NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Seattle Street Seen By Pam

While in Seattle I had to walk around and look at the architecture, but walking the streets of Seattle is not like walking the streets of Chicago or Milwaukee.

Central Library

It turns out it's more like walking the streets of St. John's, or the streets of San Francisco for those who haven't been to Newfoundland recently.

view of cars waiting at the light from inside the library

Seriously, when I wanted to put down my macchiato to take a photograph I had to brace it against the inside of my shoe so it wouldn't fall over.  I saw a guy going backwards down a hill with a rolling garbage can before turning into the alley so it wouldn't just roll down the hill away from him.  Unfortunately I didn't get my camera up in time!


It was great exercise, and the window peeping turned out to be more fun than looking for architectural gems.  I loved the signs in the windows at Biscuit Bitch, but turned away too soon because I thought the food would be spicy and/or greasy.  A second look at their menu makes me think I might have been able to eat a Nutty Bitch or a Canadian Bitch.  Wouldn't it be great to sit down and say "I'll have a Nutty Bitch to go"?

Retro kitsch is all the rage, I've seen these dresses in stores in lots of other towns, the selection of shoes here was astonishing though.  If only my sesamoids could handle it I'd have a pair in a couple of different colors for sure.

Down in Pioneer Square Park there was much to see besides the imposing Romanesque Revival buildings including this bust of Chief Seattle himself.

And a Tlingit totem pole which has an interesting history, here it is from the NPS website:
The Totem Pole first appeared in 1899, after members of the Chamber of Commerce, vacationing in Alaska, stole it from Tlingit Indians. The men gave the object to the city as a gift, but the tribe justly sued for its return and $20,000 in damages. The courts found the men guilty of theft, but fined them only $500 and allowed the city to retain ownership. In 1938, the pieces that remained after vandals set the Totem Pole on fire were sent back to Alaska, where Tlingit craftsmen graciously carved a reproduction. The new pole was soon dedicated, with tribal blessings, at a Potlatch celebration and has since remained unharmed on Pioneer Square. It now stands as symbol of the complicated relationship between American Indians and European Americans.

Pioneer Building, built in 1892

The list I had brought with me led to more disappoint than success, so I just contented myself with wandering around and photographing whatever caught my attention.

The Cobb Building was on my list, and that one did not disappoint.  Built in 1910 it was designed to house doctors and dentists, though I'm not sure how the Native American ornamentation plays into that idea. Apparently the same figures were used in the design of the White, Henry, and Stuart buildings which were all demolished in the late 1970s.  Several Indian heads were salvaged and may be viewed in the Rainier Square concourse, at the Museum of History and Industry, and at Daybreak Star Center in Discovery Park.

But it was the  terra cotta on the facade of the Arctic Club that provided me with that "ooh-aah" moment I was looking for.  The founders of the Arctic Club made it rich from the Klondike Gold Rush of the Northwest between 1896 and 1899, and in 1916 built this 9 story beauty for the clubhouse.

The Arctic Club

The walrus heads lining the third floor of the Arctic Club are not your standard lions, that's for sure.  Click on this link to learn more than you maybe ever wanted to know about the history and restoration of the terra cotta walruses.

It was 50F when I was wandering around, a bit cooler in the shade, but the sun was out, and things were blooming.  Not cherry blossoms, only cherries were on the sign, but look at the hanging baskets behind it.

The bushes thought it was spring too.

I guess this is the new spring fashion for Seattle gentlemen? I'm a little skeptical, but what do I know about style?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Seattle Aquarium and Tents Downtown

I know I promised to write about the Museum of Glass next, but I discovered I have to try to go back and see the outdoor displays at dusk so I have to push it off a bit. 

I won't spoil all the fun a trip to the aquarium entails, but I will say that Seattle's aquarium was small but superb.  The tiles outside the restrooms were as finely detailed as everything else about the place.

Photography is always hard at an aquarium, though this one wasn't as bad as some others we've been to.  The touch tanks had a few more creatures in them than I normally see also including sea slugs.

After you're done gawking at the jellies and the octopus you can go outside to the attached otter and seal exhibit.  The otters were great fun to watch, one kept scrubbing its belly and rolling around.


The aquarium was $29.95 each for adults, and is located on Pier 59.  Neighboring Pier 57 features the Great Wheel, if you care to to take a spin.  The weather was fine for it probably, it was 50F and sunny, I ended up walking around for a few hours without a coat on.

