The passionate wildlife guides at Tours in the Glades usher nature-starved sightseers into the lush wetlands and past the stunning marine wildlife of the Everglades. Captivating facts about the Everglades’ ecological and cultural significance abound, as do anecdotes about some of the birds and reptiles that call the wetlands home. All tours include the proper gear for watery odysseys and transportation into the park, thereby obviating the need to hitch rides on the backs of water-walking lizards.
As you stroll across Fruit and Spice Park's grassy fields, an occasional piece of fruit falls from a neighboring tree. But it's not an apple or a berry you can easily find in a local supermarket?rather, it may be a specimen native to the Caribbean or South America, its shape foreign to your teeth, which want so badly to bite into its juicy flesh but aren't sure how. At Fruit and Spice Park, seasoned gardeners grow abundant specimens from tropical areas around the world, including 70 kinds of bamboo, 15 types of jackfruit trees, and edibles such as Fiji longan and jaboticaba across 39 acres.
Visitors meander freely through banana groves and African baobab trees, and they can also follow a guide during tours to learn more about plant species and which fruit seeds bear an uncanny likeness to Abraham Lincoln's silhouette. Throughout strolls, guests may help themselves to any of Mother Nature's home cooking that has naturally fallen to the ground, including mangoes, dragon fruit, and papayas, or venture to the tasting table at the entryway to sample the season's bounty.
Park staffers also gather visitors for a range of events such as stargazing, outdoor festivals, and plant-use tutorials, where they divulge helpful information such as which plants are medicinal and how to play dead during tree attacks. During regular park hours, chefs at the Mango Caf? pile plates with casual fare, often using the park's own fruit and vegetables, and the gift shop lets guests bring home harvest jams and aromatic teas.
Since its inception in 1916, the YMCA of Greater Miami has opened its doors to whoever needed it. It welcomed African American youths during the Great Depression, hosted military personnel in the 1940s, and gave Cuban refugees a home in the 1960s. Today, it continues the tradition of depolarizing Miami's fractured populous, remaining a haven for people of all faiths, races, ages, and income. Staffers uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they ensure each location is a safe place for members to play, exercise, and strengthen family bonds weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. YMCA of Greater Miami also raises much-needed funding for kids and families who can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
At the current locations, kids can leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to afterschool programs and day camps. Adults, meanwhile, can take Zumba, boot-camp, and aquatic fitness classes or work out within wellness centers replete with strength-training and cardio equipment. Adult basketball and indoor speed-soccer leagues further help guests flex their competitive spirits in an encouraging environment.
Imagine a lifestyle in which you park a Ferrari at a private boat slip, slide onto a custom yacht, and ferry it across a waterway to a private island hosting a 20-room mansion modeled after an Italian villa. Though this may sound like a dream only attainable by the mega rich or an heir to a chocolate-fountain fortune, Imagine Lifestyles facilitates such lavish accommodations with a cavalry of luxury vehicles, vacation homes, and yacht charters. They specialize in auto rentals, entrusting cars from brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, and BMW to drivers for as short as a half day or as long as several weeks. To shield these pristine and rare rides from the elements, they also deal in luxury vacation home rentals, ranging from beach mansions in Miami to chic lofts and high-rise penthouses. The service also charters air and sea transportation, including jets of all sizes and yachts for all occasions.
We spoke with Jack Macaluso?Regional Social Media and Web Coordinator at Beauty Schools of America?about how the academies prepare students for careers in the real world and why it's important for the schools to give back to their communities.
On the schools' mission
Above all else, Jack says that the schools "try to focus and harness the students' creativity," while giving them all of the experience and practical skills they need not simply to be prepared to enter the work force, but to succeed and thrive. The relatively lengthy training programs ensure that aspiring stylists, cosmetologists, makeup artists, barbers, and massage therapists fully understand the intricacies of their chosen specialty, as well as what they need to do to continue advancing their future career according to Jack.
On the role of the instructors
With a roster of instructors that includes industry professionals with international spa and salon experience, Beauty Schools of America strives to give attendees a broad view of the numerous options open to them. Jack is also clear that the teachers' guidance isn't limited to classroom environments. When the advanced-level students are allowed hone their talents by performing treatments for actual clients, "an instructor or two will always be there to assist and answer questions," he says.
On the products that the students use during treatments
Students use brand name products like Moroccanoil, Sojourn, Nioxin, and others. Working alongside their instructors at modern service stations, these stylists use these products to craft en vogue cuts, color, styling and therapeutic practices.
On the schools' charitable involvement
Beauty Schools of America embraces opportunities to give back to its communities while providing real-world experience for students at the same time. Jack goes on to describe events where the schools' aspiring barbers and cosmetologists performed complimentary services for underprivileged residents, and he mentions one specific occasion when massage students provided free treatments for community members who participated in a bike ride dedicated to raising awareness about multiple sclerosis.
Maris Bish of Bottle & Bottega Miami has a background in fine arts, but her shop caters to both amateurs and skilled artists alike. Classes there might help students paint colorful landscapes, flowers, and seasonal scenes, and they'll always provide a chance for socializing, sipping drinks, and unleashing creative energy. There's a wide variety of media involved, so those students might be painting glass or recreating a famous work of art under the tutelage of a trained artist at a variety of locations around town. Bish will also be opening a permanent studio soon.
A ratio of 15 or fewer attendees per teacher and the opportunity to sip drinks while working give the classes the vibe of intimate cocktail parties. To enhance that sense of exclusivity, the center hosts private events in addition to public and corporate classes.