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Archive for washington state

Art Under Glass

By Linda Tancs

Chihuly Garden and Glass is a sculptural oasis in Seattle, Washington. Its centerpiece is the Glasshouse, a 40-foot-tall, glass and steel conservatory hosting a 100-foot-long suspended floral sculpture in eye-popping hues of red, orange, yellow and amber. You can learn more about the artist, Dale Chihuly, at the eight galleries and three drawing walls that offer a comprehensive collection of his work. Outdoors, the lush landscape is equally matched by floral installations. The facility is located next to the Space Needle (spectacularly visible inside the Glasshouse) at Seattle Center.

 

Dayton’s Historic Depot

By Linda Tancs

The Dayton Depot is the oldest surviving train depot in Washington State. Originally built in 1881, it was moved to its current location at Commercial Street in 1889. Designed in the fashionable Stick/Eastlake style, it still boasts original bead board walls typical of that era. Now a museum, revolving exhibits are featured in the upstairs gallery.

King of the Nutcrackers

By Linda Tancs

Boasting one of the world’s largest nutcracker collections, the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum in Washington State touts the evolution of the nutcracker. Such a collection would hardly be complete without the hundreds of traditional toy soldiers with gaping mouths that make their appearance in homes at Christmas time. But you’ll also find over 6,000 nutcrackers—representing the work of over 50 countries—carved from wood, metal, ivory, porcelain and other materials. Their designs, both simplistic and artistic, run the gamut from serious to whimsical, ecclesiastical to risqué and menacing to cute. Visitors from over 75 countries have been greeted by Karl, a 6-foot-tall Bavarian nutcracker carved in Oberammergau.

Under the Blanket of Snow

By Linda Tancs

Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed mountain area within Olympic National Park in Washington State. Blanketed with over 10 feet of snow for most of the winter, snow enthusiasts enjoy the winter scenery, along with snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding. The snow moles, on the other hand, enjoy their privacy. Endemic to the park, Olympic snow moles are scurrying beneath this blanket of snow, which provides them with ample water for the short summer season ahead.

Wine Doggies of Yakima

By Linda Tancs

A bung is the plug that goes into a wine barrel. Not surprisingly, dogs enjoy chasing and chewing on them. That’s how Bung, a working wine dog at Bonair Winery in central Washington’s Yakima Valley, got his name. He’s one of many working dogs in the fertile valley’s vineyards, helping his owner retrieve errant bungs as the vintner checks the prized contents of the barrels for quality. Winery dogs take on many roles, like greeter, floor sweeper and fetcher-in-chief. Dogs are such an integral part of life in the wine valley that many of the wineries as well as lodging and dining establishments are pet friendly. Fido will have lots of company.

Rocky Mountaineer

By Linda Tancs

It’s a three-hour drive between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, B.C., but why deal with the traffic?  If you believe that life is about the journey rather than the destination, then take the meandering route via rail on the Rocky Mountaineer’s Coastal Passage itinerary.  The tour begins at Seattle’s King Street station and features over two days of daytime train travel, taking in a hotel night in Seattle, two nights in Vancouver and a night in Alberta.  While munching on delectable entrees and complimentary drinks, you’ll take in amazing vistas (through oversized windows or glass-domed cars, depending on the class of service) of the Canadian Rockies.  Keep an eye out for sightings of its wildlife inhabitants like sheep, elk, goats, bears and moose.  They’re in no hurry–are you?

Northwest Raspberry Festival

By Linda Tancs

July is a very berry month according to the food calendar.  No less so in Lynden, Washington, site of the largest harvest of raspberries in North America.  The annual Northwest Raspberry Festival takes place downtown on Front Street tomorrow and Saturday.  You’ll have your choice of raspberry and ice cream sundaes for only one dollar as well as an array of baked goods and fresh berries for purchase.  Why not kick off Friday with an all-you-can-eat raspberry pancake breakfast at the community center.  Razz and shine!

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