Category Archives: Seattle

Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon

Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon:  Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  Hood River:; The Dalles:; White Salmon:; Husum:; Portland:  To read reviews, visit:  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon:

Grand Central Bakery
~ 2230 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214 ~ ~

We stopped at this Pacific Northwest Bakery chain while waiting to meet some friends. It had some tasty chai and great cross buns for the Easter holiday season. It was originally created by Gwen Bassetti at Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, locally owned chain dedicated to artisan baking. An assortment of breads, baked goods, sandwiches, soups, teas, coffees, and juices can be found here. Her original sandwich start started in Seattle’s newly refurbished Grand Central Hotel Building where it changed names from Gwen’s roadside farm stand on Lopez Island in the 60’s to the Grand Central Bakery in 1989. Famous for her Como loaves. Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon:  Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  Hood River:; The Dalles:; White Salmon:; Husum:; Portland:  To read reviews, visit:  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Grand Central Cafe, Portland, Oregon: Life in the Gorge: Chronicle 22 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. The Gorge/Columbia River, Oregon-Washington. Photos taken March 27, 2016. To read the adventures, visit Hood River:; The Dalles:; White Salmon:; Husum:; Portland: To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Days Inn, Federal Way, Seattle Washington

Days Inn (, Federal Way, Washington. Exploring the Olympic Peninsula. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 24, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   To read reviews, visit:  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 - by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Days Inn (, Federal Way, Washington. Exploring the Olympic Peninsula. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 24, 2016. To read the adventures, visit To read reviews, visit: All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Days Inn – Federal Way
34827 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003– Federal Way, Tacoma-Seattle, Washington

+1 800-329-1992

Right near the King County Aquatic Center, WIld Waves Theme Park, and close proximity to the Sea-Tac Airport, the Days inn at Federal Way is a comfortable rest stop off Interstate 5. The hotel offers a free continental breakfast, parking, free wi-fi, and late checkout. It is across the street from a shopping area with sushi, fast food, and other shops. The hotel also has a 24-hour business center, free coffee/tea, and a 24 hour front desk. There are approximately 54 rooms in the hotel all with wifi, coffee makers, free local calls, ironing boards, desks, and TV with satellite. We enjoyed our stay for two nights. It was a rest away from home well needed. Rated 4 stars out of 5.

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The History of Wandering Leaf Designs or “Wandering Leaf, LLC”

Wandering Leaf Designs, also known as “Wandering Leaf, LLC” was a web studio located in the region of North America’s Pacific Northwest – servicing its clients in the United States & Canadian provinces. A Limited Liability Company, Wandering Leaf Designs provided their clients with top-notch web designs, logos, art, graphics, wireless / nomadic technologies, and hot spots of interest from 2000 until 2004. “Wandering Leaf Designs” was founded after the closure of “Leafworks, Inc.. “Wandering Leaf Designs” was closed when its C.E.O., organizer, lead designer/developer, and mover/shaker left the .dotcom industry to return to his passion of “Archaeology & Anthropology”. Once on the trail to doing work at the Camano Beach Excavation, Miami Circle’s “Icon Brickell” project, and finally to be the GIS Specialist/Curator for the U.S. Army’s Cultural Resource Management Program at Fort Carson, he no longer had the time to continue operating “Wandering Leaf Designs”, much of which was the lasting demise of the “.dotcom” collapse that started in the late 1990’s into the early Y2K era. The Company closed shortly after his absence.

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Trader Joe’s (Queen Anne, Seattle, WA)

Trader Joes – Galer Street, Seattle, WA, USA
~Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Trader Joe’s * 112 Galer Street, Seattle, WA 98119 * (206) 378-5536 * Website: *
Trader Joes is my most favorite grocery store, though this location is not one of its better stores in the selection and space venue. Still, good enough for the fix I needed today. Trader Joes is a “Unique Grocery Store” with a unique selection of goods, groceries, and food stuffs from all over at very low prices. Originally a small outlet in California, it has quickly grown in popularity from coast-to-coast. When I live in a city where there is a Trader Joes, that’s the only place I shop. Rated: (storewide: 5 stars out of 5, this store: 4 out of 5) I of course grabbed some of my favorites for the camping venture this weekend: Vanilla soy milk, Chai, panang curry thai tuna, cashew butter, blackberry jelly, homemade wheat bread, macadamian carmel popcorn, the famous $2.95/bottle wines, and other munchies. Visited again on 7/5/09.

