Brian & Diane Burmeister
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Vacation Diary
Seattle-June 2011
 

Sunday June 19th
Diane and I left Windom around 10:30 Sunday morning. We arrived in the Twin Cities around 1:30. We decided to eat at Taco Bell for dinner, and after eating we drove to a "Half Price" bookstore in Apple Valley. I had never been to one of those stores before, and they offer a nice selection of used and new books . They also sell used CD's and DVD's. This might be a place that Diane and I can sell our old DVD's and CD's. Menards was then next on our list of things to do. We drove to a Menards which happened to be right down the street from the Half Price bookstore. At Menards we picked up some bags of mulch and river rock, and a couple of bags of grass seed. From there we drove to the Comfort Inn (which we arrived at around 3:30 P.M.). Unfortunately our first room smelled awful! It had a terrible pet order, so we walked down and immediately asked for a second room, which the lady behind the check in counter was more than willing to provide. The second room met our expectations, and we were satisfied with it. Around 5:00 or so we walked down to the "Outback Steakhouse" (which was attached to the Comfort Inn) where we had supper. I had a cheeseburger and Diane had Tilapia with crab. Diane also had some potato soup with hers, and it was delicious!! The bread which we had with the supper was very good as well. Overall, a very good meal. We then retired to our room where we watched a little TV and then went to bed.


Monday June 20th.
Woke up around 4:30 in the morning. We left our car at the Comfort Inn and took a shuttle bus to the airport. Around 6:30 we were in the air and heading to Seattle where we arrived around 7:55 (Pacific Time). Diane's cousin Ryan stopped by the airport to pick us up. Ryan drove us to the car rental place where we picked up our car (thanks Ryan!). After we had our car, we drove down to the dock area and boarded the ferry to Bainbridge Island. This was the first time on a ferry for either of us, and it was fun. The water was nice and calm, and you would hardly even know that you were on a boat. For those who do get seasick, I would say you would probably be safe on this ferry (with calm sea conditions). The view of Seattle from the ferry was really spectacular. I would highly recommend taking the ferry while in Seattle. We arrived on Bainbridge island after only a half an hour on the ferry. Our next destination was "Barbarossa Books" which the owner runs out of his house. You can visit his "store", but is by appointment only. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in WWII, as he has thousands of WWII books for sale. I bought 26 hardcover books from him, and his prices were very good. I could have purchased many, many more, but I needed to keep to some kind of budget. Here is the link to his website (http://www.barbarossabooks.com/). After spending around 1 1/2 hours looking through all of the books at Barbarossa Books, we drove back to the ferry. We ate on the ferry. Diane had chili and I had a cheeseburger. The food was somewhat expensive, but what else would one expect when there is no competition on board? After we got back to Seattle, we set a course for Ryan and Crystals. They had offered to let us stay with them while we were in Seattle, and they were also acting as our unofficial tour guides. I was tired when we arrived, so I took a nap. Crystal made us all a delicious supper and then we sat around and talked until around 10:30.


Tuesday June 21st
Woke up at 7:00. Left Ryan and Crystal's house around 9:00. We drove south along the interstate towards the border with Oregon.........our destination was Mount St. Helens! We arrived at our destination (Me. St. Helens helicopter tours) at around 11:40. They were not ready for us yet, so we decided to go back up the road we came in on and eat at a place called "Patty's Place at 19 Mile House". We had an excellent meal. We each had a pork sandwhich plus cole slaw and desert (cobbler). After eating, we drove back to the helicopter tour landing pad where we were loaded into the helicopter at around 1:00. It was the first time either Diane and I had ever been in a helicopter, so we were both pretty excited. The helicopter tour was supposed to last around 35 minutes, with the helicopter going all the way up to Mt. St. Helens. We lifted off and the pilot proceeded to fly over the river/creek that flows away from St. Helens. I do not remember what its name was, but you could clearly see that it had been very wide when the mud flows were flowing through the valley. We saw all the of the downed trees from the blast, and the pilot flew us over a couple of lakes that still had all kinds of trees floating in them from the time of the eruption. The highlight of the tour was when the pilot went into the crater. We were probably no more than 50-100 feet off of the floor of the crater. We could see several steam vents that had "steam" shooting up from them. It was an amazing experience!! It was neat to see how the entire south side of the mountain had been blown away. After flying around the mouth of the volcano, the pilot turned back to base camp. Diane ended up getting sick on the way back. It was probably from her running the video camera. I took over the video work. Diane was sitting in the front seat, and I was sitting in the back seat. All the while we were flying the pilot was giving us information on the terrain that we were seeing, and why is was like it was. We all wore headsets, so it was fairly easy to communicate. When we landed it was really evident that Diane was really sick. We actually had to wait in the car with the air conditioner on full blast for at least a 1/2 hour while Diane tried to cool off. We finally got going on the road back to Seattle, but it was a long 2 1/2 hour journey back, and part of it was along curvy roads. Diane was miserable the whole way back, but we made it back to Ryan and Crystals around 5:00. We just simply relaxed Tuesday night. (see the photos page for pictures of our trip)


