Monday, July 28, 2014

Tacoma and Seattle Again

July 26 - 29, 2014:

A return to Tacoma to visit the Museum of Glass.  The exhibits were mostly abstract glass art, interesting but really not that attractive to me, like most modern art, I don't get it ?    I loved the "Hot Shop" part of the museum where you can watch them make stuff in real time.  It was amazing to watch them go through all the complex steps to fabricate a bowl.  Also amazing was how they sling these fragile molten pieces of glass around wearing only tee shirts, shorts, sneakers with no protective gear at all except safety glasses.

Very colorful glass balls

Twinkles is illuminating

The Hot Shop team in action

Red Hot glass !

A little more heat required

Across the street is another must see attraction, the US Court House, which was formerly the Union Train Station.  The interior has been restored, but unfortunately virtually nothing is left from it's railroad days, except the sounds outside of the passing diesel freight trains.  It is beautiful however and decorated inside with several large, beautiful art glass pieces.  This area gives you a sensory overload the sights and sounds of downtown Tacoma on one side, the waterfront area on the other, with freight trains going by, the Museum of Glass building, the Court House building, the Bridge of Glass, the Washington Historical Museum and on clear days even a Mt. Rainer view.

Front of the Court House

Chihully glass piece hanging from ceiling

Another glass piece on second floor

View from second floor

A final trip into Seattle to take in the "Underground Tour" in the Pioneer Square area.  This is a guided tour of the original city area that was rebuilt after the great fire.  Eventually this entire area was built up with soil and fill to prevent flooding during high tides.  This covered the lower floors of the buildings making them basement areas.  The man who started the Underground Tours spearheaded a preservation effort in the Pioneer Square area and his tour was instrumental in raising public awareness and ultimately getting the area designated a National Historic Site.  

Underground tour in Pioneer Square

We are underground

Another view, this was once street level

This is a parking garage they call the Sinking Ship.
They demolished an old Hotel for it that set off
the Seattle preservation movement

The Madam and her best working girls, they loaned
money to local business owners to rebuild after
the great fire

Iconic Chief Seattle

Back to the Market

Imposing Mt. Rainer in the distance from the Ferry

Of course there were a couple of trips to nearby Poulsbo for shopping, the amazing bakery and to visit the Poulsbo museum, another small but interesting museum supported by volunteers. The friendly woman on duty gave us a tour of the exhibits and overview of Poulsbo with considerable local flavor. She pointed out to us her grandfather (as a handsome young man) and her mother (as a young girl) in two old photos hanging on the wall.

Welcome to Poulsbo

The usual crowd at the Bakery

So Good !

Viking Tee Shirts for sale

Museum photo with Grand Dad in
the lower right, he eventually became
a ship captain

Poulsbo City Hall sign

There is so much to do in this area, but it's time to move on.
Next stop is Dungeness Spit Recreation Area near Sequim, Washington; 

Twinkles and Slick

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