Larry Bridges, Voice and Performance Coach for over 40 years, thinks you can and he’ll help you along the way.
Throughout the years, Bridges has taught students as young as 7 years old up to 84 years old. As he thinks back on his career, he says, “Many of my friends are former students.” He even married one of his students, Dorothy, over 32 years ago!
Bridges graduated with a B.M.E. in Music Education (vocal specialty) and a M.A. in Vocal Performance. His teaching career started at the University of Denver (Colorado) where he taught voice for the theatre department. While there he performed at the Country Dinner Playhouse in Denver to sold out crowds nightly.
From there it was off to Los Angeles where Bridges formed his own band. The band did well for many years and opened for Barry Manilow, among others. He continued to teach while in LA. Here he would work with many professionals that are still in the business and quite successful.
Not one to toot his own horn, I asked him to share a few of his stories.
Bridges said, “About 20 years ago, I had a phone call from a former student. He told me I had been responsible for encouraging him to keep going in the film and music industry. I taught him for a few years at the beginning of his career. His name is Mykelti Williamson (Bubba in ‘Forrest Gump’). He has been in over 100 movies, and held major roles in shows like ‘24’ and ‘Nashville.’ We keep in touch.”
Four years ago he helped a local fourth grader get ready for the Fifth Avenue Theatre auditions for “Oliver.” He made it and is now realizing his dream as a regular on the Amazon series “The Dangerous Book for Boys.”
A high school student dreamed of being in the musical “Hairspray.” Bridges worked with her and she ended up being cast in the world premier of the student edition at the International Thespian Festival.
In 1989, Bridges and his wife along with his two sons, Jordan and Austin, moved to Woodinville.
Here he opened shop with Bridges Voice Instruction and has been going strong ever since.
Bridges is a songwriter with two albums. He shared a beautiful song he wrote for his son, Jordan, to celebrate his birth called “Dreaming of Your Eyes.”
He also helps students write songs. He says, “I try to help people find their voice in the world and not just by singing.”
Bridges told me about a shy 3rd grader that he met last year. Her mom told him that she liked to make up songs, so he turned on the recorder and asked her to make up a song for him. He played piano chords to her melody and she created an “extremely creative” song. He said, “Her mom submitted it to the PTA’s ‘Reflections’ competition and she was a finalist in the state for 3rd to 5th graders.”
While meeting with Bridges in his studio in the lower level of his home, you can feel his infectious energy for teaching and passion for music. I’m certain I only touched the surface of his success stories!
His website is www.anyonecansing.com and he believes it. A humorous instructional book is in the works to help timid beginners who’ve been told they should only mouth the words.
Although his students can be any age, his typical student is still in school. He said, “I love helping them achieve their dream [of singing and acting].”
As a long time resident of the area, I asked Bridges what his favorite thing was about Woodinville. He said, “Besides the friendly people, July and August.”
What does he feel is one of the best things about the area? “The wineries and the destination business they have brought to the area.” And, the worse? “The traffic.”
Bridges is hopeful that new artists, musicians, and poets will emerge. He believes they are the key for making people more loving and tolerant.
Bridges ended by saying, “Music and art can help save the world.” I hope he’s right.
Chase Warren may only be a recent high school graduate but he definitely knows what he wants and is doing everything he can to make his dream of becoming a Genetic Engineer a reality.
I met Chase and his biggest cheerleader, his mom Jennifer Warren, recently to chat about his recent trip to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders event in Boston, Massachusetts.
“It was an awesome experience,” Chase said of the event. The Congress touts itself as the largest and most impactful gathering of future medical leaders. Attendance is by academic nomination only and all students must have a minimum of 3.5 GPA to attend. During the Congress students are able to view an actual surgery, learn about state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, and be mentored by some of the greatest minds in medicine. Speakers included Nobel Prize Laureates, top medical school deans, and leaders in medical research and private industry.
Chase shared that he was able to meet his idol George M. Church, Ph.D. who is the Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. Church and his team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications. This includes new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme disease and malaria. CRISPR is of great interest to Chase.
He wants to get into research and hopes to help find cures for cancer and other diseases. He developed an interest in the field after his Grandpa Reed was diagnosed with cancer and Chase wanted to help. He even visited the doctor’s office at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center with his grandfather and shared his thoughts of possible treatment options with the doctor. Sadly his grandfather has since passed away but Chase’s desire to help has only gotten stronger. “In the next 20 years, we should have cures for all types of cancer,” said Chase.
