Taking A Trip To The Top Of The Space Needle

I’ve seen the Space Needle a million times in my life. The deck off my office at work literally looks right at the Seattle landmark. I’m not talking about from a distance either — we’re right across the street from the Space Needle. Whenever I go outside to soak up some sun or take a quick break, I see the tourists buzzing around the attraction. Just a few weeks ago, I became one of those ‘tourists’ too.

The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington

My view of the Space Needle from work

As you might already know, I just moved back to Seattle after several years away. To help me get acquainted with the city again, I planned a four-day Seattle staycation last month. I did as all the tourists do when they’re in the Emerald City. I rode The Great Wheel, went to Pike Place Market and visited the top of the Space Needle — something I hadn’t done since I was a little kid.

On the first day of my Seattle staycation, my friend Tove and I marched around the city during the day, and waited until night to visit the Space Needle. We finally made it to the 50-year-old, 604-foot structure at 10pm (it closes at 11pm Sunday-Thursday; 11:30pm Friday and Saturday). It was a Monday, so there was no line at all (even during the peak tourism season). We just walked up, bought our tickets ($19 apiece — you can buy tickets online to avoid extra lines when its busy) and took the elevator to the top.

I was torn on what time of day to visit the Space Needle. Should we go during the day or at night? It was a tough choice, but like I mentioned, we finally settled on the night. I’m not sure that was the best decision though. Don’t get me wrong — the view of Seattle from the top of the Space Needle at night is incredible. There were clear skies, so it felt like you could see lights for miles. On the other hand, Seattle is famous for beautiful mountains, the Puget Sound and its greenery (that’s why it’s called the Evergreen State). At night, you can’t see the mountains, the Puget Sound just looks like a black blob (the awesome lakes in the area look the same way too), and there’s no green to speak of. With that said, I did hear one person on the observation deck say, “The view is much better at night, that’s for sure.” I guess I need to see the view during the day to compare it, but knowing the area like I do, I just feel like the daytime would be better to visit the top of the Space Needle.

You can take a look for yourself! This is a quick video I shot from the top of the Space Needle. Again, the view is still incredible at night — this clip doesn’t even do it justice:

I don’t care how much it costs or what time of day it is — the Space Needle is a must-see tourist attraction when you visit Seattle. I’m not just saying take pictures from the ground level; you need to go to the top. I even encourage a trip to people who live in the area and haven’t seen the view from the Space Needle observation deck in a long time. It’s always good to be reminded what a beautiful city we live in.

Have you ever been to the top of the Space Needle? If you have, what did you think of the view? I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. And don’t forget, if you can’t travel the globe; experience the world with me at http://allaroundtim.com!

Space Needle Seattle Washington

The Space Needle from the ground up

Skrillex | A Unique Concert Experience

I’ll be honest: I had no idea who Skrillex was before I heard his name mentioned at Bumbershoot (the annual music and arts festival in Seattle). Several people hyped Skrillex as one of the “must-see” acts, but I really didn’t have interest in jamming to electronic beats (even though I was at Bumbershoot the night he was performing). Despite my hesitation, I decided to go to the Skrillex concert anyway, and it turned out to be a worthwhile decision.

Skrillex Concert Live In Seattle

Skrillex performs live at Bumbershoot

After watching Passion Pit crush their performance at Bumbershoot, I ventured to the main stage inside KeyArena (the former home of the Seattle Sonics) where Skrillex already started his show. The building (which seats nearly 17,500) was packed to the brim. Every section was closed off because all the seats were taken. I tried several different aisles, but there was always a security guard quickly sending me back to the concourse. I finally marched to the upper bowl and convinced an usher to let me in. It wasn’t an ideal section to hear the music, but it was perfect for scouting the atmosphere.

