After being overtaken by events during the past couple of weeks, we are back into the blogging and going to try to catch up on the missed posts. First up from the way back machine of about two weeks ago:
Neither Jasmine nor I had ever gone to a convention before so we decided to change that up and bought tickets to the PAX West in Seattle. For those of you not in the know, PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) is a large (~80k people) Video and Board game exposition where you can check out all the new games and meet the creators and others who like the same games. As we are both fans of gaming, we thought we should at least check it out.
As it turns out, Jasmine wasn’t able to make it but, one ferry ride later,I went and checked it out. As it turns out, very large conventions are not my jam. It was, as would be expected, full of really cool games, and everyone I interacted with was nice and happy to be there, but the operative words are “full of”. With that amount of people in that small of a space, I don’t think I could really enjoy myself. So, overall, I would say worth trying, but not for me.
This is was the entire convention center looked like, more or less.
Some of the presenters had sweet dioramas!
The best part of the day, coffee and donuts at a pun place (General Porpoises).
Hola, we are back at it again after a slight hiatus. Life just happened to get a hold of us for a while.
But we have been getting good use out of our new location in West Seattle and our proximity to ferries. While the Fauntleroy ferry is right next door, there is an additional ferry we can walk to that goes from West Seattle into the city proper. Its is a bit of a walk (6 miles), but it is mostly through suburban streets and parks so it makes for a pleasant walk.
When we ended up in Seattle, we just bummed around at coffee shops, parks, and restaurants. 100% would do again.
Generic West Seattle suburb.
Jack Block Park is a jem of a park surrounded by the industrial port of Seattle in West Seattle. 100% nicest park I have been to bordered by RV storage and scaffolding rentals.
Jasmine is quite sharp.
Best selfie is boat window reflection selfie.
Generic Seattle post-modernism.
We only stayed on the Olympic Peninsula for two days and one night so we decided to splurge and stay at a nice B&B in Dungeness. It was quite pleasant and a bit different than our usual hotel or hired house experience. Major upsides include: B&B was a converted barn, nice in-bloom flower garden, and an magnificent sunset over the beach.
On day 2 we decided to check out the water rather than the mountains. There is a large spit out onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca called the Dungeness Spit that is both a wildlife refuge for waterfowl and a long hike on the beach. We had a very pleasant hike, but I suppose it was a bit nondescript, just a long sandy walk with gorgeous views.
Overall, it was a fun trip and we will certainly go out to the Olympics again. Next time, maybe even go deep into the rain forest.
As mentioned awesome sunset! With bonus background Canada.
This picture has two bald eagles and a hawk. One day I might get a nice telephoto lens, but the thought of lugging it around…
My favorite beach, one with lots of skippable stones.
We thought ahead and took a photo of both of us together!!!!
We decided to go for a nice weekend trip since the weather looked like it was going to hold out for the weekend and were rewarded with a beautiful weekend on the Olympic peninsula. We hadn’t really gone out much previously but, as we now live next to the Fauntleroy ferry terminal, we have no excuse not to go out more frequently.
On day one, we drove and ferried over to Olympic National Park and went for a hike to some waterfalls and around Lake Crescent. It was pretty in the standard Pacific Northwest way with the moderately dense cedar forests, cascading cascades, and obscenely clear blue lakes. As always, we were highly amused by the trails full of people up to the first picturesque site listed on the map and then clear of anyone afterward. As a general spoiler, we consider the walk its own reward.
Step one – drive 0.5 miles to the ferry. We live in a weird place.
The lake was a pleasant little walk since the main trail was under construction :(
Waterfall! Not even called bridal falls for a change of pace.
This was a singe tree bridge that was around 150 ft long. That is like 30 meters!
Now with thinking ahead pictures of Jasmine and Lloyd.
We decided to do things a bit differently this week and went and did something exciting everyday during the week. Some relaxing may be necessary during this weekend.
The two most exciting things we did were hockey and a gaming night. Jasmine and I had talked about going to the local triple A hockey team – The Thunderbirds! It was quite fun, but there is a large difference between the NHL and Western Hockey League in terms of player quality. But still fun.
Second was that we did a fancy pants gaming night at the Columbia Tower in Seattle. We have done it a couple of times before, but Jasmine and I like having some food, friends, and gaming, so we will certainly do it again.
Thunderbirds! We finally made it!
Southern view from the Columbia Tower.
Northern View from the Columbia Tower.
