May/June 2023 253 Lifestyle Magazine

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Building Better Solutions for Clients

With 30 years experience serving families in Gig Harbor and Pierce County, Felicia Soleil provides more constructive alternatives to dissolving a marriage outside of a courtroom. In addition to her family law practice, she also provides mediation services, offering legal support, education and case management - from simple to complex - for separation and divorce, parenting plans, child support and prenuptial agreements.

Facing a divorce or separation? Felicia focuses on reducing and resolving conflict, helping you transition by moving on, not just moving out.

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Photographers: Ashley Munday pg. 18, 19, In-Gear Media pg. 26, 38-40, Dario Acosta pg. 28, S. Richards pg. 29

Courtesy Photos: Rachel Kelly, Sunriver Resort, Suncadia Resort, Cool Fern, Outpost Sandwiches, Lift Bridge Coffee, Noble Studio

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253 Lifestyle Magazine is published bi-monthly and distributed freely throughout the Pacific Northwest. Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. 253 Lifestyle Magazine is not responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. 253 Lifestyle Magazine is produced and published by Like Media, and no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without the permission of the publisher. Advertising Agency
may/june 2023 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 5 For over 25 y e ars, our family ow ne d bu si n ess h a s b e en d edi c ate d to buildi n g tim e les s c u stom home s a n d vibrant comm u nities in the Pacific Northwe s t th r oug h h igh - q u ality co n struction an d a commitm e nt to c u stome r service. Our ‘fixed-price’ custom h ome p r ogram p r otect s client s f r om cost o v erruns Call u s to l e a r n mo r e ! BR IN G I NG Y O UR VI SI ON TO L IF E ( 2 53) 44 6 -764 5 | H C HCU STOMHOM E S. C O M Meet t he Team
(From left to right) Lori Caseber, Jeff Caseber, Cory Caseber, & Erin Chandler, Allied ASID

publisher picks

A Season to Celebrate Those We Love and Remember and Honor Those Lost

As we make our way through spring and into summer, we find ourselves celebrating those important people in our lives, and honoring those who sacrificed their lives for us.

Mother’s Day, always held the second Sunday in May, is May 14 this year, while Father’s Day is June 18, the third Sunday of June. These days are set aside for us all to take the time to truly reflect back on all our parents, or guardians, have done for us— and continue to do. Motherhood and fatherhood can feel like thankless callings at times, but know that your role is so important in your child’s life, and you are raising those who will lead others one day—whether families of their own, a business, a nonprofit. The sky’s the limit, and it starts at home.

On Monday, May 29, we honor and remember those who lost their lives serving our nation in order to keep this place we call home a land of the free. Our families, our communities, our nation, will forever be indebted to those men and women who served selflessly for all of humanity.

In this issue of 253 Lifestyle Magazine, our team at Like Media continues its mission to share positive news and stories with our

readers. And our May/June 2023 edition is no different. In this issue, our Q&A features Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges. Discover the century-old Court House Square in Tacoma. Sitting at five stories and 72,000 square feet, the building has been preserved and repurposed and today houses a variety of businesses and restaurants. Looking for that dream space to host your next wedding or special celebration? Explore the Vintage Aero Museum at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor, where history meets elegance. Find out how you can be involved in the Multicultural Child & Family Hope Center’s Annual Clean-Up Event, happening in May, and discover more upcoming events making their way to the 253 to close out spring and welcome summer.

From health and lifestyle to home and garden, we discuss topics that are sure to inspire you on your next home improvement project or your family’s summer plans. And if you’re looking to book an adventure, check out our travel article, which takes you to Suncadia and Sunriver Resorts.


18 COURT HOUSE SQUARE IN TACOMA A place that never ceases to delight and surprise



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Q&A WITH J’NAI BRIDGES Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Celebrate among history at Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum
may/june 2023 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 7 A NEW Unique Space to ELEVATE your Event
Vintage Aero Museum Book your Next Event with Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum Contact us for a tour! 253.393.7546 | | 1108 26th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 The Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum is a stunning white 12,400-square-foot facility located at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor, Washington. Our pristine facility boasts 20-foot ceilings and highly polished concrete floors that mirror the beauty of each airplane. Open the 60x14 hangar doors, let the outside in and let the event flow to the outdoors, and your guests can enjoy the experience of watching aircraft take off and land.
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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE may/june 2023 8 contents tacoma focus home & garden THE AESTHETIC APPEAL OF BRICK, STONE AND CONCRETE Which is best for your next home update? 10 + more ... COURT HOUSE SQUARE IN TACOMA A place that never ceases to delight and surprise 18 18 26 q&a Q&A WITH J’NAI BRIDGES Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano 26 GET READY FOR SUMMER 2023 Plan and prep for your kids’ camps and activities now! 30 feature FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER OR SEASONED PRO Real estate experts weigh in on what you should consider when buying a house 42 health & lifestyle A UNIQUE, ELEGANT VENUE FOR THAT SPECIAL OCCASION Celebrate among history at Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum 38 business pinpoint

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38 42


Awesome community events you don’t want to miss!

56 RECIPE Sushi at Home!

food & entertainment travel


Luxury resorts with real estate opportunities in Washington and Oregon

Would you like to receive this issue and future issues in your inbox? Visit and sign up for our FREE Digital Edition.

Here at 253 Lifestyle Magazine, we are thrilled to feature J’Nai Bridges, the Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano. Her journey in music and the performing arts has taken her from her hometown of Lakewood, Washington, to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City. Find out more about J’Nai, including her dedication to improving diversity in the opera community, in our Q&A on page 26.