Skrillex performed for more than an hour that night at Bumbershoot, but I was only there for the final 30 minutes of his show. The music never stopped, and his fans in attendance didn’t either. Every single person inside KeyArena was moving to the beat. It was like a rave on steroids. There were girls stripped down to their sports bras, dudes without their shirts on, and hundreds of fans waving glow sticks to the beat. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

Skrillex added plenty of atmosphere himself. On top of his bumping beats (a Skrillex concert is LOUD), there were fire cauldrons, lasers, fireworks, flashing lights and cannons that shot confetti into the crowd. Skrillex even jumped onto his turntable a couple of times and started flinging his arms into the air, urging the crowd to make some noise — they were quick to oblige. It was a crazy scene. I shot this video just so you could see what it was like:

I would never think about buying a Skrillex album, but his performance was more than enough for me to research him. Little did I know that Skrillex was nominated for five Grammy Awards last year, including Best New Artist. He wound up taking home three Grammys, and was later named MTV’s Electronic Dance Music Artist of the Year. The guy is much bigger than I ever would have guessed he was.

Skrillex continues to gain in popularity too. His music video for ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites‘ currently has more than 102 million views on YouTube. That’s not a fluke either; all of his videos are popular. Just four days ago, the video was posted for ‘Make It Bun Dem‘ (featuring Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley) — it already has 1.5 million views (again — in just four days). Most of his official videos range from 15 million to 80 million views. That goes well beyond “viral” territory.

Skrillex has five extended plays in his discography – Make It Bun Dem After Hours was just released on August 28th. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites (2010) and Bangarang (2011) are his most popular EPs, going gold (500,000+ copies sold) and platinum (one million+ copies sold), respectively. Believe it or not, I think Skrillex is just scratching the surface — there’s still plenty more to come in the future.

Have you ever seen Skrillex perform live? What do you think of him? I would love to hear from you. Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more from the world of music right now at http://allaroundtim.com!

Bumbershoot | Experiencing Seattle’s Music Festival

I’m a huge fan of music, but up until yesterday I’d never been to a music festival in my life. It’s not because I haven’t wanted to go to one either; it’s just never worked out (mostly because I’ve worked weekends for much of my career). After two and a half days of hearing acts at Bumbershoot from my office in Seattle (the television station is directly across the street from where the event was held), I finally got into the mix last night.

Passion Pit performing live in Seattle at Bumbershoot

Passion Pit

I could only squeeze four hours out of Bumbershoot (I was off work at 7pm and the last show ended at 11pm), but it was worth every second. I saw parts of four different acts, but I was constantly surrounded by music the second I walked in the gates to the second I walked out. After my quick glimpse at the festival, I wished that I could have spent every hour of every day at Bumbershoot over Labor Day weekend (if I didn’t have to work, obviously).

The range of music you find at Bumbershoot is amazing. I heard everything from pop, to folk, to electronica — and I was only there for a few hours. On top of what I heard in the crowd, I also heard a wide range from my office. There was the Heartless Bastards, Ian Hunter and the Rant Band and Wanda Jackson (the “Queen of Rockabilly”) — just to name a few. It’s a great way to experience a lot of different music all in one place.

The first act I strolled upon at Bumbershoot was Lights. I knew nothing about her when I saw her on stage, but she was cute, little and she was rocking out. Lights romped around with the microphone, jammed out on her synthesizer and even went solo on her piano (her band literally left the stage). It was fun to watch. Lights honestly reminded me of someone like No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani when she was on stage, but I was completely duped by her performance. I wanted to learn more about Lights after I got home, so I googled her. All of her songs sounded like your typical pop artist (think Jessica Simpson). I was stunned, disappointed, and realized that I can easily get caught up in a live concert — no matter who it is.

I slipped away from Lights for a few minutes to check out Hey Marseilles. Again, I didn’t know much about them before I saw them on stage. They’re a local, Seattle-based band that sounds a little like Mumford & Sons, but they’re not nearly as good/developed. Hey Marseilles didn’t do nearly enough to lure me in with their first few songs, so I kept moving on (sadly, I chose eating dinner over watching the rest of their show — that’s how little they impressed me).

