Wanna do something fun? Wanna do something unusual? And wanna do something that is surprisingly fun and unusual for a simple concept? Go to a Seattle Room Escape Adventures production of “Trapped In A Room With A Zombie”.

You go around the backside of a slightly seedy window car tinting building to find an open door, and wander in. Twelve potential victims gather and listen to a German-accented lady scientist in a lab coat discuss the rules and tips for surviving the zombie encounter, including the back story of what you are about to experience. Then, after everyone has donned name tags (usually with fake zombie fighting names, if desired) and put away their extra stuff, the door is opened.

I won’t tell too much. Suffice it to say that you and your comrades have 60 minutes to solve multiple interrelated and progressive puzzles, all the while a zombie gets progressively closer to taking a chunk of you. Surprisingly, all personality types in our group enjoyed the experience, and it was interesting to see how all those personality types react to a fun theatrical game such as this!

Trapped In A Room With A Zombie by Seattle Room Escape Adventures

Zombie Food

Links:
Seattle Room Escape Adventures Trapped In A Room With A Zombie

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Seattle’s iFly Indoor Skydiving is a 1.5 hour experience located by the Southcenter Mall in Tukwila. You get to achieve the feeling of floating through rushing air as if you were in free fall from an airplane before deploying your parachute.

It all starts with a fun and interactive instructor providing an overview, followed by a short training video. Then everything comes out of pockets, off fingers, off ears, and from anything that could potentially fall down into the huge whirling fan blades below. “Flight” gear includes a baggy flight suit, helmet, and wind-protective eye goggles. And then into the waiting bench right outside the chamber.

One by one, participants enter for two “flights”, each one to two minutes long. The experience is rather expensive on a per minute basis for the actual flight time, but it’s fun and unique, so what the heck. An instructor helps each participant get horizontal, provides arm and leg adjustments for proper floating, and gently guides the participant’s body to avoid tumbles or hitting the side walls hard. If the participant seems fairly comfortable, then he will spin the person around before sending him/her back out to the bench. On the second flight, (by paying an additional ten dollars) the fan speed will be increased and the instructor will spin with the participant up and down the full height of the wind tunnel column. Lots of laughing and high fives follow each flight. Each group session is ended with an impressive acrobatic aerial show by the instructor.

iFly Indoor Skydiving is located in the unusual, bright red, custom constructed building that is easily visible from I-405 when passing the Westfield Southcenter Mall. The building’s shape allows for air to be forced up a wind tunnel and recirculated around, achieving wind speeds up to 235 mph.

It’s a fun outing for yourself, a date, family, friends, whatever. Feel the flight!

Click here for video.

iFly Seattle Indoor Skydiving by Southcenter Mall Tukwila

Indoor skydiving at iFly



iFly Seattle Indoor Skydiving by Southcenter Mall in Tukwila

Practicing indoor skydiving body position

Links:
iFly Indoor Skydiving

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We again ventured to the Annual Gingerbread Village at the Seattle Sheraton in downtown Seattle. Each year, teams of architects plus chefs get together to create almost entirely edible mega gingerbread houses. There is a people’s choice competition, and all donations go to charity. It is fun to check out the new culinary visions and look for all the tiny details, visual jokes, and complexities of each entry. Remember that almost everything you see in these pictures is edible…

Downtown Seattle skyline at Annual Gingerbread Village gingerbread house contest at Sheraton Seattle

Downtown Seattle skyline, including Bertha digging tunnel below and Puget Sound activities on the other side



Tropical island on turtle at Annual Gingerbread Village gingerbread house contest at Sheraton Seattle

Santa on tropical island on the back of a mythical turtle



Santa reindeer pyramids at Annual Gingerbread Village gingerbread house contest at Sheraton Seattle

Reindeer waiting for Santa to land at the sugar cube pyramids



Rollercoaster at Annual Gingerbread Village gingerbread house contest at Sheraton Seattle

Rollercoaster



Star and spinning angels at Annual Gingerbread Village gingerbread house contest at Sheraton Seattle

Angels spinning fast around a star above



Christmas village at Annual Gingerbread Village gingerbread house contest at Sheraton Seattle

Christmas village



Links:
Annual Gingerbread Village

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Each year The Fairmont Olympic Hotel in downtown Seattle converts one of its larger suites into The Teddy Bear Suite. A professional interior designer provides a new decorative theme, and the teddy bears pose for pictures and hugs throughout the holiday season. Donations go to a local charity. It’s a fun, quick side trip for those wandering around downtown Seattle in a holiday spirit.

