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The Six Best Hikes in Snoqualmie Pass

Categories: Lifestyle, Washington | Posted: August 7, 2019

If you live anywhere in east of Seattle, Snoqualmie Pass is your ticket to freedom. A short drive away and you’re free of the city to discover unbelievable mountain peaks, wildflowers, fresh air, and sweeping vistas.

The best peaks are worth working for, unmarked trailheads, potholed dirt roads, and steep jagged cliffs will make your after-hike beer the best you’ve ever had. Each hike has its rewards, and they’re always changing from season to season and from rainstorm to clear sunny day. They’ll leave you with stories to tell and fond memories. You’ll get addicted to the great outdoors and reap the physical and emotional benefits from living in one of the most incredible places in the world.

Washington’s Cascade Mountains are snow-covered and often unpassable for much of the year leaving a short hiking season peppered with stunning wildflowers.

Bandera Mountain Summit, this is a tough one, but if you’re up for the challenge, you won’t regret it. Bandera is a hiker’s favorite, and once you hike it, it may spoil you for all others. The road to the trailhead has a few miles of potholes, drive slowly and expect it to be slow going. Bandera is eight miles there and back. Throughout the hike, you’ll traverse deep green mountainsides with colorful wildflowers lining your way.

During the last bit, you’ll be on all fours scrambling up some very intense boulders. At the top you won’t be disappointed, the mountain peak views are to die for. Little Bandera has the best viewpoint, this is where most hikers turn around, it’s a false ending, but the best views can be found here. If you continue up past this peak is just for fun through more forest until the actual end.

Check out these fantastic hiker photos, and you’ll head for your car in ten minutes.

Kaleetan Peak is a mountain peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, expect a full day of hiking to this twelve-mile summit with 4,800 feet of elevation gain. It’ll take you ten hours or more, so plan to come early and leave late. Sweeping views of rocky ridgetops and jagged toothed mountains are there to greet you at the top. This challenging path is part hike, part scramble. At times you’ll be on all fours hoisting yourself up boulders and rubble, but views at the top are worth the work. Jagged toothed mountains rise above sweeping valleys with crystal mountain lakes and soft, green trees in the distance.

Mount Defiance is an eleven-mile hike full of steep, narrow trails with more than a 3,500-foot incline and sheer drop-offs earning this trail has a rating of difficult. Spectacular wildflowers make it unforgettable. The summit is vertical and climbing, but worth it at the top with views of a dozen peaks including Mount Rainer and several crisp mountain lakes sprinkled throughout. Don’t forget your bug spray.

Kachess Lake, you don’t have to be a hard-core hiker to appreciate the great outdoors. Kachess Lake has a quick one-mile trail that will bring you almost as much joy. It’s a popular snowshoeing spot in the winter and walking in the summer. This lovely mountain lagoon is worth a walk and a dip on a sunny day.

Annette Lake, this one has everything you need in a great hike, waterfalls, wildflowers, mountain peak views, creeks, and forests all culminating at a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by evergreens. This seven-and-a-half-mile hike has a steady incline, as you follow along a babbling brook that turns into a beautiful trailside waterfall. It’ll take several hours, and you’ll love every minute of it.

Granite Mountain you will find heaven eight and a half miles up on top of Granite Mountain. It’s not a hike for the beginner or the out of shape. The trail climbs 3,800 feet and at times can be like a boulder stair climber. The views will leave you raving. This hike is recommended for late summer, during the winter or early spring it has high avalanche warnings. The trail takes you up and up until you come across wildflower meadows and mountain top views of Mount Rainer and a dozen other peaks.

Be sure always to come prepared, bring lots of water, food, never leave the beaten path, and make sure to check for inclement weather. Rain gear and a few layers are a must even in August. Weather in the mountains can turn on a dime, and if you come prepared for anything, you’ll have the best experiences of your life.

How to Stay Cool in the Northwest Heat

Categories: Lifestyle, Renton, Sammamish Washington, Seattle | Posted: August 6, 2019

One lovely thing about Western Washington is that it rarely gets to the ’80s even in August. Moderate temperatures allow homeowners to save money on electric bills, and many homes don’t have air conditioning. The climate here allows you to make the most of your summer.

You can have picnics outside on the patio every evening with long summer days at the parks. When the thermometer does begin to climb, there are more than enough watering holes and spray parks to cool off you and your little ones.

If you have young children spray parks are wonderful. There are over a dozen spray parks throughout the Seattle bowl, and each of them is interesting and fun in its unique way. Washington State uses public spray parks and wading pools to save water by deterring backyard sprinklers and kiddie pools.

 

Spray Parks and Wading Pools

Spray parks are free for your children’s enjoyment. Stay all day in the sprinklers. They’re located in areas with play structures for kids if they tire of being wet. Or you can utilize the parks for a quick cool off and recharge before getting back on schedule.

