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.
For the guests of Cowboy Fan Connection, a Dallas Cowboys game actually starts three hours before kickoff. For both home and away games, the company hosts all-inclusive tailgate parties?with or without tickets to the game itself?that keep revelers sustained with burgers, brats, drinks, and raffles for Cowboys merchandise. Customers can dress the part with apparel from the online store to show off their fandom or eerie resemblance to Troy Aikman to current and former players during private autograph sessions.
In addition to game-day events, Cowboy Fan Connection also hosts Saturday-night dinner parties where fans come together to break bread as sportswriter Mickey Spagnola and former Cowboy Nate Newton broadcast their weekly radio program, Radio Road Show. Stadium tours the day before or after a game enable fans to guide themselves throughout Cowboys Stadium, while off-season trips such as a weekend in the Bahamas give fans the chance to draw up defensive plays in the sand with current and former Cowboys.
Fly-A-Sim gives humans wings and shows them how to use them. But these wings aren't covered with feathers or drenched with barbecue sauce—they're virtual and perfect for soaring across an imaginary stratosphere. A certified flight instructor begins each simulated journey with a lesson on how aircraft fly. Afterward, participants board a comfy jet simulator that trains real pilots for a solo flight in the captain's seat. Realistic sounds and visuals conjure a rush of excitement as virtual pilots execute basic maneuvers such as takeoffs and landings. For most simulations, the pilot-in-training can bring along a friend to test-drive the plane or point out clouds that look like Nietzsche's mustache.
An estimated 70 exhibitors plan to attend the New York Art, Antique & Jewelry Show, a four-day exposition held at the Park Avenue Armory. The show displays thousands of treasures with origin from the last several thousand years including furniture, contemporary art, Asian antiquities, rare manuscripts and books, and antique and estate jewelry.
Pilot For A Day launches aspiring aviators into simulated altitudes for 30 minutes of Falcon jet-plane navigation. Pilots divvy time between the captain's seat and copilot's seat with another Falcon customer as they both pierce wings through the virtual wind gusts. The faux flyer can re-create daytime, twilight, and nighttime visuals as well as various weather scenarios such as thunderstorms or meatball blizzards. After traversing the pixilated conditions, each aero-graduate receives a complimentary Pilot For A Day baseball cap and a certificate with their name and picture.
With the aim of educating, empowering, and inspiring women, The Ladies Roundtable expo presents a potpourri of powerful speakers, arts performances, beauty vendors, and fashion presentations. Grab a friend and a spend a day or the entire weekend toe-tapping to live music and dropping into prettifying powwows such as Makeup & Beauty 101, presented by Mocca Cosmetics, or Channeling Your Sexy with Rashida Hobbs of Pole’ticians Fitness & Dance Studio. Guests can be among the first to don Beyoncé's new perfume, Pulse, before it's released in stores or jettisoned into space to attract passing aliens. The expo examines relationships and empowerment with seminars such as Facts vs. Fiction: A Modern Look at Stereotypes, Single Life & Self-Image and a men's panel hosted by celebrity psychologist Ifeanyi Ufondu and featuring Steven Dixon, author of Men Don’t Heal We Ho. Expo-goers can also network with business owners, listen to poetry readings, and sate see-ers with a flurry of fashion presentations.