Two months after she began practicing yoga, Jen Mitchell could touch her toes for the first time. She had turned to the art to help relieve the tightness in her lower body, the result of years spent as a teacher for group cycling classes. As she trained, she became more and more devoted to yoga's restorative power and relaxing aftereffects. Her exposure to the Vinyasa style made her feel as though she had "taken a shower from the inside out." She now leads a team of instructors at Twist Yoga, where she strives to acquaint patrons of all fitness levels with their innate potential.
Twist Yoga?s instructors focus on slow, deliberate breath work and mantra in connection with proper posing technique. The classes encourage students to flex in pursuit of a still mind, but the lighthearted atmosphere eschews utter stoicism for humor and support. Modifications for many poses allow guests of all skill levels to find balance at their own pace. Temperatures in the studio can reach 84 degrees, causing bodies to release toxins and minds to reach a state of clarity while considering buying summer real estate on the sun.
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 Loft Cafe & Courtyard marries the rustic beauty of lodge-like architecture with a modern menu of Pacific Northwest and Mediterranean flavors that change periodically. Their executive chef has crafted a catalog of small and large plates that pair regional meats and seafood with house-made sauces. Large parties can even request a custom menu for their festivities, instead of piling their entrees into the shape of a birthday cake.
The chef dispatches all meals to two floors, where shadows cast by hanging lights and black chandeliers play across wooden ceiling grids. He also sends meals out to the courtyard, where towering heat lamps warm hands grasping moscow mules?one of the eatery?s many handcrafted cocktails. During happy hour, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day, guests take advantage of the lower cocktail prices and while snacking on appetizers from the happy hour menu.
From three locations, Family Fun Centers & Bullwinkle's Restaurant foster lifelong memories for kids and their caretakers as they bond over bouts of miniature golf, laser-tag shootouts, and bumper-car derbies. Visitors taller than 58 inches challenge each other to go-kart races, while smaller thrill seekers practice Napoleonic siege techniques at the indoor fun fortress. Outside, human slingshots hurl visitors safely through the air in harnessed flights, and indoor rollercoaster simulators re-create the twists and turns of amusement-park rides or malfunctioning monorails. After perfecting swings at 18 holes of mini golf or 25-pitch batting cages, visitors chow down at the Bullwinkle-themed restaurant, feasting on crowd-pleasing park fare such as pizza, burgers, salads, wraps, and corn dogs. Attractions vary by location. Valid only at the Tukwila and Edmonds locations.
Northwest native Murphy Pierson draws on the experience of more than 30 years fishing Puget Sound?s waters to help aquatic enthusiasts charter their own saltwater-fishing excursions. Specializing in guided salmon tours, Murphy equips guests with bait, tackle, and fish whistles for year-round charters where they try their hand at reeling in king salmon and coho in the summer or blackmouth in the winter. During May and June, Puget Sound Sports Fishing?s morning and afternoon trips down the Edmonds-nestled waterways turn into bottom-fishing voyages for lingcod. While visitors rest at the end of their trip, Murphy and his crew get their hands dirty cleaning and bagging each catch for the water-weary fishers.
Numbered balls ricochet across the green-felted pool tables at Olympic Billiards during regular open-play sessions and tournaments, their clacks creating a subtle rhythmic soundtrack. When not aiming pool cues or hiring a sheepdog to corral every ball except the eight ball, patrons can test their accuracy at dartboards and their timing at air-hockey tables. While playing, they sip on cocktails such as the incredible hulk, surfer on acid, or oatmeal cookie shot, or choose from 12 domestic, imported, and craft beers on tap. On the food menu, traditional pub bites mingle with Asian dishes such as gyoza, egg rolls, and spicy ramyun noodles.