Crossroads Water Spray Playground in Bellevue has a giant orca whale that sprays water out of his air hole splashing gleeful screaming children who climb and lay all over his great big body. The giant half whale seems to be rising out of the soft blue squishy slip-free surface. A small pod follows the mother and a smattering of water spray shoots out from all angles cooling off kids.

Sammamish Commons has a small spray park next to the YMCA allowing for plenty of parking for a quick stop in and cool down.

Wading pools are another great way to cool off for small children. Check the schedule for your local wading pool. Some are only open certain days. The Parks Department fills the pools if the temperature exceeds 70 degrees.

Wading pools are perfect for babies and toddlers, who might be intimidated by the crowds of older, rambunctious children at the spray parks. Littles can sit and splash outside in these giant, ankle-deep kiddie pools.

Green Lake has a  large wading pool that’s packed to the gills with darling babies in sunhats on hot summer days laughing and splashing each other with baby rolls. If you don’t have a baby, but miss the days, come by to see the bare, giggling bellies, they’ll keep you smiling all day.

A complete list of spray parks and wading pools are found here.

 

Beach Parks

Chism Beach Park is located in Bellevue, this hidden gem is tucked away in a nice neighborhood. The grounds are well maintained, and there’s a swimming area in Lake Washington with a lifeguard. Chism is a peaceful oasis, it’s a great space to bring a book and a picnic, and on a clear day, you can enjoy views of Seattle on the other side of the lake.

Kennydale Beach Park is located in Renton where you can enjoy almost two acres of sandy waterfront on Lake Washington. Kennydale has a swimming area and docks to jump off with lifeguards on duty during the summer.

Newcastle Beach Park is a semi-large park with a play structure for the kids, a swimming area and a long dock for sunbathing and jumping into the cool crystal waters of Lake Washington.

 

Watersport Rentals

Issaquah Paddle Sports rents standup paddleboards and kayaks to paddle around Lake Sammamish. If you’d like to try your hand at paddle sports, but don’t want to make the financial leap into purchasing a kayak or paddleboard and roof rack, keep it easy and rent at Issaquah. You’ll most likely find that you love it, and this way you’ll have the chance to test out equipment from the friendly, knowledgeable staff before you make a purchase.

Seattle Boat Rentals in Queen Anne on Lake Union. Here you can enjoy boating a few days a year without paying high maintenance and docking fees of owning one. Just rent a boat for the day, rates hover in the $500’s not including gas. Grab a group of friends, bring food and spend a perfect day out on the lake in a speed or pontoon boat. Wakeboards, water skis, inner tubes, and other water sports equipment are available for rent with the boat.

Woodmark Waterfront Adventures in Kirkland rents everything; kayaks, speedboats, jet skis, wave runners, and standup paddleboards. Grab your craft of choice and head out on Lake Washington for a day you won’t soon forget.

 

Aquatic Centers

Henry Moses Aquatic Center in Renton is open during the summer months only. The center has 15 water features including water slides, a lazy river, lap swims, a toddler play area, and spray features. It gets pretty busy, so if you can make it during the week or early on the weekends, you’ll avoid the crowds.

Colman Pool in Seattle, Colman is the only outdoor pool operated by the Seattle Parks Department. This heated, saltwater pool is located at the tip of Lincoln Park just off the beach with views of the Puget Sound from the pool. A waterslide, diving boards, and lap swim area are fun and refreshing with a beautiful view of the Sound.

The Seattle area has dozens of options for swimming, sunbathing, beaches, and water sports. If you’d like to get away from the city, look into the surrounding State and National Parks. The Cascades have stunning mountain lakes carved by glaciers, and if you’d like warmer water, many Washingtonians head over to Eastern Washington for a dry, desert climate.

Enjoy, stay safe and have a great summer!

 

Summer Music Events In and Around Seattle 2019

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Renton, Sammamish Plateau, Seattle, Washington | Posted: July 16, 2019

If you’re new to the Seattle you’ll quickly learn that Summers in Seattle can be enchanting with their perfect weather and long summer days. If you’re looking for things to do around Seattle there are dozens of parks in and around the city that have big and small concert series that you can check out. Or depending on your new neighborhood you can stick around and walk with a blanket and a pair of flip flops to your favorite park. The summertime is festival season and anything goes, and the best part is that most most summertime events are child-friendly.

Marymoor Concert Series from July 14, – September 8, a jam-packed musical summer is about to begin at Marymoor with 13 bands playing; Cake, Slightly Stoopid, Death Cab for Cutie and Lionel Richie are just a few of the big names gearing up for a summer in Seattle. Kids aren’t left out of this concert series line up, Nickelodeon’s Jojo Siwa will be performing for the littles on August 18.

