Though they're certainly adept at standing still, buildings and monuments present their own set of challenges for people trying to take pictures of them. To surmount these complications, the professional photographers at ShutterGuide set out on two-hour walking tours, teaching groups how to best frame the landmarks on their route. For each site, they demonstrate a different camera technique that suits the landscape, such as adjusting the composition or keeping photo-bombing statues out of the frame. Guests can capture snapshots with nearly any type of lens—even the one on their smartphone.
The tours cover photography topics from lighting to metering and depth of field, but they're also a lesson in history. During the walk, guides dole out trivia on the city's past. They take a maximum of eight people in every group and accommodate aspiring shutterbugs of all skill levels.
SunCruz Port Richey Casino sugars the sweet teeth of Florida's cardsharps, crapshooters, and slot-grapplers with its bounteous gambling accoutrements. The 165-foot vessel provides buoyant refuge for more than 325 token-operated slot machines, which allow bettors to select the stake of each spin ($.05–$5), finally making gambling feasible for chalcophobic elements of society and anthropomorphic pole magnets. Table games populate the floors of both decks, featuring blackjack, craps, roulette, three-card poker, let it ride, and the ever-popular pick-a-farm animal ($5+ minimums). The ship comes equipped with satellite TV and serves deli cuisine and drinks at the open top deck with bar during the trip.
As the engine stirs to life and the vessel floats away from port, the Marine-12 doesn’t just yawn and stretch its parts. Instead, it lets out a roar, its two massive diesel engines sounding off yet another departure. The retired military patrol boat was once a command and control vessel during Vietnam, and has since traded in its war paint and oversized army helmet for more favorable features—namely, an on-board margarita machine and booming sound system. The Marine-12’s modern incarnation makes it the ideal host for Island Party Entertainment’s cruises, which coast up and down St. John’s River and soak up sunsets at The Jacksonville Landing.
Freedom Boat Club first set sail in 1989 from a single site in Sarasota, Florida, and today, has grown to 60 locations throughout the United States. A simple alternative to boat ownership, the club grants its members access to a large fleet of vessels while eliminating boating's many hassles, such as cleaning, storage, and purchasing the naming rights to S.S. Minnow. At each club location, members have fully fueled deck boats, fishing boats, pontoons, and cruisers at their disposal, which they may utilize for any number of adventures. They can simply cruise around local waters, coast to entertainment destinations, or plan snorkeling, scuba diving, and fishing trips with groups of friends.
Atlantic Aviation's FAA-certified flight instructors teach students the basics of flying from the pilot's seat of a Redbird flight simulator. Digital screens wrap around an enclosed cockpit, allowing students to practice flight patterns as they experience authentic motion from a moving platform. Always tailoring training to students' needs and ambitions, pilots and advanced-instrument ground instructors can help customers achieve goals of any degree, from learning the mechanics of flight in intro lessons to completing courses toward licensing.
When Gerald Bennett began work as head chef at the InterContinental Hotel in Cleveland, he was accustomed to whipping up dishes for celebrity clientele. But when the royal family of Dubai came to visit and he served them in their opulent suite, he never thought they'd ask him to leave with them as their personal chef. Since returning to the states and stepping into his role as the president of the Private Chef Association, Gerald has worked to bring his gastronomic prowess to the masses through Food Fun Adventure’s classes and tours. He passes along a visible passion for culinary fusion, which shines through in dishes blending French and Thai or American and German influences.
Culinary tours take participants to local sushi houses, steak houses, and bistros, each highlighting specialty dishes. When head chefs come out to greet their visitors, they often divulge culinary secrets and answer questions about curfew hours for free-range ingredients while doling out tapas and other small plates.
In a more hands-on culinary experience, customers gather in classes and learn to refine dishes based on a chosen theme. Using mostly local and organic ingredients in two kitchen classrooms, chefs show students how to craft delicacies such as scallion waffles with orange-zest chicken and tagine-roasted rack of lamb. In one kitchen, which doubles as an art gallery, knives flick through ingredients, and pots clatter at island stations and small burners. The company’s event center, Heaven, fills with chatter as up to 40 pairs of students filter in. Beneath projectors for screening chef demonstrations and documentaries about the life of a paring knife, separate kitchens equipped with ovens and burners fill with the bustle of creation, which gives way to reverent exhalations as patrons finally sample the fruits of their labor.