Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Friday, July 20, 2007

If it's raining we won't bother to stop in Tacoma, I told Bao.

But it wasn't, and we did.

We spent an enchanted morning at the Museum of Glass. Glass-making is an ancient art, probably one of the oldest. People have been making glass for over 5000 years. I didn't know that. Did you?

Visiting artists work with museum staff in the Hot Shop, creating magnificent pieces out of molten glass before your eyes. We watched as a piece was slowly built up out of "coils" of glass that were supple as taffy. Glass-making on this scale is a workshop art, rather like Renaissance painting. The artist directs, the craftspeople execute. Fascinating.

Then we made our way up the ramps and past the reflecting pools for the piece de resistance -- Dale Chihuly's Glass Bridge. And that's the great thing about travel. You just never know what's around the next corner or at the top of the next flight of stairs. Great, jagged turquoise glass "boulders" soaring into the sky. Views and vistas. An "underwater" walk beneath a glass ceiling filled with exotic glass sea creatures. Wow.

The Glass Bridge leads you to the Tacoma Museum of History. More surprises. Here, history talks back to you. You press a button and the life-size mannikins in their dioramas tell you what life was like in the old days. Bao was nonplussed, because they didn't smell like people and he couldn't figure out where the voices were coming from.

It started to pour again just as we left Tacoma. I've now had my fill of rain, and I'd be quite happy if it stopped.


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