Three Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for the blog challenge Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”


Three Things Emblematic of Tacoma


representing something (such as an idea, state, or emotion) that cannot be seen by itself.


I’ve been in my new hometown of Tacoma, WA, for two years now and still enjoy exploring the city and learning about new aspects of it. Today I feature three things that are emblematic of Tacoma.

1. Museum of Glass

museum of glass

Museum of Glass
1801 Dock St, Tacoma, WA 98402
(253) 284–4750

the Museum’s stainless steel cone serves as a beacon to a stunning contemporary art museum as well as a symbol for the restoration of a waterway and the revitalization of a city.

The idea for the Museum of Glass arose in August of 1992 from a conversation between Phil Phibbs, who had recently retired as president of the University of Puget Sound, and Dale Chihuly, a world-renown glass artist who had grown up near and attended the university.

A few weeks later Dr. Phibbs brought his idea for a glass museum to the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma, a group of business and governmental leaders. He was invited to stay for the next presentation, a plan for redevelopment of the Thea Foss Waterway, a strip of empty industrial land next to a body of polluted water in downtown Tacoma. The Council agreed that the proposed glass museum would be an appropriate anchor tenant for the proposed redevelopment.

“In September 1997, Canadian architect Arthur Erickson unveiled the Museum’s design concept, which included an iconic, tilted cone.” Construction began in June of 2000, and the Museum of Glass, with its adjoining Chihuly Bridge of Glass, opened on July 6, 2002. The museum features work of glass artists from all over the world.

Located within the 90-foot tall steel cone, the Hot Shop Amphitheater allows visitors to watch as artists create art pieces from molten glass. The museum features displays in its indoor galleries, art installations on its outdoor plazas, and an extensive  list of educational programs.

2. Tacoma Dome

Tacoma Dome

Tacoma Dome
2727 E D St, Tacoma, WA 98421
(253) 272–3663

The Tacoma Dome, owned and operated by the City of Tacoma, is the largest arena in the world with a wooden dome. Construction began on July 1, 1981, and the Dome opened on April 21, 1983. It is 530 feet (160 m) in diameter and 152 feet (46 m) tall, and can seat up to 23,000. Most of the arena’s seating is not fixed, so that the space can be configured for many different types of events. It’s not unusual to see bleachers standing in the parking lot when driving by the Dome on I 5

The Tacoma Dome’s roof was built with 1.6 million board feet and weighs 1,444,000 pounds. 24,541,382 cubic feet of concrete was used in the construction of the Tacoma Dome. This is enough to build a sidewalk 70 miles long. The Tacoma Dome is 530 feet in diameter and 152 feet tall.

The Tacoma Dome’s aluminum super-grid is one of the world’s largest at 384’ x 160‘. The total cable length is approximately 47,661’ or just over nine miles. There are over 275 support points on the Dome and the grid includes an estimated 2.5 miles of welding.

The Tacoma Dome hosted the 1990 Goodwill Games, the 1988 and 1989 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four, and the 1987 United States Figure Skating Championships. The Seattle Sonics National Basketball Association team held its home games of the 1994–1995 season during renovation of Key Arena in Seattle.

Throughout the year the Tacoma Dome hosts many kinds of civic events and gatherings, including music concerts, trade shows, fairs, sporting events, and local high school and college graduations.

3. Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier photographed on Jan. 25, 2015

Mount Rainier National Park

I’ve saved the best for last. You’ll see a lot of different photos of Mount Rainier on this blog because I love it so much.

The mountain is about 70 miles southeast of Tacoma, but on a clear day it looks as if you could reach out and touch it. The mountain is so emblematic of Tacoma that a lot of companies use it in their logo. See, for example, Tacoma’s local daily newspaper, The News Tribune.

Mount Rainier reaches 14,410 feet above sea level.

An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning six major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems.

The National Park Service website offers lots of information about both the animals and the vegetation surrounding Mount Rainier. It even has webcams. The park is open all year, although much of it is inaccessible to traffic during the winter (which usually starts early and ends late). Be sure to check the website for weather conditions, including the need for tire chains, when planning your visit.

Between 1.5 and 2 million people visit Mount Rainier National Park every year. We in Tacoma are lucky enough to be able to see the mountain frequently throughout the year.

Three Things Thursday: Headgear at the Women’s Final Four

Once again it’s time for the blog challenge Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”


Headgear at the Women’s Final Four

I’ve written about our visit to Tampa for the Women’s Final Four college basketball championship.

