Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Chihuly Glass & Garden

January 18, 2016 (continued): My next stop was something that’s been on my bucket list for a while, and luckily the Chihuly Garden & Glass was right next door to the Space Needle!

My introduction to the works of Dale Chihuly was originally coming across pictures of the stunning glass ceilings that he created for the Bellagio Casino in Vegas. He’s originally from Washington so what better than to see his works in his hometown.

The explosion of color throughout the gallery was akin to a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moment, where the glass sculptures reminded me of giant candy ready to be picked! Of course it is sort of daunting going throughout there since everything is so delicately put together that one small move and it could all come crashing down! How they sculpted the pieces of blown glass to fit so intricately together like a puzzle is amazing, especially when seeing it in real life. Even though the pictures don’t do his work justice, see below for some of my favorite pieces from my time there.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Space Needle

January 18, 2016 (continued): First stop of the day was at the iconic Space Needle tower, a major tourist hotspot, but where else could I see a sweeping 360 degree view of the city? Ironically, I’ve lived in Auckland for most of my life and never visited the top of its sister scraper, the Sky Tower.

Tip: Get there early to avoid the lines as there are only a few elevators that can fit 25 people at a time, especially if you don’t pre-buy the tickets. However, the ride was at a blink and you’ll miss it speed, rocketing to the observation deck at 520 ft in a matter of seconds!

_MG_7883.jpg

The view was pretty spectacular, and I was lucky enough that the weather had cleared up nicely so that I could see Mt. Ranier in the distance.

Tip: Your ticket also allows one free digital picture at the “selfie” machine on the observation deck, where you scan the barcode of your ticket at the self automated machine and it will take a tall angled shot of you and the view below.

Since I had the City Pass for this particular visit, I did have a discounted ticket but I will say if you’re a first time visitor to Seattle, it’s definitely worth going for the views alone.

I spotted these giant daddy long legs on a rooftop that I thought was a 3D sculpture at first. Later I found out it was actually a mural created by Marlin Peterson who was commissioned by the Washington State Artist Trust to paint somewhere in the city.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Walk of Art in Belltown

January 18, 2016: Day 4 of my Seattle adventure was going to be a culture-packed one, with the plan to visit 3 major attractions - the Space Needle, the Chihuly, and the EMP Museum. Since they were close to my hotel, I decided to walk over even though it was a blistering cold early morning, but it was worth it to stumble on little gems that I would never have seen through a bus or car.


My first discovery of the day was this giant, red, twin popsicle sculpture perfectly perched in front of a tall, commercial building. Later on I found out it was created by artist, Catherine Mayer who according to her website, “has been working to make multi-sensory art that inspires positive reactions in the form of murals, animations and sculptures.” To me, the sculpture totally hit on my love of whimsy, surrealism, and slight absurdity.

_MG_7860.jpg

Further along on my walk, I saw an open garage door and inside was an empty space with no one around, but there were two interesting murals painted on the walls. I went to quickly snap these paintings but was halted suddenly when the garage door started closing down on me. Then, as it was closing a man across the street starting yelling at me saying “Hey!”, I started to quickly walk away since I thought I may have accidentally stumbled into something private. He started to chase me down, and my panic mode starts to set in, but it turns out he was actually inviting me in to see it better! He let me come into the space and take a better shot of the murals, and told me that Dave Matthews (of the Dave Matthews Band!) had actually painted these himself and it was his studio!

_MG_7867.jpg

I knew my proximity to the Space Needle was drawing near when I saw it reflected in this mirrored building. The cool “shattered” effect the windows created definitely made me stop and have to take a picture.

One of the things I find fascinating is messages from unknown people and imagining a story about what compelled the person to write such things. Found Magazine and Post Secret books were in my personal library growing up and maybe it’s the voyeuristic insight into a person’s mindset that I find interesting, which is probably why I wanted to be a psychologist if I wasn’t a designer. So imagine my delight when I found these tiny little messages between two unknown people, inscribed on a random door frame, having a conversation about God.

