Many of the rooms in President Lincoln's Cottage resound with the voices of Lincoln and his houseguests, in the form of actor-interpreted recordings broadcast through audio speakers. Though not all rooms are accessible to the public, daily tours through this Gothic Revival home use interactive multimedia to tell the stories of Abraham Lincoln's ideas, struggles in passing emancipation, and family during the three summers they spent here during the Civil War. Knowledgeable guides divulge facts about the president's meditations and meetings, often tailoring tours to their areas of personal expertise, such as war or politics. They showcase video screens populated by images about Lincoln's life, and a replica of the president's desk scrawled with the words "Log Cabins 4eva." Guides also invite visitors to engage in conversation throughout the tour while welcoming them to sit on furniture.
The adjacent Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center, built in 1905 and restored as a LEED-certified building, houses a range of both permanent and temporary exhibits. Visitors engage with interactive displays, photos, and manuscripts revealing the presidential Cabinet's feelings on emancipation, life in Washington DC during the Civil War, and the president's role as commander in chief. The cottage also hosts a lecture series with guests that have included historians, Lincoln experts, and an artist who sculpted a life-size statue of the president and his horse, which today stands watch over the cottage.
The dance floor at Roda Movements sizzles with the dance and martial-arts forms of Brazil and Latin America. In capoeira classes, students gather in a circle playing drums, the single-stringed berimbau, and the tambourine, taking turns moving to the center to perform acrobatic movements that blend sparring techniques with graceful sweeping motions of the native dance style. Brazilian jiujitsu teaches grappling techniques for fighting on the ground, and Zumba sets a calorie-blasting aerobic-dance routine to Latin rhythms. The ballroom styles of salsa teach quick-paced steps to guests dancing solo, in pairs, or with a musically inclined mop. In addition to Latin dance and martial-arts classes, patrons can build muscles while whittling their waistlines in yoga and African-dance classes. Also catering to the wee ones, kids-only versions of specific classes helped Roda Movements earn a Best of the Best award from the Takoma Voice.
Movement is medicine for Sunyatta Amen, proprietor and head instructor at MamaSita Movement & Wellness Studio. She expresses this philosophy through an eclectic menu of group classes such as Urban Fusion Belly Dance, Zumba, and Brazilian Samba Workout. During classes, students gain confidence as they shimmy hips and undulate bellies through each 60- to 90-minute workout.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Backed by more than 33 years of competitive rowing experience, Cindy Cole's training paces instill basic sculling techniques in beginners of all ages. Launching from Bladensburg Waterfront Park, rowboats slice through the serene waters of the Anacostia River like a straw in room-temperature butter. Sheltered banks deflect wind from gathering momentum, giving oarsfolk free rein of the typically uncrowded channel. After the lesson, rowers can picnic in the park, hike along the adjoining Tributary Trail System, or hunt for their vehicle in the free parking spaces. Class sizes are small for maximal instructor attention and minimal bumper-boat battle reenactments, and schedules sometimes flex based on demand and the needs of students.
The highly anticipated college clash pits Virginia Tech against last year's WAC champion Boise State in what Rivals.com is calling the number one non-conference college football game of the 2010 season. Coming into this season, the Hokies are ranked number six in USA Today's coaches' poll, while the Broncos hold the number-five spot. Catch all the gridiron action from the stadium's party-deck, located at both end zones directly above the stadium's high-definition video boards. Once in the club-level zone, you and a fellow football fanatic have exclusive access to all the club-level amenities, including restaurants and bars, expansive lounges with plush leather chairs, and dozens of high-def televisions sprinkled throughout the area. Parking is included in the price of your Groupon.