CA 101 Travelers Winter 2019

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california 101 Travelers Guide




BIRD BAY Flock with your binocs




CA 101



SPIRIT OF THE CENTRAL COAST Craft distilling along the 101

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Four-bedroom Arbolada home with formal living and dining rooms, family room, wood floors, three fireplaces, many recent upgrades, guest house, pool, and mountain views. $2,200,000

Three-bedroom, two-bathroom with covered porch, fireplace, breakfast bar, gated parking, barn, corral, and shared well. 10808 Creek Road $899,000

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5 bedroom, 3.5 bath hacienda-style home on 5+ acres in Upper Ojai with horse facilities, pool, tennis court, courtyard, views, and much more. $2,649,000

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Custom Spanish Revival home on 7.5 acres in Ojai’s East End with central courtyard, several patios, multi-room master suite and gated entry. $3,295,000

Four Bedroom Arbolada Home with Two fireplaces, Separate Office & Saltwater Pool. $1,749,000

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Winter 2019

california 101 CALIFORNIA 101 Travelers Guide® MAGAZINE INQUIRIES (833) 805-0101 Published by Blue Highways Productions MANAGING EDITOR Misty Hall CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dennis DeLano PHOTOGRAPHERS Mariana Schulze Krisztina Scheeff CONTRIBUTORS Bill Warner Misty Hall Michele Roest The Unknown Golfer Rachael Quisel Amelia Simpson Zachary Rosen Randy Graham Bennett Barthelemy Nigel Chisholm COPY EDITOR Pamela Gaughan ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Mike Dawkins ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sandi Diekhuis Donna Wolfe OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Jessica Frakes


ADVERTISING EDITORIAL PHONE (833) 805-0101 FAX (833) 805-0101 x2 MAILING ADDRESS 1129 Maricopa Hwy. #B-201 Ojai, CA 93023 California 101 Travelers Guide is a quarterly magazine distributed to over 300 business locations throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. Total circulation is 30,000 per quarter.






®2019 Blue Highways Productions LLC All rights reserved.


Travelers Guide






On the Mission Trail

Cover photo by By Bill Warner KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff


Leading Ladies

Caitlin Pianetta, woman winemaker By Misty Hall


Bird Bay

Flock with your Binocs By Michele Roest


California 101 Golf Trail

The Unknown Golfer


Santa Barbara Off the Beaten Track

By Rachael Quisel


A Painter’s Life, Naturally

Emilie Lee finds inspiration By Amelia Simpson


The Spirit of the Central Coast

Craft distilling along the 101 By Zachary Rosen


Horses Helping Humans

Equine Facilitated Learning in CAthe Ojai Valley 101 Amelia Simpson By


Warm Winter Eats

By Randy Graham


From the Mountains to the Sea

By Bennett Barthelemy


Winter Events


Extraordinary “Egypt’s Lost Cities” Exhibition

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum


Vibing Ventura

Three live music meccas in Ventura By Nigel Chisholm Winter 2019


On the Mission Trail By Bill Warner

Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Mission.

Since its beginning back in the late 18th century, Mission Santa Barbara has made about 233 trips around the sun. That might not seem like much compared with some of the older architecture in Europe. Next to the pyramids of Egypt or Mesoamerica, 233 years is a droplet in the Pacific. But as far as buildings go, the Mission in Santa Barbara is far older than anything else in town, with the lone exception of the Presidio, the old Spanish fort up on East Canon Perdido Street. In fact, if you compare the Mission with everything else in town, everything else in town begins to look a bit ephemeral. California’s 21 original Roman Catholic Missions — along with four concurrent presidios and numerous outlying chapels, or asistencias — are generally regarded as the state’s oldest buildings. Constructed between 1769 and 1834, they represent 6

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one of the Spanish crown’s final efforts to hang on to its North American territories. That effort came in response to the presumed aspirations of England and Russia, whose ships had been noticed poking around various bays and inlets of Alta California (the old cartographic term for the state as we now know it). Prior to Spain’s decision to move into it, Alta California wasn’t exactly a vacuum. There were already a number of highly organized, cultivated societies there, including those of the Salinan people and the Chumash, who’d been around for thousands of years. To be sure, human remains on Santa Rosa Island go back 13,000 years, the earliest evidence of occupation on the continent to date.

2015. (Serra was instrumental in founding the first nine of the Missions. He died in 1784, however. The Rev. Fermín de Lasuén and other priests founded 12 more of the Missions in the years from 1786 to 1834.) El Camino Real, the “royal road,” is said to have been the name for the early highway connecting the Missions. In reality, it was more likely a loose, shifting configuration of footpaths and wagon trails. Today, U.S. Route 101 has been recognized as the thoroughfare most nearly aligned with the old El Camino. It bears the honor of that name and is the reason for those commemorative Mission bells you see by the right-ofway every two miles or so driving on the 101. In 1821, following the Mexican War for Independence, Alta California fell under the auspices of the new Mexican government. In 1834, Mexico “secularized” the missions, removing them from church control and selling off the Mission landholdings to prospective ranchers. The Mexican-American War, in turn, placed the region under territorial control of the United States. By 1862, 14 years after California’s admission to the Union, the government had transferred ownership of all the Mission churches back to the Roman Catholic Church, save two — Mission La Purisima Concepción (Lompoc) and Mission San Francisco Solano (Sonoma), both of which exist today as State Historic Parks.

Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Fiesta at Santa Barbara Mission.

Spain’s appearance in the 18th century came at the expense of those peoples. While the Europeans did introduce new modes of technology and organization, they also brought influenza, measles, and an assortment of other previously unknown maladies to which the native population had little resistance. Moreover, the Spanish model for colonizing Alta California relied heavily on the religious conversion of the indigenous peoples (or “neophytes”), who were thereby pressed into the service of the particular Mission. The upshot of that was to greatly marginalize and diminish the longstanding traditions of the original inhabitants, and the methods of the crown could be oppressive and harsh. Following the coastal valleys and ranges from San Diego to Sonoma, each Mission settlement was established about 30 miles, roughly, from the next, this being considered the distance one could easily ride in a day’s time. The driving force behind this expansion is generally regarded to be Father Junípero Serra, by all accounts a passionate proponent and defender of the faith, who was canonized in

Through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, numerous — though by no means all — of the Missions fell into disrepair. Wherever needed, revitalization efforts began around the middle of the 1900s, continuing into the 2000s. All 21 Missions have been designated National Historic Landmarks, and each today are considered an accurate, enduring example of the structures that formed the basis for California’s first modern communities. No surprise there: These buildings were made to last, to stand the test of time. Over the centuries, Mission Santa Barbara has been knocked down twice by earthquakes, most recently in 1925. And each time, it has risen again thanks to a kind of human magic, resuming its initial proportions, filling its original space, and fulfilling its ever growing commitment to the community. And that’s one good reason to take a break from the highway and visit a Mission or two; they offer a meditation on time and the ways in which things can continue through time. There are at least three other good reasons for taking in a Mission, though. One, plainly enough, would be devotion. With the exceptions of La Purisima Concepción and San Francisco Solano, all of the Missions are still fully functioning Catholic churches, providing regular services for their congregations. They function, too, as social centers, facilitating educational and cultural events, and remain involved in the welfare of the communities. Winter 2019


In line with that thought, the architecture and aesthetics of the California Missions make for a worthy reason to visit. In the construction of these places, you will find a high degree of authenticity more or less alive. And the art treasures and décor you’ll encounter tend toward the unforgettable — the Abalone Tabernacle. murals at Mission San Miguel Arcángel, for example, or the 18th century oil paintings in Mission Santa Barbara, attributed by some historians to the artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. As a sensory experience, Mission chapels, churches, churchyards and grounds tend to be places where stillness, silence, and peace are never in short supply. Even where the sounds of nearby traffic might be evident, those sounds somehow become irrelevant and far away. If you’re trying to learn how to dial out the rattle, clatter, and mindless haste of the contemporary rat-race, 30 or 40 minutes in a Mission garden might be a good way to start. All of the Missions offer guided and self-guided tours, by the way. They all have websites, too, which is a good way to find out the particulars of visiting. Finally, these places are strong on history. Each has its own museum and resource center with considerable information on hand to pique the curiosity or to aid in research.

Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Mission

In short, the Mission communities were by and large successful. The local economies that would go on to make California a major state of the Union had their genesis in the Missions. In terms of sustainability and organization, we stand to learn a lot from them. Happily, six of the very coolest old Spanish Missions are to be found on California 101’s very own turf — in the counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo — and they’re all on or close to the 101. • Mission San Buenaventura 211 E Main St, Ventura; (805) 643-4318 Founded in 1782, Mission San Buenaventura has seen changes across time. A sense of the original campus is still evident across the street in Mission Park, but the church itself has been through a couple of fires and earthquakes, and at least one tidal wave. Still, its appealing architecture and gracious gardens faithfully greet the dawn in downtown Ventura.

Whatever you might think of their role in colonial history, there is no doubt that every one of the California Missions was a nucleus for what would grow into a strong, thriving community (some of them — like Los Angeles, San Diego, or San Francisco — quite large). In part, this was because each was carefully, painstakingly planned to form a self-supporting community, a viable autarky. Each had its own program for agriculture, and each introduced such basically modern technologies as carpentry, ironworking, water transportation, and blacksmithing. Today’s Photo courtesy of Mission San Buenaventura Mission San Buenaventura. systematic cultivation of 8

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olives, fruit trees and grapes, along with the business of winemaking, began with friars and the native adherents who worked the Mission gardens. Livestock, too, was an important component of the early Mission economies. California’s first great economic boom, the early 19th century trade in cattle hides, was possible because of the successful herds started by the Missions.

Masses are celebrated daily both in English and Spanish; guided and self-guided tours are available. The museum contains a couple of old wooden bells, among other things, along with the Mission’s original doors. Much of Mission San Buenaventura’s water came down a stone aqueduct beginning six or seven miles up in the river valley north of town, and you can still see remains of that structure just off Cañada Larga Road, not

far from its intersection with State Route 33.

workers and recently restored.

Father Junípero Serra purportedly set up a large wooden cross on a promontory above the Mission. It’s been replaced at least twice over the centuries, but there’s still one standing up there, and you can drive up to see it. It’s in Grant Park, which provides a fantastic view of the Ventura River Valley, Santa Barbara Mission. the Pacific Ocean, and the city below.

Water from the nearby Santa Ynez Mountains arrived at the Mission by way of a 2-mile aqueduct said to have been engineered by an indigenous stonemason brought in from Baja, California. Remnants of the aqueduct can be seen just off East Olivos Street near the Mission cemetery.

Ever involved in the community, Mission San Buenaventura lent space to the World Community Kitchen for feeding refugees from the devastating Thomas Fire of 2017. The Mission was named for Saint Bonaventure, a 13th century theologian canonized in 1482. The actual, official, full name of the surrounding community, incidentally, is still the City of San Buenaventura. “Ventura” is a sort of abbreviation said to have come about when the Southern Pacific Railroad found it easier to print on a ticket. • Mission Santa Barbara 2201 Laguna St, Santa Barbara; (805) 682-4713 Almost any morning or afternoon when the weather is good, you can drive up Laguna Street in Santa Barbara, swing onto East Olivas, and you’ll see folks out on the grassy lawns in front of the Mission church and over in Mission Historical Park — sitting, talking, painting, picnicking, throwing Frisbees, catching a few rays. There’s always a laid-back sense of freedom and community there. Mission Santa Barbara was founded in 1786. Like San Buenaventura, it’s seen its share of earthquakes and natural disasters — although it’s said the altar light has never gone out since it was first lit, which was by Father Fermín de Lasuén in 1789. Fashioned largely from native sandstone, the Mission reflects elements of Roman architecture from a pre-Christian era. A distinctive Moorish fountain stands in front of the Mission arcade. An enclosed Sacred Garden, originally an area for training artisans, has been redesigned as a meditation area today. The main chapel contains two large-scale murals and an altar whose orientation was evidently designed to catch the rising rays of the winter solstice sun. Mission Santa Barbara also has a portable wooden altar, or tabernacle, inlaid with abalone shells, originally crafted by Chumash

Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Mission

Mission Santa Barbara sponsors a regular food drive, as well as youth groups, choirs, and Bible study groups. Space is available, too, for receptions, meetings and civic events. One notable date on the calendar is for I Madonnari, an Italian street painting festival usually held in late spring, when artists cover the Mission’s front plaza with vibrant chalk drawings. Another important event is Santa Barbara’s annual Fiesta, or Old Spanish Days, in which the Mission plays a major role. This year’s Old Spanish Days have been slated for Aug. 5-9, 2020. • Mission Santa Inés 1760 Mission Dr, Solvang; (805) 688-4815 This one’s tucked away in the hills of Santa Barbara County, adjacent to the city of Solvang. Started in 1804 by Father Estevan Tápis, its name commemorates Saint Agnes, said to have been martyred in Rome sometime in the 4th century. The surrounding Santa Ynez Mountains and Santa Ynez Valley appear to reflect her name as well. In 1820, with a diverse garden, a nearby gristmill, and nearly 12,000 head of cattle, Mission Santa Inés was a fairly prosperous rural center. Under Mexican control, it began to decline. The Chumash Revolt of 1824 began at Mission Santa Inés after the beating of a neophyte by a soldier of the Mexican army, and many of buildings in the Santa Inés compound were burned. It would be more than a century before restoration would effectively begin. Those efforts continue today, and Santa Inés is regarded as one of the best restored of all the original Missions. The original church, along with portions of a Chumash village and soldiers’ barracks are intact. So are remnants of Our Lady of Refuge seminary. Built on Mission grounds in 1844, it was California’s first institution of higher learning. You’ll find an attractive garden at Santa Inés, along with engaging views of the surrounding landscape. No less impressive is the church itself, whose narrow interior is Winter 2019


rendered spacious by its baroque altar, its beamed ceiling, and its high casements filling the place with natural light.

wall paintings, particularly behind the altar, are nothing less than spectacular, including faux marbling, sunburst motifs, purpleand-yellow checkerboard patterns, and several trompes l’oeils. Original vestments, tools, and paintings can be seen in the museum.

In the church and the museum you’ll find 18th century depictions of Saint Agnes along with numerous oil paintings, including a series on the Education is a priority of Stations of the Cross. As Photo courtesy of Santa Inés Mission the La Purisima Concepción with many of the Missions Santa Inés Mission in Santa Ynez, CA. Mission Historical Park. Tours in the region, much of the and living history days are interior handiwork here was provided regularly for student groups. Around 15,000 to done by Chumash craftsmen. 20,000 fourth graders benefit annually from the park’s Student • Mission La Purisima Concepción Program. A special candlelight tour is held in September, and 2295 Purisima Rd, Lompoc; (805) 733-3713 a Natural History Day is scheduled every April. For specific dates, a full calendar of events can be found on the Mission’s website, A virtual tour of the park can Some of the ruins of the original Mission La Purisima be found at Concepción are still in downtown Lompoc. Built in 1787, that one was flattened by an 1812 earthquake before being • Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa rebuilt in the mouth of a nearby canyon. A prosperous site, 751 Palm St, San Luis Obispo; (805) 781-8220 the Mission failed to recover from secularization, though, and its church was never reestablished. Renovations to the In a way, the countless site were begun in the red-tiled rooftops of 1930s by the Civilian contemporary California Conservation Corps, and Mission La Purisima draw their inspiration from Concepción continues Mission San Luis Obispo today as a State Historic de Tolosa. After burning Park maintained by the Chumash arrows had set its California Department of straw roof ablaze for the Parks and Recreation. second or third time, the padres decided the place As such, it is certainly might look a lot nicer with one of the most carefully a ceramic lid up top. The detailed restorations to practice caught on with be found in California, the other Missions, and presenting a vision of then with the ranchos. So early Mission life in when California architects much the same way and builders fomented the that Williamsburg Mission Revival Movement offers a living history of beginning in the late 19th colonial life in Virginia. century, you could say On designated Mission its wellspring was in San Luis Days and Village Days, Obispo. docents don traditional garb and reenact the daily routines of the old La Purisima settlement. The church’s interior 10

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Photo courtesy of Mission La Purisima

La Purisima Mission Fountain.

