Category Archives: Travel

Smith Tower in Seattle, US

After the Underground Tour, we checked out The Chinese Room & Observation Deck at Smith Tower. Adult tickets $7.50. An elevator operator takes you up in an old-fashioned copper and brass elevator car to the deck where you can see the beautiful Chinese Room. Step outside and see Seattle from the 35th floor, 360°! We had a really nice day so we got to see the entire city well and take good photos. The staff there was super friendly and outgoing. If you don’t want wait long in a line up and spend $18 to go up the Space Needle, you can go to Smith Tower for less than half with no wait time.idearabbit-smithtower2idearabbit-smithtower7 idearabbit-smithtower3 idearabbit-smithtower4 idearabbit-smithtower5 idearabbit-smithtower6

Seattle’s Underground Tour

Seattle’s Underground Tour
So if you’re in Seattle and looking for an attraction, The Seattle’s Underground Tour is a must. Tickets are $17 (adults) and takes about 75 minutes. There’s a little cafe inside for those waiting for the next tour. We got a small coffee and apple strudel as we waited. This was my second time going, and it seemed shorter than the first time, likely because I already knew what the tour was all about.

The tour is an interesting way of seeing the history of Seattle. It’s quite a different experience than just going to a museum with antiques behind glass casings. You get to walk through the old town of Seattle. Most people may not realize that the ground you currently walking on in that area is actually the second level! So back then, originally, the Underground, was level ground…yup…hard to imagine…
idearabbit-seattleundergroundGrab a coffee from the cafe while waiting for tour to begin

idearabbit-seattleunderground4idearabbit-seattleunderground2 idearabbit-seattleunderground3You can see how it was back then, though other than the actual pathways that the group goes through, the rest is blocked off or covered up. Many of the things were stolen you wont find any valuable antiques there.

Both times, I had a humourous tour guide which made the tour even more entertaining.  Because Sheepie loves taking pictures and gets left behind by the group, we were once locked inside! Luckily, we could unlock from the inside and rushed off after the group which was already crossing the street half a block away. Phew!
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Entertaining: carrotcarrotcarrot     Cost for Admission/Food: carrotcarrot

Atmosphere: carrotcarrotcarrotcarrot    Location: carrotcarrotcarrot

Trip to Deutchland (Germany)

My first trip to Germany and the second time to Europe. It’s always very exciting to see other cultures and travel around. So many things to see and experience. This post gives a summary of my trip which was in May 2013.

The smoking rules aren’t strict like here in Vancouver, so those that are sensitive may have issues, and I have heard from friends that that was their complaint. Although I hear that the water system is pristine in Germany – as with many things in Germany, I didn’t drink any tap water as I have heard bad experiences with drinking tap water in Europe. Although it was probably safe in Germany, I didn’t want to take any risk on my vacation. I know myself that I have an extremely weak stomach and immune system, so I stuck to bottled water or my new favourite drink Apfelschorle also Apfelsaftschorle. (apple juice with soda).


The first drink at Frankfurt train station. Latte Machiatto~ became my favourite coffee drink!! :D So creamy! idearabbit-deutschland2 idearabbit-deutschland3

Yup, they do have Starbucks, our free Wi-Fi supplier :) idearabbit-deutschland4 idearabbit-deutschland5McDonald’s. Yes, I was able to order Gartensalat bitte (Garden Salad please) in German (though it’s missing the infinite article lol)

In Bavaria, there were hardly any kids and lots of seniors around, and was interesting to see disappearing or empty towns. The oddest thing is that they were well kept and looked tidy, as if there was a caretaker for the almost abandoned towns.

It rained many of the days we were there, and a bit chilly compared to friends that went the year before. I don’t have experience pollen allergy here in Canada, but I do seem to have a bit in Germany (I know I have it in Japan). It was hard to find free Wi-Fi sometimes – Starbucks became your friend at these times :) Paying to go to the toilet was a bit of nuisance… some were more secure than getting aboard a plane… Cakes were really sweet, and I kept having sugar crashes.

I enjoyed Numberg the most. The most memorable. Historical and what you expected European cities to look like. Beautiful place yo visit on sunny weekend with Small markets. Good souvenirs shops and cafe. But you can always count on McDonald or Starbucks if ever in doubt. very tourist location.

East Berlin had grafitti everywhere. The buildings looked old and uncared for. Seems like some were falling apart, or weren’t even inhabited though that wasn’t the case. I noticed there were quite a number of mothers with infants, otherwise it was quiet and deserted for the most part. Berlin overall was significantly cheaper,  especially in the east. A plate of Asian noodles was 2.50 Euros. For most travelers or those packaged tours, you rarely get to see the East side. I was fortunate to see the ‘real’ side but even Sheepie was reluctant to go as it’s not really the safest part of the city to go to. I did see quite a number of skin heads or gang looking people. I don’t recommend going unless you know your way around.

West Berlin on the other hand seemed like a modern city. Lively with your typical malls, restaurants, stores and lots of people – foreign travelers in the main attraction areas. All day pass for Berlin transit is 6.50 Euro – a great way of going around to places without having to buy a ticket every time, or worrying about expired tickets.

Spent the least time here, but we did visit the famous The Glockenspiel (clock tower). We didn’t do a whole lot of sightseeing as we were in town to meet Sheepie’s relatives and friends. So instead, I did get to see how Germans lived. All homes that I went to in Germany had the powder room at the entrance of the house. All houses are made of stone, though the inside could be a mixture of stone or wood. All of them were kept well and clean.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see much of Frankfurt except for the airport x_x

We experienced some heavy rainfalls, and even some floods on the roads. We saw later on in the news when we got home to Vancouver that the situation had gotten much worse, so good timing! I wished I had know a little bit more German than the simple ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ as we spent a great deal with Sheepie’s relatives, friends and co-workers. I have been trying to learn more, more but quite difficult when you don’t live in Germany.