The Frye Art Museum in Seattle

The Frye Art Museum is located at 704 Terry Ave. in Seattle, Washington. Parking and admission is free but they do accept donations. I visited this museum in December of 2011 during my week long visit to the city. It was a long walk from the American Hotel but it was well worth the visit. Learn more about the Frye Art Museum at www.fryemuseum.org 

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Mitchell’s Ice Cream

I was in San Francisco for 5 days with my wife and kids. In that time we drove across town to Mitchell’s 3 different times for their wonderful ice cream. On the first drive the kids fell asleep so my wife went in and got two cones whiles I waited in the car with the kids snoring in the backseat. She came back with one Macapuno (sweet coconut) and one Ube (sweet potato). Both are Filipino flavors and both were delicious. But the Macapuno was the best!

We went back the next day for a second visit while the kids were still awake, found street parking and went inside together. It is a cute little ice cream shop serving dozens of different flavors, most which are quite unique. I wish I could say we tried a different flavor, but no it was Macapuno again. My daughter had Vanilla but my wife, son and I all had the Macapuno.

Mitchell’s has an impressive history dating back to the late 19th century when the family moved to San Francisco from New York in 1865 and later started a dairy farm. In 1952 brothers Larry and Jack Mitchell opened Mitchell’s Ice Cream on the corner of 29th Street and San Jose Ave. 60 years later Mitchell’s is still in business and still owned by Larry Mitchell. They are still serving some of the most delicious ice cream in the Bay area made with 16% butterfat cream and superior ingredients.

Our last visit to Mitchell’s was on our last day in San Francisco and while the Macapuno ice cream was just as delicious as the first time, it was bittersweet to know that I wouldn’t be able to come back again for sometime. I told my wife and myself that on our next visit I would try a different flavor other than Macapuno – Maybe!

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The Golden State Warriors

I have been meaning to share some photos and write about my family trip to San Francisco. We have been back for well over a month and it has been that long since I posted anything as well. There was so much to see and do while we were in the Bay area. One of my favorite nights of the trip was the basketball game I went to see with my son James. It was Monday, March 4th 2013 when the Golden State Warriors hosted the Toronto Raptors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. And the Warriors won (125 – 118).

James and I had a great time at the game. We bought Warriors t-shirts, ball caps and a giant yellow foam hand. We chanted “DEFENSE” along with the crowd whenever the Raptors had the ball and munched on hotdogs, nachos and ice cream throughout the game. Our seats were excellent and well worth the price. From row 15 in section 102 we had a great view of the entire game. I took a lot of pictures with my Apple iPad but they didn’t all come out that well. I believe it is time to invest in a new camera.

The Golden State game was awesome! So now that my son and I have seen the Dodgers play in Los Angeles and the Warriors play in San Francisco (or Oakland actually), I think for the next time we visit California we will go and see a Chargers game in San Diego.

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3 Days til San Francisco

Back to San Francisco – 

Saturday night my wife and I will be flying back to San Francisco and this time we are bringing the kids. (4 nights and 5 days in the City by the Bay.) We absolutely love SF and can easily see ourselves living there someday. But for now we stay in Hawaii and fly over to SF when the island fever gets to be too much. It is our vacation spot. A short five hour flight across the Pacific Ocean and we’re on the coast taking in the beautiful scenery and enjoying the wonderful cuisine. We were just in San Francisco (without the kids) a few months ago and immediately knew that this was the city for us. There is so much to see and so much to do. I can’t imagine ever being bored or feeling jaded if I were living in San Francisco.

Favorite Things to See, Do and Eat: 

The Golden Gate Bridge is an amazing sight to see, either from below at the Fort Point Trail or from above up in the Marin Headlands. I’m sure there are a few other vantage points to view the bridge and you can be sure we’ll find them.

Patxi’s Chicago Pizza in Hayes Valley is one of my favorites. Some people might say go to North Beach for good pizza in SF. Patxi’s has both Chicago style deep dish and and excellent thin crust pizza as well. You be the judge.

The Palace of Fine Arts! What an awe inspiring creation. I feel like I’m in Rome when I’m looking up at this monumental manmade structure. I love to walk through and just marvel at the sheer size of the columns, busts and arches.

Scoma’s in Fisherman’s Wharf is a good spot for fresh seafood. They also have another restaurant across the bay in Sausalito. Scoma’s has an excellent calamari appetizer, you can really taste the freshness. Next time I’m getting the Cioppino!

The Painted Ladies on Steiner St. just across from the Alamo Square Park are my wife’s favorite part of San Francisco. They are lovely to gaze at while sitting in the park with the San Francisco skyline in the background.

Mama’s on Washington Square has the best breakfast I’ve ever had in my life. They open at 8 o’clock in the morning but show up early to get a good spot in line. Yes there is a line but it is well worth the wait. I recommend the North Beach Omelette!