Jam Fest July 18, from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. a full music fest with musicians peppered throughout the alleys and walkways will be playing throughout historic Chinatown Seattle. This area has a long and interesting history. Jam Fest is a great excuse to get out and experience the street scene, food and of course the variety of music. Come out for the tenth year in a row of Jam Fest and enter with only a suggested donation.

Darrington Bluegrass Festival July 19, – 21, if you love Bluegrass, it’s worth your time to take a lovely drive North to the incredibly beautiful town of Darrington. It’s a small town in the foothills with an unbelievable Cascade mountain backdrop framing every portrait for two and a half full days of bluegrass bands. This festival has been celebrated every year since the 1950s. Visitors camp out on the grounds for an around the clock weekend celebration.

Capitol Hill Block Party July 19, – 21, join thousands of others to enjoy a packed line up of over 100 local and international bands playing day and night on East Pike Street, 10th, 11th and 12th Avenue This is the block party to end all block parties.

Zoo Tunes, from country music to 80’s rock, to Feist, check the Woodland Park calendar for dates. Shows play randomly throughout the week from July 21, – August 28, you and the animals can enjoy live music at the zoo. Buy tickets now; bands are selling out quickly. Proceeds go to fund conservation, animal care, and education.

Downtown Summer Sounds runs almost daily from July through August and could possibly be the most exciting of all the concert series. You might happen upon any of the concerts at any given time. The shows are free and unassuming, and they pop up regularly throughout downtown at parks across Seattle. Check the busy schedule all over the city. Seattle gets back to its musical roots as a city of local expression, and earthy love for the arts during this phenomenal concert series that is sure to surprise locals and visitors. Make sure to check the full line up and don’t miss a minute, bring your kids, dogs, and picnics so you can sit and stay a while.

Free Summer Concerts at the Locks, music is so prominent in Seattle that even the Army gets involved. June through September free, live music concerts are held on the lock’s grounds. Big brass, orchestras, and jazz bands play free on the green. Bring some snacks and get classy.

Concerts at Seattle Center Every Friday throughout August families and singles can appreciate shows located at the mural at the Seattle Center. Each Friday three bands play starting at 5:30 p.m. with free entry on a first come, first serve basis. Bring the kids, food trucks will be onsite, but there are no queues for a picnic.

South Lake Union Block Party August 9, this is a fun, well-rounded event for all ages for a good cause. Local businesses get involved with art, food, and of course live music. All the proceeds go to job training for the homeless.

North City Jazz Walk August 13, head up North to Shoreline for eleven jazz bands playing in businesses all over town, a church, a door store, an animal hospital, tap houses, and the water district are just a few of the venues. Several are open to the public. Street food and noshes are available at most of the sites.

Bumbershoot from August 30 – September 1, on Labor Day weekend, Bumbershoot is an iconic Seattle festival and is a celebration of art, music, comedy and so much more. It’s an institution that’s been going on in Seattle for almost 50 years with dozens of artists. Check out the line-up and be sure to buy your tickets early, people come from far and wide every year to catch this festival.

No matter where you go, the common theme in Western Washington is to get outside. Bring out the family and enjoy art, culture, and the great outdoors. Happy Summer!

The Fourth of July Seattle Style

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle, Renton, Seattle | Posted: July 1, 2019

The Fourth of July is one of the best American holidays. This celebration of freedom couldn’t come at a better time of the year. The beginning of July in the Pacific Northwest already feels like a frenzy of freedom, the days are long, the sun is out, and the temperatures rise to a scorching 80 degrees. Fire up the kayaks and paddle boards and hit the lakes, it’s time to celebrate!

Firework displays explode in the sky all over the Puget Sound on the Fourth, so if you don’t want to brave the crowds at Lake Union, you have loads of other options. A bonus is that almost all of them are free to enter and you can bring a picnic, don’t forget the sunscreen. Most cities in King County ban fireworks, but if you’re interested in setting them off yourself check here for individual city codes and restrictions, here for an all-encompassing list of laws and regulations.

Uncorked Canvas in West Seattle, on July 3, kick off Independence Day Eve by grabbing a few friends and heading West to Uncorked Canvas. You can create your own fireworks explosions above the Space Needle. These you’ll be able to keep forever on canvas while you feed your inner artist. Maybe you’ll decide that you love painting, and this is just the beginning. Sign up soon; spaces are limited.

Seafair Summer 4th at Gasworks Park 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. & South Lake Union Park, 3:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Join thousands of other firework revelers for a show that was voted one of the best in the country, starting at 10:00 p.m. It’s the largest festival in Seattle every year. Check the link for the complete schedule of events; both parks will have live music, food, and beer gardens all day. Come ready to hang out on the grass with incredible views on the lake.

