Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine – Oct / Nov 2019

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CONTENTS 5. Editors Block TOAST TO THE ARTS 8. Songs & Stories 10. Artist Aaron Bohrod 12. Books News & Interviews GLOBAL DESTINATIONS 15. The Bohemian Vagabond 16. Exploring the Greek Isles FALL TRAVEL & EVENTS 20. Festive Fun in Yuma, AZ 24. Visit Springfield, KY 26. Fall in Natchitoches, LA 30. Visit Greeley & Weld County 32. Fall in Yerington, NV 34. California’s Sequoia Country 36. Fall Fun in Exeter, CA 38. Historic Downtown Hollister 40. Fall in Anacortes, WA EAT, DRINK & BE MERRY 42. The Flavors of Whidbey Island 50. The Tri-Valley Showcase 57. Rock Town Distillery 60. Show Me Missouri Wine 66. Chicken in Figs & White Wine 68. It’s Butternut Squash Season! PAGE 3

CONTENTS Continued… WAY BACK WHEN 71. History Comes to Life in Julian, CA 72. Unusual Sources for Family History

QUALITY OF LIFE 74. Hilton Head Health 80. Atrial Fibrillation 82. Life Skills & Leadership Lessons



“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” Samuel Butler From the Greek Isles to the Islands of Washington State, California to Colorado, and the desert Southwest to the historic Southeast, this issues explores destinations that are big on regional flavor, seasonal in celebration and active in outdoor adventure. Big Blend Radio now streams new episodes Sunday through Friday, and this issue covers some of our latest podcast conversations about travel, new music and books, art and history, food and drink, recipes and cooking, health and wellness, life skills and leadership. To keep up with all things Big Blend sign up for our weekly Big Blend e-Newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Here’s to a fun and festive fall season! Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team.

FRONT COVER PHOTO: Dock at Captain Whidbey Inn, by travel writer Hilarie Larson. See her story on page 42. BIG BLEND MISSION STATEMENT: Big Blend is a company based on the belief that education is the most formidable weapon that can be waged against fear, ignorance and prejudice. It is our belief that education starts at home and branches outward. Education leads to travel, and travel leads to understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of cultures and customs different to our own, and ultimately to world peace. Our company is further based on the principle that networking, communication, and helping others to promote and market themselves leads to financial stability; thus paving the way to better education, travel, and the spirit of giving back to the community. This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™, copyrighted since 1997. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.


5000 THE BAND From puppets to a round of the game Spontuneous, Denver based guitar duo Meghann Jordan and Matt Youngblood, have a lively chat with Big Blend Radio about their music and music careers. Take a listen here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to the podcast on Meghann Jordan came up in the Athens, Georgia music scene. Surrounded by such influences as R.E.M. and Vic Chesnutt, and other local musicians, she started playing guitar at age 13 and writing songs at 18. Matt spent the 2000’s in Minneapolis. Fronting his three-piece rock band, Chunky Jackson, he was heavily influenced by local bands such as Hüsker Dü and the Replacements. Meghann and Matt met through longtime musical cohorts Dave Schools and Jerry Joseph. They moved to Denver with the intention

of starting an original rock band, and have been gigging locally in Colorado, as well as nationally, as a duo (and sometimes a 4-piece rock band) for the past 2.5 years. Their music sounds like Minneapolis-meets-Athens Alterna-Punk with a strong 90’s influence. Their full-length album with Todd Divel of Silo Sound, is set to release this winter.


GUITARIST TODD MOSBY Renown guitarist Todd Mosby talks with Big Blend Radio about his fifth album, "Open Waters," creating the innovative Imrat Guitar, and the local St. Louis music scene. Take a listen here in the YouTube player or download / listen to the podcast on Todd Mosby invites us into his realm, one in which creativity knows no bounds nor borders. Like a master chef hunting for the best ingredients to cook a delectable meal, maestro Mosby has no compunction selecting the most ripened ideas and seasoned artists, to feature on “Open Waters.” The 13 track album is a Will Ackerman/Tom Eaton production featuring Michael Manring, Charlie Bisharat, and Jeff Haynes (among others). “Open Waters” is a concept album depicting an archetype voyage from the floodwaters of Atlantis to a New Land. This album traverses genres including, New Age, Jazz, Pop, and Folk. It also features the acoustic and electric Imrat Guitar, the only instrument of its kind in the world (co-invented by Mosby, Shwartz & Khan), and highlighted in a number of musical settings. Mosby states: “This album crosses the full spectrum of the music I have performed and know intimately…from Indian Rag to traditional Jazz to the Police. It’s a concept album based upon the story of Atlantis (Plato’s story about the destruction of the ancient civilization), and what survivors may have felt as they escaped from the deluge in ships heading westward.”

student, Mosby began studying Indian music (namely classical North Indian music), which led to the genre’s incorporation into his music. It sparked his creation of the Imrat guitar (a 20 stringed hybrid sitar-guitar musical bridge instrument that allows Western musicians to access Eastern melodies, and Eastern musicians to access Western harmonies for the first time). After 13 years of study with Imrat Khan, Mosby became the only guitarist ever admitted into the Imdhad Khani Gharana, India’s most prestigious family of musicians. With more than several accolades and collaborations during his very active career, Mosby has either shared the stage with, or opened up for such luminaries as Michael Manring, Imrat Khan, Foreplay, Spyro Gyra, and several others. He has performed around the world including, Kravis Center (West Palm Beach, FL), The Harris Center (Modesto, CA), Soka University (Aliso Vieja, CA), and many others.

Speaking again on the conceptual nature of the project, Mosby says: “This is what I consider an archetype model as well, for anyone journeying from one country to another, one city to another, or even leaving planet earth to journey into interstellar space for colonization on new worlds. Coming from a family of inventors, Mosby’s early My mission as an artist is to connect with audiences at the spiritual, emotional and musical DNA was formed from his love of physical levels, and as such, change lives.” Bluegrass and Folk music, which eventually expanded into Fusion and Jazz. While a college PAGE 9

THE LIFE OF ARTIST AARON BOHROD (1907 – 1992) By Victoria Chick, contemporary figurative artist and early 19th & 20th Century Print Collector When you discover things in retrospect, it can be surprising, amazing, and often times humbling, because you can’t believe you missed it earlier. This is exactly how I felt about Aaron Bohrod when I bought one of his prints a few years ago.

Listen to this Big Blend Radio interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

I first read his name in a short art review, while an art major in college in 1964. Fifty three years later, I was now acquire, and researched the artist. By the time I a print collector attracted to a lithograph on became a print collector, I had studied a lot of eBay. It was by Aaron Bohrod. The name was art history and had taught art history and art vaguely familiar. I bid on the print and won! appreciation classes; so I had developed a habit When I received the print, “Reflections in a Shop of mentally placing each print in its historical Window,” I did what I do with all the prints I context and trying to see how each piece related PAGE 10

to what art came before and after it. Aaron Bohrod was interesting to me because he combined the influences of several trends of early 20th century visual art, as well as Dutch 17th century Vanitas painting. Historians classify his art as Urban Realism. His work was also placed in the category of Social Realism, primarily, I think, because one of his instructors at the Art Students League had been John Sloan, a prominent Social Realist painter. But most of his work seems more personal and introspective to me, than the typical Social Realist art that depicts classes of people. Being from Chicago and New York, city settings were an obvious subject as it was the type of environment Bohrod saw every day. Although he did travel, many paintings of buildings in small towns and rural locations still reflect his attachment to an architectural environment. As in Georgio DeChirico’s Surrealist paintings of deserted or near deserted streets of the 1920s, Aaron Bohrod’s urban scenes are often void of human figures, or have a solitary figure or two small figures creating a mood, rather than a Social Realist statement. Additionally, Surrealism also seems to have influenced him, as many of his artworks produce their effect through a dreamlike juxtaposition of objects.

association. Bohrod was primarily a painter whose palette tended toward earth colors. He also did a number of lithographs where the range of tonal contrasts - black through white was suited to his interest in carefully constructed realist drawing. Aaron Bohrod was 57 years old when I first became aware of him. By that time, his accomplishments were many. He had been an artist for the Corps of Engineers in the Pacific theatre of WWII, and later as a war correspondent, he had done murals for three post offices in Illinois. At the recommendation of Grant Wood, he replaced John Steuart Curry as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin. He was elected to membership in the National Academy of Design, had won numerous awards in National Art shows, and had work in the permanent collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, Cranbrook Academy, Art Institute of Chicago, and others. The Wisconsin State Legislature in 1992 voted to honor his memory by naming the Art Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, after Aaron Bohrod.

He continued to teach until the mid-1970s and to His paintings reflecting his experiences in WWII make art until his later years. Aaron Bohrod express a somewhat dark remembrance through passed away at age 95. arrangements of Trompe l’oeil painted photos Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art and war souvenirs. He later expanded this type Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. of work to include humorous objects that in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City expressed his own sense of wittiness and his and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State enjoyment of double meanings. University in Ohio. Visit her website at Bohrod’s ability to render visual texture was highly developed, with reflective surfaces being his forte. In this interest, he was a harbinger of the Photo Realists. But Photo Realists had technology in the form of slide projectors to help them compose large canvases and their subjects were modern and shiny.

For More Articles by Victoria Chick Please visit

Bohrod often painted worn surfaces and objects such as old toys that had a warm, human PAGE 11


BRIAN BIRNBAUM: EMERALD CITY Author Brian Birnbaum joins Big Blend Radio to discuss his debut novel, “Emerald City.” Listen to the interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on With his gritty look at the modern crime syndicate, Brian Birnbaum delves into corporate fraud, drug gangs, and the Deaf community, in his literary fiction title, “Emerald City.” Drawing inspiration from his experience as a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA) and the Video Relay Service fraud that ran rampant throughout the early 2000s, Birnbaum dissects the impact of crime, addiction, and psychological trauma through interconnecting storylines.

Jonathan Lee Kay to found a press based in cultivating a creative and supportive community: Dead Rabbits. Starting out as a successful reading series, Birnbaum, Rainey, and Kay continue the spirit of innovation and acceptance built within the reading series, to the publishing industry where they strive to support authors and their works.

