Towering trees surround Puget Sound's shores, where mountains wrapped in hazy gauze loom in the background as wild animals serenely drink from the open waters and winding Hood Canal waterways. It's here that Olympic Outdoor Center decided to stake its headquarters more than 25 years ago, and where their instructors now lead paddlers onto the water for kayak and standup paddleboard lessons. The coaches also guide salmon-fishing tours and other extended trips, as well as youth adventure camps in which kids learn to maneuver kayaks and paddleboats and master fending off sea monsters with a swift paddle-bop to the noggin.
On land, staff members guide adventurers through mountain-biking camps and competitive races on the surrounding 4,000 acres of forested trails. The staffers help organize outdoor recreation events such as annual adventure sports festivals, paddling and biking triathlons, and overnight paddling trips.
The friendly, helpful staff at Urban Scrapbooker boasts an ever-changing array of memory-preserving materials, including colorful paper, embellishments, and accessories for card making and paper crafting. Use a Tombow Mono adhesive ($3.50) to stick photos of the family, the family dog, or the family microwave onto vibrantly patterned paper, featuring images of food, nature, or downtown Seattle ($0.69+). Bland, boring trips down memory lane detour onto the more scenic remembrance expressways with accessories such as ribbon ($0.15+/ft.) and 3-D stickers in more than 400 styles ($2.50+). Store photos of every cherished lost tooth in an 8"x8" album ($12.99–$17.50), or commemorate Mother's Day, Memorial Day, or Heckle A Pigeon Day with a handcrafted greeting card, designed using a BoBunny card kit ($17.99).
At 102 years old, Carl Kroll still handcrafts holiday wreaths of noble fir, juniper, and cedar from the farm he founded with his wife, Erna, in 1947. Once home to acres of raspberries, Henry's Tree Farm began planting Christmas trees in the 1970s at the behest of partner—and the farm's current namesake—Henry Meybohm. Today, the Kroll family encourages biodiversity and soil conservation among their acres of firs and spruces, replacing each cut tree with a new seedling. The farm also bundles up bunches of stray greens, such as sprigs of pine, grand fir, and nordman fir, so their customers can create their own wreaths or start a decent fire in the office stove.
The first time you visit Canarino Gelato, it can take a minute to locate the 24 daily flavors of gelato and sorbetto. When you finally pick out the handwritten list from all the other art scribbled on the chalkboard wall, you arrive at the truly difficult part: deciding upon a flavor. Year-round favorites such as salted caramel and sour cherry are always a good bet, but they must contend with seasonally inspired scoops of pumpkin gelato topped with crunchy leaves. Fruity, tart flavors are well-represented on the sorbetto menu, and they serve as a nice counterpoint to the bitter and slightly sweet notes of the house coffee.