Continuing from part 1, onto the second half of summer, starting with week 7!
WEEK 7: This week started off with a bang! Monday, after work, my friends and I went to Safeco Field for a Mariner’s Game.
It’s time for Mariners baseball!!! Hmmm, that’s not how it goes…
I should mention that by this time in my internship, every free moment was packed with activity. Barbecuing, going to the movies, trying new restaurants, go-karting, every single day my friends and I were doing something (most of these activities were not travel related, so I am omitting them from this already-long-enough post).
For the week 7 weekend, my friends and I went back to Canada, this time to Vancouver.
Vancouver is a unique city. It is very beautiful and serene, but it is also kind of boring. There’s not much to do and the little the city does have is bland, but then night hits… Vancouver has the best nightlife I’ve ever seen (well, Vancouver and Las Vegas). Seriously, I still can’t believe how amazing Vancouver’s nightlife was: tons of people partying in clubs and on the streets, everyone laughing and celebrating and having a great time, and most important for us college aged kids: lots of attractive people very provocatively dressed. We had a lot of fun that night, but unfortunately (fortunately?) I didn’t get any pictures of it.
However, I did get some other pictures from our trip:
Peach Arch border crossing. Canada, here we come (again!)
Like Seattle, Vancouver is a beautiful city. The cities are very similar actually, except Seattle has better food, is more exciting, and has a vastly inferior nightlife scene.
We spent most of our day in Vancouver exploring Stanley Park, one of the largest and greatest parks in North America. We ended up at an aquarium, which wasn’t my choice (I wanted to continue exploring the park) but I got outvoted by the group.
WEEK 8: My parents visited this weekend. They spent the week in Vancouver and Victoria, then stayed in Seattle Friday through Sunday. On Saturday, we toured the Everett factory, then spent the rest of the day downtown, visiting Pike’s Fish Market and taking Pioneer Square’s underground tour. On Sunday my aunt and uncle took us back to the Microsoft House I visited earlier on this trip. We went there because the Blue Angels were performing over Lake Washington, but unfortunately the show was at the opposite end of the lake and we barely saw anything from the mansion.
I didn’t take any pictures this weekend. My dad took a bunch, but I can’t seem to find them, so without anything more to show, lets move on to week 9!
WEEK 9: For some reason, on Wednesday this week Real Madrid and DC United played an exhibition game at Qwest Field. And me being a huge soccer fan, of course I went.
Beckham, Ronaldo, and Roberto Carlos are down there. This game was so exciting, and it wasn’t even competitive! The final score was 1-1 but Real Madrid was definitely the better team; they would have won hands down if this wasn’t just a friendly exhibition game.
Over the weekend, my friends and I went on another camping trip, this one in the Columbia Gorge. We camped on the Oregon side (the Gorge defines much of the Oregon/Washington border) near Mt. Hood, the tallest mountain in the state. The whole place was beautiful, peaceful, and serene; it was like a picture book.
Mt Hood from the trailhead of a 15 mile hike. We wanted to hike Mt Hood itself, but it was off limited due to fire risks.
The view from Buck Peak (the destination of our hike), elevation: 4750 feet. This is the view looking away from Mt Hood.
And this is the view looking toward it.
Three of my intern friends had joined Boeing’s windsurfing club, and the Columbia Gorge was one of the best windsurfing spots in the world. That was the main reason we came on this trip. Mt Hood and the Gorge itself were really just a bonus.
The Columbia Gorge in all its glory. This an Mt Hood were awesome bonuses.
WEEK 10: Camping again! This time with the Boeing Waterski Club at Wenatchee Confluence State Park, where we went wakeboarding!
Our campsite. The weather was so nice that most of us slept under the stars, not in our tents.
The Confluence. Not as beautiful some of the other places we’d been this summer, but it was great for wakeboarding.
Alright, lets do this.
I’m standing! Yay!
WEEK 11 – By this point, summer was coming to an end, and several of my intern friends were heading back to school. To say goodbye, we went to Gasworks Park, this time at night.
