Upper-crust audiophiles in South Florida moaned December 31 when WTMI shed its 30-year tradition of playing classical music in favor of a format that caters to the younger techno-dance crowd. It morphed into "Party 93" as executives explained that classical fogies just didn't spend enough money with their advertisers to keep them going. Party now crows that it plays fewer commercials than its competition, WPOW-FM (Power 96.5). But all is not lost for those who know that Claudio Monteverdi, Michael Praetorius, and Cesar Franck are not Marlins relief pitchers. Boynton Beach's WXEL-FM (90.7) began Saturday matinees of classical broadcasts in early February. And WTMI's classical tradition continues on-line at its Website, which links to Beethoven.com's Internet radio.
Upper-crust audiophiles in South Florida moaned December 31 when WTMI shed its 30-year tradition of playing classical music in favor of a format that caters to the younger techno-dance crowd. It morphed into "Party 93" as executives explained that classical fogies just didn't spend enough money with their advertisers to keep them going. Party now crows that it plays fewer commercials than its competition, WPOW-FM (Power 96.5). But all is not lost for those who know that Claudio Monteverdi, Michael Praetorius, and Cesar Franck are not Marlins relief pitchers. Boynton Beach's WXEL-FM (90.7) began Saturday matinees of classical broadcasts in early February. And WTMI's classical tradition continues on-line at its Website, which links to Beethoven.com's Internet radio.
Calypso Bay Waterpark
If you're a kid, nothing is better than going to a playground. "No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, a playground."

"No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, A PLAYGROUND!!"

All right. All right. Enough with the family disputation. Thanks to the wonders of our modern age, kids can now do both. While no one's talking about why we had to wait until the dawn of the new millennium for someone this side of Disney to figure out the intricacies of putting a playground in water, Junior doesn't care. He and/or she is/are too busy loving the features that are popping up like Yellowstone geysers in city and county parks throughout the two-county area. With water slides, water pistols, water swings, water hoses, and super spongy floors to cushion any fall, what's not to like? Placed in shallow water, the playgrounds are safe enough for toddlers and exciting enough for older kids. Two particularly stellar ones in Palm Beach County -- Calypso Bay Waterpark off Southern Boulevard in suburban West Palm Beach and Coconut Cove Waterpark and Recreation Area off Glades Road in suburban Boca Raton -- also feature meandering streams for leisurely floating and (for older kids) those big, long, twisting tube slides that used to be the sole province of private amusement companies. Now that the cost of the technology has come down, allowing public agencies like the Palm Beach County Department of Parks and Recreation to splash into the water-park business, such frolicking doesn't have to endanger the kids' college education funds. At $8 for adults, $6 for kids under 12, and free for kids under 3, the biggest thrill for parents is the price. So who's arguing now?

If you're a kid, nothing is better than going to a playground. "No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, a playground."

"No, Mom, a swimming pool."

"No, Junior, A PLAYGROUND!!"

All right. All right. Enough with the family disputation. Thanks to the wonders of our modern age, kids can now do both. While no one's talking about why we had to wait until the dawn of the new millennium for someone this side of Disney to figure out the intricacies of putting a playground in water, Junior doesn't care. He and/or she is/are too busy loving the features that are popping up like Yellowstone geysers in city and county parks throughout the two-county area. With water slides, water pistols, water swings, water hoses, and super spongy floors to cushion any fall, what's not to like? Placed in shallow water, the playgrounds are safe enough for toddlers and exciting enough for older kids. Two particularly stellar ones in Palm Beach County -- Calypso Bay Waterpark off Southern Boulevard in suburban West Palm Beach and Coconut Cove Waterpark and Recreation Area off Glades Road in suburban Boca Raton -- also feature meandering streams for leisurely floating and (for older kids) those big, long, twisting tube slides that used to be the sole province of private amusement companies. Now that the cost of the technology has come down, allowing public agencies like the Palm Beach County Department of Parks and Recreation to splash into the water-park business, such frolicking doesn't have to endanger the kids' college education funds. At $8 for adults, $6 for kids under 12, and free for kids under 3, the biggest thrill for parents is the price. So who's arguing now?

