Seattle

Porcelain Box from Seattle

I got this box in Seattle this past June and I honestly can’t remember which store I purchased it in. We were all over. I’m leaning towards the Space Needle. It was $7.75. The quality isn’t that good compared to the other ones I own. There was no trinket inside :-(. The box is of the Seattle skyline which is very picturesque.

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Categories: Gifts and Souvenirs, Mish Mash, Porcelain Boxes, Seattle, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voodoo Time in Portland

6/14/13

I still wasn’t feeling well when I woke up. This time neither was my mom. We both had to get ready quickly and head to the train station. We had to catch a train to Portland. We walked from our hotel to the bus depot and were told the bus we needed could pull into any lane, which is stupid. The guy working there told us just to pick a lane and if it was wrong then we should run at the last minute to the correct lane. That’s not very easy when you have suitcases. We picked a lane and sure enough it was the wrong one. We had to run to another one. The bus left us off at the International District. We spotted the entrance to Chinatown and then we walked to the train station.

The station was very clean and white. My mom tried to pay to upgrade us to business class, but it  was sold out. We waited on line for about an hour so we could get our first pick of seats in coach since they are assigned. We asked for the middle of the car on the right side. Our train  finally pulled in and we settled into our seats. We got good seats. The people behind us didn’t have a window and they had a baby behind them.

The train ride was long (almost 4 hrs) and boring. The train car smelled like poop. We later found out that this was because the baby had been sitting with poop in his diaper. The mother put the baby on the train seat to change him exposing the fill diaper of poop. Gross! I snapped pictures of the water and mountains along the ride since there was nothing else to do.

Tacoma, WA

Museum of Glass

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Anderson Island

Longview, WA

Carrolls, WA

Vancouver, WA

Portland

Portland’s train station is very old and has a great look to it. We had to walk to our hotel from the train station. It was about a 13 minute walk and it wasn’t very pleasant. There were a lot of bums, drunks, and druggies around. It was daylight, but it didn’t feel very safe. My mom was not happy. The neighborhood our hotel was in was not very good. A lot of undesirables walking around. However, we were across the street from Voodoo Doughnut.

We checked into our hotel, which was an Embassy Suites. The hotel is historic and JFK was even there once. The lobby was beautiful and our room was quite big. We had a living room, bathroom, and a separate bedroom. There was even a microwave and refrigerator. We were on the top floor, which was nice. Our room wasn’t facing one of the main streets so it was very quiet. I ate some snacks, which was first meal of the day even though it was late in the day at that point.

We then headed out to Voodoo Doughnut. There was a line but it went quickly. We ordered 3 doughnuts and 1 postcard. I wanted to buy more postcards but they were extremely overpriced. I bought a dirt doughnut and a no name. My mom got their famous maple bacon bar. The place was so cool and I wish I could have tried them all! We dropped off our box of doughnuts in the hotel. My mom ate her doughnut and I had one bite of the dirt one.

Dirt and No Name

We walked to the famous Powell’s books. IT WAS HUGE!!!! I felt like the place never ended. There was room after room after room of books. They actually had maps it was so big. Then we went to Buffalo Exchange which is a vintage store. After that we headed to Byways Cafe. It was on the first Diners, Drive-in’s, and Dives episode that I saw. I have been wanting to go for years. I wanted their french toast. However, our timing sucked so we couldn’t go for breakfast. So I just went to take a picture.

After that we headed to Whole Foods where I bought a sandwich for dinner. The neighborhood was so much nicer than the one we were in. We headed back to our hotel for the Manager’s Reception. They had free popcorn, chips, dip, pretzels, and drinks. My mom made that her dinner while I sat with her and ate my sandwich. It was still early and normally we would have went for a walk but the neighborhood prevented us from doing so. We went back to the room and ate our doughnuts while watching a Law and Order SVU marathon.

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Portland, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where are the Oompa Loompas?

6/13/13

I woke up not feeling well. So we got a later start then I would have liked. We had to catch a bus and head to Fremont for our chocolate tour. We walked to the bus stop and waited a good 30 minutes for the bus to arrive. There were a lot of homeless, crazies, and pot smokers around. It was not pleasant.

