A former elementary-school teacher, Robin Brooke harnessed her experiences in the classroom to boot up Giggle-Bytes, a computer-learning program for youngsters. Determined to arm her students and her own four children with the necessary computer skills to use the Internet and instant message the Toys R Us giraffe, Brooke teamed up with Discovery Kids Puterbugs, a program produced by Imagine Tomorrow. The Imagine Tomorrow software is customizable for each lesson and academic level, so that kids who have never touched a computer can learn alongside techno whizzes. In both her traveling classes and her birthday parties, Brooke helps kids to build their social skills and cultivate teamwork while gleaning self-confidence, spatial skills, and the ability to navigate through the digital age.
When Monica Wason moved to Salinas, she was in the midst of planning an addition to her family. Though she soon discovered that there were no prenatal health venues near her new home, she was undeterred. She decided that she'd simply open one herself, and founded Green Belly as a wellness center for fellow pregnant women. Soon, her clientele expanded to include postnatal and non-pregnant women as well as men, prompting Monica to broaden her efforts. She funneled her experiences as a nurse and massage therapist into pampering services, and hired a teaching staff to help lead yoga, Pilates, and belly-dancing sessions. Today, she continues to welcome guests from all walks of life into Green Belly's lime- and cream-colored rooms to fulfill their wellness needs. As sun beams through the studio's skylight and bay windows, her aestheticians work to brighten faces with Jadience skincare products. She exclusively stocks the spa with organic products, complementing the center's nature-inspired décor while also honoring the trees who taught her slow-breathing techniques.
Blue Water Ventures owner and naturalist Kim Powell and her trained staff of naturalists lead adventurous groups on tours of trails and waterways from the East Bay of California to San Jose's Elkhorn Slough, exploring caves, forests, and wildlife-rich areas on the way. On protected Elkhorn Slough, groups of up to 20 make their way on stable kayaks as their attentive tour guides give rich history of the area and point out wildlife including seals and sea otters. In Florida's Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, groups snorkel and canoe to observe wild west indian manatees and their notorious poker habits.
The company also does specialty tours for school groups that include tide-pooling adventures and trekking through a redwood forest to see some of the country's oldest trees. Tours for women-only groups include private cruises where ladies can spy whales and a variety of seaborne wildlife, including fish, dolphins, and long-lost swim fins.
Snap Fitness 24-7, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its state-of-the-art facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneaker to treadmill or lift their first weight, personal coaches meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting a personalized fitness plan based on each client's strength, and cardio condition. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthy eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists.
Feel Golf Co. has 25 years of experience placing high-quality golfing sticks in the hands of touring professionals and amateurs committed to improving their game. These putting pros offer performance products for players of every handicap, and use specially formulated metals coupled with a proprietary pressure-casting system to create their clubs, including the Lee Miller Signature QPQ wedge ($119.99). The Tsunami Mallet putter uses NASA-based ceramic technology to reduce putting backspin and guide balls safely back into the atmosphere after intergalactic travel shots ($89.99). Fashion-forward fairway fans can show brand loyalty with Full Release caps, designed to block out the sun and conceal the identity of pros tagging in for difficult approaches ($7.99).
The Marina Club was founded in 1972 by Guy and Betty Calamia. The little card club on Monterey Bay quickly grew a reputation as one of the friendliest poker clubs on the Pacific Coast. Your host Betty, is accompanied by her son’s Frank and Deon. Together they promise you fun and lively gaming activities.
At Roudon-Smith Winery, winemakers surrounded by unique murals create barrels of rich reds and refreshing white wines using high-quality grapes from the Santa Cruz Mountains and other regions of California. Whether crafting an elegant pinot noir or a richly colored zinfandel, the winemakers follow a philosophy of minimal intervention, seeking to preserve the essential qualities of the fruit.