Category Archives: University Place

The University Place Garden Tour 2016


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.

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Goodyear Blimp over University Place

Good Year BlimpI hadn’t seen the Good Year Blimp in years, but there it was flying over University Place during the U.S. Open. This photo was taken on June 18th and it is the very best that my camera could do on full zoom.

There are three Goodyear blimps in the fleet and I suspect that this one is the Spirit of America, which is based out of Carson, California. More information on this particular blimp can be found here. The official Goodyear Blimp website has a great deal more information about these wonderful, helium filled flight machines. They have a regularly updated Facebook page too!

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Bridge of Locks, University Place

IMG_1269A quick survey of my Facebook friends let me know that there are four Tacoma area bridges/overpasses that are being used as Bridge of Locks. On Sunday, which had glorious weather, I went to Bridge to the Beach that crosses the railroad tracks at Chambers Bay Regional Park in University Place. I hadn’t realized that I could drive down to the bottom of the park and I also didn’t know there was a bridge to the beach. What an amazing park it has turned into! There were families and couples with plenty of dogs. There were huge kites and picnics and music. Really it was splendid. I was there in August 2011 and it has significantly updated since then!

A short stroll took me to the modern bridge and at first I only saw a lock or two, but then there was a little cluster of them and at the end of the elevated pathway there were a number of them. Unlike many of the other Bridge of Locks, the arrangement of the Bridge to the Beach is such that each locks does not have its own little area, but instead can slide back and forth. This was a pretty exciting discovery for the four year old next to me!

Bridges of Locks are relatively new on a wide spread basis. The tradition is that those in love put their name on a lock then attach it to the bridge and throw the key away to symbolize their unfailing devotion.  This is a worldwide phenomena, as can be seen here.

The Bridges of Locks have not all been well received, with the weight of all those locks pulling down and damaging several structures. In University Place, there are no plans to remove the locks. Pierce County spokesman Hunter George said “We’re not encouraging it or discouraging it (the hanging of the locks). But we do think there are better ways. If people really want to demonstrate their commitment to each other, we’d love to see them get married at Chambers Bay. We have great rates. Or get a tattoo. Or both.”

Oh, and there is a picture of an osprey, just because they are such cool birds! Their wing span can be almost 6′ across, though I don’t know about the one on the nest.

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Jersey Mike’s Subs

13417136085_4243f20746_bJersey Mike’s Subs has newly opened at 3555 Market Place, Suite 4, University Place, WA 98466. I hadn’t heard of the chain before, despite the fact they have over 1,300 locations! The first Jersey Mike’s was in Point Pleasant, NJ in the 1970s not too far from where I had my annual Jersey Shore summer family vacation. Anyway this location is a good new place for dear husband and I to pick up a cheese steak or a sub. There are also Jersey Mike’s in Gig Harbor and Puyallup.


Seahawks House in University Place

12183784515_de2d44d003_bThe house along 67th Avenue West near its intersection with 36th Street West obviously belongs to a Seahawks fan! Let’s hope that the enthusiastic decorating job brings the Seahawks luck in the Superbowl!

Empty Bowls

11018347546_4780d87b30_b(1)Once a year, the Emergency Food Network has a fundraising event called Empty Bowls. This year it was at Charles Wright Academy, 7723 Chambers Creek Rd, University Place, 9846. The premise of this charity event is that folks can chose amongst a large selection of handmade bowls by local potters and all of the money raised supports the Emergency Food Network. Prices typically varied between $10 and $30. The Network provides more than 15.1 million pounds of food annually to local 67 food banks.

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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. And the worldwide labyrinth locator can be found here.

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Starbucks at Green Firs, the story continues

photo(3)The new Starbucks in the Green Firs Shopping Center is at the site of the former Shari’s Restaurant. When this Starbucks opened, the smaller Starbucks in the center closed and of course the employees moved over.