Goodyear Car Care's mechanics, certified by the institute for Automotive Service Excellence, slip under car hoods and undercarriages to perform tasks from routine oil changes to intricate engine replacements. Tools let out pneumatic whines as they install new tires from brands such as Michelin and Goodyear, and the complete list of services includes brake adjustments and state inspections. They also pick up and drop off customers by appointment and provide loaner cars when needed. Tow trucks rumble out of the lot en route to get patrons unstuck from ditches or give third graders an idea for their thesis papers.
For 25 years, Texas School of Bartenders has minted professional-grade mix masters in its hands-on classes held in classrooms that simulate real bars. The school's training labs brims with 42 bar stations loaded with up-to-date equipment, including touchscreen registers and serving trays made of hover boards. Full 40-hour courses run throughout the day to accommodate people with designs on pursuing bartending as a career. Covering drink recipes, customer service, and mixing techniques, introductory crash courses throw students into bartending in the same way Spartans taught their children to swim—by throwing them into a shark tank.
At the Texas Yacht Show and Jazz Fest, attendees rove the decks of luxury motor and sailing yachts and soak up the sounds of Latin jazz, funk fusion, and Texas swing. When patrons are ready to exchange sea legs for dancing shoes, jazz bands invigorate listeners with toe-tapping tunes. Joining the sounds of the Ezra Charles Band and Kelly Dean, expert sailors, including the headline-making young Abby Sunderland, tell their tales in a climate-controlled tent. Saturday evening culminates in the Havana Nights celebration, as salsa and merengue dancers tap and kick in pairs and patrons light authentic Cuban cigars.
Three generations of the Hamilton family own and operate The Artist Within.org, a boutique studio that encourages artists of all ability levels to try their hands at painting in a communal environment. The studio provides all the necessary materials for recreating specific projects that include Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Monet’s Bridge and over a Pond of Water Lilies, and it only requires that students bring their own wine, goodies, and Bob Ross wigs. In addition to public painting classes, the Hamiltons also host private events such as bachelorette and birthday parties and can create custom paintings for groups to reimagine.
The Terrace Cafe's culinary craftspeople whip up delectable dishes that appear on a menu of contemporary American fare in an atmosphere geared toward the entire family. Coronate a meal with friends by noshing on a Super Nachos appetizer—a plate of tortilla triangles draped in Texas flavors, including cheese, chili, jalapenos, and onions ($13.95). The double-meat, bacon-swiss burger ($10.95) quells carnivorous cravings, and the bacon-swiss-chicken melt ($11.95) reminds taste buds how much owners care for them. Feast on the Shrimp Artery Clogger ($13.95) to delight in Jacques Cousteau's greatest gift to humanity, deep-fried shrimp.
Maximum Scuba's team of PADI-certified instructors caters to all levels of aquatic adventurer with a wide roster of name-brand equipment and all-inclusive classes. PADI open-water certification courses employ textbooks and at least four open-water dives to acquaint underwater neophytes with the joy of subaquatic breathing, enabling them to finally explore timeshare options in Atlantis. The PADI advanced open-water certification course sends previously certified divers on five adventure dives, plumbing watery depths to discover ocean-floor wrecks. Other specialty classes deepen underwater adventures and arm explorers with the know-how to defeat Blackbeard's ghost by teaching skills in spearfishing and technical or cave diving.
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