Seattle Tour (Space Needle & A View of The City)

The tour of Seattle continued with more places I uncovered than yesterday, thanks to an earlier start and sunny weather!

First stop was the famous Space Needle, which is the main landmark of Seattle. Although a lot of visitors go there to get a view of the city, I wanted to see the view from a different building and I already did it the last two times I was here!

Then, it was on to the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP). This museum has artifacts and the history of pop culture both through music and movies. My favorite parts were the tower of guitars and the Sound Lab where you can create your own music or try out different musical instruments.

Another exhibit I enjoyed was the Holodome, which is an immersive reality space that transports you to incredible places, such as the Seattle Seahawks football field or a journey into a Black Hole.

Then, it was on to the Waterfront, where I got to see the Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Great Wheel. What I enjoyed best about that area was riding Wings Over Washington, which is a simulator ride that makes you feel like flying over Seattle and the entire state of Washington.

To top everything off, I stopped by the historic Smith Tower because its my last name and its one of the oldest buildings in Seattle. However, the highlight of it all was getting a spectacular view of the city from the Sky View Observatory.

This was definitely without question one of the best views of Seattle, especially during sunset because it looked like something out of a book or postcard. But that’s nothing compared to seeing the view in person!

With one more day of sightseeing left, this is my last chance to uncover more surprises on my tour of Seattle!

Seattle Tour (Pike Pier Market & Other Places)

If one travel destination wasn’t enough, why not go to another?

This concept led me back to Seattle, Washington because my dad had a business trip to attend to and I came along for the ride. While helping him out, it gave me the opportunity to revisit some places I saw last time and to see some new places as well.

First stop was the famous Pike Pier Market. This large open air-market has tons of fresh produce, meats, baked goods, and other delectable bites.

However, this market is known for the freshest seafood that’s caught locally everyday from fish, crab, and lobster. What I enjoyed best about it was being able to catch a fish from the men who threw it to you.

Another spot at the market was the Gum Wall, where a section of the wall is covered with chewing gum that people left behind, although it sounds kind of disgusting!

I also went to the original location of the first Starbucks that opened in 1971 because Seattle is best known for its coffee. Along those lines, I also visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room. This is where people can get a chance to see the freshest coffee beans get roasted and they can also have a sample of it.

Other stops included the King Street Amtrak Station, Seattle’s Chinatown, and the Pioneer Square.

Overall, this tour got off to a great start because I was able to cover more ground than last time. However, this is only the beginning and there will more surprises to be discovered as this tour continues on! 

2019 Paintings

A lot of people have been complaining that I haven’t been painting and creating new greeting cards out of them! Well, luckily the wait is finally over because the paintings are back!

For the first time since 2017, I’ll be taking another painting class at Laney College and create new paintings using water color paints instead of acrylic, which I usually use.

Even though it’s a different material, it’ll give me a challenge to try a different technique of painting, while still being able to create my own ideas in the style of Bob Ross. All of them will be uploaded on the website sometime within the next few months and will also be created into the next set of greeting cards.

I hope that these paintings and cards will sell like hotcakes, especially at Artist Alley at the Alameda County Fair!

Super Bowl LIII

With the regular season over and the playoffs complete, the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams will face off in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, GA on February 3.

The last time both of these teams met was in Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 in New Orleans when the Patriots beat the St. Louis Rams by a final score of 20-17, thanks to the game winning field goal by kicker Adam Vinateri, giving them their first Lombardi Trophy.

The Patriots had an opportunity to go for their 6th win in Minnesota last year, but fell short to the Philadelphia Eagles.

As for the Rams, their last Super Bowl appearance in LA was way back in Super Bowl XIV in 1980 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and their last win was in Super Bowl XXXIV against the Tennessee Titans in 1999, when they were the St. Louis Rams.

What will be the overall outcome be of this game? A sixth win for New England or a first for Los Angeles? You never know what will happen!

May the best team win!

Washington DC Tour (Recap)

After a long week of touring Washington DC, it’s great to be back in California!

Last night was my 6 hour flight from Washington Dulles (IAD) to San Francisco (SFO). However, I did want to stay another week to explore even more places!

