Monterey Bay Aviation's instructors combine more than 18,000 logged flight hours to teach amateur aviators the principles of piloting. In the discovery flight lesson, soon-to-be-sky-people will first get acquainted with the surrounding Monterey Peninsula Airport in a brief facility tour. Learners will then meet with a pilot, who will explain the major parts of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, debrief with a pre-flight checklist, and teach mandatory secret handshakes. After a quick weather briefing, the student will plop down on the pilot seat next to their instructor, kick-start the engines, learn how to taxi the craft, and perform a run-up. Finally, with the client behind the knobs, together the co-pilots take to the skies for about 45 minutes to revel in the panoramic local scenery and the assistance of an in-flight genie. Once grounded, the aeronaut will dish out post-flight details and future flight training options, such as official programs or investments in kite-suits.
In place of the flickering florescent lights common to big-box grocery stores, sunshine illuminates the foods at Fresh from D'Vine, a farmer-focused indoor market in Salinas. Vibrant, in-season fruits and vegetables form little assemblages on wooden tables, as do bouquets of fresh-cut flowers. Most of the market's offerings come from growers in Monterey and neighboring counties, which helps to keep the store's carbon footprint to a minimum while ensuring that the freshness of its goods are at a maximum. Though the selection of produce changes with the seasons, some customer favorites include strawberries, artichokes, lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, raspberries, broccoli, and peaches.
Since 1975, Helm of Sun Valley has outfitted outdoor enthusiasts with seasonal supplies, rentals, and gear from brand-name manufacturers. Prepare for a snow- surmounting winter with a trove of cold-weather essentials ($20+), including gloves, socks, hats, and metronomes that keep chattering teeth on a steady beat. Ski- and snowboard-rental packages ($20+) equip thrill seekers for the slopes, whereas thorough tune-ups ($35) and an array of other services ready personal planks for airborne adventures. Patrons can also mine the store's racks for specialty items such as snowboarding pants ($100+), or attempt to impress neighbors and fanciful pool floats with high-end outdoor furniture for summer months.
Celebrating a decade of showcasing independent filmmaking from around the world, the 2011 Santa Cruz Film Festival presents 167 films from 33 countries, with 67 films hailing from the Greater Santa Cruz/Monterey area. Festivities kick off Thursday, May 5 with a gala opening for the dark love story Prairie Love and continue until Saturday, May 14, when the city-sized velvet curtains close with Ruffo, a somber look at a surf legend's struggles with addiction. Other films include the tattoo-artist documentary Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World, and Under the Boardwalk, an analytical history of the game Monopoly and the countless world wars fought over who gets to be the car.