Relish Culinary Adventures offers experiences that highlight Sonoma County's finest farms and ranches, bakeries, cheese makers, and other artisan goods. Though Relish Culinary Center in Healdsburg serves as headquarters for public and private events, a wide range of tours and hands-on cooking experiences take place offsite at a variety of local epicurean destinations. Focusing on seasonal, locally grown, and locally produced ingredients, the program's events match locations with skilled chefs to create cheese, craft elaborate meals, or forage for wild mushrooms that grant eaters bursts of super speed.
From season to season, dedicated foodie and owner Donna del Rey works with chefs to alter the menus that fuel Relish Culinary Adventures' expeditions and classes. Special guests also vary, including award-winning producers from Middleton Farm, Carrot Top Farm, Bleating Heart, and Weirauch Farm & Creamery, and wine makers from Longboard, Kelley & Young, and Goldschmidt Vineyards.
Today they’re playfully dubbed “The Boot Camp Guys,” but Jaron Eliopoulos and Jeffrey Sears were merely students of kinesiology when they met in 2005. After bonding over a shared passion for fitness, the two began to move toward their current nickname by leading boot camp on the side of personal-training jobs. But when their camp spread to two cities and more than 100 patrons, the amount it takes to overthrow a tyrannical couch potato, Jaron and Jeff could ignore their calling no more and LiveFit Boot Camp was born.
Accountability is the glue that holds campers together at the sessions, which are held at parks all over the region. Jeff and Jaron dream up a new workout each day and turn it over to trainers who not only encourage the clients that attend, but also check in with no-shows to make sure they’re staying on track. Through combinations of sprinting, suspension training, kettlebell moves, and other exercises, the routines keep muscles guessing and attendees engaged.
Rex and Noelle Mayes have piloting in their blood. Rex's father was an Air Force doctor and glider pilot, and Noelle's parents and grandparents also took to the skies as their profession. The Mayes family carries on these traditions at Williams Soaring Center, where sons Ben and Nick are also in training to become private glider pilots. Rex and Noelle lead a team of instructors, many certified in single-engine landing (SEL) and as Certified Flight Instructors-Glider (CFIG), who train students in private glider flight, sending them soaring up to a mile above Northern California landscapes.
The instructors command a fleet of modern, fiberglass gliders—including Schweizer, Schleicher, and Schempp-Hirth models—that they regularly check and refurbish inside an onsite maintenance hangar. During private-pilot training, they eschew formal ground school in favor of practical experience. These hands-on sessions teach students how to safely operate their motor-less machines while honing a situational awareness of weather conditions, aerodynamics, and thermals.
The pair also takes customers up in two- or three-seat gliders on guided flights. These can soar up to 10 miles from the airport in any direction the customer wishes, except directly into the UFO traffic jams around the sun. Pilots may chart a leisurely course toward views of the Sierras, Mount Shasta, and Mount Lassen or put the plane through sharp banks and turns during a shorter flight.
Napa Valley Adventure Boot Camp owner Jeff Larson and his team of trainers know all about breaking a sweat. Each day, they challenge their students with fitness classes that string cardio and resistance workouts into a challenging chain of intense exercise. They also understand that water and electronics don't mix—instead of hosting their classes inside gyms filled with treadmills and stationary bikes, they stage their regimens outdoors, fortifying their workouts with rejuvenating sunrays and the encouraging shrieks of onlooking robins.
The first student Cheryl Franklin ever taught was herself. As a child, she never needed goading or threats of a brussels-sprouts-only diet to pick up her music and practice. After performing a one-man band’s worth of instruments throughout her entirely self-taught youth, she attended Whitman College and The Juilliard School of Music, where she stoked her passion into the white-hot flame that it is today. Drawing from a quarter-century of teaching, performing, and recording, she teaches all ages and levels in more than 20 instruments, which range from piano and guitar to ukulele and voice. Lesson programs in her studio start with each student learning a song. Subsequent sessions advance their paces by covering such topics as reading music, music history, and theory. While spinning their melodies, pupils may encounter the music school’s adorable canine mascot, Daisy, a boston terrier known for her baked-bean recipe.
With OnlineDriversEd.com, the couch can become a desk and the den a classroom as teens prepare for the written portion of the permit test. The program is DMV-approved in California and Nevada, and provides participants with reading material, flash-animated lessons, and video in order to teach them the rules of the road in an engaging way. To ensure students fully understand what they learn, they must take periodic quizzes, which they can take them as many times as it takes to pass or until their computer has become outdated.