2019, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part IV): Seattle’s Famous Pike Place Market

June 4, 2019

Next to the MoPOP is the Seattle Center Monorail Station. Kevin got round trip tickets, and we rode to the Westlake Station, where the Pike Place Market is only a few blocks away. Once, we arrived at the Public Market Center, I was fascinated from the fresh fruits, vegetables and all kinds of sea foods. At one corner we saw a crowd of people and heard  loud noises. When we came closer, we’ve noticed, it was the place, where they throw the fish over the counter. Pike Place Market/Pure Food Fish Market is famous for that “Fish Throw” all around the world. Kevin and I wanted to witness it. And we didn’t come short. One sales person shouted the order, and the rest of the crew repeated the order in sync several times. Nobody can say, they didn’t hear the order. People come from all over to buy fresh fish from Pure Food Fish Market. Katelynn wanted to throw a fish, too. I said, she needs to apply for a job at the fish market, then she can practice throwing fish, before she can go do it like the big guys behind those counters. “It’s hard work, throwing a good fish over the counter in a famous place”, I replied. We also looked at these small, nifty little stores on several floors, before we moved on to the Water Front. Card readings, Buddhist supplies, Pagan/Wiccan supplies, clothes, second hand books, .. just to name some of the stores, we’ve seen in a small area. Now, I wish we’ve stayed longer at the Pike Place Market. It’s a good reason to come back to Seattle.

… to be continued …

2019, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part III): The Museum of Pop Cuture – MoPOP (CityPASS)

June 4, 2019

After lunch our next stop was at the Museum of Pop Culture also called MoPOP, formerly EMP Museum. The Museum has a lot to offer. Tons of exhibits, instruments, recordings, etc. Katelynn and Sara spent some time in the Indie Game Revolution room, playing some older video games. In the meantime, I enjoyed photographing the Guitar Sculpture, which I also call “The Guitar Tornado”. It sure does look like a big instrumental tornado. It also includes other instruments, like keyboards, trumpets, clarinets, drums, …

Upstairs, Katelynn, Sara and I played some instruments. Wow, I had some serious fun playing drums to a Rolling Stone song. First the video did show me, how to play the drums, which made me play out rhythm a little bit. But once, I “played with the band”, it was fun. I guess, I had to hear all instruments coming together. It made it easier sticking with the rhythm .

But we’ve also visited some of the exhibits. it was very interesting to look at some original instruments, clothes, journals, and other items, Nirvana, Prince and Jimi Hendrix used in the recording studios and on tour. UGH! May they all rest in peace!

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Nirvana – Taking Punk to the Masses

The exhibition features instruments like Kurt Cobain’s Fender Stratocaster, Krist Novoselić’s Hiwatt DR103 bass amplifier head, and Dave Grohl’s Tama Rockstar-Pro drum kit. In addition, a diverse set of objects like the Cobain-created Fecal Matter shirt and the casting call flier for the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video will be on display.

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Prince From Minneapolis

From the very beginning of his career, Prince worked to create a unique and dynamic professional image. He reached out to photographers in Minneapolis to construct and disseminate what is now his legendarily theatrical image and identity. Four of those photographers—Allen Beaulieu, Nancy Bundt, Terry Gydesen, and Robert Whitman—are showcased in this exhibition. With nearly 50 artifacts, including 25 photos of Prince, 15 Prince-inspired artworks, a Prince guitar, and 2 outfits from the film Purple Rain, this comprehensive gallery allows guests to experience Prince’s unrivaled artistry at key moments in his career.

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Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966 – 1970

From his arrival in London to his untimely death on September 18, 1970, Jimi Hendrix was rarely in one place for more than a month. Wild Blue Angel: Hendrix Abroad, 1966-1970 offers a contemplative look at the period of Hendrix’s life spent on the road as he catapulted to fame.

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Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

Explore the lives and legacies of the genre’s greatest in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors science fiction and fantasy’s leading creators and most impactful creations.

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Texts of the exhibits are not from me, but from the official website: https://www.mopop.org/exhibitions-plus-events/

… to be continued …

2019, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part II): The Pacific Science Center (CityPASS)

June 4, 2019

Originally, I really wanted to go to the Chihuly Garden & Glass. But when I asked my family, which place we want to visit next, I’ve got outvoted. The Seattle CityPASS gives a choice: the Chihuly Garden & Glass or the Pacific Science Center. I had to agree, that the Science Center would be much more fun for the girls. What we didn’t know, the Seattle schools are not on Summer Break, yet. A lot of Elementary Schools use the warmer days for Field Trips. As soon as we entered the Courtyard, we heard a whole bunch of kids. We looked back. And sure enough, there was a “herd” of 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders entering the gates. I said: “Oh boy, this might be a short stay here in the Science Center! RUUUNNN!”

Entering the Building, Katelynn and Sara had so much fun touching, playing, exercising, etc. We didn’t go through the whole place. But the girls enjoyed running around in the buildings for over two hours, before we went to lunch. That got the excessive energy out of their system and made them hungry.

