When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, the location was cozy and quaint, but diners had only three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. However, as the restaurant grew in popularity, so did its menu selection and atmosphere. The restaurant first expanded four years later under the leadership of a Melting Pot waiter and enterprising college student named Mark Johnston, who teamed up with his brothers Mike and Bob to open a new outpost in Tallahassee. This location grew in reputation to pave the way for future franchise expansion. Today, the company?now owned by the trio of siblings?reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants linked by underground tunnels. The restaurant's menu has also ballooned, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, meats, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of foodies gather around tables to nosh on signature four-course meals, from cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads to steaks and seafood cooked in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and couples can share decadent evenings at private tables, capping off meals with chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.
Since 1985, the FAA-certified team of pilots and instructors at East Coast Aero Club has shepherded citizens from Hanscom Field airport to the skies above Boston for sightseeing, introductory flights, and pilot-certification programs. The crew oversees a 35-aircraft-strong fleet composed of planes by Piper, Cessna, Cirrus, and Diamond, as well as helicopters by Robinson. The company’s entry-level educational program, Learn to Fly, matches pupils up with one of more than 25 certified flight instructors, who teach students how to read each craft's instruments and back issues of SkyMall.
But passengers don't just learn about flight; they also learn about the area around them. Scenic flights afford aerial views of the city, soaring from Hanscom Field over such sights as the Lexington battlefields, the Charles River, and the USS Constitution. Passengers can bring along cameras to capture the spectacular views and document any crop circles they spot in the outfield at Fenway Park.
Featured on the Phantom Gourmet for its menu boasting pit-smoked barbecue, Tex-Mex, and comfort fare, FireBox BBQ boasts made-from-scratch fare that toes the line between black-tie preparation methods and serving casual American classics. Slow-cooked proteins claim valuable plate real estate on the two-meat barbeque combo ($15.89) with options including smoked sausage and flame-grilled brisket, each more tender than a slow-roasted greeting card. The FireBox cuban grilled sandwich with pulled pork, house-smoked bacon, and swiss cheese ($9.29) perfectly pairs with the restaurant's signature deep-fried sweet potatoes infused with rosemary. Dry-rubbed St. Louis–style pork ribs ($16.89 for a half rack) slide off of bones into eager mouths, or guests can opt for a fried catfish sandwich ($8.49), whose tartar-sauce-slathered interior nourishes while preventing telltale sauce mustaches.
William Gapinski understands fitness from every angle. He practiced martial arts, amongst other fitness disciplines, for 20 years, served in the US Marine Corps, and even overcame multiple skeletal injuries resulting from a major highway accident. Fueled by a desire to help others grow, heal, and overcome their obstacles the same way he did, William started Gold Medal CrossFit.
Following CrossFit's core principles, he and his staff of trainers follow a three-pronged approach to fitness: functionality intensity, and variation. To that end, they change up workout routines daily, blending functional exercises such as plyometric exercises, Olympic-style weightlifting, and gymnastics into an endless array of rigorous regimens. Community is is another element to their approach—they cultivate an atmosphere of support, camaraderie, and accountability so that all participants get the most from their time in the group sessions.
Since the exercises are difficult and require proper form, William and his crew recently launched a foundational skills training class to introduce the unique program to beginners. Unlike the regular group workouts of the day, they limit introductory lessons to only one student at a time. This ensures that the trainers can give each student ample personal attention, helping them master form and hone their grunting noises before joining the group class.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level?starting as young as 6 months?and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents and Waddlers teaches babies 14?22 months balancing, tumbling, hanging, and agility skills. Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, while Whiz Kids helps children 4 1/2?6 years old refine and master basic motor skills, including running, throwing, and catching. Champions, a class for kids aged 6 to 9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.