Students unleash their inner creativity during Wine and Palette's laid-back painting classes. The professional-artist instructors invent projects that reflect their individual style, from bold abstract patterns to misty, atmospheric landscapes. Though all members of a course work on the same basic image, students add individual flourishes to make the image their own. And, since each class meets at a local bar or restaurant, they can also choose to kick back with a drink or snack as they paint.
As he trains his eye on the target's innermost ring, the archer retrieves an arrow from his quiver. He exhales, crooking his fingers around the bowstring and pulling it back until the feathery fletches tickle his cheek. He will only have one shot to win the contest and finally earn his family's respect—but his elbow is off, and his aim will suffer. "Cut!" comes the call from the director, and the cameras stop rolling for a moment as an archery coach enters the scene. She tilts the actor's arm and adjusts his stance so that his form is truer to life, breathing accuracy into the portrayal. When "Action!" sounds, the archer is ready, and the tension achieves new heights.
Sending its nationally certified coaches to such television clients as CSI: Miami and The Discovery Channel is just one way that Archery House spreads an appreciation of the sport. Company leaders Lorinda Cohen and Tara “Robey” Folz—both of whom hold national titles—ally their combined 36 years of archery experience with marketing savvy to plan classes for all ages, promotional events, and athletic counseling. At multiple outdoor ranges, they outfit beginners with the equipment and know-how to pop a balloon at an impressive remove, and challenge advanced archers to do so with a balloon that’s farther away and filled with wasps.
Step into to a bird's house. Get eye-to-eye with a moray eel. Greet a sea turtle as he swims up to say hello. The Living Coast Discovery Center isn't a nature museum?it's a chance to hang out with Southern California's plants and animals on their own turf. The Discovery Center's "living, breathing, flapping, buzzing, and splashing home" sits on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, the ideal location for exploration of the region's most memorable residents in their native habitats.
A walk-through aviary encompasses the tidal slough habitat of black-crowned night herons, red-breasted mergansers, and endangered clapper rail chicks, freshly hatched from the in-house breeding program. Bald and golden eagles await up-close encounters at the Eagle Mesa, but the rays get even closer: an interactive touch pool puts the aquatic creatures beneath your fingertips. Raptor Row hosts the Center's rescued birds of prey, all of which have injuries or other conditions that prevent them from surviving outside the refuge on their own. Visitors are also free to pursue their own wildlife adventure along the center's 1.5 miles of walking trails.
Staff members at Rick's Rent-A-Boat outfit water-riders with the necessary safety equipment before sending them off for a ride on a professionally maintained jet ski, kayak, or boat. During excursions, riders safely glide over the ripples and spray of San Diego Bay's coastal waters atop a Kawasaki or Honda jet ski, kayak, or Triton ski boat. Sporting a provided life vest and drawing on operating instructions included with each rental, riders cruise atop their seafaring stallions, skimming over foamy waves and leading schools of local fish in a Hamlet lecture. Depending on Mother Nature's mood, guests can make waves 8 a.m.–8 p.m. every day of the week.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks.