Enchant’s ‘Mischievous’ Display is Amazing

At nearly 100,000 square feet, Enchant Christmas markets itself as the “world’s largest Christmas light maze.” There are actually three Enchant displays set up in the U.S. (the other two are located in St. Petersburg, Florida and Washington D.C.) so actually, Seattle’s is one of three of the largest light mazes, but let’s not quibble. This year’s theme is called “Mischievous” and is different from last year’s presentation, but I suspect it’s still fairly similar. Either way, it’s pretty spectacular.

Unlike some of the atrocities you’ve seen on ABC’s Great Christmas Light Fight, Enchant is tastefully decorated. Even if you different know exactly where T-Mobile Park was, you’d be able to find it without any problem as lights are hung all around the outside of the park. It only gets brighter inside.

While this is a family event, Enchant isn’t only for kids. It makes for a great date night too. Of course the maze is the main draw, so that is great place to start…right after you pick up an espresso or hot chocolate. On your way down, you’ll no doubt notice the 100-foot-tall lighted tree (taller than the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Centre in New York City). The maze is loosely themed around Eddie the Elf who “accidentally” misplaced Santa’s gifts. It is your job to find all eight of the larger-than-life toys and when you do, you’ll be rewarded with a chocolate coin, which is much better than a candy cane.

Unlike the corn maze you walked through during the fall, this light maze is a lot more open and while you won’t get lost, you will walk around in circles trying to find all of those toys (the teddy bear is the hardest to find, I swear). While you’re kids might think differently, this isn’t a race. Slow down, take your time and enjoy your surroundings which are filled with photo opps around every corner. If you’re lucky, you might find a snow flurry or two as well.

The next big draw in the Ice Skating Trail which is 30% larger than last year’s. Bring your own skates or rent a pair at the Ice Skate Hut and take a glide. Ice skating is included with the price of admission. Other things to check out here include the Christmas Market which has been curated in collaboration with Seattle’s Urban Craft Uprising and Seattle Made vendors which cycle through each week, seasonal food items and a few ballpark favorites, the Makery where you and your kids can make your own gifts and decorations, the Enchant Cinema showing excerpts from the favorite Christmas movies and TV specials and of course Santa who is ready to hear those wishes.

It is worth noting that a trip to Enchant is not a cheap affair when you add up all of the expenses of the parking, admission, food, beverages and more, but it will be memorable. Also, be sure to bundle up. Yes, T-Mobile Park’s roof is closed for the event, but it is still chilly inside. Although, there are plenty of places to warm up too.

Enchant Christmas continues through December 30 and is open from 4-11 p.m. each night.

Where to Find Santa in Seattle

(Pacific Place)

The jolly old elf is easy to spot when you’re not looking for him, but can be difficult to find when you are! Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered for some of the best places to find him. This year will see a few changes. This will be the last year to see Santa at the downtown Macy’s store due to its upcoming closure and sadly, Santa will not be visiting Northgate Mall (although kids can drop off letters to Santa there). While many of the places listed below offer professional photos, don’t feel pressured to purchase any. These Santas are pros with a motivation to share cheer. They will give your child the same attention that they will be giving to paying customers. With that said, some locations offers some really nice photos that families will treasure for years to come. And, so are even offering free photos.

Here is where Santa will be hanging out now through Christmas Eve. Although the hours listed do not include the times when he will be busy feeding the reindeer. If you’d rather skip the line, check out the location’s websites for information on how you can schedule a time.

Westfield Southcenter Mall

2800 Southcenter Mall, Seattle 98188 – (206) 246-0423 – More info >>>

Westfield Southcenter Mall is offering a special “Storytime with Mr. & Mrs. Claus on December 7 from 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Mr. & Mrs. Claus will read holiday classics and sing carols. Kids will also enjoy cookie decorating and crafts. Tickets are donation based. All proceeds will benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital. More info >>>

Santa’s meet-and-greet times:

  • Dec. 4-7: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m
  • Dec. 8: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 10-13: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 14: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 16-19: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 20-21: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 22-23: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24 – 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Anko

19500 Alderwood Mall Pkwy, Lynnwood, 98036
12650 Totem Lake Blvd. NE, Totem Lake, 98034
15840 1st Ave. S., Burien, 98148

Anko is hosting free meet-and-greets with Santa including a complimentary photo (one per family) that will be sent instantly by email after your visit on Sunday December 15. Santa will be there from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Walk-ins are also accepted. Sign up here: Lynnwood store, Totem Lake store or Burien store.