Brian worked on “Emerald City” for six years, querying countless agents, eager to get his book out into the world. After earning a high-powered agent at Writers House — only to watch that agent slip from the industry altogether — Birnbaum teamed up with Katie Rainey and PAGE 12

DIANNE ROMAIN: THE TRUMPET LESSON Author Dianne Romain joins Big Blend Radio to discuss her debut novel, “The Trumpet Lesson.” Listen to the interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on A breathtaking look at the impact of a life-long secret occasioned by 1960’s attitudes toward teenage pregnancy and race, Dianne Romain’s debut novel, “The Trumpet Lesson,” cross-examines music, family, and friendship in recovery from a lifetime of hidden longing, shame, and grief. Fascinated by a young woman’s performance of “The Lost Child” in Guanajuato’s central plaza, painfully shy expatriate Callie Quinn asks the woman for a trumpet lesson — and ends up confronting her longing to speak of her own lost child, the biracial daughter she gave up for

adoption more than thirty years before. Callie learns the value of playing and speaking from the heart. Yet, having convinced herself that she must remain silent for her daughter’s sake, Callie uses denial, dark humor, and evasion to guard her secret. She risks abandoning everyone she dares to love. But to speak, Callie must confront the deepest reasons for her silence, the ones she conceals from herself.

JOAN COHEN: LAND OF LAST CHANCES Author Joan Cohen joins Big Blend Radio to discuss her illuminating new novel “Land of Last Chances.” Listen to the interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download/ listen to it on When an unmarried 48-year-old executive discovers she’s pregnant and doesn’t know which of the two men in her life is the father, she realizes her professional risk management skills don’t extend to her personal life. Worse yet, she may carry a rare hereditary gene for early-onset Alzheimer’s. Whose needs should prevail – hers or the next generation’s?

Though the story is fictional, Cohen draws from her decades as a sales and marketing professional––a career she balanced with raising her family in Massachusetts. And because of her experience both with her own family and as a member of the advisory board for Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Cohen also sought to illuminate the challenges of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

In her new novel, “Land of Last Chances, ”author Joan Cohen shines light on the silent but sizable struggles faced by real-life career women. And those challenges become even more complicated when a woman facing a possible atrisk pregnancy learns about the pervasive, incurable disease that could change the trajectory of her life. PAGE 13

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PAM WEBBER: MOON WATER Acclaimed author Pam Webber joins Big Blend Radio to discuss her Southern fiction novel “Moon Water,” a captivating standalone sequel to her bestselling novel “The Wiregrass.” Listen to the interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains during the summer of 1969, “Moon Water” follows Nettie, a gritty sixteen-year-old who is reeling from sucker punches coming from all directions. Her boyfriend since grade school wants to break up just as they were beginning to figure out the sex thing, her life-long nemesis is jabbing her with perfectly polished nails, and her hell’s fire and brimstone preacher refuses to baptize her. In the middle of this turmoil, an old medicine

woman for the Monacan Indians gives her a cryptic message about a coming darkness: a blood moon whose veiled danger threatens Nettie and those she loves. To survive, Nettie and her best friend, Win, have to build a mysterious dreamcatcher―one that requires them to scour the perilous mountains for Nature’s ancient but perfect elements.

ANTOINETTE CLARK: KINDNESS MATTERS Author Antoinette Clark and beekeeper Dr. Holt join Big Blend Radio to discuss Antoinette’s debut children’s book, “Kindness Matters: Sharing Bees.” Listen to the interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on Author Antoinette Clark’s debut in children’s literature, “Kindness Matters: Sharing Bees,” teaches young kids the importance of spreading kindness. With a strong focus on sharing, Clark’s book proves that anyone can be a hero, even the buzzing bees. In Honeycomb City, Sadie and her friends happily buzz from flower to flower, collecting nectar and pollen to bring back to the honeycomb. When they suddenly spot storm clouds in the distance, Sadie suggests that everyone share the heavy load so they can fly back to the hive before the rain starts. Sadie

returns to the hive where the Queen Bee praises her selfless leadership and bravery. “Kindness Matters” not only shows young children examples of selfless kindness, but also teach kids the important role of bees in helping spring flowers come to life each year.


On this episode of Big Blend Radio, Jacki Ueng "Bohemian Vagabond" discusses her global adventures and travel writing career focused on solo female travel around the world. Listen to her interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

Having visited over 50 countries, Jacki approaches travel as an anthropologist, documenting traditions, ethnic food and culture. She’s on a mission to inspire young women to travel more, and through her blog and print articles, shares travel safety and budget tips, along with the various destinations she visits around the world, and in Los Angeles where she’s based. Keep up with Jacki’s travels at


EXPLORING THE GREEK ISLES A PortoVino with a View Adventure

By Marisa Hammerbeck, co-owner of PortoVino Paros Ahhh the Greek Isles‌. My husband Gunnar and I were fortunate enough to take my PortoVino(s), and our family to a few of the Cycladic Greek Islands this summer and it did not disappoint. The iconic white washed buildings with royal blue trim to go along with the crystal blue/green shades of the Aegean Sea paired perfectly with the PortoVino With A View - and boy did it have a view! As we traveled from the various islands, we switched up the PortoVinos and the beverages that flowed out of them.

Listen to Marisa’s Big Blend Radio interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

Here is a little snippet of our itinerary, along with some PortoVino with a view photos.

buildings, and there are some great beaches for windsurfing.

Mykonos was a pretty little island with windmills and meandering streets along the water known as little Venice. It is known as the party island and it did not disappoint.

Naxos is the largest of the Cycladic islands but still has all the charm. The main town is defined by an imposing Venetian castle that sits on the top of the hill of the town while a maze of pedestrian streets meander down to the main street. It is known for its agriculture and the food at all the eating establishments is tops.

Paros is known for its fine white marble and has a beautiful town along a harbor with plenty of restaurants to choose from. The colorful pinks, blues and yellows accent the white washed




Santorini is breathtaking. Devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, the two main towns are on the top of the cliff which overlooks the Aegean Sea.

PortoVino wine bags each store and dispense up to 2 bottles of wine (or your favorite beverage), all concealed within an insulated zippered pocket. It even has a little spout so you can simply park your purse or pack and pour! The bags are spacious with pockets to carry accessories and personal items. From message bags to backpacks, purses and tote bags, there are a variety fashionable styles – for both men and women – and colors to choose from at

Finally, although not in the Cycladic Island Group, we had to go to Crete. It is the birthplace of Western Civilization and is marked with gorgeous beaches (some even have pink sand) and amazing Gorges.


FESTIVE FUN IN YUMA, ARIZONA From Birds & Hot Air Balloons to Tamales & Medjool Dates, Christmas & Civil War History! Dubbed the “Gateway to the Great Southwest,” Yuma, Arizona welcomes you to step back into old west history, rejuvenate in the great outdoors, feel the rush of athletic competitiveness, and delight in seasonal shopping, local flavors, festive community events and artistic celebrations. Located along the lower Colorado River in southwest Arizona, Yuma borders Mexico and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. It’s an historic, cultural and outdoor adventure destination with attractions that include the Colorado River, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Territorial Prison, Colorado River State Historic Park, Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre, and a charming historic downtown district that bustles with an eclectic array of shops and restaurants.

Ten Yuma Festivals & Special Events You Won’t Want to Miss this Fall & Early Winter!

Nov. 22-24: Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival - One of Yuma’s Premier Events. Mass ascensions every morning at sunrise from the West Wetlands Park give you a breathtaking glimpse of these creative balloons. The highlight of the festival is the Balloon Glow at Desert Sun Stadium on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Call 928-343-1715 Nov. 30: 33rd Annual Ken & Betty Borland Holiday Pageant and Tower Lighting Ceremony - Usher in the holiday season and enjoy dance performances, special guests, Christmas carols, the Annual Friendship Tower Lighting plus a visit from Santa! Admission is a donation of non-perishable food item(s) to benefit the Food Bank. The lighting of the tower creates the effect of a 200-foot tall Christmas tree which can be seen from miles around. The tower will be lighted each evening from beginning with the pageant and ending after the first week in January.

Dec. 7: Christmas Lighting on Main Street - A Oct. 26: Desert Sun Show ‘n Shine and Swap magical tradition as Historic Main Street is lit up Meet! This is a unique car show that encompasses motorcycles, off-roads, low riders, with twinkle lights on wreaths, light poles, plus, the official lighting of the Main Street Christmas plus custom cars and trucks that are 1976 and Tree in front of the Yuma Art Center. Enjoy sweet newer. There will be vendors, food, music, treats, free photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, contests and more inside the stadium! Be sure live performances and a kid’s snow zone! to enter your ride in the Show 'n Shine contest! Continued on Next Page… For more information call (928) 373-5046 PAGE 20

Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona!

Hangar Sports Bar 24 Beers on Tap ~ Daily Drink Specials Appetizers & Entrees Televised Sports Events Live Music & Entertainment

Captain’s Lounge Top-shelf Cocktails ~ Fine Wines Specialty Coffees

Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Win! Win! Win! Sign up for our Captain’s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia. Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427

Yuma Continued… habitats that range from desert farmlands to the lower Colorado River wetlands, around 400 species of birds make the region a seasonal stop or year-round home. With dozens of activities including field trips and seminars, the 2nd Annual Yuma Bird, Nature & History Festival will immerse you in all of the natural beauty that Yuma and the surrounding area has to offer. The festival features a variety of interesting and Dec. 21: 13th Annual Somerton Tamale Festival - The memory of preparing and enjoying unique field trips, activities and presentations. Explore regional wildlife refuges, the Colorado tamales during the holiday season is a cultural River wetlands, local gardens, museums and tradition. Using that same tradition and unique historic sites, and go star-gazing, hiking, family recipes, the El Diablito Alumni Club has canoeing, bird and wildlife watching. Experience organized the festival for the past 13 years to talks on presentations covering birds, bugs, showcase Yuma County’s best and finest butterflies, native plants, aviation and southwest tamales. Held in downtown Somerton, this allday event features music, cultural dances, and a history, hiking, and much more! Visit variety of tamales. Dec. 14: 17th Annual Dorothy Young Memorial Electric Light Parade - This popular and festive family event features marching bands, floats and vehicles decorated with beautiful Christmas lights. Celebrating Yuma’s vibrant and growing art scene, this year’s theme is “Light Up Yuma with The Arts.”

