Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Hawkins take over Seattle!

We got some good rest last night – it was much needed!  Driving makes you tired!  Bran’s tummy seemed to be a little better, so we headed out into downtown Seattle.  We went down to the historic district and went through a couple of places – then made our way up by the water.  

After shopping a little more we headed into the Crab Pot to get our seafood fix – and boy did we!  This restaurant is so nifty – you order “sea fests” and they come and lay down butcher-like paper on your table and dump and entire bucket of seafood on top of it.  They hand you a wooden board and a mallet and let you have at it!  It was sooooo yummy!  Our bucket of seafood goodness included shrimp, mussels, oysters, crab, salmon, halibut, clams, potatoes and corn.  Yeah we killed it!  It was soooo good! 

Bring it on!
You don't scare me!
Brandon loves him some oysters!
A little Jess love for the shrimp!
Killed it!
My new friend Elliott the Otter!

After filling our tummy’s with seafood goodness we headed to do the Duck tour of Seattle.  It was a blast!!  If you have never heard of the Duck Tours it is a WWII Amphibious craft that takes you on a land tour through the city of Seattle and then into the water you go!  Our guide was Captain Chip Ahoy and he was a hoot!  The extravaganza included duckbill noisemakers, jammin’ songs, dancing, and craziness!  Some of the things we saw on our tour:

He is riDUCKulous!
Ready to get quacky!
The Space Needle
A picture of the house boat used in Sleepless in Seattle (it's the bluish one next to the boats)
See the house boat with the black front porch is the smallest house boat on the water.  It is 254 sq ft, costs, costs $900 to rent, and has over a 2 year waiting list!
Jess and the crazy captain!

After the crazy duck ride we were going to take the Underground tour of Seattle – but were not going to have enough time, so we made our way back down to Pike’s Place again for some goodies and most importantly cherries!  I also had to stop at the original Starbucks!  I bet you did not know that the original Starbucks did not serve brewed coffee…just the coffee beans.  The creator of Starbucks did not think people would pay $4 for a cup of coffee – boy was he wrong!

Fresh produce...yum!
Rainier Cherries! Double yum!
Only sold at the original Starbucks
The original Starbucks that opened in 1971 
Seattle outdoor seating....they are bolted to the side of the house due to the steep streets..LOL!
More of Pike's Place Market

We then made our way over to West Seattle to meet up with some friends to eat dinner at ___ - it was so yummy too!  The atmosphere was so homey and family like.  We were bummed that our friends Mike and Angie were not going to be able to join us for dinner due to Mike being under the weather, but much to our surprise Angie came though the door of the restaurant with a bag full of goodies!  You guys are the greatest (and the chocolate rocked!).  Craig, our other friend we met for dinner drove us around to some areas of West Seattle after dinner and then back to our hotel.  Thanks Craig you rock! 

It was a busy day!  We have a long drive tomorrow – thank goodness we are not sleepless in Seattle :o)

Day 8: Seattle, WA
Weather: Overcast & cool – low 60’s

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles:  
  • Customer service still exists in this part of the country!  Everyone is so nice and will go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of
  • At Starbucks you have to stand in a line in order to get in line to order
  • Brandon’s new career – window washing while wearing a kilt (this is an actual business)
  • The sun rises at the butt crack of dawn 4:30am, and does not fully set until after 10pm
  • Brandon wants to move here – actually to Issaquah
  • Mount Rainier is ginormous!

So many more pictures to see HERE!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hellloooo Washington!

We headed out of Oregon today :o(  We fell in L-O-V-E with the city of Portland!  We stopped for one more cup of Stumptown coffee before heading out to Seattle, Washington!
Mile 2512: Washington State Line
Hello Washington!

The drive to Seattle is only about 3 hours and it is full of amazing views!  Driving into Seattle was just as beautiful – full of mountains, water and trees!  I will say though – the streets of Seattle are LOCO!  So many one ways and the streets are narrow!  We made it to our hotel and unloaded everything.  We had the best view of the city from our room and were just right in the middle of almost everything! 

Mile 2563: Seattle
Olympic Mountains!

By this point we were both starving so we made our way down the streets of Seattle and found an awesome pub/restaurant called Fado.  Such a cool atmosphere and the nicest and most awesome people worked there!  The food was out of this world!  
Brandon's brew of choice...

This was a HUGE bottle!

After getting some grub we made our way to get our first look at Pike’s Place Market.  There are so many things to look at and buy!  Pike Place is one of the oldest running markets - dating back to 1907!
The Market!
The Hawkins in Seattle!
Rachel the bronze pig - the unofficial mascot of the market 
She's some pig!  :o) 
You hear lots of jazzy music as you walk down the streets - these fellows were from Arizona and were totally rockin'!
Mile 2571:  Pikes Place Market 

We walked through parts of the market and then headed back to the hotel, but not before a quick stop for some of the pink stuff – Pepto!  Brandon’s belly was not feeling so good…may have been something to do with the beer/coffee diet…. 