Lombard St. has the distinction of being “the most crooked street in the world.” It’s crawling with tourists (myself included) but is a must see for everyone who visits SF. If you have a car be sure to drive down taking the eight hair pin turns.

Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery is on the corner of Post St. and Taylor St. near Union square. They have delicious crepes both savory and sweet. For me it’s the North Beach crepe, a glass of fresh squeezed OJ and a piece of baklava.

Adventure Cat is definitely the way to go if you want to do a tour of the SF bay. It is a sailing catamaran and the tour is with a smaller group and feels more personal. The Adventure Cat is exactly what it says , an Adventure!

Chinatown in San Francisco is something everyone should experience. It is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in North America. Spend some time walking through the streets and browsing the shops. Find The Golden Gate Bakery!

This is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to all of the amazing things to see, do and eat in San Francisco. I plan on doing all of these and many more during my visit. I hope to have a lot more special experiences to share when I return next week.

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Statues of Italy

I never realized how many photos of statues I had taken when in Italy. There is nearly 50 photos in this collection and they are from the cities of Florence, Rome, Sienna, Venice, Napoli and Palermo. I actually love statues. These life-like representations of people who have been dead and gone for centuries never fail to amaze me. It is like a part of them lives forever as long as somebody somewhere is still looking at their face.

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Napoli – Beautiful, Delicious, Dirty

It has been quite a while since I’ve written anything on my blog but I’m not giving up no matter how busy or lazy I become. Today I’m looking back at the day I spent in Naples or “Napoli” as they say in Italia. I liked this city a lot – it was beautiful and delicious and filthy dirty.

 

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A Taste of San Francisco

It has been a month since I got back from San Francisco and more than a month since I last posted anything here on my blog. What can I say? Life has been busy. This is the last week of the semester and finals are coming up. Soon I will be able to write and post pictures at my leisure. For now I will give you a little taste of my trip to San Francisco.

I love this city. I love it! We saw the Golden Gate Bridge, we rode the Trolley, we saw the Mission Dolores, the Conservatory of Flowers, we saw Lombard St. “the most crooked street in America” and we walked through Chinatown, saw the Palace of Fine Arts, drove to Napa Valley and drank wine, went sailing in the Bay. We did so much in 4 days. I can’t wait to go back.

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My Travellin’ Dad

My Dad and I have never been that close and we don’t have too much in common. But he makes a fair attempt to stay in touch and sends me email with photos of what is going on in his life. And I try to do the same.

Recently he sold his house in Gig Harbor, Washington and took a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a traveling superintendent for a construction firm. So he gets to drive around the U.S. in his RV and work wherever he is needed.

After 5 weeks in Albuquerque he was sent up to Helena, Montana where he worked for 2 weeks before being sent back down to Albuquerque for another 2 weeks. Then up to the top of the Rocky Mountains to the town of Leadville, Colorado for a 3 week job.

Then came the news he would be going to Omaha, Nebraska for the winter. He spent 2 weeks in Wheatridge, Colorado waiting for the call to head over to Omaha. Much to his pleasant surprise he was told that he was being sent to Fort Polk, Louisiana.

All of these towns are places I could never imagine visiting. But I’m sure my Dad is having a blast driving around the U.S. and seeing all the beautiful scenery along the way. I’m a BIG City kind of guy but I know my Dad loves all those small towns.

 

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Happy Halloween

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Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam

I’ve never been a big beer drinker but I like to have one every now and then. When I was in Amsterdam I drank more beer than usual and it was always a Heineken. There was something about the beer over there. It was colder, crisper, more delicious and always topped with a healthy foamy head.

We took a tour of the Heineken Brewery on one of our days in Amsterdam. I don’t remember learning anything ground shaking about the brewing process, but I do recall the emphasis they placed on how to pour a Heineken. They did it in such a way that every pint had a thick head of foam at the top and this wasn’t just for ascetics. The foam has a purpose – it holds in the aromatics so that your beer keeps its true flavor.

The Heineken Brewery was a lot of fun. You begin with a small glass of Heineken and the bartender explains to you how the beer is crafted and the importance of the beer head. This is also a test of patience because they ask you not to drink your beer until after they have explained the process. My beer was less than halfway gone at the end of the talk.

After the tutorial you are given free reign to explore the brewery. There is a lot of old brewery antiques laying around. They have artwork and old pictures hanging on the walls. They even have a horse! I don’t know what the horse had to do with Heineken but who doesn’t like to pet a horsey? At the end of the tour you end up in a large bar with comfy couches and large screen televisions.

The best part of the tour – was the free beer! I mean beers. Two of them. At the start of the tour we were given a green bracelet with two green buttons. Each of them is good for one free beer at the end of the tour. We exchanged our buttons for beers and sat down to enjoy the taste of a nice refreshing Heineken.

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