Bellevue: Discover Shops, Spas and Sips

Spring is here, which means the blossoms are starting to bud and chances are we are all a bit antsy to get out and about after a winter of hibernation. Need a vacation close to home? Check out Bellevue, for a little indulgence, outdoor outings, sips of wine and shopping.

Slough

Spring is the perfect time to visit Bellevue by kayak. The Mercer Slough is teaming with foliage, and signs of spring are everywhere. Take your own kayak or canoe, or rent one starting in May from Enatai Beach Boathouse.

558577352203428_the-bravern-2Shop

Spend the afternoon shopping at The Shops at The Bravern, a 309,000-square-foot luxury retail space. It is a vibrant pedestrian-friendly outdoor shopping experience at the gateway to downtown Bellevue, just minutes away from the area’s recreational opportunities. Explore the Northwest’s only Neiman Marcus and designer boutiques including Louis Vuitton and Jimmy Choo.

Spa and Renew

So you’ve been outdoors a bit, you’ve shopped, and now it’s time to relax. Enjoy signature spa treatments at Skin Spirit at Bellevue Square. Skin Spirit Spa brings together the best of both worlds: cutting-edge technology and a luxurious spa-like setting. Personal attention, sincere answers and a calm environment will keep you at ease. It’s a perfect way to refresh skin for the spring season.

sipSip

After an afternoon of shopping and relaxation, enjoy dinner at Purple Café and Wine Bar. Besides an expansive wine selection, Purple Café and Wine Bar features a menu that blends classic American styles with seasonal Northwest ingredients—all in an informal atmosphere. Enjoy a Washington wine flight, and if you happen to have the kiddos/grandkids in tow, order them a special flight of their own—featuring four different kinds of milk (chocolate or caramel or exotic flavors) specially created for them. Our favorite item on the menu is the salmon over a bed of lentils. It’s a perfect dish to refresh and renew for spring.

 

take a walk off the beaten path

beaten-path2Remember the days of soda shops, vintage cars and a celebrated kind of innocence? If you’re looking for a slice of Americana or just feeling nostalgic, a quaint reminder is tucked in the rustic setting of Off the Beaten Path. A walk down the aisles of the store evokes simpler times wrapped in comfort and friendly faces. With a love of all things from days past and a compassionate sense of neighborly charm, co-owners Joanne Loudin and her mother, Lorna Hill, lead you on a trip down memory lane.

Discover Off the Beaten Path, and you’ll find a place of buried treasures: antique photos, frames and candle holders, plus tools and typewriters. To walk through the store is to discover, and what you soon realize is that everything has a story. From the smallest trinket to the turn-of-the-century rolltop desk, there is history, and the only thing more intriguing is the people behind them.

It’s “where yesterday’s memories become today’s treasures,” Loudin says, quoting her mother with a smile that speaks of true devotion for who they are and what the place is about. To learn their story is to find truth and solidarity in the memories, collectibles and those who seek a piece of nostalgia from before our “plugged in” era.

Off the Beaten Path has been part of the community for over 22 years. Loudin took over the business four years ago and has since expanded to a larger space, offering more room for vendors of every caliber. Devoted to the community, the owners have been sponsors of local events, food drives and charitable organizations each year since their doors opened. They not only operate in the community but go that extra mile to have an impact on it.

ERIC C. GOODELL

For additional information:
Off The Beaten Path
1109 Main St, Sumner
253.987.5632
myshoppingpath.com

clearwater casino – a taste of living history

clearwaterThe Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort is nestled on the shores of the beautiful Agate Passage in Puget Sound. Indoors and out, you are surrounded by the majestic beauty and culture of this location.

The waterfront hotel captures the rustic natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, with guest rooms flanking a soaring great room. The history-laden great room offers spectacular waterfront views amid museum-quality works of art.

History buffs will delight in the richness of the Suquamish culture. “We love to share our history with visitors,” says Lisa Rodriguez, public relations and media coordinator. She notes that the Suquamish people have lived along the shores of the Kitsap Peninsula for more than 10,000 years. Taking their name from the word for “clear salt water,” Suquamish ancestors thrived by harvesting salmon, clams and other foods from nature.

Speaking of food, you’ll want to be sure to take in the fine dining at Cedar Steakhouse. The savory menu includes an array of fresh seafood, pastas, luscious prime rib and steaks prepared to perfection, plus a fine selection of vegetarian entrees.

