Friday, August 26, 2016

Seattle Chocolates

For a few weeks, I have been thinking of some things that would be nice to bring back to my Hong Kong family.  I thought that t-shirts that had SEATTLE blazing on the front would be an easy gift.  For our wedding, we gave out I HEART HK t-shirts as grab bag gifts for winners of the reception games…so it seemed to be a fun idea.  

Magnets also seem like good gifts.  Who doesn't love a good magnet with the Space Needle on it to hold up a shopping list?  When I went to Ocean Park for the first time, I bought photo frame magnets to put our photos in and gave it to my family as Christmas gifts one year.  They still have the photo frame magnets on their fridges…and they are still topics of conversation.  So…that would have also made a great gift…

But, then I came across the idea of treats!  

A fabulous souvenir to bring back to Hong Kong for the friends and in laws (especially) is probably chocolate!  Chocolate is always a nice little treat, they come in some pretty nice pre-wrapped packaging and you can also find some awesome unique flavors (dark chocolate and sea salt, wild berry chocolates, quinoa noir!)

Down in Southcenter, is a chocolate factory called Seattle Chocolates.  They have a shop attached to the factory where you can find all of the chocolates that the factory produces.

***A view of the lobby and a glance around the shop***

The shop behind the lobby and is manned by a really nice woman from Kazakhstan.  She was really nice in explaining to us what SECONDS were, about the different flavors of truffles that we could put into a mixed bag…and also about the samples that were splayed out on the sample bar.

It was really nice to have that mixed-bag truffle option.  It's really great to give samples of chocolates to people, so we picked up a few of the most unique flavors (champagne) for our adventurous friends and a few classic flavors (dark chocolate) for our more conservative friends.

Apologies for the blurriness!!!!
We also picked up a few bags of Seconds because they had some really awesome flavors and also came in bigger chunks for some friends we thought would be really BIG FANS of chocolates.

My favorite part…besides the awesomely Seattle-focused packaging is the sample bar.  There are some really amazing flavors to test out at the bar…in large chunks too!  My favorite flavor of the day was probably the Bali Sea Salt Toffee.  

Chocolate never fails as being a great gift…especially ones made in Seattle!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market

The first time I ever went to a Farmers Market was when I lived up in the U-District.  Being a girl from the suburbs, I used to think that it was a uniquely Seattle CITY thing to have a Market on a Sunday.  We didn't really buy anything, but we did go a few times to just check out the handicrafts.  

The best Farmers Market that I'd ever been to in Seattle is probably the Fremont Sunday Market.  It's huge and has a lot of great antique things to checkout.  

We've been going down to the Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market every Saturday to restock on fresh produce to make baby food.  The Farmers Market is located right in the parking lot of the Des Moines Marina.  

The Saturday Farmers Market is a lot better than the Wednesday one because there are more vendors out…probably because a lot more people are free on the weekends.  The Market opens from 10 am - 2 pm from June to September.  

***Views of the Des Moines Farmers Market!***

It's a really great way to spend part of a Saturday.  There is food, music and a lot of fun for the kids (face painting…running around catching Pokemon…the usual).

Fun Fact:  Another Farmers Market, which is pretty nearby to Des Moines is the Burien Farmers Market.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Des Moines Museum

I'm all for visiting a museum when I'm in a new place.  When my sister and I went to Washington DC for the first time, we tried to hit up all the museums that weekend.  The most impressive museum I'd ever visited, besides the Smithsonian!, was the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  

In high school, we spent most of Junior year Lit reading fiction based in the WWII-era and discussing in detail anti-Semitic themes (Elie Vesel's Night, Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice), so reading up on the experiences of the Holocaust in the Memorial Museum was an amazing experience.  Also, walking around and visiting the memorials (which was like visiting a huge outdoor museum) was just something that was on my bucket list for ages.  

When we went to Tokyo for the first time, my sister and I also tried to visit all the museums in the Ueno district (…zoo included as an animal museum!).  It was our trek to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum that reignited my interest in visiting art museums, actually.  The museum was exhibiting works of art from Alphonse Mucha at the time…I think, before going here, I hadn't been into any art museum for over 10 years!

There is so much to be learned about through visiting museums, no matter how large or small they are!

While on one of our walks down to the Des Moines Marina and around the Des Moines Marina District, we discovered that there was a museum a block away from the abandoned Des Moines Theater.  The Des Moines Museum is maintained by the Des Moines Historical Society.  

Des Moines Museum Info:
730 South 225th St.
Des Moines, Washington

The museum starts running after Memorial Day and before Labor Day on Saturdays from 1 - 4 pm.

Free Admission (Donations welcomed)

***Views of the Des Moines Museum's Collection***

It was pretty neat to see all these ANCIENT artifacts of the Des Moines town!!!, which our guide said was mostly donated.  It was also quite nice to have someone who grew up in the area give us a personal tour of the museum.

Hearing stories from the past and also about how the community changed made me think about how so much has changed from my own life since I moved out of Washington.  It made me think about starting scrapbooking again, actually!

It was a great few hours at the museum!