He has chosen to attend Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman for the 2018/2019 school year. Chase admitted that a big part of that decision was that “[he will be] able to get into the lab at WSU after only seven weeks of starting school.” He said that at some schools students must wait a year or two before being able to access the lab but he was accepted to the Students Targeted toward Advanced Research Studies (STARS) program at WSU and that has opened up the door to access the lab much earlier. He said he has so many ideas relating to genetics and CRISPR that he wants to get started right away.
Chase has spent his entire life in Woodinville. He attended East Ridge Elementary then when he was in 6th grade the family transferred Chase and his brother Spencer to King’s Schools in Shoreline. The move to this private school was important to the Warren’s (Jennifer and her husband Randy) to help their kids have every available advantage. The new school entailed a long daily commute for both boys but the family made it work.
Chase took every science class he could at King’s and Biology – Anatomy and Physiology were his favorite classes. He recently graduated and he feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity that King’s provided. Chase said of the opportunity, “I have great parents.”
Throughout the years, Chase has always stayed involved with his church and the local community and has spent many afternoons volunteering at the Duvall Food Bank.
I asked Chase if he had any advice to pass along to other students with an interest in medicine. “There is a ton of great information on the internet. Amazing sources like John Green [Scientific Revolution], SciShow, Vsauce, and CrashCourse.” He also added that it is important to remember, “Failure is part of success.”
Needless to say this Gen Z (aka Centennial) student has a lot of energy and I’m confident that he’ll do some pretty amazing things in the future.
When Justin Thompson was just 16 years old, he was almost killed by a drunk driver. That event triggered something in his psyche that became his passion, and ultimately, a business venture to promote preventative solutions for a problem faced by virtually every community in America—driving under the influence (DUI).
The business, named appropriately “Think Twice,” that Thompson co-founded with Forrest McKai.
Thompson met with me recently to speak about Think Twice and its’ mission to lessen the damage caused by drunk driving. He explained that every 51 minutes someone is killed in a DUI related accident in the United States. Think Twice was created to provide customers with an easy way to monitor their risk of a DUI charge, avoid a trip to jail, and most importantly, to perhaps save a life.
“It is a practical, easy, discreet and affordable way to prevent the needless loss of life caused by drunk driving,” said Thompson.
Their primary product at this time is a medical grade single-use breathalyzer simply labeled “Think Twice.” It only takes 15 minutes to take the test, see whether you are below or above the 0.08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) legal limit, and make an informed decision regarding getting behind the wheel. Each individual unit is hermetically sealed and should not be exposed to extreme temperatures. The test also includes a discount promo code to use UBER instead of driving.
Thompson and McKai worked tirelessly for the past two years developing Think Twice along with a full program to work with restaurants, bars and any other establishment or event that serves alcohol. It isn’t just about the test. Businesses are encouraged to sell the test (most often for less than what a typical drink might cost) or to simply offer it as an amenity to alcohol consuming customers. Additionally they will work with the business on training, support materials for staff, and promotional materials that remind patrons to think twice. These items include coasters, postcards, car fresheners, bottle opener key chains, table tents, pens, and “DUI’s SUCK” t-shirts.
Businesses are really embracing Think Twice especially considering that more than half the states in the U.S. have statutory provisions that allow restaurants, bars, and liquor stores to be held liable for serving alcohol to individuals who cause injuries or death as a result of their intoxication. Penalties for such cases can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and for this reason, liquor liability insurance coverage is required. Rates are determined, in part, by the number of DUI charges attributed to a business, which is then reported to the Liquor Control Board.
Think Twice offers a certification process for alcohol serving establishments to present to their insurance agent to qualify for discounts on their insurance policy. Insurance companies are supporting the Think Twice risk mitigation strategy, empowering their customers to take a proactive approach to helping people get home safe.
In this region, there are many alcohol related special events including concerts, brewfests, wine walks, sporting events, and festivals that could benefit from having Think Twice DUI Testers available. Personally, I even thought of having them available for family events and weddings. This would certainly be a wise move to protect your friends and family.
Think Twice products currently are sold in the western US including Alaska, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The company as a whole is growing exponentially with plans to be throughout the U.S. and Canada before long saving lives.
