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Head Over Heels: A Local's Guide to Love

Jan 29, 2020 11:33AM

February means date night, so it’s time to come out of your winter cocoon for a few hours on the town with your sweetheart. This Valentine’s season, switch things up with a show, get crafty, visit the zoo, or join a gym. (Of course, if you’d rather keep it traditional with drinks and dinner, there are a host of local options where you can feast, too!)

Wise Villa Winery


Wise Villa Winery 

Offering an elegant European setting nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, this local winery snagged 27 medals in the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest in the country. Stop in for a tasting, or start your weekend off with the winery’s weekly Friday night dinner and live music while watching the sunset. 4200 Wise Road, Lincoln, 916-543-0323, wisevillawinery.com

 

Spare Time Clubs

Grab a racquet for some friendly competition with a round of tennis or squash, and then treat yourself to a restorative massage at the club. Who says joining a gym can’t be fun? 

Broadstone Sports Club, 820 Halidon Way, Folsom, 916-983-9180; El Dorado Hills Sports Club, 530 Post Court, El Dorado Hills, 916-933-4929; Gold River Sports Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River, 916-638-7001; Johnson Ranch Sports Club, 2600 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-782-2600. sparetimeclubs.com


Bennett's Kitchen Bar Market

If you struggle to eat out due to dietary restrictions or preferences, or if you’re trying to balance date night and healthy eating, Bennett’s has a plate for you. With vegan, keto, paleo, gluten-free, and heart-healthy options that don’t skimp on flavor—think miso vegan ramen [pictured], chile relleno, and NY Strip Steak—you and your Valentine will find something delicious to try and feel good about. 1595 Eureka Road, Roseville. 916-750-5150, bennettskitchen.com

Bennett's Kitchen Bar Market


Roseville Health & Wellness Center

Make this the year you reach your fitness goals together by scoring a few personal training sessions or taking a group fitness class at this upscale fitness center. 1650 Lead Hill Boulevard, Roseville, 916-677-1200, rosevillehwc.com 


Massage Heights

Turn self-care into a bonding experience with a relaxing and revitalizing couple’s massage. The service here offers a peaceful and inviting atmosphere for you and your partner to restore together, thanks to two signature massage tables and two dedicated massage therapists. With unique, tailored treatments to address your individual concerns, this is a sure way to unwind and bliss out side by side. 230 Palladio Parkway, Suite 1229, Folsom, 916-295-6974, massageheights.com/folsom

Harris Center


Harris Center 

Catch a show at the Harris Center, Folsom’s 80,000-square-foot regional arts center with three stages that offers an evolving array of vibrant programming from both local and international performers. Watch a musical, like Chicago (March 5-9) [pictured] or Matilda (February 21-March 1); brush up on your Shakespeare with a performance by prestigious British play actors in The Tempest (February 27-29); or listen to tribute musicians perform the sounds of Cream (March 10) or Ray Charles (February 13). 10 College Parkway, Folsom, 916-608-6888, harriscenter.net

Topgolf


Topgolf

What is Topgolf? It’s a game that anyone can play (and win)! Bring your competitive side to the bay, where you’ll score points by hitting micro-chipped golf balls at giant dartboard-like targets on an outfield. The closer you get your ball to the center, the more points you’ll earn. Whether you spend every Friday on the green or you’ve never picked up a club before, you’ll have fun hitting balls like never before. 1700 Freedom Way, Roseville, 916-200-1002, topgolf.com

Bacchus House Wine Bar & Bistro


Bacchus House Wine Bar & Bistro

Boasting the best prime rib in town and a seasonal menu focused on celebrating the California farmer, this refined Northern California restaurant promises a wonderful evening affair, occasional live music, Tuesday-Friday happy hour, and other weekly specials. 1004 East Bidwell Street, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-984-7500, bacchushousebistro.com

