Baseball players can't skimp on their hitting, pitching, and catching skills if they want to dominate the game—a fact that the instructors at Northshore Sports Complex know well. In 1982, Cody Webster earned the title of MVP while playing for the Kirkland Nationals All-Star Team—the first US team to win the Little League World Series. He continued to play throughout high school and college, and went on to coach for Pepsi Baseball. His cohort, Craig Bishop draws on 20 years of coaching experience at high schools and colleges. Together, the duo shares the task of teaching students the fundamentals of the game inside batting and pitching cages.
Surrounded by a chain-link fence and divided by safety nets, their astro-turfed cages shelter machines that launch baseballs and softballs straight down the plate. These projectiles can reach speeds up to 85mph, which would be really scary if the baseballs weren't tranquilized beforehand. Sans the machines, pairs can take to the cages to hone their pitching and catching abilities.
Personalized Health and Fitness isn't a typical big-box gym. At its core, it is a group of dedicated personal trainers whose mission is to help their clients achieve their ideal physique. Drawn from multidisciplinary backgrounds, each staff member brings a unique perspective to his or her work, whether it’s experience in adrenaline sports such as rock climbing or biking or higher-education degrees in fitness and physiology. From calisthenics and free weights to intense classes, they use any means necessary to rebuild each body in a more fit image. Trainers also host group classes ranging from cardio kickboxing to strength training, and supplement all of their personal and group workouts with extensive nutrition advice and counseling to maintain healthy weight loss. In addition to personal attention from their experienced staff, the gym also encourages solo workouts, with weight rooms and fitness facilities that stay open 24 hours a day to accommodate even the most hectic schedules.
Thoughtful plans about the future aren't generally on one's mind while drinking, but winemaker Brad Sherman broke the mold one evening. While sipping wine, he saw his career path blaze brilliantly before him, and he suddenly knew he wanted to become a winemaker. After volunteering at wineries in Seattle and Woodinville, he joined the Boeing Wine and Beer Makers Club, where he honed his craft in 2000. He then collaborated with other wine makers and earned his distributors license, and in 2009, he moved his already burgeoning winery into the Wine Warehouse District of Woodinville.
Today, he produces small-batch wines, including Sangiovese, Tempranillo, syrah, monastrell, sauvignon blanc, and grenache blends, many of which have won awards, including the 2010 primitivo, which boasts a balance of ripe fruit and blackberries with hints of spice and tobacco. In his spacious tasting room, he invites visitors to learn more about his wines while sipping a variety of his most recent favorites.
The bracing Italian-style brandy known as grappa flows from a vintage hammered-copper still and into oak barrels for aging at Soft Tail Spirits, a craft distillery that gathers its grape pressings from local Washington wineries. An Old-World still's 58,000-BTU burners boil up fresh batches of grappa, with characters of pear and apple-tinged Giallo and the pleasingly grainy sangiovese. Meanwhile, a multistep distillation process whips up batches of Soft Tail Spirits' sipping vodka, the slightly rebellious offspring of Washington State apples that took home the bronze at the 2010 World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. Lead distiller Matthew welcomes visitors to the distillery for tours in which he shows off the facility, including the hammered-copper alembic he affectionately calls “Maggie,” before doling out samples and bestowing grappa converts with souvenir glassware for future bacchanalian feasts or Flat Earth Society meetings.
Students at Balance Yoga Studio can bolster mind-body connections during yoga lessons such as the pose-centric Hatha. Drawing from a sextet of core tenets that includes mindfulness, empowerment, and community, the founders and their team of instructors have earned the distinction as Best Yoga Studio from Woodinville KOMO News. The founders emphasize acceptance as one of their studio's most important values and helm a universally accessible class lineup. During certain classes, they may meld traditional movements with more modern exercise practices, such as syncing movements to music or reinventing the tree pose as the cellular-tower pose.
Honed by a minimum of 200 hours of yoga teacher training, plus 300 hours of hands-only walking, the seasoned instructors? expertise ensures that students stretch safely during group courses, workshops, and private lessons.
It's not every day that an aroma can pose a question. Upon stepping into Plaza Garcia Family Mexican Restaurant, the smell of baking tortillas instantly compels diners to ask themselves: do I want to fill those steamy flour blankets with char-grilled beef, marinated chicken, or lime-infused shrimp? Wood-carved booths and colorful murals of adobe villages create an ideal backdrop for mulling over this important decision as diners snack on homemade chips and chunky pico de gallo. Once their gaze tapers off the lively décor and settles onto the menu, an overwhelming choice of enchiladas, fajitas, and other traditional entrees springs forth to lend a choice of beef, chicken, or seafood centerpieces. Meanwhile, margaritas splashed with racy tequilas mingle with other libations to give customers the courage to croon tortilla-themed love ballads during karaoke, which occurs every Saturday night at the Woodinville location.