At each of several one-day festivals held throughout the country, thousands of revelers unite in an epic clash of pulp, beer, and live music. Armed with a cache of 300,000 tomatoes, participants don protective bathing suits and goggles and hurl the fruit at one another during a two-hour battle. Throughout the afternoon, live music and costume contests offer an entertaining respite from the front lines, as bartenders dispense drafts of beer to attendees older than 21, refueling soldiers' morale before they resign to writing goodbye letters to their produce vendors back home. All tomatoes used during the event are past ripe and already fated for disposal, making the battle an efficient means of tossing them before their cursed transformation into singing Muppets.
PlanetSwim founder and owner Stephan's life is a timeline of aquatic achievements, containing awards that he won as a competitive swimmer as well as several teaching titles—lifeguard trainer and Red Cross–certified swim instructor among them. At PlanetSwim, Stephan holds his staff to similar standards. Each teacher has a minimum of five years of swim-instruction experience and has also been Red Cross–certified. Together, the team channels its knack for tutelage into swim lessons for children and adults of all ages in indoor, heated pools, including the one in Louisville, which is filled with warm water to encourage students to get in.
PlanetSwim's philosophy centers around personal attention, an element that demands small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere. Whether they are leading a 10-minute lesson for a water-shy toddler or an intermediate course on different strokes, the instructors monitor their pupils closely to ensure both comfort and development of technique.
The dirt eradicators at A&J Detail outsmart standard automated washing tunnels by going above and beyond the abilities of robotic scrubbers. As customers take advantage of free Wi-Fi, their team scours every crevice of carpets, coin trays, and dashboards to banish smudges and debris and cleanse the mouths of manner-less talking cars. After their services, vehicles as large as a tour bus and as boat-like as a boat come off the cleaning lot as pristine as the day they emerged from the showroom.
ProClean Auto Wash pampers automotive exteriors with convenient facilities for blasting bugs off of windshields and scraping grime off of grills. Swing in for an automatic wash ($7) to declog your car's fiberglass pores, leaving it more radiant than a burning pile of flashlights. Cars who measure adoration in elbow grease will savor an affectionate hand wash of their delicate curves at ProClean Auto Wash's self-serve stations ($3 for first five minutes). Use a pressure washer to blast away filth and dirt until you're able to see your reflection and, like in every Disney movie, you find out who you really are.
So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
Blue Wave Car Wash's touchless, automatic washes shower cars using a German-engineered, laser-guided contour system that efficiently dematerializes dirt and filth. During each Ultimate wash, a double presoak loosens hardened grime as an undercarriage spray combs the underside for contamination. Wheel blasters then wash dirt from their targets, and a contour high-pressure rinse clears away lingering residue. A coating of clear-coat wax armors auto paint against the weather of tomorrow, and a spot-free rinse and contour dry restore aridness to the revamped vehicle. With 24-hour access, commuters can clean their cars any time they like, even at eight o'clock.
Though it originally sold only two things—audio products and wireless phones—Car Toys has gradually expanded its repertoire. Today, with 50 locations spread across four states, electronics-certified technicians install everything from Alpine in-dash navigation units to phone-integration systems that sync iPhones, Androids, and tin cans to car stereos. Meanwhile, in the garage, detailing technicians meticulously spruce up cars inside and out, using deionized water, paint-friendly shampoos, and high-quality wash mitts to protect against scratches, swirls, and water spots. The team also sweeps through interiors with vacuums, hot-water extractors, and ozone deodorizing treatment, which kills airborne bacteria and nasty smells in one fell swoop.