28 April 2012

Port Townsend: Pt III

There are many things that make Port Townsend unique...
here are a few more.
It's a great place to see what is underneath
all those historic buildings and still be able to shop.
Oh I need to let you know it's OK to drive around the vehicles (trucks, post office delivery trucks) that are parked -- temporily -- in the middle of the streets downtown. Just be careful:)
 Another unique thing about Port Townsend is the wooden boat shipyard you can drive through.
This is the place I first saw The Lady...
what lady you say?
The Lady Washington, of course.
She was getting ready for her movie debut:)
I understand she'll be back this year...
Here she is in SW Washington all beautiful.
Loved this shipyard--an amazing collection of sailboats, fishing boats, etc.
A beautiful marina and mural too...
and I got my first photo of my favorite Victorian home from here years ago:) 
 As I have said---we do have palm trees in the PNW.
This area is in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mts too so that means less rain, more sun
(if only I could live full time in a rain shadow...)
This is the park area near the Haller Fountain (a classical type fountain) and stairs up the bluff.
 One of my favorite homes--a bed and breakfast currently.
This is the Old Consulate Inn, formerly the Hastings home.
LOVE this place--I would definitely stay in the tower--if that was possible:)
The very famous bell tower of the very famous courthouse in Port Townsend.
You can see this part of the courthouse from quite a distance if you are in the 'right' place that is!
It is quite an impressive building--I love old courthouses.  
Time to eat and do some tasks.
I leave you with this very unique and artsy wall (fence) we passed by while on our trip.
The arts are very big in Port Townsend -- it is truly an amazing place:)
More later (unless you are getting bored).
Blessings, Aimee

Port Townsend: Pt II

Fair weather continues as we tour Port Townsend...
very fitting for a port city I think.
Also located in the downtown district is this beauty...
I love how all the window coverings match, don't you?
FYI, in case I haven't made this clear yet, the downtown district is the one located on the waterfront.
It is where many of the shops are located today including my fav ice cream place and bookstore
(more about them soon). 
The uptown district is above it, on a bluff. It too has some shops. If you visit Port Townsend,
you MUST stop at the Visitor Center there (located near the Safeway) and ask them for a map/guide to the historic homes and buildings. It will make your tour of the city much easier and give you details on the sites you are seeing. Also, they are really great people and a lot of fun to talk to
 (BTW--I have found in ALL my travels that the Visitor Centers, Chamber of Commerces are always great sources of information on the area's attractions, places to eat, history, etc. LOVE them)..
In addition to historic buildings, I take many, many photos of historic homes wherever I travel to.
Port Townsend has many of them;
 this is the Ann Starrett mansion, currently a hotel.
Isn't it beautiful? 
Look at the detail!
And here is the beautiful steeple of yet another historic church in
uptown (on the bluff) Port Townsend. And if you look really carefully, you can see the
Saturday Market...I LOVE Farmer Markets! Do you?
North Beach Park--popular with the locals and those who know about it:) 
A view of the Point Wilson lighthouse at Fort Worden from another of my favorite parks...
Chetzemoka (and yes I had to look up the spelling on this, but I wanted to get it right because the park is named after a Native American chief. From some quick research on the Internet, I find that he was a man of peace so I am glad he is still remembered today). 
The gazebo at the park. There is also an arbor which is covered by climbing roses in the summer,
an oriental type garden (with a palm tree--yes I know you are shocked but we DO have some types of palm trees in the PNW) and many other beautiful plants and trees. It also--as you can see--has an amazing view. 
The Manresa Castle--or at least one of my favorite towers of the castle.
The Castle, once a home, is currently being used as a hotel.
I don't think I've ever been inside it...but I think my parents have eaten there.
If you'd like to see more of its exterior just leave a comment (you can do so anonymously)
and I will post one that shows more of the castle..
More later...time for bed.
Wishing you a blessed weekend.

27 April 2012

Journey to a Victorian Seaport

Beautiful, beautiful Port Townsend!
You didn't really think I could stay away from you for too long, did you?
 No! Many, many years ago you touched my heart and left a piece of yourself inside it.
And every so often that piece of you calls me back for a visit..
a visit to your bays
 (and sometimes a trip on your ferries), 
 walks and drives past your gorgeous historic buildings
(this, BTW, is my favorite--the Hastings building;
as you can see construction was going on when we were there),
 and many, many visits to both downtown
(where my favorite chocolates are sold and my favorite bookstore is)
(where the nice Victorian ladies used to hang out and now deer roam)

Oh yes, Port Townsend has deer roaming around its streets...
in fact I was talking to my DD when the person I was with screamed out
Being the deer lover I am,
I had to get some photos.
Isn't modern technology fun?  

 We were not far from these gorgeous churches when we had the deer sighting...
the first of many.

While there I read a rather funny article on the relationship of the 'native' deer to
the town and its people.
I know that we LOVE our deer visitors too
and I am always happy to share some berries with them when they grace us with a visit.

But back to these churches...
I wonder if my great-great aunt went to one of them or did she go to church in a different town? So much has been revealed lately about her time in Washington;
so much more still to learn...
Family history is an ongoing project here at my house:)
A most enjoyable one!