Macy’s Downtown Seattle

300 Pine St., Seattle, 98181 – (206) 506-6915 – More info >>>

If this place is a tradition for your family, you’ll want to sign up for a spot soon!

  • Dec. 4-13: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 14: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 15-19: 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 20-22: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 23: 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Nordstrom Downtown Seattle

500 Pine St. Seattle, WA 98101 – (206) 628-2111 – More info >>>

Nordstrom’s Santa Lane’s hours vary from the regular store hours so we recommend that you call the store ahead of time before you visit. However, to give you a ballpark, here are the store’s hours for the season:

  • Dec. 4-6: 9:30 a.m.- 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 7: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Dec. 9-12: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Dec. 13-14: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 16-21: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Dec. 22: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 23: 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pacific Place

600 Pine St., Seattle, WA  98101 – (206) 405-2655 – More info >>>

Due to all of the construction makeover of this mall, Pacific Place is introducing a new Santa Claus experience for their guests that will be different than the traditional sit-down portrait experience. Each weekend Santa Claus will be at the mall to greet shoppers and stroll the center on every floor, plus he will sit in his holiday ornament chair from time to time located on Level 2 near the holiday pop-up store, Wishes Toys and Games. Guests can take photos, selfies or just visit with the big guy with their wish lists.

  • Dec. 6-7: 4-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: 2-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 13-14: 4-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: 2-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 20-21: 4-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 22: 2-8 p.m.
  • Dec. 23-24: 1-6 p.m.

Bellevue Square

575 Bellevue Square, Bellevue 98004 – (800) 934-6489 – More info >>>

  • Dec. 4-7: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 9-14: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: 10:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 16-23: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Alderwood Mall

3000 184th St. SW, Lynnwood, 98037 – (425) 967-8994 – More info >>>

  • Dec. 4-7: 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 9-14: 10:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 15-23: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Town Center at Lake Forest Park

17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park 98155 – – More info >>>

  • Dec. 4-6: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 7: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 9-12: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 13-14: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 16-23: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m
  • Dec. 24: 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

University Village

2623 NE University Village St., Seattle 98105 – – More info >>>

Every Monday this season, University Village will be offering Pet Photos with Santa! Bring your pet for a picture with Santa and a percentage of sales will benefit Seattle Humane.

  • Dec. 4-5: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 6-7: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 9-14: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: 10:00 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Dec. 16-21: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 22: 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 23: 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Everett Mall

1402 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, 98208 – (425) 355-1771 – More info >>>

  • Dec. 4-13: 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 14: 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 15: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 16-20: 10:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 21-23: 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Redmond Town Center

7525 166th Ave. N.E., Redmond, WA 98052 – (425) 869-2640 – More info >>>

Brick and Mortar Books will be offering a free Santa Story Time on December 10 and 17 at 9:45 a.m.

  • Dec. 4-7: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 8: 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 9-13: 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m
  • Dec. 14-15: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 16-20: 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 21: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 22-23: 9:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

‘Spelling Bee’ is One of the Funniest Musicals Ever

 Arika Matoba (Marcy Park), Sarah Russell (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere), and Taylor Niemeyer (Olive Ostrovsky).
Arika Matoba (Marcy Park), Sarah Russell (Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere), and Taylor Niemeyer (Olive Ostrovsky). (Mark Kitaoka/Village Theatre)

I haven’t laughed that hard at a musical production as I did watching Village Theatre’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. This is one hilarious show and one not to be missed. Featuring a unique premise, upbeat original musical and a stellar cast, spelling has never been so fun.