Skrillex performing live at Bumbershoot in Seattle

Skrillex

After a quick bite, Passion Pit was the next group to grab my attention at Bumbershoot. Several people recommended Passion Pit to me in the past, but I never really took the time to listen to them, and honestly the snippets I’d heard on iTunes weren’t all that intriguing to me. I will say this — I’m a big fan of Passion Pit now that I’ve seen them live. Lead singer Michael Angelakos rocks. He’s was all over the stage, swinging the microphone over his head, and even banged away on the drums at one point. Passion Pit definitely won me over. I plan on buying their latest album Gossamer (released July 24th) when I’m done writing this.

Right before Passion Pit wrapped up, I made my way to the main stage at KeyArena to catch the end of Skrillex. I’m not into electronic music at all, so I had no idea how huge this guy was. The arena (which holds 17,459 people) was packed to the brim. Every section was closed, because all the seats were taken. I finally convinced one of the workers to let me through (since I was by myself), and I wound up on the side of the stage. It wasn’t the best for hearing Skrillex jam, but it gave me a great opportunity to see the crowd (the average age couldn’t have been older than 20). It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. I’ll compare it to a rave on steroids. People were shirtless, there were glow sticks, lasers and fireworks, and the crowd never stopped moving to the music. I shot this video to give you a feel for what it was like:

I was skeptical at first, but it was totally worth seeing Skrillex in person (for the people watching alone). I was so impressed that I wrote an individual post about my full Skrillex experience — check it out!

I’ve always been a fan of music, but I’ve really grown to love it over the last five or six years, and thanks to my experience at Bumbershoot, my passion for music keeps getting bigger and bigger. I can’t wait for another live performance or the next band that’s going to knock me right off my feet. I think I might be addicted.

Did you go to Bumbershoot? If so, who did you see? I’d love to hear all about it! Simply leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more of my take on music right now on http://allaroundtim.com.

New Music Discovery | Heartless Bastards

I thought my Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers post was really random, but then I started to realize that random is what makes music really fun. There’s always someone/something new to find, and how you find them is usually — again — random (or at least that’s how it works for me). So, with that long-winded explanation in the books, the way I found the Heartless Bastards really shouldn’t sound all that strange.

I work in a television station right across the street from the Space Needle, which is located in an area called Seattle Center. There are always events happening at Seattle Center, including this weekend — it’s Bumbershoot. For those of you who don’t know, Bumbershoot is a huge, annual music and arts festival in the Emerald City. The best part about being so close is that I can hear some of the acts performing from my office (it’s a little echoey, but you can still get a good feel for the tunes).

Heartless Bastard Band Music

Heartless Bastards

I was pounding away on my shows last night when one of the bands peaked my interest. I immediately jumped on the Bumbershoot website to find out who was on stage. The answer — the Heartless Bastards. I’d never heard them before, but their name alone made them worth researching. I wanted to jump all over it, but I was working hard, so my research had to wait until this morning. Here’s what I found:

The Heartless Bastards are a “garage band” that formed back in 2003 in Cincinnati. They’ve since moved, so they’re now based in Austin, Texas. There are four people who make up the Heartless Bastards, but the centerpiece is singer/guitarist/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom. The iTunes review for the band’s latest album Arrow describes Wennerstrom as a “rock n’ roll goddess”:

“Wennerstrom is a versatile guitarist who has the rock bite of Chrissie Hynde, the wounded blues howl of singers like Cat Power and P.J. Harvey, and the classic rock soul of the women of Heart — all in one combustible package,” the review reads.

I haven’t had a ton of time to listen to their old stuff, but I like what I hear so far from Arrow (released on Valentine’s Day). ‘Parted Ways‘ and ‘Only For You‘ peaked my interest the most on the album. Heartless Bastards gets high scores for variety (often described as multi-dimensional). They slam songs like ‘Got To Have Rock And Roll‘, bring some country twang to ‘Low Low Low‘ and flashback to the Woodstock-esque ‘Down In The Canyon‘.

