Top trainers Brent Currie and Ken Tollett share a record of heroic, athletic service as firefighter and police officer respectively. The duty-bound duo use the elite CrossFit system to prepare for the demands of crime-fighting, firefighting, and teaming up to fight fire smugglers. After embracing the CrossFit credo, Currie and Tollett joined forces to teach Texans of all fitness levels how to tame the 11-headed fitness fiend of cardio, respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. CrossFit avoids the pratfalls of repetitive practices with an ever-varying workout of the day that keeps routines from becoming routine while encouraging progressive growth scalable to skill. This program is excellent for committed beginners, and because efficacy is emphasized over ease, enlisted exercisers will soon find their cores well-hardened.
Located about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, Kendall County is tucked into the lush Texas Hill Country and comes tinged with eclectic German heritage. After signing a treaty with local Native American tribes, German immigrants settled in the area during the 1840s and founded the town of Boerne in 1852, which thrives today as a quaint village with an artistic bent. Central European influences linger at local eateries, which dish up traditional cuisine.Hill Country's sprawling prairies and rolling hills are rife with opportunities for outdoor recreation, including boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Nearby, Guadalupe River State Park is bisected by the eponymous river, whose banks are lined with giant bald cypress trees. Adventurers can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the scenic waterway, or hire a local teenager to mold fake Bigfoot prints on the nature trails that wend past limestone cliffs.Urban adventures abound in nearby San Antonio, which brims with shopping and dining along its famed River Walk. Self-guided audio tours expound on the history of the King William Historic District, a collection of 19th-century mansions built by German merchants.
The San Antonio Highland Games Association's annual Celtic culture and athletics festival traditionally draws thousands of real and would-be Scots for an action- and bagpipe-packed weekend each year. Male and female athletes grown bored with sports that don't involve lead hammers or young trees have traveled from as far away as Japan and Sweden to test their mettle in the athletic field’s traditional Scottish strength competitions. The association's founders trace their lineage to numerous Scottish clans, and encourage others to explore their Celtic genealogy with festival workshops.
When bringing to fruition Bella Vino's concept, owner Michelle Wertheim infused the restaurant with her own passions: wine and coffee, uncomplicated food, and a commitment to the environment. After more than 30 years of experience working in the industry, Michelle knew she wanted her wine bar to feel like a home away from home, so she furnished it with items she finds comforting. A plush red couch, black wooden tables, and blue wood chairs snugly sit near each other in a cozy dining room. The walls are speckled with framed art in a variety of different shapes and sizes, and thick candlesticks flicker at end tables in unison with patrons' blinking eyelashes. She stocks the wine cabinet with varietals from California and Italy, and the amicable staff pours tall glasses of craft beers and imports as they make suggestions for beer and wine flights. During meals, classic Italian coffee and espresso drinks follow menu items such as tapas, cheese platters, and crab-cake sandwiches. Keeping her eatery green, Michelle also recycles all wine and beer bottles by crafting them into hurricane lamps, candles, cheese trays, and chandeliers.
A crackling fire warms guests perched at white-draped tables in the candlelit wine cellar. Upstairs, diners marvel at the picturesque views of the vineyard and rose garden filling the glass-enclosed patio's windows or deeply inhale the aroma of wildflowers drifting onto the vine-covered porch. It's against these intimate backdrops that servers at The Vineyards Restaurant deliver steak, seafood, and other upscale dishes to tables, which come aglow with candlelight as dusk falls.
The chefs work hard to make each bite as special as the surroundings. They age beef-tenderloin fillets for 45 days before plating them atop garlic-and-mushroom sauce and slowly marinate chicken in a spicy chipotle-garlic oil before nestling it in a bed of pasta covered in cilantro cream sauce.
With such food in such a setting, a regular night out at The Vineyards is one to remember, but a special occasion there is truly magical. For marriage proposals, anniversaries, and the reunions of long-lost pairs of socks, staffers lead guests down a candle-strewn path to a private table set for dessert among the vineyard's rows of grapevines. The Vineyards has held more than 500 weddings in its open-air pavilion, and its on-staff wedding coordinator and floral designer help plan picture-perfect ceremonies.