Shaped like an elephant, teeming with shimmering seashells, or topped with Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles, cakes at Delightful Treats are as visually stunning as they are delicious. And Chef Asli doesn’t just make cakes. Bakery guests can pick up pastries and cake pops, as well as cupcakes that can be planted in the ground to sprout into full-sized bundts. Wielding frosting mediums such as fondant, buttercream, and ganache, Asli crafts edible sculptures to her clients' precise specifications. They also serve premium ice cream and milk shakes in a variety of flavors, including Green Mint Chip, Birthday Batter, and Moose Tracks.
Asli's passion for cakes started way back in her mother's home kitchen, where she helped with the baking from an early age. After beginning a career as an Interior Architect, Asli realized that she wanted to follow her dreams and enrolled in a baking and pastry program at Valencia Community College. Now with her own company, Asli happily creates custom treats for customers and continually attends workshops and seminars to hone her craft.
Riding Star Ranch, a nonprofit organization, aims to heal people and horses with the physical and emotional benefits afforded by trail rides and riding lessons. The ranch’s team takes in unwanted, neglected, or abused animals and rehabilitates them, transforming them into confident, happy horses that students can ride.
During lessons, riders earn ribbons through the American Association of Riding Schools program, collecting them for learning how to properly groom and ride in disciplines such as hunter/jumper, English pleasure, and Western pleasure. And although taking a trail ride to the Carlton Reserve and the Myakka River will not win riders any ribbons, they are welcome to pin themselves with their own awards and medals before climbing aboard trusty steeds.
Pine flatwoods, 17 miles of trails, and a long stretch of shoreline characterize the 14,000-acre Rock Springs Run State Reserve, certified as a sand pine scrub ecoregion by the World Wildlife Fund. This diverse terrain awaits horseback riders as they push off from the trailhead alongside guides from Rock Springs Run Trail Rides. As guides lead the way, horseback riders can enjoy the sights and sounds of Florida's wilderness or their horse's passive-aggressive GPS directions. Newcomers and seasoned riders alike can also improve their saddle skills through lessons with the outfit's Lorrie Clark, who instructs riders on how to improve their horsemanship, English and Western riding technique, or basic horse care.
An FAA-certified commercial pilot, Eric is well-versed in the operation of tandem hangliders, helicopters, firefighting aircraft, and light-sport weight-shift-control aircraft. As the head instructor at FlyPhibee, he demonstrates a different skill: piloting the amphibious Cygnet 3. Designed and approved by the FAA, this open-air machine features wheels and pontoons for a water or shore landing. Its paraglider-style wings help it climb approximately 1,000 feet per minute. On teaching flights, Eric charts a leisurely course along the coast—giving students a chance to soak up the scenery or helm the amphibian's controls.
Run From Hell is like any other 5k. Obstacles. Trails through the woods. Hungry zombies chasing after you. As contestants dash toward the finish line, a legion of undead crawl, limp, and shuffle in pursuit, even running after their prey for up to 50 feet. Those who don't want to flee for their lives can give them up ahead of time and participate as one of the cannibalistic hordes, receiving a pallid, rotting makeover from a professional makeup artist.
Don't be alarmed if The Healing Connection's massage therapist Ana Smyth doesn't use her hands. One of her specialties is ashiatsu massage, in which she manipulates tight muscles and targets pressure points using her bare feet. But just like a juggling marathon runner, Ana's equally adept at using her hands, which she employs during relaxing swedish or intense deep-tissue massages.