The crew at Kayak Valet has one mission: to get more people out and enjoying the local waterways and scenery via kayaks or paddleboards. Since storing, hauling, unloading, reloading, and potty training their own kayaks can deter people from boating, the team sets up shop to cancel out such deterrents. They take care of nearly every task, bringing all equipment necessary for a leisurely paddle on puddles of all sizes right to the launch site. The crew will pick up and deliver equipment to popular launch sites within Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee Counties. To keep the aquatic adventure accessible, the shop rents only kayaks and standup paddleboards that can be piloted by anyone, experienced or not. Additionally, they give visitors tips on paddling and safety techniques and sell new kayaks, paddleboards, and accessories.
Classic Italian dishes?including chicken parmigiano and gnocchi bolognese?highlight the eclectic menu at Joia Fabulous Pizza & Martini Bar. Chefs make fresh pizza dough daily, which are hand-tossed, rolled out, and then baked in a brick oven. Pizzas are topped with traditional toppings as well as exotic ingredients like Portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, black olives, and eggplant.
The main dining room is adorned with a black tin-plated ceiling, exposed brick walls, and eclectic Italian-themed artwork, including noodles coiled around a giant fork. Purple velvet walls and burgundy banquettes are found in the private dining room. Painted clouds span the inset ceiling above the eatery?s bar, and spotlights illuminate red- and gold-printed curtains that flank oversized windows.
The Alafia River slowly flows along the edge of Misty Farms, where 15 acres of woodsy terrain serve as an idyllic training ground for horses and their owners. As steeds sleep in 12'x12' matted stalls or search for misplaced lottery tickets in the fenced-off grass jumping fields, the staff of trainers teaches lessons that foster camaraderie between riders and mounts with topics ranging from basic care to more complicated jumps and show maneuvers. Outside the paddocks, visitors hop on the saddle for trail rides along the river, enjoying the slow gait of a quiet trek in the woods or a speedy gallop of a train-robbery getaway.
A round of miniature golf on Ace’s tropical-themed course, complete with waterfalls, streams, ponds, and lush Floridian vegetation, fills afternoons with fairway fun for friends and family (children ages four to 10 are admitted for $4.99, and kids under four get free admission). PGA pros and sand-trap stragglers will enjoy the upscale practice range, with covered swinging areas to protect golfers from weather, as well as stadium lighting for nighttime play and elaborate Field of Dreams fantasies. For harder hitting, baseball batters and softball sluggers step into batting cages, where professional pitching machines can vary speeds from lightning-bolt throws to lackadaisical lobs.
The kidtorium offers a wide variety of baby-engaging classes in which parents and wee ones work together, bonding as tots develop motor skills, balance, and interactive abilities. Attend as many classes as you'd like during your month-long membership, selecting from the fun-filled schedule of arts and crafts, sign language, music, and more. You and your child's month of unlimited open play (open-play hours are available daily) and class activities will take place in PlayMania's 1,500-square-foot facility, outfitted with safe rubber flooring in the play area, sanitized toys, and age-appropriate equipment.
Far from being an artist possessed, Patty Sisco derives the same benefit from painting as she does from a long bubble bath. "All you are thinking about is your brushstrokes, not your bills," she told the Bloomingdale-Riverview Patch, speaking to the therapeutic value of her classes at Sketch and Sip. These sessions supply students of all backgrounds?including those who have never before lifted a brush?with canvas, tools, and a step-by-step demonstration on how to create their own vibrant masterpieces. As they work, Patty encourages her guests to imbibe drinks they've brought from home and plays serene music to prompt creative flow. She moves throughout the room to offer tips on technique and helps with corrections in case students? hands slip or they change their minds about adding a goatee to their horse portrait.
Though the classes, which have been featured on NBC's Daytime, are responsible for much of the studio's reputation, Patty also plans other community craft events. Each week on Wacky Wine Glass Wednesday, visitors embellish cups with fetching colors and patterns. Artists can even customize an image for their friends or family to paint during private parties, teaching children to color in SpongeBob SquarePants and encouraging coworkers to bond by sketching each other's staplers.