Dec. 31-Jan. 1: 2nd Annual Iceberg Drop Experience the dropping of a giant fabricated head of iceberg lettuce, that’s illuminated from the inside. The dropping of the giant lighted lettuce will happen in downtown Yuma, at 10:00 p.m. to coincide with New York City’s Ball Drop, and will happen again at Midnight to officially ring in the new year in Yuma. Iceberg lettuce was chosen as the symbol of the event due to the importance of and the community’s close ties to the local agriculture industry which produces about 90% of the nation’s winter leafy vegetables. Call 928-783-0071 for more information.

Jan. 24-25: Civil War Days - Over 100 reenactors from around the country will be participating in the re-enactment of the Civil War. There will be two battles a day along with different camp sites throughout the Colorado River State Historic Park. Call 928-373-5198 for more information.

Jan. 25: Yuma Medjool Date Festival - This nationally recognized fruit festival celebrates the wonderful and tasty date fruit, grown right here in the desert southwest. All of the major growers will be present; offering up samples and date fruit novelty eats and treats! While you are downtown, enjoy live music, celebrity chef Jan. 10-12, 2020: 2nd Annual Yuma Bird, demonstrations, community performances and Nature & History Festival - With Yuma’s diverse more! Info: (928) 373-5028 PAGE 22


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Celebrate Fall in the Heart of Central Kentucky’s “Land of Bourbon, Horses & History!” Springfield is the seat of Washington County, and is located near the cities of Lexington and Louisville, in central Kentucky’s land of ‘Bourbon, Horses & History’. The city is on the Lincoln Scenic Byway, and being the ancestral home of Abraham Lincoln’s family, is part of the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail. Springfield is also part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail and Kentucky Fiber Trail. Boasting four gentle seasons, numerous historic and cultural sites and attractions, a full calendar of events and celebrations, beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities for nature and outdoor adventures, the area is a charming and fun destination.

Upcoming Fall Festivals & Events Oct. 18: Bourbon Chase Oct. 31: Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat Nov. 8-17: West Side Story HS Edition – Central Kentucky Theatre Nov. 22-23: Christmas Crafters Market & Merchants Open Houses Dec. 13-15: Press Start: Central Kentucky Theatre Dec. 14: Ice Skating Festival with booths For up-to-date event information call Springfield Tourism Commission at (859) 3365412 x1 or visit PAGE 25


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Founded in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, Natchitoches is the original French Colony and oldest city in Louisiana, and celebrates a vibrant blend of French, Spanish, African, Native American and Creole cultures. Home to the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, it is part of the Cane River National Heritage Area, and is the final destination on the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail. The downtown National Historic Landmark District is a 33-block area that runs along the beautiful banks of Cane River Lake, welcoming visitors into a charming mecca of historic sites and museums, art galleries and specialty shops, restaurants and quaint Bed & Breakfast lodgings. Along with experiencing the city’s popular and festive seasonal events, one of the best ways to explore the district is on foot, whether selfguided (maps are available at Natchitoches

Convention & Visitors Bureau), or on one of the tours hosted by the Cane River National Heritage Area. Buildings in the district are constructed in several architectural styles that range from French Creole to Queen Anne, Italianate to Spanish Revival, Art Deco to Victorian.


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Cane River Queen

Natchitoches Continued…

Nine Distinct Experiences in Historic Downtown Natchitoches – Taste a famous Natchitoches meat pie. A Natchitoches tradition since 1967, Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant is an authentic soulful Creole Cuisine experience not to be missed – and their famous meat pies are simply scrumptious! – Start your holiday shopping! Established in 1863, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile is the oldest general store in Louisiana, and the oldest business in downtown Natchitoches. From hardware to kitchenware, folk art to toys and holiday décor, this general store truly has something for everyone! The Art Guild is another downtown highlight and is a unique shopping destination, along with the other antique shops and boutique stores.

– Explore the historic American Cemetery. Established around 1737, the cemetery is said to be the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase. Legend has it, that St. Denis, the town’s founder, is buried somewhere on the grounds. Oct. 11 is the American Cemetery Tour event, where guides dressed in period costumes will share the history of the cemetery. – Step into history at the 63rd Annual Fall Tour of Homes. Held Oct. 12-13, 2019, this popular event features themed tours of historic Natchitoches homes, buildings, and plantations.

– Get your Louisiana sports fix on! Be wowed at the achievements of over 300 legendary Louisiana athletes, coaches and sports figures at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. This $23million museum complex is also home to the Northwest Louisiana History Museum. PAGE 28

Meat pies

– Tour some of the filming sites of ‘Steel Magnolias’. Robert Harling grew up in Natchitoches, and lost his sister to diabetes in 1985. He turned that experience into the iconic stage play ‘Steel Magnolias’. The 1989 film adaption directed by Herbert Ross was filmed in and around Natchitoches. On Nov. 7-10, celebrates Steel Magnolias 30th Anniversary with the Blush & Bashful Weekend. – Delight in flowers, waterfalls, and twinkly lights. The Beau Jardin Water Feature & Garden overlooks beautiful Cane River Lake and along with being a wonderful area to take a romantic stroll, it’s also a popular wedding and event venue.

– Cruise beautiful Cane River Lake aboard the new Cane River Queen, a wonderful experience for the whole family! – Celebrate Christmas at the 93rd Annual Christmas Festival of Lights. Held from Nov. 23-Jan. 6, this celebration of lights, fun and festivities is set along the backdrop of downtown Historic Natchitoches and Cane River Lake. Cane River is illuminated by more than 300,000 twinkling lights and 100 set pieces. Highlights of the Natchitoches Christmas season include the 93rd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival Day – always held on the first Saturday in December, The Holiday Tour of Homes, Natchitoches-NSU Christmas Gala, and spectacular fireworks displays over Cane River Lake. To learn more about the greater Natchitoches area’s attractions and events, lodging establishments, shops and restaurants, visit


VISIT GREELEY & DISCOVER WELD COUNTY Your Northeast Colorado Destination Weld County is home to growing cities, charming towns, thriving businesses and thousands of acres of prime agricultural land. As Colorado’s third largest county, it covers 3,996 square miles in the northeastern part of the state and is larger than the size of Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia combined. Greeley is the county seat. Perfectly situated on the high plains with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, Greeley offers a small town feel with big city attractions and entertainment. Downtown Greeley is approximately 15 miles east of Interstate 25 and just one hour from Denver. From food festivals to heritage events, fall fun in Greeley and Weld County includes a variety of festivals that honor the region’s history and culture, while celebrating food and farming, music and the arts. Public art murals and statues add an extra dose of charm to the region’s natural beauty, and there’s plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation including bird watching, hiking, golf, camping and fishing. History buffs will love the numerous forts, historic sites and museums.

Fall Events in Greeley & Weld County * Oct. 25: Greeley Trick or Treat * Oct. 26: Frederick Tiny Terror Town * Oct. 31: Hudson Haunted House * Nov. 9: Hudson Veterans Memorial Service * Nov. 22: Erie Pilgrimage Run * Nov. 29: Evans Tree Lighting Ceremony * Nov. 30: Greeley Lights the Night Parade Plan Your Adventure at and PAGE 30

Celebrate The Arts, Relax in Nature, and Step Back in Time, in Northwest Nevada’s Pony Express Country! Located in northwestern Nevada, just off the Pony Express National Historic Trail and on the California National Historic Trail, Yerington is the epitome of “Small Town America.” The historic downtown is a popular resting point for folks traveling Highway 95 between Las Vegas and Reno, and the entire region is a great getaway for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. Yerington’s historic downtown district is charming with antique shops, restaurants and casinos. Spend a few hours taking in the exhibits and artifacts at Lyon County Museum, and visit Yerington Theatre for the Arts to see the current art exhibits, and grab a quick bite.

Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail.

Fort Churchill State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. It was built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861. PAGE 32

The surrounding Mason Valley and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farmlands that stretch out to natural areas complete with rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters. With the changing colors in the trees and vegetation, along with the seasonal bird migration, fall is a fantastic time to explore the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Walker River, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon. If you’re looking for an authentic yet unique “Small Town America� experience, put Yerington on your travel list!


DISCOVER THE SEQUOIAS Experience Fall in Central California’s Sequoia Country

Home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, California’s Sequoia Country makes for a fabulous fall getaway offering a variety of outdoor activities, a full calendar of events and seasonal festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the local gateway communities. Spanning 461,901 acres, Kings Canyon National Park is made

Listen to the Fall Big Blend Radio interview with the Sequoia Tourism Council here in the YouTube Player, or download / listen to the podcast on

up of mostly wilderness, forests and spectacular canyons, with Kings Canyon itself being one of the deepest canyons in the United States. The park is known for being home to the General Grant Grove of giant sequoia trees, the famous General Grant Tree, and the Redwood Mountain Grove which is the largest remaining natural grove of giant sequoias in the world.

plant and wildlife. Covering 404,064 acres, there are hundreds of streams, ponds, rivers, creeks and lakes, and over 200 marble caverns to explore. Learn more about both national parks at (559) 565-334 or

One of the first parks in the country, Sequoia National Park is famous for its giant sequoia trees and black bears. Visit the General Sherman Tree (the largest living organism and tree in the world), climb Moro Rock, take in spectacular views of Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states), and hike through glacial canyons, and oak woodlands. The scenery is spectacular, offering a rich diversity of bird, PAGE 34

Featuring 33 groves of giant sequoia trees, the Sequoia National Forest is home to the biggest concentration of giant sequoia groves. These groves are protected within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which encompasses over 353,000 acres of diverse landscape, including two wild and scenic rivers, lakes, and six wilderness areas. Along with the magnificent giant sequoias, the area is home to a myriad of plant, bird and animal species.

several loop options, interpretive signs as well as the impressive site where two giant sequoias fell in 2011. Learn more at (559) 784-1500 or East of Fresno, the area is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. For up-to-date event information and to plan your Sequoia getaway, visit

There are limestone caverns to explore and granite domes and spires to see, along with archaeological sites. The activities are endless and include hiking and camping, mountain biking, horse riding, bird and wildlife watching. When it comes to viewing the Giant Sequoias, one of the more popular and easy-to-reach groves is on the Trail of 100 Giants in the Long Meadow Grove, which is estimated to have trees that are approximately 1,500 years old in growth. This 1.3 mile trail is paved and accessible, with


Festive Fall Fun in Exeter, California! Gateway to Sequoia National Park, Exeter is a charming agricultural community in the heart of Tulare County, in central California. Celebrate the Fall season by visiting historic downtown Exeter! Take a walking tour of the city’s vibrant murals, go holiday shopping and enjoy the local restaurants. Celebrating 106 years, the Annual Fall Festival is Fall Events in Exeter a fun family tradition with a parade, car show, pumpkin carving contest, arts & crafts booths, Oct. 12: 106th Annual Exeter Chamber of food and entertainment. As part of the Fall Commerce Fall Festival “The Tradition Lives festivities, throughout the month of October, On”, will be held at Exeter City Park and scarecrows decorate the downtown. Be sure to Downtown Exeter. A parade, food, festivities, car stop by the Exeter Courthouse Art Gallery & show, and entertainment will conclude a week of Historical Museum on weekends, and during the festivities. week, stop by the Exeter Chamber of Commerce and say hi to the town mascot Walter the Cat! PAGE 36

Oct. 26: 40th Annual Harvest of the Handwovens features a fashion boutique and yarn shop as well as hand woven garments and household items for sale with raffles and weaving demonstrations. Held from 10:00am – 3:00pm at the Exeter Memorial Building.

