November 27, 2009:  Back to the Space Needle & Seattle Center

Well, I told you we'd be back to the Space Needle, but I didn't think it'd be so soon!  It turns out that we were just gifted with an annual family pass from a very generous individual, so we ventured back to downtown with Cynthia in the evening and took in the city lights, the Christmas Star lighting at Macy's and fireworks from atop the Needle.

Beautiful evening, wasn't it?  After coming down, we spent some time in Seattle Center, which is home to the Space Needle, Key Arena, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Opera, the Monorail, Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum and more.  It's the main site of the 1962 World's Fair and is one of the hubs of Christmas Season activities in the downtown area.  Right now, one of the former exhibition halls is home to the 2009 Winterfest and Winter Worldfest.

Check out the Worldfest dancers and the massive winter village with a scaled-down King Street Station in which children could control the electric train set.



November 27, 2009:  Macy's Holiday Parade

The Christmas Village in the front of eight-level downtown Seattle's Macy's (formerly Bon Marche)

As I'm typically at the church, making home visitations, visiting the hospitals, attending various meetings and tending to the church's business at the Altar, in the office and abroad, the wife and our homeschooled children often get to enjoy various sorts of field trips outside the home (given that their academic work is satisfactorily completed, of course) while Daddy's at work.  So Daddy has missed out on the Seattle & Bellevue Art Museums, a tour of the Seattle Times headquarters, Pike Place Market, Tacoma's Museum of Glass (with the Frizelles from the church), and multiple trips to our neighborhood's Cottage Lake and YMCA, just to name a few highlights.

But on the day after Thanksgiving, Cynthia, who occasionally does on-call work for a financial services company, was called to fill in for someone for half a day.  So after briefly checking in at the church, I decided to take most of the day off and enjoy some time out with the G-twins myself.  After scarfing down some yummy, still-warm doughnuts at the local Fred Meyer, we headed into the city for the 2009 Macy's Holiday Parade, which began at 8:45 AM and for three hours wound its way through parts of downtown before ending up at the eight-level Macy's, which used to be The Bon Marche's flagship store before getting gobbled-up (along with Marshall Fields and others) by the ubiquitous national retailer.  It was a nice parade;  and one of my very favorite acolytes, James, marched with his high school band from the Normandy Park area.

It was a gorgeous day, which I didn't realize was possible this time of year up here.  The sight of the snow-capped Olympics whilst crossing Lake Washington that morning was stunning.

Here are a few images from the spot we claimed on the parade route:

The beginning of the parade, followed by the fine Keith Highlanders Pipe Band and a bunch of creepy clowns right behind.

The Woodinville High School Band (in which I don't believe we had any parishioners playing) followed by Santa's Workshop


October 31, 2009:  The Space Needle

We visited what is arguably Seattle's best-known attraction -- certainly the structure that makes the downtown skyline recognizable the world over -- on a cloudy, lightly-raining day as we worried that such would be our last opportunity to see much of anything from the top of the tower for several months to come.  But as I type these words, there's bright sunshine and mostly clear, blue skies all around!  I'll upload new images when we get back up there during better weather;  in the meantime, you'll hopefully enjoy these:

Looking south from the Space Needle into downtown.  Mt. Rainier would normally be seen in the background on a clear day.

Cruiseship, barge, ferry and docks where the Puget Sound meets downtown Seattle.

Looking NW toward West Queen Anne and Magnolia (the Olympic Peninsula sits in the background)

Looking NE at Lake Union, I-5, the northern tip of Capitol Hill and the University of Washington/ University District with just a smidgen of Lake Washington and the Cascades range in the background.