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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Where am I?

Okay, this is a bit of a traveling game.  I'm attending a meeting outside of California.  I arrived late in the afternoon, but went for a brisk walk before heading in for the night.  I took a couple of quick photos.  Do you want to try to guess which city I'm in?

If you need some more clues: The city is named after a famous mountain.  There are three syllables in its name.  The picture above provides a couple of hints, too.  There's ice at the base of those sculptures — it's cold here!  And the sculptures are made of glass.  There's a famous museum in this city the Museum of Glass.  This is the third largest city in the state.  There's a significant port nearby, and the city's motto is "When rails meet sails."

I'll tell a brief story, then give you the answer.  

The sculpture above is called Fluent Steps (by Martin Blank).  It rises from a reflecting pool outside the Museum of Glass.  When we encountered it, we didn't know what it was, but we were drawn to it, and then we were excited to see the ice.  People have obviously tossed coins into this pool when there isn't any ice.  But tonight, a few locals introduced us to a different game.  From the other side of the pool, they tossed coins onto the ice to see if they could get them to skim to where we were standing on the other side.  Fun!  And challenging.  If you've been ice skating, or played ice hockey outdoors, you'll know about this.  There can be lots of irregularities in the ice (see below), making it hard to predict the trajectory of the coin.

I had read that the Pacific Northwest would be seeing its first major winter storm this weekend.  However, we were grateful for the warm, but icy!, welcome from the locals in Tacoma, WA.  We loved the skimming-coin-across-the-ice-in-the-reflecting-pool game!

P.S.  Mt. Rainier used to be called Mount Tahoma.

P.P.S.  Now I also know about Chihuly's Bridge of Glass.  I'm going to have to try to find time to see it before we leave Tacoma!

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