Just over two years ago, McMenamins Anderson School officially opened and welcomed the Bothell community into its arms.
In typical McMenamins fashion, much of the original character of the historic junior high has been preserved and focuses on fun for everyone. Throughout the entire property, you’ll find one-of-a-kind artwork that local artists created based on historical photos and interviews from alumni, families and colorful residents. Great care has been taken into making the place special and meaningful for all that visit. This has become the unique trademark that defines the brand of McMenamins.
If you’ve visited Anderson School, you’ll know what I mean. The five plus acre complex is adjacent to the Pop Keeney Stadium on Bothell Way NE just 3 blocks off Woodinville Drive (Route 522). Most every one I spoke with enjoyed a different aspect of the restored school campus.
The kids, of course, love the North Shore Lagoon Swimming Pool that is heated to 88-90 degrees – perfect on a rainy winter afternoon. What I loved is the fact that the pool is open to everyone! If you are staying in the hotel or a Bothell resident (ID is required), there is no charge to use the pool. For everyone else there the charges range between $6-8 for a two-hour open swim. I ran into a couple that was watching their teenage kids in the pool through the window in the 2nd floor South Seas Pub. They sipped virgin daiquiris and commented on how relaxed they felt at the moment. I’d say it looked like a pretty nice way to spend the afternoon.
For the nostalgic folks (including me), I’d recommend the Principal’s office. It is a cozy little bar tucked away in the old school house turned 72-room hotel, up a flight of stairs and down a corridor or two. Here I met long-time fans of McMenamins, Donnetta and Paul. Although they live in Seattle, they had made a night of it to celebrate Paul’s birthday. They said they try to get away to McMenamins every few months and really love the laid back atmosphere here.
Needless to say, McMenamins could host its own bar crawl so you’ll want to be sure you have a designated driver. Of course, you could also spend the night like our new friends did in one of the hotel rooms that originally were classrooms that have been renovated into unique and comfortable guest rooms.
In addition to the two bars mentioned above, there are four other spots to enjoy an adult beverage.
The Shed: It’s a small place like the Principal’s office but with a completely different vibe. Envision a speakeasy more than a shed for atmosphere. The specialty is whiskey here, and they have fireplaces indoors and out to keep you toasty warm.
The Woodshop: This is the place for fun and games – really! There is a full food and beverage menu available, and this is the place to catch a game on a big screen or play a game. There is shuffleboard, pool, and pinball machines available.
Tavern on the Square: The school cafeteria was once housed here but looks nothing like a school cafeteria now. There is a massive surround bar in the middle of the room and plenty of seating at tables or booths throughout the space. The atmosphere is especially comfy near the large fireplace. This truly is a great place to have a nice family dinner.
The Anderson School Theater Bar just so happens to have a movie theater that features first run movies every day. The bonus here is that you can get settled in your comfy seat in the theater, and the staff will deliver dinner and/or drinks. Now that is service!
Ironically after visiting the Bothell location, I had the opportunity to visit the original McMenamins in Troutdale, Oregon. It is known as Edgefield and is the first McMenamins establishment. It was renovated and restored from an old Poor Farm just outside Portland. It is a sprawling complex with a brewery, winery, distillery, outside salt-water soaking pool, restaurants and more. Perhaps we’ll grab the passport card and visit the remaining 56 locations!
McMenamins Anderson School
18607 Bothell Way NE
Bothell, WA 98011
One of the great joys of moving to a new place is to have the opportunity to learn. There is great adventure in having opportunities to learn about the traditions and culture, the food, music and simply in trying to find out what makes our new locale tick. This has been the mission that my husband and I have set for ourselves as we continue to explore the endless diversity that is Seattle and the surrounding region.
We have found that one of the great ways to get to know a place is to become acquainted with its’ history and the stories of the people who made it. With this in mind, we ventured to the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM). It is housed in the historic Colman School building in the Central District of Seattle. The museum is not particularly large, but it is an interesting and delightful place. Its’ mission is “to spread knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the histories, arts and cultures of people of African descent for the enrichment of all”. The museum fulfills this mission by presenting and preserving, through its’ exhibits and programs, the surprisingly deep connections that exist between African Americans and other peoples of the Pacific Northwest.
On the day that we visited, the museum was very busy and active and in the midst of Martin Luther King Day celebrations and programs. We took a few minutes to watch a video presentation of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech given from the Lincoln Memorial In August 1963. Its’ words speak louder than ever. I enjoyed also learning about Dr. King’s visit to the Central district in 1961. We later strolled through the Northwest Gallery and viewed a contemporary photography exhibit entitled “Everyday Black” which presents snapshots that very beautifully depict “the everyday lives of everyday African Americans here in Seattle”.
To conclude our afternoon, we visited the museum’s permanent exhibition space---The Journey Gallery. Through photographs, artifacts and interactive exhibits, the many journeys that people of African descent undertook to reach the Pacific Northwest are shared. Their stories are very compelling, and we were challenged by what we learned. As we made our way toward the exit, My husband Bob gave a tip of his cap to the legendary guitarist and Seattle native Jimi Hendrix whose own stylish hat, worn in a 1968 performance, is proudly displayed.
