by BK Haney
Reflections on the pandemic and Anderson School in Bothell
|It was mid-March when I started working from home because of COVID-19. I've since changed my perspective---gained some insight---on what matters most. Some other things really don't matter much at all.
To be clear, I had been working from home whenever it suited me before COVID-19. My employer has a pretty liberal work-from-home policy. While they'd rather that I work from the office, if I need to work from home because, say, I'm expecting a plumber or one of my kids is sick, then I can work from home. No need to justify my decision. Just do it. And, by the way, they pay for my Internet service.
But, in March, as stories of infections and fatalities rose and Disneyland decided to shut down for the duration, I began to see COVID-19 as a really big deal. I started to worry. A lot.
(My family had Visited Disneyland just two weeks before they announced the closure. Whew! We snuck by on that one!)
Even before Governor Inslee invoked his emergency powers and issued stay-at-home orders, I was staying home. I had no need to get on a crowded bus and commute to the office when there was a killer, the novel coronavirus, on the loose.
Granted, my wife and I did seize an opportunity to visit a nearby hotel that we had been curious about. We were out for an early Saturday dinner at our favorite restaurant/hotel/theater/brewpub on the renovated Anderson School campus. We had heard on the news that many people were cancelling their travel plans. Hotels, resorts, and airplanes were operating at well below capacity. So, while waiting for our desert, I walked over to the Anderson School Hotel reception desk (in a room adjacent to the restaurant dining room) and asked if they had many vacancies ("Yes!") and could we get a discount for that night.
I like discounts. Sure, I was seizing an opportunity, but I wasn't taking unfair advantage, The hotel had sudden vacancies and was happy to fill them, even at a reduced rate. And I was happy to see the inside of these storied rooms.
No, seriously---they are storied. Every hotel room is named for a local historic character. We stayed in the Ken & Mary Lynch Room. They had founded Yakima Fruit Market in 1922, just a couple hundred yards down the street from the hotel. The story of how Ken got tired of driving a milk delivery route from Seattle out to Bothell and Kirkland led him to forming his own local produce market is well-shown on the walls.
Such stories are all over the hallways of the Anderson School Hotel, artfully illustrated and well-told. Those stories might be missed if Anderson School Hotel had been part of a national chain. They do things differently at Anderson School. Take a moment to appreciate some original sculpture or paintings. Turn off the TV and read a book.
Oh, wait. There are not TVs, at least not in the hotel rooms. There are in The Woodshop, the brewpub that is part of the Anderson School campus, but not in the restaurant (Tavern on the Square) or the hotel.
That's kinda what makes this property so nice. It's not overpowered by electronic media. The site is well-decorated with treasures of original art, landscaped with native plants, and staffed by people who clearly care about their work and its impact on visitors.
Anderson School Hotel, Tavern on the Square: all part of the legacy of the McMenamins brothers, Mike and Brian. See www.mcmenamins.com for more info.