There are treasures beyond belief under the waves. All across the Midwest, lakes large and small contain pieces of history, from a moss-coated dump truck at the bottom of Haigh Quarry to the schooner Thomas Hume, which has been a home to the fish of Lake Michigan since 1891. With favorite wet spots from Missouri to Minnesota, the teachers at Chicagoland Scuba are privy to it all. Whether offering first-time divers certification classes, leading diving trips, or learning how fish like to be hugged, exploring the underwater life is second nature to these pros—something they hope rubs off on their students, too.
Sam Meineke opened his three-bay muffler shop in 1972 with a single product line, and through time, he and his successors have expanded the business into a complete automotive car-care center. Today, nearly 900 franchise owners operate their locations around the globe, still standing on the firm foundation of Sam's ideal of nursing vehicles back to health at fair prices. Meineke Car Care Center's mechanics perform an array of services, keeping rides running in showroom condition with tune-ups, 23-point inspections, tire rotations, and deep-tissue windshield massages.
Recently named “One of the Best” carwashes in Planit Northwest’s Best of the Fox 2012 list, The Car Bath hoses down its car clients with fresh, non-recycled water. A full suite of services await for routine washes and deep-down cleansing. Soft foam fingers massage suds onto chasses before technicians climb inside to vacuum mats, and wash windows. While waiting on their cleanly chariots, guests can relax in the lounge, where they can watch television and enjoy a mug of hot sealing wax.
At each of Fast Eddie’s three locations, technicians reward roughed-up autos with a spa-style cleansing that helped earn them the Northwest Herald's 2012 Best Car Wash/Detailing award. Performed entirely by hand, four types of car washes service the entire car, ranging from basic exterior jobs to all-encompassing packages that evict grime hidden in interior corners. Owners wait for newly primped rides in a dog-friendly waiting area that doubles as an iceless, bring-your-own-equipment hockey rink.
Piping-hot lattes and samples of gourmet treats greet shoppers as they stroll into the well-stocked emporium of brand-name gifts and domestic goods. Wedding gifts ($50–$100) from labels such as Michael Aram, Nambé, and Simon Pearce celebrate nuptials, and hostess gifts from Mariposa ($25–$60) express appreciation for invitations to sunny baby showers or shadowy Illuminati initiations. Gourmet-fare items from Rothchild Farm and Stonewall Kitchen fill larders with stylish, wholesome eats ($7–$25), and picnic and outdoor serving ware ($15–$75) set the open-air stage for elegant outdoor dining. Amicable shopping assistants lead guests to the perfect presents before gussying purchases up with complimentary gift-wrapping, shielding them from prying eyes or voyeuristic Christmas trees.
Yes, newly-managed Rock Chevrolet sells Chevrolets, along with the parts needed to make replacements or just have a few extra mufflers on hand. But beyond the sea of gleaming paint and chrome that fills the lot, auto techs gladly take in vehicles of just about any make or model for service. In addition to repairs, they make sure cars are cruising safely and eco-efficiently by changing oil (synthetic blends come standard), replacing air in tires with more-stable nitrogen, and full-vehicle tuneups.