Bellingham Alive | November 2017

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CONTENTS Direct Destinations

You board in Bellingham, take flight, and step off in Hawaii. Or Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, Vegas, Mesa, among other places. Bellingham International Airport features nonstop flights via Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, and San Juan Airlines, just next door. No layovers, no lost luggage or missed connections. We show you what’s waiting at the other end.



Rick Steves’ Travel Center


By the Numbers


Lasting Image


Spotlight  Shannon Laws, Poet


In the Know  Ciao Thyme


Community  Friday Harbor Film Festival


In the Know  A Circus Story


Book Reviews


Who Knew? Black Friday


Wonder Woman  Meredith McIlmoyle


In the Know  Rook & Rogue Board Game Pub


Five Faves  Mac & Cheese


Backcountry Essentials


Necessities Thanksgiving


Around the Sound  Joie Clothing


Savvy Shopper  Orcas Island Pottery


Beauty  Jet-Setting Makeup Hacks


Nutrition  Nourishing Roots


Take a Hike  Sehome Hill Arboretum


Direct Destinations


Fall Arts

At the same time most things in nature hibernate, the art scene blossoms. In the North Sound, artists come out from their creative, but often isolated, places to show us what they’ve been working on. Sculptures. Paintings. Plays. Dances. Music. In this issue, we chose some of their best finished pieces and performances for you.

67 Featured Home  Palatine Passive House 70

Remodel  What’s My Style?


Nell Thorn


Dining Guide


Review  The Birch Door Cafe


Sips of the Season 13moons


Sip  Hellam’s Vineyard


Mixing Tin 5th Street Bistro’s The Naughty Schoolgirl


8 Great Tastes


Fall Arts


Out of Town


The Scene  Best of the Northwest Party


Editor’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Meet the Team  Thanksgiving Family Traditions


Final Word

© Michael Peterson, Costal Stack | San Juan Islands Museum Salutes the Forest

November 2017


NOTES On the Web

Be sure to check us out at: Submit your events on our calendar! Do you have an event that you would like our readers to know about? offers an events calendar where viewers can search by day, venue, event type, or city. Go to and submit your event today. Once your event has been approved by our editorial staff, it is live.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE A low-key cannabis store in Sedro-Woolley, Smuggler Brothers, has a different vibe than most. Instead of city-slick, it has a small-town approach to its customers, some of whom share personal stories with staff about their lives, whether it’s the loss of a loved one or a bad breakup. They also shared the good news too, like how cannabis is helping ease their pain.

Join us on

NSLife Entertaining



Thanksgiving Recipes

Home Decor

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Wine, Spirit, & Brew



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NOTES Editor’s Letter


e pulled onto the runway, accelerated, and before you knew it, we were aloft — no G-forces pressing us to our seats, no whining, straining jet engine, no beverage-cart rattle. As the lone passenger on a San Juan Airlines charter to Port Angeles, I got to sit beside pilot Ray White as the Cessna 172 climbed — floated? — into the blue yonder above Bellingham Bay on a sunny late September morning. White fondly refers to the Cessna as “the Honda Civic of airplanes.” Dependable. Not flashy. Responsive. Taking off was a breeze — as easy as driving I-5 and, shortly after hitting the speed limit, achieving liftoff — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on a Seattle commute. On a calm day with a light load, the Cessna needed only about 70 yards to get airborne, and our climb to 4,500 feet was escalator-smooth. Below us, the North Sound appeared in magnificent stilllife: big water and small islands as far as you could see. At this elevation, the water seems like a solid canvas, complete with painted-on boat wakes and glittery sunlight. We saw the top of Mount Constitution shrouded by fog and the patchwork quilt of Lopez Island farms. White gave me headphones so I could hear him narrating the islands below: Lummi, Cypress, Blakely, Lopez, Sucia, Smith and others. Then, too soon, we were descending to 1,500 feet toward the Olympic Peninsula, Sequim and Port Townsend. White is 26 and speaks with the enthusiasm of someone who wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. For a moment, he turns from tour guide to wide-eyed. “It’s a rush up here,” he says. And it is.


Earlier, as we had taxied to takeoff, he pointed out a bird watching us. “That’s our local hawk,” he said. “He hangs out on the wind sock.” Our flight to Port Angeles, as the hawk flies, took 30 minutes. A conventional trip, by car and ferry, would have taken more than three hours. As one of the Direct Destinations featured in this issue (p. 44), Port Angeles wasn’t my actual final destination. For that, I took a taxi, then bus, to Forks to meet my husband, Ron, and good friend Elliott to spend a few days camping and tromping around Olympic National Park’s beaches and wooded trails, and soaking in outdoor hot springs. That would have been good enough. With every morning and evening, however, came a bonus — gray whales feeding a quarter-mile or so off the beach, their mottled, massive pectoral fins protruding from the flat water just beyond the surf break. Gray whales float on their sides while they eat, and occasionally they’d roll, showing us their tails, or they’d spout water in a fine spray. In those moments, I didn’t really want to be anywhere else. — Meri-Jo Borzilleri

NOTES Contributors


Tanna Edler Tanna is the owner of Tanna By Design ( She specializes in residential and commercial remodels and new construction design. Tanna has received three top awards from the National Interior Design Society Association and was named their 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Designer of the Year. Additionally, she was voted North Sound Life’s Best of the Northwest interior designer in 2013, 2014, and 2015.  p. 70

Lydia Love Featured Homes

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in the North Sound

Inner Beauty

Lydia Love is a trained visual journalist from Custer, Washington. She graduated with a degree in visual journalism from Western Washington University in 2014, and has worked as the journalism department’s program coordinator since then. With a passion for capturing love, Lydia also works as a portrait studio photographer, where she takes pictures of babies, kids, families, couples and pets. In her free time, she explores fun ways to exercise, currently training at an MMA gym which she affectionately calls “Fight Club.”  p. 24

Ski to Sea

Mount Baker Theatre at 90

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Sara Southerland Sara is the Food & Farming Program Manager at Sustainable Connections, where she works to connect the dots between farm and sea to our plates. She loves bringing together people around good food and good wine, adventuring outdoors, and helping make Whatcom County the best place to live, play, and work.  p. 41


— From Italy, With Love


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Ashley is the owner of Love Beauty, a makeup artistry company based in Whatcom County. Specializing in weddings, events, and makeup for photography, Ashley strives to create looks with her clients that reflect their personality and natural beauty. When she is not behind her brushes, she can be seen serving on the Whatcom Coalition to End Homelessness, experimenting in her kitchen, and finding any excuse to share good food with friends.  p. 39

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— From Italy, With Love


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Bellingham Alive welcomes comments and feedback for our Letters to the Editor section. We’d love to hear what you have to say and are open to story ideas about the people, places, and happenings in the North Sound (Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan counties). Let us know what you like, and what you’d like to see in the magazine! Contact editor Meri-Jo Borzilleri at

Letters to the Editor


On Race and Bigotry

Local Treasure

Just read my latest addition of Bellingham Alive and have to say that the article on Racism, Bigotry, etc. by Ken Karlberg was the very best I have read or heard explaining the past, present, and hopeful future we can have. I wish we could get it into a national publication so that many more Americans could read this thoughtful, well-researched, and wellwritten article. Judy W., Oak Harbor

The photos in your wine tour issue are amazing. I love your magazine and its stunning images and great content. What a local treasure! Jan S., Birch Bay

Bow Blueberry Farm A Sweet Destination I very much enjoyed August’s feature on Bow Hill Blueberries. In fact it has inspired our family to take a trip this weekend!

That article on Charlottesville was one of the finest piece of writing that I have ever seen anywhere. It was really, really, really, really very good. Paul J., Blaine

Ryan M., Tacoma

Corrections: October’s Best of the Northwest “Best OB/GYN” gold winner Dr. Diane Arvin is not employed by Peace Health, and her office is at 1202 Washington St. She has been practicing in Bellingham for 27 years. Photos for a story in the Habitat section, “A Picture-Perfect Refuge,” were taken by Private Gardens Design.

Thank you Bellingham for voting Anthony’s at Squalicum Harbor and Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill the best!

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November 2017


NOTES Meet the Team

What kinds of Thanksgiving family traditions do you have? The Bellingham Alive staff weighs in.

DOMINIC Our family gets together every year and has our take on an Italian Thanksgiving.We usually cook meatballs and lasagna in addition to smoking a turkey. Afterwards we play card games like pinochle and poker, where my grandma usually and unapologetically takes my money. Then, we normally watch the football games, sing some karaoke and everyone has to say what they are thankful for.

KEN When I was growing up, Thanksgivings were always bittersweet — sweet because the purity of the spirit of Thanksgiving is so special, but bitter because, as a wrestler, I was never able to eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I often went for a long run on Thanksgiving Day, spitting the entire way to dehydrate myself, and did hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups just to burn enough calories to eat turkey with gravy.

BABETTE My family tradition is there is no tradition. Every year is different and I have spent Thanksgiving in many ways. Eating out, cooking at home, feeding the homeless and traveling. This year I have been considering a holiday hike and dehydrated meal complete with all the fixins.

MERI-JO If anyone finds a cherry pit in their pie, it is a notable event. (I think we used to get double our allowance.) My father always seems to find one. Year after year. He builds the suspense. Once, an hour or so after dessert and conversation, he dramatically leaned over and plink! — spit it onto his plate. It was the Thanksgiving Miracle (or mom planting a coffee bean in his slice).

KRISTY Thanksgiving in my family has always been getting together, watching football, everyone bringing an item for dinner and eating until you’re stuffed. Then after resting on the couch, we have pie for dessert. One of the traditions that we have done for years is to make my grandma’s cherry cream cheese pie! It is amazing and always the favorite!

JENN I started hosting Thanksgiving when I was 20 and have done it yearly ever since for a crowd of no less than 20. The tradition I created for my family was that every year I cook each dish with a different family member, just the two of us in the kitchen and no one else is allowed in. That way when we all come together to eat I didn’t slave alone for hours but had a memorable bonding experience over each dish and all have brought something to the table.

DEAN Little makes me happier on Thanksgiving than the sound a can of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce makes when it’s plopped onto a plate in one piece, upright, with the indent lines from the can intact. If that happens on the first try, I’m a happy camper. If not, the day is ruined.

MARIAH For most holiday meals, including Thanksgiving, my mom makes Spätzle, which is a soft egg noodle. The recipe was passed down to my mom from her grandmother who immigrated to the U.S. from Germany in 1924.

GABBY After making a rather chunky sweet potato casserole one year, my sister challenged me to see who could make the best sweet potato casserole the following year. It’s now our bake-off tradition and although I may have lost round one, right now I’m two for three. Soon to be three for four!


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LIFESTYLE In The Know · Calendar · Spotlight Artist · 5 Faves

Traveling Abroad Made Easy at Rick Steves’ Travel Center WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANNON BLACK


t home in the chic, down-to-earth seaside village of Edmonds is the Travel Center for Rick Steves’ Europe. Approach the building from 4th Avenue, with its classic red brick exterior and sculptural stonework just off Main Street, and you’ll get a sneak peek of the exciting travel possibilities to come. Enter under the watchful gaze of gargoyles. Five steps beyond the cheerful “Open” flag clapping in the breeze and you’re inside a one-stop resource center for European travel. The Travel Center contains everything you’ll need to know before you step on the plane or even start dreaming of an overseas excursion. You’ll find maps, books, DVDs, travel bags, accessories, free classes, one-on-one consulting, tour sign-ups, and a resource library with fireside seating area. You’ll also find a well-traveled staff on hand to answer questions about everything ranging from international cell phone usage to rail system know-hows and the best foodie hot spots in any given city. … continued on page 20

LIFESTYLE By the Numbers

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Lasting Image


“When I’m among the big trees, I find sometimes looking straight up gives myself a nice pause. Similar to a person in meditation, taking a deep breath. Once you exhale, all the stresses of the day escape.” PAT MCDONNELL DOUGLAS FIR TRAIL, SEHOME ARBORETUM, BELLINGHAM. SEPTEMBER 2017

© Pat McDonnell

With this issue, we’re returning to locally generated photographs for our Lasting Image feature, and we want to see what you’ve got. We’re looking for local nature photographs, ones that freeze a moment, tell a story, evoke an emotion. We’ll run your photo here, along with your name, where you’re from, and where the photo was shot. The photo must be high resolution (300 dpi). Send to Then sit back and enjoy the view.

November 2017 19

© Courtesy of Rick Steves' Europe

… The Travel Center staff is quite possibly the best resource you’ll find inside. All staff members regularly travel abroad and possess different skill sets and expertise. Their advice is hard-won. You won’t find guesswork here, since staff members probably visited your destination very recently, maybe even last week. “Everyone has someone they can connect with. That’s why (the Travel Center) works so well,” said Jenn Schutte, manager of the Travel Center. For example, if you have questions about traveling with kiddos, ask Schutte. This 23-year veteran of Rick Steves’ Europe travels yearly with her two children and knows what it takes to have a good time, stay on budget, and keep the whole family happy. According to Schutte, the Travel Center is its own destination. People from all over the country travel to see it and plan their trips with the Travel Center’s staff. “Our travel center came before almost everything else,” Steves wrote to me from Normandy, “even back in the 1970s when I had my piano studio on 4th Avenue. My recital hall doubled as a clubhouse and lecture facility for travelers. Today, even though we enjoy a national presence with our teaching, I am committed to having our public gathering place for travelers to share and learn. As I used to say back in the 1970s, ‘We’re all in the same travelers’ school of hard knocks... and it’s OK to compare notes.’” Rick Steves’ Europe, which includes the Travel Center, has come a long way since the days of his hometown piano studio on 4th Ave. Most know Steves from his more than 100 public television shows or have used several of his travel guide books — most notably “Europe Through the Back Door,” which he self-published in 1980. The book is now updated yearly and published by Avalon Travel Publishing. Steves’ weekly travel show can also be heard on NPR or you can read his syndicated column in newspapers across


the country. Time Magazine, 60 Minutes, The Washington Post, and several other prominent media outlets frequently interview Steves for his know-how and inside travel scoops. Steves’ mission is to make travel accessible, affordable, smart, authentic, and perspective-broadening. “When an American travels, he or she has a chance to not only have a fun vacation but to become better connected to our world. It’s my joy to design the information we gather through our experience in such a way that it helps our travelers enjoy maximum travel fun and meaning for every mile, minute, and dollar during their vacation,” says Steves. The more we experience other cultures and meet new people, the better we understand our world and appreciate those in it. If you’re traveling for the first time or 100th time, Rick Steves’ Travel Center is the place to gear up with tips, tools, and accessories. After polling the staff on hand, be sure to check out some of their favorite accessories including packing cubes, which keep all your personal items organized to avoid the typical clothing explosion at each new destination; the Velocé shoulder bag, a perfect size day bag that doubles as a oneor two-shoulder backpack; and the Hide-A-Way Tote that can be folded up smaller than your hands and expanded to a carry-on size bag to bring home purchases and souvenirs. If you’re not ready to travel on your own, try one of the Rick Steves’ Europe tours, which also doubles as a training ground. You’ll get language lessons and how-tos along the way so you’ll be ready for next time. More travel tips and information can be found on the in-depth Rick Steves’ Europe website. Bon Voyage!  Rick Steves’ Travel Center 130 4th Ave. N., Edmonds 425.771.8303 |

Courtesy of Shannon Laws

In the Spotlight

Exploring the Human Condition Through Art WRITTEN BY KATE GALAMBOS


ellingham has its artistic success stories (Death Cab for Cutie, comedian Ryan Stiles), but it also has its grassroots luminaries. Author, poet, and radio producer Shannon Laws is one. She has the privilege of not only being one of many talented Bellingham artists, but possesses a passion for supporting the local art community. Since beginning her writing career in 2009, she has expanded her reach to radio and community art installation. Laws has always wanted to be an author. At just 12, she announced to her mother that one day she would be. “I’m sure that statement made her smile. I had poor grammar and spelling skills,” Laws said. Years later, Laws began writing poetry after finding herself in a dark time of life. While living on San Juan Island, she was intrigued by a writing class offered by Pacific Northwest author Susan Wingate. “That class changed the direction of my creative life and gave me hope.” In June, Laws released her third book of poetry, “Fallen.” The collection explores loss, heartache, and quiet eroticism. Draped in dark humor and metaphor, the writing is a middle-oflife work that aims to “ask questions about a dark past, finding truth in the


now, while (being) confident about how it all ends.” The book was a community effort, edited and published by Bellingham residents. Laws said she hopes readers find solace in the familiarity of the poetry. Grief is never felt the same, but her collection aims to lead readers through the process of loss. “I’m saying to the reader, ‘Come join me while I wallow around in my mottled life. We’re all a bit muddy. Let’s take that mud, cook it in the sun, and build a home together.” Loss is never a clean endeavor, and that is all right. Beyond her writing, Laws produces the award-winning radio show, Bellingham Art Beat, which airs on Make.Shift Radio (KZAX LP-FM 94.9) and online at KPNW-DB. In March, the weekly program has been awarded the 38th Annual Mayor’s Art Award for its advocacy for local artists. It covers the art scene with live interviews and music. Laws draws much of her inspiration from the radio show. Each interview brings to light the awesomeness of the human experience. “I fall in love with everyone I interview,” Laws said. While each experience differs, we are all part of human existence. Our experiences are as unique as our fingerprints, she said. Laws is driven by inspiring stories of survival from all dimensions, big and small. Laws also has had the opportunity to be a part of an unusual revival project. All over the country, phone booths have become dilapidated, seemingly pointless structures once the phones are removed. Working in partnership with artist Christen Mattix, and poet Summer Starr, the team refurbished a phone booth to beautifully house poetry. The Poem Booth can be spotted outside the downtown Community Co-op on North Forest Street. Today, the booth stands as a bright, clean, and inspiring art installation, hosting a new poem on a quarterly basis. Poems can be submitted to Winners receive $25 cash and a $25 gift certificate to the Community Co-op. 

APPS WE L VE Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines, Inc. Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it didn’t know it could just as easily book a flight somewhere else with the tap of a few buttons on this app! That’s right, the Alaska Airlines app allows you to book a flight conveniently from your phone. You can also review your flight itinerary, access early flight check-in, change your seat, and use your phone as your boarding pass.

Allegiant Allegiant Travel Company Similar to the Alaska Airlines app, Allegiant allows for users of the app to book flights and check into their flights wherever they may be. Making travel easier for customers, Allegiant allows its users to access their boarding pass via the app and to switch their seat selection. It looks like a trip to BLI may be in your cards soon!

Pigment — Adult Coloring Book Pixite LLC Do you ever find yourself stressed out when you’re supposed to be relaxing on vacation? Try the Pigment app, meant to help its users relax by turning their phone into a portable coloring book. Make colors come to life on your screen through elaborate designs and images that you can easily share once finished.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch Adobe If creating the design is more what you’re into, this app is for you. Create unique pieces of art from your phone, tablet, or other capable device. Users choose from multiple brush settings to design a piece they like. Download before your next trip to tackle in-flight restlessness, one stroke at a time.

