Today increasing numbers of men are realizing that day spas provide much needed rest and relaxation services. The most common day spa treatment for men is the massage, sports and hot stone being the most popular. Sports massages are the perfect muscle release for golfers, runners, tennis players and anyone who sits at a desk too.
The concept of how men should look depends on what they view as being attractive. Men look at the males on TV and in magazines just like women do. They may decide they aren’t as attractive as they could be due to excess hair on their back and on their chest. This can be easily resolved by going to a day spa for waxing. It won’t come back as quickly as when they shave it themselves!
There are special types of facials for men as well. Specially designed facials can help skin to remain young looking and prevent wrinkles and lines from appearing. Some men suffer from their skin being dried out. A good facial will help to ensure they have gorgeous looking skin.
Generally speaking, men have realized that spas not only have positive effects on their skin and sporting aches but also aid in reducing their stress levels. Men are recognizing that by taking care of their skin they not only look younger but their skin also looks smoother after shaving. The benefits of visiting a spa after a sports workout has also been noted and a number of sports related massages have been designed to alleviate stress, improve muscle aches, increase circulation as well as improve flexibility in support of sports training.
If Dad has a closet full of ties and all the ‘World’s #1 Dad’ coffee mugs he can handle, you might very well become his hero this year by presenting him with a gift of health and wellness from a local spa. Don’t be surprised if they book the next treatment before you do!
360. 352.3401 • www.thevspa.com
4833 Tumwater Valley Dr SE, Tumwater
Sports Massage, 30min $42; 60min $68; 90min for $100
From the professional athlete to the weekend warrior, this is
a treatment specifically designed to help enhance your sport
performance and reduce your injuries. Who knows, it might
even take a few strokes off your game!
Men’s Fitness Facial, 60min $75
This facial is specially designed for a man’s skin and senses.
This facial enlists the help of nutrient rich agents to address the
areas neglected by the shave and soap approach. A deep pore
cleansing is followed by an oxygenating mask which rejuvenates
the skin leaving it healthy, toned and invigorated.
Dolce Vita Spa
253.826.5556 • www.dolcevitadayspa.com
18401 Sumner-Buckley Highway St E, Bonney Lake
Signature Hot Stone Massage, 90min $110
This unique massage uses heated basalt stones in a variety
of techniques. The weight and heat from the stones work
to alleviate tension within the muscles, helping to increase
circulation, balance energy and relieve stress.
Men’s Back and Neck Massage, 45min $55
Men’s Back Waxing, $65 and up
Tacoma and Puyallup • www.genejuarez.com
Men’s Cleanse & Restore Facial, 60min $95
Ease the irritation from shaving and keep your skin healthy, smooth,
balanced and revitalized. This customized facial includes deep
cleansing, exfoliation, facial and neck massage, mask application
and a face and eye moisturizer to hydrate and restore the skin.
Upon arrival we are saturated by the smell of salt air as a constant reminder of our closeness to the water. Hotel Bellwether’s waterfront hotel is nestled in a quaint cove on the beach of Bellingham Bay, where the marina setting is the ideal backdrop for this hotel’s distinct yacht-club feel. The sophisticated property has a European ambiance and warm hospitality that creates an elegant yet relaxing experience. The rooms are well-appointed, comfortable, and have thermo-masseur jetted tubs. Ooh la-la!
Much like a crown, this property has a mystique and a beauty that is rare. As with any crown, this version has a main gem, namely, the exclusive lighthouse suite. This suite is a replica of a light house, three luxurious stories high designed for romance—and for the view. The three tiered suite floors start with a kitchen and cozy living room with fireplace. As you travel up the iron staircase you see a full open suite with sweeping views of Orcas Island. The room is spectacular and has a sunken tub, water fall feature, heated floors and plasma flat screen TV. The top floor is an observation deck along with a cozy sitting area complete with amazing 360 degree views. A great place for you to enjoy a refreshment while watching the bay and the coming and going of boats as they glide in and out of the marina.
Climbing light house towers can work up an appetite so we headed to the Harborside Bistro which is located on the property. Executive Chef Robert Pinski who has been the unwavering force behind the Bistro’s Northwest inspired culinary creations for years shared “I enjoy using my creativity to bring these dishes to life”. We found that the smells, textures and tastes from his kitchen were a delight.