_MG_7872.jpg

Happy Holidays!

I'm officially signing off for the end of the year (though may pop in, if feeling inspired). I'll be back next year after New Years with a load of new content. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

THANKFUL THURSDAY: FREE WEEKLY PHONE WALLPAPER - WEEK 5

Round 5 is up for my Thankful Thursday: Free Weekly Phone Wallpaper series. 

Quote: "No rain, no flowers"

See previous versions here.

*Wallpaper is free for personal use. Please credit me when sharing. Not available to distribute for commercial purposes without prior permission.

Miniature Cooking

I have no idea why watching someone cooking miniature items is so interesting, but there's something about being able to perfectly replicate the real life process in small form that's so satisfying.

I came across this channel recently and Walking With Giants uses actual food and doll size kitchenware to cook his food. He even created a mini turkey for Thanksgiving - WHAT?! 

RR Cherrypie is an OG in miniature cooking, using special Japanese candy kits that replicate different meals. His videos are especially relaxing and satisfying due to the lack of music and ASMR like sounds, along with his perfectionist crafting skills - you can see why he has tens of millions of views per video.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 3 - Antiques & Wall of Gum

January 17, 2016 (Continued): Walking back from the dock near the waterfront, I stumbled upon an interesting antique store, full of mid century modern vignettes and the creepiest looking life size Mickey Mouse statue I’ve ever seen. Seriously, the photos doesn’t capture the eeriness I felt coming close to it.

Having some time to kill before dinner, and I being in close proximity lead me to the infamous tourist attraction, the Gum Wall. It had actually been recently cleaned for the first time in 20 years but had already started accumulating a mass of chewed up gum again. It is an odd thing to be known as an attraction but I guess I like odd things, still, it was pretty gross thinking I was standing near a spit mountain, as displayed by my face below.

Across from the wall of gum, was something I was more inclined to stand near and see - a great wall of art! It was fun to study it piece by piece, trying to figure out what message was being stated or creative expression being shown.

All photos taken by me via Canon 70D.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 3 - Seattle Aquarium

January 17, 2016 (Continued): After arriving back at the dock from my cruise around the harbor, the next thing on my agenda was a visit to the Seattle Aquarium - it was part of the deal with my City Pass package. Usually I have mixed feelings about visiting an animal facility if they’re not a sanctuary, but this aquarium is a nonprofit and a research facility that helps educate the public about sea life and conservation.

I have a fascination with the sea and its life probably from my upbringing, being from Hawaii, my dad would take me down to the beach as a baby and taught me to swim as soon as I could walk. My birthplace seems to follow me wherever I go, as the exhibition at the time was the Sea Life of Hawaii of all things. There, they had on display the numerous and colorful tropical fish that roam Hawaiian waters. The sea urchin with these surreal pink and purple hues that I didn’t even know existed in real life. The staff invited onlookers to gently touch the languid starfish. The baby stingray looked like perfect smiling, pastel sea angels from the bottom. It was an excellent introduction to another world.

Moving further along in the newly renovated extensions, I witnessed sea lions that gracefully glided through water like nothing. One appearing above water, coupled with water beads on the glass and the shining sun, created a photogenic moment with a magic sparkle halo above its head. Next, were one of my favorite animals the sea otter. There was a group swimming rapidly amongst each other that I could barely capture any with my fastest shutter speed. They eventually broke out into a catfight (or otter fight?) and later a couple of them giving the public an Animal Planet-esque birds and the bees demonstration if you know what I mean.

My time at the aquarium ended as the sun set with the most spectacular rays of light streaming through the clouded sky.

All photos taken by me via Canon 70D

Thankful Thursday: Free Weekly Phone Wallpaper - Week 4

iPhone_Mockup.jpg

Round 4 is up for my Thankful Thursday: Free Weekly Phone Wallpaper series. 

Quote: "Start somewhere."

See previous versions here.

*Wallpaper is free for personal use. Please credit me when sharing. Not available to distribute for commercial purposes without prior permission.