Scattered across nine states, Mini U Storage's secure facilities make frequent cameos on the reality TV show Storage Wars. At each location, rows of storage units in a vast range of sizes house personal goods, business items, and vehicles. Specialty climate-controlled units can help preserve sensitive heirlooms or souvenirs from historic snowball fights. The Mini U Storage staff further assists clients in the moving process by offering complimentary rental trucks, along with boxes, moving supplies, and locks for purchase.
The clothing gurus at Jonathan’s Cleaners launder tired duds with an environmentally safe dry-cleaning solution that’s both nontoxic and biodegradable. A fabric-overseer inspects clothes, sweeping grimy jackets ($7.95) and shorts ($4.25) clean of condiment stains and clearing golf shirts ($3.95) and pants ($4.50) of the dust from golf balls vaporized by overly enthusiastic putts. The cleaners' environmentally sound dry-cleaning process guards against shrinking and color fading. Finally, a six-point inspection replaces lost buttons and double-checks apparel for blemishes, ensuring that freshly pressed two-piece suits ($12) look dapper enough to suit the most well-heeled scarecrow throughout harvest season.
At Kids Party Central, gaggles of children bounce upon inflatable fortresses, glide down air-filled slides, and splash around colorful ball pits in a nearly 10,000-square-foot recreation center. Throughout the week, open-play sessions reserve for public use the facility's many attractions, including floatable forts embellished with soccer balls, pirates, and animated pals from movies such as Cars. Like particularly classy kennels, KPC requires all guests to wear socks. The center also suggests that kids don nylon pants for maximum speed on the slides and that they abstain from duds featuring zippers or hooks that may scratch play surfaces. Adults are welcome to play as well, although those found not keeping an eye on their miniature companions will be put in time out.
For more than 30 years, Precision Tune Auto Care has helped vehicles of all sorts run smoothly with an array of maintenance and auto-repair services. Fully trained mechanics whet engine appetites with an oil change ($29.90), then rotate and balance tires to ensure an even distribution of wear and tear, bringing inner balance to troubled rubber rollers ($59.80). A windshield-wiper replacement maintains driver visibility throughout the coming weather-filled months ($24.90), and a brake inspection ($19.90) safeguards against inconvenient malfunctions during no-holds-barred drag races down by the old nuclear power plant.
"The haunting melody of a howling wolf pack is heard in only a handful of states, as wolves have been exterminated from a vast majority of their original range," explains the California Wolf Center's website. Though these howling cries are harder to find than they once were, one place to witness their grandeur is at the California Wolf Center.
The non-profit was founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, specifically the history and behavior of the gray wolf. Located 50 miles east of San Diego, it houses two subspecies of wolves: the Alaskan gray wolf and the endangered Mexican gray wolf. The center also participates in the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan, which aims to help the endangered species recover in the wild. At the facility, wolves live in enclosures that can help retain their natural behavior, as some of them will eventually be released back into the wild.
The Julian Dance and Back Country BBQ tips its cap to a bygone era when families and friends gather to celebrate the arrival of spring with music, dancing, and food. As in years past, the Menghini Winery and its serene mountain setting provide an ideal backdrop for the event. On June 14, live bands start cranking out jams right at noon?when city ordinance allows real guitars to replace air guitars?but preparations for the barbecue feast begin long before that. Several days prior, chefs coat tender meats in a secret rub and prepare to slow cook it over oak coals during the festival. Then, as night falls upon the party, well-fed attendees take to the large outdoor dance floor to bust a move while stars begin to poke through the darkening sky.