To Learn more: Visit our main page about the Trader Joe’s Chain.

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Freemont Zombie Crawl 2009 – Videos

Semi-Official Red, White, and Dead Freemont Zombie Crawl 2009 Video:

This is it, the semi-official video of the World Record 2009 Fremont, Seattle zombie walk. And contrary to the rumors, yes, we did break the record. We expect official certification of that this w…

Record numbers of zombies invade Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood — July 3, 2009. Don’t get caught off-guard on Z-Day! http://www.zombiesurvivalwi…

A huge crowd at the 2009 Fremont Zombie Walk dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. They’d had one lesson right before this video was taken. Pictures from the walk:…

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7/3/09: Guiness Book of World Records Zombie Outbreak in Freemont

Friday, 3 July 2009 – Part II
Seattle, Washington

We were two innocent weary travellers coming in from Colorado for a friend’s bachelor party when we walked into a tragedy. Apparently the military was at it again shipping containers of waste and one of them rolled out of the truck into the nearby canal which of course broke open oozing out some toxic chemicals that apparently re-animates the dead and causes the living to become brain starving walking corpses. It all started when we found a parking spot along the canal when out of the bushes we were lunged at by a wild madwoman who clawed, scratched, and bit after me. She tore open my flesh and and before I knew it I hit the concrete. Julia went to get help. She got two of Seattle’s finest police officers to report the crime and get me help. I had passed out and as I awoke I felt really hungry and famished. I was craving red meat. Alot of red meat. The police officers took down my statement and deemed me “scratched and bruised up, but not requiring medical attention” and left us be. I turned cold, started cramping, and my eyes glazed over. All of a sudden Julia looked like the most delicious meal on the planet. I set forth to devour her. She didn’t know what to do. Especially when looking all around us were hundreds of other citizens from all walks of life apparently plagued with the same virus I was infected with, and soon for Julia to be plagued with. She tried to run, but I captured her, and I tore into her flesh.

She convulsed and met death. Shaking. Trembling. Before long she stumbled back to her feet in dire search for flesh and brains. We started to stumble and crawl down around the theater grounds with “thousands” of other zombies. Our friends were infected as well. There was no stopping this madness. Every human life that came into contact became plagued with the virus. The city began to quarantine the streets. Paranoia was running wild. Guiness Book of World’s Records came to record this as the world’s largest zombie infestation. The press came, and slowly became infected. It was madness. We got stuck wandering around in circles around the Freemont Outdoor Theater which was conveniently across the street from my friend’s bachelor party. He called me, heard me moan, and out of fear that something was wrong, came to investigate. He too became infected.

Eventually, Mary, a witch friend of mine, fed us over a dozen drinks of intoxicating concoctions that cleared the virus from the systems of our party. We breathed normal again, though extremely drunk and hungover. While we ‘technically’ died, we were revived and are symptom clear as of this date over a month later. However, we had to be carted off semi-unconsciously from the event. It was sheer madness. It took about a month to recover from the illness. Apparently nearly 4,000 were infected and many have not recovered. Most have been quarantined at a base in the Nevada desert called “Area 51”.

Guiness Book of World Records: Freemont Zombie Walk &
July 3rd, 2009 at the Freemont Outdoor Theater * 3501 Phinney Ave North * Seattle, Washington 98103

