The boom swings lugubriously, its shadow slicing across the sun-steeped white deck of the Alternate Latitude. Water chuckles against the double hulls of the Voyage 440 ship. In four cabins, air conditioners purr as the boat cuts towards the azure horizon, dwarfing the other catamarans on Galveston Bay.
During chartered sailing trips, Captain Steve—who holds a 50-ton United States Coast Guard Masters License—and his crew steer the vessel as passengers lounge on trampolines on the deck and sip drinks. The ship, which was built in South Africa, now makes occasional cruises to the Virgin Islands. Queen-sized berths in each cabin cradle passengers during overnight trips and after chamomile-tea-drinking contests.
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.
At the dine-in movie theater Star Cinema Grill, concession stands are obsolete. By pressing a button, customers signal a server and are able to order restaurant-style without disrupting their viewing experience or screaming at an usher for a lobster bib. From angus sliders to ice-cream floats, Star Cinema Grill's menu appeases all ages with its gourmet-pub cuisine served amidst the glow of screenings and first-run film releases.
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.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
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