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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 -- 8:26 pm
Cloudcroft, NM - 9,000 feet above stress level
The Woodinville Weekly - If things go bump in the night during your stay at The Lodge Resort & Spa, not to worry. It's most likely Rebecca, the friendly and mischievous ghost that wanders the hall of this historic hotel in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. She's a popular legend in these parts, whose tale is one of passion, betrayal and unrequited love. A beautiful young chambermaid with striking blue eyes and long red tresses, Rebecca mysteriously disappeared from her quarters after her jealous and enraged lumberjack boyfriend found her in the arms of another. That was a century ago, yet there are those who vow that Rebecca's spirit is still present in the hotel today. Some have seen her apparition in mirrors; others note such unexplained incidents as ashtrays sliding across tables unassisted, doors opening and closing for no apparent reason, lights turning on and off by themselves and even fires that have spontaneously ignited in the lobby fireplace. Over the years, both guests and employees attribute these odd happenings to Rebecca's ghost, who many believe is in search of a new lover or friend who might appreciate her playful and flirtatious nature. Rebecca is not the only famous person attributed to The Lodge. Among the notables who have stayed at this grand dame of a property include Judy Garland, Clark Gable, Pancho Villa and every New Mexico governor since 1901. Originally built in 1899 as a residential hotel for timber cutters working for the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway, the property opened to the public in 1906 and became known as the "Queen of the Mountain." It was subsequently destroyed by fired and rebuilt five years later at its current location, where it has since been in business as an upscale, mountaintop lodge, complete with its own observation tower. Though the property has been refurbished inside and out, it still retains its historical bones and is a testament to a bygone era. Old photos, newspaper clippings and various factoids line the walls, giving visitors a snapshot of the hotel's storied past. Each of the resort's 47 rooms are decorated with a unique Victorian flair. There are several types of accommodations, including romantic Parlor Suites, family-friendly Guest Rooms and even a Honeymoon Suite that's a treat for lovers of all ages. And of course, there's the famed Governor's Suite, fit for royalty with its four-poster bed, intimate sitting area and elegant foyer. Nearby, the Lodge also offers its Pavilion Bed & Breakfast Rooms - ten cozy rooms with knotty pine walls that provide rustic, yet quaint quarters. Then there's also The Retreat Suites, which house four private luxury suites that share a common area with kitchen and conference facilities, making it the ideal setting for small company meetings or family reunions. A massive copper fireplace is the focal point of The Lodge's spacious lobby. Folks often congregate here in the evening before or after eating a sumptuous meal in the hotel's restaurant, which is named in honor Read more...
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 -- 11:51 am
Bothell struck twice by racist vandalism last week
The Woodinville Weekly - On the morning of Feb. 15, two similar incidents of vandalism were reported in Bothell. The outside wall of the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center had been graffitied with a swastika and the words "GET OUT." At Skyview Junior High School, graffiti was discovered on the exterior of buildings showing a swastika and reading "Muslims get out" and "Muslims be gone." Read more...
Thursday, January 22, 2015 -- 8:18 pm
Antarctica - Beyond Expectations
The Woodinville Weekly - I didn't think the day could get any better as we witnessed a pod of magnificent Orcas gliding by our ship along with dozens of Painted Petrels riding the waves amid ice sculptures that could have been made by the likes of Michelangelo himself. But, it did as soon as we stepped foot on land and were greeted by a welcome committee of thousands of Adelie penguins dressed in their finest tuxes. The creatures paraded all around us as they headed to and from their nests on the rocks to the sea on a well-trafficked path, commonly referred to as the "penguin highway." Most waddled in perfect linear formation, one after another, though occasionally a few would opt to slide down the hills in an effort to take a short cut to their destination. Consummate entertainers, they provided endless amusement and Kodak moments for their enthralled human audience. Read more...
