In addition to the ocean, beaches, bay and forest, I also love several local businesses/people. I don’t have gobs of excess money to spend – especially after covering food for the family, medical bills and my bar tab, but here’s some places I go. Here’s a rather random smattering (more to come as I get inspired – I like a lot of places and people!):

Praxis Fitness Keeping me in fighting shape – cause I need it! Not just to rock my short skirts, but also to surf better, bike farther, dance longer. I leave Praxis feeling awesome, which makes going there all the more worthwhile.

Cassandra at Parker’s Beauty Bar A good cut makes your look. Cassandra keeps me stylish. Not only does she excel at cuts and color, but Parker’s in general is a blast. Complimentary beer and wine, plus fun reads, from Amy Sedaris- and Posh Spice-authored books to celebrity gossip mags.

Rebecca at Bloom For all your waxing needs. And when I say “all,” I mean “all.” And that’s all I’m saying about that.

Casey’s Skin Care Studio Also for waxing, plus facials and more. Casey is a class act.

L C Nails The closest thing you can get locally to a San Francisco mani-pedi. Also massage chairs! (Note, one option on the massage chair triggers a knob nailing you right in the tailbone. Or thereabouts. Watch out! Otherwise, fun.)

Oberon Best Bloody Marys in Eureka, hands down. Also a lovely atmosphere and attentive service. I mostly go for the Bloodys plus snack as dinner gets a bit pricey.

Cafe Nooner Everything is good, especially the Bleu Noon sandwich. Warm days, you can eat outside.

Jambalaya A wide-open space, pool table, stage for the bands, hearty food and cocktails. Both birthday parties I’ve had here have excelled.

Go Go Bistro I should go here more, but it’s inconveniently located in Henderson Center. However, the mac’n’cheese makes me swoon, so….)

Overlooked with John Matthews Because while you can listen to the same music you listened to in high school, you’re so much more interesting when you follow along with John.

Lost Coast Outpost Hank doesn’t write enough, but when he does, it’s so worth it. In the meantime, stay entertained with news and music from KHUM, KSLG and The Point right here. Plus I contribute.

Obligatory Seven-O-Heaven mention here.

Humboldt Baykeeper Because they kick ass at making sure our bay stays healthy and protected. Executive Director Beth Werner blows my mind with her smarts, her passion and her modesty. She’s my hero.

Yes, it’s an indulgence-heavy list. I also donate regularly to Doctors Without Borders and pick up a lot of trash while walking my old yellow lab on the beach. So there.

(Addendum: Those last couple lines may come off defensive and flip. I don’t mean to be either – the hypocrisy of professing to care about others and then spending “extra” money on anything but charitable causes troubles me, but I’m not vying for sainthood yet, just trying to balance being good with having fun.)