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Winter Wander 2023 Memories

Winter Wander 2023 Memories

Winter Wander 2023 results

Now that the snowflakes have settled from this year’s Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt, I’d like to thank the 128 teams of West Seattle Wanderers who sneered at the rain and rejoiced in the sun to embrace the challenge.

Over the course of the 10 days, players scouted out 15 local businesses and 10 decorated homes to snap and submit 733 selfies! Altogether, Wanderers racked up 1,407 entries into the prize bag drawing.

Prize donations from local businesses filled four duffle bags with approximately $200 worth of merchandise in each one. The three lucky teams to win the duffles by means of random drawing are: Team Murray, Tata Tochter Time, and Puzzling Pete.

Many teams donated to the local food bank and Toys for Tots to earn extra entries into the prize drawing.

The $100 Grand Prize went to Paxton Phillips for earning the highest number of entries. He accumulated 81 points by solving all 25 clues, submitting a team selfie, and donating 23 cans of food.

This was the fourth year for the Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt. REALTOR® and owner of Just in Case, LLC, Alice Kuder, is the originator and orchestrator of this free annual event. She hopes it is already becoming a West Seattle holiday tradition for all community members to anticipate and enjoy. Winter Wander 2024 will run from December 6-15.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped make Winter Wander a reality, including Randy Winn, Shelley Barouh, Dora-Faye Hendricks, Malu Santos, Robert Peckyno, Alyssa Granlund, Mic Christian, Laura Berkowitz, Nathan Rasmussen, Pam Phillips and the many community members who hosted yard signs in their front yards.

Following is a list of the 15 local businesses who enthusiastically participated in Winter Wander 2023 and the associated clues.

How many did you solve?

Clue: Feathered flyers daily roam, for carbs and coffee at this home

Solution: Birdhouse Coffee

Clue: Shop online, shop in store, consign your goods for sports galore

Solution: Second Gear Sports

Clue: Fine French pastry you will see at this Junction patisserie

Solution: Panterelli Patisserie

Clue: Surfing and cycling never stop at West Seattle’s oldest bike shop

Solution: Alki Bike and Board

Clue: We shall bake with gluten no more, at the sign of the aerial pinafore

Solution: Flying Apron Bakery and Cafe

Clue: Your morning drink, we will prepare, no need to stop and brush your hair

Solution: Bedhead Coffee

Clue: This Junction restaurant is sure to please, its haute cuisine is classic Lebanese

Solution: Phoenecia

Clue: If you don’t like your flab, and you want to get fit, then our awesome lab, is the place you should hit.

Solution: HIIT Lab

Clue: Looking to sell? Looking to buy? Her groovy clothes, are hip and fly

Solution: Funky Jane’s Consignment

Clue: Whether you’re a lefty or not, these guys will cut your hair right.

Solution: Southpaw Barber Shop

Clue: Roses are red, violets are blue, the lights on our cars are red and blue, too

Solution: SW Precinct, SPD

Clue: If you’re going round in circles, and you don’t have time to think, those funny shoes should clue you in, you’re at the  _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _

Solution: Southgate Roller Rink

Clue: Work at your own pace in our flexible office space

Solution: West Seattle Co-Working

Clue: For food and drink, when you want to go out, find the sign with the bird and umlaut

Solution:  Locol Kitchen and Bar

Clue: If on cider you are focused, head to Alki to the  _ _ _ _ _ _

Solution: Locust Cider

two women in front of a decorated house across from the old fire station on 35th Ave SW
Winter Wander 2023 Countdown

Winter Wander 2023 Countdown

Presented by Alice Kuder

Winter Wander is a FREE, LIVE, 10-DAY Adventure designed to bring friends and families together for holiday fun! Open to all West Seattle residents and their friends!

The West Seattle Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt is an annual event that begins the first Friday in December and runs through the second Sunday in December.

Registration is now open for 2023!

Register before noon on Dec. 5th to earn 5 extra entries into the prize drawings!

Countdown to Winter Wander 2023!

Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt Welcomed 24 Teams in 2021

Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt Welcomed 24 Teams in 2021

It’s been a little over a week since West Seattle scavengers checked off the last boxes on the clue sheet. You may be wondering why it has taken so long to see the results posted here. It’s because Winder Wander was so well-received that it has taken me all week to tally scores, label jpegs, retrieve yard signs, and notify the players.

Last year, 12 teams played Winter Wander and sent in 198 selfies. This year, 24 teams took part in the West Seattle scavenger hunt and sent in 466 selfies and several social media posts. 7 of the 24 teams solved all 25 clues.

