After respective careers as a research scientist and an educator, Larry and Pam Satek were ready to settle into retirement. They anticipated relaxing on the plot of land purchased by Pam's great-grandfather in 1915—a verdant space that had matured from an apple orchard into an overgrown tangle, and which the Sateks turned into a commercial vineyard where other Indiana wineries bought their grapes. Now that they had escaped the daily grind, the Sateks' plan was to begin crafting their own wine. They did so with well-recognized aplomb, and soon, their "retirement business" was winning awards at the INDY International Wine Competition. In the past three years, almost 80% of their wines have medaled—the 2012 contest alone landed them 23 awards, including two Concordance Golds, which signify a unanimous decision by the judges. Their success is hardly surprising, though, if one looks at the descriptions of their wines. They deem their Old Vine red zinfandel "a searing of lightning and poetry," and liken the sweet Mango Mania to "sunshine in your glass."
The Sateks remain continually tapped into the community in an effort to share these wines, many of which are made from exclusively locally grown fruit. Their Twitter feed and Facebook page keep fans posted regarding new releases and suddenly sold-out varieties, and those hoping for a closer look can take a tour of the vineyard and bottling facilities. Additionally, special events such as dinners and pairing classes teach visitors how to expertly marry sips to bites without disappointing both of their families.
When John and Mary Magocs opened the Capri Drive-In in August 1964, they had no idea the theater they ran with their two young sons would one day be highlighted as one of the most charming in the country. The New York Times once named it among 10 Drive-Ins Worth a Detour, noting its family ownership and stellar concessions. Capri boasts that its original 150'x75' screen is one of the largest in the country; in 1986, it expanded its viewing space by adding a second 80'x40' screen. Short-range FM radio stations broadcast audio from the drive-in's current showings to the spacious lot, which holds more than 900 cars. Viewers can swing by the snack bar to pick up barbecue-pork sandwiches, nachos, ice cream, and even mosquito coils, which repel bugs more easily than hurling a personalized insult at each one that flies by.
Ride the Wave fills its 6,750-square-foot water-sports wonderland with swimwear, boating accessories, towable gear, wakeboards, and all manner of accessories. Frolicking fashionistas can grace sun-soaked, wave-lapped shores attired in Billabong, Oakley, or Quiksilver brands. Slip on a pair of O’Neill Alameda boardshorts ($48) or Fox flip-flops ($16) before taking a sultry speedboat spin around the public pool’s deep end. Boating mavens can upgrade their flotation devices from sandwich bags filled with air to safe, stylish nylon foam core O’Brien life vests ($39.95) that withstands the intense wind resistance of being towed at top speed in an HO Sports Hornet 54-inch tube ($54.95). For more adrenaline-soaked activities, peruse Ride the Wave’s ski loft and wakeboard room, which boast buoyant conveyances from brands such as Connelly, Radar Skis, Hyperlite, Liquid Force, Ronix, and CWB.
After appearing as Ted's band on eight seasons of Scrubs, The Blanks take center stage to regale audiences with harmonious a cappella songs and quirky sketch routines. A talented quartet that channels the eccentric goofiness of Monty Python and The Three Stooges' raffish disregard for pies, The Blanks entertain audiences with vocal renditions of TV theme songs, commercial jingles, and goofy skits. The family-friendly troupe takes on pop-culture icons and a host of miscellany with the unspoken goal of robbing the laughter hidden in audiences' purses. Audience members who arrive early can peruse the historic 1882 opera house, whose recent facelifts have left it with a permanent smile and plush amenities.
As the name suggests, Anytime Fitness is open all day and all night, seven days a week, 487 days a year. But just because it's open at all hours doesn't mean it surrenders its locker rooms to the dark forces of the night: security is active there around the clock. Besides creating a safe gym atmosphere that fits your life's schedule rather than vice versa, Anytime's hours cuts down on crowds and long lines to use each club's array of cardio equipment, circuit equipment, and free weights.
Founded five years ago, the Battle Creek Bombers have already shown their mettle, earning the title of 2011 Northwoods League Champions in 2011. The Northwoods League, one of the nation’s most competitive collegiate summer leagues, offers its top-caliber players minor league internships without jeopardizing their college careers. This season, the Bombers hope to conquer their league again and send more of its players to the MLB, having already done so for alumnus Tony Sanchez, who was the fourth pick in the 2009 draft. Led by Daniel Rockett, their top 2011 scorer with 46 runs and 43 RBIs, the team will surely spend this season launching home runs without the help of covert trebuchets.
While the players focus on the game, their mosquito mascot, Mo-Skeeter, mingles with roaring crowds in the Bomber’s home venue, C.O. Brown Stadium. Patrons can look on from general seating or opt for the more luxurious HBC fan-deck seats, where panoramic views complement an included all-you-can-eat feast with draft beer and hot dogs.