November 2017 21

More than Meals, an Italian Lifestyle Ciaò Thyme WRITTEN BY KATE GALAMBOS


iaò Thyme will take your breath away before you’ve even had your first bite. This “lifestyle brand,” as co-owner Jessica Gillis called it, houses a catering business, lunch time café, event space, cooking classes, take-home prepared frozen meals, and a dinner series. What a mouthful. And, to top it off, the husband-wife team, Jessica and Mataio Gillis, fill every corner of their businesses with love, passion, and a sense of commitment to their community. The couple began with the catering aspect of the business in 2001, after they had both fallen in love with Italy. While both were drawn to the Italian culture and cuisine separately, it was when they spent their honeymoon working on organic farms in Italy that sparked Ciaò Thyme. “We loved the idea of the long tables [in restaurants]. It was unique to us, in our American mindset, to be sitting next to strangers and we thought, ‘Bellingham could do that,’” Jessica said. While their


© Kevin Kelliher

© Katheryn Moran Photography


friends warned them that their customers would not love the communal tables as much as the Italians, they have been a complete success, she said. Customers can enjoy Ciaò Thyme’s atmosphere and cuisine in a number of ways. Tuesday through Friday, the Ciaò Thyme Café, now in its fifth year, is open for lunch at the same Unity Street location. Since its debut a year ago, Ciaò Thyme Commons, a warm, inviting event space, has hosted everything from weddings to discounted catering for nonprofit fundraisers. Ten to 15 percent of the business’ annual revenue is donated to nonprofits like Bellingham Food Bank, Whatcom Humane Society, Sustainable Connections, and more, in the form of goods and services. “I want to live in this community and part of that means I have a responsibility to it,” Mataio said. Guests should also check out the Ciaò Thyme dinner series schedule online, which features the restaurant’s “Incognito” dinners. These prix-fixe dinners include a minimum of six courses, none revealed until mealtime. Incognito dinners give guests the true, Italian inspired, Ciaò Thyme experience. Seated at the expansive tables in the Ciaò Thyme dining room, guests are encouraged to mingle with their neighbor as they enjoy hours of delicious dishes. And, if you still can’t get enough Ciaò Thyme, Ciaò Thyme 2 Go, offers weekly frozen meals ready to be served to your family on those nights when cooking just isn’t an option.  207 Unity St., Bellingham 360.733.1267 |





etween 1,400 and 1,500 people are expected to attend the Friday Harbor Film Festival’s fifth annual documentary film festival November 3–5. Festival organizers Lynn Danaher and Karen Palmer founded the festival with an intention to share documentary films that tell relevant stories and encourage positive change. Danaher and Palmer run the festival with four pillars in mind: to entertain, inspire, enlighten, and encourage. Screened films must fit in with the first three pillars, while the fourth, encourage, is dedicated to future filmmakers. The festival includes the Young Filmmakers Project. The project allows mentorship and a place for middle-and highschool students interested in film to gain guidance and help develop their films. The Opening Night Gala kicks off the festival on Friday night. The formal affair includes presenting the 2017 Lifetime Achievement winner, Elouise Cobell, and a screening of the film 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice directed by Melinda Janko. The film recounts the story of Cobell’s fight for 300,000 Native Americans and their lands. It truly sets the tone for what the festival is all about: relevant issues that matter to the whole of society. This festival strives to celebrate the filmmakers and does so with special question-and-answer sessions after every film screening. The Q&As allow filmmakers and audience members to connect, creating a more enriched viewing. More than 35 films have been selected for this year’s three-day festival, each film shown twice in one of the six venues, all within blocks of each other and the ferry terminal. Attendees can purchase food from concession stands in three of the venues and visit the Brickworks Building where food booths will be set up, or check out one of Friday Harbor’s many restaurants. Each day’s schedule begins at 10 a.m. with the last screenings scheduled for 7 p.m. Hour-long “intermissions” are scheduled for noon, 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The festival concludes with an awards night, distributing audience-voted awards to the filmmakers. Categories to win include Tales of the Heart, Things to Consider, and best Young Filmmaker Film. Even going to see one film is worth the trip. It’s sure to be a memorable event.  10 1st St., Friday Harbor 360.298.1939 |

November 2017 23




lived near Bellingham for 22 years before discovering there’s a circus in town. It’s aptly named Vaudevillingham and is put on by the Bellingham Circus Guild. Located just down the road from the hub of Fairhaven in a big warehouse, the circus puts on a show the 15th of every month. The event is a variety, kind of anything-goes, circusstyle experience. Each act is supposed to be new and original. It’s a place for jugglers, poets, acrobats, dancers, singers, and artists of all kinds to share what they


can do. It’s a space for clowning around and community. My very first experience with the circus was at the Annual Aerial Showcase that I went to with my mom. It was a circus show, but with only aerial acts. From all the secure points and rigging that hangs from the warehouse ceiling, we watched dozens of astounding aerial feats. Artists performed on trapeze, silk, rope, hoop, and variations of all those apparatus. The performers threw their bodies around, doing tricks that looked something like a graceful cross between ballet and weight lifting in the air. I was amazed by the talent, beauty and fearlessness. That’s when I said, “Oh my gosh! How do I learn to do that?” We found out you could take classes in the circus space from one of the performers and teachers. My mom and I took the intro classes, and it was such an experience to be learning how to do what we had seen and been so impressed by. I loved it so much, the fitness and the art, and I kept taking classes for about two years, until my teacher ran away to join a prestigious circus school on the East Coast. Seriously. Before she left, I had the thrilling opportunity to perform an aerial act at the monthly Vaudevillingham show. We got a group of six women together, ladies like me, who had found the

circus and fallen in love with the magic of aerial. Our stories are different, but our drive to perform as aerialists was the same. We were known as the Ruffle Butts, because of the frilly, decorative bottoms we all wore. It really was the culmination of my aerial education. All the skills I had learned, and the work and training I put in, was showcased in about five minutes of partner and group trapeze work. We did tricks, smiled, laughed, and used all our strength with a playful sense of joy to thrill and entertain the audience. I was sore and bruised for days, but at that point the pain was accompanied by a welcome sense of dedication and achievement. And I have the circus to thank for that. The people I met along the way were wild, warm, and welcoming. Not to mention crazy-talented and devoted to their sport and apparatus of choice. The circus gave me the opportunity to find my wings, so to speak. I discovered strength and a confidence I didn’t know I had, and similarly I hurt muscles I had no idea existed. But more importantly, I found my very own circus family. And since then I’ve told everyone I meet about my time as an aerialist. Right here in our backyard.  The Cirque Lab 1401 6th St., Ste. 102, Bellingham

Book Reviews


Artemis by Andy Weir 384 pages Crown Publishing Group

I hear often, “I don’t like sci-fi,” but perhaps a person just doesn’t like the “Robots are taking over the world and the book is full of impossible-to-understand physics concepts” kind of sci-fi. If that is the case, author Andy Weir (“The Martian”) writes science fiction for everyone. Here, the main character is a Saudi Arabian woman, Jazz, who has been raised in Artemis, the community built on the moon. Jazz is everything I would want a daughter to be: smart, sassy, courageous, ambitious, but does take risk-taking a bit too far. Oh, and her idea of career-building is to be the best smuggler on the moon, which leads to trouble. This book is a rock-and-roll ride with twists that will surprise you and turns you never saw coming. Weir peoples his lunar community with a cast of unique characters; I suspect the movie will soon be in production, but do yourself a favor and read the book first — it’s always better.

In the Know


November 13, 7 p.m.

Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to the Books in her Life by Annie Spence 288 pages Flatiron Books

Oh, how I loved this funny, sarcastic, heartfelt ode to libraries, librarians, and the world of books! Think Nancy Pearl, but with humor and some salty language. Annie Spence, a librarian in Michigan, gives us some wildly honest “responses” to an eclectic collection of books as she writes letters to them that explain her love, frustration, and yes, the need to break up sometimes. I laughed myself silly over her description of library patrons and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” experienced the exact same frustration with Russian “classics” that I am sure I should read but cannot, and realized that yes, “Forever” by Judy Blume was a girlhood cult book of mine that did not age well as I became the parent of a daughter. For anyone who loves books and enjoys a fresh literary voice, do not miss this one. You will laugh out loud and feel so satisfied in the end, only wishing Spence would hurry up and write another one.

You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet: Interviews with Stars from Hollywood’s Golden Era Village Books 1200 11th St., Bellingham 360.671.2626 | Award-winner Ron Miller, co-author with James Bawden, was a newspaper TV editor and syndicated columnist for decades, giving him access to more than 40 iconic film stars. Join Miller, a Western Washington University instructor, for rare interviews and untold stories featuring Henry Fonda, Esther Williams, Maureen O’Sullivan and more.

November 14, 6:30 p.m. Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table Mount Vernon City Library 315 Snoqualmie St., Mount Vernon 360.336.6209 | Author and journalist Langdon Cook uses the salmon life cycle to examine our society’s consumption of this treasured natural resource. Cook interviews tribal fishermen, famed chefs, environmentalists, and government officials to answer the question: How do we safeguard remaining wild salmon to ensure their survival for future generations?

WHO KNEW? How it Came About Stories abound, but most accounts have the term “Black Friday” (the day after Thanksgiving) originating in the 1960s when the Philadelphia police department used it to describe the mayhem of people going out to shop. Retailers didn’t like the negative connotation, so they used the name to reflect their success and profits.

Black Friday Death Count According to the Black Friday Death Count — yes, it’s an actual website — 10 people have died since 2006 while Black Friday shopping in the United States, while 105 have been injured — which leads to this odd comparison: Since 2006, Black Friday shopping has killed more people in the U.S. than shark attacks.

Not the Biggest Shopping Day After All Despite popular belief, Black Friday is not the biggest shopping day of the year, although it may be the craziest. Procrastinators win this one with the highest sales day being the Saturday before Christmas. Some have even started calling it Super Saturday.

Black Friday Has Gone Online With the rise in technology, and the scariness of shopping in stores, Black Friday has gone online with consumers. Last year, about 10 million more Americans shopped online than in stores, according to reports. In case you haven’t noticed, is slowly taking over Black Friday with its online deals.

November 2017 25

Community Woman LIFESTYLE Wonder

Wonder Woman: There’s Always a Solution Meredith McIlmoyle, Anacortes Arts Festival Director WRITTEN BY CATHERINE TORRES | PHOTOGRAPHED BY LISA KUHNLEING


nacortes Arts Festival executive director Meredith McIlmoyle has been event planning for 26 years. She began as a student assistant at Arizona State University, solo planning an event for the first time in 1993. She grew up in Denver, then lived in Arizona for 13 years, but now calls Anacortes home after living here for 16 years. McIlmoyle describes event planning as 90 percent problem-solving, and she’s adamant about it. “It’s rare to catch me in a moment where I think something can’t be figured out… It may not be an ideal solution, but it’s a solution,” she says. In addition


to finding solutions, McIlmoyle likes watching people be happy and enjoys putting together celebrations: “It lights me up.” As the executive director of the Anacortes Arts Festival, McIlmoyle helps people celebrate art. The annual event drew 260 artists this past August and about 85,000 visitors, she said, and the artisan booths sold a combined total of $2 million. The festival has been going on for 55 years, making it a piece of the community and Anacortes history. McIlmoyle believes it’s her duty to continue the tradition. The biggest challenge is dealing with the logistics of hosting a large festival

in a small downtown. Solving problems like parking, restrooms, and vendor placement aren’t glamorous, but are necessary. Each year, McIlmoyle and her team ask the questions, “How can we make this more fun, more energizing, make guests feel more included in the experience?” McIlmoyle can’t always fix everything. She accepts that unsolvable complaints are inevitable. This year was the sea-gull noise. A few vendors asked if she could do anything about the loud squawking the groups of fat birds made. It was out of her hands. The art festival is three days of celebration and the joy is palpable. In this turbulent time in world and domestic politics and events, McIlmoyle found she had helped produce a welcome respite from the real world during the festival. “There were three days where people were looking at art, listening to music, and having a beer,” she said. Time seemed to stop. McIlmoyle felt that “we can just not worry for three days. It made me feel like I made a difference.” When not planning the festival, McIlmoyle and her team seek opportunities to bring art into the community, sometimes tying it to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs to fight the perception that art isn’t important or a worthy expenditure of time. “Our society continues to challenge the importance of art,” she explained. The art festival coordinators want to show “how vibrant art makes a community and the richness it brings.” McIlmoyle’s optimism and cando attitude go beyond events. She applies it to her life and wants other women to feel empowered to do the same. A mother of two young boys, McIllmoyle wanted to continue her career while devoting time to raising her children. She didn’t want to choose career or family, so she found ways to balance both. McIlmoyle wants to spread the message that “women can have their cake and eat it too.” Women can have fulfilling careers and raise their children to be good humans. “You don’t have to sacrifice things. Women are powerful, we can do it all. We just have to believe in ourselves.” Because when it comes down to it, there’s a solution for everything. 

In the Know




omething new has arrived in downtown Bellingham. It’s not a cafe, not a bar, nor is it a restaurant or gaming lounge. It’s all of those things combined. Rook & Rogue is a board game pub and restaurant, and has all the elements to make you feel at home. Rook & Rogue is family-owned. Danielle Rupinski and her mother, Pam, her sister, Laura, and partner, Shawn Blake, all play leadership roles in the restaurant. The crew wanted to provide a spot for gathering, eating, drinking, being merry and playing games all in one place. Rook & Rogue has more than 1,200 board games in its library with three levels: casual, hobby, and grail. Out of those 1,200, 400 are played regularly, owner Shawn Blake said, and those 400 are mostly casual games. The most popular games in the library are nostalgia games like Battleship, Connect Four, Scrabble and The Oregon Trail Card Game. Blake said the team thinks critically about which games to add, because the shelves can only fit around 1,200 games. “Distributors aren’t going to stop making games,” he said. “Every game earns its space. It’s a balancing act.” Rook separates itself from other board-game cafes by also operating as a full-service restaurant and bar. However, it does not have the same turnover rate as a regular restaurant, meaning on busy nights, customers can expect wait times. Games can last from a half-hour up to four hours or more, depending on the group. “It takes time to figure out where people are at in the evening and we don’t want to push people out,” Blake said.

“We didn’t want to make a minimum or maximum time limit. We want people to feel comfortable.” In order to eliminate a fee, Rook & Rogue has implemented membership levels. There are the free-to-play casual games, a Hobby membership for $5 a month, or a Grail membership for $10 a month. The Hobby membership gives access to more hobby games, the Grail membership gives access to every game in the collection, and all paidmemberships come with reservation privileges. “There is no door or table fee at Rook & Rogue, that’s something we always knew,” Blake said. The folks at Rook & Rogue hope to continue adding new features, like a call service button for tables so waiters don’t interrupt a good game, private party rooms, and a larger retail presence. But at its core, Rook & Rogue is about connecting in a non-tech, traditional way. “Life only gets more and more hectic,” Blake said. “Technology and smartphones are designed to connect us, but there’s some questions about what they give back.” Sitting around a table, playing games and enjoying a meal together, allows friends to share face time together — actual face time — and get to know each other in a new way. Blake said even the conversations we have on a daily basis can become routine. “Board games introduce a new element into the mix.”  206 W. Magnolia St., Bellingham 360.207.4038 |

November 2017 27



BAYOU ON BAY Bayou on Bay’s mac-and-cheese is a perfect dish for our crisp fall days. The pasta is heavy, thick, and creamy with plenty of cheddar, smoked gouda, and parmesan. Topped with breadcrumbs and with options to add bacon or andouille sausage, it will be more than enough to fill you up. 1300 Bay St., Bellingham 360.752.2968 |



BRANDYWINE KITCHEN The gluten-free mac-and-cheese at Brandywine Kitchen is made from a quinoa pasta, making it a good option for all sorts of diets. The cheese combo for this mac includes sharp cheddar, jack, and parmesan. A crispy toasted almond crust provides texture to balance the creamy cheese. 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071


ASLAN BREWING CO. The gourmet mac at Aslan is covered in Tillamook Mornay, broccoli, and bread crumbs. If you find yourself free between 2 and 5 p.m., or 9 and 10 p.m., head to Aslan for their happy hour and enjoy this delicious dish for just $4. The small happy hour cup accompanies a pint of local, organic beer well. 1330 N. Forest St., Bellingham 360.778.2088 |


BOUNDARY BAY The pub-style mac-and-cheese at Boundary Bay is a heaping serving of deliciousness. Elbow macaroni is topped with fontina, Monterey jack, cheddar, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. This is an excellent vegetarian option that doesn’t skimp on flavor.


24 - hour café


1107 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.647.5593 |


THE BLACK CAT The Black Cat is famous for being the best spot in Fairhaven to catch an ocean view, but once you try their Dungeness crab mac-and-cheese you may forget about what’s out the window. Swiss, cheddar, fresh tomato, green onion, all covered in a parmesan-panko crust accompany plentiful chunks of crab. 1200 Harris Ave. Ste. 310, Bellingham 360.733.6136

November 2017 29

SHOP Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Around the Sound

A Hub for Outdoor Enthusiasts Backcountry Essentials WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY KATE GALAMBOS


ucked into one of historic downtown Bellingham’s charming buildings is Backcountry Essentials outdoors store. Dozens of recreation backpacks find homes on the exposed brick walls, along with rows of skis and boots. From the wood rafters hang hammocks and tents. Even the creaky staircase, which leads customers to the used merchandise section, holds shelves of guidebooks and racks of maps. Every inch of Backcountry Essentials is utilized to capacity, much like gear for sale. This is a different type of retail experience. … continued on next page

Chris Gerston opened Backcountry Essentials with his wife, Erica, in 2006, when similar recreation retailers in Bellingham had closed. The two saw an opportunity to provide their community with a service that was no longer available — a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Gerston’s background in mental health now drives him to think differently than most shop owners. “What we do here, through retail, it is mental health,” he said. Backcountry Essentials is a place for people to connect with the same part of their brain that is stimulated on the trail, even if it is just for 15 minutes of browsing. While the couple has to sell to stay open, the store is about more than the numbers. Backcountry Essentials hosts meetings for nonprofits like Conservation Northwest and Whatcom Land Trust as well as local recreation groups. The store also holds monthly educational clinics on navigation and avalanche safety, and even features community movie nights. “We want people to come here and find a group of like-minded people, friends basically,” Gerston said. The gear is certainly an important part of business, but not the only focus. For outdoor enthusiasts on the hunt for quality products, Backcountry Essentials carries an array of new and used recreational gear selected specifically for the Pacific Northwest. With the winter sports season ramping up and Mount Baker just an hour-and-a-half away, skis are the ticket. Backcountry Essentials carries skis and boots for all kinds of skiers, from


alpine to backcountry and volcano skis. For Gerston, it is all about finding a balance between lightweight gear for the way up that doesn’t sacrifice the fun of skiing back down. His personal favorites for “volcano skiing,” skiing on mountains like Mount Baker, Rainier, Hood, or St. Helens, add up to just 12.5 lbs. total for skis, bindings, and boots. Though he is well-versed in the technical lingo and knowledge of the backcountry, Gerston stressed the importance of creating a welcoming shop for all skill levels. “I train my staff to be nice, ask questions, and remember that everyone was a beginner at some point,” Gerston said. Beyond ski gear, customers can expect to find plenty for the rest of the year. The store sells backpacks of all sizes and uses, from mountaineering to a simple day pack, camping necessities, climbing gear, athletic wear, and even beer. Best of all, the second level houses entirely used and discounted gear and clothing. Knowledgeable staffers are committed to giving each customer the best experience in the store so they can get outside quicker and more comfortably. “I think we have only taken back one [ski] boot in our 11 years. If we do our job right, we aren’t taking boots back,” Gerston said. Stop by Backcountry Essentials for an educational seminar, movie, ski tune-up, or just for 15 minutes of relaxing browsing.  214 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.543.5678 |

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SHOP Necessities


Duralex Lys Square Glass Storage Bowls with Lids — Set of 6 Costco, $35.99


The Best of Thanksgiving (Williams-Sonoma) Barnes & Noble, $18.46

Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is a multi-day or multi-week, depending on the leftovers situation, affair. To keep your holiday organized and impressive, you’ll want the best accessories, recipes, and ingredients. These necessities are fun, yet functional and will become staples for years to come.



Yamazaki Hospitality Stainless Steel Pie Server Macy’s, $15.99

4 34

Poultry Spice — 1oz Drizzle Olive Oil and Vinegar Tasting Room, $2

Mikasa Cheers Party Stemless Wine Glasses — Set of 4 Macy’s, $84

Around the Sound




asual, comfortable, and luxurious” are the three pillars of Joie’s approach to clothing. The designs are inspired by the relaxed Southern California lifestyle and are infused with the sort of sophistication you’d expect to find on the streets of Paris. The name Joie translates to “rejoicing” in French — an appropriate name for a fashion brand that caters to women looking for a certain sophisticated, yet casual style. Joie began in 2001 and grew into multiple locations spread throughout 10 states. Joie opened a store in Washington last year, located in one of our favorite shopping districts, University Village. The boutique, like its other locations, features a neutral cream, taupe, and white backdrop. Blonde hardwood floors and white trim serve as a sleek backdrop for the beautiful fabrics and cuts of cloth. Among the tops, bottoms, and dresses Joie shoppers have come to expect, there are unexpected finds, accessories like wide-brimmed hats, classic leather belts, and even dainty jewelry. Every season inspires Joie’s designers to work with a different theme. Last autumn, for instance, the designers focused on the Baroque period, where details and gold accents are main attributes. Shoppers will find classics like the Tameroaine grey knit sweater, a chic option that pairs perfectly with jeans or leggings, and the Sibel top, a graceful wool cowl-neck in an almost-off-the-shoulder design for a great work-to-play piece. There’s something for every style at Joie, even if you identify more with urban style instead of laid-back California. The designers ensure a wide selection of fabrics and cuts are presented each season. There are plenty of looks to create, each able to fit individual style. The goal is to celebrate beauty and a love of life. In addition to outfitting women, Joie strives to inspire its fans with a monthly Sunday Girl feature on their website. The articles profile exceptional women who “embody the essence of Joie” according to the company’s website. Women profiled include personal stylists, florists, and boutique owners. The idea is to offer a glimpse into the lives of these wonderful women who have perfected the art of enjoying life and living it to the fullest. Joie demonstrates that a person’s presence in the world is more than clothes, it’s an attitude — a casual, comfortable, and luxurious attitude.  2610 NE Village Lane, Seattle 206.939.4522 |

November 2017 35

SHOP Savvy Shopper


338 Old Pottery Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2813 | 36



Opened in 1945, Orcas Island Pottery lays claim to being the oldest pottery shop in the Pacific Northwest. It’s been owned by two families, has had four generations throw pottery in its studio, and has undergone two remodels — one in 1969 to expand the studio space and again in the 1990s after a kiln fire. Orcas Island Pottery is 3.5 miles from Eastsound on a clearing overlooking President’s Channel in an old-growth forest of cedar and Douglas firs. From the gravel parking lot visitors follow a foot path to the gardens where tables of pottery are displayed from May through October.

