After having lived in a rural area for so long, I have now found that I love the allure of the city. The people, the noise, the buildings, and the culture are all things I had missed for so long. With that in mind, my daughter and I went downtown on her recent visit to the Seattle Art Museum (also known as one of the entities of "SAM").
There is something for everyone here. In numerous light-filled galleries, there are collections from around the world including Asian, African, American, Ancient Mediterranean, Islamic, European, Oceanic, Australian Aboriginal, modern and contemporary art, and decorative arts.
The collections now on view at SAM:
John Grade: Middle Fork, ongoing
Big Picture: Art After 1945, ongoing
Denzil Hurley, May 20–November 5, 2017
Sam Gilliam, May 6–November 26, 2017
Pure Amusements: Chinese Scholar Culture and Emulators, ongoing
Views From Venice, ongoing
**This was one of my favorites as my daughter studied in Venice last spring.
Close Ups, ongoing
Emblems of Encounter: Europe and Africa Over 500 Years, ongoing
Art and Life Along The Northwest Coast, ongoing
Paintings and Drawings of the European Avant-Garde: The Rubinstein Bequest, ongoing
France: Inside and Out, ongoing
*I especially like this as I have a visit planned to France in April.
Pacific Currents & Billabong Dreams, ongoing
Porcelain Room, ongoing
*Simply amazing display.
Andrew Wyeth: In Retrospect, October 19, 2017–January 15, 2018
**This new exhibit is absolutely wonderful!
Admission varies depending on special exhibits and for students, seniors, etc. Check out the website for details.
In putting together this week’s column, I ran across a really cool event at the Seattle Art Museum upcoming on November 2. The member musicians of the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle (LMC) will be performing a FREE concert “Art of the Piano: Darkness and Light” at 12 noon. This sixth annual piano showcase at SAM complements the art museum’s gallery exhibit “Darks and Lights.” Four pianists, Geisa Dutra, Karin McCullough, Valentina Rodov and Lucy Wenger will demonstrate their amazing talent with music by Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Dohnányi, Granados and more.
The Seattle Art Museum is located at 1300 First Ave, Seattle, WA 98101. For more information on the Seattle Art Museum visit http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/.
For more information on LMC and activities, visit www.lmcseattle.org.
Post tour, we went to my daughter’s favorite Seattle lunch spot, Sweetgrass Food Company. She continually tries to get me to eat healthier, and I am all for it as long as the food tastes good! Sweetgrass makes everything in house, and they strive to work with local producers and suppliers to serve local, sustainable and mostly organic foods.
I can’t remember what my daughter ordered, but I got the White Balsamic Hearty Barley salad with an egg added. It was delicious.
Check out the full scoop at www.sweetgrassfoodco.com and be sure to stop in the next time you are downtown. They are located at 1923 7th Ave (corner of 7th Ave. and Virginia St.). If there is a line – I’d wait – it’s worth it!
It’s funny that we lived in northwestern Montana for over 20 years and could really count our out of state visitors on two hands. On the other hand, we have only lived in the Seattle area since April, and we’ve had visitors just about every other weekend. Don’t get me wrong, as it has been great, and we love showing people around and discovering new places in our new surroundings with our friends and family.
Last week was no exception to the stream of visitors as we welcomed our dear friends from Whitefish, Montana.
Their visit gave us a perfect excuse to check out Smith Tower, deemed Seattle’s “Original Skyscraper,” for this week’s Editor’s Exploration.
If you are situated anywhere along Alaskan Way on Elliott Bay, you will see the iconic Smith Tower. In 1914, the tower was completed and opened as the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. In addition to the beautiful architecture inside and out, the highlight of everyone’s visit has to be the Observa-tory on the 35th floor. The 360° open-air viewing deck offers stunning panoramic views of the city.
