29 May

Beautiful Buchart Gardens.  I know I said 'no more flowers' but this is really a picture of a bee.

28 May

Insert Mt. Rainier here.

Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs

On Friday we went to Seattle where I didn't see Frasier or a heartsick Tom Hanks, but I did ride a monorail, see a great fish market, and watch the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Seattle is a bustling city of over 620,000.  What I know it best for is that their EMS has the reputation for the fastest response times and best cardiac arrest survival rates in the country.   But enough of that nerdery.

The monorail took us on a thrilling one mile ride to the Space Needle.  This Seattle classic is a must do, if only for it's camp value.  Built for the 1962 world's fair, I don't think much has changed since then, except for gift shop expansion.  It's a 40 second elevator ride to the top, and the view from 605 feet is great from the city center to the far reaches of Puget sound.

Back on the ground, we visited the Chihuly Glass Garden which was stunning and fascinating.  It is a whole museum of his instillations as well as a garden that joins glass and spring blooms seamlessly.

We got coffee at Starbucks, because it felt right, and walked to Pikes Place Market which easily won me over as I love markets.  It was full of good food, beautiful displays of flowers, and singing fish mongers. 

We had a delicious dinner and headed to the symphony which was a wonderful way to end the day. 


I am relaxing in my friends apartment after four days of camping.  I've dried off my sleeping bag, started some laundry, and taken a 56 hour shower, so now I'll take some time to write about this trip.
My dear friends moved to Tacoma this year, and I am visiting them to fulfil my promise to annoy them wherever the Army life takes them.  They'll be moving (sort of) back east this summer, so I am striking while the Pacific Northwest iron is hot.

I arrived in Tacoma and was immediately introduced to Pacific NW life.  My friend took me to their farmshare where they pick up fresh fruit, veg, and eggs once a week.  There is plenty of kale.  We had a great lunch and I had my first of many craft brews.
In the late afternoon we went to Point Defiance Park, which is an unbelievable municipal park full of beach, ancient trees, well kept gardens, as well as an aquarium and a zoo.  Municipal. Park.  It's lovely. 

The next day, I explored Tacoma by hitting up all of the major museums.  The Washington State History Museum is pretty cool and covers geological, social, and industrial histories of this state.  It doesn't completely gloss over the fact that the lands were all but stolen from the Native Americans, but doesn't make you feel too depressed about it either.
I found great fascination with being at what is generally the end of the 'Oregon Trail' and kept having flashbacks of how many characters I killed with dysentery or from lack of firewood back in elementary school.  I'm not sure what we learned from that game, but it certainly left an impression on my generation.   
In real life, I cannot imaging packing up your entire family and more or less walking over 2500 miles to find new self reliance and a fresh start.  It is admiral and unfathomable to me.

From there I visited the US court house, which sounds odd until I tell you that it has several glass art installations.  Dale Chihuly is from Tacoma and has certainly left his mark on city.  You can't turn around without bumping into some of his art, which is a very good thing.  It's beautiful, provocative, and is simply amazing. 

There is more of his work in the Tacoma Art Museum.  They also have a huge exhibit of Eric Carle, the artist behind the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  His art is bold and colorful and a joy to look at.
In the Museum of Glass, there is more glass.  All made with different techniques and styles.  The best part of this museum is their hotshop where visitors can sit and watch visiting artists and teams of glass experts make brand new pieces of art.  I sat in on a session for an hour and a half, rapt by their work.  It was great, especially as I didn't break anything in the gift shop, and got in for free (every 3rd Thursday of the month).

27 May

A misty view up to Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island.

25 May

It's tough to choose today, so here's a kick-ass bald eagle and a waterfall.

21 May

I didn't get arrested: this is the jail from the beginning of "The Goonies."

20 May

The incredible oregon coast from Ecola State Park. (and a starfish)

19 May

For today, here's Mt. St Helens. Well, 65% of the time. After spending some time learning about this active volcano, I didn't mind the clouds, as at least it wasn't erupting. Slightly lower than 3000 feet, the weather was much better at Multnomah Falls.

17 May

Turns out, you can't swing a cat in Seattle without knocking over some Chihuly glass either. Thank goodness, because it is all awesome. Also, they have a wonderful market.

16 May

You cannot swing a cat in Tacoma without knocking over some Chihuly glass.

On a side note, this is my 900th post!

15 May

I promised myself that I wouldn't post any more floral pictures this year, but I couldn't resist this rhododendron at the Point Defiance park in Tacoma, WA. A great first day of vacation. It's rainy and I love it.

13 May

No, I didn't take this on the 13th, nor did I post it on the 13th, but it's here now.

12 May

Another flower! Tis the nature of May. Here's a wildflower called Hepatica for its supposed liver shaped leaf. Thanks so much to Sai and Anne for the help with the clovers. Cash and prizes must be collected in person.

11 May

Cash and prizes to who can name this plant and tell me why you would need so much of it.

5 May

A day of crafting.  It was sunny.  It was freezing.  I got travel advice, met some very nice people, and ate some delicious tacos. 

1 May

It's that magical time of year again dear readers when I switch from (in the case of this year) not posting at all, to posting a picture a day whether you need it or not.
As always I will make a faithful promise to post every day without fail without cheating and giving you a picture from the day before.  That said, I am going on vacation on the 15th, so there may be a delay.  But, there will be a picture for each day.  Even if it's posted a day late.  

So, here's May day's pic for this year.