Orcas Island Pottery sells high-fire, highquality pottery that looks beautiful and will survive the microwave, dishwasher, and oven. Customers find both functional and purely decorative pieces in various styles and a tapestry of colors: cobalt blues blending with pale-sky blues, fiery reds, spicy orange tones, and deep royal purples alongside stark white. There are organically shaped bowls and mugs in neutral and earth tones, but also perfectly straightedged drinking vessels in bright yellows. On the walls hang skinny wall vases that have room for a vibrant stem or two. Fashion-forward shoppers should check out Michell DeLong’s jewelry. The shelves are lined with colorful garlic pots, butter pots for storing spreadable butter, sponge holders, ramekins, and salt holders that make cooking a more enjoyable experience. Entertainers will love the smart wine bottle coasters to catch those inevitable drips. Finally, in the garden after taking in the incredible view of President’s Channel, stop to admire the whimsical garden gnomes, made by Victoria Green.

THE ATMOSPHERE It’s a peaceful, secluded sanctuary ideal for churning creativity. The gardens and shop persuade shoppers to linger, making for an enjoyable shopping experience.

KEY PEOPLE Owner and “Glaze Queen of Orcas Island Pottery,” Sydney Exton, grew up watching her mother and grandmother make pottery. The family bought the business in 1953 and now Exton’s son, Matt Haeuser, finds himself making pottery in the studio. Exton seeks potters who are fairly accomplished in an effort to keep the quality of their products up. Right now, the studio potters include Mike Rozzi and Penny Sharp Sky. Additionally, Bellingham’s Levi Vincent and a handful of other artists show their work at the store, bringing their products in large hauls to the island.

FAVORITE ITEMS Exton didn’t hesitate to point out the Grecian style vases and oversized plates that she’s come to love, especially the wonderful wood ash glazed plates by Craig Martell and colorful wall plates by Matthew Patton. The pieces showcase a mastery of artistry in the piece lines, colors, and pottery technique. 

November 2017 37

Peace Calm Stillness The Ultimate Gift

19 Bellwether Way #101 Bellingham, WA 98225




— From Italy, With Love


— From Italy, With Love


CANNABIS Outdoor Movie Spots | Bow Hill Blueberries


CANNABIS Outdoor Movie Spots | Bow Hill Blueberries


— From Italy, With Love


CANNABIS Outdoor Movie Spots | Bow Hill Blueberries


Warning: This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. Marijuana products may be purchased or possessed only by persons twenty-one years of age or older. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children.

WELLBEING Nutrition · Beauty · Take a Hike



or me, 2017 has been the year of travel! Both domestic and internationally, I’ve had the privilege of trekking all over the globe. Now that there are so many great flights coming directly in and out of Bellingham, I have the feeling we’re all going to get the travel bug. Since I’ve constantly been in a state of packing and re-packing, I’ve been forced to get my traveling beauty routine down to a science. While I maintain a fairly simple day-to-day routine to match my busy lifestyle, I’m not the easiest traveler (just ask my husband!). I always have to be prepared for all scenarios, so limiting what I bring is no small feat for this product-junkie. But I’ve finally found a way to not only shrink my travel bag but to also keep it simple with a one-brush look. Traveling has never felt so free and simple! I hope these hacks help bring ease to your next adventure, wherever that journey takes you.

TINTED MOISTURIZER Tinted moisturizers, BB (beauty balm) creams, CC (color control) creams — they’re all having their 15 minutes of fame right now and it’s no … continued on next page

wonder why. They’re quick, easy, and have multiple benefits beyond just providing coverage. Over the years, I’ve tried just about every single one out there and while I’ve found some keepers, I’ve never found one that I felt was good enough to temporarily replace my liquid foundation — until now. This summer I discovered Nars’ Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and my morning routine hasn’t been the same since. It blends so easy, provides coverage while still looking natural, and lasts all day! Plus, it can double as my daytime moisturizer, eliminating one product I need to bring with me. It’s hard to imagine ever traveling without this little wonder now! $45 —

CREAM STICK BLUSH I’ve dabbled with cream stick blush for a while but don’t know why I didn’t make it a vacation staple sooner. Apply a little at the apples of your cheeks and ever-so-lightly drag it along your cheek bone towards your hair line. Use your fingers to blend out the edges and you’re done! So fast, so easy, and no brush required. My favorite cream stick blush on the market is the Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush by Kiko Milano Cosmetics. Based in Italy, I first discovered them while traveling through Florence a few years back. But Kiko must have known I was missing them because they recently started shipping to the US! Added bonus? Their cream stick blushes are easy on the wallet, so you might be able to get a few! $12 —

They are hands-down my favorite new travel companion! $15/duo —

SETTING POWDER Take it or leave it, but I’ve always got to have my setting powder. It takes away the sticky finish of my tinted moisturizer and is going to give extra staying power to my cream/liquid blush and highlighter too. Plus, it’s going to help keep my look melt-proof when I’m traveling in the heat. Makeup artists everywhere agree that the best setting powder on the market is RCMA’s No Color Setting Powder. It’s absolutely transparent, making it universal for all skin tones, and it will keep your makeup in place all day long. Believe it or not, this holy-grail of setting powders won’t set you back a ton of money either. This is the only product I bring a brush for (loose and fluffy does the trick) but a powder-puff is also a completely easy and travel-friendly option. $12 —

BROWS If I were to only leave the house having done one part of my makeup, it would probably be my brows! A little brush up and out makes me look more awake while just a bit more color gives more structure to my face. My new brow BFF is Boy Brow by Glossier. It’s a colored wax pomade with a wand applicator and I love it because is it so quick and easy to apply. The wand gives the appearance of adding small hair strokes for a fuller but still natural brow. Just a few brushes you’re ready to go! $16 —

LIQUID HIGHLIGHTER It’s no secret that traveling can be hard on your skin. Liquid highlighters are my favorite way to get that dewy, wellrested look in one quick step. Using my middle and ring fingers, I dab a drop by my temple, down across the top of my cheek bone. For those with dry skin like myself that need an added boost of radiance, you can also dab a little on your forehead, the bridge of your nose, and top of your chin for a truly refreshing glow. Temptu, most well-known for their lines of airbrush makeup, has recently come out with the most gorgeous line of liquid highlighters. Mimicking that airbrush-like quality, they are so easy to apply and blend out flawlessly. Also very budget-friendly, they are sold in duo packs and are small and portable to make travel a breeze. 40

MASCARA I’ve tried a lot of mascaras in my day (a lot being an understatement) and continue to try new formulas that hit the market. But for a while now my ride-or-die has been Too Cool for School’s Escalator Mascara. This Korean beauty brand shows off with its adjustable wand that lets you go between dense bristles for building volume and then elongating bristles for length and definition. But what really sold me was when I travelled to Thailand wearing this mascara. Nearly 36 hours later it hardly flaked or smudged — and my eyes didn’t feel dried out! This is one mascara I’ll continue to take with me every time I hit the road. $25 — 

Nourishing Roots





t was my first Hopewell Farm carrot that hooked me. I had moved to Bellingham that fall, and bought a two-pound bag of carrots at the farmers market. Sure, they have carrots in Texas — the Lone Star State I hail from — but not carrots like this. The perfect crunch, the earthy sweetness told a story my senses had not yet experienced. Before long, I was buying up five-pound bags of carrots to whip into pureed carrot soup and freezing it for the cool months ahead. Nine years later, I’ve made a few more discoveries. From carrots to beets, potatoes to parsnips, root vegetables of all kinds are now a staple on my fall and winter shopping list. And the list goes on: rutabagas, turnips, celery root, Jerusalem artichokes… Root veggies are not only grounding and nourishing, but versatile to use in daily meals like blended soups, salads and casseroles. And this month, root vegetables are the Harvest of the Month for Whatcom County — you’ll see them featured on local school menus, local restaurants, grocers and farmers markets. This holiday season, celebrate your roots, and find a new favorite — or three.

ROASTED ROOTS The quintessential piece of a Pacific Northwest fall or winter meal. Stock up on long-lasting roots and roast up pans of hearty and sweet winter roots at the beginning of the week to use for snacking, side dishes, on salads, in soups, on sandwiches and even as pizza toppings!

INGREDIENTS 3 medium beets, peeled and chopped into ¾-inch cubes (Hopewell Farm) 8 carrots, chopped in half lengthwise (Sumas River Farm) 4 medium potatoes (any variety will do), chopped into 1 ½-inch chunks (Twin Cedars Farm) 1 red onion, chopped into 1.5-inch chunks (Cedarville Farm) Olive oil Sea salt Black pepper


BEET CAPRESE Some of you may remember eating a dish like this at The Table by Bellingham Pasta Company when they were in downtown Bellingham. This was a favorite of mine, and my attempt to re-create this dish — perfect for a holiday appetizer or savory side dish, all featuring local ingredients.

INGREDIENTS 3 medium beets, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes (Hopewell Farm) 4 oz. chevre or goat cheese (Gothberg Farm) 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped finely 3 medium shallot bulbs, chopped (Slanted Sun Farm) ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. olive oil 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar 1 Tbsp. wildflower honey (BeeWorks Farm) ¼ tsp sea salt Optional but delicious addition: balsamic reduction

INSTRUCTIONS • Assemble steamer basket in pot with 2 inches of water, and steam beets on high for 15 minutes, or until they can be pierced with a fork.

• Preheat oven to 400 F. • Drizzle two baking sheets with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

• In the meantime, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped shallots and sea salt and cook until caramelized.

• Drizzle once more with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.

• Place caramelized shallots in a food processor or blender along with ¼ cup olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Blend until mostly smooth. Taste to adjust seasonings to your liking.

• Cook at 400 for 25 minutes, then swap the trays (placing the baking sheet below on the top rack, and top rack sheet down to the lower rack). Cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven.

• Assemble the dish by spreading a layer of the shallot puree on the base of the plate. Next add the steamed beet cubes. Sprinkle with goat cheese and fresh basil. Optional: drizzle with balsamic reduction. 

• Assemble chopped root vegetables onto baking sheets.

November 2017



Quick Stats Degree of difficulty: Easy Length: 6 miles of trails Pass/fee: None Trail surface: Mix of paved, gravel and dirt



he Sehome Hill Arboretum Trail is a six-mile network of loose hikes that weaves alongside 25th Street as it summits Sehome Hill. Footpaths, dirt trails, and paved trails give this great hill many options for all skill levels to get out and explore, and is a popular spot among Western Washington University students due to its proximity. The past remains a curiosity here as you view an old driving tunnel carved into the rock, a few historical markers, and other interpretive signs. The occasional bench, and even an outdoor classroom, provide nice rest spots to soak up the forest atmosphere. Climb the observation tower perched near the summit — views through the foliage include greater Bellingham and the bay, along with Mount Baker and the Coast Mountain Range. A favorite section of the trail is the large exposed rock face of the old quarry. If you’re looking for a quick trail run through Douglas fir or a quiet place to study or meditate, the arboretum makes for a quick escape from town. It’s big enough to drown out the sounds of town, and close enough from downtown Bellingham that it takes only five minutes to get there by car. To get there, follow Ellis Street out of downtown. It will become North Samish Way. Turn right at Bill McDonald Parkway and enter Western Washington University. Take a right on 25th Street. The main loop trail means you can either park at the bottom of the hill and start there or drive up to the summit and park there. Trail access is easy, or you can follow along 25th Street until you see a path to follow.  42

Your family won’t wait Neither should your health. Now, you can walk into PeaceHealth’s Same Day Care Clinic seven days a week with more hours for your convenience. Why wait for an appointment if you’re feeling under the weather? Walk in today!

PeaceHealth Medical Group Same Day Care 3015 Squalicum Pkwy, Suite 140, Bellingham 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday – Friday n 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Saturday – Sunday


Layovers can be fun, and a chance to stretch your legs. But with layovers, there are two truths: 1. They keep you from getting where you’re going; and 2. They increase the odds something will go wrong — a flight delay, a missed connection, lost luggage. Direct Destinations celebrates the nonstop flights, places you can fly from Bellingham without a layover. Book with Alaska Airlines or Allegiant to fly from Bellingham International Airport to the following cities: Mesa, Oakland, Hawaii’s Kona and Maui, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Portland, among others. Or you can take San Juan Airlines, a commuter service providing scheduled or charter flights to the San Juan Islands and a bunch of often hard-to-get or time-consuming travel destinations. Skip the ferry, or the mind-numbing I-5 commute, to get to places like Port Angeles and Port Townsend in a snap. Other cities include Olympia, Bend, and Spokane, along with B.C.’s Victoria, Vancouver, Tofino, and more. San Juan Airlines’ headquarters are right next to the airport.

© Jamie Francis /

So don’t wait. Safe travels.

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© Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Mark Kushimi

Maui County, Maui Nui, create a synergy that is unique in Hawaii. The geographical relationship of Maui, Moloka‘i and Lāna‘i makes it possible to wake up on Maui, spend the day sailing and snorkeling off Lāna‘i, and be back in time for a sunset lū‘au on the beach at Wailea. Or you can hop on a plane and explore Moloka‘i’s east-end rainforest or tour the remote, historic Kalaupapa Peninsula. These inter-island adventures offer unique views of the islands, their coastlines, and their looming mountains from the grand Pacific Ocean. Why do people love Maui? It’s neither too big nor too small. It’s manageable. It has remote wilderness and glamorous resorts, rural neighborhoods and staggering natural The Shops at Wailea is Maui’s beauty. At West Maui’s Kapalua Bay, most glamorous complex, 150,000 the white-sand crescent is a favorite square feet with more than 60 shops and for picnics, snorkeling, swimming and restaurants in a Hawaiian architectural motif. Hike a rainforest echoing with the songs of diving. A few minutes south, Kā‘anapali birds found nowhere else on the planet. There Beach stretches for miles between are trails to the Haleakala Crater, waterfalls with fun-loving Lāhainā and historic Pu‘u plunge pools for swimming, and walks into valKeka‘a, a volcanic outcropping known leys so deep they never see a sunrise or a sunfor its Technicolor snorkeling. South set. Bicycle from the east end of the island at Wailea Resort to Kapalua on the west Maui has its own allure, a string of end, or downhill from the crater. white-sand beaches and welcoming coves along Kīhei, Wailea and Mākena.


he three islands of



Airline: Alaska Airlines* Kahului Airport

November 25 Welcome Home the Whales with Pacific Whale Foundation.

Flight duration from Bellingham 6 hours, 30 minutes (one way) Bellingham flights offered Year-round

FUN FACTS Maui is second in size among the Hawaiian Islands.

Until December 23 Hawaiian Art at The Schaefer International Gallery at Maui Arts and Cultural. Every Friday Friday Town Parties.

Maui has the largest dormant volcano in the world, Haleakala. There are no high rises on Lana‘i, and the tiny town of Lana‘i City has yet to see its first stoplight. Maui is the whale-watching capital of Hawaii: Humpbacks congregate in the warm offshore waters annually from December through May. Approximately 10,000 whales enter Hawaiian waters each year. Don’t miss Haleakala Crater, formed from the dormant Haleakala volcano and a popular tourist destination, for good reason. At 10,023 feet, the crater is a sight to see. The summit depression is 21 miles around and 3,000 feet deep. If you’d rather get high over water, parasail. See the ocean and the island from the air.

Information courtesy of Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau

Where to stay? Take your pick: luxury hotels with sunset views, intimate bed & breakfasts clinging to upland slopes, or spacious condominiums for the family with all the amenities of home. While luxury resorts line Maui’s south and west shores, moderately priced accommodations abound in neighboring resort areas, and in Upcountry and Central Maui. In East Maui’s Hāna, home to the largest heiau (pre-Western stone temple) in Hawaii, the beaches range from red to black to white. Wai‘ānapanapa’s black-pebbled shore and whitesanded Hāmoa Beach are a study in contrasts, each brilliant in its own way. East Maui’s character is casual and rural. The laptop and wristwatch come off and stay off, and you may spend more time on a horse than in a car. In Central Maui’s Wailuku, dine where the locals do, at mom-and-pop restaurants, noodle shops and cafes. Enlightened farmers, fertile soil, and brilliant, world-renowned chefs give Maui a cachet that has circled the globe. From Makawao and Kula to Central, South and West Maui, from “rubber-slippah” casual to elegantly chic, restaurants of all types draw an international and local clientele. West and South Maui have restaurants that range from informal seaside fish houses to swank, candle-lit dining rooms with swans gliding by in a lagoon. Oceanfront dining is a

*Alaska allows passengers to bring back one box of pineapples when they travel within the U.S. from any of the islands they serve (Honolulu, Kona, Maui and Kauai).

Maui signature. In Wailea, innovative cuisine showcasing freshly caught seafood is graciously served by attentive staff in an open-air dining room perfumed by sea air and flowering trees, while somewhere nearby, live violin music accompanies excellent Italian fare in a romantic al fresco oceanfront setting. In Pā‘ia, on a cove where an outrigger canoe at sunset evokes thoughts of Gauguin, excellent seafood from the hooks of local fishermen comes in exotic and savory preparations. Stop by for the high-calorie abandon of the legendary cream puffs made by Komoda’s Bakery in Makawao. Makawao is also home of the Makawao Third Friday Town Party event showcasing live entertainment, store specials and a local food court. Lāna‘i is Maui County’s newest resort star. Formerly called the “Pineapple Island” for its rolling plantation fields, it is now famous for its luxury hotel, the Four Seasons Resort Lāna‘i , and the seaside golf course. From dining to accommodations, vacationers are drawn by Lāna‘i’s curious mix of sophistication and rural charm. It takes five minutes to walk across the center of town. The senior prom could be the biggest event of the year, and a rustic 11-room lodge is the oldest hotel on the island. Like Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i is a world of its own. Its rural lifestyle and predominantly native Hawaiian population have given this island the moniker “the most Hawaiian island.” A mere 20-minute flight from Oahu, Moloka‘i appeals to those seeking an unhurried pace and raw natural beauty. The leeward slopes are scored with gulches. Along the north coast, sea cliffs drop to the ocean from more than 3,000 feet, and on the east end, ancient Hawaiian loko i‘a (fishponds) — some of the most sophisticated aquaculture complexes in the Pacific — come to life, stone by stone, in restoration projects. On the west side of the island, the 3-mile Pāpōhaku Beach is one of the largest white-sand beaches in Hawaii.

November 2017 47

H AWA I I he Kona District, on the island of Hawaii’s west, leeward side, is full of historic sites, unique shops, terrific beaches, inspiring sunsets and a host of new, exciting experiences for visitors. Known as the annual host of the Ironman World Championship in triathlon, Kona is also famous for historic Kailua Village and national parks, octopus farms, Kona coffee and out-of-this-world (underwater) nightlife. Kona is just one of six regions on the island — others are the Hamakua Coast, Hilo, Puna, Kau and Kohala. Accommodations on the Big Island, as the island of Hawaii is known, include major resort destinations on the Kohala Coast and in the Kona area (Keauhou, Historic Kailua Village). There are also hotels and accommodations in Hilo



Airline: Alaska Airlines* llison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole

Since 1983, continuous activity at Kilauea volcano has sent between 250,000 and 650,000 cubic yards of lava daily to surface and ocean, adding about 500 acres of new land to the island of Hawaii.

Flight duration from Bellingham 6 hours, 45 minutes (one way) Bellingham flights offered Seasonal *Alaska allows passengers to bring back one box of pineapples when they travel within the U.S. from any of the islands they serve (Honolulu, Kona, Maui and Kauai).