When you visit this Mission, the guy you want to learn more about is Father Antonio Martinez, who

bishop of Toulouse, France, was in charge of it from 1798-1830. The phrase who was a Franciscan “independent minded” hero of sorts. The Mission doesn’t quite do him is situated more or less justice. By all accounts, right smack in the middle Martinez established a of present-day San Luis lucrative local economy Obispo’s downtown, a mere revolving around olive oil, two blocks from the 101. wine, cowhides and beef, Whether you’re planning to all of which he happily stop or just passing through, traded with the numerous put this Mission on your list Russian, English, and of things to see. Photo courtesy of Mission San Luis Obispo Yankee vessels dropping • Mission San Miguel Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, CA. anchor off the coast — a Arcángel form of smuggling in the 775 Mission St, San Miguel; eyes of the Spanish and, (805) 467-3256 later, Mexican governments. Burning rooftops aside, Martinez was something of an early advocate for Native Americans, going so far as to grant them Mission San Miguel Arcángel is interesting, in part, for its lively walls on which can be seen the remarkably well-preserved land ownership and train them in the use of firearms. He Munras Murals. Esteban Munras was a young painter who didn’t much care for the Mexican regime. When emissaries traveled from Spain to start a ranch in Monterey. Around 1820, from Mexico City showed up in the early 1820s, Martinez Father Juan Cabot asked him to execute a series of murals at told them what they could do with their oath of allegiance. San Miguel, an undertaking for which Munras trained a team And Mexico, for its part, didn’t much care for him. The new of Salinan Indians to paint. Similar to the murals at La Purisima government put Martinez on trial in 1830. Found guilty of Concepción, sunbursts, faux sedition, he was deported marbling, and trompes l’oeils to Spain. are notable. Décor in the Mission After secularization, Mission church shows a kind San Miguel Arcángel of minimalist simplicity functioned variously as a compared with that family home, a saloon, and a found in many of the hotel. After its formal return other Missions. Bright and airy, it’s no less to the Catholic Church, pleasing to the senses. rebuilding of the Mission One reason for this sparse grounds and structures appearance might be the began in the late 19th fact that very little of the century. original Mission actually San Miguel Arcángel was remains. The museum, severely damaged in the accordingly, contains San Simeon earthquake some good depictions of 2003, and subsequent of Chumash life, along restoration is ongoing. with a few artifacts to illustrate the life of the The Mission quadrangle clergy. Documentation of encloses a park-like inner the restoration project, garden. The museum beginning in 1934, is contains vestments, wood strong. carvings, and other artifacts, The name San Luis Obispo including a wooden wine de Tolosa commemorates Photo courtesy of Mission San Miguel vat. San Miguel Arcángel Saint Louis, a 13th century Mission San Miguel Arcangel, CA. holds an annual fiesta.

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Paso Robles is more than just a place – it’s an experience you’ll never forget. Schedule of Events:

• Feb 9: Valentine Movie Night • March: No Scheduled Events


• Apr 4: Hop to It - Visit the Easter Bunny • Apr 25: Vintage Side Car Rendezvous, Motorcycles & British Vintage Car Club


Where Everybody Comes Together

• May 1-3 Olive Festival Weekend - A Weekend of Olive Festivities • May 1: Olive Festival Social Mixer • May 2: 17th Annual Olive Festival • May 3: Olive Ranch Tours Special downtown Paso Robles events Event Details: Valentine Movie Night: Movie Title: TBD (Norma is selecting now) Feb 9th at 7 p.m. at Park Cinemas in Downtown Paso Robles. Popcorn, soda, champagne and chocolate are included with your $12 ticket. The event starts at 7 p.m., so arrive early for best seating (in the all-easy, high-back chair seats) Park Cinemas, 1100 Pine Street, Paso Robles. Tickets are limited and may be purchased now for $12 per person, available through the Paso Robles Main Street office at 835 12th St., Suite D, in the “Norma’s Way” alley, or telephone 238-4103. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover accepted. Hop to It: The Easter Bunny will be the guest of the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association on Saturday, Sat, April 4th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Just come downtown to the City Park Holiday House (Park & 12th Streets). Bring your camera and take your picture with the Easter Bunny. For more information, call the Downtown Paso Robles Main Street Association office at 805-238-4103. 13th Annual Vintage Side Car Rendevous On April 25th enjoy the vintage sidecars, motorcycles and vintage British cars of days gone by Collectors, dealers, crafters, and garden enthusiasts are invited to participate in the Recycled Treasures portion of our Vintage Sidecar, Recycled Treasures, Pre-1950 Motorcycles & Vintage British Cars. Event will be held in the downtown city park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Spaces are approximately 15 feet by 15 feet and cost $60 each. Admission is FREE to the public. Olive Festival: A Weekend of Olive Festivities - May 1-3 2020 Olive Oils is Best when it’s Fresh - Experience the Fresh Olive Festival in Downtown City Park, For more information, call 805-238-4103


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Downtown Paso Robles has something for every visitor, from

restaurants, boutiques, antiques, gift stores and art galleries to olive oil and craft beer purveyors and more. Experience Paso Robles’ quaint downtown setting, historic charm, wine country chic and classic country feel while visiting downtown.There is ample free parking in and around downtown, an informational kiosk located at the Acorn building, restrooms in city park, plus many new amenities that make downtown authentic. Come find out why Paso Robles is being hailed as one of the best places to shop in San Luis Obispo County. Conveniently located along Spring Street and anchored by city park, downtown is just a short drive away from motorists exiting from Highway 101 north or south from San Francisco and Los Angeles and just a short drive away from wine country.

Surprises around every corner Shopping in downtown Paso Robles is a truly unforgettable experience. Start your walk in Downtown City Park, wander through the diverse and vibrant merchants and take in the sights and sounds of historic Paso Robles. Shoppers can expect the same kind of personalized, face-to-face service they’ve grown to expect from our homegrown businesses and world-class downtown merchants. In Paso Robles, visitors can spend the entire afternoon checking out the bevy of merchants and shops with a huge selection and variety. In downtown Paso Robles, there are surprises around every corner!


Where Tradition Meets Innovation Historic Downtown Paso Robles Taste and Relax • Home of the Infamous Jug Wine

Let us surprise and delight you with the best this region has to offer! Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, brunch on Sundays 1313 Park Street Paso Robles 805.226.5888

90+ point wines • Vineyard Specific Wines

829 13th Street, Paso Robles, CA Sun-Thu 12-6, Fri & Sat 11-7

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815 12th St.

Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 296 3833

Paso Robles, CA 93446 (805) 296 3833 Our customer is a creative woman, who wants to be herself, and not be categorized grouped . Our muse is adventurous with what she wears and has a sense of humor. And although fashion is important to her, she is too busy to be ruled by the latest trends. BIJOU is a gateway of

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Our most popular brands we carry Freepeople, Chaser, Sanctuary, Cosabella, Driftwood Denim, Dear John Denim, Waxing Poetic Jewelry, Matisee Footwear, Sbicca, En Shalla Bags, Lollia and Tokyo Milk. Babies - Milkbarn Kids, Posh Peanut, Meri Meri, Moulin Rotti, Magic Forest, BlaBla

home décor, baby, books and giftables.