We started dinner with crispy oysters presented on a unique oblong plate and served with a sweet sauce; the warm delicacies were pan fried to perfection, they simply crackled in your mouth. If you love seafood you will not want to miss the coconut seafood chowder. Prawns, mushrooms and mussels all cooked with a white broth heavily cut with lime. The seafood chowder was followed by—my favorite—an earthy potato crusted halibut, seared to perfection and accompanied by wild rice. In the end, we enjoyed a cinnamon gelato with a pear glaze; the sweet cinnamon parlayed an impressive contrast to the savory tartness.
After a satisfying dinner we stepped outside and savored a sunset walk along the beach listening as the waves lapped against the shore in rhythm. The sun’s heat dissolving as it met the line of the water’s edge.
Hotel Bellwether sets the scene for an escape, whether you are looking for a romantic retreat or simply a break away from the everyday. This stunning setting, surrounded by the scenic waters of Bellingham Bay, allows for a getaway that will fill and delight the senses.
Info: 1-877-411-1200 • www.hotelbellwether.com
No summer road trip is complete without a great car. I think back to my teenage days and my first love: a red 1972 Cadillac Coop De-Ville. It was by far one of my proudest moments when I earned enough to purchase my very own set of wheels. Much like the open road, it signified potential, opportunity and freedom.
And while classic cars aren’t great on the carbon foot print- not to mention your travel budget-there is just nothing like the feel of the road flying by, in a classic car, wind in your hair while taking in some “oldies yet goodies” while the miles fly by. Here are seven songs that go well with a ride in an old-fashioned
luxury gas-guzzler. All are different genres and yet they seem to go well with those great, gaudy, chrome-laden land-yachts of yesteryear. So climb in, fire it up, drop it into drive, and watch those signs fly by.
1. Big Long Buick, Big Joe & the Dynaflows
Here we go again. A guy walks into a car dealership with a pocketful of money and the firm conviction that if he gets a great big car, he’ll immediately become more appealing to women. Big Joe Maher and The Dynaflows have been a mainstay on the D.C. club circuit for years, and they give this song a nice, T-Bone Walker-style shuffle groove.
2. Take it Easy, Eagles, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975
From “Take it Easy” to “Take it to the Limit,” this is a perfect set for a summer road trip. This is one of the top bestselling pop albums of all time, for good reason.
3. Little Red Corvette, Prince
Prince cruises dangerous curves much too fast, turning heads with that oh-so-sexy intro, killer chorus and a bass line that pops like thighs off plastic upholstery on a sticky summer day.
4. Rocket 88, Ike Turner, Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
Someone should write a book about this classic recording. For one thing, there was no such band as “Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats.” The band that entered producer Sam Phillips’ studio in 1951 to record this song was Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm; Jackie Brenston was one of Turner’s sax players and the lead singer on “Rocket 88.” For some reason, when Phillips sent the song to Chess Records, he decided to give Brenston top billing and made the name up, a move that caused trouble and influenced the history of rock ‘n’ roll. When the song started selling, Brenston took some of Turner’s band members and hit the road, so Ike took another path that eventually led to Tina. And Phillips took the money he made from recording the song and started Sun Records— where, one day, a kid named Elvis walked in and asked if he could record a song for his mom.
5. Mercury Blues, Alan Jackson
Originally recorded in 1949, Mercury Blues was also recorded by Steve Miller, David Lindley, and Roy Rogers & Norton Buffalo, among others. In 1992, Alan Jackson turned “Mercury Blues” into a chart-topping country hit.
6. U.S.S. Zydecoldsmobile, by Sonny Landreth
Slide guitarist and vocalist Sonny Landreth has lived in the heart of Louisiana’s zydeco country for most of his life, and the U.S.S. Zydecoldsmobile was actually his car for some of that time. According to Landreth, it was an inherited ‘82 Oldsmobile 98 that he and his friends used as a means of gliding from one zydeco club to another on hot Louisiana nights.
7. Everyday is a Winding Road, Sheryl Crow-Greatest Hits
Sheryl Crow’s collection kicks off with “All I Wanna Do” and “Soak Up the Sun,” two all time summer classics. The rest of the album is great, too… but you might find yourself hitting the repeat play button several times before you get there.
Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Puyallup, Ichiban Sushi Garden provides avid and novice sushi connoisseurs with a wide variety of authentic Japanese cuisine. Once inside the restaurant, diners are greeted with the sounds of light jazz filling the room with a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. The décor is simple, clean and elegant with Asian curtains, maple chairs and clean lines providing the perfect feng shui.
Ichiban’s comprehensive menu offers an eclectic selection from traditional nigiri sushi to signature creations. Not familiar with sushi or Japanese cuisine? Their menu layout is novice friendly, describing each dish in detail. Afraid of braving the raw fish? Ichiban has a wide selection of mouth-watering cooked sushi rolls. A safe choice for a beginner is the ever popular California roll made up of cooked snow crab meat, cucumber and avocado surrounded by white rice and wrapped with seaweed.
The restaurant identifies the dishes that are raw or cooked allowing the sushi lovers to challenge their taste buds, while more leery diners can enjoy delicious flavor without the raw fish. Every dish is served with pickled ginger and wasabi (Japanese horseradish) on the side. Take caution when trying the wasabi. It can melt your eyebrows off!
Ichiban takes its Japanese cuisine seriously, and beautiful presentation is just as important as the taste. Flavorful miso soup is served in pretty dainty cups and garnished with bits of shiitake and enoki mushrooms, green onions, seaweed and tofu. Salted edamame and salad with ginger dressing are served to prepare the pallet for the diverse tastes to come. With many selections, diners have the option of meats, vegetables, and seafood. Rolls can be as simple as spicy tuna , sprouts, cucumber and gobo to a complex Dragon roll which is composed of shrimp tempura, crab and cucumber layered with fresh water eel and avocado with an eel sauce.
The “stuffed pumpkin” is particularly worth trying especially if you like salmon. It isn’t, of course, a real pumpkin, but pieces of fresh salmon shaped to cradle together a mixture of spicy snow crab, scallops, and tobiko (flying fish caviar) with mayonnaise and tempura crunch over rice. Entrees at Ichiban Sushi Garden focus on a few basic elements. Salmon, crab, yellow-tail, freshwater eel, shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and alfalfa sprouts appear in some form in almost every dish. Added to those is one of a variety of sauces which are deliciously contrasting yet have complimenting flavors in each bite.
Our food was brought promptly and the friendly waitresses remained close by to respond to any further needs throughout the meal. All sushi aficionados know the importance of absolutely fresh ingredients and evidently so do the chefs at Ichiban Sushi Garden. It is definitely an excellent place to dine.
SWING Wine Bar
825 Columbia St SW, Olympia
Although Olympia’s SWING Wine Bar just swung its doors open in 2007, its reputation is already being toasted across the state.
In only a handful of years, this lovely restaurant and wine bar has fast established itself as one of the best places in the South Sound to savor classic Northwest cuisine and sip award-winning Washington wines. In fact, the Washington Wine Commission presented SWING an award of recognition for their great local wine offerings just this year.
Perched atop Columbia street in downtown Olympia, SWING is a cozy, big, red, refurbished house nearly a century old with an awe-inspiring view overlooking Capitol Lake. Owner Nicole Butigan fell in love with the place immediately. She knew that the view was really the perfect backdrop for both locals and tourists alike who love having a lush natural Washington landscape incorporated into their meal experience as they sip on Columbia Valley wines or carve into locally caught salmon. “We love Olympia, and it really needed a wine bar. The view is fantastic and the house has so much charm,” said Nicole.
The old, empty house Nicole and her husband Jim named SWING is now a home to their candlelit wine bar teeming with romantic dinner tables, fresh-cut flowers in bud vases, a gorgeous outdoor dining patio, a well-stocked Washington wine cellar, guest jazz musicians, and a creative and cost-effective happy hour where signature SWING cocktails like It’s 5 o’ Clock Somewhere, Walk The Line, and Ring My Bell only cost $5 a drink.
When mulling over the menu at SWING bring a healthy appetite. Guests will find it features lots of hearty, home-style entrees, but will appreciate the specific Pacific Northwest twist the chef puts on old favorites like roast beef and chicken. For example, juicy pot roast takes on a new herbed freshness with a rosemary infused au jus. Roasted chicken gets rustic when smothered with sage and a creamy, local Beecher’s white cheddar sauce. The savory filet mignon here gets topped with local wild Washington mushrooms. Zesty apple and ginger glazes the fresh salmon they smoke daily on their own back patio.
