Thanks to the colorful, sparkling mural that's spray-painted on the front windows of Bounce USA, kids are likely to get excited as soon as you pull in the parking lot. Once inside, they can scale numerous bounce houses and inflatable slides during open play or private birthday parties. The play center is open to kids of all ages, and also has arcade games, board games, and an Xbox. It's not just for kids, though, as Bounce USA hosts adult nights on the second Friday each month that invariably test parents' abilities to lie to their kids about where they're going. Concessions help revelers refuel with nachos, hot dogs, and snow cones.
At seven locations throughout the Houston metropolitan area, Discount Inspection and Brakes' ASE-certified mechanics keep vehicles in tip-top shape. They check and repair squeaky brakes, change out old oil, and inspect cars to make sure they comply with state emissions requirements and seasonal fashion trends. Aside from everyday preventative maintenance, the knowledgeable crews also repair cracked windshields and get to the bottom of engine trouble with a computerized diagnostic system.
Owner Robin Curtis and her dressy canine sidekick, Sadie, welcome guests into the cozy, flower-filled storefront of Aroma Garden Creations, where invigorating scents urge browsers to peruse the lace-lined shelves stocked with Robin's homemade soaps and toiletries. Glassware brimming with colorful bath salts send perfumed wafts of air through the boutique's selection of straw hats, jewelry, and wineglass koozies. Signs made from old barn wood depict catty sayings, and a pink claw-foot tub cradles a reclining mannequin, whose relaxed gaze lands on customer favorites such as oatmeal-peppermint soap and aromatic linen sprays. Robin can also ship special orders filled with her private collection of shea crèmes or Grammy's sugar scrubs, crafting perfect gifts for girlfriends in other states or just-out-of-reach bathtubs.
Members of Sail Ventures take turns cruising in a fleet of new or late-model Jeanneau and Beneteau sailboats. The system, known as fractional yachting, teams up members who share their luxury vessels on a monthly basis. A rigorous training program ensures sailors are seaworthy, and the club picks up maintenance, slip fees, and other costs. Sail Ventures also hosts special membership events throughout the year, such as regattas, boat christenings, and boat-show parties.
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Casanova's downfall deftly doles out upscale women's clothing brands and elegant accessories with a customer-focused staff of fashion experts. Overflowing racks hold wardrobe staples, from party-ready dresses to comfortable and casual blouses, by designers such as Joseph Ribkoff ($150–$250), with custom orders available for out-of-stock sizes and archaic Betamax cassette belts. LipSense lipstick ($18) shades puckerers with party pink, cranberry, and other vivid hues blessed with the kiss-ready staying power of a thousand Marilyn Monroes.