With 18 full marathons and more than 100 races total under his belt, Hit the Trails owner Stephen Dunn knows that properly fitted apparel is key for a successful running experience. Alongside his enthusiastic staff, Steve fits feet into sneakers from Pearl Izumi, New Balance, and other major brands using a treadmill-mounted camera analyst that gauges clients' gaits. Once they're snug in their new kicks and outfitted with fresh running garb and accessories, patrons can partake in group or private coaching sessions with Steve—who's certified as a coach by the Road Runners Club of America—and his sidekick, high-school running coach Larry Bass. The shop also hosts summer clinics that boost speed and agility before football and soccer seasons and endurance before cross-country season and its grueling daily jogs to California. In his downtime, Steve jogs alongside fellow running enthusiast and beloved dog Pre and arranges his store's role in local races.
A quartet of specialists helm the Valrico day spa, wielding handpicked products from renowned brands such as Glo Minerals, Shellac, and OPI to pamper clients with a medley of services. The licensed staff members guide spa-goers to treatment rooms that glow with brightly hued walls in red, yellow, and purple, privately cocooning them for treatments including facials, massages, waxing, eyebrow threading, and henna tattoos. Makeup services prime faces with a professional look for a job interview or a glam style for a job interview to be a Poison roadie. For extra relaxing sessions in the tranquil confines, the staff offers packages for teens, brides, and moms.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles. Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Cork & Olive Wine Bar & Café's chief oenophiles, Hank and Doug, celebrate the store's expansive collection of wines and microbrews by adding a social tasting and snacking experience to the joy of shopping for fine imbibables. During these tastings, guests may have the opportunity to observe actual gold flakes tumble and turn amid the racing bubbles of the Peter Brum Gold Sparkler or note how the creamily textured tannins in the Cinnabar merlot transform when paired with artisanal cheeses and gourmet meats. Oak barrels await the touch of a tap to allow customers to fill their own bottles or purses with ripe, fermented delights. Every Friday and Saturday, live jazz imbues the air with as many varied and unpredictable notes as are found in the store's collection of wines.
At Brancée, trained instructors utilize the fun, energetic Brancee dance-fitness system, which strips the core-isolating movements from multiple dance modalities and combines them into a single abdomen-engaging workout. Using methods drawn from Turkish, Egyptian, Indian, and ballroom dance, the team teaches this fluid form of exercise to both adults and children. It can help youngsters overcome their insecurities and adults find an exercise regimen that both entertains them and increases their fitness, unlike traditional gym drudgery or lifting the remote control over and over.
Sometimes, the idea of creating a home-cooked meal loses its romantic appeal after surviving a tough day at work and amassing a mountainous cache of ingredients. That’s where the culinary experts of Taste of the Caribbean come in. They help diners choose their own menu from dishes such as guyanese fried rice, curried chicken, and jerk pork, then do the shopping for all the necessary ingredients. After whipping up the tasty Caribbean cuisine infused with fresh spices and herbs, the amiable staff serves it in each customer’s own dining room or elegant tree-house fort.