March 2021 253 Lifestyle

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March 2021 253 Lifestyle

LIFESTYLE

MAGAZINE

Positively Impacting and

SERVING THE COMMUNITY

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE CELEBRATES TWO YEARS

Q&A WITH

GARY PARKER

OWNER/OPERATOR OF BBQ2U

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 1


2 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


GOING, GOING ... GONE! SOLD WITH MULTIPLE OFFERS.

CALL IF YOU WANT IN ON THIS FANTASTIC SELLERS MARKET! | MLS# 1721314

CAROLYN WESTMORELAND

Broker/Owner | 253.961.5596

JENSEN WESTMORELAND

Broker | 253.240.5514

Mark Wambold

NMLS ID 248580 State Lic. MLO-248580

253.225.3352 | mwambold@fairwaymc.com

www.wamboldhomeloans.com

This information is not intended to be an indication of loan qualification, loan approval or a commitment to lend. Other limitations may apply. ©2014 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation FIMC NMLS ID#2289

(www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) EQUAL HOUSING LENDER WA. License Number MLO-248580.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 3


Healthy, Glowing, Fashionable?

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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 5


MARKETING

WASHINGTON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Julie Reed | 253.363.8832

julie@like-media.com

DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT MARKETING

Jackson Russo | 208.610.4416

jackson@like-media.com

MARKETING COORDINATOR

Alyssa Koberstien | 253.363.8830

alyssa@like-media.com

EDITORIAL

EDITOR IN CHIEF

Jillian Chandler | jillian@like-media.com

STAFF WRITERS

Colin Anderson | colin@like-media.com

Abigail Thorpe | abigail@like-media.com

DESIGN

CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Maddie Horton

LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Darbey Russo

GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Kennedy Pew

GRAPHIC DESIGNER | Marisa Inahara

DIGITAL CREATIVE DIRECTOR | Whitney Lebsock

OPERATIONS

MANAGING PARTNER | Kim Russo

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR | Steve Russo

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS | Rachel Figgins

great things for

a great community

Founded in 1925, Peninsula Light is your member-owned, not-for-profit

electric cooperative, providing reliable power throughout Gig Harbor and

the Key Peninsula. We are dedicated to continually improving the quality

of life in this great community through system reliability, helping you

conserve and use electricity more efficiently and rising to the challenges

of a rapidly changing industry.

CONTRIBUTORS

Nikki Luttmann, Marguerite Cleveland, Laura Jane

Brougher, Sarahlynn Etta, Susan Newsom,

Tina VanDenHeuvel

PHOTOGRAPHY

Samantha Elise Tillman, Jim Niehues,

Kiersten Patterson Photography,

Symphony Tacoma, Mandi Ann Photography,

Marguerite Cleveland, Washington.org,

Ritz Carlton, Tina VanDenHeuvel,

Nate Graves of In-Gear Media

253.857.5950 | 888.809.8021

13315 GOODNOUGH DR. NW | GIG HARBOR, WA 98332

WWW.PENLIGHT.ORG

253 Lifestyle Magazine is published 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.

6

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


Building Better Solutions for Clients

With almost 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.

Felicia A. Soleil, Attorney at Law and Mediator

253.853.6940 • FamilyLawResolutions.com • 7191 Wagner Way, Suite 303, Gig Harbor, WA

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 7


PUBLISHER’S Picks

Steve Russo

Executive Director

Spring … It’s Just Around the Corner!

JUST LAST MONTH WE WERE STILL RELISHING THE WINTER

MONTHS, enjoying our time spent indoors, warm by the fire,

embracing the cold, wet, snowy days knowing that this time would

soon pass, and the promise of spring would be fulfilled. March is

here, and spring (at least in name) is just around the corner.

As the clouds clear, the weather warms and the earth begins to

once again come to life all around us, it ignites a light in us that has

been dimmed the past several months. It is incredible to witness the

changing of the season and the power it holds in lifting our spirits

and our hopes for tomorrow.

As we prepare for that spring cleaning, outdoor gardening and home

remodel projects, be sure to enjoy—and embrace—the work. It is truly

fulfilling to sit back, relax, and take in all that has been accomplished.

If you’re feeling uninspired, you’ll find some thoughtful ideas to

help get you started. From replacing your flooring to updating your

kitchen, sprucing up your space is sure to brighten up your spirit and

attitude.

In this issue, we are also taking the opportunity to celebrate our twoyear

anniversary, as we continue to have the privilege of creating

and delivering 253 Lifestyle Magazine to the community. Since

2019, we have been so fortunate to continue to be an integral part

of this community, and we’ve decided now is as good a time as any

to celebrate!

As Leo Tolstoy said, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Now’s

the time to start preparing for the warmer—and brighter—months

ahead.

22

POSITIVELY IMPACTING AND

FEATURED

SERVING THE COMMUNITY:

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

CELEBRATES TWO YEARS

28

Q&A WITH GARY PARKER,

OWNER/OPERATOR OF

BBQ2U: COMMUNITY AT

THE HEART

58RECIPE:

CARROT CAKE WITH

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

60

THE NATIONAL CHERRY

BLOSSOM FESTIVAL:

WASHINGTON D.C.’S

SIGNATURE SPRING

CELEBRATION

8

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 9


CONTENTS

12 40

12

HOME

Having Difficulty Deciding on New Flooring?: Hardsurface

flooring FAQs

16

TRENDING

Considering a Remodel?: The how, what and why to

refreshing your kitchen space

28

Q&A

Q&A with Gary Parker, Owner/Operator of

BBQ2U: Community at the heart

32

36

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

The latest tips and trends about living a healthy,

active life

22

IN FOCUS

Positively Impacting and Serving the Community:

253 Lifestyle Magazine celebrates two years

32

THE ARTS

Symphony Tacoma Launches ‘Eternal Light’: A

rare multimedia video made with kids

40

BUSINESS PINPOINT

Your Luxury Travel Experience: Take a ride with

Airman Transportation

10 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 1

sneak peek into March ...

44

60

LIFESTYLE

MAGAZINE

44

FEATURE

Navigating the Slopes: Meet the artist who guides

your way

54

ENTERTAINMENT

Events in March you don’t want to miss!

58

FEATURED RECIPE

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

60

TRAVEL & LEISURE

58

The National Cherry Blossom Festival: Washington,

D.C.’s signature spring celebration

Positively Impacting and

SERVING THE COMMUNITY

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE CELEBRATES TWO YEARS

Q&A WITH

GARY PARKER

OWNER/OPERATOR OF BBQ2U

About The Cover

FEATURED ON THIS MONTH’S COVER OF 253

LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE, we are excited to showcase

restaurant owner and local philanthropist Gary

Parker. His mission and his passion are married to a

food experience, fulfilling needs of the community he

becomes aware of. Take a read of our March Q&A, and

be ready to be inspired.

Cover photo by Samantha Elise Tillman.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 11


12

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


Home

Having Difficulty Deciding on New Flooring?

HARD-SURFACE FLOORING FAQS

BY NIKKI LUTTMANN, INTERIOR DESIGNER

R

eplacing

your hard-surface flooring can be a very rewarding home improvement project. However, there are so

many different types, colors and materials out there, what’s the best one to choose for your home? Following is a

reference guide to “all things flooring” from tile to laminate to some of the newer options like LVP. For this article,

I’ve established a quick cost guide for each, with one $ being the least expensive and four $$$$ being the most.

LVP (Luxury Vinyl Plank) $$

Generally speaking, LVP is fairly cost effective, both as a product and to install. It does require a smooth, debris-free and non-sloping

subfloor, but a professional installer can usually tidy up any issues that your subfloor may have. Still relatively the “new kid on the

block” in the flooring industry, the popularity of LVP has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to its durability, waterproof nature and

the myriad looks that it offers. LVP is a layered product, with a vinyl wear surface on top, pad on the back and a rigid or flexible core

sandwiched between. Generally speaking, the product locks together with a locking mechanism similar to a laminate floor, creating a

floating floor surface that is quite durable and pet, kid and spill friendly. Because it is a floating floor, it installs quickly, and is a good

option for many areas of the home, from main living spaces to bathrooms and mudrooms. It’s also very practical for basements, as it

has insulative qualities due to the cork or rubber backing attached to most products.

