I consider myself quite the sophisticated traveler, one who has seen many wonders of the world, from the Taj Mahal to the Great Pyramids, but every now and then I am blown away by some incredible find where I would least expect it.
Case in point: on a recent Girlfriend Getaway road trip with my mom and sister, we drove from Seattle to Long Beach, Washington. [Keep reading]
In the movie “Gone With the Wind,” Belle Watling, the bawdyhouse madam who saves Rhett Butler and friends by providing them an alibi to Yankee interrogators, asks Scarlett O’Hara’s friend Melanie — who married Ashley Wilkes, remember? — to step into a horse-drawn carriage for a chat.
The meeting has to be private, because in 1860s Georgia the very proper Melanie can’t be seen with the very improper Belle.
Watling’s fancy Shelburne Landau carriage, with its fully enclosed cab, was perfectly suited to such a tête-à-tête. If you have any doubts, go see it for yourself, at the Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond, Pacific County.
Surprisingly enough, this little logging burg on the way to the beach — excuse me if I call it a “one-horse town” — is home to Belle Watling’s Landau and more than two dozen additional impeccably restored carriages. They’re showcased in what might be one of the Northwest’s best — and perhaps least-known — small museums, which celebrates its 10th anniversary with special events Sept. 22. [Keep reading]
The Northwest Carriage Museum is at 314 Alder St., off Highway 101 in Raymond, about 2 ½ hours by car from Seattle. Admission: $2-$4, or $10 per family. For more information: 360-942-4150 or www.nwcarriagemuseum.org.