The Lan Su Chinese Garden in the Chinatown neighborhood of Vancouver, BC. is a little piece of serenity in a very busy downtown. All of the garden’s materials were brought in from the city of Suzhou, Vancouver’s sister city and built by citizens of that city. I took the 45 minute tour lead by a wonderful docent while my other family members wondered off to find their own adventures. One of the interesting facts I learned is that the decorative windows in the walls are all different and they are called leaks because they lead in light and air. More information can be found here.
My dentist use to be kind of nearby, but she moved to a new office in Kent and I faithfully followed here. After my appointment, I wandered off to find a park that promised a pirate’s ship (that didn’t happen) and the adjacent Little Free Library. The historic home was just a bonus!
The Neely Soames House is located at 5311 South 237th Place, Kent in a residential area next to the Green River Trail. The house was constructed in 1884 making it the oldest standing residence in Kent. What I loved about the house was the amazing porch and wisteria. Looking at my photo, it looks like a one story house with abundant landscaping, but it is really a two story house with the wisteria almost completely covering the porch. More information including some interior photos can be found here.
The Little Free Library #8353 is around the corner from the Soames House was built by Orval Dealy at the request of the Kent Senior Center. It has a delightful paint job featuring children at the adjacent park. Inside there are about two dozen books, mostly paperback. The titles include The Fountainhead (which yes, I’ve read) in case you were on the lookout for a little light summer reading.
I found this interesting Pinterest Page with Little Free Libraries from around the glove.
On my way back from visiting dear daughter, I stopped at Olmstead Place State Park outside of Ellensburg (921 Ferguson Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926). I was pretty excited to be able to use my Discover Pass, but I didn’t spend too much time since I was worried (rightfully so) about snow on the Pass. The park has 217 acres and plenty of pioneer artifacts. Perhaps my favorite part was the red winged blackbirds. There was an entire flock of them on the overhead wires. More information can be found here.
While visiting Dear Daughter over my Spring Break we took a day trip up to Spokane to visit the Northwest Museum. It was really a lovely museum with a very interesting exhibit – 100 Stories – A Centennial Exhibition. The whimsical art around the grounds made us smile. The photos include Spokane Falls which we visited afterwards and the evening sky around Pullman.
I had a rare free afternoon on this lovely sunny Saturday and stopped to visit the Lakewood History Museum at 6211 Mt Tacoma Drive SW, Lakewood, WA 98499. It is located in a small retail space in the Lakewood Colonial Center. It is small, but charming and I actually knew the woman who was volunteering there today. Since Lakewood is a relatively new city, incorporated in 1995, I hadn’t thought it had much history, but I learned a great deal. I hadn’t realized that the area had originally been called The Prairie and I was reminded of the fact that the Lakewood Town Center was on the site of a convent. And I enjoyed seeing the replica of an old fashion classroom and a log cabin interior. The post office boxes particularly fascinated me. Altogether I took in that although it has only been a city for 20 years, there is still an extensive past. I promised to bring my husband to the museum for a visit. The Lakewood Historical Society has a wealth of information about the museum and events in the area.
The Doll House Museum at 421 Bridge Street, Granbury, TX is really pretty cool. It had its grand opening on December 8, 2012 and per the owners has been gaining in popularity. The museum is on the main floor of the historic house. There are about 3,000 dolls at the museum with many of them on display. I don’t know much about dolls, but there were some lovely ones there. And the women (sisters) that were there when I visited were so nice, welcoming and devoted to their passion. Really, if you like dolls or history at all, it is worth a visit. And if all you want is an interesting place to get out of the Texas heat (over 100 degrees today!), it’s good for that too. More information can be found here.
When I learned that I was going to Paris, I began to read up and the more I read about the Eiffel Tower the more intrigued I was. It was erected in 1889 as a focal point to the 1889 World’s Fair. At 1,063 feet in height, It is the tallest structure in Paris. It is the most visited, paid monument in the world.
I was inspired by the fact that in 1940 when Germany invaded France, the French people cut the lift cables (elevator cables) so that Germans could not the structure.
Other interesting facts include that there is an ice skating rink on the first platform each winter. And that the tower is repainted a different color every so often. It is currently bronze.
The Arc de Triomphe, Paris at 162′ feet and 150′ wide is much larger than I expected. Constructed between 1806 and 1836 it is situated on the western end of the Champs-Elysees. Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. Various victory parades have traveled through and later around the structure including the Germans in 1940 and the French and their allies in 1944/45. More information can be found here.
As much I was impressed with the Arc itself, I was equally impressed with the six lane traffic circle that surrounds it. There are no traffic lines and it was a thrill. Glad I wasn’t driving!
The 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.
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).