Winner of the Daily Herald's Readers' Choice 2011 award for best car wash, Raceway Car Wash and Detailing plies and pampers weary autos with award-earning soft-cloth car washes and meticulous detail packages. During each 10- to 15-minute deluxe exterior wash, soft cloths liberate paint and chrome from roadway grime, oily deposits, and old Datsun tattoos before deft hands whisk away lingering moisture with thirsty towels. An undercarriage wash combs the car's undersides for asphalt-born buildup, a wheel-shine rim cleaner grooms the tires, and applications of clear-coat sealer wax gild the shell in a glossy element-repelling shine. Technicians then tidy up the whitewalls and rims, giving wheels a fresh sparkle and sense of highway swagger.
For 15 years, IntelliDent's paintless dent repair has smoothed away dings without damaging original factory finishes. The specialty technique relies on massaging exteriors from the inside, which activates the metal's memory and restores it to its initial shape. The eco-friendly process can remove dings between the size of a dime and a half dollar that were caused by hail, minor collisions, and forays into car acupuncture.
The shop's team of skilled technicians can also tend to vehicles with more conventional repairs, eradicating all sorts of primarily cosmetic woes. As they work, the staff consults closely with insurance companies to make sure their repairs are cost-effective.
There are treasures beyond belief under the waves. All across the Midwest, lakes large and small contain pieces of history, from a moss-coated dump truck at the bottom of Haigh Quarry to the schooner Thomas Hume, which has been a home to the fish of Lake Michigan since 1891. With favorite wet spots from Missouri to Minnesota, the teachers at Chicagoland Scuba are privy to it all. Whether offering first-time divers certification classes, leading diving trips, or learning how fish like to be hugged, exploring the underwater life is second nature to these pros—something they hope rubs off on their students, too.
At each of Fast Eddie’s three locations, technicians reward roughed-up autos with a spa-style cleansing that helped earn them the Northwest Herald's 2012 Best Car Wash/Detailing award. Performed entirely by hand, four types of car washes service the entire car, ranging from basic exterior jobs to all-encompassing packages that evict grime hidden in interior corners. Owners wait for newly primped rides in a dog-friendly waiting area that doubles as an iceless, bring-your-own-equipment hockey rink.
Piping-hot lattes and samples of gourmet treats greet shoppers as they stroll into the well-stocked emporium of brand-name gifts and domestic goods. Wedding gifts ($50–$100) from labels such as Michael Aram, Nambé, and Simon Pearce celebrate nuptials, and hostess gifts from Mariposa ($25–$60) express appreciation for invitations to sunny baby showers or shadowy Illuminati initiations. Gourmet-fare items from Rothchild Farm and Stonewall Kitchen fill larders with stylish, wholesome eats ($7–$25), and picnic and outdoor serving ware ($15–$75) set the open-air stage for elegant outdoor dining. Amicable shopping assistants lead guests to the perfect presents before gussying purchases up with complimentary gift-wrapping, shielding them from prying eyes or voyeuristic Christmas trees.
So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for?fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Caf?, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.