The museum also features a genealogy center to explore family histories, a youth curator program, cultural workshops as well as various health and wellness programs. The Jean Shy Farris Reading Room is filled with literature, non-fiction and reference texts. The Northwest African American Museum is located at 2300 S. Massachusetts Street in Seattle. Please visit their website at www.naamnw.org for more information.
My husband and I are always looking for nice little hikes in the area and on a recent drizzly rainy morning we ventured out to Juanita Bay Park in Kirkland. One thing we really enjoy is being able to visit parks in the area throughout the year. We learned long ago to truly get outside and embrace each season----that includes the winter!
I had read about the boardwalk connecting the park to the beach so I knew the wet weather wouldn’t effect our walking. We opted to park in the Juanita Bay Park lot and luckily snagged a parking spot right away. When we returned to our car a couple hours later, there weren’t any spots so be sure to keep that in mind when visiting.
From the parking lot, there are a maze of paved trails along the hillside that either loop around or dead-end. Some take you down to the water and a series of platforms that overlook marshy wetland. We ventured down each platform in hopes of seeing some wildlife. We were not disappointed as we saw turtles lounging on logs in the water as well as many varieties of birds and ducks.
We later walked along the boardwalk towards Juanita Bay Beach and read all of the interpretive signs along the way. It was quite an educational experience. We were even lucky enough to spy a Great Blue Heron hidden amongst the reeds just off the boardwalk. A couple, who seemed to be resident birdwatchers in the area, informed us that the heron is a regular visitor to the bay on most days.
We also discovered that the Eastside Audubon hosts free interpretive tours at Juanita Bay the first Sunday of every month from 1-2 p.m. You can learn about and view songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, amphibians, turtles, beavers, and other small mammals that make Juanita Bay Park their home. The interpretive tours are conducted by Eastside Audubon’s volunteer Park Rangers. The walks will happen rain or shine, and bring binoculars if you have them. No registration is required.
When we reached the end of the boardwalk and the beach side of Juanita Bay, the sun came out and so did the throngs of people trying to catch some rays. We enjoyed the warmth as we strolled the walkway that runs alongside the edges of Lake Washington. On this now clear day, we could see the tall buildings and the Space Needle in downtown Seattle off in the distance. The view reminded us once again of all the great explorations we have has thus far in the short time we have been here since moving from Montana. Cheers to the exploration opportunities to come!
We grabbed some lunch to go from Spud Fish and Chips right across the street from the beach entrance and found a bench to eat and enjoy the views of Lake Washington. The food was great. We figured it would be so since they have been around since 1953 – and the views were even better.
All in all, we had a really nice afternoon exploring Juanita Bay.
Visit http://www.explorekirkland.com/Do/Parks/Juanita_Bay_Park.htm to learn more.
On a recent rainy day, my husband Bob and I were out exploring when we happened upon the Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus. It took a bit to find an open parking spot that didn’t require a school permit, but we figured that gave us an opportunity to check out part of the campus as well. Eventually, we found a spot in a pay lot and after a short walk we entered the museum.
We started with the “Testing, Testing 1-2-3: Work in Progress” exhibit which features the behind-the-scenes work of getting ready for the New Burke Museum. As it was explained to us, this how the new museum will look and feel.
The new museum is being touted as the flagship museum of natural history and culture for Washington state. Construction is underway and is scheduled to open in 2019.
Essentially, the space is very interactive, and you feel as though you are practically working with the scientists and curators.
For example, you can peer through the glass watching a paleontologist working on a massive skull of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. In another room nearby, you can watch as a group of researchers painstakingly clean the huge spine of a Thescelosaur that was discovered in Montana.
On the day we visited, a workshop was in progress with the participants trying their hand at decorative woodcarvings. Overall the space had at least five rooms with different behind the scenes museum activities going on.
We next ventured through the museum with multiple educational and very interesting exhibits.
“Life and Times of Washington State” is a hands-on adventure that begins 545 million years ago and leads you through the evolution of Washington’s geology, biology and archaeology. Starting when an ancient sea covered most of Washington. You’ll see giant skeletons of dinosaurs, including
Stegosaurus, Elasmo-saurus and a 140-million-year-old Allosaurus.
“Pacific Voices” is an exhibit that included working with representatives of 17 ethnic communities and tribes that considered the question: How do we pass our culture along from one generation to the next? Their answers fall into three categories: language and stories, teachers and elders, and ceremonies, with each community choosing one or more examples to share. The artifacts in this exhibit are really beautiful.
In the “Treasures of the Burke” exhibit, there are more than 100 objects from glittering gems to colorful birds and more.
An last but not least, you can discover Washington’s first dinosaur fossil. It is a partial left femur bone of a Theropod dinosaur that was collected along the shores of Sucia Island State Park in the San Juan Islands.
So on that next rainy day when you are looking for something to do, go visit the Burke Museum at the UW campus. You’ll be pleasantly surprised as we were!
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursdays 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. PLUS the first Thursday of the month is FREE!