Laminate ($)

Laminate is quickly losing momentum to LVP, but it is still a front-runner for bargain flooring solutions. It is easy to install, and

resistant to scratching and other surface damage, but typically not very water resistant. There are a few laminate products that have

a water-resistant core, but they are typically more expensive and on par with LVP for pricing. However, for sheer durability in dry

locations, laminate can’t be beat. Just a warning, though, it is far harder to find a good-looking (realistic) laminate than it is to find a

good-looking LVP.

Engineered Hardwood ($$-$$$)

Engineered hardwood is real wood. Yes, you read that correctly. Engineered hardwood is typically wood all the way through. However,

it is made up of a pre-finished veneer over a plywood substrate. This plywood or other core is used to create dimensional stability that

is especially helpful in our northern climate’s interiors, where it can be dry and hot, cold and damp, and everything in between—all in

one day! This construction allows for larger, wider planks, and variances in temperature that solid hardwoods do not tolerate well. For

quality, look at the thickness of the veneer, the type of substrate and the kind of finish applied. For those of you who ask the inevitable

question, “Can it be refinished?” The answer is “Yes,” but it’s not designed to be. A quality engineered wood may have a lifetime or 50-

year finish on it. These finishes are often proprietary from manufacturer to manufacturer and may include language like “Aluminum

Oxide” or “Titanium Finish” and are typically baked on for a more durable finish. They are truly intended to last a lifetime.

Solid Hardwood ($$$-$$$$)

Solid hardwood can also come prefinished, but you will likely not find 6-inch-wide planks that run to 8-feet long like you can with

engineered wood. Solid hardwood can warp and bend and is generally finicky about where it lives—just like the trees it comes from.

If you are absolutely convinced you want a solid hardwood floor, in our climate I recommend looking at hardwoods like oak or maple,

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 13


and going with thinner boards in shorter lengths. Work with a reputable

installer and follow the installation guidelines. Often, solid hardwoods

are recommended to be glued and nailed, or full-spread glued, which can

be pricey. For sand-and-finish hardwood, it is even more important to

work with a reputable installer. The techniques used for finishing a floor

in place are very specific and really, really easy to screw up. I have done

it myself and then had to call in a professional to come fix my mistakes!

Tile ($$$$)

Tile is one of my favorite surfaces—for walls, showers, accents and

even floors. It is durable and comes in so many looks and colors, it is

suitable for any home. While there are many affordable and beautiful

tile options out there, something that people often don’t consider is the

cost of the labor to install tile. It is by far the most expensive flooring

option to install correctly, and for good reason. Tile installation—really,

like any good flooring installation—is an art. Many things must be

taken into account, from floor joist weight loads, to subfloor quality,

to underlayment application, grout type and direction of the tile. It is

possibly the easiest flooring option to have done badly. If this is the case,

the new tile might look good for a week, a month, or even a year, but then

cracks start to form, grout starts to chip out, and the floor fails. If you

are considering tile for your flooring needs, I highly recommend going

through a reputable installer who will guarantee their work.

14 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 15


Trending

THE KITCHEN:

CONSIDERING A

REMODEL?

The how, what and why to

refreshing your kitchen space

By Abigail Thorpe

For most of us, the kitchen has become

one of the most used (and viewed) spaces

in the home. Gone are the days of hiding

it away; now, we look to open concepts,

plenty of counter space, and welcoming lighting and

accessories to make our kitchens the beautiful and

functional entertaining and family spaces we use

them as.

As a primary space in the home we use and see every

day, it’s often the kitchen you look to remodel first.

But if you’re on a budget and want to make sure your

money goes the distance, it can be hard to decide

what choices to make when refreshing your kitchen,

and if or when to do it yourself. The average kitchen

remodel can cost anywhere from $20,000 to upward

of $75,000. The good news is, there are ways to save

money—as long as you don’t cut corners where it

matters.

How can you save on cost?

When it comes to a kitchen remodel, the highest costs

are typically the cabinets, countertops and appliances.

It’s also important to know what kind of structural

or electrical changes you have to make, as these will

drive cost and time up. “Every remodel we do varies

depending on style, products, and whether we have

to move load-bearing walls, plumbing, HVAC or

16

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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Particularly when it comes to

installing countertops or cabinets

and electric and plumbing, it’s

important to hire a professional.

electrical,” explains Derek Adams of Creekside Construction in

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

When it comes to saving money, cabinets are a prime place to

look. If your cabinets are in good condition, a fresh coat of paint

can make all the difference and save you a boatload, says Daniel

Yoder, owner of Panhandle Countertops in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

“That’s something that can really freshen it up.”

If you do need to replace the cabinets, opting for manufactured

versus custom cabinets, or choosing less expensive materials and

design, can help save on cost. “The best way to save money is to

buy a less expensive cabinet door material (ie: alder), and have

it painted or stained in one of the cabinet company’s standard

finishes,” adds Deann Hammer of Broadway Design in Tacoma,

Washington. “Also, the cabinet door style can drive up the cost. A

standard shaker-style door design is less expensive than a cabinet

door with a lot of detail in the design.”

When it comes to countertops, quartz is a popular and often

affordable option, but laminate options have come a long way and

are often half or a third the price of stone or a solid surface, advises

Yoder.

When to hire someone and when to do it yourself.

Doing it yourself might not save you money in the long run.

“Unless you have experience or friends with lots of extra time and

skills, we don’t recommend going at it solo,” says Adams. “It may

sound cliché, but you get what you pay for!”

Particularly when it comes to installing countertops or cabinets

and electric and plumbing, it’s important to hire a professional. “A

professional is responsible for all of the job,” says Juan Oseguera of

In-N-Out Construction in Olympia, Washington. He recommends

first getting an estimate from professionals and asking questions to

find out about their experience and ability.

If you’re dying to get in and do some of the work yourself, you

can help with the demo, or even do something as simple as paint

the walls (leave the cabinets to the experts). But don’t just start

ripping stuff out. Call your suppliers first to find out lead times and

availability, that way you don’t get stuck without a kitchen sink for

six weeks, advises Yoder.

An interior designer can help provide the necessary design

materials for you and your contractor, and also help save you time

and money (and end up with a great finished look) by providing

material selections and designer access to pricing and offerings,

adds Hammer.

18 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


Gig Harbor

Gig harbor

Real Estate real Resource

estate resource

Average sales price

highest luxury sale

h | SOLD

Fox Island | Sold

Downtown | SOLD

10,000 $714,679 $1,950,000 $3,300,000 9 Days $2,100,000

Up $11,945 from January

Down $2,830,00 from January

ales Price:

.

Days On Market:

Sale in 3rd Quarter:

$672,653

* Data collected from multiple listing services on February 21, 2020

11

welcome home to your new gig harbor neighbors . . .

$3,100,000

average days on market

10.6

Down .9 days from January

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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 19


Now trending …

Say hello to light, warm and natural. Kitchen trends are firmly in the

neutral category, and while white and grey are still a popular choice,

even warmer neutral colors and materials are gaining traction.

“Now, more often than not, our customers are doing a combination

of mountain modern or modern,” says Adams. In addition to color

schemes, open concepts and easy accessibility to the surrounding

spaces is central to current kitchen designs, adds Oseguera.

“Think warm-colored wood cabinets, earthy-colored countertops

(like concrete color), and warm-colored lighting,” explains Hammer.

“The new trend in kitchen designs is to make the kitchen feel more

like the rest of the house, and less industrial.” Along with the neutralhued

trend is a focus on using organic materials whenever possible

for added comfort and a natural feel.