Cover photo by In-Gear Media

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50 about the cover

The Aesthetic Appealof


Which is best for your next home update?

Dorothy said it best: “There’s no place like home.” And, while appearance certainly doesn’t make a house a home, it helps when you’re hoping to preserve and build equity in that home. The style, design and materials of a home should be taken into account when updating it. Whether doing a DIY fireplace restoration or resurfacing an exterior accent, it’s all about the finishes.

Natural stone, brick and various forms of concrete have been used as building materials for thousands of years. As a natural element, stone can lower your heart rate and elicit a sense of peace. The symmetrical lines of brickwork are both artistic and grounding. Concrete brings versatility and unique architectural elements while giving spaces a minimalist, urban-industrial vibe.

Materials like brick, stone and concrete are great options to add texture to a dated or dull area when updating your home’s aesthetic. Deciding which material is right for you depends on your home, project and budget. Here’s everything you need to know when choosing which option is best for your home.

Natural Stone

From the Egyptian pyramids to the Roman Colosseum and the Washington Monument, humans have used stone to build durable, elegant structures for centuries. As a building material, stone is fire resistant, long lasting,


and able to withstand nature’s elements. As a natural resource, stone connects us to the earth, while the unique beauty and various colors, shapes and sizes of each stone allow for artistic flexibility.

Including stone in your design can drastically upgrade the look and increase the value of your home. While images of quaint English stone cottages might come to mind, adding stone to a fireplace or as an exterior accent may be a more manageable approach—unless you have the urge to start knocking down walls. Additionally, natural stone is extremely heavy and one of the more expensive choices. For that reason, modern designers, builders and homeowners often opt for stone veneer, which emulates the beauty of natural stone without the high cost.

From covering the entire exterior facade with stone to adding thoughtful stone accents throughout the interior or exterior, there are countless ways to use stone in your home upgrade. Stone columns make a porch entryway a focal point, or adding stone siding on just the lower level of a home with some other accents creates a high-end, cohesive look.

Regardless of which you choose—natural stone or stone veneer—there are a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures, all of which will transform the look of your home.

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One of the most popular building materials in US history, even “The 3 Little Pigs” told us brick is a superior building material for homes. Made from combining clay and shale, bricks are extremely durable and resilient to fire and extreme weather conditions. Homes that include bricks provide a feeling of comfort and safety to those within, and the versatile colors and textures allow for unique and detailed architectural designs.

Using brick as a primary structural building material should be considered at the time of construction and completed by a professional brick mason. While bricks tend to be at a lower price point than natural stone, the cost is still quite high. Between the added steps in the brick production process, the heaviness and subsequent transportation difficulty, and the need for professional installation, including brick as

an accent is often a more feasible option. Like stone, a brick veneer is often used for aesthetics rather than structural support. Though not as durable as solid brick, brick veneer is better at keeping moisture away from the exterior wall and tends to last decades longer than traditional siding.

Whether on the exterior of a home or as an interior accent for hearths and fireplaces, brick offers unlimited creativity in addition to increasing your home value. Highlight the details of your home by installing brick on the gable, dormer, and one section of the facade, or build a garden wall around your patio and create a private patio oasis.

Depending on the specifics of your project, you may be limited to either solid brick or stone veneer. Whatever you choose, the design options, visual interest and timeless charm that bricks provide add character to any space.

Brick offers unlimited creativity in addition to increasing your home value.


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Using concrete as a building material is nothing new; in fact, Thomas Edison designed and built the first concrete homes in 1908. Due to the strength, durability and fire resistance, Edison predicted a boost in homes built with concrete. Over 100 years later, homes constructed with concrete are known to have many benefits, including being more energy-efficient, better at controlling temperature fluctuations, minimizing noise, and economically valuable. Concrete-style homes are also the epitome of modern minimalistic design.

The decision to build an entire house with concrete is one to be made prior to construction, but incorporating concrete in different aspects of your home has increased in popularity.

Homeowners are adding concrete inside their homes, installing accent walls, concrete countertops, and embracing concrete floors.

The do-it-yourself ability of concrete combined with the markedly reduced cost has definitely caused an increase in concrete as a building material. No longer limited to the garage floor, for those who love the sleek, modern-minimalist style, concrete makes a statement both interior and exterior.

When updating your home, it’s important to include features that you love. Seeing the changes in and around your home should make you feel proud and want to click your heels like Dorothy.

Homeowners are adding concrete inside their homes, installing accent walls, concrete countertops, and embracing concrete floors.
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A place that never ceases to delight and surprise

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The city of Tacoma has a different way of seeing things—seeing what can be and not just what is. It’s why we have the opportunity to enjoy so many historical buildings. There is more than one special place in Tacoma that brings a certain vibe, that has the ability to transport you back. Buildings like the Rialto Theatre, the Grand Cinema, or McMenamins Elks Temple. Streets like Opera Alley or Proctor seem to live in their own world and yet still somehow are a part of the greater Tacoma. Places that have been cared for, repaired or repurposed, preserving its elegance and history for future generations to enjoy. One of those special places is Court House Square. With floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of the city as it nestles next to the Sound, Court House Square never ceases to delight.

Court House Square (or the Old Post Office) was built over 100 years ago to house federal agencies such as the FBI,

the IRS, US Customs and the US Marshals. This is most likely why it’s made of limestone and has a grand widening staircase at its entrance. Though all of those agencies still exist, and though Tacoma is still the largest port in Washington, we are no longer the international port we once were. Left behind by most federal agencies (except for the old USPS on the main floor), Court House Square has been preserved and repurposed to house a vast array of businesses and restaurants. Because of its five stories, affordable prices and dizzying amount of rooms (72,000 square feet!), Court House Square is quite the place for small business and local entrepreneurs. Read on to get an idea of the sheer grandiosity of this community space.