Brunch served 5 days a week BRUNCH offers a variety of delicious, healthy and traditional breakfast options made with local ingredients within a fun, upbeat and charming atmosphere that will get your day started on the right foot! Monday, Thursday, Friday - 9:00 am - 2:00 pm Saturday - Sunday - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Closed Tuesday & Wednesday No reservations accepted

840 13th Street, Unit C Paso Robles, CA

(805) 762-4960

Vist us online at 14

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awarding winning gastro pub & craft cocktail bar

1930’s Prohibition Style Speakeasy & Lounge

Downtown Paso Robles @ 1122 Pine St. located on back patio of Pappy McGregor’s Gastro Pub

Downtown Paso Robles @ 1122 Pine St. Delivery 9am - 3pm

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(Next to Park Cinemas Theatre)

(805) 237-1780 Order Online

Winter 2019


Leading Ladies By Misty Hall

Caitlin Pianetta, woman winemaker

CA 101

Winemaking is where art and science meet patience and muscle. I’m sure there’s a fancier way to say that, but Pliny the Elder never hung out in Paso Robles. So picture the shrugging girl emoji, and pour us another glass. While you’re at it, ponder the fact that according to trade association estimates, just 10 percent of winemakers in California are women. In such a progressive state, how is that number so low? Interestingly, that’s not something winemaker Caitlin Pianetta spends much time thinking about. She mostly fills her days working in the vineyards, driving forklifts, and crafting luscious red wines for Pianetta Winery — and pouring at their downtown Paso tasting room in between. But yeah, the “woman winemaker” thing comes up sometimes, she admits. “My dad’s friend was on the crush-pad, I’m on the forklift, and this guy walks right past me to talk to my dad’s friend. He pointed at me and was like, ‘I’m just standing here, she’s the one you have to talk to!’” Caitlin laughed. Growing up with two brothers and veteran father, Caitlin was a self-professed tomboy for whom doing “guy stuff” never held a stigma. Some of her happiest memories as a kid were when her uncle would let her drive around on the tractor with him at their Bay Area family farm. Her father, John, had similar happy memories of farm life. While in college, he was drafted into the military as a Navy pilot in Vietnam, then flew commercially for many years. “But he always wanted to farm again,” Caitlin said. The old family farm consisted of row crops, however, and the industry was changing, so John went in search of something else — a permanent crop. A vineyard seemed like a good match. An aunt in Lodi had had a small vineyard, and John had once helped Caitlin’s uncle make some basic wines. The roots were there. 16

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Photo by Stephanie Austin Photography

Caitlin Pianetta takes a break amongst the barrels.

So off to the Central Coast John went, eventually settling on a 95-acre plot of land in the Indian Valley north of Paso Robles. Originally, the plan was to grow 65 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes to sell to others, not to make his own wines. “It was always about quality, not quantity. It was all about flavor,” Caitlin said.

Photo courtesy Pianetta Winery

John Pianetta was never one to sit back and let everyone else do the work.

But as the wine industry changed, some wineries, she said, were losing that vision in favor of feeding the big corporate monsters. However, the Pianettas weren’t about to sacrifice their quality. “We had a great relationship with some of the winemakers we worked with, and they encouraged us to start our own winery,” Caitlin remembered. “So we did that, and 2002 was our first harvest.” By this time, Caitlin — who spent the majority of her time Rain rolls through the rolling hills of Pianetta Vineyards.

growing up in Fresno with her mom — had already spent weekends and summers working at the vineyard. And when her graduation from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, coincided with Pianetta’s first official release of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah estate wines, “It was like, ‘Hey we made all this wine, now you can sell it!’”

Marketing, then, would be her first foray into the wine world — outside of working the vineyards, that is. She found she had a knack for it; she was the mind behind the opening of their Downtown Paso tasting room in 2006. But Caitlin didn’t end up staying on the marketing side for too long. As Pianetta expanded and added other red varietals, she became more and more interested in the actual winemaking process itself. They expanded, sourcing grapes from other regional vineyards to expand their wine offerings. Photo courtesy Pianetta Winery

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“At first, I was just doing what my dad told me to do,” she recalled. “Then I started really paying attention to what was going on, and asking questions” — and doing more research, and reading books, and going to seminars, and making suggestions … and then, eventually, making the wines. “I got more and more involved, pushing to do more and more,” she said. “And when my dad got sick a couple of years ago … that was me taking over, whether I liked it or not!”

industry there are these flashes in the pan, and that’s not something we ever wanted to do … I do have some fun with things, but they’re not meant to be trendy. They’re just fun, an accompaniment.” Not all those accompaniments were intentional, at least at first. But some, like the Pianetta Jug Wine, ended up giving Caitlin a platform to prove her mettle.

In 2007, Pianetta decided to change its Photo courtesy Pianetta Winery label from paper to a Jug wine: a fun (and incredibly popular) solution to an unexpected problem. screen print. When it came time to bottle, Luckily, she liked they made an awful discovery: they had been shorted bottles. it, a lot. Winemaking offered an exciting outlet for Caitlin’s creativity, one that blended her love of working the land with “I was so upset, and my dad was irate,” Caitlin remembered. crafting a distinctive product. But at just five feet tall, she’s With John ready to toss out the extra wine, Caitlin thought had to get creative in other areas too. “It’s very physically back to a conversation she’d had with friends back in college. demanding, moving barrels around, stuff like that,” she pointed “We had joked that we needed to bring jug wine back. But out. “So I’ve found ways to adapt the winery, do it my way.” GOOD jug wine.” Eventually, Caitlin convinced John they could have a little fun with this mishap, so she headed off to Napa Today, John’s healthy and back at the winery, putting his where she found big jugs with screw caps — “A throwback to military background to good use. “He’s a scientific guy, very old Italian table wine.” meticulous,” Caitlin said. “He’d do the same thing every time. He knows what he likes.” The zinfandel blend ended up being a huge hit. “We were just going to pour it at our barbecue during harvest,” Caitlin said. And increasingly, he likes what “But everyone wanted one! … Caitlin’s worked on. Two years We sold out in one day!” after raising an eyebrow at one of his daughter’s ideas, Today, the Jug Wine has a “he’ll taste it, and he’s like, slightly different look, but the ‘This is really good!’ It’s fun to whimsy and nostalgia — not to see him appreciating what I’m mention the quality — of that doing.” original mistake has made it a perennial favorite. “The Jug While John’s more Wine is where we experiment “regimented,” Caitlin likes with different blends,” Caitlin to shake things up a bit. “I said. “It’s always changing. do things a little outside of It’s just supposed to be a fun, his comfort zone.” But, she everyday wine.” emphasized, “You’ve got to Photo by Stephanie Austin Photography But go to the tasting room, and have a good product, or you’re The Indian Valley is the perfect backdrop for a private tour you’ll find much more than Jug and tasting at Pianetta Vineyards. not going to make it. In this 18

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Wine. Current releases include an estate Cabernet Sauvignon, estate Syrah, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Barbera, Zinfandel, a Rosé called Low Maintenance, and blend, Tuscan Nights, which is a nod to the Pianettas’ Northern Italian heritage. The rotation may change — Caitlin is excited about a Zin coming soon, and has been experimenting with some Malbec, too. So it’s best to just head out to the Downtown Paso tasting room and check it out yourself. Inside the historic building constructed in 1888, you’ll find a blend of natural warmth and modern accents. “We’re a small ranch. We’re basically farmers making wine. So we wanted that to be reflected in the tasting room,” Caitlin said. The cozy yet sophisticated space nods to the building’s past with photos of its early days, as well as plenty of present day shots of the vineyards. Pianetta also just added a new VIP private tasting space to accommodate larger parties, or smaller groups looking for a more intimate experience. Want more? Pianetta also offers tours at the Indian Valley winery itself. Tour the estate, taste from the barrel, and enjoy gourmet cheese pairings in the vineyards. Or, go even more in-depth, and camp amongst the vines (bring your own tent

or choose their hill-top Airstream). Visitors can customize the experience with a winemaker dinner, champagne brunch, and more. With this father-daughter pair, you’ll find an adventurous spirit firmly rooted on solid ground. Caitlin may be blazing a trail as one of the region’s few woman winemakers, but she has her dad’s grit and no-nonsense sentimentality — and that keeps her eyes on the process as much as on the prize. Being a woman in a male-dominated industry may be something some people admire, but, “It just sort of happened this way. It’s not like I’m trying to make a statement,” she said. It has its perks at times, though. In the tasting room, “When people try something I made and they resonate with it, and (a host) says, ‘Oh yeah, that was all Caitlin’s idea’ and their eyes open up like, ‘oh wow,’ they know it’s not just a novelty thing. No, she can do this.”

