The round sun teeters on the barn's gable roof, threatening to roll right down. In a quick burst of wind, leaves begin clapping, as if in response to the equestrians trotting regally past. A smaller group of 10 riders wait patiently as guides corral a posse of good-natured horses, who toss their manes and lift their hooves with the joy of motion on a woodland trail ride past Wolfshohl Horse Training's gardens. Downwind, an individual lesson has a skilled trainer versing a 5-year-old about tack, grooming, and the techniques involved in English and Western riding styles. After patrons dismount at trail's end, they can question guides about holding a special event, boarding a pony, or the uncertain ramifications of using a lucky horseshoe to break a mirror.
Just north of downtown New Orleans, the family-owned-and-operated Northshore Riding Club encompasses seven picturesque acres of land fully equipped for horse riding, boarding, and grazing. Pony parties turn high birthday hopes into rambunctious reality with interactive equine celebrations. A trained horse whisperer in no way resembling Robert Redford will accompany the pony (or ponies) as the birthday kid and pals groom, pet, and take hand-led rides. Cowhands-in-training can also poke through the stables while learning the ancient secrets of equestrianism. The party concludes with a present gifted to the guest of honor by Northshore's benevolent ponies. Call to reserve a date and time.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms.
High-quality Paul Mitchell products restore and hydrate damaged strands during haircare sessions at Vanguard College of Cosmetology (Paul Mitchell School). Supervised by experienced instructors, stylists-in-training cultivate client relaxation with a five-minute scalp massage before every haircut, which may also include a scrub with chemical-free salves such as wild-ginger-infused Awapuhi shampoo. The school also strives to give back to the community by hosting regular charity events, and a Green Team aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the 14,000-square-foot campus until it can fit a sleek pair of kitten heels.
Though severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina just five months after its debut, Slidell Rocks Climbing Gym rebuilt and reopened just months later and continues to provide the community with opportunities to build up muscular and cardio strength. The climbing center showcases top-rope challenges on walls nearly 40 feet high, as well as lower courses for younger climbers. Two bouldering rooms mimic the lifestyle of ancient arachnid cavemen with rooftop grips and seven hangboards. Between summit attempts, climbers can relax in the concessions area, watching their favorite sports on the televisions and munching on rock candy harvested from an active sugar volcano.
With speedy waxologists and specially formulated European waxes made just for its clients, it's no wonder that Bombshell Waxing opened a second location just one year after its inception in 2010. That's also largely due to the passion of owner Shelly Reagon, who is very hands-on with her business and who can often be found in scrubs and an apron herself.
She writes in Sophisticated Woman Magazine that it's important for women to go to a reputable salon for a wax, one that never double-dips its waxes and knows eyebrows aren't just caterpillars napping on the forehead. She also talks about her belief that brows are "sisters, not twins"—that it's most natural and beautiful if brows both look polished, but they don't need to be identical. Another revolutionary idea of hers is that waxing should be an experience a client looks forward to, so her salons offer vajazzling services and onsite boutiques where clients can shop for lingerie that shows off freshly bare skin.