Category Archives: Fun Things to Do

Star Spangled Banner – Happy Labor Day!

Our American flag is obviously the symbol of our country but it has come to remind us of every man and woman who has fought for the freedom that we enjoy. The emotions that are stirred by images of our flag can run from happiness to sadness to even anger and everything in between.

Most of us learned basic flag etiquette when we were young but occasionally, it is a good idea to review the procedures so that we treat the flag with the respect that it deserves.

  • The U.S. flag should not be flown at night unless a light is shown on it.

  • The flag should never touch the ground.

  • The U.S. flag should not be flown upside down except as a distress signal.

  • A U.S. flag should be displayed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff.

  • When displaying multiple flags of a state, community or society on the same flagpole, the U.S. flag must always be on top.

  • When flown with flags of states, communities or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor – to its own right. No flag should be higher or larger that the U.S. flag. The U.S. flag is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

  • When the U.S. flag is flown with those of other countries, each flag should be the same size and must be on separate poles of the same height. Ideally, the flags should be raised and lowered simultaneously.


2010 Jingle Bell Swim for Arthritis in Whatcom County


(For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, introducing the infamous Back-of-the-Pool gang. Yours truly, Susan Stecher, is in the center)

It’s back!  The Jingle Bell Swim at the Bellingham Athletic Club to benefit arthritis has returned for a third year.   Although it’s a newer event than the Jingle Bell Run in downtown Bellingham, the Jingle Bell swim has steadily gained notoriety and participants over the last three years. And this year, yours truly is one of its sponsors!

The Jingle Bell Swim is from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11, please come early. I’d love to see all of you come out and join us in this fun and seasonal event.  Whether you’re a 20 year old college student or a 70-year-old retiree, water aerobics allows for folks of all ages and fitness levels to participate. And it’s for a good cause!

Water aerobic classes and lap swim sessions are available at the Cordata Bellingham Athletic Club throughout the week, day and evenings, with varying intensity levels. Kathy Buckley, owner of the BAC, is a swim expert who’s passionate about serving our diverse Whatcom County community.

Jill Robertson, who has coached for more than 30 years, regularly teaches classes each week at the BAC and says she enjoys helping class participants form healthier lifestyle habits. She’s well known for providing unending encouragement, energy, and enthusiasm in her classes!

Water aerobic classes are designed to make sure everyone feels comfortable participating.  If you’re timid about working out in your swimsuit, clean t-shirts and shorts are also allowed. Some of the classes are specifically designed for arthritic exercise, with those instructors directly trained by The Bellingham Arthritis Foundation.

Classes begin with a brief warm up, followed by 30 minutes of workout, ending with a few minutes of stretching and water yoga. Feel free to use the swim club’s hot tubs and saunas to warm you up after your swim.

Although excercising is often considered a chore by many, that’s not the case with water aerobics at the Bellingham Athletic Club.  The music is fun and upbeat and participants are known to don a costume or two during special holidays. And you can usually count on the Back-of-the-Pool Gang to throw some mischief into a workout with a water fight or two from time to time. This is definitely not your predictable workout routine!

If you want to make 2011 a healthier, happier year, water aerobics can get you on the path to fitness and health and keep you motivated to stick with it. If you’d like a free guest pass to the Bellingham Athletic Club, please contact me (Susie) at (360) 319-4939 and I’ll get you set up! As your Pacific Northwest Real Estate expert, I can also help you learn more about Whatcom County real estate and all the Whatcom County homes that are available now.

Whatcom County Farm Tour September 11

Take the kids out for a fun day of fresh flavors and local food with the Whatcom County Farm Tour, sponsored by Sustainable Connections! Eleven Whatcom County farms will open their doors to the public for this family-friendly, self-guided tour. Visitors can leisurely stroll through fields and orchards and enjoy learning about the roots of local food grown right here in the Pacific Northwest!

