When Chef Nikki Dailey graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in New York, she spent some time perfecting her craft at five-star restaurants. But those kitchens couldn’t contain her love of seasonal, local, and organic cuisine, so she founded HEATculinary. The business brings her signature style of cooking right to students with in-home cooking classes that focus on fresh ingredients grown nearby and proper cooking techniques. HEATculinary also offers a variety of cooking-themed programs, including personal culinary classes, culinary boot-camp, group events, and catering.
At Cloud 10 Jump Club, you'll be so busy bouncing, sliding, and laughing that you may not even notice you're getting tons of healthy exercise. The 19,000-square-foot facility houses large trampoline open-jump courts, dodge-ball and basketball courts, 40-foot trampoline half-pipes that lead to an air bag, and ample sprung floors for volleyball games and cheerleading. There's also a kid's play area outfitted with trampolines designed specifically for children under 7.
At Curves, exercisers move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. During your first visit, an experienced trainer can appraise fitness skills and help set attainable goals through assessments that will highlight an ideal slim-down strategy. Each machine at Curves uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles.
The male and female firearm experts of American Home Defense shape their shooting and self-defense classes around legal regulations with an emphasis on personal safety. In private shooting lessons, students learn to handle three of the most common handguns and home-defense classes equip participants with the know-how to protect their families from intruders or a neighbor's moat monster.
More than 10 pro and amateur battles swarm the fight card in the California Fight Syndicate's first L.A. event. At the top of the bill, Joseph “Leonidas” Henle, a popular cast member from The Ultimate Fighter's 11th season, locks knuckle horns with middleweight Hector Carillo. After a sabbatical from the cage to focus on a second career as a miniaturist, fellow Ultimate Fighter alum Jesse “Powder” Newell heaves shin sandwiches at fellow featherweight and MMA veteran Aaron “Blood Spiller” Miller. Between fights, fans can cool down from the carnage by checking out the California Fight Syndicate's ring girls, who entertain the crowd with alluring double-dutch routines. Swift jabs, fierce kicks, and vicious takedowns rattle a cage set up in the historic Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, which hosted the Academy Awards in the '60s, when they were much more hardcore.
All 78 acres of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden are bursting with life. More than 1,000 species of native Californian plants and regional flora line its 5.5 miles of serene, public trails, allowing visitors to witness the overwhelming diversity of the Pacific coastline's plant life. Along with stands of oaks and riparian woodlands, botanical collections inhabit precisely arranged landscapes, echoing the founders' goal from 1926 to create a garden that would "unite the aesthetic, educational and scientific." In 2003, Santa Barbara County rewarded the garden's decades of cultural and scientific contributions, granting County Historic Landmark status to 23 of the acres.
The garden's specimens and displays exist just as much for education as they do for appreciation. Guests can gather landscaping ideas from the Home Demonstration Garden, a cottage surrounded with water-conserving plants. The Japanese Teahouse and Demonstration Garden melds traditional East Asian design with California-native flora. Throughout the grounds, tour guides dispense invaluable information on the displays and the retired tree nymphs that tend them. Additionally, scientific researchers use the facilities in their efforts to both study and conserve numerous rare and endangered species.