Gather Studio & Marketplace


Gather Studio & Marketplace

Get creative and learn something new at this inviting makerspace with classes and workshops taught by talented local artists and creatives. Attend a bath bomb workshop and a soy wax candle class, then take your creations home for a romantic Jacuzzi night, or try a jewelry design class and make your valentine his or her next gift. 8870 Auburn Folsom Road, Suite B, Granite Bay, 916-872-1316, gatherstudioandmarket.com


Sienna

A truly elegant setting and an elevated menu—think salmon with a crunchy honey-nut crust and succulent scallop risotto—make this modern American restaurant the spot to be for a relaxing night on the town. 1480 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-771-4700; 3909 Park Drive, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9694, siennarestaurants.com 

Sienna


Outbreak Brewing

Beer is always a good idea. Whether you like rich stouts, hoppy ales, or refreshing fruit beers, you’ll find something to clink pints with at this Hangtown haunt. Turn it into a date to remember by bringing a board or card game to this “post-apocalyptic industrial” atmosphere! 640 Main Street, Placerville, 530-748-3258, outbreakbrewing.com 


Newcastle Produce

Take dinner for two to a whole dimension with a cooking class at Newcastle Produce. It'll be love at first bite in the hands-on, two-hour courses, where couples learn professional techniques and recipes while utilizing locally sourced ingredients. Register for the Valentine’s Workshop on February 12, and learn how to make Asian chicken wings with plum soy dipping sauce, a hearty stew, and molded chocolates. 9230 Cypress Street, Newcastle, 916-663-2016, newcastleproduce.com

Grab a Cocktail from Visconti’s Ristorante


Grab a Cocktail from Visconti’s Ristorante

Visit this family-owned, old-world Italian restaurant for their famous cannoli or shrimp linguini and toast to your love with a specialty sweetheart’s cocktail: an Old World Manhattan (Woodford Reserve Rye, Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth, orange bitters, and a Luxardo cherry); and a Passion Potion (Stoli Vanilla Vodka, fresh cranberries, crème de cacao white, and a touch of Chambord and cream).2700 East Bidwell Street, Suite 700, Folsom, 916-983-5181, viscontisristorante.com

Hisui Sushi


Hisui Sushi

From vibrant and inventive rolls to traditional Japanese fare, this flavorful sushi spot with sleek surrounds has a delicious dish for everyone. 25004 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 107, Folsom, 916-985-7778, hisuisushi.com


Gold Country Artists’ Gallery

Located in Downtown Placerville, this gallery—owned and operated by more than 45 local artists—is the longest continuously running gallery in the region. Brimming with diverse artwork—ranging from painting and photography to jewelry—you’ll always find at least two artists inside to give you a tour or answer questions about the art. Simply take a stroll and discuss the art, or pick out a favorite to decorate your home with. 379 Main Street, Placerville, 530-642-2944, goldcountryartistsgallery.net

Gold Country Artists’ Gallery


Nicholson’s MusiCafe

Embrace your inner artist at Nicholson’s MusiCafé every fourth Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at “Drink & Draw.” Just as the name states, you’re invited to sip on coffee, tea, or beer (BYO wine; corkage fee) while creating whatever kind of art you crave—though a portrait of your partner might be a fun place to start! 632 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-984-3020, nicholsonsmusicafe.com

Fat's Asia Bistro


Fat's Asia Bistro

Modern Asian cuisine from the award-winning Fat family in a stunning dining room is the way to go for satisfying dim sum cravings and generous noodle plates fresh from the wok, plus a daily happy hour. 1500 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-787-3287; 2585 Iron Point Road, Folsom, 916-983-1133, fatsasiabistro.com

Tahoe Tastings


Tahoe Tastings

The only thing better than having a boat is having a friend with a boat. Meet your new best friend: Tahoe Tastings, and the “Golden Rose,” a one-of-a-kind 1953 Chris Craft Venetian water taxi. You’ll glide across stunning Lake Tahoe during your two-hour cruise while tasting eight different wines from Northern California wineries and snacking from a charcuterie platter curated by South Lake Tahoe’s The Cork & More. 2435 Venice Drive, South Lake Tahoe, 530-494-9222, tahoetastings.com 


