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.
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.
For decades, the city of Tacoma was the minor league home of MLB teams from across the country. It hosted affiliates of the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago Cubs, and even the New York Yankees for one season. In 1995, the Seattle Mariners took over Tacoma's team and instantly inherited the long-time organizational name, the Rainiers. The alliance has seen much success over the years, including a Pacific Coast League championship in 2010, a title the club had to win on the road while Cheney Stadium was groggy from anesthesia as it endured drastic renovations.
Those renovations earned the facility a "2011 Renovation of the Year" award from Ballpark Digest. Once dubbed the "100-Day Wonder" thanks to its hasty construction before the 1960 season, Cheney Stadium features an iconic 75-foot wooden exterior façade. Inside, the stadium now boasts such modern amenities as luxury suites, a restaurant, and a grass berm along right field. Despite all the updates, though, the stadium has preserved its epic 29-foot tall batter's eye in centerfield, which sits a distant 425 feet—or, the equivalent of 5,437 sunflower seeds—from home plate.
Tucked in the breezy shadows of towering douglas firs, golfers hunt birdies and pars across Lake Spanaway's 7,083-yard course. Fairways tunnel through communities of trees that convince errant golf balls that they are pinecones. Three of the course's holes earned honorable mention in the Seattle Times' Puget Sound area's Dream 18 Holes, including the par 4 12th, where tee shots must trace the fairway as it curves left through a narrow tree line and toward a green shielded by an oasis of vast bunkers.
A covered, lighted driving range sits beside the course, where golfers smooth out swings undisturbed by waning daylight, rain, or hail caused by skydivers eating sunflower seeds. The course's staff of golf pros also helps manage on-course techniques with a variety of instructional options, including complimentary 10-minute lessons.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 71 course * Length of 7,083 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 73.5 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 124 from the farthest tees * Four tee options * See the scorecard
Every time he begins a new handcrafted batch, winemaker Philip Coates strives to bring out the elemental flavors of his Washington-grown grapes. A limited production schedule lets Philip and his team spend more time on each varietal, de-stemming grapes by hand before fermenting batches with native yeasts and aging them in french oak barrels. Next, they fill, cork, and wax each bottle by hand before applying labels designed by local artists.
Though his repertoire has grown since 21 Cellars? inception in 2003, Philip?s specialty remains bordeaux varietals, including a 2009 malbec and the 2006 Pont 21 cabernet sauvignon, which _Seattle _ magazine deemed Washington?s top new wine of 2011. Alongside wine by the bottle, staffers pour samples of current wines at weekly tastings at 21 Cellars? own tasting room?a cozy grotto lined with oak barrels.
The nine-hole course at Highlands Golf tests the mettle of mid- to short-range irons with nine par 3s and a bounty of scenarios that demand short-game finesse. Whereas most courses place value on long drives and superhuman muscles like Arnold Palmer's, Highlands Golf makes players rely on dexterity with shorter irons and putting prowess. Tee shots range from just 100 yards to 200 yards on the par 3s, with eight bunkers and three water hazards ready to confound overconfident swings. Rounds typically take less than 75 minutes to complete, providing an unintimidating layout for new players to practice, space for veterans to show off their short-game theatrics, and enough soft landing spots for speed golfers to test the aerodynamics of argyle tracksuits.
Course at a Glance: