Though skydiving is often billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for the staff at Jump Florida Skydiving, it's a job. As they climb above the scenic landscape of Lake Country in a turbine aircraft, they stay calm as excitement radiates off customers?as young as 18 and as old as 79?about to make their first leap. At the ideal altitude, the plane levels off, and jumpers get into position. The sky is amazingly clear around the plane, which takes off from a private airport, so there are no commercial jets or flocks of migrating geese obstructing the airspace. Tandem or solo divers step to the edge, take a deep breath, and experience the thrill of accelerating at 9.81 meters per second per second.
While participants revel in their adrenaline-fueled thrills, the staff keeps them safe by adhering to the strict standards of the United States Parachute Association. These protocols enforce rigorous regulations, safety guidelines, and eminently cool member handshakes. On the ground, the team prioritizes hospitality, offering guest rooms, a restaurant, spectator fields, and a nerve-diffusing bar.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles. Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Dinosaur World lets modern-day adventurers see what the world was like when dinosaurs ruled the earth. More than 150 life-size dinosaurs peer imposingly from the hillsides, crane their necks up through native trees, and stomp through prairie fields at the theme parks that stretch out over 20-plus acres of land in Texas, Florida, and Kentucky. The fiberglass, steel, and concrete dinosaurs reach up to 80 feet in length, and are built according to the latest scientific discoveries about what dinosaurs looked like.
Visitors who want to experience what it's like to be a paleontologist can dig for fossils at the Fossil Dig and uncover a life-size stegosaurus skeleton from under the sand in the Boneyard. Before leaving, visitors can play on the dinosaur-themed playground and check out the Prehistoric Museum to see a variety of cast and real fossils. The Tampa location showcases an animatronic dinosaur exhibit where guests get to see dinosaurs come to life.
Grown from two small shops to 28 locations by the sweat equity of a hard-working father-and-son team, McGee Tire?s open-air bays now proudly display the cobalt and maize d?cor signifying their status as authorized Goodyear dealers. Skilled hands outfit hoisted cars with conventional and standard oil while computerized systems recalibrate tires, brake service secures stoppers, and transmission tune-ups correct gear-bound problems. At the core of full-scale commercial fleet services, a specialized shearography machine helped earn McGee Auto Service & Tire a mention on ]Modern Tire Dealer's](http://www.moderntiredealer.com/) list of Top 100 Retreaders in the U.S. Oversize vehicle service also caters to recreational drivers, with RV service including repairing electrical systems, recalibrating drive trains, and restocking the feedback of the horn's onboard bugler.
There's no telling who you'll run into on a Beer Crawl crawl?past events have seen stormtroopers, cowboys, and even a brace of rarely spotted Waldos. Thanks to themed costume contests that run the gamut from neon '80s wear to masked superheroes to a holiday-themed "ugly sweater crawl," attendees of all stripes race or meander between trendy area venues. At each one, they enjoy free beer and drink specials as DJs spin popular tunes and supervise games such as Flip Cup or Figure Out What Channel the Game Is On. Participating bars vary, but can include watering holes such as Yard of Ale and MacDinton's, among many others.
At its nine area locations, Eye Express sharpens the sight of patients of all ages with an extensive lineup of brand-name frames and a lens lab in every office. During eye exams, board-certified doctors employ sophisticated laser technology that helps detect signs of optical maladies such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and early-onset death-ray vision. Stylish frames and sunglasses from brands such as Oakley, Christine Dior, and Costa encircle a wide variety of specialty anti-glare, impact-resistance, and photochromic lenses, while contacts come in daily and weekly disposable form.