October 8 and 9
Arriving in Seattle, I met up with Sharon at the airport and we settled into the Coolest Condo Ever. One of the dozens of gaga views out the fabulous picture windows. Here ‘picture window’ takes on its intended meaning.
Coolest condo happenin’ and the North Cascades National Park.
Next morning our first outing of the trip was to the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Garden, open less than two years it is a place neither of us had yet visited.
It is a worthy effort. The setting is a knock-out and the pieces are great to look at. They also prepared a wonderful free brochure describing each work, the artist, dates, and some illumination of the artist’s ideas.
This is Perre’s Ventaglio III, 1967 by Beverly Pepper.
I liked this one just watching that ampersand on a motor going around and around. Then on closer inspection, that wasn’t all there was to it.
Note that path in the shape of the letter S. One table is round, like the letter O. The benches have their edges painted as letter Ls. Check out the tree trunks, and the right side, smaller table is shaped like the letter E.
You kinda have to be there because it is clear as can be that the sculpture is spelling out LOVE & LOSS, the title of the work by Roy McMakin, 2005-06. From the brochure “A tree forms the V of Love which will blossom seasonally and lose its leaves, a reminder of nature’s cycling that mirrors human experience.”
We got a car today and drove out to Tacoma to see a couple of art institutions. My friend Brigitte has been telling me ‘go go go to the Tacoma Art Museum’ and Sharon’s friend Mary has been telling her ‘go go go to the Museum of Glass’. Ok ladies, we Did!
This is the street in Tacoma where we spent our visit. The Union Station building has been converted into the courthouse btw.
The Tacoma Art Museum was a great treat very much worth the 45 minute drive from Seattle.
My opinion might be clouded by a young employee, a woman who told us thoughtful and learned stories of the exhibits and who shared her feelings for the art. She was a treasure as much as any item in the museum and then she disappeared for lunch before I could get a picture of her. She’s going to be my Museum Maven for a long time I’m sure.
Except for what was outside it was a totally ‘no photos’ place which does not make me happy but notice that my usual annoyance was almost but not quite entirely erased by our personal guide.
These balls are in a courtyard surrounded by various reflecting surfaces and that’s us refelcted at the end. They are an exibit of Tacoma born Dale Chihuly glass, another guy whose stuff is everywhere.
The exhibits are all thematic and the curators have an especially lot to say about the experience. My favorite piece was in the Surrealist show, a collection of Salvador Dali lithographs that were so lyrical and gentle even, and splashed with lines of glitter that seemed just the thing.
Next, moving on to our overnight stay in the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth.
Here’s something from ms wiki: “The city (formed in 1906) struggled (from the 1920s) until 1962, when the Project LIFE (Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone) Committee was formed to transform the city into a mock Bavarian village to revitalize its economy.”
We ate a perfectly German late lunch in the beer garden of a Hofbrau, walked around the river and islands, did some looking around the shops, and bought and ate a huge quantity of ginger cookies.
Then we settled into our lovely accomodation for a lounge around until tomorrow when more adventure awaits.
The hotel at the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth had a massive breakfast included, so we ate big time and then were off for a day of looking around before heading into North Cascades National Park tomorrow.
First stop, the Rocky Reach Visitor’s Center on the Chelan County side of the Rocky Reach Hydro Project on the Columbia River.
The dam is modest by Hoover Dam standards, but the visitor’s center is aces.
This is their welcome mural, a little scary I think, about harnessing all the horsepower of the river. Also in the visitor’s center are viewing windows into the fish ladder. The fish migration season is just over and only a few stragglers were left, but even that was cool to see.
Then we moseyed into the historic and touristified little town of Chelan where we ate a block of fried mac and cheese in a lake of melted cheese.
Of course we Had to get it. It was a specialty. This is about the best we could do. We asked the waitress who pitched it to us ‘who can actually finish this thing?’. ‘Oh’, she said, ‘nobody.’
We’re staying in one of these cool cabins right on the river with two bedrooms, full-on kitchen, living and dining room, balcony overlooking the river with a Private Jacuzzi which we just enjoyed.
It was a deal too because of being in the middle of the week between summer vacation season and winter ski season.