Bellingham Alive | April 2017

Page 1

Farmers Markets APRIL 2017


Be A Tourist In Culinary Kombucha Your Own Town Events Home Brewing

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show off your canines

of the






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FARMERS MARKETS We’ve created a helpful guide that will tell you everything you need to know about the popular markets in the Skagit, San Juan Island, and Whatcom counties. Grab your handy reusable bags and your favorite market companion and start shopping — locally.


64 © C9 Photography

50 WAYS TO BE A TOURIST IN YOUR HOMETOWN There's something to be said about viewing your hometown through an outsider's lens. Here are 50 ways to make the most of our local area — by visiting as a tourist would.

© Cynthia St. Clair

APRIL 2017




Graham Kerr


Living Room Remodel


By the Numbers




Lasting Image




Wonder Woman  Emily O'Connor


In the Know  Kombucha


Community  Max Higbee Center


In the Know  Tomas Vrba Studio


Book Reviews


Who Knew?


Five Faves  Tea Houses


In the Spotlight  Cascadia International Women's

Film Festival


In the Know  Pelican Bay Books


Apricot Lane Boutique


Necessities  Picnic Must-Haves


Around the Sound  Moorea Seal


Savvy Shopper  Pelindaba Lavender Farm


Nutrition  Mindful Eating


Beauty  Spruced Hair and Brow Studio


Farmers Markets


50 Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown


Max Dale's Steak & Chop House


Dining Guide


Review  Good to Go Meat Pies


Sips of the Season  Cosmos Bistro


Sip  Spring Bouquet


Culinary Events

100 Mixing Tin  The Royaltini, The Fireside Martini

& Wine Bar


8 Great Tastes


Featured Event  Garrison Keillor


Out of Town


The Scene  Bellingham Sunrise Rotary Club Oysterfest


Editor's Letter




Letters to the Editor


Meet a Staffer  Catherine Torres


Final Word

April 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 Sipping chocolate, a perfected drink in European cafes, has made its way across the pond. The chocolate connoisseurs Evolve, from Bellingham, have their own take just in time for Easter.

Join us on




NSLife Fashion

International Recipes

Previous digital editions now available online.

NSLife Entertaining



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You won’t find them in ordinary kitchens. Or at ordinary stores. Sub-Zero, the preservation specialist. Wolf, the cooking specialist. You’ll find them only at your local kitchen specialist.

NOTES Editor's Letter


e are creatures of habit. Psychologists say there’s a reason for routine — we go on autopilot to keep from drowning in the mundane, and to free our brains to think about the important stuff. It’s up to us, I guess, whether habits really liberate us for loftier meditation. Do we use this brain time to ponder the meaning of life? Or how long past the sell-by date we can eat that half-jar of salsa? Hard to say. But for a lot of people, it’s true that we create our own daily-life orbits, our universes of routine. We pick a grocery store and stick to it, because it’s faster when you know the aisles. We make a routine of where we work out, get a drink, buy our morning’s hot beverage, walk the dog. Weekends or vacations may bring an occasional foray to another universe. We don’t mean to, but we get in a rut. We have the cure, and it doesn’t have to be spring break. Starting on page 64, we present the feature “How to be a Tourist in Your Hometown.” It’s not a staycation — I never liked that word, because it feels like a contrivance to trick you into feeling better about not actually going on vacation — but a year-round guide to finding the new in the same-old: things you overlook on your way to work, places you want to visit but keep putting off, a new sight to see. It’s hidden stuff, but also places in plain view that you might have forgotten about, or never knew. You might want to hike Oyster Dome. Visit the Bellingham Railway Museum. Inhale at the San Juan Island Lavender Festival. Soak in Baker Hot Springs. Roller skate at Lynden Skateway. Check out local vineyards. Buy, then shuck and eat oysters at Taylor Shellfish Farms. See Camel Safari (yes, for real). You get the idea. The list is a reminder to do, see, visit, or revisit the things that make for special living here in the state’s upper left corner, the places you brag about when friends ask to come visit — before you realize how long since you’ve visited them yourself. It’s also those places that, even if you’ve lived here a long time, you might not have seen or even known about. One of them, the Western Gallery at Western Washington University, is a good example. Tucked in a side building on campus across from the Carver Gym construction project, thousands of students pass it daily. As a one-time adjunct professor, I would make assignments that required a trip there. Some students who had been on campus four years didn’t know it existed, or anything about the everchanging, intriguing exhibits inside. They were too preoccupied, lost in their own orbits. Like many of us. Fight the pull of routine’s gravity and go be a tourist in your hometown. Then make a habit of it. ­—  Meri-Jo Borzilleri


Eric Subong, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship trained retina specialist. Hailing from Baltimore, MD, he received both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland. WELCOME Amador Subong, MD joins Bellingham Retina Specialists after 12 years practicing retina and vitreous surgery for Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. He is a Board-certified ophthalmologist and retina fellowship trained.

Specializing in: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Wet & Dry Macular Degeneration Diabetic Retinopathy Macular Edema Macular Holes Macular Pucker Retinal Vascular Occlusion Retinal Detachments & Tears Flashes & Floaters Intraocular Inflammation (Uveitis) Intraocular Infection Congenital Vitreo-Retinal Diseases Ocular Trauma


3120 Squalicum Parkway, Suite 1 Bellingham, WA 98225

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NOTES Contributors

Libby Keller Libby Keller grew up in Spokane, Washington and moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University. She graduated in 2016 with a degree in journalism. She is currently the morning news producer at KGMI radio and she continues to live in Bellingham with her boyfriend.  p. 30

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. 83

Laurie Mullarky After teaching for 27 years, Laurie decided it was time to hang up her pencils and poetry and become a professional reader. She now writes a popular blog at that reviews both fiction and non-fiction as well as the latest hot novels, focusing on giving book clubs ideas for provocative conversations. Her classroom motto was always “The more you read, the smarter you get.” Not a bad sentiment for life!  p. 27

Cassie Elliott

Reach over 200,000 visitors & affluent female readers every issue!

306.483.4576 ext.4


Cassie is a nutrition blogger and food photographer who believes that if you eat colorful food you are guaranteed it will be nutritious and definitely delicious. She is also the creator of Nutritious and Delicious Appetites by Design to help you feel your best so you can live your best. Her photos and writing can be found on Instagram @paleo_ perspective and her website is  p. 41

to where you live. Best Dishes MARCH 2017 DISPLAY UNTIL MARCH 31 $3.99 US • $4.99 CAN

Featured Homes It’s In The Details



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Wonder Woman

Fixing up a farmhouse

Distillery with a Prohibition history

Mt. Vernon mayor Jill Boudreau

Lake Samish Garden

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HEALTH Down & Dirty with Docs Answers from experts

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Self -Care

50 Ways to Pamper Yourself

PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive NSL Guestbook Couture Weddings

PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER  Lisa Karlberg EDITOR IN CHIEF  Meri-Jo Borzilleri ART DIRECTOR  Dean Davidson STAFF WRITERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Catherine Torres | Kate Galambos

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Babette Vickers | Dominic Ippolito Melissa Sturman | Kristy Gessner


WRITERS Emily Bylin | Dan Radil

CONTRIBUTORS Tanna Edler | Cassie Elliott | Ken Karlberg Libby Keller | Laurie Mullarky

EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Hannah Amundson | Shannon Finn James Hearne





CORPORATE OFFICE K & L Media, Inc. 909 Squalicum Way, Ste. 110 Bellingham, WA 98225



Home and Remodel

I just got the magazine in the mail. It’s so big and colorful! I don’t know if I’ll even have time to finish it before the next one comes.

I love all the ideas that are local. I didn’t even know some of those contractors who are in Whatcom and Skagit counties. It’s refreshing to be able to see a magazine that features Whatcom and Skagit businesses. It gives you all the information for your area you might not know about.

A Word on "Final Word" The final article on healthcare with TSA was pee-your-pants funny — loved it!!! Featured Homes

MARCH 2017


On the clock

Gloria J., Woodinville


Letters to the Editor

Marybeth T., Bellingham

Laurie M., Bellingham

It’s In The Details Lake Samish Garden

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

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April 2017


NOTES Meet the Staffer Every issue we introduce you to a staff member at Bellingham Alive.

What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K&L Media? I joined the editorial team as an intern last May and became a staff writer and editorial assistant this past January. Since I live in Anacortes, I cover stories in Skagit County and the San Juan Islands.

What is your background? I grew up on Long Island, N.Y. I graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2009 with a degree in English. I worked as an airfield operations officer until I honorably separated from the Air Force in November 2014. My short career allowed me to live in Hawaii, North Carolina, and Mississippi, and work with some incredible airmen. Writing has always been a hobby, so I decided to pursue a career doing just that as a civilian.

What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine?

Catherine Torres

Not being from the area, it's a great way to check out local businesses, and discover new restaurants and activities. As a writer, I enjoy hearing the stories of the many interesting people I have the privilege to interview. I do my best to convey their stories onto paper in hopes that readers will be just as inspired by the individuals or excited to visit their businesses as I am.

What are some of your hobbies and interests? What kind of writer would I be if I didn't list reading as a favorite hobby? When I'm not reading, I enjoy traveling, cooking, and being active — running, yoga, biking, hiking, skiing — anything to get moving. I'm lucky to have a wonderful and adventurous husband who’s my partner in trying new things and exploring new places. We're currently getting ready for our next big adventure, a baby boy in May. 


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

Graham Kerr Wants to Leave “Galloping Gourmet” Behind WRITTEN BY CATHERINE TORRES

© Catherine Torres


raham Kerr isn’t downsizing, he’s actualizing. There’s a difference: Kerr already lives by the notion that we should stop purchasing new things. Instead, give away things we don’t need anymore. It’s an act he’s coined “out-doldrum,” taking an active role in revitalizing your sense of purpose and life by unencumbering it with excess materials. It’s safe to say he’s comfortable giving away earthly possessions, but Kerr is still working on discovering himself and how to contribute more meaningfully to society. Taking his new mission seriously, Kerr is selling his incredible home, the Nonsuch Cottage, and downsizing to a smaller dwelling. Kerr is best known for his television cooking show, The Galloping Gourmet. This was before we had channels devoted to cooking shows and cooking competitions, and before people became self-professed foodies. He was a pioneer who ushered in this culinary era of elaborate meals and fantastic dinner parties made accessible to the average home cook. … continued on page 22

LIFESTYLE By the Numbers


The Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival is

expected to screen about 25 films, p. 30

The most expensive item at Apricot Lane Boutiques costs less


than $100, p. 33


Nearly 70% of American adults are

either overweight or obese. pg. 41

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Farmers Market turns 30 this year, p. 51

Featuring a dramatically redesigned exterior and packed

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April Brews Day on the 29th features

Explore the Civic Family


San Juan Island

more than 60 breweries, p. 78

Max Dale’s Steak and Chop House has


been operating for 66 years, p. 89

Lasting Image


“Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.” CORETTA SCOTT KING

April 2017 19




1 – 2


Northwest Wine Encounter Semiahmoo Resort, Blaine

Stamp and Coin Show Hampton Inn, Bellingham

28 – 30 APRIL

Have a Heart Run Edgewater Park, Mt. Vernon




Annual Dirty Dan Harris Festival Fairhaven Village Green, Bellingham


April Brews Day Depot Market Square, Bellingham


Independent Bookstore Day Village Books, Bellingham



22 – 23

Spring Fest: Anacortes Art Festival Depot Art Center, Anacortes



Tour de Lopez Different routes around Lopez Island

April 2017 21


… It’s no surprise Kerr gained a certain fame: his buoyant and welcoming personality persuades people to sit down and enjoy themselves. Yet Kerr eventually found himself distraught by his celebrity status. He shared a story of a trip he took to Sydney. Once arriving alone in his lavish hotel room he realized, physically and metaphorically, he had “arrived in a place I didn’t belong.” He likened the feeling to the reason why many celebrities often retreat from the limelight. “Celebrity is a form of suffering,” he explained. “It allows people to inflate you into more than who you are.” Kerr wanted a meaningful shift in his lifestyle, he wanted a chance to be just himself. He settled with his wife Treena and their three children in Washington state. This is after traveling the world by boat and even declaring New Zealand one of his favorite places. The Pacific Northwest, he said, maintains a genuine saltof-the-earth mentality. “People are more pioneer-oriented here versus further south on the West Coast or even the East Coast.” The family lived in Kirkland and Camano Island before settling into their Mount Vernon boat-inspired home, the Nonsuch Cottage. The 2001 Northwest Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Merit Award winner for design excellence, the home is based on a yacht Kerr and his wife lived on for two years. In addition to having an exceptional view, Kerr said he was “looking for a city that doesn’t wear itself.” He explained that most major cities have a reputation, but “no one left their heart in Mount Vernon.” The city is unassuming, yet at the same time has plenty of shopping, restaurants, and activities. Then there’s the view from his home that includes a slice of Camano Island, Whidbey Island, and Anacortes as a backdrop to Skagit Valley’s earth-toned farmland squares. Kerr enjoys seeing the tended fields from his living room windows. He relishes in the knowledge that he can visit the farmers market and stock up on food produced nearby. He wholly believes in eating regionally and, being where we are, having access to fresh produce, meats, dairy, and seafood, a cornucopia of wholesome ingredients all within a few miles. We need to take advantage of this, he says. As a chef and avid entertainer, Kerr’s philosophy has shifted towards nourishing people wholly. He wants to provide guests with not only delicious food, but a meaningful


experience in the short term and long term, affecting the body, mind, and spirit all in one event. He wants to “nourish and delight guests with more than what’s on the plate.” For example, he prepared a smoked salmon bisque with sweet corn and butternut squash, all local ingredients, for an event in February. He also gave away copies of his book on entertaining, “The Gathering Place.” It’s a form of entertaining that Kerr has been hard at work trying to accomplish. It’s not an easy feat to prepare a meal for a crowd, let alone leave your guests satisfied in mind and spirit as well. Since Kerr entertains at home quite often, he designed a home catered to entertaining with copious indoor seating and generous decks for outdoor parties. Kerr’s boat-inspired home hit the market on March 1. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, it’s smartly designed in an effort to make every square inch count. From spending many months on boats, Kerr values every square inch versus every square foot. Features include curved corners, plenty of storage, and expansive windows which allow plenty of natural light. The layout is designed with a focus to place windows where there are views, storage where there aren’t views. It’s such a simple, rational concept that many modern homes overlook. In addition to a space saving spiral staircase, there’s a breakfast nook with wrap-around bench seating and a table that rolls down into the floor to become a coffee table. However, just because the home makes efficient use of its rooms, doesn’t mean it’s cramped. Ever the romantic, Kerr said a home must have “space to dance.” He liked the idea of leading Treena in an impromptu twirl in any room. The home is an ideal mesh of practicality and beauty, traits clearly reflected in the home’s designer. It’s this balance of efficiency and love of life that make Kerr such a wonderful inspiration and affable conversationalist. So what’s next for Kerr? He is staying local, planning to move to a small beach community where he hopes, he says, to “live in a place where people don’t focus on who I was, but rather who I am.” He plans to focus on his life’s philosophy: “Live a life that shares and does less harm, is kind and respectful to other people.” Less harm, because we can’t fully control the repercussions of our actions, but to an extent we can manipulate them. For example, taking the time to recycle properly, and making ideal choices for the planet and society. Before saying good-bye I asked Kerr if he tries to live life to the fullest. Naively I thought I knew what this sailing, cooking, intelligent, and friendly man would say, but he surprised me. “No I don’t. I should like to feel that my cup is a quarterfull, and the day I live, it will be topped up because I will have eyes to see and ears to hear.” Kerr described his goal to live from now on with “less commitments, more experiences.” He explained that for too many years he lived according to schedules and to-dos, and missed many opportunities to connect with other humans during spontaneous and relaxed moments. He has accomplished a lot in his career and in his life, but upon reflection there were times that could’ve been lived more in the moment. That’s a goal we can all strive for in our own lives. 




rom grant writing and public speaking to dealing with finances and program development, Lydia Place’s executive director Emily O’Connor does it all. “I do a little bit of everything,” O’Connor laughs. And “everything” doesn’t just stop at the workplace. In addition to an all-consuming job, O’Connor is a mother of a six-year-old daughter and a three-and-a-half-year-old son. Before working at Lydia Place, which provides housing and support to the homeless, O’Connor was the executive director for Skagit Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Services. With a desire to get involved in the Whatcom County community, O’Connor was intrigued when she heard that Lydia Place was hiring an executive director. She was hired five years ago when the organization’s budget was only $400,000. When O’Connor first started at Lydia Place, her job wasn’t the only new beginning. She was a new mother with a one-year-old daughter. O’Connor doesn’t hide how challenging it is to balance time between her work and being a mom. It’s difficult for women to have both a family and a career. “There is no way this is easy,” O’Connor says. “It’s really darn hard.” Still, O’Connor’s impact at Lydia Place has been substantial. Under her leadership, the budget has more than tripled, to $1.3 million. For nearly three decades, Lydia Place has grown along with the community. It started with a group of local women

helping to provide housing for homeless families and individuals. With its significant growth, the organization has kept to its original — and simple — mission: to help end homelessness. Housing isn’t the only thing Lydia Place offers. It also provides parenting support, Lifeskills and Family Connection classes, behavioral health counseling, community resource referrals, and education and advocacy services. O’Connor believes one way to prevent homelessness is to focus on children. In many cases, children who experience homelessness become homeless adults, so disrupting that cycle is key to prevent future generations from falling into the same trap. Currently, the non-profit is tackling the massive issue of homelessness by waging battles on many fronts. Education and support are critical. Lydia Place provides multiple programs in family services, parent support, community re-housing, campus support, and community engagement. It also hosts multiple events throughout the year to raise money and has a helpful partner in thrift store Wise Buys. When asked about the future of Lydia Place, O’Connor said she hopes it can one day go out of business altogether — meaning it will have accomplished its mission to end homelessness. A more realistic goal is to continue growing as a nonprofit and keep providing resources to help the homeless get back on their feet. With the multi-talented O’Connor hitting her stride, Lydia Place continues to move forward. 

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Crazy For Kombucha Flavored, fermented tea is as popular as a home brew, too WRITTEN BY HANNAH AMUNDSON | PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANNON FINN


ombucha has been everywhere lately, from lining the shelves at your local Fred Meyer, to the Culture Café at Kombucha Town opening in Bellingham’s own historic Herald Building. Haggen even offers kombucha growler fills for the trendy fermented tea. Making your own kombucha has become a popular hobby among people who’d rather do the work themselves rather than buying it in stores. Though it seems like it’s a relatively new phenomenon, kombucha is an ancient Chinese tea that’s been around for more than 2,000 years. Kombucha is created by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or “scoby.” Some refer to the scoby, or live culture starter, as a “mother,” since it is a living being. Julie Kamin is the founder of Oly-Cultures, a company that sells and supplies people with starter kits to make their own fermented products at home. The kits sold are kombucha starter kits, milk kefir starter kits, water kefir starter kits and mozzarella and ricotta cheese starter kits. Each kit includes the scoby to create the fermented drink or food of choice. Scoby grows in pancake-like layers, with newer material growing atop older, Kamin explains. To brew kombucha, add sweet tea, a gallon-sized glass jar and the scoby, and let it ferment under a towel or in a dark cupboard for seven to 30 days. Kamin says older scoby creates a more vinegary taste. If you like your kombucha mild, use younger scoby. Ellie Stephenson has been making her own kombucha since last year, when she worked at a summer camp. She got the scoby from one of her roommates and started from there. Kamin explains that after fermenting the kombucha for seven to 30 days, you can either drink it right then, or ferment it a second time for two or three days with berries and herbs in flip-top bottles. One of the best parts about making kombucha yourself is experimenting with flavors. Some delicious combinations include ginger and mango, or Kamin’s favorite, raspberry and a sprig of chocolate mint. Stephenson says making kombucha is pretty easy and the work involved varies from person to person. Sometimes it’s better — and more fun — to just improvise. “One of my friends says hers is more of an art than a science, whereas other people are really specific about the measurements,” Stephenson says. 