There is also a fun way SWING serves up their wine. Guests can order ‘wine flights’—an iron tree-shaped stand that holds three 2 ounce pours of wines with a common theme by varietal or region. “The wine flights are an absolute standout,” said Nicole. It’s a great way to enjoy the progression of three different wines with deepening flavors and body as the meal moves from appetizer, to salad, then to entrée.
Be sure to slip into SWING on Wednesdays and sometimes even on Saturdays. You will find live music accompanying your meal. Local acoustic guitarist Vince Brown has a standing appointment to strum mellow, delicate swing jazz every Wednesday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Nothing beats the lake view windows, warmth, wine, Wednesday jazz and down-home dinners at SWING. This charming wine bar is chock full of all the delicious details and drinks that make it well worth singing our praise and yours.
Since their inception as a musical trio in the early 1990s, Pearl Django’s name started as a spoof (coined by a member’s wife) on the band, Pearl Jam. But the group thought it was clever so the name stuck. With all joking aside, Pearl Django means business when it comes to playing Gypsy Jazz.
According to band member Michael Gray, the original Pearl Django members, Neil Andersson, Dudley Hill, and David ‘Pope’ Firman, are “all Tacoma guys.” Bonded by their love for swing jazz and French Gypsy Jazz guitarist Jean “Django” Reinhardt, Pearl Django formed and began playing in Reinhardt’s acclaimed tradition. But the band is quick to note that they bring their own unique style to his songs and have built their own original repertoire of music as well.
Over the years, staying true to their gypsy spirit in Washington State, the trio has grown to be a quartet, then a quintet— featuring talented swing jazz musicians and playing stages up and down the West coast. Original members have since been joined by Michael Gray on violin (and percussion on Pao Verde), Rick Leppanen on double bass, and Greg Ruby on guitar. Pearl Django also maintains an ever-evolving guest appearance list for musicians that includes: David Lange on accordian, Ryan Hoffman on guitar, and emeritus members: Ron Peters, Pete Krebs, and Shelley D. Park, to name a few.
Recently, founding member, Neil Andersson, announced his retirement from the band this year. “Neil has done an amazing job with the band, but now, he really wants to pursue his painting. Many people don’t know he is a master painter,” said Michael.
Andersson received his MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also holds degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound. Andersson’s art work has been exhibited in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Indiana, and Illinois. To view Neil’s work, visit: www.neilandersson.com.
“We are very excited to introduce new guitarist: Troy Chapman. Troy is going to be taking over for Neil—we are very lucky to have him. But of course we are sad to see Neil go. He will still be a part of Pearl Django. We will miss him personally and musically. He will be our first call substitute!”
Currently recording and tracking on their 10th CD, Michael Gray estimates this next CD will be done by early summer. “I like to think, as we continue to do this, we get better and zero in playing better—everyone is more mature on this album. We will have Troy on 3 or 4 cuts on this new album. And Neil is on there too. We look forward to introducing Troy to our audiences this way. To show what they both can do.”
New and old fans won’t want to miss the Seattle Gypsy Jazz show planned for mid-June when Pearl Django will have their new CD release party at Jazz Alley (www.jazzalley.com). There, fans can give Neil Andersson a heartfelt send off and welcome new member Troy Chapman with the applause Pearl Django deserves.
The TOGETHER organization hosted hundreds of attendees at their annual event to celebrate “champions” for kids in our community. Champions were recognized for their efforts and outstanding service in making a difference in the lives of local youth. The evening’s champions received accolades and a brick with a plaque—signifying the blueprint of building a strong community. Guests walked away with a sense that each person can make a difference in the lives of our youth. TOGETHER mobilizes the community to prevent youth substance abuse and violence through awareness, advocacy and action so that all young people in Thurston County are supported, healthy, safe and valued.
Patrons at the annual Tacoma Heart Ball event made a toast to good health, great volunteers, and lifesaving accomplishments on February 20 at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The black-tie event welcomed 300 distinguished guests and raised $112,000. Proceeds from the Heart Ball support the local American Heart Association by providing funding for local initiatives and programs that address childhood obesity, research funding, and improving quality of patient care at local hospitals.