56th Annual Convention of The Gesneriad Society
The members of the Puget Sound Gesneriad Society are happy to invite you to participate in the following pre-convention and convention tours. With so much available to see and do in the greater Puget Sound area, we are offering an optional pre-convention tour on Monday, July 2. We will travel by bus to nearby Tacoma to experience contemporary glass art in a breathtakingly beautiful museum on the city's revitalized waterfront. You will feel the heat as you watch a team of artists create masterpieces from molten glass in the world's largest hot shop (housed inside the iconic 90-foot stainless steel cone) and marvel at edgy and inspiring exhibitions of glass in the galleries. With its striking architecture, majestic outdoor art installations, the remarkable Chihuly Bridge of Glass, and the finest museum store around, the Museum of Glass is Tacoma's cultural landmark.
On Tuesday, July 3, we will take a short bus trip to Federal Way to enjoy an afternoon at the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden – 22 acres of botanical splendor and home to one of the largest collections of species rhododendrons and azaleas in the world. On a guided tour, we will learn about these extraordinary plants growing in a forest of conifers and deciduous trees. In addition, we will see myriads of beautiful companion plants including ferns, maples, heathers, and perennials as well as hundreds of tropical beauties set alongside a stream, waterfalls, and towering boulders. At the center of the garden visitors can enjoy the expansive overview of the landscape from the charming gazebo and then explore the Fern Stumpery, Alpine and Pond Gardens, and the breathtaking Meconopsis (Himalayan Blue Poppy) Meadow. Our tour will also include a visit to the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, which features 60 outstanding bonsai from six Pacific Rim nations.
Saturday evening, July 7, we will enjoy a Northwest native cultural experience. The trip will begin with a 45-minute narrated cruise from downtown Seattle to Blake Island State Park. Upon arrival at Tillicum Village, we will be greeted with an appetizer of steaming clams in nectar. Inside the longhouse, we'll watch as whole salmon are cooked over an alder-wood fire on cedar stakes in the traditional Northwest Coast Indian style. We'll then sit down for a fabulous salmon buffet meal followed by a show highlighting the Coast Salish tribes through historical Native American dance combined with modern native storytelling and symbolism. The ancient native culture is married with modern technology in a twist that creates a unique and compelling native cultural experience. After the show, there will be free time to explore the grounds and gift shop before we cruise back to Seattle.