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Road Trip Day Five: Happy Landing at Evergreen College by Ann Treacy
September 23, 2022, 1:23 am
Filed under: Washington

While the mission is not completed, we at least know it was a success. Aine moved into her dorm this morning. And dorm does not do it justice. Aine live in a pod that she shares with three other students. They share a kitchen, living room and bathroom but each have their own bedroom. It feels like she’s pretty close to classroom buildings. She met one roommate while Grandpa and I were there. She was just so excited. We will see her tomorrow for breakfast and get the update.

The campus is gorgeous. The campus is in the middle of a forest. There are some sports fields. The center of the campus is pretty compact but there’s a nice outdoor amphitheater. It’s a little remote (for me) but Aine seems to love it. Also – as the quick tour of the main quad, you can see there are friendly deer.

We got to know Olympia a little better with trips to Target. It seems like a nice town. Grandpa and I walked around the boardwalk a bit and had a nice dinner. It is a strange place for a Midwesterner. The ocean and deep woods a couple miles apart and huge mountains in the horizon. It’s beautiful. And nice news for Aine there’s no fee for public transport, so the world (or at least Olympia) is her oyster.

Road Trip Day Four: Spokane to Seattle to Olympia by Ann Treacy
September 22, 2022, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized, Washington

The last stretch was a rough one. It’s gorgeous in Washington but the traffic is much great and the road goes straight up. I’m not sure my ears will ever un-pop. I think we caught a glimpse of Mount Rainier on our drive. It was pretty amazing and about as close as we’re going to get on this trip.

We stopped in Seattle for a few hours. We dropped Aine off to see a friend at Washington University. Dad and I went to the Discovery Park on the Sound. They gave us a special permit to drive right down to the water. It was so lovely and calm after the week of driving that we’ve had.

Then we picked up Aine and saw a few quick sights of Seattle, mostly around the fish market. We had a lovely dinner in Tacoma and headed to Olympia to sleep. And now it’s Thursday and it’s move in day!!

Road Trip Day Three: Montana, Wyoming and Washington highlight Butte MT, where my great grandfather died by Ann Treacy
September 21, 2022, 3:33 am
Filed under: Idaho, Montana, Washington

Welcome to day three of the road trip. The highlight was when we accidentally stepped into our family history … we stopped in Butte MT and wanted to see something. (OK I wanted to see something, and I knew it better be quick and easy.) So, I picked the Granite Mountain Memorial Overlook, which seemed like an easy in and out. It wasn’t, in fact we never did get to the actual Memorial, but we saw so much more.

We circled the memorial, which means we saw the mines around us. Sounds like Butte started with gold panners laying claims in 1964. After the gold bust, they moved to silver and then copper. This area was number one producer of copper. In fact, they were the first to mine a full mile down.

Turns out my great grandfather John Michael Murphy died in the mines here, leaving a widow with six kids. Lots of Irish ended up in the mines here. Apparently in 1880s, it was the “Most Irish part of the US.” You can see in the names of the streets and bars. Most folks were from the Beara Peninsula, which would ring true with my mom’s family hailing from County Cork.

The area looks like area around the Iron Range in Northern Minnesota. (Also saw some timber commerce going by us.) The closer to the mines, the smaller the homes. While buildings in town are impressively stately. We were here on a cloudy day, which really gave us the feel of Ireland or Northern MN. It also looks like a Claes Oldenburg playland. So industrial in a way I think is striking and beautiful – I hate to admit but at least as beautiful to me as sun on a mountain.

After that we kept on going. We had lunch in Missoula and pushed on through Wyoming. We landed in Spokane, WA. Once we got here, Grandpa and I took a walk in Manito Park. I wish we had been able to spend more time. It’s a really nice urban park.

Complaint of the day – why does Washington State putting their welcome sign on the driver’s side of the road? Drivers are not taking pictures. Compare Washington to how I rocked Idaho!

Last day in WA: Aine loves Evergreen & we visit the Museum of Ass in Tacoma by Ann Treacy
May 16, 2022, 11:30 pm
Filed under: Washington

Well I failed and Aine won. Evergreen is a lovely campus. The program, which is very student-drive (aka loosey goosey in a good way), which would suit her well. so long as she stuck with it. But she just finished a yearlong capstone program at high school and rocked it so I’m feeling pretty good about it. Just sad that after we found the most economical college choice for a Minnesota kid (go to a college in Manitoba) we are looking at US rates. It’s crazy.

