Each week, the Sip Advisor will alphabetically travel the United States, discovering the best each state has to offer in a variety of subjects. Today, we take a short jaunt over the border (if it wasn’t closed due to COVID) into Washington. The Evergreen State is the Sip Advisor’s most frequently visited in the country, so let’s see what we can learn together about it:
Motto: “By and by” – Alki, a Chinook saying, originally meant “I will see you by and by”, but has since been changed to meaning “into the future”. I hope the future includes being able to go back to Washington.
Food: Aplets & Cotlets are the unofficial State Candy of Washington (with competition from Almond Roca and the Mountain Bar). The gelatin-like confection, made with apples and apricots and a walnut center, are similar in style to Turkish Delight. The Aplets & Cotlets Candy Kitchen can be found in Cashmere, where the factory can be toured and samples had.
Drink: Coffee is Washington’s State Drink and it’s no wonder, given the world’s largest coffeehouse chain Starbucks is headquartered in Seattle. The first Starbucks was opened in Pike Place Market in 1971. The chain spread throughout the city, then opened locations in Vancouver, B.C., Canada and Chicago, Illinois. There are now over 30,000 Starbucks locations across the globe.
Site to See: The Space Needle, built for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, is a major landmark and tourist attraction. Mrs. Sip and I once enjoyed beverages at its revolving restaurant SkyCity (previously known as the Eye of the Needle), which was the first revolving restaurant on the U.S. mainland. The Space Needle is used for Seattle’s annual New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration.
Street: Pike Street is anchored by the famous Pike Place Market, where Mrs. Sip and I have enjoyed beers at Pike Brewing, as well as cheese curds from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, among other businesses. Another highlight of the area, albeit a disgusting one, is The Gum Wall, which is adorned by millions of pieces of used gum. The wall has become a popular photo spot.
TV Show: Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer, sees psychiatrist Frasier Crane relocated from Boston to his hometown Seattle, to launch his own call-in radio show. The Cheers spinoff aired for 11 seasons and 264 episodes of high-brow comedy, earning the show and cast 37 Emmy Awards, including five straight for Outstanding Comedy Series. A potential revival has been discussed.
Movie: Tag, based on the real-life story of a group of friends who come together each year to play an ongoing game of tag, is set in Spokane. Starring Ed Helms, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner, the comedy received mixed reviews, but was a financial success. The real-life tag group went to high school together in Spokane and used the game to stay close while going off to college and starting their adult lives.
Book/Author: Two divisive franchises were set in Washington, Twilight and Fifty Shades, with the latter originating as fan fiction for the former. Written by Stephenie Meyer and E.L. James, respectively, both series have been adapted into movies that have been critically panned (each winning multiple Golden Razzies), but massively successful at the box office.
Fictional Character: According to co-creator Justin Roiland, the animated series Rick and Morty is set in a suburb of Seattle. Therefore, I’ll pick mad scientist Rick Sanchez for this category. Sanchez is best known for his bizarre inventions and reckless behaviour, which usually make Morty’s life difficult. One of Rick’s most memorable experiments involved turning himself into a pickle and chaos ensuing.
Fictional City: Because of its Canadian connection, I have to choose the town of Hope here, where the original Rambo movie takes place, known as First Blood. The small town is based on Hope, British Columbia, Canada, where First Blood was filmed. Rambo largely destroys the city, but he has a good reason, following being harassed by its sheriff.
Actor/Actress: Legendary actor Adam West was born in Walla Walla. West’s most notable role was as Batman for the 1960’s campy version of the TV series. He enjoyed a renaissance of sorts when he was cast as Mayor Adam West on the animated TV comedy Family Guy, portraying an exaggerated version of himself who runs the town, despite being delusional.
Song: A number of Washington’s notable musicians have referenced the state in their songs, but there’s no outstanding ode to the region. The State Song is Washington, My Home (originally America, My Home), written by Helen Davis and Stuart Churchill. There has been some attempts to have a new State Song selected, but those have failed to this point.
Band/Musician: Seattle’s grunge music scene revolutionized the industry in the early 1990s, with bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and many others going mainstream. Jimi Hendrix must also be included in this category, as perhaps the greatest guitarist of all-time. Other notable acts from Washington include Sir Mix-A-Lot, Macklemore, Kenny Loggins and Heart.
