A fun wine and beer walk

We had a most enjoyable wine and beer walk at the Mill Creek Town Center this evening. There were 10 stations, most had three wine samples, a couple had different samples of beer.

The Mill Creek Town Center is an upscale shopping and entertainment area. It includes restaurants, shops, banks and art galleries.

Seattle area’s Tulalip Resort Casino

North of Seattle just off I-5 is the Tulalip Resort and Casino. There is of course a massive multi-story hotel, many restaurants and shops, and 200,000 square feet of gaming floor with over 2400 slot machines and the usual table games.

The casino is currently offering some very good promotions during March. Lots of opportunities to win Free Play and other promotions including reduced hotel room rates. I wonder if this is due to the corona virus in the Seattle area. Perhaps casino attendance is lower than normal, and offering these promos is a way to keep people coming to the casino.

Beautiful display in the entrance fountain

Statue of Tribal member spear fishing







When visiting family in Seattle, Sher and I like to go to the Tulalip Casino, owned and operated by the Tulalip Tribe. It is really huge, and walking the gaming floor does provide some good exercise! We always designate a certain amount to gamble with, and never go over that amount. Sometimes we actually come out ahead.

Lucky spin turned 50 cents into $25.81 !!


Tulalip has some great restaurants, and the last time we went we decided to try their buffet. With the senior discount we felt it was a decent enough price. The buffet was good, but honestly had a rather small selection. We have been to better casino buffets for less money. Overall, though, the Tulalip Casino is definitely worth a visit if you  are in the area. Even if you never gamble, it is fun to just see how big the place is. There are also some great displays of Tribal art that are worth seeing. Here is the website.


Total immersion at Teatro ZinZanni show in Seattle

We had heard about it, we had looked at the web site, but nothing prepared us for the extravaganza that was our evening at the Teatro ZinZanni Seattle presentation of A Night Like This. It’s hard to describe, but here goes:

Imagine walking into a real life vintage circus tent. This tent, made in 1910, has fine wood work, mirrored walls and wood floors. Fancy does not do justice to the opulence of this structure.  Daughter Katy and son-in-law Mike arranged for us to all go to the show.

Entering the world of Teatro ZinZanni

Striking fabric ceilings in the lobby






The lobby offers coat check, a full bar, and even a “Boutique” for purchasing boas, masks, hats and other trimmings for your outfit. We were seated at our table big enough for 8, but private for the four of us. It was an amazing sight to see how ornate and big the tent was!

The walls are ornate, table is set

Orchestra stage in background, seating where the action takes place






Right after we got our drinks, things started to happen. Cast members started roaming around, interacting with the crowd. The show had started, even tho there was no official “start”! It was time to start eating: course 1 was a delicious beet salad. Keep in mind that this evening includes a full 4 course meal, each served with a flair by waiters/actors. The spacing of the courses is just perfect.

Cocktail time!

My two beautiful girls








The star of the show, Christine Deaver, brought laughter and mirth throughout the evening. Her singing was terrific, and she brought members of the audience into her act several times. Her improve work is sensational and she keeps the audience in stitches.

Christine, photo courtesy of Teatro ZinZanni

Christine, photo courtesy of Teatro ZinZanni

The orchestra is just, well, fabulous. The variety and quality of music those four guys put out is incredible. Throughout the show you will be treated to songs that will bring back memories and get your hands clapping and foot a tappin’.

Both seating and performance area

The salad course: delicious beets







Words cannot describe the excitement you feel when viewing the gymnastic and aerialist acts. An international cast ads to the quality of these performances. The thing about this show is that there is always something going on. When a center stage act in not happening, cast members are wandering around having fun with the crowd. Star Christine liked and felt of Mike’s hair, and another actor repeatedly stated he liked my mustache. You are totally immersed in your experience at A Night Like This.

No photography once the show starts, so we had our group photo taken by the in house photographer

Sher and I have been to many places, events and entertainment venues during our years on the road. We both feel that our night at Teatro ZinZanni Seattle was the best and most unique of any we have experienced. We would strongly suggest that you also attend a performance.



A riotous time at the Seattle International Comedy Competition, ECA version

Wednesday Nov. 19 saw a showing of ten great comedians participating in one of the semi-final rounds of the Seattle International Comedy Competition held in the beautiful auditorium of
the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

IMG_0600_resizedThe evening began with the narrator of the evening’s festivities: Gabriel Rutledge. Oh, my.
Narrator does not due justice to his role in the night’s frivolity. Rutledge is a very very
funny stand up entertainer. He had the audience rolling on the floor during his opening set
and he brought the house down during his set during the time the scoring was calculated after
the ten comics were done. Rutledge really showed why he won the 2004 Comedy Competition.

The comics competing during the ECA semi-final round provided quite the variety of styles and
humor. Some were more humorous than others, in my opinion. Language and mature subject matter
are to be expected at an adults only comedy review. Some of the comedians were able to pull
off the cussing and sexual jokes. I felt that a couple of them did not, however. Enough of
my semi-rant.

This night of comedy was a great evening of entertainment. Hats off to the ECA facility. What
a nearly perfect venue for this type of event. The performance consisted of each comic having
ten minutes on stage: five comedians during the first half with a 20 minute intermission followed
by the last five.

Who won this nights round? First place went to Matt Donaher of Boston, MA. There is a continuing
hectic circuit of shows each night through the semi-final rounds that end on Nov. 23. Final
rounds begin on Nov 25.

The Edmonds Center for the Arts is a marvel of both purpose and facility. This establishment is to be
commended for the hosting of such events as the comedy competition. Once again kudos to Gabriel
Rutledge. Check out his website at http://www.gabrielrutledge.com/.

Gabriel Rutledge on stage somewhere. Photo from his website. Hey, it said to download it!

Gabriel Rutledge on stage somewhere. Photo from his website. Hey, it said to download it!

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at Edmonds Center for the Arts

L to R: McEuen, Fadden, Hanna, and Carpenter

L to R: McEuen, Fadden, Hanna, and Carpenter

Tonight Sher and I shared a theater full of fellow baby boomers in order to hear from an old friend. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gave a one night concert at the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) as they are wrapping up their 2014 tour. Press releases and the NGDB website itself refers to the band as “iconic” and a catalyst for American Rock. Since 1966 the band has earned those accolades and still command the respect of the music industry.

Tonight’s performance in the fine accoustics of the historic auditorium at ECA was a delightful trip down memory lane. The audience had obviously been concert goers for decades. Nearly every person in attendance (with the lion’s share over 55) did his or her own style of appreciation be it foot tapping, hand clapping or engaged in the classic ‘sitting body rock’. OK, maybe not everybody, but I sure had some good memories of concerts past.

From organ to honky tonk piano and everything in between, Bob Carpenter brings a diversity of sounds from his keyboards that have you wondering where the sounds are originating. Jeff Hanna’s vocals are truly powerful in effect. Guitar playing? Hanna shows his skills across several styles of guitar work and blends with the other instruments perfectly. Jimmie Fadden is a classic and superb drummer. I would challenge anyone to name a musician who can get as much out of a harmonica as Fadden can. John McEuen’s work on guitar, mandolin, steel guitar, fiddle and 5-string banjo is at times unbelievable. You won’t find a better 5-string picker than McEuen.

The playlist tonight was classic NGDB as you would expect. “Face on the Cutting Room Floor” was played early in the show with reference to the late John Goodman given. The band gave a moving version of “Dance Little Jean” one I had not heard for a long time. The instrumental solos offered by each of the men during the playing of “Ripplin Waters” was one of the highlights for me. I really got a kick out of the NGDB version of the Beatles “Get Back” with a 5-string banjo. And of course “Mr. Bojangles” was appreciated by all.

John McEuen was brilliant in his monologue and presentation of “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”. He successfully had an entire crowd of boomers singing along with him as he reminded us all that we would have to explain the ballad to our kids and (gasp) grandkids.

Don’t miss an opportunity to see NGDB in concert. This was one of those events that Sher and I can say we were glad we attended. This was a great concert in a great venue.

Northwest Ballet put on a great performance of Drcaula at MBT

The cast of Dracula

The cast of Dracula

The NorthWest Ballet Theater and Academy put on a fabulous evening of ballet at the Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham Washington last weekend. This production of Dracula, based upon the classic Bram Stoker novel, was both exciting and entertaining at the same time. Director and choreographer John Bishop showed his incredible talent with his direction of a most talented cast.

Other reviews of the show when presented at the McIntyre Hall mentioned a standing ovation. The MBT presentation was equally received by the audience. Joshua Deininger danced the lead role of Count Dracula. His techniques have been honed to near perfection, and his interpretation of the sinister undead character of the night just oozed from his stage presence.

Amanda Alexander was also delightful to watch as she danced the part of the wicked Queen Wraith, a partner in crime with the Count. Shannan McCormick Behrens as Mina Harker was outstanding as well. Delci Syvertson was cast as the victim of Dracula’s seductive powers, and the others in the performance were very well received. This ballet company has and continues to provide world class performances in Northwest Washington venues.



Director John Bishop has gone on record saying that the October performances of Dracula will be a yearly event. Make sure to check your calendar in 2015 and catch next year’s NorthWest Ballet production of Dracula.