Courtesy of Kait Whiteside


Playing Around Max Higbee Center helps disabled youth and adults recreate WRITTEN BY KATE GALAMBOS


or more than three decades, the Max Higbee Center has been committed to providing recreational services to developmentally disabled youth and adults. Western Washington University professor Max Higbee, recognizing a recreation gap for developmentally disabled people in the community, started an informal program that in 1984 became a nonprofit organization soon renamed for its founder. Since then, the programs and support from the community have continued to grow, said executive director Kait Whiteside. The mission of the center is to provide an environment for members to recreate just like anyone else would. “The center is a place where members can just be themselves, have fun, and be social,” Whiteside said. Like a gym, members pay a small fee for classes, which the organization will waive for those with financial constraints, and have access to recreationally focused activities Monday through Saturday. “Programs are choice-based to stay true to recreation. Everyone decides how they recreate in their own lives,” Whiteside said. Monday through Friday, the center offers several daytime programs. The Skill Share Program is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is targeted to building new skills for members. Volunteers, staff, and members themselves spend the class period teaching their own skills to members. “The Skill Share Program is about lifelong education, which is important for everyone,” Whiteside said. Each weekday afternoon features the Community Access

Program. Members get to engage with the community through trips to the library, farmers market, the co-op, and just about anywhere else of interest. One of the newest programs is the Recreation Mentor Program. Participating members are paired with a mentor, a Higbee staff member, for an individualized experience. “This program is great because it services the less social members with really specific support. It allows us to reach and serve more people,” Whiteside said. While staff are present in every class, Whiteside said the organization strongly encourages volunteers to lend a helping hand. The staff prefer volunteers to commit to at least two or three months of coming into classes on a regular basis. Volunteers can simply drop into classes whenever it works with their schedule, Whiteside said. “Volunteers are great because they add another new face,” Whiteside said. The center gets its funding from government grants, donations, Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services and membership fees. But an important (and popular) fundraiser is the center’s annual April Brews Day. More than half of the organization’s budget comes from the event, Whiteside said. April Brews Day began 16 years ago with only Boundary Bay brewery, but it has mushroomed since. When the event is held April 29th in the Bellingham Depot Market Square, it will feature about 65 breweries, Whiteside said. If that much beer isn’t enough of a draw, the event also hosts local musicians and food vendors. Looking beyond the brews and the valuable service the center provides, Whiteside said she hopes that one day the community will no longer need an organization like the Max Higbee Center. Recreation for everyone should be an inherent part of the community, not something an organization is responsible for, Whiteside said. “I think recreation, friendship, and community are such a major part of life. They shouldn’t be privileges. They should be rights.”  1210 Bay St. #120, Bellingham 360.733.1828 |

April 2017 25


Carving Beauty Out of The Ordinary © Catherine Torres

Tomas Vrba and the Tomas Vrba Studio WRITTEN BY CATHERINE TORRES


© Tomas Vrba


very day before he leaves his home in Everett, Tomas Vrba tells his two young children, “Daddy is going to play.” A professional large scale sculptor, Vrba makes his living carving tree stumps into things of beauty. He hopes his children follow their own dreams and realize that a conventional path in life isn’t a necessary rite of passage. Raised in Slovakia, Vrba grew up a creative dreamer. Surrounded by a rich heritage of wood carving, Vrba set his sights on art. His parents recognized his potential and encouraged Vrba to attend an art school apprenticeship program. He went on to earn a master’s in sculpture Restoration from VSVU Bratislava, a highly competitive program where only four students are enrolled each year, he said. Vrba worked as an art restorer after completing his education. The job served as an extension of his training. He worked with numerous stone and wood sculptures, various tools, and learned to replicate the strokes of renowned artists. But Vrba eventually felt stifled by the repetition. “Even when working on beautiful pieces, they eventually blur into the process,” he said. Restorers have to work in the shadow of the original artist. “You’re never yourself,” he said. “You’re always someone else.” It was time for Vrba to create his own sculptures. Vrba met his eventual wife, Allison, on a trip to Berlin. In 2006 the newlyweds moved to Allison’s neck of the woods, the Pacific Northwest, and opened the Tomas Vrba Studio. Since moving to the U.S., Vrba has created sculptures for public areas, private homes, and corporations, in addition to competing in and winning numerous wood-carving competitions. He’s taken up wielding a chainsaw in true PNW fashion, which he describes as akin to using a pencil for sketching. “The connection between your hand and the idea is immediate,” he said. Using a chisel and hammer makes the process slower. The artist has more time to consider the developing lines and shapes. Both tools have their use in the creation of a sculpture. When I visited Vrba, he was working on a freestanding wood carving for a private residence, featuring sea lions chasing salmon. He likes how sculptures on people’s properties help bring their communities together. People who otherwise wouldn’t speak to one another are suddenly standing on their lawns chatting, first about the sculpture, then about their lives.

Vrba draws inspiration from “nature, life, moving, living, giving birth, dying, the entire process of life.” He said an artist must “force the idea into the material…you have to have an idea of what you want to do.” To prepare for the sea lion piece, Vrba studied the animal’s anatomy and movement. By being prepared, he’s more accepting when a cut goes astray, explaining that there is never a mistake. “You can always adjust,” he said. It all becomes part of a new design. In the future, Vrba hopes to open a sculpture gallery and invite artists to create in the space. His wife, a writer, could host writing retreats at the same time, setting the stage for an artistic event where written and 3-D art collide. The creatives can influence one another while guests can witness the creative process in action. The space would “create a brewing of mediums and ideas, where locals can come and see the process.” The process is vital to the final product, he said. It’s what’s behind the art.  Tomas Vrba 206.227.6647 |

Book Reviews

In the Know



April 9, 3 p.m.

These novels consider two different industries — one seemingly innocuous, one controversial — and how they can exact a human toll. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See 384 pages Scribner

Set in the tea mountains of rural China, the story follows Li-yan, a girl raised as part of a small ethnic minority, whose world has never been touched by electricity and follows strict traditional rules followed for thousands of years. As the novel delves into the secret and hidden world of the tea trade, it exposes the corruption, the wealth, and the fascinating details of how tea is not only grown and fermented, but marketed and sold to the greedy collectors.

Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh 448 pages Ecco

In her latest novel, Haigh goes back to the town of Bakerton, a small Pennsylvania community dying as the coal business has disappeared and the young people have fled. The latest savior of their town is the newest energy industry, the one that drills deep, shoots millions of gallons of water into rock, and extracts gas and oil from the shale. We know it as fracking. Haigh looks at all sides of this issue: the impact on the farmers, the economic plusses and minuses, the environment, and the geologists involved with both the testing and the industry itself.

NookChat: Community Storytelling Everson Library 104 Kirsch Dr., Everson 360.966.5100, As part of the “Explore the Past, Enrich the Present,” program, organic berry farmer Ben Craft talks about growing up on his parents’ 18-cow dairy farm and his adventures as an Everson paper boy in this informal, interactive gettogether sponsored by the Nooksack Valley Heritage Center committee.

April 22, 7 p.m. Susan J. Erickson Village Books 1200 11th St., Bellingham 360.671.2626, Erickson’s first full-length, prizewinning collection of poems, “Lauren Bacall Shares a Limousine,” illuminates women’s history through narrators famous — Lady Godiva, Janis Joplin, Lucy Audubon — and not-so-famous. The Bellingham writer’s poems appear in noted publications such as the Crab Creek Review, The James Franco Review, and The Fourth River.

WHO KNEW? In the beginning… When most people were farmers, were they called “farmers markets”? Or just “markets”? The oldest, continuously run farmers market in the U.S. is believed to be the Lancaster (Pa.) Central Market, which dates to about 1730. It’s known for Pennsylvania Dutch Sausage and something called scrapple. Lancaster’s longevity is impressive. According to the USDA, it’s one of 14 markets that have been around for more than 100 years — in Lancaster’s case, it predates the Revolutionary War, prompting the question: Would the British have won if they had eaten more veggies?

Farm-to-table hucksters It’s boom times for the farm-totable movement. As with any wildly successful industry, fraud is not far behind. Last year, the Tampa Bay Times ran a series called “Farm to Fable,” which exposed markets and restaurants for lying about their food sources. Times restaurant writer Laura Reiley’s two-month investigation found numerous Florida market vendors who not only didn’t sell their own-grown produce, but stocked fruit and vegetables rejected by big-chain grocer Publix. Others named farms that Reiley drove to check out, and found they consisted of fields of dried husks or didn’t exist at all.

Pike Place’s fishy claim Pike Place, home of the fishthrowers, bills itself as Seattle’s original farmers market. But is it a farmers market, really? Some farmers sell there. It’s a cool place to buy fresh food and watch airmailed salmon. But it’s not a farmers market, said the Seattle Times after a Huffington Post story named Pike Place one of the country’s 10 best. Here’s why: state Farmers Market Association rules require markets to grow everything they offer, and restricts them from selling produce bought from wholesalers or from outside Washington or certain neighboring states.

Buying Canadian? Watch the border Got market wanderlust? B.C. has some nice markets and the strong dollar helps us Yankees. But coming home with produce presents a potential headache when crossing the border. While border patrol has been known to allow small amounts of produce through, rules require all fruits and vegetables be declared to U.S. customs agents, who might confiscate those Canadared heirloom tomatoes. At the least, they’ll likely be subject to inspection. The USDA has a database, called FAVIR, to check regulations on types of produce. Or just eat it all before the border. April 2017 27


1 Blended to perfection by owner Mundir Sidhu, teas (and spices!) are lined along the back wall to be sold loose-leaf in a bag or tea-brewed immediately for your enjoyment. While waiting for your tea to brew, browse the many tea accessories displayed and even check out the spices section. You might find a blend that will keep you coming back for more. 131 W. Kellogg Rd., Bellingham 360.671.2800 |


Š Becky Linton




RUBY SUE’S TEA AND TREASURES If you are in La Conner, be sure to stop by Ruby Sue’s, drink a cup of tea, and say hello to the owner, Rebecca Strong. With a friendly staff and a shop containing trinkets and teacups (and collectible bone china), it’s truly a tea lover’s wonderland. Ruby Sue’s even offers handmade truffles, fudge and toffee to nicely complement the satisfying flavors of their tea. 710 First St., La Conner 360.466.9948

3 4

SAKU TEA Sandra and Kuros created SAKU to celebrate and share the fragrant, energizing, and relaxing tea experience. With unique blends that include ingredients such as beetroot, raw cacao, dandelion root, and maca, you won’t find a tea bar as distinctive as SAKU in Whatcom County. If you want to satisfy your taste buds even more, attend one of their tea brewing workshops to explore traditional methods of infusing teas. 833 N. State St., Bellingham 360.820.3171 |

OLDE TOWNE GRAINERY TEA ROOM AND GALLERIA In an early 1900s building in downtown Mt. Vernon sits a tea room with dainty antique furniture and various levels of tea as well as quiche, finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts. Whether celebrating a special occasion or fancying tea on a cloudy day, stop inside for a highclass experience of tea drinking. 100 E. Montgomery St., Mt. Vernon 360.419.9090


ABBEY GARDEN TEA ROOM The British phone booth standing sentry outside signals the start of your English tea experience. If you desire a uniquely relaxing tea destination, Abbey Garden Tea Room is the place. You can choose teatime meals from afternoon tea to gentleman’s tea, with tea choices ranging from black to herbal to everything in between. 1312 11th St., Fairhaven 360.752.1752 |

April 2017 29

Community the Spotlight LIFESTYLE In

Spotlight Film Documentaries, directors in focus at Cascadia International Women’s film festival WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY LIBBY KELLER


ince high school, Natalie Fedak has had stories she’s wanted to tell. She started off writing screenplays and for the last three years, she’s been producing, editing and directing documentaries. Now one of her documentaries is going to be shown during the first year of one of Bellingham’s newest attractions, the Cascadia International Women’s film festival. The film, called 3022ft., details the Mountain Marathon race, which takes place every year in Seward, Alaska. It’s a treacherous race, Fedak said, as racers run up and down a 3,000 foot mountain, avoiding cliffs and roots. While only one death has been reported during the race, injuries are not uncommon. But it wasn’t just the danger and excitement that made Fedak passionate about documenting the race. It was the women who ran it. “It turned into this competition between these people but [also] their individual stories of climbing the mountains and obstacles in their own lives, using the mountain as a metaphor,” she said. Fedak moved to Bellingham in 2011 from Wheat Ridge, Colorado to attend Western Washington University. After graduating in 2014 and a brief stint working at Disney World 30

in Florida, she began working full-time as a documentary filmmaker. In addition to having her documentary submitted to Cascadia, Fedak is also a part of a young filmmakers advisory board for the festival. She was introduced to both by festival executive director Cheryl Crooks and her husband, Michael Petryni. Crooks said giving female directors like Fedak a chance to present their work is the main purpose behind Cascadia. “For us, it provides a platform for these women who aren’t recognized anywhere else for the work that they’re doing,” Crooks said. Cascadia started as a concept in 2015 as a companion festival to Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival and eventually grew into its own Bellingham-based project. In October 2016, the Cascadia team collaborated with Female Eye to present eight documentaries directed by women during Doctober, the documentary film festival at the Pickford Film Center. This year, from April 23–25, the first full Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival will take place. It will host screenings of about 25 films at various theaters in addition to panel discussions and other special screenings at local colleges. With directors planning to visit the festival from as far away as Russia and Australia, Crooks hopes Cascadia’s first year will plant the seeds for bigger, better festivals to come. Fedak said the festival will give a marginalized group a chance to excel and show what they’re made of. “Having art, where art be the reason that people come together is one of the most precious gifts that you can give,” she said. Although Fedak doesn’t have plans to take her filmmaking to Hollywood, telling stories will always be a part of her life in one form or another. Fans of her work can look forward to possibly seeing some of her future stories on the shelves, rather than in the theater. 

In the Know




here are numerous places you can go to find a book: the library, a chain bookstore, an independent bookstore, even a thrift sale if you don’t mind rummaging. But a used bookstore is special — a kind of book sanctuary favored by the most avid readers. A wellrun bookstore stocks books of every genre, and hard-to-find works. Books are meticulously reviewed for stray marks and missing pages. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about their work. It’s a place you can finally locate that elusive special-edition copy from the 1930s, and stumble upon a new favorite author, perhaps a New York Times bestseller from last year. Anacortes’s Pelican Bay Books is that book-lover’s sanctuary. After nearly a decade of operating from a charming house on the corner of 9th St. and O Ave., the store is moving back to Commercial Ave. The new space is twice as large but just as cozy, with a working fireplace and overstuffed leather armchairs. The owners, Eli Barrett and Brooklynd Johnson. met while attending Gonzaga University. After college, the two went their separate ways: Eli, an economics and philosophy major, travelled the world while Brooklynd, a business administration major, took Spokane’s nightlife industry by storm first as a well-known bartender, then as a bar owner. In 2011 they found themselves in Spokane, in love, and expecting a daughter. Wanting to raise their family somewhere special, they moved to Anacortes. Eli began working temporarily for Pelican Bay’s previous owner, Kevin Green. just as he had done as a teenager. Eighteen months later, on January 1, 2013 after a lot of debate and, as Eli describes, “lots and lots of hours on Excel crunching numbers” the couple bought the bookstore.

Pelican Bay Books sells only used books. The extensive collection likely has what you’re looking for: fiction, philosophy, gardening, mystery, you name it and there’s likely a shelf dedicated to the genre. Every book needs to pass Eli and Brooklynd’s careful curation. They buy about 90% of the inventory from people looking to sell personal collections. Less than 10% of all offers appear on the store’s shelves. That’s because the couple is extremely picky about condition, which makes their books less “used” and more “previously loved.” The new space allows them to carry even more books, and the addition of a coffee bar, wi-fi, and seating area persuades patrons to linger. Guests can choose from a simple menu of Olympia Coffee Roasters espresso, tea, and chocolate chip cookies made by the owners. Once settled, Eli plans to expand the light fare menu to include charcuterie and pastries with a French Moroccan flair. Eli explained, “The goal the whole time has been to make the bookstore a cultural center because books attract interesting, creative, curious people.” He added, as any avid reader and bookstore patron knows, that “we’re always learning about really cool people and learn about things we wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise.”  520 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.293.1852 |

April 2017 31

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SHOP Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Around the Sound

Affordable Style, Appealing Fashion Apricot Lane Boutique WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY KATE GALAMBOS


pricot Lane Boutiques have made their way up to our corner of Washington. The Bellis Fair store opened on Nov. 17 as the first Apricot Lane in the state, said owner Michelle Alke. While Apricot Lane is a franchise, the company has only about 80 stores nationwide, keeping it a community-oriented business, Alke said. Visitors can expect to find affordable jewelry, apparel, and home goods at … … continued page 35

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… the boutique. The atmosphere is fun and feminine, but not overly trendy. It is the perfect spot for some mother-daughter shopping, says Alke. “We try to serve a wide demographic.” The products carried at Bellis Fair are a mix of Alke’s personal favorites and those from the company’s L.A. headquarters. The company has a style expert who focuses on keeping up with trends and new looks in L.A., Alke said. Some of Alke’s favorites are the double-hooded sweatshirts and the ever-popular beanie. As a boutique, the store rotates merchandise frequently and carries just six of every item, Alke said. “You’re never going to see anyone else wearing something from [Apricot Lane],” she said. The exclusivity of products at Apricot Lane keeps the store fresh and customers interested. To appeal to Bellingham buyers’ particular style, Alke said she does a lot of her own research to find popular looks and vendors. “I really try to appeal to Bellingham by mixing casual and dressy. You’re not going to sell a lot of high heels up here,” Alke said. Styles that have done well so far have been Boho (Bohemian) pieces that fit the free flowing, hippie vibe of Bellingham. Alke said she is a huge fan of the Boho look. She loves anything delicate, light, and lacy. Although Boho has done well, Alke stressed that she tries to stay away from buying pieces for the store solely based on her own preference. Another huge appeal of Apricot Lane are the prices. Visitors won’t find anything in the store over $100. Tops run from about $25–$45, dresses are between $30–$50, and shoes are about $40–$45, Alke said. College students will surely rejoice in the mix of affordability and style. “[Apricot Lane] tends to do better in smaller markets, like Bellingham, and often in college towns,” Alke said. In addition to trendy L.A. products and Alke’s favorite picks, each Apricot Lane boutique carries give-back brands. The Bellingham franchise has partnered with the 3Strands. 3Strands is a global nonprofit that works to combat human trafficking and provide support to survivors. The 3Strands bracelets Apricot Lane carries are made by survivors of human trafficking as part of their reintegration and employment programs. Alke’s store also carries products by Good Work(s), a nonprofit focused on providing clean water and energy systems to global rural areas. More than just a boutique, Apricot Lane strives to give back to global communities. As spring approaches, Alke said the store will be replacing their winter looks for fun spring fashion. Visitors will find rompers, off-the-shoulder tops, and plenty of spring color like blush and sage, Alke said. Timing on spring styles is a little tricky with Bellingham’s climate, but Alke said the winter merchandise is scheduled to be gone by the end of March. “I’m really looking forward to the spring looks,” she said. While she is still working on the website, Alke is active on social media for customers who want to browse and shop online. Products can be purchased from the Bellingham Apricot Lane Instagram and Facebook pages. 