Peruse the historic (and interactive) exhibits leading you through the halls and up a flight of stairs. Then you will ride up to the 35th floor in a copper and brass Otis elevator complete with operator in period attire. Our operator was also quite the tour guide providing details on the building and as well as some of the more colorful former residents of the tower. We were also provided with a few details on the floors above the 35th as the tower advertises itself as a 42-floor building. You’ll have to go yourself to hear those secrets!
After you soak in the views from the viewing deck, you can relax inside (where it’s warm) and enjoy a classic cocktail as the sun sets and the city comes to life with lights all around.
It’s definitely worth mentioning that we started our afternoon sightseeing in the Capital Hill district and located The Inn at Virginia Mason. We noticed the sandwich board promoting The Rhododendron Café and popped in to have a look. The menu was perfect for a late lunch and the prices really reasonable compared to many places in the city. The food and atmosphere did not disappoint, and we’d definitely recommend this stop as well. I think we’ll even plan an overnight “staycation” here in the future, as the lodging prices are really affordable for downtown.
For more information visit www.smithtower.com or www.innatvirginiamason.com.
My husband and I stayed close to home for our exploration this week and went to see the Woodinville Repertory Theatre’s fall show—Neil Simon’s classic comedy California Suite.
We have always greatly enjoyed live theatre. We love comedies so it seemed like a nice way to spend the afternoon (we attended the matinee performance). The entire cast did a great job, and there were many times that we laughed out loud. It was that funny. This production is directed by Jane Ryan and has five different scenes all taking place at different periods of time in rooms 203 and 204 of the Beverly Hills Hotel. If I were forced to pick a favorite scene, I’d have to say “Visitor from Philadelphia” as the two actors had great chemistry and even though I knew the story (from seeing the show long ago) I couldn’t wait for the next line.
The Rep performs and has made its’ home at the Denali Slab & Tile Studio. I was particularly curious about how this might work but quickly realized it is a great location. Although the lobby area is a little unconventional with huge pieces of granite all around, it really works. There is plenty of room to chat with friends and neighbors and grab a snack or drink at the concession stand. Then you head around the corner to the intimate seating area where you are practically sitting on the stage with the actors. As Charley Blaine (the Woodinville Repertory’s publicity guru) explained, the Rep is grateful to the owners of Denali (Prem and Lily Gnanarajah) as they came to the rescue in the fall of 2011 when the old Wellington Hills Golf Club location was no longer going to be available. They offered space at their large warehouse location for free to the troupe to perform. They even upgraded the space to accommodate the Rep at their own cost and the first performance here was in the spring of 2012.
California Suite’s remaining shows are at 7:30 p.m. on October 20, 27 & 28 plus two matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on October 22 & 29. With only 50 seats available, I suggest getting your tickets early at www.woodinvillerep.org.
Denali Slab & Tile Studio is located at 16120 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE, Suite 12 in Woodinville. Look for the signs to direct you to parking and the entrance.
Prior to the show we enjoyed lunch at the Hollywood Tavern. We thought the outside seating area was great although it wasn’t quite warm enough for us to sit outside. They did have a fire roaring in the fire pit, and I am sure if we had more time we would have sat outside for a bit and enjoyed one of the last hurrahs of summer. Inside we sat in the bar area and got to catch of few of the football scores while enjoying lunch. We started with the Ancho Chile Tots, and quite frankly, they were so filling and delicious we barely had room for the rest of the meal. I had ordered the Green Goddess salad and ended up taking to go and having for dinner at home later. Regardless the food and atmosphere was really enjoyable, and we shall return!
My sister told me that Rainbow Bingo at the Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation was a hoot and I should join them for the night. I immediately had visions of a quiet room with elderly residents hunched over Bingo cards and in spite of hearing aids all around, they would be struggling to hear the numbers called. Well...I couldn’t have been more wrong!
Sis had taken the liberty to confirm a few friends and had reserved a table for 10 for our group. It was a good thing too as the place was packed and far from quiet!
The night’s theme was the Seattle Seahawks and most people were decked out in their best Seahawks attire. Actually they award prizes for the best theme outfit and give away $100 each event.
