Friday, December 10, 2010

A Seattle Center Sunday

I have a feeling if I keep this blog up I'll have many posts about the Seattle Center. There's a lot going on down there - museums, events, and of course, the Space Needle. Last Sunday we headed downtown for a triple dose of unconventional culture - Urban Craft Uprising, the Science Fiction Museum, and the Experience Music Project.

First we stopped to admire the fountain.

Next we walked to the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall to check out the Seattle craft scene at Urban Craft Uprising. It was packed! And bursting with handmade awesomeness.

I hope to one day see kokoleo in that crowd. I miss being a part of a thriving craft scene.

I immediately recognized these Devout dolls from a group art show my kokoleo monsters were in at Monkeyhouse Toys in Los Angeles years ago. I love her stuff, and apparently so does McKenna. 

Next we headed across the plaza? lawn? center? (whatever they call it) to the museums. Look kids, Space Needle! with a quintessential drizzly gray backdrop.

Here's the Experience Music Project/ Science Fiction Museum. It's hard to know where one ends and the other begins.

McKenna was happy to find a pile of dirty leftover snow.

And Sage tried to figure out the maze painted on the cement outside.

Space Needle!

The walk up to the museum evokes a spaceship/acid trip experience to prepare you for what lies inside.

First, the Science Fiction museum traces the history of freak-filled literature and film.




 A massive cyclone of instruments!

 Wait, what? Okay, now we're in the Experience Music Project part. The kids listened to Jimi Hendrix music in the Jimi Hendrix room. Apparently we're big fans because this is the second weekend we've given them a Jimi Hendrix experience.

These are some of the first electric guitars ever made.

The inside architecture is as crazy as the outside.

Okay, now we're in the science fiction part again.


I half expected to walk into a hybrid room where robots and aliens were jamming out on electric guitars and belting out sci-fi rock n' roll.

Here's the hands-on music room where you get to try out all aspects of music making, like vocals:





You can even get a private studio for a while and jam out with yer bad selves without anyone having to hear it.

Or you can play with your friends like you're a real rock 'n roll band cutting a record.

 One last inside shot on the way out...

Now, the outside, looking up...

Check out the Christmas tree-shaped lights atop the Space Needle. On the way out I captured the other Seattle Center landmark across the street.

After a day filled with awesomely weird crafts, robots, aliens, monsters, and flamboyant rock 'n rollers, it seems fitting to end with a giant neon elephant.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have your children been experienced? Well, ours have.

I have a confession to make. We don't really live in Seattle. We live in Renton, just 15 minutes (depending on traffic) south of the city. And while it's not as hip as say, Fremont or Queen Anne or as fancy as Redmond or Bellevue, we like it just fine. Besides, it's the birthplace and resting place of Jimi Hendrix, so that's something to be proud of. Last weekend we checked out his memorial at Greenwood Memorial Park.

It's relatively new, having been officially dedicated in 2002. It took his father a long time to raise the funds to erect it and unfortunately he died before it was completed.

The inside walls are etched with his likeness

and lyrics.

Apparently it's the thing to do to leave lipmarks behind.

So I did.

People also leave behind flowers, guitar picks, cigarettes, and notes.

There are several gravestones surrounding it for other Hendrix family members, but most are blank.

Jimi Hendrix' birthday, November 27th, is the day after mine, and his middle name, Marshall, is Erik's middle name.

There's also a sundial, and in the distance is the Garden of Eternal Peace.

It's relatively new too (dedicated in 2006), and most of the gravestones are blank.

It was built by and for the Asian community in Seattle, but open to anyone who wants to be buried there, I'm sure. It's a beautiful area with gardens and a moat and waterfalls

That's Jimi Hendirx memorial in the background.

 By this time it started raining. It seemed fitting though.

Rainy day, dream away
Ah let the sun take a holiday
Flowers bathe an' ah see the children play
Lay back and groove on a rainy day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snow Day!

Yep, I haven't written an Out and About post in a while. I figure you  wouldn't be too interested in our excursions to Fred Meyer, or Ikea, or the dentist. Except for the occasional impromptu hike we've been staying home most weekends, happy to finally be working on the projects we put on hold to move up here. I couldn't let the recent Seattle snowfall go by undocumented though.

Monday morning I looked out onto our backyard and saw this:

Snow! After living in L.A. for five years and never once seeing any snow I felt like a kid again and couldn't wait to play in it.  As I drove Sage to school that morning both kids stared out the windows amazed at the white fluffy stuff falling from the sky. By the time school let out there was even more snow:

and I didn't want to drive in it so we walked on the path that leads through the woods in our neighborhood all the way to Sage's school -  it's probably one of my top 5 reasons I love it here.

 That's Sage and his friends walking home. Here's McKenna hitching a ride on a neighbor boy's sled.

Erik got out of work early but it took him 3 hours to drive a route that usually takes him 15 minutes.  Luckily though, he stopped by Costco and picked up some provisions and a sled.

The next day school and Erik's work were canceled so we got to try that sled out. First, I had to bundle up the kids. They thought it was the silliest thing in the world when I told them to put on 2 pairs of socks. I was wishing I had bought them real snow gear ahead of time because their clothes were embarrassingly inappropriate for playing in snow - jeans, a windbreaker, ill-fitting gloves. Hopefully next time we'll be more prepared.

The sled Erik got is like none I've ever seen before - it looks more like a boogie board. It does the trick though.

These are some things I learned today:

1. Rain boots do not make good snow boots. They're waterproof, yes, but they don't keep your feet warm.

 2. Our collie, born and raised in southern California, is surprisingly fond of snow.

3. but she does not like it when you make snow angels. She thinks something is wrong and licks your face until you sit up.

4. Make sure both kids are holding on tight before you pull them down the hill on a sled. (Note McKenna face down in the snow, and Sage flying off the back of the sled).

5. Regardless of the good picture you're going to get, remember to move yourself and your little one out of the way when a sled is coming toward you, or else you'll all land on top of each other in a ditch (not pictured).
 6. Remember to eat lunch before, not after you play in the snow. Otherwise you'll end up with cold and cranky kiddos who just want to go home.

7. Snow play is exhausting, but it makes for some sweet peaceful lounge-on-the-couch time when you get home.

Stay warm!
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