Seattle’s new Hot Tub Boats: swingin’ in the rain

seattle hot tub rentalI live in Seattle. So I can state with authority that out here if you want hipster street cred you’ll be rocking at least some sartorial remnant of the ’70s — be it a pair of groovy shades, nut-hugger jeans, a polyester dress or booty cut-offs.

What else is reminiscent of the ’70s? Hot tubs, baby. And now, chilly (but oh so cool) Seattleites and visitors alike can have a relaxing retro outing thanks to a fab new indulgence: Hot Tub Boats. You and up to six friends (kids count) can bob around scenic Lake Union in a wooden, diesel boiler-fueled floating hot tub boat with full steering capacity and a throttle. All boats come with coolers, locked dry storage, water jets and safety equipment. They are also United States Coast Guard standard approved.

The boats are also available for longer-term rentals and purchase, and can be delivered to alternate locations such as Lake Washington for an additional fee. The company is anticipating a May launch.

Alas, getting nekkid and sipping Lancers is not permitted; we’re not animals here in Seattle. And everyone knows drinking and boating (don’t) mix. Even though you’ll have to leave the booze at home and cover up your bits, there’s still something about steamy water, nippy weather and floating on a lake that feels a little bit naughty. Far out.


‘Egyptomania’ grips Houston

EgyptomaniaThe Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, has just opened a new exhibition exploring the West’s fascination with ancient Egypt.

Egyptomania” collects forty objects from the Egyptian revivals of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This was the time when the West became widely aware of the great civilization of Egypt and started excavating there. Cutting open mummies became popular entertainment, the rich collected Egyptian artifacts, and it seemed like everyone wanted to own something in the Egyptian style — like this Art Deco perfume bottle shown here in a photo courtesy MFAH. It was designed by Baccarat c. 1930. Other items on display are Egyptian-style furniture, garden sphinxes (much cooler than garden gnomes) and even Egyptian asparagus tongs.

Visitors to the museum can get a double dose of ancient Egypt right now because the traveling exhibition “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” is on display through April 15. This exhibition features more than a hundred artifacts, most of which have never been shown in the U.S. prior to this tour.

If this isn’t enough to stave off your Egyptomaniacal cravings, I suggest a trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium in San Jose, California. This place is a strange hybrid of serious museum and cultish quackery founded by a modern spiritual group inspired by ancient Egypt.

“Egyptomania” runs from March 18 through July 29.

California woman arrested in nail-painting incident on Southwest flight

According to CBS Los Angeles, a California woman was arrested in late February for painting her nails on a Southwest flight bound for Houston. The woman, identified as Jeanie Daniels, was on her way to visit her boyfriend and claims that the passengers seated next to her agreed to let her do her nails.

But one of the flight attendants reportedly objected, so Daniels retreated to the bathroom to finish the job. When she got out of the bathroom, she got into a verbal altercation with two flight attendants and claims she was detained by law enforcement officials at the Houston airport for more than 10 hours before a judge charged her with profane and abusive language.

The CBS story essentially reports Daniels’ side of the story along with an anodyne statement from Southwest, so it’s hard to know if the flight attendants could have diffused the situation or if Daniels was the instigator.I’ve actually never seen someone paint their nails on a flight but I wouldn’t be surprised if some flight attendants are becoming increasingly intolerant of obnoxious passengers. These days it’s not that uncommon to see passengers watching videos without headphones (especially kids), loudly chattering on mobile phones on the runway, and generally acting as though they were in their living rooms. On Monday, Gadling will begin a new March Madness series that will allow our readers to vote on which airline annoyances are the most egregious.

Do you think that these Southwest flight attendants were right in showing zero tolerance for the California nail-painter, or does it sound like they overreacted?

[Photo via Borispumps on Flickr]

Photo of the Day- Predawn Houston


Photo of the Day


Today’s Photo of the Day comes from Flickr user Theodore Scott who brings us this “view of Houston from Buffalo Bayou Park, shortly before dawn,” from an impressive photostream.

Called “Houston’s most significant resource”, a major enhancement project is underway to improve aesthetic and recreational opportunities while simultaneously regaining the waterway’s flood conveyance capacity and environmental qualities.

Upload your best shots to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. Several times a week we choose our favorite images from the pool as Photos of the Day.

First domestic 787 begins construction

Production and delivery of the 787 jumbo jet is starting to shift into high gear, and as ANA shows off its new Japanese aircraft the focus is now turning to the domestic carriers. Delivery of the new Boeing aircraft to its first domestic carrier is slated for the merged Continental/United airlines — it was Continental’s order (in 2004!) before the two giants joined forces.

Planned for delivery in the beginning of next year, the 787 is scheduled to begin service between Auckland, NZ and Houston, Texas.

In its current state, the aircraft is just having its wings attached at the Boeing plant in Washington. If you look closely, you can see that the fuselage is in multiple pieces and the tail isn’t even in sight. Either way, that fact that the airplane is on the production line is exciting news — we look forward to seeing the inside.