I checked out the reviews for Think Twice on their Facebook page and out of 101 reviews all received five stars (out of five) rating! Here’s one review that I felt said it best…
We have all gone out to a game or to the bar and had a little too much to drink, and we all have questionable judgment when under the influence. Think Twice a brilliant solution to an all to common problem. You can make a conscious decision to keep yourself and others out of danger by staying off the road if you’ve had too much to drink. So happy to see this product spreading like wild fire throughout our communities! Party on people!!
To learn more about Think Twice, visit https://duiprevention.org/.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games were held last week in the Puget Sound region and will undoubtedly be considered one of the most significant sporting events in our area’s history.
The event showcased the awe-inspiring abilities of approximately 3,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities competing in 14 sports in venues across Puget Sound including Kenmore Lanes in our readership area. An estimated 10,000 volunteers and over 80,000 family members and spectators enjoyed the games. The regional economic impact of the 2018 USA Games is projected at over $75 million.
I had the opportunity to chat with Samuel (Sam) Quezada, one of the athletes, along with his grandparents, Will and Kathleen Netelenbos, right before the games as he was packing for his six night stay at the USA Games village at the University of Washington campus. Will said that this would be the longest period of time that Sam will be away from their home since he and his brother Josh moved in with their grandparents following the death of their mother four years ago.
Sam is 23 years old and a 2013 graduate of Inglemoor High School. He is autistic and following graduation he completed the ATP (Adult Transition Program) at Bothell High School. He currently works at Microsoft Café 86 by taking two buses every workday to get to the Redmond Campus.
Sam is relatively new to the world of competition sports. He joined the Northshore Wranglers Inclusion Program (see sidebar story) in the early spring of 2017. There he participated in the track and field program with a very supportive and inspiring coach, Cole Caplan. Sam says, “I learned a lot from him.”
Sam participated in the Washington Special Olympics last year and has continued to train to qualify to compete in the USA Games this year. His events are the 100M, 200M, 4x100M Relay, and the Long Jump. His favorite event is the 100M Dash. He assured me that he is very fast!
Sam trains at Ingelmoor High School by running the track and by playing soccer. His grandparents said that Sam does this most every day on his own. He not only takes his physical training seriously, but he told me he’s eating right too with a lot of fruits and vegetables.
He admitted that he is a little nervous to compete as he wants to do well. From Sam’s bio he attests, “knowing that you are not there just by yourself and are motivated by the support from other competing athletes like yourself, coaches, friends and family. The opportunity to prove that no matter what, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”
His advice to other kids that may want to get involved in competition in the future, “just do it.” He said, “It is a lot of fun. It makes me feel good and gives me more confidence.”
Locally, Andrew Bryant from Woodinville and Jeremy Wall from Bothell also participated in multiple track and field events at the recent 2018 Special Olympics. Congratulations to all of the amazing athletes!
A military cargo plane (C-53) flying over Greenland during WWII crashes with five crewmembers aboard. All five survive the crash and a rescue mission is launched with second plane (a B-17) carrying nine crewmembers. That plane also crashes on the ice cap. Again, all men survive the initial crash.
With winter approaching fast on the frozen wasteland, and confirmed contact with the survivors from the B-17, extraordinary efforts must be made to save these men. The U.S. Coast Guard positions the Cutter Northland, in a bay as close as possible to the crash site to contemplate options with Greenland’s uncooperative weather.
The determined path is to send a 3rd plane (the Grumman Duck) from the Northland piloted by Lieutenant John Pritchard with Radioman Benjamin Bottoms. They had initial success landing on the glacier and rescuing two crewmen and made a second trip to recover more survivors. Instead due to yet another tragedy on the ground, they hurriedly picked up Corporal Loren Howarth (another survivor of the initial B-17 crash turned rescuer) and planned to head back to the Northland immediately to get additional personal and equipment.
The unthinkable happened when that plane also crashed on its return to the Northland. It was determined after eyewitness accounts of the crash site that there were no survivors of the Duck.
Does this sound like a best selling book? Well – it actually is. “Frozen in Time” by Mitchell Zuckoff, tells the full true story of all three crashes and the final outcome on the frozen tundra that is Greenland in the winter of 1942-43. It also outlines the attempts that have been made since then to recover the Duck and the heroes onboard the craft to bring them home to their final resting place.
But that is not where this story ends...it’s where it begins. Long-time Woodinville resident, Christie Fisher, was on vacation in nearby (to Greenland) Iceland when she met some of the people that were traveling to an expedition.