The resort includes a waterfront hotel, full-service spa, high-tech meeting spaces and the excitement of casino nightlife all set in a cultural mecca. By the summer of 2015, the property will add 10,000 square feet of meeting space plus a six-story, all-water-view hotel wing that will include fine dining and caféstyle restaurants.

For a taste of culture, dining and history, visit Clearwater Casino Resort.

LEAH GROUT

For additional information:
15347 Suquamish Way NE, Suquamish
clearwatercasino.com

stroke survivor – know the signs

strokeOn March 21, 2012, 37-year-old Jennifer Malo was home with three small children, the youngest only 19 days old. With a headache and numbness in her face, she called her sister-in-law, who called 911 because Malo herself refused, thinking she would be fine. But she wasn’t fine. She was having a right-sided hemispheric stroke. By the time she arrived at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma, the entire left side of her body was completely immobile.

After Malo was admitted, Dr. Alison Nohara, MD, told the patient’s husband that his wife was having a major stroke and that he needed to grant permission to conduct emergency surgery. “I remember my husband leaning over me trying to hug me as he took my wedding ring off,” recalls Malo. “As I was prepared for surgery, he said everything was going to be fine. He told me I was having a stroke and they were going to do surgery. I turned my head as much as I could toward my husband and told him to hug and kiss the kids for me.”

After surgery, Malo was in ICU for four days and then released. A year of physical therapy slowly helped strengthen her body, and speech therapy helped exercise her brain. She still has some daily challenges but she is alive for her family and recently celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary in Hawaii.

Now an ambassador for the American Heart Association, Jennifer Malo advises women to know the signs of a stroke.

Signs That You May Be Having A Stroke:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Malo stresses to never wait more than five minutes to dial 911 if you feel even one of the signs above. You could be having a stroke even if you’re not experiencing all of the symptoms.

LEAH GROUT

For additional information:
goredforwomen.org
tacomagoredluncheon.ahaevents.org

award-winning modern home design

home-design1Maria Meconi and Robin Vaughn envisioned a modern home with clean lines and an open concept. They toured several home shows and finally discovered a modern design by the Artisans Group of Olympia.

In October 2013, they began the architectural design process with the Artisans Group. As Tessa Smith, owner and architect, recalls, “Maria and Robin were great about sharing their vision. This was going to be a home for a family. It had to truly be functional art and needed to look good messy, covered in little girls’ shoes and teddy bears, and then be a swanky spot to drink a cocktail.”

Vaughn agrees, explaining, “We were purposeful in planning the space so that it was functional and livable. We wanted really open space and tall ceilings, but this can sometimes be cold. Due to the lighting and color choices, however, the space is warm and cozy.”

The homeowners’ vision became a reality when they moved into the modern 2,900-square-foot home in Boston Harbor, north of Olympia, this past June. In August, the home was featured on the Olympia Master Builders tour. “Nearly 400 people came through the house in two days,” says Vaughn. “It was a little nerve-wracking to say the least. In the end, we won five awards including People’s Choice Best of Show. It was really satisfying knowing so many people enjoyed our home.”

LEAH GROUT

For additional information:
artisansgroup.com
home-design2home-design3

tastemakers: stina’s cellars

stinas-cellarsWith a touch of creativity and a passion for enology, Perry Preston and his wife, Penny, founded Stina’s Cellars on a challenge to each other and a chance at exploration. They already had a love for great wines, so all that remained was capturing a moment of fate—thus Stina’s Cellars was born in 1997.

After countless hours of mixing and matching to find that perfect combination, Perry Preston dreamed up and achieved fantastic new blends and took his mastery to the public in 2006. Located in the heart of Lakewood, Stina’s is open to new friends and patrons in the tradition of a Woodinville Winery tasting room. With large barrel tables and high-back stools, or a candlelit table for two, it’s an intimate atmosphere that is both relaxing and comfortable. And it gives Preston the chance to get to know and mingle with his guests.

Stina’s offers an outward display of numerous selections, from the latest releases to the award-winning cabernets. The Prestons’ philosophy is that the greatest joy of wine is finding a new one you’ve never tried before. “It’s the unique technique that always keeps it interesting,” says Perry.