Here’s a sample of what the Heartless Bastards bring to the table (this is ‘Only For You’):

NOTE: You can actually get a free download of ‘Only for You’ by signing up for the Heartless Bastards mailing list on their website.

The Heartless Bastards’ Wikipedia page says the group is often compared to The Black Keys (also from Ohio), but I can’t say I hear a ton of resemblance (let’s be honest — The Black Keys are better). The Heartless Bastards have their own unique sound, and I think that’s what drew me to them from the beginning. This was a random find, but one I’m pretty happy with so far.

I’ll keep my ears peeled for another surprise from Bumbershoot today…

Have you listened to the Heartless Bastards? What do you think of them? I’d love to hear from you! Simply leave a message below or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more of my take on music!

Letting [Players] Go Is Never Easy

In the movie Bull Durham, the Bulls manager has to tell Crash Davis (played by Kevin Costner) that he’s being cut. The skipper says, “This is the toughest job a manager has…” right before he breaks the news to Davis. It’s an emotional exchange between player and coach. Yes, Bull Durham is only a film, but this same exact situation happens in real life every season in the National Football League.

At the start of camp, the Seattle Seahawks had 90 players on their roster. By the time the regular season comes around in September, the Hawks can only carry 53 guys (a league-wide rule). That means general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have to release 37 players along the way.

John Schneider Pete Carroll Seattle Seahawks

John Schneider and Pete Carroll
Courtesy: Seahawks.com

“I don’t know how it is at other places, but it’s very meaningful when we cut guys here,” Carroll told me. “Knowing how much of their lives are wrapped around this and how much this means to them, I take something like this very seriously.”

Carroll says he is connected to every single player on the roster. He told me that he gets to know all of his guys – who they are and what they’re all about — so he can help them be their best. Something that benefits not only the player, but also the team.

“You invest in that relationship to get that done, so it means something,” Carroll said.

Carroll already had to make 15 cuts to get to the league-mandated 75 earlier this week, and the roster moves aren’t nearly done. The Seahawks only have one more preseason game remaining, and then the team needs to cut 22 more players by the NFL’s Friday deadline. Nothing about the process is easy for Carroll. He calls it “a very emotional time.”

“I take into account as many aspects of it as I can,” Carroll told me. “They love this game and they’re doing everything they can to make it. It’s a part of their life and it’s a big deal when that’s taken away.”

Deon Butler Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver

Deon Butler
Courtesy: Seahawks.com

Wide receiver Deon Butler is battling ten other wide receivers for what’s believed to be six spots on the Seahawks active roster. Butler isn’t a star, but he isn’t a slouch either. The Penn State University product has reeled in 57 passes for 611 yards and four touchdowns in his first three seasons in the NFL.

“It’s nothing new for me to be the underdog,” Butler said. “I just feel like there’s a place for me in the league. Whether it’s here — hopefully it’s here — but if not, I’m confident I put out good tape.”

Listed at just 5’10″ and 182 pounds, Butler is the smallest receiver on Seattle’s roster right now. You’d think his experience in the pros would outweigh any knock on his size at this point, but that’s not how the NFL works. If Butler makes the team, it’s someone else that has to go. The Seahawks are likely going to cut five wide receivers by the end of the week.

“We know that in the back of our minds,” Butler said. “You can’t worry about it, because the more you start thinking about that is when you’ll start to fall apart. You’ll start messing up. It does you no good.”

There are players like Butler scattered all over the Seahawks roster (and the entire NFL for that matter), sitting on the edge of their seat as the final cuts approach. But, for every player who is released, there’s someone else who makes the squad — officially living their NFL dream.

“We’re ecstatic for the guys who make the team,” Carroll told me. “The exhilaration they feel — they deserve it. They earned it.”

