Tag Archives: seattle

Fran & Joel Back Out + Other Stuff

I’m just wanting to get a post out with some assorted pictures and neat stuff I’d noticed before the weekend begins in earnest, as I’m sure it’ll be fun to recount the stuff from Fran & Joel’s visit out.  But first, we had dinner with them last night:

They flew in from Phoenix yesterday after attending the same conference they went to last year, which was when we met up with them in Vegas.  It was nice to take them to one of the many neat restaurants here in Glendale, this time Bacari.

On Monday, Larry & I went out on a school night to see a show at the Largo – this was where we had previously seen “How Did This Get Made?” last year; this time the show was “Hanging with Paul Scheer” and it was hilarious and the guests were Nicole Byer – who is hilarious and who I first fell in love with from her appearance on “Gay of Thrones” below:

Bye, Bitch!!!!   ALSO, Maria Bamford and Fred Armisen were guests, so yeah, it was hilarious.  I ended up taking the bus from DTLA as I was downtown that day, and while waiting, I took some downtown pics:

The previous weekend, we finally got to hang with Rekha and belatedly celebrate birthday fun with her.  Nicki chose a cool place, Cafe Stella, down in Silver Lake on the Sunset section.  Very trendy bar and restaurant with many attractive people everywhere.  Ah, hip Los Angeles.  Larry & I bailed after the restaurant but we heard the fun certainly continued through the rest of the day/night!

And then the weekend before that, I dragged Larry to go out and see The Last Jedi ONE MORE TIME.  It was my fourth time, his third.   We went to the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood and while it was an experience, the presentation of the movie at Universal was way better.  But there was a fun organist playing tunes before the show and a cheesy laser show too!  And a cool costume display from the movie that we visited.  Anyway, the movie still rocks and I can’t wait to see it again…on Blu Ray.

We also did go and see Phantom Thread this past weekend…I’ll give the movie that it was beautiful and well-directed, but this was a movie that I was okay with until the last 10 minutes, and then I was done with it.  What a waste of time.  I hope it loses in every Oscar category it was nominated in.

In totally unrelated stuff, Rebels Season 4 comes back soon, and if you love Star Wars, this animated series is a must watch.  The final half of the last season is airing and by the looks of this preview, a whole lot of stuff is gonna happen – and the Emperor makes an appearance!!!!:

I also saw this in one of my favorite sites – These timelapses of Seattle are pretty mesmerizing especially to see how quickly the city is building up:


And that leaves us to where we are now.  I’ve failed on my Amazing Race updates, but I’m still watching as it’s amazing.  And the cast of Celebrity Big Brother was announced…and it’s gonna be hard for me to choose to watch with Omarosa on it.  Seriously, wtf.

The Final Frontier & Other Seattle Fun our last day

Ha, I’m the worst at staying on top of posting these pictures.  That Twin Peaks post documenting the previous day’s amazing activities wiped me out!  Anyway, 2 weeks or so later, here we are and haven’t even touched the Vancouver stuff yet.   Let’s do this!

Morning Wandering

This morning, we had a great breakfast at Biscuit Bitch and then a stroll along the Pike Place area, checking out the Pike Place fish market.  Not much to see this morning, as only some squid was getting thrown around.   Then we took a walk over to the original Starbucks location – didn’t buy any coffee as I’ve had Starbucks coffee plenty of times and there’s no need to wait even longer than normal for it.

Monorail Madness 2: Monorail Harder

Now that it was a weekday (this was Wednesday, Sept 6, for reference), there really weren’t that many people as before out and about doing touristy Seattle things.  Made for a much less crowded experience everywhere!  And so this time on the monorail, we were able to get a seat right up at the front of the train, next to the driver.   Living the sweet life, we are.