And now, here’s a recap of all the places I visited this time:

-Newseum

-Union Station

-Union Market

-US Capitol

-RFK Stadium

-FedEx Field

-Nationals Ballpark

-Capital One Arena

-Georgetown

-Georgetown University

-Dupont Circle

-Washington Circle

-Faragut Square

-The White House

-National Christmas Tree

-Washington Monument

-Jefferson Memorial

-World War II Memorial

-Reflecting Pool

-Lincoln Memorial

-Vietnam Veterans Memorial

-George Washington University

-University of Maryland

-Madame Tussaud’s

-Eastern Market

-Fashion Center Mall

-Arlington National Cemetery

-John F. Kennedy’s Grave

-Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

-Pan AM Flight 103 Memorial

-Ronald Reagan Airport

-Alexandria, VA

-Torpedo Factory Art Center

-Carlyle House

-Gadsby Tavern

-George Washington Mansonic Memorial

Overall, this was an amazing trip to Washington DC, even if I had to deal with a snow storm, but it didn’t slow me down because I enjoyed seeing the National Mall in the winter! Also, riding the Metro was also a great experience because it’s fun seeing where it’ll take you!

If I go back to the East Coast, my top three choices would either be New York, Philadelphia, or Boston because those are trips all by themselves as opposed to taking the train from Union Station or driving at least 8 hours. Can’t wait to see where my next destination will take place!

Special thanks to Uncle Noel, Aunt Malyn, and cousin Brianna for letting me stay with them in Ashburn, VA! Hope to see you again soon!

 

Washington DC Tour (Alexandria, VA)

The final stop of the Washington DC Tour was a day trip to Alexandria, VA. This was one of the places I wanted to visit the last time I was here, but never had an opportunity, until now!

The highlight of the entire visit was the Torpedo Factory Art Center near the Waterfront. This was an artist’s dream come true with tons of galleries and studios to explore and the art ranged from painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, jewelry, and anything else creative!

While browsing through all the exhibits, it made me want to create a painting with one of the local artists and exchange some ideas! If I lived in Alexandria, I would definitely have a studio at that place so people could experience my art as well!

Other stops included tours of the Carlyle House built by Scottish merchant John Carlyle in 1751, and the Gadsby Tavern where George Washington ate meals and celebrated his birthdays, and Thomas Jefferson had a banquet for his inauguration.

What made this day trip the best was seeing all the historic colonial style buildings because it made me feel like I was back in 1600’s – 1700’s and I can imagine living in one of those buildings with an office in the style of a colonial library for Kevin’s Cards. To end my trip, the final stop was a quick glance of the George Washington Masonic Memorial.

As this tour comes to an end, I have to say that this was one of the best trips I’ve taken in 2019 because I got an opportunity to see more places than I did last year, even if I had to deal with a snow storm in the beginning, but seeing Washington DC in the winter made it even more special!

I can’t wait to see where my next destination will take me!

Washington DC Tour (Arlington National Cemetery)

The Washington DC Tour continued with a revisit of two places I visited on my last visit.

First stop was Arlington National Cemetery. This large cemetery is the site of men and women who were laid to rest while serving our great country in the military. It’s also has three major landmarks for visitors to see.

One was President John F. Kennedy’s Grave with the Arlington House behind it and over looking the view of the Washington DC.

Next was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is a monument dedicated to American service members who lost their lives without their remains identified.

Finally was the Pan AM Flight 103 Memorial, which was dedicated to the victims who lost their lives on December 21, 1988 on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Detroit, Michigan.

Then, it was on to the Ronald Reagan Airport, which is named after President Ronald Reagan. This was another thing to see because it’s one of the most important airports in Washington DC, along with Washington Dulles and Baltimore  Thurgood Marshall Airports. These three airports are the ones a lot of people coming in and out of DC use the most, depending on which ones closest to them.

Finally, it was back to the Fashion Center Mall in Pentagon City because there wasn’t anything else for me to do and I’ve seen a lot of the attractions already. Plus, I wanted to get a souvenir from the DC Gift Shop.

