The Olympic Peninsula was my next destination. I have friends in Seattle and Tacoma so I chose the Elks Lodge in Shelton, Washington as my home for a week. Shelton is a small town northwest of Olympia and driving distance to Tacoma. In addition, with an hour drive to Bremerton, I could take the ferry to Seattle.
My first outing was to Olympia, the capital of Washington. Olympia is located in the South Puget Sound area. It was Friday and I was a little surprised the capital building area was deserted. In hindsight, I guess I should not have been surprised. Have you ever visited the Sacramento capital building on a Friday? Yes…deserted too!
I arrived just in time to take the last tour of the building. The exquisite neoclassical building opened in 1928. The marble, woodcarvings, light fixtues and old hardware are a remarkable sight. I also learned a little about Washington State government and how the legislators balance the needs of rural Washington (which is most of the state) and the urban areas on the west coast. The tour is definitely worth your time if you are visiting the area.
I used Yelp to find a delicious Turkish restaurant and had dinner before returning to Shelton. On a trip to Turkey several years ago I was exposed to Turkish cooking and I’ve loved it every since. And let’s not forget the Ephes beer!
Next, I was off to visit Jay and Anne Jackson who recently moved to Tacoma. I met them at a waterfront restaurant for dinner and then went to their house to drink some wine and catch up. I worked with Jay at Public Sector Consultants over many years. We laughed until I had a bellyache! They really like living in the Puget Sound area and I can see why! So much fun visiting with Jay and Anne.
Tacoma is home to the Museum of Glass and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. The museum highlights extraordinary glass art and has a large Hot Shop where you can sit and watch artists create glass objects. Tacoma is the birthplace of Dale Chihuly, a renowned glass artist and you can learn more about Dale here. Dale’s glasswork is a step beyond. The Bridge of Glass is a walking bridge over the freeway and has numerous pieces of glass art back lit by natural lighting. Stunning! Here is a few photos that of course, don’t do it justice.
I made the one hour drive to Bremerton to catch the ferry to Seattle to meet my friend Susan Kelly. We visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass. Even though the garden was closed, we toured the glass exhibit and again, a spectacular place!
We ate lunch at the Collections Café located at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. The café has delicious food, but that was not the best part. The café is decorated with Chihuly’s personal collection of everyday items. They were everywhere! On the walls, hanging from the ceiling, in the bathrooms, and in the center of the tables (under glass). There are shaving brushes, ceramic dogs, bottle openers, Mexican silver ashtrays, pocketknives (our table), inkwells, alarm clocks, plastic radios, string holders, fish decoys, toy house trailers, accordions, and 1950s cameras. Talk about eye candy! The collections brought back so many memories of childhood.
I searched the plastic radios looking for the one I received from my Great Aunt Lill and Uncle Marv for Christmas when I was around 10 years old. They bought one for me in beige and one for my brother in turquoise. I would listen to that radio with CKLW tuned in, day and night. I think that is where my obsession with music began. Here is a few photos of the collections.
After that, we walked along the waterfront and dropped into the famous Iver’s for a few cocktails before I had to catch the ferry back to Bremerton. It was a fantastic day with a wonderful woman!
I fell in love with the Puget Sound area. So much water everywhere! Many islands to explore (next time) and good friends. If it was not for the weather, I could easily live in this area. But, alas…too much grey and rain for this sun-loving girl. One thing is for sure, this will not be my last visit to the area.
Next stop Port Townsend, Sequim and Olympic National Park.