I was in Seattle for four days. There was an event going on in Seattle called the Penny Arcade Exposition (PAX), which was the reason why Jeff had joined me on the trip. Harmony was tagging along because she has relatives in the area and because she has good company on the trip.
The first day we spent roaming around Seattle, had lunch with Evan (a LIGO colleague and a good friend from the Hanford days). We then took the customary Space Needle tour and boy was it worth it this time around. Here are some of the breathtaking sights I got to see from top the needle. It is none other than the Queen of all National Parks Mt. Rainier.
We fooled around on top and I took my fill of Rainier, spotted a water plane land etc. I even took a picture of Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier's smaller cousin.
We then headed to the Pike place market, which has a variety of hawkers and food stalls selling all sorts of stuff. I bought some raspberry habanero jam, which was delicious and is still going. At some point Jeff strolled into a bookstore with a charming clerk who told us about the free day at the Seattle Art Museum (disturbingly acronymed SAM). SAM was strictly ok, too much modern art and very little of the real kind (my real kind anyways).
PAX was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work in terms of standing in line. The total number of people attending has been a number that has changed depending on whom you ask, but I will stick to the original estimate of around 40000. This was the largest collection of geeks and nerds on the planet (save NASA perhaps). People wore crazy dresses from Star Wars themes to Halo to every single thing you can imagine. There were game enthusiasts from PC games to consoles to table top games like Settlers of Catan etc. Here are some of the pictures I took while at PAX. Featured are cool gadgets like the touch table that was used to play Settlers on and things like Microsoft's Kinect, which has a camera that reads your intentions and then plays the game accordingly. We tried playing tennis with it and it worked out well (I beat Jeff 3-0, so I suppose it works just fine ;) ).