Featherbrook Farm's head trainer and instructor Lisa Avaloz draws upon a lifetime of equine experience and an international network of colleagues. The farm fosters interspecies cooperation through lessons, camps, and birthday parties. Riding lessons instill in young riders the importance of grooming, form, and confidence, rewarding proper handling skills with positive reinforcement. Beginning students start on a lunge line to improve their positioning, strengthen their seat, and gain a feel for their horse. Safety remains of utmost importance throughout the lesson. All students must wear helmets while riding and avoid giving horses celebratory piggyback rides after completing a session.
Featherbrook Farm conducts weekly camps from June to August for 6–14 youngsters at a time. Campers ride twice each day and establish a solid foundation of horsemanship through grooming, first aid, and studying horse anatomy. In addition to education, fun and excitement abound as children play games and make crafts with new friends.
At CL!X Portrait Studios, photographers can capture well-posed shots of siblings in matching sweaters or click away at kids in their natural state of play, whether they are giggling in a frilly tutu or banging on a set of pots and pans. The studio’s array of portraiture styles reflects its founders’ goals: Sandy and Michael Pawlyszyn started CL!X after searching fruitlessly for a user-friendly way to document their own kids’ childhoods. Now, their team of photographers snaps youthful smiles in the studio as well as on site in the community, helming shoots at local schools, dance studios, and sports games. Their subjects need not be children, though—they can craft portraits of entire families, moms-to-be, and high-school seniors before they graduate and cycle back to preschool. The crew also takes photographic fun on the road via photo-booth rentals, which let partiers create their own lasting memories at special events.
For more than 30 years, dedicated staffers at All Seasons Cleaners' four locations have cleansed garments with green processes such as wet cleaning, which yields a 100% biodegradable discharge. At this Certified Environmental Dry Cleaner, the diligent workers ready threads for same-day store pickup, or retrieve clothes from homes with their twice-weekly deliveries.
The cleaning extends to laundry services, washing towels, clothes, and household fabrics such as quilts and drapery with environmentally friendly detergents. At the Crystal store's laundromat, washers and dryers handle up to 60 and 80 pounds respectively, and a soap machine doles out soap, bleach, dryer sheets, and rubber duckies to calm down nervous pants. The cleaning pros also tend to specialty items such as costumes, leathers, and wedding gowns, keeping delicate garments safe with hand-cleaning, hand-pressing, and acid-free products.
For Andy and Rachel Lee of Art and Frame World, their framing projects don't end at two-dimensional objects. Photos surround a folded American flag to depict a beloved family member in his military years. A commemorative Minnesota Twins jersey hangs with sleeves folded to show off its decorative patches. A Stratocaster guitar, signed by Jon Bon Jovi and his band, floats on mounts next to a gold record and a ruby-encrusted 8-track tape. This attention to detail is also apparent in the business's traditional frame jobs, which ensconce photographs in intricate patterns. Conservation items such as acid-free matting and UV-protective glass ensure that prized artwork is kept safe from the elements.
Starting from scratch each day, Marna’s Catering’s head chef Rolando Diaz imbues each of his dishes with the culinary prowess he inherited while working at the family restaurant in his native Costa Rica. Featured in local publications such as Metromix and Maple Grove Magazine, Chef Diaz whips up zesty Caribbean dishes in equal measure with American-style comfort foods, serving seafood ceviche and fried plantains alongside chicken wings and cobb salads. Along with authentic Costa Rican entrees such as chifrijo and jerk chicken gallo pinto, Chef Diaz's specialties include the "Front Burger"—a lean-beef patty cooked with smoky chipotle peppers and topped with adobo spices, provolone, crisp bacon, grilled onions, pineapple and a tangy secret sauce whose recipe is as classified as the president's iPod playlist.
Medina Entertainment Center fights boredom on several fronts with a host of recreational activities housed in one sprawling complex. The renowned concert stage attracts top-level talent from around the country, and its list of past performers?Johnny Cash, Alice Cooper, and Bret Michaels?reads like a brochure at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If your belly is rumbling so loudly that you can't hear the music, just head to Robert's Restaurant, where a menu of burgers, wraps, and grilled fish awaits. Medina is also home to a 12-lane bowling center where players can let off steam by naming each pin after a different middle-school bully.