One of the things I love so much about this experience is seeing how creative some of the fans get with their clothing. Here are my awards for outstanding headgear at this year’s Women’s Final Four:

3rd Place

Notre Dame "Fighting Irish" Leprechaun Hat
Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” Leprechaun Hat








2nd Place

UConn Husky Hat
UConn Husky Hat

1st Place

Basketball with red-and-white SC Gamecock
Basketball with red-and-white SC Gamecock








Honorable Mention

(OK, so this is the fourth thing)

Basketball Net Hat
Basketball Net Hat

Three Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for the blog challenge Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”


Food in Portland

I’ve written about our trip last weekend to Portland, OR, here and here.

Although we weren’t there for very long, we did have some memorable food experiences.

1. Kells Irish Pub

The conference my daughter and I attended was at the Embassy Suites in Portland’s historic Old Town district. We arrived in time for a mid-afternoon lunch at nearby Kells Irish Pub:

112 SW Second Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
(503) 227–4057

Like most of the businesses in this redeveloped area, Kells is in a historic old building. This one was built in 1889 and is on the National Historic Register:

Kells Irish Pub
Kells Irish Pub

And of course we ate and drank traditional Irish fare:

A pint of Kells Stout between 2 pints of Guinness
A pint of Kells Stout between 2 pints of Guinness
Irish lamb stew
Irish lamb stew



Kells even has a huge wall of whiskeys that requires a library ladder for full access, which you can see at the right side of the photo featured at the top of this post.

They have a second site in Portland and—wait for it!—one in nearby (to us) Seattle and one in San Francisco, a city we occasionally visit.

2. Dan & Louis Oyster Bar

oyster bar 02After the conference Saturday night, we went for dinner to Dan & Louis Oyster Bar, also within walking distance of the hotel in Portland’s historic district:

208 SW Ankeny St. Portland, OR 97204

Opened in 1907, it bills itself as the “oldest family-owned restaurant in town.” It even has its name inlaid in the sidewalk outside the entrance:

oyster bar 01

My husband and I had lunch here when visiting Portland about 15 years ago. I remembered the restaurant having the best oyster stew I’d ever tasted, and I’m happy to report that it still does.

3. Voodoo Donuts

Voodoo Doughnuts
Voodoo Doughnuts

We never did get to eat the creations of the very famous Voodoo Doughnuts because every time we walked by there was a ridiculously long line.

Voodoo Doughnut ONE (original location)
22 SW 3rd Avenue Portland Oregon, U.S.A.
phone 503.241.4704

That may be a good thing, though, because it will probably take me at least a few months to decide which doughnut I want. Check the website for photos and descriptions of their many offerings.

3 Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for the blog challenge Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”

There’s some awesome art work on public display in our neighborhood. Here are three examples.

1. Antique Sandwich Co.

Antique Sandwich Co

One of the most interesting places nearby is the Antique Sandwich Co., founded as a family business in 1973.

5102 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 752–4069

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers a varied menu that includes granola, cinnamon rolls, sandwiches, soups, lasagna, quiche, pies, cakes, and a big selection of teas and coffees. They also host frequent musical performances.

The mural pictured here graces the N. 51st Street side of the shop’s antique building.

2. Don’s Ruston Market


Just a few blocks down N. 51st Street from the Antique Sandwich Co. is Don’s Ruston Market and Deli.

5102 N Winnifred St, Ruston, WA 98407
(253) 759–8151

Don’s has graced its corner in the little city of Ruston for more than 30 years. It offers seasonal kayak rentals, but its main attraction is the antique soda fountain that features a lengthy list of milkshakes and sodas. For more information, check out this article from our local Tacoma newspaper, The News Tribune.

This photo shows the decorative mural on the N. 51st Street side of the store. The mural is actually much bigger (it extends further off the left side of the photo), but I couldn’t get the whole thing because a van was parked on the street.

3. Octopus on The Waterwalk at Point Ruston


About three steep blocks down N. 51st Street from Don’s Ruston Market is the new development of Point Ruston, currently under construction. When finished, the development will include apartments, condos, restaurants, retail shops, and a movie theater.

5005 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 759–6400

The Waterwalk is a park that stretches along the edge of Commencement Bay at Point Ruston and eventually connects to a walkway into nearby Point Defiance Park. This octopus graces an entrance into the park off Ruston Way. There are other art spots along the walkway featuring fish, jellyfish, and squids. I photographed the octopus because the Giant Pacific Octopus, prolific in this area, is one of my favorite animals.