Carefree Boat Club was founded on the principle that adventuring on a boat is always more fun without the chores associated with ownership. Over time, the owners gathered a huge fleet of speedboats, pontoons, and sailboats, launching them into prime boating waters from 27 harbors around the nation. They also assembled a team of maintenance experts to care for the vehicles, removing cleanup and repair responsibilities from club members' agendas. Then, they set their membership rules, keeping a strict ratio of ten members to every one vehicle in their fleet to ensure easy boating access.
Today, the company maintains a fledgling branch of their operation out of the Marina at Rocketts Landing near downtown Richmond. Their growing fleet of ships navigate down the historic James River. In addition to providing unlimited vessel access for members and rentals for non-members, they also arrange a variety of club events at each location. Members go on annual picnics, gather together on holidays, and host seminars for boating-related subjects such as safety, navigation, and how to trick everybody into calling you admiral.
From its 57-slip floating dock on the shores of the James River, Rocketts Watersports Company rents out pontoons, fishing boats, and kayaks to prospective mariners. The comfortable marina provides space for boat owners to refuel, recharge on 30- and 50-amp power hookups, and wash off clinging squids at the complimentary showers. Day-trippers can rent out a pontoon or fishing vessel for eight-hour adventures on the river. Sporty boaters rent Bic, Surftech, and Tahoe standup paddleboards and kayaks, working out core and arm muscles as they drink in gorgeous Virginia vistas from their perch on the river.
Josh knew the first treasure hunt he set up was a success when he saw the happy look in his three younger brothers' eyes as they uncovered the final treasure chest. Based on Josh's clues, the younger Schwabs had just gleefully trekked across Warrenton, Virginia, and into the Shenandoah Mountains in search of their goal. But the event was more than just a fun way to spend the day: it also gave them inspiration at a time when the future felt grim, as their mother was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Although that has since become a fond memory of a good day, it's also warmly remembered by the family as the catalyst that led Josh to establish Ravenchase Adventures, where he now sets up just such engaging hunts for the public.
Now Ravenchase is an event company that offers pre-set and custom treasure hunts and adventure races. As the company has grown, Josh's team has even set up events for a variety of well-known clients, from DreamWorks Studios to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But regardless of who participates, he and his dedicated staff ensure each two- to three-hour adventure is filled with brainteasers, mysterious clues, and baffling ciphers. Each solved clue leads the groups across town with treasure maps. Fun prizes await at their final destination. In an effort to give back to the community, the company also set up the nonprofit Ravenchase Foundation, which supports organizations that inspire and teach tolerance for history, logic, and the arts.
At DSTinction Fitness, the experienced fitness trainers aim shorten calories’ lifespans through a combination of tried and true exercise, detox plans, and body wraps. The team emphasizes effort, expounding the simple truth that slim, fit bodies can generally only be achieved through hard work. This philosophy is evidenced during their boot camp and group run classes, during which students of every fitness level undertake a jaunt through the park and then return for push-ups, squats, and stair climbing. But the team’s adherence to hard work hasn’t made them forget that fitness can be fun. Stiletto classes let ladies don high heels and for sexy low-light sweat sessions and Zumba classes shimmy mid-section to the spicy beats of Latin-infused rhythms.
Poe’s Pub’s exterior takes on the unassuming air of a country house with its white-washed brick and steep, green-gray roof. Inside, wooden booths and walls littered with photos duly conjure up a vibe of something welcoming and familiar, unlike Windex in a briefcase. The restaurant’s bar tempts thirsty throats with Irish libations, from Guinness to Tullamore Dew. Friday fish fries can make for a pleasant precursor to games of darts, and a calendar of live performances enlivens Poe’s with the sounds of local musicians. As a further enticement, Poe’s also has Sunday brunches on an outdoor patio, unless someone puts four walls and a roof over it.
Edgar Allan Poe holds a distinguished reputation in American literature, given his proclivity for dark work, such as “The Raven” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” But the Poe of legend is often at odds with the real Poe: the student who had to gamble and burn his furniture to make it through college; the career man who traveled extensively to find better opportunities; and the devoted husband who never recovered from the death of his wife. He even enrolled at West Point … though he was thrown out eight months later.
The Poe Museum educates guests on the writer's life, helping them reconcile the reputed Poe with the real Poe. Located within the Old Stone House that lies just blocks from Poe's first Richmond home and his first employer, the Southern Literary Messenger, the museum showcases exhibits and significant artifacts, such as Poe's walking stick, his boyhood bed, and even a lock of his hair. This collection reveals his journey, showing what drove him to become a master writer of short stories, lyric poetry, action-movie screenplays, and, of course, horror stories.