Disneyland, Paris

DISNEYDisneyland Paris is actually in the town of Marne-la-Vallée, about 20 miles east of Paris. It is Europe’s most visited attraction. Since I had never been to any of the Disney locations, I found this to be the best one ;)  The complex opened in 1992 to mixed success, though it seems to be just fine now. While there I rode Space Mountain (yes, I did!) and several other, calmer rides. We stuck around for the daily parade, but left well before the nighttime fireworks.

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Saint Martin’s Prairie & the Abby Cemetery

13813889994_65fe2fd1ec_bSaint Martin’s College and Abbey in Lacey has been around since the 1890s. It’s small cemetery is located in a rich stand of woods behind the Monastery and is for members of the abbey, thus the vast majority of the uniformed headstones read Father. The metal gates have two welcoming angels and there is a low stone fence.

The nearby College Regional Storm Facility is like a small, tranquil park with a gravel trail that leads around the full storm water ponds. There were plenty of birds and insects, as well as college students playing Frisbee and riding a bike.



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Kelsey Creek Farm, Bellevue

13340504343_aa9c5da73e_bI’ve been wanting to visit Kelsey Creek Farms Park at 13204 SE 8th in Bellevue for a while, so on Saturday after dropping off dear daughter for her ride back to college I stopped by. There was a birthday party going on and plenty of children in the under five crowd. The 150 acre original site had been a forest and was developed as the Twin Valley Dairy Farm in the 1920s. Despite pressure from real estate developers, in the 1960s 80 acres of the property was sold to the City of Bellevue for use as a park. It receives over 200,000 visits a year. ThePark’s website is here.

The log cabin is the Frasier House, built in 1888 and moved to Kelsey Creek Farms Park in 1974.  It was built by two Norwegian woodsmen and lived in for a short time. Mostly it was used as storage. 

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Dalco Passage

12280410435_512a2bf47b_c(1)While others were watching the Superbowl, I went out to give my new camera a spin. It was kind of eerie being out with almost everyone watching the game. Though there were plenty of police and taxis.  I wandered through Five Mile Drive in Pt. Defiance and took a shot of Dalco Passage, thinking that I would find a fascinating history of Dalco, but no such luck. All I can find is that Dalco Passage is a tidal strait in the Puget Sound, located between the southern end of Vashon Island and Tacoma. Below are a couple of more shots including the sweet beggar of a raccoon (which I didn’t feed). And go Seahawks!

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Garfield Nature Trail

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Garfield Nature Trail at 620 Rogers Street NW, Olympia is like a little haven of wilderness right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It isn’t a typical park with picnic areas and playground equipment. Instead it is a trail through a ravine between Rogers Street NW and West Bay Drive NW. I hiked from Rogers to West Bay and back again. The path has several sets of stairs and boardwalks and I wish I had worn my sneakers because is places it was damp and a tad slippery. The trail was busy with young people, families and folks walking dogs.

City Haven Peace Park

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There is a small, private park named City Haven Peace Park located next to the Quaker Meetinghouse/Hillside Community Church at 2508 39th Street South. This space has an abundance of birds, squirrels and an occasional raccoon. There are also several inuksuk, which are rock formations roughly shaped like humans.

Hing Hay Park, Seattle

11765614935_c04a82fe90_bHing Hay Park at 423 Maynard Ave S. is a vital part of Seattle’s International District. The name translates to “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings”. The pagoda, or Grand Pavilion, was constructed in Taipei, Taiwan in 1974. The mural facing the park shows an elaborate dragon. When I visited there was a group of men playing chess on the over-sized chess board and others were playing ping pong.

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Spanaway Lake, the last day of 2013

11678596936_a43ee371af_hI wanted some place pretty for the last day in 2013, so I made my dear husband go out to Spanaway Lake in the light Northwest rain. I find it amazing that I had never been there before. During the warmer months it is possible to rent row boats and canoes at the boathouse. The lake encompasses 280 acres and a maximum depth of 28 feet and a mean depth of 16 feet.

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Chambers Creek Labyrinth

10432192875_dc0ec30186_hI really needed to stretch my legs and for a couple of minutes it wasn’t foggy, so I sent off to see the Chambers Bay Labyrinth off of 64th Street. The labyrinth is based on the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth in France. At first I saw no discernible pattern, but after a while it became apparent and I walked its twisting ways to the center. More information on the labyrinth can be found here.

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