Most years I manage to go to the University Place Garden Tour which is spearheaded by The University Place Historical Society (UPHS). This year the theme was “Spring into Summer,” and there were five gardens and the Curran House. Each garden had several docents that were amiable and knowledgeable. The gardens varied significantly. One was a farm like setting, one was packed with flowers, one had hidden art and a stunning view, one had 100+ rhododendrons and one was a reclaimed barren lot. It was really a delight to visit each one with my friends and daughter. Lunch was an unexpected bonus.
It’s probably a tribute to our marriage, that when my husband and I drove past goats clearing the undergrowth next to old Elk’s Club/Future McMeniman’s, he just quietly did a u-turn so I could go get a really good look at them. The goats were chopping away at the vegetation on the lot next to the Old Elk’s Building, which may be part of the entire property. I took photos from above and below, though I do believe the goats were avoiding me! The goats were on loan from Rent-A-Ruminant. As somebody who just that day removed some prickly plants from her yard, the goats seem like an excellent idea! I’m excited to see how the new McMeniman‘s develops.
The past six Tuesday evenings, I’ve been taking a photography class to become more familiar with my camera. Really it has been great and I have learned a bunch. Now I just need to practice! Anyway today was our end of the class photo shoot. We met outside of Freighthouse Square and took the “Trolley Tour” (the Tacoma Link), stopping along the way to capture some moments. We strolled through the University of Washington Tacoma, crossed the Bridge of Glass and toured the theater district.
Most years dear daughter and I would go to the Lunar New Year Celebration in Tacoma’s International District. I remember firecrackers going off near her stroller and her crying, so it has been a long tradition. But the celebration hasn’t happened for the past five years, until today. At 10 am sharp the firecrackers went off and the festivities began. Mayor Strickland said a few words and a few others (I couldn’t tell who since I was still walking up). There was a very short, but great parade and then the crowd followed the lion dancers to the Lincoln Pharmacy on the corner of South 38th and South Thompson . A string of firecrackers was lite, the lions danced and musicians played. Then we all moved on to the next business.
I noticed that at some of the businesses there was a head of lettuce hanging for the lions to “eat”. Wikipedia tells me that this is the traditional custom of “cai qing“, “plucking the greens”. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune to the business.
It was great to see the crowds in attendance and the festive atmosphere. The Lincoln District is undergoing a period of revival with big changes in the near future. There were several interesting new businesses that I’m sure to visit, now that I know about them!
There I was driving around downtown Tacoma, looking for something to photograph. I was surprised at just how busy downtown was and while there were several photo worthy places, there was no ready parking. Discouraged I started home going past the Tacoma Dome since Pacific Avenue is still closed. I turned right into a traffic jam with a sea of people dressed in black. It was mostly folks in their 50s and 60s, some of which had kids (grandkids?!) with them. I was even more curious when I notice a small but serious group protesting. “Jesus said go and sin no more.” Once home, Siri informed me that Black Sabbath was playing their “The End” tour in Tacoma tonight. Oh that explains it. Black Sabbath is an English heavy metal band that was formed i n1968 (which explains the age of those attending). Since I was snapping photos out of my car window, I’m including “Washingtonia Domus” , the palm tree art just up the hill from the Dome.
I’ve always wanted to see the Fantasy Lights in Spanaway around the holidays, but somehow it has never happened until this year. The very last night dear daughter, her friend and I finally gave it a whirl. The line to get in only took about 10 minutes and the tour of lights went on for much longer than I expected (two miles) It is the largest holiday drive-through display in the Northwest. It was a lovely display and a great value. We stopped at Starbucks on the way there, likely it was also a drive through since I was the only person not in pajamas!
More information about the display can be found here.
Olympia’s Harbor Days is held Labor Day Weekend (Friday evening through Sunday) and is always fun. My favorite part is seeing all the vintage tugboats, several of which were available for tour. My least favorite part was when the largest tug sounded its horn right next to me and almost gave me a heart attack! But is was funny later 🙂 There was some great entertainment including music and a juggler. More information can be found here.
So Mom and I were on our way to the lovely Granbury Beach and took the shortcut through the parking lot of what use to be Krogers on Highway 377. One couldn’t help but to notice the white pickup truck with the two large confederate flags pulling into the parking lot and it was joined by other pickup trucks with various flags: confederate, the yellow confederate flag with the snake on it, the Texas flag and the US flag. I did snap a few discrete photos and then went on my way to the beach for an evening swim. An hour later we again went by and there were more trucks and some cars and a couple of dozen folks standing around talking. Perhaps like minded people? Mostly young and all Caucasian (as far as I could tell). I have to say that it made me uncomfortable.
Wikipedia tells me that the racial makeup of Granbury as of the last census was 93.75% White and .71% African American.
On Mother’s Day 2015 the parking lot next to Brookshires collapsed into a sinkhole and athorities have been working on the repair ever since. The incessant rains that month were the cause of the 8′ storm drain collapsing, which in turn caused the sinkhole which drained into Lake Granbury/Brazos River. To see the sinkhole was it was and other photos of the flooding problems caused by the rains, check here. The Google map capture below shows the site before collapse. I suspect that Brookshires is no longer using their drive through pharmacy.