At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
Under the tutelage of the highly experienced instructors at Metal Shop Music, fledgling strummers will glean useful guitar-playing how-tos during a pair of half-hour private sessions. Students bring their own electric or acoustic palettes on which to paint their musical pictures, and can explore any style, such as classical, Southern rock, or a capella. In the store's music room, beginners meet with local musician Matt Brown, who teaches modern pick style and methods for soothing your instrument when it gets stage fright. Intermediate to advanced scholars will study with chord-shredding master Kirk Andrews as he leads players through tutorials on how to play lead, increase their accuracy, and survive in the unfriendly wilderness of harmonic minor scales.
The joint vision of husband and wife team Joseph and Diana Marks, Tarpon Springs Castle Winery transports visitors to Old-World Europe, where each bottle of wine is handcrafted, from the crush to the label. Modeled after an 1820 federal building, the winery's Italian style walled-in courtyard, fountains, and wrought-iron gazebo take visitors back in time, but then quickly send them forward again before they have time to un-invent electricity. Trips to the colorful tasting room give visitors a chance to sip wines that range from a clean, fruity blush to a dry, oaked cabernet sauvignon.
Nearly two decades ago, Stephen R. Hand feel in love with Claude Monet's Water Lilies masterpiece at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Though this encounter cemented his love for large-format impressionistic paintings, it would be the fluidity and vibrancy of color that would fuel his passion to paint, which he does from his namesake studio. Here, Hand can also be found leading painting classes, in which he interprets impressionism for beginner adults and teens, and creating one-of-a-kind pieces for clients such as US Open champion golfer Justin Rose.