Darryl Kalthof of Bay Area Flying Lessons holds an FAA certificate as an airline transport pilot and ratings as an advanced ground instructor, honors earned over a distinguished two-decade career as a certified flight instructor. Today, he oversees a fleet of Cessna and Piper airplanes that act as airborne classrooms for his pupils, who range from 10-year-olds taking their first mechanical flights to advanced pilots earning certificates in commercial, multi-engine, and tail-wheel aviation. Lessons make use of the airspace surrounding San Francisco Bay, yielding panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean as well as many notable landmarks, including Dumbarton Bridge’s low ribbon of road and Stanford Stadium’s 70-foot animatronic statue of Bill Walsh.
Bedroom & More spiffs up sleep shacks with plump mattresses. Let a queen-size Serta Perfect Day pillow-top mattress ($1,299) caress the curves of bedridden bowling balls, or snuggle into a Simmons Beautyrest Classic twin sleep sponge ($449–$499). Spend $499 or more and Bedroom & More will deliver and set up your dream-inducing duo for free (limited to 30-mile radius).
BounceU transports kids to an inflatable, climate-controlled playground where they can bounce from side to side in a safe, secure environment. Children can practice for future careers as catapult payloads during open-bounce sessions scheduled at various times throughout the week, and the five open-bounce sessions can be split among multiple children and multiple visits. Bounce-U designates specialized play times including Preschool Playdate for mini-yous 7 and younger and Sensory Rebound, where autistic youngsters and their families can enjoy a night of safe and fun bounces. Adults are welcome to act like 8-year-olds and join vivacious youngsters in the playground, where they can mount the climbing structures while imagining they're synchronized leapers in Michael Flatley's Riverbounce.
Committed to truly green practices, Blu White Cleaners freshens up soiled duds with chemical-free wet-cleaning processes that deodorize and clean finicky fabrics. Using biodegradable detergents, staffers soak shirts ($1.85–$2.15), pants ($6.50–$7.50), suits ($12.95–$14.95), dresses ($11.95–$14.95) and other garments in a water-based cleaning solution that provides a CEPA-approved alternative to harsh dry-cleaning chemicals that is safe for fabrics too delicate for machine washings or wind scrubbings from busy skydivers. De-soiled duds can be picked up within 72 hours, allowing patrons to keep wardrobes stocked with outfits as sparkling and fresh as a germaphobe's disco ball.
On the southern banks of Crystal Springs Lake sits a stately manse that hearkens back to the turn of the 20th century—Filoli. Neither a Latin word nor a mystic incantation to reveal the true form of the home's owner, the name of this estate has a simpler origin in the credo of the original inhabitant, William Bowers Bourn: "Fight for a just cause; love your fellow man; live a good life."
Bourn passed away in 1936, but on the 654-acre estate he once called home, the fruits of his good life continue to blossom—literally. Filoli is perhaps best known for its immaculately maintained garden, which features almost 650 fruit trees, an olive orchard that boasts trees from the original estate, and a magnificent magnolia tree stripped of it's original steel encasing. And then there's the Nature Preserve, where Gaia's garden of wildflowers blossoms, and a menagerie of wild animals runs free.
But the jewel in the tiara that is Filoli is surely the house, a sprawling country estate that manages the gap between classic and contemporary by melding familiar styles into something new. Tuscan order-style columns greet visitors at the portico, reflecting the rustic nature of the home's surroundings, and the expansive, golden-glowing reception room mirrors the palace at Versailles. French notes continue into the dining room in Louis XIV sconces, but the 1917 Italian silk curtains scream art moderne elegance. As visitors explore these halls, they will encounter centuries-old English antiques, richly textured paintings from the Dutch masters, and hidden doors that were used by the staff when Filoli was in its heyday, and by Mean Mr. Cruthers to scare off nosey kids during the restoration.
As parents themselves, the team behind Comic Jumps understands the importance of creating memorable moments for their children. To this end, they haul party products certified and manufactured by engineers to exceed standards set by The American Society of Testing and Materials to birthday parties and special events, arriving early to set everything up and take it down once the party’s over. With a lot of huffing and puffing, they blow up giant inflatable slides and bounce houses with themes such as Hello Kitty and Toy Story. Additionally, their ensemble of characters, including red-headed mermaids and Peter Pan, keeps kids entertained, while margarita machines provide parental entertainment. The staff also helps customers plan parties from beginning to end, and supply everything from tables and chairs to balloons, cotton-candy machines, and generators.