Seattle Chocolates Tour

Posted: December 17, 2017 in Ramblings

chocThe more I think about this, the more disappointed I am in it!  We had to pay $10 each to take the tour.  So, okay, we got some free samples, but even at full retail prices they weren’t worth $10 per person.  But of course we didn’t know that at the start.

What bothers me about it – what I really didn’t realize at the time – we walked through this factory, and nothing at all was going on!  No machines were working, we didn’t get to see any big machines making chocolate.  We went on a catwalk above the facility and the tour guide pointed out various machines and told us what they do (but they weren’t doing anything).  At the end we looked down to see 2-3 employees gift-wrapping packages for the shop.  And that was it!  You could get the same experience watching it on YouTube, if they happened to make one.  And it was a Friday, so you would have expected it to be normal business hours, machines working, things happening.

I am of course comparing it with my memories of Hershey’s Chocolate World, where we would ride little cars through a mockup of the chocolate factory and see everything happening.  In hindsight Seattle Chocolates was a real letdown for me.  I would have at least liked to see the machines operating.

We talked about it after leaving and I don’t even remember them talking about how they make the actual chocolate.  Chris thinks it was made with chocolate powder, but I’m wondering if they buy bulk chocolate and melt it down in order to create their own confections.  They didn’t have any big vats to mix up ingredients like Hershey’s does.

Not to mention their chocolate wasn’t that great.  Sure, it’s better than Hershey’s, but it’s not up to Cadbury, Ritter, Lindt quality.  We went because I like chocolate and it was something interesting to do over vacation.  Well, chalk off another Seattle-to-do thing.  We’ll be looking for something else to do next week.

Seattle Chocolates

Posted: December 15, 2017 in Ramblings

Chris and I went on the tour this morning.  Headgear required.

beard bag

Brutal, Bank-Breaking Winter

Posted: December 12, 2017 in Ramblings

Just got the utility bill.  Hot water was $1.22 last month!


Posted: November 23, 2017 in Ramblings

Well, here we are.  This hotel has rooms and condos for sale.  The bathroom is so nice I almost would want to live in the hotel just for the giant tub with astounding water pressure that fills up fast and has plenty of hot water!

suncadia view

And what a lovely day it is, indeed.  We didn’t have much planned for today.  Swimming (the hotel pool has waterslides) and a Thanksgiving dinner later.  We are all very thankful for our loving families, and hope everyone enjoys a great Christmas season.

UPDATE:  While I was writing the blog post, this happened.


Chris and I agree this is the brightest rainbow we’ve ever seen.  A beautiful start to the holiday season.

Some things never change…

Posted: October 19, 2017 in Ramblings

Look what I spotted in a parking lot today!


The other side looked even better!

However, this was not the same model year as mine.  I think it is even older, based on those little crescent-shaped vents behind the rear window.  Still.

A Big Day

Posted: August 23, 2017 in Ramblings

A milestone in a young boy’s life has been reached!

alex tooth progression

I still think the one on the bottom, under his big tooth on our right when viewing, looks out of alignment, but apparently all the experts say it’s okay.


Posted: August 21, 2017 in Ramblings

We have just passed the moment of “maximum.”  Redmond had a 91.6% eclipse.  Our apartment looks very dark inside – like a typical rainy Seattle day – but outside everything still looks sunny and bright.  We are expected to continue in partial eclipse for another hour and 20 minutes, but the thrill of the moment has passed, and we are going back to our normal chores.

No photos:  couldn’t get eclipse filters for the real camera, and holding the smartphones up behind our eclipse glasses resulted in really junky photos!