Fisher was so intrigued with the story they shared that she decided to get involved.
That was two years ago, and now she’s getting ready to head to the massive island with this team situated between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans in hopes of recovering the Duck and its crew. Even if they don’t find the prize, she is focused on the journey and the educational aspect of the adventure.
Fisher graduated from Woodinville High School then the University of Arizona with a BA in Music. She continued her education receiving her MBA from the University of Baltimore. She works as the Director of Business Management for Microsoft, and volunteers her time as a mentor and enjoys working with students and veterans in particular. She is also now very involved with the small non-profit that she helped to create Global Exploration and Recovery – GEaR.
GEaR is team of passionate individuals that volunteer their time, money, and skills to come together oversees to deliver on the promise made to our Servicepersons - that they will not be left behind. They also maintain contact with the next of kin. In this case, it includes John Pritchard’s sister Nancy, who is 94, and who continues to hope that her brother’s body will be located and returned to his native soil.
GEaR is the entity heading to Greenland again this month. All of the members of the team (except Fisher) were part of the original expedition outlined in “Frozen in Time.” Fisher is the Board Secretary and a Director of GEaR.
For three weeks, Fisher will be based at small Inuit village with about 250 residents where her role will be community and educational engagement. She will be in contact with the exploration team on the ice cap and communicate with classrooms and followers to their expedition.
In addition to the obvious logistical planning for a trip of this magnitude, Fisher has been preparing physically as well. She’s been hiking with packs, trained in wilderness first aid, ventured to Alaska on a dog sledding trip, and cooking backpacking recipes that might come in handy. She shared that she is a vegetarian and knows that fresh fruits and vegetables are not a likely staple so she’ll need to improvise.
Meet the other active members of GEaR:
John Bradley is the Founder and President of GEaR, and he lives in Colorado. Bradley has been a mountain guide in and out of North America and has completed several missions in Greenland. He is trained in medical mountain rescue.
Francis Marley is the Vice President of GEaR and he lives in Alaska. Marley is a Captain in the Alaska Army National Guard (served in Afghanistan), and is active in the Alaska Mountain Rescue and Dive Rescue communities. He is trained in Wilderness First Response.
Jaana Gustafsson is the Geophysicist for the team. She lives in Stockholm, and is a land surveyor who leads ground-penetrating radar surveys in both urban and remote wilderness locations. She has been on several Greenland missions.
Nicholas Bratton is the Vice President of GEaR and lives in Seattle. Bratton is an experienced mountaineering guide and a former National Outdoor Leadership School instructor. He has served on two missions to Greenland. Although he will not be on the trip this summer, he is helping with planning logistics.
To learn more about GEaR and help this nonprofit’s mission by donating, visit www.globalexploration andrecovery.com. They also have a Facebook page Global Exploration and Recovery.
Editor’s Note: I was so intrigued with this story that I not only read the book “Frozen in Time” but I have asked Christie Fisher to provide the Woodinville Weekly with updates about her trip. As long as technology cooperates, we are planning on three submissions for each week she is onsite in Greenland from July 16-30. Please stay tuned!
We recently spent the afternoon enjoying a great musical performance by the band that has Woodinville ties.
The band was Global Heat. The event was the Festival Sundiata and it took place on June 17th at the Seattle Center on the Mural Stage.
The weather was sunny and beautiful so it was the perfect opportunity to see the band in action. The backdrop couldn’t have been more iconic with the Space Needle jutting up behind the stage.
We settled into a spot on the lawn in front of the stage just in time for the start of the first song and instantly started to bop and chair dance. The band performs original music as well as a cover or two, and their sound includes elements of funk, rap, and rhythm & blues all wrapped into one tight package.
Every song during the set had us moving to the music with big smiles while enjoying the beautiful day. Not only did it seem as though the crowd was enjoying the music, but the band seemed to be in sync and having a good time as well. My only regret was that the set didn’t last longer!
Following the performance, which concluded with a stellar rendition of Sly & the Family Stones’ “I Want to Take You Higher,” I had the opportunity to meet the band.