Bellevue Family Fourth located at the Bellevue Connection, this event is kicking off bright and early at 9:00 a.m. with a fun, Four on the 4th 4k dog and human walk or jog. After the event stick around for a doggie costume contest. Bouncy houses, children’s activities, food and live music and fireworks starting at 10:00 p.m. the Bellevue Youth Symphony orchestra will serenade crowds throughout the show and after for a post-show set.

4th of July Seatac at Angle Lake Park, swimming is open for the fourth this year, a spray park, kids bounce houses and live music starts at 1:00 p.m. and runs all day long until the fireworks start at 10:00 p.m.

4th of July Renton located at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, events begin at 8:00 a.m. for an all-day sand volleyball tournament. Kid’s activity zones, live music, and an onstage dance performance will entertain guests for over 12 hours of fun culminating in a 10:00 p.m. fireworks show for almost a full half hour.

An Edmonds kind of Fourth, kick off the day with a 5k or 1k family-friendly fun run/ walk and chase (a pretend) George Bracket, the founder of Edmonds through the streets. He’ll be the one with the big white beard. A competition scheduled after the run will have a winner for the best 4th of July costume.

Stay for a children’s and family parade, a beard and mustache contest with natural and anything goes category for anyone to participate, even if you can’t naturally grow a beard or mustache. The fireworks show will begin at 10:00 p.m.

Fourth on the Lake in Newcastle at Lake Boren Park, a low key, Newcastle type party begins at 6:00 p.m. the park will fill up with food vendors and residents. Pyrotechnicians will be onstage to answer all of your burning questions, starting at 6:30 p.m. The question and answer session will be followed by live music at 8:00 and fireworks at 10:00 p.m.

*A caring reminder; firework explosions are scary for your sweet furry friends, and more dogs and cats go missing during the 4th of July than any other day.

Keep pets closed up in an interior room or basement. A crate is a perfect space to put your dog or cat with lots of soft padding inside, drape blankets outside to absorb the noise with space for air. Set the crate in a cool back corner or basement, a fan, and radio in the background will help to drown out the booms and keep the air circulating and your pet cool.

Add your dog or cat’s favorite toy and treats, something to keep them occupied and distracted. Kongs stuffed with peanut butter, and dog treat puzzles are great to keep their minds off the noise. Lastly, thundershirts come recommended by vets, especially for dogs and cats with anxiety; it’s like a tight, secure hug that helps animals feel safe and calm.

Happy Fourth of July to you, your families and your furry friends!

 

8 Seattle and Renton Art Street Fairs You Don’t Want to Miss This Summer

Categories: American Classic News, Events, Lifestyle, Renton, Seattle | Posted: June 19, 2019

The sun is shining, and city calendars are overflowing with activities. Farmer’s markets, festivals, parades, and beer gardens are brimming all over the Seattle area.

There is so much to celebrate, blue skies, perfect weather, a sparkling Lake Washington and a market filled with creative, talented makers from around the country. Pull on your favorite summer outfit, grab some friends, and peruse the artsy side of the city.

 

Seattle:

  • Celebrate the First Thursday of every month except July in Occidental Square. Located just inland off of Pier 48 in where the ivy hangs thickly off of red brick buildings and the cruise ships drop thousands of passengers off flooding the streets with happy travelers. This lovely outdoor square is covered with overarching London Plane trees creating a beautiful shaded canopy overhead. Concrete ping pong tables will keep your kids happy while you shop. Every First Thursday from April through October except for in July, 55 of Seattle’s artisans set up booths here from 12-9:00 p.m., it has an atmosphere like a European market under the trees.
  • Art on the Rocks at the Bar Shoppe and Lounge is a neighboring event, and it’s also on the First Thursday of every month. Hit up the market then wander over to Art on the Rocks in Pioneer Square. They house a monthly art show with local artists who set up across three rooms inside the bar. You can enjoy craft cocktails and a DJ with no cover charge. If you haven’t yet discovered this venue you should give it a shot, it’s really cool. The bartenders are masters at their craft and are happy to customize drinks on the spot with only your preferences to go off. Take a look at their Facebook page; they’re beverage artists.
  • The Full Moon Market June 8 & 9, July 20 & 21, August 24 & 25, September 21 & 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you like modern jewelry, bohemian designs and clean, trendy looks this market is for you. Located in the Stumptown Coffee Roasters building downtown, a team of Pacific Northwest makers creates a fresh exchange of products that look like they leaped off a modern, stylish Pinterest board.
  • The SODO Flea Market located at the Epic Antique parking lot at 3701 7th Ave South takes place the second and last Saturdays of every month. Enjoy free parking at this event where you’ll find vintage and antique furniture from stylish local vendors. The SODO Flea Market was recognized as one of the best flea markets in the country. Don’t be fooled by the title; they house vendors selling more than the typical flea market finds. You’ll find products here like, handmade jewelry, dyed textiles, ceramics, vintage clothing, housewares, and even fresh cut flowers. Food and coffee trucks will keep you fueled up for the hunt.
  • Urban Craft Uprising 2019 Summer Show on June 22 & 23, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is one of Seattle’s largest craft shows, it’s held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. People line up around the block to be one of the first ones in for this event. The whole family is welcome. Hopefully, you’ll leave with ambitions and creative ideas flooding your head for potential projects.
  • Urban Craft Market and The Seattle Street Food Festival held on July 6 & 7, Fourth of July weekend, a marriage of two of the best festivals ever have combined forces to drain your pocketbook and make your home awesome. A massive celebration of makers, artists, and chefs are working together to create this fabulous downtown festival located at 217 9th Avenue in Seattle. Bring the family; there will be something here for everyone.