Unlike many of today’s modern musicals, Spelling Bee is not based on a previously made movie or rock band. This show is totally original with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. And unlike many original modern musicals, most of Spelling Bee’s numbers are actually entertaining. Overall, this show is nontraditional and a refreshing change.

The fictional story centers on 10 young students who have winners at their local spelling bees and have come to Putnam Valley for a chance to gain fame and a trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Spelling Bee. The losers get a juice box and hug from the “comfort counselor.” While six of these students are played by professional actors, four of them are brought on stage from the audience to compete with the other kids. It’s a fantastic gimmick.

The cast of "Spelling Bee."
(Tracy Martin/Village Theatre)

When you enter the lobby of the Everett Performing Arts Center, there is a table for guests to sign up to become part of the Bee. Out of all names, four are chosen, called up from the audience onto the stage, given numbers and then sit with the rest of their “classmates.” And yes, they are called upon to spell words in front of everyone.

The rest of the cast includes Rona Lisa Perretti (the always good to see Jessica Skerritt) a former Spelling Bee champ and presenter of the Putnam Valley’s production. She is joined by Vice Principle Douglas Panch (Brian Lange), a judge who has been absent from the Spelling Bee scene for a while due to a nervous breakdown, and Comfort Counselor Mitch Mahoney who is using this event to help complete his community service requirement.

The six remaining kids include:

  • Chip Tolentino (Justin Huertas) — a leading boy scout with too many badges to count. He wins everything. This is until part of his body betrays him.
  • Marcy Park (Arika Matoba) — a child prodigy of just about everything. The bee feels more like a job to her.
  • Leaf Coneybear (Rafael Molina) — a “special” kid who is hyper and can’t stay on task. He thinks of himself as dumb but in reality, is actually very smart.
  • Olive Ostrovsky (Taylor Niemeyer) — an outgoing yet lonely girl who’s best friend is the dictionary. Her mother couldn’t attend the Spelling Bee because she is out of the country trying to find herself and her father will get there “just as soon as he gets off work.”
  • Logainne Schwartzand-Grubenniere (Sarah Russell) — a stressed girl worried that she will lose and will let her two dads down.
  • William Barfee (MJ Sieber) — a nerdy, self-confident boy who spells words out with his shoes before answering.

Spelling Bee is directed by Brandon Ivie and features another amazing set design by Julia B. Franz. You would think that a show about such an event would be boring, but it isn’t. Not at all. Almost every word to be spelled is a punchline in itself and there is are warmhearted elements as well. Even the most annoying kid will win your heart over before the show is over. It was amazing to see how the audience became connected to these characters. When one would misspell a word and was sent packing, there were actually some in the audience who gasped in surprise!

Spelling Bee is almost a perfect show. Even though the show begins a quick and moves along nicely, the pace eventually slows to a crawl. The fact that the show presented without an intermission only emphasizes that. Every character has their own song to sing in addition to the group songs. Most of these are pleasant and move the show along. However, near the last third, Spelling Bee seems to lose focus a bit throwing in some angst with a couple of numbers including one very long song featuring Olive daydreaming about her parents actually attending the contest, but of course they are not there. It just doesn’t fit the wit or humor of the rest of the production. It really the show’s only flaw. When the winner is crowned, you’re really happy for them — even if they are fictional kids.

 Jessica Skerritt, Taylor Niemeyer and Nicholas Japaul Bernard.
Jessica Skerritt, Taylor Niemeyer (Olive Ostrovsky), and Nicholas Japaul Bernard. (Mark Kitaoka/Village Theatre)

A note worth mentioning: Even though Spelling Bee features a bunch of kids, the show isn’t suited for most families. There is some language and some topics mentioned that are inappropriate for young ears. At the very least, young children will probably be bored with the show anyway so do yourself a favor and get a sitter.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee continues at the Everett Performing Arts Center through November 17, 2019. Tickets range from $35-$75 and can be purchased at Village Theatre’s website, over the phone, or by visiting the Box Office. 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett, WA 98201.

