When you leave home for a destination vacation, the destination doesn’t really matter that much. Once you’re out the door, you’re having an adventure. We’ve left our north end Tacoma home before and gone to north end B&Bs and had a great time.
Earlier in June we left our home and traveled to Lakewood. We stayed at the Best Western in the Lakewood Colonial Center area. I was a little worried when I saw only a three star rating, but was completely satisfied with the accommodations. It was a perfect spot for us. The hotel is only a few blocks away from where I grew up. I used to walk to the movies right across the street from the hotel. We drove across the Interlaaken Drive bridge where I used to fish, and visited the Lakewood Playhouse three times, which is less than a mile away. A friend, Malcolm Russell and I drove around Lakewood looking at possible locations for improving the lives of people from the Lakewood community.
My wife, Peggy and I booked a second room (next door) for Friday evening and invited family (mostly grandkids) to join us for dinner and the opening night performance of “The Producers” at Lakewood Playhouse, which was less than a mile away. Those who could stay over had breakfast the next morning at the large Best Western Breakfast and Meeting Room. Each morning I read either USA Today or the News Tribune Sunday edition and then checked my emails and Facebook on the guest computer in the office before visiting the meeting room. Breakfast is available from six to nine-thirty each morning. I would eat my breakfast (good sausage links, potato cakes, orange juice and coffee) and then gather Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, cereal (Honey Chex) and walnuts and sliced almonds for me wife. Peg slept in, which is what vacation is generally about for us.
While walking around on Sunday morning I recognized a friend, Bill Elder, who was standing on the new sidewalk and observing the nearly completed construction project and street between the hotel and the old Lakewood Terrace and Lakewood Theatre. Bill remarked, “They should be done within a week. It’ll look really nice with shrubbery and plants.” Bill and I are in the same book group. He had just hosted the last meeting at his home in Nyanza Park.
Bill is a member of the Lakewood Arts Commission and the Lakewood Historical Society. That is really impressive when you consider he just moved into Lakewood last year. It’s his hope that once this latest construction is complete, there will be new businesses ready to rent some of the now empty shops.
The rooms at the Best Western were reasonably priced. Our King room seemed spacious. My only real complaint was the TV remote control, which seemed archaic and was supposed to work for “closed captioning,” but didn’t. We checked in on Wednesday. I thought at first we were the only people there, but that wasn’t so. The next morning I counted more than thirty cars in the parking lot. Friday and Saturday nights had more than double that number. That’s not bad considering prospective guests had to search for the entrance and dodge construction cones.
We will return later this summer to the hotel. We’ll invite our grandkids to join us again to see advanced theatre students from Lakewood Playhouse’s Lakewood Institute of Theatre perform. The heated outdoor pool is an attraction for them as well.
Although we visited Hess’s German Deli, we didn’t get a chance to dine at Bruno’s nor Old San Juan in Ponders Corner (two of our very favorite places to eat in Lakewood).
One of my favorite flowers in Washington is the rhododendron, and one of my favorite trees in Lakewood is the Garry oak, sometimes called the Oregon white oak. It does well in prairie systems. Garry oak trees (Quercus garryana) range from southern California to southwestern British Columbia. Rhododendrons and Garry oaks make up much of the landscaping on the grounds of the Lakewood Best Western. The rooms at the Best Western were clean, the staff friendly, and the location perfect for getting around the area. While staying in Lakewood, we visited Spanaway, Puyallup, Tillicum, and even Tacoma. We had a lovely vacation in Lakewood.
Cynthia Endicott says
My first real job was at The Lakewood Country Store when the Lakewood Town Center was still owned by Norton Clapp. A first class operation. Quality retail ready to wear, hardware, and gifts. Loved the Lakewood Theater, Lakewood Terrace, high end shops at the Center. Fun to decorate the windows for holidays. Anyone remember the blue lights around the Center? This is a great location and in my mind it will always be the center of Lakewood. Hope it is returned to former glory.
Don Doman says
Thank you for reading and for commenting.
I agree, whole heartedly.
You’re the second person to mention the blue lights. I always thought them pretty and Zoolights the Pt. Defiance Park fundraiser always reminded me of Lakewood’s decorations. I referred the other replier to my friend Bill Elder, who was mentioned in the article. I’ll ask him to see what he can find out about the blue light decorating from the Lakewood Historical Society. He’s a new member there. Perhaps, they can turn up some old photographs. This might make a good article.
Thanks again for reading and writing.