… to be continued …

2019, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 4 (Part I): The Seattle Space Needle (CityPASS)

June 4, 2019

Tuesday, we’ve started very early in the day, because we wanted to get as much out of the day as possible. The forecast promised sunshine all day. So, it would be a perfect day to walk around in the city, without worrying about a poncho or an umbrella. In Seattle, we exited the Interstate 5 for Mercer Rd. If I remember it right, it was Exit 167. We parked in a parking garage, which is a stone throw away from the Seattle Center.

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Seattle Space Needle from below

Our first destination was the Space Needle. Being one of the first visitors, we didn’t have to wait in line. Once the Ticket Sales Agent explained to me, how the CityPASS works in the city, he scanned our tickets on my phone, which I had stored in a email folder.

The elevator took less than 45 seconds to transport us from the bottom to the observation deck at 520 feet (160 m) above street level. The guide told us some cool facts about the Space Needle, while we were on our journey to the deck. Katelynn and I went outside to see the city, the suburbs and Puget Sound through the glass panels. Sara, on the other hand, wanted to stay in the lobby for a little bit. Once she got used to this height, she stepped out for several steps, before she said she would rather go back inside again. Kevin an Sara rather watched some fun fact videos about Seattle on the screens inside the lobby. While Katelynn played with the thought sitting on the glass bench (I rather sat on the edge of the bench), I heard a couple taking in English and what kinda sounded German. I asked the lady from what country they came to visit this part of the world. She replied, they were from Austria. Since I’m from the northern parts of Bavaria (Lower Franconia), we can understand each others slang. We were standing and talking about Seattle, the Crater Lake, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Texas, Austria and Germany for quite some time. It doesn’t happen every day, I can practice my home language. This was a welcomed opportunity. During this conversation, we found out we share the same first name.

After Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I signed our names and the city we are living on the World Wall, we went to the rotating lower level, which is at 500 feet (150 meters) above street level. The rotating part of the floor is made of thick glass. And fun to walk on it, when there is barely any fear of heights. Katelynn watched the glass floor moving for a few minutes, before she put her hands on it. Since the floor rotates so slow, she had time to adjust her lower body with it. Shortly she sat on the glass. In the meantime, I laid with my back on the glass. I did it twice, because I wanted Kevin to capture photos with both, the Nikon camera and my cell phone. Kevin and Sara rather stayed on the carpeted non-rotating part of the floor. Katelynn and I had so much fun, we walked all around the lower level to see Seattle under our feet.

When it was time to go back down to the base of the Space Needle, we waited for the elevator. The lady that took us down to the souvenir store was from Denton, Texas which is northwest across Lewisville Lake from The Colony. She mentioned, she was going to school in Carrollton. Sara replied: “Oh, I was born in Carrollton, Texas! That is so cool!” In the souvenir store, I purchased some items. Come to find out, if I had gone to the store across the Space Needle, I had paid $6 -$10 less for each item. But hey, I live only once. 😉

… to be continued …

2019, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 3: From Vancouver To Everett, Washington

June 3, 2019

Monday morning, Kevin got a phone call from Southwest Airlines which stated that our luggage arrived safe and sound in the SeaTac airport. Knowing that, we decided we make a trip to Mount Saint Helen first. David posted a video about the Lower Lewis River Falls on Facebook in the previous week. And that caught my interest. The falls are just a little bit east of Mount Saint Helen, and can be done in one trip. The phone call ended about ten miles north of the exit on Interstate 5. Kevin and I made a spontaneous decision and back tracked to State Route 503. A little over 60 miles later, we made it to the entrance trail of the falls. It was about a 3-minute-hike, before we reached the overlook. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I tried to find a way down to the river’s edge. But we didn’t want to chance rolling an angle in the middle of the Washington woods. Instead we hiked down the regular trail, to see some flora and fauna.

Here is a short video, I filmed of the gorgeous Lower Lewis River Falls. https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/48046148486/in/album-72157705230883495/

On our way back, we went to the Pine Creek Information Center. The lady informed us, where we would have a good view of Mount Saint Helen. And we were lucky. The National Forest Road 25 just got cleared from the last snow and opened on Friday.  There are several nice overlooks along NFD 25. A few motorcyclist were standing at one of the parking/viewing areas. One of them told the story about the exploding mountain, when he lived in this area 39 years ago. I overheard him saying, that the blast of the eruption broke his sister’s house windows and they could feel that hot shock wave. They were all lucky to be far enough away to survive it and tell the tales. We all gazed at the Mount Saint Helen and let the story sink in for a moment.

Soon, we’ve reached US 12 and drove back west to Interstate 5, where we were on our way to SeaTac. Picking up our bag was very smooth, and we could soon move on to our motel in Everett, north of Seattle. But first, we’ve got a good climbs of Seattle, before we had dinner and called it a day.

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Seattle, Washington

… to be continued …

2019, Travel/Vacation

Travel Journal, Day 2: From Weed, California To Vancouver, Washington

June 2, 2019

Sunday morning we left Weed, California and made our way up on US 97 to Crater Lake National Park. US 97 is also named Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, because it runs east of Interstate 5 along all the volcano/mountain chains up in the Pacific Northwest. Our morning started with a big treat for us. The Sun was shining, the sky was clear, and Mount Shasta looked stunning with its snow-covered top(s). Most mountains have no caps anymore, because they were blown away from a volcanic eruption or weathering in this region. It leaves these mountains with two or more tops, which is sometimes hard to tell, which one is the highest point, the summit.