Planning for an Epic Game Night

Eat, work, sleep. Rinse and repeat. As adults, it’s easy to fall into a rut doing the same old things over and over again even during our free time. We’re so focused on the tasks before us that we forget to have fun. Sometimes it feels like a lot of work to have fun, but do you ever stop and think about how easy it was for us as kids to create our own fun with just a rock and stick? It’s high time for a game night. Here’s how.

Below we’ve laid the groundwork to create a simple night of fun and hi-jinx. Many of the items needed can be purchased locally at Anko at one of their stores (in Lynnwood, Burien, Bellevue, Kirkland or Mill Creek) or online. They rotate their products frequently so you might not find the exact same items we did. Other suggestions are mentioned as well.

Planning the Night

Don’t overthink it. Some of the best experiences come from the simplest plans:

  1. Invite a few friends.
  2. Set the mood.
  3. Plan the games.
  4. Provide the refreshments.

That’s about it. Just keep it simple. Sure, there’s a bit more to it like cleaning the house and buying supplies, but that’s expected. Just be sure to divide the tasks between you and your significant other. If the process become stressful, you’re doing it wrong.

Invite a few friends

We often think of parties with a large group of friends, but while more may be merrier, it’s also a lot more work and can become a lot more expensive. Think smaller. Then again, not too small. Consider inviting four couples over and if one couple bails at the last minute, you still have a good size group.

Set the Mood

Make it casual affair. No need for crazy decorations unless you want to. Set up “photo booth” with props for fun. We found a cheap set at Anko for $3 that included paper cut-outs of a crown, unicorn horn, bunny ears, sunglasses and more. Fill a few small metal buckets with M&M’s or Skittles and put them in strategic places your living room for easy access and let the games begin.

Plan the games

As hosts, we naturally want to be accommodating to our guests, but you need to have some kind of plan in place. Don’t make the mistake of just asking, “So, what games would you guys like to play?” Your guests don’t really want to be the ones to make the decision. At the very least, offer two games for them to decide on. From Bunko to classic card games, just about anything will work. Although, avoid games that take a long time to play or are overly complicated. Better yet, why not come up with a twist of old favorites or try something new? Here are some suggestions.

Bingo Potluck

Have each guest bring an item from home that they no longer want wrapped in a plain brown paper bag. These will be used as the prizes for those who get a “Bingo.” The odder the item the more fun the game is. (This is fun game to play after Christmas when you have silly stuff you got as gifts but don’t know what to do with them, but it can be played any time of the year.) Don’t have a Bingo game set? You can purchase a cheap one at your local department store. Use your M&M’s or Skittles as markers.

Jackbox TV

Jackbox Games offers fun party game experiences using your video game system and your guests’ cell phones. The website offers a variety of games that are easy to understand, simple to execute and don’t take a long time to play. Show off your trivia knowledge, creativity and humor with games like Word Spud, Lie Swatter, Fibbage, Drawful, Trivia Murder Party and more. Many games can be played with up to ten players and even spectators will have fun.

Chalkboard Rumble

Set up a large A-frame chalkboard in the center of the room. Give every guest a few slips of paper and a pen. Choose a theme (movie titles, song titles, things found in the house, etc.) and have your guests write some titles or items on the slips of paper. Place all the slips into a pail. Then, divide into two teams. Pick a member on each team to go first. One player picks a slip and shares it with the other player. On a count of three, both draw clues to the answer on their side of the chalkboard without speaking while their team shouts out answers. First team to guess the right answer wins the round and scores a point. The team that wins the game can celebrate their win by launching confetti poppers.

Provide the Refreshments

Remember, this isn’t a formal dinner party. Simple desserts are the way to go and we’ve got a few tricks to make them extra special.