Sylvia O’Stayformore was our beautiful hostess with the mostest and she definitely got the crowd going and kept us entertained throughout the night.
And yes we played B-I-N-G-O. Your $15 per person ($25 for a couple) entry fee includes 10 bingo games and the winner of each game gets to pick an awesome prize. There are also raffle ticket sales throughout the night plus food and drink (including beer & wine) for purchase. Remember all the proceeds raised are for a great cause – the Sno-Valley Senior Center.
According to Kira Avery, Program Coordinator at Sno-Valley Senior Center, “Rainbow Bingo started in 2015 and it’s been a big hit since the beginning. It’s a great way to draw community members to the senior center [who may otherwise not come here].”
The next Rainbow Bingo night is Friday, November 3 at the senior center and the theme is the Roaring 20’s. Pull your flapper dress out of the closet and dust off your fedora and come on down for a night of fun.
The Sno-Valley Senior Center is also having an Oktoberfest Dinner and Auction Benefit on Saturday, October 14 at Carnation Farms. It will be a wonderful night complete with a German style dinner and a Bavarian Dance Band.
Check out the Sno-Valley Senior Center website at https://snovalleysenior.org/ for more information and tickets.
One of the things we love about living in the Seattle area is the fact that public transportation is an option for getting around. Sure, it’s not always the most direct or perfect timing, but it is an option. My husband and I have used it a few times to get to the airport or to a game at Safeco Field. On those trips, we’ve noticed the last stop on the Light Rail Link “Angle Lake” and knew we’d better add that to our exploration list.
Ironically, a friend of ours from Montana called to let us know that she’d be swimming in a race in Seattle and wanted to get together. The race was the U.S. Masters Swimming Open Water Championships at Angle Lake Park just last month. Perfect! We’d get to check out the lake, and see our good friend and her husband on their visit.
The race was on a Satur-day morning. Traffic would be light so we opted to drive but ended up parking at the Light Rail Station as recommended by the race website as the lot at the lake was expected to fill up. There was no charge for parking at the station, and it was only a short walk to Angle Lake Park.
Angle Lake is in the town of SeaTac right by the airport and is 102 acres (we compared to Green Lake which is 259 acres) and aptly named on account of its outline, similar to a 90° L-shaped angle. Unlike Green Lake though you are not able to walk completely around it on a pathway as it is surrounded by private houses.
The park is open year round and very popular for fishing. It is stocked with rainbow trout but also home to kokanee, largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and yellow perch. There is a boat launch as well as picnic areas and restrooms. At the height of the summer, you can tell this park would be hopping with a large water spray park and large beach with swimming area. The picnic shelters and barbecue areas can be reserved in the summer time via the SeaTac Community Center. Check out https://www.seattlesouthside.com/listing/angle-lake-park/1329/ for more information.
The race started at 9 a.m. with a large pack of racers taking off at the same time from the open water just off the dock. The men took off first and 15 minutes later the women started. They looped around the lake – one mile total – and ended back at the park. My girlfriend did great, and we were glad we got to see our first Open Water Masters race.
Following the race, we walked a few blocks to Dave’s Diner and had a huge breakfast. You would have thought that we had just raced ourselves! I recommend this little diner as well as the food was great. The atmosphere was cool too with the walls decorated with retro Route-66 items and old license plates from various states around our country. We will be back to explore more of Seattle’s south side in the very near future.
My daughter was visiting from college recently, and she wanted to visit a “pumpkin patch” in the area. Her internet search brought Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Farm in Snohomish to the top of the list so we decided to head out and make an afternoon of it.
It was a perfect Indian Summer day with a hint of chill in the air but plenty of sunshine. We found ourselves on a quiet country road until we neared the entrance where an officer from the Sheriff’s Department was stationed on the road directing traffic. Once inside, employees wearing bright orange shirts were directing us to parking spots. They were prepping for crowds that we later found out turn out each year!
