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Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Pacifica: Seriously...We're Open!

That's what the sign on the fence by the gated entry says:  "SERIOUSLY...WE'RE OPEN!"  

Welcome to the neighborhood!

The brand new 177-unit high-rise apartment towers now known as The Pacifica has its first residents already moved-in and held an invitational open house on Friday afternoon.  
The Pacifica was built by the Rush Companies and managed by Rush Property Management. It is located in what had been a largely underutilized parking lot on the back side (west side) of the Tacoma Mall Office Building.  The lot saw little use except for a motorcycle rider instruction class that was held for many years.  What a surprise when the construction area fence first went up.  It has been a joy to see the project develop literally from the ground up.  

The Pacifica's amenities include a massive outdoor swimming pool and deck, cabana, sauna, business center, massage therapy suite, storage units adjacent to apartment units, and underground parking. 

The interior architecture is modern and exquisite.  Granite counter tops are so expansive they're breath-taking. Every unit has a unique style.  Nothing boxy-looking.  Even the studio apartments have features that are enticing.  Windows and transoms galore with abundant natural light to frame the sunsets on the Olympic Mountains (west) side of the buildings and the sunrises on the Mount Rainier (east) side.

While attending the open house reception there was a palpable super-charged energy in the air among the leasing agents.  They were so welcoming and accommodating.  I toured one each of every apartment floorplan available:  studio, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom with 2 baths, and 2-bedroom with 1-3/4 baths.  The color palettes that were chosen have a warmth and home-like feel that is very welcoming.  
The reception was held in a community room that features a wall-mounted flat screen television and amazing sound system.  It was an altogether lovely event to kick-off the opening of The Pacifica.  Congratulations to all who have worked so hard -- especially the construction workers -- who braved rainy days, strong winds, and icy conditions -- to stay on the job and build this grand new destination location for future residents.  

It is heartwarming to see that despite so much of what we see and hear about how tough times are (and they are tough for many people) that there are still visionaries who move forward, plan, and build for what will be better days and years ahead.  

Hats off to Rush Companies and The Pacifica.  

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Champagne Reception for National Activity Professionals' Week

This is National Activity Professionals' Week.  Activity Professionals from throughout Tacoma and Pierce County were honored for their commitment and hard work all year long.  The event was hosted by Bridgeport Place with a Champagne reception, appetizers, door prizes for all, and free seated chair massage for each Activity Professional who attended.  Several commented on what a remarkable switch it was to be on the receiving end of so much pampering.  They loved it.

Activity professionals are the health care team members whose creative energies flow without ceasing to plan events and activities daily (a whole month's-worth at a time) for the Activity Calendar in skilled nursing facilities, e.g. nursing homes, and in assisted living communities.  They keep seniors in shape physically and socially by continuously putting together ideas that will be of interest to retirees to keep them engaged and active.  Http:// has an award-winning executive director (Sandy Nelson) who leads a management team that contributes to the nonstop events and activities that keep residents' minds and bodies active.  

Activity Director Linda Janicki plans the calendar each month with a team of residents who contribute their ideas -- every resident is welcome to give input and suggestions -- so that the seniors are given empowerment and ownership, which leads to more involvement as their interests and experiences are diverse.  Thus the calendar is literally chock-full of a cross-section of ideas that keep the residents' lives invigorated and interesting.  Linda Janicki has an Assistant Activity Director John Brown who is a senior himself.  He is a great storyteller and the residents love spending time with him.  

The event this year was a first, but gauging by the appreciation that was expressed, it is likely to become an annual event during National Activity Professionals Week.

Fish and Chips

Interestingly, the same day that The News Tribune published a lengthy, well-researched review of reader-suggested 'favorite' Fish and Chips destinations around Tacoma and Pierce County, one of my coworkers and I had just treated ourselves to lunch at Steamer's at Titlow Beach.  I was happy to see that Steamer's was included among the restaurants that writer Sue Kidd reviewed.  Over the years, I've been to almost all of the ones she wrote about.  Still, Steamer's remains my favorite.

The fish is fabulously fresh and definitely has a crispy-crunch from the breading.  Portion sizes are over-the-top.  I ordered the 3-piece fish and fries with Caesar salad, and a fountain drink.  $13.14 for the total.  When the meal was served, it was so beautifully plated and colorful, I had to whip out my camera and take a picture before starting to eat it.  But look at the size of these pieces of fish!  Enormous.   So much, I couldn't finish it all.  

Steamer's has long been a favorite with my family and we've shared many special occasions there over the years.  'Back in the day' Steamer's offered a Monday night 'All You Can Eat' that was well-attended.  Even at lunchtime on Thursday the restaurant was absolutely packed.   You can't go wrong for lunch or dinner at Steamer's.