The basement floor is home to Tacoma’s best-kept secret for lunch: Outpost Sandwiches. This spot has doors that open to the street for simple outdoor seating and serves up an unforgettable pan pizza. I mean, their sandwiches

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are perfect and also worth the wait. But their pan pizza! It’s inexpensive and sells out quickly for a reason, people! Crispy edges. Fluffy dough. Giant squares. Get a side of soup and you’re golden. What else could you want?

You want En Rama. That’s what you want. Craft cocktails, cozy wood-paneled vibe, lighted outdoor seating, gorgeously made and colorfully presented plates … it’s date night to a tee. They open at 3pm Tuesday through Saturday. Next to En Rama, but open during the day, is Lift Bridge Coffee. This café is truly a delight, not just because of the coffee and the conversation but because of the vibe. It’s just plain pleasant to drink coffee next to one of the beautiful windows under the cavernous ceilings. It’s almost the exact opposite feel of En Rama, which is almost intimate, and yet it’s exactly what a person wants in the morning: sunshine, air and coffee.

It’s easy to go on and on about food, but the Court House Square has a lot more going on underneath its roof. The basement also houses (along with sandwiches) a vintage store, The

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE may/june 2023 20
It’s easy to go on and on about food, but the Court House Square has a lot more going on underneath its roof.
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Players Club (a private game room) and Candyteeth Creative (shows, productions, art, etc.), among others. On the second floor there’s Tanya Larson Therapy, Cascade Government Affairs, Green Fern, and the House of Her. The third floor houses the Pioneer Collective, which offers space for coworking, private offices, meeting rooms and virtual business support.

Court House Square has space opposite The Pioneer Collective available, with a stunning view of Mount Rainier, for lease through the Court House Square leasing office. The fourth floor is full of businesses, too many to mention in fact. An inept effort to summarize this floor includes: Conquering Today Therapy, Hers Esthetics, and Queendom Thinking / Hearts on Fire. Hearts on Fire was founded by Cecily Crosky to empower young women by teaching life skills, entrepreneurship and community leadership. The fifth floor houses two massage studios, Anchored Vision, Hyak Design Group, and Liftport Group.

There are a lot more businesses worth looking into in Court House Square, all of which are listed on their online directory at In addition to all this, Court House Square also rents out four large spaces for events. For royal affairs, there’s the elegant Ballroom, which is 2,000 square feet of high ceilings and stunning views. The Gallery room historically housed the post office warehouse but now offers high ceilings, dimmable chandeliers and arched windows. The Historic Courtroom is a truly unique space, as it used to be a courtroom (obviously). The seating is intact with beautiful woodwork. Guests have access to the Judge’s Chambers and a small kitchenette. The Judge’s Chambers (entitled Suite 430) can also be rented separately for small parties or rehearsal dinners.

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All of these unique spaces could be rented at once, and most of the guests would most likely not even run into one another. There are separate staircases, entrances and elevators for access. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few secret rooms here and there. Not many places in Tacoma can boast this sort of versatility. There are small businesses, offices, event spaces and restaurants! Once you come in, you may never leave. But that’s okay, it’s not such a bad place to get lost in! What’s even more incredible is that there are still several more spaces available for rent. Who else can we look forward to renting a space here next?

Court House Square may soon make a name for itself for being a great place where community businesses can thrive. One thing is for sure: Court House Square deserves a visit. For more information on catering, events and office/retail space, please contact the director, Jessica Johnston, at

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Q&A WITH J’Nai Bridges


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Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges was born in Lakewood, Washington, where her family settled after her father retired from the Army. Like many military families away from their hometown, the local community became a family to the Bridges—and J’Nai is still connected to this place today.

Q. Lakewood is your hometown. What is one thing you must do when you return from your world travels and performances?

A. Whenever I’m home, I literally just go to the nearest lake. Lakewood, it really is as it sounds—it’s filled with lakes and woods! There’s American Lake, Gravelly Lake, just tons of lakes. What I love, what I have to do, is go to at least one of the lakes and just stare at the water and sit on the dock of the lake and take in the fresh air and the sounds of the birds and nature. I mean, it really does fill me back up, you know, because road life is not easy, and whenever I go home, I can truly restore and rejuvenate.

Q. What was it like to perform at the Metropolitan Opera for the first time?

A. Performing at the Met for the first time was almost like an out-of-body experience to be honest. I dreamt of that moment for so long. Having gone to Manhattan School of Music for my undergrad, I would go to the Met and sit in the nosebleeds—gather my pennies and get $20 nosebleed seats and just take it all in and dream one day that I would sing on that stage.

So, when the time came in 2019 for my debut in Akhnaten as Queen Nefertiti, it was such a full-circle moment. And it felt like, “Wow, I belong here.” I’ve dreamt of this moment, I’ve worked for this moment, and it felt right. Of course, there were the natural nerves, but at the same time, it felt like I belonged. And especially entering for the first time as Queen Nefertiti, this African queen that I grew up admiring so much, it just felt like, “Wow, this is your time.” So it felt right. It just felt right.

Q. In your debut performance at the Seattle Opera, you performed the role of Delilah. What did you find appealing about playing Delilah?

