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10/10/18 - Japanese Garden in Seattle

The fall is our favorite time to visit the Japanese Garden in the Seattle Arboretum. The trees have been chosen for their autumn color, and the landscaping sets off the color beautifully. There was plenty of brilliant leaf color when we were there, though we were before the peak.

View from a stone bridge

Some color

More color

Across the pond

Another pond view

One of many turtles

Even more color

Colors and pods

Another view with stepping stones

The pond again

Even more color

Keywords: autumn, seattle


09/15/18 - Anchorage to Seattle

We had great seats on the flight from Anchorage to Seattle. Here are some photos, including some of the glaciers in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, some mountains and coastline and then our approach to Seattle.

Far north

Glaciers below

Another great glacier

Another view

Coastline

Mountains

More of the same, yawn

More mountains, closer to home

Much closer to home

Seattle

Mount Rainier

Keywords: alaska, seattle


03/21/18 - Cherry Blossom Special

We had been following the action on the webcam. The buds were starting to open. It was too much to resist. We Kalebergs just had to be in the quad where it happens, so we headed into Seattle, up to the University of Washington and onto the quad where the cherry trees were at peak blossom. These were big old trees, gnarly and dark with a cloud of pale pink flowers about them. The quad was full of people there to enjoy the blossoms and the late start of spring.

Cherry blossoms

More cherry blossoms and admirers

Admirers and cherry blossoms

An old gnarled branch

More CBs

CBs

Dark bark

Another branch

More CBs

Did we mention cherry blossoms?

I guess we did mention cherry blossoms.

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring


03/20/18 - Foster Island

After admiring the cherry trees in the University of Washington quad, we headed south across the Montlake Cut. We descended to the waterfront and headed east towards Foster Island. First, we took a foot bridge to Marsh Island which true to its name was marshy and muddy. Then, we crossed another, longer foot bridge and then followed a causeway with wonderful views of the university, the Cascades and Lake Washington. We followed the trail across Foster Island, then headed south towards the Arboretum and back to civilization.

The Montlake Cut and crew

Marsh Island, true to its name

On Marsh Island

More of the marsh, hardly in Seattle at all

The causeway

Across to Foster Island

Some great bird watching

That's 520 overhead; there were ducks below.

On to the Arboretum

Keywords: seattle, trails


02/26/18 - Winter Garden at the Seattle Arboretum

We've been having a bit of winter weather. Even in Seattle, there was snow on the ground, and the temperature seemed to be stuck on much too cold. So, we dropped by the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden in the Arboretum. Here, there was snow on the ground, but there were also flowers in bloom. There were all sorts of witch hazel, some scentless, some spicy, some sweet, and there were hellebores and a few hardy cherry blossoms. We're sure that spring is out lurking somewhere, but until winter ends, we'll make the best of it.

Cherry blossoms

A rhododendron

A snowy scene



WItch hazel

Another witch hazel

Brightly colored grasses

Cyclamen in the snow

Azaleas

At least the pond wasn't frozen.

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring, weather, winter


12/09/17 - Cookie City Seattle

Every Christmas we look forward to the Christmas gingerbread village displays in Seattle. Usually, they are at the Sheraton downtown, but this year they were across the street. As usual, the display was for the benefit of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and some serious design and baking talent was involved.

This year the theme was Seattle and Seattle history, so we recognized a lot of the landmarks. There were the Ballard Locks, the ferris wheel down at the waterfront and a Jetsons' vision that included the Space Needle and Rosie, the Jetsons' robot maid. There was also a bigfoot riding a girder. We'll have to check some of those construction cranes that have taken residence in town.


The waterfront

Seattle at night

Bertha makes an appearance.

Some details

The Ballard Locks

Jetsons' Seattle with Rosie up near the Space Bus

Under the sea

More of Seattle

Seattle's future skyline, except edible

Pioneer Square

Bigfoot on the move

Keywords: christmas, seattle


08/29/17 - Seattle by Air

We haven't flown into Seattle for a while, but we had to make a quick trip. We booked a Rite Brothers charter flight and combined logistical necessity with a scenic flight.

Some of our local mountains

Mount Baker in the distance

Mount Rainier, also far away



Seattle

The grain elevator

Discovery Park and the view north

The Agate Passage

Keywords: flying, seattle


03/01/17 - Snow in Seattle

We took a quick trip to Seattle. It was the day I-5 was blocked by an overturned propane truck. This made Seattle traffic challenging enough. There was also a lightning storm and a bit of snow. We gave up getting a ride and worked for our dinner on Capital Hill with a brisk climb in the snow.