Bellis Fair Mall 360.393.4806 |

April 2017 35





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Around the Sound


Whimsical to Practical Jewelry, Gifts, More Moorea Seal WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY EMILY BYLIN


ave you ever walked into a store and thought it must have been designed with you in mind? For me, that store is Moorea Seal, a hidden gem in the heart of Seattle’s Belltown district. Moorea Seal offers a beautifully curated selection of accessories and objects, highlighting handmade items from artists across the U.S. and around the globe. Moorea Seal’s aesthetic is both minimalistic and eclectic, and speaks to those with a fresh, chic approach to modern womanhood. With a delicate balance of urban and rustic sensibilities, Moorea Seal embodies the adventurous spirit of the Pacific Northwest. The boutique is named for the owner, Moorea Seal, who began her career as a jewelry maker selling her designs on Etsy. After gaining a large following of aesthetically minded souls on Pinterest, Seal decided to open her own online shop to sell her designs alongside some of her favorite handmade brands. The brick-andmortar shop was quick to follow, and placed its roots on the corner of 3rd and Vine in 2014. Moorea Seal’s beautiful storefront space is not only a place to shop for your favorite things, but a place for the local community to collaborate on creative ideas, including pop up shops, workshops, and other special events. The shop is known for its weekly 5–7 p.m. happy hour on Fridays, which includes free drinks (yes, free) and a free gift with purchase. Now that’s how you shop! What could be even better than happy hour and shopping? Shopping for a cause. Moorea Seal seeks to do good by creating a supportive community that empowers others to do good, too. This is an essential part of their business model. Seven percent of Moorea Seal’s profits go toward carefully selected non-profits. They rotate through five featured non-profits in five categories of giving — Children’s Needs, Women’s Cause, Protecting the Planet, Caring for Animals, and Health and Wellness. Moorea Seal recently launched a new line of jewelry and office items available in-store and online, as well as wholesale for other retailers. The business looks forward to expanding this line and growing their brand even further in hopes of being able to give back even more to the greater good.  2523 3rd Ave., Seattle 206.728.2523 |

April 2017 37

SHOP Savvy Shopper

Stay Calm and Breathe in the Lavender Pelindaba Lavender Farm WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY CATHERINE TORRES

605 South First St., La Conner 360.399.1511 | 38

THE SHOP Many locals are familiar with the purple fields of Pelindaba Lavender Farm on San Juan Island, but don’t know about its offshoot retail stores. They sell the same wonderful lavender products as their on-site gift store, the Gatehouse Farm Store. Each outlet carries the same high-quality, on-site-grown, harvested, and handcrafted goods, but each store has its own character. Opened in March 2012, the Pelindaba Lavender store in downtown La Conner saves locals a ferry trip to Friday Harbor. When it comes to lavender products, inhaling that delicate floral scent makes the shopping experience far richer!

THE ATMOSPHERE Spacious and tidy, the store is laid out in sections such as kitchen and food, personal-care, and pet items, making it easy to find what you're after. Between the delicate smell of lavender and wonderful array of products, customers can't help but feel relaxed. When I visited, the music was reminiscent of what one would hear in a Parisian café. I was told the playlist switches up to incorporate music from all around the world.

KEY PEOPLE Odile Jasen is the manager in La Conner. Friendly and with a wealth of knowledge, Jasen has been the manager for four years. I asked how she copes with working in a store whose scent urges you to take a nap. She told me she's used to the smell now and doesn't really notice it, but she does feel more relaxed on a regular basis. Pelindaba Lavender Farm's founder, Stephen Robins, is a retired South African physician who bought land on San Juan Island to preserve it and have others enjoy the natural scenery. He named it Pelindaba,

a Zulu word for "place of great gatherings," further cementing his two-fold vision of gathering together crops and people.

WHAT YOU'LL FIND Every product in the La Conner retail store is made on the San Juan Island Pelindaba Farm. Odile said, "We grow, we harvest, we craft, and we sell our products — you can't get better than that." Since lavender is known for its versatility and as a natural antiseptic with numerous health benefits, shoppers will find a wide range of products for the kitchen, bath, house, and even pets. Taking a quick walk around the store, I tasted some lavenderinfused chutneys and honey, and smelled canisters of lavender tea and coffee. There's a calming pet pillow for your furry companion, and a whaleshaped pillow for children (or for a child at heart). Don't forget the fire sticks that can either be used in the fireplace for a wonderful lavender scent, or added to the grill to flavor BBQ smoke.

FAVORITE ITEMS If you're going to visit Pelindaba Lavender, be sure to pick up the Organic Lavender Hydrosol. Hydrosol is a byproduct from the essential oil distillation process. Lavender plants are steamed to release their oil. At the end of the process you're left with oil and pure lavender water. Hydrosol is that water. The organic liquid is versatile: dab a bit on a cut for faster healing, use as an all-purpose cleaner, freshen your pet with a few spritzes, and spray your plants to protect against fungi infections. Finally, buy a canister of the caffeinefree Lavender Rooibos tea. The easy-to-drink tea is high in calcium and magnesium, plus the lavender scent will make any afternoon less hectic. In fact, just being in the Pelindaba Lavender store will make any day more relaxing. 

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WELLBEING Nutrition · Take a Hike · Spa Review · Beauty



he other day someone asked me, “Do you eat salad every day?” To which I replied “I do. Don’t you?” I sometimes forget that most people don’t eat a pound of vegetables a day. A lot of people don’t even really give much thought to what they eat on any day. And I get it, because I was once like that too. We are living in a time when almost 10% of Americans have Type II diabetes, nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese, 22.7% of adults have some form of arthritis, and Alzheimer’s is now the sixth-leading cause of death in seniors in the U.S. What is going on? How can people be dying of conditions like these in a time when medical advancements have people with life-altering spinalcord injuries walk again? Food. That’s what’s wrong. We have given up on eating good-for-you, nourishing food. Instead of going to the garden to pick lettuce, tomatoes, green onion and a cucumber to make a lunch salad, we are dumping the contents of a box into a bowl and popping it in the … continued on next page

microwave for five minutes. We are eating foods that provide the bare minimum of nutrition. We are creating inflammation in our guts simply by eating food that is, quite literally, bad for us. This is also known as leaky gut syndrome and it’s as awful as it sounds. The good news is we can change it. How? Eat better food. Simple, right? Apparently not. Many people’s attachment to food seems stronger than their attachment to people. I’m not kidding. If I suggest to someone that they stop eating grains (bread, pasta, bagels, cookies, muffins, oatmeal, cereal, etc.) for four weeks, I might as well have asked them to cut off their left arm. It’s just food, people. Food that is probably doing you more harm than good. But the only way you are going to know that is if you stop eating it for a period of time. If you feel better without it then chances are it is causing inflammation in your gut. And if you haven’t heard, the medical community has come to realize that good health starts in our gut. And the best food for your gut? Vegetables, animal protein, healthy fats, fruits, nuts and seeds. Here’s your mission should choose to accept it: stop eating food that comes from a box or a package. That means avoiding premade meals and pre-packaged food with so many ingredients listed on the box you need a magnifying glass to read them all. Stay out of the middle of the store. Do most of your shopping in the produce section and at the meat counter. Or better yet, hit up your local farmers market. Get to know who is growing your food and where it comes from. The practice of being mindful takes just that — practice. I still practice making the best nutritious, and most importantly, delicious, choices when it comes to what I’m eating every single day. And because of all that practice, long gone are the days of feeling bloated all the time, aches and pains every time I moved, constant brain fog and having absolutely no energy to do anything. I feel as good now in my late 40s as I did in my 20s. Probably better. So before your next meal, take a minute to really think about what you’re going to eat. If you’re not sure, have a salad.

Ingredients (salad) 4 handfuls organic spring salad mix 1 red apple (like Gala or Fuji) 1 pear 1 cup blueberries 2 hard cooked eggs 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes 1 clementine or navel orange 1 avocado ½ cup raw pecans

Blueberry-Apple Avocado Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

• Rinse and dry blueberries.

Hands on: 10 minutes | Total: 15 minutes | Serves 1–2 Salads are a dish where you can and should let your imagination run wild! Take your cue from one ingredient and see where it takes you from there. Some might call this a fruit salad, but when you add in hard-cooked eggs, avocado, tomato and nuts, this is a salad that eats like a meal. It’s a nutrition powerhouse with plenty of protein and good-for-you fats that will keep you fueled and full for whatever your day brings.

• Chop eggs.


Ingredients (Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette) ¼ organic olive oil 2 tablespoons blueberry balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder Salt & pepper to taste • Place eggs in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for approximately 12 minutes (less if you prefer the yolk to be softer). Drain and cool immediately running under cold water or plunging into an ice bath. This will prevent the grey ring from forming around the yolk. • Wash your salad greens. Even if they say pre-washed it’s a good idea to give them another rinse. Place in large salad bowl (so you have lots of room to toss everything together). • Chop apple and pears. Put in a small bowl and cover with cold water to prevent browning. • Using a sharp knife, slice the avocado open vertically and remove the pit. It is easiest if you slice the avocado while it’s still in the skin. Make 3 or 4 cuts in each direction. Using a thin spoon, scoop the avocado flesh out of the skin. • Cut tomatoes in half or thirds. • Peel orange and slice crosswise to make rounds.

• Rough chop pecans.

• Add all ingredients to the salad greens. • Mix the olive oil, vinegar, mustard powder and S & P in a glass measuring cup. Whisk well to incorporate ingredients together. • Pour over salad and toss. • Plate, serve and enjoy! 

Shaping Up For Spring And Summer





ast summer, Brooke Becnel , along with the help of her loyal stylists, opened Spruced Hair and Brow Studio in Fairhaven. Opening a modern, hip salon was not necessarily Becnel’s plan, but she always knew she wanted to work for herself, and so Spruced was born. The salon is clean, open, and airy. Comfortable lounge chairs greet customers in the intimate lobby space. Five or six styling chairs line the back wall. Lights reflecting off chrome and mirrors give the space a warm atmosphere, rather than the sterile feeling common at some salons. The hair and brow studio welcomes you not only with its aesthetic, but with its people. “Clients can see how close [the stylists] are and feel very comfortable. The biggest thing here is the bond between stylists. It’s like a family. Our clients notice that,” said hair stylist Samm Alex. Getting a haircut or a brow wax is an intimate experience and a huge part of why people revisit salons is based on how comfortable they feel, Becnel said. People will be able to relax and be themselves during their visit to Spruced. Like many new salons, stylists brought their previous clients with them. But stylists agreed that the best way to expand their market is word of mouth. “You trust your friends to tell you where to get a good cut,” said Spruced hair stylist Angelena Maurice. Beyond a commitment to a community atmosphere, Spruced works to stay up on trends and new techniques. The stylists are always looking to improve and branch out. With the help of social media, the team keeps current clients updated on new looks. A huge part of the Spruced trend-appeal comes from their brow work. Becnel and Amanda Munzanreder are the designated eyebrow experts of the salon. Becnel said she thinks the brow services are a huge draw for her clients; “People see brows eyebrows and they are interested. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is in our name and on our sign.” Starting in the spring, the studio will offer microblading, in addition to their waxing services. Microblading is a semi-permanent brow filling technique. The artist meticulously draws each stroke of the brow for a natural look that can last between one and three years. “We really offer a one-stop shop,” Alex said. The stylists also stressed their expert balayage hair coloring services. This hair painting technique has become extremely popular within the last few years. Spruced Hair and Brow Studio embodies the Pacific Northwest vibe. This little salon is a perfect addition to Fairhaven. The people are down-to-earth, and yet the style is modern and trendy. Plus, you can’t really get more Northwest than a spruce tree logo, can you?  1514 12th St., Unit B-101, Bellingham 360.319.4049 |

April 2017


WELLBEING Special Advertising

Laugh it up: It’s Good for You


id you hear the story about the fake noodles? Apparently, they were im-pastas. Hopefully, you just chuckled a bit — even if you did roll your eyes! If so, you may have done your health a favor.

UNIQUE MEDICINE Research suggests that laughter is good for you. It may improve blood flow to the heart, boost your immune system and trigger the release of feel-good chemicals that can temporarily relieve pain. A hearty laugh can lessen physical tension and stress, and gentle humor can often help defuse a tense situation. Share your laughter with someone else, and the benefits may be even greater.

LOOKING FOR LAUGHS? Need a place to turn for a cackle or hoot? Start with you. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Share your embarrassing moments. If you do something silly, it might not seem so bad if you can get yourself to giggle. Remember, a good laugh is good medicine. For more healthy living tips, visit

Here are 10 more possibilities for strengthening your funny bone: 1 Watch a funny movie, or search for humorous videos online.

2 Host a game night with family or friends. 3 Go to a bookstore, and browse the humor section. 4 Keep a funny CD or audiobook in your vehicle. Or listen to them on your smartphone or tablet.

5 Find a screensaver that makes you laugh, and put it on your computer.

6 Play with your children or grandkids. Children are experts at taking life lightly and laughing.

7 Collect sayings or photos that make you smile, and put them where you can easily see them. Change them up from time to time to keep things fresh.

8 Visit a pet store or animal shelter and watch the puppies and kittens.

9 Spend time with people who are most likely to make you laugh.

10 Read some funny cartoons.

Get Healthy. Stay Healthy.

Farmers Markets Farm-Fresh in the North Sound

© Cynthia St. Clair

Written by Catherine Torres and Kate Galambos


ne of the most wonderful aspects of living in this corner of the Pacific Northwest is the abundance of farms and the delicious fruits and veggies they give us every season. Best of all, you don’t have to make a trip to the farm to take advantage of local produce. All it takes is a day spent browsing at your local farmers market. From the San Juan Islands all the way up to Lynden, farmers markets operate spring through late fall, with some even


open during winter months. A day at the farmers market can be more than just a quick grocery run. These markets also offer live music, artisan crafts, and instructions about how to prepare dinner tonight. To make it simple, we’ve created a helpful guide that will tell you everything you need to know about the popular markets in the Skagit, San Juan Island, and Whatcom counties. Grab your handy reusable bags and your favorite market companion and start shopping — locally.


San Juan Islands Skagit

Island County Markets

Skagit County Markets

Whatcom County Markets

1. Orcas Island Farmers Market

4. Anacortes Farmers Market

8. Bellingham Downtown Market

2. Lopez Farmers Market

5. Bow Little Market

9. Fairhaven Wednesday Market

3. San Juan Island Farmers Market

6. Mount Vernon Farmers Market

10. Ferndale Market

7. Sedro-Wolley Farmers Market

11. Lynden Farmers Market

April 2017 47


Orcas Island Farmers Market

t's no surprise Orcas Island Farmers Market, like the Lopez Island and San Juan Island farmers markets, values locality. All the food and products are grown and made on Orcas Island. Being on a small island, the market is a big event for locals, offering an opportunity to shop, mingle, and take in the warm summer days. It's akin to a community party every weekend!

Known For Everyone's invited to the market! Many visitors report feeling part of the community when shopping at the market. Shoppers get a chance to chat with the artisans, developing connections that might not be possible at a bustling, mainland market.

Northwest Touch Not only do most goods have that special island touch, but the market runs in all weather. Hardy Northwesters don't let rain, heat, wind, or sleet stop their adventures, and neither do the Orcas Island Farmers Market vendors and shoppers.

Who to See Visit the produce stand at Morning Star Farm. Their produce supplies many of the local restaurants and it's easy to taste why. Morning Star Farm’s commitment to their craft makes a difference. Maybe it's their careful use of hand tools, their thoughtful crop placement in the fields, or even efforts to persuade pollinators to do what nature intended. (


Visitor Tips • Cash is king, and small bills

help vendors. Some vendors will accept credit or debit cards, but Square Credit Card Readers need reliable WiFi, and farmers markets don’t always have it. Bigger markets like the downtown Bellingham market have ATM access, but don’t always count on that.

• Many of the markets don’t allow Village Green, Eastsound Saturdays, May 6–Sept. 30, 10 am–3 pm Opening Day: May 6

dogs within the boundaries of the markets. Either be prepared to leave the pooch in the car, or leave your furry friends at home.

• All markets are stroller- and wheelchair-friendly

Stock up on natural soap, lotion, and essential oils at Island Thyme. Making small-batch skin and body care products since 1996, the company is well versed in aromatherapy and the healing properties of plants. Be sure to ask the owners, Chris and Eliza Morris, about remedies for your specific ailments. ( Chat with Christina from Red Rabbit Farm about the farm's cooking classes and farm-to-table meals. The farm specializes in creating dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. They serve these wonderful meals at catered events, and host their own dinner parties right in the field. (

Must-Haves Slurp down a fresh raw oyster or two from Rob Kirby of Local Goods. There's nothing like a salty-sweet oyster fresh out of the sea. Bring a bouquet of flowers home from Peace & Plenty Flowers. The farm uses clean and natural farming methods to grow thousands of flowers, which they gather into cheerful arrangements. ( Stock up on bath salt and scrubs from Magic Island Herbals. Owner Carol Anderson takes pride in carefully procured natural ingredients for all her skin products. Her Sweet Cheeks Organic Sugar and Coconut Scrub is made simply with organic sugar, coconut oil, and shea butter. (

• Check the weather report.

Many markets close due to poor weather conditions and lack of shelter for the vendors.

• Be sure to carry a reusable

bag or basket for all your new goodies. Vendors are unlikely to supply bags.

• If you plan to make an entire

day of it, wear comfortable and outdoor-friendly shoes. Many of the markets, like the Fairhaven Wednesday market, take place on grass. If it rained the day before your visit, you certainly don’t want to get stuck in the mud.

• Plan your parking. If you’re

aiming to visit the Depot Market Square in Bellingham, parking can be a fierce competition. It is a good idea to get there early. For the Saturday market they’ll be no need to pay for parking. If you arrive at the Thursday night market before 5 pm, you’ll need to pay for an hour.