Sponsored by Freemont Outdoor Cinema and Xbox 360
Photos: *

Around 5:00 pm, hundred upon thousands of Seattle citizens gathered together at the Freemont Outdoor Theater for the Red, White, and Dead Zombie Party which was co-hosted by Mark Rahner and Robert Horton, experts in Zombie Culture and Authors of the Zombie Comic “Rotten”. They were set on gathering over 5,000 zombies together to invade Freemont as crawling rotting corpses of flesh in order to beat the Guiness Book of World Records for the largest attended zombie walk. They succeeded with 3,848 zombies. They started with a line-up for zombies to scribe their attendance for the record from 5-7 pm. Followed by photoshoots by Night Zero and inclusion in their stories/comics. Then the crawl began at 8 pm and ending with a outdoor viewing of “Shaun of the Dead” at 9:45 pm. A can drive was also done for the Solid Ground drive to help end hunger in Seattle. They also had a zombie workshop from 6-8 pm on “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse” Survival Kit presented by Night Zero Troupe who also ran the photo booth and essential guide to survival in the new Apocalypse in Seattle on how to hunt zombies. Then at 7:30 was the “Fashionably Undead” zombie fashion show where zombies shuffled down the catwalk strutting their stuff and slowly falling apart. At 8:30 there was a large group “Thriller Dance”. In addition, attendees had the opportunity to meet cult author S.G. Browne of the zombie novel “Breathers”. Local filmmakers also presented a behind the scenes look at their new zombie movie “Zombies of Mass Destruction” (

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Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Originally Air Southwest, it changed its name to Southwest Airlines in 1971 servicing their first flight on June 18, 1971. Southwest Airlines is headed by Gary C. Kelly. Kelly has served as the airline’s CEO since 2004, replacing James F. Parker, who had been the CEO for the last 3 years. Southwest Airlines is currently the largest American based low-cost airline with headquarters in Dallas, Texas servicing its most numerous flights to Las Vegas. Southwest carries the largest number of passengers each year than any other airline and owns the second largest passenger fleet of aircraft in the world. They host over 3,500 flights daily. Southwest is also one of the world’s most profitable airlines, posting profits for the 25th consecutive year in January 2008. They became popular for their short hops, no-frills service, and simple fare structure which is what they still remain famous for. They manage their own website and refuse to syndicate with the multi-fare search engines like,, priceline, etc. Tickets cannot be purchased through common online venues like Orbitz or Travelocity; a minority are booked through travel agents. Most of Southwest’s tickets are issued directly by the airline over the phone or online at the company’s website which features Web-only fare discounts. They are well known for their rapid turnaround keeping its aircraft on the ground for a short twenty minutes to maximize profits. Southwest Airlines currently flies to 64 destinations throughout the United States. The airline will add its 65th destination in March 2009 when it begins service from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota and it’s 66th destination will be in New York at LaGuardia Airport. Unlike other major airlines, Southwest allows passengers to change reservations without additional cost. While this provides flexibility to customers, Southwest does not allow same-day standby travel on a different flight (usually a free service at other airlines) without upgrading to maximum fare. Customers are not assigned seats; rather, they are assigned to one of three “boarding groups” depending on their check-in time (earlier check-ins get to board earlier), and are left to choose their own seats on the plane, which helps the airline to board passengers faster. Southwest historically allowed three pieces of luggage to be checked in free as opposed to the limit of two on the domestic flights of some other U.S. airlines. Starting January 29, 2008, passengers will be able to check up to two bags for free. A third bag will be checked for a $25 . You may also check a 4th through 9th bag for a charge of $50 a piece and any other pieces after that are $110 a piece. Unlike most services today, they still serve snacks on board even short flights. Southwest has had their fair share of lawsuits and legal pressures, the most recent in March 2008 when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors submitted documents to the United States Congress, alleging that Southwest allowed 117 of its aircraft to fly carrying passengers despite the fact that the planes were “not airworthy” according to air safety investigators. In some cases the planes were allowed to fly for up to 30 months after the inspection deadlines had passed, rendering them unfit to fly. Records indicate that thousands of passengers were flown on aircraft deemed unsafe by federal standards. Southwest declined comment at the time, and US Representative James Oberstar advised a hearing would be held. On March 12, 2008, Southwest Airlines voluntarily grounded 44 planes to check if they needed further inspection. Federal Aviation Administration claims that Southwest Airlines flew almost 60,000 flights without fuselage inspection. Southwest Airlines could be facing a $10.2 million fine if they violated FAA regulations. There have also been rumors that the FAA knew about Southwest Airlines violations but decided not to fine the airline because it would disrupt the service of Southwest. Regardless Southwest has had only three major incidents of note and has never had a passenger fatality due to an accident. My flights to the Pacific Northwest with Southwest over the Xmas holidays of 2008 were spectacular from Denver to Portland, and Seattle to Denver. Mucho thanks to Southwest for everything they do. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Alki Beach (Seattle, Washington)

