Sunday, November 26, 2006

Salmon Fishing Season

Salmon fishing has arrived! Though we have four runs of salmon each year (Spring Chinook, Summer Chinook/King, Coho, and Chum), we are only allowed to fish the Chum this close to the hatchery. If you like fishing, it's a lot of fun. If you're staying at The Salish or Minter house, you have the added bonus of being able to fish right from the deck. Though the Chum aren't the most desirable of the local varieties, it's still a good time. And as a recent guest from Texas said, "The only salmon we get come in a can, so they'll do just fine." If you'd like to take part in the action, be sure to visit before the last day of the season, December 31st. Check out the video I shot this August of some of the Summer Kings heading upstream. They are amazing fish!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hello Comcast Digital Cable!

Our two properties in Gig Harbor have been outside of Comcast Cable TV service until now. I am proud to announce that we have happily thrown away the dish and are now providing Comcast On-Demand Digital Cable Service in High Definition. What does this mean to you? It means that you can watch all of your favorite shows while on vacation at our properties. For those who haven't used on-demand before, it's a great way to catch up on your favorite shows. Feel like watching 24 consecutive hours of "24"? Not a problem. I got really excited about the new service so I added two premium movie channels as well (HBO and Showtime). I have what Comcast calls their "Digital Gold" package. Check out our local channel list to see if we carry your favorite program. We're very happy that we can finally include this service for our guests. It'll be a great option for rainy days this Winter.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

15 Years and 30 Pounds Ago

I was a tour guide for Holland America/Westours in my early 20's. For three seasons I drove a big bus through much of South Central Alaska with a microphone in front of my face (let's not even get started with the uniform and highwater pants). It was an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for the world. In fact, the experience has helped me quite a bit. Just last Summer, I planned a two week vacation through Alaska that my wife hailed as "the vacation of a lifetime." I also get a lot of feedback from guests saying that my recommendations really helped their travel experience. I'm happy to assist in any way that I can. In fact, I don't know how anyone is able to plan a vacation without first hand knowledge of their destination in the first place. It's tough. So I'd like to cast out an open invitation for any travel questions related to the great Pacific Northwest. I've tried to address as many questions as possible in my blog posts. However, there are always more topics to cover. I look forward to receiving your questions, comments, and suggestions. If you prefer email to adding a public comment please send your comments to

The Space Needle Revisited

Earlier this year I wrote a post about Seattle's signature elevator, The Space Needle. Though it was far from scathing, it was not exactly a glowing review. A few weeks ago I went back to The Space Needle for the first time in 10 years with my wife and our friends Mike and Cindy from D.C. They had never been to Seattle before, so it didn't take a mindreader to know that we were getting to the top of that thing. Well, we did. And you know what,... it was awesome! So with a fresh perspective, here is my revised overview of The Space Needle experience.

1) It's still really expensive! Fresh perspective is great, but it doesn't put money in your pocket. The tickets, photos, souveniers, and food really add up. For a family of six this is easily a $100+ outing. Adult tickets are $14 (14 and up) and $7 for children. Granted, you don't have to buy the food, photos, or souveniers... but you're on vacation, so you probably will. Like most tourist areas, they have an extensive (and I do mean extensive) gift shop, food selection, and photo options. They do this all very well I might add. It's top notch tourist stuff. Just be ready for the cost.

2) Pick a clear day. While we were there it was absolutely beautiful. We saw the Seattle skyline, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, The San Juan Islands, The Harper House, and pretty much everything within 200 miles. It was amazing! They also have spotting scopes (which were actually free) and placcards about every 30 feet to show and explain all that you see. It was pretty darn cool. I just don't see how an overcast or rainy day would do it justice, though.

3) Start early. There's a lot to do in that general area. Unfortunately, we got there too late to catch the other attractions before they closed. Some of the good ones are The Pacific Science Center and The Experience Music Project.

I hope that helps prepare you a bit for our world famous elevator.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Winter Weather in Seattle

There are many misconceptions regarding the weather in Seattle. The most common questions regarding visiting our Seattle vacation rentals are actually about the rainfall rather that the houses themselves. Seattle actually gets less rain than most US cities and much of Western Washington. In fact, the weather from June through September (and even into most of October) is just about the best weather in the country as far as I'm concerned. But this post is about the weather in the Winter now isn't it? Well, let's not beat around the bush, it's pretty crappy. But let me explain. There's crappy and then there is truly horrible. Since most of the country is experiencing really painful Winter weather, kinda crappy really isn't half bad. What can you expect on your trip? Be ready for darkness, drizzle, rain, overcast skies, and temperatures in the 40's and 50's (occassionaly dipping below freezing). Snow is rare, but we typically get a day or two of the white stuff that almost always melts the same day. I hope this helps you decide what type of clothing to pack for your trip. Just make sure you bring a waterproof jacket and a good pair of waterproof boots. Heavy flannel shirts weren't a fashion choice for 90's era Grunge bands. Them rockers were cold!

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