Island-born King Kamehameha the Great created the Kingdom of Hawaii by unifying the entire island chain under his rule in 1810. With 266 miles of coastline, the island of Hawaiʻi has the most marine conservation districts of all the Hawaiian Islands.

and Puna on the east side closer to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The upcountry Waimea area also offers charming getaways. Throughout the island you’ll also find bed and breakfasts, condominiums, vacation rental homes cottages and hostels. If you’re staying in Kona and you plan to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, consider staying in Hilo, Puna or the Volcano Village area for a night since a one-day round trip will not give you enough time to explore the park. Take a leisurely stroll down Alii Drive, the heart of historic Kailua Village. The small town is buzzing with shops, restaurants and history. Stop in for a quick history lesson at Hulihee Palace, a former vacation home built in 1838 for Hawaiian royalty. Tour the palace and view its Victorian artifacts from King Kalakaua’s era, like koa EVENTS furniture, quilts, portraits, November 3–12 intricate feather and kapa Kona Coffee Cultural Festival (tapa). Across the street, visit Mokuaikaua Church, the November 10–12 first Christian church in the Hawaii Steel Guitar Festival Hawaiian Islands. Discover KalokoHonokohau National December 2 “Christmas with the Chefs” Historical Park, just south of at Kamakahonu Bay Ellison Onizuka International Airport at Keahole. About as ocean-based as it is

Information courtesy of


Da Poke Shack is, indeed, a shack, but with a national reputation for its locally seafood poke bowls — salads that combine Japaneseinflected spices and greens like seaweed or kimchi with chunks of fresh, raw Ahi tuna. TJ’s BBQ By the Beach is a local award-winner, and Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge at the Four Seasons features fresh seafood and has won awards for best outdoor dining.

land-based, this 1,100-acre sanctuary of native plant, animal and marine life, and early Hawaiian aquaculture development restores and preserves the coastal sections of four ahupuaa (ocean-tomountain land divisions) once populated by hundreds of Hawaiians. Today, its three-mile coastal trail winds past centuries-old ponds and loko kuapa (lava rock seawalls) built for fish trapping, protected wetlands for native birds, and honu. And nearly all of the trail is infinitely and scenically walkable. Visit the state’s Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority (NELHA) on a tour with Friends of NELHA. The nonprofit guides guests through the property, where companies are using cutting-edge technology, including pumping deepsea water from 3,000 feet. The facilities farm everything from lobster, crab, octopus and seaweeds, to abalone, black cod (butterfish) and world-renowned Near Hilo, you’ll find Kolekampachi for local kole Beach Park, a jungle garand international den by the ocean with a nearby stream consumption. lined with smooth lava rocks and a waterfall. A banyan tree leans over the river with a rope swing. Check out Kau’s Punaluu Black Sand Beach to experience a different-looking beach and a great place to see Hawaiian honu, green sea turtles, sunning themselves. An adjacent campground is popular with local families and fisherman. Or you can see the island by air through many local helicopter tours

Grown on the cloudy slopes

Hualalai Kona Coffee is a musttry. Farms across of


the region offer tastings and tours, the annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival celebrates its history and culture every November, and year-round, visitors can learn hands-on history at Kona Historical Society’s Kona Coffee Living History Farm — the only living history coffee farm in the nation. The 5.5-acre farm is still a working coffee farm that grows, harvests, roasts, and sells its coffee, just as when the Japanese immigrant family lived there a hundred years ago. An important (and delicious) element of the island of Hawaii for generations, Kona coffee continues to play a role in island culture, economy and landscape. The island of Hawaii brings a whole new meaning to nightlife. From 40 feet below the ocean’s surface, nightlife takes on yet another nuance, as after-dark hours reveal luminous sea creatures, whose fanciful forms seem more alien than earthly. Certified SCUBA divers can embark on a “Pelagic Magic” tour with Jack’s Diving Locker, allowing them to float in the seldom-seen world of these zooplankton — tiny jellyfish, shrimp, and other crustaceans. Tethered to the boat, suspended at a depth of 40 feet, the patient pelagic observer may encounter mysterious “Venus Girdle” jellyfish, from thumb-size form up to four feet in length. Or, ctenaphores, called the “jewels of the sea” for their glowing colors. Others are heteropods (sea snails), copepods (small crustaceans), salps like Thalia democratica — whose chains of plankton that function as one unit, or the elusive Pelagic Hawaiian Seahorse.

November 2017 49

© Torsten Kjellstrand /


ortland is a breath of fresh air.

Known for its proximity to natural wonders like the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood, the city’s metro area has 37,000 acres of green space, including 288 public parks and 166 miles of trails. Nearly 30 percent of the city is blanketed by tree canopy. A pioneer in progressive urban planning, environmentally conscious public policy, and sustainable land development practices, Portland will be covered in green for years to come. Named one of the “best places to eat” in North America by Food & Wine, and “America’s new food Eden” by Time, Portland is home to a creative, accessible culinary scene that goes to great lengths to serve fresh, innovative dishes using superb local ingredients. Plus, it’s light on the wallet, which means there’s always room for dessert. The birthplace of James Beard, Portland has long enjoyed a strong food reputation. The city is situated at the

northern end of the fertile Willamette Valley, which sports a favorable climate for raising a dizzying variety of crops. A close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, rivers and lakes yields magnificent fresh seafood. And Eastern Oregon’s rugged highdesert plains are well-suited to raising livestock and grains. Easy access to high quality ingredients helped propel Portland’s rise to culinary stardom. With lower shipping costs, Portland restaurants provide better value compared to other U.S. cities. Prices don’t prohibit diners from enjoying popular restaurants, and many establishments offer affordable bar menus, small plates, and even main dishes under $20. Overall, the city’s culinary landscape is bargain-oriented, with a bourgeoning home-grown, fast-casual scene, a flourishing food cart selection, and cut-rate happy hour specials. The result: a culinary culture brimming with quality and a population of educated diners with high expectations.

Forest Park, an 8-milelong “forest in the city,” is the nation’s largest wooded urban park, covering 5,172 acres with 70 miles of pathways popular with hikers, runners, cyclists and equestrians. Forest Park also provides refuge to more than 112 birds and 62 mammal species.


Ox, featuring upand-coming chef-owners Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, is the hottest steakhouse around. Tommy Habetz of Bunk Sandwiches is making lunch the most important meal of the day. Cathy Whims has been nominated for numerous James Beard awards for her regional Italian cooking at Nostrana and Oven & Shaker, which slings gourmet wood-fired pizzas. Try iconic ice cream shop Salt & Straw for crazy delicious flavors.




Airline: Alaska Airlines Portland International

Oregon is one of just two states in which residents — and visitors — have their gas pumped for them. It’s the law.

November 11 Portland’s Book Festival

Flight duration from Bellingham 1 hour, 14 minutes (one way) Bellingham flights offered Year-round

Portland is the nation’s largest city with tax-free shopping. Oregon is one of five states with no sales tax. Nicknames for the city include “City of Roses,” “Stumptown,” “Bridgetown,” and “Beervana.”

December 1 (various dates) Christmas Ships Parade December 9 Santacon pub crawl

Then, there’s Voodoo Doughnut. Located in Old Town’s popular nightlife district, Voodoo Doughnut is one of the city’s most unusual and delicious culinary destinations. The doughnuts, topped with creative ingredients such as bacon, Captain Crunch and Oreos, are almost as fun to look at as they are to eat. Locals and visitors line up 24 hours a day for what may be the most innovative doughnuts in the world. Be prepared for adorable mustached faces to look up at you from your food (mirroring the many bearded young men you’ll encounter biking around Portland).

Head to Pioneer Place for the big-brand stores and the Pearl District for national and international shops, as well as the famed Powell’s City of Books. The Northwest/Nob Hill area features specialty boutiques and national retailers. For the standard, colossal mall experience, go to Lloyd Center, Oregon’s biggest mall, with 150 stores and megaplex movie theatre. One of the nation’s leading science museums, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is 219,000 square feet of brain-powered fun. Five enormous halls bring science to life with hundreds of interactive exhibits and displays. You can experience an earthquake, take part in live lab demonstrations, see a movie in the Empirical Theater, explore the universe in a world-class planetarium and even tour a real submarine. Located on the east bank of the Willamette River.

© Jamie Francis /

Information courtesy of Travel Portland

The city’s first piece of public art, the Parisian-inspired Skidmore Fountain installed in 1888, remains the focal point of Portland’s historic Old Town. It’s joined by pieces commissioned through the state’s “percent for art” ordinances that require two percent of major capital construction budgets be set aside for public creative works. Among the most prominent of these is Portlandia, a 36-foot, 6.5-ton sculpture set above the entrance to the Portland Building in 1985, which also shares its name with IFC’s hit television show filmed throughout the city.

November 2017 51


or the holidays, Las Vegas remains the “Entertainment Capital of the World,” with plans to deck the halls with an array of events, dazzling entertainment, and culinary wonders. Look for lights, festivities, activities and more.

Vegas has nearly 150,000 hotel rooms. Most people want to stay in the middle of it all — the Strip. For classic charm, it’s the Flamingo or the Tropicana. For something more chic, try Aria or Palazzo. The kids (and maybe even you) will love the water slides at The Golden Nugget — one slide even shoots through a shark tank — or the beach pool attractions at Mandalay Bay, which has a lazy river and a wave pool. If you’re traveling with a group, try the suites-only Palazzo, HRH Tower, Palms Place or Rio. Going upscale? Pick from the suites in at SkyLofts in the MGM Grand, Sky Suites (Aria) and Nobu (Caesars Palace). Vegas has just about everything when it comes to rooms — even bunk beds (The LINQ) for your group’s fifth- (or seventh- or ninth-) wheel. For perspective on just how popular Las Vegas is among travelers, consider this: McCarran International Airport had its busiest month ever in July 2017. The Las Vegas airport had more than 4.3 52

million passengers pass through during the month. This was an increase of 3.8 percent from July 2016. The numbers for 2017 aren’t in yet, but if last year is any indication, the tourism industry here just keeps growing. The impact of travel and tourism in Southern Nevada was bigger than ever before in 2016, as Las Vegas welcomed a recordbreaking 42.9 million visitors, including a record 6.3 million meetings and convention delegates, which resulted in an estimated $60 billion in local economic impact. The travel and tourism industry supported more than 407,000 jobs in Southern Nevada and generated $16.9 billion in local wages and salaries. With famed chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis and Nobu Matsuhisa to name a few, the destination continues to provide new and culture-shifting dining experiences. This winter, Gordon Ramsay will open his fifth Las Vegas restaurant, the first-ever Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace. The upcoming culinary hotspot will be an experiential and immersive dining experience that transports guests straight to the studio set, as if they are participating in the widely popular show. As Hell’s Kitchen heats up and with beautiful weather in the 60s, visitors will be able to skate into action at The Ice Rink at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to roast s’mores by the fire while indulging in seasonal fare and warming beverages. The winter wonderland has an unprecedented view of the Strip, surrounded by glittering lights and snowfall. Fans can catch Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears, who will perform the last shows of her four-year residency, all at The Axis at Planet Hollywood. At The Colosseum at Caesars

Information courtesy of Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority and

Ed note: Memorials and flowers have piled up in Las Vegas since October 1, when a gunman killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 more during a country western concert outside the famed Mandalay Bay hotel. A week after the tragedy, the hotel’s website was operating, but not like business as usual. On the website’s opening page were the words: “We’ve been there for you during the good times. Thank you for being there for us now. #VegasStrong” So, this holiday season will be different. Certainly, memorials for the lives lost will be prominent for months. But hopefully, so will an increased appreciation for life and family and loved ones.

© Sam Morris / Las Vegas News Bureau © Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau

Ride The High Roller at The LINQ Promenade, which soars 550 feet above the center of the Las Vegas Strip, eclipsing both the London Eye and Singapore Flyer. Drive to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, about a half-hour outside the city, and hike through picturesque rocks and desert landscape. There’s a driving tour too. From up close, admire the engineering feat that is the Hoover Dam. It’s less than an hour from downtown Vegas.


© Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

Palace, Celine Dion and Elton John will dazzle fans, while country-music enthusiasts can see Reba, Brooks & Dunn. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” show will also take place in December at The Colosseum. George Strait, “The King of Country,” and Lady Gaga will perform their relative shows at T-Mobile Arena in December. Next door, at the newest concert venue, Park Theater at Monte Carlo Las Vegas, Cher and Bruno Mars will perform their individual limited residencies. While the holidays are a dreamlike time, Las Vegas is famous for its epic New Year’s Eve celebration. Las Vegas Blvd. will close to traffic for one of the largest parties in the U.S., the world-famous America’s Party fireworks display. Seven Las Vegas resorts will be launching a dazzling display of fireworks from the rooftops along the Strip for revelers. Maverick Helicopters offers an unparalleled view of the Strip’s firework show while flying high in the sky. Check out the ConWith myriad of offerings, Las Vegas is the ultiservatory, where talented mate destination to raise a glass and ring in the horticulturalists and designers New Year. transform a 14,000-square-foot floral playground into a showcase of the seasons. Don’t miss the popular Fountains at Bellagio, where more than a thousand fountains dance in front of the hotel, enhanced by music and light. Take a trip to the Neon Museum, an outdoor exhibit which houses rescued signs from the Las Vegas Strip. Visitors will find a wealth of history there.

Airline: Allegiant McCarran International Airport Flight duration from Bellingham 2 hours, 30 minutes (one way) Bellingham flights offered Year-round

FUN FACTS More than 80,000 marriage licenses are issued annually in Las Vegas. Las Vegas offers the most comprehensive collection of celebrity chefs, world-class restaurants and Master Sommeliers (12) than anywhere in the world. The newest NHL team, the Vegas Golden Knights, debuts in Las Vegas this fall.

EVENTS November 24–December 31 Magical Forest-Opportunity Village December 7–16 National Finals Rodeo December 31 New Year’s Eve America’s Party Fireworks

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his trend-setting city is a tourist mecca

for many reasons. It has one of the most dynamic dining reputations in the country. It has more museums and theaters than any U.S. city, and a thriving music and gallery scene. Shopping and fashion have always been ahead of the curve in L.A.. Attractions and tours range from theme parks and stateof-the-art rides to historic walking neighborhoods. It has a rich legacy of sports and most recently became just the third city in history (with London and Paris) to be named a three-time host to the Olympic Games when it was awarded the 2028 Summer Olympics in September.

Hollywood Bowl and shows at other famous music venues. L.A.’s world-class museums include the stunning Getty Center in Brentwood and Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Museum Row. Monthly art walks take place throughout the city, including popular events in downtown L.A. and Venice Beach. And of course, when it comes to film and television, Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the world. Downtown L.A.’s Fashion District is one of the world’s best shopping areas for cutting-edge fashion and bargains. Stroll La Brea Avenue and West Third Street for trendy gear and vintage clothing. Rodeo Drive is a couture mecca, while mere mortals can shop with the stars on Robertson Boulevard. Ventura Boulevard is a hotspot for vintage and high-end fashion alike. Future fashion superstars are being created today at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

Los Angeles offers everything from street food to James Beard Foundation-award-winning restaurants. From California cuisine to organic ingredients to food trucks, L.A.’s culinary influence can be felt across the country. Food aficionados can experience the Get tickets to your restaurants of Wolfgang Puck, Thomas favorite talk show or Keller and Nobu Matsuhisa, as well as game show in L.A., like “Real a new generation of culinary stars like Time with Bill Maher.” Take a surf Kogi BBQ Truck founder Roy Choi and lesson from one of many companies such as Aloha Brothers Surf Lessons Top Chef champion Michael Voltaggio. in Venice Beach. Follow Six Taste-LA, Global kitchens can be found in culinary where fun and knowledgeable guides neighborhoods across Los Angeles. An L.A. Philharmonic performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall is a mustsee, as well as an outdoor concert at the 54

lead historical and cultural walking tours of different neighborhoods, featuring generous samples of diverse dishes.

Experience world-class thrills at Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Disneyland, still the “happiest place on Earth.” Take flight with the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center and Air Force One at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Time travel via Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum and the ancient La Brea Tar Pits.

Hike the Aileen Getty Ridge Trail in Griffith Park. This three-mile hike provides great views of the Los Angeles basin. Continue on the ridgeline to Mount Lee, and the trail will deposit you above the famed Hollywood sign. Universal Studios Hollywood is the only place that can offer clients a complete working movie studio, a thrilling Hollywood movie-based Theme Park, and L.A.’s most dynamic entertainment district. Downtown LA Walking Tours takes you inside world-class monuments of architecture.

Information courtesy of Discover Los Angeles

Film and TV fans can’t miss Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures. Explore L.A. with Starline Tours and the infamous TMZ Tour, or go green with Bikes and Hikes and Pedal...or not. Some of L.A.’s best hotels have decades of history in addition to modern amenities. Movie and music legends have stayed at these properties, and the hotels themselves have appeared in countless movies and TV shows. Located on Pershing Square in downtown L.A., the Millennium Biltmore hotel was home to the Academy Awards for decades. The landmark Hollywood Roosevelt was the site of the first Academy Awards, and notable residents included Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Since 1912, the Beverly Hills Hotel (aka the “Pink Palace”) has catered to legendary guests like

the Beatles, Howard Hughes, and Greta Garbo.


The rich legacy of Los Angeles sports is filled with world championships, national titles, Hall of Famers and historic arenas. L.A. is truly the city of champions: the Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, the Dodgers have won five World Series titles, the Galaxy has won five MLS Cups, and the Kings went on an historic run and were crowned Stanley Cup champions for the first time in 2012, and won again in 2014. L.A. is the home of NCAA titles as well, including the USC Trojans football team’s 11 national championships and 113 NCAA team titles won by UCLA. L.A. sports events take place in landmark arenas like the L.A. Coliseum, Staples Center, Dodger Stadium, Pauley Pavilion and the Rose Bowl. Los Angeles is the best city for weekend warriors, whether you’re looking for a pickup basketball game in Venice or a hiking trail in the mountains.

Airline: Allegiant Los Angeles International Airport Flight duration from Bellingham 2 hours, 50 minutes (one way) Bellingham flights offered Year-round

FUN FACTS In 1996, Charlie Sheen bought 2,615 outfield seats at Angels Stadium in nearby Anaheim so he could catch a home run ball. Los Angeles is home to 113 accredited colleges and universities. Even the L.A. coroner’s office has a gift shop.

EVENTS November 11 World’s Tallest Tree Lighting & Center Court Grand Opening January 1, 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade November 25–January 8 Enchanted: Forest of Light at Descanso Gardens

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© Visit Oakland

The hot culinary scene, edgy art, and vibrant nightlife are creating an international buzz. In 2012, Oakland was named the No. 5 place to visit in the world by The New York Times. Recently, recognized Oakland as one of “America’s Best Cities on the Rise.” Oakland is strikingly diverse, with 28 percent of its population African American, 34.5 percent white, 25.4 percent Hispanic or Latino and 17.4 percent Asian or Pacific Islander. The city claims 125 languages are spoken here. With that diversity comes remarkable variety in cuisine, the arts, culture, shopping and overall atmosphere. Oakland is also climbing the charts as one of the most LGBT-friendly cities, with the highest concentration of lesbian families nationwide. As a result, Oakland’s diversity is represented year-round, whether it’s at the Chinatown Street Festival, Dias de los Muertos celebrations, or just the everyday farmers market.

Oakland Museum of California has half-price Friday nights, featuring a family-friendly festive night market, gourmet food trucks, live music, a beer garden and dance lessons. Spend the night under the stars at Chabot Space and Science Center. Retrace Amelia Earhart’s flight route at the Oakland Aviation Museum.


From full-service hotels to charming bed-and-breakfasts, Oakland’s accommodations include more than 4,000 hotels rooms and options for every price range. Its proximity to San Francisco — just 15 minutes away — and lower rates for hotels make it a good jumping-off spot to visit the “other” city by the bay. Free parking and shuttle service are included at many properties. Looking for the best new Bay Area restaurant? Look no further — it’s right here in Oakland. From Michelinstarred restaurants to authentic food trucks, Oakland’s diverse offerings run the gamut. Top chefs from neighboring communities are flocking to Oakland, which has quickly become the hottest dining destination on the West Coast. Chefs from throughout California, especially from San Francisco, are choosing Oakland to test their creative culinary skills. With a diverse population and an extensive palette with

Information courtesy of

akland is a city in renaissance.

© Visit Oakland


If you’re looking for soul food, some of the best in the city is at Brown Sugar Kitchen, Everett & Jones or Pican. For Italian food with atmosphere, check out Pizzaiolo in Temescal. Shan Dong in Chinatown has a great variety of Dim Sum. Or go simple with Oakland’s mac-n-cheese restaurant, Homeroom, or the famous chicken sandwich on top of an ironing board at Bakesale Betty.

© Jordan Park / Visit Oakland

IF YOU GO Airline: Allegiant Oakland International Airport Flight duration from Bellingham 2 hours, 10 minutes (one way) Bellingham flights offered Year-round

FUN FACTS Oakland is home to the fifth largest port and the oldest wildlife sanctuary (at Lake Merritt) in the nation. Oakland has more lesbian couples per capita than any other city, and the third most same-sex couples per capita behind San Francisco and Seattle. 100,000 acres of parks and trails are in the East Bay Regional Park system.

