Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Seattle Sights

My older brother and his family flew up from Los Angeles on Sunday and are currently vacationing here in Washington state. On Monday, we went into downtown Seattle where we visited some places that were new to me, and others that weren't. This is going to be more of a photo post than anything else. Monday's weather was absolutely gorgeous, so my photos came out very well.

We took the commuter rail - The Sounder - from Tukwila into downtown Seattle. The train station is right by Qwest Field (home of the Seahawks), and from there, we walked between 2.5 and 3 miles to get to the area around the Space Needle, stopping at Pike Place Market, which was pretty much smack in between.

There are a lot of really cool things happening around the Space Needle - interesting sculptures, beautiful gardens, an amusement park and the Pacific Science Center.

The Pacific Science Center has A LOT to could easily spend an entire day here. We didn't have that kind of time. But there is plenty for both kids and adults to do here. The IMAX theatre is awesome. We watched a 3-D film about ocean life off the coast of South Africa, and the 3-D effects blew my mind.

In the courtyard of the Pacific Science Center - a preview of things to come.

Giant mantis WILL EAT YOUR SOUL!!!

They have a tropical butterfly exhibit. Really beautiful to go visit, although there were a few dead butterflies laying around, which the employees seemed to ignore.

After our visit to the Pacific Science Center, we went to the top of the Space Needle, where we had lunch at Sky City. The restaurant rotates to give you a 360 degree view of Seattle. The food is fabulous. And it may seem ridiculously overpriced, but think about it this way: you're getting free entrance to the observation deck with your meal (something that would cost you $16 otherwise), so you might as well pay the $25 minimum for lunch. I recommend the crab salad sandwich (warm dungeness crab on toasted sourdough topped with fresh tomato and Tillamook cheddar with a tomato and cucumber salad on the side). Yes, it's totally touristy, but worth doing at least once.

The view of the Pacific Science Center from the Space Needle.

Mount Rainier was a bit hazy, but you can see it in the distance.

(Click on any of these pictures to see them full size.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In lieu of any exciting content here for the time being, I want to give a shout out to my friend Daniela, who just graduated from culinary school and is now pursuing every chef's dream by spending her summer working in a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars that is headed by a renowned chef.

And she is going back home to Innsbruck to do this. She's been living in Chicago for the past few years and has had a tough road. Great things are now happening for her, and they are happening at home...where her family is, where her heart still is. I can think of nobody more deserving.

I'm so happy for her (and not the slightest bit jealous...oh no). If you're interested in food and travel, you might want to follow her over at her blog:

Reaching for Michelin Stars.

No updates from Austria yet, but she texted me right before she left, and I know she is now there. I suppose she'll start posting once she gets over her jetlag and gets to work.

I hope Dani makes it out to Seattle for a visit once she comes back with all the knowledge she got in Innsbruck. She has already promised to cook me an absolutely amazing meal!