Monday, December 22, 2014 -- 5:12 pm
The arts and crafts heritage is alive and well in the Smokies
The Woodinville Weekly - It takes Pastor Jimmy Morrow about three hours to make one of his famous kudzu baskets. Watching him wind this tough and stringy plant's vine over and around countless times is a hypnotic experience. Listening to him tell tales of Appalachia, on the other hand, is an insightful journey into one of the most fascinating regions in our country. Morrow is a multitalented man - an author, historian, artisan and snake-handling pastor - who is a well-known figure in the Smoky Mountains. His family dates back to the Civil War era with roots in Morgan Gap, deep in the heart of East Tennessee. Pastor Morrow's primitive art paintings tell both historical and religious stories, and his folk art dolls of corn husk are portrayed as characters within these accounts. He's one of many residents in the Smokies doing their part to keep the Appalachian arts and crafts heritage alive. Read more...
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 -- 4:11 pm
Making family memories in the Smokies is easy as pie (pecan, preferred!)
The Woodinville Weekly - It's impossible not to have fun in Gatlinburg. Activities abound in this quaint Tennessee town, as well as in its neighboring burgs, from a variety of thrilling outdoor adventures to an array of exciting indoor attractions. And lest we not forget, Gatlinburg is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most unique and special wilderness areas in the country. With its extensive lodging, dining, shopping and other services available, the city is the ideal host community for many of the park's millions of annual visitors. Read more...
Monday, November 3, 2014 -- 11:48 pm
Tigers and monkeys and mongoose, oh my!
The Woodinville Weekly - Svelte and graceful, the lithe tigress made her way through the tall grass, her movements barely making a whisper. She had come to check on her three cubs, who were playfully engaged in some sort of comical roll-over game with one another. As soon as her presence registered, however, the cubs stopped their antics and began to dutifully follow their mother. We watched in awe and wonderment as this elegant creature in all her glorious stripes crossed the road in front of our safari jeep. Though we knew the tigress was fully aware of us, she never glanced our away, preferring to remain aloof and distant. The cubs trailed after their mother, one at a time, closely adhering to her path. Two of the trio made it to the other side; the third became wary and then balked, choosing to retreat back into the grass. It only took a moment before the tigress realized the situation and quickly headed back over the road to retrieve her skittish young'un. It was a privileged moment for our group and we reveled in the good fortune and timing that had allowed us to witness this amazing scene at Ranthambore National Park in northern India. Read more...
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 -- 6:16 pm
Bern is a city of superlatives
The Woodinville Weekly - If there were a beauty pageant for European capitals, Bern would get the crown. This well-known Swiss city oozes with cosmopolitan charm, history and culture, and consistently gets high marks from visitors. They extol its accessibility, unique attractions and impressive Alpine views, as well as its ample shopping and dining options. Read more...
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 -- 4:01 pm
You don't have to be a celeb to enjoy the star-studded Swiss cities of Lausanne and Montreux
The Woodinville Weekly - It's hard to imagine what a noted British poet, a famous film actor, a celebrated French fashion designer and the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen could possibly have in common. Yet, each of them - Lord Byron, Charlie Chaplin, Coco Chanel and Freddie Mercury - all resided, at one point in their lives, in and around the French-speaking region of Lausanne and Montreux, Switzerland. After visiting this vibrant and alluring locale, I understood why these celebs and others have chosen to call it home. Read more...
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 -- 3:02 pm
Searching for Mrs. Conda; first name, Ana
The Woodinville Weekly - I was a woman on a mission when I set out on my Peruvian Amazon riverboat adventure with International Expeditions. Like most of my fellow passengers, visiting the Amazon was a bucket-list destination, one that promised to be a significant and momentous travel experience. My objective was to learn firsthand about this unique environment and its diverse wildlife, as well as about the people who inhabit its lush and verdant rainforests. I had another goal, though, which was to see an Anaconda snake. Odd, I admit, but for some reason, this creature has always held a curious allure for me, after having heard tales of its almost mythical proportions and surreptitious existence. In the wild, an Anaconda spends most of its time hanging out in rivers hunting for food. A solitary snake, it is somewhat shy and not easily seen due to being camouflaged in the swamps and bogs in which it thrives. The Amazon is the Anaconda's home and I knew this trip represented the best opportunity for me to finally come eye-to-eye with this storied reptile. Read more...
