Monthly Archives: December 2011

A brisk walk at Wapato Lake Park

It is a pretty chilly day, but pleasantly sunny. I was thinking about taking a walk and I asked dear daughter what she thought. She said no (something about a school project), but both dogs heard the W— word. Oh no! They pranced and danced and barked and whined and when I took down their leashes, the smaller dog (lLilly) grabbed the end as if to just walk herself. Well, OK then. Wapato Park has a nice, short walk around the lake. My coat was plenty warm enough, but I hadn’t counted on the breeze off the lake and wish I had brought a hat. The dogs thought it was the best walk EVER! We saw other dogs, ducks, geese, lots of crows and some kids. The park includes a covered picnic area, a bathhouse, grassy areas, playground equipment and a observation dock. Apparently the name Wapato comes from some of the native vegetation and means small potato!

The park’s website is here

Pierogies at the Russian Market in Tacoma

About 16 years ago I tutored a lovely woman from Russia in English. We worked together a couple of years and while we were fairly different we really got along. Towards the end of our time together she had her 10th child and her husband left her to return to Russia.

I remember one holiday season I was given about 10 passes to zoolights. I had the brain storm that it would be fun to take my friend and her nine (at the time) kids and I would buy the tickets for me and another friend. I told her there was no cost, but because of our language differences didn’t even try to explain that somebody had given me complimentary tickets.  When we met up at Zoolights, I was surprised to find that my Russian friend had indeed brought her nine kids, as well as her folks, her sister, her sisters six kids and maybe a few more.  Ummm. I really didn’t have the funds to cover that many and they sure didn’t either. So we sent the large Russian contingency in first with all the tickets that we did have. They handed over the tickets and the poor zoo worker started counting them and counting the crowd (all of whom were jabbering away in Russian) and then the zoo worker threw up her hands and ushered everybody in! Problem solved.

All of this came back because my dear daughter informed me yesterday that she had to have pierogies for dinner. Her father had recently introduced her to pierogies and she really took to them! And apparently the pierogies at the the Russian Grocery were the very best.  The Russian Grocery Store’s real name is Friendly Foods and it is located at 3612 Center St #B in Tacoma. It is the size of a large convenience store and is stock full of foods imported from Russia. Most of the customers and workers were speaking Russian (which is what reminded me of my friend!).  I picked up three types of pierogies, though there were probably another eight types there — mostly meat, but also a black cherry. The store included a wonderful bakery case and a deli.

Santa in the Shark Tank

When I heard that Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was featuring a scuba diving Santa on select days, I knew that we had to go! So, despite the fairly heavy rain, yesterday dear daughter, her dear friend and I went off to the zoo. It was really great! The rain mostly stopped and it was pretty temperate. I thought parking would be a snap, but the lot was almost full. Must be the pull of Scuba Santa! There was a short wait to see Santa, but when we got in we had a pretty good view and didn’t feel rushed. Everybody was having fun and the kids really got a kick out of it!

Bridgeway Market in Purdy

I have a couple of blog rules.

  •  Be safe
  • No photos of kids (maybe a crowd with some kids in it, but no kids on the playground or alone because I don’t want to be creepy!)
  • If I have more then one potential new place of the day, take the one that is the furthest away or would be the most difficult to get back to.
  •  If I absolutely can’t get to a new place that day, the world will not end

So, I missed two days because of Christmas (and that’s OK) and today I found myself at Bridgeway Market in Purdy (6707 Tyee Dr NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332). Purdy is an unincorporated community just north of Gig Harbor. I was expecting to find an upscale, small market, but it is really more of a large convenience store. It has a basic selection of groceries and snack foods, and a fairly large assortment of beer and wine. In an attached space there is a small teriyaki restaurant. What distinguishes this small market is its location on the Burley Lagoon next to the Purdy Bridge. I could smell the salt air when I opened my car door.

It’s the End of the World, As We Know It

Dear husband said he’d be happy to show me a splendid new place of the day and he took me here to South Tacoma Way and Sprague where they are tearing down the old Nally Valley overpass and have constructed the new one. This scene will not be here long! Husband and I agreed that it was very post apocalyptic. And nothing says Christmas Eve like Post Apocalyptic!

Place of Circling Waters — Twulshootseed

The Place of Circling Waters at 1621 Marine View Drive in the Port of Tacoma is a splendid example of morphing something ugly (a gravel mine) into something wonderful (a habitat at the mouth of Hylebos Creek ). I remember when it was a gravel mine and for a while I thought it was turning into a vineyard, but this year it opened as a habitat.

We arrived during low tide, the muddiest time to see the habitat.  Dear daughter and I were the only two civilians there, though there was a friendly Port Police Officer who was taking a quick check. Apparently thieves have been going into the fenced off areas to steal the irrigation wiring to strip it for the copper! Jeez!

While the terrain consists of 26 acres, only a small portion is accessible to the law abiding public. The rest of the area, which can be viewed from the observation platform, is left to nature.  We did see geese and apparently there are all sort of other birds including a kingfisher (I’d like to see a kingfisher!). There was also a sign on the fenced off hillside that warned of bee nests. Not the kind of nature I want to experience up close.

It is difficult to capture the scale of the project from the observation deck, so check out the Port’s webpage.

Seu MI Sa Temple

Seu Ml Sa Temple is located at 227 East 72nd Street has intrigued me for a long time. The grounds are lovely, the statues inspiring and the details on the temple amazing. The temple doesn’t have much of a web presence, but I gather that visitors are welcome at certain times. When I was there a lady came up to me smiling and asked if I was taking photos. I said yes and asked if that was OK and she smiled and said oh yes!




Franciscan Polar Plaza

The Franciscan Polar Plaza at Tollesfon Plaza in Downtown Tacoma is pretty cool It is the joint effort of Franciscan Health Care, The City of Tacoma, the Tacoma Art Museum and many other contributors. Mostly what I noticed while there is just how much fun everyone was having! There were young couples, kids with their parents and adults acting like kids. Plenty of folks fell, but they got back up laughing (ok, the kids laughed a little more than the adults). A couple of the skaters were pretty good, but most were obviously new to this, Some got around the rink by hanging on to the railing!

Rankos Pharmacy

Rankos Drug at 101 North Tacoma Avenue in the Stadium District has been around since the late 1930s and operated along Pacific Avenue from the late 1920s. The buildings original owner occupant was Gray Goose Coffee Shop & Confectionery. Rankos is family owned and independent and in addition to the pharmacy it has a small post office and an interesting assortment of gift items. I picked up a darling stocking stuffer for dear daughter and some cough drops.

Their website has some wonderful historic photos that are worth a look.

German Pastry and Coffee Shop in Lakewood

The German Pastry and Coffee Shop at 6108 Mt Tacoma Dr SW, Lakewood, WA 98499 is not the same thing as Hess Bakery and that confuses me. They both specialize in German Food, but have different strengths. Both of them are located in a brick building is known as European Square. Each of them has a sign on their door that says they are not affricated with the other. Well, OK. I’ll just go back and do Hess Bakery some other time.

The German Pastry and Coffee Shop has display cases and metal racks for tasty treats. I got two bags of cookies and two pieces of pastry, all for takeout. What I tasted at home was yummy. Maybe next time we’ll have lunch. I love the décor. There is one almost full wall mural of an alpine scene and many large jigsaw puzzles that have been framed.