Plan Your Exeter Experience at

Nov. 16: Annual Exeter Chili Cook-Off – Exeter Eagles will host the Exeter Chili-Cook Off from 9:00am – 4:00pm at the Exeter Eagles Lodge. There will be Games, Music, Food, Bounce Houses and much more.


HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HOLLISTER Stroll the Streets of Art, Architecture & Geology

Founded in 1872, Hollister is the county seat of San Benito County in central California, and is an eastern gateway of Pinnacles National Park. Hollister’s charming historic downtown district is within a few miles of the region’s award-winning wineries, and is surrounded by picturesque rolling hills, golf courses, sprawling ranches and organic orchards and farmlands. Take a self-guided walking tour of historic downtown Hollister, and view public art, historic buildings and architecture, and the geology of the San Andreas Fault. From murals and sculptures to painted utility boxes, the colorful art pieces portray the stories of the history, nature, people and commerce of Hollister and San Benito County.

Upcoming Hollister events and celebrations include: Oct. 19: Discovery Classic Bicycle Event; Nov. 11: Veterans Day Parade in Hollister; and Nov. 30: 29th Annual Lights On Celebration. For more information, visit

Maps for the historic building, art and geology self-guided tours are all available at the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, which is also in the downtown area. Of course, at the end of your Hollister walking adventure you may want to add in a little boutique shopping, or savor a bite and a sip at one of the many downtown restaurants, that range from farm-to-table fare to Mexican and American cuisine. PAGE 38

This episode of Big Blend Radio features Christy Lyman from the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, who gives an overview of fall events and activities in beautiful Anacortes, a charming Island getaway in Washington State. Listen to the interview on YouTube or on

The change of seasons doesn’t mean you’ll be trapped indoors on your Fidalgo Island getaway. In fact, Anacortes is in the “Banana Belt” of Washington State which receives less rainfall than Seattle, plus it has around 23 more days per year of sunshine than Seattle. Depending on what type of island adventure you want, you can fish for salmon, stand-up paddleboard in lakes or bays, climb or hike on a mountain, and walk through miles of trail paths. You won’t want to miss these upcoming seasonal celebrations: Vintage Market (Oct. 18-19); Brewgrass (Nov. 1 & 2); and Sip & Shop (Nov. 22). Plan your Anacortes Experience at PAGE 40


The dock at the Captain Whidbey Inn PAGE 42

Spoiled Dog Winery, Whidbey Island - Cozy, friendly, with award winning wines City stress and hurried travel become a distant memory as soon as you see the ferry. The fresh, salty sea air flows over you as Whidbey Island draws closer, enticing you with a sense of pending tranquility and, for 'foodies' an element of anticipation. A bounty of carefully crafted wines, spirits, and locally produced food awaits, along with the opportunity to meet the talented artisans who call the island home. And that's just the beginning.

Listen to the Whidbey Island Big Blend Radio interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

Begin your culinary adventure by visiting Ebey's Sheltered from the legendary Pacific Northwest rain by the Olympic Peninsula, the island's more Landing National Historic Reserve. Protected as a Historical Reserve in 1978, the 17,000 plus acres temperate climate makes exploration possible offer a snapshot of America's history. In the early and allows agriculture to thrive. From the fresh 1850s, the Europeans began to settle the central mussels and shellfish of Penn Cove to bread prairie and forest land of the island. The region created from the grains of the Ebey's Landing has changed little since then. Many of the Prairie, you'll be amazed by all there is to Continued on Next Page‌ experience. PAGE 43

Whidbey Continued‌ original homesteading families are still in charge of their heritage farms, providing coveted fresh produce to Whidbey's top restaurants. Drive to Sunnyside Cemetery at the top of Sherman Road for an awe-inspiring vista - from Mount Baker on the mainland, across the verdant prairie and onwards to the sea. There's a selection of trails to explore as well as the hauntingly beautiful tombstones dating back to the mid-1800s. The charming town of Coupeville is located within the Reserve's boundaries and is filled with delightful heritage buildings, many dating back to the city's founding in the early 1850s. Wander along the seafront and soak in the relaxed, small-town atmosphere. Travel a few miles north, along Penn Cove to one of the island's most iconic locations - the Captain Whidbey Inn. Built from local fir and stone in 1907 the 'Whid Isle Inn" was a fishing lodge. It was also a girl's school and a private home, a boarding house, and a post office. In 1946 the Captain Whidbey returned to its original purpose offering accommodation and food to island visitors and locals alike.

The Inn is so melded into 'island life' that every local has a memory: a first date, holiday parties, or special celebration dinners. It wasn't surprising that, when tales of new ownership began to circulate, some locals were a bit leery of change. In 2018, Portland natives Matt and Mike French, along with their partner, architect Eric Cheong, purchased the 6-acre property. They closed the Inn for months to stabilize the main lodge's floor, open up the dining room and add a few modern conveniences. Everything was done with reverence for the past and memories of loyal guests who'd been visiting for generations. When you sit in the dining room or by the lobby fire, you can hear the floors creak as if they're sharing stories. The wood walls, beams and floors, glow with a rich patina that only age can bestow. Walk along the beach or out to the bright yellow boathouse. Stroll through the kitchen garden or find a secluded firepit for late-night s'mores. Order a glass of wine or a cocktail then stake a spot on the back deck or side porch. Catch a divine sunset, a view of Mount Baker or a passing Orca.


Delicious duo at Comforts of Whidbey Vineyard Winery The southern half of Whidbey Island is home to several award-winning wineries and distilleries. Each November, the 'Autumn on Whidbey Art, Wine & Spirits Tour,' is a highlight of the year - a post-harvest celebration that makes for the perfect weekend getaway. Taste your way along the Whidbey Wine and Spirits Trail while enjoying an array of sculpture, paintings, ceramics, and glass. The artists will be there to talk about their work, plus many will be creating on-site. Autumn is also time for the Case Card Sale. Purchase 12 bottles (mix and match from the various wineries/distilleries) and receive 2 free tickets to the Red Wine & Chocolate Tour in November 2020. All six participating establishments are reasonably close in proximity but distinctively different in character.

Toby’s Tavern has great seafood and eclectic décor examples of locally grown varieties Siegerrebe, Madeleine Angevine, Madeleine Sylvaner and Pinot Noir. Try High Tide White or the singlevariety Madeleine Angevine, and you'll understand why there's a buzz about Island wines. Spoiled Dog Winery is another flag-bearer for quality Whidbey wines. Their Estate Pinot Noir is a multiple vintage Gold Medal winner, and the 2018 Rose of Estate Pinot Noir is a pink-sipper's delight. The scenic vineyards and farmland are surrounded by lush evergreen forests, forming the perfect backdrop for a beautiful winery day. Take the vineyard tour for the total experience! Venture down into the Bunker of Whidbey Island Distillery to sample deliciously distilled 90 proof Rye whiskey and sumptuous liquors. Locally sourced Loganberries and blackberries are just a few of the delicious options to sip alone or as part of a cocktail. Ask owner Beverly for some recipes and sneak a peek at the fantastic stills.

Comforts of Whidbey sits between the towns of Langley and Clinton at the southern end of the island. Purchased by Carl and Rita Comfort in 2006, the winery produces some of the best PAGE 45

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Fresh herbs & flowers from the Capt. Whidbey Inn garden are destined for creative cocktails.

The Blueberry Liqueur at Mutiny Bay Distillery is made from fruit right next door.

Whidbey Continued‌ At Holmes Harbor Cellars, on the shore of Honeymoon Bay husband and wife team, Theresa and Greg Martinez have found the perfect spot to pursue their passion. She's a chemist, and he's a retired Navy flyer who finds time to make wine and be a commercial pilot. You're greeted by a young vineyard of Siegerrebe that leads to the cozy, cellar/tasting room. Hospitable staff are eager to tell you about the wines created from select vineyards in the Yakima and Walla Walla valleys. Begin with a refreshing white like Albarino or an unusual (and delicious!) Lemberger Rose. Move along to their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux At nearby Mutiny Bay Distillery, the Stallman influenced blends such as '3 Wire Red' inspired family crafts barrel-aged, small-batch whiskey by the 100th anniversary of Naval Aviation. Take using wheat sourced in Washington State. Try your glass to the patio and relax. You're on their 'Palouse Gold,' aged for 3 years in American Island Time now. Oak, 'Sweet Lulu' a sweetened whiskey that's Where to Stay: great on its own, in a cocktail or over ice-cream. The Captain Whidbey Inn, Coupeville - travel back Crafted from a blend of grains and traditional in time and stay upstairs in the original lodge. juniper, 'Strait Gin' it has a slightly citrus and Rooms are true to period with modern herbal note. And don't forget to try their conveniences like soft fleece robes and Suite Blueberry Liqueur chocolates. Sleep Organic mattresses. PAGE 46 Blooms Winery owners Virginia and Ken Bloom have recently moved into a new facility near Freeland. This expanded space allows them to showcase their delicious wines alongside their other loves - food, art, and music. Wine tastings are served in flights so be sure to include their softly tropical Sauvignon Blanc, and Poetic - a drinkable blend of Washington State Syrah, Malbec and Petit Verdot with notes of dark fruit, and mocha. You'll find inspiring art all throughout the winery from massive sculptures at the entrance to local musician's CDs in the gift shop.