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 -- 2:25 pm
EverGreen Escapes Finances New "Adventure Hub" for the Community, by the Community
The Woodinville Weekly -  EverGreen Escapes has been exploring and sharing the Pacific Northwest and other experiential destinations around the planet since 2006. After years of engaging and consulting "escapists" in a conference room or at a local coffee shop, they have decided to create an innovative "Adventure Hub," a place where travelers can congregate, educate, learn, share, network, and plan extraordinary adventures in their own backyard and beyond. The company is financing this new and innovative take on the traditional travel agency or store with the help ofCommunity Sourced Capital, a local finance company that helps small businesses borrow money directly from people in their own community. "Our appreciation for the power of travel goes beyond just running a profitable business, we are a purpose-driven group of travel professionals that take an immense amount of pride in designing and providing transformational travel experiences," says Jake Haupert, Founder of EverGreen Escapes.  "It is with this very fervor that this vision was born and it is with this inspiration that we'd like to create a space where visitors and local explorers alike come in, engage, find inspiration and take the first step in creating their next travel story.  In our 'hub,' we'd like to invite curious and responsible explorers to come in, hang out, have a glass of Washington wine and rub shoulders with our Escape Artists in a more organic and authentic way."   In addition to the on-site EverGreen Escapes staff, the Adventure Hub will be a place where other members of the travel industry collaborate with each other, dream up new itineraries and engage with the community through educational events, guest speakers, destination roadshows, workshops, and evening soirees like the "Escape Your Everyday" Adventure Travel Series.  The Adventure Hub will welcome locals to come in and learn about global exploration as well as local opportunities, while visitors to Seattle can come in and see what Cascadia has to offer!  Community Sourced Capital's innovative concept makes it easy for anyone to participate in financing this local "Adventure Hub" by investing in a "Square." Squares can be purchased for $50 per unit, thus opening up this low-risk, feel-good opportunity to our community of ambassadors, past escapists, and other individuals who connect with the experience of travel. "Squares themselves are simple loans and they act like this: you put $50 in and you get $50 out. It's not an investment, it's not a donation, it's a right-sized mechanism for moving money to a business in your community while still getting paid back," says Casey Dilloway, one of CSC's co-founders. Community Sourced Capital aggregates hundreds of Squares into a single loan for EverGreen Escapes and manages repayments and monthly updates back to their "Squareholders". Instead of charging interest on loans, CSC charges flat fees to businesses using its lending system. " Read more...
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 -- 2:42 pm
You'll fall hard for this Texas burg
The Woodinville Weekly - It doesn't take long to realize that there's something special about Fredericksburg. For a small Texas Hill Country town, its attractions are numerous and noteworthy. Visitors have long been attracted to the area due to its picturesque scenery, deep historical roots, outdoor recreation opportunities, eclectic shops, colorful cultural vibe, great food and prolific wine scene. And then, there's the people. You won't find friendlier or more hospitable folks who truly "walk the talk" when it comes to putting out the Willkommen mat to their town. They've even named all of the streets crossing Main to the east so that their first letters spell out "All Welcome," while those to the west spell out, "Come Back." Once you've experienced Fredericksburg, it's easy to understand why visitors return year after year, never tiring of the town's sweet charm and ambiance. Read more...
Thursday, April 10, 2014 -- 2:05 pm
If these walls could talk...
The Woodinville Weekly - Those who make the trip down into Canyon de Chelly in Chinle, AZ will often tell you it is one of the most memorable experiences in their lives. This natural wonder with its mesmerizing scenery and rich history creates a magical milieu that defies description. Read more...
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 -- 7:50 pm
Finally, an all-inclusive resort that lives up to its billing
The Woodinville Weekly - I've never been a fan of all-inclusive resorts. In fact, I've made a point of steering clear of them when it comes to hotel options. Everything about them seems mediocre to subpar, from the ubiquitous buffets overflowing with bland food to the lackadaisical service and the neutral, uninspiring décor. Then there are always massive lines and crowds in the restaurants, bars, and pool areas, making peace and privacy difficult commodities to come by once you leave your room. And though you are under the impression that inclusive means "all," you quickly discover that many of the amenities have additional fees tacked on to them. The final insult, however, is being required to wear the proverbial wristband to identify your connection with the property throughout your stay. Read more...