Once we’ve made it to Crater National Park, we’ve noticed lots of snow along the roadway. I said to Kevin to take a break and let the kids play in the snow for a little bit. The girls had so much fun sticking their fingers in the frozen white and having a small snowball fight. The fun was over, when Sara threw snow in Katelynn’s mouth. It was time to move on. Sara got some Karma later, when I threw a small snowball on the back of her head at the lake. It didn’t hurt her, because the snow was soft. But it made her think twice being a stinker to her older sibling.

When we saw the lake, we were mesmerized by its blue mirror reflecting water; the size of the caldera,; the big cone “Witch Cauldron” on Wizard Island; and the snow, which was still on the ground in the beginning of June. I’m happy, that the true love of my life took me to this lake. About 25 years ago, my son’s father supposed to take me to this lake. As a matter of fact, he lives in Oregon. But it didn’t work out. So here we go. Kevin made it possible for me to see this beautiful work of nature.

Crater Lake is with a depth of 1,949 feet (594 meters) the deepest lake in the United States of America. The caldera was formed when the Mount Mazama volcano collapsed approximately 7,700 years ago. It is filled with water due to heavy rain and snowfalls. Therefore the water is crystal clear and reflects blue due to the BIV (blue, indigo, violet) in the solar radiation interaction. The lake has two islands: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship. There is also a great chance that the volcano will erupt again, in the future. 

From Crater Lake National Park, we drove past Mount Thielsen, which has a very interesting looking summit. While capturing photos of it, I ran into a guy from Oklahoma. We had a little conversation about Oregon and Washington, before our ways separated again. It’s nice seeing people from home or a neighboring state. We always have something in common.

Soon, we’ve made it to Eugene. There we went back on Interstate 5 to drive to Portland. Our motel was on the other side of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. My long-time friend, David, was waiting for us, so we all could have dinner together. It was wonderful to see him after over 26 years, again. We had a lot of years to catch up. Kevin and David talked about Seattle and the Army. I’ve never have seen David talking so much, when he was younger. But it was fantastic. He’s back home and in his environment. We’ve all enjoyed the conversations. After guiding us to the motel, David said, we should visit on our way back from Seattle. That way, we could also meet his wife. So, Kevin and I planned a lunch in Vancouver for Wednesday.  There is always some room on our trips for being spontaneous. Especially with kids, we have to be flexible.

… to be continued …

2019, In The Garden

Travel Journal, Day 1: From Dallas, Texas To Weed, California

June 1, 2019

At 8:45 a.m. our plane took off from Dallas Love Field. We were on our way to San Jose in California within 3 ½ hours. Arriving in San Jose we found out that Kevin and my luggage (we usually share one bag) wasn’t at the airport. After some back and forth in the Baggage Claim Office, we decided to go get our rental car and move on as planned. Southwest Airlines called us back later that day, letting us know, the luggage never made out of Dallas, and asked how they could accommodate us. I told Kevin to let the Baggage Claim know to send our bag to Seattle by Monday. I was in a bad mood and didn’t want to talk to the guy on the other end of the phone. It was bad enough, I didn’t have my hiking shoes with me and had to purchase some toiletries, clothes and shoes to hold us over until two days into the trip. But at least they found our luggage. It could have been much worse. At least I had my camera gear and our passports in my carry-on, in case we wanted to go to Vancouver, British Colombia in Canada for a day.

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Mountain Range somewhere in southern California close to the Mexican Border

Our first destination was the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Kevin, the girls and I couldn’t wait to see the huge bridge stretching one mile over the entrance of the San Francisco Bay. The bay and the top Golden Gate Bridge were covered in fog. A cool wind blew from the Pacific into the bay. It was perfect weather for sailing, surfing, parasailing, and many other water sport activities. There were a lot of people having fun in the bay that Saturday afternoon, while many tourists were just in “Awww” seeing the San Francisco Designated Landmark. Since it was very misty, we could only get a climbs of Alcatraz Island. But it was all what we needed. I’ve got some pictures of the former prison out in the distance.

Here is a video of us crossing the Golden Gate Bridge: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132943299@N07/48034613211/in/album-72157705230883495/

The first night we made it to Weed, which is a stone throw north of the town of Mt. Shasta. On our way there, we had a good look at the mountain. But it got too dark for capturing good photos.  The next day, we were in for a treat.

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Mount Shasta at dusk

… to be continued …

2019, Travel/Vacation

Our Trip To The American Northwest

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Another destination, I can cross off on my Bucket List

What a beautiful trip it was to California, Oregon, and Washington. Kevin, the girls and I flew to San Jose, CA last Saturday. From there we went to our journey up to Seattle, Washington, before we drove back to San Jose and flew back to Dallas last night. Just to name a few places: we saw the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Crater Lake in Oregon, Mount Saint Helen in Washington, etc. Once I’m not as jet lagged anymore, I will blog about this wonderful trip to the American Northwest.