Before returning back to Virginia, I bought a small model of Washington DC to give to my Uncle Noel as a thank you gift for letting me visit with him.

With one more day left, this is my last chance to uncover more surprises on my Washington DC Tour. 

Washington DC Tour (Madame Tussaud’s)

The Washington DC Tour continued with a visit to the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. This museum is where you can meet your favorite stars made out of wax.

The first part of the tour are the historic figures from famous presidents, historic leaders, and historical events from slavery, the Great Depression, World War II, and other things along those lines.

However, the best part is seeing first hand at being the President of the United States from stepping out of the President’s Helicopter, to being sworn into office, and sitting in the President’s Desk in the Oval Office.

The other half of the tour contain famous celebrities from musicians, actors, athletes, and TV stars. Overall, it’s a great museum to visit whenever you come to Washington DC.

Another stop was the Eastern Market, but I learned that even though it had a variety of meats, produce, cheese, and other things, it was a little smaller than the Union Market, and it would’ve been better to come during nicer weather when they had the farmer’s market.

So, then it was off to the Fashion Center Mall at Pentagon City, which is one of the largest malls in Washington DC and a great place to get out of the cold. Like every mall I’ve been to, there’s plenty of shopping and dining options to choose from.

Plus, they even have a souvenir shop to bring a piece of DC home. However, I haven’t decided what to get and if I should buy it. As the tour continues, more surprises awaits me!

Washington DC Tour (University of Maryland)

The Washington DC Tour continued with a day trip to the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. This campus is part of the BIG 10 Conference and is home to the Maryland Terrapins. It was also one of my top places to visit since it was accessible to the Metro.

First stop was the McKeldin Mall and Library, located in the center of the campus. Then, it was on to the Adele H. Stamp Union Student Center complete with a campus book store with Maryland Terrapin gear, a food court with plenty of dining options, and even a “Terpzone” with bowling, billiards, or simply hanging out with friends.

Of course, this campus wouldn’t be complete without visiting the team stadiums: the Capital One Field at Maryland Byrd Stadium for football, and the Xfinity Center for basketball.

The thing that really stood out from everything else was it had a farm right in the middle of the campus with sheep, horses, and other farm animals!

Overall, this campus was definitely worth the day trip from Washington DC because I loved all the brick buildings throughout the school and how it makes you feel like one of the students or staff at this place.

If I lived in DC or Maryland, I would definitely attend this school and see myself studying here, catching a live football or basketball game, and even hang out at the “Terpzone” with a bunch of friends or even with a fraternity group.

As the tour continues on, there’s more to see and surprises to uncover!

Washington DC Tour (Georgetown, National Mall, and Other Places)

Today’s tour of Washington DC covered a lot more ground than the last couple of days, thanks to an earlier start and nicer weather!

First stop was a revisit of Georgetown. This part of DC has cobblestone streets, great shopping and dining options, and historic colonial style homes. As I mentioned during my last visit, I can picture myself living in one of those homes and having one of the rooms as an office or studio for Kevin’s Cards in the style of a colonial library.

However, the real reason why I wanted to return to this area was to get a tour of Georgetown University. While most of the buildings were closed, I was able to see the Healy Hall, which is the main building seen in the front of the campus, the football field, one of the libraries, and one of the dining halls where the students ate lunch.

Other stops included Dupont Circle, Washington Circle, and Farragut Square. Of course, no trip to DC is complete without a visit to the major landmarks. Since I already saw the US Capitol on the first day, I planned to see the rest of them at night. Unfortunately, it never happened due to the snowy weather. However, since today was nicer, this was my opportunity to do it!

First stop was the White House where the president lives. I even had an opportunity to get a picture of myself sitting in the oval office as if I were the President of the United States. Just nearby the White House was the National Christmas Tree, even though there weren’t any decorations on it.

Other places included the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On the way back to the Metro Station, I happened to walk through George Washington University.

Overall, I did cover a lot more ground than the last two days and I got to see a majority of the sites I wanted to visit. However, there’s still more things to visit as the tour continues on!