I had already taken a photo of the largest flag in Tacoma (Tacoma Screw’s flag), so this recently passed 4th of July I went looking for another large flag. My friend recommended the flag at Griot’s Garage, Inc., 3333 South 38th St., Tacoma, WA 98409. Well OK then. They do indeed have a mighty display with one big American flag and several smaller decorative flags. Griot’s itself is worthy of an altogether different blog entry, so I’ll stop here.
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.
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.
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.
There was a rally today (2/25) against Washington State Initiative 1552, which would “repeal critical protections for transgender Washingtonians” (Source). The news reports that there were over 2,000 people there and I readily believe that. I was delighted to see many people I know there supporting themselves and their transgendered friends and family. I started at the railing, but moved up to the sky bridge, where the view was better, though it was more difficult to hear (of course).
I was standing on the sky bridge when a young mother came out with her child who was maybe three. They walked over to see the cheering crowd and she turn to her child and said “look how many people love us!”. It was a lovely moment.
Later I found my first Tacoma Rocks Rock which I later hid. Oh and there is a photo of a flower on my table at lunch and some of the old buildings on the University of Washington Campus.
Today was the celebration of the Lunar New Year in Tacoma’s Lincoln District and I took the chance to snap some photos of the new signage that reflects the revitalization of the district. An article on the revitalization project can be found here. I love this district and am really looking forward to how the revitalization project proceeds. It was also a joy to see how some of the more recent immigrants are positively shaping the country.
As we often do, dear daughter and I attended First Night to usher in the new year. And her friend, Z, came with us as she so often does. It was extra cold, but not raining, so we were happy and did all of our normal First Night things. This year we were offered long wooden sticks and a S’More packet (two marshmallows, a chocolate square and two graham crackers). It was such gooey sticky fun to make our own.
So I say to my dear husband, “let’s go up to Bell Square on what is probably the most hectic shopping weekend of the year” and oddly he agreed. Neither of us are big mall people, but he likes to see the upper end merchandise so he can later look for it at estate sales and I wanted to see Snow Flake Lane. At 7 each evening there is a show with singing and dancing. The night we were there, there was a Seahawk, #72, Michael Bennet. The Snow Queen was blowing bubbles with her wand, so I figured that was the promised snow. But then snow flakes appeared in blue and green on the walls of the shopping centers, so I figured that was the snow. But then it really did snow! Well, maybe they were fine bubbles, but it looked like snow and it was cold enough for snow, so snow it was. The children were delighted! The streets were so very crowded, but everyone was in high spirits. We spent sometime afterwards in the mall to give the parking lot a chance to clear out. Really it was a lovely evening.