I found a little bit of winter at Deep Lake at Millersylvania State Park in Olympia. And while I’d like to write that I took a long healthy walk on the trails, the truth is that I stood admiring the lake for about 10 minutes and then gave in to the cold and trotted back to the heated car. I haven’t seen a lake completely frozen over in decades and it brought back memories of ice skating in New Jersey during my high school years.
The image below is on a shady rural street. I thought the ice configuration was interesting.
The brightly colored Cabrillo Amarillo by Paul Kuniholm Pauper is part of the Percival Landing Plinth Project, an initiative involving 15 pieces of art. The public is invited to visit Percival Landing, view all of the pieces and then vote for their favorite. The winning art piece is then purchased by the City of Olympia and the are available for sale. More information about the project can be found here and more information about the artist is here.
This Little Free Library is located at 3215 Centerwood Court SE, Olympia and is part of the Little Free Library Project. This high quality Little Free Library has bright, cheerful colors and inside there are over a dozen books, mostly children’s chapter books. It seems like I always have read at least one title and this time the title was Gone Girl.
Little Free Libraries is part of a community movement which offers free books. When I considered my first Little Free Library in November 2012, a Wikipedia article informed me that there were over 200 of these libraries. Per their website, there are now over 25,000! Each of the libraries is registered and can be located by their GPS coordinates.
Olympia’s Harbor Days is held Labor Day Weekend (Friday evening through Sunday) and is always fun. My favorite part is seeing all the vintage tugboats, several of which were available for tour. My least favorite part was when the largest tug sounded its horn right next to me and almost gave me a heart attack! But is was funny later 🙂 There was some great entertainment including music and a juggler. More information can be found here.
The LOTT WET Science Center at 500 Adams Street NE, Olympia was a pleasant find. LOTT’s WET (Water Education and Technology) looked pretty inviting with its outdoor water features, so I went in, asking if it was strictly for kids. The lady behind the counter assured me that I was welcome and I explored the space with great interest. The center is open 10-4 and is free. They even have things to give away like a shower timer and a small bag carrier (poo bags) that can be clipped to a dog’s leash. There is a variety of educational interactive exhibits and they even have a box turtle. There are often special events especially on Saturdays and school groups come by during the school year. They have a website and a Facebook page. They also have a Twitter Feed and a YouTube Channel!
Grandpa’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream Parlor at 208 4th Avenue, Olympia is a fine place for a sweet treat. We had stopped in a while back only to learn that they are closed on Sundays, but today after a hoagie at Merconi’s and a little shopping, dear husband and I visited for some ice cream. I had a small Sundae and he had a cone. Grandpa’s have specialty hard packed ice cream, soft serve ice cream and delicious looking candies. We were the only customers for a while, which makes sense at 5 pm, but I hear that in the summer the line goes out the door. I especially appreciate the care that they took to make the space into an old fashioned parlor, the checkered floor tiles, the metal stamped ceiling, the seating and more. The other photo features the handmade glowing jellyfish hanging in a tree a few doors down.
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.
I like stores that do one thing well and that is the case with Olympia Olive Oil Company at 321 4th Avenue East in Olympia. Crafted extra virgin olive oils (on the left) and flavored balsamic vinegars (on the right) and a small collection of salts and seasonings are what the store features. The vinegars and the oils maybe tasted in little disposable cups, which was a wonderful opportunity. Once you make your selection, the owner pours the oil/vinegar into the bottle, puts on a label and corks it. I left with two olive oils (blood orange and garlic) and a lemon balsamic vinegar. They have a second location in the South Hill Mall in Puyallup. It’s possible to order online at their website.
The Oyster House at 320 4th Avenue West, Olympia, burned down in July 2013. The 1924 structure was originally built to cull and ship oysters, but in 1925 a small oyster bar was added. By 1949 it had evolved into a sit down restaurant. In 1957 it burned down with the exception of some structural elements. It was rebuilt, but closed in 1995. The restaurant reopened under new ownership in 1996 and has operated as a high quality, destination seafood restaurant until the most recent fire. Their website says it is the oldest seafood restaurant in Washington State. The owners plan to rebuild. The second photo is mere steps away.
Yauger Park in Olympia has a lovely wetland area that doubles as a storm water retention pond during times of heavy rain. Per their website, the area can hold 27 million gallons of water which is slowly released into Percival Creek and eventually into Budd Inlet. One comment I noted on Yelp said that the rain water will sometimes cover the parking area also, which is better than local streets! The park also has picnic facilities, sports areas and playground equipment.