Three Meter House ( Schmidt House)

12398795915_f3d03a564c_cThe Schmidt House, also known as the Three Meter House, was built 1904 for Leopold and Johanna, the owners of the Olympia Brewing Company which operated in close proximity to property. The Olympia Brewing Company operated between 1896 and 1983, when it was acquired by a different company. The Schmidt House, at 330 Schmidt Place SW, Tumwater, is on the national and city of Tumwater historic register. It is operated by the Olympia-Tumwater Foundation.

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Poulsbo Marine Science Center

11640381284_6ba1f0d4b4_b(1)Poulsbo Marine Science Center at 18743 Front St NE, Poulsbo, WA 98370 was my choice while my dear husband perused antique stores in the charming town of Poulsbo. The center is free, though donations are encouraged. There is a large open touch tank as well as several aquariums with such great things as jelly fish, clown fish, sea stars, sea anemones and an octopus (pictured above).

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Giant Shoe Museum, Seattle

Giant ShoeHow could I have lived here all this time and not have known that Seattle had the World Famous Giant Shoe Museum! It’s in the lower level of the Pike Place Market and the photo shows all of it. For $1.00 in quarters one can see the entire exhibit. The stool on the left cost $.50 and the two in the middle cost $0.25 each and the one on the right explains the museum ad is free. The museum was built in 1997 by Sven Sundbaum and is next to Old Seattle Paperworks. One of the windows features the size 37 shoes of the world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow. That is him on the mural in his real height of 8’11.1″. Robert Wadlow died at the age of 22 after complications from blister. 40,000 people attended his funeral. When I stand next to him, the top of my head is in the middle of the W of his last name. 11485114596_27375cfbf6_b

Seattle Asian Art Museum

9624773113_137b2023da_bSo, as a last hurrah before school started I wanted to go to the conservatory in Volunteer Park in Seattle. Dear husband and I parked the car and first wandered over to the dahlia garden. From there we spotted Seattle’s Asian Art Museum. Oh! We’ve been meaning to go there. It is a lovely, art deco building constructed in 1933 was originally occupied by the Seattle Art Museum until 1991 when they moved into their new downtown location. The property is a designated Seattle landmark. The space is open and I really liked most of the exhibits. We never did go to conservatory! Maybe next time. The museum’s website is here.

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Grays Harbor Lighthouse, the tallest in Washington

9567640608_dc4d7cb376_oThe 107′ Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Westport is the tallest lighthouse in Washington State and the third tallest on the West Coast. It was built in 1898 by architect Carl W. Leick to provide a guiding beacon for ships entering Grays Harbor. I said to my dear husband that I was surprised to see that the lighthouse was so far away from the Pacific Ocean. In reading the history I discovered that the lighthouse was originally 400′ from the high tide line, but because of build up caused mostly by the jetty system now in place at the entrance of Grays Harbor, the lighthouse is now 3,000′ from the high tide line. In 1998 the property was leased and then renovated by the Westport-South Beach Historical Society and in 2001 public tours began. In 2004 the Historic Society became the owners of their lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. The property is on the National Historic Register.

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Ginkgo Petrified Forest Museum

9519078987_09b46847d8_bOn my way home from dropping dear daughter off at college, I stopped at the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park in Vantage, WA.There are over 40 species which have been petrified in the 7,470 acre park. Per Wikipedia the area had originally been lush and wet, but much of the vegetation was covered in volcanic ash and eventually became petrified. The park opened in 1938 and much of the work had been done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). I didn’t realize that petrified wood is the state gem for Washington! The site is one of 594 properties to have the National Natural Landmark Designation. I would have liked to have stayed longer, but I wanted to get home, I didn’t have the right shoes for rattle snakes and it was really hot!

Two of the photos below are from the nearby gem shop, which was also very cool.

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Sydney, Australia

9404410630_f6c8564f90_bWe had several glorious days in Sydney. Activities included exploring the amazing Sydney Opera House, taking a Captain Cook Tour, a walking tour through The Rocks, repelling down a cliff in the Blue Mountains, surfing Bondi Beach, practicing at the Sydney Cricket Grounds and learning about opals.

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Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort is a magical island place. The resort is situated on Moreton Island, about 70 minutes by boat from Brisbane. The majority of the island (98%) is National Park, though it had been a whaling station between 1952 and 1962. The resort is well known for its wild dolphins which come in every evening to be feed by visitors. Another major feature is the Tangalooma wrecks, 15 vessels that were deliberately sunk to create a dive and snorkel site. For some great photos of those, go here. Oh, and how could I forget sand tobogganing!? A long walk up and a few very fast seconds coming down. Note to self…wear the goggles when they offer them next time!

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Reef HQ Aquarium

Photo Jul 14, 2 54 06 PMThe Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville is the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. It is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. We visited this aquarium and had a behind the scenes look at a sea turtle hospital as well as all of the wonderful conservation work being done. We spent the night here and I didn’t think that I’d be able to sleep on the air mattress, but really it was no problem!

What Seattle Icon Do You Remember at MOHAI?

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Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 in Lake Union Park.

It is impossible to walk around the new Museum of History and Industry without remembering something or learning something new. It is like a trip down memory lane! I went with a group and had lunch and heard a lector and got to explore the museum. At first blush the museum looks lovely, but not very full. But the opposite is true. There are a bunch of areas devoted to different themes all over the building. The 4th floor shows off the wonderful view and there is even a telescope! In addition there is a gift store and a cafe. It was a great time :D

Some of the Seattle icon’s displayed include:

  • Ivar’s Clam on a bicycle
  • The Rainier Beer sign
  • The Toe Truck
  • The very first Starbucks sign
  • A display from The Dog House (which I once ate at) and
  • The Lusty Lady sign from the place across the street from the art museum.

I was delighted by the musical presentation on the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. The museum is next to Seattle’s Wooden Boat Center, which is free and had the Foss Tugboat available for touring. The ship below wasn’t open when I went by, but I thought the light was lovely.

One of the best finds of the day was the parking lot, which is just on the other side of the trolly tracks. For $2 I could park for up to 9 hours! And while I didn’t do it this time, next time I might just take the trolly off somewhere!