As visitors step into the balmy gardens of The Butterfly Place, they may feel as though they are “walking into a floating garden . . . as if they are being carried as well.” That was the experience of a Wicked Local writer who visited the seasonal indoor sanctuary, which houses both local butterflies and tropical species culled from around the world. As the butterflies freely wing about the sanctuary, koi fish swim through serene ponds along the winding pathway, and quail waddle and moonwalk through myriad species of colorful flora. Those who find that watching the butterflies sip nectar incites their own hunger can take a break at the outdoor picnic area and nibble on any snacks they may have brought along.
Animal Rescue Front (ARF) was founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a first-responder animal-rescue team that helped save the lives of cats and dogs that survived the disaster. Focusing on one affected community in Mississippi, the organization transported more than 1,100 animals to homes and shelters that wouldn't euthanize them at locations across the country. The effort reduced the kill rate from 80 percent to zero for the first 12 months after the hurricane.
Now, ARF continues to fulfill its mission: “Until there are none save one.” The organization works to prevent companion animals from being euthanized through spay/neuter initiatives, adoption services, and educational programs. Teams in Louisiana and Mississippi also rescue animals directly from shelters that are at full capacity, and then place the animals in foster homes to socialize them and provide medical care and prepare them for adoption.
Fully licensed by the Florida Department of Education, Orlando Bartending School instructs wannabe watering-hole workers in the thirst-slaking art of sips and swigs via its ServSafe Alcohol Program, which prepares students for the school’s online certification process. During each class on the flexible schedule, a professional gulp guru doles out hands-on guidance behind a fully functioning bar—everything is real except the simulated alcohol and the actor playing the frazzled concert promoter. The liquor lessons cover more than 100 tipsy-making tonics on a glass-by-glass basis, starting with the oft-used highball before moving on to martini glasses and finally the oft-neglected princess slipper. Students will also master other aspects of effective bartending, such as how to spin the bottle in the air before pouring and how to sift all the gold out of a bottle of Goldschläger.
The crackle of a grill and the gentle purr of beer spilling into a pint are very soothing sounds. That gleeful noise serves as a constant backdrop at The Peddler’s Daughter, punctuated occasionally by live rock or Irish music and pub trivia. The menu is varied, but everything orbits around the dishes you might find in the Irish countryside. Beer-battered fish ‘n’ chips nestle alongside shepherd’s pies filled with beef and veggies like the briefcase of someone who is only pretending to be an accountant. Burgers—topped with Guinness blue cheese påte, aged cheddar, or housemade hot sauce—vie for attention against the likes of bangers and mash. On the bar, light cuts through glasses of ruddy Newcastle, Old Speckled Hen, and Guinness.
Anheuser-Busch's beermaster tour regales guests with an edifying excursion behind the scenes of the brewer's charming, picturesque facilities. View secretive master sudsmiths as they frolic in their natural brewhouse habitat, and savor the hearty bouquet of the hop room, which brims with the scents of the powerful flowers. The fermentation cellar and packaging facility reveal the early stages of a magical lifecycle, similar to watching a nest of panda eggs hatch.
In each independently owned establishment of this national organization, Boston Bartenders School gives students the skills and knowledge needed to make masterful martinis, create consummate cocktails, and placate thirsty mobs with a single skillful pour. Each class receives a 145-page manual, up to date with the industry's latest techniques, tricks, and obscure bar lingo, along with a drink sheet, diploma, resume, and ID card. Because Boston Bartenders School is located nationally, they are uniquely equipped to assist in job placement throughout the United States and Canada, and all students receive free refresher courses at their leisure.