You can see them each sunny Wednesday evening and Saturday morning on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Six intrepid paddlers push a Hawaiian-style outrigger canoe into the surf and paddle off. Sometimes they hug the shoreline; sometimes they head toward the horizon. Maybe the opening notes of "Hawaii 5-0" will run through your head before you think, "Hey, this is the Atlantic!" Well, yes it is, and you haven't seen Fort Lauderdale Beach until you've seen it from one of these babies. Best of all, it's absolutely free to try out your paddling skills, and all levels of physical fitness can be accommodated. Show up on Wednesday around 6 p.m. or Saturday around 10 a.m. and you'll be given a five-minute lesson, then handed a paddle and life jacket. The core group is diverse in every way: age, level of fitness, and nationality. There's an easy camaraderie that becomes all the more obvious when you're in a canoe that hulies, which means it flips over. If that happens, you're no longer a newbie, and you become an official member of the Las Olas Outrigger Canoe Club. Some of the perks of membership -- if you stick with it, you'll eventually be asked to cough up $60 in annual dues -- include full-moon paddles, snorkel and dive paddles, the opportunity to participate in the Fort Lauderdale Boat Parade, and the chance to compete against other Hawaiian-outrigger canoe clubs springing up in Hollywood, Key West, and Palm Beach. But the first few times you're out, you'll just feel the thrill of synchronizing six strangers in an 18-inch-wide canoe against an unpredictable sea. If you don't try this at least once, you might as well be living in Peoria.
You can see them each sunny Wednesday evening and Saturday morning on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Six intrepid paddlers push a Hawaiian-style outrigger canoe into the surf and paddle off. Sometimes they hug the shoreline; sometimes they head toward the horizon. Maybe the opening notes of "Hawaii 5-0" will run through your head before you think, "Hey, this is the Atlantic!" Well, yes it is, and you haven't seen Fort Lauderdale Beach until you've seen it from one of these babies. Best of all, it's absolutely free to try out your paddling skills, and all levels of physical fitness can be accommodated. Show up on Wednesday around 6 p.m. or Saturday around 10 a.m. and you'll be given a five-minute lesson, then handed a paddle and life jacket. The core group is diverse in every way: age, level of fitness, and nationality. There's an easy camaraderie that becomes all the more obvious when you're in a canoe that hulies, which means it flips over. If that happens, you're no longer a newbie, and you become an official member of the Las Olas Outrigger Canoe Club. Some of the perks of membership -- if you stick with it, you'll eventually be asked to cough up $60 in annual dues -- include full-moon paddles, snorkel and dive paddles, the opportunity to participate in the Fort Lauderdale Boat Parade, and the chance to compete against other Hawaiian-outrigger canoe clubs springing up in Hollywood, Key West, and Palm Beach. But the first few times you're out, you'll just feel the thrill of synchronizing six strangers in an 18-inch-wide canoe against an unpredictable sea. If you don't try this at least once, you might as well be living in Peoria.
Moroso Motorsports Park
Imagine: A day at the races, but with you and up to nine of your closest -- or loopiest -- friends as the drivers. This dream can become reality at Moroso Motorsports Park, which is available for private rentals. But you'll pay dearly for the privilege of playing Paul Newman. Rates start at $1800 per day for up to four cars during the off-season (June 1 through August 31); during "the season" (September 1 through May 31), the base rate goes to $2000. Those extra buddies will cost you an additional $150 per car up to a maximum of ten (only one to three cars are allowed on the track at a time). Of course, there are a few other extras: A rescue unit including ambulance must be on standby, at a cost of $60 per hour, with a four-hour minimum. If you opt to have a fire truck on hand, it'll be $55 per hour with, once again, a four-hour minimum. In other words, we're talking anywhere from a little more than $2200 up to more than $3300, even more if you arrange for the park to cater your day of fun. And then there's that little matter of insurance. Moroso will help you determine the necessary amount beforehand. But hey, isn't it worth it to drive even faster than most of the lunatics on South Florida's roadways?
Imagine: A day at the races, but with you and up to nine of your closest -- or loopiest -- friends as the drivers. This dream can become reality at Moroso Motorsports Park, which is available for private rentals. But you'll pay dearly for the privilege of playing Paul Newman. Rates start at $1800 per day for up to four cars during the off-season (June 1 through August 31); during "the season" (September 1 through May 31), the base rate goes to $2000. Those extra buddies will cost you an additional $150 per car up to a maximum of ten (only one to three cars are allowed on the track at a time). Of course, there are a few other extras: A rescue unit including ambulance must be on standby, at a cost of $60 per hour, with a four-hour minimum. If you opt to have a fire truck on hand, it'll be $55 per hour with, once again, a four-hour minimum. In other words, we're talking anywhere from a little more than $2200 up to more than $3300, even more if you arrange for the park to cater your day of fun. And then there's that little matter of insurance. Moroso will help you determine the necessary amount beforehand. But hey, isn't it worth it to drive even faster than most of the lunatics on South Florida's roadways?
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Courtesy of Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Built on the site of a long-defunct Japanese agricultural colony, this now-25-year-old tribute to Japanese culture continues to thrive in its unlikely South Florida locale. Perhaps the best expression of its Japanophilia are the numerous festivals it hosts, honoring the important holidays of Nihon. Of these, the Hatsume Fair, which celebrates the first bud of spring, is our favorite, what with its vendor and artisan booths, fair food both Asian and American, and three stages of entertainment. This year, the performances included a tea ceremony, martial-arts demonstrations, and, of course, the devastating rumble of the taiko drummers. The best part: All of this takes place in late February, under the cooling canopy of the towering pine trees on Morikami's beautiful grounds.
Built on the site of a long-defunct Japanese agricultural colony, this now-25-year-old tribute to Japanese culture continues to thrive in its unlikely South Florida locale. Perhaps the best expression of its Japanophilia are the numerous festivals it hosts, honoring the important holidays of Nihon. Of these, the Hatsume Fair, which celebrates the first bud of spring, is our favorite, what with its vendor and artisan booths, fair food both Asian and American, and three stages of entertainment. This year, the performances included a tea ceremony, martial-arts demonstrations, and, of course, the devastating rumble of the taiko drummers. The best part: All of this takes place in late February, under the cooling canopy of the towering pine trees on Morikami's beautiful grounds.

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