At the end of December I took my second trip to the Seattle, Washington area for some business and spent most of my time in Tacoma. It’s an interesting location because of its proximity to Seattle and some of the large technology companies in the area (Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks for example). Looking at the map below, it’s also right on the edge of Commencement Bay, which leads right out into the Pacific Ocean.
In my two short days there I had time to really drive around the area and see what the location had to offer. Here is a list of some interesting things I found during my stay.
Dreary weather (for me anyway)
The first thing that I noticed was that it’s cloudy and rainy. All the time. Because I spend lots of time in Las Vegas and Los Angeles I’ve been spoiled with sunshine. It came as quite a surprise to not see the sun at all. As it turns out however, some people really do enjoy this kind of weather. I had previously thought that the lack of sunshine would lead to higher suicide rates, but I was wrong. According to an article published by CBS News, Washington was not in the top 20. How wrong was I?
One benefit of the weather was that I felt very comfortable sleeping in undisturbed by sunshine. It reminded me of growing up in Maine where it snowed frequently and I never wanted to get out of bed. For being December, the weather wasn’t that cold, although I highly recommend having a warm coat (and maybe a scarf).
The most impressive thing I saw was the historic Rust House, a historical landmark built in 1905 by William Ross Rust. Not only does this elegant home sit in a relatively suburban neighborhood, but it’s also an amazing architectural wonder. It featured regal columns and a wrap-around roof walkway that probably gives a spectacular view of the city.
However, I noticed that the building was not well taken care of. Paint was chipped and the landscape could surely use a touchup, but I probably wouldn’t complain about that if I lived there. It was charming nonetheless. See the video I took of it below.
Upon initial inspection of the building pictured below, I thought that it looked strangely similar to the marvelous Harry Potter school that I grew up admiring in the movies, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It turns out that this is just a public high school (Stadium High School) with incredible architecture. It really was a magical place with a football stadium right by the water (hanging off a cliff).
After doing some more research, I learned that this location was the setting for a movie called 10 Things I Hate About You, starring the late Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. Although I didn’t get a chance to walk around the campus, I did admire it from a distance for a few minutes. It’s always refreshing to learn interesting things about places that you didn’t know had a role in major movies.
All in all, I enjoyed my brief trip to Tacoma and would surely recommend it to anyone looking for a low-key getaway from busy urban life.