The Seattle Museum of Pop Culture

If there is a museum that is more suited for either Larry or me and the things we truly love, it will be hard to tell me what or where that is.  As this museum is just amazing:  it’s got a Frank Gehry-designed exterior, the interior is wild and eye-catching, there’s a giant cinema screen in the middle highlighting all the exhibits in an awesome way, and of course the exhibits themselves are just a blast.  We went through many of them, but our prime directive for coming to the museum?  The 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.

The exhibit for Star Trek contained more than enough to satisfy most Trekkies’ needs.  Models of every Enterprise ship?  Check.  Costumes and props for EVERY series?  Check.  Videos and Trek history everywhere?  Check.   It was incredible.  I loved the Star Trek timeline that tied together every show, even the JJ Abrams alternate universe.  Just amazing.  And the fact is that the exhibit is done with style too – see the pics below.  Larry was in heaven, and it was interesting for anyone, honestly.

There were a few interactive portions in the exhibit, one of which is being able to put your face on top of William Shatner’s in the iconic “KHAAAAAANNNNN” scream from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  See below:

So here are all my pics from the Star Trek exhibit…

Other Exhibits at the MoPOP were also not to be missed, including:

  • Jim Henson Exhibition
  • Bowie by Mick Rock
  • Infinite World of Science Fiction (as seen in the last 2 pics above)
  • Indie Game Revolution

As you’ll see below, these were all a blast.  The Jim Henson Exhibition notably was magical to visit, as not only did you see plenty of stuff about the Muppets (which was ahMAZing), but the stuff that Jim Henson did before the Muppets as well as after.  I loved that you could stand in the Muppet Show’s iconic opening structure!

The MoPOP museum is right smack dab in that whole touristy central area, so we were able to go to the Armory to grab a quick bite before deciding what to do next.  After yesterday’s adventures, not having a plan was a bit of a nice thing.  We saw the ‘Ducks’ office right across the street and it was like, hey, why not just sit in an amphibious vehicle and drive around Seattle and then Lake Union?  And so we did.

The Land Portion of the Ducks Tour

We got driven all over the main downtown area of Seattle, and for the most part, it was stuff we’d had a chance to see ourselves.  It was just nice to not be walking or doing anything  except go along for the ride.  Also, the tour guides are funny and charming, and you listen to fun music while you’re zooming around town.  Highly recommended way to do this!

And then we went into the water of Lake Union, a small lake right north of Seattle and sandwiched between Lake Washington and the main Puget Sound:

Pictures in Lake Union:

After that, it was time to start wrapping up the day, so we did that by going to a fantastic restaurant, Von’s 1000 Spirits, for a delicious dinner and some beers.   And then back to the hotel to pack up as we had a decently early start the next morning to get to the train station and make our way north to Canada!

Finding the Real Twin Peaks 2 Days after the Return Finale

There’s no other way to put it:  this was one of the best days of my life.

Cooper and Carrie (Laura) confused by what they’re looking at

I’ve posted very little over the last few months due to work and indifference, but the few posts I’ve done have largely involved Twin Peaks.   The 3rd Season, aka The Return, wrapped up its season on Sunday, Sept 3, and it’s very likely that is the end of the series too.  I can live with that and spend time reading all the many, many articles trying to decipher what the hell just happened with “Laura” screaming out the lights in and outside the Palmer House with a confused Cooper looking on.  I’ve been a fan since 1990 and as I got older, I wanted more and more to visit Seattle to go see all these iconic places for myself.  Finally, this dream came true as we came up to Seattle and I staked out one of the days as a Twin Peaks day.  And oh lordy, this day exceeded any and all of my expectations.

For some of my Twin Peaks bonafides on this here site, I present some of my posts:

Twin Peaks: Up Close and Personal

Also, lots of other Twin Peaks-related stuff at this tagged collection:


And to make it easier since this post is looooong, I’ve created some links to be able to jump ahead to the major section headings:

Twin Peaks Locations:


You can’t go on a Twin Peaks adventure and not start it off with doughnuts.  Larry’s boss had recommended an outstanding place, Top Pot Doughnuts, that we could walk to in the morning before picking up the rental car.  It was a very cool space in and of itself (Barack Obama also had visited there) and the doughnuts were delicious!