April 2017 49

Lopez Island T

Farmers Market

he Lopez Island Farmers Market prides itself as being as local as possible. They adhere to a hierarchy of home-growing when picking vendors: first priority goes to Lopez Island-produced food and products, second to the San Juan Islands, then the state of Washington. This ensures a truly local feel to the market and a dedication to boosting the community's economy.

Known For Plenty of art and artisan goods, meaning you'll secure the perfect gift for a loved one (or yourself)

Northwest Touch Between the handmade artisan goods and the local feel, you'll know you're in the Northwest by vendors’ materials and ingredients. Many of the artisans are inspired by the local surroundings: native wood, natural fibers, items inspired by the sea. Even one of the bakers, Renee Koplan of Dessert Pedaler Cakery, is planning a Lopez Island-inspired cake made completely with islandsourced ingredients. She plans to name it the Zandie Cake after her dog. We can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Who to See Ask S&S Homestead Farm about their biodynamic growing process. The family-run Lopez Island Farm is built on a closed system of self-sustainability among the plants, animals, and humans. This ensures the farm is not only self-sufficient, but economically and ecologically responsible. ( Flip through Slow Art Studio and Bindery's hand-bound books. Artisan Brenna Jael does some incredible things 50

Village Rd., Lopez Village Opening Day: May 20 Saturdays, May–Sept., 10 am–2 pm

with recycled paper and hard covers such as a book bound with an old Monopoly game board, and unique greeting cards. ( Watch sunlight dance through sea glass jewelry at the Beach Combers Artwork stand. Artist Shannon Hoffman is a professional beach comber. She travels the world collecting sea glass, rocks, and driftwood from beaches, then turns them into jewelry and art. Her goal is to make truly unique items that capture the essence of nature. (

Must-Haves Enjoy a sweet treat from the Dessert Pedaler Cakery. Owner Renee Koplan, the aforementioned Zandie Cake creator, is known for her moist confections, especially her pleasantly tart Lemon Cake, rich Berries 'n Cream Cake, and unique Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Shortbread cookies. Feel free to ask for dietary customization — Renee routinely creates delicious gluten-free and dairy-free options. ( Pick up fresh farm eggs and Lopez lamb from Flint Beach Ohana. The USDA-inspected lamb makes for a fresh and tender roast. Spruce up your table setting with colorful glassware from Olive Glass. Artists Lark Dalton and Corrie Haight teamed up in 1983 to create and sell glass creations. Besides glassware, you'll find glass beads, jewelry, and glass sculptures.

The Brickworks Building 150 Nichols St., Friday Harbor Opening Day: April 1 Saturdays: April–Oct., 10 am–1 pm Winter Market: every 1st Sat., Jan.–Mar.


ounded in 1987 by a group of island farmers who wanted a venue to sell their goods directly to the public, the mission of the San Juan Island Farmers Market has remained unchanged for 30 years: "Provide an outlet for agricultural products that are grown, harvested, or processed in San Juan County." Today, vendors offer an array of locally produced, high-quality goods. Visitors are also entertained by live, local music and can view unique art by local artists.

SanFarmers JuanMarket Island Known For A sense of close community ties. This is the event to attend on Saturdays in Friday Harbor. It's due to the highquality products, friendly and knowledgeable vendors, and welcoming atmosphere.

Northwest Touch The Brickworks Building itself adds a special Northwest character. It was originally built in 1921 as the Friday Harbor Brick and Tile Company. The building company left its mark on many Friday Harbor buildings during the transition from wooden structures to more fire-resistant and durable brick. In 2013, the San Juan Island Agriculture Guild remodeled the building with a vision of creating a community venue for events and meetings, and that vision was realized with the popular farmers market.

Who to See Sweet Earth Farm has been vending at the market for two generations. The family-run farm strongly believes in a sense of harmony with nature and sustainable farming practices. (

Ask Guard and Connie Sundstrom of Fir Oak Farm about their grass-fed beef and lamb. Grass-fed meat tends to be leaner and taste gamier than corn-fed meat, so it's important to sear the meat well to lock in juices. Stop by Blue Moon Produce to ask about their Waldron Island farm. Since they are located off-island, Blue Moon Produce loads up their boat every morning before the farmers market with fresh produce for market-goers. They strive to conserve resources and practice kind farming.

Must-Haves Snack on some fresh sushi rolls from Rolling Sushi. They source their ingredients from local, organic farms, and family fishermen who follow sustainable practices. For a one-stop shop, pick up sea salt, honey, and fresh flowers from the San Juan Island Sea Salt stand. Brady Ryan, who makes sea salt from filtered seawater and sunshine, also cultivates honey for San Juan Island Honey. His girlfriend, Leah Wymer runs Bloom San Juan, gathering and selling beautiful bunches of local flowers. Take home a bag of fresh pasta from the San Juan Pasta Company. Made in small batches using farm-fresh eggs, purified water, and non-GMO durum semolina, these pastas and raviolis will make any meal better. (

April 2017 51


Anacortes Farmers Market

he Anacortes Farmers Market has been operating at the Depot since 1989. The market’s goal then holds true today: provide locally produced food and promote healthy eating within the community. Today, between 70 and 75 vendors draw about 3,000 visitors every summer Saturday, and for good reason — live music, plenty of food vendors when you want a break from shopping, and the occasional face painter or balloon artist to keep children entertained. The market is dog-friendly, and some vendors even offer treats to pooches. They accept credit cards, debit cards, and EBT cards, as well as cash. If paying with a card, you'll purchase wooden tokens in $5 increments.

Known For Being an event with a palpable energy. With the food vendors parked around a gathering of picnic tables, live music, and an expansive lawn for children to run around, you can get your shopping done without feeling like you're at a grocery store. The Anacortes Farmers Market also does a great job celebrating its opening day in May this year, and hosting special activities like educational programs for kids and the fall Pie Festival.

Northwest Touch Its practical location for the no-fuss folks. The centrally located Depot is a couple of blocks from downtown and just around the corner from the marina. There's ample parking on adjacent streets and two parking lots.


The Depot 7th St. & R Ave., Anacortes Opening Day: May 6 Saturdays, May 6–Oct. 28, 9 am–2 pm Winter Market every 2nd Sat., Jan.–Apr.

Who to See


Visit Johanne from Jalillah's Cookies. She's been baking for over 20 years and her confections channel her passion. You'll find oversized scones, soft cinnamon rolls with generous tubs? of icing, and brownies made with specially procured Swiss cocoa. If you're lucky enough to get some of her Scandinavian cream cookies before they run out, you're in for a new, and addictive, treat!

Check out the organic produce from Frog's Song Farm. Owned by Nate O'Neil and run by him, his wife, and their daughter, the Fir Island farm brings to market a variety of seasonal produce. Their newest items are antioxidant-rich yacons (please describe) that add a fresh element to any salad.

Pick up some seasonal produce from Moondance Farm. The family-ownedand-operated farm is nestled in the foothills of Mt. Baker. They grow only organic and often have heirloom varieties for sale. Stop by to say hi to Dottie Thomas of Dots (not Dot’s, right?) Stuff. She knits customized socks for patrons. Simply choose your favorite yarn and let her know your shoe size. Women's socks take two days, while men's take three days.

Get a snack from Vivi's Kitchen. They serve authentic Mexican cuisine, holding true to their claim with handmade corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, and traditional ingredients. That incredible smell? It's Vivi's charcoal fire. She adds some onion directly into the charcoal to flavor the smoke that envelopes the slow-roasting meat. Pick up a bar of goat milk soap from North Whidbey Farm. Owned and operated by Kimberley Christensen, the company is dedicated to providing customers natural, sustainable soap products. There's an array of scents to choose from, like Honey & Lemon, Lavender, and even Peppermint Scrub with a loofah embedded into the soap. April 2017 53

Behind the Booths What Goes Into Running a Farmers Market?


utting on a farmers market is no big deal, right? Get some vendors, set up tables, hang some colorful banners and watch the crowds flock in. Wrong. There's a lot of administrative work that goes into making a farmers market run smoothly. Farmers markets are essentially businesses: They need to have a vision, a customer and supply base. Then organizers get to work building a budget, applying for permits, and finding appropriate sites.

© Caroline Kinsman

Another big consideration, of course, is money. Who will pay for everything — the market venue, signs, marketing, etc.? Will it be volunteer- and donation-based? How much do garbage and portable toilets cost? Are there grants to apply for? Will the market be registered as a non-profit, and if so, are the organizers up-to-date on tax laws? Are all the licensing fees paid for and current? How much will the market charge for vendor stall fees? Much like any business, organizers dedicate a substantial amount of time determining the financial details of a market. Luckily, since most farmers markets strive to boost the healthfulness and economy of their communities, many times volunteers and sponsors are willing to donate time and funds. But organizers do have to spend countless hours fundraising. Oftentimes, it comes down to a lot of man — and woman — hours for little-to-no pay for the farmers market manager. Farmers market organizers and workers dedicate their time to building a well-running market because they believe in the value it brings to their community. So every time you shop at one, you are, literally, buying in. And that’s a big deal.


© Caroline Kinsman

Site selection can make or break a market. The site needs to be central in a community, but it’s about more than just visibility. The place also must have access to fire and rescue services and account for zoning and insurance, all while being large enough to hold potential vendors and shoppers. As for vendors, market organizers need to account for an ideal mix of goods: meat, dairy, produce, artisan goods, and food to eat on the spot. You don't want 20% of the stalls selling homemade candles — that simply won't maintain a consistent stream of shoppers.

Bow Little Market Belfast Feed Store 6200 N. Green, Burlington Thursdays June 1–Aug. 31, 1–6 pm Opening day: June 1

Must-Haves Berries from Bow Hill Blueberries. If it's not the season for the sweet nibbles, pick up some of their organic blueberry jam, sauce, and even chocolate covered berries to snack on. The latest: cold-pressed heirloom blueberry juice. Enjoy a cup of coffee from Mae-B-Market. Owners Bill, Gilda, and Deborah Gorr roast organic beans that arguably make the best cup of coffee in the area. That's quite a review for Washington. Beautify your space with a house plant from A-n-A Farm, or pick up one of their dog-paw stepping stones.


he Bow Little Market launched in July 2010 with the motto, "Where the little guy is a big deal."

Held in the Belfast Feed Store, the market caters to smaller farmers and producers trying to get their businesses started, which means new and unusual finds for consumers. They have about 30 vendors to shop from, meaning less congestion when compared to larger markets, perfect for people who want the farmers-market experience without the crowds.

Known For Specifically made items and small-batch-produced food sold in a community-minded environment. Because of its small scale and focus on smaller vendors, you'll get top notch service, even months after you made a purchase.

Northwest Touch Up-cycling and handmade at its best. You'll find decor made from repurposed fabric, recycled wood items, and repurposed denim turned into bags and aprons. There's a value on handmade goods right down to the hand-lettered advertising signs.

Who to See A Man and His Hoe for homemade, fresh, firm tofu, and eggs from arguably the most cared-for chickens in the PNW. The tofu is made from water, organic soybeans, and nigari. The eggs are laid by very happy, free-roaming chickens. They will have the egg-laid date written on the shell and sometimes even the name of the hen that laid them. That's dedication to a product! Check out the Spoon Guy's hand-carved utensils. Allen Berry hand-carves spoons and other utensils from local wood. The result is beautiful, quality serving tools that you'll be hesitant to cover in marinara sauce. View the colorful yarn from Schoonover Farm on Fiber Day (August 24) and during the Harvest and Holiday markets. Donna, the owner, raises her sheep and goats on her Skagit County farm. She uses all natural dyes to obtain just the right hue, then sells the skeins to enthusiastic knitters. (schoonoverfarm. April 2017 55


Mount Vernon Farmers Market

oing strong for 30 years, the Mount Vernon Farmers Market has been operating since 1987. Today it's a vibrant event with live music, an array of vendors, and the occasional cooking competition.

Known For The strong sense of community. Market-goers are loyal and vendors are especially friendly. It's so popular and community-oriented that the market opened a second day of the week, Wednesday, outside the Skagit Valley Hospital, to address requests for more shopping.

Northwest Touch Known for being helpful and neighborly. The market's website is easy to navigate and informative from listing vendors with contact information to charting seasonal produce. The vendors themselves are ready to help customers and explain in detail their production processes. Market amenities like new bathrooms, ample parking, and lively entertainment make grocery shopping more enjoyable. You'll be comfortable shopping at the Mount Vernon's Farmers Market.

Who to See Stop by the Dahlia Depot Farms stand to peruse their organic vegetables and farm-fresh eggs from freerange chickens. Their farm just north of Sedro Woolley is gaining fame thanks to their many varieties of microgreens. Try their Mild Mix on eggs, or kick up a turkey sandwich with their Spicy Mix. ( 56

Riverfront Plaza 509 Main St., Mount Vernon Opening Day: May 20 Saturdays May 20–Oct. 14, 9 am–2 pm Wednesday Market at Skagit Valley Hospital: June 7–Sept. 27, 11 am–4 pm

Green Valley Elixirs is mixing up organic smoothies made with local ingredients. Slurp one up with some of their freshly baked cookies. Try a few samples at the Skagit Maid Creamery stand. Dorothy Bradshaw, the owner, specializes in small batches of camembert and ricotta cheeses, handmade on Samish Island. Every batch is made with non-GMO Guernsey cow milk from Lynden's MyShan Dairy. Guernsey cow milk is known for being gentler on lactose-intolerant digestive systems. (

Must-Haves Enjoy Swedish pancakes from Pancakes at the Market. Owners Candy and Ray have been serving their Lingonberry butter-topped Swedish pancakes at the market for more than 14 years. Buy a jar of honey from Bowen's Bees. Bruce Bowen, the owner, has been keeping bees for over 40 years. His bees freely pollinate around Skagit County, resulting in some of the best blackberry and wildflower honeys you've ever tasted. Pick up some cool, geometric jewelry from LM Inspired. Designer Lauren Grund uses inspiration from nature to set colorful stones into delicate chains and angled wires for unique necklaces and earrings that are sure to garner compliments.


ake a mid-week break at the SedroWoolley Farmers Market. The pint-sized market is ideal for mid-week stocking-up on local ingredients and for an hour or two of relaxing. Their goal to revitalize the community by offering customers locally produced food and artisan products is being realized with an array of products offered by local vendors.

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market Known For The music. Every week features a new artist who keeps the atmosphere festive and prompts visitors to break out into spontaneous dancing.

Northwest Touch This market takes hospitality to the next level. They regularly host customer appreciation initiatives in the form of giveaways, contests, and potluck dinners — just another way of welcoming customers with open arms.

Who to See Check out the cool concrete planters from cc Juls. The hand poured vessels are great for growing succulents or as sturdy candle holders. Visit the Baldham Farm stand to ask about their heritage pigs, Dexter cattle, and Barred Rock chickens. Then bring some of their pork, beef, and fresh eggs home. ( Those with a green thumb need to stop by Shady Pond Tree Farm. Owner Greg Smith brings lush

landscape plants to the market. Beautify your garden with one of their Japanese maples or ornamental plants.

Must-Haves Grab a carton of sun-kissed organic berries from Hayton Farms. The fifth-generation farm on Fir Island began in 1876 by Thomas and Sarah Hayton, who sold grain. Today it's run by Angelica and Robert Hayton and sells berries exclusively. ( Munch on a bag of fresh kettle popcorn from Ma & Pa Kettle Corn. The family-owned and operated business travels around Western Washington so you might catch them at other events. Bring home a box of fruit from Martin Family Orchards. The eastern Washington farm grows the juiciest peaches, nectarines, and apples. A bowl full of their Bing or Rainier cherries is perfect on a lazy afternoon, too. (

Hammer Heritage Square Ferry St. & Metcalf St., Sedro-Woolley Opening Day: May 24 Wednesdays May 24–Oct. 11, 3 pm–7 pm April 2017 57

Bellingham Downtown Market W

hen two Western Washington University students came together in the 1990s, they had no idea that their small idea of a market would sprout into one of the biggest farmers markets in the state. With the help of community member Del Lowry, the group worked together to bring vendors and farmers to the market. Opening day in June 1993 hosted almost 50 vendors, and since then the market has only grown, now operating nearly year-round in Depot Square. The market goes weekly starting Saturday, April 1, kicking off the 2017 season with the traditional (if inexplicable) Opening Day cabbage toss, delivered by a city official to a longtime vendor.

Known For Every second Saturday of the month, the market offers “Demo Days,� helping familiarize customers with seasonal produce and easy-toprepare recipes.

Northwest Touch The enthusiastic, engaged, and caring customer base. The Bellingham community truly cares about the health of their home and environment. Supporting the farmers market is just one way to be committed to Northwest values.


Who to See

© Cynthia St. Clair

Raven Breads: Owner Sophie Williams has a background in farming ecology that leads her to interesting and innovative recipes. Each week, visitors will find a different selection of goods based on season and William’s mood.

Depot Market Square Opening Day: April 1 Apr.–Dec., Sat. 10 am–3 pm Every 3rd Sat. of Jan., Feb., and March

Rabbit Fields Farm: Situated in the Skagit Valley, Roslyn McNicholl’s Rabbit Fields Farm produce is a favorite for marketgoers. Her selection of fresh produce is vast, no matter the season. Cedarville Farm: Cedarville Farms has been in the business of growing organically since the 1980s, making the farmers deeply knowledgeable about responsible farming practices.

Must-Haves A slice of pizza from Gusto Pizza Wood Fired Pizza. This familyrun business is all about sharing their love for wood-fired pizza with Whatcom County. Owner Russ Kendall brings his custommade mobile wood fired pizza oven to events all over the greater Bellingham area and beyond. A sample of honey from Mountain View Honey. The table usually has a few jars open for visitors to try before purchasing. Whether you decide to make a purchase, you’ll be glad for the sweet treat.

© Cynthia St. Clair

If you visit the market in the morning, try a cup of coffee from Bellingham Coffee Roasters. The coffee is strong, smooth, and delicious.

April 2017 59




We have a relatively mild climate which is great for growing all sorts of produce, making it easy to eat a plant-based diet all year long!





Asparagus Baby Bok Choy | Beets | Carrots | Mesclun Salad Mix | Mustard Greens Radishes | Spinach | Turnips & Turnip Greens Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe



Broccoli Rabe







Rhubarb Sunchokes

Sunchokes Arugula | Beet Greens | Broccoli | Chard | Collard Greens | Dandelion Greens | Escarole | Lettuce Artichokes | Cauliflower | Cucumber | Endive | Fennel Kohlrabi Greens & Root | Radicchio | Summer Squashes Nappa Cabbage Pea Vines Snap/Snow Peas Sweet Onion Watercress Cabbage | Corn | Green Beans | Peas | Peppers Sweet and Yellow Onions | Tomatillos | Tomatoes Brussel Sprouts Celery | Pumpkin Sweet Potato | Winter Squash


Fairhaven Wednesday Market


he Fairhaven market was created just a few years after the downtown Bellingham market and was soon brought under the same management umbrella. Now, visitors can find many of the same vendors found at the downtown market in the intimate atmosphere of the Village Green. Purposely timed for the lunch break, stop in for a well-earned lunch and a grassy seat in the sun. The market also hosts a summer concert series featuring free, local talent.

