My group had a tour of the Pierce County Library Administration Building at 3005 112th St E. Tacoma, WA 98446-2215 and I loved getting to see where the books come into the library system and are process. I didn’t realize there is actually a small public library in the lobby of the building. I’m especially enamored with the wonderful, space saving shelving that wheels flush. And there was a glimpse of the bookmobile! Little known fact, I applied to drive/manage the bookmobile many a year ago! Anyway it was a great tour.
To celebrate our wedding anniversary dear husband and I took the Seattle Duck Tour, which translates to after years of asking I wore down my husband and we went on the Duck Tour. Part of the Duck Tour includes a brief dip into Lake Union. Houseboats are cool because they are houses that float! I mean seriously how great is that. They have been on Lake Union since the late 1800s and there is so good information about them here. Of course the most famous of the Lake Union houseboats is the one featured in the movie Sleepless in Seattle. We got a glimpse of that though it was far in the distance. Anyway the tour was a blast and we saw parts of Seattle that weren’t that familiar to us. And the nice people that run the tour told us about relatively inexpensive parking, so that was a bonus.
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.
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.
Once a year, the Tacoma Historical Society, Tacoma Cemetery and the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum join forces to produce a Living History Tour. Each historical reenactor is from the Fort Nisqually Time Travelers and has assumed the role of a Tacoma citizen in the time period around World War I. This is the 7th tour and the first that I remember that photography was allowed as long as we waited until the end of each talk and didn’t bother the actors.
Alexander Baillie (with the golf club)- the founder of Tacoma Country & Golf Club. It isn’t often you actually see a twinkle in somebody’s eye! I loved the story about how he imported golf clubs from his beloved Scotland. When the port didn’t know what they were, he convinced the port officials that they were farming equipment so he had less of a tax burden.
Annie Brown (white dress) – Annie and Oscar were the lighthouse keepers at Brown’s Point for many years. When she teared up talking about how she missed the lighthouse in her old age, I sniffed a little myself.
Ada Bel Tutton Gifford (red dress) had a great hat, as she should since she owned a millinery shop on Broadway Avenue. I loved her pride in her accomplishments.
Chester Thorne (arms to side), owner of Thornwood Castle and accomplished local businessman. He owned a yacht name the El Primero and President Taft was one of his more famous guests on it. He lost the yacht in a poker game.
Peter Wallerich (hands folded in front), told some of his story in rhyme. He was responsible for the automotive industry situating on South Tacoma Way and bought the Northern Pacific Bank.
Hugh and Mildred Wallace (couple) each told their stories of being part of high society. He was the ambassador to France and the French often honored him. She was the much loved daughter of a Chief Justice. They donated the clock tower chimes in Old City Hall to honor their daughter who died. Note to self, their house is still standing at 402 North J.
W.F. Sheard (with chair) has a shop across the street from the Tacoma Hotel and was well known for his furs. He is also known for designing the gold bead sight used on Winchester rifles and for bringing the totem pole in Firemen’s Park to Tacoma.
I believe the tour is full for today, but you can contact the Tacoma Historical Society to double check. And make a note to go next year 🙂
Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens has the Pecchenino Garden in Gig Harbor registered as a Horticultural Services Division Garden and today it was open to the public for a small donation which was contributed to a charity. The two acre garden surrounds a private house and is amazing. The garden features a stupendous view of Henderson Bay and Cutts Island, a waterfall, a vegetable garden and, of course, flowers.
I talked dear husband into coming with me to take sunset photos at the lovely Saltwater State Park, but when we got there the road was closed (seriously!). Well, ok, there must be other places around to see the sunset. So we drive around and find Redondo, which is a neighborhood community in Des Moines and Federal Way. Wikipedia tells that the area was originally designed as a resort, but over the years became a middle class residential community that centers around the lovely Redondo Beach. In addition to the residential homes, there is a Salty’s Restaurant, a marine museum, another restaurant which was closed at the time and some great public art. The beach features a fishing/viewing peer, boardwalk (above the beach), a diving tour, some amazing sunset views of Poverty Bay. The area is rumored to be named after the more famous Redondo Beach in California, which is famous for its surfing and beach volleyball.
We had several glorious days in Sydney. Activities included exploring the amazing Sydney Opera House, taking a Captain Cook Tour, a walking tour through The Rocks, repelling down a cliff in the Blue Mountains, surfing Bondi Beach, practicing at the Sydney Cricket Grounds and learning about opals.
Dear husband and I braved the drizzle today to join the Downtown on the Go group stroll through Tacoma’s Brewery District. It was really a fun, free tour and the light rain hardly slowed us down at all. It read more about On the Go, look here.
One of our stops was the site of a natural springs at the corner of South 25th and Jefferson proximate to the Prairie Line (the historic rail corridor). Our wonderful guide said that the water is still visible, but I didn’t see it in the quick glance I had time for. But I could tell by the vegetation that it is a damp area.
Today was dear husband and my wedding anniversary and we decided to celebrate by taking a Segway Tour through West Seattle. It was our first time on Segways and we simply loved it! The tour guide, Tina at West Coast Segway Tours, was great (encouraging, fun, smart) and the weather was lovely. And how lovely West Seattle is! We went down a big hill to Alki Point and glided along the waterfront.
After the hour and a half tour we went out to Spud’s for dinner and then walked along the waterfront to view Seattle’s Statue of Liberty. The statue was erected by the Sea Scouts and the Boy Scoutsin 1952. It is one of 200 1/18th size replicas of the Statue of Liberty put into place in 39 states and 4 US territories. In 2006 the statue was recast by The Bronze Works in Tacoma.