The Happy Heart Haven is a most delightful animal rescue in Valley Center. Proprietor Cristi Walker and her husband Mike recently moved out to VC and started this passion project. Sometimes when one door closes, another one opens and it is the right path that you are meant to be on. That is the case for the Walker family. Two years ago I'm sure they would never have imagined where they would be today.
Cristi was born with a congenital heart defect and after a series of surgeries, she eventually was outfitted with a heart valve that she received from a cow. Could it be that this was not a coincidence that her favorite animal ended up giving her new life? It certainly birthed a dream within her and her supportive husband. They traded in life in suburbia for life in the country and they now own and operate a rescue outfit with scores of animals. They opened in July of 2020 and have all kinds of things going on for you to enjoy like private tours, birthday parties, open farm days, and so much more. Their goal is to have you leave with your heart happier than when you came. I can say that this was certainly my experience. There is a whole lot of happiness radiating from this place and I hope that you will help support the dreams of the Walker family and go check it out. Schedule a tour. Tell a friend. Send a donation to help feed the animals.
Did you know that Carlsbad has its own oyster farm and that they have been offering tours, complete with oyster tastings since the beginning of 2021? Carlsbad Aquafarm is Southern California's only shellfish farm growing Pacific oysters and Mediterranean mussels since 1990. They are committed to pursuing a balance between producing seafood of unsurpassed quality and conserving the ocean's resources.
They are involved in restoring coastal habitats by working with environmental groups to establish "living shorelines" consisting of oyster reefs and Eelgrass that remove excess algae from bays and estuaries while providing vital habitats for fish and seabirds.
Even if you are not a fan of oysters, it's very interesting to learn about this business and how the birds, fish, plant life and ocean all work together to form the perfect oyster habitat in the lagoon. You will be impressed by the lengths this company goes to to provide the very best product for the public's consumption. Schedule your tour of this hidden North County gem today!
Next time you are in Temecula wine tasting, why not stop in at The Olive Plantation for an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting and to learn more about how olives are grown and how the milling process works? This beautiful, hidden gem is tucked into the Temecula hills right across the street from Baily Vineyard & Winery. They are open for tastings Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 12 and 4PM or you can contact them to schedule a weekday tasting. when you pull up you will feel you've been transported to a Tuscan villa! It's absolutely gorgeous here! I took home an olive oil and the most tasty truffle balsamic. I cant wait to discover new ways to use them. They have 1,000 trees on their property and 26 varieties of olives. Their olives are milled onsite and their award-winning oils are unfiltered for a peppery finish. The balsamics are a great flavor complement. Please take a moment to check out their website and learn more about their operation, awards and recognitions as well as the olive growing and milling process. It's really quite fascinating!
I would like to introduce you to Kevin Shin, owner of one of Oceanside‘s newest restaurants, The Switchboard Restaurant & Bar. Perhaps you recall seeing my past posts, but I think it’s important to help you get to know who is behind the scenes and the driving force behind the establishment.
Barb: Hi Kevin! 2020 has been quite the year to open a new business! What have been the challenges and blessings associated with that this last year?
Kevin: Challenges: juggling opening a restaurant, working in the fire service, and taking care of my family. Blessings have been getting to watch the employees turn into a part of my family, providing Oceanside great food and getting to know the locals.
Barb: Who inspires you most?
Kevin: Mom. She's my biggest inspiration.
Barb: Your menu is fantastic! Tell us more about what sets The Switchboard apart.
Kevin: Chef Justin Haupt has had great experience learning about cuisine on Maui and you can see that passion in our menu.
Barb: You are very loyal to Oceanside. What are some of your favorite Oceanside businesses and places to hang out?
Kevin: It’s a long list and I'm going to forget to say a few but here we go: Lighthouse Oyster Bar & Grill, Real Surf Shop, DIJA MARA, Breakwater Brewing Company, Bagby Beer, Masters Kitchen and Cocktail, Oceanside Sports Bar & Kitchen, Coomber Craft Wines Oceanside-Winery and Tasting Room, Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen, Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub, The Plot Restaurant, Banana Dang, and I have to go to Oceanside Ace Hardware almost daily.