Let’s talk appliances.

“Appliances are a category that can make or break your budget,” warns

Hammer. Read consumer reports to find good appliances that will

last, and don’t just opt for the cheapest. To save money, buy an entire

appliance package from one vendor (added bonus, the finishes will

match), she advises, or search out the scratch and dent section at

appliance companies for great appliances with minimal damage that

you often can’t see once it’s installed.

When it comes to choosing between an electric or gas stove and oven,

take a look at your habits and what your space is set up for. Gas is

cheaper to use, but if your kitchen isn’t set up for it, you’ll spend

additional money for the change.

Ultimately, what’s important to you and your lifestyle will determine

what your remodel looks like, but there are some important things

you can consider along the way to save time and money, and also a

whole lot of headache.

20 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 21


In Focus

AND SERVING THE

Positively Impacting

COMMUNITY

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE CELEBRATES TWO YEARS

BY JILLIAN CHANDLER

For those who live here in the 253, we know how

truly special this place is that we all have chosen

to call home. Our community is filled with

kind, generous, giving people, who care deeply

for this place and the quality of our lifestyle.

It was two years ago—January 2019—that Like Media

would introduce a new publication, sharing positive

stories highlighting all that’s wonderful in the 253, along

with the incredible local businesses that help in sustaining

this bustling—and thriving—community. With a hyperlocal

focus and original content based on uplifting and

highlighting the best parts of our area, from day one,

253 Lifestyle Magazine has been about the people and

delivering the most beautiful magazine, designed to

serve the locals and visitors by providing valuable and

resourceful information.

Like Media is the media agency behind not only 253

Lifestyle Magazine but five additional monthly print

publications across the Northwest—Gig Harbor Living

Local, Coeur d’Alene Living Local, Sandpoint Living

Local, Bonners Ferry Living Local and Go Sandpoint

Magazine. In addition, they produce a biannual

publication, REAL Northwest Living, which is distributed

in areas from Spokane, Washington, to the Canadian

border and Western Montana; and it published the annual

Gig Harbor Visitors Guide.

“What sets us apart from other print models is that

we produce our publications complimentary to the

communities; we have a very ‘inclusive’ philosophy and

22 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 23


24 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


want to provide a publication that the community can be proud of,”

shares Julie Reed, Like Media’s Washington executive director for 253

Lifestyle Magazine and Gig Harbor Living Local. “If you are unable to

pick up our magazines, we also have the free subscriptions in our digital

e-newsletters. I have never seen such a beautiful magazine, thanks to our

design and creative teams!”

And it is not only in print that the media company is showcasing their

talent, work and support of local businesses and communities. “Like

Media has created so much more than just a community magazine,” says

Allyia Briggs, Like Media’s director of marketing. Like Media is a fullservice

agency that helps companies build and execute their marketing

plans. Its motto: We build your marketing, so you can build your

business.

“It is an entire (print + digital) platform. From our website to weekly and

monthly e-newsletters, social media and more, we make sure that our

positive hyper-local articles and advertisers are being seen everywhere—

which is really unique to this area.”

With a mission to impact the communities it serves in a positive way,

owner and publisher Steve Russo is committed to what the company

was founded

on, especially in

today’s world.

“IF YOU LOOK

AROUND LOCALLY,

“It’s unfortunate

that mainstream

media has turned

into what it has.

It is on a mission

to divide us based

on political and

religious beliefs,

but the reality is,

we are all very

IT IS HOPE THAT

DRIVES US EACH DAY

BECAUSE TOGETHER

much the same,”

core qualities,

humanity and

desire to help

he says. “Most

of our beliefs,

WE ARE STRONG

AND POWERFUL.”

others is what

makes us all so similar. I feel we all need to get back

to identifying as people, community members, family members, and not

red or blue, pro or against.

“We need to get back to uniting around our commonalities rather than

dividing up over our few differences. Fear is winning out nationally, but

if you look around locally, it is hope that drives us each day because

together we are strong and powerful; apart we become isolated and

weak. In today’s climate, we all need to proclaim that fear will never win

out as hope pushes us to be better versions of ourselves.”

Like Media carries out its mission in a number of ways: telling the

good news stories that don’t always make the news and spotlighting the

people who do wonderful things within our communities; highlighting

and sponsoring local events; supporting small-medium local businesses

by providing them an affordable platform to share their messaging;

and most importantly providing free marketing sponsorships for local

nonprofit organizations.

Each and every month, Like Media sponsors area nonprofits,

organizations, groups and community members in each publication to

help ensure they are able to carry out their mission.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 25


“Through these sponsorships, we are able to give our nonprofit organizations a

voice to create awareness for their own missions and any needs that they may

have,” says Allyia. “It is truly the most special feeling in the world to experience

the level of appreciation and awe that these organizations feel when we reach

out and let them know that we are doing a free marketing sponsorship for

them. This includes articles, advertising, social media promotions and much

more. It is this kind of work that brings us so much pride at Like Media.”

Since its inception, Like Media has been committed to connecting local

businesses with the people they serve, with the goal of impacting communities

in a positive way. “253 Lifestyle Magazine and Gig Harbor Living Local bind

people together and connect the businesses to the community—and this builds

trust with one another,” explains Julie. The Northwest’s trusted media partner,

Like Media is dedicated to taking companies where they want to go through

effective and thoughtful strategies that combine traditional media with new

technologies.

As a full-service media company, many of Like Media’s print advertisers also

leverage the company to handle all of their digital marketing as well through

Rocket Fish Digital; everything from building their logos and websites, to SEO

services, reputation management, social media, podcasts and more. “We take

time to brainstorm with our clients and come up with a variety of solutions to

meet their business’ needs,” affirms Allyia. “We have the best partners in the

world!”

With 29 years in print and over eight years in the digital marketing sphere, Like

Media successfully provides a platform and voice for local companies to reach

their target audiences in the most effective way, while saving time and money,

and building successful businesses that strengthen communities.

“We are building a unique platform that serves dual purposes, which allows

small to medium businesses to effectively build their marketing and brands

locally while supporting local philanthropic groups and organizations. There

is nothing quite like this in the communities we serve,” Steve says. “What our

advertisers should know is that we are actually partners in promoting the

goodwill not only locally but in every town we serve. The support they give

locally goes well beyond our city boundaries by helping many in need.”

“I am grateful to be able to have a part in the production of 253 Lifestyle

Magazine and Gig Harbor Living Local and put my heart and soul into

providing excellent customer service to our clients and readers,” says Julie.

“It brings me great joy when I hear all the positive feedback, especially when

businesses report back how much they have grown their branding awareness

and businesses. My favorite thing to do is to help businesses with their

marketing plans!”

The team at Like Media looks forward to another year serving their clients,

strengthening partnerships and inspiring the community through 253 Lifestyle

Magazine and various print and digital services that they offer.

“I am excited to continue our mission of infusing positive community focused

articles and contribute fresh ideas to the magazines to give our readers the

experience of an interesting variety to connect them to the 253 area,” Julie

smiles. “Most importantly, I am passionate about providing a unique product

to the local businesses so that they have a multi-level platform to reach the

communities in which they serve.”

26 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 27


Q&A

GARY

PARKER

OWNER/OPERATOR OF BBQ2U

COMMUNITY AT THE HEART

BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND

28

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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Visit our website to learn more about the ActivePure® Air Scrubber and the many

other precautions we are taking to ensure a safe and healthy environment!

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 29


“IT IS MORE THAN A FOOD

CHOICE. IT’S A CULTURE

THAT MEANS UNITY OF A

COMMUNITY. BBQ RE-

ENERGIZES THE SOUL AND

CAN GIVE FRESH VISION TO

THE WEARY. BBQ GROUNDS

US IN OUR ROOTS AND

REMINDS US WHO WE ARE

AND WHERE WE CAME FROM.”

