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!
I want to introduce you to a newer North County business, Riddle Routes. Started in Bend, Oregon, with three routes, you can now find them in California with routes in Carlsbad, Big Bear and Palm Springs.
I took the Riddle Route challenge starting my quest in Carlsbad, totally unsure what the experience would be like. Suggested teams are 2-4 people, so we double-dated and made it a team of 4. The routes are designed to be about 2 miles of walking, 2 hours of time with 22 stops. You purchase the package online for $38 (this fee covers the whole team), which I feel is very reasonable and certainly less expensive than going to a movie. Once you pay you are given a link to access your route, using your smartphone to get your clues.
The whole thing was put together very cleverly, and you can tell the designers of Riddle Routes are teachers. Let’s just say I was thankful for the help of my teammates when the riddle involved math! As you go from point to point you are looking for specific things, solving riddles and problems and doing a lot of teamwork. We saw some points of interest that we knew about and others that we were learning about for the first time. After you get to each destination and solve your riddle, you’ll learn some fun facts about that specific location or business. So, with Riddle Routes you are having fun, exercising and getting fresh air, working with others, using your brains and learning new things about the area you are in.
We all agreed that it was a lot of fun and interesting as well. I would wholeheartedly recommend that everyone do this with their family or friends. It was a great day followed by a nice dinner in The Village. I did not take pictures (whaaat?) as I don’t want to give away the route. I want it all to be new and fresh when you give it a try.
Does this sound like something you would want to do? For more information and to purchase your Riddle Route go to: http://riddleroutes.com/product/carlsbad-route/. Be sure to use code: BARB$10 to save $10!
I recently started my day with joy and laughter doing goat yoga at Sugar Sweet Farm in Encinitas! They invited me to experience their class so I could share my thoughts with you. I admit, I had no idea what it was about but yes we actually did get some yoga done and yes we also did quite a bit of laughing and snuggling as well. We even got to bottle-feed milk to the goats. While this type of yoga is maybe a little more down and dirty than you are used to, it also comes with towels steeped in lavender essential oil for your eyes during shavasana and chilled cucumber water when you’re finished with your workout.
Thank you Elizabeth for opening up your sweet farm to us and sharing your fruits, and thank you Beth for your instruction. Thank you for providing a professional photographer to catch all the magical (and funny) moments so we could hold on to the memories of the day! We had such a great time and you can bet we will be back!
Barb's tips: Leave plenty of time to get there and map your route out in advance. Maybe not wear your very favorite yoga outfit, you will be interacting with goats, afterall. :) I suggest leaving your yoga mat at home and using one of theirs for obvious reasons. Lastly, just be prepared for enjoyment, laughter and fun. EMBRACE the experience!
If you would like to give it a try, I highly suggest Sugar Sweet Farm and if you use code: BARB10 when you sign up, you will save $10! http://www.sugarsweetfarm.com/goat-yoga.html