Fighter Jets, Mountain Lakes, and T-Bone Steaks

Fighter Jets, Mountain Lakes, and T-Bone Steaks

10 Awesome Things To Do In Seattle
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Coffee-drinking, berry-picking, mountain-climbing Seattle has something for everyone—and too much for anyone. You could spend all day learning as much as you can about any one place, or you could briefly visit several spots so everyone on Instagram knows how well-traveled you are. But since the sights are endless and your leg power not, here are 10 things you can do in Seattle:

1. Tour the Museum of Flight

Airplane maker Boeing started in Seattle, and next to its Tukwila factory stands the Museum of Flight, aerospace and engineering heaven for aviation fanatics. The museum wings (ha) depict the history of military, space, and consumer aircraft with a focus, of course, on Boeing. If you go, you can take a selfie in the cockpit of a Mach 3 SR-71 Blackbird. Be sure to caption it #fly.

2. Shop the Pike Place Farmer’s Market

Located by the original Starbucks with its classic brown logo, Pike Place has every kind of food to offer, from novelties like honey sticks to classics like bagel and lox. The food stands for the most part operate under a long tented stretch, but jewelry and crafts by local artisans and other tourist destinations go a ways beyond that. Definitely snap a pic of its famous fishmongers throwing their catch at eagerly awaiting customers.

3. Contribute to the Market Place Gum Wall

Located on one of the Pike Place side streets, this place is exactly what it sounds like: an alleyway covered with used gum. The walls were steam cleaned by the city in 2015, releasing the brick from its rubbery prison. After the cleaning, people immediately began reapplying gum and destroying all the city’s hard work. You know what they say about old habits.

4. Try Ivar's Fish & Chips

Though less nationally famous than Boeing, Ivar’s is another company that holds pride of place for Seattle. After a long, hot walk by the bay, you can enter a cool, air-conditioned restaurant and order their famous fish and chips for $19 . . . or take the heat and order them from their outdoor stand for $6.99. The pigeons won’t bother you (much).

5. Have a Bier at Rhein Haus

Nothing says America like German beer. Rhein Haus in downtown Seattle offers a selection of German brews and enormous pretzels you can enjoy while playing a game of bocce, a mostly sedentary throwing game similar to lawn bowling. For $8 per person, you can play for up to an hour, just time enough to think you’re an expert before your friend knocks away your ball to steal the win.

6. Hike the Rachel Lake Trail

Seattle is full of mountain trails to hike. Some, like the Rachel Lake Trail, even end at beautiful mountain lakes. If you choose to hike it, then prepared to wake up early and pack plenty of provisions: the hike can take six hours to the top and back. It’s worth it though. Everybody climbs the Space Needle. Wouldn't you rather say you climbed a mountain?

7. Shop at Safeway

When you’re looking for your mountain climbing provisions or buying T-bone steaks for your post-hike barbecue, you won’t find a Publix or Krogers. What you will find is a Safeway supermarket—lifeblood of Northwest kitchens everywhere. They may not have Pub Subs, but hey, no place is perfect.

8. Pay Your Respects at the Lees' Gravesite

A surprising (and somewhat macabre) tourist attraction, the graves of martial artist Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon Lee, stand in Lake View Cemetery in Capitol Hill. You may be tempted to strike a kung fu pose next to them and afterwards feel guilty about it, but what better way to respect a man who made it his mission to spread the fighting arts?

9. Tour the University of Washington Boathouse

Every Sunday from 11:30 to 1 p.m., you can tour the boathouse of the famous Boys of ‘36—the eight-man rowing team that brought home gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. While the Huskies crew stores its boats in a modern state-of-the-art boathouse, the old shell house is on the National Register of Historic Places and should be around for rowing fans to marvel at for a long time.

10. See the Mariners Play at Safeco Stadium

No trip to Seattle would be complete without scalping tickets for a Mariners game on a Sunday afternoon. Safeco Stadium parking is a bit pricey, but you can park a mile away for free on the weekend. Buy yourself some peanut and crackerjack and root for the home team.

Cover Image Credit: The Photo Argus

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Sports And Religion

Why are so many athletes religious?

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I recently just made it on to the USC Track and Field team, and it is easily the biggest accomplishment I have ever made in my entire life. I worked so hard to physically and mentally prepare to try out for the team, let alone actually make it. I thank God for allowing me to have the chance to be a part of this team, as well as giving me that physical and mental strength required to do so, and I express this whenever someone congratulates me for making the team or even asks if I made it or not. However, I noticed that when I did this, some of the responses were a bit dismissive when I brought religion into the picture. When I said I thank God for it, I would be met with responses like "Yea well even aside from God..." or another response that drew the conversation away from my faith, away from the concept of a god.

In fact, I've noticed that many athletes are religious in some form-- more so collectively than other student bodies aside from religious groups themselves. I thought about why this may be, aside from the obvious answer such as growing up religious at home, because that does not answer the question; many people grew up in a religious household and are not religious themselves. So, I began to think personally. Why do I thank God for my athletic performance? There's a certain level of uncertainty within every sport. All athletes train their hardest to minimize this level of uncertainty, in order to maximize their chances of success. However, you can only train so hard. To me, no matter how hard you train, there's always some type of level of uncertainty to every level of performance: the chances of you getting injured, the chances of you winning your game or race, the chances of the opponent's performance, etc. This is where I think God intervenes, and perhaps other athletes would agree. There have been countless times where I ran well and had absolutely no idea how I did it. Yes, I worked hard to improve my times, but when you are in the moment of a race, or a game, that fades into the background, especially when everyone else has been working just as hard. It's just you, your race (or game), and God. That's it.

I could have not made the team. As a walk-on, there is more pressure for you to perform since the coaches did not seek you out; you sought them out. You are proving your abilities. Thus, I was nervous about my chances of actually making the team, especially considering the fact that the USC track team is arguably the best collegiate track team in the United States. I performed well during my try out and finished all the workouts, however I wasn't as fast as the other girls. In addition, I was 3 minutes late to my last day of tryouts and got chewed out by the coach for it. I was convinced that I blew my chances. And yet, somehow, I made it. I worked so hard for it, yes, but I thank God for keeping my body healthy so I could train to the best of my ability. I thank Him for allowing the coaches to have the time to try me out. I thank Him for allowing them to see my potential. I thank Him for giving me the best high school track coach possible who prepared me mentally and physically, as well as supported me throughout all the highs and all the lows. I thank Him for giving me this chance to continue my track career at the most prestigious collegiate team. My gratitude for all this, is simply infinite.

There is good reason why many athletes are religious; being an athlete requires you to be more than yourself. It requires you to dig deeper, into places that you didn't even think were possible, and really aren't without the belief of a higher power. The belief in a higher power, in whatever form or name that takes, means the belief in infinite possibility. And for an athlete to have that, means nothing can stop them from chasing their dreams.

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