Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle, Washington

The photos in this post were taken by the Dining Companion's hermana

Along with our visit to the Space Needle, the Dining Companion's hermana and I, visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. The exhibit is near the Space Needle and you can purchase one ticket that includes both attractions.

Dale Chihuly studied glass working at the University of Wisconsin, the RI School of Design and the Venini glass factory in Venice, Italy. Chihuly, a native of Washington, was invited to create a glass installation in the city of Seattle. His design included an Exhibition Hall, a Garden installation and a Glasshouse.

The artist's signature
In 1976 Chihuly was in a car accident. In the accident he lost the vision in his left eye. He continued to blow glass after his recovery until he dislocated a shoulder surfing in 1979. No longer able to hold the glass blowing instruments he began a cooperative phase of his work that involved his oversight and ideas with the physical work being done by others.

Out of this loss came the Drawing Walls; a way for the artist to convey his thoughts and ideas to his team.

The exhibit is amazing. The beauty of it is breathtaking.

These Ikebana and Float Boats are the only things lit in a dark room. The effect is stunning.

Chihuly's work can also be seen at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. His piece titled “Fiori di Como” hangs from the lobby ceiling.
Picture of the artist with “Fiori di Como” Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada - Photo from the Las Vegas Review-Journal
I'm a fan of the artist and was thrilled to get a chance to see this exhibit. I haven't had a chance to visit the installation at the Bellagio but it is on my list. If you're in Seattle make the time to visit Chihuly Garden and Glass. It's a definite must see.

Happy travels!

NOTE: Next week we wind up our journey with a trip to Pike Place Market and the original home of Starbucks coffee. After that it's fun in the Big Easy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Space Needle - Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington was the final destination for the Dining Companion's hermana and me. The end of our West Coast road trip.

Our plan was to spend a couple of days in the city doing all of the tourist-y things. We traveled the well worn tourist path, starting with the Space Needle.

The Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair. The overall tower is 605 feet tall with an observation deck at 520 feet.

The view from the observation deck is stunning even on a cloudy day...


Attack of the Giant Spiders!

There are exhibits inside that talk about the history of the Space Needle.


Pressed Penny machines in the gift shop make a fun DIY souvenir. If you look closely in the photo below you can see some of them.
I had no idea that there was a restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. But once I found out we just had to eat there. Problem was we had no reservation. Lucky for us the staff was very kind and was able to find us a table. We got a great table right by the window. Oh yeah, the restaurant revolves! How great is that?


Visiting the Space Needle was fun. I would definitely recommend it to anyone planning a trip to Seattle. Having lunch at SkyCity was the icing on the cake for me. We had a great time in the Emerald City and I can't wait to get back.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Voodoo Doughnut - Portland, Oregon

I had only a few things on the must do list for my drive up the West Coast with the Dining Companion's hermana. Voodoo Doughnut in Portland Oregon was one of them. After all, how could we be in Portland and not visit Voodoo Doughnut? It's doughnuts and Voodoo. I know right?

Lining up for doughnuts
As we expected there was a line but we only waited about 10 minutes before we headed inside...

So many choices!

Racks of doughnuts and stacks of iconic pink boxes waiting to be filled

Time to get serious and pick out some doughnuts.

Bacon Maple Bars

Cap'n Crunch, check. Oreos, check.

Classic Voodoo Doll doughnut

We ended up with a dozen wacky and delicious doughnuts. Our very own pink box of happiness. 

If you're traveling to Portland put Voodoo Doughnut on your must do list. They're open 24 hours a day so whenever you hit town the doughnuts are waiting. Go get some!

I only wish there was one near me.

Happy travels!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Olive Pit - Corning, California

As the Dining Companion's hermana and I were traveling up the California coast we passed a couple of billboards for the Olive Pit. Tempting us with the promise of olive tastings, there was no way either one of us could resist a stop.
What we found when we arrived was a cute store all about olives and olive related products. Oh, and wine too.

The store features an olive bar. There you can taste a large variety of olives, olive oils and vinegars.

Photo from the Olive Pit website
We wandered around trying to see everything at once. There was a lot to see.

Everything from the expected...

...to the hey look at this

to the what the hell?

The only thing that stopped me from buying everything in the store right then was the flight I still had to make a few days later. Good thing for me the Olive Pit ships. There are prepared gift boxes in the store for purchase that can be mailed out. (You can also fill a gift box with your own selection of products.) Also, from their website you can place orders online. We didn't leave completely empty handed. A few snacks for the road may have made it back to the car.

All that walking around looking at food was hungry work. Good thing for us there was a cafe right on the premises. As the clock struck lunchtime we made a beeline for the counter.
Photo from Olive Pit website
Looking over the menu one thing caught our eye; the lunch menu featured a Muffuletta sandwich. Which may seem an odd choice seeing as how we're nowhere near the city that put that sandwich on the map. However, one of the main components of a muffuletta besides a variety of coldcuts is a delicious olive salad. The one on the menu at the Olive Pit is made with their own version of that salad and it was delicious.
Muffuletta Sandwich
A random billboard along the highway or even a recommendation from the hotel clerk can lead to unexpected finds. The nice thing about taking a road trip is that you can stop at interesting places you happen upon along the way. The Olive Pit proved to be a fun stop and well worth the time.

After enjoying lunch and armed with snacks for the road we headed back to the car. Happy that we took the time to stop and looking forward to where the road would take us next.

Happy travels!