Sunday, January 11, 2009

Seattle!

Saturday morning we actually managed to wake up more or less on time. We had tea and cheesecake for breakfast. I put Skeeve's hair into french braids for the museum. Hooray, for my mad braiding skills!

Dad saw the picture of the blue dress on the blog the day before and told me to go buy it and he would pay for it! I was really surprised. And delighted. So we made a stop at the Tacoma Mall before we continued on to Seattle. I wasn't really expecting it to still be there, but it turns out it was. I picked it up with the money I had transfered over from savings earlier and did the happy pretty dress dance of joy ^.^

We laid the dress safely in the trunk and got back on the 5 freeway to go to Seattle. It took roughly forty five minutes to an hour to get there and traffic was pretty decent for a Saturday, even in the city. It was cold though, around forty degrees. I was very grateful for my long underwear under my jeans. Skeeve says you can see why Seattle is the birthplace of Grunge. I can't really explain why, either. You just sort of look around and go "yeah...I can see that." The city looks pretty neat though. I would like to walk around and explore it some more. Next time, for sure.

We found the science center but the parking lot was temporarily full so we looked around and found another parking garage just down the street. Parking was $6 for ten hours, which was a pretty good deal. Seattle Center was only a couple blocks away which wasn't bad at all. We got to stare at the windows of some interesting novelty shops on the way. We made it to the front entrance of the Pacific Science Center and bought our tickets. They had a Lucy exhibit, yes that Lucy, but it was ten bucks more so we had to pass it up. Damn. Oh, and this picture was taken later in the day. I swear it wasn't that dark when we got there.

The very first room we walked into was full of neat things, including a giant zipper and the biggest bubble blower I've ever seen. We didn't get to play with it because there were a bunch of kids in the way. I want to be five again :(

We went upstairs and found a room with buttons to push. Skeeve decided to find out the nutritional content of her usual breakfast. We think the computer might have been lying when it said low fat yoghurt and a granola bar were 625 calories. But that information will vary depending on the brand.

We also found this guy! Skeeve felt that she should cover the naughty bits because this is a "family" blog. There were all sorts of exhibits about the human body and the five senses. There was one where you got to smell different things and guess what they were. Turns out cinnamon and clove smell very similar. There was another one that experimented with body mass and center of gravity. Skeeve and I cannot kneel with our hands behind our backs and touch the floor with our noses without losing our balance. Because our center of gravity is above the waist. Obviously.

The gift shop was right there so we went inside to explore. There were a lot of things I wanted to get for mom's classroom, but I could probably find them on Amazon for cheaper. Skeeve and I got post cards of the museum's naked mole rats before moving on to the rest of the exhibits.

The next building had a table and chairs that were double the scale of a normal sized set. It's not often my feet don't touch the floor. I guess for a moment there I felt like I was five again, but not really. I think Skeeve wants one in her house so no one will be able to touch the floor.



I feel short...for once.


I can has kids menu?


We learned how donuts are like strands of DNA. Mmmm, pink frosted cruller.


And how doggies are selectively bred for different traits.


Then this creepy guy showed us how to clone a sheep.



We got to see the naked mole rat colony. They were a lot smaller than I thought they would be, but I probably have Kim Possible to blame for that. They were all sleeping on top of each other in one of the burrows marked "toilet". Timmy was very excited to meet his extended cousins from East Africa. They were pretty cute for naked, blind rodents. I almost got a plushie naked mole rat at the gift shop but I didn't want Timmy to get jealous. It was pretty adorable though.


They also had a reptile exhibit not too far from the mole rats. I think it was all snakes. Three of them were very large boa constrictors. This one's name is Esteban. Just like Señor Alcalde. "Aaaahhhh, Señor Zero." The sign said he wasn't supposed to eat again until the 18th, but Timmy stayed hidden in the bottom of my purse nonetheless. I wonder how Esteban is getting on with Florinda these days.





