From a distance, the manatees, dolphins, and bald eagles that populate Estero Island make quite an impression. But the staff at Holiday Water Sports of Fort Myers Beach believes up-close encounters are not only the sole way to determine if the animals can talk, but also the best way to enjoy them. To that end, they guide tours and rent out myriad watercraft, from Yamaha 4 waverunners and 10-passenger pontoon boats to paddle bikes, which resemble oversized tricycles as they surge through nimbuses of sea foam. The staff hoists parasailers over their water-bound peers, letting out up to 1,200 feet of slack and allowing riders to plunge into free falls with houses and piers blurring into a cubist painting beneath them. Captains certified by the United States Coast Guard guide the ships back toward the sun-bleached sands, where the company’s rental umbrellas rustle in the breeze above lounge chairs.
For more than 25 years, Cynthia Rager has been pioneering new techniques and products in the fields of aesthetics and cosmetic surgery, penning technical manuals and spreading the know-how to up-and-coming cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists across the country. Cynthia has joined forces with biochemists to formulate skincare and makeup lines, including IntegraDerm and Miner?le makeup, whose natural and organic ingredients make them a favorite on the Home Shopping Network and in upscale catalogues.
Cynthia's mission at Rager's IntegraLife Spa is to share all that she has learned with her team while mentoring other women in the medical aesthetics industry. She seeks out cutting-edge treatments for the face and body, including light therapy, cellulite reduction, and seasonal body wraps in a zero-gravity float bed, which leave clients as relaxed as an astronaut.
After 20 years spent selling pianos at one of New England’s largest keyboard retailers, Jay and Kay Guretsky decided to move to Florida and open their own business in 1991. The couple opened three music shops before moving all of their inventory into their current jumbo-size space, where they earned a reputation as the best place to buy pianos and organs, according to the News-Press readers in 2012. Jay & Kay’s Organ & Piano Co. stocks more than 150 instruments, including grand pianos, electric organs, and invisible synths for accompanying prog-rock air guitarists. The shop’s instructors lead intensive private lessons and laid-back group sessions that use the Recreational Music Making system. Endorsed by the National Association of Music Merchants, RMM equips students with the skills and self-confidence for recreational playing.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location, thin, Lebanese-style pitas encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches, which dining companions can wash down with fruit smoothies.
The aroma of cigars hits you as you walk into the spacious humidor. Boxes line the walls, filled with everything from Ashtons to Gurkhas and Don Pepin Garcias. This humidor is the handy work of Rich Castiano, who grew up watching his father Sal enjoy a good smoke. To share his love of cigars with others, Rich established the World Famous Cigar Bar and stocked it with the finest stogies around. He even created his own special blend in honor of Sal—the 1929 Castiano, a box-pressed cigar featuring Nicaraguan filler, a Jalapa binder, and an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper.
At Ruth Messmer Florist Inc., third-generation florists arrange fragrant roses, asiatic lilies, and vivid daisies into fragrant bouquets for any occasion. They can create classic arrangements with sleek, simple glass vases and decorative ribbons or enhance blooms with creative flourishes such as plush stuffed animals, balloons, or wicker baskets.
In addition to flowers, florists fill gift baskets with epicurean treats such as Ghirardelli chocolates, dried meats, fruit, and wheels of cheese jacked from Mighty Mouse’s Cadillac.