Monday, May 31, 2021

All Over the Peninsula

My Grandpa Milito was in the army during the Korean War, and was stationed in Japan. He told me about how bad/nonexistent the sewage system was and talked about trucks that would drive around and collect poop... sort of like garbage trucks, and I think it was the trucks that he called "honey buckets". I always thought that was a hideous name. Well it turns out a main crap shed provider in the area is called Honey Bucket and so now I see them all of the time. I'm not sure how my grandpa would feel about all of the portable toilets in Washington state reminding me of him but a legacy is a legacy.

"Tokyo - It's a nice place but I like home much better" - Grandpa Milito

We decided it would be cool and meta if the car we were riding in was riding a boat.

Hate to see Seattle leave but love to watch it go.

Bainbridge Island lies a hop across Puget Sound.

Teriyaki is a huge thing in Seattle. There are places selling it all over the place. I would hazard a guess that there are more teriyaki places here than the classic Chinese-American food that you find in the midwest.

Luckily it's really damn good. A real honey bucket of flavor.

Olympic National Park is interesting because it isn't contiguous. There's the main blob but then there's a strip that runs along the coast as well.

It was mating season for some giant dinosaur sized queen ants. You could tell because they were all over the place looking for suitable places to build a nest.

Many of them were not successful.

We had a snack attack and sampled some of the local delicacies.

After exploring the big blob we headed out to the beach portion of the park. It was interesting how much driftwood there was everywhere.

There was a bleached dead tree elephant graveyard type thing going on here.

Some of the wood drifted right into my hand.

My understanding is that the rainforests in this park receive the most rainfall in the continental United States. I don't know that I've ever been to a place quite like this. It's cool because the moisture allows the place to be bursting with life, but it's also cold so the kinds of plants are different from what you might expect in a rainforest. Pine trees next to ferns type of thing.

There was a lot of fun nurse treeing going on, where a tree dies and falls over and then a bunch of other trees grow out of it.

I believe this is a banana slug.

On our way back through the olympic peninsula we swung through Olympia and took a picture of the capitol building there because I have some sort of undiagnosed sickness.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Seattle: Babies, Mountains, and Beers

Seattle was looking bright, sunny, and ready to be adventured.

For breakfast we had a special Washington treat: dutch babies. They are large popovers, kind of like Yorkshire pudding. They come in sweet and savory editions so we ordered one of each.

They are kind of messy so eating them in the car was not ideal but... not my car either so let's eat some babies!

This one had powdered sugar and a lemon wedge for flavoring. Light and delicious. Maple syrup was also in attendance.

It turns out that mountains are perfect places to put national parks, so we aimed the now syrupy car in their direction.

It's funny because Mt. Rainier, which has its own national park that we visited yesterday, is also in the cascade mountains. That may be why this is the "North" Cascades National Park. Mountains so nice they parked them twice.

There were a lot of opportunities for what should have pretty much been St. Louis t-shirt company advertisement photos.

We didn't plan on visiting Glacier Peak Winery but it just happened to present itself on the side of the road on the return trip.

We stopped in for a tasting.

We stopped at Tulalip Resort Casino. I like the casinos around here because I feel like they do a really good job of helping you learn about local indigenous people's culture.

The language was fun. It has a lot of new letters.

Space Needle!

I was very excited to visit Elysian Brewery. During my time working at Anheuser-Busch I had access to a heck of a lot of different kinds of beer and Elysian was one of my favorites in the empire. Elysian's Space Dust IPA was a common offering at work events and it packed quite a punch at 8.2% ABV. The guys used to call having a few of these bad boys "getting dusted".

It just so happened to be Elysian's 25th anniversary and so they were offering a magnificent box full of wonders.

"How do you celebrate 25 years of Elysian? Well, if you're one of us, you build an experience. This thing, "the Box", is as weird and specific a tribute as we could hope to make. Part time capsule, with 23 beers (and some non-beer items) from our past, present, and future. Part trippy throwback grab bag, with as many odds and ends for you as we could manage to fit in one box. Stuff for you to drink, build, solve. You name it. So buy "the Box" if you want and enjoy the chaos, because 25 years is really something, and we're glad you're here for the ride. Boxes are only available for purchase in Washington."

"There may be a virtual game or two. New labels, original art, Elysian history. Beers. Many different beers. Yes. There is a zine. We made a mixtape. A secret puzzle! Inside a box! Do you have a record player?"

Ok so yeah I bought a giant $100 box of beer and prizes that I now have to figure out how to transport back to St. Louis. Whatever, it's awesome. I have no regerts.

I am mesmerized by the amount of posters there are on phone poles around here. Is there some sort of law against taking these things down? They bulge inches thick around lots of surfaces in this neighborhood. It's sort of beautiful and disgusting at the same time.

I think Rachel's Ginger Beer was a place that made me stop and say "wouldn't it be cool if I lived here?" Like, there's a place that all it does is make artisanal ginger beer, and it's full of people. I think most people in St. Louis don't even know what ginger beer is, let alone would patronize such a magnificent place.

Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle and seems to be a favorite son.