Learn more about Pianetta Winery and book a private tasting, vineyard tour, and more at Visit their Downtown Paso Robles tasting room at 829 13th St, Paso Robles.

The Sangiovese is one of the popular offerings at Pianetta’s Downtown Paso Robles tasting room, but somehow tastes even better in the hills of the Indian Valley. Photo by Stephanie Austin Photography

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The San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s

The San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s Association Association presents the 30th annual presents the 30th annual

APRIL 3-5, 2020 Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA Artist’s Wine and Hor d’oeuvre Reception & Preview Sale 5 to 9 pm. Tickets for reception will be available at the door for $20. The show continues Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-3, no admission charge, open to the public, and features a cattlemen’s BISPO C IS O 11:30 O BBQ lunch for $10, from LU SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY am to 1:30 pm.

Indian Nation • Valeriy Kagounkin Acrylic on Canvas • 36 in x 50 in



Indian Nation • Valeriy Kagounkin Acrylic on Canvas • 36 in x 50 in ™

Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA YEARS YEARS Artist’s and Hor d’oeuvre Reception & Preview 1990 -Wine 2020 from nationally and locally know artists 1990 - 2020 5 Chadwick to 9 pm.• Tickets for the will •beMark Dickinson Laila Asgari • Robert Bardi • Lorrie Beck • Sale Gloria William Churchill •reception Dennis Curry CATTLEMEN ’S WESTERN CATTLEMEN ’S WESTERN ART SHOW AND SALE SHOW AND available the door• ART for $20.Hachard TheSALE show continues CATTLEMEN Donna Dutra • Susan Eyer-Anderson • Gerald Farren • at Caly Garris Daniel • Kathy Harder • Tim Harmon ART SHOW Deborah Hofstetter • Valeriy Kagounkin • Jessica Kong 10-5 • Megan Luis • Tamara Magdalina • Vel Miller Richard Myer Saturday and Sunday 10-3, no admission charge, Sheri Greves Neilson • Barbetta Parlet • Margo • Yvonne • Sarah Phippen • BBQ Barron Postmus open Petterson to the public, and Petty features a cattlemen’s Robert Powers • Pedro Ramos • Sharlene Rayl • LaQuincy Reed • Denise Rich • Robert Richards lunch for $10, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Ismael Jessie Rodriguez • Robert Rodriguez • Yvette Rosa • Marilyn Salomon • Laura Talbot • Marissa Todd LEMEN’S W Susan Judy Vargas • Von Borstel • Pamela Wildermuth • NALS Bettina Wise O RI GI FO•R Robert SALE T T Ybarra •ESValeria Yost

Celebrating from nationally and locally known artists BISPO COUN TY SO I U




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Photo by Jessica Frakes


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Bird Bay Flock with your binocs to Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival By Michele Roest Every year on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, hundreds of people come to Morro Bay to learn about, watch, and photograph birds. Why? Morro Bay is part of the Pacific Flyway, a north-south highway in the sky extending from Alaska to Central America. During the summer, millions of birds spend long days feeding and breeding in northern and polar regions. As autumn approaches, birds take flight, staying ahead of winter storms as they wend their way southward along the edge of the continent. Many birds stop at estuaries, lakes, and reservoirs to rest and feed before continuing on their southward migration. Photos by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

Left: Map of the Pacific Flyway. Above: Acorn Woodpecker.

By November, millions of birds have arrived in central California to rest or spend the winter in the region’s mild climate. Numbers reach their peak in December, and many remain until spring. Morro Bay is located halfway along this massive migration pathway and serves as a resting spot for thousands of birds. Morro Bay is recognized as a Global Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and other wildlife organizations, and it’s no wonder — more than 200 species are seen there most years. Morro Bay’s estuary and its surrounding areas offer a diversity of habitats for migrating birds. Nature’s fast food restaurants, the eelgrass beds, shallow waters, and pristine coastline offer food and respite for hungry and weary feathered travelers. Nearly a quarter century ago, local residents had the bright idea to combine birdwatching and tourism by offering a mid-winter festival to celebrate this remarkable natural phenomenon, and Morro Bay’s Winter Bird Festival was born. This year’s festivities run 24

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While attendees are off on their daytime trips, the Morro Bay Community Center hosts a Bird Festival Bazaar that is open to the public, filled by vendors loaded with nature-inspired art, telescopes, binoculars, jewelry, wood carvings, and more. Young bird watchers are encouraged to attend the festival’s Family Day at the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History, on Jan. 18, 2020. Pacific Wildlife Care offers tours of their wildlife rehabilitation facility, where more than 2,000 wounded wild animals are recovered annually. Their Meet the Raptors program is appealing to all ages and open to the public. Evening events are held at the Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center at Cuesta College. Woodpecker expert Stephen Schunk’s talk, “How Woodpeckers Can Save the World,” is the topic for Saturday evening, while professional wildlife and nature photographer Krisztina Scheeff will give her stunning photo presentation, “Dancing With the Grebes,” on Sunday night. Birding is popular in the United States, with more than 60 million Americans participating in some form of birdwatching activity. It makes a significant contribution Photos by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

Above: Brown Pelican. Right: Peregrine Falcon siblings.

from Jan. 17 to 20, 2020. The Morro Bay Community Center serves as the main hub of the festival — the departure point for more than a hundred field trips stretching from Paso Robles to Santa Ynez and the Carrizo Plain. Boating trips include kayaking, sunset cruises on the bay, and open water voyages. The festival covers four days filled with field trips, presentations, workshops, and special events. Some classes last an hour, while “Big Day” van trips travel to different habitats to see a hundred or more species in a single day. Birdwatching is compatible with many other recreational activities, like wine tasting, with events like Wings Over Wine. Many trips are geared for nature photographers to get that elusive great shot. Some birds can be identified by their calls, so workshops on recording and identifying bird calls are popular. Other field trips offer a chance to see the iconic California Condor, which is still recovering from the brink of extinction. There’s even “Bare Naked Birding,” in which attendees observe birds with the naked eye (without the help of binoculars or telescopes).

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Photo by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

A particularly expressive Burrowing Owal. (cover photo)

Photo by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

An American Avocet with its chick.

Photo by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

A Northern Flicker pair.


Winter 2019

Photo by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

A female Northern Harrier. Photo by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

Photo by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

A Snowy Egret, sporting a stylish ‘do.

Western Grebes, showing off their synchronized swimming skills.

Photos by KS Nature Photography / Krisztina Scheeff

Above: Tree Swallow. Right: An Osprey, with a nice catch.

to the U.S. economy, too — approximately $41 billion is spent annually on birdwatching equipment, books, feeders, and decorative items. According to the Morro Coast Audubon Society, San Luis Obispo County is one of the top-ranking birding locations in the U.S., with more than 200 species regularly observed during annual surveys. This makes Morro Bay a birding destination hotspot for beginning and experienced birdwatchers alike. If you’re taking a Highway 101 day-trip on the third weekend in January, and it leads you in the vicinity of Morro Bay, you’re likely to see folks with binoculars. There’s a good chance they’ll be looking at birds. To learn more about the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival, visit

Michele Roest is a biologist and naturalist with a lifelong love for California’s Central Coast. Michele is the lead instructor for the UC Extension California Naturalist Program at Cuesta College.