The college is built in the middle of the woods. To be fair it would be way too remote for me (no First Ave equivalent that I could see!) but I can see the appeal. Her friend is going to school in Tacoma so she won’t be entirely alone but yikes. I think 75 percent of the student body are from the region, if not the state. As you move farther away, the percentages get smaller. A seller was the fact that Matt Groening went there. I was impressed with Carrie Brownstein. So we’ll see. It’s still pretty natury and we’re not. It is from Irish weather – and I have to say (again) my hair hasn’t looked as good since the last time I was in Dublin.

On the way to the airport we stopped in Tacoma at a restaurant called Duke’s on the waterfront, which I name because it was so tasty and the waitress was stop traffic nice. The view was spectacular. Now I won’t be sad if Aine tells me in a week that Manitoba is back as the front runner but I won’t be sad to spend more time in the area either. I wonder if I could sell my old Charlie’s Angel cards for big money, like other people sell baseball cards?

Our parting glance was the Museum of Ass (aka Museum of Glass). It was actually closed but was fun to see the glass bridge and the Chihuly work outside of the building. This area is spoiled for glass art.

Chihuly Garden (and more) in Seattle, Hendrix grave in Renton & introduced to Olympia by Ann Treacy
May 16, 2022, 3:24 am
Filed under: Washington

Luckily Aine and I have spent many years in Dublin – so a day of rain is no match for us. (Until I have to drive!) We checked out the Fish Market again. More people than the night before but we still feel like maybe we weren’t there in the height but that was OK. We enjoyed walking around the city. We saw lots of street art. We saw a Sleeping Jesus statue, which seemed appropriate given the number of people we saw experiencing homelessness too. No one approached us – just a sad reminder of bad luck.

We went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. He is a favorite of mine. The art, especially in this setting, is so engaging. Originally from Washington, Chihuly studied glass blowing in Wisconsin (and other places). He works collaboratively and has exhibits in more than 200 museums, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Our trip took a turn down the low road at the Chihuly where Aine found out that her boyfriend had been exposed to COVID. Prom is next week. She has been wearing her mask faithfully in Washington. They have missed so much over the last two plus years. We don’t know anything yet – but definitely sad-making. So we made our hotel to the car and headed to Olympia, which left her sad and me stressed driving unknown roads in the rain. Longest hour ever – although we weren’t too disgruntled to stop by the Memorial for Jimi Hendrix in Renton WA.

Eventually we made it to Olympia. First site was a tiny abortion rights rally – maybe 12 people. But I stopped and took a pictured. Gotta unite for reproductive rights!

So far, Olympia seems like a nice town. We walked around in the rain for an hour, bought some fancy consignment items and stopped for early dinner. Then the sun came out and we walked around some more – from the waterfront to the Capitol and back. (Don’t tell Aine but I walked 10+ miles today, which means she did too!)

From Reproductive Rights march in St Paul to strolling by the Pacific Ocean in Seattle by Ann Treacy
May 15, 2022, 5:11 am
Filed under: Washington

I started the day with the Women’s March and Planned Parenthood helping to host the Rally to Keep Abortion Legal. It was part of a national effort, post SCOTUS leak of their plan to do away with Roe v Wade. I though there’d be hundreds of people; rumor has it there were thousands. Well 3,000 anyway. It was great to see so many elected officials – including Senators Smith and Klobuchar. The signs were amazing and the hassle was minimal. There are always a few people countering the view – but turns we were able to ignore them or drowned them out.

I ditched early to head to Seattle. Aine and I are here to check out Evergreen College in Olympia. It was about 6:30pm by the time we got to the hotel. Neither of us had eaten. So we headed out to the Fish Market. (Out hotel, the Moore Hotel, is very central and boutique. We like it!) Not much was open but we did stumble unto a very romantic French restaurant. We shared a steak and frites with a salad. Not what I thought I’d be eating in Seattle but it was lovely!

Post dinner we walked from the Fish Market to the coast and down the waterfront. We ran across the gum wall, which is a portion of an alley where there’s gum stuck to all of the walls. Gross but fun. Then we headed down to the piers.

There was a Ferris wheel on one, they were showing a movie on another, another had a shop of oddities, lots of restaurants and bars. We heard lots of different languages. The view is gorgeous. It’s funny when you look up and realize the things you thought were clouds are actually mountains. It reminded us to Dublin, or actually Dun Laoaghaire between the port and the mountains.

We decided to walk to the Olympic Sculpture Garden, which was fun. Saw a giant head and then on the walk back to the hotel we saw plenty of street art. It was a good few hours but with the time difference, the stress of flying and excitement of it all – we’re beat!

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