A few days back we celebrated the first day of Spring, an occasion of hope.
Mostly this is to check to see if I can get an image on WordPress. They have upgraded and it really isn’t easy to upload a photo right now. But I wrote them a nice note and I’m sure they will fix it pretty soon. I am finding I can upload using my phone if I go in directly through the app. Many of my photos are from a camera so The app is in a long-term solution.
I wonder how I add tags from here.
I was pretty excited to read that Stellar Alpacas was having a Open Ranch (think open house) this weekend. I mean who doesn’t love alpacas?! Stellar Alpacas at 27810 16th Avenue East in Spanaway has 54 alpacas though two were off today. I learned how to tell if an alpaca is pregnant! If she is pregnant and a stud male is introduced she will spit at him and try to kick him. The average pregnancy is 11.5 months.
The folks that own the farm are delightful and the man was walking one of the alpacas around. Visitors were allowed to touch them, though they don’t like their faces touched. There was a refreshments stand with free cookies, water and sodas. And a small bag of carrots was only $1. Of course the carrots were for the alpacas. The videos below provide a chance to hear them chewing. There is also a small store with delightful socks, sweaters, yarn, hats, gloves and more made from alpaca fiber, some from right there on the farm. The ranch has a website.
Cafe Brosseau at 2716 N 21st St in Tacoma is really delightful and I can’t believe I hadn’t been there before. Their website says “Cafe Brosseau is located in the Three-Bridges District in Tacoma’s North End. Founded by Christian and Donna in 2013. The name honors the twin brothers who built the original shop located here in 1912.” I didn’t realize Tacoma had a Three Bridge District.
Dear husband and I had stopped in for a treat. I ordered their signature Cafe Brosseau, a chocolate and orange espresso drink and it was rich and delicious. Dear husband stuck with a drip coffee and pronounced it good (that’s as high a praise as he goes). The folks that waited on us were very nice and even stop at our table later to see how we liked things. I really appreciate how they highlight local providers like Corina’s Bakery and Mad Hat Tea. It’s a little out of my way, but I’m sure I’ll be back … maybe for lunch. They have a Facebook Page and a Website. There is also an article in the Tacoma Weekly about this history of the building.
The last full day on our short family vacation we went whale watching with Vancouver Whale Watch out of Richmond, BC. There were about 40 folks in our zodiac boat and we traveled out into the Strait of Georgia and among the islands. We were lucky enough to see the J Pod of Orcas, including Granny (who maybe upwards of 100 years old) and several babies. They swam near our boat for upward of an hour. They surfaced and slapped and spyhopped. It was Vancouver Whale Watch’s 104th consecutive days of orca sightings of those they went out. At the end of our time three large ferry boats came into view and the pod frolicked in the foreground. What a perfect scene! We also saw a young eagle and seals lounging about.
The Little Free Library #14444 is at 6720 Park Avenue, Tacoma, across the street from Park Avenue School. It is cleverly located in a cheerful red newspaper box, the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Inside there are about almost dozen books. The one that I have read for sure is Amy Tam’s Joy Luck Club, but I’m pretty certain that I’ve also read The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd.
What really stood out with this visit was the sidewalk next to the Little Free Library. There was a small stand with three new food products: Shredded Coconut, Panko Breadcrumbs and How & Sweet Pepper Jelly. I don’t know about the coconut, but the other two items were from Trader Joe’s. Those three ingredients can pretty much be used to make Coconut Chicken with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce. Well, ok then. One does wonder why. They are obviously available for the taking and certainly quality ingredients. And I can see why the milk and chicken wasn’t included, it being hot and all. I guess it will remain a mystery and mysteries are good.
Today I enjoyed an impulsive lunch with my good friend. We went to a new to us place, Cafe Vincero at 714 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. The Cafe pictures Italian dining and specializes in wood fired pizza. The space is lovely with the abundant tile working well with the historic building. Our waiter was attentive and funny! Because of a tiny mix up, which was graciously handled, we ended up with two pizzas. They were both delicious. Really, they were so good I would happily go back tomorrow!
The building is known as the Kaufman-Wolff Building and was constructed in 1888 with Farrell & Darmer being the architects. Occupants have included: Sperry & Spengemann, G.L. Holmes Furniture, Wallerstein Candies, Edwin Chambers Auto Supplies, Soldiers & Sailors Club House, War Camp Community Service, Edward B. Rhodes Post – American Legion, Sutherland Tire Co., B. Wingard &
Sons Butchers’ Supply Co., United Service Organization (U.S.O.) and the Footprinters’ Club (seriously, what is a Footprinters’s Club?!). As of May 2014, the Vincero was in place on the Pacific Avenue level of the building.
I was driving around this morning in search of a cup of Joe when I went past Tacoma’s Bartending Academy at 1036 South Sprague Avenue, Tacoma. I like the way the light reflects on the wet street. The architect for the 1907 building was C.E. Heath. It was originally built as a store (don’t know what type) and for sometime in the 1940s it was the Thoralf Hagen Barber Shop and now it is the Bartending Academy.