Tulip Festival

If you’ve never heard of the Skagit Value Tulip Festival, you should. If you live in the Seattle area, you should go even. The amazing amount of flowers is only overshadowed by the natural beauty of the flowers themselves. Row upon row of tulips in full bloom. Nature is cool.

Elliott had a good time too ūüôā We let him run loose. And of course, he found a mud puddle. I’m sure that we’ve got many years of cleaning mud off of his shows/clothes ahead of us.

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The Moose!

I went to the Mariners game tonight (a work function).   It was an exciting game!  The Mariners won!

But more exciting – the moose came up to our section to dance during the 7th inning stretch!

I also rode my scooter to the game – man that is a convenient way to get places. Easy to park free and close. After the game, you can zip right out of there.

Riding the Rails

We had a pretty busy weekend.  Saturday we went to the Sounders FC vs Chelsea FC game.  It was a good match, but the Sounders lost 2-0.   After the game, we rode the new light rail (on opening day) from the international district to the airport, and then back to downtown.  It was really crowded, but fun.   More importantly Seattle is finally catching up to the other major cities of the world.    Here is a video I snapped while waiting for our train to arrive.

Seattle’s New Light Rail

Very exciting – our light rail service opens in 6 days. ¬† Unfortunately, the route means that I won’t be riding it very often. ¬† The trains will initially run from downtown to 2 miles from the airport (opening to the airport before the end of the year). ¬† They are offering free rides next weekend (for the opening), maybe we’ll check it out.

The reason that I’m posting – the Seattle Times has a cool photo gallery of the train, the stations, and the artwork along the route. ¬† So – next time you visit, we may be picking you up at a train station, or meeting you at the airport and riding the train together. ¬†We’ll see.

View the gallery at the Seattle Times.

Golden Gardens

Today we went to the beach – Golden Gardens on Puget Sound. ¬† This is extra cool because Golden Gardens is in Ballard, and pretty close to our house. ¬† It is nice to have a beach close by, even if we don’t make it there too often. ¬† And, on a day like to day – it was way crowded.

I also hard Cortny take some pictures of me doing some of my favorite Yoga poses on the beach. ¬† I’ve really gotten into arm balancing, because it brings together all the elements – mental and physical strength and concentration, breath, and core support.

So, here is me doing the forearm balance and crow pose.

Forearm Balance

Forearm Balance

Crow Pose

Crow Pose

Haircut, Dinner, and OnCall

Exciting weekend coming up… I’m on-call support this weekend (was last weekend too).¬†¬† 2 weeks at a time, 4 times a year.¬† It isn’t too bad, but it is disruptive.¬†¬† I always have to be somewher in cell phone contact, and have to lug my laptop everywhere I go.

So – tonight I have my every 4 to 5 weeks haircut.¬†¬† I’ve need to update the frequency as I get really bad helmet head if I let it grow out too much.

The more exciting thing… we are planning on trying one of the new Ballard restaurants tonight, Bastille Cafe & Bar.¬† The pictures all look like they have done an amazing job with the interior, and the menu looks yummy.

We’ll let you know how it is… unless of course we can’t get in tonight because it is too busy.¬† We shall see.

That sums up the exciting plans for the weekend…

Next weekend, however, will be very exciting.  A sounders game and an inversions workshop!

Alaska Cruise, Seattle (Day 1)

This is the first in a series of blog posts about our Alaskan cruse.  We traveled with Celebrity Cruises on the Celebrity Infinity, round trip from Seattle.  The cruise took us to to port stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Victoria BC.   We also had 3 days of cruising, in the Pacific Ocean, up to Hubbard Glacier, and through the Canadian inside passage (east of Vancouver Island).

Alaskan Cruise 2009, Seattle, Days 1 and 2.

We departed on May 22nd, from Seattle. ¬†This is the first Seattle round trip cruise of the year for the Infinity. ¬†Since we followed the repositioning cruise, we actually were not¬†scheduled¬†to depart Seattle until 11:59pm. ¬†Our cruise documents said not to arrive at the port until 7pm. ¬†Because of bus schedules and us being ready way ahead of time, we arrived at the pier around 7pm. ¬†The ship actually wasn’t there yet! (Not that I was¬†surprised). ¬† So we dropped off our luggage and filled out our health forms and got the boarding information. ¬†Since the ship wasn’t going to board until 8:30 or 9:00 and we had a high boarding number (#29), we decided to get dinner elsewhere. ¬†(All of the pictures from day 1 are available at¬†http://picasaweb.google.com/mike.helmick/AlaskaCruise2009SeatteDays12.)

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Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood


This week has been pretty busy with getting ready to move into our new house.   We signed all of the mortgage papers today, once the deed is filed with the county (tomorrow) we can start to move in.   Looks like we’ll get the keys around 7pm tomorrow night.    Then we have a full weekend of deliveries, unpacking, organizing.

I must say Рwe have had unbelievable weather here in Seattle the past few days.   It has been warm(ish), about 45 degrees, all week and we have had several days in a row of clear blue skies and bright shinning sun.    This morning, we walked into the park right at 7:30 and saw a full moon hanging over the Olympic mountains, all while peering out over Eliot bay.   There’s just no beating the scenery out here, we have mountains, forests, and water, everything you’d want in your natural landscape.   

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To The Market

We had a beautiful day here in Seattle. It was sunny all day with a temperature in the high 40s.

We walked from our apartment to the market (about a 15 minute walk), enjoyed some fried seafood on pier 55 (or 56) and then went through the market. No buying today – trying to avoid amassing to much extra stuff before we get into the new house.

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Moving to Seattle

In december 2007, we moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Seattle, Washington. We moved because I was offered a position with Amazon.com after completing my Ph.D.

At this point we’ve only been here a week, but we have settled in pretty well. We’re walking more places and acclimating to living in the city.

We are also soon to be homeowners again (second from the left in the picture). More updates on that after we move in!


Our new House

Our new House