Passersby that peer inside the windows of CKO Kickboxing won’t see treadmills, ellipticals, or stairclimbers. Instead, they’ll spot rows of heavy bags lurching backward and sideways from the force of participants’ kicks and right hooks. The kickboxing-focused gym doesn’t need excessive equipment or a catalog full of workout programs—the high-intensity fitness regimen of kickboxing is more than enough to shape up CKO members. Students of all levels reap the system’s multifaceted benefits, burning up to 1,200 calories per class, releasing stress, and developing a six-pack more realistically than drawing on their midsections with a marker.
When Anthony Riccio traced his American roots to Italy and discovered his family name on a bottle of Italian wine it sparked his interest in opening his own vineyard. Anthony named Cava Winery after the Italian word for mine, which calls forth his Mediterranean pride while also reflecting the mining history of his home New Jersey turf. Behind the winery entrance's old, weathered, wooden door, this mining theme carries throughout the tasting room where yellow walls bear artifacts such as old axes, lanterns, and black-and-white photographs depicting miners. A stone angel sculpture stands guard over freestanding wood barrels in this same tasting hall, and in the barrel room, oak vessels sit snugly between rough-hewn-stone walls.
Inside the atmospheric confines, guests sip libations while nibbling on specialty pizzas, seasonal Italian-style tapas, and bountiful meat and cheese platters harvested from nearby meat and cheese fields. A calendar of events excites palates year-round with dinners, wine-and-food pairings, and festivals, which invite guests to mingle inside or spread out over the winery's rolling fields.
Experienced oenologist Deneah Bledsoe employs UC Davis training to fashion wines from the vineyards' varied varietals of grapes, all grown in high-mineral-content soil. The roster of reds and whites, as well as fruit wines, ferment and bide their time, penning memoirs as they age in oak and stainless-steel barrels. Each wine can also achieve its own identity through Cava's custom labels, which patrons design with their own artwork and heading fonts.
Silvio’s Italian Villa is located inside a restored Revolutionary War–era mansion, where a series of crimes that took place in the 1970s are said to have filled the home with ghostly chills, mysterious sounds, and other paranormal activity ever since. Instead of trying to distance itself from the home's past, the restaurant has embraced it—it was even recently featured on Syfy’s Haunted Collector. Depending on the night, guests might see doors open on their own or "Do You Want to Split Dessert" scrawled in ghostly handwriting on their napkin, but they'll always have their choice from a plentiful Italian menu that includes gourmet entrees such as lobster, rack of lamb, and filet mignon topped with shrimp and gorgonzola. Traditional Italian favorites are available, too, including bruschetta pizza, chicken parmigiana, and house-made ravioli.
The moment massages cured her headaches, Dawn Gomez knew she wanted to pay it forward. While studying massage therapy, she discovered yoga. Soon, she realized that massages and yoga were two halves of the same coin; both foster relaxation and a deeper awareness of the body.
In 2003, Dawn opened Garden of Life Massage and Yoga Center, gathering a team of certified massage therapists, yoga teachers, and intuitive healers. Since then, they've worked together to create a community where visitors can forget about the outside world and its undetectable Terminators to breathe slower, sigh deeper, and feel tension evaporate from their body. Sublime serenity rests within the focused poses of the yoga classes--one for every level of practitioner--or the careful bodywork of the massages, which draw from a number of traditional modalities.