Feb 9, 2012

Gross, Yet Intriguing: Behold, the Seattle Gum Wall

A few weeks prior to my Seattle and Portland trip last week, I had asked for recommendations on attractions worth visiting and several people had mentioned the Seattle Gum Wall.  Intrigued by the comments about it (mostly about how gross, yet awesome it was), I made it a point visit this and the Fremont Troll.  Unfortunately, time was not on my side.  My schedule was so packed that by the time my last day rolled around, I still hadn’t visited either.

Determined to make the most out of my trip, I decided to hit up the Gum Wall at midnight while I was waiting for my friend to get off of work nearby.  Even though I made it to Pike Place, the visit to the Gum Wall still almost wasn’t because funny story — I had my map app opened up and it kept telling me that I was already there, yet there was no gum to be seen.  I wandered and wandered around, then finally decided to go down a flight of stairs, and lo and behold — gum.  Lots, and lots, of gum.

It was a bit unnerving being a petite girl all alone at Pike Place, but I stayed vigilante and stayed just long enough to snap these photos and say that I’ve been there.  Worth it.  I even contributed to the masterpiece.

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Apparently when the gum first started piling up in 1993, the businesses in those buildings actually tried to scrape it off a few times, but folks just kept sticking their gum on the walls.  Pike Place finally deemed this Gum Wall a tourist attraction in 1999 and I’m glad that they, ahem, let it stick, because this is quite a sight to behold and definitely adds to that odd Seattle charm.

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The Gum Wall may be a tricky little thing to find when you get to Pike Place, but it’s actually right under your nose, almost literally.  Here’s how to find it:

  1. At the very entrance of the Pike Place Market, walk up the cobblestone road
  2. You’ll see the famous flying fish market, and a big bronze/golden pig statue.  Walk towards that.
  3. To the left, you’ll see a staircase that leads downstairs — take it
  4. Turn left when you get downstairs
  5. Leave your ABC on the wall :P
Oct 6, 2011

Training For Tough Mudder

Running through FIYAH!

Well, first of all, I don’t think anything will ever truly and fully prepare you for this.  But I’ll try my best :P

Somebody who read my previous blog post sent me this question:

hey! so i’m thinking about doing a tough mudder, how did you train?! any advice?!!

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Oct 5, 2011

“Let’s Talk iPhone” Keynote: Full of Fluff & Hyperbole

Not going to lie — I’m slightly disappointed by Apple’s “Let’s Talk iPhone” keynote yesterday.  After keeping us waiting since June of last year, I expected more out of the latest iPhone.  For the last three generations of iPhones, they came out with a new one about every 12 months and the successors were all very impressive compared to the former model.  So if they’re make people wait an extra four months, it was likely going to be amazing.  Out of this world.  Game-changing.  All that good stuff.  Unfortunately, the announcement left many feeling underwhelmed.

iPhone 4S
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Sep 18, 2011

How I Survived The Toughest Event on the Planet & Earned My Orange Headband

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(Smiling even as I’m crawling through snow!)

13 miles (even though they said it was 11), 6 hours (even though they said it would take 3), 2,600 feet elevation (I wonder if they lied about that, too), 25 obstacle courses (everything felt like an obstacle course) and a collective pint of mud water (approximately) swallowed later, I am spent.

Read my more about my time in purgatory »

Mar 31, 2011

The Ultimate Gastronomical Tour for Ice Cream Lovers

As a non-skier tagging along on a ski trip to Stowe, Vermont, I had imagined that I’d be cozying up with a book by the fireplace or nursing a cocktail in a hot tub for most of the weekend while the rest of the crew hit the slopes.  When I got there though, I was surprised to find that about half the group were non-skiers as well.  Not only that, but it was sprinkling that weekend anyways, making for unsavory skiing conditions.  So what do we do instead?  Hit up Vermont’s finest — the Ben & Jerry’s factory.

We made the short drive from Stowe to Waterbury, merrily on our way to ice cream bliss, with a bit of a historical and gastronomical twist to it.  For a group of 10+ people, it’s recommended that you make a reservation, but we showed up on a Sunday afternoon and we were totally fine.  Tours seem to start every few minutes or so, so there’s plenty of time to accommodate for everyone.

Our tour started off with what they stylize as “moo-vie”.  We were led to a small room, their Cow Over the Moon Theater, to watch a short documentary about the founding of the company.  Right after the moo-vie, we were led to the top floor overlooking the factory.  There weren’t as many machines as I had expected, but it was still impressive that it churns out tens of thousands of pints of ice cream a day and apparently produces a large percentage of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream distributed around the States.

Unfortunately, since it was a weekend, the machines weren’t on, but a video was played describing what each machine did.  Our guide also talked about food scientist ice cream tasters (where and how do I apply?!) as well as the perks of working for Ben & Jerry’s (free ice cream!).  Too cool.  I should note that our guide was exuberant and super awesome.

Right after the viewing of the factory, we were led to…. the Flavoroom!  As expected, we talked flavor there, but what I was really waiting for was a sample of the ice cream of the day… :D  That day, it happened to be mint chocolate chip.  And that concluded our tour.  Short, and sweet.  Literally.

Naturally, we ended up at the factory gift shop.  Our bite-sized flavor sample didn’t cut it, and my crew was feeling extra adventurous anyways, so we ended up ordering a Vermonster from their full service Scoop Shop, a 20 scoop monstrosity of ice cream goodness (check out my post of the Vermonster).  Now onto the pics!

Entrance to the tour
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Flavors
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Top 10 flavors
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Flavoroom fun!
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This makes us look thinner after eating ice cream, no?
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Gift shop goodies

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Scoop Shop
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The construction of our Vermonster
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Posin’ with the Vermonster
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Hello, Vermonster
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The devouring of the Vermonster
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Our awesome guide who came to partake in the devouring of the Vermonster with us
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Goodbye, Vermonster :D
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Ah, good times :)

A few tips for visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory:

  • Last I checked, if you check in on foursquare upon your arrival, a foursquare deal will pop up giving you free admission to the factory.  Otherwise it’s just $3 a person.
  • Try to go on a weekday when the machines are actually running.
  • Make sure you go with enough people to be able to finish a Vermonster.
  • Wear stretchy pants!

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