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 -- 4:05 pm
City Council cuts down to two meetings per month
The Woodinville Weekly - The City Council plans to start meeting only twice per month on a trial basis. The meeting that normally would have been held last week, on the second Tuesday of the month, was canceled.The Council discussed the change at its retreat in February, said Alexandra Sheeks, assistant to the city manager. Council meetings often run longer than expected, with the Council taking a vote after 10 p.m. to decide whether to continue the meeting. The most recent meeting, on March 4, lasted until 11:15 p.m. At three of the seven Council meetings this year, the Council hasn't completed everything on the agenda. Read more...
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 -- 4:04 pm
Business incubator brings three new tech companies to Kenmore
The Woodinville Weekly - In a former apartment, Kenmore has brought three new companies and more than 15 full-time jobs to the city. The apartment is now home to the Kenmore Business Incubator, created by the Kenmore City Council a year ago. Read more...
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 -- 4:00 pm
Help NSD name new high school
The Woodinville Weekly - BOTHELL -- It's time to put on your thinking cap and help Northshore School District name the new comprehensive high school slated to open in the fall of 2017. The 9-12 high school will be built, using funds from the February 2014 bond measure, on a 66-acre parcel of land located off 35th Avenue between 188th and 192nd Streets S.E., directly north and northwest of Fernwood Elementary School. Read more...
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 -- 10:24 am
Camp Unity helps people who 'have fallen through the cracks'
The Woodinville Weekly - In the late 1990s, Gary Burns had a thriving career in print advertising. Unfortunately, he worked for a company that wasn't interested in adapting to the Internet and social media. Around the same time, he started having knee problems that resulted in three surgeries.The company struggled, and Burns was laid off. He went through a long period of unemployment. His insurance ran out. He ended up homeless. Read more...
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 -- 10:22 am
Council discusses changes to Zoning Code
The Woodinville Weekly - Woodinville may eliminate office zones, change the uses allowed in the industrial districts and allow new types of housing. At last week's City Council meeting, consultants for the city suggested changes to the Zoning Code as part of the ongoing process of updating the Comprehensive Plan. The industrial areas, particularly in the northern part of the city, are home to many types of businesses because of the low land prices there. Read more...
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 -- 10:19 am
Sales tax and vehicle fee would fund transit, roads
The Woodinville Weekly - King County will ask voters to approve a $60 vehicle license fee and 0.1 percent sales tax increase to fund transit, roads and other transportation projects. Last month the King County Council created the King County Transportation District, a taxing district that has the authority to generate revenue. An April 22 ballot measure would generate an estimated $130 million, said Al Sanders, communications specialist for the King County Council, from the vehicle license fee and the sales tax increase. Read more...
Monday, March 10, 2014 -- 3:38 pm
Truth or Consequences: a tale of Geronimo, hot springs and Hollywood
The Woodinville Weekly - Native American history, healing waters and show biz are ingredients for an intriguing story about a unique town along the banks of the Rio Grande in the high desert of southern New Mexico. Truth or Consequences, which was originally called Hot Springs, has a colorful past that can be traced to prehistoric peoples, who came to the area and built early pit houses and pueblo-like dwellings along the canyons emptying into the river. For hundreds of years, Native Americans met at the hot mineral springs that flowed from the ground where the town is now located. They bathed, socialized and cared for their wounds and ailments, discovering that the waters had inherent healing properties. It is believed that the famous apache warrior, Geronimo, soaked in these springs. In the late 16th century, the Spanish arrived and in time, white settlers began moving in to ranch and mine. Read more...

upcoming events
Wine Tasting at The Mercantile Wine and Goods
The Mercantile Wine and Goods - Country Village
Alzheimer's Association Kirkland Caregiver Support Group
Lake Washington United Methodist Church

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