EVENTS November 3 Luna Mexicana November 18 and December 16 Gallery District Walking Tours November 24–26 Plaid Friday

tastes for all types of cuisine, Oakland gives chefs the freedom to explore new recipes, creations, and flavors. Our local food scene is unmatched — from iconic Fenton’s Creamery (featured in Pixar’s “Up”) to fried chicken sandwiches eaten on an ironing board, to two Michelin-star Commis, Oakland is the ultimate foodie destination.

of locally made products. Looking for something a little more classic? Rockridge and Piedmont Avenue are home to some of the best vintage digs in the area. Along Temescal Alley, Bohemian boutiques ranging from horticulture havens to Southwestern jewelry designers are creating a national buzz. Oakland even has a few national retailers in the mix to round things out. Rockridge is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Oakland. College Ave. is booming with restaurants, boutique shopping and the best spa treatment in Oakland. It’s a neighborhood you won’t want to miss or leave. Channel vintage vibes while shopping at Pretty Penny on College Avenue in Rockridge.

If Brooklyn is the arts hub of the East Coast, Oakland is the arts mecca of the West. More than 10,000 people congregate at Oakland Art Murmur on the first Friday of the month to visit Oakland’s grassroots gallery district. Industrial artists in spacious warehouses are creating larger-thanlife pieces for international festivals (a la Burning Man). Whatever the medium may be, creators have chosen Oakland as their home, making the destination the cultural arts metropolis that it is today. Oakland inspires the artist in everyone. If you’re a muralist, photographer or puppeteer, Oakland welcomes you to the thriving arts scene. Art galleries stay open late to thousands of visitors during the first Friday of the month. In West Oakland, the Crucible engages artists in fire arts while Trapeze Arts and Kinetic Arts indulge your inner acrobat. Take in a turf dance battle or learn how to salsa under the stars in Jack London Square. There’s always something creative happening in Oakland. Take part and be inspired.

Oakland is home to NBA champions Golden State Warriors and longtime franchises the Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have former Seahawk superstar Marshawn Lynch, who came out of retirement to play for his hometown team. Oakland has a lake? In fact, there are two. Recreationalists will be pleasantly surprised at Oakland’s extensive outdoors (and indoors) offerings. Along the 19 miles of coastline, sailors, kayakers and even standup paddleboarders can take advantage of Oakland’s access to the San Francisco Bay. Hikers, bikers and horseback riders can explore the 100,000-plus acres of parks and trails throughout the hills. In the heart of the city, Lake Merritt is the hub for joggers and walkers, and even the occasional Segway tour.

In true Oakland fashion, shopping in The Town is always original. Ambitious entrepreneurs are creating pop-up shopping neighborhoods and artisan alleys full

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© Chris Miller /

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway: Ride the world’s largest revolving tramway to alpine forests and dramatic valley views. Palm Springs Modern Tours is the original architecture tour with owner/guide Robert Imber, a founder of the Palm Springs Modern Committee. Go to Desert Adventures’ Indian Canyons Jeep & Hiking Tour to view one of North America’s largest natural palm oases. Check out Palm Springs Windmill Tours to see the enormous wind turbines and marvel at modern technology.

Airline: Allegiant Palm Springs International Airport Flight duration from Bellingham 2 hours, 43 minutes (one way) Bellingham flights offered Year-round

EVENTS November 24–December 24 WildLights at The Living Desert December 2 Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade December 2–3 Indio International Tamale Festival

FUN FACTS As part of a Desert Adventures tour, you can snap a selfie on the San Andreas Fault, with one foot on the Pacific Plate and the other on the North American Plate. The Palm Springs Air Museum lets you actually fly in a vintage WWII aircraft. Greater Palm Springs’ Coachella Valley is the Date Capital of the World, growing more than 90 percent of all U.S. dates. On a world scale, only Iran produces more dates.



t’s always summer in Greater Palm Springs. The sun is shining. The skies are blue. The weather is forever warm. And with direct flights from Bellingham, what better time than now to shed your winter gear and dive into the fun of this cool hot spot? Lazing by the pool is a given. This desert oasis has more pools per capita than anywhere else in the country. What else to do? The choices are endless, really. Whatever your favorite pastimes, you’re sure to find them within the nine cities that make up Greater Palm Springs: Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella. Here’s a sampling — along with insider tips to make your getaway easier than ever.

From cozy mid-century modern and Mediterranean-style inns to trendy hotels with big splashy pool parties, and luxury resorts loaded with posh amenities, you’ll find the perfect stay, be it just the two of you, a girls’ or guys’ time out or familyfriendly vacation. Best of all, you’ll find great accommodations in all price ranges. What restaurant to try next is a hot topic of conversation with the locals, so be sure to ask. Locally owned, one-of-a-kind eateries are a valley hallmark — in all cuisine categories and prices. Don’t miss happy hour. It’s a way of life for value cocktails and light bites. Live entertainment is everywhere.

From old school piano bars to the American song book at spots like Frank’s Place in Indian Wells and cabaret-style shows at the Purple Room Supper Club in Palm Springs. Backed by the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa mountains and with Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Mount San Jacinto State Park at its doorstep, Greater Palm Springs is an outdoor-lovers’ paradise. Enjoy hiking on your own along the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains. Insider tip: many trails begin in residential neighborhoods. Or take guided hiking, jeep and even muledrawn covered wagon tours. Bicycle to your heart’s content. The area is mostly flat — so pedaling is easy, and many hotels offer bikes. Enjoy pampering from luxurious spas to, many say, restorative natural mineral waters. Desert Hot Springs is one of the world’s greatest thermal areas. Dozens of properties, including famous Two Bunch Palms, welcome you to the mineral water experience. Elsewhere, resort spas offer soothing and uplifting treatments. Look to La Quinta Resort & Club for the valley’s first Yoga and Mindfulness program, and the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort for spa parties in its 600-square-foot VIP spa suite, with butler service. Insider tip: You don’t have to be a resort guest to book the resort spas.

Information courtesy of Barbara Beckley and Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bereau


© ©

CALIFORNIA Everything you’ve heard about Palm Springs being ground-zero for midcentury modern architecture is true. Legendary architects Donald Wexler, Albert Frey, William F. Cody, E. Stewart Williams, John Lautner and Richard Neutra created some of their best work here. Take a guided midcentury modern tour or drive by the buildings yourself. The Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center offers insight into the architects and their creativity. Insider tip: admission to the Architecture and Design Center is free.

Shopaholics rejoice. You’ll find haute couture to pennywise chic and amazing thrift and consignment shopping. El Paseo in Palm Desert is rightfully nicknamed the Rodeo Drive of the valley. Palm Springs’ Uptown Design District brims with original and vintage furnishings and clothing. Look to Cathedral City for consignment finds at YOLO, and thrift shop treasures at Revivals; and to Rancho Mirage for designer consignment at Re-Deux. Insider tip: Old Town La Quinta has a bevy of unique shops.

The sophisticated side of this oasis shines bright in myriad art galleries, museums and theaters. Enjoy art for sale by luminaries such as Andrew Wyeth and Salvador Dali at Heather James Fine Art in Palm Desert; and the midcentury modern whimsy of artist Josh Agle (aka Shag) at the Shag Gallery in Palm Springs. The Palm Springs Art Museum presents works from Andy Warhol to Ansel Adams and live performances in its Annenberg Theater.

With more than 100 top-rated golf courses including six PGA West layouts — and three courses consistently rated among the country’s best by Golf magazine — your only question is: Which courses to play? All levels of play keep things memorable, from the challenging PGA West Stadium Course in La Quinta, which hosts the PGA Tour’s CareerBuilder Challenge, to the forgiving Celebrity Course at the Indian Wells Golf Resort.

Lulu California Bistro in Palm Springs: Great food and lively vibe. The Edge Steakhouse at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage has sweeping valley views. Café de Beaux Arts on El Paseo in Palm Desert is a French bistro on the perfect corner. Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge in Palm Springs is a legendary old-school piano bar. Check out Shields Date Gardens in Indio for delicious date shakes in the world’s dategrowing capital.

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A R I ZO N A Mesa, Arizona’s thirdlargest city. This Sonoran Desert playground is the perfect Arizona spot for Western and outdoor adventure, culinary discoveries and authentic Arizona beauty with mountains and canyon lands. In fact, Mesa was named the “Best Place for Outdoor Lovers” because of the thousands of acres of natural desert that surrounds the urban city core. Staying in Mesa is the best decision for visitors who want to take easy day trips to experience Native American communities, shopping, hiking, and even visiting the Grand Canyon. Mesa offers a premium selection of full-service hotels and the ideal “hub-and-spoke” destination for exploring all of Arizona’s unique experiences and landscapes. elcome to

Mesa is neighbor to the Tonto National Forest, and visitors to this desert oasis take advantage of being incredibly close to one of the nation’s largest playgrounds. Tonto is the fifth largest forest in the U.S and one of the most-visited forests in the country. There are three lakes and two rivers in Mesa that allow for desert boating, paddle boarding, kayaking and water skiing. These tuckedaway canyons, rivers and the interconnected lake systems are all surrounded by breathtaking Arizona mountain ranges. Mesa has miles of shoreline and miles of 60

trails that set the stage for back-country wilderness trips with expert outfitters serving as guides. Visitors can choose their own adventure such as paragliding in our parks, climbing up the cliff faces of the Superstition Mountains, or hiking to the Wind Cave set high atop Usery Mountain. The breathtaking Superstition Mountains to the east serve as both an iconic backdrop for the city and a gateway to adventure. Ghostly and volcanic, the Superstition Mountains rise some 2,000 feet into the desert sky and offer hiking and horse trails fit for every level of enthusiast. Venture down the Historic Apache Trail to find Lost Dutchman State Park. Hidden in the depths of this forbidding range is the Lost Dutchman, one of the most storied “lost mines” of the West. Five hiking trails are offered here that range in distance and elevation. The U.S. Forest Service protects these beautiful mountains as one of the nation’s most popular designated wilderness areas. One of the most popular day trips for anyone visiting Mesa is up the historic Apache Trail through the mysterious Superstition Mountains and into the foothills of the Tonto. To this day, the area continues to pay homage to its Western roots, which took shape in the late 1800s.

IF YOU GO Airline: Allegiant Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Flight duration from Bellingham About 3 hours (one way) Bellingham flights offered Year-round

FUN FACTS Mesa is Spanish for “table.” The city was settled high above the lower Salt River on “the mesa.” In 2015, Money Magazine named Mesa the Best City for Outdoor Lovers. Mesa is bigger than you think — nearly 500,000 in city population, larger than Miami, St. Louis and Atlanta.

EVENTS November 9–11 Mesa Music Festival December 1–31 Merry Main Street December 9–10 Mesa Arts Festival

Information courtesy of


On this scenic drive guests will encounter an authentic old west stagecoach stop, a ghost town, the famous Elvis Presley Chapel, and the majesty of a mountain lake, all nestled in the beautiful Sonoran Desert landscape that captures the true essence of Arizona.

Joyride Taco House. Tacos take center stage and feature slow-roasted meats tucked into house-made tortillas. Arizona’s own La Sonorense Tortilla Factory prepares the flour tortillas, corn masa and cochitos fresh daily. Liberty Market. Rooted in the local community since 1935 with its historic building and name, today, you’ll find a rotating array of locally grown produce and fresh duck eggs from The Farm Stand at Agritopia. Offerings vary with the season.

Karl May wrote about the grandeur of Arizona and all its mystery and magnetism. Visitors will discover untouched Western heritage at Saguaro Lake Ranch, where time stands still and visitors can unwind and unplug. Located on the banks of the historic Salt River, the ranch is a collection of quaint cottages where guests gather for group dinners and entertainment. Experience authentic cowboy life with horseback riding, desert trails into the countryside and cattle drives at Fort McDowell Adventures. Located on the Yavapai Native American reservation, guests can participate in all sorts of adventures. This one-of-a-kind experience is set out on sacred land with magnificent cactus-studded terrain and the Verde River that carves through the reservation. Visit Mesa has launched the Fresh Foodie Trail, a selfguided route that connects many of the culinary-themed attractions in the city with those in our neighboring towns. This food-centric experience abandons the long-table dinners and invites visitors to learn why their food choices matter. Pasta making classes with ancient grains, watching the coldpressing of fresh olives, foraging for the freshest produce — it’s education-plus-experience that makes these stops on the ultimate foodie road trip memorable. Visit Mesa has packaged nearly a dozen locations into this foodie tourism product in a new Agritourism Guide not only to promote Mesa’s treasured heritage of family farming but also educate visitors on the in-demand experiences that can only be found in the destination. The guide maps out each of the attractions and highlights the region’s farmers markets, food truck events, and includes a dining section with restaurants that feature locallygrown items on their menus. Serving as a culinary gateway to Greater Phoenix, the neighboring farms in and around Mesa are providing a bounty of seasonal goods for visitors to enjoy year-round.

© Visit Mesa

Mesa has a collection of kids museums including i.d.e.a. Museum and the Arizona Museum of Natural History — where dinosaurs roar and so much more. Visit Usery Mountain Park. The 3,600-acre park offers everything from desert hiking, biking and horseback riding. Or ride a narrow-gauge train at Goldfield Ghost Town. For more than 115 years, the town has welcomed travelers from all over the world to discover the charm and history of this authentic gold mining town.

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t’s a city that’s almost too good to be true. San Diego has the perfectly pleasant climate. It has coastline, impeccable beaches, and mountains. It has a conveniently located airport, an emerging arts and culture scene, a historic — yet hip — downtown scene, great shopping and restaurants, one of the world’s greatest parks and a wide variety of outdoor activities. That you can fly directly from here to there is a bonus. First, downtown. Downtown San Diego is a dynamic urban center with trendy new restaurants, nightclubs and retail shops opening throughout the year. It is composed of eight distinct neighborhoods, including the historic Gaslamp Quarter, colorful Little Italy and the up-and-coming East Village, each with a distinct personality and allure. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the 16½-blocks listed on the National Register of Historic Places, grand Victorian-era buildings are home to more than 100 of the city’s finest restaurants, 40 nightclubs and bars and 100 retail shops. When the sun sets, the area’s nightlife sizzles, attracting thousands of diners, theatergoers and nightclub patrons. Once home to generations of Italian families who made their living in the local tuna fishing industry, charming Little Italy is a quaint and lively neighborhood filled with outdoor patio cafes, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, boutique shops and the beautiful Amici Park. The revitalization of East Village, a former warehouse district, was ignited in 2004 with the opening of Petro Park, the San Diego Padres’ baseball stadium.

Some of the country’s most sought-after produce can be found here, along with easy accessibility to fresh fish and crustaceans from the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, and an unquestionable gastronomic influence from its proximity to Mexico. It is no wonder why San Diego has developed a culinary identity all its own. Known as “Cali-Baja,” the region’s unique cuisine reflects the heart and soul of San Diego, an innovative culinary destination. Embracing the fruits of the land and Baja The 1,200-acre Balboa Park, the Mexico’s culinary essence, top chef talent and largest urban cultural park in the United States. Often referred to as the restaurateurs focus on local culture over trends. “Smithsonian of the West,” the park is home While the best-known Cali-Baja staple is the to 15 museums, numerous art galleries, five fish taco, the region’s 6,700+ eateries encomtheaters including The Old Globe, and 16 beaupass everything from sophisticated temples tiful gardens. For families, the world-famous San of haute cuisine to casual, surfside shacks, all Diego Zoo is nearby, along with Legoland California. For art lovers, the Museum of Contemsharing a commitment to fresh ingredients and porary Art San Diego and the San Diego cross-border flavors that offer a multifaceted Opera continually push boundaries and multicultural culinary experience. The with groundbreaking shows. popular San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival occurs each November. 62

Information courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority

With more than 100 neighborhoods in San Diego, shopping enthusiasts can spend hours exploring the region’s unique retail districts. Guests seeking hip urban boutiques and the latest in hot new fashions can find plenty of options in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter, East Village and Little Italy, as well as the adjacent Headquarters at Seaport Village. Those seeking unique finds with a local touch can wander into the trendy neighborhoods of Hillcrest, North Park and South Park.


Courtesy Brett Shoaf Artistic Visuals

Airline: Allegiant San Diego International Airport Flight duration from Bellingham 2 hours, 50 minutes (one way)

Top retail venues are the East Village and the Gaslamp Quarter. Visit beaches like Coronado Beach, rated the No. 1 beach in the U.S. in 2012, and the famous Swami’s Beach surf break. Or there’s the clothing-optional Black’s Beach, set against dramatic sandstone cliffs just north of La Jolla. Golf — San Diego offers 93 golf courses in every conceivable setting, from the ocean to the mountains to the desert.

San Diego’s great outdoors beckon sports enthusiasts to exercise and unwind year-round. The scope of activities is as varied as the topography, ranging from running along the beach, snorkeling La Jolla Underwater Park and kayaking along sea caves, to rock climbing in the rustic backcountry and camping in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. For adventure seekers, the region offers scuba diving in Wreck Alley, hang gliding/paragliding above the Pacific Ocean from the bluffs of Torrey Pines, zip lining across mountainous terrain, water jetpack flights, sky sailing, hotair ballooning, desert jeep tours, and more. With a scene that spans from internationally renowned museums and theater companies to experimental pop-up galleries

Bellingham flights offered Year-round

FUN FACTS San Diego’s Navy and Marine Corps bases form the largest military complex in the world.

in abandoned warehouses, San Diego’s artistic landscape is one of the nation’s most diverse. Home of the La Jolla Playhouse and The Old Globe theatre, San Diego is a leading theater producing town. Recent Broadway shows that originated in San Diego include Jesus Christ Superstar and Bonnie and Clyde along with past Tony-Award winners like Memphis and Jersey Boys. Local neighborhoods offer a kaleidoscope of theater, dance, music, street festivals and visual art events held throughout the year. Young artists are creating vibrant underground and emerging arts districts in once blighted neighborhoods, such as North Park and Barrio Logan, adding to San Diego’s growing reputation as an undiscovered arts destination.

Shelter Island, “San Diego’s Hawaiian Isle,” has prominent Polynesian and Tiki-inspired art and architecture. The region boasts more than 100 craft breweries with several located within a mile of San Diego’s 70-mile stretch of coastline.

EVENTS November 3–4 Breeders’ Cup World Championships November 3–12 San Diego Beer Week December 1–2 Balboa Park December Nights

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he San Juan archipelago in Washington State is nestled between three great cities — Seattle, Vancouver B.C., and Victoria B.C., surrounded by the Salish Sea. Of the 172 named islands in the San Juans, three of them — Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan — have accommodations, attractions, and amenities for visitors, with a temperate marine climate unique to the Pacific Northwest. San Juan County has more than 400 miles of shoreline punctuated by rocks, bluffs and beaches. Life in the “rain shadow” of the Olympic Mountains means an average of 247 days with sunshine annually and about half the rainfall of the Seattle area.

San Juan County is considered an “Arts Hot Spot” by the Washington State Arts Commission, and became the first in the country to be designated a voluntary “Leave No Trace” area. Friday Harbor on San Juan Island was named a Destination of Distinction by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Magnificent orca (or killer) whales live in the San Juan Islands yearround, and this is the best place in the world to see them. Three pods, J, K & L — the southern residents — are typically in the area from late spring through early fall, while transients can be seen off-and-on year-round. Whether from a whale watch boat or shore (like Lime Kiln Point State Park on the west side of San Juan Island), you can 64

also spot migrating humpback and minke whales. Local whale watch operators adhere closely to state and federal guidelines developed to ensure the whales’ behavior and life cycles are disturbed as little as possible. Experience Washington’s coastal wildlife and scenery from a spectacular sea-level perspective. World-class landscapes and a calm inland sea make the San Juans a prime kayaking spot for adventure-seekers. Paddle your own kayak or set out with one of the many knowledgeable kayaking outfitters on San Juan, Orcas, or Lopez Island for three-hour to three-day tours. Numerous kayaking outfitters also combine paddling with gourmet food and drink experiences, including beer and wine tasting trips. The view from the dining room can’t be beat.

Fresh, local food and farms have fueled life in the San Juans for generations. More farmers than ever are offering visitors the chance to open the barn door to see behind the scenes at some of the Islands’ most beautiful farms, creameries, wineries, and A must-see is the San Juan Island Sculpmore. All year-round visitors can find ture Park at Roche Harbor, a 20-acre garquality local products, educational den of more than 125 unusual installations. activities and culinary events, and It’s extensive, and like none you’ve ever seen. A few miles away, outside Friday Harbor, is Engexperience the sense of community lish Camp, where the aforementioned Pig War shared by island growers, standoff occurred. On Lopez Island, pack a picwinemakers, distillers, brewers, nic lunch and explore hidden coves, like the chefs and other agricultural artisans. stunning one at Watmaugh Bay. Some local farms even offer stays for guests who really want to get up-close and personal to the islands’ bounty.

Information courtesy of


© San Juan Airlines


Hike or drive up to Mount Constitution’s stone observation tower on Orcas Island for stunning views of the islands and Canadian and U.S. cities. Shop Friday Harbor’s numerous boutiques and galleries. Spend a day riding the bicycle-friendly but hilly rural roads of Lopez Island, where farmland and the Lopez Island Community Church and cemetery provide picturesque backdrops.