Here is a list of the farms that are participating this year:

Grace Harbor Farms, Custer, WA (Goats, chickens, cows; creamery tours; yogurt & lotion samples)

Dakota Creek Winery, Blaine, WA (Wine samples)

Twisted S Ranch, Ferndale, WA (Ranch tour, bison samples, bison photos, coloring for the kids)

Boxx Berry Farm, Ferndale, WA (Farm tour, kiddie train ride, corn on the cob, berry sundaes, fresh berries and produce)

Bellingham Farmers Market, Downtown Bellingham (Open air market)

Bellewood Acres, Lynden, WA (Farm wagon ride, apple cider, food samples)

Bellingham Country Gardens, Bellingham, WA (No-spray fruits and veggies, labyrinth walk)

Silver Springs Creamery, Lynden, WA (Goat milk, Jersey cow milk, yogurts, cheeses and ice cream samples, visit animals, view cheese plant)

Mama’s Garden, Deming, WA (Garden tours, hay rides, children’s activities, fresh sweet corn & veggies, local artisans)

Edelweiss Dairy, Everson, WA (Visit cows, sample Organic Valley goodies, walks along the Nooksack river)

Cloud Mountain Farm, Everson, WA (Orchard, vineyard and nursery fields, fruit stand with apples, cider, fruits, veggies and pumpkins)

Heritage Lane Farm, Lynden, WA (Heirloom vegetables and rare breed animals. Sheep, pigs, geese, chickens, turkeys, ducks and more)

Northwest Washington Fair Coming Soon August 16-21

The Northwest Washington Fair is coming to Lynden soon, and Whatcom County locals know it’s not something you should miss!

From the Lynden Rodeo to a Demolition Derby, from open-air concerts to all the rides your stomach can handle — there is something for everyone this year at the Northwest Washington Fair.

Oh . . . and did we mention the food?

Here is a short list of events so you can plan your perfect family evening at The Fair:

Demolition Derby — Monday, Aug. 16, 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Weird Al Yancovik in concert — Tuesday, Aug. 17 at 8 p.m.

Kenny Rogers — Wednesday, Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Casting Crowns – Thursday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Rick Springfield – Friday, Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Metal Mulisha Motocross – Saturday, August 21, 6 p.m.

For more information, including ticket info, please visit Please visit my informative site at to learn more about what makes Lynden a great Pacific Northwest community in which to live, work and play.

Check out the Bellingham Arts Festival July 31-August 1

Once again, Allied Arts of Whatcom County is putting on a fantastic show in Downtown Bellingham this year!

For two days this coming weekend, the 1200, 1300 and 1400 blocks of Cornwall Avenue will be alive with color, as over 60 of The Pacific Northwest‘s finest artists display their paintings, pottery, fiber art and more! Local Whatcom County bands will perform music on the Main Stage, and the ArtBar will feature local wines and brews for your tasting pleasure.

Also taking place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. is the 18th Annual Chalk ArtFest, an event open to families, children, adults & community groups. There will be prizes awarded and professional photography of the chalk creations. This community event attracts thousands of visitors to Downtown Bellingham to see people of all ages and backgrounds celebrating creativity through the simple act of drawing with chalk on a sidewalk. Wagon rides will allow visitors to tour the chalk creations. Don’t miss this fun community event — if you’d like to participate, adults can buy a square for $25, and children’s squares are $12. For more information call 360-676-8548 ext 5 or email

The vibrant arts community in Bellingham and Whatcom County is just one of the reasons that living in Bellingham is a wonderful experience. To find a work of art that you can come home to each day, please take a look at our FREE Pacific Northwest MLS Search!

Bellingham Concerts in the Park Begin!

Boulevard Park concertOne of the amazing perks of living in Bellingham, WA, is the opportunity to take advantage of all the great live music throughout the summer season! The recreational activities throughout Whatcom County are endless.

From Celtic music to Salsa, Classic Rock to Jazz, music enthusiasts of every kind will find live local concerts to enjoy throughout the summer. Every concert is free and fun for the whole family!

Here’s a list of park venues and times:

At Elizabeth Park in the Columbia Neighborhood:

Thursdays June 24-August 26, 6-8 p.m.

At Boulevard Park in the South Hill Neighborhood:

Saturdays June 19-August 14, 7-9 p.m.