Alki Beach

Alki Beach * West Seattle, Washington
Alki Beach is a long beach strip that runs that runs from Alki Point to Duwamish Head on Elliott Bay. A wonderful location for joggers, rollerbladers, beachcombers, sunbathers, bicyclists, and volleyball players. Equipt with plenty of parking, picnic tables, bathhouses, art studio, and a restroom – there is also a monument to commemorate the arrival of the first white settlers on the beach in November 13, 1851. This is where Chief Seattle and his tribe greeted them and assisted in building their cabins. North end of the beach is protected by a bulkhead and flanked by cottages with spectacular views of Puget Sound, the Olympic mountains, ferries, sailboats, as well as downtown Seattle. Popular spot by Seattleites for swimming, the water temperature from 46 to 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Over by cafes and shops that dot the landscape along Alki beach is a small replica of the original Statue of Liberty that was a gift from Reginald H. Parsons and the Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America in 1952. The statue has become such a symbol of liberty and courage that it became a place to mourn, to reflect, and to leave mementos after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. One of the great sites of Seattle that most tourists don’t know about. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. Visited 12/29/08.
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Alki Cafe (Seattle, WA)

Alki Cafe

Alki Cafe * 2726 Alki Ave SW * Seattle, WA 98116 * (206) 935-0616 *

A wonderful medium-sized cafe right on Alki Beach in West Seattle with full views of the mini-Liberty Goddess statue and the bay. They are open daily from 8:00 am til 8:30 pm. They have plenty of seating in their two rooms, each with views of the ocean. The service is prompt and friendly, and the food delicious. On 12/29/08 I ordered the Salmon sandwich which was perfect and hit the spot wonderfully. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Tully’s Coffee (Seattle, WA)

Tully’s Coffee * 1401 4th Ave * Seattle, WA 98101 * 206-625-0600 *

Tully’s Coffee, another Seattle favorite like Starbucks, that is slowly growing to be a large world chain – most notorious for its coffee. Tully’s opened its doors in 1992, they boast proudly about their handcrafted blends that are different than the rest. They also claim to be the last independent pedigreed-Seattle coffee company even though they are spreading quickly. They claim community is the big part of their stores. My visit to Tully’s at this location on 12/29/08 went very well, but not much different than a Starbucks experience. The chai and the pumpkin loaf I tried, not much different. However they do have free wifi internet, so my wifi n’ chai experience was much nicer than the pay per hour that Starbucks has. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Pike’s Place Market (Seattle, Washington)

Pike’s Market, Seattle, Washington

Pike’s Place Market * * 1531 Western Ave * Seattle, WA 98101 * Pikes Place / 1st Ave

A fabulous street mall and interior mall complex of shops, gifts, food, produce, restaurants, cafes, bars, and entertainment. Home to many street performers, and just watching the fishermen sell their sole provides humongous entertainment as one visits this historic venue and tourist attraction of downtown Seattle. 9 acres long, and over a hundred years old, its home to unique and interesting stories from immigration, to internment, gentrification, and urban renewal. It is because of this that its often referred to as the “Soul of Seattle”. Between 1906 and 1907, the cost of onions increased tenfold. Outraged citizens, fed up with paying price-gouging middlemen too much for their produce, found a hero in Seattle City Councilman Thomas Revelle. Revelle proposed a public street market that would connect farmers directly with consumers. Customers would “Meet the Producer” directly, a philosophy that is still the foundation of all Pike Place Market businesses. On August 17, 1907, Pike Place Market was born. Since that date this market is internationally recognized as America’s premier farmer’s markets and hosts over 200 year-round commercial businesses, 190 craftspeople, and 120 farmers who rent table space by the day. Over 240 street performers and musicians; and 300 apartment units, most of which house low-income elderly people. “The Market,” as the locals affectionately say, attracts 10 million visitors a year, making it one of Washington’s most frequently visited destinations. Every time i visit downtown I stroll through this wonderful venue. Its top rate. Rating : 5 stars out of 5.