The Saratoga Inn, Langley is near to all the towns restaurants and shops. For more privacy, go revamped 70's modern in the Lagoon rooms or choose one of the private cabins. Summer camp was never like this. The Inn at Langley and the Saratoga Inn offer Northwest hospitality, luxurious rooms and terrific locale in the heart of Langley. The newly opened B&B at Comforts of Whidbey is a wine-lovers dream. Located over the winery and tasting room the 6 quiet, tasteful and comfortable rooms feature king beds and views of the pastures and vineyard or towards Puget Sound. There's a relaxed communal sitting area, library and coffee/tea bar so you'll feel right at home. Where to Eat: Langley serves up a wide array of dining. Check out Prima Bistro and Saltwater Fish House & Oyster Bar, Village Pizzeria (a great view of the Saratoga Sea), Anthus Ferments and Useless Bay Coffee. Continued on Next Page‌ PAGE 47

From Rye grain to Rye Whiskey - distilling magic!

The Captain Whidbey’s Breakfast Board

Whidbey Continued… The 511 Bistro is part of Blooms Winery in Freeland. Tasty small plates, salads, and entrees are created with locally sourced ingredients - 3 Sisters Lamb and Grass-Fed Beef, Samish Bay Cheese and Penn Cove Mussels. When in Coupeville, try Toby's Tavern for local seafood served in decidedly unpretentious surroundings. This local venue also serves up a side of people watching! The Oystercatcher is farm to table fare with outstanding fresh baked bread. Enjoy views of the pier while dining at the popular Front Street Grill.

Plan your visit at Hilarie Larson’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her native British Columbia, Canada, working at several Okanagan Valley wineries. Along the way, she acquired her certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier, worked for an international wine broker and as ‘Resident Sommelier’ for wineries in Washington State and California. Hilarie’s greatest joy is spreading the gospel of wine, food and travel. In addition to her own blogs at, she contributes articles to a number of online publications. She was honored to be awarded the 2013 Emerging Writer Scholarship from the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, for whom she is now the Administrative Director.

The cozy restaurant at the Captain Whidbey Inn blends Northwest casual with European flair thanks to the inspired menu of French-born Executive Chef Eric Trunlass. Alongside traditional steak and seafood, try the Duck Confit Casserole, locally grown roasted mushrooms or fresh, colorful salads. Come back for the Breakfast Board - it's enough to keep you going all day. PAGE 48


Blackhawk Museum If you love unique state parks, a trending wine country, craft beer, food fit for any die-hard foodie and contemporary theatre, I have just the place for you. You’ll love this insider’s peak at a full-on destination located in Northern California – one you may not have tried yet- the Tri-Valley area. The Tri-Valley area is where the fun begins. It’s made up of three valleys that come together to create the name: Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and the town of Danville. Collectively, these places are home to 60 awardwinning wineries in Livermore Wine Country, foodie inspired restaurants, delicious brew pubs, an ice cream trail, charismatic downtowns, malls, shopping outlets, and unspoiled hiking trails. Aha! I see I have your attention now. Located an easy 35 miles east of San Francisco, catch this adult playground on your way to Yosemite or make it your final destination. It’s a year-round destination made up of sunshine, idyllic countryside and loveable city charm.

Listen to the Tri-Valley Big Blend Radio interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on I suggest your first stop is to stand atop beautiful Mount Diablo (45 minutes from the Aloft Hotel). You’ll QUICKLY get the picture. Start by enjoying the famous view. Mount Diablo isn't particularly tall - only 3,849 feet. However, it lays out in front of you some mighty low, rolling hills and broad,


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BottleTaps beer and wine tasting.

Mayflower Dim Sum

Tri-Valley Continued… flat valleys. The view from the Summit is quite remarkable. It’s a dramatic resource for hiking, biking, camping, horseback riding and RV’ing. When conditions are at their best, you can see almost 200 miles. Look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton at 4,213 feet elevation; south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 3,791 feet elevation; north to Mount Saint Helena in the Coast Range at 4,344 feet elevation; and still farther north to Lassen Peak in the Cascades at 10,466 feet. North and east of Mount Diablo the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet to form the winding waterways of the Delta. To the east beyond California's great central valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada is visible. All in all, you can see over 8,539 square miles and parts of 40 of California's 58 counties from the Summit of Mount Diablo.

Lodging: 35 minutes from OAK; 1 mile (8 minutes by UBER) to/from BART. Book yourself in a central position where you can not only enjoy Livermore Wine Country, but also be able to easily immerse yourself in all the other activities and cities available to you. I am pretty sure you’re going to be not only amazed, but impressed with the brand new Aloft in Dublin. It’s a contemporary hotel, all wired up to serve your every need. Central to everything (Bart, dim sum, wineries, the beer trail, shopping and Mount Diablo) this classy hotel runs its rooms via Alexa. Easy breezy commands makes your stay a dream. Forgot toothpaste or napkins? The robot butler will come to your room with whatever you need. A friendly enthusiastic staff, onsite bar, swimming pool, workout room and tiny cafe and snack bar will fulfill your every need. Transportation: Use your own car, Uber or Black Tie Transportation (preferred) to take you (affordably) anywhere you want to go.

Here are my suggestions for a top-drawer three-day itinerary after you visit Mount Diablo. PAGE 52

Eats: Drop your bags and get ready for some wonderful eateries. It’s easy access to all. Lucky you. Mayflower Restaurant, Dublin; 2 minutes from hotel. Simply walk across the parking lot of the hotel to the Mayflower for Dim Sum and more. I highly recommend this casual, but fine-dining experience. Your first visit should be the wildly popular Dim Sum Brunch. Come early or be prepared to wait. They specialize in a mouthwatering assortment of traditional and authentic Chinese dishes, many of which you won't find anywhere else in the Tri-Valley area. Enjoy classic seafood - including hard-to-find dishes, barbecue (Char siu), classic and exotic soups, traditional clay pot dishes and a full bar. BottleTaps, Pleasanton; 15 minutes from hotel. One of the stops on the Tri-Valley Beer Trail. What a find! What beer hall do you know of that has their own chef? Choose from a thoughtful menu of fine craft beers and foods to match. The 20-plus craft beers at BottleTaps are constantly changing. Order your sampler of craft beers from among 20-plus selections using a tablet. If beer isn’t your deal, try a different option.


Cuda Ridge Winery

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Tri-Valley Continued…

Sabio on Main

Choose from a selection of red and white wines, ciders, meads, kombucha, craft sodas, lemonades and soft ciders.

Retzlaff Vineyards

Range Life, Livermore; 12 minutes from hotel. New on the Livermore Wine Country scene, this tiny restaurant is a local and visitors favorite. Reservations are a must. This is imaginative Sabio on Main, Pleasanton; 12 minutes from California cuisine from husband-and-wife chefs hotel. If excellent service, creative cocktails and a Bill and Sarah Niles. The space is tiny and rustic, sustainable “nose to tail” menu doesn’t make a yet somehow comes off as quite contemporary. great restaurant, I give in. This is a small CaliGo figure. The frontage is unassuming unless style bistro located in the heart of historic you really search for the big arched windows downtown Pleasanton. Enjoy the contemporary and a pot or two of succulents. Someone nearambiance, a painstaking respect for the bounty by announced this must be a “hipster hotspot.” I of Northern California and a decidedly global don’t know about that, but I do know an take on the tapas concept. enthusiastic, passionate staff and menu when I see it. Order one of their signature cocktails. Danville Harvest, Danville; 20 minutes from the They’re all good. Don’t be afraid to dive into the hotel. I just love downtown restaurants… creative menu. You’ll appreciate the beautifully especially when I find a local’s favorite. This plated offerings. place is busy and for good reason. The menu is Livermore Wine Country Recommendations filled with all sorts of offerings everyone will love. Truly, there is something for everyone. I am a Fenestra Winery; 15 minutes from the hotel. lemonade fanatic. Trust me, you can order one Winemaker Aaron Luna has made quite a name with confidence. Do some serious shopping for himself. His wines are superb, don’t miss this after lunch. You won’t be disappointed. stop or you’ll miss the true “taste” of this area. Try the Syrah. PAGE 54

BottleTaps taps Continued on Next Page… Wente Vineyards; 5 minutes from Fenestra. The Big Boy of Livermore Wine Country (concerts, restaurant, gardens, etc.), you must see how they have gone from tiny to tremendous. As the country's oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery, founded in 1883, blending traditional and innovative winemaking practices comes naturally to them. They have a large and outstanding portfolio of fine wines to choose from…but the Chardonnay is perfect. Just sayin’. Cuda Ridge Wines; 4 minutes from Wente. Founded by Larry & Margie Dino, Cuda Ridge Wines produces small-lot Bordeaux style wines. A boutique, family run winery, the current production is 2100 cases. When visiting Friday – Sunday, expect to see one of Larry’s restored Barracuda cars. Try the Petit Verdot. Retzlaff Vineyards; 4 minutes from Cuda Ridge. Tasted wine from a true organic vineyard yet? Here’s your chance. Established in 1976, the vineyard was certified Organic in 2006. Enjoy a picnic or plan an event under the shade of the PAGE 55

Mayflower Restaurant

Tri-Valley Continued… regal 100 year old pepper trees. Everything about this family winery shouts, “Try me!” Family and dog friendly. Definitely taste the 2018 Isabelle's Blush, Dry Merlot Rose'. It’s a keeper. Activities The Bankhead Theater, Livermore; 11 minutes from the hotel / 4 minute walk to Range Life Restaurant. As part of a fun night out, combine a dinner at Range Life with a pre-dinner show at the local performing arts center. The Bankhead Theater is one of the jewels of the East Bay. Great entertainment that changes over the year, makes it easier to find a program or performances that meets all tastes and pocketbooks. A 500 seat venue, it is small enough to be easy to maneuver in, yet big enough to draw some real name entertainment.

engage, educate, and inspire,” they more than meet their goals. This nonprofit and its private operating foundation was founded in 1988. It has several exhibitions... and more coming. You’re really going to love its noteworthy collection of classic, rare and unique automobiles that is always changing. The Wild West Collection located on the second floor is also stellar. More at Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ is a professional travel, food, and wine writer based out of Southern California, who specializes in easy, breezy destination stories sharing her favorite things about the places she visits. Visit

The Blackhawk Museum, Danville; 15 minutes from hotel. With a mission to, “… to stimulate interest and understanding of art, culture, and history through exhibitions and programming we PAGE 56

ROCK TOWN DISTILLERY Grain-to-Glass in Downtown Little Rock, Arkansas

Take a listen to Phil Brandon’s Big Blend Radio interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on Founded in 2010 by Phil Brandon, Rock Town Distillery is Arkansas’s first legal distillery since prohibition.

tasting room in downtown Little Rock. Here you can take a tour, and sip on craft cocktails, beer or wine.

