As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Sonoma Helicopter's fleet of choppers hardly ever stops spinning as they lead training, photography, and tour flights throughout the Sonoma Valley and wine country year round. Their thorough training program pairs classroom and flight sessions to produce pilots capable of taming wild helicopters, and the mountain-flying school further specializes chopper jockeys. Aside from aerial surveys that delve into animal populations, power-line patrols, and crop pollinations, the staff also takes to the air to give guests a bird's-eye view of Sonoma.
Almost everyone dreams of flying. In those dreams, landscapes unravel below like patchwork quilts, and high, soft breezes brush past your face while mountains and hills jut out of the earth to form peaks and valleys. They're gentle dreams, and ones that Calistoga Balloon Co can make real with high-soaring balloon rides.
During sunrise launches, their rainbow-hued balloons flit above the north end of Napa Valley, gliding passengers along scenic grapevine corridors and mountain vistas unique to the region. The area is also home to landmarks the likes of Mount Saint Helena, the Palisades Cliffs, and the Napa Valley Castle?all sights to be savored from the basket of a hot air balloon. To celebrate collecting such lifelong memories, passengers can enjoy a champagne breakfast after touchdown followed by activities such as leisurely picnics or bike tours through the wine country.
With Traffic School Online, the couch can become a desk and the den a classroom for students of all ages. Founder Steve Soldis thought up the revolutionary idea of an in-home traffic school after he was nailed with a moving violation in 1996. Determined to beat the rap, but discouraged by the fact that the nearest traffic school was more than 300 miles away, Soldis had no choice but to take time out of his busy schedule to resolve the situation. Afterward, Soldis immediately started building an in-home alternative that would relieve traffic offenders from having to hitch a ride with their loved ones or lasso themselves to a passing helicopter. Today, Traffic School Online is available across the country, and its selection of classes has expanded to include online driver's ed for license-seeking teenagers.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students? inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio?s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters?many of them local artists?provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio?s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.