This is what happens when you are having too much fun on vacation — you have pictures taken of you having too much fun. This was at the AC/DC exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. (photo copyright – EMP/Flickr)
Thursday, June 28 — It is raining. It is always raining, unless you are not here.
This was the lesson of the 2012 vacation. For just over two weeks, the rain came down as I walked around the house. The rain stayed away and the sun came out when I left the area for mini-trips. There were three mini-trips, all of them were sunny. None of my days at home have been.
And that only covers the lawn and how big it has grown.
Seattle, Part 1 — Two trips to Safeco Field for game between the Mariners and the San Francisco Giants. They are up here one three-game stretch every six seasons. The last time they were in Seattle, I barely remember it. (Editor’s Note: Somewhere in this computer is a video or two of his time in Seattle in 2006. If I get away, I’ll post it. Ha ha.)
Safeco Field is a pretty nice place to watch a major-league baseball game. The sight lines are great, there are very few bad seats (I found one) and there’s plenty to do once you are inside the ballpark, if you are into that sort of thing. The food/drink, however, is expensive to the point of eating/drinking before the game is preferred and recommended.
Pyramid Brewery is across the street from Safeco Field. The beer, at $4.50 a pint, is half-price to the domestic beer inside the stadium. The food, mostly pub-style meals (including burgers), is reasonably priced and there’s plenty of room to eat/drink/be merry before the game.
On Friday (June 15), I was able to take in the England Euro 2012 match over beers and burgers. Also, met some interesting people there, a lot of them Giants fans coming out of the woodwork to enjoy the weekend.
One guy who wasn’t all that interested in the game was George, a full-time RV traveler from Ohio who was walking Seattle to all of its pubs/breweries before heading up north. He asked for his Pyramid Hefeweizen with an orange slice (which is correct). The bartender didn’t agree, telling him that all of their Hefeweizen beers get a lemon slice. This was a bit of interesting banter between George and the bartender. Truth be told, George was right, but I wasn’t about to get on the bad side of a bartender, especially when I knew I had about 4-5 beers left on my agenda before the game.
I got George to try the Pale Ale, which is a brewery-only tap, and he was happy with that. We talked travel, Disneyland and Disney World and what is needed to hit the road without a home base. By the time I’m typing this, he should be heading to Alaska, with a stopover in Calgary for the Stampede.
Saturday was an early Father’s Day, which enabled me to enjoy the family and go … On Sunday (June 17), I went with friends to the Sunday matchup – Bumgarner vs. Felix – and saw a good, tight pitcher’s duel. The Giants should have won. Took the Sounder train to/from the game, enjoyed the stress-free day.
Yes, there are bad seats at Safeco Field in Seattle. This one was in Sec. 105, with a barrier on your right shoulder that cuts off 1/2 of the field. It is literally in the deepest part of the outfield. Two seats to the left = perfect. (photo RobRVR)
Compared to Friday (photo above), Sunday’s seat was much better, albeit a little higher off the ground. This was in the low 300s section. (photo RobRVR)
Leavenworth, WA — A 2 1/2-day break to Central Washington was just what the mind needed, with beer, German food and no stress. This, along with the three-day weekend of baseball and Father’s Day, was the best start to a vacation since… well, ever.
A little Central Washington hamlet, where you can get your whitewater trips started and where you can lift a stein of ale everywhere, turned itself into a Bavarian village in the 60s. This is what a few people in the Twin Harbors want to do with Aberdeen/Hoquiam. Unfortunately, for that to happen, there has to be a huge change of direction in terms of urban development and mindset. Also, there has to be some leadership to get it started and to move it along.
But focusing on the trip, Icicle Brewery served up some really good beers, especially its Big George, Dark Vader Ale (yes, it is the Dark Lord) and Dirtface Amber. I have a large stein to remember the trip. The Raspberry Wheat was a hit for my wife, who pretty much stuck to that beer the whole trip.
Nice place, good to be there. Will return when we can. That was fun.
This is Icicle Brewery in Leavenworth, WA. Try the Dirtface Amber, Big George and Dark Vader Ale. The sampler (six beers) is a good value as well. Across the street is the main hall where the town hosts Oktoberfest every year. (photo RobRVR)
Leavenworth’s Front Street, facing west. Munchen Haus is in the far corner from this view, where you can get a large souvenir stein that is filled with Icicle Brewery beer. (photo RobRVR)
Leavenworth’s Front Street facing east. Icicle Brewery is at the end of this street. (photo RobRVR)
Seattle (Trip No. 2) — This one was with the family and can easily be broken down into several posts. First day: King Tut. Second day: Woodland Park Zoo. Third day: EMP/SciFi and Space Needle and other stuff.
I’m going to keep this bit simple, because I’d like to talk about the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center on its own. So, I’ll talk about the Woodland Zoo. Simply, it was great. The Brown Bears were cool, the gorillas were very playful and demonstrative and the penguins were fun. It was a lot of fun and it wore the little girl out. The entire complex reminded me of a slightly smaller version of the San Francisco Zoo, where I learned about animals throughout my youth and where I haven’t walked around in more than 15 years.
This trip was so good, I’m loathe to actually write about it. Everyone had fun and it was nice, just like the rest of the vacation.
Too bad I return to work Friday night, because this break was too good to end.
This brown bear looks depressed, but that’s not the case. He’s just relaxing in the rain. The author, however, will look like this on Friday night on the first shift back from vacation – just down. (photo RobRVR)