People: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was born in Seattle. For many years, Gates was the world’s wealthiest person, but now sits at number two on the annual Forbes list. Gates has largely moved into a philanthropy role, running the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private charity in the world. He has also pledged to give half of his wealth to philanthropic causes.
Animal: Bobo the Gorilla was a major tourist attraction in Washington, between 1953 and 1968, during his time spent at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Bobo died at the age of 17, about half a gorilla’s normal lifespan. His stuffed skin was on display for many years at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, while his skeleton belongs to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.
Invention: One of the most notable companies in Washington is Boeing, which was founded in Seattle in 1916. The corporation has been credited with a number of innovations in the aviation industry, including the passenger airline, jumbo jet and even flight attendants. Today, Boeing is instrumental in exploration outside earth’s atmosphere, having developed the Lunar Rover.
Crime: Gary Ridgway (aka the Green River Killer) was active in the 1980s and 1990s, killing teenage and young adult females in Washington. Ridgway was convicted of 49 murders, the second most confirmed slayings in U.S. history. Ridgway was finally caught due to his DNA being found on some of the victims. His plea bargain resulted in life in prison without parole.
Law: In Washington, it is illegal to harass Bigfoot/Sasquatches or other cryptid creatures. Washington does have the most Bigfoot/Sasquatch sightings, so perhaps officials are justified in their concerns.
Sports Team: Seattle is home to the Seahawks (NFL), Mariners (MLB) and NHL expansion franchise the Kraken, who are to hit the ice for the 2021-22 season. The city also had the SuperSonics (NBA), before the team relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008, becoming the Thunder. The Seattle Sounders (MLS) has also enjoyed great success, winning the MLS Cup twice.
Athlete: Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, spent his entire career with the Denver Broncos – after being traded by the Baltimore Colts, who drafted him, when he threatened to join the New York Yankees (who also drafted him) and play baseball instead – winning two Super Bowls and setting many records. Today, Elway is the general manager and president of football operations with the Broncos.
Famous Home: Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, was shipped brick-by-brick from England to Washington and built between 1909-1911. It was originally owned by Chester Thorne, one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma. The estate was used for the Stephen King TV miniseries Rose Red and is currently a bed and breakfast. The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Urban Legend: The Maury Island Incident occurred in June 1947, when multiple reports of UFOs in the Mount Rainier area were filed. It was the first widely reported UFO case in the U.S., supported by the credibility of pilot Kenneth Arnold, who made one of the reports. Fred Crisman and Harold Dahl made corroborative claims, adding the element of a government coverup by ‘men in black’.
Museum: The Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame) can be found in Seattle, where it was founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The museum is known for its massive sculpture made of different music instruments and extensive collection celebrating the Seattle music scene.
Firsts: The first Father’s Day in the U.S. was celebrated in 1909, introduced by Spokane’s Sonora Dodd, who was looking to honour her father, a Civil War veteran who had raised six children as a single parent. The event didn’t reach national acceptance until the 1930’s, when Dodd partnered with industries such as tie and pipe makers, to help raise awareness for the celebration.
Company: Along with other major companies mentioned earlier (Starbucks, Boeing), Washington is also home to corporate giants such as Amazon (headquartered in Seattle), Microsoft (Redmond) and Costco (Issaquah). All three have had a significant impact on my life, as well as the lives of billions around the world. Products from each are all around us.
Events: In 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted, resulting in 57 human deaths, thousands of animals killed and over a billion dollars worth of damage to the surrounding area. The eruption has been called the most disastrous in U.S. history. Today, the area is preserved by the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, allowing the environment to respond naturally to the disaster.
Miscellaneous: One more thing to salute Washington for is their involvement in the production of hops for beer. With an estimated 75 per cent of the country’s hops coming from Washington, it’s no wonder the state has such a booming craft beer industry, even in smaller locales like Bellingham, where the Sip Family has enjoyed a number of visits to their Tap Trail.
- 1 oz Crown Royal Whiskey
- 1 oz Sour Apple Schnapps
- Top with Cranberry Juice
- Garnish with an Apple Slice
This cocktail honours the State Fruit of Washington, with the state being the largest apple producer in the U.S. Oddly, the recipe specifically calls for a Canadian Whiskey to be used, though I’m happy to oblige. Some drinkers add a splash of club soda to the martini, but I will go with the traditional serving.