Friday, August 31, 2012

The 35th Annual Lemay Car Show

Many, many fully-restored, shiny, machines. TOO shiny in fact... and difficult to photograph.
A couple of friends from Virginia, Janet and Pat Monroe, have been traveling out to volunteer at the Lemay Car Show in Tacoma, Washington since 1996, so we thought we would stop in and check it out. And we were pleasantly surprised!  Not only was it great to hang out with Janet and Pat for a few hours, but we saw some pretty nifty things. We took the abridged, whirlwind tour of the collections. It would probably take years to fully take it all in.

There are so many cars, they are literally stacked on top of each other!

Tess in front of this years featured car: the extremely rare 1948 Tucker
Pat, Janet, and us.
Pat working hard... or hardly working?    : )

The Lemay Car Show, although it has its fair share of cars, is more than just a car show. It truly is a collection of collections: cars, motorcycles, bike, antiques, toys, and many other random items. It was collected by the family of Harold LeMay, and has grown and kind of split into a separate entity which runs the very recently opened America's Car Museum. 

I think our favorite group was the teardrop trailers. Tess has been trying to convince me to agree to help her build one, and seeing them in person might have assured that one of these awesome little trailers is in our future.  It would be a fun (although intense) project.

Two different, but equally awesome teardrop trailers.
I also really liked this collection of brass hose fittings. Maybe it is just the fact that there are so many different hose fittings that all to do the same thing… or that someone thought to collect them… but I thought this display case was cool.

A lot of brass hose fittings. A LOT.

The event is partially held on the grounds of an old military school purchased by the family, where they house the long-distance volunteers throughout the event. Since Janet and Pat have been volunteering at the show since 1996, and travel so far, they get the ‘master bed and bath’, which are pretty nice accommodations for FREE! In addition to giving us the inside scoop on everything, and pretty much giving us a personal guided tour, they gave us the VIP tour of the grounds.

We were quite lucky to see so much, and get the extended experience on our first visit! It is amazing how much knowledge of this collection they have acquired, and it was quite cool to have them share so much history and so many facts with us throughout the day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The EMP Museum

The EMP Museum           [photo courtesy of Wikipedia]
We finally made it to the EMP Museum (formally known as the Experience Music Project) which was founded by Paul Allen (of Microsoft money).  The EMP is part museum and part interactive funland. It is a Mecca for music lovers and Sci-Fi geeks alike. The building itself is as architecturally interesting on the outside, as the content is on the inside.

Gigantic sculpture of musical instruments in the middle of the museum.

Current exhibits include Nirvana and the Seattle Grunge scene, Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, photos of The Rolling Stones, a guitar gallery, Avatar, horror films, and Sci-Fi artifacts.

I really enjoyed the Nirvana exhibit as a look into the musicians lives and Seattle as a music scene as well as the epicenter of music for a brief moment in time. The horror films showcase was really cool too and gave me an appreciation for horror films that I previously did not have.

It was cool to see all these music, Sci-Fi, and horror artifacts.

There was a scream booth where you make your best bloodcurdling scream.

This was an interactive display based on the movie Avatar, where you literally controlled an avatar. The computer calibrated to you, and then it mimicked whatever you did, in a computer simulation of Pandora. Pretty nifty. Watch until the end when I touch the plants and make them retract, just like in the movie! Don't worry, I won't quite my day job to pursue an acting career....

To summarize... the EMP is cool.

The Boths and the Rowlands Visit

We recently had a whole crew of visitors, which is fantastic because we love to host! It was an action packed week in which we got out and did many of the things we have been talking about doing.

The whole crew and a sunset on the ferry.
To start off, we took a ferry over to Orcas Island, which is one of the hundreds of beautiful San Juan Islands.

For geographic reference.

We camped for a few nights and occupied our time during the days by hiking to the top of Mt.Constitution for some absurdly picturesque views and swimming in aptly named and refreshingly pristine Mountain Lake. 

On the hike.
Tess found a cool panoramic feature on her phone and we took this picture of the amazing view featuring myself (thrice).
One night we had to chase away a campsite invader, which luckily turned out to not be a huge bear, but instead a little deer who has become accustomed to ransacking campsites. It was making quite a ruckus by eating our tortilla chips, so I yelled at it, called it names, threw things at it, and hit it straight between the eyes with Tess’ flip-flop, so it finally decided to wander off slowly to raid the neighbors camp.

The next morning we grabbed a delicious brunch at Doe Bay Cafe and then drove across the island to hopped on a whale watching boat. The deal with whale watching is that it is whale searching…and if you get lucky, you may see a whale, otherwise it is an expensive boat excursion. We did stalk a Minke whale for a while and saw it surface several times, which was cool, as well as saw various other wildlife including porpoises, eagles, and many of the beautiful islands that make up the San Juan archipelago, so it turned out pretty good (although a sighting of one the Orcas of the local pods would have been nice).

Minke whale  (this is kind of what whale watching looks like) [photo courtesy of Andi]

Arlo is a zen child.
This is what Ezra thinks of Seattle's playgrounds.
Us and the Space Needle
Our visitors spent the week seeing what Seattle has going on and checking out many of the cool museums and attractions. Tess joined them for a trip to Woodland Park Zoo and we both tagged along for a trip to the Experience Music Project (a post soon to come). One evening we treated ourselves to fine dining at The Walrus and the Carpenter for some amazing oysters and seafood. The food was beyond spectacular. All in all it was a whirlwind, action-packed, fantastic week. I wish we could do it all over again!

Me and the empty oyster shells.

Andrew and Leon Visit

All of us having dinner one evening.

Back in July we had a couple of cross-country, road-trippin visitors, our friends Andrew and Leon, who took a hiatus from their jobs to tour around the country, hike, see the sights, climb rocks, and visit lucky friends like us. I wish I could direct you to a blog documenting their journey (because it would no doubt be an interesting tour guide to the nations parks), but to my dismay they didn't document the journey.

We did our best to show them around Seattle and had a great time hanging out during the nice weather. They stuck around long enough to join us at the Capitol Hill Block Party, one of Seattle's many urban music festivals, which was great because music festivals are exponentially better the more people you have to hang out with. It was a great time and we hope to see them again soon.