Posts in Adventures
A Tacoma Annual Tradition Hunting for Monkeyshines: A Look at the Citywide Guerrilla Art Hunt
Anna Osgoodby Life + Biz: A Tacoma Annual Tradition Hunting for Monkeyshines: A Look at the Citywide Guerrilla Art Hunt

It’s Chinese New Year which means... Monkeyshine season is upon us in Tacoma! If you haven’t heard about it before, it’s an annual guerrilla art hunt where local artists hide a couple thousand glass orbs and medallions stamped with the Chinese Zodiac around the city.

Originally, it was started by someone known as “Ms. Monkey” and a friend who wanted to create joy and excitement for residents during our long grey winters. While deciding what they were going to create and hide, they were inspired by Ms. Monkey’s friend’s brass stamp he had created with a monkey on it. With access to a hot shop and donated glass, they decided stamping glass balls was the perfect creation. Plus, it would also pay homage to the city’s glass roots. From there, they created 200 creations and with a cohort of volunteers they hid them around the city. Here’s a peek at what some of them look like!

Their idea was a hit right from the bat, even with some initial confusion. Apparently the finds were being confiscated at first because they thought they had been stolen from the glass museum! After a very buzzworthy first year, Ms. Monkey’s crew decided to commit to hiding what would be known as “monkeyshines” each year for 12 years to complete a cycle (and later another cycle). How fun right?! You can learn even more about the back story of the tradition in this great article from Joanna Kresge of South Sound Magazine including an interview with Ms. Monkey herself.

Since then, the event has continued to evolve and others have decided to join in the fun including, now infamous, Marble Man who leaves marbles and others who leave their own gifts of charms, bracelets, and painted rocks to name a few. Adding even more treasures to be found! There aren’t any formal rules, but you can find monkeyshines in public places around the city and be sure to keep the honor system of 1 per person (that is if you’re lucky enough to even find one!)

Last year was my first year of hunting for monkeyshines and while we didn’t find anything, it was a really fun day of exploring the city — especially because we’d just moved. You could say we fully embraced the original mission of the event! That was also the day we ended up discovering my favorite brewery, 7 Seas Brewing (where I just celebrated my 30th Birthday party at)!

Anna Osgoodby Life + Biz: A Tacoma Annual Tradition Hunting for Monkeyshines: A Look at the Citywide Guerrilla Art Hunt

This year, I was lucky enough to (unsuspectingly) come across a red envelope with a pig charm inside too! I also walked by a guy who found a really gorgeous glass ball in Wright Park! So there are definitely treasures to be found out there! I’ve been keeping up with the hashtag on Instagram of finds too! No matter if you find something or not though, remember to enjoy the hunt and this great city because that’s where the real fun is!

Life Lately :: 10 Highlights from the Summer of 2018
Anna Osgoodby Life + Design :: Life Lately :: 10 Highlights from the Summer of 2018

Welp, summer is officially saying its farewell and I’m not going to lie I’m kind of sad to see it go! While I was in the PNW for most of last summer, let’s be real my life was kindddd of in shambles in a lot of ways so this summer definitely had a different vibe and an AWESOME one at that!

I have to say, summer usually isn’t my favorite season and I think a lot of that has to do with it was SO hot and humid in NYC, but PNW summers?! Justttt my style. I’m sorry, I know everyone likes to say our weather over here is terrible butttt IMO it’s pretty dang perfect. Moderate temps year-round.. nothing too hot, nothing too cold.. just dang perfect. So while normally I can’t wait until Fall, this year I kind of wish summer was just a little bit longer! That being said, it was a busy and memorable one so before I officially say goodbye, I’m recapping some of my fav memories of the season!

Lots of Memories with My Fam

Okay, I’m kicking things off with a big one… Time with my fam! I’m sure you’re all sick of me talking about how much living near family again means to me, but truly it is the best. Being able to go on adventures, have BBQs, go hiking, or just chill and spend time together has been so SO nice!

Hiking & Enjoying the Outdoors

Another big overall category that I loved this summer was spending so much time exploring outdoors! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much a city girl but it just felt so refreshing to be able to explore so many different places. Hiking in the mountains… kayaking on the sound… walking around the lakes and beaches… I just love all. of. it and so I did a lot of it!

King County Fair

I haven’t been to the King Country Fair in years, but it just so happenedd Little Duck was going to be up for her birthday so we squeezed in a trip and just had such a fun day. Learning what mutton busting is (and then hysterically laughing), eating elephant ears and scones, seeing all of the goats, and watching pig races… I’d say we did it right!

