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23 Sep

LeMay Museum and Point Defiance Zoo

My day of photography started around 9am.  I gathered my gear and hit the road destination Tacoma Washington and the LeMay Museum.  I had also checked out some other sights one being the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The 2hr or so drive from Portland was uneventful I didn’s a even see any traffic police. I arrived at the LeMay Museum around 11am.  The parking lot was very busy and I was surprised by this, I wasn’t expecting to see this many people. I found my parking spot.  The lot is a pay to park style with the self service kiosk.  I approached the kiosk and was immediately stopped in my tracks because it asks for the parking spot number.  I had never seen such a thing, I had to walk back to my car and take note.  As if that wasn’t weird enough when I returned to the kiosk a couple was trying to purchase their ticket.  I watch as the man struggled to get through the process, at the very end when he needed to insert his credit card he did so in an what can only be describe as awkward.  He ended up rolling his knuckle over the cancel button that was in my opinion too close to the slot where you insert the card anyway but the funny thing was as it cancelled the poor guy had no idea what happened.  Luckily I was in a good mood on some other day I might have gotten frustrated over this delay.  As he mumbled in that tone that asks strangers around you for help, I mentioned that I thought his hand had pressed cancel and he should try again.  He did and now it was my turn.  I had much better luck but there was still one thing funny about this kiosk.  It didn’t say whether to keep the parking ticket or place it on the dash of your vehicle.  So picture me walking around near the kiosk looking at dashboards.  About half of the cars had them on the dash, half didn’t.  I chose to put mine on the dash.  Into the Museum I went.  As I paid for my entrance and received my arm band and instructions I mentioned in that half joking, half informative voice that the parking kiosk  didn’t have an indication as to what to do with the ticket and that there seemed to be confusion.  I mentioned a small sign on the kiosk and she laughed acknowledging that this would fix the problem but she also seemed to enjoy the confusion or not really care.  In the end we had a good laugh.  She then proceeded to tell me that the best way to view all of the cars was to go down the center and continue turning right until you reached the lowest level, then go back turning left.  This would mean you repeat the centers but that is the way it is setup.  I was in!

The lobby entrance has several cars for viewing after  looking at those I proceeded past the gift shop and into the first section of cars.  The Museum has a large footprint and the viewing, lighting and atmosphere is very nice.  I don’t know much about cars I just think old cars look unique and cool.  I was in the minority, most there seemed to have some connection to the cars.  There are very old cars like a 1912 International, there are more recent cars like a 1969 Camaro.  The walls are covered with stories and explanations of the time periods and cars.  You can easily spend a couple of hours wondering around.  I took many many pictures.  There is a section where you can race slot cars and ??????  I didn’t do this but it seemed popular.  Along with street cars they also have a great selection of race cars.  Along with the Gift shop they also have a small cafe’ if you get hungry.  All in all a very pleasant place to visit.  A note for those photog’s you can take as many photos as you like, in fact the lighting and the arrangement of the cars allows for great photos, but they can only be for personal use.  You are not going to be able to sell them.

After stopping for lunch I was on my way to either the Japanese Gardens or the Point Defiance Zoo, both where located near each other and google maps had them with the same address.  I reached the Zoo first and after driving around checking it out I decided to stop and take pictures.  I figured I wouldn’t have enough time to visit both before wanting to head home.  The gardens would have to be the next trip.  Like most zoo’s you start at the top, go downhill and then back up.  This zoo had it’s kid zone at the top and right after you entered, a wise idea.  The weather was nice many families and couples abound.  I walked around hoping to see each animal but missed the Polar Bears and some others that I wish would have been out.  I find taking pictures at a zoo difficult.  I had switched to my 70-200mm and that was a great choice but with all of the fencing, nets, glass and other protective elements it is just hard to get good pictures.  It was still an enjoyable trip.  The zoo seemed well run and had a very nice outdoor theater where animal shows where put on.

Here on some of the photos from the day.


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