A. My debut performance of Samson and Delilah, it was such a huge success and honestly a highlight of my career to come home and perform for my village, my cities, that just have poured so much into me. It was really great to be able to deliver this amazing role of Delilah and expose so many people to opera. For a lot of people, it was their first time coming to an opera.

It wasn’t staged. So, it wasn’t the full thing with

costumes and everything. But it was really a magical night, and Delilah is such an incredible role. She’s just so fascinating to play because she is the most manipulative character, as far as I’m concerned, in all of opera, at least certainly in terms of women characters.

It’s really fun to play her because I was constantly finding ways in which to reel Samson in. She goes from making him believe that she truly is in love with him, to him hating her, and in the end, her just wanting power. So, it’s a really fun role to play, but it’s a little disturbing too, because I have to get pretty dark into her psyche, which, as an actress, I have to make sure that I have my ways of getting out of that.

You have to convince the audience that she’s in love with him, and then that she’s not actually. That’s probably the most interesting aspect of the character, and it was really great to have actual vocal responses from the audience. It was like, “Okay, great, they’re getting it. I’m doing my job.”

Q. Can you share with our readers some of your work to improve diversity in the opera community?

A. Some of the work that I’m doing to improve

diversity in opera is, number one, having conversations about the inequities. There are a lot of conversations being had, I think especially since I moderated the panel with LA Opera—it seemed like the panel springboarded a reckoning and an awakening.

Continuing to have these conversations and also speaking with general and artistic directors on how to actually implement programs are some ways to not only diversify the audience but to make opera more equitable as a whole, and it is not an overnight process. It can be done, and it just takes awareness and the desire to want to improve our art form.

Something else I do is go to different communities—I access communities that I’m connected with, such as sororities and fraternities. My parents are both Greek, so that’s a huge advantage. And I reach out to them and I invite them to the opera, as well as churches and other institutions and organizations that I have direct access and community and connection with.

Mostly everywhere I go, I do have an invited conversation with the audience or people that are involved with the opera to voice what needs to change.

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Get Ready for Get Ready for

and prep
for your
camps and activities now!
Summer 2023 Summer 2023

Summer is a time for fun, sun and relaxation, but for parents, it can also be a stressful time trying to keep kids entertained and engaged while school is out. Prepping for summer activities ahead of time can help alleviate some of that stress and ensure that your kids have a summer filled with fun and meaningful experiences.

One of the first steps in prepping for summer activities is to determine what your child is interested in and what they want to do during the summer months. Having a conversation with your child about their interests and ideas can help you choose the right activities or programs to keep them engaged throughout the summer.

Summer camps can be a great option for kids of all ages and interests. There are a variety of camps available, from traditional day and overnight camps to specialized camps focused on specific activities like sports, arts or technology. Many of these camps also offer specialized programs for children with special needs or those looking for a unique experience, like wilderness camps or adventure camps.

If your child is interested in sports, there are a variety of summer programs available that can help them improve their skills and stay active. Many local sports leagues offer summer camps and clinics for kids of all ages and skill levels. There are also specialized sports camps that focus on specific sports like soccer, basketball or gymnastics.

Arts and cultural programs can also be a great way to keep kids engaged and learning during the summer months. Many museums, theaters and community centers offer summer classes and programs for children interested in music, dance, theater or visual arts. These programs can help children develop new skills and explore their creativity while having fun.

Once you have an idea of what your child is interested in, it’s important to start researching and registering for programs as early as possible. Many popular programs fill up quickly, so it’s important to start the registration process early to ensure your child gets a spot. Many programs also offer early bird discounts for families that register early, so it can be a great way to save money as well.

In addition to traditional summer programs, there are also a variety of other activities and experiences that you can plan for your child during the summer months. Family vacations, day trips to local attractions, and outdoor adventures can all be great ways to create lasting memories and keep kids engaged and excited throughout the summer.

To make the most of the summer, involve your child in the planning process. Create a summer bucket list together, and let your child choose activities that they would like to do. This can be anything from trying a new

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food to learning a new skill. Use the bucket list as a guide for planning summer activities and checking off items throughout the summer.

Before your child starts any summer program or activity, make sure they have everything they need to be prepared. This includes any necessary equipment, clothing and supplies, as well as any required medical or consent forms. Check the program requirements and ensure that your child has everything they need before the program begins.

If your child has any medical conditions or requires special accommodations, it’s important to discuss these with the program staff ahead of time to ensure that your child’s needs can be met. This may include providing medication or equipment or working with the program staff to create a plan for accommodating your child’s needs.

Preparing for summer activities also includes ensuring that your child is emotionally ready for the experience. Starting a new program or activity can be exciting but also nervewracking for children. Talk to your child about their feelings and help them prepare for any challenges or new experiences they may face. Encourage them to try new things, but also let them know that it’s okay to feel nervous or uncertain.

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In conclusion, prepping for summer activities for kids can be an enjoyable experience for both parents and children. By taking the time to research and plan ahead, parents can ensure that their children have a fun and meaningful summer filled with a variety of activities and experiences. Whether it’s traditional summer camps, specialized classes and programs, or family vacations and outdoor adventures, there are plenty of options available to keep kids engaged and excited during the summer months. By involving your child in the planning process, creating a summer bucket list, and ensuring they have everything they need for their specific program or activity, you can help set them up for a successful and enjoyable This can be anything from trying a new food to learning a new skill. Use the bucket list as a guide for planning summer activities and checking off items throughout the summer.

“ ”
prepping for summer activities for kids can be an enjoyable experience for both parents and children.