Terry Bear Suite bed at Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle

Teddy Bear Suite bed display



Terry Bear Suite bathroom at Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle

Glamorous teddy bear bathroom



Terry Bear Suite bear hug at Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle

Bear hug



Links:
Teddy Bear Suite
Fairmont Olympic Hotel

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K1 Speed Indoor Go Kart Racing is a fun way to get some safe racing done with friends, on a date, or with a team. The entire track is indoors and comfortable from inclement weather. And there is food, drink, and race watching to be had for anyone there.

There are different variations on what can be purchased, but for a team event they will generally start off with an instructional talk, separate into group sessions depending upon number of racers, and then have a final race to determine overall winners. Every lap time is recorded electronically, and a printout of each lap, best time, and comparison times to top times of the week are provided after every session on the track.

The karts are electric-powered and peppy for the tight track. It is very easy to slide tires around. It is so easy, in fact, that focusing on fast lap times requires focus on smooth driving instead of hot dogging around.

The “race officials” can throttle back or completely stop individual engines remotely, to control initial speeds or erratic drivers. Bumping is not allowed, and warnings are followed by removal from the track if needed.

It’s a fun time on the track to get some competitive juices flowing.

(photos courtesy of Martin)

K1 Speed Indoor Go Kart Racing Bellevue Seattle start line

Go kart racers at the start line before entering track



K1 Speed Indoor Go Kart Racing Bellevue Seattle leaning into turn

Leaning into a curve at K1 Speed go kart track

Links:
K1 Speed Indoor Go Kart Racing Bellevue Seattle

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The famous TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) Talks have had their share of viral Internet videos on topics of interest and importance. The overall TED idea has become so popular that local, independently produced “TEDx” events have sprung up around the world. Seattle’s version of TED that is called TEDxRainier, which started in 2010.

The 2014 TEDxRainier separated the full day of speakers into three loosely tied together themes: “Who Knew”, “Through A New Lens”, and “To Boldly Go”. Within these themes, a series of scientists, academics, advocates, and interesting people presented their ideas and visuals for about 18 minutes each. Some locally famous speakers participated, including environmentalist Gifford Pinchot III, Congressman Jim McDermott, and mountain climber Ed Viesturs.

TEDxRainier Ed Viesturs at McCaw Hall Seattle

Ed Viesturs in McCaw Hall

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TEDxRainier

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We returned for our second silent retreat (click here for first one) at the Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades, located above the shores of Puget Sound in Federal Way. The silent retreat is provided through the generosity of the Archdiocese of Seattle and Seattle University’s Jesuit mission, and is open to people of all faiths and spiritual direction who have a connection with the university.

The three day retreat begins Friday evening with communal dinner and conversation, followed by an introduction of participants and spiritual directors (who are like counselors). Then the silence commences, and only the spiritual directors occasionally speak at various optional half hour “movements” throughout the weekend. The topics vary, spanning from personal to religious to inspiring stories to guidance on how to heal or think or live fully. The spiritual directors also offer two optional half hour private one-on-one sessions for freeform talk about whatever a participant would like to discuss.

The grounds span a beautiful 39 acres of Puget Sound waterfront, with forested walking trails, courtyards, labyrinth, meditation benches, and gardens spread around the property. The main buildings also house a chapel, library, and multiple meeting rooms, all open 24 hours for anyone to visit and meditate in at any time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinners are served in a large dining room overlooking the Sound, though the only sounds in the room are from silverware clanking and people eating.

Participants come for many reasons, spanning from healing to thinking to planning to relaxing to re-forming. The atmosphere is one of camaraderie and shared intent. The spiritual directors are there to provide a meaningful yet self-directed experience for everyone.

Main buildings at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades



Courtyard at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

One of several courtyards



Chapel at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Chapel



Statue on nature trail at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Statue by nature trail



Stations Of The Cross walking trail at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Stations Of The Cross walking trail



Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statue at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph statue near nature trail



Labyrinth at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Labyrinth for walking meditation



Puget Sound view at Archbishop Brunett Retreat and Faith Formation Center at The Palisades in Federal Way

Puget Sound view from the main buildings



Dumas Bay Wildlife Sanctuary sunrise at Puget Sound beach

Nearby Dumas Bay Wildlife Sanctuary at sunrise



Links
Archbishop Brunett Retreat & Faith Formation Center at The Palisades

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