The bus left us off in Fremont and we walked a couple blocks to Theo’s. We went to the tour entrance first. I paid for the tour, which we had reserved 3 weeks in advance since they fill up. I wanted to use the restroom but didn’t see one. I should have asked because there wound up being one nearby. We went to the gift shop in search of a restroom but didn’t find one there either. It wound up being behind a door that said staff only. My mom sampled all the free chocolate in the shop. I was too nauseous to eat. We went back to the tour area. We had to put on hair nets. The men had to also put on beard nets. They were funny. We were taken into a room where a woman explained the process of making chocolate and gave out samples. Again I didn’t eat any. Instead I put my samples in a napkin for later.

Next we headed into a quiet room within the factory. We could witness the process of making the chocolate. The tour guide gave people chocolate nibs to taste. I wanted the tour to end because I was ill. Then we headed into the factory. It was like 100 degrees which didn’t help my nausea. We saw all the machines and people working them. Then we headed to a room where they mold the chocolate. We got more samples. After that it was back out to the hot factory. Everyone was enjoying themselves and I probably would have as well if I wasn’t sick.

We used the restroom and stopped to buy chocolate at the gift shop. My mom got more samples and I added mine to my napkin. I took some medicine and prayed that I would feel better soon.

After that it was time for Fremont’s public art. First up was the rocket. Then we went to see Stalin. After that was the Center of the Universe sign and the shoes belonging to the Wicked Witch. We then headed to the Fremont Troll. I loved him! He was crushing a car and looked totally cool. He seemed like he would be friendly if he was alive.

Center of the Universe

Wicked Witch Shoes

We stopped at two thrift stores where I picked up a pair of shorts for $1 which wound up not fitting. 😦 My mom got a skirt for $5. I believe it was called Atlas.

We saw two final pieces of public art. One was the statue of the people waiting for the interurban and the other was Rapunzel. The statue of the people waiting was cool because they were dressed in real clothes.

Waiting for the Interurban

We crossed the bridge and headed to the bus stop. However we couldn’t figure out where it was. We wandered for a bit. We finally found a stop. It wasn’t for the bus we originally intended to get on. We waited about 15 minutes and the bus came.

The bus let us off by Pike Place Market. I decided to pick up a piroshky for dinner. I waited on a long line and bought a potato, cheese, and onion piroshky. Everyone around me was buying multiple items. The guy ahead of me bought a dozen. I immediately ate my piroshky because it was still hot. It was so good!

We walked around the market for a bit and I picked up some more postcards and I got a space needle press a penny. The original plan was then to go to the Seattle Art Museum. However, it wasn’t on the top of my list nor was I feeling up to it. So instead we headed back to the hotel. My mom went out wandering while I stayed in and watched some TV.

When my mom came back we headed to the Regency Club for dinner. They didn’t have any chocolate chip cookies this time. 😦 They had sushi, cheese, and some crackers. My mom had the sushi and I had the cheese and crackers. My mom had their dessert which was some kind of peanut butter cake.

We were bored so we headed out for a walk. We went to the mall that was near the hotel. It was awful. Next we headed into Nordstrom. Also awful. We then headed down the block to Hyatt Olive 8 to check it out. However, there wasn’t anything to see. We then went back to the hotel and packed.

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Making Music in Seattle

6/12/13

After Pike Place Market we headed to the Westlake Center to catch the monorail. You have to walk through the “mall” to get to the monorail on the third floor. We passed a Claire’s and I bought some items.

We purchased our tickets to the monorail and waited about 10 minutes for it to come. The monorail took about 10 minutes to get to the Seattle Center. The monorail was packed, which surprised me.

We walked across the street from the Seattle Center to the Space Needle. There was a small line. The admission price was a bit pricey ($19 a person), but it was something we wanted to do. After getting our tickets we waited on another line. Then we got our picture taken against a green screen. We were given a ticket to download the picture. We waited on another line for an elevator. A video of our elevator ride is below:

We got lucky because it was a beautiful clear day. The view was amazing! We took tons of pictures. We watched the monorail for a bit. We also tried to find our hotel. We found a table inside and looked at the view for a while. Then we used the machines and scanned our picture ticket to pick our green screen image.