PLAY! healthy tip

Fun with the kids leads to a healthier family

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of playtime with our kids. As adults, we often get caught up in work, chores and other responsibilities, leaving little time for leisure activities. However, play is not just a fun way to pass the time; it also has numerous benefits for our health and wellbeing. Engaging in play with our children can lead to a healthier and happier family.

Firstly, playtime is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. When we play with our kids, we are able to let go of our worries and focus on the present moment. This can help us feel more relaxed and rejuvenated, which can have a positive impact on our mental and physical health.

Moreover, playtime promotes physical activity, which is essential for good health. Many modern lifestyles involve long hours of sitting and little physical movement. Playing with our children can help us get moving and increase our heart rate, which can improve our cardiovascular health. Playtime also strengthens family bonds and improves communication skills. When we play with our kids, we are creating positive memories and building strong relationships.

Additionally, playing together can encourage us to communicate more effectively and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.



A Unique, Elegant Venue for That Special Occasion

AGig Harbor treasure, owned by the Juranich family, the Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum held its soft opening shortly before the pandemic hit. Although its doors were shuttered to the public for the past two years, the planes still roared on behind the scenes.

Fortunately, to the delight of its owners and the community, the museum, located at the Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor, reopened March 1 of this year, and the unique, inviting and exciting venue is ready to welcome you and your guests for your next upscale event.

“We strive to be the premier event space for aviation-themed weddings and receptions, retirements, celebrations of life, anniversaries and Military galas,” affirms Brandon Baimbridge, executive director of the museum. “Working with the local community’s caterers and musicians, DJs and lighting crews, we strive to provide the best service possible to our clients.”

During his 20 years in the Air Force, and 10 deployments, Brandon honed his skills in the aviation field; developed discipline and safety-consciousness; refined and expanded his technical knowledge; was provided real-world experiences; was exposed to cultures around the world; and his love for aviation was fostered. Brandon founded AV8RS, LLC, an aircraft maintenance, brokerage and aviation consulting business in May of 2022. With his vast experience and passion for aviation, he was hired in February of this year as the executive director of the Vintage Aero Museum.

“I enjoy the world of aviation. Since my first flight with my grandfather, who flew in WWII, I have been hooked,” he states. “When Bob Juranich approached me about running the museum, I was thrilled. My wife and I discussed the role, and decided it was a perfect fit for our family. I enjoy that every day is different.”

When it comes to what makes the Vintage Aero Museum the perfect place to elevate your celebration, Brandon is quick to reply, “History matters! We believe sharing our vintage aircraft helps keep the history alive. The flexibility of our 12,400-square-foot space is also unique—allowing for a variety of layouts. We can have a blank canvas (empty hangar) with no vehicles or aircraft for an art exhibit on Wednesday followed by a Friday afternoon wedding with the aircraft surrounding the bride and groom.”

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Celebrate among history at Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum
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Fourteen planes grace the museum floor. Though all are impressive, Brandon shares his favorite—the WACO YMF-3. “The flashy YMF-3 coming out of the factory is one of the most expensive airplanes at the hangar. Created for a niche market of wealthy aviators during the depression, only 12 YMF-3s were built,” he notes. “Owners of the plane were die-hard fans of the open cockpit in a world quickly being dominated by enclosed cabins. Notable owners of this particular airplane were Benjamin Brewster, a member of the elite New York Brewster family from 1936 to 1940, and the DuPont Family from 1940 to 1943.”

This pristine venue also boasts 20-foot ceilings and highly polished concrete floors that mirror the beauty of each plane—and these stunning antique planes most certainly make for the ultimate conversation pieces. The 60-by-14-foot hangar doors can be open to let the outside in and allow for the event to flow to the outdoors, where guests can enjoy watching aircraft take off and land.

To personalize your special event, two 12-by-20-foot state-of-the-art projection screens are available with inhouse audio-visual systems.

The museum’s event planners are also available to help plan your special occasion from start to finish.

When you book your event with Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum, up to 200 white chairs, 20 six-foot round tables and 14 six-foot rectangle tables are included in the rental fee, along with free parking and Wi-Fi. You can find a list of approved vendors at GigHarborAirMuseum. com/event-space, though they are open to approving outside vendors upon request.

The Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum proudly supports Rotary International members and Active Duty Military members, granting discounts for these groups to host their special events and celebrations at the museum.

If you or someone you know is interested in touring the museum and getting a quote for your special event, you are invited to email or call 253.393.7456. If you find yourself needing to plan for a last-minute event and are in search of a venue, the Vintage Aero Museum is happy to accommodate shortnotice bookings as well.

Celebrate in elegance among history … at the Gig Harbor Vintage Aero Museum.







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Freedom and prosperity have been foundational components of the American Dream for generations, and to many, owning a home is an important milestone in achieving that dream. The feeling of having a piece of land that is yours, four walls, and a roof to hold and protect your family is unparalleled. Reaching the goal of homeownership provides stability and connections to the community and builds financial wealth over time. It’s also one of the most significant investments you’ll make in your lifetime—both in your future and financially.

You want to choose a home that meets the needs of your current lifestyle, stage of life, and any future goals you have for yourself and your family. And the journey to and the process of buying a house is unique for each buyer. A growing family has different needs than an empty nester looking to downsize. A single parent desires vastly different features than a new retiree.

