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The Red Elm Cafe is a welcome addition

Red Elm Café at 1114 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma WA 98405 opened in the early spring of 2017 and Monday, 7/3, I finally got to check it out. I had the chicken + Avo Sandwich ($5.25) and it was very tasty. My friend had a salad and Aussie Toast and both looked great, fresh, interesting and inexpensive! Dear friend and I sat side by side and talked about life and Office 365 (we are both in training). The Red Elm was a perfect spot to meet with a charming interior (I’m a sucker for exposed brick), free wifi and good food. Note to self, they have a private meeting room. My groups are always looking for a private meeting room! More information can be found on their website and Facebook page.

The Café is located in the Pochert Building, which is adjacent to the Kellogg Sicker building, (previously Browne’s Star Grill) which I noticed is also being renovated. A marvelous blog entry about both building can be found at the Historic Tacoma Blog.

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Wapato Lake’s North Loop and Old Entrance

While walking our new pup around Wapato Lake in an effort to socialize him, I found one of the Park’s original entrances off of Wapato Lake Drive. Pup and I had taken the long way around the lake, crossing a narrow bridge and passing the largest field of cat tails that I’ve ever seen. We came out of the minor upper lake path to the site of two entry markers that said “Built by WPA”. The history of Wapato Lake is very interesting and can be found here.

Field of cattails

Lake Wapato

This use to be an entrance to Wapato Lake Park

The new dog, Rhody, a Norfolk Terrier

The narrow bridge on the north loop of Wapato Lake, Tacoma

Dear Daughter Got Hitched: Just Married and Woods Coffee

Just married

So we sent our dear daughter off with our newly minted dear SIL to cross the Canadian Rockies in their rental car.

And then dear husband and I started back home. And the lesson here is always take a rest stop before crossing the boarder. We got a little lost (well hello Vancouver, nice to see you again) and the boarder wait was a tad longer than expected, so we were pretty darned pleased to see a coffee shop, Woods Coffee in Blaine, WA. And really it was a darling little coffee shop with friendly service and tasty treats. I’m now learning that it is one of nineteen in the chain that spans from King County to British Columbia. Their website is here.

Woods Coffee

 

 

Dear Daughter Got Hitched at Queen Elizabeth Park

So on Thursday, June 29th, Dear Daughter married her long time Canadian Beau (now know as Dear SIL). It was a simple and beautiful ceremony with the couple and the immediate families. As you can see  the Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver BC has stunning landscaping, amazing views and an ethereal beauty. The happy couple was married by the water with a wooden bridge in the background. Part way through the ceremony several visitors on the bridge figured out what was happening and soon there was a small crowd respectfully watching. At some point I hope to return to Queen Elizabeth Park to wander the trails and explore the arboretum.


 

 

Dear Daughter Got Hitched: Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium and Totem Poles

By Wednesday, our small family group expanded to include Dear SIL’s parents and brother and we all went off to the Vancouver Aquarium because dear daughter wanted to touch the stingrays. That is an odd goal that she has … to visit stingray tanks in as many zoos and aquariums as possible. So far she has Vancouver, Tacoma, Chicago, LA and Galveston, TX. The Vancouver Aquarium is justifiably  internationally famous and some of our visit highlights included the jellyfish, the otters and seals (so playful), the educational shows, the frogs and that I got to be there when the penguins were delivered back to their habitat.

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Afterwards we went to see the Totem Poles, which are also in Stanley Park. Interesting facts about totem poles can be found here.

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Dear Daughter Got Hitched: Ocean Concrete, Granville Island

Ocean Concrete is Granville Island’s longest established tenant (1917) and they have a splendid mural on their silos. The mural is by Brazilian brothers Gustavo and Otavio Pandalfo and was created in 2014. Ocean Concrete is an active industrial use in an area that had been primarily industrial, but in the 1970s it began its transition to a mixed use of retail, education and craftfolks. More about Granville Island can be found on their website.

While dear husband, dear daughter, dear (future and now present) son-in-law were on the island, I also discovered a Little Free Library (8963). The LFL’s owner blogged about it here.

