Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thanks, Paul Allen

I feel like I've been vacationing with Paul Allen. Yes, that Paul Allen--the co-founder of Microsoft. Actually, I was in Seattle with my husband, and we spent several days enjoying one Paul Allen attraction after another.

  • We started with the Flying Heritage Collection, which features rare and wonderfully restored combat aircraft from World War II. Even the hangar itself was scrubbed down, buffed up, and gleaming. More than just gawking, you can read snippets about the innovations involved in each class of plane--and also the personal story of the individual plane right in front of you. And there are some pretty great videos featuring the people who did the flying.

  • Next up: The Experience Music Project The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. These are two great places within a landmark Frank Gehry building, located at the base of the Space Needle. Lots to ooooh and ahhhh over, and while the goal is to integrate the two museums into a "thought-provoking center for contemporary culture," the primary link for me was a high degree of cool. Where else could I see the Sci-fi faves of my childhood, emerse myself in the music of Jimi Hendrix, and walk away with a DVD of myself and my husband performing as the Beatles cover band "The Never Weres."

When we were done, I felt like calling Paul Allen to ask: What should we do next? I'm sure his answer would have involved seeing one of his professional sports team play.

For the past two years, Allen has been listed among TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. And for several days in September, he certainly was one of the most influential in giving me a great Seattle vacation experience.

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