At Big Rock Garden Park in the Alabama Hill Neighborhood:

Selected Sundays June 20-August 15, 3:30-5 p.m.

Children’s Concert Series at the Bellingham Library Lawn in Downtown Bellingham:

Fridays July 16-August 13, noon-1 p.m.

To get more specific details on each concert date, please visit the City of Bellingham.

Pickford Film Center’s Children’s Festival

Since 2007, the Pickford Film Center in Downtown Bellingham has been bringing the best of the Seattle Children’s Film Festival to families in Whatcom County. On May 22 and 23rd, the festival showcases animation, live action and documentary short films by filmmakers both local and global.

The Children’s Film Festival aims to be far more than just a passive viewing experience, however. The Pickford teams up with local Pacific Northwest arts and theater organizations to provide free hands-on workshops to kids and their families. Storyboards, claymation, improvisation and acting workshops are just a few that have been offered at previous festivals.

This year, there’s a new piece: families can head over to the Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building to create their own manuscripts or multimedia characters. Admission to the Museum is $3 with a film festival stub.

Get an Up-Close View of Bellingham History May 9!

If you love history, you’re in luck this weekend! The Daughters of Pioneers are hosting an open house and tours of the Pickett House — the oldest building in Bellingham and the oldest wooden structure in Washington State!

Captain George E. Pickett first moved to Bellingham as leader of Company D of the Ninth Infantry to offer early Bellingham settlers protection.  Soon after his arrival in Whatcom County, he began building his house overlooking the Roeder-Peabody Lumber Mill on Whatcom Creek. Built of undressed planks in 1856, the house is an important historical landmark for Whatcom County and The Pacific Northwest.

Pickett himself left Bellingham in 1861 when he went back to Virginia to lead Confederate troops in the Civil War. After becoming a General, Pickett led the 1863 charge at Gettysburg.

The Pickett House will be open to the public from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, May 9th. The house is located at 910 Bancroft St., Bellingham, WA, 98225.

Photo Courtesy City of Bellingham

Bellingham Ski to Sea Gear Swap May 1

Since 1973, Bellingham‘s Ski to Sea Race — and the festivities surrounding it — have been a big part of life in Whatcom County. This year’s race is only a month away on May 30!

If you’re not familiar, Ski to Sea is a 90-mile race completed by hundreds of 8-member teams from all over the world. Racers start at Mt. Baker on cross-country skis. Downhill skiers or snowboarders take over from there, followed by running, road biking, canoeing, mountain biking and finally kayaking. The race ends in historic Fairhaven.

If you’re looking for gear for the race, or if you’re just looking for some good outdoor gear as the temps warm up, make sure to stop by the Community Building at Bloedel Donovan Park in the Silver Beach neighborhood, 2214 Electric Ave, from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, May 1. You’ll be able to find skis, snowboards, canoes, kayaks and bicycles at great prices!

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for these fun and family-friendly Ski to Sea festivities —

• Golf Classic May 20

• Jr. Parade May 21

• Jr. Race May 22

• Grand Parade May 29

• Ski to Sea Race May 30.

Bellingham recreation abounds during this time of year, and it’s only one more reason why life here in The Pacific Northwest is something special. To find a Whatcom County home here in this active, lively community, please give me a call today at (360) 319-4939 or toll-free at (888) 319-4939.

Photo Courtesy:
lmbevis & michaeleastley

Celebrate Fairhaven’s Dirty Dan Days Seafood Festival this weekend!

If you’re a seafood lover, you may want to make sure you make your way into Fairhaven for the Eighth Annual Dirty Dan Days festival, celebrating seafood and Fairhaven community founder Dan Harris!

Festivities include seafood (of course), live music, a pro fish fillet contest, salmon toss, cupcake eating contest, toy boat building, interactive fish art, an 1800’s dress-up, cooking demos, the Chuckanut Chowder cook-off, and — get this — a piano race down Harris Avenue!

Don’t miss out on this early-spring opportunity to celebrate the roots of the Fairhaven neighborhood.

To find homes in Fairhaven, please search my free MLS search, or give me a call to get the very latest information on great deals on Fairhaven homes!