The FAA-certified flight instructors that represent Alpha One Air Service impart winged wisdom to their students, whether the goal includes a casual discovery flight or full pilot certification. Before taking off on their own, students learn about safety regulations and procedures in a safe environment. Novices hoping for a glimpse of flight training before diving into a full certification regimen can sign up for the Discovery flight program, which allows students to take the controls of a light aircraft while an instructor watches closely. On-ground training and in-flight piloting sessions can be scheduled for different days.
With more than 100 million records sold and a chart-topping career spanning five decades, Chicago continues their reign, swaying audiences with ageless nuggets of pure pop on their 2011 tour. The band, fronted by founding member Robert Lamm, has always been known for its voluminous and luscious sound, which created both the National Note Surplus and the harrowing Sheet Music Publishers riot. For the 2011 tour, Chicago salutes their longtime fans with a sonic scrapbook of hits ranging from their early days as fusionists to their latter career building castles out of ballads. From the easily answered existential question of “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” through the heartbreaking confessions of “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” Chicago’s crafty cannon runs through the gamut of human emotions, unearthing a horn-saturated sound that brims with the kind of humanity and empathy that its public-transportation namesake has never known.
The dueling pianists at Piano Man face off, vying for applause as they blaze through the biggest hits from the last hundred years. As they hit each note with perfection, audience members holler their requests and sing along with the pros, a fact the house prides itself on. When their requests hit the stage, guests can cheers with a host of tropical drinks, including the Malibu Painkiller—a euphoric combination of Malibu coconut, black, and sunshine blended with lemonade, OJ, and sprite—or the Entourage Margarita, with Avion tequila, raspberry liqueur, pineapple juice, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. To make sure they can remember the name of their favorite song, guests can soak up the cocktails with a menu of pub food classics such as burgers and wings.
The sound of feet slapping on the padded ground and little voices twisted by constant motion fill Xtreme Play. Jeff and Julie Austin, owners of the play center, have five children, so they are familiar with the busy chorus. The duo and its staff are also well prepared to keep an eye on youngsters as they bounce from inflatable obstacles or squeal down slides. At a miniature arcade, small hands grab Wii and PlayStation controllers, simulating adventures through castles and the civil-service tests to become a castle inspector. The babble of special events drifts from private party rooms, where pizzas fuel fetes.
When rock-climbing couple Christy and Scott Thrift got engaged, Christy was dangling off the side of Stone Mountain. The same adventurous spirit that elevated their engagement informs their married life, which they spend running their wilderness guiding service, Thrifty Adventures. While some of the duo’s trips require previous outdoor experience, most welcome all participants, and range from ice climbing adventures to rock climbing and backpacking trips. Along the way, Scott and Christy teach safety basics, climbing techniques, and strategies for preserving natural surroundings, such as refraining from nibbling on the mountain.