Monthly Archives: April 2012

Washington

Nickname: The Evergreen State

Motto: Alki (Chinook Wawa: “Eventually” or “By and by”)

Capital Olympia
Largest city Seattle

I was born in Washington state and moved when I was too young to remember any of it. I consider myself quite the “west coast kinda girl” and cannot wait to return there. I would like to see the state I was born in and experience it for myself and not have to rely on stories from my parents about it.

I am obsessed with the show Grey’s Anatomy, and in the intro. to every episode the Seattle Space Needle. The Space Needle to me just screams Washington. The Space Needle is open 365 days a year and contains a restuarant at the top. The restaurant moves 360 degrees allowing you a complete view of the city as you eat. The Seattle Space Needle was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and stands at 605 feet tall.

Seattle is also home of the original Starbucks which opened in 1971. I worked at Starbucks for over 3 years and to visit the original store would be an interesting trip.

Facts about Washington:

  • The state of Washington is the only state to be named after a United States president.
  • Seattle is home to the first revolving restaurant, 1961.
  • Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the union.
  • Washington state has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined.
  • Washington state’s capitol building was the last state capitol building to be built with a rotunda.
  • Everett is the site of the world’s largest building, Boeing’s final assembly plant
  • Medina is the home of the United States wealthiest man, Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
  • Microsoft Corporation is located in Redmond, Wash.
  • Before it became a state, the territory was called Columbia (named after the Columbia River). When it was granted statehood, the name was changed to Washington, supposedly so people wouldn’t confuse it with The District of Columbia.
  • Washington is the birthplace of both Jimi Hendrix (Seattle) and Bing Crosby (Tacoma).
  • The oldest operating gas station in the United States is in Zillah.
  • Washington’s state insect is the Green Darner Dragonfly.
  • The world’s first soft-serve ice cream machine was located in an Olympia Dairy Queen.
  • Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world was founded in Seattle.
  • Spokane was the smallest city in size to host a World’s Fair. – 1974
  • Residents are called “Washingtonians” (emphasis on the third syllable, pronounced as tone).
  • The first European record of a landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, on board the Santiago, part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora.
  • The Lewis and Clark expedition entered the state on October 10, 1805.
  • The first settlement in Washington was New Market (now known as Tumwater) in 1846.
  • In 1853, Washington Territory was formed from part of Oregon Territory.
  • Washington became the 42nd state in the United States on November 11, 1889.
  • Early prominent industries in the state included agriculture, lumber, shipping, fishing, salmon canning and mining.
  • In 1980, the northeast face of Mount St. Helens exploded outward, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano.
  • As of 2004, Washington’s population included 631,500 foreign-born (10.3% of the state population), and an estimated 100,000 illegal aliens (1.6% of state population).
  • The six largest reported ancestries in Washington are: German (18.7%), English (12%), Irish (11.4%), Norwegian (6.2%), Mexican (5.6%) and Filipino (3.7%).
  • Washington is home to many innovative Internet companies, including Amazon.com, Classmates.com, Whitepages.com, and Marchex.
  • There are 140 public airfields in Washington, including 16 state airports.
  • Three ships of the United States Navy, including two battleships, have been named USS Washington in honor of the state.
  • Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball, and Cranium were all invented in Washington.

 

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Niagara Falls, NY

This past weekend my family road tripped to Niagara Falls; something my mom has been wanting to see. We have made a list of attractions that are somewhat close that we’d all love to travel to before my dad retires from the Marine Corps and we move. We left Friday morning and drove about 9 hours to Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Base, where we stayed. The drive was long and full of farmland but it was nice to road trip with my family again, it’s something we don’t do so often now that I live in Richmond.

The falls were breathtaking and there are so many angles and places to look at them from. My camera died halfway through the day because I was using it so often. The park was full of tourists but it didn’t detract from the beauty of the falls.

The Visitor’s Center was our first stop. The Visitor’s Center offered maps and information about what attractions were open. We missed several due to the cold weather but April is the month when most of the attractions open for the season.  We bought wristbands that allowed us on a trolley that took us to all the attractions around Niagara Falls State Park for only $2. Though all the sights are within walking distance, it was nice to sit down and have the conductor share some information about the falls and its surrounding park.

The Cave of the Winds is one of the attractions we saw. An elevator takes you 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge and extremely close to the falls. When you buy your tickets you are given ponchos which I didn’t think we’d need as much as we did. Once you get off the elevator you are amazed at the views around you. We were able to see the falls from the base and actually get sprayed by the falls as they hit the rocks.

Niagara Falls Observation Tower offered the best view of the American Falls and Ontario, Canada which lies just on the other side of the water.

  • Niagara Falls is America’s oldest state park, established in 1885
  • Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect of Niagara Falls State Park, also designed Central Park in New York City
  • 3,160 tons of water flows over the falls every second
  • The Falls are capable of producing over 4 million kilowatts of electricity, which is shared by the United States and Canada
  • The Niagara River is actually a strait, connecting two large bodies of water, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario
  • Over 12,000 years ago, Niagara Falls extended seven miles down river at what is now Lewiston, New York and Queenston, Ontario. Over the years, the brink has eroded sometimes as much as six feet per year, to its present site
  • At one time, before Goat Island became part of Niagara Falls State Park, there were suggestions on what the island could be used for. Mr. Vanderbilt planned to use the island as a pleasure ground for people riding his trains to the falls. P.T. Barnum wanted to turn Goat Island into circus grounds

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