The team of Rick & Morty, aka Steve and Charlie Bierman, (pictured below) solved all 25 clues AND were the big winners in the drawing for the $100 gift card!

Father & son selfie in front of house with inflatable snowperson in background
Grand prize drawing winners

The names and point totals for each of the Winter Wander scavenger hunt teams are listed below. The highest point total went to Charlie’s Angels. The youngest participant was 1-month-old, Lucy. Even though I made up a couple of the team names myself, I must admit that the one that tickled my fancy the most, was Sleighing It!

Team Murray: 55 points

Beyond the Disaster: 55 points

Go Gesings: 30 points

The Happy Travelers: 34 points

The Finding Falcons: 45 points

Viking and Milady: 7 points

Team Blitzen(berger): 47 points

Sleighing It!: 18 points

Louie, Louie: 47 points

Tinsel Trio: 53 points

Charlie’s Angels: 58 points

Rick & Morty: 56 points

Raining Cat & Dog: 38 points

Gill Family: 26 points

Laura Tyler: 50 points

Kim S.:50 points

Frosty Jingle Head: 43 points

Chunn Family: 46 points

Maria Wellington: 40 points

Victoria Wellington: 40 points

Lucy in the Sky with Snowflakes: 46 points

Mark & Kiarra: 10 points

The Long and Winding Lane: 50 points

Yay! Murdock: 10 points

Special thanks to the many volunteers who helped me plan and execute Winter Wander:

Randy Winn, Barb Joseph, Tammy Contreraz, Christian Jacobson, Dora-Faye Hendricks, Kathy Blackwell, Janine Michelsons, Randy Winn, John Sweetland, Kathy Mulady, Glenn Erickson, Jeff Keller, the Bui Family, the Ga/ Jacobs family, plus the West Seattle Blog.

Local businesses who played along, and albums of photos from their wanderers, are below:

Ampersand Cafe on Alki   Winter Wander 2021 photos-Ampersand

The Bridge  Winter Wander 2021 photos-The Bridge

C & P Coffee  Winter Wander 2021 photos-C&P

Cactus Alki Beach  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Cactus

Daystar Retirement Village  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Daystar

Fire Station #32  Winter Wander 2021 photos-FS #32

Fresh Flours Bakery    Winter Wander 2021 photos-Fresh Flours

HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Cafe  Winter Wander 2021 photos-HeartBeet

Husky Deli  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Husky Deli

Mountain to Sound Outfitters  Winter Wander 2021 photos-M2S

Pegasus Book Exchange  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Pegasus Books

Row House  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Row House

Salvadorean Bakery and Restaurant  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Salvadorean Bakery

Sea Pines Physical Therapy  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Sea Pines

Seattle Auto Licensing  Winter Wander 2021 photos-Auto Licensing

Clue: “Star Wars meets American Animation”-photos

I fully intend to make Winter Wander an annual event, and hopefully a West Seattle holiday tradition, as my way of giving back to the community I proudly call my home. Save the date now for the 3rd Annual Winter Wander: Dec. 2-11, 2022.

When I’m not busy planning scavenger hunts, I serve our community as a real estate broker, which enables me to sponsor events like Winter Wander. Referrals are the foundation of my business, so please consider calling me for a free consultation when it comes time for you or your friends to buy or sell a home.  SingleMindedRealEState.com

Below are just a few of the 466 selfies submitted by Winter Wander 2021 participants.

Team: Beyond the Disaster
Kathy & Glenn plus Santa & a really big elf!
Victoria Wellington in front of Mountain to Sound Outfitters
Team: Yay! Murdock in front of Pegasus Book Exchange
Team: The Happy Travelers, aka The Wilkes

Winter Wander Winners!

Winter Wander Winners!

Congratulations to Terri C. of West Seattle! She, her husband and daughter did a great job of solving 13 Winter Wander clues and won the drawing for $200 in gift cards from local merchants. The businesses they chose are Northwest Art and Frame, Paper Boat Booksellers, Coastal Surf Boutique.

We had 12 groups submit a total of 193 selfies for the contest, and countless other groups who played just for fun!