Arthur Murray Dance Centers

From salsa to swing and tango to merengue, Arthur Murray Dance Centers has 270 studios in 22 countries with an international reputation for turning wallflowers into waltzers. Dance the night away with your partner as you learn something new with classes tailored for beginners. Then, take your new moves out on the town! 220 Blue Ravine Road, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-895-5600, arthurmurrayfolsom.com


FLB Entertainment Center

Try a classic date night of bowling at the family-owned FLB Entertainment Center, or try a round of pool and game of darts. Afterwards, catch up with a frosty pint of more than 20 draft beers and a heaping plate of nachos at the sports bar. 511 East Bidwell Street, Folsom, 916-983-4411, flb365.com 

Smart Axe


Smart Axe

Grab a partner and head to Smart Axe in Rancho Cordova where you and your plus one can have a “battle of the axes” as you throw at a target for 75 minutes while enjoying snacks and beverages. Both private and public targets are available, along with BYOB options (spirits must be in closed containers). It’s a guaranteed kick axe time! 11151 Trade Center Drive, Suite 106, Rancho Cordova, 916-389-0178, thesmartaxe.com


Psychic Shop Placerville

Curious what the future holds for you and your beloved? Receive clarity and guidance in a kind, swift, and honest matter—and have fun doing so—at Psychic Shop Placerville. Services include chakra balancing, love cleansing, and relationship readings. What’s not to love about that? 2920 Paul Bunyon Road, Suite 1, Placerville, 530-492-1021, psychicplacerville.com

Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary


Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary 

The Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary, which opened in 1963, functions more as a sanctuary than a zoo. While visitors are allowed like a traditional zoo, the animals are not bred, sold, or traded. The term “sanctuary” was added in 2002 to describe the zoo’s goal of sheltering animals that cannot be released into the wild. Get your steps in together on a day date, as you spot a bear or tiger at this favorite wildlife refuge. Hours of operation this month are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday thru Sunday. Special this month is an “Owl Be Your Valentine” event February 8-9 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. where participants can craft a Valentine for their favorite zoo animal; free with zoo admission. 403 Stafford Street, Folsom, 916-461-6629, folsomzoofriends.org

By Luna Anona


Relationship Tips From the Pros 

These marriage and family therapists have seen—and advised—it all. Here’s what they have to say about every stage and season of romance (or lack thereof). 


If you’ve just gotten out of a serious relationship: 

“Give yourself time to grieve the loss. This is a good time to take inventory of your goals, dreams, and hopes without judgment so you can start to explore what parts of you have grown and changed from the time the relationship started to when it ended.”—Yasmine Binghalib, LMFT

“Before you fill up those empty times with someone new, it’s really important to focus on yourself. Whether you started the breakup or your partner did, there is grieving to do. Processing this loss takes a bit of time, and you also want to be sure that you feel a healthy sense of self. Take care of and love yourself first so that the new partner you attract comes from a healthy place and not a place of needing to be filled.”—Nancy Ryan, MA, LMFT

“Take time to heal and reflect. It’s not a good idea to get right back into another relationship. Sometimes, people do that in order to avoid feeling pain or loss. It’s okay to date socially and have fun, but it’s not the time to get serious or committed to someone else. It’s important to learn to be alone for a time so that you choose the next person for the right reason and not just because you don’t want to be alone.”—Therese Sorrentino, LMFT


If you’re single, but ready to settle down: 

“Throw out the idea of perfection—there is no perfect partner, and when you choose someone, you’re also choosing their baggage. What makes the baggage manageable is that both partners are able to acknowledge their issues together and make it a team priority to work through.”—Yasmine Binghalib, LMFT