Wednesday June 22nd
Up at 7:30. Ryan and Crystal took a day off from work today in order to show us around to a couple of the more fantastic sites around the area. We took off around 9:00 in the morning and we arrived out at Crystal Mountain shortly after 10:00. On this mountain there is a new gondola that we rode up to the top of the mountain. The ride up the side of the mountain is very steep. This was the third different gondola that Diane and I have ridden in, and it was by far the steepest. Once the gondola gets up to the top of the mountain the views are unbelievable!! Just to the south of Crystal Mountain is Mount Rainier, and it rises what seems like another 5,000+ feet over Cyrstal Mountain. It is an unbelievable sight (especially for us who come from the central plains area of the U.S.). We could litterally see for over 100 miles from up on the top of this mountain (see our photos page for pictures from the top of this mountain). We stayed up on the top of the mountain for around 20 minutes or so. We took alot of pictures and video. After about 20 minutes, we rode the gondola back down and drove back into Seattle. On our way back we ate at a place called "Taco Time". When we arrived back in Seattle Ryan drove us down to the dock/warf area. We then walked to "Pikes Place" (ie. the fish market). It was here that we were able to watch the people selling fish throw the fish around as they would sell it. Lots of tourist in this area. While we were watching they threw some salmon, halibut and crab. Ryan then bought us some yummy mini donuts at another vender...........delicious!! We walked around all three levels of the market area. I did find a nice embroidered Seattle t-shirt, and Diane found a nice key chain to add to her collection. After leaving the fish market we dropped Crystal off at her work place, and then we drove up to an area that had nice houses. Unfortunately I was sitting in the back seat, and I started to get sick. We then hightailed it back to Ryans, where I was most grateful to be back "home". We ordered pizza for supper, and sat around, relaxed and watched TV.


Thursday June 23rd
Up at 7:20. We left at 9:00 to drive to the Boing factory. The tour started at 10:30. We were driven in a bus to a secure Boing site. On this site was situated the largest building in the world (how they come up with that--I do not remember--but it was a gigantic building none the less). We saw about four different models of planes being built. It was all very interesting, unfortunately the guides were not actual workers, but merely PR people, and they were unable to answer most of my questions. But the tour itself is certainly worth it (if you are interested in seeing how things are built---which is what my wife and I like). We left the Boing tour and drove south towards Tacoma. On the way south we stopped at a Red Robin to eat. It was good food.........but I cannot remember what we ate. After eating, we continued driving towards Tacoma to check out a glass blowing studio. Unfortunately, when we arrived, they informed us that their ovens were down for maintenance, and we could not see them "blow" glass. After that we kept driving around the bay. We arrived in a small town that had a bookstore that was going out of business. I purchased 20 more hardcover books for only $89.00. A real bargain!!! From there we continued to drive around the bay until we came to the Bremerton Naval Base. We drove past some old and rusting aircraft carriers. Unfortunately there really is not a good spot to pull over and take pictures. We simply drove slowly by and I video taped them. After that, we drove all the way back around to the bay to Ryan and Crystals. Crystal made us some delicious tacos for supper!!
 


Friday June 24th
Up around 7:30. We left the house at 9:00, and we headed north to Whidby Island. Stopped along the way, and we bought doughnuts at a grocery store. I ate Diane's (opps, sorry Honey). Delicious!! We continued on our way, and we drove up to the top of Mt. Erie. The view from up here was fantastic. There are a couple of places on the top of this mountain to view the surrounding area, and you can see a long ways, including seeing out over the Whidby Island Naval Station. Traveling further along Whidby Island, we crossed over Deception Pass Bridge. The view from up here was tremendous, but if you are scared of heights, this might not be for you, as you are a long ways up above the water, and the locals claim that no one has ever survived falling into the water (hhmmm, comforting thought). After this we drove down into Oak Harbor and we ate at Wendys. The next portion of the trip took us to Ft. Casey, which is on the southern tip of the Island, and once protected Puget sound from any kind of naval invasion. It was last used/occupied during WWII. Many of the casemates, bunkers are open for the public to walk around in. There are a couple of the original 6 inch guns still in place (plus a couple small 3 inch guns). The whole fort can take a couple of hours to tour, but it is worth it if you are into history. After touring the fort we drove back to Oak Harbor where we met Crytal's parents. We had a delicious supper at their place. This consisted of spinach salad, sweet potatos, shrimp, and salmon. We stayed up and talked until around 9:30.


