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.
Featured in Southern Living magazine, Kiss the Cook equips cooks of all skill levels with the tools and toys needed for whimsical culinary escapades. Carrying a coterie of high-quality cookware, bakeware, and kitchen-friendly gadgetry, Kiss the Cook will have you on your way to creating simmering sauces or luxuriously stacked baklava. Specialize your slicing repertoire via a paring knife with sheath ($9.99), invigorate your vintages with a Vinoair wine aerator ($19.99), or unshackle hunks of innocent limestone with a marble cheese slicer ($19.99). Ensure accurate measurements with magnetic measuring spoons ($16.99) or extract the magic nectar of citrus juices with a lemon squeezer ($14.99). Kiss the Cook's friendly, knowledgeable staff is on hand to assist with your culinary queries.
"It's like throwing a party every day," Byron Severance, who co-owns The Jumpy Place along with his wife, Cathy, told the Hays Free Press. "It's the most fun I've ever had in a job." Byron and Cathy's indoor playground—kept immaculate with a strict socks-only policy, daily disinfectant washes, and an unbudging ban on trashcan-dwelling Grouches—relieves the endemic of excess energy common to youths aged 10 and younger. As children bounce in and slide down air-filled fortresses, adults entertain themselves with complimentary coffee, WiFi, and cartoon-free television. Both locations are open every day except Tuesday, and each admission grants all-day access that allows families to come and go as they please.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Nowadays, almost anyone can pick up a camera and call himself a photographer. But husband-and-wife team Mario and Gayle Guerrero have the experience to warrant the title: they opened Sunlight Portrait Artist in 1985, and have captured thousands of shots of weddings, newborns, and high-school seniors in the years since. Mario is a certified professional photographer by the Professional Photographers of America, and Gayle served as her family photographer while growing up. Today their panoramic skill set covers photojournalistic, editorial, and classic styles as well as Photoshop skills.