This artisan craft distillery uses corn, wheat If you can’t make it to Little Rock, which makes and rye from local Arkansas farmers, all within for a fantastic weekend getaway, you can find 125 miles from the distillery. Their award their fine spirits in various states and even in award winning spirits - bourbon, whiskey, gin, Canada and the UK. More at vodka, rum, coffee liqueur and even a little Arkansas Lightning - can be sampled at their PAGE 57


By Cori Solomon

View from Montelle Winery PAGE 60

Hermannof Vineyards-Herman Missouri: Cori Solomon The wine industry has played a significant role in both the history of Missouri and the United States. Our wine heritage must include Missouri wine because the state was the number one wine producer in our country during the mid-1800s. It was also home to the first AVA in the US Appellation system. After several visits to Missouri, I believe the wine produced has undergone many positive changes.

Listen to the Missouri Wine Big Blend Radio interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

Although the winemakers seemed to prefer creating dry wines, the area catered to those liking sweeter wines. Now the trend has shifted towards dry wines, and the quality has improved. My visits to Missouri typically involved a dog show, but during a 2010 excursion, I discovered Hermann and St. Genevieve. I returned in 2012 and visited one of my favorite wineries, RĂśbller, and also learned about Jersey cow cheese.

In 2018, I returned to visit four of the five wineries that make up Augusta, our first AVA. In 2019, I gave a seminar on Missouri wines to wine

writers in Los Angeles. My research for this seminar convinced me that the Missouri wine industry had grown in a new direction. In 2010, I found red varieties like Norton and Chambourcin a little too harsh for my taste, but this changed as the wine today has more character, balance, and smoothness. Could my palate have developed to appreciate these wines, or were the wineries producing wines with a more continental style? I opt for the latter.


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Mount Pleasant Cave

Missouri Wines Continued…

Missouri Wine History To understand Missouri wine, one must know its history. In the 1830s, German immigrants from Pennsylvania, decided to settle in the area of Hermann, Missouri. They also settled in Augusta, (then called Mount Pleasant), a riverboat landing along the Missouri River. The area reminded them of their homeland along the Rhine River Valley, and was a fertile area for growing grapes.

Missouri was hard hit when prohibition reared its head. The government came in, uprooted vineyards, and confiscated and destroyed equipment. St. Stanislaus Novitiate Jesuits produced sacramental wine. Grape growers and winemakers became mushroom farmers and furniture makers.

Both these areas have original wineries dating back to the 1800s. In Hermann, discover Stone Hill, considered the oldest winery, plus Hermannhof and Adam Puchta. In Augusta, there is Mount Pleasant. Many of these wineries still have their original caves.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the rebirth of commercial wineries started. This period coincides with the revival of the wine industry in California. In 1980, Augusta became the first AVA in the United States. By 2003, Norton is declared Missouri’s official state grape. Today Missouri has 136 wineries, 11 wine trails, and 5 AVAs.

In 1851, Missouri wines took gold medals at the Vienna World’s Fair. During this time and until 1880, Missouri was the number one producer of wine. In the 1870s, Missouri scientist Charles Valentine Riley, tested the theory of grafting vinifera vines to American rootstock when Phylloxera devastated the vineyards of France. By the early 1900s, Missouri became the 2nd largest producer of wines.

The Missouri River snakes through both Hermann and Augusta, but the soils are very different. Like Bordeaux, with its right and left banks, the Missouri River has different soil types on the north and south sides. Augusta, located on the north side, has soils composed of Hayne Silt-Loam while Hermann’s south side, features soils with rocks and minerals.


Missouri Wine, photo Cori Soloman Chambourcin: This hybrid delivers a Most growers and vintners focus on native fruity/cherry-like, earthy medium-bodied dry red American and hybrid grapes that can handle Missouri’s cold, continental climate in the winter, wine. and long hot, humid summers. Concord: A deep purple grape with classic fruity Missouri White Grape Varietals flavor. Chardonel: A famous hybrid of Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc that produces a dry, mediumCatawba: The grape produces a sweet, fragrant, bodied wine. strawberry-like wine. Seyval Blanc: A French-American hybrid, described as Chenin Blanc, meets Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, delivering a clean, crisp medium-bodied wine.

St Vincent: Burgundy like delicate, elegant reds or Rosés

Missouri Wineries Traminette: A hybrid that exhibits floral aromas Wineries to visit on the Hermann trail: with spicy citrus, similar to its parent, Stone Hill Winery, the oldest winery in Missouri, Gewurztraminer. dates back to 1847. Now owned by the Held Family, this winery affords views of Hermann Vidal Blanc: This hybrid delivers a light, clean, and houses the oldest stone cave. and crisp, citrusy wine. Hermannhof Winery, originally a brewery and Vignoles: This hybrid is like a German Riesling winery, features ten stone cellars and is listed on with tropical fruit flavors. the National Register of Historic Places. Adam Puchta is the oldest family-run winery in Missouri. This more countrified winery, located Missouri Red Grape Varietals off the beaten path, opened in 1855. Check out Norton: Also known as Cynthiana, and the the Ports and Sherry. native grape of Missouri, produces rich, bold, dry wines. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 63

Missouri Continued‌ RÜbller Vineyard Winery is a newer winery dating back to 1987, that combines the traditional Midwest approach to wine-making, with European methods and some nuances of California style.

In St. Genevieve: Located about an hour south of St. Louis, St. Genevieve was settled by the French in 1750. Here one finds Chaumette Vineyards & Winery which was founded in 1990. One must include a winery luncheon while visiting.

Chaumette Tasting Room - Photo Cori Solomon with a stroll through these towns with their array of antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and breweries. For those who love sausage and bratwurst, check out Hermann Wurst Haus. For cheese lovers, Cool Cow Cheese is a must. In Hermann, stay at the Inn at Hermannhof and in Augusta, one of the bed and breakfasts. Through this experience, you will be immersed in the history of the Missouri Rhineland.

Plan your Missouri Wine Adventure:

Missouri Wine: Wineries to visit in Augusta: Hermann Wine Trail: Augusta Winery and Montelle Winery are both owned by Tony Kooyumijan. The setting at Hermann: Montelle affords a picturesque view of the valley, Augusta: a perfect setting to enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting. Cori Solomon is an award-winning freelance writer/photographer residing in Los Angeles, Mount Pleasant is the oldest winery in Augusta, California. Her writing focuses on travel, art, food, dating back to 1859. This winery, or campus as wine, and pets. Cori looks for the story that is some call it, features a stone cave and views of behind the restaurant, chef, winery, winemaker or the Missouri River Valley. Make sure to try the artist. She earned her WSET Level 2 Award in Wines Tawny Port. and Spirits, received the NASA American Wine Specialist Certification and NASA Spanish Wine Noboleis was founded in 2005 and is one of the Specialist Certification. She is a member of the newer wineries in the area. The winery sits on a International Food Wine Travel Writers Association hill overlooking the Augusta Valley. (IFWTWA), North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), and Society of American Travel When visiting Missouri, one must also take time Writers (SATW). Follow her blog at to visit the charming towns of both Augusta and Hermann. The winery experience is enhanced PAGE 64



Recipe is by Ruth Milstein, with drink pairing tips by Howard Milstein Makes 6-8 servings. We may think that figs and thyme are a somewhat strange combination, but you'll be surprised – it is extraordinary! The salty-sweet ingredients of the sauce in this dish, is a superlative way to augment chicken that can sometimes get a bit boring. I’m always look forward to creating a new chicken recipe! It’s not hard to make, and preparation time is minuscule. Prepare this dish and you will be quite amazed!

Listen to Ruth’s Big Blend Radio podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

Chicken legs are a favorite part of the chicken for Howard’s drink pairing suggestions: Enjoy a nice both diners and chefs. This quick and prePale Ale or English Stout with this dish. One of eminent dish of chicken legs bathed in wine, my favorites is Surango Dark lager which Is mushrooms and herbs is wrapped in fresh figs. made in the U S A. You can also try a beautiful The chicken absorbs the wine and figs during the ‘Marssane’, arguably the best white wine in slow cooking for the wonderful flavors of the rich Provence. sauce. PAGE 66

6 chicken legs with thighs 3 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium size red purple onions, peeled and sliced into strips 1-pound white mushrooms, washed and sliced 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1-pound fresh red figs, cut in halves 1 cup port white wine Scallion and figs for garnish

medium heat (approximately 10-12 minutes). Stir the mix until the figs soften. Let it cool a bit and pour it over the chicken mixture. Bake uncovered in a preheated 400 ° oven for 40 minutes until the chicken gets a reddish-brown color. Transfer the chicken legs, vegetables and the figs into a large serving platter and garnish with scallions.

Kids will love this dish! You may want to serve it In a large bowl put the chicken and honey. Rub it to them with a colorful salad and mashed in well until the chicken is coated on all sides. potatoes. Add the olive oil, onion, mushrooms, garlic, and Ruth Milstein is the author of the Gourmand thyme leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the chicken legs in award-winning recipe book, “Cooking with Love: Ventures Into the New Israeli Cuisine”. For more of a large baking pan and set aside. Place the figs Ruth’s recipes see and wine in a small pot and cook over a lowPAGE 67


Two Fabulous Vegetarian Recipes to Serve this Fall!

PEANUT GLAZED BUTTERNUT SQUASH This recipe is from Donna George, owner of The Peanut Patch in Yuma, Arizona. For more of her recipes, visit

stirring frequently, until squash is tender, but a small amount of liquid remains - about 20 minutes. 3. Stir in green onion.