Pike’s Place Market, Seattle, Washington

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The Chapel Bar (Seattle, WA)

The Chapel Bar, Seattle

The Chapel Bar
1600 Melrose Avenue * Seattle, WA 98122 * P 206.447.4180 * F 206.447.9777 *

Off of Melrose in the edge of Capital Hill merging into downtown lies a old church nestled into a block with businesses and apartment buildings that has been converted to a exquisite martini bar. It was built in the 1920’s as part of the Butterworth’s Mortuary as a place to honor the physical world passing into the spiritual world. Its is off this theme that the bar still thrives – bringing together people to honor one another, but in a different way. Its both a bar and a restaurant, serving fine food, fine spirits, and merging in culture, arts, and music. The drinks while higher priced are fabulously delicious. I haven’t tried the food but I’ve heard excellent things. This is a top-notch establishment. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Mae Phim Thai Cuisine (Seattle, WA)

Mae Phim Thai Cuisine, Seattle, Washington

Mae Phim Thai Cuisine * * 94 Columbia St
Seattle, WA 98104, * (206) 624-2979

A great little hole-in-the-wall Thai cafe with great and quick service, friendly staff, and delicious food. Its notorious for those three facets. It was started in 1993 and has been proudly serving downtown Seattle’s bustling epicenter. The Thai ice tea and chicken satay are to die for. Rating : 4 stars out of 5.

Chicken Satay and Thai Ice Tea, plus Peanut Sauce

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Hana Sushi (Capital Hill, Seattle, WA)

Hana Sushi * 219 Broadway E, Seattle, Washington. 206-328-1187. Mon-Sat 11 am-10 pm, Sun 4-10 pm.

In the heart of Capital Hill lies this little inexpensive hole-in-the-wall Sushi joint notorious for being fast, efficient, quality, dependable, and cost-effective. Always a place i tend to visit when up on the hill. The bento medleys are always good here, as are the sushi platters. Delicious sushi. Great Sake, pretty decent service. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Anita and Jason outside of Hana Sushi

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New Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant II (Seattle, WA)

Meatball Pho, Red Bean Bubble Tea, Egg rolls

New Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant II * 1529 6th Ave. * (between Pike St & Pine St) * Seattle, WA 98101 * (206) 623-0212

A nice little hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurant under the shopping complexes that make up the fashion district of downtown Seattle. Its stairs down into the basement. Very friendly staff, decent prices, and good offerings. I had the meatball pho, ordered egg rolls, and a red bean bubble tea – all of which were spectacularly delicious. Great experience and perfect for a cold winter day. Spiced nice. Rating : 4 stars out of 5.

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12.20.08 Adventures of Sinterklaas: PNW 2008: Sinterklaas does Seattle SantaCon, Part 3: Lusty Lady, Pike’s Brewery, and Beyond …

Saturday, 20 December 2008 – Part III
Seattle, Washington

The Lusty Lady

After the Public Library and skipping a couple of places we hit the Lusty Lady. It looked like a strip club, but it wasn’t. Peeping booths instead with live strippers at the other side. All the other santas piled into the closets. Too crowded to even peep. Of course they yelled if we had booze on us we better leave quickly or we’d be arrested. I did have a flask of wine in my santa bag so I quickly exited. The Lusty Lady quickly kicked us santas out and we immediately headed to the Pikes Market Brewery which appeared to be several bars in one. Hit there by 4:30 pm. I met some locals and gave them some naughty misfit toys, and at this point I would say I far more than simply toasted. Things are getting a little foggy at this point.

Santas piling into the peeping booth.

Food, dancing, frolicking, fun, boozin’, toyin’, and rockin’ pursued. Catching up with friends and meeting new faces. We spent an hour or two there it seemed. Apparently the Santa mob had splintered by this point and others were at another location. I think it was the split-off from the Public Library that did it. Nobody knows if the cops ever showed up there or the Lusty Lady, both places were gossipped to have called the cops. Then a mosh pit happened in the back of Pikes Brewery. Then our Santas splintered off yet again and apparently I was with the misled Santas and we went to Nightlite. The others went to Triple Door, Gameworks, and Westlake Center where apparently a massive snowball fight happened around 6:30. Graham and Becca left for a Yule dinner while I continued to frolick. By 8:30 we hadn’t moved from Nightlite and it was then I discovered I was with the unofficial Santa splinter. So now that all the Santa’s were regrouping at the Nightlite, I was getting hungry and ready for food. Ran into my friend Avery and caught up with him, convinced them they needed food too, and they drove me to Bill’s off Broadway for pizza and to see if Anita and Jason were there as that was the last place they stated they were going. Grabbed pizza and the exact last emptying of the santa bag of misfit toys. From there we got word the Santas were moving to the Chapel Bar by 9:30, so I headed off ahead to blend back in. Found Stephanie and crew, and Anita and Jason joined with as well. We all partied there for about an hour and headed over to the Lesbian bar “Wild Rose” and then off to “the Cuff”. Around that time I was plastered and everything seems foggy as I now try to recollect. Graham and Becca called that they were heading home and asked if I wanted a ride, and they were soon by in a flash. I don’t even remember decloaking my santa suit and passed out immediately upon arrival to my bed. Egads. These SantaCons … what a wild party.

