Camp Gladiator founder Ally Davidson?s childhood obsession with the outdoors and sports led her to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. After her 2008 win on the TV show American Gladiators, Ally decided to share her love of fitness with the world at large. Camp Gladiator reflects Ally's passion for fitness in its mission, which espouses their desire "to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible." During Camp Gladiator Total Transformation, participants lose weight and gain energy in a friendly, positive environment. Over four-weeks, trainers focus on accountability, competition, motivation, and fun at multiple locations. Results are tracked during fitness assessments, body composition tests, and a fitness calendar, while nutrition counseling helps to maximize those results. Click here to view before and after images.
Davidson also leads boot camps in 13 U.S. cities, with each hosting multiple training locales. The upbeat staff of certified trainers lead patrons of all ages and fitness levels through four-week outdoor boot camps, earning Camp Gladiator a Hot Spot title from Women's Health magazine's Fitness Awards in 2013, Best Boot Camp from Rare magazine in 2010, Best of Big D 2010?2013 from D magazine, and Best Outdoor Boot Camp 2012 from Austin Fit magazine.
A Latte Fun Indoor Playground and Café brims with happy chatter, which drifts from regular classes, special events, and open playtime seven days a week.
Children frolic across multicolored carpeted floors in a 6,000-square-foot playroom, exploring climbing structures, foam pits, and a floor-level trampoline that is kept safe by rounded edges, extensive padding, and declawed teddy bears. The playground eschews video games, prize games, and violent toys, instead letting older children don animal costumes in the dress-up area, while toddlers younger than 2 romp in their own play pit and toy bins. Cool zephyrs of air conditioning sweep contented sighs away from zebra-print sofas or onyx-hued wooden tables, where adults peruse a gourmet café menu. A boutique toy store extends the center's positive attitude toward play into homes with a slew of unique gifts and rare and eclectic toys.
A private room reverberates with the youthful energy of A Latte Fun Indoor Playground and Café's classes, formal functions, and parties, which staff members provide with refreshments, cake, and decorations. At least two assistants remain on hand at kids’ events to provide full setup, cleanup, and supervision to ward off squabbles that arise when imaginary friends show up wearing the same outfits.
Barber tools are not toys. But even as a child, Dennis Marquez couldn’t resist playing with his father's set of barber tools in the attic, as he told Wellington the Magazine in 2008. This early admiration led Dennis to train at many prestigious hair schools including Vidal Sassoon in London. More than 35 years ago, Dennis and his wife, Kristina, opened the first Pizzazz Hair Design. The venture succeeded: their business has grown to include five separate salons, many of which have gained praise from NBC 5. Each salon’s stylists, armed with Redken and GKhair products, consult with men, women, teens, and children before revamping their manes with cuts, foil highlights, and hair-smoothing treatments. At the adjoining spas in three of the five salons, technicians paint nails with OPI polishes and cleanse skin with botanical-based Pevonia products.
To stay up to date on current hair trends, each salon's beauticians attend continuing-education courses and dissolve fashion magazines older than three months in jars of barbicide. The Pizzazz team also gives back to the community by donating a portion of salon proceeds to the Adopt-A-Family organization.
When Dean Lavallee opened the first Park Avenue BBQ in 1988, he had one lofty mission in mind: to serve the best barbecue ever made. Despite the seemingly impossible nature of his goal, he and his team continue to rise to the challenge, dry-rubbing their meats to smoke and char-grill on-site. They use all-natural, grain-fed, domestic pork for their traditional and Carolina-style barbecue pork—pulled by hand—and only use fresh, never-frozen ribs that are smoked daily over hickory. As diners chow down on hearty homestyle sides, seafood platters, or buffalo wings tossed in one of six sauces, they can admire the dining room's pictures of their city's most prominent people, places, and robot mayors.
Park Avenue BBQ arranges their meats into fun, hearty dishes such as the Dempublican sandwich, which combines smoked pork and beef brisket separated only by cheese and bacon to create a sizeable sandwich that the team has dubbed "porkalicious". They whip up Funnybonz, which look and taste like miniature ribs, using tender, lean pork that's prepared by cooking up regular ribs beneath a shrink ray. In 2008, their dedication to each dish caused Cityvoter's users to name Park Avenue BBQ the best barbecue in town.
Paradise Tan expedites a hot, slow process with three levels of UV beds and two spray-tanning options along with a team of mobile airbrush artists ready to take their spray tans on the road. Five UV beds and booths boast sessions no longer than 15 minutes; the high-pressure Supersonic shortens the time to 7 minutes and the Sungate boasts special facial bulbs and shoulder tanners. Armed with Norvell solutions and a light touch that has brought them to weddings, beauty pageants, and body-building events, the airbrush technicians evenly coat limbs in a natural, golden color that develops in as little as 1 hour. A VersaSpa spray-tan booth spritzes a custom misting to let visitors emerge bearing a sun-kissed appearance without the gaudy hues of the sun's cut-rate lipstick. Lotions from Designer Skin and Ed Hardy speed the process by increasing circulation and moisture, and Tykini bikinis imported from Brazil reveal results. Evincing their dedication to vitamin D, the staff keeps the salon open every night until 10 p.m.
Solo Mexican Cantina isn’t owner Lirim Jacobi’s first attempt at opening a restaurant. Actually, he has spent the past 30 years establishing well-received eateries. With this kind of pedigree, it's no surprise that Solo Mexican Cantina hits all the right notes when it comes to trend, yet casual dining—from the dimly lit dining room festooned with geometric décor and pops of bright color to the perfectly concise menu crafted by celebrity chef Carlos Badaraco Herrmann and Executive Chef Greg Backman.
The duo puts a gourmet twist on traditional Mexican cuisine, crowning tacos with shreds of sweet plantains and transforming run-of-the-mill guacamole into spicy avocado aioli. The chefs also whip up a gluten-free menu as well as margaritas by the glass, pitcher, and claw-foot bathtub. These south-of-the-border flavors help enhance the eatery's already-festive atmosphere, as do happy hours and live entertainment.