Every year, the NCAA men's basketball tournament is a three-week saga of single-elimination suspense, where athletic juggernauts must fight for their records and overlooked programs have the chance to shine. In 2006, the George Mason Patriots penned their own March Madness Cinderella story by unseating powerhouses Michigan State, North Carolina, and Connecticut to become the lowest seed ever to advance to the Final Four. The Patriots' historic run left fans gasping for air and basketballs everywhere reaching for the nearest pump before the team finally bowed out to the eventual champions, Florida, in the national semifinal.
Though the Patriots' Final Four berth garnered tremendous national attention, George Mason's athletic prowess extends beyond the basketball court. In their proud history, the Patriots have won NCAA championships in multiple sports, including men's indoor track and field and women's soccer.
Owned and operated by artist Kelly Hutchinson, Kelly's Art & Frame is home to a 2,800-square-foot art gallery where original paintings, watercolors, and limited-edition prints line the walls. Onsite custom framing services combine archival materials and meticulous work to properly preserve drawings, sculptures, and cherished pieces of ABC gum. With fellow artist Carol Fogelsong, Kelly also leads art classes, teaching the fundamentals to students during intimate group sessions.
Since its first tour of local landmarks in District of Columbia, CapitolCity DC Tours, LLC. has chaperoned visitors and the city's own curious residents on motor-coach, walking, and bicycle-mounted tours of the city. Dozens of available tours bring to life the history of the notable and little-known local neighborhoods and historic buildings that occupy the Washington DC's celebrated acreage. Licensed tour guides lead outings in seven languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish, and Italian, to make it easier for all to take in the city's breadth of historic, architectural, and municipal themes. Depending on the tour, some stops may include informative jaunts to the White House and the National Mall—places that evoke American ideals and where British tyranny in the form of unjust taxation and irresistible Phil Collins ballads were once publicly denounced.
As the doors open for each evening's performance, Lazy Susan Dinner Theatre guests are treated to a brief cocktail reception before dinner. Then, they are beckoned onward to a hot buffet of made-from-scratch Pennsylvania Dutch dishes, including breads, roast beef, chicken, fish, and housemade desserts. Once the audience is fully sated, the curtain opens on a family-friendly Broadway-style show chosen to incite convulsive laughter, explore American history, or challenge theatergoers to discern which actors are real ghosts. The performers on stage are the same people pouring the coffee, and DC Metro Theater Arts notes that "the warm ambiance found at The Lazy Susan is indeed half of the fun of going."
MoBu Kids' founder Melissa Steele devoted her time to entire classes of children for eight years before retiring to care for her two favorite youngsters—her son and daughter. Shortly after the birth of her son in 2005, Melissa opened MoBu Kids, an indoor playground and classroom for kids that was voted ParentsConnect Parents' Picks Best Kids' Party Place in 2010 and Best Indoor Playspace in 2009. During open play, youngsters scramble atop custom-designed foam playground equipment and roll around safe gymnastics flooring like Olympic-level tumbleweeds. They also test footholds in a rock-climbing wall and zoom down the slide of a petite tree house.
A more structured blend of learning and recreation characterizes small classes led by energetic instructors. Music and movement strengthens the link between notes and motion, bolstering language or motor and social skills according to age. Art-class masterpieces spring from the colorful depictions in a storybook, and ballet encourages dancers to forge creative steps, like the stubbed toe hop. Similar themes run through summer camps and private birthday parties.
Course designer Tom Clark of Ault, Clark, & Associates earned Pleasant Valley Golf Club a 4.5-star rating from Golf Digest, whose editors applauded the architect’s creativity in the site’s rolling hills and dense hardwood forest. Clark’s 18-hole brainchild allows players to tee up from one of four tee boxes and test their mettle against the par 72 course, taking care to avoid the water in play on six holes and the grassy meadows that lie outside the fairway borders. Players can bookend their round with a warm-up session on the range and a cooldown at the grill, helped along by a club sandwich, a Gatorade, or a glass of ice water dumped on an overused foot wedge.