In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.
http://www.elandangardens.com/ Located in Bremerton, Washington.
Have you seen it as you drive by? I’ve been wanting to stop there for ages (I thought it was a nursery/garden) so finally put the brakes on and turned off from WA-16. I was glad I did. There are several components to this little hideaway heaven. It is right on the water’s edge of the Puget Sound, about six acres and had been a very stair landfill. In 1993 the Robinson family (Dan, Diane, Shanna and Will) began developing it starting with sandy fill dirt and over 800 tons of boulders, giving shape to the flat.
Elandan the word comes from Elan which is french for spirit and courage, and Dan, who is the true spirit of the Robinson’s bonsai collection. While there is a museum/shop filled with all sorts of exotic trinkets, many with an eclectic Asian feel. When I say trinkets I mean home decor, oil art, jewelry, and dazzling array of apparel. They even have a chihuly piece!
Dan is a bonsai master. He is described as a Pioneer of western Bonsai (many of his Bonsai pieces are black pine and cedar) and you can see many of his works both at the garden and in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Gnarly-Branches-Ancient-Trees-Robinson/dp/0615378501
The gardens are remarkable, a mix of plant and stone. There are many pieces of twisted wood and jagged tree pieces reaching up to the sky. Will is a stone artist and there are many basalt and granite pieces in the garden spread in a carved Stonehenge type of feel.
My most favorite part were the quiet ponds and tiny waterfalls. The ponds floated several different types of lily pads and were flowering.
The experience was peaceful. My son and I were the only ones there in the gardens so for a full hour we explored each nook and cranny, enjoying the amazing variety of Bonsai and sinking in the sounds of moving water and overhead birds. I hate to tell people about little treasures like this place because I really liked having it all to myself but I just can’t help myself.
My pictures don’t do justice. I only had my iphone5 on me so all of these photos were taken with it. I will return.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
There are multiple places that host horse drawn sleigh rides in the city of Leavenworth. It’s enjoyable enough to be added to anyone’s bucket list. The scenery was quite lovely and I took my work team out with me so it was great fun.
“For unto us a child is born.” Isaiah 9:6
Peninsula Baptist Church, 4902 Gustafson Drive, Gig Harbor.
This is the first time I have ever been to a living nativity village. It was easily the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. I am not a practicing christian but it was so neat to see a christian community come together to create such a very interactive, vivid representation. There were sheep, goats, horses, donkeys, chickens, ducks…markets full of grains and shekels and candles and traditional clothing. There were guards and shopkeepers and shepherds in full garb, and little children welcoming with “Shalom! Welcome to Bethlehem” as I was invited to go into the stores to browse and sample their goods.
It was very apparent the amount of planning, work and detail that had been put into recreating old village Bethlehem. Kudos to the Discovery Baptist Church for creating a real, authentic place for us moderners to experience. If ALL christian churches made the effort to bring in sheep and donkeys to their programs I’d be more inclined to be interested.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” ~Corinthians 12:4-8
The angels watched their flocks by night.
About the Castle and its Hauntings
Manresa Castle was originally completed in 1892 as the home of Charles and Kate Eisenbeis. Charles Eisenbeis was a prominent member of early Port Townsend (He was the first mayor), when the port was the most active in the Pacific Northwest. The twelve inch thick walls of his thirty room mansion were made of brick from Charles Eisenbeis’s own brickworks. Locals came to call the building “Eisenbeis Castle.” In 1902 Charles Eisenbeis died, and the mansion was left empty when Kate remarried.
In 1925 an attorney bought the property and made it a vacation house for nuns who are teaching students in Seattle. However, this did not work out quite well and the castle became a training college for Jesuits. In 1927 it was purchased by Jesuits who turned it into a training college and renamed it Manresa Hall. It is the Jesuits who built the large extension to the original building and covered the brick walls of the original section to keep it more in line with the new wing. In 1968 the Jesuits left and it became a hotel.
There are reports that hotel’s rooms 302, 304 and 306 are frequented by two resident ghosts. There is reportedly a monk who hung himself in the castle’s attic. To this day, people can still hear the footsteps of the monk in the attic. The other ghost is that of a young lady who had been waiting for her beloved to return from war. When she heard the news that her beloved died in war, she threw herself out of the window and fell to her death.
In the café, which was once the chapel, drinking would spontaneously explode even when they are on the hands of servers. Empty glasses would also turn upside down on their own.
We stayed in 314. The hotel personnel were really great about accommodating my request to see the special places of the hotel for my blog. I asked about the basement “dungeon” area and was told it was completely converted to a laundry for the hotel.
This was a very fun visit, and very reasonably priced. We got a coupon to return for half price so we will be back!