Known For The fresh bucks program. Visitors can use their EBT and SNAP benefits for healthy, local produce. Both the Fairhaven and downtown Bellingham markets participate in the program.

Northwest Touch

© Cynthia St. Clair

Whatcom County’s identifying produce, raspberries, can be found at numerous farmers’ stands including Hopewell Farms and Sumas River Farm. Look for the freshest berries in midsummer.

Fairhaven Village Green: Opening Day: June 7 June–August, Wednesday 12 pm–5 pm

Must-Haves Carrots from Hopewell Farms are sweet and crisp. While Hopewell Farms carries an array of other fruits and vegetables, the carrots truly can’t be missed. The Samish Bay Cheese stand is always crowded. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample. Owners Suzanne and Roger Wechsler are known for their generous tasters. A juicy peach from Martin Family Orchards. The summer months bring peaches, nectarines, and apricots to the family farm, all are worth a try.

Who to See Mount Bakery: This Bellingham favorite has locations at both the Fairhaven and Bellingham markets, making it an easy, and essential, stop during your market visits. The from-scratch pastries, including the marionberry scones, are a perfect way to finish off your market lunch. Cascadia Mushrooms: Alex Winstead, owner and founder of Cascadia Mushrooms, has had a love for all things fungi since he was a child. He has since put his fascination to work, and, with the help of a degree in mycology, he began Cascadia Mushrooms in 2005. Terra Verde Garden: Amy Skuter and Rudy-Nicholas Fontaine began Terra Verde Garden in their shared plot on the 32nd street Bellingham Community Garden. After their small success, all it took was the confidence to grow their business into their 10-acre farm in Everson. April 2017 61


he Ferndale Market began in 2007 and has since grown into a market of more than 30 vendors. Each vendor hand-selects their products, whether it’s produce or artisan crafts, to sell to community members. The market also offers an opportunity for youth vendors. On the second Friday of each month, vendors under 18 are allowed to vend for free. The goal is to promote the importance of local, nutrient-rich, produce and supporting the community among young people.

Known For Having a similar selection to the Bellingham market, but without the crowds and parking headaches. Less people means more space for kids to play and more elbow room for shopping.

Northwest Touch The location makes the market. Located along the riverwalk, the environment is a destination within itself.

Who to See Misty Mountain Farm: The farmers at Misty Mountain are committed to being stewards of sustainability. The farmers do not use chemical fertilizers, 62

© Cynthia St. Clair

Ferndale Market Centennial Riverwalk Park, Ferndale Opening Day: June 16 June–October 1 pm–6pm pesticides or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Plus, each week farmers Arial and Matthew Buza provide weekly recipe cards and cooking advice for customers. Bees Choice Honey: Choose from wildflower, raspberry, or fireweed honey at their market stand. In addition to making delicious natural honey, Bees Choice Honey provides pollination services to community members.

Must-Haves Flowers from Wildrye Farm for that special someone. Wildrye Farm grows more than 60 varieties of flowers and foliage with a commitment to avoid synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or synthetic pesticides. They have a flower for just about every taste. A henna tattoo from Two Birds Henna. This body art is beautiful, delicate, and best of all, temporary. A stop at the henna stand is a fun activity for all ages. A snack made by NW Gourmet Harvest producers. The Pacific Northwest company is dedicated to creating delicious products, like salad dressings and sauces, without artificial additives.


he Lynden market was originally founded in 2011 with the goal of supporting local artisans and farmers. It usually hosts around 20 vendors, but since vendors are not required to commit to an entire season, the market shifts each week. The market was founded by the non-profit Christian-based conservation group, A Rocha USA, and is run as part of the group’s Five Loaves Farm community garden project. The Five Loaves Farm community garden in Lynden works to distribute food to those in need, and to reconnect consumers with the source of their food.

Known For Being helpful to vendors themselves by keeping fees low and rules and regulations from being too restrictive for its artisans and farmers. It is truly a vendor-friendly market.

Northwest Touch As part of the nonprofit, the Lynden Farmers Market mission embodies Northwest values. With the support of the community, small-businesses thrive, the environment is better taken care of, and people stay educated about their connection to food.

Who to See


Farmers Market 324 Front St., Lynden Opening Day: TBA June–October, Thursday 12pm to 5pm

While the market does not have set vendors, if you’re lucky you’ll get to see The Little Things and Heaven Kinder Creations. Both vendors specialize in handmade crafts. The Little Things provides soaps, lotions, scrubs, and lovely shampoos and conditioners. Heaven Kinder Creations using recycled materials, like light bulbs and tea cups, to make fun home goods. Slanted Sun Farms: Located in Everson, this farm’s mission is to provide healthy and sustainably grown produce for those in need. These farmers strongly believe that access to a nutritious diet is a right, not a privilege.

Must-Haves While the market features vendors on a rotating basis, visitors should look out for non-edible goods. Handmade soaps and artisan honey are popular among regular marker-goers. April 2017 63



to be a


in your own town

Written by Catherine Torres, Kate Galambos, Hannah Amundson, & Shannon Finn

You don't have to pack any bags or take vacation days. You might not even have to gas up the car. We're talking about enjoying your hometown by stepping out as a tourist. Sure, we know you might cringe at the idea of being mistaken for a visitor when you already know where the best coffee 64

shop is, can map the local trails from memory, and what breweries give your dog a bowl of water every time you visit. But there's something to be said about viewing your hometown through an outsider's lens. Here are 50 ways to make the most of our local area — by visiting as a tourist would.

1 2

Hit the waves in a kayak. You can either rent a kayak and go solo, or join a tour. A guide can offer insights to the coastal waters, marine life, and kayaking tips.

Go on a day hike, birding walk, or even a historical barn tour. The key is going somewhere you haven't been before.


Embark on a fishing adventure. Our waters are chock full of delicious fish. Catch some aboard a charter boat.


Try stand up paddle boarding on the calmer bays and lakes. Many rental companies collaborate with yoga instructors to offer stand up paddle board yoga lessons. Go ahead and test your flexibility and balance!


If you're more into spirits, visit local distilleries, like Valley Shine Distillery in Mt. Vernon, Bellewood Acres, Chuckanut Bay Distillery or Mount Baker Distillery in Bellingham. Bring a bottle home and try your hand at making a cocktail.


Š Catherine Torres

Š Emma Hartwell


Get caffeinated on a coffee roasters tour. We're lucky to live among great coffee that's locally roasted. Find out how it's done and what local producers do to stand out.

7 Š Shannon Finn

Take a winery tour without driving to central Washington. Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan Island counties all have great vineyards. Consider organizing a group of friends for a vineyard tour.



Give into the kombucha craze with a kombucha brewery visit. If a brewery isn't nearby, see about trying samples in the local kombucha bar. Or brew your own (see page 24).

Hit the streets with a camera. Take pictures of your favorite sights: murals, a gnarled tree, sea gulls over the water. By looking with an artistic eye, you'll notice new things about familiar surroundings.

April 2017


Š Diane Padys


Chase the sunset or catch the sunrise. Being situated between the coast and mountains secures some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Pack a picnic and claim a front row seat in a particularly beautiful spot.



Play hooky and hit up the good happy hours on Tuesday. Nothing feels more touristy than drinking in the afternoon on a weekday!

Catch your dinner! Go clamming, crabbing, or fishing along our beautiful coastline. (Be sure to purchase a permit first.)


Spend the night in a great bed and breakfast, be sure to sleep in. By the way, this can be a great anniversary gift!


Book a spa day at that chic hotel. If your spa attendant asks where you're from, claim another state just for fun, and ask for recommendations for other things to do.


Get dressed up for an upscale dinner and a show with a loved one. Be sure to do this on an ordinary night, not a special occasion. It'll feel more like a vacation.

April 2017



Check out Camel Safari. Yes, for real. Where else can you see these desert-residing creatures in the Pacific Northwest, known for its rain forests? Visiting the Camel Safari is both educational and fun for all ages and just $25 a per person for the hour-long “encounter.”


© Bellingham Aviation Services


Motor skyward with a Bellingham Helicopter tour. Bellingham Aviation Services offer helicopter aerial tours over Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands, Mount Baker, and other scenic spots. These views are like nothing you’ll find on the ground.

© Alice Aycock


Western Gallery at Western Washington University. Rotating exhibits from near (faculty) and far (various countries) make the Gallery a hidden gem. If you want some fresh air, stroll the campus and see Western’s renowned sculpture collection.


Take a pedal party brewery tour: Enjoy our breweries in an unusual way. Pedal Party NW’s tours take you and your crew to the breweries of your choice via your own pedaling feet. Burn off those brews while you move.


Root, root, root at a Bellingham Bells game: Bells games are an inexpensive way to spend a spring or summer night outside at Joe Martin Field near Civic Stadium. Check the promotional schedule online for themed and discounted games. Hint: The team loves to support our local breweries.

© C9 Photography


Mount Baker Theater: The beautiful and historic Mount Baker Theater is the perfect place to spend a winter evening. From ballets to stand-up comedy, there is a show that will ignite the interest of just about anyone.


Stroll around Boulevard Park. Enjoy a warm beverage at Woods Coffee to accompany you as you walk around the boardwalk. On a clear day, you can even see the Cascades!


See the Bellingham Railway Museum. Railroads were a key part of the developing American West and still run through Bellingham. The museum focuses on the history of railroading in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. Learn about how essential this mode of transportation has been for our little corner of the world since 1883. Š Shannon Finn


© Campfire Photography

Take the Good Time Girls’ Sin and Gin walking tour of Bellingham. Skip the traditional walking tour and opt for a little more spice and intrigue with the Good Time Girls. The tours feature Bellingham’s sinful past with lively stories of pastera saloons and prostitution. Local history can’t get much better than that.


Paint your own pottery. For a little more land-based fun, and something perfect for a rainy day, visit Creativitea in downtown Fairhaven. It's as simple as selecting a piece of pre-made pottery, picking a favorite color or design, and waiting for three to five days while your lovely pottery is being glazed and fired.


Visit the Lavender Farm: Sequim is heaven for lavender lovers. Fragrant, colorful lavender farms abound due to the town’s location in the Olympic Mountains’s rain shadow. Most farms are family-owned and run.

April 2017




Ski Mt. Baker: The fun never stops at Baker. Enjoy this more intermediate- expert- level mountain usually from about December through March, depending on conditions. The mountain lodge also offers rentals and lessons for those less experienced. Skier or not, anyone can sit in the lodge and warm up to Baker's tasty salmon chowder, served in a bread bowl.



Š Lisa Dills

Drive to Artist Point: The drive from downtown Bellingham to the end of Hwy. 542 takes about 90 minutes and the views are so spectacular it almost feels like cheating. The drive follows the glacially fed Nooksack River, and if you get up top on a clear day, you can be rewarded with striking views of Mt. Shuksan, the Cascades and Canadian Rockies.

Take an Oyster Dome hike: The stunning view has made the hike so popular that Seattleites make the drive up just for the day. About six miles of 1900 ft. elevation gain are entirely worth it when the sweeping panorama of the San Juan Islands greets you at the top.


© Shannon Finn

Tour the George E. Pickett House Museum: Built in 1856, it was a home for the Civil War general later remembered — fairly or not — for leading the Confederates’ ill-fated charge at Gettysburg (more on that if you go). As the oldest house remaining on its original foundation in Washington state, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.


Purchase some local art. We live among some incredible artisans who offer a variety of works in all different mediums. Check out some galleries to find the perfect piece of art.


Walk around Rotary Park in Anacortes. Enjoy the sea life, boats, and multiple beaches.


Visit a U-pick to pick your own fruit and produce at local farms. Depending on the season, produce might not be available to pick, so check online ahead of time.



Bellewood Acres: This farm offers enough activities for multiple visits. In the fall, stop by for a pumpkin or to pick your own apples. Cozy up in the winter at the Country Cafe with a fresh pastry. And visit the distillery year-round for delicious “Farm to Glass” spirits.

Take a ferry to Lummi Island. Whether you go for a night or a day trip, check out the Beach Store Cafe, look for the petroglyph at Sunset Beach, and meet your dinner at Nettles Farm

April 2017



Kayak from La Conner to Goat Island. Rentals of kayaks start April 1. It’s known to be one of the best kayaking areas in the state!


Eat at AB Crepes in downtown Bellingham — whether to satisfy your sweet tooth or keep it simple with savory.


Visit Victoria: While Whistler and Vancouver get plenty of visitors from this part of the state, Victoria isn’t given the attention it deserves. An easy ferry ride from either Anacortes or Vancouver B.C. will take you to the lovely island. Be sure to visit the Butchart Gardens if you go in spring.

41 39

Settle in at the Pickford Film Center: More than just a movie theater, this local treasure is cheery, comfortable and hosts first-run, first-rate films and festivals. The staff is committed to supporting Bellingham’s thriving art and film scene. Check online for show times and the rotating schedule.

Soak in Baker Hot Springs: For those of us who get serious cabin fever during our long Washington winters, a hike up to the hot springs is the perfect solution. Located on Baker Lake Road, off Highway 20. Turn onto Forest Service Road 1130 and stay right. Hike just a short half-mile to the well-mark springs.


Buckle up at the Sumas International Motorsports Academy (SIMA). Channel your inner Dale Earnhardt Jr. Whether you want to start learning to race go-karts, watch an exciting race, or just rent a few karts for an afternoon with friends, SIMA provides plenty of options for a lively experience.



Take a ferry: We live in a perfect location where in just a day you can travel by land and sea. Ferries out of Anacortes run to the San Juan Islands daily. The best part is, if you leave your car behind, tickets are as little as about $14.

Bellingham Tap Trail: Twice a year the Bellingham Tap Trail comes out with a guide to all the best breweries and tap rooms. Take a few months, few days, or hours and mark off all the stops on the map.

April 2017


Hometown Top 10 Annual Events


Check out the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, opening this month. Find what fields are in bloom with the RoozenGaarde Bloom Map.


Dirty Dan festival: The annual festival is a celebration of Fairhaven’s community founder Dirty Dan Harris. The event features live music, food from local vendors, a donut-eating contest, and plenty more activities. This year the festival falls on Sunday, April 23.


© Birch Bay Waterslides


Jump in at Birch Bay Waterslides. On those warm summer days, grab your suit and towel and make your way to the park, which offers four main slides, a river ride, hot tub, and the extreme 60-footer. Hang onto your trunks!



Ski to Sea race and festival: This iconic team relay race, held the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, traverses from the Mount Baker ski area all the way to Bellingham Bay. Whether or not you’re looking to be a part of the adventure, Bellingham’s biggest street festival, pre-race parade and other fun events are open to everyone.


Join Bellingham’s Art Walk on the first Friday of every month. Museums, art galleries and shops open their doors to showcase art and even provide food.



© Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

April Brews Day: On Saturday, April 29, the Max Higbee Center brings more than 60 breweries together in downtown Bellingham. As if that wasn’t enough to draw you in, the event also has vendors, local music, and fun games. The day is a culmination of Bellingham Beer Week, where local breweries hold special events throughout the week.

Check out the Whatcom Lightcatcher Museum: The focal point of the museum is the 37-foot tall and 180-foot-long wall, designed by Jim Olson, which captures sunlight. Beyond the wall, the museum offer rotating exhibits and an interactive gallery.

46 © Kristoffer Arestol

Visit the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention. On the weekends the museum hosts a special show, the MegaZapper Electric Show, where the supercharged zapper releases 12-foot arcs of purple lightning. Hair-raising.


Buy oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms off Chuckanut Drive. The entrance is a little hidden on Chuckanut, but a wellworth stop — especially in the spring or summertime. Visitors can even get a shucking lesson and have a picnic right on the shore. Can’t get fresher than that.


Go whale-watching in the San Juan Islands. Living right by the ocean gives residents many opportunities to enjoy sea life. Take a ferry over to Friday Harbor and transfer over to another boat to watch some magnificent sea mammals!

April 2017



Hear Downtown Sounds: For the last 13 years, The Beauty Institute Schwarzkopf Professional beauty school has sponsored this free concert series. Every Wednesday from July 5 to August 2, local musicians, Boundary Bay Brewery, and local food vendors gather in the 1300 block of Bay Street in downtown Bellingham.


The San Juan Island Lavender Festival is held annually in July. Learn about the farm-to- essentialoil process, taste lavender infused foods, and even cut your own bouquet.


Northwest Washington Fair: The fair began as a small street fair put together by local farmers and merchants in Lynden. Since 1909, it has grown into quite the experience, featuring a massive rodeo in addition to the classic fair exhibits and food.


Kayak camping on Lummi Island: Travel by kayak to the boat-only campground on the southeast corner of Lummi Island. The campground is equipped with outhouses and cleared campsites. If you need to rent a sea kayak the Community Boating Center in Fairhaven is a great place to get all the necessities. Make sure you have the right training and are wearing your PFD.


Peruse the Anacortes Art Festival: an art-filled event geared towards raising money to support creativity in the community. It's held annually the first full weekend in August.


The Skagit County Fair is being held this year August 9–12. It's everything you expect from a county fair: fun rides, challenging games, live music, petting zoo, and of course great fair food.


Drive to Deception Pass State Park in the day, explore, and stay to see the sun set over water. Consider how lucky you are to live on the West Coast.


Bellingham Cruise Terminal • 355 Harris Avenue #104, Bellingham

360-738-8099 • wHAles.Com

3 Whale Watching Options from Bellingham! Join us aboard one of our three tour vessels for an unforgettable experience in the San Juan Islands. • Deluxe Whale Watch, our daily excursion with Friday Harbor visit and salmon lunch

Cracked Crab Dinner Cruise Bellingham’s premier waterfront dining experience. Cruise Chuckanut Bay while enjoying Dungeness Crab and other delicacies.

• Express Whale Watch on weekends with lasagna lunch • Evening Whale Watch on weekdays with sunset and dinner

Sucia Island Picnic Cruise

Bellingham Bay BREWers Cruise

Cruise north to this state park island, one of the true gems of the San Juans, for an afternoon picnic on the beach and nature walk.

Wednesday evening beer tasting cruises. Each cruise includes 9 craft beers from 3 local breweries and snacks.

unWINEd on the Bay A glass of wine, the gentle sway of the boat, a beautiful sunset - a truly unique wine tasting experience.

LaConner Deception Pass Depart Bellingham for a scenic cruise to La Conner through Deception Pass, including an on-board lunch.


Jack & Michelle Johnson

When it comes to servicing and repairing your garage doors and openers, no one does it better than Overhead Door. No matter what brand or model... from simple tune-ups and repairs to full replacement and the experts at Overhead Door to get the job done right – right away.

