Monday, August 29, 2022

Din Tai Fung with the Fam

I was excited to share with my parents one of my favorite restaurants in the Seattle area: Din Tai Fung.

They were pretty good sports, and let me order delicious dumplings for the table.

I got weird and ordered one kind that had a crab filling, and was amused to find a little friend in the steamer.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

Garlic Garlic Everywhere

In my never ending quest to entertain my parents, today we drove pretty far out of town to Chehalis, Washington to see the Garlic Fest & Craft Show. 

The fact that we moved so far away from home is kind of fun because there are a lot of new agricultural products out here. Who doesn't like garlic?

Even the local vampires are on board.

They were sold out of garlic ice cream which was very sad, but they did have garlic fries and garlic ears, which were like a savory version of the elephant ear.

Tom even bought some garlic to take home and plant in his yard.

On our way back north we passed through Olympia so I figured we should give the capitol building a gander.

I learned a lot of fun Washington State trivia.

We found a fun little place to take a walk in Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls. First of all let's address the elephant in the room: Tumwater does sound like a child's explanation of diarrhea. No, I don't know why they named it that.

In addition to being a fun walk, the park is also the site of the now derelict Olympic Brewery. Every time I see an abandoned brewery I think how lucky St. Louis is to have such a vibrant and historic Anheuser-Busch.

We hit McMenamins Spar Cafe for dinner.

I can't get enough of the artwork in these places. It's all so quirky.

Like what the hell is this thing?

Back in Kirkland, Mom and Tom entered the Matrix via the Meta Quest 2 we recently acquired.

I finally finished Elden Ring on Xbox Series X. I checked my total play time on this thing two weeks ago and it said 7 days 5 hours. I didn't check it again. Killing god has a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with it, I must say.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Pies, Chocolate, Salmon, Beers, and Much Much More

We took my parents to see "Arts in the Garden" at Bellevue Botanical Garden. It was a lot of art for your lawn.

I don't have a lawn but I do have a stomach. I spotted this exotic looking truck and got involved.

An article posted in the window trumpets that Tabassum "may run the only Uzbek food truck on the entire West Coast". I got here just in time, it sounds like.

I believe we went with the samsas "savory meat and veggie hand pies with flaky crusts".

This fun flower is called an Irish Delight.

We then took the crew over to the Theo Factory Experience. We'd checked the place out once before with Zoe and it now had the Tom and Helen stamp of approval.

Cacao pods are essentially alien eggs.

We said hello to the Fremont Troll, a must in this part of town.

Now this was a fun thing that I've been wanting to do but not yet experienced: the Ballard Locks.

Here you can see the Locks, officially named after Hiram Chittenden, are what connect Lake Washington and Lake Union to Puget Sound. In the 1860s the US Navy even made plans to build a naval base on Lake Washington, which is mind blowing to me. 

Built by the Army Corps of Engineers, the Ballard Locks carry more boat traffic than any other lock in the U.S.

There was a sign warning that you may hear loud noises, which are used to try to scare away the seals and sea lions that eat all the salmon. Spoiler: it doesn't work.

Speaking of fish, there's a fish ladder.

Zeke was still in town for his work thing and was also in attendance.

I guess the locks allow some of the fresh water to spill out into the sound. Salmon can smell this water, recognize their birthplace, and are attracted to swim up a series of little steps up into the fresh water. All of these attracted salmon are what attract the sea lions to destroy them.

Lydia was pretty sad when she realized how few baby salmon survive to adulthood. It'll be ok.

It's had to tell from this picture but I saw a shiny little aquatic mammal head sneaking around right outside the locks.

While we were in the Ballard neighborhood, we tried some brewskies. Lucky Envelope Brewing is one of my favorites because they have really fun ingredients and flavors with a Chinese influence.

I hadn't been to Wheelie Pop Brewing yet so this was an exciting visit. They seemed to have a lot of European and Italian influence going on in their offerings.

This is a fun place to eat because most of the breweries don't have food in favor of these food trucks out front. So any given day you can just scope out which of the random trucks are there that day.