Visits from Some of my Favorite New Yorkers

I got really lucky this summer and got to have 3 of my fav New Yorkers come out west and visit. Which BTW, having a guest room is AWESOME! First up my NYC roomie and her husband visited and then later one of my other besties Lynette and we had such a blast! They definitely put my Washington tour guide skills to the test too and luckily were good sports about me trekking them all over the state! I meannnn there’s so much variety here you have to see it all right! City, country and mountains!

Sounders & Mariners Games

This summer I got my fair share of sports in too! We made it to a few Mariners games including Star Wars night (which was awesome). Which let’s be real, I’m much more about the stadium food than the sports but.. those were a blast nonetheless. Then I also went to my first Sounders game which was pretty cool too! My sister won some tickets at work and couldn’t go so we got to live that club level life too which was cool.

Fort Nisqually

Something else we did that was so much fun was a Happy Hour at Fort Nisqually which is a living history museum that was one of the first settlements in the PNW. This summer they did a happy hour series of events that you could check out the museum and enjoy some 19th century crafts and history with drinks and it was seriously so much fun! Definitely worth checking out if they do the series again!

Growing all of the Veggies at the Garden

I mentioned it before, but this summer we joined a community garden and I’m obsessed! I started mini balcony gardens when I lived in New York so I had dabbled a little bit in gardening but having a pretty decent sized plot opened so many options! It was definitely a commitment and learning experience (there will be a full blog post on that later) but we grew so many fresh veggies and fruits and it has just been so fun being part of a little community. Even if we’re like a few of the only people younger than 70.

Loon Lake Trip

Roadtripping over to eastern Washington for a trip to Loon Lake with Evan’s family was definitely another highlight! His family spends a week at their cabin every summer and we had just the best time floating the lake, watching a meteor shower, and playing some serious cards and drinking games. We even made shirts because I like to get a little DIY extra like that.

Trip to Portland and McMinneville

In case you haven’t caught on yet, there was a lot of travel this summer! Having a car again is amazinggggg. No I won’t stop talking about that yet either! On this trip I met up with my college bestie Danielle and her husband and finally got to meet their adorable nugget who is now a year and a half! Somehow we failed to get a picture together 🙈but we had such a fun time catching up and exploring Portland’s waterfront and taking a visit to the zoo! On top of meeting up with Danielle, I also headed a little bit further into Oregon’s wine country to go visit Little Duck at college. Complete with staying at their apartment (they’re way more of adults than I was then) anddd having my first official legal drink with Little Duck at McMenamins. Yes. She’s officially 21 now, say whattt?! #Forever8yearsOldinmyHead

Exploring Tacoma with Friends

Last but definitelyyyy not least, we rounded out the summer with SUCH a fun visit with my friend Bryson in Tacoma. We both moved back to WA from NYC and LA last year so it was fun to get some exploring in locally doing all of the PNW things. A farmers market, kayaking (and almost dying but we won’t talk about that), wearing plaid (yes all of us, no not on purpose), and hitting up craft beers and cocktails. It was a solid weekend to round up the summer that’s for sure.

And with that, you have my top 10 highlights of the season. I’m def sad to see summer go, but with a full calendar of things going on in Fall I know that this season will be a good one too!

When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting
Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting

I love being back in the PNW for mannyyy reasons that's for sure, but one of my favs is being able to hop in my car and drive whereverrrr the road may take me. Now don't get me, weekend getaways are totally possible in NYC and something I did take advantage of quite a bit, but being able to hop in your own car and just drive?! That feels dang near magical to me after so many years without a car -- 7 to be exact. So now that I'm back on the west coast I'm basically a born-again 16-year-old who just got her license and I'm still loving every second of it even a year later.

One of my favorite places to adventure to over the years has always been Portland, and now that it's a mere 2.5 hours away (traffic cooperating) you will certainly find me roaming my old hood quite a bit more. And can I please tell you... I swear every time I visit, the city gets a little cooler. Now I know some of the lifers might disagree with all of the growth Portland has had in the last decade, but personally, I love it. So much so, that if I didn't promise my Mom that I'd never move out of state again that I def wouldn't rule out moving south again. 😜#realtalk

So what is it about Portland that is so great? To me, it's a great sized city that has the amenities of big-city living, while still not feeling overwhelming and not being totally terrifying to drive in if you don't know where you're going. Plus it has an amazing food scene (you know me!), arts, culture, and it's still very walkable and accessible. I also happen to know some super awesome people down there so it always gets some extra bonus points for that too! The vibe in Portland is just really great and I only think it has gotten better with time. So that being said, what the heck are my fav places to visit when I'm there? Well today I'm sharing some of my must-visit spots no matter how short of a trip I'm on, which this weekend was less than 36 hours. 

Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting

Pine State Biscuits

If there is one place I pretty much always visit when I'm in town (and take everyone I'm visiting with to) it's Pine State Biscuits. Truly this place is heaven on a biscuit and the onlyyyy place around that I would wait an hour in the rain for. And trust me, when I lived in NYC we didn't wait on places and I've liked to stick to that mentality, but Pine State.. Oh I'll wait. Kathy originally introduced me to Pine State at least 10 years ago after seeing it featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives when they just had a little hole in the wall spot off of SE Belmont and I've been ordering everything off the menu ever since at their now 3 larger locations + their spot at the Farmers Market. At this point I have a few go-tos, although occasionally I'll branch out, or let's be real, someone I'm with will order something else and I'll sneak a bite or two. It's hard to venture from my favs though because they're just THAT good. So what are my go-to's? I'm talking about the McIsley, the Pine State Fried Club and the Reggie Deluxe when I'm feeling real indulgent.

Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting
Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting

Powell's Books

Is it even a Portland trip if you don't stop by Powell's? Not in my books. Get it?! I'm a funny one... I, along with a million other people, have such a soft spot for this bookstore. It hails that it is the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world and even if it wasn't I'd still love it. The bookshelves in here just go on and on and on and I love everything about it. One of my favorite things to do when I lived in Portland (and now when I visit) is to wander the halls and find a little corner in the astrology section and check out alllll of the books. Seriously.. I used to spend hours here. It doesn't matter what kind of book you're looking for either, they're going to have it and the best selection at that. Plus they have some really awesome events take place there and all and all it's just a rad place to spend an afternoon.

Voodoo Doughnuts

Now back to food, because, well you know who's writing this right!? Another one of my favorite places to stop when I'm in Portland (or Eugene if I'm catching a Ducks game) is VooDoo Doughnuts. You can find a lot of good donuts on the west coast, sorry east coast but we win at this... and VooDoo sits at the top of my list. If you're interested in some of the other great options locally as well, Little Duck did an awesome Portland Donut Crawl blog post that's worth a read too! Personally though, if I had to only pick one, VooDoo it is. I just love the novelty and the just delicious, fun and not overly fancy flavored donuts. Solid deliciousness. Insider tip too, if you want to stand in line foreves hit up the location downtown, but if you want to get in and out with a box full of your favs and a cute Instagrammable wall then you need to hit up their NE Davis VooDoo Doughnut Too location.

Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting
Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting

NW 23rd Ave in the Alphabet District

Awww my old neighborhood! I mean I don't want to brag, actually yes I will brag for a sec, I've been pretty darn lucky to live in some of the best neighborhoods in the cities I've lived in. NW Portland, The Upper East Side in NYC, and the Stadium District in Tacoma. Heck yes! And this neighborhood, well it's truly one of my favs because it is just so stinking cute! I lived off of NW 23rd Avenue in the Alphabet District and it's one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon. When I moved there my mom called it her "happy place" and it's def still makes my list as well. Adorable shops, delicious food, and bars galore.. like what more do you need?

Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting

NW 21st Ave is a close second too being just a few avenues over too. A greattt option for nightlife too. So many fun memories and truly something for everyone! Some places I definitely always love to stop at are Saint Cupcake -- their mini cupcakes are to die for! One of the McMenamins locations for some cajun tots and Ruby beer and maybe even an extra stop at their bottle shop that's now open at the end of the ave to grab some Ruby to go too! Pssttt, we're actually getting our own McMenamins in Tacoma in 2019 and this girl is PUMPED to have one of my favorite Oregon spots so close! Wherever you go over here you really can't go wrong!

Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting
Anna Osgoodby Life + Design : When in Portland! 5 Places I Always Stop at When I'm Visiting

Pearl District

Last but not least, another one of my favorite neighborhoods to wander is the Pearl District. After a trip to Powell's of course! (It's nearby) I'm such a sucker for repurposed factories and industrial vibes mixed with new construction and the Pearl combines all of that. Pair that with great options for Happy Hour, art galleries and some seriously amazing food and it has me feeling a little fancy! I worked at the neighborhood Safeway while finishing up college and just fell in love with the neighborhood from day 1 and it has only expanded and grown since. So many fun places to visit and it's just a cool pocket of the city.

Now of course, there are SO many more incredible things to do, see and eat in Portland that I could write for dayssss about but these are just a few of my favs that I always try to make it to. If you have some other recs or places you think I'd like definitely drop a comment below!