14 Jul 2020

More Seattle Beauty, 2020

This weekend I continued showing Allyn around the beautiful Seattle area. We had to visit a doctor in Issaquah and it gave us a chance to find yet another great coffee house. I love seeing shops in charming free standing buildings instead of just shopping centers.
It's fun to pick on Seattle for its lousy weather. Every day has been nice since we arrived two weeks ago and in Las Vegas it has been well over 100 daily.
As long as we were on the east side of Seattle, I took her to the house I used to have way up high in Forest Highlands (South Bellevue) overlooking Mercer Island and Seattle.
Later we visited our friend, Mike Silver, at his home in Three Tree Point, Burien. You absolutely gotta love Mt. Rainier.
We stopped for coffee and ended up with a terrific sandwich at Queen Anne Coffee. They make their own challah pretzel bread.
Then I went up to Magnolia to show her the beautiful Puget Sound view from up high. This is NOT what we got to see today. The mountain was hiding.
Without exaggeration, I have definitely driven through the Washington Park (University of Washington) Arboretum over 1,000 times. Never have I stopped to take in the sights and take a nice hike. Today I did because that is what we have been doing.
While there we also walked to Foster Island (part of the Arboretum). Lots of ducks (geese?) and a good shot off Husky Stadium in the background.

10 Jul 2020

Lake Washington Boat Trip - Seattle, 2020

The best views in Seattle are generally from the water or of the water. As such we rented a runabout boat for the time we will be here. I took Allyn to view the two homes I lived in on the lake. That afforded me an opportunity to show her the beautiful homes of Laurelhurst and the parts of Eastside north of the Evergreen Point Bridge which runs between Seattle and Bellevue.
To put some perspective to distance, it takes about 30 minutes for us to get to and through the Mountlake Bridge. 
There are three floating bridges that go from Seattle across Lake Washington. The Evergreen Point Bridge is the longest floating bridge in the world. They work, but are expensive. This type bridge structure is most suitable for deep waters with soft bottoms. Lake Washington dept averages over 100 feet deep and is 200 feet deep in places.
The houses along the water are as majestic as always. Many of the old estates are still there in all of their elegance and others have been divided to make room for more huge homes. The architecture is quite varied. The gardens are uniformly magnificent all along the way. Many have boats, a few have seaplanes, and a helicopter is even seen periodically.
Then we tied up at downtown Kirkland which has become even more quaint over the years.We even hiked all the way to my old house and back. I see my sculpture is still there.

08 Jul 2020

Fremont District, Seattle 2020

JetSetWay blogs will be all about the Seattle area for two months as that is where we are and we will be seeing Seattle in a comprehensive manner that, ironically, only tourists seem to do.  We both love living in Las Vegas but miss having funky neoghborhoods.
Allyn is ready to tackle covid with both her mask and even gloves (substitute scrunchie) during this hike.
First we hiked the Aurora Bridge. I certainly never did that when I lived here. They added a second, higher, fence to discourage jumpers. (There have been 230 suicides in its 90 year history.)
After crossing we entered the Freemont neighborhood which has turned in to such an interesting bohemian type area. 
We visited the Fremont Troll who lives under The Aurora Bridge. 
The big old trees in the old neighborhood are still nice to see. 
We stopped for an amazing sandwich at Paseo. Food Network rated them as having the #2 best sandwich in the US and Yelp rated them second best place to eat in the country out of 4875 reviews.
The 16 foot state of Lenin is quite imposing. It is legit, having originally been on display in Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in 1988. It is fitting for this interesting neighborhood.
Coffee was delicious at Fremont Coffee Company which is to be expected here since there were another 100 or so coffee places to choose from.
Then it was on to the famous Center of the Universe Signpost. That was no biggie. At least we were able to cross it off our bucket list (which it did not need to be on in the first place).
Across the street was a much more interesting art piece.
Then we  walked home over The Fremont Bridge to complete our loop. That is the Aurora Bridge in the background. 
Given the Seattle hilliness and the distance covered, it was a good exercise and a fulfilling afternoon. 

01 Jul 2020

Olympic Peninsula 2020, Day 3

This is the last day of our road trip. We had such a good time and learned a bunch too.
Today's first stop was Port Townsend. Just imagine a fresh pour over coffee with a deluxe bagel, lox and cream cheese sitting at a picnic table right on the water.  
What a quaint stop.
But the cutest was the Nifty Fiftys Soda Fountain. Talk about authentic.
Covid ensemble - a sign of the times.
The Hood Canal Bridge is the fourth longest floating bridge (1.25 miles) in the world. It is the only floating bridge over saltwater. It can handle 16.5 foot tides. All of the top four are in the Seattle area. 
By the way it is misnamed. Canals are manmade and Hood Canal is not man made. It is a fjord.
Then we visited Port Gamble (pop. 2,721) which, again, was yet another adorable place to walk around. It is right across the Hood Canal Bridge on the way to the Kingston Ferry.
Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry system in the United States with 21 ferries carrying over 23 million passengers.
We took the 30 minute ride on The Walla Walla from Kingston to Edmunds. It hold 188 vehicles and 2,000 passengers. It was built 48 years ago, yet was perfect for the job - and immaculate.
We have arrived at our destination in Seattle. In the near future I will comment on the road trip concept, both in general and specific. 

30 Jun 2020

Kalaloch Beach 4 and Hoh Rain Forest, Olympic Peninsula, WA Day 1, 2020

This morning we drove four hours north and west of Portland to spend our last two evenings of this road trip at The Olympic Peninsula. We are in the far northwest corner of Washington State in the far northwest corner of the United States. I would doubt if 5% of the Seattle residents have been in this area. We are way far away.
Our first stop was at Kalaloch Beach 4 at the Pacific Ocean. It seemed like 25 flights to walk each way down and back. It was peaceful seeing a quiet expansive beach after so many days of other type of beauty.
Next we headed to the Hoh Rain Forest. Just the drive alone was worth the view. People talk about Seattle rainfall which is about 36 inches annually. By comparison, the Hoh Rain Forest gets more than 136 inches annually.
Somehow, even though I already handled the walk to/from the ocean, Allyn prevailed on me to handle two more trails at Hoh.
The weather was perfect. Allyn took about 150 photos which made my job of editing them down so tough as there were so many great ones.
Even the drive out was particularly interesting with an area of trees leaning to the middle of the street from both sides. We felt like we had an honor guard of sorts.
We found a food truck for take-out barbecue. They call it eat in because they have about three covered picnic tables. Cute place; great food.