Jellies at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

imageSqueezing in a little last bite of summer, a bunch of us went to to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium  to visit the jellies and the big cats. It was such a treat because one of the group of our happy group actually volunteers at the zoo and was able to tell us about the animals. I was so busy chatting with my friends, that I forgot to take many photos! Perhaps the dearest of the exhibits was the cloud leopards cubs even though they just slept there in a big pile of darlingness.

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The Dahlia Trial Gardens at Point Defiance

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When I think of large displays of dahlias I usually think of the Connell’s Dahlia or perhaps the Washington State Fair. But Point Defiance Park also has a large display, the Dahlia Trial Gardens, which is right next door to the Rose Gardens and everything seemed to be in bloom!  I had gone to join my good friends at a picnic and really enjoyed my time with them. Afterwards I wandered all the gardens, enjoying the sunshine and snapping away. This Dahlia Trial Garden is one of eight in the entire United States that is sanctioned by the American Dahlia Society. It is managed by the Washington State Dahlia Society. Post Defiance has an excellent article on the gardens.

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Salty’s at Redondo Beach

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Dear husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary at Salty’s at Redondo Beach at 28201 Redondo Beach Drive South, Des Moines. There are three Salty’s locations (here, Aliki Point and near Portland on the Columbia River) and this was our first time at any of them.  It was altogether a lovely lunch. The restaurant extends over the water and has a comfortable, but sophisticated feel to it. Dear husband had the Dungenous Crab Melt and I had the Cod Fish & Chips. Both were excellent. My only sadness is that I had no room for dessert since I was excited to see that they served Winegars Ice Cream. Their website has full menus and their Facebook Page has a chance to win gift certicates. They even have an instagram feed.

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Asahel Curtis Picnic Area

IMG_4819The drive home from Ellensburg last weekend was smoky from the Washington forest fires, but I decided to stop at the Asahel Curtis Picnic area anyway. It was a perfectly nice picnic area with the Snoqualmie River running next to it. It was really a fast stop for me and I was quickly on my way home.

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Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Asahel Curtis

 

Wet Science Center, Olympia

imageThe LOTT WET Science Center at 500 Adams Street NE, Olympia was a pleasant find. LOTT’s WET (Water Education and Technology) looked pretty inviting with its outdoor water features, so I went in, asking if it was strictly for kids.  The lady behind the counter assured me that I was welcome and I explored the space with great interest. The center is open 10-4 and is free. They even have things to give away like a shower timer and a small bag carrier (poo bags) that can be clipped to a dog’s leash. There is a variety of educational interactive exhibits and they even have a box turtle.  There are often special events especially on Saturdays and school groups come by during the school year. They have a website and a Facebook page. They also have a Twitter Feed and a YouTube Channel!

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Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, TX

imageCatching Up from the Texas trip.

While in Texas I got in a short visit with some very dear friends and they took me to see the recently opened Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas. The 5+ acre park opened in 2012 and is constructed over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway at the edge of the city’s art district. This privately managed park features various food trucks, a children’s area with a tree house, a dog park, outdoor seating, water features, gardens and a putting green. There was a very positive feel to the place as folks enjoyed the sunshine and one another’s company. The one photo shows my ice cream sandwich with homemade cookies and ice cream :) The bee actually got stuck to my hat, making for an easy photo. Yes, he then flew away.

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John Wilks Booth may have lived in Granbury, TX

imageCatching up from the Texas trip

There is some debate on the fate of John Wilks Booth. Most say he was killed by Federal soldiers who had tracked him down at the Garrett Farm.

But the more interesting theory is that the wrong man was killed at Garrett Farm, Booth escaped to Granbury, TX, changed his name to John St. Helen and tended bar in what is now the Nutshell Cafe. While extremely sick, St. Helen made a death bed confession, but then he recovered. Since his story was then out there, he needed to leave town. He went to Enid, Oklahoma where he committed suicide. A book, Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth by Finis Bates, was written about this (that part is for sure true). Bates later gained control of St. Helen/Booth’s body and exhibited in carnival sideshows.

So, that explains where there is a mural featuring John Wilks Booth next to his wanted poster and near a picture of Lincoln. The mural also features the Lady in Red, who was suppose to be the love of Booth’s life. And on the other wall is Davy Crockett. The Nutshell Cafe is reportedly haunted by the Lady in Red with her boyfriend, Booth, supposedly haunts the adjacent Granbury Opera House.

On a lighter note, I found the coffee to be good at the Nutshell Cafe and would be glad to go back to try the ice cream.

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Jesse James Grave (maybe)

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Catching up from the Texas trip.

A dear friend of the family and I had a summer goal of finding the alleged grave of Jesse James in the Granbury Cemetery. We had tried last summer, but had no luck in the approaching dark. This time we set out in early evening and found Jessie’s grave, as well as Granbury’s grave and the burial site of an amputated arm.

Granbury (sometimes seen as Granberry) is the namesake of the town. As far as I can tell he never lived in Granbury, but his body was exhumed (for the second time) and buried here. There is also a gravesite for his wife, Fannie Granbury, though she isn’t buried there. She died at the young age of 25 and is in an unmarked grave in Alabama which is where she died of natural causes.

The buried arm is that of W. H. Holland who lost his arm in a childhood accident on November 16, 1895. The rest of Mr. Holland died sometime later and is buried elsewhere in the cemetery. The photo that shows that is of three above ground tombs. The arm is in the middle and there are infants to either side.

History tells us that the outlaw Jesse James was killed by a member of his gang in 1882 for the reward money. However, relatives of James say that his death was faked and it is really somebody else buried in Missouri in a grave labeled Jessie James.  The story goes that James was even a pallbearer at his own funeral! James took the alias of J. Frank Dalton and settled in Granbury eventually passing away in 1951 at the age of 103. Apparently toward the end of his life he even confessed. At the bottom of his headstone (look hard!) it says “supposedly killed in 1882”.

Haunted Granbury by Brandy Herr is full of interesting stories and well worth reading.

 

 

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