Day 7: Portland, OR to Seattle, WA
Weather: Cloudy with some sprinkles – high 50’s, low 60’s

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles:
  •  Props to the state of Washington!  They take care of their travelers with roadside rest stop safety breaks – free coffee/water and snacks at all rest stops!
  • Sprint GPS does not know where in the heck it is going in Seattle!
  • We felt the burn!  Those Seattle streets are steep – ok going down, but going up was a workout!
  • That wasn’t sneaky try that again – to all the drug dealer handoffs we saw take place in front of us!
Check out more photos from today right HERE!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Portland Trend

We were up and at ‘em early this morning to prepare to Brandon’s presentation and make our way to Portland University!  What a beautiful campus!  We spent the morning listening to presentations – Brandon was in charge of moderating a few of them.  Dr Post and Brandon did excellent on their presentation!  He makes me so proud :o)

Before leaving campus we headed to eat lunch with Dr Post at one of the local pub/lunch spots!  Beer here is so good!  Some good IPA if you are a liker of this type of beer!  In Portland, they also give you adult happy meal toys!  :o)
 Mile  2360:  Happy Meal Ducks 
Thanks Portland for the ducks and rain!

After lunch we headed back to the hotel for a little nap before hitting downtown for a little Beervana action!  Oregon is home to over 90 breweries!  Out of those 90, 30 are in Portland!  Just for comparison purposes, Texas only has 25!  Crazy!  Dinner at the pub was great and so was the brew!  Brandon and I realized as we sat down for dinner that night that all we had had to drink at this point in the day was coffee…beer…more coffee…beer!  I see a trend!  In order to keep the trend going we stopped at Stumptown for coffee – it was sooooo good! 

Portland definitely made up for the beginning of the state!  Everyone is so nice and laid back!  The city has a wonderful vibe that is not too overwhelming – actually it is somewhat calm.  The Hawkins officially heart Portland!

Some pics from Portland....
Food vendor on the street...eewwww
Summer IPA Special = YUMM!
Good stuff dude!
 Great place!

The Hawkins heart Portland!
Stumptown coffee - each cup made with love :o) 

Day 6: Portland, OR
Weather: Cloudy, misty, 60’s….so nice!

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles: 
  • When in Oregon– there is a law that does not allow you to put gas in your own car – they pump it for you!
  • The beer and coffee make you giggly!
  • Because in Texas the crosswalks are not used much and in Portland they are - Brandon almost ran over a few pedestrians!  Sorry! 
  • Rain doesn’t stop life
  • We unlocked the mystery of where tacos originally came from :o)

Mile 2398: Rosa Parks Bus Stop
She now has her own bus stop - booya! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ocean, Big Trees & Banjos

Today was another long day of traveling in the car…but we were able to stop at so many neat places on the highway!  We took the infamous 101 through the Redwoods.  What an amazing drive!  Those things are HUGE!!!  We also got our first look at the Pacific Ocean today and it was so beautiful!  At some point of the drive we couldn’t tell if it was the edge of the world or the ocean…the way the clouds sit on top of the ocean plays tricks on your mind! 

Entering Oregon was another story…I am not thrilled at this point with the state of Oregon!  We seriously felt like we were in a scene in the movie Deliverance.  Is that a banjo I hear....???!! 

As we made our way further into the state it got a little better – but I am keeping my fingers crossed that Portland will help the state out a bit!  

It rained on us almost the entire time driving in Oregon…I almost forgot what that stuff was!  We headed to our hotel to get some rest – we were tired after this drive!  We have an early start in the morning - Brandon has his presentation for the American and Australian Society of Mammologists.  I am really excited to get to see him in his realm of people!  Goodnight until tomorrow! 

Confusion Hill - One of our first road side stops!  
Has anyone seen Brandon?  
I think Confusion Hill made Brandon confused!
 My short experience as a Chipalope :o) 
The weather rock at confusion hill: if its wet its raining, if it is swinging its windy....maybe Midland weathermen sound invest in this...
The trunks of these trees are massive!
This tree is 1200+ years old....did Jesus plant this tree?!?
Trees known as the 'Twin Towers" in honor of 9/11 - they are so tall I think they almost touch heaven!
I think the Chipalope knew Brandon was a biologist...
Don't forget Only you can prevent forest fires!  This message was brought to you by Jess!
The Legend of Bigfoot - one of our other fun stops!
I think I see a resemblance...
I'm definitely not related!
Hmmmm....maybe he is?!?!
I so wanted to buy this!
Our love story....
Mile 1950: Pacific Ocean
Me & my Bran on the beach
I love the ocean!
This was my sexy run across the sand - Brandon said it wasn't so sexy...more like spastic :o)

Mile 1994: Paul Bunyan & Babe
Another fun stop along the way!  Paul even had conversations with you!
Ok, this is getting weird - Brandon looks a little like Paul Bunyan too! When I told Paul that Brandon looked like him - he replied with "I don't have horns!"  Ha! Ha!  That PB is so funny!
Mile 2027: The Massive Redwoods!
So amazing!
Anyone seen Brandon!?!
He is tiny compared to that tree!
Don't be jealous...look at that stream!  
I just wanted to go play in the water!  It was so blue!
Mile 2056: Oregon State Line
Watch out Oregon!  Here we come!

Jess becoming one with Oregon...

Day 5: Benicia, CA to Portland, OR
Weather: Cloudy, cool – Mid 60’s with sprinkles

Jess’ Jibberish & Bran’s Babbles:  
  • Slowest drivers in America live in Oregon.
  • In Oregon they cut down their trees to make areas “botanically”
  • Speed limit signs are MASSIVE in size
  • I had to explain to Brandon why there were firework stands all over the nation…
  • Coffee is difficult to find - thank god for Dari Mart!  Stupid Safeway!
Check out the rest of our pictures on this adventure by clicking HERE!