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.
Two miles south of Crystal Springs Resevoir sits a stately manse that hearkens back to the early 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 life continue to blossom?literally. Filoli is perhaps best known for its immaculately maintained garden, a gentlemen's orchard that contains more than 650 different types of apples, an olive orchard, and a magnificent magnolia tree. 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 crown 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. The grand ballroom pays a nod to the Palace at Versailles with its Herculean mantle and massive crystal chandeliers. French notes continue into the dining room in Louis XIV style sconces, but the 1917 Italian silk curtains scream art moderne elegance. As visitors explore these halls, they will encounter centuries-old English and Irish antiques, richly textured paintings from the Dutch masters.
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.
Brusque commands and sharp criticism never cross the lips of Peninsula Fencing Academy’s head coaches Jay and Chris. They believe that encouragement is always a more effective way to drive students toward their competitive goals. That’s why the entire coaching staff practices positive reinforcement in youth and adult fencing classes for all skill levels. This approach helps coaches teach everything from fundamental footwork and blade work to competitive maneuvers as their students find extra support in peers through bonds of camaraderie and sportsmanship.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arenas launch socked striplings into the air with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Staffers supervise fun-filled visits, during which adult counterparts leap around with their kids through gargantuan bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an inflated obstacle course.
The colorful venue also hosts custom birthday parties and private team parties, each themed to please the partygoers in question. These soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. The birthday boy or girl even gets to blow out the candles on their cake seated in their blow-up throne. Occasionally, the staffers switch off the lights, arming the roomful of players with glow sticks and bracelets as they navigate the air-cushioned obstaclescape. Relying on the staffers' vigilant, watchful eyes, guardians can rest assured that their charges will stay safe, and each piece of the inflatable playground is held to the floor and ceiling by a complex series of anchors installed according to strict safety standards.
Though they come from different backgrounds, the three chefs behind Kids Culinary Adventures have all seen the positive impact that cooking has on children. Chef Brian Allen honed his cooking technique at California Culinary Academy's Le Cordon Bleu Hospitality Management program, but he's been comfortable in the kitchen since childhood, when he would cook and bake with his father, mother, and grandfather. Chef Danielle Nunes also grew up in the kitchen, learning many of her grandmother's secret family recipes and discovering her passion for multicultural dishes. Pastry chef Caitlin Allen fine-tuned her baking skills at Walt Disney World's Yacht and Beach Bakery. Now, they coordinate private cooking classes, camps, and themed culinary-focused birthday parties for children of all ages.
Many of their programs combine the culinary arts with lessons in math, reading, science, and visual arts. During private custom cooking classes, they work with individuals and groups to coordinate custom menus based on Italian, Mexican, or Asian recipes. Calibrated for kids as young as 3 years, their classes encourage proper nutrition and creative meal preparation, and teach kitchen cleanliness with visual aids such as "kitchen cooties," a culinary toolbox, and teddy bears carved out of soap. In multi-day camps, chefs teach academics and professional skills that help children execute DIY culinary tasks such as building a themed holiday menu, baking and decorating a cake, or mastering tools such as grills or woks.