Alexander C. Nnabue knows that caring for eyes is really about caring for people. After earning doctor of optometry degrees from both Imo State University in Nigeria and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Dr. Nnabue decided to found his own company to help restore patients' ocular health. What began in 1994 as a single storefront has blossomed into six Visual Eyes locations throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Today, the caring doctor leads biannual medical mission trips to Africa, including one trip that, according to a 2006 Nigeria World article, put thousands of eyeglasses and medications in the hands of those in need. Dr. Nnabue also shares his knowledge as an adjunct faculty member at Pennsylvania College of Optometry, a senior examiner with the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, and an international instructor in countries including Israel and Norway.
At Visual Eyes, he and his fellow optometrists use advanced technology to diagnose and treat various conditions. A trained technician manufactures lenses at an in-house lab, and Dr. Nnabue specializes in orthokeratology, a vision-correcting process that eliminates the need to wear glasses, contacts, or a sign that says, "Sorry for walking into you; I forgot my contacts or glasses." The team also prides itself on showcasing the latest designer frames, including Oliver Peoples, Prada, and Robert Marc.
Inspired by visits to museums and amusement parks with their own kids, Thrill-O-Rama's owners Buki and Bibie mustered together an array of activities that entertain youngsters without skimping on education. Each of the facility's nine play zones features its own creative pastime, such as science experiments, educational computer games, age-appropriate reading, and a video-game lounge stocked with a Wii and an Xbox 360. A semi-enclosed toy-filled play space boosts toddlers' motor skills, and a multilevel indoor playground lets older kids shed their wiggles in a bounce castle or on a 15-foot inflatable rock mountain, which formed when an air mattress was stored under tectonic plates. Staff members guide kids through exercise, cooking, and filmmaking classes and adhere to strict safety guidelines to yield a secure play setting. The on-site café fuels romps with a selection of finger foods, drinks, and desserts.
Dr. William L. Gonzalez and his son Dr. Mark Gonzalez helm Capital Eye Physicians & Surgeons, an ophthalmology practice where they correct vision, clear cataracts, and tame a variety of eye diseases. The elder Dr. Gonzalez brings decades of medical experience to his practice, has lectured around the world, and has trained gaggles of other doctors in eye-surgery techniques. To join his father's professional ranks, Dr. Mark Gonzalez completed his residency at the prestigious Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center, and he brings skills he learned there to his refractive surgeries. Both clinic locations also boast a full-service eyeglasses boutique, where patients can choose from basic and designer frames, order contact lenses, or play frisbee with the latest monocles.:m]]
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
At Spoiled Rotten Kids Spa, the pampering treatments have a kid-friendly twist—the chocolate facial, for example, nourishes skin with a mix of chocolate, honey, and cottage cheese that's actually edible. Fun nail art, meanwhile, enhance the manicures and pedicures, and nonalcoholic mocktails, such as the cherry-juice cosmo, add a grown-up feel to the fun.
The spa, which has been featured on Tyra Banks, complements its à la carte spa treatments with styling for natural hair. The team braids locks into cornrows, crafts two-stranded twists, and administers press-and-curls. Chaperoned kids can also celebrate with party packages, complete with a tiara for the birthday girl instead of the traditional spa robe with candles stuck in it.
The friendly staffers at iFurnish's family-owned showroom outfit abodes with name-brand wood, leather, and upholstered furniture. Contemporary and classic sofas join ottomans to fill living rooms, and dining rooms host tables sturdy enough to handle Thanksgiving's traditional anvil-eating contests. Several plush and memory-foam mattresses provide solid support for sleeping or jumping, and a wide array of home accessories, from lamps to wool rugs, decorates any room. Color whippersnappers’ chambers with kids' furniture such as bunk beds, desks, and dressers that easily conceal escape tunnels leading to the pantry.