30 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


Austin, Texas, native Gary Parker grew

up with BBQing (it is a verb in Texas) as

a way of life. Family get-togethers and

community events were good excuses for throwing

some meat on the grill. Parker worked for the Intel

Corporation as an engineer, which brought him to

Washington. Upon retirement he decided to open

up his own little piece of Austin in Gig Harbor with

his restaurant, BBQ2U. He is well known in the area

for his support of the local community, whether it is

for a nonprofit or helping small area businesses who

have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. He

calls it “Give Back Programs.”

Q. How does one become a Pit Master?

A. Thousands upon thousands of hours

making BBQ. Meet the Pit Masters in your

area, work with them, cook with them. Study

the history and understand the role of BBQ

in society. Study the science of BBQ, the fire,

the woods, the smoke, the meat, the weather.

Understand how the process brings them all

together. Don’t be a snob. All BBQ is great

to someone, and you can always learn from

those who do it differently than you do. I

think Texas BBQ is the best because that’s

where I am from. The methods and flavors

were embedded in my soul as I grew up.

Q. Can you share with our readers how

you decided to use your lobby to support

local authors and small businesses during

the COVID-19 pandemic?

A. Well, the thought really just evolved

over time. The story started early in the first

days of the COVID shutdown. Today, it’s

hard to remember what it was like in those

early days. I remember walking through

the parking lot of the Plaza we are in. It

was a weekday; a time when people would

normally be buzzing around doing what

they do. However, on this day, there was an

eerie silence. No cars, no commerce, just

silence. I was thinking, ‘What are we going

to do? What are my neighboring businesses

going to do?’

A little time passed, and our little business

was fortunate. We were seeing huge support

from the community, but as I talked to other

businesspeople, they were really telling a

tough story. I was initially kicking around the

idea of running specials that would promote

other businesses. Something like show me

your receipt from a struggling neighboring

business and I would give you 10 percent

off your meal. However, our crowds were

growing and sometimes people were waiting

15 to 20 minutes for their order. They had

nothing to do except get frustrated. We

decided to bring in other businesses to set

up displays and promote them. This gives

people something to look at and do while

waiting for their orders. It was a win-win.

In the first few weeks we featured businesses

like Treasures 4 Humanity, Love of Spice,

Ken Walker Jewelers. Time continued to

pass, and we were watching events like the

Taste of Gig Harbor and the summer art

fair get canceled. The participants of these

events had no outlet, no way to share their

creations with others. So we invited some

of the artists and authors to set up displays

in our lobby like we had done with the

businesses. This was really working. People

now had something to do while waiting

for their food, and the artists and authors

started selling their books and paintings.

There are many stories of appreciation, and

today it continues as an ongoing event called

Books and BBQ.

Q. Can you share your philosophy on how

BBQ has been the “center of community”

throughout history and how it influences

your give back programs?

A. Now this is a big question. To really

understand you must be a bit of an historian.

That said, you can look at in a biblical sense,

or take a more modern view, but no matter

how you approach it, cooking meat over

fire and sharing it with the community

is so ingrained in each one of us that it’s

undeniable. What am I saying? To come

together as a community, to debate issues,

to celebrate milestones, to seek out others,

to lend a helping hand, has often been based

on community gatherings. Whenever there

are community gatherings you can bet food

will be present, and across America, that

food is most often BBQ. It is more than a

food choice. It’s a culture that means unity

of a community. BBQ re-energizes the soul

and can give fresh vision to the weary. BBQ

grounds us in our roots and reminds us who

we are and where we came from. I submit

for review and consideration that there

is no other food choice that can compare

with BBQ and the role it has played in the

building of societies. It’s this culture that

BBQ2U tries to bring to this community.

We want to help those in need. We want to

provide a place you can go and recharge.

We want to help young people play sports.

We want to show that small business can be

the answer to classroom funding issues. The

list can go on and on, but I trust you get the

point. We are more than a restaurant—and

we want you to be a part of our community

and BBQ family.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 31


Arts

SYMPHONY TACOMA LAUNCHES

‘ETERNAL LIGHT’

A rare multimedia video made with kids

BY SUSAN NEWSON, SYMPHONY TACOMA

32 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 33


In the spring of 2020, when it became apparent that the COVID-19

lockdown was here for the long haul, Symphony Tacoma was

forced to cancel its remaining concerts for the season.

“Our purpose as an organization is to perform live music. All of the

sudden we couldn’t do that,” said Executive Director Karina Bharne.

Like many orchestras, the Symphony turned to online programming.

“We were excited to curate previously recorded performances into

virtual ‘encore’ performances, and we reached out to our musicians

to record new music in small chamber groups. But we also wanted

to create something special in line with our mission of building

community through music that would offer some hope to our

community during the pandemic,” Bharne continued.

“I was inspired by all the creativity that artists have shown despite

being unable to perform, and I was disappointed for the youth from

University Place Presbyterian Church who were about to join us for an

upcoming performance,” said Music Director Sarah Ioannides. “I also

wanted to provide a unique piece for our community that would uplift

spirits and celebrate the fusion of art, music and language.”

Ioannides began to conceptualize the project. “I thought about asking

kids in our community to write a piece of music or a poem, draw a

picture or send in a photograph of something that inspires them or

carries them through a difficult time, and we would connect them into

one special composition.”

She needed an iconic piece of music as inspiration. “As a runner, I

often listen to music to help me run faster. But when I am facing a

particularly challenging hill, music that struggles but gets through

helps me fight the incline!” Ultimately, Ioannides decided on Lux

Aeterna, or “Eternal Light,” an uplifting movement from Mozart’s

Requiem, one of the programs that had been canceled.

34 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


Thirteen local students ranging in age from

10 to 17 submitted original works. Following

this, the students worked with Ioannides

and the creative team of music producers

Kim Scharnberg and Will Scharnberg and

filmmaker Fernanda Lamuño Cavanas to

create a unique production in response to

each other’s entries.

The result is a fusion of music, art, dance

and poetry that shows the creativity that

exists within the youth of Tacoma. The

video consists of two connected parts.

The first is a “collage” of the submissions

visually woven together and performed

by the students themselves. The segment

concludes with a song by Keianna South

(14) with accompaniment by Hudson

Pierce (10) that intermingles all of the other

musical submissions.

Part two spotlights the talents of three

students in a composition entitled

Undaunted. Ioannides chose to pair music

composed by Kevin Kernie (17) with a

poem by Holly Pierce (15) and artwork

inspired by Kernie’s and Pierce’s works

by Audrey Hartman (12). The final work

mixes Kernie’s original electronic music

with orchestra lines recorded by Symphony

Tacoma musicians alongside audio and

video of singers from the Eternal Light cast

and Tacoma Youth Chorus.

“It has been extremely meaningful to

create something that has enabled young

musicians and artists to collaborate with

each other, learn new skills, and inspire

them to express themselves through art in

the future,” said Ioannides. “The outcome

has been better than I could have ever

imagined thanks to the hard work of so

many involved. We hope it will bring joy

to the hearts of many during these difficult

times.”

Eternal Light can be viewed on Symphony

Tacoma’s YouTube channel: YouTube.com/

SymphonyTacoma.

“Forged into a cohesive, sparkling whole from

rough diamonds of poetry, art and music by

Tacoma’s young people, the multimedia piece premiered by Symphony Tacoma on YouTube last weekend isn’t

just a pretty gem. It’s 10 minutes of a vision into a hopeful future from a troubled present, of a new musical

order where classical instruments fuse with electronica and voices, and where light triumphs.” - Rosemary

Ponnekanti, reviewer

“I’d read in a book that in times of worldwide crisis like this, music and art were not seen as much of a priority

… This author stated that art has a far greater impact on the citizens than we realize, and it is in times like

this that art is the most necessary in society. Eternal Light is one example.” - Gloria, age 13, student

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 35


Health

DISCOVER BEAUTIFUL RESULTS

with Sculptra Aesthetic

Why everyone in Hollywood is getting this injectable superstar

to keep their natural youthful look

BY LAURA JANE BROUGHER, RN, AESTHETIC INJECTOR AND SKIN REJUVENATION SPECIALIST AT GIG HARBOR AESTHETICS

When you look in the mirror, are you wishing

to maintain or get a more rejuvenated and

youthful improvement? As an aesthetic

injector and skin rejuvenation specialist for

almost 18 years, I can help you understand and improve how to get

back a more rested, refreshed and natural look. I will always assess

the client and discuss a comprehensive rejuvenation plan to bring

balance, structure and youthful radiance back to the face.

