Below are some gorgeous views of Seattle from Bellevue and Kirkland looking west. Sunsets are gorgeous around here!
A peek at the Space Needle
The Seattle Skyline across Lake Washington
The Olympic Mountains
The Blue Angels are here in Seattle for Seafair. This is Seafair’s biggest weekend with the Blue Angels and the hydroplane races happening on Lake Washington. Yesterday, I got to out on Lake Washington and watch the Blue Angels in a practice session for Saturday and Sunday’s big shows. It was amazing to see all the boats out there on a gorgeous Friday afternoon. We we just north of the I-90 bridge and got a great view. Unfortunately, my photos don’t do the show justice. The planes move so fast that by the time I captured a plane (s) in my viewfinder, they were long gone! It’s thrilling to see the planes fly in formation. At one point, some of the planes were flown upside down!
If you live in the Seattle area, come out to see the show. It’s spectacular.
I went to France this past weekend. Ok, I didn’t really, but last Saturday I imagined I was transported to France when I sat down with a glass of wine in my hand and looked out over the valley in Woodinville. It felt like spring was almost here in the Seattle area. Spring was almost here by the calendar, but the weather also supported that spring feeling. It was sunny and just plain beautiful.
My husband and I decided to head up to Woodinville for some lunch at one of our favorite spots, The Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, and then do a tasting at some of the wineries. Right near the restaurant, you can find 22 wine tasting rooms in just a short distance. We checked out two of our favorite wineries on Saturday, Brian Carter Cellars
and DeLille Cellars. These two wine tasting rooms were hopping with people enjoying wine and enjoying the day.
There are a lot of wineries to choose from in Woodinville. I counted over 60 listed on The Woodinville Wine Country site! Woodinville has become a magnet for locals and tourists alike who want to taste some of the great wine available in Washington State. Most of the wineries are located in and around the picturesque Sammamish River Valley.
Locals come, tourists come, people rent limos and take group tours. It’s a fun thing to do around Seattle and you don’t even have to go to France!
What’s your favorite winery in Woodinville?
Snow in Seattle in February? Sounds impossible but with temperatures predicted to go down into the 20’s later this week, it’s possible. If you need a cure for the wintertime blues check out Molbak’s in Woodinville. It’s a springtime frenzy with gorgeous flowering plants.
Whites, blues, purples, pinks, and reds.
Molbak’s is a feel good kind of place that will remind you spring is just around the corner. I’m sure if you check your yard you’ll find things starting to bloom and come back to life as I did in my front yard.
Do you think of downtown Bellevue as a drive-through from the highway to the mall? I bet most Eastsiders zoom along NE 8th to the mall. Most have probably never walked around downtown Bellevue. This should not come as a surprise, since downtown Bellevue was designed to accommodate a car culture.
I’ve lived on Seattle’s eastside, near downtown Bellevue for 25 years. I’ve been all over downtown Bellevue. I’ve watched it change dramatically from a handful of tall buildings to a city dominated by buildings, some over 40 stories tall.
But I, too, had never just walked around downtown just for the sake of walking. Bellevue is a great place to walk around and explore. It’s made an amazing transformation from a car centric downtown to a place to live, a destination place, and a great place to walk.
I did that just this past weekend. I walked from the Bellevue Square mall over to the Bravern as part of the Seattle Architecture Foundation’s Bellevue 2.0 tour.
I know a lot about Bellevue’s history and real estate, but I learned a few more tidbits from the two great guides, John Hotta and Eli Lemanski. The tour began at the mall on the second floor of Macy’s in the women’s jeans department. (Kind of fitting for Bellevue, since the mall has always represented downtown.)
It started as an outdoor shopping mall (bet you didn’t know that) was enclosed, expanded, and became one of the top 20 malls in the country. The granddaddy of all arts fairs takes place in the parking garage of said mall. The art fair is a true winner. The caliber of art is far above most art fairs, even if it’s in the mall garage.
From the second floor perch in Macy’s there’s a great view of the downtown skyline. The Bellevue Art Museum is right across the street from the mall as is Lincoln Towers with its Westin. Bellevue Place is just down the street.
You can also see some of the newer “kids on the block,” Washington Square, Bellevue Towers,
and the City Center Plaza from the big window. A walkway begins right across from the mall and can take you almost across downtown, which we ultimately did.
One of the most creative new buildings is the Elements complex. Not only is the exterior fascinating,
if you have a chance to step inside the lobby, it’s quite interesting.
The tour is great in the sense that you are out seeing the city, but wisely takes advantage of many indoor sites for long conversations. We got to see the view from Lincoln Tower and the City Center building. Of course, it was pretty foggy out, so the stellar views of Lake Washington, Seattle, and Mt. Rainier were all behind the fog.
Lots of great questions were answered by the guides and many of the participants, including me, added their share of information regarding downtown Bellevue.
Here are some of the questions that will be answered if you take this tour:
- Where did the bricks come that were used to construct the Bellevue Library?
- What country is planning a consulate in Bellevue?
- What architectural firms were active in downtown Bellevue development?
- Who are Bellevue’s 3 biggest employers?
- What’s going to be built north of the Hyatt?
- Who was Meydenbauer?
- What was the first hi-rise in downtown Bellevue?
- What’s the difference between curtain walls and window walls in skyscrapers? (This one was graciously answered by one of the participants, so that may not come up on your tour)
- Whose wood sculptures can be found decorating some of the buildings and plazas in downtown Bellevue? (one of my contributions, so it may or may not come up on your tour.
- Where was the first Bellevue Art Museum?
You’ll have to take the tour to find out the answer to these questions. The tour is fun, engaging and a nice thing to do on a Saturday morning. Let’s hope the day you take the tour you get to see some of the stellar views available from downtown Bellevue.
It’s funny how we can take local places for granted. We always think something is so close by, it’s easy to go anytime. But sometimes time gets the best of us.
I hadn’t been to The Bellevue Botanical Garden for several years. Over the 4th of July, I had a friend visiting from Connecticut, so off we went to the Garden. It was the perfect time to stop by to enjoy the flowers. So many of the flowers are in bloom right now.
Most people don’t think about taking a break and finding a quiet spot in the garden, but this man was enjoying the peace and quiet.
Check the Bellevue Botanical Garden out this summer. It’s a beautiful place.
Seattle-eastside schools are some of the tops in the nation. US News recently published its top high schools in the nation and many eastside schools made the list. US News rated Bellevue’s International School as no. 10 in the country while highlighting Skyline in Sammamish, Woodinville High, Redmond High and others. The International Community School in Kirkland was no.29 on the US News list.
This week, it’s all 5 Bellevue high schools in the top 100 Newsweek list. Interlake took the highest spot of the 5 at no. 13. The Seattle Times had an article with information as to how the list is compiled.
Congratulations to all these great Seattle-eastside schools.