The San Juan Islands have more working artists than anywhere else in Washington state, drawn by the beauty and identity of a place that can be found nowhere else. Materials and methods are as varied as the islands themselves. The San Juan Islands Museum of Art offers quarterly exhibitions of fine visual art from around the world. A beautiful front atrium shows fascinating art installations, and galleries in the main building display works from a diverse collection of artists such as William Morris, Ansel Adams and Ai Weiwei. Visitors can immerse themselves at island museums and galleries, but not all the art is indoors. Sculptures, murals, and woodcarvings are among the islands’ not-so-hidden gems. Like many Pacific Northwestern outposts, the San Juan Islands are a mixture of Native American heritage and frontier spirit. Both are honored in a myriad of ways, with contemporary Coast Salish house posts overlooking the Port of Friday Harbor near the Town of Friday Harbor. Another house post and story boards were dedicated in English Camp, part of the San Juan Island National Historical Park’s 50th Anniversary in 2016. The Park commemorates what is known as the “Pig War” crisis, and was created in 1966 based upon an idea: that individuals and nations can solve their problems peacefully without resorting to violence. In the late 1850s, when the San Juans were neither here nor there, neither American nor Canadian/English, an Englishman’s pig was snortling through an American settler’s garden, when the American (no surprise), shot it. A bloodless “standoff” ensued. For twelve years. Finally, in 1872, Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany ended the Pig War by making the decision to draw the watery border in favor of America.

IF YOU GO Airline: San Juan Airlines Flight duration from Bellingham 15 minutes (one way) to San Juan Island, 30 minutes (one way) to Port Angeles, other destinations available Bellingham flights offered Year-round. Daily to San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor; Lopez Island; Orcas Island; Blakely Island. Charters available to Port Angeles, Port Townsend and other destinations, including B.C.

FUN FACTS San Juan County is the first county in the country to ban jet skis and the first in the

state to ban Styrofoam take-out containers. There are no traffic lights anywhere in the islands. People rarely even honk. San Juan County has more marine shoreline than any other county in the country (408 miles).

EVENTS November 3–5 Friday Harbor Film Festival November 11 Hops on the Rock November 24–25 San Juan Island Artisans Holiday Marketplace

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Waterfront Waterfrontdestination destinationrestaurant! restaurant!

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* Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/16/17—12/11/17 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. A qualifying purchase is defined as a purchase of any of the product models set forth above in the quantities set forth above. If you purchase less than the specified quantity, you will not be entitled to a rebate. Offer excludes HDOrigins™ and Nantucket™ Window Shadings, a collection of Silhouette® Window Shadings. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 17Q4MULTI

HABITAT Home Remodel Tips and Tricks · Featured Home

Palatine Passive House WRITTEN BY KAITY TEER


he Palatine Passive House by architect Tiffany Bowie of Malboeuf Bowie Architecture was one of eight homes featured during last year’s Seattle Modern Home Tour in April. Bowie, a certified passive house consultant, fielded questions from tour guests curious about passive construction. “Many people weren’t familiar with the concept of a passive house, so it was a great educational opportunity,” Bowie said. Thanks to its efficient design, the 2,700-squarefoot urban infill project boasts energy usage up to 90 percent less than standard building code requirements. The home earned certification as a … continued on next page

HABITAT Featured Home

passive house. Its technological efficiencies include an airtight envelope, continuous high-performance insulation, and managed solar gain, as well as the home management and control system Kirio, which monitors the home’s systems, appliances, and even lighting. A continuously filtered heat and moisture recovery ventilation system offers excellent air quality and temperature-control, making the home exceptionally healthy and comfortable. Its stunning herringbone façade and clean, modern landscaping make it a good aesthetic addition to the tree-lined streets of the Greenwood neighborhood. Bowie worked with architect Joe Malboeuf, her husband and business partner, to treat the cedar siding in the manner of “shou sugi ban,” a Japanese art form for charring cedar. Her father, for whom the home was designed, also pitched in to help with the charring and sealing process. In addition to its rich, elegant patina, the treatment protects the wood and prevents the need for maintenance. The herringbone pattern was intended to meet at 45-degree angles, but the roof’s pitch was adjusted to slightly less than 45 degrees in order to keep the roof’s height within neighborhood restrictions. That made cutting and installing the siding slightly trickier, but the end result was worth it. The home’s dark exterior means visitors are in for a surprise when they step inside. Bowie’s father, a retired energy consultant who enthusiastically embraced the passive house concept, had lived abroad in Japan and Scandinavia, and the home’s design reflects both influences. The interior is voluminous, bright, and filled with light, natural finishes. Large windows were strategically placed to maximize daylight. The floor plan offers three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a loft. The master bedroom design features an open sink and shower with a separate water closet. Bowie’s go-to white paint color, Eider White by Sherwin-Williams, is used throughout the home. “Joe and I are influenced by Scandinavian architecture that exhibits simple forms, clean lines, natural materials, and thoughtful daylighting,” Bowie said. “We like keeping our designs simple while adding in our own unique details or using materials in new ways.” 

Architecture | Malboeuf Bowie Architecture,  Construction | Blue & Yellow Builders, Photography | Courtesy Malboeuf Bowie Architecture / Shea Pollard Photography


Stair railings of welded steel echo the herringbone pattern of the cedar façade.


BEST PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET This month: LUXURY WATERFRONT IN WHATCOM COUNTY Everyone in Whatcom County knows that the Semiahmoo sandspit and its unspoiled shoreline are one of the treasures of our area. How lucky you would be to call this your very own backyard. The gentle breeze off the bay and the sounds of the sea renew and refresh your mind and spirit. Think about it. You’ve worked hard, you’ve raised your kids, you’ve fought the traffic. This is the quality of life you are not only seeking, but deserve. Now is the time to make the “move to the Moo”. A most inspiring place to call home.

1.  SEMIAHMOO In a class by itself this 2 bed 2.5 bath penthouse condo has been highly upgraded and those exquisitely chosen upgrades make all the difference. However it is the premium location--a view like no other--with decks off the main living room and guest quarters that makes this home so special. $979,500, 9535 Semiahmoo Pkwy #B301, Semiahmoo, 2 Beds, 2.5 Baths, 2,077 SqFt, MLS 1161442

Vancouver Blaine | Semiahmoo


2.  SEMIAHMOO Only 10 steps to the waters edge! This 2 bed 2.5 bath ground floor condo is absolutely breathtaking. Spacious patios showcasing the waterfront and luxury finishes throughout make this a one-of-a-kind find! $949,000, 9535 Semiahmoo Pkwy #B105, Semiahmoo, 2 Beds, 2.5 Baths, 1,721 SqFt, MLS 1157803

3.  SEMIAHMOO Southern exposure, and unobstructed ever changing views of Boundary Bay and the San Juan Islands. Complete privacy in this chic-urban design in a comfortable coastal setting. Excellent storage and use of space creates a most desirable home. $865,000, 9535 Semiahmoo Pkwy #B305, Semiahmoo, 2 Beds, 2.5 Baths, 1,972 SqFt, MLS 1152420


Whatcom County...Even when it rains, I shine! Managing Broker 360-815-4718




oday, I have many clients confused when trying to explain their “design style,” not wanting to commit to just one, fearing they might end with the wrong result. Combining hints of contemporary with a nod of tradition is a popular request. And, then, there are those few flea markets finds and grandmas heirlooms that often find their way into the final concept. In design, rules were meant to be broken. So now, my clients explain their favorite space, picture, vacation, store, color, fabric, texture and feeling, designing their own customized style. A recent project is the perfect eclectic example. When the project was complete, the customers’ personality was clearly present as soon as you walked in the door, providing just the feeling and emotions they were seeking. Each new item blended perfectly with the old, making the design combination unique and in keeping with the home’s architecture. 70

Furnishings from stores like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware were fused with antiques and whimsical pieces. Many case goods were customized for the space while traditional lighting and modern décor found a designated place. To call this “modern ranch” is a possibility, with singlestory living and open layouts. The floor plan maximizes daylight and provides natural ventilation, with the main areas centering informally around the kitchen. In the living room, a wall of sliding glass doors brings the outdoors in, opening to the back deck that overlooks the city. The balance of color and texture add warmth to what is a very airy floor plan. The grouping of traditional and contemporary could be considered transitional in style. And at the end of the day, it matched the clients perfectly. 

PREMIER HOMES Birch Bay $488,000 | MLS# 1202402 Top floor luxury condo which will be sold furnished! Open spacious floor plan, upscale finishes throughout, gourmet kitchen, high ceilings, 2 bd/2ba, beautiful master suite w/jetted soaking tub, walk in shower, & closet. Private balcony accessed from living room or master bedroom with spectacular panoramic bay views. Perfect full time living or private getaway, come relax & enjoy!


Karen Timmer Windermere Real Estate 360.410.0848

$798,000 | MLS# 1170057

Gorgeous custom built home by West Coast Homes. 4,476 sq. ft. of high end finishes throughout, trending interior design, with mountain & valley views, gourmet kitchen, imported Australian Essa stone, main floor master suite, 5 bd/3.5 ba, office, craft rm/gym, mud room, AC, 2nd kitchen in bsmnt, perfect mother in law suite. Covered outdoor patio, in ground trampoline, raised garden beds & fruit trees, easy care landscaping, plus so much more!

Karen Timmer Windermere Real Estate 360.410.0848

Bellingham $865,000 | MLS# 1190479

Classy Custom on 5 acres w/ Mt. Baker view! 4363 sf of quality,3 bds,3.5 baths, ALL MAIN FLOOR LIVING + 40’x16’ greatrm on upper level w/bdrm+bath. Spacious master w/heated floor & steam shower. 2nd bdrm w/bath. 3rd bdrm/office +den. Incredible kitchen w/ granite island, Subzero fridge, &breakfast nook. Formal dining room + family room w/fireplace & gorgeous built-ins. All only 12 mins to town!

Dawn Durand Windermere Real Estate 360.739.3380


$769,000 | MLS# 1115416

Gorgeous home--ideal 18th fairway location--has a fabulous floor plan with friendly kitchen/breakfast nook and warm and inviting family room. Main floor living in this custom design with incredible detailed craftsmanship. Striking design--a comfortable casual feel this well built custom home features exceptional mill work, crown molding and furniture grade cabinets. Space for everyone with 3 private guest quarters. Fairway viewing deck captures tee to green beauty! Luxury and Value at this price!

Kathy Stauffer Windermere, Managing Broker 360.815.4718

November 2017 71

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DINE 8 Great Tastes · Dining Guide · Mixing Tin · Sip

The Original Farm-to-Table Nell Thorn Waterfront Bistro & Bar WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY CATHERINE TORRES


a Conner’s Nell Thorn has been serving locally sourced food before it was trendy. It is one of the original farm-to-table restaurants in the area, thanks to forwardthinking owners, Casey and Susan Schanen. The husband-wife team are natives of Skagit Valley and have extensive food and wine backgrounds. The couple met about 25 years ago at the Wild Iris Inn, where both worked. The pair teamed up to establish Cafe Flats, a small bistro inside the inn, exclusively for hotel guests. There, the couple’s idea of running a restaurant with locally sourced food gained momentum. Casey and Susan both grew up on farms, and had mentors who were exploring the idea of farm-to-table-style restaurants. The concept creates sustainability within a community — customers eat at restaurants that source from local farms. Everyone supports each other in the chain, so it’s easy to see how, as Casey describes it, “A restaurant that focused on its local food shed was a great way to be part of the community.” … continued on next page

So Casey and Susan set off to establish a restaurant focused on local food. In 2001 Nell Thorn opened with tables covered in white tablecloths. Without a reputation, potential customers assumed white tablecloths meant expensive fine dining. After seeing too many people come in, look around, and decide they didn’t want an expensive meal or weren’t dressed for the venue, the Schanens decided to ditch the tablecloths. They set out to tone down the atmosphere but not the food. The decor turned a bit more casual, but the Pacific Northwest-style menu retained its quality ingredients, cooked from scratch with French and Italian techniques. Interestingly, today many frequent customers will describe Nell Thorn as fine dining, choosing it for special occasions and dressing up for dinner. There isn’t a white tablecloth in sight, but the quality of the food, drinks, and service translate into a fine dining experience. In Nell Thorn’s kitchen, you’ll find only three things in cans: coconut milk, tomatoes, and olive oil. Ingredients are fresh, clean, sustainable, organic if available, and locally sourced. Everything is cooked from scratch, including their fresh pastas, stocks, and locally grown and dried beans. If you visit at the right time of year, you’ll get a taste of fresh-shell beans. These fresh beans are encased in drying, sometimes shriveled, pods. The season for the fresh-shell beans lasts for about a month and Nell Thorn makes the most of the beans’ wonderfully creamy texture and fresh flavors. What sets Nell Thorn apart from other restaurants in the area is their supplier relationships. Casey and Susan have been working with an extensive list of local growers and fishermen for about a decade. Keep in mind when they first started, farm-to-table wasn’t the movement it is now. It was barely an idea. Some of Nell Thorn’s earliest customers were farmers who understood the social and culinary benefits of locally sourced food. In turn, building relationships with the suppliers required a personal touch. “You have to be sensitive to the unique needs of each supplier,” said Casey. Some are actual businesses while others answer business calls on a home phone. Schanen described getting to know his suppliers: their children, their hobbies, the vacation rhythms and weekend trips to visit family or attend a kid’s soccer game. It’s a more personable way to do business and helps build the social component of a community-focused restaurant. Thanks to the abundance of fresh local ingredients, Nell Thorn’s menu rotates seasonally and features daily specials. There are a number of fan favorites, like the Dungeness crab pasta, which swaps ingredients seasonally like sweet corn in summer and hearty squash in winter, and the seasonal pot stickers that are filled with fresh vegetables. If you can’t settle on a starter, choose the crispy polenta cakes. A fan favorite, they’ve been on the menu since Nell Thorn was established. For salads, they have three house dressings: champagne vinaigrette, pumpkin-seed vinaigrette, and a creamy gorgonzola dressing, together offering versatility in complementing the seasonal ingredient-topped salads. The quiche is executed well with fluffy eggs and a flaky, light crust, while the no-fuss Nell Burger has simple toppings that don’t overburden the perfectly cooked, juicy meat patty.


Since Nell Thorn is seafood-heavy, trying one of their seafood dishes is a must. Usually their daily specials take into account the freshest catches, but on the menu you’ll usually find some kind of seafood pasta, filet-topped salad, and oysters. Don’t forget a drink with your meal. The bar serves an extensive wine list of domestic and European bottles, 16 local beers are on draft, and the seasonal cocktail menu is crafted with careful consideration. Non-alcoholic choices include seasonal fruit shrubs, made with fruit, sugar, and vinegar they’re slightly sweet with a pleasant vinegary zing. If you leave Nell Thorn feeling satisfied, but not weighed down, the Schanens consider their jobs done well. The outside patio is an ideal place to spend a lazy, sunny autumn afternoon, and the casual bar area is perfect for a cozy dinner. Nell Thorn’s popular waterfront dining room only seats about 30, so if you want a view with your dinner, it’s a good idea to make a reservation. If you just want a delicious meal made with local ingredients, then walking in gets you a seat in the bistro, bar, or patio, all ideal settings to enjoy a locally grown meal.  116 S. 1st St., La Conner 360.466.4261 |

DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater

Tried-and-true favorites include Smashed Avocado Toast and Benton’s Benedict.   PRIMA BISTRO French

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner

A quintessential South Whidbey dining ­experience in the heart of Langley, Prima Bistro marries gourmet French cuisine and classic Northwest ingredients. Fried Spanish Marcona Almonds arrive steaming hot, glisteningly crisp and in a glory of flavor — and just in time a glass of Pinot Grigio. The selection of reds and whites offer options for connoisseurs of every stripe, along with a full bar. The Burgundy Snails in Herb Butter taste delightfully creamy, with an uncharacteristically soft, yet enjoyable texture. The Bistro Burger is a juicily grilled patty of Oregon beef, topped with a deliciously thick slice of melted white Cheddar; a burger made in heaven! For fabulous food, elegant ambience, and world-class views, be sure to visit the Prima on your next visit to Whidbey Island.

. . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at

201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060,




Overlooking the scenic Penn Cove in the center of old Coupeville, Toby’s Tavern offers diners a dive bar ambience with a delicious menu of seafood favorites. Their famous bowls of Penn Cove mussels — served by the pound! — come fresh from the adjacent cove, and keep shellfish connoisseurs clamoring for a regular fix. Steamed and soaked in a scrumptious mix of simple seasonings, wine, and juices, Toby’s robust offering of mussels makes for a memorable visit. Fish and chips arrive hot, deliciously flaky, and generous in size, with sides of sweet coleslaw and fries deserving mention for their merit. For those waiting among the weekend crowd of regulars, a giant chocolaty brownie will drive your mind insane, and keep your appetite satisfied before the main course earns its way into the dining room.

107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island 360.376.2291, Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Café. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their philosophy of taking good care of their visitors by providing world-class seafood and vegetarian dishes. Choose from breakfast, lunch, and dinner selections such as Huevos Rancheros with free range, organic over-easy eggs with black beans on griddled corn tortillas, Goat Cheese French Toast, or the Pan Roasted Troller Point King Salmon.

8 Front St., Coupeville 360.678.4222,


It’s hard to beat the view of the ferry landing, marina and San Juan Channel from Friday Harbor House, the hotel and restaurant elevated over the water to provide a sweeping panorama of water and sky. The restaurant’s new “Brunch on the Bluff” allows you to linger over the view while experiencing island dining at a high level. If you like, you can also have a drink — San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor House is one of the few island restaurants to offer a full bar at brunch every day of the week. Executive chef Jason Aldous, known for his use of Pacific Northwest ingredients and seasonal dishes, developed new menu offerings that include eggs benedict and Belgian waffles, along with pork belly egg fried rice.


12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes 360.588.3800, Located within the casino, 13moons is sure to catch your attention. Situated on the waterfront, 13moons has a warm and inviting lodge atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety including first plates, entree salads, seafood, and steaks. We started our meal with generous pours of wine, then moved on to the roasted beet salad. I am always skeptical of this dish, as it needs to be just right, and they did not disappoint. The filet mignon was cooked to perfection and mouth-watering. This is a great choice for an evening out. You will walk away satisfied, and you’ll understand why it is becoming the go-to place for locals and visitors alike.

130 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.8455,


favorites like Veal Marsala and Chicken Picatta. The cocktail list includes old favorites and some fun offerings like the Crantini and a rhubarb margarita. Top off a meal with crème brûlée — a light, room-temperature custard topped with a layer of burnt sugar.

. . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch

. . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating

Dining Guide

VINNY’S Seafood 165 W. St., Friday Harbor 360.378.1934 Ciao! Vinny’s welcomes diners to their Friday Harbor Ristorante, mirroring the feel of this warm Italian restaurant. Dishes change monthly and reflect the desire to serve simple, gourmet Pacific Northwest seafood, and modern comfort Italian. Appetizers of Fior de Latte — a caprese salad — and mushroom medley (mushrooms with a Marsala demi-glace and cambozola cheese) are perfect for sharing and leave space for a summery Capellini Mediterranea (prawns and clams in a light white wine and olive oil sauce). As well as a good selection of pastas, Vinny’s has seafood and meat entrées, many of them traditional

ANELIA’S KITCHEN Polish 513 South 1st St., La Conner 360.399.1805, A welcoming atmosphere, local food prepared with care, and great music make Anelia’s Kitchen & Stage a must-visit. The more than 25 house-infused Polish vodkas and myriad of local beers on tap will make you wonder why you didn’t visit sooner. Na zdrowie!   BASTION BREWING COMPANY American 12529 Christianson Rd., Anacortes 360.399.1614, On the Bastion Brewing Company menu you’ll find classic salads like Cobb and Garden, no fuss burgers that can be gussied up with an array of add-ons including roasted jalapeños, onion straws, pineapple, and crispy chicken wings drenched in your choice of sauce. I ordered a fried fish sandwich with a side of onion rings. The food arrived to my table quickly, impressively quickly. Even more impressive was the quality of this fast-made food. Hot, crispy onion rings accompanied the equally crisp fried fish. A soft bun held the sandwich together. Biting through the Pankocrusted exterior revealed a succulent, flaky fish filet. Sandwich toppings were meant to complement the fish: fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, tangy pickles, and unassuming melted Swiss cheese. Halfway through the soft bun gave

November 2017 75

lovitt restaurant Slow Food • Good Food •Real Food

Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour. Now live music on the weekends. Check our website for more info.


1114 Harris Ave., Fairhaven 360.671.7143|

Booking holiday parties now!

Locations in Bellingham, Lynden, & Everson!

4260 Cordata Parkway #107 Bellingham | 360.756.5055 Friday & Saturday 11am - 12pm | Sunday - Thursday 11am - 10pm

A modern, sophisticated interpretation of ancient mead. Enjoy a unique combination of environmentally friendly honey and history in our playful and subtle wines crafted artisanally in small batches. Come see what the “buzz” is about!

