Last Thursday, I flew out of Minneapolis to visit my best friend, Chandler O'Leary, in Tacoma, Washington. She is a fabulous book artist running her own business, Anagram Press, and we try and get together for several days at least once a year. This summer, we traveled all over Washington (thanks to Chandler's driving) and took hundreds of photographs and did dozens of drawings together.
One of the first stops was to look at the beautiful blooming flowers in Tacoma's Point Defiance State Park.
This included hydrangeas and other flowers that are already completely out of season in Minneapolis. I used my zoom lens, manual focus and careful exposure to capture all the textures and highly saturated colors in each flower.
We also took the ferry over to Vashon Island and did some sketching and watched some little kids playing and throwing rocks on the beach. It was a beautiful day and it was so lovely to feel the breeze coming from the water.
We also could not let my visit go by without eating some Pacific Ocean seafood, and in true, typical goofiness, dressing him up and photographing it.
Come on, the googly eyes were hard to pass up!
We also made a stop in Olympia, Washington for the day and had a great time searching down fruit at the farmer's market, listening to some bluegrass music, eating some fantastic pizza at a great, hole in the wall place with amazing poster collages and checking out the architecture at the state capitol.
I love Prince and could not pass up the chance to immortalize him in the photograph. When I saw it, my heart skipped a beat!
The next day, we headed out nice and early and drove to Yakima in Central Washington. Along the way, we passed through the beautiful mountain ranges and stopped to take some photographs. The fog was beautiful that morning hanging in the trees and in the cool air, the colors were extraordinary.
I also found this fantastic abandoned sign in the park and had to stop to capture the typography and weathered surface.
In Yakima and the outlying farms, we drove through the orchards. There were some great, stacked apple crates and old farm equipment.
It was an amazing trip that day, including but not photographed, the dozen or so fruit stands we stopped at to buy peaches and apricots, but at their peak cheapness and ripeness since canning was coming in the following days. I also missed photographing the 6am blueberry picking one morning. It was an interesting and fun experience!
On my last day in Washington, Chandler and I checked out the zoo in Tacoma. It was a small zoo but with some great animals. The tiger and puffins especially lent themselves to being captured with my camera.
I had such a great time and it is always so amazing to catch up and sketch and photograph with Chandler. It rejuvenates my creative side that is not consumed with costs and client demands. It is purely to enjoy mindless conversation while you share your love of art with someone who shares your passion. It will be a while before I am able to visit again so I was so grateful for this trip!