This 8,000-square-foot facility houses five indoor batting areas to train baseball beaters on customized pitching machines capable of launching fast balls and curve balls at speeds of 25 to 90 mph, faster than the speed of black light moving toward a felt Don Mattingly. Each cage provides pop-fly pilots with helmets, bats, and baseballs. Hardball Sports Academy also includes two cages equipped for live pitching with L-screens that protect the delicate exoskeletons of warm-blooded lobbers.
Though people come to Brickhouse Cardio Club for the heart-pumping workouts, they stay for the irresistible international rhythms. Zumba tends to have that effect, ensnaring exercisers with its Latin choreography and dance-party vibe. The floors at the Oceanside club pulse with 11 Zumba sessions every week, along with energetic Brickhouse Burn toning and sculpting classes and invigorating yoga sessions. The club also hosts Bokwa sessions, embracing the new workout system that finds students tracing the shapes of numbers and letters during dance-like sessions set to booty-shaking beats. Since its inception, Brickhouse has blossomed into a franchise, expanding into 25 locations with new sites recently opened in the United Kingdom, where it hopes to supplant aerobic chimney sweeping. No matter the location, each club hosts its signature workouts in pared-down studios with the franchise’s familiar electric-blue and neon-green walls surrounding a stage.
At La Jolla Water Sports, guides undergo extensive training before captaining snorkeling excursions into the calm, crystalline waters of the Pacific. The experts escort 6 to 12 patrons at a time on shark tours of the shallow, sandy flats where small-mouthed leopard sharks up to 5 feet long lounge on their easy chairs of sand. Snorkeling tours of the La Jolla cove grant participants, including beginners and kids, a siren's-eye view of rock formations, underwater flora, and marina critters including garibaldi fish, sea cucumbers, anemones, and starfish. The most action-packed of La Jolla Water Sports's offerings are the spearfishing tours in which leaders expound on the importance of safety and proper form as customers skewer fish before schlepping them home for dinner or as treats for pet grizzly bears.
In the quiet, northern end of San Diego County lies the lush, green gem of Wild Wonders, Inc., a multipurpose facility that celebrates California's natural beauty and maintains artificial habitats for more than 150 exotic animals. The staff calls their charges "animal ambassadors," conditioning and training each of them to serve in close, educational encounters with wildlife enthusiasts of all ages. Through their Zoo Camp program, educators give kids a chance try their hand at zoo keeping, including rare opportunities to help feed, clean, and care for the animal ambassadors during intimate interactions.
The onsite staff obtained the park's residents—many of which were deemed non-releasable native wildlife—from other educational facilities as well as more dangerous reaches, such as lands riddled by the illegal pet trade. Resident wonders include big-eared foxes, armored armadillos, giant centipedes, and talkative african gray parrots.
• 80's Night!, featuring Poisonous and Livin on a Prayer, on Friday, July 22, at 9 p.m. • Punk Rocker Night, featuring Generator, Socially Distorted, and Tawnie and the Replaceables, on Friday, July 29, at 9 p.m. • Dazed and Confused, Back 2 Black, Rushed, and DJ ManCat, on Friday, August 5, at 9 p.m. • 70's vs. 80's Night, featuring Wayward Sons, Way Cool Jr., and DJ ManCat, on Friday, August 12, at 9 p.m. • Beatles vs. Stones Night, featuring Rubber Souls, Rocks Off, and Elite Elvis Tribute, on Friday, August 19, at 9 p.m. • 90's Night, featuring Red Not Chili Peppers, Vitalogy, No Duh!, and DJ ManCat, on Friday, August 26, at 9 p.m.
At the helm of his urban winery in the heart of the Cedros Design District, winemaker Adam Carruth handcrafts award-winning wines, including the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Best in Class Alexander Valley Cabernet, from grapes he fastidiously collects from all over California. His team handles the production of each varietal from crush to finish, aging juices in barrels that line the walls of the industrial-chic tasting room. The final products—which range from a crisp sauvignon blanc to a bordeaux-style Surfing Madonna—slosh into customized stemware for patrons’ enjoyment seven days a week. Also in the tasting room, guests can peruse the exhibited work of local artists, break into crunchy baguettes from Bread & Cie or nibble on cheese.
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