It’s a Journey!

There are many modalities to get a refreshed and rejuvenated face,

most importantly skin rejuvenation, Botox/Dysport, dermal fillers,

etc. However, today, we are discussing the superstar biostimulator

Sculptra Aesthetic. We want to smooth the skin and add back lost

volume. Sculptra Aesthetic is an injectable treatment that works

with your body to stimulate your own natural collagen growth. It is

injected into the areas where there is fat loss and hollowing such as

the temples, front of the ear and in the cheeks. It also works well in

areas where there are laxity wrinkles and deep folds, such as the area

in the mid-lower cheek and décolletage.

Sculptra is different than a hyaluronic dermal filler such as Juvederm

or Restylane because it is a poly-L-lactic biostimulator that addresses

the underlying cause of aging skin from within—loss of collagen.

Plump, healthy, youthful skin has lots of collagen and is the

foundation for a radiant look.

By helping stimulate natural collagen growth, Sculptra helps

restore the structure in your skin by replacing the lost volume and

smoothness. Sculptra restores the fullness and will refine wrinkles

and folds with your own collagen. Your body builds a web matrix of

collagen support. This takes two to three sessions done approximately

two months apart.

What to Expect

During consultation, we will go over the different options, discuss

skin rejuvenation, products, your timeline and budget. Sculptra

treatments are usually done in two or three sessions. In the first

session, the liquid Sculptra is injected in areas needed and will

initially look full, then the liquid absorbs and leaves the poly-L-lactic

acid behind to stimulate your body to produce the collagen. Over the

course of the following two to three months, you will see a gradual

improvement. The second session is the same, again building more

collagen. Depending on how much improvement is desired, a third

session may be needed. Each treatment takes approximately 45

minutes to one hour. The most common side effects are tenderness

and soreness at the injection site. There may also be bruising that will

resolve in about a week.

Long-Lasting Results

After achieving your full correction, studies have shown that the

results last for more than two years, and many clients see results

for much longer. Eighty percent of men and women injected with

Sculptra have rated their results “excellent.”

Sculptra is a wonderful product to talk to your injector about. And

by the way, please do not ever go to an injector who either looks

overdone or has huge, overinflated lips. (These injectors don’t have a

good artistic eye if they think they look good like that.) You will be

taking an unnecessary risk on how your treatment will turn out. If

you have already walked in their door, just walk out.

Ask Questions

An expert injector will always look at your face from a standpoint of

how to give the face more support, more balance, and will suggest

a treatment plan that puts the curves back in the face in a way

that looks natural. Also, be diligent and do your research on their

experience and training.

At Gig Harbor Aesthetics, they will always be honest with you

about pricing and your individualized long-term plan. They offer

complimentary comprehensive consultations and are dedicated to

helping you achieve your natural desired results.

36 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


AFTER

BEFORE

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 37


Health

LET’S GET MOVING!

The benefits of exercise and tips to maximize them

BY SARAHLYNN M. ETTA, YOGA TEACHER

The long-term health benefits of regular physical activity are

numerous and varied, impacting all the body’s functions and

systems.

Brain Power - The human brain is wired to move, and movement actually

facilitates neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to adapt to change by forming

new neural connections. Regular exercise increases cognitive function and

improves attention, learning and memory.

Mood Booster - Movement stimulates the production of endorphins, the

body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators, as well as neurotransmitters

such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. Physical activity elevates mood,

increases self-esteem, decreases stress and anxiety, and reduces feelings of

depression.

Sound Sleep - Exercise supports the ability to fall asleep more quickly, as

well as improving overall sleep quality. Moderate aerobic exercise seems

to increase the amount of deep, restorative sleep. And many types of

movement help to decompress the mind, facilitating an easier transition

to sleep.

Physical Health - Aerobic activity increases energy and improves

metabolism while strengthening the heart and improving cardiovascular

fitness, as well as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Movement

lubricates the joints, resistance and weight bearing exercises strengthen the

bones, and standing activities improve balance. Lower intensity exercises

can also help to reduce inflammation.

Anti-Aging - People who exercise regularly show improved blood markers

related to aging and also increased telomere length (an indicator of disease

resistance and increased life span). Resistance training has moderate

benefit, while endurance and high-intensity activities seem to show the

most.

Immune Function - Though the mechanisms are not clearly understood,

regular movers seem to get sick less often and less severely. This could

be because exercise increases blood and lymph flow, thus increasing the

circulation of immune cells in the body. Regular exercise also potentially

slows down changes that happen to the immune system with aging.

Anti-Inflammatory - One way exercise may support immunity is its

generation of anti-inflammatory response in the body. The paradox here is

that extremely intense exercise can temporarily increase inflammation, in

which case low-impact activity is preferred.

To maximize the benefits of your movement:

• Establish routines to help form habits. These benefits come with regular

exercise. Strive to get in 150 minutes of movement each week, or five

30-minutes sessions. Strive for at least 20 minutes consecutively.

• Engage in a variety of activities, including strength, stretch, cardio and

balance.

• Stay hydrated. Eat to fuel your body, but avoid heavy meals just before and

just after exercise.

• Take rests when you feel the need for them.

• Avoid vigorous exercise right before bed.

• Exercise with friends and loved ones to increase the release of oxytocin.

• Exercise outdoors to stimulate the vagus nerve, which improves heart rate

variability.

• Engage in a mind-body practice such as qigong, tai chi or yoga to add the

benefits of meditation and controlled breathing.

If you experience very high stress, chronic inflammation or an autoimmune

condition, you should also consider keeping intense workouts to less than

one hour; exercise regularly (physical fitness decreases the amount of

cortisol produced during exercise); take regular break and rest days; leave

intense sessions to later in the day, when cortisol levels are lower; and focus

on low-impact activities, such as swimming, walking, yoga and tai chi.

Sarahlynn Etta is owner, movement educator and meditation guide at Maitri

Movement & Massage. To learn more or sign up for a yoga class, please visit

MaitriMovement.com/move.

The long-term health benefits of regular physical activity are numerous

and varied, impacting all the body’s functions and systems.

38 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 39


40

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


pinpoint

FEDERAL WAY, WA

YOUR LUXURY

TRAVEL EXPERIENCE

Take a ride with Airman Transportation

BY JILLIAN CHANDLER

It was 1994 when a new luxury private transportation company introduced

itself to Federal Way and the surrounding areas. Creating luxurious,

and memorable, experiences for their clients since day one, Airman

Transportation is sure to meet, and exceed, their passengers’ expectations.

This luxury private transportation company specializes in airport transportation

(SeaTac, Boeing Field, Paine Field) as well as all other “point A to point B” transfer

requests. From date nights, wine tours and city tours, concert and cruise ship

transportation, to meetings, doctor’s appointments and all hourly chauffeured

requests, Airman Transportation can provide services for one to 30 passengers.

Offering smaller luxury black sedans (one to four passengers), luxury black SUVs

(one to seven passengers) and 10-passenger private shuttle-type vans, all of the

services they provide are door to door (note, this is not a ride-share service).

For those younger passengers, the company provides car seats of all sizes and are

well-versed in proper installation to ensure the safety of your loved one, from

infant to pre-teen. And there are no additional fees.

Sawsan Alhadeethy and daughter Leela Ward are the proud owners of this small,

family run, woman and minority owned business. Providing excellent customer

service for more than two decades, this is not your average ride-share services.