Gourmet Cupcakes

Yes, you COULD purchase expensive cupcakes for $4 each or you can make them yourself. No really. First, we recommend purchasing silicone baking cups instead of using the old-fashioned paper liners. They look nice and can be used over and over again. Be sure to spray them with a little cooking spray and place them in a regular cupcake pan, so they keep their shape.

Use a reliable cake mix like Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist cake mix. Each box makes 24 cupcakes so you’ll have plenty to share. Then skip the canned frosting and make your own. We highly recommend Tom Douglas’ Vanilla Bean Buttercream frosting recipe found in The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. It takes awhile to make, but it is SO much better than what passes as buttercream on the store shelves.

Now to get creative. Just a few additions will make these cakes into something super special. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make mocha cupcakes by adding a few teaspoons of instant coffee into a chocolate cake batter.
  • Throw in a few mini chocolate chips into a white cake mix just before backing.
  • Top frosted cupcakes with a little caramel ice cream topping and a pinch of salt.
  • Tint frosting with green food coloring and add a teaspoon of mint extract.
  • Make lemon cupcakes and top with fresh strawberry slices.

Mini Apple Pies

Easy as…well, you know…purchase little pie plate tins ($3.50 for 4 at Anko!) and Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust dough. Cut the dough to fit the small pie plates. Fill with your favorite apple pie filling recipe and top with a crumb topping. Top with vanilla bean ice cream for the full experience.

Cocktails or Mocktails

We found six packs of “milk bottles” that are perfect for party cocktails. We recommend using a clear beverage like a light rum, vodka or soda and make then sparkle with colorful fruit-infused ice cubes. Before your party, fill your ice cube trays with fruits and juices. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Ice cubes made with berries and cran-raspberry juice. Serve with lemon-lime soda or seltzer water.
  • Ice cubes made with mint leaves, lime juice and simple syrup. Serve with light rum.
  • Ice cubes made with strawberries or raspberries and water. Serve with lemonade.

Of course, what really makes it are those nifty bendy straws with mustaches and lips!

For King & Country

How You Can See For King & Country for Free

Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country
Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country (LMG Concerts)

Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, the heart of the band For King & Country will be back in Seattle with their Burn the Ships World Tour. I say “back” because the band played at the Moore Theatre just a few months ago and are already back performing at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on Sunday, November 3. The show at The Moore was amazing. If you are a fan of this band, I highly recommend this concert.

“It’s going to be a very special evening…with just you and us, as we take the stage at the top of the show and journey through the entirety of burn the ships, the album (as well as many other favorites on a stage conceptually designed like the bow of a ship,” says the Smallbones. “For the first time since For King & Country began, we’re going to be able to share with you the music and the heart behind it in the most inspirational and theatrical way we’ve been able to date.”

For King & Country's Burn the Ships World Tour.
(LMG Concerts)

Regular reserved seating tickets range from $23-$43; VIP Q&A Tickets are $78 and for those who want the full experience on “the bow” VIP Meet & Greet Tickets are $203. However, they are running a special of sorts as well.

Hear a sneak preview and hear the “Burn the Ships” rehab remix.

“Because we believe so strongly in the work Compassion International is doing, we’re asking for your consideration in sponsoring a child. AND when you do you’ll receive two (2) FREE VIP Q&A Tickets as a thank you!” Follow this link to learn more about this offer!

The Smallbones made recent headlines when they created a video of their hit song, “God Only Knows” with Dolly Parton. It has been so popular that the trio will be performing for the 53rd Annual CMA Awards on November 13 on ABC.

Hotel Indigo in Everett

Introducing Everett’s Hotel Indigo

Everett's Hotel Indigo
Everett’s newest hotel, Hotel Indigo (InterContinental Hotels Group )

After years of talk and construction, Everett’s 65-acre Waterfront Place Project is starting to take shape. The new “neighborhood” will eventually feature up to 660 housing units, ten restaurants and a variety of shops and business. One of the area’s first completed projects is the new boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo. The new InterContinental Hotels Group property will no doubt become a destination location for travelers and locals alike thanks to its beautiful views of the Port of Everett marina and Puget Sound.

