Every summer, the sprawling fields and winding horse trails of the peaceful Walnut Grove Park undergo a transformation. The clinks and clanks of a towering stage being built permeate the soundscape, taking prominence over the usual noises of bird chirps and rustling leaves. The aromas of tender barbeque meats fill the air, and droves of music-lovers, families, and groups of friends flock to the park with their lawn chairs and beach blankets in tow. Once the crowd has arrived, top local musicians take to the stage to perform lively rock and blues songs as servers top off plastic cups with ice-cold brews. The normally serene park is now the bustling scene of the weekend-long City of San Marcos Rock, Blues & BBQ Festival, which?like the Lincoln statue?s brief sentience and subsequent leg stretch?only happens once a year.
US Music Lessons founder Vince Hanvey has more than three decades of experience as a professional musician, honing his guitar-playing acumen in styles as diverse as rock, jazz, and country. He and his staff of skilled instructors help students pursue their musical dreams, creating personalized lesson plans that cater to individual goals. Students can show off their developing guitar, bass, drums, piano, and vocal skills at performances and jam sessions hosted at the studio throughout the year.
As a high school student, Freddi Pakier's favorite breakfast item was a candy bar. However, as the school days dragged on, her sugar highs inevitably gave way to lethargy and mood swings. She didn't realize the correlation until she was in her 20s, which caused her to completely change her diet—a change that she credits with giving her an abundance of energy and a more positive outlook.
Freddi now shares her story and tips as a health coach at Meals that Heal, introducing students to holistic techniques and the tactics of nutritional science so that they can craft healthful dishes on their own. Her recipes also mesh well with weight-loss plans, helping clients to shed pounds without counting calories or removing their solid gold shoes.
Students can choose from a variety of class options that highlight diverse topics such as travel meals, vegetarian nutrition, detoxifying internals, preventing disease, and strengthening bones. All sessions are safe for those avoiding gluten.
Lots of young girls play with toy ponies; Clarissa Czuprynski got to interact with the real thing. The Prestige Equine head trainer began showing and training horses when she was 12 years old. Since then, she has developed a specialty in working with young horses, especially ones young enough to believe they can be one of Santa's reindeer.
With Prestige Equine, she’s teamed up with barn staffers Shelby North and Samantha Draper to offer training and showing services for all horse breeds. The trio regularly competes in Western and English events, such as AQHA and APHA breed shows, a practice that keeps them sharp for the group and private horse-riding lessons they lead. These lessons take place on experienced lesson horses at a facility that features sand and dirt arenas, a round pen, a track, an onsite veterinarian's office, and 60 box stalls for boarding.
"I consider sacred the bond of trust that develops over time with our athletes, forged by sound direction, collaboration, and real, lasting results," says Erik Preston, owner and head trainer at CrossFit San Elijo. The ex-Marine recruited a team of instructors who work to forge a sense of community among its members through rigorous shared effort of their group workouts. Instructors teach athletes foundational movements during an initial class before embarking on daily workouts where they’ll hoist kettlebells, master gymnast’s rings, and walk with 45-pound weights. Every exercise is rigorously monitored, as instructors insist on proper form while students execute core exercises of squat, press, and lift. Along with emphasizing sound mechanics, instructors help copilot participants toward healthier eating habits and recovery techniques.
From the peaceful oasis of Camulos Farm—located on an 1,800-acre stretch of North County, San Diego—Sara Crafts dispenses equine knowledge amassed over a 40-year career to students ranging from novices to elite show riders. The facility boasts riding spaces surrounded by palm trees and flower bushes, set against views of rolling hills. During lessons, instructors review horsemanship principles, English and Western riding techniques, and safety measures, such as wearing a helmet and teaching horses not to play with matches. The farm also offers summer camps that provide kids with a comprehensive equine education and teach them about career options in the equestrian field.