Pete Carroll Seahawks Head Coach

Pete Carroll
Courtesy: Seahawks.com

In a world where superstars get all the attention, it’s hard to remember that life isn’t always easy for professional athletes. Sure, most of these guys make salaries that we can only dream about, but many of them don’t. If they’re cut, that pay check disappears completely. A football player is let go from his job like any other Joe Blow around the country.

“I know guys around here like this team, and they want to be a part of it,” said Carroll. ”It’s a big deal when it works for them and a big deal when it doesn’t. It’s the same for us.”

The Seahawks open the regular season September 9th against Arizona. They will only have 53 players in uniform that day. Who those players will be is still up in the air — that’s up to Pete Carroll to decide by Friday. Let’s just say I’m happy to not be walking in his shoes this week.

I would love to hear from you about all of this! Please leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget you can also find more sports coverage right now on http://allroundtim.com.

‘The Great Wheel’ | Seattle’s Newest Attraction

You don’t always have to go far for a travel adventure. Sometimes you can find plenty of fun in your own backyard — just like I did last week. I spent four days playing tourist in Seattle — where I now live and work. I grew up in this area, but it’s much different to scout a place as an adult than it is a kid. I hit up Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and now no ”staycation” (or vacation) in Seattle is complete without a ride on ‘The Great Wheel’.

The Great Wheel Seattle Sunset Ferris Wheel

‘The Great Wheel’

‘The Great Wheel’ (or technically ‘The Seattle Great Wheel’) is Seattle’s new Ferris wheel (it opened in late June). You can find the attraction on the waterfront on Pier 57 (near the Seattle Aquarium). It’s not like you need directions though — ‘The Great Wheel’ is easy to spot. That’s because it stands 175 feet tall, making it the largest year-round Ferris wheel in the United States.

Modeled after the London Eye in England (but much, much smaller), ‘The Great Wheel’ is an awesome addition to the already spectacular Seattle skyline. The Ferris wheel can fit as many as 252 people in its 42 enclosed gondolas (which have air conditioning and heat if needed). ’The Great Wheel’ provides unique views of Seattle and the Puget Sound (it literally extends 40-feet over Elliot Bay) that you can’t find anywhere else.

This is video I captured on ‘The Great Wheel’ last week. I was on the left side of the gondola with my back toward the water, so that means I was looking at the city. Enjoy the ride!

A full ride on ‘The Great Wheel’ consists of three revolutions. It’s a little slow to get started just because of the time it takes to get everyone on and off the Ferris wheel. That’s not a complaint though — I think it’s a good thing. The slow start allows you to soak up the views. The entire ride (including the time it takes to get people on and off) lasted 25 minutes, and I’m told that’s the average time for a cruise on ‘The Great Wheel’.

View from 'The Seattle Great Wheel'

A view of Seattle from ‘The Great Wheel’

The wait time to get on the Ferris wheel is a much different story. There are actually two lines you have to wait in: one to buy tickets ($13 + tax for adults, $11 for seniors, $8.50 for children 4-11, while kids 0-3 are free (although they still need a ticket)), and the other to get on ‘The Great Wheel’. I highly recommend buying your tickets online to save time (that way you can skip the ticket line and just wait for the ride instead). I rode ‘The Great Wheel’ on a Monday (after buying my tickets in advance — allowing me to skip at least 70 people in the ticket line) and only had to wait about 20 minutes to get on the ride.

I want to pass along one small warning, especially to those of you who want to ride in a gondola alone. If ‘The Great Wheel’ is busy (which it has been since it opened) and you don’t have a group large enough to fill a gondola (they seat eight), you likely have to ride in a cabin with other people. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing (I rode with a nice family visiting from Houston); I’m just letting you know that’s how it works.