We found a touch tank, which reminded me of home. They didn't have a whole variety of stuff in there like I'm used to. There were no sea urchins to be found. If you gently place a fingertip between their spines they will squeeze it and give you a "hug". Of course what they're really trying to do is see if you're edible, but I generally don't tell the kids that. Since the only things in there were starfish and anemones, I said hello to this big guy instead. One person asked why the water was so cold (It was freezing. My hand was numb when I pulled it out of the water.) The volunteer manning the touch tank didn't really know how to answer and just said that was how they liked it. I wanted to tell her it was because they lived in the Pacific Ocean. Which is cold. Honestly...

We left the touch tank behind and ventured further into the building until we found...DINOSAURS! *insert Jurassic Park theme here* They were all audio-animatronic and moved about as much as the dinosaurs on the train ride at Disneyland, but it was still pretty neat. Timmy didn't get to see any prehistoric hedgehogs, which is probably for the best.





Hey look, it's Littlefoot's mother.


AAAAHHH! Sharptooth!


Parents, now might be a good time to tell your kids about the circle of life.


"See Suzie, the herbivores eat the grass and the velociraptors eat the herbivores. Then when the velociraptors die--"

"Their bodies become the grass?"

"Hahaha! No, Suzie. When they die their flesh decomposes and their bones become fossils, which eventually become oil which is then refined into the gasoline that keeps Daddy's Hummer running. God bless America!"


We also did a size comparison with Timmy and a Tyrannosaurus footprint. Poor Timmy didn't stand a chance.



Then Skeeve played with the robotic dinosaur. Rawr!
(Yes, that's supposed to be a dinosaur, use your imagination.)



After the dinosaurs we thought we'd seen pretty much all there was to see since we were more or less avoiding the insect exhibit. I peeked inside out of curiosity. Six foot tall preying mantis? Haha, I don't think so -_- I used to have nightmares about those things.

We walked around a bit more until we found this little music area. Dad would have liked it. It more or less showed how sound and music work, but basically it was just another excuse to push more buttons. Yay, buttons!

They had a collection of singing bowls ranging from small to large. Those are always fun, provided you know how to play them. A couple of teenagers were just banging on the sides (you have to run the striker along the outside rim to make the humming sound) and thought they were broken.

There was also this touch and feel exhibit where you had to touch something and guess what it was. I didn't do too bad, but the bike pedal totally threw me off. The other objects were things like a paintbrush, a remote control, a hammer, and a hairbrush.

They also had the world's biggest guitar! Well, probably not the world's biggest. But definitely the biggest I've ever seen up close and personal. It's even got some hugemongous signatures on it.

Oh yeah, the museum also had an Imax theatre attached to it somewhere. As you can see, they were playing The Day The Earth Stood Still. But I'd rather see the original. I can't look at Keanu Reeves without thinking of Bill and Ted. "Station!" *air guitars*

In addition to the giant electric guitar, there was a big old acoustic guitar you could climb in., which made for some great pictures.


Hey, I think I found Elvis in here.


Mr. B Natural? Is that you?


So that was pretty much the end of the museum. Except for the Lucy exhibit which we didn't get to see. There was still some light outside so we decided to explore the rest of Seattle Center.

It was a really nice area to walk around in. The center is set up sort of like a big park surrounded by all these museums. It's also where the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company live. I guess the equivalent down here would be like having the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center, The Met, the Ahmanson, and the Los Angeles Ballet Company all in one place. Which would be pretty freaking cool!

We found the Space Needle (it was kind of hard to miss) but we didn't go inside because it cost $16 just to go up to the observation deck and look around. Yes, I'm serious. If you don't believe me go to the website and check out the ticket prices o.o So we passed up the Space Needle this time around. But both Mom and Eden said we have to go in it once so we'll probably do that next time. We'll likely make reservations to eat at the restaurant so we have something to do up there besides go "Hey, I can see my house from here!" We had a look at the menu before we left and decided not to do lunch this time around because it was expensive. But it sure looked tasty. We'll get to it next time. Skeeve, Jerome, and I have a feeling they're going to be in Washington for a while.

We did go in the gift shop, however, and Skeeve got a bunch of postcards and things to send to people. I got a couple postcards for scrap booking purposes and we took some pictures of the outside.

We decided we were hungry so we meandered over to the food court area to find something to eat. I had a hankering for fish and chips so we decided on this placed called Steamers. I have to say it was pretty good. Definitely better than most of the fish down here. Skeeve had chicken strips of course and it was all good.