If you guys haven’t yet tried The Switchboard, please make it a priority to enjoy their tasty island-inspired menu SOON! Thank you Kevin for sharing more with us about yourself and the restaurant. https://theswitchboardrestaurant.com/
Brick n Barn- A Quaint Monthly Antique Market and Experience in Valley Center Bringing New Life to the Forgotten
"The best antique is not the one you find, but the one that finds you!"
Brick n Barn (formerly Matilda's Mouse) in Valley Center is the most delightful place! Located at the site of the former Betty Crocker Estate (built in 1872 and lovingly restored) you will find a monthly antiquing and treasure hunting event in their quaint barn. You will also find various vendors displaying and selling their wares and goodies as well as rotating art classes. The once-a-month sale lasts three days (Friday through Sunday) and features antique, mid-century, upcycled, repurposed, industrial decor and findings. There is truly something for everyone! There are tables and chairs sprinkled across the front of the barn and often live music because the Myers want you to stay a while, chat, enjoy and just "be." They want their sweet little barn to be a place a refuge and a place to get away from it all.
"Stop asking people what they want and just build what you envision. If your heart is in it, people will follow." - Marlise Myers, proprietor
Ben and Marlise moved to the property in April of 2018 and began the massive and often harrowing undertaking of restoring the old house and the barn to it's current glory. Marlise has penned the journey and you can find it on her blog. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and go along for the journey. It really is a fascinating story of perseverance, chasing a dream and finally triumph.
Remaining barn days for 2020 are:
You can find Brick n Barn at: 29200 Miller Road, Valley Center, CA 92082
If you've been with Around The Town long, you have heard me talk about stylist Jennifer Rosson and her website Style Your Life. I have had many opportunities over the years to glean valuable information and inspiration from Jennifer. This lady has a lot to offer. Twice I have hosted a mini style seminar (yes you can hire her to come to you one-on-one or you can invite friends over and have her speak).
Another FREE opportunity to use Jennifer is provided by Fashion Valley Mall. If you contact the mall and sign up for an appointment with Jennifer, you will get her exclusively for 2 hours to help you with your styling or shopping needs (the mall pays her fee). Sweet, right? *Update: the program with Fashion Valley has been suspended due to COVID-19. Hopefully it will resume in the future. Please check her out and "like" her page for lots of good info! http://www.styleyourlifeblog.com/
Quiet Days are on select days every month. Escape the noise and hectic pace of everyday life. Enjoy some solitude and balance activity and contemplation in your life. The day is yours to create, experience time on your own to meditate in the chapel or the gardens, to enjoy nature or to catch up on some much-needed rest. A private room with bed and sink are included. Quiet Days are during the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm. The cost is $35.00 per person includes a beautiful lunch. Please pre-register by calling 760-757-3659 or online HERE.
I’ve lived in San Diego County 18 years and I recently visited The Cave Store in La Jolla for the first time. You enter the store, pay $5 admission for adults, $3 for kids and down into the cave you descend...144 narrow steps down through the earth to the mouth of a sea cave. At the bottom you have an amazing view out the sea cave of sea lions swimming and kayakers doing their thing. The shape of the entrance to the cave is in the shape of a profile, thus the name of the cave, Sunny Jim's. And yes, after viewing this amazing sight, it's 144 stairs back up to the top. It's a fun thing to do and lots to look at in the area, so be sure to check it out! The Cave Store is located at 1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037. 858-459-0746.
Have you been to Lucha Libre Taco Shop at The Shoppes at Carlsbad yet? If you go, you NEED to reserve the bedazzled Champs Booth online first! That’s the ONLY way you can sit at this one-of-a-kind table. It’s the only table with wait-service AND bling! Everyone else stands in line to order at the counter. At the Champ's Booth you get extras like the chips and salsa bar at your table, fancy tableware and personalized service. Reserve the table here (must reserve 24 hours in advance: https://www.luchalibretacoshop.com/carlsbad-reservations/.
This is the perfect time of year for you to use this cool and inventive new business run by one of our own, Lindy O! Please take a moment to check out her custom yard greeting business and think about if you might have an upcoming opportunity to use her services. She's got you covered for a festive way to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, proms, new babies, GRADUATIONS, weddings and so much more! Also, consider following her on Facebook at North County Yard Greetings. For website, click here.