 

Renton:

  • Rummage Sale July 20, from 3-9:00 p.m. Located at the Renton Pavilion Event Center. Come treasure hunt to find that perfect something you’ve been looking for to complete your home décor or a rare vintage cameo necklace. You never know what to expect at this annual event. The best part is, it doesn’t start until three o’clock in the afternoon. For those of you who never make it to early morning garage sales, this one’s for you.
  • Summerfest July 20, in the Piazza Park, Renton is celebrating summer alongside the Rummage Sale. Live music, an art exhibit, and food trucks will be open for business downtown. A beer garden will keep the adults happy, and the evening will end with an open-air movie in the park.

 

Meeting so many artists and crafters might inspire you to create something wonderful. Come and visit If not for the artists, for the food trucks, culinary inspiration is great too.

Seattle Area Running Races

Categories: American Classic News, Events, Lifestyle | Posted: June 6, 2019

This summer, challenge yourself to do something new, run a race with hundreds of others under the cool canopy of evergreens. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or new to the game, there are hundreds of competitions around the beautiful State of Washington this summer. Signing up for one will keep you on your toes and help you commit to a running plan.

For some, running is very addictive. The feeling of kicking off your dress shoes and lacing up your sneakers can be cathartic and feel amazing after a day of wearing work clothes. Plug in your earbuds and hit the trails. What happens next is euphoria. The workday stress melts away, and the daily commute disappears as you commune with the forest floor.

Pine needles crunch and soft summer breeze fill your nose. If you aren’t already a runner, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start years ago. The Pacific Northwest is a haven for runners, hundreds of miles of trails lace through towns and forests in all directions. A great way to start or continue running is to pick a race, every one of them has incredible greenery and beautiful forests towering overhead. Register early, the best ones go first.

It’s not too late to start the Summer Trail Run Series, every other Tuesday from May through August you can join a run with distances from 4k to 10k with different locations in Bellevue, Seattle, Redmond and Kenmore, each in a different park. Choose to run only one or make it an every other Tuesday tradition and run several. Your scores and times will be recorded so you can challenge yourself to beat your previous time with two weeks in between for training.

If you go often enough, you’ll meet other runners and discover new jogging spots along the way. At the end of each race, your hard work pays off with a cookout, veggie and pork hotdogs, and watermelon for dinner on these sunny summer evenings. Register now, if you’re ready to commit, there’s a discount for multiple races.

Taylor Mountain Trail Run, June 22, located halfway between Renton and Issaquah this trail goes right through the heart of the mountains. A 12.8-mile loop with a slow 1,900-foot ascent. Sign up for a half or full marathon through the beautiful Issaquah Alps. It can be steep in stretches and starts with a river crossing where you’ll get wet and cool off at the start.

Sunshine Salutation is one of the Summer Trail Run Series located at the Redmond Watershed June 25, at 6:30 p.m. choose to run 5 or 10 miles after work during the Eastside edition of the trail to grill run series. Take this course through the stunning Redmond Watershed, famous for soft, wide read: easy to pass, trails.

Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series #3 in Newcastle on July 13, join in on a 5k, 10.8- or 19.5-mile run benefiting King County Parks. Give back to a good cause for hundreds of runners who utilize their trail systems every day.

The Capitol One Torchlight Run in downtown Seattle on July 27. If you’re not a fan of trail runs choose the torchlight, it’s a 5 or 8k run through downtown and across the piers during the famous and historic Seafair festival covering a variety of events over ten weeks of celebrations.

Tiger Peak Challenge August 3, sign up for a half, full or 50 kilometers (31 miles) run through 13,745 acres of Tiger Mountain Park. The race covers two out of three mountain peaks at the park and finishes with flat trails to help you recharge while finishing strong.

Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series #4 in Newcastle on August 10, top your last time and distance from the Trail Series #3 during this race you’ll get another shot at the same trails during this 5k, 14.5- or 26.2-mile run through Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.

Summer Blast at Redmond Watershed located in Redmond on August 17, only fifteen minutes North of Sammamish you can choose between 5 miles, 10 miles, half or full marathons to run in this lush, green, forested race.

