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Polar Plunge 2015

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The Polar Plunge  is a great way to start the new year off with a sense of accomplishment.  You'll be less than 15 hours into 2015 and can say you've done something that many sane people cannot.  The only requirement really is bravery and the ability to follow through on your word (and not go running in the opposite direction, as every fiber of your being will be telling you to do).   

Polar Plunge 2015 is in Marina Park at 1pm.  There's a costume contest beforehand this year too!

Tips from wise veteran plungers:

-start putting on self tanner three days prior ;-)

-Bring a warm/dry change of clothes 

-2 towels- one to hold your spot/stand on and one to wrap in afterwards

-shoes that you can wear in the water (those rocks hurt!)

-your phone/camera so your friends and family believe you when you say you did it

The Polar Plunge is also expertly timed to allow you to sleep in and eat a big breakfast so that the freezing water can then erase all traces of your hangover from the night before. 

Happy  New Year, my friends!  Here's to another fun year of chatting about Kirkland together.  xo j 




Kirkland Keg Closing

I was a bit worried when a reader (thank you JC) send me a tip that The Keg was for sale and would soon be closing.  The worry part was in ruining the staff's holiday with this line of the real estate posting, "EMPLOYEES & GM ARE UNAWARE OF RESTAURANT CLOSING. LISTING AGENT MUST BE PRESENT AT SHOWINGS."   Darn.  Hate that.

But it must be official now (thank you GD for fwd'ing).  Farewell, dear Keggers.....

This  just got sent out to their customers:




Saying farewell to good friends is never easy to do, so it's with heavy hearts that we share that our Factoria and Kirkland restaurants will close at the beginning of January 2015.*

A special thanks to our employees who have helped us create so many memories for our guests over the decades. And thank YOU for sharing so many of your special moments with us.

But just like great friends, we'll only be a call and a short drive away. Our Lynnwood, Washington location (18110 Alderwood Mall Pkwy) will remain open and ready to serve you. If you recently received our special offer (a $25 bounce back card redeemable in the New Year when you spend $100 or more in-store before the end of 2014), rest assured that this will be redeemable at our Lynnwood location until February 9th, our Kirkland location until January 3rd and our Factoria location until January 10th.

We hope to see you before we say goodbye!


For more information, please contact:

*Kirkland will close on January 3rd, 2015 and Factoria will close on January 10th, 2015.

Some Things they are A Changin'

Kirkland's Rock Star Tan Bar is now owned by Seattle Sun Tan and is one of their three Kirkland locations.  The other Rock Star locations (Pullman, Bothell and Everett) have not changed ownership.  Active monthly memberships with Rock Star will convert over at the same rate and Seattle Sun Tan is also honoring current tanning packages from Rock Star until 6/30/15.  But I don't think you can wear your tee-shirt in on Tuesdays anymore for the $5 tan.  But.....bonus- like 'em on Facebook and get a free $20 gift credit.  Rock on.

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Sweet Cakes
on Park Lane is also under new ownership.  Thank you to Susanne Park for bringing this sweet spot to Kirkland back in 2008.  I know it has been a labor of love!  Susanne has passed the torch to her sister-in-law, who has been working there for a while so the change shouldn't be too noticeable.  Don't worry, she still has the recipes to all of those delicious gluten-free treats. 

Dooley's Dog House-Owners Chuck and Marti Bartlett have retired.  Dogs and cats all over Kirkland are howling in sadness b/c these two have been passionate about not only the wellness, nutrition and care of your pets for many years, but also active and supportive members of our Kirkland community.   The new owner is Randy Rudolph who plans to continue the level of service your fuzzy friends have become accustomed to (and honor your loyalty cards too).

Boomerang Consignment is closing its doors after being in Juanita for about a year and a half.  So if you are a consignor, and have clothes or children's items there, you have until 12/30/14 to get them picked up or they will be donated.  You can call to have your things pulled and bagged ahead of time. Hurry, she also has your checks! ;-) 425-820-7763


It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

If you haven't seen this over-the-top Seahawks holiday display, you need to hop in your car and head over to the HIghlands Neighborhood on NE 100th St. in Kirkland when it's dark (say 4pm?).  This is a private residence, people.  I don't even have a wreath on my door, but this guy started creating this 'best fan in the universe' display around Halloween-time.  Santa cannot possibly miss this house.  Go Hawks!

