Last week after having been being cooped up for days – first by smoke from wildfires, then by the heavy rain which followed – we were desperate to get out. So despite the rain we drove south to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, where we had tickets to enter at an appointed time, with a handful of other masked visitors.
We’ve been there before but every trip promises a new adventure and this day didn’t disappoint.
The rain stopped in time for us to leave our umbrellas in the car and we walked the beautifully landscaped grounds under mostly blue and cloudy skies. In fact my first picture looks more like Arizona, not a rainy day in Tacoma.
Point Defiance is a jewel of a park with forest, trails, a fort, gardens, zoo and aquarium.
I like the aquarium the best as I always have mixed feelings seeing animals confined, no matter how lovely the spaces.
The jelly fish are my favorite – I could watch them all day long,
including one of the largest, the Lion’s Mane Jelly.
And who doesn’t love sea otters? Nobody enjoys their meal like these rascals who ate and swirled and summersaulted in the water.
After we had our fill of the zoo we headed to the gardens just as it was starting to rain again. Surprisingly we’d never been there before as there’s so much to do in the park.
We moved on quickly to the Rose Garden enjoying the fragrance and color of the still blooming roses.
As we were leaving I stopped to read the sign giving the history of the Rose Garden. The Welsh designer, Ebenezer Roberts had worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, before immigrating to the U.S. in 1888. He designed the rose garden in 1895 along with many other Tacoma parks.
As I read the sign I noticed a familiar image above Ebenezer Roberts’ name.
And there it was, a picture of my grandmother, Elsie Chapman as a little girl in the early 1900’s, standing with her mother, my great grandmother. The photo was likely taken by my great grandfather, O.T. Frasch who was an early Seattle photographer.
Oh what a surprise! So I went back through the garden wondering where she had stood. Was it here? Or perhaps over there? And of course there was no way to tell and it really didn’t matter, but I knew without that little girl I wouldn’t be here and so I owed her some time there.