Since the age of 7, Dr. Robert Stonebreaker shared a special affinity with all birds. Wanting to bring people closer to his feathered friends, he lent his passion to Free Flight in 1989, helping evolve the avian boarding and breeding center into a sanctuary where visitors could interact with the exotic creatures. Amid open air and emerald palm fronds, guests can let a yellow, orange, and green sun Conure perch on their arm or pet a Timneh Grey. The tropical oasis also teems with Koi lagoons, where schools of shimmering Koi swim under the flaps of fluffy white Cockatoos soaring through the aviary.
Dr. Stonebraker tragically passed away in 2010, but the team at Free Flight has upheld his tireless work by fostering human-avian relations and furthering visitors' understanding of parrots. Free Flights also encourages involvement through donation, membership, volunteer opportunities, and, most notably, education programs.
Lauren Taylor lives in an orbit around the camera. As a teenager, she modeled in front of the lens. She later attended the Institute of Studio and Makeup Design, after which she would collaborate with photographers behind the camera. Lauren eventually gravitated to the camera itself, which she now wields with aplomb in her own photography studio. Here, her life-long experience and education converge in the work of shooting sumptuous and striking images.
Thanks to her time in the sights of the camera eye, Lauren has a particular way of making subjects feel comfortable. She especially enjoys sessions with other women, documenting expectant mothers or capturing sensual boudoir portraits. Otherwise, Lauren's newborn shoots capture babies in their most innocent state, before they learn to talk or knit a ski-mask. Lauren still exercises her eye for fashion, snapping stills for advertisements and industry headshots. She also documents weddings, taking a photojournalistic approach to event photography by capturing candid moments and emotional milestones.
Acuheart takes a three-tiered approach to well-being that combines blood-chemistry testing, acupuncture, and nutritional supplements. Blood testing may reveal organ function, allergies, hormone levels, and maple syrup content. The results of such testing inform the acupuncture methods, herbs, and diet strategies used to remedy health concerns from lower-back pain to depression and the effects of strokes. Owner Patricia Blake's experience in the field of medicine has taken her from Hong Kong, where she studied at the elbow of a Chinese medicine master, to Sri Lanka, where she employed acupuncture to help relieve the symptoms of HIV-positive children. Building on these experiences, Patricia attends yearly and monthly continuing-education courses. Through these, she amasses information on such topics as respiratory health and how Chinese medicine stacks up against pharmaceutical drugs.
Optylux owner Helmut Igel wants his customers to wear eyewear that they feel is just as fashionable as the latest designer clothes. That's why his eyewear boutique imports handcrafted frames from the Italian eyewear company Ete and the German eyewear company Flair. Ete is the only eyewear line in the world that puts real pheasant feathers inlaid in its frames, and Flair glasses, which take days to complete by hand and come in more than 20 designs, can be customized with inset stones, cutouts, faceting, and tattooing. Optylux is also the exclusive U.S. distributor of these brands, ensuring a full look of the entire eyewear collection.
Certified massage therapists unfurl a menu of relaxing services to increase overall wellness within Essential Therapies' Del Mar studio or in the comfort of clients' homes. A number of massage techniques includes muscle-relaxing hot stones and pain-relieving acupressure. During reflexology, pressure applied to specific points on the feet control the entire body, relaxing muscles on command or making mouths purr like a uniformed Catwoman impersonator.
Dexter's Deli fuels cats and hounds with holistic pet foods and entertains them with a host of toys. A raw-food diet's easy-to-digest mix of antibiotic-free meat and organic veggies is a healthy alternative to your pet's usual meal of rocks ($3.59–$56.95), and dry or canned foods for dogs ($6.95–$70.95) and cats ($10.95–$17.95) serve as a more traditional hunger defeater. After a hearty meal, Fido can drift off in a dog bed or pad ($24.95+), where he'll have dreams about chewing on newspapers or serving on the Supreme Court.