Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jaime’s KCLS Jaunt #13 and #14: Algona-Pacific and Kent

Go South!Mother Nature, (even without Lorin this time!), continues to smile on our weekend adventures.  Trip number 7 found Doris and I heading south in sunny skies, yet again. Redmond’s geographical location within King County means that all of the South King County branches are farthest away and therefore on the top of my list to visit first!  I think I’ve been on SR 167 more times in the past few months than I have been in my entire 10 year Redmond residency.

Off-Road Wheelie! Our first destination was the Algona-Pacific branch.  Although located quite near SR 167, it’s in a fairly rural area.  Similar to our trip to Black Diamond, I heard a rooster crowing as I was walking into the branch!  We were greeted by library staff, Brandy and Travis, who regaled us with descriptions of the popularity of their computers and story times (I think I see a library theme. . .)  One of the things I loved about this branch was the architect’s use of angles and curves in the building.  The entryway had a rotunda-likeEntryway Ceiling feel, and the library immediately opened up into the children’s area and remaining collections. The high exposed beams in the area after the entryway made me think of The Great Hall at Hogwarts, though I’m not really sure why!  Doris, as is her usual custom, found a book to check out and then we were off to head north into Kent.

For our visit to the Kent branch, we were on a bit of a time schedule.  I was super excited that we were going to visit a Libros Acerca De RatonesSpanish Story Time!  Story Times are exceedingly popular at every library branch, and after participating in one for the first time, I can definitely see why.  Our storyteller for the afternoon, Xiomara, was muy magnifica!  Our story theme for the day was los ratones (mice) and watching Xiomara with the children was simply precious.  Happily, my much-neglected high school Spanish served me well at the toddler level! I still have quite a few more libraries to visit and this might not be my last Story Time. 

Stuffed Dragon with Wooden and Cloth Wings The Kent branch was recently remodeled, opening just a few weekends ago after a six month closure.  It feels simply huge when you first walk in.  One of my absolute favorite pieces of “art” I’ve seen in any library so far is the stuffed dragon in the children’s area.  I hope you enjoy my blurry cell phone picture of it. . .I neglected to re-charge my camera battery and it died shortly after we arrived!  At about this time we started to get hungry so we headed out for the community portion of the visit – a late brunch at Bittersweet in downtown Kent.

Delicious!  Doris and I were finally smart and split the breakfast strata and the oatmeal pancakes so that we ate a little more sensibly. (As a totally unrelated aside, I made Molly Wizenberg’s oatmeal pancake recipe a few weekends ago and have not been the same since.)  Our waiter was very friendly, the service was fast, and we snagged a window seat so that we could people watch.  True to the area’s heritage, at both Bittersweet and the nearby Kent library, we continued to hear trains a’comin frequently.

While not all of my future trips will be on Saturday mornings, visiting libraries and local eateries has been quite a pleasant way to start the weekends!


p.s. My cool new, “Jaime’s joined the 21st century” map is here. . .but I can’t get my saved pushpins to display in my embedded version for the blog.  Stay tuned while I work out my technical difficulties!

Library Map

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