When twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi decided to pursue a career that combined their passion for surfing and their love of the ocean, their calling came in the form of starting Surf Diva. Before long, they were on course to becoming a lauded school for coed surfers in California and Costa Rica. Augmenting the pair's teachings is their team of certified instructors, all graduates of their school's intensive training program and certified in CPR and first aid. Committed to their expertise in surfing, many of the instructors also hold down careers as firefighters, paramedics, and snowboarders, granting them the combined know-how to put out beach bonfires with a casual backflip.
The team's instruction ranges from coed group lessons and competitive coaching sessions to two- or five-day women?s weekend surf clinics. When they're not teaching surfing, crew members commit themselves to alternative teaching programs in yoga and standup paddleboarding, helping surfers to conquer the water with their bodies as well as with their very buoyant hearts. The twins' Costa Rica program also helps women and families hone boarding skills abroad while becoming fully immersed in the Costa Rican culture.
In a heated, 4,000-square-foot facility, Bikram Yoga La Jolla?s instructors guide students in a body-bending curriculum that aims to cultivate strength, flexibility, and inner peace. These pliable pros help students hone the body and the mind by leading them through a flowing regimen of 26 poses in 90-minute classes, as well as 1-hour Express classes, which run through the same sequence of poses. The classes are performed on clean, non-absorbent Lonseal floors situated in a heated room that fosters greater muscle fluidity and faster metabolic functioning. Other benefits of yoga may include stress reduction, improved concentration, pain relief, and increased self-esteem. Before heading to the changing facilities at class's end, students are cooled down with ice cold lavender towels. The changing facilities provide cubbies for storing possessions and showers to sluice away sweat and caked-on pranas.
"Music is my diet and dance feeds my soul," says "Salsa Susie" Ngyen, who quit a six-figure career at Xerox to start Ooh La La Dance Academy—in the midst of an economic crisis. Her risk paid off, because since then, the company's dance troop, the Cosabellas, earned the title of Best 2010 Performing Artist of the Year by Raw Artist and sparkled onstage for celebrity judges during a live-taping of America's Got Talent in 2011.
The Cosabellas not only entertain; they share their enthusiasm of dance with others by teaching kids and adult dance classes at Ooh La La Dance Academy. Boasting over 15 years of experience each, the instructors teach the dance they pioneered, a blend of Latin and burlesque, as well as fitness-inspired classes and classical dance forms such as ballet and The Beethoven Shuffle.
We Love Tourists saddles sightseers on segways to glide along San Diego's landmarks and La Jolla's coastal views. Prior to each adventure, the guides introduce explorers to the basic techniques needed to balance, steer, and outwit their futuristic rides. During the roll-about, the team of locals shares inside knowledge and embarrassing baby pictures of city landmarks while gliding past storied locales including San Diego Harbor, the Gaslamp Quarter, and PETCO Park. While trundling through La Jolla, adventurers discover a few of the seaside resort's most stunning surf spots and beaches, wildlife, shopping areas, and parks where segways can play with other two-wheeled pets.
Action water-sports shop Everyday California, wrangles an experienced team of experts to escort patrons on kayak, surfing, and snorkeling tours. The shop as been lauded by publications including the Chicago Tribune for its exploration of the earth's watery expanses that offer glimpses of marine creatures such as sea turtles, sea lions, seals, dolphins, and cormorants. Kayak tours take paddlers out on a variety of adventures, including destinations such as seven sea caves, the paths of migrating gray whales, and underwater kelp forests. Everyday California also rents out kayaks, snorkel gear, surfboards, paddleboards, and saddles for baby belugas.
At the ?Latin Food Fest! Grand Tasting Village, Latin culinary aficionados Richard Sandoval, Roberto Alcocer, and Javier Plascencia join with restaurants, distillers, artisan food makers, brewers, and winemakers for the annual Latin food grand tasting event in California. Guests rub elbows with the likes of TV host chef George Duran, or share a wave with Baja culinary icon and Misi?n 19 owner Javier Plascencia. Throughout the festival, dedicated pavilions focus on specific topics, ranging from the Wine Tasting Tent and Beer Cabana to the ?Taste Baja! Pavilion and the Craft Spirits Expo & Awards, where distillers and mixologists hold tastings. In addition to the tastings, the festival holds competitions for Top Chef, Best Restaurant, and Best Dish to showcase local culinary excellence. Other senses are delighted by live music from Latin sensation QUATTRO and an art show, and a silent auction of culinary supplies and memorabilia will benefit non-profit partner Feeding America.