Before Sandy Horvath retired from his career as a sales manager, he spent his spare time chronicling the lives of his loved ones and documenting his own travels throughout the world. Over time, his love for his craft blossomed into a thirst to become an admired photographer, so Sandy started submitting his action-packed sports photos to newspapers and magazines. With the publication of his work came professional status and a desire to share his knowledge with others. His first opportunity arose in 2009 when the Si View Metropolitan Park District asked him to teach a class. Soon after, the Issaquah Parks District clamored for Sandy's expertise; he now has over 1600 Club SnapShot students and more joining every day.
Today, Sandy teaches students of all ages and skill levels how to transform snapshots into high-quality pictures with lenses, settings, and exposures during his basic, advanced, and creative classes. He loves helping novice shutterbugs abandon automatic settings?the training wheels of photography?and create memorable images with nothing but manual settings and high-tech freeze rays. Sandy also transforms his own work into high-dynamic-range photo art and gallery-wrapped canvases. Students may do the same to decorate their homes, give as gifts, or hang inside windows to hide nature's flaws.
To say Mark Coleman knows how to fish is an understatement. Coleman, the owner of All Rivers & Saltwater Charters, has mastered the art of side drifting, float fishing, hover fishing, back bouncing, and jigging during his more than 10 years exploring the Pacific Northwest’s waterways. In the process, he earned captain certification from the US Coast Guard, a distinction also earned by each member of his team.
Aboard vessels that range from the 29-foot Reel Tight to a 16-foot, nonmotorized drift boat, Coleman and his staff lead chartered fishing trips through fresh- and saltwaters. All Rivers & Saltwater Charters have caught fish on the Columbia and Olympic Peninsula rivers, traveled the waters outside Anacortes and the San Juan Islands, and explored Puget Sound. Voyages pursue salmon, steelhead, lingcod, sturgeon, and other types of fish. The team can also lead fishing lessons for newbies, teaching essential fly-casting techniques, including the correct grip, the different casting styles, and how to use homemade tiramisu as bait.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers in cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group sessions, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, bolster flexibility during yoga, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
At the Gold's Gym Northwest locations, instructors lead water-aerobics sessions within 25-yard salt-purified pools before cooling off in spacious hot tubs. The gyms also boast innovative cardio cinema theaters, where popular films and concession-stand advertisements flicker across massive flat screens as guests peddle away on treadmills and elliptical machines. After lively rounds of racquetball, members can unwind in steam rooms and saunas or sip on replenishing smoothies at the juice bar. During the week, the gyms keep round-the-clock hours.
As strange as it may sound, at Cougar Mountain Zoo, you just might be greeted by a big cat purring. Cougars are among the largest cats capable of true purring, and Cougar Mountain Zoo boasts a distinct subspecies of these overgrown felines, which prowl all over the zoo's award-winning World of Cougars exhibit.
Next to the mountain lions dwell their distant cousins, Bengal tigers, who sprawl out on the green grass or press their noses up to a thick wall of glass separating visitors from the wild animals. Other residents of the zoo include a barrel of endangered lemurs from Madagascar, a crowd of fluffy alpacas, and the country's largest herd of reindeer, who star in the annual Reindeer Festival and deliver presents to all the other animals.
The zoo also boasts a collection of bronze animal statues, a library of wildlife tracks, and a museum that explores not only the world of wildlife, but also the threats they face from human incursion.
Accomplished swordsmen Serge Timacheff and Kevin Mar cofounded Washington Fencing Academy as a haven for fencing enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to hone their skills. Accompanied by skilled coaches—including 2011 veteran world champion Maitre Wang Yung—the duo delivers traditional Olympic-style instruction according to guidelines laid out by the United States Fencing Association and International Fencing Federation. Classes focus on two fencing styles: épée, in which fencers target their opponent's entire body, and saber, a more fast-paced style that targets the upper body only. Sessions unfold atop 11 fencing strips that span a modern sports floor, cushioning steps and comforting joints without the need to compose a knee-specific lullaby.
Opened in Kirkland on Valentine's Day 2011, Palettes and Pairings celebrates the romantic interplay between art and wine. At each evening class, instructors offer tips on brushing life into a 15”x20” canvas while painters nibble appetizers and sip wine, beer, or nonalcoholic beverages. The studio also offers private parties for up to 75 guests, which can be completely customized from painting subject to dietary needs, and include smocks as well as plentiful opportunities to use the word smock.
Serving as a pensive counterpoint to the Kirkland location’s parties, the newer Issaquah studio holds open-house time for all ages four times a week.