Tag Archives: seattle
May 22, 2012

Seaplane over Seattle

Did you know that Seattle’s Lake Union has its own three letter IATA airport code? Yep, it’s LKE, for the Lake Union Sea Plane Base. From there you can take flights to destinations such as Friday Harbor, WA or Victoria, BC. We didn’t go quite so far, instead opting to take a 20 minute scenic flight around the city. My dad has always wanted to fly on a seaplane, so when my parents came up to visit last month, we booked a flight with Seattle Seaplanes.

Home of Seattle Seaplanes on Lake Union

Our ride

Taxiing to the runway, er lake

Mount Rainier

Over Lake Washington

Looking towards the downtown area

CenturyLink Field, home of the Sounders and Seahawks (and during this shot, a motocross race)

The Space Needle. It recently received a layer of “Galaxy Gold” paint, which is why it appears to be orange. Galaxy Gold was the original color of the Space Needle when it opened for the 1962 World’s Fair.

A view of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard, which move boats between Puget Sound and Lake Union

Amazingly, the weather was cooperative – sunny and clear skies, which is not typical for Seattle in April. If you’re visiting Seattle, or you’re a local who has never seen the city from the skies, I’d highly recommend booking a scenic flight on a seaplane. The views of the city skyline, Puget Sound, Mount Rainier, the Cascades and the Olympics are incredible. And really, how often do you get to take off and land on a lake?

More photos here.

March 12, 2012

Cruising around Elliott Bay

The last attraction we used on our CityPass was the Argosy Harbor Cruise. The weather wasn’t nearly as nice as it was when we visited the Space Needle, but nevertheless the boat ride was fun. Here are a few shots taken from the boat as it cruised around Elliott Bay.

California Sea Lions at rest

California Sea Lion out for a swim

West Seattle

Seattle skyline

More sea lions

Cargo ship

USCGC Healy, recently returned from escorting the Russian Renda through the Artic ice to deliver an emergency supply of fuel to Nome, Alaska.

More photos here.

February 20, 2012

Space Needle!

Contrary to popular belief, winters in Seattle aren’t a constant stream of depressing rain and clouds (although having grown up a desert rat, I quite enjoy the rain). The sun does occasionally make an appearance during the winter, as occurred a few weeks ago when we had nearly an entire week of incredible blue skies and sunshine.

Earlier this winter we purchased the Seattle CityPass, which lets you visit a bunch of touristy things for a ridiculously low price. With the appearance of blue skies, we seized the opportunity to use our ticket for the Space Needle.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle quickly became the symbol of Seattle. At a height of 605 feet, the Space Needle offers amazing views of the Seattle city skyline, Elliott Bay, Mount Rainier, and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. One trip to the top and you’ll quickly agree that this is the most beautiful city in the United States.

Downtown Seattle

Ships in Elliott Bay

Lake Union

Mount Rainier in the distance

The rest of the photos are here.

January 15, 2012

Snow in Seattle!

I love snow. Probably because I grew up in a place where the average winter temperature is 74 degrees, so I never had the whole winter wonderland experience. We woke up to our first snowfall of the year here in Seattle. It doesn’t snow here very often, so the entire neighborhood was outdoors throwing snowballs and sledding down the city’s many hills (and, of course, there were plenty of idiot drivers out). Here are a few shots I took on a walk around our First Hill neighborhood.

View from our apartment. It started to come down pretty heavily around noon.

July 1, 2011

West Coast Bound / I’ve been driving a mid sized car, I never hurt anyone, Is that a fact?

So, I’m leaving DC. Finally. After ten years of bitching and moaning about the DC area I am moving back to my beloved West Coast, specifically Seattle. And do I choose to reflect on those past ten years here, in this blog entry? No, instead I will write about gas prices and fuel economy. Once in the petroleum industry, always in the petroleum industry.

Perhaps another day I will write a reflection of my time here, but that requires actually thinking/pondering/etc, and I have far too much stuff remaining on my to-do list before leaving on July 6. I will say this, though – I am very much looking forward to returning to the West Coast lifestyle, being closer to my family (hurrah for 2.5 hour direct flights from Seattle to Palm Springs) and being within driving distance of In-N-Out (OK, it’s a ten hour drive from Seattle to the northernmost In-N-Out in Redding, but still, that’s drive-able).

As for the drive itself, I am really looking forward to it because I have never driven across the country and it is something that I have always wanted to do (Why? Who knows. A mild form of insanity, probably. Also, good food in the heartland). We are taking the route displayed in the map below, stopping to visit friends and family along the way and explore Yellowstone National Park. Our route is 3,159 miles.

View West Coast Bound in a larger map

One of the things I am not looking forward to, however, (in addition to the 12 hour drive from Missouri to Colorado…zzzz) is the amount of money I will be spending to drive across the country. My Xterra has a laughable fuel economy of 15 city/19 highway mpg so I’ll be stopping at a gas station every half hour to refill the damn thing. I used Cost2Drive to calculate how much I’ll be spending on gas and the website predicted $608.87. It will be interesting to see how closely I can stick to that number. Ideally it would be less, but my expectations are pretty low. Nevertheless, I’ll post the final amount when I arrive in Seattle and have the opportunity to pore over my credit card statement.

Now back to the packing…

February 22, 2011

West Coast Road Trip

Photos from last month’s West Coast road trip. Over 1,400 miles up the coast from San Diego, CA to Vancouver, BC.