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HABITAT Home Remodel Tips and Tricks ¡ Featured Home



t might be safe to say that while keeping the color palette tame on this project, we got wild with the style. Prior to our makeover, we were welcomed with a pet-soiled offwhite carpet with poorly placed furniture. My client rarely used this room and wished to make improvements in order to entertain during holidays. Her dream was to have an inviting space with a better layout for seating and conversations. She also had an awkward nook that always felt disconnected and she had no idea how to include it. We started with a sketch to establish the floor plan, and then presented the conceptual design. My client had a flair for the Tuscan look and adored animal print fabrics. With a rich foundation and lighter pieces to layer, we started in. The carpet was replaced with a beautiful hand-scraped hardwood floor. The fireplace was resurfaced in a gorgeous taupe and gray-stacked stone, and the walls were painted in a stunning greige, with the ceiling two tones darker. The finishing touches were a juxtaposition, elegant decor and a touch of zebra, cheetah, and leopard patterns. ‌ continued on next page

HABITAT Featured Home

The unusual nook was then turned into the “all-of-a-sudden-so-obvious” bar, with cocktail cart and serving ware. For her design splurge, and to satisfy her old-world-charm look, we bought a custom hutch with wrought iron detailing, which majestically looks over the entire space. Now there are several areas to gather for everyday and holiday socializing. While keeping the color palette tame on this project; we got wild with the style! Many different textures added interest and depth to what had been a beige and boring space. Now, with several areas to entertain, this room will be functional during holidays and every day. Our living room project has enhanced the space by finally allowing — and more importantly — welcoming multiple people to enjoy the room together. With added seating and

a beverage station, this room now is a destination place to gather and visit. Also, by eliminating the off-white carpet and replacing with a durable, darker and easy-to-keep flooring, high traffic won’t take a toll. The project also enhanced the space’s aesthetics, with the stunning combination of restful and rich colors. Before the remodel, a drab, monochromatic color palette was not consistent with the rest of the home. With the client drawn to ornate fashions, jewel tones and animal print, each item was strategically placed to create a storybook room with luxurious fabrics, well-crafted furnishings and silk taffeta drapery. The multitude of textures and finishes creates a lush and inviting space, which is not only pleasing to the eye, but also comfortable. 

A vertical mirror draws the eye toward this decorative shelf while providing variety and a stylish addition to the room's jewel tones.

Darker, durable flooring replaced well-used off-white carpeting and Richly dark furnishings add contrast to beige and white sofas and walls.

will be easier to keep.


PREMIER HOMES Bellingham Luxury and privacy in this timeless rambler. Built in 1964, fully remodeled to effective age 2011. 4700 SF, 3 beds, 4 baths, 3 fireplaces, mother-in-law suite, wine cellar and luxurious master on a shy acre in beautiful Edgemoor. 415 Briar Road, Bellingham $1,290,000 | MLS # 1071441

HEATHER OTHMER Windermere, Fairhaven 360.739.9224

Semiahmoo First fairway wonder — Main floor living with gracious and inviting guest rooms upstairs. 8" wide hickory plank flooring, stunning kitchen and bathrooms in perfect condition, 4 bedroom home with bonus room.

5417 Canvasback Rd., Semiahmoo $849,000 | MLS # 1067558

KATHY STAUFFER Windermere, Managing Broker 360.815.4718

Semiahmoo Most unique backyard you could imagine! South facing home overlooks Turnberry Pond. Large living space — exceptional detail throughout, custom fir built-ins, granite counters, new lighting makes this home shine through the beautiful custom crafted windows!

Windermere, Managing Broker

8849 Goldeneye Ln., Semiahmoo $839,900 | MLS # 1064409



Semiahmoo Not a single step in this 3,200 sqft. rambler. Coveted location overlooks almost 2 acres of open space. Beautiful use of cherry wood, natural stone, 1,000 sqft garage plus potting shed for the gardener in all of us. 8687 Great Horned Owl Ln., Semiahmoo $749,900 | MLS # 1020145

KATHY STAUFFER Windermere, Managing Broker 360.815.4718


BEST PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET This month: Stay-cation Homes! With Homes like these you are on vacation every day. Living a resort life-style is easy when your back yard is a Northwest paradise. Walking, running, biking, swimming, golfing, tennis, fishing, kayaking, crabbing, beaching, playing in your own back's a wonderful life! 1.  SEMIAHMOO A large open great room-contemporary Northwest style--minutes from the beach is the perfect place to call home. Main floor living with "chef's" kitchen & outdoor patio with wood burning fireplace. Lots of room to store all you need in the 3-car garage with shop/2-piece bath. Ideal for a wood worker or any kind of craft! Stone wall courtyard has raised garden beds but the enclosure is also perfect for Fido! Beautiful trim windows, fir doors, custom built ins! Quality construction detail! $629,000, 5765 Great Blue Heron Lane, Blaine, MLS 1082917

Vancouver Blaine | Semiahmoo


2.  SEMIAHMOO Sunny 7th fairway is home to this custom built property offering Great room with open kitchen. Vaulted ceiling with french doors that lead to raised patio. Main floor master--main floor private guest suite & main floor media room/den. Upstairs bonus room with bath features great light & serves as additional guest quarters or very private home office. Beautifully maintained with many new features from stack stone fireplace, interior painting, luscious landscape & new heat pump! Best of the best! $550,000, 8624 Blue Grouse Way, Blaine, MLS 1082923

3.  SEMIAHMOO Stunning west facing waterfront home with incredible value. This home has magnificent windows capturing the sunsets & the twinkling night lights of White Rock BC. Clean lines--vaulted ceilings & gracious open space gives new meaning to the work GREAT room. Kitchen opens to deck that hovers over the water. Unique cherry paneled family room with fireplace separates two private guest suites. Floor plan is timeless--choose your own updates on your own schedule & make this home your own! $1,150,000, 9149 Great Blue Heron Lane, Blaine, MLS 1087771


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




his home, a one-time 1930s beach cabin, got so cold in winter that its owner would routinely flee to Mexico for three months. But after six years of annual escapes, it was time to put down year-round roots. And a foundation. This renovated kitchen was the final flourish to an extended whole-house remodel that included installing a foundation and weatherizing with plenty of insulation, so much that it snuffed out what was once living space in the attic. General contractor Chuckanut Builders, with interior designer Robin Luchsinger of Bellevue, carefully retained the home’s historic character by keeping the original windows and stone fireplace, and closely matching the wood paneling from the house’s Depression-era roots. The kitchen was updated with finishes like Marmoleum flooring, subway tile, and stainless steel appliances, along with new plumbing and electrical, including undercabinet LED lighting that showcases custom cabinets installed by New Whatcom Interiors. Removing an interior wall ushered in natural light and a beautiful bay view from the kitchen, where an eating bar was installed, and removing steps to the attic loft added nearly 100 feet to the 1,700-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin. The project was jump-started by an audit through Sustainable Connections’ Community Energy Challenge, where homeowners pay to have their home evaluated for energy efficiency and then receive subsidies and incentives to fix it. The cabin, located on a plateau off Chuckanut Drive, got woeful scores initially. But this year, with a house sealed up and cozy, the owner spent his first full winter at home, except for three weeks in Mexico during Bellingham’s rainy February. Can you blame him? 


EVENT CALENDAR JUNE 1 | AUGUST 3 | NOVEMBER 2 Meet The Chef is an interactive demonstration dinner where you learn to prepare and create a full course meal from a local chef. Hosted by our good friends at Judd & Black, in their amazing test kitchen, set up bistro style. Seating is limited!

JULY 8 | SEPTEMBER 16 Sips of the Season highlights wine, spirit, and brew makers four times per year. Experience four great sips perfectly paired with small plates from some of our favorite local restarurants or pubs. Bellingham Alive hosts a live raffle at the event. Guests receive a swag bag that includes a keepsake glass.

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

A Prime Dining Experience Max Dale’s Steak & Chop House WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY CATHERINE TORRES


n 1951 Max and Pauline Dale wanted to open a burger place within a sophisticated setting. Max Dale’s Steak & Chop House began serving exceptional burgers in a dining room of white-clothed tables and chandeliers overhead. In 1976 the restaurant experienced a severe fire. The insurance claims adjuster, Tony Pickering helped the Dales work through paperwork during rebuilding. Pickering didn’t have any restaurant experience, yet found himself drawn to the business. He began working as a manager, learned the ropes, and helped implement Max’s vision of adding steak to the restaurant’s repertoire. In the 1970s steak and potatoes was a trending menu option, and the newly rebuilt Max Dale’s wanted a piece of the action. Eventually Pickering bought the place in 1982. He opened a sister restaurant, Stanwood Grill in Stanwood with a similar fine-dining atmosphere. He also boosted both restaurants’ community involvement. Just last year Max Dale’s partook in the Skagitonian Fundraiser to preserve farmland. … continued on next page

DINE Feature

In 2006 Pickering’s son Danny and nephew Paul bought both restaurants. Since taking over, Danny and Paul adhere to the classic menu, but have additional options including gluten-free dishes. They brought on chef David Peterson about four years ago. Danny boasted that Peterson is talented and thoroughly understands flavors and technique. “He can do a lot of things really well,” Danny said. Since coming on the team Peterson has made the menu more current and less a la cart, with a focus on ensuring all the components on every plate go well together. Max Dale’s has been been using the same midwestern meat purveyor for 40 years, and serves local produce and products like Lopez Island Creamery Ice Cream and Fidalgo Bay Coffee. The menu consists of daily specials and features burgers of the week so adventurous patrons can shake things up. Prime rib served with a choice of sides, and un-fussy burgers keeps happy those who want it straightforward and traditional. Their attitude towards food is working, as demonstrated by Max Dale’s successful participation in the James Beard Foundation’s 2016 Blended Burger Project. The only requirement for the contest was to use at least 25% fresh mushrooms in each burger patty. This results in a more delicious burger that’s healthier and more environmentally friendly than an all-beef patty. Chefs prepare their burgers, upload images, and fans vote for their favorites. In the nationwide contest Max Dale’s won 34th place. They plan on entering again this year. It’s no wonder they did so well, since their hit-the-spot burgers satisfy any burger craving. Atop buttery-soft rolls, the hand-formed patties are juicy and flame-broiled so guests inhale the scent of fire with each tender bite. On the side, thick-cut steak fries are crisp and classic, with none of those special seasoning mixes or special dips that so many restaurants are doing nowadays. Even the simple side salad with zesty Italian dressing tastes like more than an afterthought, often the case at other places. When you visit,


try the Big Max Burger, complete with a bacon-wrapped cheese stuffed jalapeño, or one of the weekly burger specials. You also can’t go wrong with the short ribs, or, of course, the trademark Max Dale’s prime rib with choice of sides. They’re even hosting a Win A Year of Prime Rib Contest April 27 through June 18, in honor of National Prime Rib Day. Winners will get free prime rib monthly for a year. A restaurant needs to do more than just serve a good meal, and Max Dale’s raises the bar on service and atmosphere. Guests enjoy the carefully designed menu in cozy alcoves. The high-back bench seats allow guests to linger over their meals in private conversations, and the low light creates a warm ambiance. If you’re looking for a drink and a light meal, then venture into Max Dale’s Martini Lounge. They offer smaller plates and casual fare of burgers and sandwiches, but you can also order a full-sized dinner. You’ll find the same laidback, relaxed vibe, comfortable couches, and low, neverover-powering background music as in the restaurant. Posters featuring The Godfather, Jimi Hendrix, and Elvis decorate the wall of the Martini Lounge, a sort of shrine to the people who surely would have settled into a similar setting to sip a cocktail. The bartenders regularly come up with new drinks and specials, but they do their classics well and have an extensive cocktail list that’s been developed over the years. You’ll find craft local beers, an ode to whiskey on their Top Shelf Tuesday night, and Danny’s favorite drink, the El Diablo — a mix of tequila, ginger beer, and crème de cassis. Between the food, drinks, and setting, it’s clear Max Dale’s Steak & Chop House specializes in craftsmanship. Danny explains their goal. “We’re not just feeding people, we’re trying to give them a really great experience with something new, or something old done really well.”  2030 Riverside Dr., Mount Vernon 360.424.7171 |

DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating   . . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at

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




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.

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.   FRIDAY HARBOR HOUSE Regional NW 130 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.8455, 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 off 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.

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.   FORTUNE MANDARIN Chinese/Mandarin 1617 Freeway Dr., Mt. Vernon 360.428.1819,



an addictive green crema sauce. COA Mexican Eatery also offers the last Monday of every month as Customer Appreciation Day, where customers get 50 percent off food. Deals and good food — what more could you want?


Dining Guide

901 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.293.7315 720 S. 1st St., La Conner, 360.466.4451 121-B Freeway Drive, Mt. 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.   COA MEXICAN EATERY Mexican 102 S. 10th St., Mt. Vernon, 360.840.1938 214 Maple Ave., La Conner, 360.466.0267 One way to reel customers in is to offer dollar tacos on Tuesdays and $5 margaritas on Fridays. That’s just the start. One bite of a taco or one sip of a margarita and you’re hooked. Even on a different night, with the choice of fajitas, burritos, chimichangas, or flan, you won’t be disappointed. Fan favorites include the fish tacos with local grilled fish and spicy mango Pico de Gallo, carne asada burrito seasoned to perfection, and tres enchiladas with

Tea warmed over a candle, delicious drinks with a slight exotic twist, tender and flavorful almond chicken, and warm and mildly spicy Mandarin shrimp with broccoli are expected at this peaceful bar and restaurant with Chinese decor. Try the to-die-for meals such as the Szechwan chicken with varying vegetables cooked to perfection, the orange chicken with real orange pieces accentuating the dish, and the egg rolls with the right amount of crunch. The owner and staff remember regular patrons, creating a sense of community with their hospitality and mouthwatering food.   GARDEN CAFE American 18923 Johnson Rd, Mt. Vernon 360.848.9189 Inside the Skagit Valley’s greenhouse is a quaint cafe with wooden chairs, faux windows, outdoor fences, fairy lights, hanging greenery, and natural light streaming in. Order the BLTO (bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion) — a slightly different classic with a twist that will change all BLT sandwiches for you. Or maybe your taste buds crave a little spiciness — then try the Reuben. If it’s a cold, cloudy day, go for a warm, soothing soup that is always served with a side of soft-baked bread. To end the meal, try the key lime pie that perfectly matches its creamy sweet filling with the smooth graham cracker crust. The Garden Cafe counts on its fresh ingredients and proves its worth with taste.

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SKAGIT RIVER BREWERY American 404 S. 3rd St., Mt. Vernon 360.336.2884, Inspiration bred from English and German brews and made with Yakima Valley hops and Northwest barley and wheat, Skagit River Brewery produces the finest beers with distinguishable tastes. If you prefer heavy beer, go for the Steelie Brown, a rich, malty brew that is light on bitterness and hops. Try Sculler’s IPA or Gospel IPA if you want a combination of crisp and refreshing flavors of citrus and grapefruit with varying degrees of hoppiness. Seasonal beers also appear on the menu for locals to try something new. For those under 21 or those preferring non-alcoholic options, check out Skagit River Brewery’s homemade root beer and even have the root beer float for dessert. To complement the beers and non-alcoholic drinks, the brewery also prides itself on its selection of foods from wood-fired pizza to Chelan cherry wood-smoked ribs to clams simmered in a lemon sauce. Beer brings people together. At least it’s proven so in the Pacific Northwest. So, if you’re an avid beer drinker or know people who are, come to Skagit River Brewery to enjoy the ales and agers brewed in town.   SKAGIT VALLEY’S FARMHOUSE American 13724 Laconner Whitney Road, Mt. Vernon 360.466.4411,

American Farm-to-Table with a French Twist DINNER - BRUNCH - HAPPY HOUR LIVE MUSIC - Thu.-Sat. 7pm-9pm

Craving home-cooked food but don’t want to make it yourself? Skagit Valley’s Farmhouse may be what you’re looking for. When first entering the building, you walk past a pie showcase with mouthwatering lemon meringue pies (that are pretty big!) and go through a gift shop that has the perfect items for Ma and Pa. The decor is reminiscent of country living. With raved-about dishes such as the Corned Beef Hash and the seafood omelet with bay shrimp and Dungeness crab, the farmhouse is a must. Even though their breakfasts are famous, try their lunch and dinner menus as well — their old-fashioned turkey dinner tastes like Thanksgiving. When you eat here, you’re home.   TAQUERIA LA BAMBA Mexican 2222 Riverside Dr., Mt. Vernon 360.424.0824

1200 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham | (360) 306-3917 92

Off the road and inside a small plaza sits a little gem — a family-run low-key Mexican restaurant. Taqueria La Bamba offers authentic taco truck food in a sit-down restaurant. The salsas are spicy, full of flavor and made in-house. They serve four salsas and the one you presume to be the mildest, the Pico de Gallo, is the hottest, but one of the best tastes to add to your dish. Try the tostada with your meat of choice and enjoy the sides of roasted jalapeno (more spiciness!) and grilled onions. It’s delicious, satisfying, and costs less than $4. If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food at a low price, eat here and you won’t be disappointed.