There are only 67 Hotel Indigo boutique hotels in the United States and the Everett location is the only one in the chain located in Washington State.

On a recent tour of the property, I learned that instead of just being another hotel in the chain of IHG Hotels, each location must have its own story of sorts and actually blend in with the surrounding area. This new location share plenty of Everett’s waterfront history. You can see evidence of this everywhere you look from the porthole windows to the vintage lights. There is a nautical theme throughout the place, but it is done is a tasteful, un-kitschy way.

A room at Hotel Indigo in Everett
(Hotel Indigo)

Of Hotel Indigo’s 142 room, 119 of them feature water views. The floors are lined with wood-like tiles (a subtle nod to Everett’s former lumber mill) and the walls decorated with more nautical touches. Whether staying for work or a local vacation, the rooms are equipped to make one’s stay a pleasurable one with a spa-like bathroom with cozy robes, coffee maker, mini refrigerator, flat screen TV and stereo. Every guest is offered a free morning newspaper and internet service.

The hotel features many of the amenities you would expect but with a few extra nice touches. The business center is open 24/7 and so is the large on-site fitness room featuring three treadmills, two elliptical machines, an recumbent bike, a universal weight machine and entertainment options to make your workout an enjoyable one.

Next door you’ll find a large indoor saline swimming pool with plenty of windows to light up the room, but high enough to protect your privacy and not make you feel like you are on display.

Fido will appreciate walks along the 3.5 mile trail and you might want to take advantage of the paddleboat rentals and complimentary ferry trips to Jetty Island during the summer months.

The hotel’s own unique “seafood-forward” restaurant, Jetty Bar & Grille, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring an outstanding culinary team lead by Chef Andrew Cross. While you may not know him by name, Cross is no stranger to the hospitality businesses. His impressive resume includes stints at the Semiamoo Resort, Canon Whiskey restaurant and Canlis.

As is most of hotel, the restaurant is lined with large windows which presents incredible views of the sunset each night. One wall is decorated with large vintage black and white photos of the Everett marina. The lights that hang overhead are reminiscent of crab pots. The space feels larger than it really is with its clean and modern layout.

Cross’ menu promises the freshest seafood from local sources including Lummi Island Wild and Taylor Shellfish, “with a focus on approachable seafood dishes inspired by the Salish Sea,” says the hotel’s press release. Guests can look forward to trying Scuttlebutt beer-battered halibut and chips, Miso Glazed Black Cod (with ginger-edamame hummus, caramelized onions, grilled bok choy and savory broth), Blackened Salmon Sliders (grilled salmon stuffed inside buttery brioche bread with spicy pineapple slaw), Deviled Eggs (made with smoked salmon caviar!), Lummi Island smoked salmon chowder (made with yukon gold potatoes and a smoked tomato crème fraiche), and a variety of local oysters on the half shell.

During our last visit, my wife and I chose “turf” over “surf” which seemed wrong when dining a seafood restaurant, but it turned out to be a great decision. Beginning our meal with slices of fresh bread and butter, I had the Bone-In Thick Cut Pork Chop which was served with spaetzle, roasted mushrooms and amazing caramelized apples which I enjoyed with a glass of Cranberry Cider. My wife chose a Mushroom Risotto (which was stuffed with five or six different types of mushrooms) and side of roasted vegetables. We both ended up bringing boxes of leftovers home with us. Other choices include a 14 oz. New York Prime Steak (with crispy duck fat potatoes and grilled rapini) and Hanger Steak Frites (garlic fries, arugula, pickled onions and chimichurri sauce).

When the weather is nicer, guests can enjoy small bites alongside handcrafted cocktails on the outdoor patio and locals will appreciate the Jetty Grill Express food service window selling “to-go” dishes. With the recent and unexpected closure of Monte Cristo Hotel wedding venue in downtown, Hotel Indigo has been busy filling its 8,000 square feet of indoor event space with many weddings. It also offers another 5,000 square feet of outdoor space, which will be nice when the weather is warmer.

