A siren whines, and its volume suddenly overwhelms all other sounds on the ravaged battleground. Soldiers peek out from between layers of sandbags. Some stick to the camouflage netting on the edges of the field, cautious, yet daring to hope that the keening noise means a ceasefire. They're out of ammo. Finally, the call comes over the loudspeaker—"Reload!"—and they rush forward, snatching up handfuls of bright orange darts and popping them back into their plastic weapons. Once the siren goes silent, the fighting will begin anew, and the indoor arena will once again become a flurry of foam projectiles and laughter.
This scenario is a typical open play session at the Tag Zone, where an armory of Nerf guns ensures safe yet thrilling competitions. Every battle follows the rules of one of four team-based games: squad vs. squad, capture the flag, protect the leader, or "the prison." Youngsters ages 5 and up launch and dodge the soft missiles in an indoor arena dappled with padded obstacles. Field #1 displays inflatable bunkers throughout the 2,300-square-foot zone, whereas Field #2 stacks sandbags and barrels around 1,900 square feet of military-themed space. To encourage teamwork and fair play, a referee oversees each bout.
Though The Tag Zone is all for friendly rivalries, the staff refrains from tracking scores. They prefer to focus on in-the-moment excitement and sportsmanship. In addition to rounds of open play, they also host private parties, tournaments, and monthly sleepovers, which bookend a night of rest with Nerf warfare. Additionally, adults can also join in the fun of aiming toy bazookas during corporate events that forge bonds between coworkers. Parents can even participate in open play matches, preparing their kids for the day when they must hunt and capture their own birthday piñatas.
At The Scotch and Vine, owners David and Jill Pritchard blend upscale, artisan American cuisine, fine wines and scotches, and local, seasonal cuisine. The staff pours libations from more than 210 single malts, blends, bourbons, and ryes, as well as from a wine list that earned an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. With that deep selection to work from, friendly, knowledgeable tenders help diners pair their dinners with the ideal wine, craft beer, or whiskey. In the kitchen, meanwhile, expert chefs sizzle hearty elk burgers, juicy sirloin steaks, tender seared chicken, and roasted beet salads. This cuisine helped Scotch and Vine earn a spot on King5 Best of Western Washington's 2013 list of the area's five Best New American restaurants.
The strains of Spanish guitar and live blues bands form a classy soundtrack to wine tastings or seminars on Scotch-crafting, while plates of fine cheese from regional farms complement the flavors of smoky spirits, frosty brews, and rich red wine. The bistro's cushy leather booths, accents, and soft lighting evoke the image of a grandfather's cozy study or a precocious 6-year old?s tree fort.
Be it a house party, a wedding, or a prom, Ramundo Andrews, a.k.a. Deejay Mythikal, is ready to plug in his laptop, turn on the mixer, and crank up a variety of tunes to fit the scene. He soundtracks parties with new and old school tracks in a range of genres such as rap, soul, and disco. Though he's been playing records for five years, Deejay Mythikal's musical experience dates back to high school where he first began to play in local bands. Since then, he's delved into musical production, sound engineering, and song composition.
As a personal trainer for a big gym, Drew deVry grew disenchanted by the hundreds of dollars he was asking people to spend on training each month. He knew that the costs were prohibitive for so many people, and so he struck out on his own and opened Freedom Fitness.
With more than a decade of training experience and a certification from the American College of Sports Medicine to guide him, Drew developed hundreds of exercise routines for people of every ability level. When members walk in the door, he and his staff pick out a workout based on their goals and restrictive issues before helping them get acclimated to the equipment. Routines make use of equipment such as free weights, cable machines, and a full lineup of cardio equipment, including the gym’s treadmills, elliptical machines, recumbent bikes, and StairMasters.
In addition to penning a plentitude of workout plans over the years, Drew—a certified nutritionist—has also authored a variety of nutrition plans. He and his staff pick one to suit each member, usually starting off aggressively to trigger an encouraging round of fat loss, then tapering into a sustainable plan for lifelong health. He eschews reliance on supplements in favor of tapping into the nutrition in everyday foods, hoping to inspire a "love affair" with fruits and vegetables that makes visits to the produce section exciting.