Freshly back from vacation, a customer walks expectantly into the room. A golden retriever bounds clumsily up, its tongue flapping a rosy greeting and mouth stretched far back into a smile. When the dog’s owner takes up the leash, thanks the staff for caring for her energetic pup, and turns to leave, she feels a tug on the leash. Her dog has planted his feet firmly, trying to back into a sitting position—clearly, he wants them both to stay put.
According to proprietor Lisa Schettino, this is an everyday occurrence at Camp Canine. After a difficult experience finding pet care for her own dog, Lisa set out to create an environment that would not only keep critters safe, but make them want to stay. Now, each Camp Canine location has a resort-style atmosphere sprawled over 9,000–15,000 square feet.
Stressed four-legged friends wiggle with glee during massages, shedding stress from squeaky toys giving them the silent treatment. Against a bass rumble of purring, punctuated by canine yips, green-tea and chamomile facials drive dirt from wrinkled faces and soften wiry fur. As they wait for their next spa appointment, dogs can roam freely in a fenced-in play lot. After tearing through a maze of tunnels and obstacles, they splash into the pool and emerge to toss their cool, wet fur, bejeweling the air with spray. An air-conditioned indoor play area shelters pets from extreme heat and teenagers listening to vacuums at high volume..
Owners too can rest at ease during their pets’ vacation, knowing their animals lounge in private rooms with plush bedding and staff watching 24 hours a day. They check up on their furry friends via scheduled Skype sessions and various webcams set up throughout the Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale facilities. Those locations also pick up and drop off pets that haven’t yet learned how to operate a manual transmission.
After nearly 20 years under the command of Top Chef star Chef Carlos Fernandez, Hi-Life Café has recently ascended into a new realm under the rule of Chef Virgil Woodard, a master of new-wave American cuisine. According to a feature in the Sun Sentinel Woodard's training in architecture and keen eye for art and symmetry become apparent upon first glimpse of his dishes, each embellished with his signature hand-carved vegetable garnishes. Yet the ornate frills are only the start of the meal’s elegance. Fresh jalapeños packed with shrimp and wrapped in bacon—Cajun Kisses—prelude a full menu of classic American fare with an upscale twist. He transforms pastas with unique sauces, such as a southwestern spin on bolognese and a classic mushroom and madeira wine sauce infused with brie, and he pairs high-end strip steak, pork loin, and seafood with fresh, internationally inspired accoutrements.
The interior of Hi-Life Café mirrors the chic style of the entrees. Candlelight flickers across tasteful urban art photography from John Fifield and Streetmurals.net, creating the ideal ambiance for a dinner date or impromptu murder-mystery game. A granite-topped wine bar hosts a selection of sips, as well as fresh flower arrangements rivaled only by the elegant roses adorning each and every table.
Xtreme Indoor Karting's 90,000-square-foot facility buzzes with the energy of Bowman Arrow karts as they whiz between the checkered flags that line the railing of the indoor go-kart track. All sporting Honda engines, three kart models take to the half-mile asphalt stage where child and adult racers show off their skills, reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. The racing theme pervades the facility, including the 18 holes of the indoor miniature golf course, which are peppered with half tires and watered with tears of joy from past Indy 500 winners. More than 100 different interactive games—including racing simulators—flicker inside the arcade, and rows of billiards tables line the black-and-white checkered floors of the Finish Line Sports Bar. Charged with fueling all of these activities, the kitchen staff at the Fast Track Café whip together burgers, wraps, and pizzas. For kid's-only entertainment, the staff supervise a day camp throughout the summer months, when all of the country's teachers traditionally lose their keys to the school.
Since 1965, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County have upheld their mission of helping kids 6 to 18 years old build self-esteem and learn important life skills. They continue to provide places for youths to escape life's pressures, which can range from school stress and pent-up energy to more serious issues such as gangs and lack of attention at home. The friendly and dedicated staffers orient their programs toward education, recreational, and healthy living. Kids can join career exploration programs, enjoy nutritious snacks and suppers through the KISS Program. All the while, they’ll learn how to be caring, responsible citizens equipped to make a difference in their communities.
The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous centers understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of a skills assessment using diagnostic tools and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. Camps and after-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.