Santas invading the floor of the Chapel

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Seattle Santacon: Part 2 – Pictures

Saturday, 20 December 2008 – Part II
Seattle, Washington

Tony: “What Aboot it?”

Enroute to 88 Keys Dueling Piano and Sports Bar the Santas did their first chaotic split of different routes which became a theme of the evening. This many Santas and it’ll continuously splinter. We made it to 88 Keys where we had paid the bar to open early for a private “Santas Only” party. Everyone that could chipped in $5 to help cover the costs which I suppose went over the amount as there were flowing pitchers of beer for most Santas. We ran into our good friend Tony around here tagging around with him for the rest of the evening. Service was a little rough at 88 keys as they were understaffed probably because they didn’t expect a 200 strong Santa invasion. Once the music began, much humor and fellowship embedded the building. A comical pianoist with lots of audience participation as can be seen in this YouTube video i shot.

Santas helped unload the delivery truck for the bar so that food could be served. Then fellowship and song invaded the hall as many adrunken santas indulged in their booze. Happiness and joy amidst for hours. Then came the call “Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa’s Gotta Go!” and off we wandered hitting some more bars, halls, sights, on to the Seattle Public Library.

As we approached the Seattle Public Library, all santas had their fingers to their noses with a “shhhh” under their breath as we were entering the quiet zone. You never saw 200 santas come quiet, slowing proceeding up the elevators to the top floor where our fearless leader started to read us the story of “How the Grinch stole Xmas” … we were quiet and behaved. But some obnoxiously rude and jerky librarian came and told us we could not have story time that we weren’t quiet enough. So they became even quieter. Then she grew impatient and wanted us to leave, she called the cops, so we were about to leave and she had the nerve to try to stop of us complying by leaving. A mass exodus of santas out of the library. We were going to hit a couple of hotels, but were unwelcomed, so went to the Lusty Lady for some cheap time thrills.

Story time at the Seattle Public Library

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12.20.08 Adventures of Sinterklaas: PNW 2008: Sinterklaas does Seattle SantaCon, Part 1

Saturday, 20 December 2008 – Part I
Seattle, Washington

Ready to Roll

Twas 5 days before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Sinterklaas crawled out of bed after a nightmare,
with some fears that the snows would prevent SantaCon from being there.
Graham and Becca were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of a normal day danced in their heads.
And Becca in her morning sunshine awoke and said hello, and Graham in his cap,
Had just settled their brains for a long winters nap.
When out on in the living room there arose such a clatter,
Sinterklaas Leaf did his best to pursuade the matter.
Luring the two of them away to SantaCon in a flash,
Tore open their closets looking for Santa-like outfits and threw up the sash.
The streets were covered with the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But now 3 mythical santa-types stumbled down the walk with no fear.
With Becca as the driver, so lively and quick,
right at her side sat ol’ St Nick.

Me, Graham, Becca stuffed in a truck

Graham taking the lead in Becca’s moving truck he came,
spinning down Queen Anne hill on the ice came the trucks.
Wil all whistling and shouting “Ho Ho Ho, Santa’s Gotta Go” and called them by name!
“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To Georgetown we go to the gas station at the Costco mall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
several trains blocked our way so no wild hurricane fly,
Meeting with this obstacle, there was no mount to the sky.
So an hour late we made it to House of Hong where our numbers grew,
With bags full of misfit Toys, and over a hundred of St Nicholas too.