I’ve heard mixed reviews on ‘The Great Wheel’. Some say it’s overpriced and/or the ride isn’t long enough, while others rave about their experience. I’ll say this — if you’re a local you might not enjoy the Ferris wheel as much as a tourist, but ultimately, I think everyone should take at least one spin on Seattle’s newest attraction.

Have you been on ‘The Great Wheel’? If you have, what did you think? I would love to hear from you! You can leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget that if you can’t travel the world; experience the world with me at http://allaroundtim.com!

Meeting, Watching Allen Stone Perform Live In Seattle

I can’t say I listen to a ton of soul music, but Allen Stone is definitely starting to push me into the soul scene. I was already a big fan of Stone before this week, but after meeting him and watching him perform live, I’m a huge fan of Allen Stone now.

Allen Stone Easy Street Records SeattleI just caught Allen Stone at a free in-store performance at Easy Street Records in Seattle. Even though it was a hot, crammed, little music store, it was an awesome atmosphere for a show. There were honestly no more than 350 people in the building, and Stone treated it like any other large venue he’s rocked. The store apparently told Stone he could only play for 30 minutes, but Stone says he told them “f%#@ that” and played for more than an hour and twenty minutes.

Stone played most of his own stuff  from his rereleased self-titled debut album (‘Celebrate Tonight‘, ‘Sleep‘, etc.), but he also strayed off the beaten path a couple of times. The first time Allen Stone covered ‘Six Years’ by Tingsek (a song that’s actually on his vinyl album), and the second time he rocked ‘Is This Love‘ by Bob Marley. Aside from the end of the show, Stone received his biggest ovation after ’Is This Love’. The crowd literally brought (or nearly brought) Stone to tears.

This is video I shot of Allen Stone rocking ‘Six Years’ at the performance…

I’ve listened to Allen Stone’s album too many times now (because it’s rad), but I honestly think Stone is even better live than he is on CD. You don’t lose anything in his live performance (the guy still has killer pipes) like you might with some musicians. In fact, I think you gain a lot watching Allen Stone live. His music has tons of feeling (as does most soul music — hence the name), but you can really see the feeling when Stone is on stage. Plus, it’s cool to see such a quirky dude rock a microphone.

Allen Stone keeps the crowd jamming throughout his show as well. Whether it was asking you to be background singers for ‘Say So’ (Say so! Say so! Say so!), grabbing a loved one for ‘Your Eyes’, or even forcing you to dance (he says it’s something he does at every show), Stone keeps you active during his performance. The best word to describe it — fun.

Tim Lewis KOMO Allen Stone Tove Tupper SeattleAfter the show Stone met with fans for pictures and autographs. He said he wanted to meet everyone — whether they wanted to hug him or slap him in the face. I didn’t wait for him after the show, because I actually ran into Allen Stone on the streets of Seattle. My friend Tove and I were strolling down 5th Avenue when we spotted Stone outside of a store. I’m not one to make a big deal about celebrities, but I have a mutual friend with Stone, so we went up to say hello. The guy is awesome. He’s just a normal dude who loves to sing. He’s definitely getting more popular though, because several people approached him on the street before and after us.

I have a feeling a year from now Allen Stone won’t be this easy to access. He’s now signed with Dave Matthew’s record label ATO Records, and his career is ready for take off. I can’t imagine Stone will be playing too many more music stores in Seattle anytime soon. It’s fun to meet/see a guy before he gets big — and BIG is definitely in Allen Stone’s future.

Are you an Allen Stone fan? Have you seen him perform live? What do you think of his album? I’m curious to know what your opinion is. Leave a comment right here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to check out more of my music posts right now on http://allaroundtim.com!

Bode Dockal’s First Two Baseball Games Are Perfect

Figuring there have only been 23 perfect games in the history of Major League Baseball (dating back more than 120 years), seeing one of those in person is a feat in itself. To see two perfect games in one season is a completely different achievement. And then, to see two perfect games in the first two big league games of your life — that’s just incredible.