Restaurant Review




t Good to Go Meat Pies in Everson, you get some history baked in with the shop’s hearty pasties. Owner and founder Holly Bevan-Bumford hung up a picture of her great-grandfather’s confection shop in the dining area. Bevan-Bumford’s grandmother, Audrey, was just a little girl when her father owned the confection shop, called Cook’s Candy Shop, located in downtown Detroit. Bevan-Bumford learned how to bake apple pies and work with pastries from her grandmother. Years later, Audrey’s father sold the shop. “He sold the shop and bought a Model T and took his family on a cross-country adventure,” Bevan-Bumford said of her great-grandfather, “Wish I could have met him.” Well, you’ll be glad you met Bevan-Bumford, a vibrant woman with a friendly, kind heart that she brings to her baking. Everson is nestled in the foothills of the Cascades, and, while passing through, you will likely be charmed by the country lifestyle. Farms, shops and restaurants line the quiet streets of this small town. Good to Go is a good fit with its pasty, a small pie that typically contains meat and assorted vegetables. You can either grab one to go or sit in the quaint yet casual dining area. Bevan-Bumford is originally from Michigan, known a century ago for its copper mines. The pasty tradition has been passed down generation after generation. Bevan-Bumford has expanded the art with an assortment of fillings. Pasties at her

restaurant range from chicken pot pie, pot roast, vegetable, to a curry chicken pasty, to name a few. One pasty will keep you going until your next meal. Bevan-Bumford said Cornish wives from Cornwall, the southwest region of England, made fresh, warm pasties for their husbands before they went to work in the mines. During lunch, the miners held onto the pasty crust, then threw the crust away because their hands were dirty with copper’s poisonous arsenic. These days, you can enjoy the flaky, scrumptious crust. Bevan-Bumford works with local farmers for a lot of her meat and produce. She figures approximately 30 percent of the pasty ingredients are sourced locally. The farms range from Broadleaf Farms, Terra Verde Farms to Hopewell Farms; all located within the Everson area. Good to Go Meat Pies has been in business for just about five years. Their first location was here in Everson until two years ago, when they set up another shop in Lynden. They’ve been at the Bellingham Farmers market for three years now. Not only will you find delicious, mouth-watering pasties in Good to Go Meat Pies, but you will also be enriched in a centuries-old tradition. Be sure to grab a chocolate cookie before you head out; according to Bevan-Bumford, they are “to die for.”  128 W. Main St., Everson 360.966.2400 |

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DINE Sips of the Season



n March 4, a sold-out crowd at Cosmos Bistro experienced a range of wines from Portteus Winery, paired with out-of-this-world small plates created by Cosmos owner Cinnamon Berg, during Bellingham Alive magazine’s Spring Sips of the Season. Dan “The Wine Guy” Radil explained to attendees why certain wine pairings are successful, what to do if you’ve made the wrong choice, and how Portteus became one of the state’s wine pioneers in the Rattlesnake Hills region of eastern Washington, on the Yakima Valley’s upper plateau. Attendees got a taste of what was to come with the first wine, Portteus’s 2013 Viognier, a big, full-bodied white. Paired with a light salad with greens, quinoa, and sweet potato cake with a toasted Macadamia nut light topping and Champagne vinaigrette, the dish was mild enough to complement but not overpower the Viognier. Radil’s tip on pairing wine and food: You want to either complement or contrast. If your pairing doesn’t work, he said, eat first, and have the wine after. You can’t lose. 94

Sips of the Season


Like food, where you can get information by examining the fat, sugar, and acidity by checking the label, you want to look at a wine’s ingredients, which produce the range of aromas and tastes like oak and different fruits. The Zillah-based, family-run Portteus vineyard and winery was established in 1981, one of Washington’s oldest wineries — No. 14 in a state that now has close to 900 of them. The Washington wine pioneers’ choice to put down roots in the Rattlesnake Hills region was affirmed years later, when they saw apple orchard trees being removed as an established winery decided to join them — Chateau Ste. Michelle. When one of the largest wineries in the world becomes a neighbor, you know you’re in the right spot, Radil said. Portteus wine is appealing in part because it hits the right price notes. Red blends, like the 2013 Bistro, and 2013 Rattlesnake Red, are reasonable, costing around $15. The bulk of Portteus’s bottles are $20, but you can also go higherend with its $40–$50 reserves. For the second course, Portteus’s 2013 Bistro Red — mostly Merlot and part Cabernet Blanc — had plum-like, cherry tones with a soft finish, a smooth complement to the sweet, salty richness of the French classic Croque Monsieur appetizer: sliced ham and caramelized onion on toasted sourdough, smothered in Gruyere cheese. Next was the butterscotch and toffee tones of the Rattlesnake Red (the day’s surprise bonus taste), with its unconventional combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah. Radil pointed out that wineries were hesitant at first to put the name of the lethal snake on their labels. But the product turned out by the region, a half-hour east of Yakima, was too deserving of an honest name, so the snake stuck. Count Portteus Vineyards and Winery among those celebrating the wines coming from the Yakima Valley’s upper plateau, an unusual growing area where grapes luxuriate in air warmed a few degrees by mild winds that keep the coldest weather at bay. Portteus’s Rouge 66, with highway-sign logo, upped the ante as a full-bodied red to handle Berg’s sweet, tangy grilled meatloaf (gluten-free), made with oats rather than bread crumbs, originally her mom’s recipe. The event finished with a surprise reversal of the “wine should always be sweeter than the dessert” rule — a light Zinfandel featuring delicate boysenberry and raspberry tones that allowed the dessert — a densely moist French Financier cake — to take the lead in sweetness. Thanks to Cosmos Bistro and Berg for the small plates and space, Portteus Vineyard & Winery for the well-paired wine, and sponsors Barkley Village and Mt. Baker Theatre. Thanks also to Dan “The Wine Guy,” for his pouring and advice. And thanks to everyone for supporting Bellingham Alive, including local businesses for swag bags and raffle prizes. Look for future Sips of the Season and Meet the Chef events. 

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DINE Sips of the Season

2013 Viognier Savory sweet potato cake with spring greens and spiced macadamia nuts

2013 Bistro Red Wine Honey smoked ham and caramelized onions on toasted sourdough smothered in bechamel and swiss gruyere cheese

2014 Rouge 66 Red Wine Mouthwatering mama’s meatloaf with our sweet and slightly spicy sauce

2012 Zinfandel Classic chocolate and almond financier moist and rich cake

Dining Guide



Your Financial Future: Will You Be Ready?

1102 Harris Ave., Fairhaven 360.922.7494, Take a personal trip to the islands when you bite into Aloha Poke’s concoction called a poke bowl. The iconic raw fish, doused in a unique blend of sauces, is piled onto a bed of homemade sushi rice. Despite the simplicity of the entrée, customers can garnish their bowls with additional condiments such as furikake, a Japanese nori seasoning. Stop by for a taste of aloha.

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Downtown Cafe 1313 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 2301 James St., Bellingham 2020 Humboldt St., Bellingham 444 Front St., Lynden 360.715.3354, With several convenient locations in Bellingham and a location in Lynden, Avenue is one of Bellingham’s favorite lunch spots. Fresh ingredients make these sandwiches unusually good — the bread is made in-house, and the vegetables and meat are all of the highest quality. Avenue also offers one of the freshest, best breakfast sandwiches around — the Eggenue.


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Voted Best Fish & Chips

BRANDYWINE KITCHEN Regional NW 1317 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.1071, Named for the decadent heirloom tomatoes grown on their farm, the owners source much of their ingredients locally and hold the “from seed to plate” philosophy. The menu offers vegetarian and gluten-free options (like ricePanko Fish and Chips), and includes beer from both Boundary Bay and Chuckanut breweries. Try the Quinoa-Salmon Cakes with red pepper aioli or a BLT with Hempler’s bacon and maple-tomato relish. Don’t miss the Hibiscus Iced Tea for a refreshing sip or treat yourself to a Raspberry Champagne Cocktail.

Nickis Bar and Grill on the waterfront in Bellingham serving award winning, hand dipped, tempura style fish & chips. Build your own burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns.

360.332.2505 2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham

DIRTY DAN HARRIS Steakhouse 1211 11th St., Bellingham 360.676.1087, The “dirt” on Dirty Dan Harris? In a word: excellent. The steakhouse provides warm, friendly waitstaff, quaint historic surroundings, and superb food. Most of the waitstaff have worked here for years — and it shows in their enthusiasm for your dining experience. The filet mignon is Dirty Dan’s signature entree. You won’t be disappointed. Leave room for dessert, however, because the selections are dangerously good.

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Spring Bouquet Celebrate fickle season with a versatile wine menu WRITTEN BY DAN RADIL


here’s an old saying around the Pacific Northwest this time of year: “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.” April is one of those crazy, capricious months where the calendar says spring, but the weather doesn’t always agree. Hail, windstorms, the possibility of frost, and of course, plenty of rain can overrun any chance of sunshine that’s trying to warm us up and snap us out of those lingering wintertime blues. Like our varied April weather, the world of wine also provides us with seemingly endless variety that’s easily adaptable to the season…and that’s a good thing, especially this unpredictable time of year. So if a gray, rainy day interferes with your outdoor plans, grab a book, a blanket and a glass of red wine. If the sun decides to make a guest appearance, consider a chilled bottle of white or rosé as a post-workout reward for doing a little yardwork or gardening. Either way — or all points in between — wine has you covered. LIGHTER CHOICES FOR BRIGHTER WEATHER There’s nothing like a glass full of bubbles to lighten the mood and add a festive touch to a lovely spring day and the Vilarnau Non-Vintage Brut Reserva (about $15) is a Spanish sparkler that really delivers. The bottle itself is a work of art, with a striking mosaic of yellow and blue tiles that is easily matched by the wine inside: three white varietals combining in an explosion of juicy pear flavors and backed by mouth-watering acidity. It’s an outstanding sparkling wine at this price. Uruguay may not instantly come to mind as a player on the worldwide wine scene, but this South American country is producing a number of excellent wines that are making domestic wine drinkers stand up and take notice. Bodega Garzón is a label to look for, and this Uruguayan winery currently offers a pair of white wines (about $17 each) that make terrific springtime beverages. Their 2013 Sauvignon Blanc opens with lovely tropical fruits of pineapple and banana before transitioning into leaner, greener fruits of gooseberry and Granny Smith apple. The finish has a bit of a lemon-drop note with a touch of herbaceousness. Try it with creamy cheeses, prosciutto or fresh fruit. And the 2014 Albariño is a unique white varietal that’s also becoming increasingly popular. This wine’s subtle apple, melon, and pear flavors are highlighted with a finish of lemongrass and mildly spicy accents. 98

Another pair of lighter-style wines, this time from northeastern Spain, also make good choices for enjoying on the patio, deck, or at that first-of-the-year outdoor social event. The Barón de Funes 2015 White and the 2015 Rosé (about $11 each) are both highly affordable and great pairing partners with chicken, pasta salads or lighter seafood cuisine. The white wine is a combination of Chardonnay and Macabeo grapes and features gentle flavors of lemon and white peach; while the rosé is composed of 100 percent Granacha and displays lovely floral and strawberry aromas and flavors along with a slightly crisp finish. RED WINES FOR GRAYER DAYS You don’t have to wait for the skies to darken to enjoy a red wine, of course, but a day stuck indoors due to inclement weather just naturally seems to lend itself to a robust red, served perhaps with a hearty stew, a tomato-based pasta dish, or anything beef. The Beringer Winery 2014 “The Waymaker” Red Wine (about $28) is a great place to start. Sourced from California’s Paso Robles wine region, this full-bodied wine is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and four other red varietals. Big, bold black cherry and berry aromas lead off, with opulent black plum flavors, a whisper of baking spice, and a fairly plush finish. Also from California and certainly worth a taste is “The Cleaver” 2014 Red Blend (about $19). Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah combine forces in this plush, red wine with a core of ultra-dark black cherry fruit that melts into a finish

CULINARY EVENTS American Craft Beer Dinner April 21, 2017 6 p.m. The Coho Restaurant celebrates suds of the Stars and Stripes variety by hosting this dinner, courtesy of Double Mountain Brewery. You’ll find out about these one-ofa-kind beers that feature Belgian yeast with Northwest hops character as Chef Bill pairs a menu to complement the brewery’s bold flavors. Coho Restaurant 120 Nichols Street, Friday Harbor

Viva el Tequila Dinner April 23, 2017 6 p.m. EAT Restaurant and Bar hosts a Pre-Cinco de Mayo dinner featuring a five-course dinner and five-tequila tasting. Wine is also included. Trevor, from longtime local wholesaler Dickerson Distributors, will guide you through the Mexican tequila offerings as you eat. Live music is part of the evening entertainment. EAT Restaurant and Bar 1200 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham

of brown sugar, crème brûlée, lardo, and smoky bacon. It’s a guilty pleasure, no doubt, that may be best enjoyed when served simply on its own. Closer to home, Washington winemaker Paul Portteus of Portteus Winery offers a trio of red blends that are both easy to drink and easy on the budget (about $15 each). His 2013 Bistro Red pairs Merlot and Cabernet Franc for a soft red wine with cherry fruits and a slightly herbal finish; the 2013 Rattlesnake Red is a bit denser and chewier blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sangiovese; and the 2014 Rouge 66 is an even more full-bodied (and delicious) combination of five Bordeaux red varietals. If you like your reds more on lean and mean side, the Bacchus 2015 Piceno Ciù Ciù (about $18) may fit the bill. The Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes take center stage here, resulting in a big, Italian red with dried red fruits, nice acidity, and a somewhat chalky finish that can easily be toned down with a pairing of red meat. And you might think of New Zealand as a good source of just Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir, but the country’s Trinity Hill 2014 “The Trinity” (about $17) proves otherwise. This amazing wine, which starts with a base of Merlot and adds Tempranillo, Malbec and three other red varietals, is a beautifully drinking, perfectly balanced red. Dark, black currant and black plum fruits are capped by gentle spices, supple tannins, and a lingering finish. Put this wine near the top of your must-try list during the Northwest’s volatile spring weather months…or practically any other time of year, for that matter. 

Winemakers Dinner Series at Semiahmoo Resort April 7, 2017 5:30 p.m. Col Solare Winery and Antinori host the event that features winemaker Darel Allwine and a five-course dinner that includes rare Ahi Tuna, sea scallops, bison tenderloin and roasted rack of lamb. The dinner is part of the resort’s 2017 Winemaker and Vintner dinner series that highlights reputable wines paired with menus timed to the season. Semiahmoo Resort, Golf and Spa 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway, Blaine

Wine Tasting with Liam Doyle April 7, 2017 4-8 p.m. Hellams Vineyard welcomes Lost River Winery’s Liam Doyle for a much-anticipated tasting featuring the Methow Valley’s only winery. Lost River is known for its Pinot gris, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and is expected to showcase other special releases for this event. Doyle, who has developed a following as the second generation of a reputable wine family, will guide you through best picks and pairings. Hellams Vineyard 109 N. First St., Ste. 101, La Conner

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FIAMMA BURGER All-natural Burgers

The Fireside Martini & Wine Bar The Royaltini INGREDIENTS: House-infused raspberry vodka, St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur, muddled lime, simple syrup, sparkling Banfi Rosa Regale, and slight scent of rose water. $11

1309 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.733.7374, One word speaks volumes about Fiamma Burger: variety. With six different patty types (including homemade veggie, bison, and salmon) and more than 17 menu options, there are endless possibilities for a burger masterpiece. You can even get a “burger in a bowl,” served without the bread. And with extra things to add on like fire-roasted green chiles or a scoop of chili, it could take a long time to find your perfect creation. All burgers are served on a fresh-baked egg bun, with crisp lettuce, and all the usual fixings. Spice it up with chipotle ketchup, spicy mustard, or curry mayo, then cool it down with a beer or milkshake.   GOAT MOUNTAIN PIZZA Italian 211 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.510.6336 Red brick walls, local art, and unusual pizzas sold by the pound are all offered in Goat Mountain Pizza’s space in downtown Bellingham. Served on parchment paper on a wooden board, the restaurant’s original pizzas, like potato bacon, the spicy fennel sausage, and the gluten-free caramelized onion/walnut are among the customer favorites and are worth a taste. Even though the slices are reheated for serving, the pizza still maintains tenderness — especially in the crust, which contains many flavors and a mix of a soft inside with slightly crisp edges. Pizza isn’t the only entree available, as Goat Mountain also offers options such as a potato leek soup (which is mouth-watering and itself worth a trip to the restaurant!) and the Goat Mountain salad with quinoa, greens, carrots, candied walnuts, orange pieces, red onions, and a sweet maple basil vinaigrette. Topped off with some local beer and cider, the Goat Mountain pizza experience is complete. Also — Goat Mountain Pizza brings a food truck to events! Keep an eye on their social media to have more opportunities to enjoy a slice!   HOMESKILLET American 521 Kentucky St., Bellingham 360.676.6218,


odka is like a blank canvas. It can be used as a wonderful template to bring out whatever flavors the artist (or mixologist) sees fit. Take the Royaltini, at Fireside Martini & Wine Bar. House-infused raspberry vodka with St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur, with simple syrup and a small spray of rose


water. The raspberry infusion helps keep the Elderflower liqueur in check, making it not too sweet but allowing a hint of the raspberry to come through. Anyone who needs a refreshing cocktail to unwind would be remiss not to try one. 416 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.738.1000 |

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.



1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham, 360.778.2041


Jalapeños Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special. But after looking at the menu, you’ll want so much more. You’ll find a masterpiece starting with the complimentary chips and salsa. Ask to see if they are featuring any salsa flavors other than the normal red that day. The salsas exude freshness. A house favorite is the authentic “puffy tacos.” They’re messy — filled with shredded chicken, cheese, and topped with guacamole — but worth the added effort of using a knife and fork. Of course, there’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and the “Big Momma” alone is proof that Jalapeños doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drink is good to the last drop.


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.

KURUKURU SUSHI Japanese/Sushi 11 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.392.8224, KuruKuru Sushi, which translates to “go around Sushi,” offers not only a good meal, but a good experience. Some of the offerings, like the Dynamite roll, are lightly tempura fried before being put on the conveyor belt to travel around the restaurant to hungry patrons. More traditional, classic sushi, like the raw salmon (which is buttery and delicious) also travels on the belt. A variety of non-fish related faire, like gyoza, egg rolls, and desserts are also offered. If you don’t see something you like, the chefs behind the counter will gladly make something for you.   LITTLE CHEERFUL American

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133 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.738.8824 Little Cheerful is a bustling breakfast spot. This popular restaurant is a place where customers can enjoy a mouthwatering meal over conversation or the newspaper. Located on a corner in the middle of downtown Bellingham, the cafe has maintained its popularity through the growth of breakfast cafes in the area. Little Cheerful has something on the menu for everyone, even the picky eater: gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and omnivore. A specialty for which Little Cheerful is well-known is its eggs benedicts — specifically, its Crab Cake Benedict. The dish contains two perfectly browned crab cakes atop toasted whole wheat English muffins served with poached eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce, and avocado slices and the cafe’s famous potato hash on the side. If you are craving eggs benedict, Little Cheerful is for you. Side note: cash only, no cards allowed.

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The Cheddarwurst Sausage at Schweinhaus Biergarten is worth the increased cholesterol. Real German sausage is infused with authentic cheddar cheese. It can be ordered by itself or as part of a combo plate.

The Bison Bacon Burger at Aslan Brewing Company is a tasty, filling burger, with real buffalo meat and bleu cheese crumbles. It comes served with a side of waffle fries.

A nice little starter at the Chuckanut Bay Brewery and Kitchen would be the German Beer Pretzels. A great snack to nibble on between rounds!

What do they call a quarterpounder with cheese in Paris? Who knows, but hopefully it tastes something like the Fiamma Royale at Fiamma Burger. A 3-ounce patty with plenty of fixings (and more, if desired).

6 7 8

If you need a light lunch, head on over to Giuseppe’s Al Porto Ristorante Italiano, and give the Gamberetti al Cognac a try. Succulent sautéed prawns, with mushrooms, and a tomato cognac cream.

Kyoto Steakhouse and Sushi Bar has a superb selection of sushi and teriyaki entrees, but the real standout is the Teriyaki Steak. The teriyaki sauce is perfectly balanced, and the steak itself is perfectly tender.

QQ Li, a Chinese restaurant, has some of the best Mongolian Beef to be found within the Bellingham city limits.

The Colophon Café offers a superb Portabella Mushroom Sandwich. Served with sundried tomatoes and red onions, it’s a treat for mushroom lovers everywhere.

April 2017 101

You could win a massage and lunch on us! It’s easy. Just like us on Facebook! Help us reach 10,000 likes by April 30th! New likes during March and April will be entered to win a free 50 minute massage from Massage Envy in Bellingham (a $100 value) and a free lunch at COA Mexican Eatery in Mount Vernon (a $30 value)!

Go to today to enter!


Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word

Garrison Keillor APRIL 9, 7:30 P.M.


t age 74, Garrison Keillor is an accomplished author, storyteller, humorist, voice actor, radio actor and personality. His best-known and enduring success was creating the much-loved Minnesota Public Radio show, Prairie Home Companion, which he hosted from 1974 until his recent retirement July 1, 2016. His prestigious honors include Grammy, ACE, and George Foster Peabody awards, and he has been inducted to the National Radio Hall of Fame. The beloved, quirky, folksy radio personality is also one of America’s greatest storytellers, so be sure to grab a ticket to hear Keillor’s charismatic charm.  Mount Baker Theatre 104 North Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 |



The Salvador Dali of folk music, Baby Gramps plays an eclectic range of rags, jazz and blues from the 1920s and 30s to wordplay, humor and throat singing. He’s been from Europe to Australia to even the David Letterman Show to promote the CD, Rogues Gallery, produced by Johnny Depp. Come see him while he’s in Conway! The Conway Muse 18444 Spruce St., Conway 360.445.3000 JOHNNY BULLDOG UNPLUGGED APRIL 15, 7:30 PM

Come rock out to Johnny “Bulldog” – featuring the lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revisited! The Conway Muse 18444 Spruce St., Conway 360.445.3000 Arlo Guthrie: Running Down the Road Tour


The very brilliant jazz artists, Pearl Django, play beautiful “Gypsy Jazz.” Sit back and relax to their skillful talent on the guitar.


