Day 1 … starts with beautiful old brick buildings as we walk down the waterfront towards the Museum of Glass. The iconic building with the tilted cone was opened in 2002 and serves to not only celebrate the global community of glass artists and innovators, but to invigorate a part of the city that was formerly a toxic brownfield. This resonates with me as this summer marks the first one that I've intentionally tried to connect with the Willamette River, our own toxic icon which flows directly through Portland. But… The Big Pipe project (pollutant runoff mediation fix) which has been ongoing for over a decade finally finished up last year and officially made the river safe for swimming and recreation, a hard reality to swallow after years of being labelled as "extremely polluted" (i.e. icky). I see the return of the river as not too far afield from what Tacoma did to reconnect to their waterfront and I would like to believe places like the Museum of Glass which grew out of a collaboration between the City of Tacoma and supporters of Dale Chihuly (learn more here) will be part of our city's story in the future.
But I digress, the Museum of Glass, a real treat both inside and out. The ongoing exhibition titled Look! See? was a blast, with pops of color bubbles and mobile lit-up letters - people just couldn't keep their hands off of them! And it was fantastic to hit that plaza fountain after sitting in the Hot Shop watching the artist's blow glass, that thing is literally a furnace, right?! Check it out next time you're in Tacoma.
Day 2 … starts with a ferry ride from Point Defiance Park over to Vashon Island, the largest island in Puget Sound. The day is overcast, not quite the warm summer day we were hoping to motivate us to take a dip in the Sound, but we find a satisfying distraction - rocks. Lots and lots of rocks as these photos can attest to, and clam and oyster shells and sand dollars but mostly rocks. I'm really not even seeing sand, it's amazing. Being on Vashon Island certainly slows you down, it's rural and simple and beautiful. Next time I'd like to bring my kayak or the bikes, just to slow down a little more and appreciate the epically beautiful area we live in.