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2020 Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival January 17 - 20 —

Every Martin Luther King weekend over 500 California bird festival lovers visit Morro Bay, California, a Globally Important Bird Area, to see, photograph, and learn more about birds. Morro Bay is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the Pacific Flyway. The area offers pristine beaches, beautiful state parks, an excellent natural history museum, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and, best of all, thousands of birds. Over 200 species are usually sighted during the Festival weekend.




Hub: Morro Bay Community Center ..............................Morro Bay Bird Festival Bazaar


Open Ocean (outside Morro Rock)...............................Big Day Pelagic: Birds & Whales


San Simeon................................................................... Birds of the Rugged North Coast


Fiscalini Ranch, Cambria ..............................................Birding Fiscalini Ranch Preserve


Paso Robles .................................................................. Birding & Wine Tasting at Halter Ranch


Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge ...........................Condors Around Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge


Lopez Lake ....................................................................Lopez Lake Birding


Edna Valley ...................................................................Wings Over Wine Birding and Wine Tasting


Oso Flaco Lake ............................................................. Hidden Delights of Oso Flaco Lake

10 Santa Ynez.................................................................... Birding at Las Cruzitas Ranch 11

Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo ...................................... Birds of Laguna Lake

12 Cal Poly Pier, Avila Beach .............................................Wintering Water Birds at the Cal Poly Pier 13 Santa Margarita Lake ................................................... Big Birding Day at Santa Margarita Lake 14 Cuesta College ............................................................ How Woodpeckers Can Save The World! 15 Montana de Oro ........................................................... Montana de Oro Natural History Walk

inset MAP OF MOrrO BAY: LOCATION ON MAP TITLE OF EVENT 16 Morro Bay Estuary .........................................................Stealth Birding By Kayak 17 Morro Bay Harbor..........................................................Birding from SSV Seaview 18 Morro Rock ....................................................................Peregrine Falcons of Morro Rock 19 Morro Bay Vets Hall .......................................................Meet The Raptors 20 Morro Bay Museum .......................................................Family Day at the Museum 21 Morro Bay Golf Course .................................................Herons, Egrets & Other Rookery Wonders


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3 5



1 14


13 11 7

8 12




inset 17






Photo by Emma Kumagama

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Winter 2019




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Winter 2019

California 101 Golf Trail San Luis Obispo County By The Unknown Golfer



tyLer Hendy


recently decided to play more golf, mostly to address some work/life balance challenges I’ve faced in recent years. Luckily for me, the Central Coast is chock full of excellent public golf courses. In keeping with my self-promise, I called on three college buddies to join me for a golf alifornia is a playground weekend, and they quickly agreed. for anyone who loves the outdoors. From hiking


and fishing, to surfing and camping, it would take 100 lifetimes to explore

Our foursome had handicaps ranging from 4 to 18 State. so the skill levelyou varied quiteina the bit, which every nook and cranny of the Golden When factor more made forgolf a funcourses weekend. best golferby of Southern our group was Neil, a former 1 football than 900 (asThe estimated California PGA),Division California is a player who, despite his size, has a smooth and easy swing and the patience to navigate the golfer’s dream come true. toughest courses and still score well. On the flip side, there is me. After a long break from golf, I amthe backrolling at it and in the of golf lessons, game is as unpredictable as no a From hills andmidst mountain views, which to themeans cliffsmyand ocean vistas, there’s moody teenager. shortage of fairways and greens for every level of linksman seeking to find some

new swinging grounds. All of these courses offer golf instruction, rentals, and So, we picked a weekend in late October and met up for three days of golf, conversation, and dining that can cater to any group or individual’s specific needs. Let’s take a look relaxation. The three courses we selected were Nipomo’s Monarch Dunes and Black Lake, and atDairy a few courses in Santa Barbara County. Creek in San Luis Obispo. We set off on our three-day adventure from Santa Barbara and started with a Friday morning round at Monarch Dunes. Here is what we discovered.

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onarch Dunes has two courses, their 18-hole Old Course and a 12-hole challenge course, which is made up of challenging par three holes. Our group played the Old Course, but everyone we talked to raved about the 12-hole challenge, so consider that option if you are looking to focus on your short game or if you are just short on time but still want to get in a round.



The Old Course is a beautiful track and is in phenomenal condition. With a par of 71, the link-style course was quite a challenge for everyone in our group. Much of my morning consisted of avoiding the deep bunkers and eucalyptus trees, mostly unsuccessfully. In total, I probably hit six different bunkers during my round, but the sand was in good condition and getting out was challenging but doable. That’s the good news; the bad news is the bunkers took a toll on my final score! Our most accomplished golfer, Neil, said, “Monarch Dunes was a lot of fun. Despite walking, we finished in just a little under four hours and the diversity of the landscape was challenging and fun at the same time. The links-style forced me to focus more on ball placement than distance, which I think helped me score pretty well (78). 40

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Overall, the day at Monarch Dunes was a great experience. After our round, we spent a couple of hours hanging out at the Butterfly Grille, which is a worthwhile stop as well. With a rate of $90, Monarch Dunes is a solid value for the quality of the course, and we’ll be back to give the challenge course a go. • Monarch Dunes Golf Course is located at 1606 Trilogy Pkwy, Nipomo. For tee times and more, see

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ext up for our foursome was a Saturday round at the Black Lake Golf Course, also in Nipomo. Black Lake is comprised of three different nine-hole layouts, called the Canyons, Oaks, and Lakes, all with different challenges and attributes.



Our day consisted of playing the Canyons and the Oaks, and of the three locations, this is where we played our best collective golf. The courses were in fair condition and we were rewarded for accuracy off the tee, especially when playing the Oaks. If you are not in the fairway, chances are you are navigating a tree or three. In some cases, the fairways were hard, which helped with distance when we were able to put the ball in the fairway. “I really liked Black Lake, and I got things rolling on the Oaks Course. I managed to par the first six holes but No. 7 (par 3) jumped up and bit me. The two courses were also pretty different, and I always enjoy courses that make me think, which was the case today,” noted my playing partner, Neil. While we didn’t get to play the Lakes, we were told it offers fairways that are wider than what we navigated during our round. Black Lake doesn’t have a weekend rate which was nice, so the $55 we paid to walk was kind to our wallets. We also heard Black Lake is a great place to take in some live music, but we didn’t hit it at the right time. While Black Lake is not one of the best conditioned courses I have played in recent months, it is certainly worth the trip; it is priced right, and I’d play it again in a heartbeat. Black Lake Golf Course is at 1490 Golf Course Ln, Nipomo. For tee times and more, see 42

Winter 2019


n the final day of guys’ weekend, we made our way to the Dairy Creek Golf Course in San Luis Obispo. Dairy Creek offers a nine-hole experience along with a setting that is unbeatable. Personally, I enjoyed the rolling hills and amazing views more than I did the golf, but it had more to do with my game and a stiff wind than the course itself.


Despite playing just nine holes, I lost multiple balls that rolled further out of bounds than I would have thought, and when I did manage to hit a good shot, the green rarely held my ball. The greens were fair but very fast, which added a few more unnecessary strokes to my score. So, the combination of my rollercoaster golf game and course conditions led to a high score on my card. My playing partners managed to navigate the course with far more skill than I did. “Dairy Creek was another fun course. I didn’t play my best golf of the weekend but this course was a good test and the views alone were worth the trip out here,” said Neil. “After playing three days in a row, I’m pretty happy we saved the nine-hole course for the last day. The layout here is one of the best I’ve seen for a nine-hole course. I’ll definitely come back for another round.” Like Black Lake, Dairy Creek was priced fairly. We played nine holes for $20 and could have played 18 (replay) for $30 if we wanted. As the long weekend wrapped up, I reflected back on three great days of friendship and golf, and have to say it was time and money well spent. As golfers, we are spoiled to have so many excellent options within short distances. I’d also like to point out the friendly staff and great service at all three locations. They did not know we were there to write a review, yet we were treated as though we were VIPs at each location. We’ll definitely be back, and the challenge course at Monarch Dunes is on my short-list of courses to tackle. • Dairy Creek Golf Course is located at 2990 Dairy Creek Rd, San Luis Obispo. For tee times and more, see

Winter 2019


CALIFORNIA 101 Golf Trail

CA 101

Simi Hills Golf Course 5031 Alamo St., Simi Valley, CA 93063 (805) 522-0803

Simi Hills Golf Course offers tree-lined rolling fairways and plush greens that will challenge golfers of all skill levels. Water hazards come into play on eight holes, and over 50 bunkers are strategically placed throughout the layout. The course is extremely fair and fun for all golfers - just pick one of the five sets of tees to match your game, and you’ll be on your way to a great day. Simi Hills is dedicated to providing an exceptional golf experience and one of the best values in the state. In addition to 18 great holes of golf, Simi Hills offers exceptional practice facilities, with a lighted driving range and practice putting green, as well as chipping and bunker practice areas.