Many thanks to the 15 neighborhood businesses and institutions who agreed to participate as solutions to our clues. We hope you will pay each of them a visit and express your gratitude as well. They are:

Wildwood Markethttps://wildwoodwestseattle.com/

The Birdhouse

Seattle Fish Company

Cherry Consignment

A la Mode

Curious Kidstuff

Capers

Wing Stop

Indu!ge

Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant

Leaps and Bounds

Paper Boat Books

Peel and Press

BedHead Coffee

Highland Park Improvement Club

Desmond Hansen Artwork

Seattle Fire Department Station #11

Mark your calendar now for the SECOND annual Winter Wander, which will take place Dec. 4-12, 2021.

Special thanks, as well, to The West Seattle Blog, for helping us promote this free, community event, sponsored by Alice Kuder, REALTOR® and Preparedness Coach with Just in Case.

4700 42nd Ave SW, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98116

Winter Wanderers have a blast!

Winter Wanderers have a blast!

Here are the first selfies submitted by Winter Wander scavengers.

Send yours to WinterWander2020@gmail.com by Dec. 13th to be entered into a drawing for a $200 gift certificate to West Seattle businesses of your choice!

Remember, you have until 7PM, Sunday, Dec. 13th to keep hunting and submit your selfies to WinterWander2020@gmail.com

Winter Wanderers Vanessa and son
Winter Wanderers!
Wanderers spot Olaf
Two young women pose in front of a wreathed door.
More Wanderers!
Join the West Seattle “Winter Wander” Scavenger Hunt

Join the West Seattle “Winter Wander” Scavenger Hunt

Hey, West Seattle, let’s start a new holiday tradition. Winter Wander is a free, neighborhood scavenger hunt and everyone is invited.

It will run from 5PM, Friday, December 4, 2020 until 7PM, Sunday, December 13, 2020.

Download the details about how to join the Winter Wander here.

Download the official clue sheet here.

Download the clue map here.

Sponsored by Alice Kuder, REALTOR®, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate, AND Just in Case: Disaster Preparedness Services.

details about West Seattle scavenger hunt
Winter Wander is free and open to all West Seattle residents.
Guaranteed fun at Morgan Junction Community Festival!

Guaranteed fun at Morgan Junction Community Festival!

Looking for some summer fun on a budget? If you’ve never been to the annual Morgan Junction Community Festival, you owe it to yourself to go and check it out. It’s so intimate they don’t even block off the street traffic!

This is the 13th year for the Morgan Junction Community Festival produced by the Morgan Community Association (MoCA). It will be celebrated on Saturday, June 16th, starting at 10:00 am and ending at 4:00 pm. That’s right! Just one, short, summer afternoon to enjoy this “little festival that could.”

The festival is family-friendly, but has something for everyone. Check out the local vendor booths which include some unusual products and services. These are folks you’ll want to support.

This year’s festival will feature live music, kid’s entertainment and activities, commercial vendor and community informational booths, and food vendors.  The festival takes place in and around Morgan Junction Park, with the apex at California Avenue SW and SW Fauntleroy.

Visit their website for a schedule of activities for the day.  http://morganjunction.org

Morgan Junction Festival poster

Good Neighbors Increase Your Property Value

Good Neighbors Increase Your Property Value

It’s true. Having and being a good neighbor, translates into increased home values when it comes time to sell. Meanwhile, good neighbors increase your enjoyment of your home today.

I recently became aware of three free local community resources that might interest and benefit you. All three are web based and designed to encourage personal connections among neighbors. Each is run by volunteers with a goal of enabling neighbors to help one another, somewhat like the barn raising traditions of a bygone era.

The first is NextDoor.com.  Nextdoor describes itself as “a private social network” designed to “build stronger and safer neighborhoods.”  Members use the online network to communicate with each other about things like lost pets, recent break-ins, recommendations for  local tradespeople, and selling or giving away personal belongings. More info at: www.roxhillseattle.nextdoor.com

The second is Time Bank of West Seattle. At its most basic level, time banking is simply about spending an hour doing something for somebody in your community. That hour goes into your timebank account as one credit hour. You then have a credit hour to spend on having someone else do something for you. All hours are valued equally.  www.tops.timebanks.org

The third is a group within Facebook called Buy Nothing.  As the name implies, the objective of the group is to help members avoid buying things that others might already have but no longer want.  It’s a way to share our  communal wealth. There is no bartering, trading or selling. Members offer each other things they have and ask for things they need. Each “Buy Nothing” group is neighborhood specific (Westwood homes fall within the West Seattle-South grouping). Joining this closed group requires permission from the administrators but the only requirement is that you live within the geographic boundaries set for the group.  If you have a Facebook account, simply access it and in the search bar type in: Buy Nothing West Seattle (South). Or ask me to send you an invitation to join.