Top Pot Doughnuts

We obviously had not driven from Los Angeles to Seattle for this trip, as that is a vacation all on its own, and while I had pondered if taking an Uber all around would make sense, I ended up realizing that was a terrible idea.  So for $48, I rented a car for the day from Enterprise.  And while I was expecting something like a Nissan or Chevy mid-size somethin’-or-other, and was disappointed when the initial check-in guy hadn’t offered any potential upgrade, when we got up to the level in parking lot where you pick up your car, the clerk there took a look around and asked if we wanted the silver Cadillac!  For a second I was like, I don’t wanna have to deal with driving that big ol’ thing, but then I immediately reconsidered and was like, HELLS YEAH.  Gimme that Caddy!

Continue reading Finding the Real Twin Peaks 2 Days after the Return Finale

Seattle Day 1: Space Needle + Science Center Fun

It looks like Larry & I enjoy traveling during the beginning of Septembers, so to keep that rhythm going, we headed out for a much closer-than-usual destination: the Pacific Northwest.  We only were going for a week, so we split the time in half, with the first half in Seattle and the second half in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Our itinerary involved us not heading up until Monday, Sept 4, which was Labor Day.  Kind of calculated on our part, hoping that maybe people weren’t actually traveling all that much.  To hedge our bets, we left on a fairly early flight out, direct from Burbank (yay!) to Seattle on Alaska Air.  Since they’re buying Virgin America, can’t hurt to get used to what they’re like as an airline.  So, Seattle! (thanks Google Maps)

Our hotel, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, can be seen in the map above, and what’s ideal about it besides being part of the Kimpton Hotel chain is that it was very centrally located in Downtown Seattle.  We could walk pretty much anywhere we wanted to go and you know Larry & I love to get our steps in.

Of course, getting in to a city early in the day typically means your hotel room isn’t ready, and that was our case.  Who cares though, once they hold on to your luggage?  We got our breakfast (finally) in the attached restaurant, Outlier, before heading out into the city to go see absolutely everything!

If we headed north from the hotel, we were able to jump on the Seattle Monorail’s southern end, which takes a huge chunk of the walking out of our travels as the other end is situated in Seattle Center, where the Space Needle and many other things are centrally located.

It’s a bit of a retro experience as the trains look like they’re the originals, but it’s still an effective way to get between these two points quickly.  While on the monorail, both Larry and I had to wonder why monorails aren’t more utilized in cities.  My guess is that they’re expensive, take up “overhead sky views” and people don’t want to be under their tracks, and maybe not as easy to manage as subway/light rail trains.

Seattle Monorail:

So as could be foretold in the pictures from the monorail, of course the first thing we were going to do was go up to the top of Space Needle.  One simply does not not visit the Space Needle when in Seattle.  It just isn’t done.

It was a very nice day to be going up to the top, as the sun was out and the haze wasn’t super bad as it would be on other days during our trip.    Why do I bring up the haze?  As the whole west coast seems to be on fire – check out this current map:

The pictures from this day really don’t show too much in the way of haze or smoke, except for the fact you can’t see the Cascade Mountain range, but I imagine that will happen enough anyway just from rainy days or regular smog pollution.  But in the pics from the following day when we visit Snoqualmie?  it’s not a Twin Peaks filter that I’ve applied to make all the pics have that yellowish tinge.  So yeah, kind of sucks.

Anyway, the line to get up to the top wasn’t bad at all, the views were great, and the weather wasn’t too damn hot like it had been in LA the previous week.  More on that in another post!  The funny thing about the Space Needle is that while of course it’s tall enough to be noticed throughout the city, it’s not all that tall, all things considered.  It’s got a great vantage point though, in that it’s situated near the coast and a bit outside of the downtown center, so you get nice views of everything from it.  And of course, it’s got quite the iconic look to it.  Since we had partaken in glasses of wine atop 1WTC, we figured it was appropriate to do so here.  Bring on more tall towers and their wine!

