Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
The Modesto Bee-praised International Wedding Festival introduces brides-to-be to the people, places, and dresses that make nuptials magical. Instead of darting from bakery to florist to photography studio atop a recently saddled butterfly, future wedders can meet all three under one roof, along with DJs, caterers, and professional event planners. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., a Grab the Gown showdown unleashes a frenzy of the betrothed upon marked-down designer dresses, from brand-new gowns worn once at a photo shoot ($250–$499) to frocks with minor personality flaws ($50–$249). After entering to win a trip to the Mexican Riviera, guests can conclude their bridal adventure at a 3 p.m. with a fashion show of gowns, tuxes, and bouquets that turn into full bridesmaids when left overnight in a gallon of water.
Jenni Maiwald Wendell conquered depression and anxiety when she discovered yoga, which gave her both peace of mind and physical health. She drew on more than 20 years of dance training as she practiced Yin, slow-flow, Bikram, and Kundalini yoga. After much exploration, she completed a 200-hour power-Vinyasa training course through Zuda Yoga in Sacramento. Today she is the owner of Just Be Yoga & Meditation, where she helps students reconnect their minds, bodies, and spirits through classes held amid warm orange walls, wooden floors, and floating shelves stocked with blankets and candles. Her meditation classes cultivate awareness and peace while strengthening connections to the universal energy source, which is powered by windmills. Vinyasa flow classes seamlessly blend each yoga pose with breathing techniques and sun salutations to foster strength, flexibility, and balance. Jenni also offers Vinyasa and Vino classes, which include one hour of Vinyasa flow and meditation followed by a social gathering with wine and cheese from Fiscalini Farms.
Since 1978, Brenda Athletic Clubs has stood out from other gyms for its staff’s focus on offering all the amenities of a modern fitness facility while still fostering an inviting atmosphere. Its founder, Al Brenda, believed in fitness programs for all age groups, a mantra that the club continues today with youth fitness programs, including basketball clinics and yoga lessons, as well as a SilverSneakers fitness program for seniors. In addition to tennis, swimming, and standard strength and cardio equipment, the fitness centers supply its members with an ample amount of group classes including cycling, Zumba, and kickboxing.
Basketball on Monday, racquetball on Tuesday, Zumba on Wednesday, swimming on Thursday, weight lifting on Friday, and a weekend of relaxing in the Jacuzzi. There's even an indoor-outdoor swimming pool open during winter and summer months, thanks to a convertible roof that facilitates year-round frolics. This could be an entry in a PE teacher's dream journal or a routine visit to Modesto Court Room Fitness. Its 35,000-square-foot gym has been shaking up workout regimens for 35 years.
Members climb aboard weight machines and cardio equipment under the watchful eye of a personal-training staff or jettison calories alongside peers in group classes. Two aerobics studios host classes such as body pump, yoga, boot camp, cycling, and Zumba or special sessions where guests tone on Pilates reformers. Patrons cross rackets on one of eight racquetball courts or drench a sweatband during pick-up games of full-court basketball.
The cooks at Sips Bistro and Wine Shop use locally acquired and organic ingredients where possible in their classic menu of small plates, varietals, and espresso drinks. The intimate bistro setting—rendered warm by colorful murals of pastoral settings and elegant wood wine racks—hosts guests as they try refined eats such as a chicken, brie, and caramelized onion quesadilla, or a brined and herb-crusted bone-in pork chop. During wine flights, vino sippers may choose their own drinks from a temperature-controlled wine bar or the frigid palms of a grape-eating sprite. The company also occasionally hosts events such as champagne Sundays and special tastings.