Meditating at the Japanese Gardens in Bloedel Reserve, Washington
A slight breeze and the smell of wet cedar. 150 acres of pristine gardens on a Pacific Northwest island all to yourself. Swans glide like figure skaters on the lake below the weeping willow and small cascades trickle behind bright rhododendron and huge magnolia blossoms. You can pretend to be French aristocrats in the Bloedel mansion, which now operates as the visitor center overlooking Puget Sound, or find true enlightenment in the rock gardens and Japanese guesthouse, offering moments of quiet reflection.