At each Show Bride event, local vendors showcase their wedding wares and nuptial know-how so that brides and grooms may glean inspiration and connections in preparation for the big day. Couples can trade creative thought bubbles while walking arm-in-arm through a roomful of exhibitors that cover 50 categories of wedding execution, from bands and bartenders to dental work and help scrapbooking a lock of every wedding attendee's hair. Each event-goer has ample one-on-one time with vendors for brainstorming, accepting free samples, and hoisting vendors atop chairs to get a feel for their structural integrity. Enter for free prizes that differ at each event but include such largess as travel, gift cards, and goody bags.
The friendly staffers at Bounce House's multiple Virginia locales breathe new life into the term sock hop, as well as lots of air into inflatable play surfaces. During Open Jump sessions and birthday parties, sock-clad moppets aged 1–12 can hop to their heels’ content across a cadre of themed inflatables, which catapult youngsters into TV-station simulacra and onto the surface of an air-hockey machine. As parents supervise, they can compare their children's bouncing with that of the stock market using complimentary WiFi. Each Bounce House fuels fun by keeping its snack bar fully stocked.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Although it now has more than 430 locations in 28 countries, Hooters wasn’t always welcomed by the public. In fact, when it opened in October 1983 in Clearwater, Florida, the founders of the restaurant were “quickly detained for impersonating restaurateurs,” according to the company's website. But the restaurant was able to prove it was more than just a pretty face—that it was serious about serving tasty American food and frosty brews—and its popularity exploded in the decades to follow.
Amid its beach-themed vibe and flat-screen TVs, Hooters still fuels appetites with original chicken wings, burgers, sandwiches, and fresh salads. Of course, nobody carries those casual eats and icy pitchers better than the Hooters girls. To complement their friendly smiles, their uniforms harken back to the ones the original waitresses wore in 1983: orange hot shorts and white tank tops with the emblematic owl on the front—though that owl has lost its Lionel Richie perm.
At Rebounderz of Newport News, parents need not cringe as they watch their kids literally jump off the walls. Safety is of the utmost importance to the staff, and it starts with the trampolines. Over 10,000 square feet of these jump boosters line the floors and jut outward at an angle on the walls. Their patented design boasts high-quality components that make them much safer than leaping off the garage roof with an umbrella as a parachute. As kids engage in friendly battle on the dodge-ball trampoline or practice their approach at the slam-dunk station, safety-trained referees keep a watchful eye on them at all times. And even though the pit is filled to the brim with foam bricks, jumpers don special socks for protection. Kids and grownups can take a break from simulating molecular fusion at the arcade, earning tickets to trade in for prizes.
Twice a day, Virginia Balloons' hot air balloons roar to life, elevate into the air, and showcase the landscape that makes Virginia an ideal place to defy gravity. The colorful balloons float above farmlands, along Virginia Beach, and over the lush forests that grow in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains. And if natural wonders aren't enough, the wind can carry balloons over historical Virginia for a bird's-eye view. Pilots, each with thousands of hours of flight time, guide these high-flying adventures. And, to create lasting memories, they toast each completed flight before sending balloons back to Oz for storage.