When the Fun Corner first opened its doors in 1956, it was actually located on the corner of the block. In 1980, it moved to its current location in the middle of the block. Locale aside, the Fun Corner still does today what it's been doing for the last fifty seven years: slinging costumes and novelty décor year-round. Today, it stocks approximately 5,000 different outfits—which range in size from newborn to plus-sized grownup—in addition to an arsenal of accessories, props, Halloween décor, hats, and wigs.
The staffers don't just sell new looks, however—they also help create them. On-staff makeup artists assist in making skin look appropriately ghoulish for a costume party or a formal undertaker's ball. They also teach customers techniques for easy replication at home.
In 1782 the Montgolfier brothers launched their first hot air balloon into the sky, where it rose to great heights before exploding. More changes were made—and promises to their father they would not personally fly in it—before they made their next attempt. A year later, three unlikely substitutes boarded the silk balloon: a sheep, a duck, and a chicken. The flight, witnessed by King Louis XVI, was a success, and the passengers returned safely. From that point on, countless inventors would make modifications until hot air ballooning became the safe and scenic trip it is today.
California Balloon Rides continues the tradition in balloon rides over Temecula, Perris, Del Mar and Palm Springs. Passengers simply show up at the designated time—typically early morning—and help prepare the balloon and basket, then sit back and enjoy the trip above the beautiful Southern California landscape. A “chase crew” picks clients up at the end of the flight and returns them to the launch site for a champagne toast.
Whether soaring in a hot air balloon or freefalling on a skydive, you’re guaranteed picturesque aerial views at Above the Rest Hot Air Ballooning & Skydiving. On 45–60 minute hot-air-balloon rides, an experienced pilot and up to 10 passengers glide above the earth in a wicker basket, propelled by wind and an occasional flock of friendly geese.
With his white hair and mustache and his penchant for hot air balloons, Wil LaPointe often jokes that he looks like the Wizard from The Wizard of Oz. On every balloon ride, LaPointe wants to create an unforgettable experience for his basket of passengers, peppering historical tidbits about early ballooning with jokes and stories such as the history of the white tiger adorning one of the balloons in his fleet. The white tiger, a ward of LaPointe’s friend—a wildlife caretaker—was one of three cubs abandoned by their mother and eventually raised by an open-minded golden retriever.
Though LaPointe is a self-proclaimed “balloonatic,” he got into the business of ballooning by chance when he bought a hot air balloon to advertise for his cellular-phone business. Today, LaPointe works as a master instructor of ballooning, training new pilots in addition to travelling to schools with miniature balloons, which he uses to teach hands-on lessons about mathematics, physics, and engineering.
LaPointe was featured on CNN.com after donating a balloon ride in his deceased wife’s name to Cy Breen, who raises funds for cancer research, on Breen's 100th birthday. Breen, who raises money each year by shooting one hole of golf for each birthday he’s had, did a little jig as he walked over to the white-tiger balloon, eager to check another item off his list of lifelong dreams.