Photo Card Creations is a leading online retailer for photo cards, invitations, and announcements, giving save-the-dates and season's greetings a personal stamp of elegantly un-pixelated digital portraiture. Since 2001, the custom creations have given couples, families, and solo heroes of the printed greeting a vast canvas on which to frame their valiant visages, with body language-enhanced thank you cards, warmly grinning invitations, and fatally cute cards to commemorate tiny new humans. All cards are printed on cardstock that, at a thick 100 lbs., is a bit self-conscious about its weight, but delivers a reliably sturdy greeting all the same. Cards for any occasion come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs, including hard-to-find watercolor and hand-torn-edge cards ($2.20–$2.35 each), panel insert cards ($2.05–$2.20 each), or a classic folded linen card in either cream or white ($2.10–$2.35 each).
By answering any and all questions about their erotic wares, the staffers at Amazing Intimate Essentials have helped promote safe and sensual trysts for more than 40 years. Their selection of massage oils, lubricants, and adult toys—which occupies stores spread throughout the Northeast and Texas—contains goods from such established brands as We-Vibe, Jimmyjane, and K-Y. They staff female-friendly merchandise, as well as products that help couples create more sparks in the bedroom than a master metalworker soldering a "do not disturb" sign to the door. The staff stresses openness and acceptance in regards to romantic endeavors, an attitude that also fuels their unwavering support of the LGBT community.
In more than 1,112 stores worldwide, Edible Arrangements' Fruit Experts arrange pieces of premium fruit in stunning displays for all occasions. Customers can customize their order to suit any occasion, receiving chocolate-dipped fruit such as pineapples, granny-smith apples, and juicy strawberries that, unlike the sodas found in most mummies' crypts, don't contain any preservatives. Fruit Experts can dip fruit in gourmet semisweet or white chocolate. For birthdays and anniversaries, chocolate wielders can personalize bouquets with gifts such as plush teddy bears and mylar balloons.
When owner Mike Wade directs his customers to local fishing holes, he knows what he’s talking about because he's fished them himself. Mike’s passion for fishing influences the gear he keeps in stock, from new and used reels to fresh saltwater bait to AquaSkinz clothing and accessories. He even fashions his own line of plugs, inspired by his fishing adventures and information gleaning during focus groups of randomly selected striped bass.
Thanks to the careful gardening of its "fiercely independent" local owners, Bank Square Books' shelves teem with all manner of pencraft, mingling best-selling fiction and nonfiction with lesser-known novels as well as the most expansive assemblage of children’s books in the area. Guests can nestle into cozy seats and browse the adventures of ex-Navy SEAL Max Moore and his wise-cracking sock puppet in Tom Clancy’s best-selling Against All Enemies ($28.95) or feast eyes on the bookery's numerous staff picks. Tyler recommends The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet ($15, paperback), which follows a young Dutch clerk as he navigates the dangerous political intrigues of samurai-era Japan's sole port to the outside world. Annie, meanwhile, loves Kristin Kimball’s The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love ($15, paperback), which chronicles one woman’s flight from New York City to start a farm in the North Country. Henry Kissinger's negotiation strategies in On China ($36) will prove invaluable to recreational diplomats who are tired of navigating the land mines in their feuding roommates' DMZ.