To weather his career as a master sergeant and a decorated Special Forces combat veteran, Shihan Randy McElwee needed a solid grasp on combat maneuvers. Nowadays, the retired McElwee teaches the pragmatic self-defense skills that got him through battle at his martial-arts studio, American Black Belt Academy. The school specializes in the official hand-to-hand combat system of the US military: Gracie Brazilian jujitsu. The system’s standing and ground moves harness leverage to take on larger opponents as well as help participants neutralize surprise attacks. For a broader focus, students can opt for an integrated martial-arts fitness workout, which combines jujitsu with muay thai kickboxing and Japanese shotokan karate. Regardless of their specificity, all of the studio’s classes enhance focus, self-confidence, and courage when the laundry room’s light goes out.
Dolphin Dive Center owner and master diver Tim Bridgham has a philosophy a lot of people can relate to: we spend much of our lives standing on our feet, sitting on our butts in chairs, or sleeping?so getting in the water can be a blissful alternative. As a full-service dive center, Dolphin Dive is a place where students and seasoned divers can get all their gear, as well as the knowledge to put it to good use. Beginners can splash into the heated, indoor pool to get the hang of breathing underwater during the try scuba course, while more seasoned divers and mermen in disguise can take the advanced open water class.
Enduring attention spans are rendered unnecessary at Fun Galaxy, where the staff oversees ample entertainment options in one huge facility. While smaller kids and toddlers tackle a multi-level playground packed with soft obstacles, their older siblings take a turn at roller-skating or exploring the indoor skate. A mechanical bull and more than 30 arcade games round out the attractions, which are also available for birthday-party packages.
From spacious locker rooms to family-friendly facilities, BodyPlex gyms are built to take the stress out of working out. Fitness machines ranging from cardio equipment to free-motion systems beckon those familiar with the gym scene to jump right into a regime. Newcomers need not stress about a learning curve, as personal instructors power walk the grounds, ready to give one-on-one instruction with an appointment. To ease the workout worries of parents, enthusiastic staff members man the gym's onsite Kidsplex, a youth-focused playroom stocked with crafts, toys, and two different video-game systems. Additionally, those who achieve their best when with like-minded people can break a sweat and their personal fist-bump record in one of the gym's daily fitness classes.
A hush falls over the pews and all heads turn to see the bride step into the light as she glides down the aisle. The groom's face breaks into a huge grin, and guests can't help but smile themselves. For an instant, everyone in the room forgets that this couple is already married, and that no one in the room knows who they are. But, everyone agrees that the ceremony is beautiful. This is The NotWedding, a mock wedding in which on-trend wedding vendors display their talents to entice those planning their big day. Brides- and grooms-to-be are treated to an entire faux wedding, complete with ceremony, dinner, and dance reception. They spend dinner jotting down the names of the bakers who created the delectable wedding cake, the chefs who sizzled up the artfully plated meals, and the rental centers that provided the elegant table settings. Guests can also glean ideas for modern and hip decorations and wedding-planning advice, including tactful ways to tell their fianc?e's father to retire his ruffled periwinkle tuxedo.
Double Oaks Golf Club forces a player to find his groove quickly. The hardest hole on the course?assigned a handicap of 1?is also the very first one, a long par 4 of 428 yards from the championship set of tees. Things relax somewhat after this initial hurdle, but that doesn't mean the player can lose focus or trade his windbreaker in for a smoking jacket. Hazards such as fairway bunkers are scattered throughout the course, derailing rounds even if they started out strong. Meanwhile, a driving range and coterie of PGA-certified teaching professionals are also on hand to help with shoring up weak spots, be they accuracy off the tee or scoring around the green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,823 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72.4 from the back tees * Course slope of 128 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole * View the scorecard