but maybe 5 other types of stars? A couple of which I don't think I've ever found on my own.
Jellyfish arch. Strobe light magicality. 

My favorite again, just like in Monterey, was the giant octopus. He was so active and intelligent! He climbed up the walls of his tank, changed colors, added spots to his ensemble, got rid of them, and looked at us with his cat eyes. Loved him. The docent told us that the other day they were trying to feed him, and he'd decided that the feeding stick (they reached into the tank with his food) was his way out, and wouldn't let go of it. They had to just leave it with him because nobody was strong enough to get it away from him. Did I tell you about the video Jeff and I watched one time where an octopus and a shark got into a fight? Guess who won? Yeah. It wasn't the shark.
Next on our list was the "Experience Music Project" or EMP . Huge unique museum about music and media. The opening room was called the "Sky church". Whatever with calling it a church, but it was so cool! 
While we were there they were playing huge i-max size videos of the group OKGO. Even little Brin was mesmerized. None of us planned on stopping in this room, but it was kind of amazing.

They also had three new exhibits: one about the fantasy genre, one for science fiction film, and one for horror film. Very interesting reading about universal archetypes in the three genres. They also had original artifacts from the films including stuff from the "Princess Bride", "Matrix", "Star Wars" "Men in Black", "Alien" etc. That was awesome.
I didn't spend long in the horror section. I'm a nightmare girl. I don't need fuel for that fire! Going down to the basement/dungeon where this exhibit was, they filled the walls with pictures of people screaming. Coolly freaky. 

In a way, the outside of the building was the best part. I had looked at it from the Space Needle, and it didn't seem that impressive, more like somebody got overwhelmed designing a building and finally just threw a bunch of sheets of metal over the whole thing and called it a day. But on the ground, it was a different story. It was amazing. Designed by Frank Gehry, not surprising I had mixed feelings about it. His stuff is often controversial.

The museum also had a big exhibit with artifacts on Jimi Hendrix, which was neat, but I didn't take any pics, and then a huge rambling exhibit on Nirvana (of course). I was impressed to a point, but stopped short at the over the top descriptions of genius. I don't believe that. On my way out, I looked into this exhibit of landmark buildings made out of legos. They were cool, but I mostly just took pictures for Kai to see. HE would have loved it.