“We are very different,” affirms Leela. “Our rates are a little higher, but we provide

a luxury service.” All of their drivers are thoroughly background checked by a

third party chosen by the state and go through driver training, annual physicals

and submit to random drug and alcohol tests throughout the year—all done by a

third party. In addition, all drivers carry chauffeur licenses and are permitted and

licensed properly to pick up / drop off at all Port locations.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 41


“We take care of our customers like they are our

friends—and most of them turn into friends,” says

Leela.

Airman Transportation would not be the success it

is today if it were not for its visionary, Leela’s father,

Amir Alhadeethy. “He taught me how to provide

the level of customer service that is standard for us

today,” she shares. “He was hard working and never

gave up, and I always think about that and try to be

like him in that regard when times get hard (COVID).

We wouldn’t be where we are without him and the

foundation he laid for us.”

The story behind Airman Transportation is that of

a family fulfilling their American dream. Amir had

served in the Iraqi Air Force and later became a

commercial airline captain. He and his wife Sawsan

fled their home country to come to the U.S. as

political refugees. The couple had no money when

they arrived. “My father started out as a taxi driver,

and once he accumulated enough taxis, he sold them

and started Airman Transportation,” shares Leela. “I

always looked up to my parents because they worked

from the ground up to make a better life for us. They

worked well together and were very proud of the

service they provided.

“To this day, our customers still talk about my parents.

I am the only child, so when my father passed away

and my mother retired, it fell upon me to take over—

and I couldn’t be happier to do it.”

Leela’s mother retired from the business in 2019,

which was bittersweet, as many of her loyal customers

over the years had become so much more to her—they

had become friends. “The fact that so many people

showed up to say goodbye to her is a testament to how

great her services were,” smiles Leela. “She left a longlasting

impression on so many people, and I only hope

to do the same.”

Since taking the helm at Airman Transportation, Leela

has enjoyed the challenge that comes with trying to

grow the business. “It has been so fun adding my own

touch to it and watching it flourish. My favorite part

is driving and meeting our customers—I try to be the

first driver for our new customers so I can get to know

them, tell them our story and make them comfortable

with us,” affirms Leela.

“We have a fabulous reputation online (Yelp, Facebook,

Google, etc.). Seeing new 5-star reviews posted about

our service is the best part of it all.”

If you’re looking to sit back and relax in luxury and

style to and from your next destination, let Leela and

Airman Transportation take care of you.

AIRMAN TRANSPORTATION

206.762.3511

AIRMANTRANSPORTATION.COM

42 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 43


NAVIGATING THE

SLOPES

MEET THE ARTIST WHO GUIDES YOUR WAY

BY COLIN ANDERSON

Growing up on a small farm in Western Colorado,

Jim Niehues’ love of the outdoors started early.

Situated amongst 10,000-foot mountain peaks,

and with red rock canyons and deserts within

an hour drive, Jim was drawn to outdoor adventure. From

a young age he was paddling the Colorado River and

hiking and hunting with his brothers and father, all while

mesmerized by the scenery around him. When he would

come back from trips he would attempt to sketch and paint

what he had seen firsthand, as well as his surroundings on

the farm. “As a very young child I would draw the animals

on the farm, and my mother figured I had some talent,” Jim

recalled.

An unfortunate bout with Nephritis in the ninth grade had

Jim bed-ridden for three months, but it was during this

unfortunate time that he would begin his painting journey,

which would become his life’s work. “During this time, Mom

bought me an oil painting set to help pass my time. My first

landscapes were painted from magazines as I discovered

what would be my lifetime passion.”

If you’re a skier, snowboarder, or have even just spent time in

a lodge, there’s a good chance you’ve been impacted by Jim’s

work. Millions of skiers and riders have posed alongside trail

maps located at the base and summit of mountains across

the globe. Eager planners pick up a trail map and devise a

plan on where the best powder stashes might be, and how

to maximize the amount of runs they can get in and still

beat the lunch crowd back to the lodge. Few, however, have

probably noticed the artist’s signature on these, but if you

look close, you’ll likely find Jim Niehues.

At 75, Jim is beginning to wind down the career he didn’t

begin until he was 40. In his 20s and 30s, Jim held many

jobs as an artist. He worked for an automotive company,

did freelance graphic design work, and partnered in a small

ad agency in Grand Junction, Colorado. He met his second

wife, Dora, and in 1984 the couple moved to Denver, each

with two kids, in hopes of settling down. As Jim struggled

to make ends meet he went back to his interest in painting

outdoor scenery and reached out to Bill Brown, one of the

original ski map artists. “He liked my portfolio and gave

44

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 45


me a small project, which he had some time before it

was due, in case he had to repaint my attempt. I worked

hard to mimic Bill’s technique, and my version was used

by the client,” said Jim. The small inset was featured by

Winter Park Resort in its 1987-1988 ski map. As luck

would have it, Brown wanted to move on to other

ventures and began handing over client map inquiries to

Jim. “I was on to a whole new career at the age of 40 …

and I couldn’t ski,” he laughed.

Jim would learn and take on the same hand-painting

process used by pioneers like Bill Brown and Hal Shelton.

He has since completed more than 430 maps across five

continents, and each one is painted by hand. As one

would imagine, the detail needed to accurately portray

an entire ski mountain requires an immense amount

of information. This involves gathering hundreds and

often thousands of aerial photographs. Jim is often at the

resort to capture the images himself and recalls the first

few trips as quite the learning experience. “My first trip

on assignment was terrifying. I was doing everything for

the first time for real; client meetings, aerial photography,

composing and painting the mountain, and delivering

the finished product. I remember departing at the

airport hoping I had everything I needed for the project;

was I forgetting something?”

Today’s technology has vastly improved the amount of

detail he can capture. When he was getting started in

the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the process was more drawn

out. “In the early days it was a film 35mm camera. The

film camera meant carrying 10 rolls of 36 exposure film

from home, finding a developer on location, reviewing

the 4x6-inch photos with the client during the visit and

returning with all the prints for reference,” explained

Jim. “Once in New Zealand I lost a roll of film from the

helicopter as it rolled out the open door.”

Now armed with a 24meg Nikon D7100, Jim gets

incredibly high-resolution photos, which he can bring

back to his studio and begin the sketching process.

“When I shoot a resort I start with a sweep about 1,000

feet above the summit, high enough to get the entire

resort at 50mm or so on the zoom. After taking various

angles at that altitude, I will drop the plane to 500 feet

Some of the Northwest trail

maps produced by Jim Niehues:

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Silver Mountain Resort

Brundage Mountain Resort

49˚ North Mountain Resort

Mt. Baker Ski Area

Stevens Pass

Whitefish Mountain Resort

… and more

46 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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above the summit and zoom into the top sections

of the mountain for the detail and then drop to

mid-mountain to capture the lower sections and

base. When I review all these views I will pick

the best to create the full perspective and draw a

comprehensive sketch.”

Once he reviews these aerials and any other material

he can get hold of, Jim will sketch out the scene for

the client’s approval. Once the sketch is approved

it is transferred/traced to the painting surface. “I

use gouache watercolor that is easy to remove and

repaint for future alterations and expansions, and I

paint on an illustration board that is prepared with

gesso so the paint will not soak into the board.”

After another approval, the final painting is taken

to a photo lab for the scan. Jim then works on these

scans to touch up areas and tweak the color. The

scan is then uploaded to Dropbox and the link

sent to the client for downloading. The client or

their graphics people will put the trail names and

symbols on the image.

For Jim, the greatest challenge is getting all slopes

of a complex mountain in one flat representation

of the real-life multi-faceted scene. It takes a lot of

manipulation of the elements to connect all trails

but keep them relative to each other to show all

sides. All efforts are made to keep all runs running

down-page, especially the steepest runs. “Many

different perspectives flow together to create the

final composition that will effectively navigate the

skier to different parts of the mountain,” he said.