As it turns out, the one thing that Jasmine and I really like doing is taking ferry trips out to maritime Islands. I’m sure you couldn’t guess from reading the blog. So, this weekend, we took a trip up to Whidbey Island, one of the islands on the Sound. While you can drive the long way around and use a bridge to get on the island, it is much shorter for us to take the car ferry. It was only a one and a half hour trip from work and it is always delightfully refreshing to be relaxing on an island.
We weren’t really up to that much over the weekend; we just went on a lot of small hikes in the various small parks on the island. That and had delightful seafood. Non stop local oysters and local mussels for the win!
We were on the ball during the trip, really had our ducks in a row.
On the first night, we got an awesome sunset on Double Bluff Beach.
And lots of herons. I assume that means lots of small fish, but we couldn’t verify.
And a fort visit to Fort Casey.
Equally opportunity ruins for visitors – Roman, Maori, Medieval, WWII, or other.
Forestwalk! Now with Big Trees! This was the trail on the way to the “Ancient Cedar.” Not the first or last walk we have taken to see large or ancient trees.
For a change of pace, we decided to drive on the ferry over to Vashon Island rather than walking. This was partially to accommodate my parents, who were out visiting, but mostly so we could see a little bit more of the Island than we could walk to on day trip. Vashon was nice to hang out in as always and it appears that summer is a bit over, at least as far as the quantity of tourist on the island were concerned.
I don’t know that we will drive over that much, it was nice to get out to Maury Island and the beach there, but I like the adventure time of walking everywhere. Especially now that we got to see all of the extra locations we hadn’t made to before. My one disappointment was the winery by the ferry, Palouse, which we finally got to go to was a bit disappointing. On the plus side I won’t feel bad about not making it again.
The photographer has now become the photographed.
We got to see a bit of a sail boat race in the sound. This guy was well in the lead.
Leaving Vashon for the day.
We have talked about sheepdog trials for quite some time and we we finally learned that we lived right next to on: on the local island of Vashon. We decided to make a day of it and go check out the sheepdog trials, now with yarn and rural fair!
The sheep dog trial was as fun to watch as we imagined. It is much more of a sport (at least for the dog) than I imagined with a bizarre set of rules about where the sheep had to be led and when and in which specific directions. Plus, it is fun to watch dogs running around a field looking like they are enjoying themselves.
The funniest part of the trials were the puppies that were being walked around, obviously in training for future trials. They were super excited to see everybody and everything, and I suppose getting that out of their system is probably the point.
Sheepdog about to achieve final victory with a pen.
One of the sheep escaped and started to get friendly with the crowd. It was promptly wrestled to the ground and put back into play.
Not all dogs were sheepdogs on the day of the trials. Some were very chill vineyard dogs.
Plus, we had to do some obligatory hiking on Vashon.
On the trip back, we got to see some cars of the older mini variety in convoy.
Memorial Day weekend came up, and it appears to be the harbinger of summer time in the Puget Sound. So after we realized that we had not made any plans for the long weekend, we made it out to our local island hang out of Vashon.
As usual, we did a bit too much walking around. On the plus side, we got to do a cider tasting and we saw a nesting bald eagle pair! We love the hiking and the walking, but maybe next time we will keep the walking down to under 20 miles.
You can just see the eagles at the top of the picture.
I love the use of tree stumps as walking paths. Good in the rain, I’m sure.
The river was quite cold, but this made it all the more delightful after walking around during the hot day.
It is now water weather!
The downside of hills is walking up and down all of them. The upside is the pretty views!
One of the nice things about the Seattle area is all of the little islands on the Puget Sound. We decided to take advantage of this before it got too cold a couple of weeks ago and took a ferry out to Vashon Island. Like all of the islands I have been to on the Sound, we were on a car ferry and it was a delightful trip as always. I like ferries and boats quite a lot as it turns out.
We didn’t take a car ourselves; we just went out walking from the ferry terminal. I think the secret key on the islands is to never walk on the main drag, but just to swerve in and out of of all of the side streets and paths and hope for something exciting to come up. On this walk, two things came up: a cider tasting and a delightful hike through the middle of the island.
The cider tasting was at Dragon’s Head Cider, and it was a delightful little place, with a farm (orchard?) dog and everything. They did mostly traditional style ciders, more or less Brittany style, and they were quite delightful. I will be going again.
The trail was the Shingle Creek Mill Trail, and it went from the water to the center of the island. It was a short three mile trail through some pleasant and quiet woods. It wan’t old growth, but a nice combination of maples and cedars the made for a homely forest.
We’ll certainly be going back to Vashon next year and hopefully enjoying some longer days out there.
A distant shot of the orchard from the forest footpath.
And this is the standard trail view for Shingle Mill Creek Trail.
Jasmine on the beach.
I like the older country churches.
And our ferry home.