Global Heat’s founder and manager, Rob Pastorok, is a keyboardist, percussionist, PhD ecologist, and owner of Deep Well Studio in Woodinville. He has led band tours to perform at major music festivals throughout the Northwest U.S and all the way to Shanghai, China. In April 2017, he led Global Heat for a weeklong tour during which they performed for more than 5,000 youth at 16 venues. He received an Artist Trust award and has received grant support from 4Culture, Seattle Next 50, and Theatre Puget Sound. I asked Pastorok if he were to buy a ticket to see a live performance, who would it be? He said, “For music, Herbie Hancock & the Head Hunters. But since they are not touring, I get a second choice and have to say I will be buying tickets for my grandkids to see The Lion King.”
Since 2005, Marvin Shields Jr. has been a bassist, guitarist, vocalist, and musical director for Global Heat. At age 12, he began his musical career as a guitarist and drummer. Shields toured internationally performing with the world-class U.S. Air Force band Tops in Blue, including opening for the incomparable Al Green. His recording discography includes work on more than 12 albums. Shields is endorsed by the French guitar manufacturer Paul Lairat, who designed a signature bass for him. I asked him when people listen to him play is there is a musician that he’s been compared to? Shields replied, “They often mention how much they like my brand! However, on occasion I have gotten a Marcus Miller reference, I believe that’s more of how we love to wear our hats.”
Justin Murta, MC, DJ & Producer, is the one who really got the crowd started. His energy is infectious and his rap style vocals were clear and easy to understand. Murta is a professional musician in every sense of the word. Over the past 10+ years, he has performed in 34 countries at over 2,500 shows at festivals, schools, and venues. Whether performing as a soloist or with a group, he will surely rock the house. I asked Murta who has inspired him the most in his career. He replied, “Marvin Shields Jr. our Bass Player. He is naturally talented, a free spirit and is a role model in his work and personal life as well.”
Roz aka Rosalyn McCommon, Vocals, hails from the Kansas City area and grew up singing gospel music. In spite of spraining her ankle just before going on stage she was a trooper and sounded great with a large vocal range. Classically trained, she is a vocal coach, singer/songwriter, and plays keyboard, violin, light percussion and cajón. Roz said her “songwriting styles have ranged from orchestral arrangements to hip hop and country songs.” She performs regularly but also enjoys recording her own music in her home studio or recording background vocals. Roz’s love for music has allowed her to work with many styles of music and a wide range of professional artists like her fellow bandmates in Global Heat.
Michael Coble, Guitar, Flute and Vocals, joined the band in 2017. He earned a music performance degree in woodwinds then his post bachelor degree in music education. Coble toured the world as bandleader for six-piece show band aboard Holland America Line/Seabourn cruise ships from 2008-2013. He relocated to Seattle in 2013 after falling in love with the city and geography as well as the thriving music scene. Since then, he has been a public school music elementary teacher. I asked Coble what has been his favorite performance with Global Heat. He said, “...at Safeco Field for the graduation ceremony for Seattle colleges. It was amazing being on the jumbotron screen and hearing our songs over the massive sound system. Very appreciative and celebratory crowd!”
Drummer Nia Dupri Neal creates musical ‘in-the-pocket’ grooves by blending elements of funk, jazz, R&B, and pop. Nia began her professional journey in music as a teenager while attending the award-winning School of The Arts in Tacoma. She became a drummer for multiple church bands as well as cover bands on both the East and West coasts of the U.S. She also began co-composing songs with Crystal Aiken, winner of the first BET Sunday’s Best gospel competition. She has played with Dove Award Nominee Norman Hutchins, Anson Dawkins of Dawkins & Dawkins, Derek S. Clark, winner of the 2014 Stellar Award for Producer of the Year, Latin-pop band The Pazific, and reggae artist Toyin Adekale.
To see an upcoming Global Heat performance, visit their website at www.global-heat.com or on Facebook search GlobalHeat.
Think of the last time you were walking along the Sammamish Trail. Perhaps you looked over towards the old Red Hook Brewery location and saw people seemingly walking in the air. Perhaps they were on a wood platform, or a ladder, or a row of tires, or even a tight rope.
One way or another you wondered “what is that place?” with the thought of checking it out soon.
I’m here to report that the place is the Adventura Aerial Adventure Park, and they’ve been thrilling folks for 15 years in Woodinville.
Recently, Scott Chreist, CEO for Adventura, invited me out for a “Playday” to check it out for myself. Admittedly, I hesitated and informed him that I was in my 50’s, and I wasn’t a ninja. He assured me that “No ninja skills are required.”
“Ninja skills” may not be required, but you definitely want to be in relatively good shape and ready to relive some of the fun you had as a child on that jungle gym on the school playground.