Producing a wide range of berries and spiced blends, Preston has crafted an award-winning variety that is guaranteed to please the palate. From the signature scent of his Baco Noir, to the gold-medal Syrah, an award-winning table wine, or the uniquely flavored Pomegranate dessert wine, he is truly a master of his craft. With that mastery, Preston has participated in the Sister Cities trade project which exports overseas. Stina’s Cellars is one of the only winemakers to successfully export wines to China. Its unique blends can be found in over 90 locations throughout Western Washington and online in 16 states.

ERIC C. GOODELL

Stina’s Cellars
9316 Lakeview Ave SW, Lakewood
253.227.9748
stinascellars.com

spotlight: brian pettepiece, photographer

brian-pettepieceCommercial photographer Brian Pettepiece creates images that are intended to promote a person, a place, or a product. He is the owner of Pettepiece Photography and Olydog Studios, both headquartered in Olympia.

Just about any image could be considered a commercial photograph, says Pettepiece, but his studio focuses on businesses as it’s primary clients. He says he concentrates on promoting their products and services and “creating those images with an advertising sense” to showcase them in a way that best appeals to their customers.

What does he like most about his profession? “In a word: creative freedom. I love the freedom of being able to express myself creatively. For the most part, my clients trust me to create their images using my own skills and experience.

“I also enjoy human interaction, the more the better,” he continues. He says that many clients have an art director who already has a vision for the project in mind. “That is great and I welcome it,” he adds, “because I love working with someone who has a vision and helping them to make that vision a reality.”

Pettepiece says he’s always been fascinated by the ability to document, or freeze in time, an object or event and to display it in a way that others may not have been able to see, even if they were there. Studying historical photography has always been his passion, he says, from the first daguerreotype in 1839 to early and post-modern documentary motion-picture films.

“I love the idea of showing viewers what they weren’t expecting— exposing something that may have been hidden while being in plain sight,” says Pettepiece. “Creating surprise and satisfaction through exhibition has always been my driving force.”

CARLY CALABRESE

To view Brian Pettepiece’s work:
pettepieceheadshots.com

new director, hagerty education program at america’s car museum

hagertyIn 1970 Diane Fitzgerald purchased her first car, a not-so-pretty Volkswagen Bug, for $600. “I wanted to learn how to drive a stick so I bought it and fixed it up myself,” she says. So began her love affair with all things automotive. Since then, the car enthusiast has owned numerous VW’s and is a collector of micro-cars as well as vintage motorcycles. Couple this enthusiasm with a background in education, marketing and fundraising, and it’s no surprise that Fitzgerald was selected to be the national director of the Hagerty Education Program at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma. “I am over the moon excited and honored to take this program to the next level,” says Fitzgerald.

As residents of Chicago, Fitzgerald and her husband were the first members of the ACM board of directors from outside Tacoma. When they joined the board in 2002, they brought with them a passion to help preserve the automotive industry. In 2012 Fitzgerald began serving as national Club Auto director at ACM, responsible for the implementation of events and programs to help increase membership.

The Hagerty Education Program awards grants and scholarships to young adults seeking careers in automotive preservation and restoration. To protect the history of the automotive industry, Fitzgerald says, it is critical to train and educate the next generation as well as protect the hobby of car collecting in America. Hagerty, an insurance provider for classic vehicles, partnered with ACM in January 2014 and has since committed $1.75 million to the program. Fitzgerald says that the opportunity to be the national director of a program focused on education means having a direct impact on the next generation of car enthusiasts and hobbyists alike, particularly here in the South Sound. “I think this is going to impact Tacoma in interesting ways that we cannot predict yet,” says Fitzgerald.

ANDREA LERUM

For additional information:
lemaymuseum.org

ladies’ night out – providence st. peter foundation

ladies-night2This year’s Ladies’ Night Out event at Christmas Forest in Olympia was a great success. Participants celebrated with a special evening of shopping and mingling while noshing on savory and sweet treats and enjoying the smooth vocals of entertainer Chris Anderson. The evening’s proceeds benefited a unique program for the Providence St. Peter Sexual Assault Clinic and Child Maltreatment Center.
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born to be wild – boys & girls clubs of thurston county

wild2For the first time ever, the Born to Be Wild auction was hosted at the spacious Evergreen State College in Olympia. Many of the 580 community movers and shakers in attendance wore event-appropriate biker attire. The evening’s activities were emceed by the well-known Jerry Farmer. During the evening, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County made history, raising $510,000 for kids. These funds will support after-school programs that focus on three core areas: academic success, healthy lifestyles, and good character and leadership for 2,600 youth in Thurston County.
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