Middle Fork Trail Run in North Bend on September 7, Just a quick 30-minute drive east from Sammamish and Renton. Choose a race of 10k, half marathon, 22 miles or a 50k. During the competition, you’ll follow the river valleys up and down through sloping valleys and mountain slopes with river views, through forests and incredible cliffs. Find detailed course descriptions on the website.

Run with the Kokanee at Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah on October 12. Run a short 5 or 10k race that’ll benefit recovery work for the Kokanee salmon living in the lake.

Enjoy the outdoors with a run, take note of how you feel before and after you begin running, for many, they sleep better, eat healthier, and are naturally happier. If you surround yourself with like-minded healthy trail runners, you may end up with a whole new community of friends in your new city.

Sharing the Excitement of Your New Home’s Construction on Social Media

Categories: Home Owner Tips, Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: May 15, 2019

Social media is a big part of all our lives. Most of us use Facebook to stay connected to friends and family in different cities (or even countries!). And Instagram has let us take part in other peoples’ lives, whether it’s a new addition to their family, a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or just day-to-day living.

These platforms are outlets for us to share big, exciting news with the people we love and care about. What could be bigger or more exciting than building a new home? Not only can you use these platforms to share the news – you’re building a home! – but you can take people along for the ride. Here are a few ways you can document and share your new home journey through social media.

Keep Your Friends & Family Updated

Use social media to document the home building process and give your friends and family updates on the process. Let them celebrate each milestone with you, even if they are hundreds of miles away. Regularly post updates and share photos of your new home as it’s being constructed.

They’re sure to offer words of encouragement and love, sharing in your excitement and joy each step along the way.

Reach Out to Your Followers for Style Input

As you know, there are a million decisions that go into building a new home. Like paint colors, flooring, kitchen cabinets and countertops, and so much more. While there are a lot of places to find inspiration, why not turn to your friends or family for ideas?

You could post photos of different rooms and ask for decorating advice or input. If you have particularly stylish friends or family, maybe reach out to them directly by tagging them in the photo. It’s a fun way to get people involved in the process and let people see the progress you’re making.

Create Photo Memories of Your Building Journey

Social platforms like Facebook make it super easy to create digital photo albums. By posting images of your new home in an album, you can both share it with your followers and keep a record of it for yourself. Years down the road, when you’re happily living in your new home, you will appreciate being able to look back at the process.

You’re going to be so busy in the next few months; you’ll hardly have time to really appreciate how amazing it is to build a home! Luckily, you can revisit these digital albums again and again to relive the journey.

Social media platforms are great for sharing updates and photos during your home building journey. Share learning moments and excitement with friends and family. Even better, each time you post you’re building digital photo albums you can revisit years from now.

How Seattle Celebrate Memorial Day 2019

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle, Washington | Posted: May 15, 2019

There’s nothing more exciting than Memorial Day in Seattle! The unofficial opening day of summer and a time to celebrate our freedom by remembering those who fought for it.

No matter how you’d like to spend the holiday, you don’t need to go far for museums, beach days, parks, shopping, or hiking. Try to put away your home projects and forget about work this weekend. It’s time to enjoy the sunshine and the beautiful State you call home. Celebrate like a Washingtonian and pull out the bicycle, fire up the grill and throw on a salmon or two. Living this close to the open water has its benefits.

Blue Star Museums is a program opening up on Memorial Day for active duty families granting them free access to participating museums all summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. 27 Museums all over the Seattle and Tacoma area participate in the program. Art, history and children’s museums participate. There’s something for every age and interest level to enjoy with this fantastic service member benefit.

The Museum of Flight located in South Seattle, just below the Boeing Airfield, will be celebrating Memorial Day with live music by the Boeing Employee Concert Band and a special ceremony. Memorial Day is the grand opening of a brand-new Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park with a B-52G Stratofortress plane as the main focal point and a memorial statue and tribute wall. Guest speakers and jet flyovers will celebrate this momentous event. Veterans and active duty military are allowed free entry.

48th Annual Northwest Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center, this is a free festival located on the Space Needle grounds. It’s an anything-goes kind of festival, and there’s a market place full of goods from all over the world, street performers, musical instrument workshops, 20 stages and 5,000 entertainers and performers, food stands and lots of hippies. It’s a love it or hate it kind of a place, so if you don’t like crowds of smelly strangers, you might want to avoid it. But, if you’re up for an adventure, you’d like to meet interesting folks, enjoy excellent entertainment and unique food you’ll love it.

Newcastle Beach Park, bring a blanket and spend the day in this 29-acre green space. A lovely swimming area is roped off in Lake Washington keeping the space wake free for your little ones to swim safely. Take a walk on the trail or steak out a spot on the dock. A play structure will keep the kids busy, and public grills are available for lunch so you can spend the whole day enjoying the views in the great outdoors.