I was booked on the 9 a.m. start and was told to plan on two and a half hours for the playday. There were 12 people in our group, and as I looked around I felt more at ease as there were definitely a few others in their 50’s. I chatted with a guy about my age, and he told me that he was there for his father’s day present with his teenage daughter.
We started with staff introductions and a safety and equipment review. The guides were very patient and thorough while helping us get set up with our gear. Then we went to a practice area to learn the correct way to stay on the course … i.e. remain attached to it via your climbing equipment.
Next we set off for the course, which starts at the 50-foot cargo net wall that is the point of access for all of the above ground obstacles. The course, as it was pointed out was a spoke and wheel design, so you are welcome to do as little or as much as you’d like within your comfort level. A couple staff members helped us climb the rope one by one to reach the first platform. The other staff positioned themselves at various points on the course to assist as needed. With the exception of the initial net wall, the entire course is 50 feet above the ground.
I chose to go last while I gathered my courage to get clipped into the elaborate harness system and climb up the net wall. When I reached the first platform, I happily hung out for a while deciding which direction to go on which obstacle. My choices were a log bridge, swinging rope, or a flat “staircase” with a lot of air between each step. I was there with a few other gals that were also gathering their courage and after they both crossed the log bridge, I decided that should be my path as well.
My trailblazer gals next attempted the double ladder so again I chose to follow them. They were definitely feeding my sense of adventure and giving me a dose of courage.
I must admit that the staff was amazing through all of this. I never felt pressured to try anything outside my comfort level, and when I did venture on an obstacle, they were all very encouraging.
Overall, I had a great time and as I zipped down the final obstacle to the ground, I had a profound sense of accomplishment for overcoming a few fears.
“The playday is geared towards adults,” Chreist said. It’s for people that want to do something really unique and different. Children, of course, can participate but must be with an adult. My thought was what a great bachelorette party this would make by adding a luncheon or wine tasting following the adventure.
Adventura also organizes team building corporate events that are custom designed with your goals and objectives in mind whether for recreation or development.
Check out all the options at www.AdventuraPlay.com.
I was invited to an event recently to check out a new product called the Savor Seattle Wine Passport. Those who know me know I like wine, and I enjoy going to a tasting occasionally so it sounded like it was right up my alley.
The event was at the Woodhouse Wine Estate Venue right off of Woodinville-Redmond Road in Woodinville. I must say that I really liked the place! It’s essentially a warehouse that has been dolled up with elegant chandeliers that provide a bit of ambiance. There is a long bar to collect your beverage (we particularly liked the Kennedy Shah Reserve Riesling) and the overall feel to the place is spacious and comfortable. Luckily, it was also a nice evening. The garage door was open to the parking lot/patio area complete with bistro tables where I met up with our event host.
Angela Shen, CEO of Savor Seattle, was clearly pleased with the turnout and happy to give me a few minutes of her time to talk about the Savor Seattle Wine Passport.
The passport is a phone app that is something of a “wine tasting assistant” that according to Shen,“ takes the guesswork out of choosing which wineries to visit.”
According to Shen after careful research, 25 of the best wineries in Woodinville and Seattle were selected to be a part of this project. These include some of the most iconic wineries as well as a few specialty ones that are a real treat once discovered. As Shen says, “The passport covers the gamut [of wineries].”
Your wine passport allows you tasting access to 10 of those wineries plus $50 in Lyft credit if you want to have someone else do the chauffeuring. The cost of the passport is $59.99. Considering most wineries presently charge at least $10 for a tasting this is a really good deal especially with the added Lyft credits.
The passport can be used over the course of a year. “We are giving people flexibility to visit wineries at their own pace and schedule,” Shen added.
The exclusive winery partners include: Alexandria Nicole, Basel Cellars, Charles Smith, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Cloudlift Cellars, Columbia Winery, Cougar Crest Winery, DeLille Carriage House, Fidelitas, Full Pull, J Bookwalter, Market Vineyards, Martedi Winery, Novelty Hill Januik, Obelisco Winery, Patterson Cellars, Sous Sol, Sparkman Cellars, Structure Cellars, Tertulia Cellars, Tsillan Cellars, Warr-King Wines, White Heron, Wilridge Winery/Sky River, and of course our gracious host venue Woodhouse Wine Estates.
This is the first of three tasting passports that Savor Seattle is planning to launch in 2018.
