The wall of hand-painted tiles is likely the first thing you’ll notice when walking into Earth Arts of Long Beach’s sunlit studio. Like a tin man at a cardiologist’s office, it stands out, offering a colorful contrast to the shelves and shelves of unpainted porcelain cups, mugs, plates, and bowls. Each prismatic square offers a glimpse into the artistic world of each customer who’s passed through the shop. As a whole, they represent the studio’s mission to foster a vibrant community that celebrates artisans of all ages and skill levels.
Staffers are happy to guide customers through the pottery-painting process, supplying them with stencils, paints, and stamps to design their own patterns. In addition to pottery painting, the studio offers art classes, and utilizes the shop as a gallery space for visiting artists.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.
Bahia Social Club's chefs craft Brazilian small plates ornamented with skirt steak, toasted tomato, and selections from a varied menu. Introduce a friend, date, or long-lost yearbook advisor to portuguese mussels in saffron broth (a $14 value) as you pour from a pitcher of red or white sangria. Churrasco skirt steak (a $14 value) mingles on the grill with sociable tostones and sweet plantains, as nearby patatas bravas's snappy potatoes drip with condescension and spicy aioli (a $5 value). Toothpicks cross with a rain of sparks as diners duel for bites of the pulled-pork arepa (a $12 value), which is slow-cooked over 18 hours, much like plastic army men that fall into the hands of enemy children.
Sutton Place is a casual dining establishment boasting a large menu packed with innovative American dishes. Commence consumption with the twisted Kung Pao calamari ($13), a plate of affectionate face-licking chicken wings ($10), or delicately dine on the vegetable napolean ($11), a medley of balsamic-roasted portobello mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Specialty dishes include a Caribbean-spiced mahi-mahi ($22), served with shrimp and pineapple fried rice and intoxicated with a dark-rum piña-colada sauce, and a skirt steak with shrimp scampi ($26). Meatberg mongers will want to evaluate the caliber of the Kobe beef burger ($16), dressed in Jack Daniel's barbecue sauce and playing off the acerbic wit of house-cured pickles and pickled onions. The manually mischievous, however, can keep idle hands too busy to set fire to anything by filling them with the pulled Carolina pork sandwich ($9), the turkey club ($11), or the roasted portobello and vegetable wrap ($10). An extensive wine list and full bar menu is also available.
Nationally ranked lifeguard and co-founder Cliff Skudin has conquered the massive swells of Outer Reefs Hawaii and Nelscott Reef during professional competitions. His business partner and brother, Will, is a four-time contender in the Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards. Their aquatic family history does not stop there, however. Among the ranks at Skudin Surf are three other amphibious Skudins—including a synchronized swimmer, a trained EMT, and a windsurfing dolphin—as well as a handful of instructors, lifeguards, and pro surfers who have been embraced by the family. Skudin Surf has been featured in a number of publications, including the New York Times.
Surfing, it seems, is much more than a mere sport to the Skudins. It’s also a free-spirited form of therapy. Brothers Cliff and Will launched the non-profit Surf For All to bring the sport to kids with autism, cerebral palsy, and visual impairment, among other disabilities. They also partner with Wounded Warriors to provide lessons to military members, and provided assistance with rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.