Every year, a crew of landscapers draws on a palate of bricks, wood, and water, as well as foliage and flowers, to fashion sweeping terraces and murmuring aquatic features. This year, in its 88th iteration, The Realtors Home & Garden Show explores the hours of the day through designs focused on facilitating morning meditation, afternoon cookouts, and evening film screenings. One installation rises from the work of international chalk artist Julie Kirk Purcell, who teases the eye with mural of a chalk garden that seems to leap in three dimensions from the floor of the convention hall.
Chatter drifts to the model patios and gardens from more than 250 exhibitors and vendors, who showcase home-improvement and landscaping techniques alongside designers of windows, cabinetry, fences, and saunas. A culinary area stands out from the rows of home wares with daily demonstrations from five chefs, including some nominated for James Beard awards. The sessions focus on topics including plating, raw food, and French dishes, all using organic ingredients from local farms. Nearby, a market bustles with guests toting potting supplies, gardening tools, and makeup kits for vain scarecrows. Outdoor furniture begs to perch on patios alongside lawn ornamentations that hint at European and Asian art traditions or highlight work by local artisans.
The vibrant orange walls are enough to make Antigua Latin Restaurant stand out, but owner and self-taught chef Nicolas Ramos appeals to his customers' other senses with a menu of contemporary Mexican, Latin American, and Spanish dishes. He taps into his family's experience in the restaurant industry-which spans across more than 50 years-to populate his dining room's blue tablecloths with Cuban sandwiches, paella, traditional tapas, and enchiladas crafted from fresh ingredients. Additionally, the eatery's culinary experts host hands-on cooking classes that instruct students on the finer points of preparing a Caribbean feast or using a shrink ray to transform an entree into an appetizer.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 2,398 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Amid the cheers of football and baseball games blaring from big-screen TVs, Magoo's Sports Pub's friendly bartenders fill bellies with domestic and imported brews and pub fare. Flocks of a dozen different varieties of chicken wings range from hot or mild spices to piquant flavors such as thai or caribbean jerk. At the grill, chefs flip burgers oozing with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni or blackened Cajun beef patties topped with with blue-cheese crumbles. Seafood lovers dock at the bar every Friday for an all-you-can-eat fish fry, and a selection of imported beer bottles contain lost messages from sea such as, "SOS. Please send ice."
Wisconsin Vision’s crew screens eyes for aberrations and illnesses and presides over an extensive selection of designer frames and lenses. At each location, optometrists perform thorough exams, producing prescriptions that recommend single-vision or progressive lenses from Zeiss. Newly ground lenses can then be fitted into any number of designer frames from the likes of Ray-Ban, Coach, or Calvin Klein. Antiscratch coatings protect the glass panes, and Transitions lenses allow any set of specs to turn into sunglasses when one steps outside or auditions for a classic-rock band.
At Ceramics Plus, the only limitations are the bounds of one?s imagination. With more than 14,000 ceramic molds and figurines lining the shelves, the studio is primed for perusal. Simply pick out a piece of bisque, decorate it to your liking, and then allow your piece to be fortified in the kiln. And when you?re looking to mix it up, the Ceramics Plus staff can share other artistic insights through jewelry-making classes or parties for special one-off gatherings such as girls? night out or boys? afternoon inside the mind of a pottery painter.