Elkins Ranch Golf Course 1386 Chambersburg Rd., Fillmore, CA 93015 (805) 524-1121 Over time, Elkins Ranch golf course has evolved and today exhibits the care and thought that have taken full advantage of its unique location and natural landscape. Magnificently framed against the backdrop of the rugged Sespe and San Cayetano Mountain ranges, five lakes come into play on nine different holes. Several elevated tees offer breathtaking views, and the signature 17th hole (440-yard, par 4) offers an unforgettable vision of the entire Heritage Valley, with an accurate drive required to hit the fairway situated 110 feet below! This is the finest Ventura County golf course.

Soule Park Golf Course 1033 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 646-5633

Soule Park Golf Course is one of the Country’s most highly regarded municipal golf courses. Situated in the spectacular Ojai Valley, Soule Park was ranked the 48th best municipal golf course in the country by Golf Week magazine in 2014. The golf course at Soule Park was originally designed by renowned architect William F. Bell in 1962. Bell was responsible for many other iconic Southern California golf courses including Torrey Pines (North and South) in San Diego and Sandpiper in Santa Barbara. In 2005 Soule Park underwent a golf course renovation led by Gil Hanse who is one of the industry’s most highly regarded modern-day golf course architects.

Monarch Dunes 1606 Trilogy Parkway, Nipomo, CA 93444 (805) 343-9459 Monarch Dunes is located along the Central California Coast, just south of San Luis Obispo in Nipomo, CA. Monarch Dunes features two award-winning golf courses. The first 18-hole championship “Old Course” as well as the acclaimed 12-hole, Par-3 Challenge Course, both designed by architect Damian Pascuzzo & PGA Tour Pro Steve Pate. Both courses were uniquely created to test your skills and tempt your senses. Monarch Dunes is part of The Woodlands, a master-planned resort and Trilogy residential community which is surrounded by windswept dunes, eucalyptus trees, coastal vistas and amber-colored hillsides. Journey through central California’s coastal highlands and discover the evolving conditions and natural beauty that inspire an unforgettable golf experience... one that calls you back time and again. Collared shirts are required on the Old Course, Challenge Course and driving range.

Santa Barbara Golf Club 3500 McCaw Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93105 (805) 687-7087 Santa Barbara Golf Club opened for play in 1958, and since that time has been challenging golfers of all skill levels with interesting golf course architecture and beautiful views of the surrounding Santa Ynez Mountains as its dramatic backdrop. With several local and traveling golf groups and clubs, Santa Barbara Golf Club is a wonderful place to meet new friends and socialize with family or business contacts. Located in the heart of Santa Barbara, the golf club is open and welcome for public use 365 days a year. If you’re one of the thousands of touring visitors to the area, have no doubt that you’ll find Santa Barbara Golf Club to be the best golfing value in town!


Winter 2019


CA 101

Grassini Family Vineyards 24 El Paseo - in the Center Courtyard, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 897-3366 At Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery, our extended family’s passion for beauty, the commitment to hard work, and a special place all come together to make the wine in bottles bearing our family’s label something special… and it is our hope that you will enjoy the poetry of the wine and its sense of place and tradition with your friends and family. Open Daily 12 - 6pm (last tasting at 5:30pm)

Au Bon Climat 813 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 963-7999 Open since 2011, our tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara offers current releases and select library wines in a warm and casual setting. The wines of Au Bon Climat, Clendenen Family Vineyard, Ici/La-Bas, Barham Mendelsohn, Vita Nova, and Jim Clendenen’s other creative endeavors are featured, representing an array of varietals beyond Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. With over 100 different wines stocked, the selection is amazing. We are open 7 days a week. Noon - 6 pm on weekdays & 11 - 6 pm on weekends. Drop in any time to taste our wine.

Cebada Tasting Room 8 E. De La Guerra St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 451-2570 Cebada Wine’s tasting room is located just off State Street in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara. We feature Estate Grown, Burgundian style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. You can even taste our Estate Blueberry Dessert Wine. Enjoy delicious treats from fruits grown on our farm, chocolate and honey parings and unique gift items. Our friendly atmosphere and beautiful view of the mountains create the perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon sipping on our Sparkling wine or a romantic sunset Pinot, all served by our knowledgeable staff. Tasting Hours: Monday-Wednesday open by appointment. Thursday 2-6 • Friday 1-6 • Saturday 12-6 • Sunday 12-5

Jamie Slone Wines Tasting Room 23 E. De La Guerra St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 560-6555 Voted best tasting room and best winery in the 2019 Santa Barbara News-Press Readers’ Choice Awards. Our mission is to provide our guests an outstanding Santa Barbara wine experience. In our cozy tasting room, you’ll discover our passion for family, entertaining, and delicious handcrafted 90+ point wines from the best local vineyards. We’re sipping on Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Red Blends and Cabernet Sauvignon. We are living the wine lifestyle. A Yelp and TripAdvisor favorite...join us! Mon-Thur 12 - 6pm • Fri 12pm - 7 pm • Sat 11am - 7 pm • Sun 11am - 6 pm

Winter 2019


Hollister Brewing Company - Goleta Voted best boutique in Santa Barbara

Hollister Brewing Company (HBC) was established in May 2007 with a vision of creating a fun, relaxing establishment offering handcrafted beer to complement handcrafted food. We are a locally owned and operated brewpub and our goal is to provide and maintain a comfortable, unpretentious environment that appeals to our local clientele as well as beer and food aficionados from around the country. We’re here to exceed expectations, to introduce people to things they may not have had before, and to do it in a fun and educational way.

Clothing•Jewelry•Shoes•Gifts 7 E. De La Guerra Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 568-3800

6980 Marketplace Dr., (Camino Real Marketplace) Goleta, CA 93117 (805) 968-2810 Follow us on Facebook & Instagram

Over 250 5-Star Reviews!

Perfect for groups celebrating a special event! 12 Person Occupancy

Bright, open space with high ceilings and beautiful natural light throughout, as well as new appliances, outdoor grill and hot tub.

Ideal Downtown Location Located in the heart of downtown, next to the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center and a block from State St. where you can walk to cafés, restaurants and wine tasting venues.

Take the trolley or walk to the ocean.

(805) 699-5577


Winter 2019

Superhost: Rachael Quisel


CA 101

Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 845-5121 Bluewater Grill Santa Barbara combines locally caught sustainable seafood and shellfish with the latest releases from Santa Barbara County wineries in a landmark lighthouse at the foot of Stearns Wharf. The destination beachfront restaurant offers lunch, dinner, and small plates daily on two floors featuring an oyster bar, dining counter overlooking an open kitchen, and an upstairs dining patio and bar offering beach views, local wine flights and locally caught fish. Chef Chanel Ducharme offers up to 40 varieties of seafood and shellfish annually, either simply grilled or in gourmet presentations like Chipotle Blackened Swordfish and San Francisco Cioppino with Hope Ranch Black Mussels.