21113 16th Avenue, Langley BC Canada V2Z 1K3 604.510.2336 | Hours: 11–6 Daily, May–Oct. Open Friday–Sunday, Nov.–April

Restaurant Review


Modern Cabin Atmosphere Meets Country Cuisine The Birch Door Cafe WRITTEN BY KATE GALAMBOS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY PAT MCDONNELL


he Birch Door Cafe does not fall short on charm, variety, or serving size. Once you open the massive birch door and enter the spacious lobby, you’ll immediately be greeted by friendly service and enchanting smells. Opened in June 2017, the restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch enthusiasts will be delighted by the three pages of breakfast options. Dishes include traditional pancake breakfast platters, French-style baked omelets, egg scrambles and benedicts, and plenty more. For those of us looking for a less intimidating plate size, the menu lists several “lighter fare” options that include juice and coffee with your

meal. These smaller plates run at about $13, while most of the other breakfast options range from $13 to $15 and do not include juice or coffee. However, the most famous item on the menu is the apple pancake. The 3-inch-tall soufflé-style pancake is filled with fresh apples and piled high with a cinnamon sugar glaze. Listen for the ringing of the kitchen bell every time one of these massive breakfasts is served. The Northwestern Eggs Benedict hits the sweet spot between too heavy and not enough. Wild Pacific smoked salmon atop a toasted English muffin is accompanied by a heaping of homemade Hollandaise and two poached eggs. When it comes to Eggs Benedict, it is all about the Hollandaise,

and the Northwestern delivers. The sauce is creamy and full of complex flavor, never approaching bland. All Benedict dishes are served with your choice of three buttermilk pancakes or breakfast-style potatoes. Owners Casey and Taria Nagler have the restaurant business in their blood. Casey’s parents, brother, and sister all operate café-style eateries around Washington. It is no wonder The Birch Door Cafe emulates such a family environment. With a dining room that seats 126, the space is designed for large gatherings of friends and family.  4192 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.306.8598 | November 2017 77

DINE Sips of the Season



n a warm mid-September afternoon, we gathered at 13moons in Swinomish Casino and Lodge for the month’s Sips of the Season. Chef Andrew Bighouse delighted our taste buds with seasonal offerings while Mike Burns paired beers for each course, complementing the flavors on the dish with those in the glass. The first course, salty prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and mozzarella with sweet oven-roasted tomatoes, was served with a malt forward Kulshan Amber. The beer is not-toohoppy and on the lighter side with a clean finish, making it an excellent starter beer. Burns explained how he pairs drinks to enhance food, not compete. He suggested tasting the food, then sipping the beer, and trying the food again. Even eating the different components on the plate in between sips can bring a new appreciation for the dish. A bite of just asparagus and a swish of beer brought out the stalk’s freshness while a bite of the tomatoes started sweet and ended pleasantly tart. Burns also added there’s no right or wrong when it comes to pairing, it’s simply what you enjoy. But as a guideline, he recommends pairing based on power: light food goes well with light beer, heavy with heavy. The salad course consisted of bitter endive leaves arranged in a lovely starburst on the plate. Sprinkled on top were bits of rich gorgonzola, sweet Pink Lady apple slices, whole hazelnuts, and a sherry vinaigrette. A slightly hoppy Kulshan Pilsner complemented the endive’s bitterness well, while playing perfectly with the strong gorgonzola notes and subtle hazelnut bites. 78

The third course was a bowl of sweet, creamy roasted butternut squash soup with a heaping pile of pecan-wood smoked Dungeness crab in the middle, garnished with a drizzle of truffle oil. With so many flavor components (sweet, smoky, earthy), only a strong, flavorful beer is up to the challenge. Burns chose Bale Breaker’s Field 41, an American pale ale on the hoppier and bitter side that downplays the soup’s sweetness, brings out more of the crab’s smokiness, and complements the soup’s lusciousness. Next up came a dish that blew guests away: slow-braised, fall-off-the-bone tender short ribs atop a bed of creamy Cambozola polenta served with steamed broccolini, and a rich cherry reduction. The flavors were big and needed an even bigger-flavored beer. Burns poured us Iron Horse’s Irish Death. The rich, Irish-style stout’s caramel, bitter, and roasted notes paired exceptionally well with the rich meat and sweet, almost tart, cherry sauce. For dessert, we shifted gears to Moka Joe Coffee, specifically a cup of Cafe Femenino medium roast. The coffee has a medium acidity and delicate milk chocolate notes that worked well with the rich hazelnut chocolate mousse Chef Bighouse served. Layered with crunchy hazelnut biscotti crumbs and fluffy lemon mascarpone mousse, this dessert was decadent. The coffee help cut some of the richness without sacrificing flavor. It was a very sweet ending to an incredible meal. We’d like to thank 13moons for hosting September’s Sips of the Season, Mike Burns for his tasty beer pairings, and Moka Joe Coffee for rounding out our meals with a great brew. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Dungeness Crab Bale Breaker Field 41 Pale Ale

Moka Joe Coffee

1st Course 5th Course

4th Course

Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut Biscotti Trifle

Apple Endive Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts Kulshan Pilsner

3rd Course

Kulshan Amber

2nd Course

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

Braised Short Rib with Cherry Port Wine Demi Glace Iron Horse Porter





November 2017 79


Hellam’s Brings Out the Best in Wine Retail WRITTEN BY DAN RADIL


icture an average wine shop owner and you might envision a bespectacled, somewhat snobby old man who essentially turned his personal bottle-collecting hobby into a 9-to-5 entrepreneurship. Jeff Hellam of Hellam’s Vineyard, a wine shop and wine bar in LaConner, couldn’t be further from that stereotype. He’s a rare mix of someone who acquired both technical knowledge and practical experience within the wine industry before he started his business. Today he operates a successful retail outlet where wellseasoned wineophiles, casual wine drinkers, and out-of-town visitors can stop in, taste wine, have a nosh, and purchase a variety of affordable bottles in an unpretentious atmosphere. GETTING FROM THERE TO HERE A Washington native who grew up in Issaquah, Hellam earned a hospitality-focused bachelor’s degree at Washington State University before eventually making the jump to the wine industry. He cites an old high school friend, Scott Moeller (currently the winemaker at Novelty Hill-Januik Wineries in Woodinville), as a major perpetrator in getting him “bit by the wine bug.” Moeller connected Hellam with Chinook Winery in Prosser, where he worked his first crush in 2002. “I was only making $10 an hour (there) and never happier,” he recalls with a laugh. From there he worked primarily in wine chemistry as a lab tech at the WSU Research Station in Prosser, and then as a self-described “business operations manager/events coordinator/harvest worker” at Kestrel Vintners, also in Prosser. When Kestrel winemaker C.R. Sandidge moved on to the Chelan area in 2004, Hellam says, “I was at a crossroads at that point in time. Do I go to work for another winery; do I start my own label? Or maybe do I do a bottle shop, because I had all this knowledge and information that I felt could help explain wine to customers.” The answer came later that year when his parents, who had retired to Anacortes, came upon an available space in nearby LaConner that, coincidentally, had previously been occupied by a wine shop. “They called me…and said there was a ‘For Rent’ sign in the window. That was my ‘aha!’ moment,” Hellam says. He and his wife, Paige, took the plunge and signed a lease for the space in October of 2004. As for deciding on a wine shop called “Hellam’s Vineyard” when there wasn’t a grape vine in sight, Hellam credits his dad with suggesting the name. He said, “You don’t have rows of vines but you have rows of bottles. I told him that was the 80

cheesiest thing I ever heard, but I love it. So that’s what we went with.” CHALLENGES AND SPECIALTIES The Hellams have gradually expanded their space from 400 to 2,500 square feet, including a deck with outdoor seating overlooking the Swinomish Channel. But things haven’t always been smooth sailing. “It was a little scary during the recession. LaConner was like a ghost town. But I knew this was a special location… and our customers really rallied when they knew we needed their support,” he said. Today that support includes a wine club of about 350, many who have been members for five to 10 years. “There’s also a beer club and a cider club, too,” Hellam says. “All of our members get detailed notes on each bottle; food pairing recommendations, cellaring advice, history of the winery or brewery,” etc. Ever the information-gatherer, Hellam spearheads tours to France, Spain or Italy each year. “The tours are really unique because they’re not with a tour company, they’re with wine importers. So when we do these trips we’re going behindthe-scenes to these little boutique, small, family-owned and operated properties where customers can order wines that are shipped to Seattle and no one has to pay shipping charges.” “Our Italian selection at the wine store is strong, and that’s by virtue of us doing 14 tours to Italy. The majority of wines we have are from wineries we’ve been to.” Hellam also feels that the store carries a good selection of French wines and excels at featuring a great variety of Northwest boutique wineries. And what gives Hellam’s Vineyard that special edge over an “ordinary” wine shop? “You can come to Hellam’s and learn about a bottle of wine rather than (me) just trying to sell the most expensive bottle. It’s a different approach, but anyone can pick up a bottle and say, ‘This is good.’ It’s important to me to say why it’s good.” Hellam’s Vineyard is located at 109 1st Street in LaConner and open seven days a week from 11:30 am to 6:30 pm (Closed Tuesdays from October through February). Recommendations currently available at Hellam’s: Motorosso 2015 Red Blend (about $12) — This “kitchen sink” Sangiovese-based blend with a somewhat tacky label makes a great middle-of-the-week red wine. Saint Hilaire 2015 Blanquette de Limoux Brut (about $17) and Edmond Thery L’Or Brut Chardonnay (about $20) — The Saint Hilaire is an exceptional value and Hellam says the L’Or is like having a “party in a bottle.” Pertinace 2014 Nebbiolo (about $22) — One of Hellam’s favorite varietals, this one is great with wild mushroom risotto or rack of lamb and it beats a Barbaresco at twice the price. Lost River Winery 2013 Massif (about $30) — This Washington Malbec/Syrah blend practically demands a contemplative mood, a cigar, and a good book. Five Star Cellars 2012 Quinque Astrum (about $33) — A Washington super-Tuscan that Hellam feels resembles more of an Old World-style blend than a Walla Walla fruit bomb.  109 N. 1st St., Suite 101, La Conner 360.466.1758 |

way, turning my sandwich into a five-napkin sort of meal in the best way possible.   CALICO CUPBOARD American 901 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.293.7315 720 S. 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4451 121-B Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon, 360.336.3107, Since 1981, Calico Cupboard has been serving the purest, most heart-healthy, and high-quality ingredients. Made with freshly milled, organically-grown, whole grain and unbleached flour, the cafe aims to promote its local farmers and gratify your body in the process. Sit down for breakfast or lunch, or just order from the bakery and grab an espresso to go. From cream puffs to eclairs to gluten-free berry crisp to cinnamon rolls — the bakery more than satisfies your sweet tooth. On weekend mornings, there may be a wait. However, the food is worth it — with options ranging from omelets to hashes to focaccia sandwiches to burgers. Calico Cupboard will leave you full, but feeling homey, healthy, and happy.   CONWAY PUB & EATERY American 18611 Main St., Conway 360.445.4733 Don’t let tiny Conway fool you — this pub packs big flavor. Though the town is unincorporated, business is never slow in this watering hole. Farmers often come here after a hard day’s work, as well as bikers making a pit stop on a scenic weekend ride. Their food matches their patrons’ big appetites, such as the blue cheese burger topped with crisply, fried shoestring onions or the mouthwatering oyster burger. Packed with flavor and Americana spirit, Conway Pub & Eatery is a Skagit Valley icon.   GREEK ISLANDS RESTAURANT Greek 2001 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6911 Some of the very best Greek food in our area, Greek Islands does not disappoint. Enjoy favorites like mousaka and souvlaki from the versatile and excellent menu. The food is incredible, the service warm, and the restaurant is inviting.   THE LOFT Northwest, American & Seafood 1801 Roeder Ave., Bellingham 360.306.5668, In a world of freeze-dried and processed pre-packaged foods, The Loft strives to be the exception. From the fresh, locally caught salmon and halibut, to the cage-free organic eggs, they believe the ingredients make the dish. Their dressings, sauces, and seasoning are all from scratch, with original recipes using fresh, local, organic products as often as the seasons allow.

CULINARY EVENTS Chowder by the Channel November 4, 3–6 p.m. Come and be a part of the 16th annual fundraiser and sample more than a dozen local restaurants’ chowders. Admission is free and an $8 donation lets you sample each restaurant’s signature chowder and choose your winner. Once you cast your vote you receive a free 8 oz. bowl from your favorite vendor. All proceeds will be donated to the La Conner Little Braves Club after school program. La Conner Middle School gym 306 N. 6th St., La Conner |

Create Wine and Food Pairings November Saturdays, 1–4 p.m. Unsure what goes with what? Want to learn more about area offerings? The folks at Culinary Creations can help. Using local produce and products, they’ll guide you on how to make your wine and food pairings sing, and what appetizers go best with red and best with white. Afterward, relax and enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Culinary Creations 1201 11th St., Bellingham |

Dunham Cellars Winemaker’s Dinner November 10, 6 p.m. Accompany Sommelier Tyler Tennyson for some of Washington’s best local food and wine. Enjoy five courses and five fine wines for Coho Restaurant’s last winemaker dinner of 2017. Featured on the locally inspired menu: crab tater tots, smoked duck ravioli, beef Wellington with a mushroom duxelles, braised leg of lamb, and an apple upside-down cake for dessert. Coho Restaurant 120 Nichols St., Friday Harbor |

Hops on the Rock November 11, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. More than a dozen small artisan breweries are coming together from around the Northwest to charming Prune Alley to celebrate local and regional breweries. Local breweries, including Bellingham’s Aslan Brewing Company, will showcase regional breweries’ talents and crafts alongside local chefs to celebrate and kick off “NovemBeer.” Prune Alley Eastsound, Orcas Island |

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NELL THORN Seafood 116 1st St., La Conner 360.466.4261,

5th Street Bistro

Nell Thorn is seafood-heavy, so trying one of their seafood dishes is a must. Usually their daily specials take into account the freshest catches, but on the menu you’ll usually find some kind of seafood pasta, filet topped salad, and oysters. If you can’t settle on a starter, choose the crispy polenta cakes. The quiche is executed well with fluffy eggs and a flaky, light crust, while the no-fuss Nell Burger has simple toppings that don’t overburden the perfectly cooked, juicy meat patty.

The Naughty Schoolgirl INGREDIENTS Pama, 360 Raspberry Vodka, lemon juice and splash of Sprite, $7.50

SALT & VINE French 913 6th St., Anacortes 360.293.2222, An international cheese, wine and charcuterie shop, Salt & Vine offers the best of both worlds. It’s a boutique artisan grocery where you can sit down and enjoy the offerings, and then, if anything tickles your fancy, you can take some home with you to enjoy later. Salt & Vine is a prime location for a midday snack, or a stop after an evening stroll on the docks. While some choose to grab-n-go, others choose to stay a while. Salt & Vine offers a cozy, intimate environment for enjoying a date night or a happy hour with friends.   SEEDS BISTRO Regional NW

© Catherine Torres

623 Morris St., La Conner 360.466.3280,


lthough the name may make you blush, the Naughty Schoolgirl from Anacortes’s 5th Street Bistro in the Majestic Inn & Spa is perfect for when you’re feeling, well, naughty. The vodka-based raspberry lemon drink is slightly tart and conjures a pleasant pucker after each sip. It’s a pretty pink drink garnished with a lime slice and orchid, making it a must for special occasions and any celebration involving a group of women. It’s a light drink, so pairs well with lighter dishes, perhaps a salad or the bistro’s seared sea scallops. The sweet scallops bring out the cocktail’s floral


notes, while the melody of roasted potatoes, peppers, and zucchini helps cut the tart flavor. And if you need a reason to order a decadent chocolate treat (and who does?), its raspberry notes pair well with the Bistro’s Chocolate Bombe dessert: chocolate mousse inside butter pound cake, all encased in chocolate ganache. The Naughty Schoolgirl goes down easily, so don’t be surprised if you want to ask for seconds. A couple of these cocktails and you’ll be ready to dance, and maybe even flirt with a stranger.  419 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.299.1400 |

Seeds Bistro in La Conner is a celebration of the fresh bounty of food offered in Skagit County. It offers simple dishes that highlight the fresh, exciting ingredients found throughout the Pacific Northwest. The menu features local selections rotating with the seasons. The macaroni and cheese features Northwestfavorite Cougar Gold cheese with a buttercrumb crust. Burgers are juicy, cooked perfectly, and served on homemade potato buns with the smallest bit of crunch and a fluffy interior. The whole family can enjoy Seeds’ offerings — comfort foods satisfy children’s desires while more intricate food items appease fastidious palates.

WHATCOM THE BIRCH DOOR CAFÉ American 4192 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.306.8598, The Birch Door Cafe does not fall short on charm, variety, or serving size. Brunch enthusiasts will be delighted by the three pages of breakfast options. Dishes include traditional pancake breakfast platters, French-style baked omelets, egg scrambles and Benedicts, and plenty more. When it comes to Eggs Benedict, the Northwestern delivers. The sauce is creamy and full of complex flavor, never approaching

Dining Guide



bland. The most famous item on the menu is the apple pancake. The 3-inch-tall soufflé-style pancake is filled with fresh apples and piled with high with a cinnamon sugar glaze. Listen for the ringing of the kitchen bell every time one of these massive breakfasts is served.


HOMESKILLET American 521 Kentucky St., Bellingham 360.676.6218, Owners Tina and Kirby named their restaurant after one of their favorite lines in the movie Juno, when the main character calls a store clerk “homeskillet.” The skillets on their menu came afterward, but are now one of the eatery’s most popular items. A small skillet is filled with perfectly-fried potatoes, eggs, and toppings you choose. Try Tina and Kirby’s personal favorite: the poutine, home fries smothered in traditional gravy, topped with fried eggs, and cheese. Homeskillet can’t be beat with its friendly service, colorful atmosphere and ultimate comfort food.

The following selections have made it past our taste bud test and into our top eight this issue. Step out and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.


SCOTTY BROWNS North American Cuisine 3101 Newmarket St., Bellingham 360.306.8823 Scotty Browns offers an edgy, energetic ambiance, a varied menu of mainstream and upscale creations, and excellent drink options for all ages. Outdoor dining is a popular alternative during warmer weather. The selection of beer, wine, and cocktails is broad enough to accommodate most any mood. If you are into martinis or cosmos, try the Mr. Pink. The name is a little unnerving to order if you are male, but worth the leap of faith. Some items on the menu, like appetizers, change seasonally, so you know you’ll never get bored. Casual to upscale dining options range from hamburgers, rice bowls, and pastas to higher-end seafood and steaks.

2 3

TEMPLE BAR Bistro 306 W. Champion St.,Bellingham, 360.676.8660, Continually recognized for their craft cocktails and small plates, Temple Bar aims to please. Begin with the classic Temple Bar cheese plate, a collection of three rotating cheeses varying in texture and flavor. They are often paired with fruit, honey, toasted nuts, and bread. Next, dive into a piping hot gratin, which varies based on what is in season. In between bites of a salad made with locally sourced ingredients, sip on a unique cocktail with house made infusions and bitters. Finally nibble on the chocolate chili muffins: the perfect end to a charming experience.


The Fork at Agate Bay serves a mouthwatering Whiskey-Brined Porterhouse Chop from their cozy restaurant on the east side of Lake Whatcom. The dish is paired with grilled broccolini and Dijon au jus.


The Phad Se Ew at one of Bellingham’s newest Thai restaurants, Wanida, is a spicy and savory noodle plate that’s sure to please. Try it with a creamy Thai iced tea and your taste buds will come alive


For a traditional breakfast with a new twist, try The Mount Bakery’s Traditional Benny. It’s everything you love about Eggs Benedict piled high on a crispy Belgian waffle with roasted potatoes.


Peanut Butter Pie from the Colophon Cafe in Fairhaven is about as comforting as comfort food can be. Imagine thick and creamy peanut butter filling covered in chocolate and sprinkled with peanuts on a crumbly chocolate crust and try not to drool.


The Filling Station, one of Fairhaven’s most popular gasstation themed restaurants, serves a parmesan chicken burger called The Ferrari. Basil aioli, provolone, arugula, tomato and avocado on a parmesan-crusted bun. Tasty. Westside Pizza’s Tropical Heat pie delivers sweetness and a kick — jalapeños and pineapple mingle with classic pepperoni and sausage toppings, seasoned with basil and parmesan. You’ll like the BBQ chicken pizza too. It’s safe to say The Loft’s Smash Burger, made with petit filet mignon, jalapeños, bacon, onion and cheese, is a cut above the rest. Here’s your warning — the burger has a bit of a bite, so it’s best to grab something to drink too. Even though we’re a few minutes south of the Canadian border, Bellingham residents can still enjoy Waffle Fry Poutine at Aslan Brewing. Their tasty take on the dish comes with cheese curds and mushroom gravy.

