So I say to my dear husband, “let’s go up to Bell Square on what is probably the most hectic shopping weekend of the year” and oddly he agreed. Neither of us are big mall people, but he likes to see the upper end merchandise so he can later look for it at estate sales and I wanted to see Snow Flake Lane. At 7 each evening there is a show with singing and dancing. The night we were there, there was a Seahawk, #72, Michael Bennet. The Snow Queen was blowing bubbles with her wand, so I figured that was the promised snow. But then snow flakes appeared in blue and green on the walls of the shopping centers, so I figured that was the snow. But then it really did snow! Well, maybe they were fine bubbles, but it looked like snow and it was cold enough for snow, so snow it was. The children were delighted! The streets were so very crowded, but everyone was in high spirits. We spent sometime afterwards in the mall to give the parking lot a chance to clear out. Really it was a lovely evening.
So, the United States Post Service (#USPS) has an app that converts mailboxes into magical gingerbread houses (or gingerbread mailboxes or gingerbread fireplaces or something!). I downloaded the free app, found a mailbox and the app captured the mailbox and before my eyes made it into a work of holiday art. Things I learned include:
It is always the same piece of art no matter where the mailbox is
It has to be a functioning mailbox, not one that has been painted over
After a lovely time having coffee with my friend and then the two of us going to visit another friend I found myself near Cloverleaf Pizza. While waiting for my to go order, I drove around in the area behind Kmart on 6th Avenue and enjoyed the lights. Here is a sampling of the sights. While snapping the large manger the owner’s son (I think) came out. I congratulated him on the display and he said his parents were very proud of it. Kind of a nice moment.
Dear husband and I went to see real reindeer today, Luckily we didn’t have to go to the North Pole (though that would have been fun!). Watson’s Greenhouse has a small herd (2) of the sleigh pulling helpers, When we got there it was really cold and the deer were taking a nap. I was very impressed with the size of their antlers!
Zoolights at has a new tiger light and its spectacular. We had a perfect Zoolights evening, not too cold, no rain and light crowds. While we were there, we checked out the aquarium and of course the other lights.
There is Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Shop Small (Small Business) Saturday. I had a list of Small Business places to go, but it was dear husband’s birthday and our lunch at 208 Garfield took longer than we expected. After lunch we explored Garfield Books, then walked down the street to Hobby Town at 402 Garfield. We closed the outing at Pacific Coffee Co.
This is the third year for Small Business Saturday and I believe that it is an important reminder to support our local business that so often give back to the community. I plan to do more local shopping.
I loved all of the model planes hanging from the ceiling of Hobby Town and the people working there were so nice.
In the 4300 block of Pacific Avenue, there is a private house with an outside table and two chairs in the front yard. One of the chairs is always occupied by a manikin and that manikin is always dressed for the season or holiday. Yesterday, July 4th, he was wearing his northwest summer gardening outfit (overalls, flannel shirt, hat) and on the table was a patriotic bucket with red, white and blue flowers and a flag. It reminds me of the Holiday house on South 9th, near Sprague, only its more subdued.
What better way to celebrate Christmas Eve then to take a family photo in front of Tacoma Elf Storage at 2602 South Holgate Street Tacoma, WA 98402. Eleven months of the year, this facility is known as Tacoma Self Storage, but in December they darken the S and make it a handy spot for Santa to store the toys and one assumes, elves. Their link is here http://www.tacoma-selfstorage.com/
The legend goes that a bird shorted out the letter S during the holiday season in 2007 when the business was new. It was so popular that the owners have purposefully recreated the dimming each year.
The building was originally Tacoma Ice & Refrigerating Co. and A.W. Sterrett was the architect. It was constructed in 1923. In 2000 it was known as Alpine cold storage. In November of 2006 it opened as its current use, a self storage facility.
In December I try to make a point to go to local businesses and “Buy Local”. Today it was Giardini Gifts at 3815 N 26th St. in Tacoma’s Proctor District. The place was packed with unusual and good quality holiday gift ideas and very busy with shoppers. A youth band (the Salvation Army Band?) played in front of it. Dear daughter and I made a small donation. I did find an old photo from the Tacoma Public Library that showed the space as the Red & White Store in 1933. http://search.tacomapubliclibrary.org/buildings/bldg1image.asp?j=1&o=1&n=4027&i=9341#text
Update: Giardini Gifts closed after the holidays and Compass Rose opened in the summer of 2013.
When I heard that Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium was featuring a scuba diving Santa on select days, I knew that we had to go! So, despite the fairly heavy rain, yesterday dear daughter, her dear friend and I went off to the zoo. It was really great! The rain mostly stopped and it was pretty temperate. I thought parking would be a snap, but the lot was almost full. Must be the pull of Scuba Santa! There was a short wait to see Santa, but when we got in we had a pretty good view and didn’t feel rushed. Everybody was having fun and the kids really got a kick out of it!