For more information, visit Hotel Indigo’s website or call 425-217-2772 to make reservations for dinner at the Jetty Bar & Grille.

(All photos were taken by the author except where noted.)

Take Your Dog to the Movies

(SIFF)

Described as “The world’s first film festival for, by and about dogs and their people,” the NY Dog Film Festival seems like a perfect fit for Seattle. The presentation features a series of short films from all over the world that will not only entertain viewers but will also support local animal welfare groups at the same time. Seattle’s own Emeral City Pet Rescue will receive 10% of net proceeds.

The short films presented include Esther – Saving Castaways (a documentary chronicling a prison program for unwanted dogs trained by inmates), Elvis: The Lonenly Hunter of Circle Beach (about a tough little dog and his search for the elusive buried bagel), Dog Power (a documentary following the canine-and-human athletes competing together in international competitions for shared outdoor sports), About a Dog (a story about an antisocial book editor who reluctantly fosters a dog which bring her out of her shell), Ooh la la (a witty animation Inspired by the French Poodle) and several others.

The two hour long NY Dog Film Festival will be held on Saturday, October 12 at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian at 11 a.m. Tickets are $14 for humans and free for pooches! Seniors (65+) and young adults (age 20 and under) save a buck and SIFF members get in for $9. For tickets and more information, visit the SIFF website.

Comedian Kathleen Madigan

Kathleen Madigan Laughing All the Way to the Moore

Comedian Kathleen Madigan will visit The Moore Theatre on January 25, 2020.
Comedian Kathleen Madigan

If you listen to Pandora’s Comedy Commute channel, you’ll notice a drought of female comedians and that really is okay since that just means you get to listen to the ramblings of comedian Kathleen Madigan that much more. She will bringing her brand of humor with her 8 O’Clock Happy Hour Tour to The Moore Theatre on January 25, 2020 tickets becoming available this week.

Although Madigan has been doing stand up comedy for 30 years, she doesn’t star in her own sitcom or host a daytime talk show. Instead, she does what she can do best: make people laugh. “I’d rather do one thing really well than 10 things just kind of well. The instant gratification of stand up compared to the waiting for TV or film is right up my addict alley,” says Madigan. But the comedian is popping up more and more.

Kathleen has two one-hour specials running of Netflix (a third one is also in the works) and has appeared on The Tonight Show and Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening. She has chatted with Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Conan O’ Brien and appeared on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Seinfeld says that Madigan is “small, practical and fun. She makes a lot of sense, but not too much sense, just enough to be hilarious.”  

Kathleen’s sixth standup album Bothering Jesus, from the Netflix special of the same name, was released on 800 Pound Gorilla Records in 2018 and is the highest selling release of any comedy album since 2014. It debuted on the Billboard 200 Album Chart, on The Nielson SoundScan Comedy Charts at #1, and on The Billboard Comedy Charts at #1. But Madigan has a serious side as well performing for multiple USO tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and serves as an advocate and fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis and Autism. 

Tickets for the 8 O’Clock Happy Hour Tour will go on sale to the general public on Friday, October 11th at 10:00 a.m. with an Artist Pre-Sale on Wednesday, October 9th at 10:00 AM ET/PT (Passcode: HAPPYHOUR) and are available here.

Music for the Animals

Music for the Animals

Music for the Animals

The Noah Center is inviting you to their 17th annual Music for the Animals fundraiser event at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville on Saturday, October 12, 2019. “Guaranteed to make a life-changing difference for homeless cats and dogs,” the night includes great food and wine, exclusive auction items and live music featuring two popular local artists.

Not enough? Spring for the VIP experience which also includes a special wine tasting flight of four wines paired with five Northwest inspired bites, puppy cuddles, a complimentary bottle of wine, a special, VIP gift, chocolate pairings and more!

General admission is $250 and VIP tickets sell for $500 which can be purchased by contacting Jennifer Holocker at 360.629.7055 or jenniferh@thenoahcenter.org. For more information on the event, visit Noah Center’s website.