More about that separately, too much for just one post!  Parking runs anywhere from $3-5 an hour and some spots have a 2 hour limit.  My first spot I got for $6 for 2 hours but then I had to move and pay $9 for another 2 hours. City life ain't cheap! A surprising thing we've learned about Seattle though is their homeless population pops up tents right along the waterfront near the piers.  We saw the homeless many other places over the past few days, and I'm not surprised to learn that:

Homelessness is a downside of the city’s rapid economic success, which has largely outpaced the nation’s since the Great Recession. The Seattle area added 234,000 jobs between 2010 and 2015, many of them at companies like Boeing and Amazon, whose growth has brought an influx of people working in the tech industry. That’s led to soaring rents throughout the city that have increased at nearly four times the national average.  (information courtesy of

Monday, February 26, 2018

Working Forward, Weaving Anew

I was scooting around Tacoma trying to find my way to the Museum of Glass when I spotted a 19,000 square foot mural on the 50 foot tall back side of 7Seas Brewing.

Installed in October of 2017, it's striking blue tones literally took my breath away and I had to get out of the car for a closer look.

From Crosscut:  Its visual story weaves past, present and future through the lens of a cedar tree. “Working Forward, Weaving Anew” begins with a Puyallup woman weaving a clam basket in a twill pattern; a cedar forest is in the background. As the mural moves right, the trees are violently felled by a logging saw, a fist emerges from the log as symbol of destruction and invasion. From the logs emerges a door, chiseled by a European carpenter, its Polish design inspired by the ornate old doors found in Tacoma’s downtown.

The brown looking clam above was actually made of metal and I'm wondering how it will age and change over the years.

From Tacoma Weekly about their new Prairie Line Trail which runs along the mural's route: The mile-long stretch snaking roughly parallel to Pacific Avenue will be filled with historical information and public art, all of which deals with the history of this length of track which, once upon a time, made Tacoma the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

It is said that the Prairie Line was signed into being by Abraham Lincoln and built by the toil of immigrant labor on land stolen from the Puyallup Tribe. The Puyallup Tribal legacy and the contributions of immigrants (especially Chinese immigrants) are major facets of the project. But there is also attention given to the role played by the railroads and by industries, such as timber and shipping, that contributed to the growth of this dynamic city in which we live.

I hope I have time to get back over to Tacoma and look for the other murals painted along the Prairie Trail Line, maybe tomorrow I can go to the Tacoma Art Museum and walk the trail from there.  The mural was painted by 10 Native Americans, and I myself just finished reading last night an historical fiction novel featuring the Cherokee and Choctaw just before the time of the Trail of Tears.

I'll post about the Museum of Glass tomorrow. Linking up to Monday Mural.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

What to Do?

It was one of those days that doesn't quite pan out.  Cory and I started the day by heading out to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, just to discover it's one of those outdoor small parks that is best suited to parents with toddlers...and warmer weather. 

The ticket booth attendant recommended the Seattle Aquarium for a larger indoor venue so we will try that on Monday.  On we drove through the cold drizzle, eyeing up sights and hoping to stumble upon something else to do.  Unfortunately it was too early for lunch or I would have stopped at this place just due to the cool mural.

I thought about heading to Bremerton where I used to live as a toddler myself but decided it would just make for too long of a day.  We passed by Tacoma, where I stopped for a minute when I saw their Old City Hall.  Unfortunately the building is not open to the public.  The Italian Villa style building has a clock tower, and the bricks are believed to have come from ship ballast from China, Belgium or Italy.

The clock and bells were cast by the same foundry who did the Liberty Bell.  The building is owned by the city and they are trying to get a sale going to revitalize the grand structure, preferably a boutique hotel or other similar venue.  As I circled the building I came across an interesting mural that I assume has its roots in the Asian culture of the area.  There is a website for public art in Tacoma including murals, but this piece was not listed.

Onward to Auburn where we saw a few pieces of their Downtown Sculpture Gallery as we motored through. On Sunday we are moving to a different hotel in Auburn so I'm sure we'll get a closer look at more of the art featured there, plus we'll be revisiting Tacoma so maybe we'll see some murals as well.