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We waited on line to take the elevator down. Video is below:

We stopped at the gift shop so I could get a press a penny, but it wasn’t the normal 51 cents. We left and headed right next door to EMP.

I had bought my tickets online and was able to save a couple of dollars. The guy scanned my phone and we were all set. They had the Game of Thrones throne which we took a picture on. We went to the Fantasyland area first. They had costumes and props from Snow White and the Huntsman, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride, etc. I was beyond excited to see the costumes and props from the Princess Bride since it is one of my favorite movies. I love Inigo Montoya. They had his costume and sword. There was also a dragon that if you pulled his tail he woke up. However, it wasn’t working so they closed it.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Percy Jackson

Wizard of Oz

Princess Bride

Chronicles of Narnia

Princess Bride

Harry Potter-Sirius Black

Princess Bride

Chronicles of Narnia

Then we headed to the horror film area. We saw props from Frankenstein, Blair Witch Project, the Shining, Thriller and many more.

Frankenstein

Blair Witch Project

Blair Witch Project

The Shining

The Mummy’s Curse

Thriller

After that we headed to the science fiction area. We saw stuff from Star Wars, Star Trek, MIB, Matrix, etc. You could even go in front of a green screen and put yourself on Mars.

Star Trek

Yoda

Star Wars

Superman

MIB

Me on Mars

Then we headed to the rooms on Jimi Hendrix. They had some of his clothes and guitars. There was also a room filled with guitars from the 1800’s on. It was interesting to see the evolution of the guitar. I knew my coworker Bob would love it. We found out that there was going to be an exhibit on women in music, but it wasn’t ready yet. I would have liked to have seen Gaga’s meat dress. See pictures at the bottom of the post.

We then headed to the third floor where you could play some instruments and record music. I messed around on a guitar for a bit. Next we headed to the gift shop. I wanted to buy some postcards but they didn’t have any. Instead I purchased a blue guitar mint case for Bob. I got a press a penny. We used the ladies room and headed to find our bus.

We got so lost! Google maps was surprisingly not very helpful. It didn’t help that the bus stop markers just say bus and don’t indicate the number or direction. Someone had to tell us. We got on a crowded smelly bus that made our NYC cross down buses feel fast. We were going to be late to our dinner reservation!!! We called Spinasse and explained.

We finally got off the bus and walked for what seemed like forever until we found the restaurant. They weren’t busy and were nice about us being late. They gave us a table by the bar. We ordered their famous Tajarin al burro e salvia aka fine hand cut egg pasta with butter and sage. We ordered a full portion ($22). They brought us crostini with anchovies and cream cheese. I didn’t eat it, but my mom tried it and didn’t like it. Our pasta came right away and it was clear that it wasn’t enough food for two people to share. However, it was so good! I could see why it is featured on a million food shows. The pasta is made by hand in the restaurant and you clearly tell. I could have had multiple bowls of it. We paid (almost $30 after tax and tip for a small bowl of pasta) and searched for the bus. Again we got lost, but eventually found it. Turns out we really didn’t need the bus. It was like 10 blocks from our hotel. The maps made it seem far away.

We went to the Regency Club for a second dinner. The selection was awful. 😦 I had some cheese and bread. I pulled out my prioshky from earlier and ate that with a bowl of whipped cream. I also ate like 4 cookies. I did enjoy reading about the Louvre in this book that they had.

After dinner we were bored so we wandered the neighborhood. We went to Ross where I got a pair of shoes and several pharmacies. We also went to Escala where Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey lives in the book.

My mom at Escala

Escala Lobby

Nirvana Section

MTV Moon Man

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuffing our Faces at Pike Place Market

6/12/13

My mom brought down food from the Regency Club for breakfast, which I ate while staring at our lovely view of the Space Needle. We had a big day ahead of us, but I was excited to explore Seattle.