The view from our ride

Another view

You'd hardly know that I-5 had been backed up for hours.

A bit more snow ...

... and even a bit more.

Keywords: seattle, winter


12/03/16 - Christmas in Seattle - Part 2

Here is some more Harry Potter in gingerbread and some more Seattle street scenes around Christmas. We are definitely getting into the spirit of things.

Dumbledore & Fawkes

A gingerbread street scene

Magic in action

We love the little details.

Another closeup

Seattle streets

Another street scene

More Christmas magic

The big tree

Macy's star

Another Seattle street

Keywords: christmas, seattle


12/02/16 - Christmas in Seattle - Part 1

We are just back from a few days exploring Seattle. We love the city around Christmas. It really makes us appreciate short nights and electric lighting. We watched the sunset, then we set forth for the Sheraton lobby where we admired this year's gingerbread competition. This year each confection was based on one of the original Harry Potter books, so we had a fine time exploring Hogwart's and reuniting with the old gang.

The sunset starts

The sunset continues

The city after dark

Hogwart's in gingerbread

Another Christmas scene

Rowling really did capture the magic of Christmas.

It looks good enough to eat.

More magic

Is that the goblet of fire?

An old friend down in front

Another confection

Keywords: christmas, seattle


08/27/16 - Seattle - Part 3

If you are wondering about all that retro-tech, no, we didn’t stumble into the filming of a Mad Men remake. That’s JFK’s old Air Force One at the Museum of Flight. There was really just too much to photograph at the museum, so we concentrated on being there. They had a Wright brothers’ replica, DC-3s, cruise missiles, old Boeing aircraft including the original Boeing factory (the red barn) and an old SR-72 Blackbird spy plane which was surprisingly large. We had been to the Museum of Flight before, but it had been quite a while ago. By the time we stumbled out of the ISS mock up, we were exhausted.

For dinner, we had heard good things about Copine. We gave the place in Ballard a try and were really impressed. The space was cool and quiet, and the food was exquisite. We started with a sort of deep fried shrimp toast wrapped around ahi tuna, made our way through the first fresh heart of palm we have had since the 1980s, enjoyed the hearty and perfectly cooked wild mushroom risotto. The service was friendly and elegant. Everything was delicious. The black cod had a crisp skin and tender meat. It was served in a bonito broth with radishes and celery, a perfect match. The rack of lamb was out of this world, but the real treat was the chef’s felafel that worked perfectly with it. Now that Rover’s is gone, we have been looking for a successor. In terms of food, space and service, Copine may be just what we are looking for.


Retro tech

Wow, haven’t seen one of these for decades

Read the last paragraph, and realize that some things never change.

On board Air Force One

The bar at Copine

Keywords: seattle, restaurants


08/26/16 - Seattle - Part 2

If you’ve visited this site a few times you know we are big fans of the Ballard Locks We took the Argosy Cruise from South Lake Union through the locks to Pier 55 in the harbor. It was fascinating, since we were already familiar with the route as seen from land. This time we were seeing everything from the water side, and a lot more was visible. We always had the impression that Seattle had a working waterfront, and this cruise gave us a good look at it.

We headed out from near the MOHAI past moorings and working docks with views of construction, cancer research centers and Gas Works Park. We admired the houseboats which are hard to see from land and passed under familiar bridges in a new direction. We knew the little waterfront park in Fremont, but from the water one could see the cut of the ship canal. We passed dry docks and terminals and were soon at the Ballard Locks where we dropped twenty or thirty feet from fresh water to salt water.

Then we headed out into the harbor passing by Discovery Park and the West Point Lighthouse. We could just make out the faint outline of Mount Rainier over the lighthouse as we passed. We rounded the point, and ahead were the harbor and downtown.


The MOHAI on South Lake Union

The old gas works

The Aurora bridge

A bustling view

Floating houses

More floating houses

The Ballard Locks

The West Point Light with a faint view of Mount Rainier above

High bluffs

Downtown ahoy

Almost back in town

Keywords: seattle


08/05/16 - Seattle

We made a quick trip into Seattle.

The fireboat Leschi greeted us in the harbor.

We visited the Japanese Garden.

We did not eat the carp in the pond there.