And of course there are a couple of more photos because the island is just that wonderful! As you can see in one store front, it was almost Canada Day (7/1). This is a national holiday. According to Wikipedia, “Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.” This particular Canada Day is the 150th anniversary of the original, so of high importance.

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Dear Daughter got hitched: Deer Lake Park, Burnaby

Dear daughter and her fella needed a marriage license, so much of Monday, June 26, was devoted to paperwork, but we still took some time to check out Deer Lake Park in Burnaby. I had it in my head that I would see large topiary in the shape of animals, but we never did find the large bird I was expecting. For the record, that was my fault for not being ready with a map and not having wifi. We did get a glimpse of a topiary carousal horse and found this great insect.  The joy of the park was the stunning view of part of a city skyline over the lake and the lush greenery. While strolling around we also we enjoyed the very friendly Canada geese with their gawky teenagers (in geese years). And there was some delightful art and unusual plants.

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Dear daughter got hitched: The World’s Largest Tin Soldier

The Google Maps review said “If you’re looking for a large tin man or a fan of roadside attractions then this won’t disappoint“. I mean, really… there are people that wouldn’t go out of their way to see the World’s Largest Tin Soldier? Dear husband and I found the art piece in New Westminster, Canada along a quayside walk. The soldier is about 32′ in height and was constructed by the Sheet Metal Workers International Association. It holds the Guiness World Records Book title for the largest tin soldier. As important as the soldier is the lovely boardwalk area, restaurant and stores surrounding it.

There are also some photos of the surrounding area in the lovely evening light. We also stopped at the Mid Century Modern Home (mid-century modern furniture and other items) and had a delectable meal at The Boathouse.


 

Dear daughter got hitched: Abbotsford-Huntington Border Cross and Guildford Town Centre

The State of Washington has 13 drivable border crossings across it’s 687 kilometres (427 miles) border with British Columbia, Canada and this is the Abbotsford-Huntington Border Crossing on highways WA Hwy 9 / BC Hwy 11. In the US it the city of Sumas and in British Columbia it is in Abbortsford. This is not the most direct border crossing, which is in Blaine, but dear daughter was convinced it was the quickest one. That might of been true if we hadn’t become lost. But it is a lovely countryside and worth seeing!

Our family made this trip for our dear daughter to marry what is now our dear son-in-law 🙂

Anyway the first day we realized that we forgot several basic things and off dear daughter and I went to Surrey’s nearby Guildford Town Centre to stop at Walmart (not my favorite store, but we needed a quick stop that had everything). The other photos show the Walmart’s escalator with a separate escalator for the carts and a couple of the art installations there.

Here is a video of the staircase waterfall.

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An adventure with the Big Duck

So the World’s Largest Rubber Duck floated into Tacoma this weekend and of course I had to go see it. So I grabbed dear daughter and her friend and off we went. I was expecting a difficult time getting to the duck which is part of the Festival of Sails, but it was a breeze. We found a marvelous parking spot in the free parking garages near Freighthouse Square and the Link came along right away. We hopped off at the Union Station stop and walked down to the waterfront. There was a short line to gain entry to the metal walkway to the docks, but I had advanced tickets, so that went well too. We had a grand time exploring most of the historic ships and taking photos of the huge duck “Mama Duck” which is six stories high. Doing some research I learned that the duck was created by artist Florentijn Hofman from The Netherlands. In addition to US stops it has also appeared in Australia, Taiwan, China, Belgium, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil and elsewhere.

Really it was a great deal of fun. When we went to leave we found a long line to go up the metal walkway, but the line wasn’t moving. The word quickly spread that there was an electrical concern (maybe fire) and the ramp, which was the only way on or off the docks, was closed. The ships on display were without power, making me concerned for the big duck which was set up with a electric propeller fan. So while most folks waited patiently in line, the three of us went back to explore some more and hang out in comfort. In the end the city’s fire boat pulled up at the other end of the dock providing a pathway (evacuation route) to the shore, though that jump at the end was a pretty big one! Happily there were some nice guys to offer a helping hand.


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