Outside the House of Hong

And then, in a twinkling, out opened the doors
as waitresses were prancing and pawning of dim sum across the floors.
As we drew into our mouths and head, and was turning around,
Down the mouths of 100+ St Nicholas came with a sound.
100+ of us dressed all in fur, from ours heads to our foot,
And some of our clothes were all tarnished with snow, ice, and soot.
A bundle of Toys, candy canes, and treats we had flung on our back,
we looked like peddlers, just opening our packs.
Our eyes-how they twinkled! our dimples how merry!
Our cheeks were like roses, our noses like a cherry!
our droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And our beards of our chins were as white as the snow.
The stumps of our cigs n’ pipes we held tight in our teeth,
for those of that smoke it encircled their heads like a wreath.
as they shivered outside with their broad faces and little round belly,
That shook when they laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

Me and Ragdoll at 88 Keys

The santas were chubby and plump, along in companionship with jolly old elves,
And we laughed when we saw each other, in spite of ourself!
A wink of our eyes and a twist of our heads,
Soon gave us knowledge we had nothing to dread.
Whe we hit Seattle Public Library we spoke not a word, but went straight to the top floor to do our work,
And started reading how the Grinch stole Christmans and out came a librarian who was a jerk.
even though all the santas were laying their fingers aside of their nose,
In deep silence and politeness iving her a nod, she still called the police so down the escalator we rose!

Reading the Grinch stole Xmas at Seattle Public Library

He sprang to the streets with snowballs in hand, to our mob who gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But we heard them exclaim, ere we drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa’s Got to go! and to all a good-night!”

Continue reading 12.20.08 Adventures of Sinterklaas: PNW 2008: Sinterklaas does Seattle SantaCon, Part 1

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El Diablo Coffee Company, Seattle, WA

El Diablo Coffee Company * 1811 Queen Anne Ave North #101, Seattle, WA 98109 * 206.285.0693
A large artsy cafe in the heart of Queen Anne on the main drag, next to a cool bookstore, and nestled within a bunch of shops. El Diablo will give you a taste of heaven and hell … downstairs taking in Diablo’s color, fire, and Mexican-like Day of the Dead decor style … with great drinks and pastries. Upstairs you can climb into the clouds and settle into heaven. Great place to meet friends, chat, read, and absorb Seattle coffee culture with a kitchy artistic flair. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

El Diablo Coffee Co.

El Diablo version of Chai, water, and a breakfast muffin
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Bimbo’s Bitchin Burrito Kitchen, Seattle, WA

Bimbo’s Bitchin Burrito Kitchen
506 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122 * (206) 329-9978

A crazy little hole in the wall restaurant off Pine with bitchin’ decorations, kitch, and food. Ambiance is great, and quite radical. Staff are cool and the food is great. Great place to meet with friends and get a taste of the Southwest, art-deco-kitch style. Rated: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 12/29/2006.

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Bauhaus Coffee Shop, Seattle, WA

Bauhaus Coffee
301 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122 * (206) 625-1600
A great coffee shop in the heart of Capital Hill with books and coffee, chai and free wifi, and late night hours. Friendly staff and a great place to meet people. Good service. Highly recommended for any coffee connaisseur. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 12/29/06

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Neighbours 80’s, Seattle, WA

Neighbours 80’s Night
Every thursday.
(206) 324-5358 1509 Broadway Ave, Seattle 98122

Visiting Neighbor’s infamous 80’s night – a night by DJ Trent Von called “Rock Lobster”. A mish-mash of attendees, one of the only straight nights (or a night that many straights attend) at this popular Capital Hill gay bar. Supposedly listed as the best night and place for straight guys and girls to hook up in Seattle. Music is always good and festivities happening. It has a reminesce to me of the old “Luvafair” that once glorified Vancouver, B.C. Rated: 4 stars out of 5.

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Thai Go! (Seattle, WA)

Thai Go!
Near corner of Denny and Broadway, Seattle, WA
A Thai food franchise in the heart of Capital Hill. Quick service and while the front of the store looks like fast food, the inside is standard restaurant fare with Thai artsy decoration. Service good, staff friendly. Pad Thai was decent. Thai ice tea very good. Rating 3 stars out of 5. Visited 12/29/06

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Bad JuJu Lounge, Seattle, WA

Bad Juju Lounge
1425 10th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122 * 206.709.9442. In a new location, and a little different vibe. But Belgium fries to die for next door and attached – so can enjoy with your favorite beverage. A different ambiance than the last location, still a great place to hang out. You can find good music flowing there every now and then, unless you’re into hiphop and lounge – where your ear palates would be pleased. Good drink specials and a friendly staff. Less seating and space than their last venue, still a good place to chill. Rating 3 1/2 stars out of 5. Visited 12/27/2006.

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Cafe Vita

Cafe Vita
1005 East Pike, Seattle, WA. (206) 709-4440. A unique cafe and coffee roasting company in the heart of Seattle’s Capital Hill. Enjoy a cup of coffee or chai while watching the beans get roasted and coffee truly produced. A local Seattle-based coffee company (not new in concept since Seattle is a coffee city) which specializes in small-batch coffee roasting, espresso preparation, and espresso equipment. A great spot and great staff. Free wifi. Visited 12/27/2006. Rating 4 1/2 stars out of 5.

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Utilikilts, Seattle, WA

866-666-MYUK. Located just behind Merchant’s Cafe, down the alley, off of Yesler, this little warehouse shoppe has the finest and most utilitarian kilts on the market. Specially known and crafted in Seattle, these kilts are a must addition to your wardrobe. Started in April of 2000, originally started in order to fund a global arts project, involving seven double-deck busses that would travel the world, the company took lift and went on its own providing the world with the best kilts known to mankind. Check them out! Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 12/27/2006.

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Merchant’s Cafe, Seattle, WA

Merchant’s Cafe
109 Yesler Way Seattle, Washington (206) 624-1515
One of Seattle’s oldest and most historic restaurants, nestled into the heart of one of many of Seattle’s historic districts, in the birth epicenter of Seattle’s famous Pioneer Square. Excellent food and great drinks. At least with former management. It has apparently changed hands recently. They used to have really good fish and chips, and the Black Orchid drink specials during Confessional night’s were potent and mind-numbing. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Merchant’s Cafe
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Pioneer Square, Seattle, Washington

Pioneer Square The heart of the city, where it all began. Thriving in history and many tales of times passed. This historic section of Seattle will enrich your spirit just from strolling past the historically preserved architecture that looms above you. There is over 20 blocks of Victorian Romanesque architecture, over 30 fine art galleries, and over 200 unique shoppes. In addition to coffee houses and restaurants, its also a section of Seattle’s thriving nightclubs – bringing entertainment to the city from the city’s birth. Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Visited 12/27/06.

Pioneer Square
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Seattle Aquarium, Seattle, WA

Seattle Aquarium
1483 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101 * 206.386.4300
A beautiful addition to Seattle’s downtown area, Puget Sound wharf location, just down the hill literally from Pikes Place Market. A great place for kids and adults alike to learn about sea life – from fish to seals and see the beauty that is underneath and above the ocean’s surface. Rating 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

Seattle Aquarium
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Seattle Underground, Seattle, WA

The Seattle Underground. Dirt. Corruption. Sewers. Scandal.
608 First Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 * 206.682.4646.
Gather together for $9-12/person for a 90 minute walking tour down into the old extinct level of the first buildings, streets, and sidewalks of Old Seattle – back when it really was skid row, and find out why it was called Skid Row. The tour begins with a orientation and brief history lesson in old Doc Maynard’s, a restored 1890’s saloon. Then the tour takes you on a 3 blocks tour of really old Seattle – back in the days from when it was once known as “Mud Flats”. The terrain is uneven, wet, dark, dank. Be shown places where pedestrians once had to climb up and down ladders just to access the street in order to cross it, how before they built up the streets, a boy drowned in a 8′ deep pothole, and how 18+ pedestrians committed involuntary suicide officially just by wandering down the street and falling into the sidewalk. The day when Seattle was embarrassed to have created a waffle iron grid of a city, with the streets the high top part of the grid, the stores and sidewalks the holes. The tour ends in the Rogue gift shop where you can get souvenirs. Cute and humorous tour, not really worth its weight in pay, but a fun thing to do. Rating 2 1/2 stars out of 5. Humor gets a 4 star rating.

Seattle Underground Tour
An old bath room
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