Speaking of lights and show-offs and such, Google is up-ing their game this year too.  A group of Kirkland Googlers have given the campus’ holiday lights their own high-tech spin. They’ve designed and installed a spectacular show consisting of over 8,000 LEDs that will be synchronized to music, and is available for public viewing. The team used both off-the-shelf hardware components and custom software to connect the lights to sequencing software that controls the lights’ color and intensity. Visitors can tune into 95.3 FM to listen to the music, or hear it from speakers mounted in the courtyard.  The show will light up from 6-9 p.m. through January 5. If you are passing by, check it out!

Monday December 22nd is Carillon Point's Annual Christmas Ship Celebration from 5:30-7:30pm.  There will be fire pits for roasting s'mores, children's activities, hot chocolate and an adult drinks bar.  After a few of those, it will be fun to visit with Santa who will be chillin' on his sleigh awaiting photo opportunities.  At 7pm the Christmas ships perform on the shores of Lake Washington with Dickens Carolers to get you in the spirit.  Don't forget to vote for your favorite gingerbread house!

The 12K's of Christmas Holiday Run is this Sunday 12/21. For those partaking in the 12K or 5K cookie-calorie burning extravaganza, remember that there is a NEW route and a NEW starting and finishing point, Heritage Park, this year. Sounds like there is plenty of celebrating afterwards. All the info you need is here. Thanks to all of you running to support the Sleep Country USA Foster Kids.

Happy Holidays, Kirkland! 



Kameha's Cup Coffee : E komo mai

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It's been a year in the making, but Kameha's Cup Coffee (11451 98th Ave NE), is finally open!  Kameha means "giant turtle" or "unique" so we are going to go with the unique translation today.  Owner Monica Colón (photo below) is bringing her coffee beans over from multiple Hawaiian islands and having it roasted here in Seattle.  Even though from the exterior you can still see the ghosts of Jack in the Box, Orexi, Sushiya, and 2CH Burgers, you will be pleasantly surprised once you walk through the doors of our newest Kirkland coffee house.  Monica's dad is a builder and, even after a car ran through the side of their building, has given the interior space a fresh clean look. It's bright and welcoming and if I squint my eyes and sniff my coffee and ignore the pelting rain on the window behind me, I could maybe even be on a island.  The ceiling is even painted like the ocean and Hawaiian islands! (photo)  

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Steve and I each tried a coffee that was made with care and had a great smooth Kona flavor. I didn't try any treats (because I probably already ate 5 Christmas cookies that day, UGH), but I did spy some Blazing Bagels and other pastries from Little Rae's Bakery.   There is free wi-fi and plenty of seating.... of course, until everyone reads this blog post and starts going there and filling their chairs. You'll also find lots of parking, dog treats and tie-ups and there's talk of a future awning with patio seating.

Go say hello, the staff was super friendly and helpful. Note that they are closed on Saturdays because that's roasting day.  Hours are Mon-Thurs 6-6, Fri 6-4 and Sun 8-5.   425-820-4494. 

Gingerbread Lighthouse Display at The Heathman Hotel

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Walk into the Heathman lobby and you can't help but peer into the windows of, and gaze in bewilderment at, the wondrous gingerbread lighthouse that Executive Chef Brian Scheehser and Pastry Chef Sandra Watson have created together.  Eighty hours of laborious detail and treat wizardry, not to mention 20 pounds of gingerbread, 50 pounds of royal icing, 45 pounds of sugar cubes and many candies, pretzels, almonds and crackers adorn this amazing structure.  There are even gelatin sheets for windows.  But the most amazing feat of all is that Chef Brian only ate ONE jelly wreath during construction.  How is THAT possible?  He would be wise not to invite me to a gingerbread- decorating party. ;-)

Just like being in at Disneyland or doing a "Where's Waldo?" book, the longer you stare, the more things you will notice.  At first the Orcas are obvious, but then you realize there's a dog tucked behind the building.  And a bunny.  Oh, and look there are mice on the snow-dusted logs and a fire flickering in the fireplace.  It's quite a sight to see. Make sure to go visit soon, it will be up through the beginning of the year (the drier the air, the longer it lasts!).  ~j

Don't Forget to Lock Up

Tis the season for sharing, giving and..........stealing? Unfortunately, yes.  The holidays can be a time of desperation and crime always spikes this time of year.  Our Kirkland neighborhood learned this on Sunday morning when many (10+) awoke to a flurry of car prowls from the night before.  It's always the 'one night' you forget to lock your door, right? 

