The Dive & Adventure Travel Expo 2013 will connect scuba and snorkel enthusiasts with some of the industry's top experts, brands, and innovations. More than 50 seminars scheduled throughout the weekend will showcase the diving deftness of speakers from across the country, enabling attendees to net information on such topics as underwater photography and safety. ReefID founder and editor John Fifer will host two of these gatherings, sharing ways his online database of diver-captured photos is helping raise awareness for marine life. Fifer will also play host to the expo's signature Saturday Night Film Festival event at 7 p.m. alongside 3D photographer Mark Blum and other presenters.
In addition to engaging activities, the Dive & Adventure Travel Expo 2013 is also home to the best in dive-related gear and information. Approximately 140 exhibit booths connect attendees with purveyors of international adventure from global hotspots including Palau, Yap, the Virgin Islands, and Fiji. In addition to resort representatives, booths also house all of the equipment needed for undersea excursions, with new products ranging from snorkel and scuba innovations to travel accessories and luggage. During face-to-face conversations, dive skills clinics, or snorkel sword fights, expo-goers can get travel tips or plan dive vacations around the globe. While parents research, younger visitors can decamp to a youth section filled with interactive attractions designed for youngsters aged 8–12.
Attendees who come for the education should probably stick for the prizes; the expo plans to give away over $50,000 in door prizes, including a massive grand prize: a full set of dive gear including a drysuit, Weezle undergarments, ScubaPro G260 regulator, Aqua Lung BCD, a TUSA mask, fin, and snorkel set, an Oceanic dive computer, and trips including weeklong Philippine dive adventure from the Marco Vincent Resort.
With a stay at Best Western Plus Tacoma Dome Hotel in Tacoma, you'll be minutes from LeMay Car Museum and Tacoma Dome. This hotel is within close proximity of Washington State History Museum and Union Station.
Make yourself at home in one of the 160 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and microwaves. Windows open to city and water views. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming provides entertainment. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities, including a sauna, a steam room, and a fitness facility. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, an arcade/game room, and a fireplace in the lobby.
Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary hot/cold buffet breakfast is included.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a business center, and business services. Planning an event in Tacoma? This hotel has 5000 square feet (465 square meters) of space consisting of a ballroom, banquet facilities, and a meeting/conference room. Free parking is available onsite.
Some think of raw-food diets as restrictive and bland, but with chef Francisco Hernandez pulling the strings in the kitchen, that's not the case. ?One look at AmeRAWcan Bistro?s menu is enough to convince anyone that raw doesn?t mean boring,? according to the News Tribune writer Rosemary Ponnekanti. ?Vegan burgers, sesame falafel, kelp noodles, kale chips and cheesecake are just some of the possibilities.? Raw cuisine this delectable requires preparation methods unfamiliar to some. Hernandez and his team soak seeds until they sprout, grind cashews for faux milk and cheese, and dehydrate grains for ?bread? that they use to create sandwiches or feed to health-conscious ducks in the park. They never heat any ingredient to more than 116 degrees, which preserves the full spectrum of vitamins and enzymes in each morsel.
While many of the restaurant's dishes mimic foods that are normally cooked, others are straightforward in their freshness; tomato-cucumber gazpacho, for instance, with chopped sweet peppers, basil, and mint. Smoothies and juice blends fresh-squeezed from granny smith apples, parsley, and beets wash raw bites down.
At a separate kitchen station, the chefs layer organic meats and cheeses onto organic, preservative-free bread baked by Essential Baking Company of Seattle, crafting hearty sandwiches that they serve on a set of plates designated for meat. Though the menu is healthy, patrons can find hints of decadence in the form of raw chocolate truffles, beer, and wine.
Perry and Penny grew up together near Prosser, Washington in the 1970s, and were close friends throughout elementary school. More than 20 years later, the two rekindled their friendship but it wasn't all smooth sailing from the start. That year, Penny started making fortified blackberry wine, which Perry described as, "indescribably undrinkable." More than a little annoyed by this harsh judgment, Penny challenged Perry to do better. The result of this winemaking challenge was four cases of merlot that won a second-place ribbon among the amateur entrants at the Puyallup Fair. Stina's Cellars grew from this initial success, and over time production grew and grew, until finally the team was able to move into a small facility and officially open the winery for business in 2006.
At the winery, Perry and Penny?joined by helpful family and friends?make small batches of wine using grapes grown throughout eastern and western Washington. The type of wines they make changes frequently, but past bottles have included a dark and fruity syrah balanced by its bold tannic structure as well as an amber-hued roussane with hints of poached peaches and a pronounced nuttiness reminiscent of sherry. These wines appear on store shelves and restaurant menus throughout the region, but can also be sampled inside Stina's Cellars tasting room. Visitors are encouraged to stop in, try some samples, and attempt to guess which wine bottle contains a wish-granting genie.
For more than 60 years, Elephant Car Wash has resided on the cutting edge of car-wash technology. Archie, Dean, and Eldon Anderson founded the car wash in 1951 when they invented a hands-free machine that could clean cars and never be penalized in soccer. Thirty years later, they sold their shops to Bob Haney, who replaced the car-wash tunnels' plastic bristles with hybrid-blend cloths and high-pressure water nozzles. Nowadays, Elephant Car Wash features computer-operated tunnels that can read pH levels of dirt and—at certain locations—touchless car-wash tunnels that use high-powered water jets and potent detergents only.
Rotating above all of this technological progress is the car wash's signature pink elephant, which doubles as a polestar for drivers who need their vehicles washed, waxed, vacuumed, or shampooed. The trained staff waits outside the full-service car wash with towels and stages a slew of a la carte services including trunk vacuuming and leather conditioning. Elephant Car Wash works with the Puget Sound Car Wash Association and the Charity Car Wash Program, two organizations that strive to keep pollution out of waterways and inside the coffee mugs of Darth Vader.
The woods are full of hazards, from prickly bushes to wild animals. But all’s safe in the Woods at the Children's Museum of Tacoma, where a log pile leads to a play area where kids can build forts and send supplies to and fro with pulleys. The Woods is one of the museum’s five playscapes, which encourage children and their adult guardians to learn through self-directed play.
Youngsters can unleash their inner architects with blocks and tubes at the Invention station, and paint, clay, and other artistic tools at Becka’s Studio allow kids to tap into their creative sides. Aboard the Voyager, children can pretend to fly to the moon or parallel-park between two asteroids. Back on earth, the interactive Water playspace presents a world of tranquil waterfalls and streams.
Afterward, there’s more to explore through the museum’s programs. They range from summer camps to Play to Learn, where kids 6 and younger take part in group activities, sing-alongs, and group circle time.