Perfect Game Safeco Field Seattle Bode Dockal Kid Infant Baby

Bode and Paul Dockal at Phil Humber’s perfect game on April 21, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bode Dockal. He’s just a year old and he’s already seen two perfect games — in the only two Major League Baseball games he’s ever been to. Bode is too young to understand what he’s seen, and there’s no way he’ll ever remember perfection, but his father Paul Dockal is keeping it all documented for him.

“This past weekend I took my son to his first major league baseball game,” Paul wrote on his ‘Blog for Dads‘ back in April. “What an amazing day.”

Well, that’s because Chicago White Sox pitcher Phil Humber tossed a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. 27 batters up; 27 batters down. And Bode Dockal, at just nine months old, was there to see them all.

“The first thing I said to my wife was, ‘This is the best day I’ve ever had with my son.’” Paul told MLB.com.

Little did Paul know he would witness history with his little boy again — the very next time they went to a game together.

Bode Dockal | First Two Baseball Game Are Perfect Games

Bode and Paul Dockal at Felix Hernandez’s perfect game on August 15, 2012

According to an article on MLB.com, Paul took Bode back to Safeco Field on August 15th. The Dockal’s had family in town and the visitors wanted to watch some baseball. And watch baseball they did — perfect baseball. As fate would have it, Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s the first time in Major League Baseball history two perfect games have been thrown in the same stadium in one season.

I would have died to see just one of those perfect games in person. I was in Europe when Humber threw the first perfecto, and I was in my car driving to work when Hernandez finished off his masterpiece. Luckily, being a local sports guy in Seattle, I was still able to capture the excitement of Hernandez’s gem in our newscasts that night. It almost felt like I was actually there, but that’s not nearly enough for me. I’ll keep buying tickets until I win the baseball lottery. Something Bode Dockal’s done twice — and he’s just a toddler.

Have you ever seen a perfect game in person? I would love to hear your story (so I can live vicariously through you)! Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. Don’t forget to also check out more of my sports coverage right here on All Around Tim!

You’re Never Too Old For The Zoo

I’ve determined that you’re never too old to enjoy the zoo. In fact, I think you appreciate the zoo even more when you’re an adult compared to when you’re a kid. You think it’s normal to see wild animals up close and personal when you’re young, but as you grow older you realize how rare it is to catch a glimpse of these beasts in person.

I have a couple of examples to back up my theory: I was at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle a few weeks ago, and I heard a little boy tell his parents that he wanted to go home because “this place is dull.” Not long after that I took my nephew to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma. He would get excited about the animals at first, but then often lost interest after a few seconds. On the other hand, I stared, and stared, and stared in awe at the creatures for several minutes at a time. That might mean that I’m a dork — or a terrible uncle — but I can’t help it. I love the zoo!

Here are some of the pictures I snapped on my recent adventures to the Woodland Park Zoo and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. I posted these on Instagram — be sure to follow me @AllAroundTim!

BUDGIE

Budgie Buddies Tacoma Point Defiance Zoo

ELEPHANTS

Elephant Pt Defiance Zoo Tacoma

Elephant Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

GIRAFFE

Giraffe Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

GRIZZLY BEAR

Grizzly Bear Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

LEMURS

Cuddling Lemurs Pt Defiance Zoo Tacoma

LEOPARD

Leopard Seattle Zoo Woodland Park

MEERKATS

Meerkats Zoo In Tacoma | Pt Defiance

POISON DART FROGS

Poison Dart Frogs Woodland Park Zoo Seattle

POLAR BEAR

Polar Bear Pt Defiance Zoo Tacoma

SHARK

Shark Point Defiance Aquarium Tacoma

How often can you get right next to a grizzly bear, leopard and shark all in one place? Nowhere — except for a zoo (and aquarium). I think it would be incredible to see all of these animals in the wild (and some of them I have), but in most cases that takes lots of money and really good timing — many of these animals are endangered; that’s why they’re in a zoo.

