Saturday, October 03, 2015

Point Defiance with COUSINS

I have three cousins who live in the Seattle area - Lois, LaDonna and Launny.

LaDonna suggested Point Defiance and Dinner for our meet-up. It was absolutely perfect - and is a spot we'll need to explore a few more times to fully experience all it has to offer. We have discovered we like combining visiting with seeing sights in an area - at least ones that lend themselves to natural discussions (like falls, hatcheries, hikes, parks, obscure art museums, bird hikes or Simpson murals).  All of my cousins seem to be photo-adverse. Michael snapped some anyway - which I will look at and smile...but I won't post online as I know they wouldn't like it. (I really like one of LaDonna and I face to face in the exact same pose - genetics are wonderful).

Point Defiance Park began as a military reservation after the Wilkes Expedition visited Puget Sound in the 1840s to map the bays and estuaries. Wilkes is thought to have noted that with a fort positioned at the point, and at Gig Harbor across the narrows, one could "Defy" the world. In 1888, President Grover Cleveland authorized its use as a public park.

Point Defiance has a zoo, aquarium, beach, boathouse, ferry dock, wildlife (fox, eagles, sea lions, raccoons, wolves) trails, old growth forest, Fort Nisquilly and GARDENS. There are rose, dahlia, rhodendrum and Japanese gardens.

Fort Nisqually is a replica of a Hudson's Bay Company's fort from the 19th century when the company had trading forts stretching from Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River, to Fort Yukon on the Yukon River in what was to become the state of Alaska. We were unable to get inside the fort as they were preparing for a Candlelight event.
We walked out past the boathouse and watched the ferry for a bit....and walked on a terribly unstable dock. I found myself motion sick by the time we left the dock. Michael welcomed us to his world. That stopped me in my tracks.

"Do you really feel this much motion and instability?"

"On a bad day."

Hmmmm.....maybe we can overlook his distraction.

We walked down Owens Beach and visited as we walked. Stacia was excited to find SEAGLASS.....she found a bright blue piece and Alex found a brown piece.

This was a pretty walk. The whole day was lovely. On our five mile drive (which we stretched to about 7 with a detour) We saw EAGLES, old growth forests, raccoons, narrow bridges and lots of beautiful scenery.

These guys were begging - obviously people ignore
 the signs about feeding the wildlife

Not even worried about cars
As I said, we'll certainly visit Point Defiance again. All we did today was FREE. We need to explore the many gardens (also free), visit the Fort and the Zoo/Aquarium.
We ended the night sharing dinner together. Despite suggestions for Yeti Yogurt, we settled on El Torros. The meal was wonderful and our waiter was great.  I'll remember my "crispy burrito with nothing on it" for a long time. ::grin:: Launny, my cousin, made the kids' evening by giving us a couple of new kites. He knows how to fly the custom-made kites.

All our walking this week seems to be aggravating Michael's hip, we're looking for a low-key, sedate, fun outing with Josiah tomorrow...we'll probably save the tours we didn't take for another trip.