The night view from Gasworks Park, the best cityscape I’ve ever seen. For people traveling to Seattle, I recommend visiting Gasworks Park at night more than any other activity (everyone knows about the Space Needle and Pike’s Fish Market, but not many non-locals know about this); it is so beautiful and romantic and serene.
The Fremont Troll, a hulking, ugly troll that lives under Gasworks Park’s neighboring Fremont Bridge. To give some perspective, that thing in the troll’s left hand is a full-size 1970s VW bug, this sculpture depicting the moment the troll snatched the car off the road in front of it.
Over this next weekend my remaining friends and I visited the Red Hook brewery (micro-brewed beer is so good in Seattle, and it is everywhere!) and also went to Pike’s Fish Market. And again, I don’t have any pictures from either of these activities, which is really frustrating since Pike’s was one of my favorite places in the entire city!
WEEK 12- By now it was just me and one other intern friend. It was also Labor Day weekend, which meant it was time for Seattle’s annual music and art festival: Bumbershoot.
Bumbershoot, one of the largest music and arts festivals in the US, commemorates the end of summer and the return of Seattle’s dreary season. The festival mostly focuses on music, food, and some very strange modern art, but it also has stand up comedy, performance arts, children’s entertainment, and much more. My personal favorite discovery this festival was Rodrigo Y Gabriela, and they remain two of my favorite guitarists to this day.
The main stage. The Shins are performing right now.
The artwork here was very strange…
You can’t see it, but Kanye (the headliner the day we went) is up there.
On Sunday, we went to Ballard Locks. Ballard Locks is a series of locks that maintain Lake Union and Lake Washington’s water level (without the locks, the lakes would rise and fall with the tide), and also prevent saltwater intrusion into the lakes.
Lake Union and Lake Washington’s water levels are maintained twenty feet higher than mean low tide of the Puget Sound. Because of this, boats entering the lakes must rise up the difference, and they do this the same way it is done at the Panama Canal.
Boats fully raised and exiting the locks.
In addition to the locks, Ballard is also an important salmon spawning area. However, after the locks were built, salmon could no longer survive their journey upstream (the instant transition from salt to fresh water was too much for them). To solve this, a fish ladder was added. The ladder consists of ten “steps” of water, each step containing a lower salt water concentration than the one before it. Odors are used to lure fish to these steps, where they traverse them in succession, eventually (and gradually) reaching the fresh water lakes at the opposite end.
For our final day of this three day weekend, my last remaining intern friend and I visited Seattle’s (arguably) greatest museum, the Museum of Flight. Unfortunately, because it was Memorial Day, the museum was closed. We did get to see the outside exhibits though.
A Harrier outside the Museum’s entrance. The Harrier was the first successful vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and was featured in True Lies.
The foreground plane is a Concorde, one of only two supersonic transports ever built. Behind the Concorde is a Boeing 707 that served as the US’s first presidential jet. This plane operated from 1959 to 1996, however it only fulfilled Air Force One duties from 1959 to 1962.
The first flightworthy 747, built at the Everett plant I was interning at up north.
An F14 Tomcat, the same airplane that was used in Top Gun.
The museum’s most impressive external exhibit (in my opinion at least) was the barn William Boeing started his company in. The barn was built in 1909, abandoned during WWII, and purchased by the museum for $1 in 1975. And after many years of fundraising, a relocation, and a significant restoration, the barn was opened to the public in 1983.
WEEK 13 – By this point, my last intern friend had left. Summer was winding down, it was my last week of work, and I’d long since completed all my assignments. On Friday, my co-workers and I had a goodbye lunch (we went to Diamond Knot in Mulkiteo, my favorite micro-brew/restaurant in the entire northwest), and that weekend I went back down to California. All in all, this was one of the best summers I’ve ever had.
A map of my summer: 2 countries, 2 states, 1 national park, 1 state park, 1 national scenic area, 4 national scenic byways (including the oldest one in the country), 3 national historic landmarks, 4 national engineering landmarks, 2 national historic sites of Canada, 2 sporting events, and three family members visited.