Once the sketch is approved, all the detail must be

transferred exactly onto the painting surface. The

airbrush is then used to paint the sky and all the

snow’s undulating surfaces. Steeper slopes usually

are shaded to set them apart from the easier runs.

The tree shadows on the snow are added next.

The trees are the most time-consuming part of

the painting. “I have developed a technique that is

creating a tree-like texture then rewetting the color

to blend and adding the highlights and shadows. It

is important to create the landforms with the sun’s

light on the tree-covered slopes using shading,” said

Jim.

A large ski resort takes about a week to compose

into a comprehensive sketch and a good two weeks

to paint. Once the final rendering is approved, the

30x40-inch painting is sent to the photo lab for a

100meg capture, and then off for client approval.

While some resorts use computer-generated

depictions, Jim is a firm believer that computers

cannot replicate what the human eye can. In his

case, many resorts across the world agree with him

and have supported his art when they could have

turned to technology instead.

48 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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“When I met with the crew at Schweitzer in 1993, they pulled out a computer-generated elevation-lined

perspective of their mountain, and they were very excited about what the new technology could do in

mapping. My heart sank,” Jim recalled. “They were hiring me that day, but how long did I have? My career

had just barely made it to the comfortable level, and I might very well be outdated within a short time. I left

that meeting thinking I had maybe 10 years. They did hire me again in 2006 for a new updated rendering.

Computer maps just couldn’t—and still don’t—match the presentation of a hand-painted map. The old way is

the best. You need the human element to best relate the experience.”

Jim’s life work can now be found in a coffee-table book, which features 200 of his maps, intriguing stories and

his artistic process. Jim teamed with Open Road Ski Corporation, which launched a Kickstarter campaign to

help fund the book. The response was overwhelming; $500,000 raised, making it the No. 1 Art-Illustration

Kickstarter campaign of all time. The funds allowed Jim to make the most beautiful book he could. It measures

11.5-inches tall and 24-inches wide and uses Italian art-quality printing, heavier weight matte-coated paper

and a lay-flat binding. “It has been extremely rewarding to realize what my illustration has meant to skiers

around the world. Most of them remember pinning the maps on their walls as kids,” said Jim.

50 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


Julie Reed

Contact MeToday

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WASHINGTON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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253LifestyleMagazine.com

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 51



I THINK I AM MOST PROUD

OF THE FACT THAT I AM

AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT IS

CAPABLE IF YOU SET YOUR

MIND TO IT.

As Jim lives in semi-retirement he is able to reflect back at his accomplishments and where it

all began. He believes the luck of being in the right place and the right time played a factor, as

well as passion and determination. “I think I am most proud of the fact that I am an example

of what is capable if you set your mind to it.” Jim also believes his wife Dora was a major key to

his success, as she helped him navigate a lot of the business side of things so he could remain

focused on the art.

Jim is a recent inductee into the National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and the Colorado

Snow Sports Hall of Fame. As the awards and accolades continue to pile up, Jim aims to

continue to stay true to who he is. “I remain a pretty humble homegrown farm boy from the

small community of Loma, Colorado, that is uncomfortable in ritzy resort accommodations. I

like the smaller home-town ski mountains and cozy lodges.”

In retirement the painting won’t cease. He will take revisions to update existing resort paintings

and perhaps one more resort or two—maybe. Jim has always wanted to paint landscapes and

being so busy with maps has not found the time to do so. “I have hundreds of photos of scenes

I’ve wanted to do. I have completed nine so far and plan to continue for years to come. After

all, I started the ski maps at age 40, why not this at 75,” he laughed.

You can see more of Jim’s work at JamesNiehues.com.

52 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 53


253

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

March 2021

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253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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MARCH 17TH MARKS

ST. PATRICK’S DAY

WAYS TO CELEBRATE WHILE SUPPORTING LOCAL IN THE 253

By Jillian Chandler

Celebrations continue to take many forms as we try to maintain

proper social distancing and follow all of the current—and everchanging—health

and safety guidelines. But don’t let that rain

on your parade. It’s time to don your best green attire (and of

course, throw on those hats, beads, shamrocks and anything else to show

your St. Patty’s Day spirit) and create your own celebration, whether it’s

solo or with friends, and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Beer and whiskey pair well with this annual Irish holiday, so why not plan

your own pub crawl to enjoy some great brews while patronizing your local

drinking establishments! If you’re looking to have a nice evening in, you

can always order to pick up and take your choice of brews home with you.

And hey, St. Patrick’s Day may fall on a Wednesday this year, but that

doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate after a day at the office or on Zoom.

A stop at 7 Seas Brewing (2101 Jefferson Avenue) is a great place to kick

off an afternoon or evening of festivities. Swing by Odd Otter Brewing

Company (716 Pacific Avenue), and for a brew with a view, Narrows

Brewing Company (9007 South 19th Street) can’t be beat! Though they

were closed for the month of February, Black Feet Brewing (2302 Fawcett

Avenue) will open its doors again in March. If cider is more your style,

Incline Cider House downtown (2115 South C Street) has a great selection

of ciders on tap, as well as beer and wine available for your enjoyment.

At Wingman Brewers (509 1/2 Puyallup Avenue), guests will be treated

to well-crafted, authentic Tacoma ales. Dunagan Brewing Co. Tasting

Room (1126 Commerce) is another great option. If you’re looking to enjoy

brews from Harmon Brewing Co., be sure to visit Harmon Pac Ave (1938

Pacific Avenue). And don’t forget to top off your night with some good

old-fashioned whiskey from Old Soldier Distilling (309 Puyallup Avenue,

Unit B1).

Celebrate the holiday, safely, while showing love to local businesses.

Be sure to call ahead for current hours. As many of these establishments are

serving at 25 percent capacity, make a reservation if you can.

56 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


ENTERTAINMENT

/ March

FOR EVENTS, VISIT 253LIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM.

04-

07

11

13

TACOMA RV SHOW

Now’s the time to find your perfect family vacationer. Prepare for your

summer adventures at the Tacoma RV Show, where you’ll have the

opportunity to view and compare hundreds of models and over 200,000

square feet of RV space. Explore the region’s best selection of RVs, and

get the season’s best deals on a broad selection of sizes, years and models,

including new and used RVs. This is your chance to see Washington’s

best dealers all in one spot, and to begin your 2021 adventure on the

road. Tickets are $12 for general admission, $6 for military members

and veterans, and free for children 12 and younger. To purchase tickets

or learn more, visit TacomaRVShow.com.

HEALTHY, WEALTHY & WISE WOMEN 2021

Join a group of women on your journey of discovery, and learn how

to celebrate and commit to self care this year. Thursday, March 11,

from 5:30 to 7pm, Jennifer “Taz” Vasquez, Nancy Harris and Cathryn

Cummings will present this year’s virtual Healthy, Wealthy & Wise

Women, where you will gain practical insight and tools to create a

happier, healthier you no matter where you’re starting from. Join the

free event virtually, and begin the journey to growing your health,

wealth and wisdom. Register at NewFoundationWG.com/events.htm.

ST. PADDY’S DAY RUN TACOMA

Throw on some green swag and head out to the live, in-person Bud

Light St. Paddy’s Day Tacoma 5k on Saturday, March 13. This year

marks the 12th annual year of the event, where runners can participate

in a modified, in-person run with staggered start times from 8 until

10:45am. Celebrate the beginning of spring with a fun run through

downtown Tacoma, and cheers afterward to the favorite Irish holiday.

It’s the perfect healthy way to start your St. Paddy’s Day with a fun

tradition Tacoma’s been cheering on since 2009. Registration closes on

March 10 at 10am. Visit TCMAEvents.com to register or learn more.

* Please note, as of press time, these events were still scheduled to take place

as planned. Due to the current health crisis, there is the possibility that event

schedules may change or events canceled completely. Be sure to visit event

websites to stay up to date with current information.