1 Butternut Squash (about 1 pound) 1/3 Cup Dark Brown Sugar ¼ Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts ½ tsp. Ground Cumin ½ tsp. Ground Coriander ¼ tsp. Salt ¼ tsp. Ground Ginger ¼ tsp. Ground White Pepper 1 Cup Water 1 Green Onion, finely chopped

4. If desired, sprinkle each serving with additional peanuts.

1. Cut the squash into two halves; remove seeds. Using a vegetable peeler, remove peel from squash; cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in skillet. 2. Sprinkle brown sugar, peanuts and spices over squash. Stir in water. Cook over medium heat, PAGE 68

STUFFED BUTTERNUT SQUASH This recipe is from 5-Star Chef Ivan Flowers. 1 Medium Butternut Squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed ½ Lb. Roasted White Button Mushrooms, sliced ½ Small Yellow Onion, diced 1 Roma Tomato, diced Spray Oil ½ tsp. Granulated Garlic ½ tsp. Dried Thyme Listen to Chef Ivan’s Big Blend Radio podcast Salt here in the YouTube player, or download / Pepper listen to it on 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese onions in the pan and season with salt & pepper. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt & pepper In a medium bowl combine: sliced mushrooms, inside of both halves of the squash. Spray a sautéed onions, shredded cheese, dried thyme baking sheet with oil and place squash cut side and granulated garlic. down onto the sheet. Once oven is preheated, cook squash for about 1 Once squash is cooked, remove from oven and set oven to broil. Flip squash over and stuff with hour. The squash is done when it is soft to the the cheese and veggie mixture. Put back into touch. oven & broil until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with diced Roma tomatoes. While squash is cooking, spray a medium sauté Serves 4. pan with oil and place over medium heat. Place PAGE 69


Located at the ‘Gateway to Julian’, San Diego’s Four-Season Mountain & Back-Country Destination! Fresh, Seasonal & Outstanding Farm-to-Table Cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jeremy Manley Seasonal Menu & Favorites Steak, Seafood, Burgers, Salads, Sandwiches Desserts & After Dinner Beverages Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Indoor, Fireside & Patio Dining Live Music on Weekends Wine & Beer Pairing Dinners Private Banquet Rooms Catering & Group Events for all Occasions

Wine Bar featuring Local & Regional Wines & Champagne Micro-Brews & Specialty Beers

Watch History Come to Life in Julian, California

Gunfight Skits, Historic Reenactments and Melodrama in San Diego’s Historic Mountain Town Julian is a popular historic gold mining town located up in the Cuyamaca Mountains of Southern California. From art and crafts shows to concerts and music festivals, wine tasting and culinary events, and seasonal festivities, there’s always something happening in this charming mountain hamlet! This fall, watch Julian’s history come to life with performances by the Julian Doves & Desperados and at the annual Julian Melodrama.

Imagine a large town hall, with a stage at one end holding simple scenery for the acts. 200 people in the audience, standing-room only. A virtuoso piano player - Garnette Welch continuously setting the mood. Actors presenting the play straight, as written, making them much more alive and humorous than when they "hammed it up". No narrator, no explanations, no interference between Patsey's words and the audience.

Watch the Julian Doves & Desperados perform their historic and comedic gunfight skits in front of the historic Julian Jail. Reenactment cast includes: Captain Cooper, Sadie Cashman, Doc Hopkins, Snake, Gypsy Davenporte, and Abigale. Performances are free, and held on Sundays at 2 p.m., weather permitting. For more information, please call (760) 765-1857.

A short olio between acts, a sing-along, a recitation of "Dangerous Dan McGrew” or simple magic tricks. These were the 1950's during apple days in October. Shows are held in the Julian Town Hall, the last 2 weekends in October! Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm. Tickets at $10. For more information please call Kat, (760) 315-8491

The annual Julian Melodrama performance is a popular fall tradition in Julian. This year’s show features, The Dastardly Deeds of Rodney Murgatroyd (or Villainy Foiled and Love Resurgent), by Patricia Lewis Macfarlane. PAGE 71

UNUSUAL SOURCES FOR FAMILY HISTORY By Holly T. Hansen Here are three unusual sources for family history to whet your appetite.

Coffin Quilts also called Cemetery or Graveyard Quilts or Mourning Quilts Coffin quilts had a dark area in the center of the quilt. The borders were appliqued with small coffins. As family members passed away their name was embroidered onto a coffin and placed into the center of the quilt (the graveyard). These quilts became quite popular during the 1800s as cemeteries became more prevalent. These quilts were revered as they held important family information. Many of these quilts may be the only place vital information was recorded on families as paper records of births and deaths were not required by law in this time period. The coffin quilt was one way that women would work on the quilt to help them in the grieving process.

Listen to Holly’s Big Blend Radio interview here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

Fraktur Considered folk art. Fraktur is a calligraphic hand of the Latin alphabet and any of several blackletter typefaces derived from this hand. As a family history resource, watch for this decorative script, used to make embroidered wall hangings, family trees, Fraktur certificates, and other types of records.

Marks and Brand Registers Government entities were and are required to maintain a record of the marks and brands of each person who applies for one. A person may record their marks and brands in as many counties as needed. You may find these registers dated as far back as colonial times in America. The history of branding dates back more than 4,000 years.

Holly T. Hansen aka “Miss Holly GenTeacher,” is the President and Founder of Family History Expos, Inc, and as an author, lecturer, editor, and publisher, has been instrumental in helping thousands understand the principles, strategies, and sources they can use to trace their roots in today’s ever-changing technological environment. She is the mastermind behind more than 50 Family History Expos held across the United States, and is dedicated to helping individuals and families, one-on-one, with their personal research needs. Currently, she is involved creating podcasts, webinars, and video presentations to help people move forward in their family history endeavors from the comforts of home. Learn more at


HILTON HEAD HEALTH Embark on a Wellness Journey by Debbie Stone

Hilton Head Health Kayaking courtesy of Hilton Head Health They come for a variety of reasons. Many hope to get in better physical shape; others want to learn how to eat more nutritiously. Then there are those who wish to de-stress and recharge their batteries. They are women and men, mothers and fathers, who over the years have put their health on hold to achieve professional or academic success, provide and tend to the needs of their families and care for aging parents. The one common thread among all, however, is the desire to focus solely on themselves, far from the distractions and demands of their everyday lives. And they choose to embark on this personal journey at a place called Hilton Head Health.

Listen to Debbie’s Big Bled Radio interview here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

Healthy Getaway and LivingWell options, mini vacations to revitalize and reset; the week-long Located on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, JumpStart; and the more comprehensive, fourHilton Head Health or H3, as it’s more commonly week plus LoseWell program. called, is a destination health resort that has I chose to participate in the LivingWell program been helping people make their wellness during my five-day stay at H3. It was a great way aspirations a reality for more than forty years. to sample all that the resort offers in regards to Led by a slew of caring professionals including fitness training, food and nutritional guidance, health educators, registered dieticians, exercise physiologists, psychologists, chefs, and more, the wellness education and spa services, as well as get some beach time! center offers several different programs: the PAGE 74

Hilton Head Health courtesy of Hilton Head Health The resort’s location, minutes from the ocean, only enhances its desirability. You can walk or cycle (bikes are available for rental via H3) for miles on flat stretches of the white sandy expanse. Or simply sit and enjoy the view, along with a pleasant breeze that’s especially appreciated in the warm, humid summer months of the Low Country. H3’s facility is well-appointed with all the amenities, but it’s not shi-shi or over-the-top extravagant. The vibe is casual, laid back and friendly. And with a high staff-to-guest ratio, everyone can get individual attention and support.

and accepted in the nonjudgmental atmosphere that exists. Many guests develop close bonds with the staff, as well as with one another, and form lasting friendships. They create a sense of community during their stay at H3 and then often continue to support each other in their goals long after the program ends. Some even create Facebook pages to communicate and arrange return visits together.

When it comes to activities, H3 exceeds expectations. I was amazed by the slate of classes available. There are up to fifty different exercise sessions, geared towards varying levels People come from all over the country and even of impact. In the weekly program schedule, a from around the world, as H3 has one of the top brief description of the class, along with the level of impact, is provided so each individual can reputations among destination health resorts. choose accordingly, whether he/she needs to They keep coming back, too, as shown by the start with the basics or requires a more high rate of returnees. Some guests book challenging workout. An initial functional annually for a “tune-up” or to get back on track, whereas others view it as their yearly, “me time” movement screening is performed on each participant at the start of his/her program to vacation. They like H3 because it’s not a boot camp, where pushy and demanding trainers bark determine a baseline level. Continued on Next Page… commands in militant style. And they feel safe PAGE 75

Hilton Head Continued…

Exercising at Hilton Head Health courtesy of Hilton Head Health

In a Treading class, for example, you’ll get your heart rate up using different speeds and elevations on the treadmill or another cardio machine, such as the elliptical or bike. Another heart pumping workout is Tabata Cardio, where you systematically alternate twenty seconds of exertion and ten seconds of rest. If you prefer to get your cardio through dance, you’re in luck as you can shake your booty to country music, tribal drums, big band or Latin tunes. In Butts and Guts, you’ll do floor and core exercises aimed at, you guessed it, those notoriously challenging body parts, and in Resistance Band Training, you’ll condition muscles with those love-to-hate dynabands. There’s also suspension training with the TRX system to improve strength, balance and core stability, as well as a variety of other circuit, body sculpting and weight training classes.

my experience, I tend to find the yoga scene intimidating and competitive. I always feel “less than” when attempting a pose that all the Gumby dolls around me seem to strike with ease. I was planning to skip yoga altogether, but then something called “Standing Yoga” caught my eye. The description indicated that a complete yoga practice could be developed without straining wrists, shoulders or knees. I was curious, as another one of the other things I dislike about yoga is the uncomfortable pressure it puts on my wrists. The class pleasantly surprised me in that it was just as challenging as typical yoga classes, yet much kinder on the joints.

I was also surprised by the aqua classes. I never thought this type of lower impact exercise would be enough of a workout for me. In the spirit of being open to trying new fitness activities while at H3, I took Aqua Resistance Training. The class used water bells (weights) and alternated aerobic If you’re an aficionado of Pilates or yoga, there movements with stationary resistance are plenty of opportunities to strengthen and lengthen, whether indoors, at the beach or in the repetitions. My muscles definitely felt the burn, pool. I am not a yogi, never have been. Based on and the experience convinced me to try PAGE 76

Pool Exercises courtesy of Hilton Head Health additional classes in the pool. It showed me you can do most anything in water that you can do on land and still get a good workout. At H3, it’s not all about moving as fast and as hard as you can, though you might feel tempted to go at it 24/7. Pace yourself or you will get exhausted and risk injury. Take time to participate in some of the resort’s other classes that emphasize equally important aspects of wellness, including stretching, mobility, meditation, mindfulness and intentional breathing. Too many of us, for example, don’t pay enough attention to our breathing, failing to understand its benefits in decreasing anxiety and lowering blood pressure. Or we don’t realize how stretching on a daily basis can help relax muscles and increase blood flow throughout the body.