I brought Cory back to our hotel and then headed back out myself to hunt down a place to walk.  Washington Trails Association has a great website for this purpose and I've used it to scope out where I'm going to try to fit in a few hikes without running into snow capped mountains hopefully. Today I settled for a 3 mile hike at King County's Lake Desire Park. 

Nothing fancy, tucked behind a residential area, it was a nice oasis after a day of driving around larger cities filled with weekend traffic.

There is no shortage of lichen and mosses in the Pacific Northwest, they love the damp air here. Though my shorter haircut isn't faring so well, it is proving to be a waste of time to straighten it in the morning!

Tomorrow morning I am lighting out very early to trek on out to Snoqualmie Falls and see what hiking I can find before the crowds show up. Then we have to move to our new hotel and hope to have time to check out the Museum of Glass in Tacoma and Dash Point State Park.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Tiger Mountain's Happy Hiker

Cory and I made it to Washington!  We're unpacked in our hotel in Kent just outside of Seattle, and of course you know it didn't take me long to hunt down a trail.

It barely hit 30F on Tiger Mountain today, but I didn't let that stop me.  No wind, no precipitation?  Good enough!

This is the coldest day of our upcoming stay, the rest of the time the temps will be in the mid 40's, which ironically is the same weather that Wisconsin will be getting.  Most likely they will be getting wind though, and the wind makes all the difference at those temperatures.

Here in Washington there are new things to see and do, even if it isn't any warmer than it is at home.  And this time next week I'll be on the trail with Linda in her beloved Columbia Gorge...unless the forecasted rain turns to ice so let's keep our fingers crossed!

Tiger Mountain State Forest south trail

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cougar Sightings in Wisconsin

I'm sure this isn't national news, but there have been 5 confirmed cougar sightings in Wisconsin since December.  The DNR is pretty sure that the recent sighting in Brookfield as well as the others are the same cougar, a young male looking for new territory which would require a mate and food source.  To their knowledge there is no breeding female here.  First a fox sighting, then a wolf sighting, will a cougar sighting be next? Guess I better be alert on the trails as I travel around the state and not just assume I am seeing dog tracks - and maybe start carrying my hiking stick just in case!  Seriously though, the risk is small to a grown adult, only 13 people have been killed in the last 100 years in all of North America.

hiking last week near on IAT in Monches, about 20 miles
from most recent cougar sighting - all I saw was deer tracks 

If you click on this Wisconsin DNR link and then click on the sightings tab you can get access to a list of the confirmed sightings accompanied by photos.  I'm not going to be hiking in Wisconsin for the next week and a half because by the end of the week I will be hiking in the Seattle area!!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pymouth Post Office Mural

Another post office mural has been crossed off the list in the town of Plymouth, Wisconsin.

It was painted by Charles W. Thwaites in 1942 and is titled "Making Cheese".  If you like murals Plymouth is definitely the place to go, they now have 23 of them throughout downtown painted by The Walldogs.

As you can see this one is on the side of one of the offices I visited for work!  If you want to come and find them all, here is a link to a mural map.

Linking up to Monday Mural.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Kenosha in a Snow Daze

Lake Geneva just had their snow sculpting competition this month, and apparently this is the 5th year that Kenosha has hosted a family event called Snow Daze which features ice sculpting.

Unlike the snow sculpting competition one group made all the ice sculptures for the event, and it was pretty obvious that the Olympics were the unifying theme.

Wayne has had the Olympics on our TV most of the time this past week.  I don't mind it, but after an hour or two it starts to get tiresome.  I need a story, watching people do stuff just isn't enough for me.

Though I did enjoy Shaun White's comeback gold medal performance, I will admit.

Years ago Katrina and I never missed the figure skating events, but since they changed the scoring system the sport has truly suffered in its artistry.  Again, I like a story, and figure skating used to be like going to the ballet but on ice.  Now they are so focused on the most difficult aspect of any turn or edge that most spins and footwork look slow and awkward.  It just took the fun out of it for me.

A few more ice sculptures were scattered around downtown, including in front of my favorite neon sign in Kenosha.

The ice sculpture was even a replica of the sign!

A mural pointing the way to Modern Apothecary attracted my attention.

And there were a few cool things inside, though not cool enough for me to bust out my credit card.  I did enjoy the icy rendering of the heart on the sidewalk outside.

And the store carries Cognitive Surplus notebooks, which I would buy in a heartbeat if I had anything to write down!  But I am a digital girl, living in a digital world so I just took a photo instead.