I haven’t exactly been doing much high flying international travel lately. In fact, back when Marcella was just a tiny thing, there were times where I’ve barely left the house for days.
I’m a firm believer however that travel is more than just an action you take, it’s an outlook on life. With a little curiosity and an open mind you can find ways to discover the world pretty much anywhere.
Most of you probably know Tacoma only as the TAC in Seattle’s SEATAC airport. It’s not as popular a destination as Seattle, not nearly as big, or pretty or glamorous. But if you care to look, it’s can be kind of an interesting place.
I really only know this because of Chris and Tawny. You may recognize them as the extremely photogenic couple behind the blog Captain and Clark. They were some of the first people we knew when we moved to Seattle a few years back and we’ve become quite good friends. We do game nights, frequent cool bars and are generally fabulous together.
Or we were, before we all went and decided to have babies this year. Holden Brave was born in May and Marcella followed in August. Now we mostly get together to compare babies, eat comfort food and complain about how little sleep we get.
I think Chris and Tawny started to feel sorry for us and the fact that we hadn’t had a night out with Marcella in ages. So they coaxed us down to Tacoma to experience their latest business venture: Pretty Gritty Tours, a tour company designed to show the interesting, historic and sometimes spooky side of Tacoma.
And here’s the thing: it turns out Tacoma is pretty interesting! Mainly because it is scary as shit.
While Tawny graciously babysat our tiny baby, Mike and I tagged along on Chris’s Boos & Booze Tour. This two hour tour winds around downtown Tacoma and includes beers at a couple local breweries.
From the beginning it was clear that Chris is a former theater kid with a flair for dramatic delivery. Yet, what I actually liked about this tour was that it managed to be creepy without pulling any fast ones. All of Chris’s stories were clearly well-researched and told with a skeptics levelness.
It never dipped into hokey territory, which actually made the whole thing scarier. Because if you’re willing to dig in, Tacoma has had a pretty creepy past. Pirates and prostitutes, satanists attempting to open a portal to hell, serial killers galore (What is it about Washington State and serial killers anyways?) and more.
And then there was beer. Good beer! Like the rest of the country Tacoma is undergoing a beer Renaissance. Our tour took us to two breweries, my favorite of which was Odd Otter (this is also when I learned that not drinking for 9+ months and then having 3 beers will not make you feel very good the next day).
Chris and the crew at Pretty Gritty have big plans for their tour offerings, including monthly Ghost Hunts, where you can stumble around some of Tacoma’s oldest, most haunted scary buildings. They offer exclusive access to these places and even rent out EMF detectors. They also run some lovely, not scary tours too I’m told. If you’re in the area, the tours, and Tacoma itself, are worth a look.
Just be careful… that place is definitely haunted.
Disclosure: Mike and I attended the Booze & Boos tour free of charge. Also Tawny babysat Marcella while we were out galavanting. I’m pretty sure it’s because they felt bad for us, not because they wanted a positive review. All opinions are mine.