GolfTEC's thirteen locations in the Los Angeles area, all staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s certified teaching professionals point out your flaws, strengths, and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when you’ve executed a perfect stroke or cracked an especially witty golfing joke.
At Fly Above All, owner and P-5 Master-rated pilot Chad Bastian leads a staff of paragliding enthusiasts in their mission to provide training as well as gravity-defying experiences for aspiring aeronauts and purple people eaters. Each tandem flight floats guests down the Elings Park training hill on an approximately one-minute-long jaunt through the lower reaches of the sky, introducing prospective paragliders to the sensation of flight in a controlled setting. A briefing prior to liftoff prepares passengers for the impending retreat of the ground, and attire-aware guests don sturdy footwear, pants, and their luckiest tricorne hats.
Like most of the 400-plus other creatures at Santa Barbara Zoo, Duncan runs, blinks, and growls. Unlike his fellow animals, however, Duncan isn't real. The life-like adolescent Tyrannosaurus Rex stars in the zoo's 15-minute stage show "How to Train Your Dinosaur," where zookeepers demonstrate the special care given to each actual animal. This compassion is on display throughout the 30-acre zoo, where critters such as female Asian elephants, California condors, and Chilean flamingos roam in open, naturalistic habitats.
Elsewhere on the grounds, guests can ride around the zoo's perimeter in replicas of C.P. Huntington trains from 1863, marvel at stunning Pacific Ocean views, or hand-feed domestic sheep and Baringo giraffes. More hands-on experiences are afforded through the zoo's behind-the-scenes packages, such as the Keeper for a Day program, where visitors work alongside pros as they train and clean up after animals. Along with the daily sights available during visiting hours, the zoo hosts events, camps for youngsters, and overnights, where participants can sleep beside the lion exhibit, across the street from the beach.
Having just completed his studies in winemaking at UC Davis, Mark Cummins headed to San Luis Obispo in a 1970 Volkswagen bus, his belongings wedged into the back. Originally intending to pursue a career in music, his plans changed after taking a grape-crushing job at an area winery and meeting a girl named Andi, who later became his wife.
Today, Mark and Andi share their love of wine with others as the winemakers, tasting guides, and operators of Drake Wines. Since 2008, they’ve produced limited bottlings of small-batch varietal wines culled from designated blocks at local vineyards. They press and age these wines themselves, using grapes from each vineyard's pinot noir, chardonnay, and viognier plantings.
In their downtown tasting room, Mark and Andi, often joined by their two sons, guide guests through tastings of their wines. They pour libations into conventional wine glasses, growlers, or old-fashioned test tubes amid eye-pleasing decor that includes a wood-paneled and painted bar and modern, star-shaped chandeliers. Regular performances by area musicians accompany tastings, with Mark sometimes taking the stage himself to play guitar.
Nick Sanregret's passion for golf began when he was a youngster playing in junior events and dreaming of one day competing against the sport's top players. Over the next 15 years, Nick attended the Golf Academy of America to refine his craft and eventually turned pro in 2008. Today, at Montecito Country Club, Nick applies his cultivated wisdom to tailored instructional programs that help other golfers achieve lower scores and develop their own passion for the game.
In lessons and clinics, Nick's teaching philosophy centers on solid fundamentals, including good posture, correct grip, and course-management skills. Private and group instruction takes place on the driving range, whereas the practice green is the locale for short-game clinics' combination of drills and dueling techniques with sand-wedge swords. Golfers interested in a drastic handicap reduction can enroll in the Player Improvement Program, an all-encompassing boot camp that incorporates ongoing lessons, club fitting, and access to training aids.
Above Giovanni's Pizza you'll find Mesa Hot Yoga, where Courtney Enright combines her two passions: yoga and teaching. A former high-school teacher, Courtney discovered a love of hot yoga, which was ignited when she was accepted into the Absolute Hot Yoga teacher training in Thailand. Popular in Asia and Europe, the Absolute Hot Yoga style has only recently made an appearance in the United States, something that Courtney was determined to help grow.
Classes follow the basics of the 50 poses in the Absolute Hot Yoga series, allowing every part of the body to be engaged. The 60- and 75-minute classes also include variations and modifications, while the 90-minute classes follow the 50-pose series of seated and standing positions. Classes, which range from Rooted in Reggae with reggae music to set the mood to Yoga Core & More for a focused glutes and core workout, are open to all levels.