The Wine Passport isn’t Savor Seattle’s first product. According to Shen, they have been in business for 11 years with upwards of 35 employees during the busy season. The company got its start by offering guided food, wine and tasting tours for small groups. A signature tour they offer is to Pike Place Market that involves a tour, tasting and learning about the history and culture that is the Market.
Shen said, “If you are a foodie, you will love our tours.” In addition to the Pike Place tour, she referenced their gourmet tours in the city and an awesome getaway they offer to San Juan Island with kayaking. The nine-day Heart of Italy Tour sounded like one that would be right up my alley!
To learn more about the Savor Seattle Wine Passport or the Food Tours, visit savorseattletours.com.
When Jake Leland graduated from Cedarcrest High School in 2008, I doubt he ever envisioned embarking on the greatest motoring adventure on the planet touted as the Mongol Rally. But…that is just what he is doing next month with his bride, Madison, and his younger brother, Jaren, who is graduating from Cedarcrest this month.
After Jake graduated from Gonzaga and Madison from Washington State, they started their careers in Chicago. He has been working for United Airlines while volunteering for a program that helps homeless youth in the city. Madison settled in the corporate environment working for a law firm and on her MBA but they felt as though something was missing.
They’ve been in the city for five years and although they embraced volunteerism, they wanted to do something different, something more to give back.
They were wed last fall and as Jake explained, “we planned to leave our jobs and do a stint of traveling.” Then a friend tagged Madison in a Facebook post about The Mongol Rally. She did a little research and when Jake arrived home later that day she announced, “I’m going to Mongolia.”
It was a bit impulsive but as they learned more about the rally, they decided it would be a great adventure for both of them.
Founded by The Adventurists out of the United Kingdom, this will be the 11th annual event. The Mongol Rally starts July 15 at a secret location 30 minutes west of Prague in the Czech Republic. The route is 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia. There’s no backup, no support and no set route. You are on your own with your crew and a tiny 1000cc car.
The team (Jake, Madison and Jaren) will be driving a 20-year-old Ford Fiesta that they bought from someone on Facebook for $100.
The best part about the adventure is that participants in the rally are all raising money for charity. Each team must raise a minimum of $1000. $500 of that automatically goes to Cool Earth, the main charity of the event itself. Cool Earth is an environmental charity that works in partnership with indigenous communities. The charity protects rainforests that without intervention will be destroyed within the next 18 months.
Jake and Madison chose Smile Train as their personal charity. Smile Train is an international children’s charity that provides 100 percent free cleft lip and palate corrective surgeries for children in 85+ developing countries. This cause is special to them because Jake was born with a cleft lip and palate. They will donate the remaining $500 and any additional donations they receive to Smile Train. They are hoping to raise $5,000 total for the charity, which would pay for 20 surgeries.
They are personally paying for all of the other expenses on the trip that includes many of the typical travel and supply expenses you’d think plus a whole host of other expenses including eight visas.
While on the trip, they are hoping to visit some of the hospitals that Smile Train performs surgeries in such as Mongolia, Bulgaria, and Kyrgystan.
Jake and Madison are currently traveling, and I spoke to them from Nepal. They’ve been on the road since January and have also visited Sri Lanka, Maldives, Malaysia, and plan to go to India at the end of the trip.
Then the twosome will head to the United Kingdom (UK) and Jaren will be flying out from Washington state to meet them there on his 18th birthday. He’ll be part of the team for about a month then he has to fly home prior to staring school at Washington State in Pullman.
The trip is Jaren’s graduation present from Jake and Madison. “An awesome adventure before he starts college,” as Jake said. I asked what his mother thought of the “adventure” and he admitted it took a bit of convincing but agreed nonetheless.
From the UK, the trio heads to Germany to pick up their beater car then to Prague by July 15 for the start of the rally. From there who knows until they get to the finish line in the Russian town of Ulan-Ude (which is about 400 miles due north of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the original finish line). The finish opens August 10 and teams have until September 10 to cross the line. Of course it’s still called the Mongol Rally but the organizers moved the finish in 2015 to save each team about £1000.
One way or another, they are definitely in for an adventure. Madison said, “We are nervous but really excited…we’re not sure what we are getting ourselves into.”
