In 1980, Harry and Darlene Kelton moved their houseboat to the Pelican Harbor Marina and discovered an injured brown pelican. Without the aid of animal-care experience, they removed a fishhook from his mouth and rehabilitated him. This led them to form the Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in their shed. With the help of volunteers and trained staff, the seabird station rescues, treats, and rehabilitates sick and injured wildlife, and promotes their preservation with educational programs and research efforts. The center specializes in brown pelicans, most of which are entangled in fishing tackle, but will treat any animal brought in for care. In 2007, they treated 87 bird species and 39 mammals, nonmigratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba.
Voted "Best Bar" in 2011 by the New Times, Whiskey Tango All American Bar & Grill whets appetites with an eclectic menu of dishes inspired by America's culinary topography. Chef Elliott’s spaghetti sandwich gives dizzy forks a whirling respite with its buttery loaf of toasted garlic bread stuffed with juicy chicken, mozzarella, tomato sauce, and cascading ringlets of spaghetti ($8.95). Pursed lips can slurp spoonfuls of Georgia sweet vidalia onion soup, crowded with caramelized slivers of vidalia petals and capped with melted cheddar cheese ($5.95) before bare teeth shred tender morsels off a main course of St. Louis–style ribs ($13.95 for a half rack; $16.95 for a full rack). Like eating steak with chopsticks, the San Diego tuna nachos synthesize distinct food identities by topping fried wanton chips with slices of sushi-grade tuna cooked rare, seaweed salad, and pickled ginger ($13.95).
The organizers of Out-Fit Challenge, the first national LGBT mud run obstacle course, aim to spark new friendships between its runners by creating challenges that require not only personal perseverance, but the occasional helping hand. Obstacles such as barbed wire crawls or mud pits force racers to get dirty, and tandem climbing walls make runners rely on each other to progress.
After making it to the finish line, participants mingle with newfound friends or long-lost parents at the after-party. After showering, racers can change into their event t-shirt and don their finisher’s award with pride. Each participant can pick up their complementary beer from one of the bars, before mingling, dancing to live music, or chowing down on the food vendors’ grub.
Established for more than 30 years, Olympia Gym is more than just a fitness facility with cutting-edge equipment and classes—it's home to family-oriented staffers who truly go out of their way to help others. Owners Delia and Peter Cicale have sought out new and innovative ways to get people into shape, such as Hoist Roc-It machines that adjust to users' movements, kids' karate classes, and Power Plate vibration training that enhances the ability to high-five a jackhammer operator. Their training services are performed by industry experts, including a kickboxing champion and second-degree blackbelt, and they employed Beto Perez as an instructor before he created the international dance-fitness sensation known as Zumba.
But beyond the gym's impressive list of credentials are real, compassionate people. In 1998, the Sun Sentinel documented that the Cicales and their generous aerobics and spinning students raised more than $3,000 in a single Labor Day for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. More recently, the couple hosted three annual events to support breast-cancer awareness. And an article in The Miami Herald reported on two staff members' cross-country bike journey to raise funds for and increase awareness about Parkinson's disease. The trip was planned by Roy Roden, who suffers from the neurodegenerative brain disorder and still works at the gym part time, and his wife Lynn, who is a personal trainer. Gaby Senior specializes in training people with illnesses or age-related concerns such as osteoporosis. Whatever your fitness and health struggles, the gym's down-to-earth crew is likely to understand them.
Best Boat Club and Rentals is now entering its 15th year of fostering aquatic adventures with a fleet of luxury rental boats. Play skipper for four hours as you and your loved ones recline on a comfy 21-foot Polar Dual Console or the 24-foot Cuddy Cabin. This nautical navigator features plenty of storage, a beverage-chilling cooler, a fish/depth finder, and a bikini top for protection from the sun's rays and incessant knock-knock jokes. The 150-horsepower Yamaha engine makes canal cruising a breeze, and allows for the creation of treasured fishing, waterskiing, and dolphin-racing memories.