If you have kids, and haven’t seen it already, check out the other part of this post: How You’ll Spend Your Summer Vacation (kid’s edition)
We know how it is. The rest of the year you’re surrounded by people telling you what to do, but for a couple of weeks in the summer you get a vacation and your time is your own! But trying to decide the best way to maximize your free time can be stressful and time-consuming. That’s where Encore Books comes in. You might say we specialize in reducing stress. We’ve put together a few ideas of stress-free ways to spend some time, and most of them can work with other plans you’ve already made.
Explore Your State
Washington State is not the biggest, and certainly not the smallest, but it is one of the most diverse places in the country. We’ve got the usual lakes, mountains, and rivers… but also a wet side and a dry side, Plus rain forests, volcanoes, and plenty of other unusual features… and that’s just the geography!
If you’ve been stuck inside too much already this summer, we’ve got lots of books that will help you discover the State of Washington (not to mention the rest of the Northwest and the world) in a variety of ways, but here are three to get you out the door quickly:
Off the Beaten Path: Washington will take you to the parts of this great state you’ve never seen while avoiding the places the tourists have already discovered. You could be watching for harbor seals at the Dungeness National Wildlife refuge, or go to the Snoqualmie Falls Candy Factory and sample fudge, taffy and peanut brittle. Whatever you are in to, there’s something in this book to indulge you all over the state and all year round.
If you want to experience the great outdoors in small bites, Day Hiking Eastern Washington is for you. It contains 125 hikes (with 25 more online), all rated for quality and difficulty, as well plenty of information on flora, fauna, and local history. And if you’re looking for a slightly longer hike, it’s got suggestion for how you can extend these shorter trips.
Of course if you have a dog, you’ll want them with you, so we have Best Hikes with Dogs: Western Washington, featuring “85 of the best dog-friendly and dog-fun trails in the Olympics and the Cascades” including easy strolls and multi-day backpacking. It also includes tips and advice to make your doggy outing fun and safe for both you and your animal friends.
Kick Back and Relax
If all that physical exercise is not your thing, how about chilling out with a chilled beverage? Perhaps one made locally? Perhaps one you made yourself?
With The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert, you will learn everything you need to become the kind of wine snob you always wanted to be! This book is the fun and easy way to learn not only what wines you like, but where to find it. And yes, it really is a scratch and sniff book, so you’ll have to keep it away from the kids because these are adult beverages, afterall.
If wine is not your thing, maybe you’ve always dreamed of making your own beer! Mastering Homebrew will get you there. It’s got everything you want to learn about making beer, from beginner to advanced, from an internationally renowned brewmaster and brewing instructor.
If that’s more than you want to get into, but still like a hand-crafted drink, we have 101 Sangrias, which are perfect on a hot sunny day, and Cocktails for Book Lovers, with great pairing to go with many of the worlds greatest books and authors. Both books are packed with recipes and other helpful information to help you get your relax on.
Get Your Grub On
Of course man cannot live by wine alone, and we’ve all got to eat sometime. During the summer that means one thing: Barbecue!
We’ve got a wide variety of cookbooks at Encore Books, including several devoted to ourdoor cooking, but The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces is the one you need if you want to make your neighbors envious. The cover says it all: “225 Extraordinary sauces, rubs, marinades, mops, bases, pastes, and salsas for smoke-cooking or grilling.” 225 recipes is more 2 per day for the whole summer, so it should keep you and everyone within olfactory range pretty well-fed for quite awhile. Of course, there’s nothing that says you have to invite people over… but you’re probably going to want to show off a little.
On the other hand….
With this extreme heat we’ve been having you might want to stock up on books at Encore Books and then go home to park yourself and your reading list by the Air-Conditioning!