The Hobby Smith is my first stop in model railroading supplies and railroad books. The owner and staff are all friendly and the owner is willing to special order details parts and kind of off-the-beaten track kits for me when I ask.
Come to the Hobby Smith a few times and they'll remember the sorts of interests you have. My two eight year old girls frequently come with me and are welcomed right along with me, even though sometimes all they want to do is go to the bathroom or ask me for ice cream next door.
This place has a large selection of N, HO, and O scale items, and even some Z scale. They also carry some brass items for people into that sort of thing. The book selection for Pacific NW roads is very complete, with both new, used, and out-of-print books.
For ideas, there are several videos and magazine titles. The shop staff and the owner are also ready to answer questions.
There is a literature rack with fliers about local and Pacific Northwest rail or model railroad events.