This world is filled with amazing creatures — don’t miss them! Young or old, the zoo is the best place to soak the entire animal kingdom in.

Do you love the zoo or can you go without? What’s your favorite animal at the zoo? I would love to hear from you! Leave a message below or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. You can also find me on YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn. In other words, there’s no reason not to reach out!

A Dream Come True | Working On The Desk With My Dad

You know him as KOMO 4 News anchor Dan Lewis, but I know him as dad. Not only is he my pops (one of the several nicknames I have for the guy); he’s also one of my best friends — and now he’s also one of my coworkers.

Tim Lewis KOMO Sports

I don’t even know who this guy is…

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a sportscaster in Seattle. After paying my dues in smaller markets, my dream finally came true when I was recently hired as the new weekend sports anchor/sports reporter at KOMO. That means I wasn’t just going to be working in Seattle — I was going to work at the same station as my dad.

I work on the weekends, so my dad and I only crossover three days a week. We work together indirectly most of the time, because I only do sports on the desk on Saturdays and Sundays (my dad anchors Monday-Friday). During the week, I cover practices and games, and report live from the scene of sporting events. It’s the coolest job in the world, but that means working on the desk with my dad (something we’ve talked about for years) will be a rare occurrence.

One of those moments actually happened last night. For the first time in my life I worked side by side with my dad on television. It was an incredible experience, unlike any other day I’ve had a work before. Our station’s social media managers came in to take pictures of the two of us and live tweet the entire newscast. I even took part in a news tease (a quick promotion you see on TV before the news) with my dad — something sports guys are never included in. All of that happened leading up to my sportscast.

Tim Lewis Dan Lewis KOMO

My dad and me on the KOMO set together

NOTE: A friend of mine took this picture of the news tease when it ran on television. He sent it to me on Twitter, and it literally knocked the wind out of me for a second. I recorded the tease with my dad, but it was the first time I’d seen the two of us together – with our names and everything — on the set.

Then came the moment of truth…the actual show. Since I don’t hit until a little later in the newscast, I don’t stroll to the set until right before sports. I’ve thought for years what it would be like to walk into the studio and see my dad sitting on the desk. Well, I finally had that moment. I took a deep breath, opened the door and walked in. To my left was Steve Pool doing the weather, and my dad and Mary Nam were right in front of me. I have no idea what my face looked like at the time — all I know is that I couldn’t stop smiling.

I sat down with them, and two minutes later we were on the air. My dad tossed to sports over a picture of me as a little boy. I was honestly so caught up in the moment that I didn’t really hear much of what he was saying. When it was finally my turn to talk I was just really thankful that I made sense. At the same time, it was amazing how comfortable I felt. There were obviously some nerves, but these were all familiar faces — people I’ve known for much of my life – so that made the situation much easier. Not that I ever doubted it, but it felt like I belonged up there with them. That helped the show go off without a hitch. You can actually watch our first moments on TV (and check out some of the fun pictures they took of us) together by clicking here.

Steve Pool, Dan Lewis, Mary Nam, Tim Lewis KOMO

Steve Pool, my dad, Mary Nam and me

Following the show, I received an outpouring of congratulations. I honestly think that’s been the most fun thing about this whole experience. I’ve received congratulations/compliments from people I don’t even know, my best friends and people I haven’t heard from in years. It really means a lot to me that so many people care.

I honestly don’t know if this post makes any sense. I’ve said to several people over the last two weeks that I can’t even begin to explain how cool it is to be working with my dad at KOMO. This was my best attempt at putting it into words. I hope it isn’t too jumbled. If you’ve made it this far, I guess it wasn’t too bad. :)

Like I’ve mentioned before, I want to hear from you. Please feel free to leave a comment, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. You can also find me on YouTube and Pinterest. In other words, you don’t have any excuse to not contact me.

Thanks for reading! Have an awesome day (or night)!