Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Town - Leavenworth

~ huge decorated christmas tree
~ thousands of twinkling lights
~ snow dusted mountain in the backdrop
~ carolers
~ live holiday music
~ kids sledding
~ horse carriages
~ Christmas characters strolling on the street
~ snow shower
~ roasted chestnuts
~ hot chocolate

... precisely how it was during the recent visit to this beautiful Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth, WA, in this holiday season. The air here is filled with sound, sight and smell of christmas !







Christmas here is indeed "magical".









 To get into the holiday spirit, there is perhaps no better plan than Leavenworth.






A variety of entertainment events happen all weekends during the holiday season.
Pictures above are the Christmas characters marching into the main street and greeting visitors. A chance for the children to meet their favorite characters and to take pictures with them !




Mr and Mrs Claus ... greeting the guests










The Christmas Lighting Festival takes place on the first three weekends of December. 
As the dusk falls over the town, every building, tree comes alive with countless sparkling christmas lights. Its a magical moment.












December is truly the most wonderful time of the year.

Leavenworth is filled with many other festivals and events all year round. 
You are sure to see something new on every trip to this beautiful small town.

Up-to-date details of Leavenworth festivals and events can be found here :
http://www.leavenworth.org

All Photographs by Anupama Puneeth

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pike Place Market - Seattle



One of the most frequently visited destination of Washington state, the Pike Place Market in Seattle is one of the oldest public farmers' markets in the United States.





Also called as the "The soul of Seattle", the Pike Place Market was born on August 17, 1907.
The increased cost of onions between 1906 and 1907 lead to the start of this as a public street market with an intent to connect farmers directly with the consumers.
Today "The market" is home for many small farmers, craftsmen, merchants, musicians, street performers and even apartment units.












One of the Market's major attractions is Pike Place Fish Market, where employees throw three-foot salmon and other fish to each other rather than passing them by hand !
When a customer orders a fish, an employee at the ice-covered fish table picks up the fish and hurls it over the countertop, where another employee catches it and preps it for sale.


On my last visit to the market, I was surprised to see camera crew at this store to only realise it was the celebrity host Gordon Ramsay from the popular TV show 'Hell's Kitchen'



A crab tank !!




Pike Place Market's unofficial mascot 'Rachel', a bronze cast piggy bank that weighs 550 pounds (250 kg), has been located since 1986.
You will see visitors waiting in line for a photo op with Rachel ... people posing on her, next to her or around her :)



Rachel receives roughly US$6,000–$9,000 annually in just about every type of world currency, which is collected by the Market Foundation to fund the Market's social services.





The other "pigs" in the market which are decked-up for the christmas.



Pike Place is known for the street entertainers.
I have seen the same spot taken in turns by different performers in matter of few minutes !



Farrell Thomas aka the Balloon Man at the Pike Place.
I actually didnt know about him when I visited this place. But reserching for this post, I now realize that he is like another Pike Place icon. He is always located at same spot between 'Rachel' and the cycle stand.
He lives on the donation from making balloons and thinking about it, that must be pretty hard to make ends meet. Next time I am at Pike Place, I am sure to buy some balloons for my girl.


Pike Place is home for many artists and craftsmen.
However not all are willing to let the visitors photograph their products. This lady selling these beautiful scarfs was really generous :)






There are numerous dining options at the Pike Place, many of which are family owned.


The first StarBucks store which opened in 1971










Fresh fruits and vegetables on sale directly from the farmers




Variety of fresh fragrant flowers.
They are neatly packed in waterbags which makes it so convenient.

Photos by Anupama Puneeth
Information Courtesy :