Whimsical sculptures in Seattle’s Neototem Garden

In 2002 the City of Seattle commissioned the creation of the Neototem Children’s Garden as a back drop for the massive whale pod tail sculpture. The marvelous and whimsical marine creations are the work of artist Gloria Bornstein.

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School of fish

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Seahorse

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Octopus

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Snail

When pigs fly

When pigs fly

The center of the garden

The center of the garden

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WWII Gun Emplacements Once Protected Puget Sound and Seattle

The Army had plans in place to upgrade the Puget Sound harbor defenses when the Japanese attacked Pearl
Harbor on December 7, 1941. The attack prompted a feverish scramble to implement those WWII plans.

Fort Ebey was constructed from 1942 to 1944. It overlooked the Straight of Juan de Fuca and the open Pacific
Ocean. It was the first of a series of defensive positions that also included forts Casey, Worden and
Flagler, also on Puget Sound.

One of the gun turret foundations

One of the two gun turret foundations that still look over Puget Sound

Historic Fort Ebey State Park on Widbey Island is home to the remains of Battery 248 of the Coast Artillery
Regiment of the Washington National Guard. The guns are gone, having been melted down for scrap at the end
of the war. What remains, however, are the two circular gun emplacements and the supporting large concrete
bunker where ammunition, powder bags, and other equipment was stored.

The bunker is open to the public. A flashlight is a good companion if you venture into the bunker, as the
rooms are not provided with any lights. You will see the massive steel doors on the powder rooms as well
as the concrete pads where the three large generators were placed.

In front of the bunker towards the edge of the steep cliff you will see the forward observation bunker. A
narrow slit provided a panoramic view of the waters. No ships could enter the Sound without being spotted.

Forward observation post

Forward observation post

Date on the main bunker entrance

Date on the main bunker entrance

The main armament of the fort was provided by two guns on swivel turrets. These guns fired a 108 pound
shell with a range of 15 miles. The 26 man gun crews could fire a round every 12 seconds.

Take a step back in time with a visit to Fort Ebey State Park. Walk where the artillerymen walked. Explore
the bunker. Stand near the forward observation position and imagine being on the lookout for enemy ships
trying to invade the Puget Sound.

Day passes are only $10, with a yearly pass available for $30. More information about Fort Ebey State Park may be found at the park website.

Washington State Cascade mountain range

Beautiful mountain stream

The Cascade Range in Washington is one of the features of the Pacfic Northwest that draws tons of folks each and every year . The Mt Baker-Snoqualimie National Forest offers a tremendous varitey of recreation and nature loving opportunities.

We have family in the Seattle area. When visiting we always try to allow for some time up in the mountains. The Mountain Loop Drive gives you some fantastic scenery, incredible photo ops and a chance to enjoy the lush forests of the mountains.

Roads turn to gravel but are very well maintained. Of course the season does make a difference, as winter snows can be very intense to say the least.

 

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Snow melt and waterfalls on Big 4 Mountain

Snow Melt and waterfalls on Big 4 Mountain

Mōksha Indian Cuisine in Bellevue, Washington

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A delightful chicken and veggie platter

Mōksha Indian Cuisine is located in downtown Bellevue at 515 Bellevue Square. Sher and I dined there with our daughter and son and their families. It was listed as one of the Top Restaurants for 2013 by the Seattle Times, and our experience there sure showed why it made that list.. The restaurant uses local ingredients when possible. The menu has a wide variety of entree choices that will satisfy the most discriminating diner. The Tandoor Chicken plate had an exquisite taste prepared in a 500 degree traditional oven, with the chicken morsels bedded on onions and green peppers. The Three-Bean Makhani Daal, vegetarian, was a delicious presentation of chick peas, kidney beans & black lentils, stewed with tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chiles & spices. I loved both of those dishes. All the food was excellent, the service was nearly perfect and the atmosphere was very comfortable. We absolutely loved the meal, and shared several different dishes family style. We would highly recommend Mōksha Indian Cuisine.

Sunday Brunch at Arnie’s in Mukilteo

The entrance to Arnies with the water in the background.

The entrance to Arnies with the water in the background.

Arnies Restaurant in Mukilteo puts on a very nice Sunday brunch from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. Located in Mukilteo, Washington, the restaurant presents a striking view of the harbor, ferry dock and both the Cascade range and the Olympic Mountains as well.

