For Jody—the namesake of Jody's Gourmet Popcorn—a kernel of popcorn is far more romantic than a red rose. In college, she would walk the streets of Chicago with her future husband, Alan, while they both nibbled caramel corn. The treat even played a role in their marriage: Alan hid Jody's engagement ring inside the prize envelope of a Cracker Jack box, which usually only contain platonic watchbands. So it was only natural that, upon moving to Virginia Beach and discovering a dearth of good caramel corn, Jody took matters into her own hands—or more specifically, her own garage. There, she and Alan started popping corn in pursuit of the ideal snack. On the 53rd attempt, they finally perfected the sweet recipe that would transform Jody's Gourmet Popcorn from a part-time hobby into a thriving business.
Their "Recipe 53 Caramel Popcorn" remains the shop's
signature offering, though the duo has gone on to create dozens of sweet and savory popcorn varieties. The store scoops up everything from movie-style corn to kernels spiced with jalapeño or
drizzled in white and dark chocolate. Jody and her team also create colorful popcorn in holiday colors or the hues of a favorite sports team, which customers can take home in a decorative tin. And for those unsure about this whole popcorn thing, the specialists also slice rich fudge in flavors such as chocolate chip cookie dough.
A holistic health-care facility that unites a team of alternative practitioners under one roof, Essential Wellness strives to relieve patients of their ailments using an approach that centers on the cause of symptoms instead of the symptoms themselves. For example, when discussing the treatment of depression, instead of prescribing traditional solutions, such as antidepressants or bank vaults filled with bubble wrap, Essential Wellness' owner rattles off a litany of alternative therapies, including constipation relief, positive thinking, meditation, exercise, and probiotics. The staff helps heal patients with comprehensive natural medical care that can include naturopathy as well as wellness classes, health programs, and detoxification services that can stabilize immune systems. The team also deals with nutrient deficiencies and works with patients who suffer from hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, adrenal fatigue, and more, Shades of turquoise fill treatment rooms with a color meant to awaken clients' confidence, and framed affirmations such as "I love myself" and "Those water-park guards will never stop me" inspire people to look inward for healing strength.
The Sanskrit phrase, “Atma Bodha,” translates to “self-awakening.” Founder Avery Jones experienced his own "atma bodha" at the young age of 16, when he stumbled across a copy of the Bhagavad Gita while rifling through his father’s book collection. This spurred him to study the yogic philosophy, which shaped the rest of his life and eventually led him to open the Atma Bodha Yoga Studio years later.
Today, he and a dozen passionate instructors helm 25 weekly classes that span the style spectrum, ranging from open-level Vinyasa to the more intensive dharma mittra. Amid vibrant yellow walls and the glow of tranquil lighting, the team adapts routines to accommodate practitioners of any experience or fitness level. They not only work to strengthen the body, they also aim to stimulate the mind—which is why they begin and end each visit chanting, meditating, and performing electroshock therapy.
The saying "If you want something done right, do it yourself" rings true for for the staff at Sarvanas Beauty—who, unsatisfied with current serums on the market, decided to create their own line of skincare. Sarvanas Mantra combines botanical ingredients with the latest skincare technology, resulting in products that both nourish and improve complexions. These serums may be used in tandem with any number of high-tech services, from microdermabrasions to collagen-boosting ultrasonic treatments. Trained specialists also turn their hand to enhancing natural beauty with eyebrow threading, makeup applications, henna tattoos, and a vast variety of lashes that are customized for each client. The beauty spa has several convenient locations to choose from, all of which maintain
a high level of pampering.
Gwen Willhite founded Cookies By Design in 1983, when an unsatisfying brainstorming session about gift ideas led her to ponder one exciting question: why should flowers and sweets remain separate? Her solution was to design the cookie bouquet, where custom hand-decorated cookies are displayed on sticks and arranged like flowers in gift baskets. Her invention quickly became a popular gift among locals, particularly those allergic to real blooms or too bashful to look at naked cookies.
Twenty-five years later, there are roughly 90 Cookies By Design locations across the country. Each shop's team of bakers creates cookie baskets with a degree of care that matches Willhite's original vision, decorating and arranging sweet shapes for birthdays, holidays, and any other special occasion.
At each Show Bride event, local vendors showcase their wedding wares and nuptial know-how so that brides and grooms may glean inspiration and connections in preparation for the big day. Couples can trade creative thought bubbles while walking arm-in-arm through a roomful of exhibitors that cover 50 categories of wedding execution, from bands and bartenders to dental work and help scrapbooking a lock of every wedding attendee's hair. Each event-goer has ample one-on-one time with vendors for brainstorming, accepting free samples, and hoisting vendors atop chairs to get a feel for their structural integrity. Enter for free prizes that differ at each event but include such largess as travel, gift cards, and goody bags.
Virginia Beach Rock Gym is anchored by a 32-foot wall, where auto belay, top rope, and lead climbing sections help guests tackle realistically textured slabs, inverts, roofs, bulges, cracks, corners, and arêtes. Two 12-foot tall freestanding boulders are available for climbers wanting to develop strength and practice technique while staying low to the ground. In addition to supervising the climbing areas, VBRG’s friendly, knowledgeable, and professional staff members also run a fully stocked pro shop and teach classes that cover topics, including knot-tying, belaying, the philosophies of the "rock star" lifestyle, and the ever-important technique of traversing past a pterodactyl nest without disturbing the mother.
Guarded by pirate statues perched atop treasure chests, gripping pistols, and wielding hooks instead of hands, the 18-hole course at Pirate's Paradise Miniature Golf challenges players with rolling greens and winding waterways. In addition to a bounty of buccaneers, the mini-golf course is decorated with flowering plants, waterfalls, and tranquil ponds. After rounds of mini golf, players can reenergize with hot dogs, funnel cakes, and milk shakes whipped up at the snack bar. Elsewhere, youngsters can celebrate birthdays with two hours of unlimited golfing followed by two hours on the pirate ship, where they can feast with friends and force piñatas that won't break to walk the plank.
The knowledgeable team at Jerry’s Artarama stockpile a vast selection of art supplies for amateur and professional projects. Staff members roam the store answering art questions and help track down hard-to-find supplies for any medium including wrapped canvases and invisible ink. The onsite custom-framing shop outfits works in traditional wood and aluminum frames with a variety of matting options to enhance and preserve enveloped images. The emporium also hosts workshops throughout the month to develop oil- and watercolor-painting techniques, as well as demos to meet and learn from instructors in a more informal setting.
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Jody G outfits humans and mannequins with contemporary, high-end threads and baubles. The ever-changing stock, like a shoebox filled with baking soda, keeps closets fresh; recent offerings include stylish separates and modern dresses from Bailey 44 ($49+). Vintage looks get a jolt of contemporary influence in Sanctuary's line, draping figures in cozy sweaters and trim trousers in eye-catching colors ($86+). An air of eclectic Bohemia permeates the breezy and bold sweaters, jackets, and dresses from Joie ($108+), its garments affecting a modern panache. Meanwhile, brand names such as Rebecca Taylor, Halston Heritage, and Genetic Denim can balance out faces tattooed with Minor League Baseball logos.
Halloween World offers a selection of more than 3,000 Halloween items, including spooky décor, costumes, and accessories for all ages. Frighten neighborhood children with interactive outdoor displays, such as a four-foot-tall motion-activated “tortured soul” that shakes his cage and screams, “Let me out!” ($49.99). Or frighten children with indoor décor, such as a bloody-arm and hand decoration ($7.99). The store's vast costume collection includes popular brands such as Leg Avenue, Dreamgirl, Fun World, and Rasta Imposta. Find ensembles for the whole family, such as a girl’s little princess costume ($19.99) and a boy’s Spiderman costume ($29.99). Adults can find outfits on the sexier side, such as Leg Avenue women's Fun n' Sexy costumes (starting at $39.99) or a men's Caribbean-pirate costume ($29.99), complemented with a long blond wig ($7.99).
After completing the tour, novices will have developed the skills and paddling songs necessary to defend themselves against roving bands of gondoliers, readying them to ride the waves out on the ocean.
The blossom experts at Norfolk Florist fete flower fanatics with myriad floral compositions for a dizzying range of occasions. Usher in the season with springtime yellow tulips ($39.95), or liven up workspaces with Queen majesty roses, a dozen crimson, golden, blush, or white blooms brimming with vigor and regality ($49.95–$54.95). The apples & caramel display ($39.95) combines earth candy with gooey person-made treats to create an aesthetically pleasing, decadent snack for a beloved sweet tooth.