If you know of other valuable local resources, please post a comment or contact me and I will post about them in the future.

Do West Seattle restaurants welcome single diners?

Do West Seattle restaurants welcome single diners?

single dinersI am a single adult, living alone in West Seattle (not counting my awesome canine companion, Tess).

First, let me say that being alone and being lonely are not at all the same in my book. In fact, they’re not even on the same page. But that is not what this post is about. It is about my frustration at being excluded from the benefits of most “dining out” coupons.

I recently received yet another coupon book in the mail filled with money-saving offers from local businesses. Six West Seattle restaurants offered discount coupons. Guess how many of them would benefit me if I chose to dine solo? None. Zippo. Zilch. Zero.

Every single offer (pun intended) required that I buy one full-priced meal in order to get a second one free or at a discount.  (Note: I am singling out West Seattle restaurants only because I live in West Seattle right now. Restaurants everywhere are guilty of this oversight.)

I don’t know whether I am the exception or the norm, but as a single person living by myself, I long ago abandoned any self-consciousness over eating alone in a restaurant or going solo to a movie theater.

Even so, there are definitely restaurants where I feel welcomed and others where I feel my business is undervalued and underappreciated.

Why should restaurant owners care about catering to singles? Don’t they make much more profit from tables of multiple diners? Consider this:

  • Singles tend to eat out more frequently.
  • Singles often take guests out to dinner and choose the restaurant based on their previous experiences there, whether dining alone or in tandem.
  • Singles talk; we recommend (or don’t) restaurants to friends and family both online and in person.

Here are a few of the things that contribute to the likelihood that I will frequent a particular eating establishment. (Only a few are specific to dining alone.)

  • I am welcomed promptly and politely
  • I am able to look over the menu before being seated
  • The menu includes “small plate” options
  • There is comfortable seating available at the bar or small tables
  • The eatery is clean and aesthetically pleasing
  • The food is good
  • The prices represent a good value
  • The server is prompt, knowledgeable and gracious
  • Neither the server nor management makes me feel rushed
  • Plenty of available parking or transit-friendly options

Am I missing anything that you look for? If so, I hope you will take a moment to comment below.

In the coming weeks, I plan to survey a number of the West Seattle restaurants listed on the award-winning, West Seattle Blog to find out what they do, if anything, to welcome single diners? I will publish the results here.

If you are a restaurant owner, particularly a West Seattle restaurant owner, I invite you to beat me to the punch. Comment on this post to let singles know what you do to accommodate us and show you value our patronage.

One final note. Although the coupon book I mentioned above did not contain any dining discounts suitable to singles, I have since seen one that did. One West Seattle restaurant, and one West Seattle restaurant only, included a coupon good for 15% off the entire bill. No stipulations that you must spend a minimum amount or purchase more than one entree. That restaurant is…drumroll, please! Bang Bar Thai Restaurant and Lounge located at 4750 California Ave. SW in West Seattle’s Alaska Junction. I have eaten there (sans coupon) and had a very good experience.

You see? We do talk! Restaurant owners would be wise to listen.

Single diners

 

 

New homes rising in West Seattle’s Westwood neighborhood

New homes rising in West Seattle’s Westwood neighborhood

Reprinted from my December newsletter:

Another sign that we are easing out of the housing crisis is the spate of new homes being offered by Seattle-area builders. As lenders make more money available to builders, builders are more willing to speculate.  • You may have noticed that many older homes in Westwood are being purchased by developers who “scrape” the dilapidated structures and replace them with new construction. Most of the new homes are much larger than the older homes. As a result, we are seeing sale prices in the $400K-$500k range in our neighborhood. The average existing-home sale price in Westwood (homes built before 1950) is closer to $320K. Over time, this is likely to change the demographics of our neighborhood. It is also an indication that West Seattle’s  “east of 35th” vs. “west of 35th” mindset may be diminishing. Whether or not that has a positive impact on Westwood, remains to be seen. • Do you have an opinion about this? If so, please comment below.

I recently created a new Pinterest Board dedicated to home sales in the Westwood Neighborhood. Each month I will post info about the latest sales. You can access the board here: http://pinterest.com/aakuder/  The board is titled (not surprisingly) Westwood Home Sales.

This home at 7541 31st Ave SW sold for $535K on 10/30/12
This home at 7541 31st Ave SW sold for $535K on 10/30/12