If you’d like to follow Jake and Madison on their adventures, visit https://www.facebook.com/mjroam/
To donate to Jake and Madison’s Smile Train charity for the event, visit https://my.smiletrain.org/fundraiser/mjroam
To learn more about the Mongol Rally, visit http://www.theadventurists.com/mongol-rally/
At first glance you’d think Kristin Jarvis Adams was your typical Eastside mom with two kids, a lovely home with a proverbial white picket fence, and a side business. That is what you may think but you’d be wrong.
Adams and her family survived one of the most gut wrenching and emotional ordeals over a 10-year period and luckily for all those who follow, she’s written a book to tell her story.
The book, “The Chicken Who Saved Us: The Remarkable Story of Andrew and Frightful”, is receiving rave reviews from parents and doctors alike. After reading it myself, I can only join in the accolades.
Adams grew up on the Eastside and attended Woodinville High School in the 80’s. She attended the University of Washington and graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design. She married her high school sweetheart, Jon Adams, in 1990 and they started their family. Andrew was first then three years later Hannah joined the family.
“Andrew is autistic and didn’t utter a word until he was four,” according to Adams. From there he spoke in riddles and the family was always struggling to decode his language. When Andrew was 8 years old and Hannah was 5, the family went to DeYoung’s Feed Store for the annual Chick Fest. Andrew discovered a bin of baby chickens on the far side of the room. They were Araucana hens and Tony the store clerk told him that they lay beautiful blue eggs.
A few minutes later, Andrew approached his parents gently cupping a splotchy brown and black chick in his hands and announced, “She is my new friend. I’d like to bring her home with me.” Adams said that she was astonished he had spoken so clearly. That sentence along with the children’s pleas were all they needed and next thing you know they are heading home with six chicks and all the items needed to raise them.
Andrew told his parents her name was Frightful. When asked why he called her Frightful he replied, “Because she told me that was her name.” When pressed he added “She will be brave for me. Frightful will save me.”
Frightful was not only Andrew’s best friend but his confident as well with him admitting to her one summer afternoon “I think my body is trying to kill me.”
Adams admitted, “Andrew was sick pretty much his entire childhood. It became critical when he was 16 years old.”
In and out of doctor’s offices, hospital emergency rooms, then eventually moving into to the hospital at 16 years old, Andrew was in constant excruciating pain. When he was finally diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, the doctors were then baffled as to how to cure him or at least help lesson the pain.
Hannah adored her brother and throughout it all stayed strong and seemed to understand her role in the family, eventually saving Andrew’s life.
Frightful of course couldn’t visit at the hospital but stayed ever vigilant to her best friend at home on her perch by the window and via technology at the hospital.
Adams and her husband did what they could to save their son and keep their heads above water for what seemed like eternity. They are forever grateful for friends and family that stepped in and up so that they could focus on Andrew.
While reading her story, there were moments where I laughed out loud and other moments where I quietly sobbed. Adams captured the truism to dealing with a child’s life-threatening illness within a family unit and at the hospital surrounded by other parents and caregivers. “There is a whole world going on inside these [hospital] walls,” she said.
When asked why she decided to relive the ordeal and tell her story she said, “I felt the need and wanted people to know that you are not alone.” I am confident that anyone who is a parent or caregiver would benefit by reading her book.
Adams admits that many people have reached out with thanks and the book has touched people in different ways. One man wrote to her and said, “Oh my God you absolutely changed how I looked at my family’s situation.” Adams said, “He was the Hannah in the story.”
Frightful lived to the ripe old age of 10…just long enough to see her friend Andrew come home from the hospital. Adams said that the phrase “Chick, chick, chickadee” became one that she knows had a bit of magic in it. Andrew would likely say to this day “Frightful saved my life.”
Andrew is now 25 years old and doing well. He was able to graduate from high school and worked for the past three years as a prep chef. He is now thinking of his next step and as a family they are feeling things through and trying things on for size.
I asked Adams her advice for other parents faced with a life threatening illness. She said “As a mama bear you protect your young over anything. That was the biggest thing for many years for my husband and I. When the illness blossomed like a mushroom cloud, it took over our lives. We tried to suck it up. Eventually I just called the church and asked for help.” The church responded by offering support to the family in every way possible. When Adams first shared her story, the pastor said, “We’ve got this and we’ll hold the story for you.” From there she learned it is so important to share/tell your story so others can “hold it” for you. Be connected to community…they can help.
“The Chicken Who Saved Us: The Remarkable Story of Andrew and Frightful” has won the Gold IPPY Award. It is available wherever books are sold and at the Woodinville Barnes and Noble.
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