Tap your foot to some live bluegrass at the Stones Throw Brewery in Fairhaven! You can either grab a bite to eat at a food cart outside the brewery or order Skylarks or Fairhaven Pizza to be delivered to the taproom. Stones Throw Brewery 1009 Larrabee Avenue, Bellingham 360.362.5058 ARLO GUTHRIE: RUNNING DOWN THE ROAD TOUR APRIL 20, 7 P.M.

Still feeling nostalgic for the Sixties? The famed American folk singer-songwriter and son of legendary Woody brings a heritage of protest and social-justice songs – and at least one psychedelic guitar riff — to Bellingham, where the 69-year-old will likely find a receptive audience. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080


The Conway Muse 18444 Spruce St., Conway 360.445.3000


One of America’s fourth-largest ballet company, Houston Ballet performs classics like The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake with talented dancers from across the globe. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 ADULT ABSOLUTE BEGINNER TAP DANCE APRIL 6, 5:30 PM

Don’t worry if you feel like you have two left feet, this tap class is designed for adult students with zero experience. Tap into the world of dance and rhythm and practice step, stamp and stomp, flaps and shuffles. ABCDance 1844 N. State St., Bellingham 360.386.5891 |

Cerise Noah


Realtor® | Windermere-Whatcom 360.393.5826

Enjoy the elegant overtures and symphonies played by Skagit Symphony’s Grieg’s Piano Concerto, featuring spotlight pianist, Angela Kraft Cross.

Your Relocation Sp ecialist

McIntyre Hall Performing Arts & Conference Centers 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727 ex. 2

Realtor of the Year 2016 Whatcom County Association of Realtors – 2015 President


Taylor 2 is comprised of six professional dancers, gifted with the particular style of choreographer Paul Taylor. In 1993 Taylor 2 was established to make sure his works be seen all over the world. Be amazed by the technical skill of these six professional’s performance. San Juan Community Theatre 100 2nd St., Friday Harbor 360.378.3210 SAN JUAN SINGERS APRIL 7, 7:30 PM

Home truly is where the heart is. This special show features songs that relate to home, sung by the very talented San Juan Singers. San Juan Community Theatre 100 2nd St., Friday Harbor 360.378.3210

Discover the History & Culture of the Tulalip Tribes Open Tuesday thru Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Closed on Mondays Volunteer opportunities available, please call 360.716.2600 for details. 30 Minutes North of Seattle, 1 Mile West of I-5 off Exit 199. 6410 23rd Avenue NE, Tulalip, WA 98271



This is a night free of judgment – so express yourself and prepare to be entertained by the many talented contestants during this night of excitement and entertainment. McIntyre Hall Performing Arts & Conference Centers 2501 East College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727 ex. 2

WANT YOUR EVENT POSTED? Events are posted on a first-come first-serve basis. Submissions must be received four weeks prior to the event with all the necessary information. Please submit event name, dates, times, short 40-word description, cover charge or ticket price, event venue including street address, a phone number, and a website. Any event from Seattle to Vancouver will be considered with priority placed on listings from Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties. Bellingham Alive is not responsible for errors in submissions. Please email all submissions to

April 2017 105





Drink great beer and support an awesome cause! The annual April Brews Day happens at the end of April this year and all proceeds go to the Max Higbee Center.

The 91st Anniversary of the Lincoln Theatre will be featuring the monumental 1926 feature film, Metropolis. Metropolis was the first feature-length film of it’s time. Pre-show will feature great acts such as Fred Beeks, Harvey Rossiter and Katie Moyer.

Depot Market Square 100 Railroad Ave, Bellingham 360.746.9841

Lincoln Theatre 712 South First St., Mount Vernon 360.336.8955



Explore Chicano art’s transformation from the Mexican art style of the early 1900s to the Chicano movement of the sixties and seventies to the present day. Learn more about Chicano art’s influence throughout Mexico and art trends throughout the 20th century. Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building 250 Flora St, Bellingham 360-778-8930 PAINTING AND A TASTE FOR ART WORKSHOP APR 7, 9 AM

Are you interested in painting but never picked up a paintbrush in your entire life? Are you a skillful painter with many years of experience but still looking for more practice? Somewhere in between? No matter – this workshop caters to all levels and works in a variety of art media. Yvette Neumann Fine Art Studio/Gallery 1893 Kelly Rd, Bellingham 360.306.0878 ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES EVENT APRIL 11, 11 AM

If you’ve ever been curious about how much your most treasured valuables are worth, head to the Antique and Collectibles Event. Evaluators will examine your items and tell you the story behind it and it’s value. Bellingham Senior Activity Center 315 Halleck Street, Bellingham 360.733.4030 ext 1019



APRIL 2, 11 AM

Meet authors and fellow book lovers at this free book fair. A special author meet and greet happens from 1-4 pm on Sunday. Hotel Bellwether Ballroom, 1 Bellwether Way, Squalicum Harbor, Bellingham 360.671.3050 DIRTY DAN FESTIVAL APRIL 23, 10 AM.

Commemorate the founder of Fairhaven, the one and only Dirty Dan Harris on this all day, annual event filled with food and activities thoughout the day! Come around for the Chuckanut Chili cookoff, the Dirty Dan Sidewalk Saloon and if you feel up to it, join the Dan Harris Challenge Rowing Race, inspired by Dirty Dan’s cross-border rum-rowing adventures. Fairhaven Village Green 1207 10th St., Bellingham EASTER ON THE FARM APR 15, 10 AM

This Easter celebration is complete with an egg hunt, petting zoo, pony rides and much more! Enjoy just some of the delicious brunch offerings; including a smoked salmon tortellini and a brown sugar glazed ham. BelleWood Acres 6140 Washington 539, Lynden 360.318.7720 SPRING WINE FESTIVAL APRIL 8, 1 PM

Thirty different wineries come to Fidalgo Island for the annual Spring Wine Festival. Try different wine tastings, food pairings and explore an in-house wine shop. Port Warehouse Event Center 100 Commercial Avenue, Anacortes 360.293.3832


OVER 400 SHOWS IN 17 YEARS, & MANY MORE TO COME! Crystal Gayle The Supremes Glenn Miller Revolvers Beach Boys & Friends Johnny Rivers Hermans Hermits Wilson Phillips Lee Greenwood New Years Eve Party Tony Orlando Doc Severinsen The Coasters Leon Russell 5Th Dimension America Toni Tenille Spirit Of Ireland Neil Diamond Trace Adkins Three Dog Night Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Oak Ridge Boys Bill Engval Blood, Sweat & Tears Natalie Cole Michael Bolton Dwight Yokam Keith Urban Leann Rimes Disco Mania Gladys Knight Righteous Brothers Patty Loveless Seattle International Comedy Competition Ronnie Milsap Dave Mason Joe Diffie Gino Vannelli Joe Nichols Collin Raye The Smothers Brothers Tanya Tucker Australia’s Thunder From Down Under Josh Gracin Rita Coolidge Aaron Tippin Caroline Rhea Rita Rudner Restless Heart Black Hawk Little Texas Vikki Carr Men Of Las Vegas Debbie Reynolds The Letterman Christmas Show Vegas Pin-Ups Joan Rivers The Marshall Tucker Band Heartland Charo UFC 84 The Fab Four Judy Collins UFC 88 Vince Mira Abbacadabra Brenda Lee Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers Frankie Avalon Petula Clark Hotel California Bruce In The Usa Phil Vasser Starship John Reep Dk Morgan Americas Diamond Eddie Money Lorrie Morgan Chicago Tribute Fab Four Tribute Pam Tillis Sawyer Brown Vince Mira Brenda Lee Xmas Bruce Hornsby The Turtles Neal Mckoy Ricky Neslon Tribute Little Anthony Richard Marx Lonestar Repp And Ferrara Terri Clark Rockoberfest Survivor Josh Gracin Garrett Wilkins & The Parrotheads Marlin James Henry Cho & Dat Phan Phil Vasser KBRC Rocks The Skagit Manhattans Debby Boone KAFE Breakfast Club Blue Oyster Cult Tribute Buckaroo Blues Band Rat Pack Tribute Craig Morgan Nathan Anderson Darryl Worley Journey Tribute Mo Trouble Rich Little Blues Traveler Roy Clark Rock And Roll Heaven $5 Fine Jo Dee Mesina Southern Fried Chicks Foghat Broken Trail Delbert Mclinton Fabulous Thunderbirds Timothy Schmitt Super Diamond Smithereens KMPS Country Nights Diamond Rio Barb & Frank Leon Russell Paul Revere Jim Breur John Anderson Joan Osbourne Hells Belles Presidents Of The USA Rockabilly Romp Erick Burdon Gary Puckett Restless Heart Kiss Live Gin Blossoms Tom Papa Justin Shandor Ultimate Elvis Blue Sky Riders Zepparella BJ Thomas Colin Hay Peter Noone Rick Sprinfield The Nylons S. Earle & The Dukes John Conlee Mac King Air Supply Cash’d Out Micky Dolenz Jay White As Neil Diamond Christopher Titus Burton Cummings The English Beat Marty Stuart Bee Gee’s Gold Sebastian Maniscaico Bret Micheals Elton John Tribute Owen Benjamin Helen Hong Heart By Heart Melissa Manchester Charlie Musselwhite Alex Raymondo Lisa Alvardo Pablo Francisco Leann Womack Margaret Cho Pam Tillis The Commodores Andy Gross Grand Funk Railroad Don McLean Lonestar Venessa Williams Morgane Latouche Tower Of Power John Michael Montgomery Killer Queen Tribute Aaron Neville Emmylou Harris Marshall Tucker

Entertainment IS OUR GAME!


C ASI N O • R ES ORT Owned by Upper Skagit Indian Tribe • 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.


One of the top places to visit in the Pacific Northwest, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival shows the true beauty of Skagit Valley and it’s agriculture. Millions of tulips bloom during this time of year, so make sure to stop by while they’re in season. 360.428.5959


This 5k is not your ordinary 5k. Run through apple blossoms and get a breathtaking view of Mt. Baker if the sky is clear. Proceeds benefit WSU Bee research. 6140 Guide Meridian, Bellingham 360.318.7720


Skagit Valley Tulip Festival


You get all the beautiful scenery during this marathon. Ocean views, scenic country roads and rolling hills with cascading mountains are just a few beautiful views you’ll get while you’re running through Whidbey Island.

Depot Art Center | Anacortes

Rosario Rd. Oak Harbor FUN WITH THE FUZZ 5K APR 22, 9 AM

All proceeds go to Behind the Badge Foundation. Top finishers receive a cash prize, so lace up your shoes and get going! Bellingham Police Department 505 Grand Ave, Bellingham

Booths * Fine Art Show Music * Food Trucks Beer Garden


April 22 -

Whether you run or you prefer walking, come join this benefit run. This familyfriendly event includes a 5K, a 2.5K walk and a Kid’s Run.

come back new sale

Edgewater Park 600 Behrens Millett Road, Mount Vernon

FREE pre-paid gratuities come back new


Come join a great cause! Habitat for Humanity hosts a neighborhood cleanup and small projects at nearby homes for recent Habitat homebuyers in Whatcom County. Give back to the community by getting to work.


– &–

book a suite for a

FREE spa treatment

Habitat Construction Site 7535 Leeside Drive, Birch Bay 360.715.9170



Plus, save up to $300 on airfare

new sale

on select destinations


*Certain restrictions apply. please contact your travel agent for full terms, conditions and definitions that apply to the Princess Come Back New Sale. ©2017 Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd. Ships of Bermudan and British registry.

APR 22, 9 AM

Celebrate Earth Day by planting some native trees and shrubs! There will even be fun activities throughout the day and some great prizes.

Contact Bellingham Travel Today! 360.733.1270

• • 200 West Chestnut St.,Bellingham, WA 98225

April 2017 109

© Trudie Lee


Vancouver Opera Festival

Out of Town SEATTLE




APRIL 1, 10 AM

APRIL 5, 7:30 P.M.

Are you interested in giving up meat but not sure where to start? This festival not only is a fun event, but also provides great information on such a beneficial health choice. Free health screenings, books and food; come and enjoy Vegfest 2017!

Ever since he was a teenager, Michel has been singing Sinatra songs. He’s not a Sinatra impersonator, he says, but an interpreter. Whatever the case, Michel has a host of familiar songs that Ol’ Blue Eyes made classic.

Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall Mercer St & 3rd Ave N, Seattle 206.706.2635

Queen Elizabeth Theatre 650 Hamilton St., Vancouver, B.C. 604.665.3050 VANCOUVER OPERA FESTIVAL


APRIL 28, 7:30 PM

APRIL 1, 11 AM

Celebrate the vocal and theatrical arts at this event that is comprised of three new productions. Be amazed by the art, performance and extravaganza – but most of all be entertained and enjoy the show.

Why read a book when you could eat a book? Edible books are made out of edible ingredients, displayed and then judged for prizes. Afterwards eat your edible book with some coffee and punch! Third Place Commons 17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park 206.417.4645


650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 604.683.0222

The Scene


LIGHT IN THE NIGHT GALA The Lighthouse Mission’s fundraiser, held Feb. 25 at Bellingham Technical College’s Settlemyer Hall, was a resounding success, selling out tickets and drawing nearly 300 people in the first year of the event. Plans are to make it an annual affair. Organizers estimated the event raised an impressive $76,000, with all proceeds benefitting the men and women at the mission’s Drop-In Center, a safe shelter for homeless to spend the day or night. Gala guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a silent auction and raffle, along with guest speaker Ray Bakke and a performance by Dancing for Joy. The group also heard stories from mission guests. Sponsors included Kaiser Permanente, WECU, FastCap, Faithlife, Louws Truss Inc., and Servco Pacific Insurance, along with dozens of local businesses who donated auction and raffle items. Photos © Shannon Finn


Final Word

When the Bells Stop Ringing WRITTEN BY KEN KARLBERG


or weeks, I had mentally prepared myself to dig my stepfather’s grave. The first shovelful of sod was the hardest. I placed the first piece carefully to the side and stared at the clump of dirt and grass. The solemnity of the moment was inescapable — I was about to prepare his final physical resting ground here on earth. The emotions of death are unlike any other, I thought to myself as my shovel hit a root from a tree that no longer was there. We prepare for the inevitable by building barriers against sadness to come, but the suddenness, the finality, penetrates any emotional walls that we may erect to protect ourselves from our fears of mortality. Like the slow seeping of water forever looking for crevasses to exploit, the emotions of death are similar. There is no hiding. The day was overcast but dry, the morning silence broken only by the sound of family members digging alongside. With each shovelful of dirt, I wondered why we try to bottle what was never meant to be bottled. Instead of building emotional dams against the inevitable laws of nature, we should be building emotional spillways. Emotional health can be so fragile. Months before my stepfather’s death were filled with laughter and precious stories of a life well-lived. Now my vision was blurred as I worked through my tears. Nothing prepares us for being present when the final breath of a loved one is taken. No words exist to describe the intensity of the moment or to explain the emotional swing between numbness and profound pain. Fortunately, the physical act of digging — first through sod, then through a rich topsoil, and eventually down to a sandy loam — was cathartic. The experience was intensely personal and yet simultaneously selfish. I was wearing my stepfather’s jacket that I gave him the previous Christmas to keep him warm while walking. In my pocket was his headlamp, a Christmas present that year as well. I didn’t need the headlamp to dig, but I felt closer to him with it in my pocket. As I dug, I was initially focused exclusively on the now and the husband of 31 years that my mom just lost. By the time that I reached the sandy loam, however, my thoughts wandered and turned to beauty of the circle of life itself. Just days earlier, my stepfather lay in bed at home, unable to move except to ring the bells in his hand to summon help. The bells were well-used in the weeks and months prior to his death. Day after day, my mom was lovingly at his beck and call, to the point of exhaustion. But her patience never wavered, especially when he awoke in the middle of the night. She would laugh and kiddingly say “I would hide those bells 112

if I could,” because he had no concept of time during those final days. I have no doubt the heavy burden tested the depth of her dedication to him. But love is powerful and beautiful beyond human ability to express. I came to Whatcom Hospice Care the next day after my stepfather was transferred. There was my mom, sitting by his side, desperately tucking the bells into his non-responsive hand, just hoping that he would ring them for her one last time. He never did. For the living, the impending death of a loved one is unsettling. There’s the obvious — what to say, what to do, and how to act — but more fundamentally for me and my stepfather, how to say “thank you” for giving my mom the life that she deserved. A son’s love has limits. He gave her what I could not — and for that alone, I placed my fears of the emotions of death aside. I dug out of gratitude and respect and to honor him. That afternoon, our family buried my stepfather in a simple ceremony befitting the man he was and the life he lived — no coffin, just the family’s handmade shroud with hemp rope extensions to help lower his wrapped body into the earth. The rawness of the visual images will never leave me, nor do I want them to fade over time. The moment may have been hard; the moment may have been emotional. But the moment had depth and profound meaning that made me proud of my family. We bury our dead. As I walked to my car afterward, I looked back at his gravesite and couldn’t help but wonder if all of us in life would be more empathetic or sympathetic toward each other if we opened ourselves up to the emotions of life. Would we treat each other with more kindness if we knew the day would come to shovel dirt over the face of a loved one? Instead, we tend to hide from difficult emotions behind technology that for some, at least, serve as avoidance mechanisms. Whether it is breaking up relationships by text or email or announcing changes in relationship status on Facebook or tweet, emotional health is not well served. No one can hide him- or herself through life. Eventually, we all have to come out from behind the keyboard. My coming out just happened to be with a shovel in my hand. As I drove away and looked in my rearview mirror, I didn’t have the urge to email or text or Facebook. I just had the need to feel.  Note: My special thanks to Brian Flowers, Funeral Director and Green Burial Coordinator for Moles Farewell Tributes, for his wonderful, heartfelt support and assistance.



7PM - 10PM


Owned & Operated by the Lummi Nation | 866-383-0777 • I-5 Exit 260 • Ferndale, WA See Diamond Dividends for details. Management reserves all rights.

Š2017 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seat belt usage and observance of all traffic laws at all times.

The daily grind. Without the last letter. The everyday suddenly becomes exhilarating. Commutes lose repetitiveness. And errands become anything but ordinary. Each of these occurrences are accredited to the Macan. An inspired take on a sports car, it puts excitement in your hands. And, a smirk on your face. Porsche. There is no substitute.

The new Macan. Starting at $47,500.

Porsche Bellingham 2200 Iowa Street Bellingham, WA 98229 Tel: (360) 734-5230

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