Keywords: seattle


06/10/16 - Volunteer Park Conservatory

One of our favorite places in Seattle is the Volunteer Park Conservatory. We missed it on our last few visits. It closes at four, and sometimes it is closed when they are updating the plants on display. This last trip, however, we had the perfect spring conservatory experience. Everything seemed to be in bloom.

The Conservatory

Berries

A flower

Carnivorous …

… and friends

Also in bloom

Even the cactus

Another cactus …

… and another

An orchid display

An orchid close up

Keywords: flowers, seattle, spring


06/04/16 - Welcome to Seattle, Sidewalk Closed

Coming from New York City where they make builders put up scaffolding to keep the sidewalks open even during the height of construction, Seattle seems anti-pedestrian with its policy of letting builders close sidewalks for months on end. This has gotten worse thanks to the building boom in Seattle, so now they have to post maps for pedestrians to figure out which streets are actually passable. Maybe we need a pedestrian version of Waze, the application that helps drivers deal with traffic disruptions.

It has gotten this bad.

Keywords: seattle


05/27/16 - Seattle Trip

We found a great new Mexican restaurant in Ballard, Gracia. They make their own wonderful tacos. They serve their full menu all day. And they make wonderful cocktails. Our favorite was a gimlet with tequila instead of gin. We don’t like gin, but we do like tequila, so this was an excellent substitution. We liked this cocktail so much, we made our own version at home, infusing tequila with jalapeno and serrano peppers and making our own lime cordial.

We were also amused by the Amazon bookstore at University Village. Given the impact Amazon has had on bookstores, the existence of this place is rather ironic, but there it was, an Amazon bookstore. It even had lots of books inside and a traditional bookstore look. This is either a result of the book publishers’ hard fight against electronic books or a retro thing like all those new music stores selling vinyl albums. In either case, it was amusing to wander a bookstore where every book had a star rating.


Gracia, great Mexican food in Ballard

Amazon’s bookstore

Note the star rated books on the featured items table

Keywords: seattle, restaurants


03/09/16 - Cherry Trees in Bloom at WSU

Washington State University has a beautiful campus including a quad filled with Yoshino cherry trees. They usually bloom the second or third week of March, but this varies with the weather. We lucked out on our most recent trip to Seattle and saw the blossoms at their peak.

The quad was full of people admiring the 80 year old trees and taking pictures. Some were serious photographers who were actually using cameras instead of cell phones. The trees were full of flowers, clouds of them, light pink set off by the dark bark of the trees. We made a lazy double loop of the quad exploring the pathways with the laden branches arching overhead.

That’s enough labored prose for now. Enjoy the pictures, just click to see the larger version.


As we approached …

Dark trees with pink blossoms

More cherry trees

Even more

A close up

Lots more

Yet even more

Clouds of cherry blossoms

Another view

Yet another

A token magnolia doing its best in the shade of the cherry blossoms

Keywords: flowers, seattle


12/09/15 - Gingerbread Star Wars at the Sheraton

Every Christmas season we try to drop by the Sheraton in Seattle and check out the gingerbread cookie displays in the lobby. This year the theme was Star Wars, and they had six gingerbread concoctions, one based on each of the movies. Being fans of IV through VI, we probably missed some of the references in the cookie palaces based on episodes I through III. As best we could tell, Jar Jar Binks does not make an appearance.

Every year, there is a lot of wonderful imagination at work in creating these confections, and there is a lot of technical skill involved. They aren't just cookies with a bit of icing. There is a whole confectionary along with the appropriate lighting and sometimes motion. Even if you aren't a Star Wars fan, it is worth dropping by the Sheraton and getting a dose of the Christmas spirit.


Star Wars in gingerbread

Is that the Death Star?

Is this episode II?

More Star Wars magic

Darth Santa being pulled by two AT-ATs.

The Death Star to the rescue, or was it the other way around?

Jawas

More Star Wars

Uneasy lies the head and all that ...

More magic

Who gets to eat the leftovers?

Keywords: christmas, seattle


12/04/15 - Seattle - City Christmas

We were in Seattle for a few days last week and walked back from Fremont to our hotel. Cities are always beautiful around this time of year. Businesses and homes put up their Christmas lights to counter the winter darkness. Since half of Seattle seems to be under construction, it's great that so many of the looming construction cranes are illuminated as well.

We tried to get into the Volunteer Park Conservatory, but it was closed for a few days.


A view from Fremont Bridge

Along the waterfront

Construction cranes alight

A view across Lake Union

The Space Needle and a bit of a crane

City lights

City sidewalks

Keywords: christmas, seattle, winter


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