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned veteran, the process can be overwhelming. One of the best first steps is finding an experienced Realtor—they have the training and knowledge to walk you through the process, give you the ins and outs of the neighborhood, and get down to the nitty-gritty details to help you make an informed decision. For this reason, Gig Harbor managing broker and Realtor Jennifer Hawkins of Hawkins-Poe key2see Team, real estate broker Jackie Suarez of Century 21 RiverStone and Realtor Ben Geanetta of Elite Realty Partners, both based in North Idaho, provided professional insight to help clear up the sometimes muddy process of purchasing a house.

Most people considering buying a home have imagined their “perfect” house. For some, it’s a brick house with a white picket fence, while others crave a low-maintenance condo in the city—either way, it’s likely you have more non-negotiables than you initially realize. As potential buyers start viewing homes, they can quickly get distracted by the beautiful countertops and professionally staged presentation. Relying on an imagined picture in your head can lead to overlooking


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must-have features. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a house only to remember later that you swore you’d never share a closet with your spouse again.

Make a list. Have each person involved in buying the home and who will be living in the home make a list of the features they most want and things they truly need. Then you can review the list—maybe drop the wall-towall trampoline room requested by your 7-year-old—and rank the features by importance. Doing this will help narrow down properties during your search and keep you focused as you visit potential properties.

“Location, location, location” is a common phrase in real estate. Besides being in an area where you want to live, the location is also directly linked to the current and future home value. The features that determine what constitutes a good location differ for each home buyer, but there are some generally accepted objective factors to consider. The location determines which schools your children will attend, how long your commute to work will be, and which community you will be involved with daily. “Do your homework and work with an agent who is an expert in your target area,” recommends Jackie.

Researching an area and working with a knowledgeable Realtor also helps when evaluating neighborhoods. Take a walk in the neighborhood and talk to people who live there. This will help you get a feel for the mood of a neighborhood but can also provide invaluable insight into real-time issues or benefits of the neighborhood.

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Another factor to consider are the future plans for the area. New construction neighborhoods are popping up all over—depending on your needs, you may want to hold out for one of the new builds, or you might not want to buy right next to a future construction site. You should also consider the crime in the area, if there are any benefits such as recreation facilities, and if there are HOA dues that will affect your monthly payment.

Remember, your location also includes the lot on which the home stands. You can remodel and renovate a house to your every specification, but the lot will remain the same. Consider the lot location and size carefully when viewing homes. Does it get enough sunlight? Will the driveway be difficult to navigate when it snows? Is the yard large enough for your kids and dog to run around? Are you prepared for the amount of maintenance needed for this size yard? If anything about the location or the lot seems concerning or feels like a compromise to you, don’t hesitate to walk away. It will be easier to find another property in a better location or lot than to live with frustrations that could’ve been avoided.

Know your budget and the market. While this sounds simple enough, it can be a complex process. You need a clear picture of your finances to determine a down payment amount and the maximum mortgage payment you can afford. Your real estate team can help review various mortgage payment scenarios and point out sleeper costs, including HOA dues, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes. “Home buyers need to have all their documents in order

and hire a solid team to help them purchase a home. This team will consist of a local, full-time real estate professional, a full-time knowledgeable lender, and expert local vendors,” explains Ben.

The market, interest rates and inventory have been rapidly changing over the past few years, but real estate is cyclical. Depending on your circumstances, now might be a great time for you to buy, but not ideal for others. As Jennifer explains, “This market is healthy, but rates are high. … If you have substantial equity in your home, now is a great time to buy, and there are a lot of options available that you wouldn’t be able to capitalize on when the market is hot.”

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may/june 2023 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 49 Serving deaf, hard of hearing and speech diverse clients WWW.HSDC.ORG Interpreting Services Deaf & Hard of Hearing Advocacy Services Deaf 101 Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Community support plays a large part in ensuring that we can work to create an accessible, inclusive world. We are sincerely thankful to our supporters and their commitment to the communities we serve throughout Western Washington. Visit our Volunteer page to learn about volunteering opportunities at HSDC. WAYS TO GIVE: DONATE & VOLUNTEER ORGANIZED BY THE SANDPOINT ROTARY CLUB Registration NOW OPEN. Join the ride. Make a difference. JUNE 17, 2023 PLATINUM SPONSORS: GOLD SPONSORS: THE QUILL FAMILY SILVER SPONSORS: sandpoint Living Local Bob
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Half Marathon - 10K - 5K

The children’s charities we support are Children’s Home Society Peninsula, Food Backpacks 4 Kids, and Communities In Schools Peninsula. We have also supported a Montessori Elementary School in Guatemala.

Rotary Club of Gig Harbor North.

August 5, 2023

Tacoma Narrows Airport

6:30AM - 7:45 AM - Packet Pickup

Race start times: 8:00AM - Half Marathon Start

8:15AM - 10K Start

8:30AM - 5K Start

12:00PM - Official Timing Concludes

*Please note, there is no advance packet pickup


Scenic course, with all distances running the iconic Tacoma Narrows Bridge!

Well-supported race with multiple aid stations for each distance.

Tech shirt for all runners.

Custom, locally made finisher medal for all distances.

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REGISTRATION OPEN! GALLOPING-GERTIE.COM | For updated information on parking, packet pickup, registration & more!


ot easily spotted on the corner of 19th and Sprague, the Multicultural Child & Family Hope Center (MCFHC) is a beacon of hope and a wealth of resources for disadvantaged children, youth and families of color in the Tacoma community. Gail Neal, founder and executive director, is a woman with grit and perseverance. She and her team are resolute in their dedication to providing free or reduced-cost supplies, support and services to families in need throughout Pierce County.