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is one of the most popular beach parks in Renton. It’s a large, 57-acre space with views of Mount Rainer. Gene Coulon is situated on Lake Washington with a large playground, a boat launch, trail, barbeque grills, and a swimming area. Come early especially on Memorial Day weekend, it will be busy, and parking can be tricky. A strict no-dog policy is in play here with hefty fines if you’re caught with one in the park. If you don’t have time to plan a picnic, no worries, Ivar’s Seafood and Kidd Valley burger both have locations in the park.

Sammamish Landing Park is an eight-acre park on Lake Sammamish. Three beaches are favorite spots to soak in the sunshine. This is the only public access point on Lake Sammamish and can be busy, so come early and stay for the day. For a different change of pace on Memorial Day head over to Pier 59 downtown. There are more than enough activities to keep the whole family happy for the day.

The Seattle Aquarium will be hosting a Family Science Weekend. Shows, exhibits and educational opportunities are offered all weekend. You’ll have the chance to explore the sea life living in the Puget Sound. After the aquarium, you can enjoy dinner on Elliot Bay at one of the dozens of eateries with water views. Ride the Ferris Wheel overlooking the city and the Bay and wander along the waterfront while taking in the sounds of the city. There is more than enough to keep the family busy here for a weekend.

Follow the Orca Network and find whales. The Orca Network is a public group where anyone who spots whales of any kind (not only orcas) will post their findings, the time and location. If you watch closely, you could use this information to chase and spot whales of your own. You may be required to hop a ferry to find them, leading to a day of adventure and warm family memories.

There are dozens of ways to celebrate this Memorial Day. The most important thing is to leave your to-do lists behind and revel in your freedom.

How to Pamper Your Favorite Lady this Mother’s Day in Seattle

Categories: Lifestyle | Posted: May 7, 2019

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and it’s time to plan. Why not make an entire day of it? Traditionally the holiday primarily means brunch, but this year you can wow her by thinking outside the brunch menu. Show mom how much you love her by taking the entire day to entertain and pamper her every whim. You know your lady best, whether it’s your mother or the mother of your kids. Think about her love language and do what you know will matter to her most.

A picnic by the lake is a fantastic way to start the day. Let her sleep in, while you pack a simple morning picnic. Cut up fruit, croissants and coffee are perfect. Pack up the kids, balls, a blanket, or other activities to keep them busy. The two of you can enjoy a pleasant morning sitting on a blanket in the grass shaking off the winter and gazing at the sparkling waters of Lake Washington or Sammamish.

Spend the afternoon on a family gathering, or give her some time for her favorite activity, biking, hiking, a spa day or kid-free time with friends. You know your lady best if she loves to read, but never has time anymore take the kids to the park and give her two lavish hours on the window seat in the sunshine. For a mother, time for a nap, gardening, painting, running, whatever makes her tick is the best gift of all. Nothing is sweeter than having a little bit of yourself back for a woman who’s swallowed up in the day to day highs and lows of motherhood.

Some ideas around town:

  • If you live in Renton jump on the freeway South to Tacoma for the day. It’s an easy half hour drive. Head to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. They’re offering a special, half price for mom’s all day so you get two experiences lumped together in one. You can visit polar bears and sharks in the same place and the kids will have a blast.
  • Head East about 40 minutes’ drive from Renton, Sammamish and Newcastle to the beautiful Cedar River Watershed on Rattlesnake Lake. Guides will be teaching about animal mothers who live in this incredible place. A little museum with art installations is informative and interactive. Views from Rattle Snake Ledge and walks around the lake are worth coming for. Several hikes branch off from this location, bring sandwiches and make a day of it.
  • The Bellevue Botanical Gardens is open for free this Mother’s Day, flowers and trees will be in full bloom. A schedule of events includes artists painting throughout the garden, live music, a reopening of the Native Discovery Garden, tours and a ballroom dancing demonstration. This popular event is terrific for any age, and a wheelchair can navigate most trails.
  • It’s the World Bonsai Day at the Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way just twenty minutes South of Renton. During Mother’s Day, the museum’s bonsai trees are blooming, and they open up the doors to share the beauty for free. It’s packed with exhibits on the weekend, poetry readings, bonsai making demonstrations, food trucks and card making stations for the kids. Celebrate the art and patients of bonsai growing. This ancient art takes years to grow and develop the delicate branches and tiny root systems.
  • Head East thirty minutes to Snoqualmie to the Northwest Railway Museum, buy your ticket first, all of the tickets are pay at the window, so make sure you head out early to get a seat. While you’re waiting for your train, you can tour around the charming little Snoqualmie village. This is a popular excursion, and you’ll find out why. Trains take you on a 70-minute scenic ride chugging from Snoqualmie to North Bend and past Snoqualmie Falls. Trains run at 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
  • Take mom out for a dinner to remember at the Calcutta Grill in Newcastle. This place is stunning, and there’s no better way to show a woman that you love her than to bring her to an outstanding, fine dining dinner. Watch the sunset with an incredible view of Seattle from above with a rolling green golf course stretching out between you and the skyline.