We parked and headed towards the farm’s country store where we got a chance to meet and say hi to Bob (Ricci), the owner, and of course, namesake. He’s a nice man and he truly seems sincere about meeting guests on the farm. Bob’s great grandfather homesteaded the area of the farm over 100 years ago. Bob and his father had a dairy farm on the site until 2001. Shortly after selling off the dairy cows, Bob started to expand to farm to what you see today. According to Bob, our visit coincided with the first weekend that the pumpkin patch was open for business for the fall season. Per his experience, it would become increasingly busy each weekend until Halloween. He said that it is particularly busy on the Sunday that the Seahawks have a bye week.
This place is great for families and is the epitome of fall fun.
The big attractions are the corn maze and the pumpkin patch. Although we didn’t attempt the corn maze, it sits on 10 acres and promises to be challenging. I read that there are 18 fire pits located inside the maze that can be rented. I think that would be really fun on a future trip for a special event. During the day, the maze is $10 per person and $15 per person at night. There is special pricing for families and for those who want to participate in multiple activities. There are also two kids mazes onsite.
The pumpkin patch is huge spreading over 40 acres and with over 60 varieties of pumpkins. My daughter loved it. You are welcome to explore, and pick out your prize pumpkin from the patch. There is no admission fee to enter the patch, and you pay only for the pumpkin(s) you select.
There are numerous other activities at Bob’s including a rope maze, sand pit, big slides, corn crib, apple cannon and the cow train. We rode on the cow train, and it was a hoot! While most of the other passengers were small children, that didn’t stop us! By the time we finished, my face hurt from laughing so hard. The country store sells a many delicious and wholesome products made fresh or produced on the farm. Hot concessions, including corn on the cob and hot sugared donuts, are also available.
Visit now on weekends (Friday-Sunday). Starting October 9 through October 31, the farm will be open daily. Visit www.bobscorn.com for more information.
My first visit to the Seattle Aquarium was while on a trip here from Montana when the kids were young many years ago. We had some adult friends visiting recently, and we thought it would be fun (and nostalgic) to visit the waterfront and explore the aquarium again.
There are six distinct sections (exhibits) that offer something for everyone. We each had our “favorite” exhibit, but overall we really enjoyed spending the afternoon exploring. Although I felt a bit like a kid myself as we went from room to room, I particularly liked watching and listening to the many children as they discovered special things about each exhibit.
The “Window on Washington Waters” is a huge aquarium filled with more than 800 fish and invertebrates from the Pacific Northwest’s local waters. The main viewing window almost feels as though you are part of action. It’s particularly exciting when the divers are in the tank and talk back and forth with interpreters.
“Life on the Edge” had the biggest congregation of kids as they could lean over and reach into the water then gently touch some of the inhabitants. This area also housed the huge resident octopus that had me enthralled.
“Marine Mammals” (my favorite) features the entertaining sea otters, river otters, harbor seals and fur seals. Be sure to stick around for feeding time and for one of the daily talks to learn more about these great creatures and what the aquarium is doing to protect the species.
Additional exhibits include the Pacific Coral Reef, Birds & Shores, and the Underwater Dome.
The Seattle aquarium is the ninth largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and among the top five paid visitor attractions in the Puget Sound region. Since opening in 1977, it has hosted over 22 million visitors and provided marine conserva-tion education to over 1.6 million school children.
The Seattle Aquarium operates as a nonprofit 501c3, through a long-term operating agreement with the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.
The aquarium is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry is $29.95 for Adults (13 & over), $19.95 for Youth (4-12), and Children (3 & under) are free.
Our visit to the aquarium wouldn’t have been complete without a bowl of chowder at a restaurant kiosk on the waterfront. There are a number of spots to grab a quick lunch that doesn’t break the bank.
Visit http://www.seattleaquarium.org for more information.
Courtesy Photo by Daniel Hirschman