Saturday June 25th
Woke up around 8:00 in the morning. Slept pretty good, which is surprising do to the fact that we were in a strange house, sleeping in a bed we were not used to. Around 9:00 we said our goodbyes to Cyrstal's Mom, and we left headed to the "tide pools". We arrived at the tide pools after about a 20-25 minute drive. There we a few people down by the "pools". The tide was starting to come back in, so we needed to get out there and see as much as we could. When we got down to the water, we immediately started to see all kinds of life in each pool. There were numerous small fish, crabs and other shell fish. It was really interesting to see all of the little creatures that were in each pool. They (the parks department) laid out a yellow rope which everyone was to follow along, so as not to step on and kill any of the sea life in the pools. We stayed at the tide pools probably an hour or so. It was quite interesting, and well worth the visit if you are ever on Whidby Island. We left the tide pools, and headed back to Seattle. On the way we stopped at Krispy Kreme. Needless to say, I loaded up on donuts and rolls!! Delicious!! We arrived back at Ryan and Crystals in the early afternoon. I took a nap when we got back, and Diane fell asleep on the couch. Later on in the afternoon, Ryan built a fire on the deck in his burn pit. We sat around the fire and talked and enjoyed the nice weather outside. Crystal made a delicious pulled BBQ chicken supper. We sat down after supper and watched TV until around 10:00, at which time we went to bed.


Sunday June 26th
Woke up around 8:00. Went to Ryan and Crystal's church at 9:00. Came home and had pot roast, and it was delicious! Thanks Crystal In the afternoon Ryan and I went went out to Snoqualmie Falls. This was a beautiful water falls. It is located about 25 miles from Seattle. Once we got there, we found a spot were we took some nice pictures. The water falls is around 268 feet high, and it is very loud! Lots of water crashing over the falls. It certainly was the largest water falls I have ever seen, and is well worth the stop if you are in the area. We kept on traveling until we the "Twin Falls" area. We hiked up the side of a mountain until we came upon the first of the Twin Falls. This was much small then the previous water falls, but was nice never the less. We hiked a little further until we came upon the second of the Twin Falls. Both of these falls were nice, but it is a fair amount of hiking. I am guessing it is around a mile of hiking (one way) to get to the second water falls, so if you are not into hiking, then I would skip these, but if you do not mind hiking, then I would certainly recommend this hike. Ryan and I continue past the second water fall. We hiked about a mile past the second water fall, until we came out into a clearing where the hiking path formed up with a gravel road. We decided at this point to turn around and head back. After we got back down off of the trail, we decided to go get something to eat. We stopped in a Wendy's on the way back to Seattle. Ryan and I arrived back home around 8:30. While we were gone, Diane and Crystal did some shopping. Diane picked up some cold medicine as she was getting really sick. She had a bad cold. We all watched a little TV when we got back home and then went to bad.

Snoqualmie Falls



 Monday June 27th
 Up around 8:00. This was to be our last full day in Seattle. We were starting to get a little tired by this day, even though we had been having lots of fun. Ryan had told Diane about a glass blowing shop in downtown Renten, so we decided to go and check it out. We left around 9:30. We stopped at the post office first to mail off around 25 of my WWII books (I was not going to try to carry all 50+ books back on the plane). We arrived at the glass blowing shop around 10:00. They were giving some lessons to a couple of people. We watched for probably around 20 minutes or so. It was very interesting to watch. I think this is something that we might want to try to do ourselves if we come back out to Seattle in the future. We then looked around the store at all that they had for sale. This was a large shop, with all different kinds of things made out of the blown glass. Diane found a glass hummingbird. She bought it, and the owner carefully packaged it up in a box for us to take back on the airplane. We left and went to eat at Taco Bell. After eating we drove back to Ryans and watched TV and napped all afternoon (Diane was still not feeling well). We left Ryan and Crystal's later on that night, as we were to meet Ryan and Crystal at a place called "Dukes". Dukes is a restaurant that specializes in fish. We arrived at Dukes first, and Ryan and Crystal arrived soon after. I had Lobster chowder, and Diane had crab stuffed prongs. Diane really liked hers, but mine was "different". I suppose I am just too much of a "meat and potatoes" type of person. But, never the less, we appreciate Ryan and Crystal showing us something different then what we are normally used to, which is the reason why we came out to Seattle. We can eat "meat and potatoes" anywhere in the midwest, but we certainly can't get fresh seafood in the midwest! After our meal we walked along the beach, as the night was very nice out. We then drove back to Ryand and Crystal's where we talked and watched some TV. Diane and I were in bed by 10:00.

 

Tuesday June 28th
Woke up around 8:00. Started getting everything packed up. We then said our goodbye's and thanks to Ryan and Crystal for letting us stay with them. We really enjoyed ourselves tremendously, and we are very grateful for their hospitality. Leaving Ryan and Crystals we drove to the airport. We had some difficulty finding the car rental return place. A bit of advice to everyone renting a car.............fill it up completely before returning it. Ours was just barely under a full tank, and we got charged a $24.00 fee for failfure to fill the tank!! We then rushed into the airport, found our airline and relaxed while waiting for our flight. During this time the airline upgraded us (free of charge) to first class!! What a wonderful way to end the trip! The flight back to Minneapolis took around 3 hours. We then got our hotel's van to come and pick us up (park and fly). We arrived back at our hotel where we had parked our car for the past week. We then started our journey back home. At around 2:30 we arrived back in Windom......boy were we exhausted!! But we had a lot of fun, and I would highly recommend traveling to Seattle
































































































Seattle-June 2011
Colorado-Steamboat Springs 2012