Our first stop of the day was Pike Place Market. The market is packed and filled with amazing aromas. Everyone is happy to be eating, browsing, and buying. I immediately saw Piroshky Piroshky Bakery. I had read about them so I jumped on the long line. The line moved quickly and I ordered two that didn’t have nuts. I got a Moscow Roll and an Apple Cinnamon Roll.

Apple Cinnamon Roll

Moscow Roll

Almost right next to it was the original Starbucks. My mom is addicted to Starbucks so of course I needed to take a million pictures for her. She wound up buying a Starbucks t-shirt ($20) and a Starbucks card ($5).

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks

We then crossed the street to look at all the vendors selling t-shirts, candles, magnets, cups, soap, jewelry, etc. I was debating about picking up a really cool looking magnet for my co-worker Bob, but I wanted to see if I liked anything else first. At the end of the arts and crafts part of the market is Rachel the pig and the famous Pike Place Fish Market. These guys sing and throw fish. See my videos below:

Pike Place Fish Market

Pike Place Fish Market

Rachel-The Pike Place Market Pig

We should have headed to the gum wall next, but I didn’t know it was right below us. Instead, we went to Pike Place Bakery where we picked up a cinnamon pretzel. Then we crossed the street and headed to the Crumpet Shop. I had read about this place as well, but they didn’t display the crumpets so we decided not to order any. Next, we headed to Three Girls Bakery. Another place I had read about. Everything looked so good! We decided on a Chocolate Krinkle Cookie.

Pike Place Bakery

Pike Place Bakery

Three Girls Bakery

Three Girls Bakery

Now it was time to find the gum wall. I decided not to tell my mom what we were looking for since I knew she would find it disgusting. Everyone said you could smell it before you see it. I didn’t smell it. I couldn’t believe how much gum there was! People spelled things out in their gum. It was gross and cool at the same time.

We headed back to the original Starbucks so my mom could get a coffee. We headed to the basement level of the market because my mom thought there were tables and chairs to eat. She was wrong. However, there were a lot of souvenir stores and strange antique shops. So we browsed for a bit.

We left the market and crossed the street where there was a souvenir store with a press a penny machine. I got two press a pennies. I also picked up a pill box and some postcards. Then we crossed the street to another Starbucks that had tables and chairs. My mom had some of her cinnamon pretzel and coffee. I wound up sharing my Moscow Roll with her. It was so good!!! We used the restroom and headed to our next stop.

Categories: Family Vacation, Food, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pictures from my Train Ride from Vancouver to Seattle

Here are my pictures from my Amtrak trip from Vancouver to Seattle. It was beautiful to look at the water, sand, and clouds while the sun was setting.

 

Categories: Canada, Family Vacation, Photos, Seattle, Travel, USA, Vancouver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stepping Back in Time with the Roedde Family

6/11/13
We had breakfast in the room with the food from Regency Club. We organized our stuff and made sure we were all packed.

We headed out to the Roedde House. I was excited to see it. My mom and I love to visit old historic homes. We passed the Abbott House as we walked. This is another old home but is privately owned. We found Roedde House and rang the bell. Nobody answered. We tried again. Still nobody. I walked around the house and saw that there were lights on. We rang again. Nothing. I was getting nervous. I really wanted to do this. I decided to knock and ring. That finally brought somebody to the door. Thank goodness! She was on the phone, but ushered us in.

Right away I knew I was going to love the house. It was so charming. My mom was already smiling. The young lady got off the phone and apologized. She was the only one there. I showed her my Foursquare deal where you get two admissions for the price of one. $5 for two people was a good deal. She said she was new and didn’t know anything about it, but took it anyway. I was worried that new meant she was going to be a horrible tour guide. She offered to give us a tour and since we were the only people there it was a private tour.

The house is late-Victorian and was built in the Queen Anne revival style. Gustav Roedde, the city’s first bookbinder, had the house built for his family in 1893. There are 11 rooms that you can see. We saw the parlor, living room, kitchen, pantry, master bedroom, boys’ bedroom, girls’ bedroom, bathroom, two work areas, and a servants area that leads to the backstairs. There were many original artifacts that belonged to the family and the other artifacts were from the right time period, but didn’t belong to the family. Gustav’s wife, Matilda, was very short and you can see everything has been adjusted for her height throughout the house. This house also had built in closets which is unusual for the time period. Our tour guide told us that house’s design is generally attributed to the architect, Francis Rattenbury, notable for the Legislative Buildings and Empress Hotel in Victoria. Overall the tour was great! Our tour guide was extremely informative despite being new. She had a great speaking style.

