Chocolate actually does grow on trees, specifically the small tropical tree Theobroma cacao. Not surprising, “Theobroma” is Greek for “food of the gods.” Cacao is native to Central and South America, but Africa now grows 70% of the world’s cacao. Facts and myths about chocolate are steeped in Mesoamerica’s history and its ancient civilization. That is what intrigued Erik Lanids and Jessica Ramirez. As Anthropology Majors and Archaeologists, Erik and Jessica were familiar with how chocolate came about and some of its history, but they wanted to learn more.
That is how its new owner, Sasha Fisher, describes The Spruce Moose. Despite her background in business and psychology, it was her heart that led her to own an art gallery and boutique. Sasha has a passion for Art: “For me, art has been an outlet for expression of emotion, and at times has literally saved my spirit.”
For many, a visit to Remember When … Toys, located upstairs in The Fort in the center of the Idyllwild village, is like taking a step back in time. Their shelves are chock-full of toys and games popular when some of us were kids — Candy Land, Life, Etch-A-Sketch, a Labyrinth and so much more! In addition to the many old time games are a great selection of stuffed animals, taffy in a ton of flavors and classic sodas (the Black Cherry Crème Soda is a personal favorite).
Finding someone born and raised in California is a rare occurrence. Estimates are that the number of “native” Californians still residing in the state is about 53.8 percent as of 2010. It is even more rare that in a small town like Idyllwild you find someone who, in addition to being a California native, at the age of 30 has spent 26 years of their life living here.