Here is a close up of one of the stained glass windows.
I LOVE stained glass...
I would have loved to go inside and take a photo with the sunshine coming through them.
When I was younger, my parents had a house built.
It had some old stained glass windows
and some old beams from a barn in it.
So, as you can tell, I come from a family of stained glass window lovers:)
I leave you with a photo of the historic bell tower,
also located on the bluff (uptown area).
More later...

26 April 2012

Journey Along Washington's Fjord: Pt II

Our journey continues as we head further north and closer to our our first night's destination...
  both coming and going we are blessed by the blue, blue waters of the Hood Canal--
not a man-made canal, but an authentic fjord formed by glaciers they say.
We pass many, many evergreen and decidous trees.
Did you know that Washington is known as the Evergeen State?
All these trees make me wish there was a way to go back in time,
back to the time my great-great aunt lived and taught on the Olympic Peninsula...
Oh, how I would have loved to see this place as it was then;
maybe from the decks of a small ship or on the back of a horse.
It is no wonder that SO many Scandinavians settled in NW Washington;
they were reminded of the beauty of their homelands.
So much beauty...
I wonder what brought my great great aunt here?
She wasn't a Scandinavian, as far as I know.
Yet she came...for reasons still unknown to me,
and somehow, somewhere she met her husband to be for the first time.
He was a Swede.
They would wed and settle near the banks of the Hood Canal.
not on the Olympic Peninsula where she had taught
(and where these photos were taken),
but on the Kitsap Peninsula where they would farm.
 I guess that is why I love it so much here--
or at least one of the reasons why I love it so much here.
It's exciting to travel to the gorgeous places my ancestors
and their families visited and/or lived in.
 It is like walking in their shoes...to do so.
And when I am here...  
 I can imagine what they thought when they caught a view of the Olympic Mountains for the first
(or hundredth) time. Did it take their breath away or cause them to get tears in their eyes too?
How could it not?
Yes, the heavens and the earth DO tell us a lot about God.
For one thing, it tells me that He loves His children.
I am sure they felt loved as they gazed upon His Handiwork too.
And, just like me, they probably responded with gratitude for the gifts
we all have been given.
Gifts which make me feel very, very blessed.
I hope you feel blessed too,

Coming soon: a Victorian seaport and more.
Please excuse any mispellings and poor grammar;
life has been very challenging lately.

Hood Canal: Washington's Fjord

After you leave Olympia and make the turn northward,
you aren't by the Hood Canal right away.
But that doesn't mean things are boring...
 being spring,
how could it be?
 You pass by a drive-in theater.
Yes, there really are some of these wonderful places left!
And even better (at least for a mountain lover person like me)
you catch your first glimpse of the gorgeous mountains of the Olympic peninsula:)
Followed soon by your first glimpse of the fjord, AKA the Hood Canal.  
 And then miles and miles of this...
and this.
And you find yourself falling in love with this part of Washington all over again.
(to be continued)

25 April 2012

The Journey Continues: Pt II

Our journey continues with more mountains
(of course)
Here is a photo of a very loved Washington mountain...
it is one that always puts a smile on my face.
In fact, it is where I celebrated an early birthday last year.
 Not sure what this is, but I like all the cut out figures!
Time passes quickly at 70 mph and before you know it,
you are in Olympia--the capital of Washington.
No time to sightsee though because we are still hours from our destination.
And so I catch a couple quick photos as our vehicle turns onto Highway 101
 and we head towards my favorite PNW fjord and a lot of good memories:)
(to be continued later).

A Beginning

Every journey must have a beginning...
we'll start ours in the City of Roses, Portland.
Actually, this photo would not come first, but who said this blog post has to be chronological
(and besides I LOVE our snow capped Mt. Hood and
 figure it is a great photo to start ANY post with).
This is SW Portland, the downtown area, as seen from the Spaghetti (Markham) Bridge.
It is not one of Portland's more beautiful bridges,
but driving over it does give one a chance to see some pretty views.
 This is OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science + Industry)--
a very cool place to take kids.
My grandkids loved it there when we went a few years ago.
It is located on the eastside of Portland which is divided into two by a river, the Willamette.
Now we are moving into Washington state, crossing over the Columbia River.
They are planning to build a new bridge to replace this one sometime in the future because of the increased traffic now using it to cross from state to state.
And yes, that is Mt. Hood again---
and some people enjoying the river.  
We saw lots of people enjoying the waterways of both Oregon and Washington on trip;
boating is popular here.
The Gospodor Monument--
an eye catching memorial along the major north-south route (I5)
in western Washington.
It is always fun to try and capture a photo of them while traveling at freeway speeds (70 mph).
If you browse the web, you will find that people have definite ideas on this monument.
What do you think about it?
One thing that most people like are barns and I really LOVE to take photos of them.
This one was a few minutes north of the Gospodor Monument.
Now as you may have figured out,
the photos I am posting are a compilation of ones I took over two different days.
The really beautiful blue ones of SW Washington and Portland are from the trip southward,
when we saw -- at least 4 of the best known Cascade Mt peaks.
Any guesses from you locals as to which one this is?
Well every journey must have a beginning and every post an ending...
more later:)

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