After Roedde House we looked at the outside of Barclay Manor, which is next door and is now an old age home. We decided to do Robson St. We window shopped and stopped in a vintage shop and a cupcake place. The vintage shop was too expensive, but had amazing stuff. We bought a cupcake from the cupcake place. We went into the mall inside our hotel (Royal Centre Mall) which was anything but a mall. We spent 10 minutes walking around and headed back to the room.

We checked out of our room and spent the next two hours hanging out in the Regency Club. We split the cupcake which was just ok. We read magazines, but spent most of our time watching the Frame channel. Frame channel has cameras all around the world and switches between their cameras every 5 to 10 minutes. So you get to people watch, see the world, and learn about new places. They don’t tell you where the camera is. So my mom and I used clues to guess. We would look at the language of the signs, the architecture, the people, the bags people were carrying, the time of day, etc. It was so much fun. The channel doesn’t have typical commercials. Instead, they quickly show postcard quality images of places from around the world. I posted Egypt and Japan at the bottom of this post.

We left Regency to walk around more. We visited an old church across the street from our hotel. The stained glass and wood work were incredible. Then we walked further down to another mini mall. I found a dress in H&M and waited on line to try it on. The dressing room smelled like evil nasty feet. I bought the dress cause it was on sale, but 12% sales tax jacked the price up. We ran back to our hotel and picked up our bags. Off to Amtrak.

We got to the station and they were already boarding. My mom filled out our customs forms while we were on line. We we were assigned seats and then had to go through customs. The customs agent checked out forms and passports. He asked us questions and my mom made a joke. He didn’t find it funny. He then yelled at her for writing NY instead of New York. We had to put our stuff on scanners. Then we could finally board. We were in business class. The seats were comfy and there were a lot of foreigners in our car. My mom used our coupons for a water and cinnamon bun. The train ride went by fast because the view was amazing!! If you are taking Amtrak from Vancouver to Seattle make sure to ask for seats on the right side of the train. The sun was setting as we traveled which made the view even more spectacular. Tomorrow I will post an entry just of the pictures from the train ride. We stopped at the US border. Border agents boarded our train and took our forms. The train ride was pretty uneventful except for the man across from us peeing 7 times in 5 hours. He drank 3 large bottles of sprite and 3 cans of beer. He didn’t eat a thing. Strange.

We pulled into Seattle after 10pm and despite having directions we were utterly lost. A nice man pointed us in the right direction. Many buses in Seattle are underground! Crazy I know. We found our bus, yelled at people to get our of our way, ran for the bus, and made it. The bus dropped us off 3 blocks from our hotel.

The Hyatt was sold out. The Houston Astros were at our hotel. We got to our room and immediately saw a huge welcome basket filled with food and drinks. Nice! Then I looked up and noticed our view. We had a view of the Space Needle. It was so beautiful! We took a bunch of photos and settled in. We were exhausted.


Categories: Canada, Family Vacation, History, Seattle, Travel, USA, Vancouver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland Trip Plan

My mom and I were debating about where to go for vacation this year. I had planned out a trip to Spain. We decided against it due to the expense and my health hasn’t been the best this year. We wanted to stay a bit more local. We decided on Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland. We flew to Vancouver, BC. Then we took Amtrak down to Seattle. From Seattle we took Amtrak to Portland. We flew back home from Portland. Below you will find my trip plan and links to my postcards from this trip:

Trip Plan

Postcards from Canada

Postcards from Washington

Postcards from Oregon

vancouverseattleportlandmap

Categories: Canada, Family Vacation, Food, History, Portland, Richmond, Seattle, Steveston, Travel, USA, Vancouver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Postcards from Washington

Categories: Postcards, Seattle, Travel, USA, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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