“It’s important to come from a place of wholeness where you enjoy your life, and your partner is an addition to that. Healthy people are attracted to individuals who have confidence, aren’t needy or dependent, and have their own life. Do things that you enjoy, meet new people, engage others by being interested in them and have an open body posture and a warm, welcoming expression. You never know who you’re going to meet while you’re living and enjoying your own life.”—Nancy Ryan, MA, LMFT

“Sometimes, when people have been single for some time, there’s a sense of desperation to find someone because they no longer want to be alone. It’s important to not lower your standards or settle. Be patient and wait for the right person, even if it means being alone a little bit longer.”—Therese Sorrentino, LMFT


If you’re in a new relationship: 

“Make sure you’re both setting down a strong foundation at the start of the relationship if you’re interested in working toward long-term. This looks like working on open and honest communication, clearly stating needs (not relying on ‘mind reading’), setting clear boundaries, and being honest about your goals, values, dreams, and concerns.”—Yasmine Binghalib, LMFT

“Many people in the midst of a new relationship think that all of the magic and butterflies will continue forever and those that have been through that stage know it changes. It’s really important to take your time and go through all of the seasons with someone—to face some challenges and see how you really interact with each other.”—Nancy Ryan, MA, LMFT

“When in a new relationship, take time to get to know the person. Don’t rush into moving in together or making a long-term commitment too soon. Rushing into a relationship is the biggest mistake people make. It takes time to see how people respond to disagreements or stressors in life. Initially, everyone is wearing their peacock suit to impress, but you may be surprised when that person isn’t who you originally thought they were. Never choose someone based on their potential thinking that you will change them. You won’t. What you see is what you get.”—Therese Sorrentino, LMFT


If you’re in a long-term partnership: 

“Remember that neither one of you is the same person that you were when you first started dating. Make sure you stay curious about each other and constantly update your information about your partner’s inner world: their hopes, dreams, fears, and life outside of your relationship.”—Yasmine Binghalib, LMFT

“Keeping the spark alive can be challenging in the various seasons of life. We have a tendency to fill our schedules with things that feel important to us in the moment, but we don’t always prioritize our relationships. The first indication is feeling distant or disconnected in our relationships. Be intentional with your time—date nights are wonderful, but not always realistic, so [remember to take] time to connect at some point throughout the day without distractions.”—Ashlee Janzen, MS, LMFT 

“Many people tend to live parallel lives instead of connected lives and have surface conversations about the logistics in life—work, kids, and chores—rather than deeper, more interesting topics. Building the level of closeness, friendship, and intimacy takes continued effort. A great resource is the Gottman Card Decks app, which has a whole list of questions you can ask your partner on a date to talk about something new. If there have been problems in the relationship that have become stuck, it often requires help from a therapist with advanced training in couples to learn how to have successful conflict resolution.” —Nancy Ryan, MA, LMFT

“Couples who have been together for a long time can drift apart, and they may have taken the relationship for granted. You have to keep dating your partner and keep doing romantic, thoughtful things to keep the fire burning. Couples often make the mistake of putting too much focus on the children and ignore the relationship, but the couple should be the core of the family. The kids will survive with a little less time and won’t suffer if you have date nights. The best gift you can give your children is to be happy with yourself and in your relationship. They will learn from seeing you take care of yourself and make time for each other.”—Therese Sorrentino, LMFT 


The Experts

 Yasmine Binghalib, LMFT, 6692 Merchandise Way Drive, Diamond Springs, 530-303-2348, eldoradocountytherapy.com

Nancy Ryan, MA, LMFT, 300 Harding Boulevard, Suite 211, Roseville; 10235 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Suite 203, Fair Oaks, 916-426-2757, therelationshiptherapycenter.com

Therese Sorrentino, LMFT, 1568 Creekside Drive, Suite 206, Folsom, 916-396-4688, theresesorrentinomft.com 

Ashlee Janzen, MS, LMFT, 1430 Blue Oaks Boulevard, Suite 120, Roseville, 916- 705-5147, ashleejanzenlmft.com