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Entertainment IS OUR GAME


CAS INO • RESO RT • On I-5 at Exit 236 • 877-275-2448 Must be 21 or older with valid ID. Details at Rewards Club. Management reserves all rights. ©2017 Upper Skagit Indian Tribe dba Skagit Valley Casino Resort.

AGENDA Fall Arts · Listings · The Scene · Final Word



he fall arts season is still underway, just as the holiday shows kick into high gear. That’s fine, because as nature’s curtain drops on our daylight, we appreciate the bright lights of showtime, and the intellectual exercise that a museum or art gallery can provide. The draw of theater, dance and music can make the long nights of November and early winter seem less gloomy. Here are our picks for entertainment around the North Sound.  … continued on the next page

art © Michael Peterson, Costal Stack | San Juan Islands Museum Salutes the Forest

AGENDA Fall Arts

Sculpture, Glass Art, “Hidden” Narratives THROUGH JANUARY 7, 2018

The Museum of Northwest Art is hosting three inspiring exhibitions. First, peruse Portland-based sculptor Mel Katz’s crossover from painting to sculpture in “Choices.” The collection is filled with bold, colorful abstract pieces. A combination of painting and sculpture, “Choices” examines a way for art to evolve and be freed from definition. Also being shown is Raven Skyriver’s “Submerge” exhibition. It’s a collection of glass art in the form of Pacific Northwest animals. Skyriver will be hosting a discussion panel on November 4 at 2 p.m. Then, learn more about artwork in the “Hidden Narrative” exhibition. The works have been pulled from the museum’s permanent collection for their extra meanings. The exhibition is being shown using Visual Thinking Strategies, or VTS, to deduce extra meaning from the artworks. There will be a VTS curator tour on November 17 at 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Check out the museum’s website for additional educational opportunities. Museum of Northwest Art 121 South First St., La Conner 360.466.4446 | art © Raven Skyriver, Apex

San Juan Islands Museum Salutes the Forest UNTIL NOVEMBER 6

If you haven’t visited the San Juan Islands Museum of Art (SJIMA), do so if just to walk around the modern, spacious building. SJIMA’s current exhibition,”Dialogues From the Forest: Part 3,” explores and honors the Northwest’s natural resources. Featured artists examine what it means to live as one with nature and how humans rely on various natural resources for survival. Featured local artists include Jean Behnke, Michael Peterson, Peter de Lory, Kathy Gore Fuss, and Lee Imonen. See how the artists transform their personal statements on the relationship between humans and nature in the form of abstract sculptures made with wood, paintings, and more. The artists will also be hosting workshops — contact the museum for more information. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, children under 18 years are free. Mondays are pay what you can. San Juan Islands Museum of Art 540 Spring St., Friday Harbor 360.370.5050 |


“Anne of Green Gables” by the Anacortes Community Theatre NOVEMBER 24–DECEMBER 16

The Anacortes Community Theatre (ACT) will be showing a production of the 1908 novel “Anne of Green Gables” from famed playwright Joseph Robinette and directed by Willow McLaughlin. The adaptation of the beloved novel follows the adventures of an imaginative and dramatic orphan girl named Anne. Local talent appears on stage and works behind the scenes for a memorable, community-focused performance. The ACT has been putting on high quality performances since 1964. The non-profit organization strives to showcase local talent and instill a love of acting and creativity in future generations. Tickets are $20 and are available from the box office, Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and two hours before every performance. Anacortes Community Theatre 918 M Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6829 |

Fall Arts

“Tales of Hoffman” by Pacific Northwest Opera


The “Olga Symphony, More or Less” Goes to Good Cause on Orcas


NOVEMBER 24 AND 25, 7:30 PM

Enjoy a night at the opera with a classic performance, “Tales of Hoffmann” by noted French composer Jacques Offenbach. The Pacific Northwest Opera garners exceptional talent in our region and presents fully staged, professional operas, and this one is no exception. The storyline is actually three fantastical stories following one protagonist. It’s based on three tales written by German Romantic poet E.T.A. Hoffmann . Hoffmann is well-known for his seasonal favorite tale, “The Nutcracker.” “Tales of Hoffmann” is an entertaining combination of wit and drama, serious yet funny. The performance is sung in French with English subtitles and will be performed in McIntyre Hall on Friday. Tickets range from $25–$59. If you can’t make “Tales of Hoffmann” check out the PNO’s upcoming performances!

The Olga Symphony annual performance has become a tradition on Orcas Island. The group came together in 1983 on the principles of making non-symphonic music with friends while raising money for charity. The members have never kept any of the monies raised from performances and CD sales. The Olga Symphony members have changed over the years. Currently the group is comprised of Melinda Milligan, Gordon Koenig, JP Wittman, and Anita Orne. Expect to see them perform with a variety of instruments including guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, and a saw. This year their performance, “The Olga Symphony, More or Less” will take place in Orcas Center and include additional musical acts like Mandy Troxel, Tom Rawson, and Mel Urbanozo. Tickets are just $5, and proceeds go to a good cause.

McIntyre Hall 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727 | or

Orcas Center 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281 |

Allied Arts of Whatcom County Holiday Festival of the Arts NOVEMBER 17–DECEMBER 24, 10 A.M. (CLOSED THANKSGIVING DAY)

Over the course of five weeks, 100 regional artisans gather to show off their talents through art, handmade products, and performances. The festival will feature products like jewelry, paintings, wearable art and specialty foods, all at affordable prices. It is a perfect stop for a fun holiday shopping experience. The festival has run for 38 years, making it a staple for the holidays. Beyond just a good stop for your holiday shopping, Allied Arts of Whatcom County aims to connect local arts with the community and support the growth of original arts in our area. Guilt-free shopping plus quality products make for an easy choice for spending this holiday season. Location and program schedule can be found online. 4145 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.676.8548 |

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AGENDA Fall Arts

Art of the American West SEPTEMBER 30–JANUARY 7

The Lightcatcher Museum will host artwork on loan from the Tacoma Art Museum. The threemonth exhibit will display works from the Haub Family Collection of Western American Art, which features 19th-century artists. These historical pieces shaped much of the way the American West was perceived as settlement moved further west. Work by artists like Henry Inman, Paul Kane, and John Mix will be featured. In addition, works by Robert Henri and Georgia O’Keeffe move the exhibit into the 20th century. These pieces offer a look into the minds of Western settlers of the twocentury time period. From landscapes to Native American portraits, the collection shows the difference between the reality and the imagined elements of the American West. Lightcatcher Museum 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930 | art © Joellyn Duesberry

The Met: Live in HD — Adès’ The Exterminating Angel NOVEMBER 26 AT 1 P.M.

The Orcas Center will live-stream The Exterminating Angel for those of us who can’t hit Broadway, but don’t want to miss this beautiful performance. The show will be debuting at The Met as its American premiere. The show was inspired by Luis Buñuel’s film of the same name, which follows a group of high-society friends attending a dinner party that they, inexplicably, can’t leave. The plot aims to uncover the absurdity of the endless rituals of the upper class. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a high-end experience for a lowerticket price. 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281 |






360.734.6080 Mount Baker Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to the performing arts.

AGENDA Fall Arts

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn NOVEMBER 26, 3 P.M.

The Grammy Award-winning folk musician Béla Fleck will pair up with singer-songwriter and wife Abigail Washburn to give their audience a singular experience from likely the most talented banjo pairing in music today. The duo won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album and while they have played for years, that album was their debut as a duo. The show will be filled with songs from their album and the follow-up EP, in addition to each musicians’ vast personal catalogs. While the 2016 album fell into the folk genre, Fleck, the 16-time Grammy Award winner, is adept at multiple genres of music and brings that variety to each show. Audiences will be pleased by the vastness of the duo’s musical abilities. Mount Baker Theater 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 |

Michael Kaeshammer NOVEMBER 18, 7:30 P.M.

Get ready to boogie-woogie to some old-fashioned New Orleans tunes with pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and producer Michael Kaeshammer. Known for getting his audience grooving, Kaeshammer will surely have you keeping the beat throughout his set. German-born and now a Vancouver B.C. resident, he has gained an international audience with his unique musical blends. The performance will include compositions that bring jazz, boogie-woogie, and classical together at a remarkable tempo. Kaeshammer has been heavily influenced by the stride piano styles of Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. His timeless style has earned him two Canadian JUNO Awards and West Coast Music Awards for Musician of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. Mount Baker Theater 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 | 90



If you’ve been looking for a race that encompasses the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer, the Bellingham Trail Marathon is that race. A variety of terrain, lake and forest views, and 5,000 feet of climbing make it a challenge. There is also a half-marathon (13.1 miles) and a kids race. Lake Padden Park 4882 S. Samish Way, Bellingham 39TH ANNUAL FOWL FUN RUN NOVEMBER 11, 10 A.M.

Mount Vernon’s annual Fowl Fun Run ups the ante for the competitive. There’s a plethora of prizes at the end of the 5K and 10K, including oldest and youngest finishers for each race, division winners, and special awards are given to runners who beat Tom Turkey in the 10K. Mount Vernon Christian School 820 W. Blackburn Rd., Mount Vernon 360.982.2934 | GBRC TURKEY TROT 5K NOVEMBER 18, 9 A.M.

Feel better about having thirds at Thanksgiving by running the GBRC Turkey Trot 5K fundraiser. All proceeds will be donated to the Bellingham Food Bank. Parking will be very limited so plan. Squalicum Creek Park 1001 Squalicum Way, Bellingham


Local restaurants compete to be crowned Best Chowder of Skagit Valley. Guests pay an $8 donation for admittance and for as much chowder as they wish to taste. You’ll only be able to vote once, so make it count! La Conner Middle School Gym 305 N 6th St., La Conner 210.422.1253


Book lovers rejoice! It’s time for the 3rd Annual Bellingham Book Festival, where more than 20 local authors gather for readings and discussions. The festival is free and will include kid-friendly activities.


what happens next. Watch your favorite characters embark on an entertaining journey. Everett Performing Arts Center 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett 425.257.8700 | THE GATEWAY SHOW NOVEMBER 5, 8 P.M.

Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080

Five comedians perform their best sets. Then they go to an undisclosed location to get very high, and hit the stage again to perform another set. It’s good times had by all.


This five-week-long festival features 100 artisans from the region. Artisans sell hand-made treasures and on the weekends there’s live music and art workshops for kids. Allied Arts Festival of the Arts 4145 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.676.8548 | allied

The Upfront Theatre 1208 Bay St., Bellingham 360.733.8855 | SHAKESPEARE ROCKS! NOVEMBER 16–18, 7 P.M. & NOVEMBER 19, 2 P.M.

The San Juan Community Theatre Family Theatre is performing a fun play about the discovery of William Shakespeare’s diary. There’ll be singing and plenty of humor — nothing like Hamlet.


At the 6th annual Skagit Wine & Beer Festival, guests will sip wine, beer, and spirits from all over Washington. Gourmet appetizers and chocolate samples will also be served. Eaglemont 4800 Eaglemont Dr., Mount Vernon 360.428.8547 | mountvernonchamber.

San Juan Community Theatre 100 2nd St., Friday Harbor 360.378.3210 |



Stock up on late autumn produce and find unique holiday gifts at the Anacortes Farmers Market Holiday Market. Live music is scheduled and food booths will be set up to keep shoppers entertained and full. Port Warehouse End of Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.293.7922

In this panel discussion, River Art: Painting, Sculpting and Writing Off the Grid, the latest generation of Skagit artists reveal their experiences of creating art while living on the Skagit River. Skagit County Historical Museum 501 4th St., La Conner 360.466.3365 | DOCENT TOUR: PEOPLE OF SEA AND CEDAR NOVEMBER 18, 2:30 P.M.

Learn more about the permanent exhibition, People of the Sea and Cedar: A Journey Through the History and Cultures of the Tribes of the Northwest Coast at the Whatcom Museum.


Lightcatcher Building, Whatcom Museum 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930 |


This musical mash-up of the original Grimm fairytales has audiences guessing

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140+ artisans with unique hand made items, perfect for gift giving and decorating your home for the holidays. Buy your tickets on-line at

Don’t miss this performance by 16-time Grammy winner Bela Fleck and his wife Abigail Washburn, or as Paste Magazine calls them, “The king and queen of the banjo.” The pair have turned their musical talents into magic, being described by NPR’s All Things Considered as “two monsters of the banjo.” Their strong bond comes across on stage and in their songs, with breathtaking ballads and memorable performances common to their concerts. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 MICHAEL KAESHAMMER NOVEMBER 18, 7:30 P.M.

Michael Kaeshammer wows audiences with his musical abilities. A pro pianist, vocalist, composer, arranger, and producer, Kaeshammer has a knack for blending jazz, boogie-woogie, and classical arrangements, resulting in melodies you’ve never heard before. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 | BEETHOVEN’S HEROIC NOVEMBER 19, 3 P.M.

The Whatcom Symphony Orchestra presents one of Beethoven’s most famous works, Eroica, or Heroic, as performed by soloist Amit Peled, who will play the cello. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 |


of the







Thank you Bellingham Alive readership for making B-Town Bellingham’s Best New Restaurant in 2017! We appreciate your business!


Problem Child, the ultimate AC/DC tribute band, will be performing their latest show, “Highway to Hell vs. Back in Black.” They’ve been hailed as one of the world’s most authentic AC/DC tributes, so tickets sell out quickly. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 |



noted pioneers in the heavy metal scene. They’ve earned fame as one of the few heavy metal bands to earn commercial success. Silver Reef Casino 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 866.383.0777 |


Jansen Jazz Band Concert


and singer Kelly Keagy rejoined the band in June after heart surgery.

Kuinka, Finnish for “how,” is challenging the boundaries of the Americana genre. The string band is a unique breed of folk mixed with guitar-rock, and even pop.

Tulalip Resort Casino 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip | 888.272.1111

McIntyre Hall Performing Arts and Conference Centers 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727 |



Don’t miss the first concert of the 2017– 2018 season for the Jansen Jazz Band. Under the direction of Steve Herrick, this 20- to 30-member community band plays a memorable concert. The Chamber Hall at the Jansen Art Center 321 Front St., Lynden 360.354.3600 |


Night Ranger truly epitomizes the sound of the 80s, with their biggest hit, “Sister Christian,” and a handful of other popular songs carrying them a long way. Their reunion in 1996 brought their guitarheavy, melodic brand of hard rock into the 21st century. The new album, “Don’t Let Up” was self-produced. Drummer

NOVEMBER 10–11, 8 P.M.

As one-half of the Judds (mom Naomi retired from performing in 1991 after they became country music’s best-selling duo of all time), Wynonna Judd is one of country’s most popular and respected female stars. Her latest full album, “Wynonna & the Big Noise,” was released in February 2016. The Skagit Casino 5984 Darrk La., Bow The | 877.275.2448

Calling all chocolate lovers! Sample the sweetest chocolate treats from the best chocolatiers in the country. This two-day event is chock full of tastings, cooking demonstrations, and educational lectures. Pier 91 Smith Cover Cruise Terminal 2001 W Garfield St., Seattle BEAUJOLAIS NOUVEAU WINE FESTIVAL NOVEMBER 17, 7 P.M.

The 25th annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival will feature the first wines of the harvest. Guests will enjoy food, spirits, live music, and, of course, wine. Columbia Tower Club 701 5th Ave., Seattle beaujolaisnouveausea


The Beaty Biodiversity Museum presents “Life in Colour,” drawings by Angela Gooliaff. The giant coloring bookstyle mural showcases ecosystems from around the world.


The Tacoma-raised Grammy winner is credited with ushering the blues into the 21st century with his immensely popular records. His new album, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, was released in April.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver 604.827.4955 |

Tulalip Resort Casino 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip | 888.272.1111



Blue Oyster Cult has been performing hard rock for over four decades and are

KURIOS CABINET OF CURIOSITIES Cirque Du Soleil presents this incredible show following the story of an ambitious inventor who turns the world inside out and upside down. Grand Chapeau, Concord Pacific Place 88 Pacific Blvd., Vancouver 604.899.8800 |

November 2017 93

© Dean Davidson

AGENDA The Scene


Best of the Northwest 2017 More than 400 people attended the 2017 Best of the Northwest party at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites on October 6 to celebrate area businesses, agencies and people who won honors in our BONW issue. Readers voted for first-, second-, and third-place winners in 125 categories — the most in the eight-year history of the contest. Winners and supporters enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The hotel’s conference room was transformed into a stylish lounge worthy of a New Year’s Eve bash, and guests left with overflowing swag bags from local businesses. We thank everyone who attended. Let’s do it again next year.

Courtesy of Lydia Love

Photographed by Pat McDonnell

November 2017 95

NOTES Final Word

The Sad State of Guy Love Ken Explores the Emotional Health of Male Relationships WRITTEN BY KEN KARLBERG


ffection toward other males does not come naturally to most men. We are conditioned from birth to show strength, typically physical strength, but most certainly to project strength of any type as a means to the ultimate end — that is, to establish a pecking order amongst ourselves. Who’s the best athlete, the smartest, the most successful, and most emotionally self-sufficient? This manhood formula is tried and true. Find a strength and play to it. Vulnerabilities are to be hidden; feelings are not to be shared. But at what cost? The intra-gender competition may be primal as much as environmental, and the silent sorting of ourselves may be to attract a partner in life as much as for self-esteem. Whatever the origins or motivation, however, the dynamic can be — and often is — an unhealthy trap. Mental and physical strength are admirable attributes, and arguably necessary, attractive qualities in life, for both genders. For men, though, many of us limit our definition of strength to one or two simple measures, like rams butting heads during mating season for the right to be the first in line to procreate. The result? For many, our emotional growth is often stunted, frozen in time. We are prisoners of our childhoods. Whatever we gain from our perception of superiority over others, the loss of any truly deep emotional connectiveness with each other is perhaps even greater. To borrow from a pop-culture saying of the day, men’s concept of strength is often “fake-strength,” and we are worse off for it. 96

The male ability to express feelings and affection toward each other is a learned behavior, first modeled and hopefully nurtured by positive reinforcement from our parents. We would be less than honest, however, if we did not acknowledge that certain negative traits shackle us, as they are handed down from father to son (and yes, from mother to son). Fathers, in particular, tend to struggle to strike a healthy balance between toughness, affection and acceptance when raising sons. Instead of re-examining and re-inventing themselves, they do what they know, the familiar, captive to the modeling of their upbringing. The subtle consequences are often a matter of degree. All of us know a good man who is lovingly dedicated to his dog, but limited in his ability to show emotion or feelings toward women or men. Or he shakes hands when greeting male family members or close male friends without the slightest thought of giving a hug instead. Or perhaps more often, he is only comfortable expressing his feelings to females rather than his own gender, because he fears damaging his perceived standing among men as a dominant, self-sufficient male. And there, in a testosterone-filled nutshell, is the unhealthiest of traps. Men tend to equate the sharing of feelings or affection between males with weakness, and most of us are socialized to never show weakness to each other. Our manly dignity is at risk, or at least that’s our warped perception. Why tear ourselves down when we spent a lifetime establishing our position in the male pecking order? For some, the aversion to sharing is a fear of being miscast as gay. For others, the aversion is simply driven by fear of showing vulnerability. Ultimately, whatever the reason, men are often cut off from each other as a mental health resource in times of emotional crises. At its worst, this unnecessary emotional firewall can lead to tragic circumstances. Compared to women, men do not ask for help well, particularly emotional help. And in the extreme, without an emotional outlet, men can become emotional islands when threatened at a primal level, a virtual pent-up volcano of anger or bitterness. Tragically, murder-suicides by men are all too common in divorces. And yet, who is perhaps best positioned to help in times of uniquely “male” crises, like a husband’s potential loss of the family unit? The answer: Fellow fathers. A guy’s outstretched hand can make “the” difference if men were socialized to reach back without fear, without shame. Instead, the “solution” for some is to end the pain of being rejected violently. One doesn’t even have to point at extreme behavior to fully appreciate that the price for this unhealthy dynamic is a tremendous loss of richness in life — to our gender and to society in general. Fortunately, times are changing. The “tough guy” expectations of males (and by many females as well) that were once commonplace are subsiding, gradually. Of course, instincts are instincts. Males will always compete against each other. However, men are slowly learning that more often than not, acknowledging feelings is a strength, not a weakness, and the mere acknowledgment can lead to selfimprovement. And isn’t that life’s ultimate goal, men — to be the best version of ourselves that we can be? If it isn’t, what is? 

Stay. Play. Dine. Relax. Four Hotel Packages to Choose From…









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The Lightcatcher Building at the Whatcom Museum, located in Bellingham, WA, is the first museum in Washington State to meet LEED Silver-Level specifications.

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