Muscle Deep Tissue Massage. You’ll leave feeling nurtured on all levels, with the reminder that massage is not an indulgence, but rather, a necessity when it comes to giving your mind, body and spirit some well-deserved attention. H3’s educational component is another significant part of its programs. Daily lectures are held focusing on such topics as motivation, meal planning and portion control, fitness strategies, goal setting, body image and easing the transition from H3 to home. Continued… Spa treatments courtesy of Hilton Head Health

To complement your comprehensive health and wellness experience, head to the resort’s Indigo Spa. Treatments are designed to help you unwind, and remove those stubborn knots and kinks. Experience heavenly bliss with a Warm Stone Massage, or get targeted relief with a Sore PAGE 77

Hilton Head Continued…

Dining at Hilton Head, courtesy of Hilton Head Health

The latter is essential because for most guests, the greatest challenge is continuing their wellness journey when they return to their daily lives. H3 provides plenty of resources to assist in this arena and also offers a structured follow-up coaching program. When it comes to food, H3 shines. You’ll quickly get rid of the assumption that healthy equals flavorless when you have your first meal. The resort’s “True” dining concept features a caloriecontrolled menu (no buffet!) sourced from fresh local ingredients and inspired by healthy, tasty American and multi-ethnic cuisine. Each dish is aesthetically presented, but more importantly, the food is delicious, and you won’t go hungry. For breakfast, there are delectable choices like a seasonal fruit crepe filled with whipped coconut cream, cinnamon oatmeal with peach compote or the morning veggie scramble. At lunch, the menu might include such entrees as a grilled turkey burger, burrito bowl, and falafel lettuce wrap, as well as daily featured soups, salads, flatbreads and other special entrees. For dinner one night, I had the summer salad of watermelon, arugula and feta, followed by sea bass with strawberry and mint salsa. Another evening, I created my own custom H3 Plate, selecting seared salmon, roasted mushrooms, grilled broccolini and steamed barley. Two nights a week there’s even dessert!

etc. Each dish has the calorie count listed next In between meals, there’s a selection of FitBites available for consumption, including fresh and dehydrated fruit, veggies and hummus, raw nuts, Greek Yogurt, popcorn, etc. Guests are encouraged to eat a FitBite mid-morning and then again in the afternoon. As food plays a significant role in most every guest’s wellness aims, H3 endeavors to provide as much support in this area as possible, from cooking demonstrations and cooking lessons, to consultations with a registered dietician and “Smart Cart” grocery store visits with a nutritionist. I attended a cooking demo one day on how to make flatbread. I’m a passable cook, but I’m not enamored with cooking. I keep it simple most of the time and stay away from complicated recipes with tons of ingredients. Though making flatbread from scratch sounded initially daunting, Chef Matt broke the process down in an easy and accessible manner. The results were quite tasty and I left the class willing to give it a go on my own.

During your time at H3, you’ll stay in either a spacious cottage or condo located within the vicinity of the property. Some of the accommodations are close in; others, are a bit of a hike. You’ll be able to walk or ride a bike back and forth to the facility, or if need be, the resort’s Choice is paramount in the dining room and you van can assist in transportation. You can be can always order extras with your meals if you assured that you’ll get your own private room want to add other proteins, veggies, starches, and bath, though you will most likely share the PAGE 78

common spaces of your unit with another guest or two (full private units available upon request and availability). The resort has plans to build a thirty-room lodge adjacent to the property and hopes to break ground on the project next year.

sound will be similar to “pluff.”

The sunset cruise allows access to the best locations in the area to enjoy breathtaking views at the most spectacular time of day. Streaks of orange and purple light up the sky and reflect on the waters that surround this special island. And H3 also offers a number of offsite classes and activities, for an additional fee. You can try stand- if you’re lucky, you’ll spot Atlantic Bottleneck Dolphins playing peek-a-boo as they swim up paddle boarding, go kayaking, take an island alongside the boat. What a way to end your day! historic tour or enjoy an evening wildlife and sunset cruise. It’s nice to get a change of scenery For more information: and explore a bit of Hilton Head. Debbie Stone is an established travel writer and The cruises are offered through Island Time columnist, and regular contributor for Big Blend Charters and are a must in my opinion. Captain Radio and Big Blend Magazines, who crosses the Megan knows the landscape, its history and globe in search of unique destinations and residents, both two-legged and four. She is passionate about the island and its waterways experiences to share with her readers and listeners. and enjoys sharing her knowledge with visitors. She’s an avid explorer who welcomes new You’ll learn all about oyster beds, the Spartina opportunities to increase awareness and Grass marshland and the famed Pluff Mud of the enthusiasm for places, culture, food, history, Low Country. This gooey mud contains lots of nature, outdoor adventure, wellness and more. Her organic matter, which gives it a distinctive aroma. travels have taken her to nearly 100 countries and It has a quicksand effect if you step into it, and to all seven continents. when you try and pull out your foot, the PAGE 79

By Dr. Jacqueline Eubany

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that can increase your risk for stroke. Symptoms associated with it include fast heartbeat, difficulty catching your breath, chest pain, lightheadedness and dizziness. Some people may have no symptoms at all. It is very important to see your doctor when you experience any of these symptoms. Your doctor will order some tests to try to make the diagnosis and then treat you accordingly.

Listen to Dr. Jackie’s Big Blend Radio interview here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on

You may have to take a blood thinner to reduce your risk for stroke. Sometimes, electronic devices like watches that monitor heart rate, can detect an irregular heartbeat. If your device detects this, bring this information to your doctor for a more accurate diagnosis. More recent studies have suggested that losing weight can decrease your risk for atrial fibrillation.

neighborhood, or exploring local parks and eating a heart healthy diet. Based in Orange County, Southern California, Dr. Jackie is a board certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist, and author of the best-selling book “Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story.”

To that end I recommend increasing your physical activity by taking walks in your PAGE 80

LIFE SKILLS & LEADERSHIP LESSONS Books News & Author Conversations

LEA BROVEDANI: TRUST ME Trust can make the difference between success and failure. It precedes profits, leadership, and even love, and is paramount to succeeding in our personal and professional relationships…yet we often don’t think about it, until it’s gone. TRUST ME challenges what conventional thinking overlooks about trust and introduces a new understanding of what is required to ensure successful relationships. Through powerful insights and compelling stories author Lea Brovedani reveals the actions and behaviors taken by the most trusted individuals. She teaches us The Five Tenets of Trust – a proven approach to proactively building trust. Inside, you will learn: • Why we trust some people and not others • Why we fall for trusting liars • How to be the person that is trusted • How to recognize the truth • How to disagree and keep the trust • How to give and get an apology that builds trust Leading trust expert Lea Brovedani talks with Big Blend Radio about her book, “Trust Me: Restore Belief & Confidence in an Uncertain World,” that shares simple, powerful strategies to help you become the leader that clearly recognizes who you can trust and shows others you can be trusted. Listen to the interview here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on PAGE 82

BILL EDDY: WHY WE ELECT NARCISSISTS & SOCIOPATHS In an age when the most dramatic personalities receive the most media coverage, it’s no wonder that we are seeing a growing number of high conflict personalities in politics. Whether they are creating imaginary crises or instigating dramatic conflicts with their opponents, high conflict politicians are not just monopolizing our attention, but they are also successfully seducing voters in cities and nations worldwide. In his latest book, Bill Eddy explains how these dangerous, high-conflict personalities (HCPs) have taken leadership of governments and shows how HCPs create or exacerbate conflict to manipulate our emotions and rise to power. According to Eddy, the key to understanding HCPs is their use of the Fantasy Crisis Triad, which always follows this formula: 1. There’s a terrible crisis! 2. It’s caused by this evil person or group. 3. I’m the only person who can solve it and save you. By convincing voters in this manner, high conflict politicians often capture 40% of the vote while dividing the majority. As a result, they frequently obtain the unlimited power that they seek. Fortunately, there are ways we can spot HCPs early on, respond to them effectively, and give our support to genuine leaders. In “Why We Elect Narcissists & Sociopaths - And How We Can Stop!” Eddy offers a checklist of forty behaviors to watch out for, as well as effective ways HCP opponents can assertively respond to their attacks. And for those who want to unify the majority, Eddy also offers actionable advice to encourage ambivalent voters, resisters, and moderates to join forces in order to help their nation elect a genuine leader. Continued on Next Page…

On this episode of Big Blend Radio, lawyer, clinical social worker, veteran mediator and best-selling author Bill Eddy discusses his latest book, “Why We Elect Narcissists & Sociopaths - And How We Can Stop!” Listen to the interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download / listen to it on


PETER NOBLE DARROW: WISE MILLENNIAL Life Skills Continued… They’re supposedly the “failure to launch” generation, content living at home, “influencing” on Instagram, and taking a parental handout. Millennials are compared to their Baby Boomer parents and the strong economic power of previous generations, criticized for generational immaturity and told they aren’t achieving the success of their parents because of an inability to buckle down and work hard for better personal and professional lives. Many of the books written for or about Millennials seem to pander to these ideas about them—books instructing readers on how to learn “adulting” may amuse, but there is another side to the most criticized generation. In “Wise Millennial,” Peter Noble Darrow asks Millennials to think deeply about their parents’ expectations for their lives and find their own paths, instead. Rather than aiming to reveal failings to grow up, or on the other hand, defensively praising his peers, Darrow chooses to speak to this audience on a deeper level—the book points millennials toward growth from the inside out. In this insightful and personal debut, Peter shares much of his life story, blending anecdotes with the lessons they engender. Peter had a childhood that many would be envious of—he was born into privilege (both parents powerful business executives with tony backgrounds), attended the finest schools, and lived in luxury in the prestigious Upper East Side in New York City. Yet, in addition to the wealth of opportunity bestowed upon him, he has faced many challenges from his parent’s divorce to his father’s cancer diagnosis and eventual passing. On this episode of Big Bend Radio, award-winning author Peter Noble Darrow discusses his book "Wise Millennial," where he presents an evenkeeled approach to helping his generation find meaning and purpose, accepting mistakes and learning from them along the way. Listen to his interview podcast here in the YouTube player, or download/listen to it on PAGE 84

BIG BLEND RADIO Quality of Life Conversations with Authors, Experts & Entertainers. New Episodes Sunday-Friday!