PickUp USA takes the infamous pitfalls of pickup basketball—uneven teams, sloppy play, and incessant arguing over fouls and whose mama gives the best hugs—and replaces them with officiated and organized game play without the restrictions of a league. Its members hit the courts in a pristine 17,000-square-foot space, which features a lounge, a stretching area, and courts built by the designers who create them for the NCAA and NBA. Here, California Basketball Officials Association–trained referees officiate one-on-one to five-on-five games every day and night of the year. Though they are unscheduled, the matchups unfold in an organized, staff-guided fashion, a scoreboard keeps track of points, and a constantly running clock keeps games rotating.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Epic voyaging need not be reserved for classical heroes who speak in dactylic hexameter. Just as Odysseus slayed the hurricane from aboard his inflatable raft, you too can conquer vengeful waters with today's Groupon to Gold Rush Whitewater Rafting. For just $50, you'll go on a heart-pumping, rapid-raging tour of the South Fork of the American River (44% off a $90 value).
Throughout Los Angeles, children as young as 2 are honing coordination, social skills, and other life essentials in Super Soccer Stars LA's kid-friendly camps. Each age-specific session is based on curricula designed by both soccer experts and early childhood and behavioral specialists in order to grant little ones with a fun and well-rounded experience in each drill they run and game they play. From dribbling and passing to more general principles such as teamwork, campers will learn skills that will help them succeed beyond the soccer field in the classroom, on the playground, and in the ball-kicking portion of state standardized tests. At the end of each camp day, children show off their new abilities by competing in a mini World Cup.
Cafe 322's welcoming atmosphere and rich menu of comforting Italian eats make diners feel at home while the live jazz adds a cosmopolitan flair. Try a different lasagna each day with the lasagna de la casa ($10.95) or opt for the sophisticated mélange of flavors in the fettuccine di spinaci e salsiccia with fresh spinach, italian sausage, and garlic sautéed in olive oil ($11.95). Cafe 322 also serves up tasty meatier dishes, such as lamb shanks slow-braised so they fall off the bone and directly into that special place in your heart reserved for Mom, America, and lamb shanks ($14.95). Stars of the gourmet pizza menu include the quattro formaggio, layered with fontina, mozzarella, gorgonzola, and parmesan cheeses ($11.95), and the flavorful grilled chicken pesto ($13.95).
In 1986, Bea Teer and Lori Moore started a modest fundraiser for the Los Altos History Museum. They invited local antique dealers and time-traveling Plymouth Rock pilgrims to display their pieces beneath the oak trees outside the History House. Since then, their show has grown into a biannual affair that sprawls inside the museum's recent multi-million dollar addition, surrounding courtyards, as well as the neighboring Hillview Community Center.
Now in its 27th year, the California Country Antiques Show has leveraged its growth to invite 50 carefully screened dealers from around the United States to share collections that date from the 1600s to the 1940s. Attendees can check the list of dealers for links to more information about what they might be selling—past shows have included everything from quilts and pottery to paintings and furniture. The show was initially inspired by traditional folk art and antique shows on the East Coast, but this year organizers are introducing pieces from California Rancho, Spanish Colonial, and American Indian traditions, as well as other western-inspired styles—perhaps including an 1849 gold miner's gilded pick axe or “Eureka” license plate. To further support the cause, Pinky's Grill will be on hand to sizzle grilled sirloin burgers and cheeseburgers and dish out all-beef hot dogs, then donate the proceeds directly to the museum.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 365-day access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
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