Seattle Space Needle

After finishing up our review of Seattle from above, our next stop was happily right there in the Seattle Center.  As you can see from this map:

Seattle has conveniently put quite a few of their most popular tourist attractions right all in one handy place.  I’m sure that makes the locals happy too, as it’s a place they can purposely avoid, much like New Yorkers avoid Times Square, Las Vegans avoid the Strip, and Los Angelenos avoid Hollywood Blvd, Universal Studios, 3rd Street Promenade, etc.  🙂

The tickets Larry had pre-purchased a month or so before the trip got us into the Space Needle, the Monorail, and the Pacific Science Center.  Also, that pre-purchase got us tickets into the exhibit that was closing that very same day, the Terracotta Warriors.   Since we were able to get into that exhibit, we went to that first, and you’ll notice in the pictures that it’s not exactly what you’d see if you went to the First Emperor’s tomb site in China, as that’s where the hundreds upon hundreds of warriors are situated in place.  Rather, these are touring examples of what exists in that site – it’s still quite an impressive collection to look at and take in.  The history that’s in this world is just quite exciting.

Pacific Science Center

After leaving that exhibit, we then meandered to the other portions of the museum, including the more kids-focused ‘science is fun’ stuff, and happily it also entertains adults.  The best part though was a chance to sit in the Laser Dome and watch a laser show set to Michael Jackson songs.  I didn’t know it before, but a laser show to “Thriller” is fucking amazing.

It was late afternoon by this point, and we had found out our hotel room was available, so we figured it would be nice to head back.  Instead of taking the monorail again, we decided to go for a walk, as while on the elevator down from the top of the Space Needle, the guide mentioned it’s worth seeing the area where Amazon.com is building up.  Specifically, the Spheres.  Neither Larry nor I had any idea what that meant, but we had the directions to get there and it was on the way, so off we walked through downtown Seattle.  As the pictures below indicate, there’s a lot of new construction going on here.  Not only corporate office towers but lots and lots of residential towers are going up – and they ain’t cheap.  I kind of was thinking to myself they might be, but no, Seattle is as expensive as Los Angeles, if not more so, due to the tech industry there.  The towers are beautiful (if you like futuristic, towering residential high rises) and it’s periodically easy to imagine living there, but we had some really good rain-free days this trip.  I can imagine when it’s nonstop rain, like it usually is, that gets old real quick.

So we walked and walked towards the Amazon.com complex, and found our way to the Amazon Spheres.   Long story short, I think these biospheres are intended for Amazon employees to be able to retreat to while working to reconnect to nature…or something.  But they’re still under construction yet their external ‘spheres’ is done and can be gawked at.


Via Wired.com:  https://www.wired.com/2017/05/amazons-expansive-biodomes-get-first-9000-plants/

Walking Downtown Seattle and Seeing Amazon’s Biospheres

Finally back at our hotel, the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, it was a much needed chance to get situated, unpack, and then head immediately back downstairs as by then, it was the Kimpton wine hour!  If you have stayed at a Kimpton Hotel before, you’ll know there’s a complimentary wine hour every day for hotel guests.  It’s the BEST.

Kimpton Hotel Monaco

After enjoying a relaxing hour resting from the day’s adventures, it was time to eat!  We got the first of many good recommendations for dinner – this time for Nijo Sushi, a few-block walk away from the restaurant.  Ended up being fantastic sushi.  After that, we then went for an evening stroll along the waterfront and watched as the evening lights all turned on, eventually realizing we were exhausted!

Dinner & a Waterfront Walk

A big day awaited us tomorrow with the trip to visit Twin Peaks filming locations set as the main attraction.  Stand by for that post as it will contain MANY pictures.