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 ride-along gives racecar fanatics and thrill-seeking maniacs the chance to feel the g-force of a stockcar as it bursts from the starting line and rounds corners at ridiculous speeds. DriveTech Racing's experienced instructors spend three laps getting drivers up to speed and used to the controls before letting them roar away on their own. For a complete list of upcoming sessions, check the schedule of lap times here.
DriveTech provides classroom instruction for fledgling racecar drivers on a variety of professional racetracks across the country. Ride shotgun for five laps with a professional driver for a heart-pumping, really fast thrill ride in a safe environment that's completely free of Kurt Russell. Alternately, the 12-lap package lets you actually take the reins of a professional stock car. After a round of basic classroom instruction, you'll get to take the wheel for three practice laps and nine laps of proper green-flag racing that will leave your hair mussed, eyes bulged, and torso coated in corporate sponsorships. Both experiences eschew straight, open road in favor of high-speed turns, a hallmark of stock-car racing. Check out the schedule here.
During the 15-lap option, adrenaline addicts join in classes that kick off with a one-hour drivers' meeting, where motor jockeys will learn about high-speed travel techniques, safety procedures, and what to do in the event of an unexpected monster-truck attack. After classroom instruction, autoists buckle up behind the wheel for hands-on track-lapping excitement. The entire experience lasts about 2.5 hours. Family and friends are welcome to sit in the bleachers, cheering students on to photo finishes and jumpsuited glory.
DriveTech Racing School's side-by-side ride-along package provides an authentic stock car experience to anyone nursing fantasies of bumping fenders with NASCAR's elite drivers. After climbing into the passenger seat of a NASCAR Sprint Cup–style racecar, an Open-Wheel NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car, or a race-proven ASA late model, one of the DriveTech instructors will motor you around Tucson Raceway Park's 3/8-mile semi-banked oval. The side-by-side ride gives rubber-burners a chance to race another car, which comes within two feet of your rocket-powered buggy as you maneuver around tight corners, the mechanical snarl of your car's V8 engine rattling your innards as the swift movement of its asphalt-gripping Goodyear racing slicks keeps you just barely moored to earth. Though the experience will jar loose any coagulated adrenaline in your body, DriveTech has taken every safety precaution, outfitting you with steel cages on the car, a driving suit, a Simpson helmet, and lava-resistant water wings.