So this is a friendly reminder to lock your cars and homes and don't leave electronics or anything of value out.  Here are some other helpful tips- thank you Michelle Sailor of sharing...



1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator. 
2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier. 
3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have. 
4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.. 
5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway. 
6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy. 
7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom - and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too. 
8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door - understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather. 
9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.) 
10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet. 
11. Here's a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms. 
12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me. 
13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it athttp://www.faketv.com/
1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook. 
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors. 
3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again... If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature. 
4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it? 
5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets. 
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address. 
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation. 
8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in. 
Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina, Oregon, California, and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runshttp://www.crimedoctor.com/and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book Burglars on the Job 

Café Organique: Definitely Unique

I had to search around to find this new eatery since it's hidden IN the Comprehensive Medical Center on 98th Ave NE (next to Pagliacci Pizza).  Café Organique has a farm-to-table, local, organic, gluten-free menu of soups/salads and elixirs that had me curious, so Steve and I brought along my Dad/step-mom who were visiting from Jerzeeee.....tough crowd.   It was lunch hour, plenty of parking behind the building.  

When we walked in the door we weren't sure what to make of it.  Have you ever felt like you're on Candid Camera?  Instead of slinking back out the door, we decided to stick with it and be brave together.  We could do this.  Upon entering, we were immediately standing at the counter where you order.   There is simply ONE table that seats eight.  And the table's backdrop is a pharmacy/dispensary with hundreds of homeopathic medicines sitting on shelves and a nice pony-tailed gentleman manning the desk.  Odd, but ok. Rolling with it.  A couple of lovely ladies behind the food counter guided us through what was/wasn't available and we ordered up, and breathed a sigh of relief that our party of four would indeed be able to sit together, as a few other individuals were getting up to leave.  

CafeOrganique (4) <----I noticed this sign posted near the entrance.   CafeOrganique (3)

Which might be what made it even more comical that the one woman still seated at the lone table was sorting through her pile of pills while having a conversation on speakerphone.  But I can laugh at that. ha-ha. And then the food arrived...... and it was pretty darn good.  I had the lemon-tarragon chicken salad (lil salty), my step-mom got the frittata, and my Dad and Steve had the soup.  We all really enjoyed our meals.  Pleasantly surprised.  Everything was a nice lunch portion that was tasty and healthy.  The lemon-lime Kombucha was awesome.  Too bad they didn't have any of the elixirs available that day because I was curious to try one.  I was oscillating between 'sore joints' or 'energizing' or the 'super de-toxifier.'  All areas I could use some help in.  Other selections you'll find on their menu include baked turkey sandwich, quinoa tabouli, beet & goat cheese sandwich, hearty lentil soup, grilled veggies, yam/kale salad, smoothies, juices and teas, to name a few.  Everything is reasonably priced under $10.


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Café Organique
was originally going to open exclusively for the clients of this medical center (which is focused on Naturopathic Treatments and therapies), but decided to open up to the general public as well.  Which then makes more sense why there are only 8 seats.  They have a comprehensive/holistic approach and believe that healthy food is healing food.  Amen to that. 

In summary- if you like a good healthy delicious and reasonably priced meal and don't mind sitting with strangers in the lobby/pharmacy of a medical center, this is a great fit.  Avoiding this spot should be: the corporate luncheon, your crazy toddlers, holiday parties or lunch with your gaggle of girlfriends.  Would I stop in there by myself (as many others were) for a savory bowl of soup on a rainy Tuesday? For sure.

Open Mon-Fri (no weekends) 8am-6pm.  425-298-4575