Oh, Tacoma, I am so deeply sorry for under-estimating you! For years (I can say that now), I’ve said ‘ugh, Tacoma. No, I don’t like that place.’ Truth is, I had only been there a couple of times…but during my ‘must find Goodwills/Value Villages with good stuff’ phase.
I am sorry. Truly sorry for underestimating you. You’re pretty cool.
I started off in Gig Harbor at Kopachuck State Park, because the Tacoma + Pierce Co tourism website said I would find lots of sand dollars. Turns out, that wasn’t the case, which was disappointing, but I did get to see lots of clams under water! Also got to practice for the 2016 Rio Olympics: balance beam/tree. What gorgeous views of the inlet! I think I’ve found my new favorite state park to swim (my all-time favorite is in Seabeck)! The only thing missing was a kayak or boat: I would’ve loved to go exploring the nearby island!
To compensate for the lack of sand dollars..but actually just because of my love for ice cream, I ventured into Tacoma to Ice Cream Social on 6th Ave. If you love ice cream and waffle cones (who doesn’t??), go. They have ‘normal’ flavors for those of you who aren’t like me and don’t pick the strangest names on the menu. I tried lavender (I always try lavender-flavored things thinking that one day, the flavor will grow on me..but so far, this has not worked out well). I ended up with Aztec Chocolate and Almond Poppyseed! A perfect combination! I also got an ‘Ice Cream Social’ sticker because I like stickers…and so that I don’t forget to keep on coming back when I’m in the neighborhood! Took a stroll down 6th Ave before heading to my next destination and almost wished I hadn’t had the ice cream: there are plenty of awesome-looking restaurants, cafes and breweries I need to try! Fortunately for me, Tacoma isn’t too far away…
I ventured onto Wright Park and the Botanical Gardens, where parking is at a premium, and I can see why: it’s a nice park! The gardens are smaller than the one in my hometown, but still very cool. They even have a Koi pond (the koi wanted to jump out to eat me) and a lemon tree! But the park itself has a marsh, a pond with fountains, a bowling green (??), horseshoe tracks, and wait for it…a SPRAY PARK!!!
Then I went for a walk along the bridge of glass that connects the Washington State History Museum (why it was closed today, I have no idea! Missing out on tourists!) and the Tacoma Glass Museum. I didn’t go into the glass museum because I’m too cheap, but it was nice to look at from the outside! After briefly touring the University of Washington Tacoma and deciding against touring the free light rail (why is that, Sound Transit? I know there aren’t many stops, but come on. I would pay 50-cents/ride!), I went on home.
It was a great trip. I got to see a lot of homes that were truly beautiful, and amazing buildings. Next time, I will explore more of the cool downtown buildings, because there will be a next time.
I’m sorry I unfairly judged you based on my failed thrift store search, Tacoma. That wasn’t fair.
[Next Pierce Co stop: Tacoma+Pierce Co website says that Sumner is the rhubarb pie capital of the world! They have a rhubarb pie festival in July! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?!?!!?]