The brunch itself is just delightful. The friendly staff first bring a fruit plate with yogurt dip to the table. The menu offered is complete with both breakfast fare as well as lunch and even dinner items. Your meal comes complete with the fruit plate appetizer, a huge cinnamon roll (served warm!), your choice of champagne, orange juice or Mimosa and your choice of meal.

Delicious fresh fruit

Delicious fresh fruit

 

 

The snow capped Olympic Mountains on the horizon

The snow capped Olympic Mountains on the horizon

Sher and I dined there last Sunday with our son and daughter and their families. Accommodations were made for the grandkids including a sling for the baby and booster seat for our granddaughter. All enjoyed their meal. The portion sizes are large, and with the fruit plate and cinnamon rolls none of us had any room for dessert!

Bridge over Deception Pass

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This is the view from the bridge over Deception Pass. You are looking west through the pass and across the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The road runs south onto Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island. This northern route to Whidbey Island avoids the Ferry at Mukilteo, but takes a lot longer with more miles when coming from Seattle.

 

A riotous time at the Seattle International Comedy Competition, ECA version

Wednesday Nov. 19 saw a showing of ten great comedians participating in one of the semi-final rounds of the Seattle International Comedy Competition held in the beautiful auditorium of
the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

IMG_0600_resizedThe evening began with the narrator of the evening’s festivities: Gabriel Rutledge. Oh, my.
Narrator does not due justice to his role in the night’s frivolity. Rutledge is a very very
funny stand up entertainer. He had the audience rolling on the floor during his opening set
and he brought the house down during his set during the time the scoring was calculated after
the ten comics were done. Rutledge really showed why he won the 2004 Comedy Competition.

The comics competing during the ECA semi-final round provided quite the variety of styles and
humor. Some were more humorous than others, in my opinion. Language and mature subject matter
are to be expected at an adults only comedy review. Some of the comedians were able to pull
off the cussing and sexual jokes. I felt that a couple of them did not, however. Enough of
my semi-rant.

This night of comedy was a great evening of entertainment. Hats off to the ECA facility. What
a nearly perfect venue for this type of event. The performance consisted of each comic having
ten minutes on stage: five comedians during the first half with a 20 minute intermission followed
by the last five.

Who won this nights round? First place went to Matt Donaher of Boston, MA. There is a continuing
hectic circuit of shows each night through the semi-final rounds that end on Nov. 23. Final
rounds begin on Nov 25.

The Edmonds Center for the Arts is a marvel of both purpose and facility. This establishment is to be
commended for the hosting of such events as the comedy competition. Once again kudos to Gabriel
Rutledge. Check out his website at http://www.gabrielrutledge.com/.

Gabriel Rutledge on stage somewhere. Photo from his website. Hey, it said to download it!

Gabriel Rutledge on stage somewhere. Photo from his website. Hey, it said to download it!

Old Spaghetti Factory at Lynnwood Washington

IMG_0655 IMG_0657 IMG_0660 IMG_0662Tonight we had a nice time at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Lynnwood, IMG_0651Washington. We went with our daughter and son-in-law and grandson. This is one of a chain of these eateries that are spread out all over the country.

We had a great meal. Each entree on the menu comes with either a soup or a salad and is topped off with a dish of spumoni ice cream for dessert included in the price of the entree. There was endless warm bread and butter brought to the table right after we ordered. The Cokes were a bit pricy at $2.75 but refills were free.

The entree I had was the ‘Meat Lover’s” which was spaghetti with meat sauce and two huge meatballs and a large link of Italian suasage. The sauce was thick and chock full of meat crumbles. The portion of spaghetti was a decent size, and the two huge meatballs and the extra large link of sausage made for a filling meal.

Sher enjoyed the spinach and cheese ravioli. The moderate sized portion was just right fo her. It was very tasty and well presented.

The atmosphere at this version of the Old Spaghetti Factory was relaxed and comfortable. There was an old Seattle trolley car in the main dining room set up with tables in the car. This was an unique sight to say the least. Our waitress was a delightful addition to our meal. She kept our drink glasses full, made sure we had fresh bread at all times, and served us with a smile. Mia did a great job making us feel welcome, and we will ask for her again.

The Lynnwood facility is worthy of your patronage. It is located at 2500 196th Street SW, Lynnwood, WA.