SUBMIT YOUR EVENTS ONLINE!

Want your event to appear on the largest event site in the Northwest?

Submit your events to us online at Events.DirectoryNorthwest.com 24/7, 365 days a year!

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 57


58 58

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Eat & Drink


CARROT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Recipe Courtesy of Tina VanDenHeuvel, NTP

You can follow Tina @madebetterforyou on Instagram

CAKE INGREDIENTS

METHOD

3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted

3/4 cup almond flour, sifted

4 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

9 large eggs

1/2 cup white Erythritol Sweetener (I used Lakanto)

1/2 cup golden Erythritol Sweetener (I used Lakanto)

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 cups carrot, grated and lightly packed

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (27 g.) + 1/4 cup

toasted for garnish (optional)

• Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper,

spraying the exposed sides with cooking spray. Set aside.

• In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut flour, almond flour, cinnamon,

baking soda and powder, salt and nutmeg.

• In a separate, large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the eggs, sweeteners,

sour cream and vanilla until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture and stir until

combined.

• Gently fold in the carrots, pecans and coconut flakes until well combined. Let the

batter stand for 10 minutes so the coconut flour can begin to absorb the moisture.

Your batter will be thick; this is normal.

• Divide the batter evenly between the two pans, spreading out smoothly. Bake

until the sides are golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out

clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

METHOD

12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature (1.5 bricks)

3/4 cup sour cream

3 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup powdered Erythritol Sweetener (I used swerve)

• In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese,

sour cream and sweetener on high speed until fluffy. Add in the vanilla and beat

until combined and smooth.

• Place one layer of the cake bottom side up on a cake stand. Spread 3/4 cup of the

frosting all over it evenly. Then, place the other cake bottom side up gently on

top.

• Spread a thin layer of frosting all over the cake to make the crumb coat. It doesn’t

have to be pretty, it’s just to seal in the crumbs. Chill for at least an hour, up to

overnight. Put the remaining frosting in the fridge as well to firm up.

• Once chilled, frost the entire cake with an offset spatula. Garnish with extra

coconut, if desired.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 59


60 60 253

253

LIFESTYLE

LIFESTYLE

MAGAZINE

MAGAZINE


Travel

THE NATIONAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

WASHINGTON, D.C.’S SIGNATURE SPRING CELEBRATION

BY MARGUERITE CLEVELAND

As winter fades and trees begin to sprout blossoms and leaves, the nation’s capital springs back to life.

People emerge from winter hibernation and venture out to enjoy Washington, D.C.’s many public green

spaces and monuments. Each year the signature event is the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Where to Stay

The Ritz Carlton Pentagon City is the epitome of luxury, where you can often snag some great rates for a stay. It is

so easy to get to from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The hotel has indoor access to the Metro and

is only two stops away from all the monuments and museums. You are walking distance to great shopping at the

Fashion Centre or Pentagon Row. Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon are also nearby. The hotel is offering a

Spring in D.C. package with a perfect way to enjoy the spring season. It includes accommodations, a $65 breakfast

credit, Afternoon Tea for Two and Metrorail passes for two.

Many hotels in the area are offering Spring Packages, so when booking reservations make sure to ask.

Where to Eat

The National Mall is a food-truck oasis with a vast cultural diversity of food. There are so many it can be

overwhelming, but it is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Where else can you dine on street food while enjoying

the views of the Washington Monument and other treasures on the National Mall. Food choices abound with

everything from Philly cheese steaks and burgers to authentic gyros, shawarma and other ethnic foods.

Another not to miss is the legendary afternoon tea at the Ritz Carlton Pentagon City. This is a good option for lunch

as well. Homemade scones, petit sandwiches and a variety of pastries are served up with your choice of teas or a

champagne cocktail. Truly memorable and worth the splurge.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 61


Another popular activity in D.C. is happy hour at a rooftop bar—especially

when the weather turns nice. Zoning limits the heights of buildings in the

city limits, so there are some expansive views with no skyscrapers. Many of

the hotels in the area have an outdoor experience. Google “Best Rooftop

Bars” in Washington, D.C., and you will see list after list. Here are two that are

repeated on multiple “best of ” lists. Top of the Yard Rooftop Bar is located at

the Hampton Inn and Suites Washington, D.C. Navy Yard. It is famed for its

view of the Nationals Park, and you can see the baseball games while enjoying

a cocktail from this outdoor venue. Throw in a ballpark-themed menu for the

win. The Watergate Hotel boasts the Top of the Gate with a 360-degree view of

the D.C. skyline, Washington Monument, the Potomac River and the Kennedy

Center. Enjoy small bites while sipping a craft cocktail. Rooftop Yoga is offered

during the season.

Restaurants in D.C. are operating at a 25 percent capacity for indoor dining.

Outdoor dining, carryout and delivery are available at many local restaurants.

The situation is changing, so verify with the restaurant—and be sure to make

a reservation.

What to Do

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an ode to spring. Plan your visit to

coincide with the peak bloom date. According to the National Park Service,

this is the day when 70 percent of the blossoms on the Yoshino cherry trees,

which surround the Tidal Basin, are open. Throughout the city, a variety of

events are planned. Due to the nature of COVID-19, some will be virtual, but

there will be opportunities to see the blossoms live. You will need to check

with the festival organizers for more details. Two fun things to do during the

festival is to go art hunting. Local and national artists have created 25 giant

cherry blossom sculptures that have interactive icons you can engage with to

win prizes. Beginning March 20, search around the D.C. area. A new event is

the Petal Porches. Download a virtual map and plan a walk or drive around

a D.C. neighborhood to see porches decorated with a cherry blossom theme.

The International Spy Museum is open. You will need a timed ticket, so make

sure to purchase in advance so you aren’t disappointed. This museum is

impressive, with lots of interactive experiences. You register as an agent during

your initial briefing then complete challenges throughout your tour. Once you

are finished with your tour you will enter the Spy Shop, one of the best museum

gift shops in the country. A fantastic selection, they even have National Cherry

Blossom Festival souvenirs.

With the weather so nice in the spring, venture to the Hillwood Museum and

Gardens. This lovely estate was purchased by Marjorie Merriweather Post with

the intent to establish a museum after her death. The gardens are set on 25 acres

and have a variety of styles including a Japanese Garden and a Russian Dacha

on the grounds, which is now used for special exhibitions. The highlight of the

museum collection is two Faberge Imperial Easter Eggs, the Twelve Monograms

Easter Egg and the Catherine the Great Easter Egg. Post’s collection of Faberge

is one of the finest in the world. This is such a lovely property it is easy to spend

a day. There is also a restaurant on-site and a well thought-out gift shop with

many luxury items.

62 253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE


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Another museum house worth visiting when the weather is nice is that of George Washington. Mount Vernon was

his love, and on a nice spring day you can see why. The estate is over 40 acres on the Potomac River, and there is so

much to see and do; you will want to plan your visit. The ticket process can be confusing, as you must purchase an

estate pass and then add-on tours of the home and other specialty tours, which vary by day. For first-time visitors,

tour the mansion (timed tours purchased in advance online) and then use the website to decide on an itinerary. So

many options from a first-time visitor or family itinerary to a military or African American history. For foodies,

follow the Food and Spirits Itinerary. An interesting fact: Did you know George Washington made whiskey? In

1779, the year he died, his whiskey distillery was one of the largest in America and produced over 11,000 gallons.

When planning your visit to D.C., visit Washington.org, the official tourism site for the area, for the most up-to-date

information regarding COVID-19 requirements and what is open. The situation is constantly changing, so check

back frequently. There is a wealth of information on the area, and the site has some great ideas for your trip. Make

reservations or purchase tickets ahead of time. Due to space capacities, many attractions offer timed entry, and if

you wait until the day you want to visit, you may be disappointed, so be sure to plan ahead.

253 LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE 65


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