Cindy Gibson hears a lot of ecstatic exclamations from first-time jumpers—including gratuitous use of the words "awesome" and "amazing"—but one of the most memorable remarks she ever heard came from a woman celebrating her 81st birthday. After landing, Cindy asked her why she waited so long to try skydiving. The woman replied that her husband never let her. Then she cracked a sly smile and said, "But now he's dead."
Cindy certainly understands the lifelong desire to skydive. "I don't remember a time when I didn’t want to jump out of airplanes," she says. But growing up, she figured you had to be paratrooper to do it. Then as a waitress in college, she overheard some customers talking about going skydiving, and she convinced them to take her along. The more she went, the more ways she found to improve the experience. With this newfound love and knowledge of the skydiving business, she sought out a parcel of land and a passionate team and founded Texas Skydiving Center.
Today, she and her team of instructors lead tandem jumps, static-line jumps, and solo free falls thousands of feet above their picturesque facility. Beyond using equipment and instructional methods that are compliant with the United States Parachute Association's standards, the instructors' claim their chief difference lies in the individual attention they give each client. Groups are kept small so that all are on a first-name basis, and the instructors ask each person what they hope to do in the air. A bunch of flips? Maybe a zen-like float? On the way down, they can even record the jumps with several filming options. An eco-friendly dropzone then awaits skydivers, where chattering guinea fowl snatch up insects, colorful songbirds flit through wildflowers, and a llama and alpaca knit their own wool into a commemorative scarf for each successful skydiver.
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India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan—Basmati Grill's spices and culinary traditions hail from these and other far-flung locales, landing on plates in the form of kebabs, seafood, and curries. Vegetarians have a sprawling selection of fare to choose from, but others will find goat, lamb, and fish on the menu. You can wake up on Sunday morning with a brunch buffet of traditional breakfasts and lunches, and drop by on Friday nights for the Bangladeshi buffet. There's no corkage fee for the bottles guests bring from home, so it's easy for diners to drink their favorite wine or beer.
At Foo’s Asian Grill & Bubble Tea, simple decor, including marigold walls and chocolate banquette seating, surrounds dishes of Mongolian beef from China, Vietnamese pho, Japan’s chicken teriyaki, and pad thai from Narnia. To wash it all down, bubble-tea lattes infused with green tea, pineapple, or plum treat tongues to tiny balls of tapioca, and they can also be beefed up with protein powder.
At Mona's Spa, the focus is on the skin. The aestheticians here use advanced techniques such as microdermabrasion and AHA and BHA peels to help rid faces of wrinkles, age spots, and dry patches. Clients can also receive shellac manicures and spa pedicures complete with foot soaks, masks, and hot towels.
The stylists at Something Special Styling Salon beautify hair in a number of ways from sew weaves, extensions, and natural hair transitioning to locks and twists. They can also cut and color hair or perform hot oil or relaxing treatments. All stylists are well-versed in haircare and draw from years of experience. For instance, Melva Williams has been in the beauty industry for more than 24 years and leads healthy hair seminars to help women take care of their locks.