Bellevue Botanical Garden

I mentioned that I was in the Seattle area over the weekend. One of my outings while there was to the Bellevue Botanical Garden (I’m sorry to say it, but that site needs work). I’d been once before and was anxious to go back. The awesomest part about it is that it’s free!

WARNING: There are bees in several of the following photos. I know that bothers some people, for whatever reason. I promise they won’t sting you.

Aren’t these images so fall-like? 😉

On the left is an interesting bush I’ve never seen. Brownish black?

There are lots of paths through wooded areas.

This part of it is styled as a Japanese garden.

I’d love to take someone’s portraits here!

A guy pointed out a woodpecker that had flown by. It was really hard to get a decent shot of him–this was the best I could do. I appreciated the heads up, though. I love when strangers alert me to cool photo ops.

Thanks for looking!


Independence Weekend (Part 4)

I wrapped up Friday’s events in my last post, so here’s how Saturday went. I actually didn’t take one picture on Saturday, oddly enough! But Dania sent me hers.

After sleeping in, checking out of the hotel and going to Dan’s, we hung out a little before having lunch at Teddy’s in Woodinville. Then we headed over to the Rainbow Run putting course in Redmond. I love this course, because it’s not your typical miniature golf land with windmills and crazy characters opening their mouth for you to golf into. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those places.) It’s on a regular golf course, so it feels more like an actual mini version of the original.

[Some photos of the golf course–some of these are Dania’s some are ones I took a couple of years ago on a previous visit.]

Unfortunately the grounds seemed a little neglected this time, so it wasn’t quite as pretty and well-maintained, but it was still a fun time. Dan won, of course.

[Dan showing us his mad juggling skills, per my request.]

After golf, I was all tired (still from the previous day), so we drank iced tea and played some cards before Dania and I had to make the trip home. Our drive went very smoothly and we listened to an audio book for much of the way. We got home around 9ish and watched First Daughter since Dania hadn’t seen it. I find more to criticize about it every time I watch it, yet I own it! 🙂 It was probably on sale.

I hope these more texty posts aren’t annoying you guys. Later I’ll talk about the Sunday and Monday haps. I’m sooooo glad it’s the weekend again, because work has been hectic and I feel like I’ve barely had any down time. Jessica needs her down time!

Independence Weekend (Part 3)

If you haven’t seen them already, please go visit part 1 and part 2 of this series on my Independence weekend to catch up.

[Some scenes from the ferry and Dan on the ferry.]
Okay, so after Pike Place Market, we decided to take a ferry to Bainbridge Island. I had never been there, and felt a ferry ride would be a nice Seattle-ish experience. We bought our tickets just in time to get on the boat, and all was going well. We had a nice view of Seattle as we headed across the water, and Dan was very happy to be at the windy front of the boat–his preferred ferry-riding location.

[One of many cute (and expensive) houses on Bainbridge Island.
If you are the owner of this house, can I please live with you?]
Once we arrived on the island, we decided to get some dinner. We agreed that Mexican food sounded good, so we settled on a place, several blocks from the dock, that had some outdoor seating. We were told it would be a 10-minute wait for an outdoor table, which was fine.

[From outside of the restaurant.]

About 30 minutes later, the hostess was apologizing because the table wasn’t clearing up as fast as she had anticipated. She offered us beverages and we just told her to give us any table, indoor or out. We also asked for menus.

No tables were opening up. More time passed, and the ferry we wanted to take back to Seattle would be leaving in less than an hour. If we didn’t make that, we’d have to wait another hour for the next one. We suggested she take our food orders, which she did.

I should mention that during this time, we kept hearing her tell people that the wait was 10 minutes, so apparently that’s just what she says all the time. 😛

Long story slightly shorter, we eventually decided it was best for her to package our food for take out and we could eat it on the ferry. We also asked to pay in advance (it seems weird that we had to keep coming up with these time-saving ideas for her). She kept assuring us the food was coming soon, but I know it took longer than what she originally estimated.

She then came out to let us know they were out of rice (of course!), so would sauteed vegetables be alright instead? I said whatever was quick was fine–whether we had a side or not. Thinking back, I don’t recall any vegetables (Dania and Dan: do you remember?), so she must’ve decided they would take too long.

Finally, after basically sitting in that waiting area for an hour, she had a bag of food for us. Dan chivalrously carried it as we made the 15-minute walk back to the ferry. I was power walking, concerned about time, but we made it back okay.

[Scene from the ferry terminal before heading back to Seattle.]

Once on the relatively empty ferry, we found a booth with a table and were anxious to enjoy our meal (we hadn’t eaten in about 8 hours and had been walking all day, so you can imagine how hungry we were at this point). Just as Dan started to set the bag down on our table, he realized the food had basically leaked through and the side of the paper bag was all greasy and saucy. Awesome!

The restaurant on the ferry was closed and roped off, but Dania and Dan unlatched the rope and took a bunch of napkins for our Bag of Mess. The to-go trays were not very secure and had been jostled enough on the walk that they spilled out all over. Even the plastic silverware at the bottom of the bag was unrecognizable (Dan says they looked like ribs at first–ha!). It was all very nasty, the table was getting all dirty, and our food looked incredibly unappetizing. However, we were so hungry and tired that we just ate it in silence. Not exactly the relaxing dinner on Bainbridge Island that we had imagined. I could tell the food would’ve been pretty yummy in the right setting, but it was hard to compliment it very much under the circumstances.

Fortunately, both Dania and Dan are laid back and have a sense of humor, so mostly we found the evening amusing, even if frustrating. And eating on the ferry was pretty fun, it was just the mess that made it unfun.

I didn’t take any photos of the food mess. You’re welcome.

After getting back to Seattle and walking (what seemed like another mile) to our car, we headed home and played a game of cards in our hotel room. I thought maybe I would be up for playing a few more, but I was too exhausted.

[A couple more Seattle photos. We had to get one of Dania under the Dania (furniture) sign!]

Tune in tomorrow (or the next day…) for more! Thanks for reading so far. 🙂

PS Happy birthday, Katrina! 🙂

Independence Weekend (Part 2)

We spent much of Friday in downtown Seattle doing touristy things. We hung out at Pike Place Market to buy an iced tea from the original Starbucks, see the fish being thrown (not quite as throw-y as I imagined) and visit the gum wall (definitely as gummy as I imagined). I suppose the holiday weekend and awesome weather were to blame for the crowds. Many things seemed to take longer than anticipated, so we didn’t necessarily pack a ton of activities into our time. We did do a LOT of walking, though–my pedometer passed the 20,000 steps mark.

[Mt. Rainier, an a capella singing group outside of Starbucks (I loved them!), a barista catching a drink cup (they toss them at this Starbucks), Dania ordering her beverage.]

[Inside the original Starbucks.]

[Various scenes at Pike Place Market.]

[Scenes at one of the fish counters.]

[I think this is a bag of clams, or some other shellfish, being tossed.]

[Can you tell that blur is a fish?]

[The gum wall. Dan pretends to lick the gum :P, the ticket counter at this old theater has a gumball machine so you can add a piece to the wall, and Dania poses by a nasty gum-covered window sill.]
In the evening we took a ferry to Bainbridge Island and had an interesting dinner experience. I’ll save that story for my next post.

Have you been to Seattle?

Independence Weekend (Part 1)

Hey, homies. Lately I’ve been deliberating about my blog and what sorts of posts I’d like to drop, keep or add. I know, I should really get a life. I won’t drag you through all of the different thoughts I’ve had, but just know that I’m working through some ideas and possible changes, so bear with me. Blogging is harder than it seems. Well, at least for an over-thinker like me.

[Dania at the arboretum.]
I had a great Independence weekend with my friend Dania. She flew up from California on Thursday night and we immediately headed up to the Seattle area for a couple of days. She had never been, plus my friend Dan lives there, so I was able to hang out with two of my best friends at once! Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly. Dania and I loved our hotel, our drives were fairly stress- and traffic-free, and the weather was perfect.

As you will see, most of these photos are just snapshot quality. My pride wanted you to know that I know. 🙂 Okay, I’ll only make that disclaimer once in this series.

[Our hotel room. BONUS: Our purses.]

After a delish lunch at Suni’s (in Shoreline), we made a quick visit to Washington Park Arboretum. Thanks again to Dan for driving us everywhere. It was so nice!

[Lunch. I had a bacon cheeseburger (because I’m a health nut) and Dania had pizza.
Dan had a burger, too, but it looked similar to mine.]

[These are pictures from the arboretum.]

The rest of the day was spent in downtown Seattle, but I’ll save that for the next post.

How was your holiday weekend?