Seattle Center House (the food court, basically) is built around one of the the coolest museum's ever. It's simply called The Children's Museum and it's full of things to climb on and buttons to push. Evan and Kyra need to be small again so I have an excuse to go into places like that. Because a 22 year old buying a ticket all by herself to go into a kids museum looks kinda weird.

After dinner we went back outside to explore the fountains because I'd read that there was going to be some kind of winter solstice celebration going on. It was rescheduled from December 21st because of heavy snow. Remember that? That was scary. We walked around until we found a bunch of people gathered in this one area and went to take a look.

There was some sort of procession with lanterns and this lady singing opera (I think it was opera) with the train of her dress on fire. Before you ask, yes I think it was on purpose. I took some pictures but they're not very good so I'm not going to post them right now. The lady finished her song and all of a sudden these bonfires started springing up all over the place. We wandered over with everyone else to have a look.

Dude, nuclear daisies.


Seattle Center...on fire.


There were supposed to be fire dancers at some point but Skeeve didn't feel like watching. So we walked around a bit more and looked in some of the shops. Skeeve got more postcards and we looked around at the other museums. We found the Science Fiction museum, which we will definitely be visiting next time I'm up there.

It was slowly getting closer to seven o'clock so we decided it was time to get the car and go home so Peach wouldn't freak out. We found our way back to the parking garage, got the car, and managed to get back on the freeway without too much trouble. I haven't seen much of the city but so far Seattle seems a whole lot easier to navigate than San Francisco. Once we were back on the freeway we made it home without a hitch.

All in all it was a lot a fun and we found a lot of things to do next time I'm there. In the mean time, here's Timmy signing off.


Washington Adventures Part II

Hi everybody. I'll try to recount Thursday and Friday's adventures. Sometimes the days run together and I get confused.

Skeeve says we went to the Tacoma Mall on Thursday, which is when I found my dress. Wednesday we went to the Lakewood Shopping Center. So Thursday the 8th is pretty much covered in my last post.

On Friday we had planned to dive into Seattle and check out the Pacific Science Center. Buuut it turned out we were too sleep deprived to leave the house. So we both went back to bed to catch up on sleep. We woke up much later with a desire for diner food and decided to look up a Sharis, which we discovered during our trip to Oregon. It's the closest thing the Pacific Northwest has to Norms and it's open 24 hours.

The nearest one was in Tacoma, about six miles off the freeway. It took us a while to find it but we managed not to get lost. Turns out it was also right next to a Trader Joes--hooray!

We both had a hankering for breakfast. Skeeve got eggs benedict and I had cinnamon bun french toast. We both had hot chocolate and our waitress even offered to put sprinkles on them ^.^ Dinner/Breakfast was good. I finally got to try their baked potato soup, which was good but not amazing or anything. Dinner was nummy and we got refills on our hot chocolate.

After dinner we walked over to Trader Joes and got a baby cheesecake for later. Skeeve also got some healthy things like freeze dried fruit.

We finished up at Trader Joes and drove back to Lakewood Towne Center to go to Petsmart so Skeeve could get some kind of harness for Peach. I guess Peach has very bad leash manners and pulls to the extent that Skeeve is actually worried she might damage her trachea. Skeeve got her the same harness I've been using on the Rotties, which is the only thing I've found so far that keeps them from pulling. We also saw a Pedi Paws nail trimmer. Peach's claws are pretty sharp and they're also black, which makes them dangerous to trim because you can't see the quick. Skeeve picked that up too. She also got an upstairs water dish that matches the bathroom and a new collar for Peach. Peach got spoiled.

We played video games for a bit when we came home. Then it was off to bed so we could wake up and drive to Seattle the next day.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Washington Adventures on the 6th and 7th

I've been in Washington since Tuesday the 6th hanging out with Skeeve. The first couple of days it rained pretty hard and was generally stormy so we didn't do much. The first night we stayed in and ordered pizza--num. We played on the Wii and stayed up washing the sheets for the fold out bed that lives in the couch. Peach forgot her manners that night and peed on the small couch (not the one I was sleeping on) but she learned her lesson and so far has been behaving exceptionally well.