As a nonprofit organization, MCFHC provides these services through government contracts, private grants, and the support of donors and volunteers. Local business owners Amy Flippo (Harbornest) and Cameron Smith (Edward Jones) are determined to help the center thrive and grow. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Amy and Cameron coordinate an Annual Clean-Up Event each spring.

“We visited the MCFHC campus in 2017 and were blown away by the staff’s dedication. They welcome anyone in need with respect and love and treat them like family. We got involved then and became more active in organizing volunteer events and raising funds,” shares Cameron.

At the Clean-Up Event, members of the community work to spruce

up the center’s campus. Local businesses donate supplies, and families, church groups, scout troops and students help with special projects while earning volunteer hours.

“Each year at the Clean-Up Event, we complete various projects throughout the campus. We’ve painted, built fences, replaced light fixtures, installed new recess equipment, done gardening—it’s really just about working together to support them however we can,” affirms Amy.

When members of the community approach Gail and her team for help, the answer is always “Yes.” That’s how the once small daycare has grown into 42 programs: from free and reduced-cost childcare, transitional housing, family support services, providing free diapers and food to families in need of assistance, and more. The Multicultural Child & Family Hope Center is a true treasure in our own neighborhood.

Show your community some love and spend a day helping an organization that makes a difference in the lives of local families every day. The Clean-Up Event is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, from 9am to 3pm. Please visit to learn more and to register to participate.

may/june 2023
Join local businesses this May to spruce up the MCFHC, a sanctuary for children and families in need
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Saturday, July 8th | 12pm – 6pm

Uptown Gig Harbor | 4701 Point Fosdick Dr, Gig Harbor

Summer Sips brings locally crafted sips to the masses, replete with amazing live music throughout the day. Whether you’re into cider, beer, wine, spirits, or softer options, Summer Sips is the 1-stop taste n’ shop event of the season. 1 day, 1 location, 60+ refreshing sips from the 253 and great live music. Let your senses run wild for a cause!

Proceeds fund environmental education, conservation, and stewardship initiatives in the KGI watershed through the Lu Winsor Memorial Environmental Grant program.

Purchase tickets here! 21+

Each ticket includes event access, a Sips tasting glass, 5 drink tickets, re-entry pass, live music, and an awesome time!

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Utopian Garden

An immersive, fully interactive experience by the world-renowned, visionary design studio flora&faunavisions, explore the Utopian Garden, a place to become a better you. From Berlin to Tacoma comes this dynamic project, where creativity and science come together in the natural world. Utopian Garden invites the audience to actively participate in a vivid immersion of nature at the Tacoma Armory May 19 through June 30: 10am to 7pm Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; 10am to 9pm Friday and Saturday. More about the experience, and link to purchase tickets, can be found online at

Whiskers and Paws Gala

The Whiskers and Paws Gala, supporting Auburn Valley Humane Society, Northwest Spay & Neuter, and AVHS Animal Shelter, is a signature fundraising event to raise funds for the homeless and lost animals in our community. With your support, these organizations are able to sustain life-saving efforts, subsidize humane education, expand their spay and neuter programs, and expand programs to maintain the human-pet bond. The 2023 event takes place 5 to 9pm on Saturday, May 20, at Hotel Murano and will feature two silent auctions, a live auction, a scrumptious dinner, a raise the paddle, and so much more. Purchase your tickets at

Spring Fairy Magic Marketplace

The annual Spring Fairy Magic Marketplace is the place “where the fae come to play!” This fantasy-themed shopping event supports local artists, crafters and small businesses. Don’t miss this magical market, hosted by Crescent Moon Gifts, scheduled for Saturday, May 20. From 11am to 7pm, gather your family and friends to explore and shop the dozens of vendors offering a variety of jewelry, crystals and stones, candles, art and ceramics, soaps and nature-based items, fairy items (wings, wands, hats, etc.) and so much more! Attendees are encouraged to dress up for the occasion. To see a full list of this year’s vendors, visit

Tacoma Ocean Fest

Tacoma Ocean Fest returns to the Foss Waterway Seaport June 2 through 4 … and beyond. The community is invited to take in incredible art, music, dance, film, poetry, science and water fun, uniting all ages in celebrating the ocean, learn about its threats and get inspired to protect it. Mark your calendars for the Lantern Paddle for Species, taking place 7 to 10pm on June 2; Beach Clean-Up from 10am to noon on June 3; and the Festival, with ocean fun and education to be had 10am to 5pm June 4. Additional events continue all month long. To find out more about the 2023 event and all it entails, visit

The Annual Sawasdee Thailand Festival

Presented by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center the first Saturday in June, the annual Sawasdee Thailand Festival (meaning “Hello, Thailand”) showcases many aspects of Thailand’s traditional culture. This includes graceful dances, stunning costumes, fashion show of traditional Thai clothing, Thai music, unique musical instruments, amazing Muay Thai (the famous Thai martial art) and of course plenty of mouth-watering Thai food. There will also be activity booths, vendors, games and more. This is your chance to learn about Thailand, the land of smiles. Mark your calendar for June 3, with the fun taking place from 11am to 4pm. Additional information can be found as the event nears online at

Sound to Narrows

Celebrating friendly competition since 1973, Sound to Narrows 2023 is set for Saturday, June 10, with all proceeds to benefit MultiCare Academy for Students in Healthcare Camp. The 12k Walk will kick off at 7:30am, followed by the 2k Fit for S2N School Race at 8am, 12k Run and Military Run at 8:15am, 5k Run/Walk at 8:30am, Awards Ceremony at 9:45am, and Diaper Dash at 10am. 2k, 5k and 12k events start at North Vassault and 37th Street in Tacoma. Registration, as well as additional details, can be found online at

* Please note, as of press time, these events were still scheduled to take place as planned. As there is always the possibility that event schedules may change or events cancelled completely, be sure to visit event websites to stay up to date with current information.

