Thursday, May 28, 2015

Roche Harbor, WA

 “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.  There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open"
― Jawaharlal Nehru

We spent the last weekend at San Juan Islands and one of the places that we enjoyed the most was Roche Harbor. Roche Harbor is located on the northern tip of San Juan Island approximately 10 miles from Friday Harbor. It is the perfect destination for a day trip in the island, a short drive will transport you to a relaxing and quaint place. 

Roche Harbor used to be a company town that surrounded the Tacoma and Roche Harbor Lime Company, once the largest construction lime producer west of the Mississippi.  The industry brought workers in and created a city consisted of the lime factory, docks, ships, piers, offices, company store, church, school and homes.   Most of this buildings are really well preserved and are open for visitors. 

The main attraction, Hotel del Haro, was built in 1886.  It has received guests like President Theodore Roosevelt John Wayne.  They have in display the guest book with their signatures and some scrips, usually they way employees where paid that was only good at the company store.  

The town is a popular destination on summer, but we were lucky and had the opportunity to enjoy it almost for ourselves.  We had lunch at the Lime Kiln Cafe, walked thought the marina, toured the Hotel del Haro and gardens nearby.

We also visited the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park, an outdoor park with 125 sculptures by artist of the area.  We enjoyed the stroll in the fields, it was a great place where to enjoy the sunshine.

David at the Roche Harbor Marina

Hotel del Haro display: Roche Harbor Lime Company scrips and guest book.

Roche Harbor Company store and laundry

Roche Harbor dock detail

San Juan Islands Museum of Art. Mirror

Roche Harbor Yellow brick walkway and Orca sculpture

Roche Harbor. Adieu sign

Thursday, May 14, 2015

52 books in 52 weeks. April

 “So many books, so little time"
― Frank Zappa

 52 books in 52 weeks. Book reviews of: Last one home, The girl on the train, The life intended and The house on Mango Street

A book published this year   
Last one home by Debbie Macomber  ★★ (4.5)
I haven't read any book from this author before and I was really curious about this one because the story take place in Washington and I really like it.  It tells the story about the the Carter sisters: Cassie, Karen and Nichole. They drifted apart at a young age, they grew up and lost contact but life bring them together after many years.  It is an inspirational story that reminds us of hope, forgiveness, starting over and how important family is.

A popular authors first book   
The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins ★ (3)
This book is described as the next "Gone girl".  It is a suspense novel about Rachel Watson, who is unemployed and has alcohol problems and rides the train every day where she can see where she used to live.  In some way she is related to a murder while been drunk but cannot remember any details of that night.   It was a huge disappointment, I didn't find the character genuine neither likable.  After reading Big little lies this book felt poorly written. 

A book that made you cry 
The life intended by Kristin Harmel ★★ (4)
Katie's husband and the love of her life, Patrick, died 10 years ago.  She got engaged and after that she started to have vivid dreams about the life she should have had, a life where Patrick is alive.  I could not put this book down, it is a heart-wrenching tale that had me in tears more than once.  It is a great books about coping with the loss of a loved one, foster children and the life of hard of hearing persons.  I recommend it without a doubt! 

A book that came out the year you were born 
The house on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros  (2.5)
The book is about Esperanza Cordero a latina girl who moves with her family to Mango street, located in a latino neighborhood in Chicago.  The book is written in vignettes and each one tells a different story about Esperanza and her neighbors.  Even when the book open the window to the latino culture, the stories are so short that it is difficult to connect with the characters. I would not recommend this book.

Other books I have read this year:

This post contain affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage if you make a purchase using the link. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Seattle Public Library

 “I have always imagined Paradise as kind of library"
― Jorge Luis Borges, Poema de los Dones

A photo tour of Seattle Public Library designed by architect Joshua Prince-Ramus

This amazing building is one of my favorite places in the city.  I go once a week and every time I am there I am amazed, it is a stop that every tourist should make in the city and a required visit for architecture lovers. 

The library designed by architect Joshua Prince-Ramus, has a unique dramatic appearance, from the outside you can see many shapes at the same time and a distinguish "glass skin", a diamond-spades grid all around it. 

The inside was conceived as an inviting space to the public an a form of celebrations of books.  It has many interior finishes that caught everyone attention:  The meeting rooms floor, or the red floor, where the hallways, floors, walls and ceilings are all various shades of red.  

The floor at the fourth avenue entrance contains 556 lines of raised text in 11 languages, all found in the books of the collection.  You cannot miss the bright yellow escalator that leeds you to the "Book spiral", an innovative design, that allows you to walk thought ramps in order to access the whole nonfiction collection. 

The 10th floor, has the highest public viewpoint in the building, it offers awesome views of the Puget sound and the city skyline. 

I highly recommend this Ted talk by the architect Joshua Prince-Ramus about the details of the design of the library.

Seattle Public Library - Yellow Escalator

Seattle Public Library - Living room. Shadows

Seattle Public Library - Grid detail

Seattle Public Library - Red room / Grid detail

Seattle Public Library - Languages floor designed by Ann Hamilton

Seattle Public Library - 5th Avenue entrance

Seattle Public Library - Interiors