Tower, This Is Ghost Rider Requesting a Flyby

3 08 2009

Cue Kelly McGillis’s wild, curly hair, Tom Cruise in a sweaty white t-shirt, adorable Meg Ryan and Anthony Edwards…..and I’ll be playin’ playin’ with the boys!

That’s right, we went to see the US Navy’s Blue Angels after all! After getting married, I had to give up my plush cottage on Lake Washington in Madison Park (I guess that was a good sacrifice ;)), which meant I no longer had my own private viewing of the Blue Angels. So we have to get creative! This year, we drove around Madrona & Leschi neighborhoods until we found a parking spot on the street (thanks Mom for your Googling assistance on parking laws in Seattle) so we could walk to Interstate 90 for the show.

Every year, for four days in August, the state shuts down Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue and they allow people to walk out onto the bridge for the view. Despite the fact that you can’t jump off the bridge to cool off, my kitchen is not readily available for summertime snack making, and there is no private restroom, the view hands down beats my dock showing! The planes buzz us non stop and you get a close up view of their insanely fast precision flying. Sooooo cool.

Every year, the show starts off with “Fat Albert” buzzing the crowds around the lake. Fat Albert is a C-130 (aka Beluga Plane, named by me 15-20 years ago). It is the Blue Angel support plane, but is operated by the US Marine Corps.

001_Blue Angels

hey hey hey it's fat albert

Before you know it, the planes are heading straight for you on the bridge!!!

003_Blue Angels

blue angels cruising in from the east over interstate 90

And within seconds they blow right PAST you! I think they blew that 60 MPH speed limit sign right out of the water.

004_Blue Angels

dont worry about that 60mph speed limit - not meant for you - really

They get really close to the boats and bridge, to the point where you can see the pilot’s helmets.

002_Blue Angels

is that maverick? ooh, what about ice man?

Their trademark formation is the pyramid of six pilots. In 2007 after a tragic accident, a pilot was missing and¬†they flew in the “missing man formation” where one plane was not present for the rest of the year. ūüė¶

010_Blue Angels

trademark formation

They perform many acrobatics where they fly so very close to each other, it’s just hard to believe it’s possible. It’s true precision.

005_Blue Angels

coming back by to buzz i90

They also always have perfect angles. Perfect.

006_Blue Angels


In the picture below, I think they were about 1-200 feet overhead? So insanely close it makes your body shake. The noise is awesome (please bring ear plugs or protective ear cover if you have a baby).

007_Blue Angels

right on top of us

They also do a lot of group acrobatics where they will fly literally from every edge of the lake (12 miles long) and meet in the middle to do a formation like the one below where they looped all the way around.

008_Blue Angels

loopty loop

Scott caught this picture of me catching a final glimpse of the show for 2009. Maybe it’s because I’m a pilot’s daughter, but I don’t think I could ever miss this show.

009_Blue Angels

farewell seafair 2009

It’s extremely controversial in this town …the traffic, the wasted fuel, disturbing the flora and fauna, etc etc… (but really, what isn’t?), when it comes down to it, it’s an amazing spectacle and shouldn’t be missed.

Seven excuses why I’m so behind in blogging

12 08 2008

1) The Blue Angels came to town. WOW! I’m always blown away by their performances. The noise alone is breathtaking. I don’t have the Madison Park cottage on Lake Washington, so we went down to the site where the show is centered, but were too cheap to pay the $30 to go in. Same show, less people, less $$, We’ll take it!


2) We’ve been enjoying the absolutely stunning summer weather and spent time in the backyard grilling.

3) We took a road trip with some friends out to Sun Mountain Lodge for my company’s annual retreat. As we drove through millions of acres of apple, peach, plum, cherry and pear orchards, Scott had a childhood memory of stopping for fresh cherry cider on the side of the road. We made the stop for some fresh apple & cherry cider!

4) We visited with some friends and their beautiful new baby girl.

5) It’s an annual tradition to have karaoke at the retreat. Our indulgence in one song…how embarrassing, have you heard me sing??

6) Stopped at a fruit stand for fresh plums and peaches. I got 4 pounds of peaches and 2 pounds of yellow and purple plums for $3.25 each! Yeah. Straight to the source.

7) We watched beautiful sunsets (again that glorious summer weather). Scott says this is a “Bible” picture – the type of picture that belongs on the front of the book. Pretty stunning to have that a¬†few hours from our front door. I’m thankful for where we live (click on the picture for a better view).

Aaaargh…Seafair is here, matey!

24 07 2008

Last year we were away for our neighborhood’s annual Seafair festivities, we were delighted to be able to attend this year.

Seafair is an annual, month long festival with events all over Seattle each year. Everyone gets in the spirit, there are even some great traditions that come with the festivals. We’ve been to the Torchlight Parade, gasped at the daring moves of the Blue Angels, saluted our troops as they bring the Naval Fleet into Elliott Bay, but we had not experienced the joys of the Greenwood Seafair Parade. Granted, it’s not as flashy and doesn’t carry the same “Seattle Marine Clout”¬†as those previously mentioned, but it’s pretty cool to have a big parade come to your neighborhood (literally¬†a couple¬†blocks from our house!).

There were tons of kids on unicycles to kick off the parade. Here were the two on the tallest ones, I’m glad no one fell.

Did you know police officers ride Harleys? I had no idea until last night. They did some cool formation driving that were impossible to capture with my slow camera.

Ah, I have never been good at the self photo.

What an awesome dog!! He’s harnessed and carrying a wagon of stuffed animals. I was so excited that I forgot to even see what they represented.

Such good irony. The ugly pink truck with toes is a towing company in Seattle. The tow truck BROKE DOWN in the middle of the parade so they had to push it down the street to the next intersection. Good stuff. They were “in a jam.”

This one is hard to see, but it is a salmon and a storm drain. Our neighborhood is right on a critical salmon creek so there are always big efforts to keep people aware of what is going in the storm drains to be on high alert for our tasty and environmentally important pink friends.

The Seafair Pirates. They are insane. They have some veeeeery interesting stories that are…uh, not appropriate to share…you can google, can’t you? This was their grand entrance to the parade. The guy walking ran up to kids and pretended to kill them with his sword. The little boys run around the parade with patches on their eyes and plastic swords screaming “aaaaaaaaargh” the whole evening ūüôā

The pirate ship. They literally go around “pirating” boats during the next weekend’s events (Blue Angels, Hydro Races, Navy arrival, etc). They’re nuts.

This was just as the cannon shot off. I forget how loud it is. I was shaking for a few minutes after it and you can see I jumped in the picture, I didn’t realize the cannon was coming!!