Spring Beer Festivals and Wine Tastings Abound in and Around Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Lifestyle | Posted: April 29, 2019

When it comes to wine and beer, the creativity of Washington’s residents shine. The craft beer and local wine grower scene here are off the charts, and the rest of the country has taken notice. Washington recently brought home 17 medals in the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, one of the biggest, most prestigious beer competitions in the country. Internationally at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards Washington won 39 awards and accolades.

The wine and beer world in America has changed immensely within the last few years with the explosions of small-batch brewers and thousands of propagated acres across Eastern Washington. It was all started by happenstance because of the devastating drought in California. Vintners moved north in search of wetter pastures finding a gold mine of inexpensive, vitamin-rich, rocky soil that mimics much of the old-world wine regions of Europe.

Not only do we have grapes, but the Yakima valley grows 75% of the country’s hops. They come in handy in a State with the second largest number of breweries in the country. Move over California; there’s a new region shaking things up. Breweries and tasting events have popped up all over Washington for the last few years. You can happily keep your carbon footprint small by drinking local and still enjoy some of the best beer and wine in the country.

Bacon and Beer Classic Saturday, May 4, located at the T-Mobile ballpark in Seattle. Get your fill of bacon at this annual event. Try bacon-themed snacks from 23 participating restaurants and beer from 50 breweries attending this gigantic event. If you enjoy eating while you party, you’re welcome to join in on the bacon eating contest sponsored by who else but Hormel, the bacon people. A range of tickets are available for purchase from $69 – $125. All tickets include an unlimited number of beer tasters, bacon sampling, and the opportunity to have a fantastic day in the stadium with hundreds of new friends

Downtown Issaquah Wine and Art Walk Saturday, May 4, located in Issaquah, come for wine tasting, art, and live music. Participants are encouraged to bring their own tasting glasses and you can shop while you drink!

Seattle Beer Week May 9 – 19, This is an enormous event located in multiple locations from North to South Seattle. All week beer and food pairings will be offered throughout the city. Check the map and calendar to find out which locations are participating. A full roster of events are happening every day, bocce tournaments, beer tastings, beer and brunch, Beer-B-Q, trivia, chefs menus, discounts, release parties, pine box beer can derby, mother’s day events, even a Bothell block party. You can vote in a number of competitions between German and Seattle Beers, not sure if they know they’re competing. Participate in coffee infused beer and donut pairings, and you can even drink beer and hold a bunny! This week can’t get any better. Don’t miss the ridiculousness.

Pours In Stores Saturday, May 18, located in Issaquah at the Grand Ridge Plaza. Shop and sip while tasting wine and ginger beer and enjoying live music.

Jet City Rosé Saturday, June 1, located at the Charles Smith Winery Jet City hanger. For those of you rosé lovers who feel like you’re left behind by the celebrated reds of the wine tasting world, this one’s for you. Back for the third year in a row, this event has sold out the previous two years. Buy your tickets early. Three live bands, food trucks and 25 of the top rosé cellars in the country will be there to savor.

Renton Wine Walk on Friday, June 7, located in downtown Renton. You’ll have the opportunity to wander through downtown businesses while sampling wine and getting to know your neighbors.

Washington Brewers Festival is on June 14 – 16 in Redmond. Taking place Father’s Day weekend, this gigantic beer festival will make your honey happy. Located at Marymoor Park, come taste over 500 Washington beers with live music and 20 food trucks. There will be entertainment for the kids at this all ages festival, a root beer garden, bounce houses, and balloon animals will keep the little ones happy while you grab a drink.

Viva la Vino! Showcase of Spanish-Style Washington Wines Tuesday, June 18, located downtown at the World Trade Center Seattle. If you love a dark, bold Spanish Tempranillo, you’ll fancy this event. A celebration of Spanish varietals that grow beautifully in the rocky dry soil of Eastern Washington. The soil has a similar mineral composition to Spain creating comparable styles and varietals at your fingertips.

Seattle International Beerfest July 12 – 14, located at the Fisher Pavilion at the Seattle Center.  This Beerfest has been going strong for 17 years. It’s located on the green where there is enough space for 1,000 visitors, bring your blankets and sunscreen.

Choose from beer gardens, live music, food trucks, and hundreds of beers imported from all over the world. The entry fee will buy you a tasting glass and wrist band. Don’t toss them, they’ll get you back in all weekend to try more beer, dogs are welcome. You’ll have a blast at any brewery or wine tasting room you choose, it’s inevitable, bring good friends and enjoy the fabulous Pacific Northwest weather all spring and summer long.