I had trouble breathing the first night because the house was warm and stuffy and carpeted. I do pretty ok with dogs as far as my allergies are concerned, but carpet makes everything ten times worse. I woke up with the beginnings of post nasal drip and general malaise. Skeeve wasn't feeling too well either so we thought at first that maybe I'd brought something home from the airport. We went to the Lakewood shopping center and stopped at Rite-Aid so I could get some pseudoephedrine. You can still get it from the pharmacist but you need your drivers license to buy it *rolls eyes* Yeah. Whatever, stupid FDA.

The couch bed turned out to be really uncomfortable to the point where I was really worried about screwing up my back. So we stopped in at Bed Bath and Beyond and I got a couple pillows for $7 each. I kinda needed new pillows anyway cause the ones at home are kinda old and flat now so I guess it wasn't so bad. It was still pouring so we grabbed Panera for dinner and took it back to the fort.

Getting on base the first time was interesting and kinda scary. I took the exit I was supposed to get off on, but took the wrong fork and wound up at the wrong entrance to the fort. The nice security people let me turn around and pointed me in the right direction. I found the visitors center and went in to get clearance before being allowed on base. It was pouring outside but luckily I remembered to bring my raincoat. So I parked the car and ran inside to tell the army people I was here.

The visitors center was busy and kinda worked like the DMV o.O You had to push a button next to the reason for your visit and take a number and wait for them to call you. It wasn't too long. Probably not more than 20 minutes. I told the lady at the window who I was there to see and she called up Skeeve to make sure I was who I said I was. They made me an extended pass good through the 13th, which has all my information on it, including height, weight, birthday, gender, and race and told me to show my ID and my pass when I got to the gate. Skeeve and I have to show ID every time we want back in.

We had dinner and stayed up for nine hours playing Rock Band. That game is bloody addicting! We also played a bit of Castle Crashers and finally went to sleep around 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning.

We dragged ourselves out of bed a few hours later and went to run some errands. Skeeve needed to go to Costco for paper towels so we decided to have lunch there. Costco hot dogs ftw. After that we went to the Tacoma Mall to look around. Skeeve stopped in to Penny's and got herself some long underwear. They're pretty cute. They have stars and moons on them with little black bows.

We also looked through the dresses that were on sale and I miraculously found a blue dress in my size. We went in to try it on and I was completely flabbergasted when it actually fit and looked good. Even though it was on sale I couldn't afford to buy it. It was marked down from $200 to $150, which is still kind of a lot. I already spent a bunch of money on things I wasn't expecting to: pillows, medicine, cough drops etc. so I really couldn't afford it and on top of that wasn't sure when I'd wear it except for maybe the opera if I ever go and Christmas :( I'm kinda hoping that if I find it online God and Richard will get it for me...or I can buy it later cause it was really pretty!

We quietly took a picture in the dressing room before I finally took it off and put it back on the hanger *sad face* I did stop in to the Bare Escentuals store for a new jar of mineral veil so I can stop stealing God's. I've never been in one of their stores before. It was full of shiny things. Again, I wished that I'd had more money but I just didn't. They lady was really nice though. She gave me one of those cards that gets a stamp for every ten dollars you spend in the store and when you get ten stamps you get ten dollars credit which is pretty cool. She gave me four stamps even though I only spent $20. I want to go back for eye shadow eventually. I'll just have to find some stores near Pedro.

That's it for Tuesday and Wednesday. Tomorrow we're going to go explore Seattle! I'll try and post about Thursday and Friday tomorrow and write all about Seattle as soon as I can. Right now it's time for cheesecake. Yay, cheesecake!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Slightly closer to Canada!

I'm here in Fort Lewis, Washington for a week with my friend Skeeve. Unfortunately my camera is broken and I can't do much until I get it repaired or replaced :( No worries though, I'll be using Skeeve's while I'm up here to post updates to the blog. In the meantime here are some silly pictures from the computer.


Left to Right: Skeeve, Timmy, Peach, and Me

I don't think Timmy likes the way Peach is looking at him.


Dang it, Peach. Hold still! No kisses!


That's better


She's still eyeing the hedgehog...