A Fun Day in Seattle

seattle  004seattle  011While staying in La Conner, we had a fun day in Seattle on the fourth of July.  We met my friend, Veronica and her husband, Carl at the iconic and “world famous” Pike Place Market.seattle  006

seattle  007We arrived a little early so that we could enjoy the market. On the walk over from our parking spot, we noticed a really cute umbrella store. With very interesting umbrella designs and photos of wedding parties with umbrellas. But we found out later that the store sells mostly to tourists since Seattleites don’t use umbrellas 🙂seattle  002

seattle  012Pike Place Market is Seattle’s original Farmers Market, established in 1907. It’s a colorful mega farmers market with produce, meats, specialty foods, crafts, restaurants, flowers, fresh seafood and more.seattle  009

My favorite vendors when I visited in the past were the Pike Place Fish guys who throw the fish and yell. Unfortunately, they were not there. Good for them that they took the fourth of July off, but I missed them.  There was other wonderful seafood though not quite as entertaining.seattle  013seattle  010

We met our friends by Rachel the piggy bank, a 550 pound bronze sculpture that is the mascot of the market. “Legend has it that if you rub Rachel’s snout and make a donation, you’ll have good luck.”

People line up to put money into this piggy bank (while being photographed of course). Donations support the Pike Market Food Bank, Senior Center, Medical Clinic, Child Care and Pre-School and an assisted living facility. Rachel has raised over $200,000. Brilliant!seattle  005seattle  008

seattle  014And near Rachel the pig was a guy playing a saw with a bow. An interesting sound.  Sort of like a B science fiction movie aliens metallic sound.seattle  001

seattle  016seattle  015Veronica, Carl, Hector and I had lunch at a brewery where I had another beer flight. We had a marvelous time together and we promised we’d spend a little more time in Seattle on our next visit.seattle  017

seattle  018seattle  019seattle  020As we left, we spotted a wedding couple with their wedding party being photographed. Hector and I come across weddings all the time, and, of course, he always takes a photograph. This group was especially cute because the bridesmaids all had orange umbrellas. Such a cute idea!

seattle  046After lunch we stopped at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.  One of the largest private air and space museums in the world that Hector really wanted to see.  I’ll let him take it from here.seattle  023

seattle  022Hector here at the keyboard instead of the camera 🙂  Well, Seattle is Boeing country and this museum is located adjacent to Boeing Field.  A general aviation airport also an airport used by Boeing for various purposes over the years.  Currently they use it for final testing and delivery operations of new 737 aircraft.seattle  047

Although the museum is not a Boeing museum, as you might imagine, Boeing is well represented in the collection.  Including a couple of interesting artifacts like the first Boeing airplane factory now displaying the history of Boeing (the red barn) and the prototype of the 747, serial number 1, made so many years ago.  Cool.  seattle  042

A Lockheed Super Constellation.  Such a graceful airplane.seattle  034A B47 bomber from the Strategic Air Command scary cold war days.seattle  037 seattle  036seattle  040seattle  041And the first jet Air Force One.  A Boeing 707-120 delivered in 1959 that replaced Eisenhowers’s Lockheed Super Constellation. It was used as the presidential aircraft by Eisenhower, JFK, Johnson, and Nixon. And then in the VIP fleet until 1996 carrying Kissinger, Nikita Krushchev and many others.

There is a British Airways Concorde that you can walk inside.seattle  045A well done collection of military aircraft through the years.  From WWI early flying machines.

To WWII Warbirds.

An impressive collection of kiddie planes that could be “flown” at an adorable little “airport”.  Built by one of the volunteers!

And the impressive Great Gallery with a broad mix of artifacts hanging in mid flight.seattle  054

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And a space gallery with a collection of hardware.  But the centerpiece was the shuttle simulator used by all the shuttle crews and moved here from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Brenda was a great sport being dragged to yet another airplane museum.  My appetite for this stuff is pretty high 🙂

seattle  003All in all a really fun day in Seattle.

Note:  As we publish this post, we’re about to enter Canada to spend a few weeks there. Our next post will be about the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, our last stop in the U.S. before crossing the border.  

~ Brenda and Hector





Pima Air and Space Museum

F4 Phantom in USAF Thunderbirds markings

McDonnell Douglas F4E Phantom II in USAF Thunderbirds markings

Airplane geek alert!!  Tucson is home to the Pima Air Museum.  This is one of the largest private aviation museums with over 300 planes on over 80 acres and in several enclosed hangars.  Brenda was having a hard time containing her excitement at being dragged to yet another aviation museum. 🙂

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Space … The Final Frontier

NASA  001
NASA  004When I was in grade school I was completely captivated by the exploits of the astronauts of NASA in the heyday of manned space exploration in the sixties and seventies.  I wrote to all the NASA facilities for whatever information they could share.  Each of the major space flight facilities had a different info package based on their area of expertise and I amassed a pretty big pile of detailed info on all the space happenings.  I even remember sitting in school and wondering whether some maneuver which I knew was coming up had gone successfully (ie.  Translunar insertion burn at mission elapsed time of xx hours) .  Yep, I was a total geek.

So it has always been a thrill for me to visit the Kennedy Space Center, the site of most launch activities for these great and dangerous adventures.  I started going as a kid with my dad during the Gemini program and have been back many times since.  Although repetitive, each time revealed some new thing or change in the tour.  Once with Brenda we even saw a shuttle night launch.  AWESOME.

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