As someone who grew up playing competitive sports, Michelle Gaine always understood the importance of therapeutic massage and proper physical training when striving to achieve peak performance and overall fitness. This fundamental understanding sank in even deeper after she was involved in a life-changing car accident. Over the course of 12 difficult months, a number of therapists helped her regain control over her body, ultimately inspiring her decision to spend the rest of her life assisting others in the same fashion. In 2000, she graduated from a clinical massage program, achieved an NC LMBT license, and became nationally certified in the art of massage therapy.
Rather than offering standardized treatments, Gaine draws from nine modalities to formulate custom massages. She eschews the one-size-fits-all philosophy found in some studios, pricing the use of any of her techniques based solely on the length of the session. This allows her to treat each patient in a manner that will reap the most benefits and address specific problems, such as chronic pain or a dray of back-burrowing squirrels. Yoga and qi gong instructors also help further Gaine's mission of restoration and healing with breath training, stretching, and meditative philosophies designed to help bodies align themselves from the inside out.
Part of the North Carolina Railway Museum, the New Hope Valley Railway shepherds passengers through pine forest aboard vintage diesel and steam-engine trains. Covered cars protect riders from the elements, while a historic open-air caboose allows them to recline in locomotive fashion as they enjoy the shade of the woods, the breeze of the wind, and the harmonious serenade of local wildlife choirs. Trains depart from and return to Bonsal Depot, where a gift shop awaits filled with keepsake merchandise and a display track showcases vintage railroad equipment.
Free to the public, the North Carolina Railway Museum houses historic railway artifacts including vintage trains from builders such as Vulcan Iron Works and General Electric. On select Saturdays and Sundays, the Railway lets passengers take control of diesel-electric or steam-engine trains to experience firsthand life as a conductor.
A fishing bobber quivers atop the water's surface and plunges swiftly downward to indicate a fish has taken the bait. At the other end of the line, a young girl takes hold of the rod as her family cheers her on. Greggofish Guide Service owner Greg Griffin forges memories like these, leading lighthearted family trips or aquatic excursions to catch specific species such as largemouth bass.
The captain welcomes groups aboard his Carolina Skiff—a 24-foot vessel with a T-top that offers shade and cover from fishes' spy satellites. Though an accomplished fisherman, Greg doesn't cast his own line during charters. Instead, he gives full attention to his passengers, helping them use provided supplies such as rods, reels, and bait. Greg also maintains an online tutorial page, where fledgling fishers can go for tips or to send fish e-vites to their next barbecue.
In the dawn of 2013, Vicki Harry opened Thanks A Latte in Holly Springs with the help of her husband, their three children, and a family friend. Within the café's cozy interior, baristas pull shots of espresso and brew Larry's Beans coffee. They also concoct specialty drinks such as the Daydream, a latte infused with chocolate, coconut, and almond flavors. Patrons can pair sips with pastries such as blueberry scones or cinnamon rolls, or peruse a gift shop stocked with journals, jewelry, and other items from brands such as RuMe and Natural Life.