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Sushi at Home!


2 cups sushi rice

2 cups water

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

4 sheets nori seaweed

1/2 Ib. sushi-grade fish (such as salmon, tuna or shrimp), sliced into thin strips

1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced into thin strips


• Rinse the sushi rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Drain the rice and add it to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed.

• While the rice is cooking, make the sushi vinegar by mixing together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl.

• Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl and add the sushi vinegar. Use a wooden spoon or rice paddle to gently fold the vinegar into the rice until it’s well combined. Let the rice cool to room temperature.

Suncadia and Sunriver Resorts

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Explore Washington and Oregon Luxury resorts with real estate opportunities
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ticking with the real estate theme of this issue, the travel story highlights two resorts that you can vacation at—and if you love it can purchase a vacation or future retirement home. Suncadia is a 6,400-acre resort and real estate community located in the Cascade Mountains in Washington. Just outside of Bend, Oregon, the Sunriver Resort is 3,300 acres and has the only private resort airstrip in the Pacific Northwest. Both resorts are iconic Pacific Northwest favorites, with many guests having family histories of their first visits and now introducing the communities to their children.

Suncadia and Sunriver are full-service destinations. Guests will find luxury lodging, spas, pools, golf courses, multiple restaurants, and lots of fun summer activities. All of this can be found in stunning natural scenery offering plenty of space for miles of hiking and biking trails. There is no need to venture from these active communities when there is so much to see and do.

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For the ultimate in luxury, stay at The Lodge at Suncadia, perched atop the Cascade Mountains with stellar views. The lodge offers accommodations from deluxe studios, one- or twobedroom suites, and luxury penthouses. Designed for longer vacations, you’ll find kitchens, washers and dryers, private balconies, and gas fireplaces. The lodge is a central hub with access to several restaurants. For a more intimate stay, The Inn at Suncadia overlooks the lovely Prospector Golf Course and provides a more traditional hotel stay. Also at the resort are the Trailhead Condominiums with one or two bedrooms and large decks. These are perfect for a more extended stay. There are a variety of neighborhoods that have luxury vacation homes for rent. Sizes range from one to six bedrooms, and each is fully furnished.

Sunriver Resort has a variety of lodgings across this large resort including the River Lodge and Lodge Village. These resort rooms all have fireplaces and private decks to enjoy the stunning views. Guests at the River Lodge also have exclusive access to the large outdoor hot tubs. Also available are more than 275 condominiums and vacation homes for rent. For a truly special experience, stay at Forestbrook at Caldera Springs. In addition to access to all the Sunriver amenities, you also have access to those at Caldera Springs including its gorgeous Quarry Pool. Also enjoy complimentary watercraft rentals on the Obsidian or Trailmere Lakes.

Suncadia and Sunriver are fullservice destinations. Guests will find luxury lodging, spas, pools, golf courses, multiple restaurants, and lots of fun summer activities.

eat do

Suncadia’s newest restaurant is The Stovehouse, located at The Inn at Suncadia, which focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Executive Chef Taylor Widrig says, “The restaurant’s menu pays homage to Suncadia’s storied past, while celebrating local brewers, farmers and ranchers of today and the immense effort they put into their craft.” Gorgeous golfcourse views make it a perfect alfresco dining spot when the weather is nice. Portals Restaurant in the lodge offers an eclectic Pacific Northwest seasonal menu highlighting fresh, local ingredients. Combined with the panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains, this is one special meal. On the property you’ll find a variety of food and beverage offerings including a market and the Taste of the Cascade Food Truck.

The restaurants at Sunriver Resort also focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The Lodge Kitchen is the resort’s signature restaurant and has spectacular views of the Cascade Range. Known for its dry-age beef, this is a true ranch-to-table meal sourcing from local and regional purveyors. The Owl’s Nest is like your cozy neighborhood pub. Enjoy the local craft beer this region is famed for with classic dishes. The grand fireplace offers a welcome respite on chilly days while the outdoor patio has views of the Meadows Golf Course with Mt. Bachelor in the distance.

If golf is your thing, then Suncadia Resort has you covered. Rocky peaks of the Eastern Cascades and pine forest surround the three championship golf courses. If relaxing is more your style, book a treatment at the awardwinning Glade Spring Spa. It is known for its beautiful outdoor features and even offers a private women’s garden that has a sauna and a hot outdoor mineral bath. Summer activities abound with more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails, axe throwing, archery, water rentals and off-site excursions such as fly fishing and river floats.

The Cove Aquatic Center at the Sunriver Resort has families returning year after year to enjoy this waterpark with its indoor and outdoor pool, waterslide, gently flowing eddy, gorgeous outdoor spaces overlooking a lake with mountain views, and so much more. Biking is a safe activity with over 40 miles of paved trails. Golfers will love the four courses with 63 holes of world-class golf. A children’s program allows for adult time at the Sage Springs Club and Spa. You’ll never be bored staying at Sunriver.

After staying at these two incredible resorts, if you find the communities to your liking, then consider purchasing a property. Both resorts have real estate offerings at a variety of price points as well as property management services for vacation rentals.

The Specifics

For More Information Central Oregon - Cle Elum, Washington - The Resorts Suncadia Resort - Sunriver Resort - Real Estate Suncadia Real Estate Sales Company - Sunriver Realty -
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