Jules by the Sea, SB Seaside Makers Collective

~ Jules by the Sea, SB ~ Seaside Makers Collective 209 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

209 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 705-6887 (805) 705-6887 Most days you can find designer and owner & maker of Jules by the Sea, SB, Most days you can find designer and owner & maker of Jules by the Sea, SB, Jules Jules Kramer at Seaside Makers Collective, Funk Zone. Her home studio, Kramer at Seaside Zone. Her home where she where she designs andMakers makes Collective, her oceanFunk inspired jewelry. Julesstudio, will make hera ocean inspired jewelry. Jules will sure yet you feel like sure designs you feeland like makes you get little piece of Santa Barbara. Hermake delicate classic jewlery thatofyou canBarbara. wear toHer thedelicate beach or a wedding. youstyle, get ais little piece Santa yettoclassic style is jewlery She will any each clients needs. sure to thatalso youcustomize can wear to thepiece beachtoorfitto a wedding. She willBealso customize any confirm she is in if you want a custom piece! piece to fit each client’s needs. Be sure to confirm she is in if you want a custom She also likes to think of herself as the concierge of the Funk Zone so don’t piece! also likes toto think herself as the be afraid stop in, say hello and ask herShe a good place eat,of shop other of the Funkabout Zone so don’t gemsconcierge in the area or chat daily afraid to stop in, say hello and ask her a

good place to eat, shop other gems in the area or chat about daily life.

Seaside Makers Collective is home to over 12 different local artists. Open Seaside Makers Collective is home to over 12 different local artists. Open 7 days a week starting 11am (limited hours on Tues).

7 days a week starting 11am (limited hours on Tues).

Lama Dog Tap Room & Bottle Shop 116 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 880-3364 At Lama Dog Tap Room & Bottle Shop we do craft beer a little differently in Santa Barbara. We offer a revolving tap that changes every day and we also offer local wines. Whether you are located in Goleta, Santa Barbara or the surrounding communities, Lama Dog Tap Room & Bottle Shop is the place to go for wine and beer. We are the craft beer bottle shop that actively seeks out the finest craft beer in California to serve in our beer bar. We have 20 different tap beers that change every day to ensure that you always have the best selections. We keep our bottle shop full of different craft beers from around the world! Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am-10pm Friday-Saturday: 11:30am-12am

Cutler’s Artisan Spirits 137 Anacapa St., Suite D, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 (805) 680-4009 Santa Barbara’s First Legal distillery - Located in The Funk Zone It all began with great grandpa Duke Cutler, great-grandfather to current Cutlers’s Distillery owner, Ian Cutler, in 1915. Duke set out to follow his dream and open a local bar serving the hundreds of thirsty gold miners looking to strike it rich. As the gold mines began to dry up, Duke decided to move south to the town of Oakdale, Ca. located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, just west of Yosemite National Park. Over 80 years since Old Duke Cutler started the family in the distilled spirits business, Ian Cutler is revitalizing the Cutler heritage in distilled spirits, following the same dedication to providing the finest possible spirits to thirsty locals pioneered nearly 4 generations ago.

Winter 2019


Montecito Upper Village


Winter 2019

CALIFORNIA 101 Montecito Upper Village

CA 101

Pane e Vino 1482 E. Valley Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108 (805) 969-9274 Under original ownership since 1988, Pane e Vino was the first authentic Italian restaurant to open its doors in Montecito. It has always been, and continues to be, a favorite for many local residents, sourcing most of its food products locally. Naturally grown beef and poultry are served, in addition to a great selection of the freshest seafood. Furthermore, Pane e Vino offers homemade pasta, gnocchi, risotto, and veal ravioli topped with butter and sage. As for olive oil, the award winning cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from Sicily is the norm. Daily Specials change frequently based on season and quality, and desserts are all made on the premises. A fantastic variety of Californian and Italian wines are provided in order to complement your meal.Welcoming and ready to serve! Open : Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm and 5pm-9pm, Sun 5pm-9pm

Montecito Coffee Shop 1498 E. Valley Rd., Montecito, CA 93108 (805) 969-6250 More Than Just A Coffee Shop Nestled in the heart of Montecito’s iconic Upper Village, the Montecito Coffee Shop has been serving breakfast and lunch, indoors or on the patio to locals and visitors since 1984. Located at the intersection of East Valley and San Ysidro Roads, The Montecito Coffee shop is just up the street from Miramar Beach. Within walking distance you will find gift boutiques, antique stores and clothing stores. We use only the freshest ingredients. Our turkey is fresh roasted and hand carved daily to use in our salads and sandwiches. Take the US 101 Freeway to San Ysidro Rd., head north one mile towards the mountains. Won’t You Join Us • Mon - Sat 7 to 2:30 pm • Sun 8 to 2 pm Brunch All Day

Tecolote Book Shop 1470 E. Valley Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108 (805) 969-4977 Visit our Book Shop - We have an extensive inventory of new books, best-sellers, magazines, audio books, stationery, journals, calendars, games and puzzles. We special order or attempt to locate any new, used or out-of-print books for you. Gift Certificates: Tecolote offers gift certificates in any amount for any event. We Offer Complimentary Gift Wrapping Shipping any purchase through our store, by mail, or by phone can be shipped anywhere in the United States or around the world. Open Mon - Fri 10 am to 5:30pm Open Sat 10 am to 5: pm Closed Sun To schedule a special event, function, book fair or author signing, please email us with detailed information or contact: Mary Sheldon at Tecolote (805) 969-4977

Via Vai 1483 E. Valley Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108 (805) 565-9393 Via Vai is a family favorite pizzeria and trattoria that opened up in 1994. Ever since then, Via Vai has offered, and continues to offer, a great variety of food, ranging from pizza and pasta to natural beef, lamb chops, poultry and the freshest seafood. The thin crust pizza and homemade bread are baked in a wood burning oven daily. As for vegetables, most are local and fully organic products, which is why our specials are seasonal. Via Vai’s top priority is to ensure that all their food is the highest quality. In addition to pastas and pizzas, desserts are homemade as well. The wine selection is diverse and extensive to ensure that there is always something each customer enjoys. On the patio, a lovely view overlooking the old fire station and beautiful mountains creates a casual and relaxed atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. Mon - Fri 11:30am -2:30 pm 5pm -9pm • Sat - Sun 11:30 am - 9pm

Winter 2019


Get your fill of free-range kitty love from (L) Ducky, (R) Dimitri, and Cappy at Cat Therapy.

Photos by Alex Buckley / AlexBuckleyPhotography

Santa Barbara Off the Beaten Track By Rachael Quisel

Yellow sunshine warming your skin, palm trees bobbing by the wharf, soft sand massaging your feet, that seafoam scent that smells like vacation — Santa Barbara offers all of this and more. But, beautiful places can come with a downside: crowds. It’s hard to enjoy the beach when your personal space keeps getting invaded. Likewise, it doesn’t matter how sweet the raspberry notes in the local pinot noir are, when you have to wait forever to taste one. Outside of the beaches, tasting rooms, dining, and shopping, Santa Barbara has a lot to offer its many yearly visitors. With my insights, you’ll be glad you ventured off the beaten track.

Photo by Yifan Ma

Santa Barbara’s mountain views mingle with its signature Spanish Mediterranean architecture. 50

Winter 2019

Photo by Rachael Quisel

Instead of retail therapy at the downtown Santa Barbara boutiques, try Cat Therapy. Nestled between the shopping stops is a hidden zone of pawsibly the cutest Zen you’ve ever encountered. Settle into the modern, airy space to cuddle cage-free kitties, like Creamsicle Cooper. Found foraging in trash bins in the gritty streets of Los Angeles, he was brought to Santa Barbara to hang with other rescued cats. His sweet demeanor landed him a forever home, but he has plenty of friends still around to take you into good headspace. Everyone is welcome to join in this plush, pillow-strewn cocoon, regardless of their ability to adopt!

❃ Cat Therapy is located at 1213 State St, Suite L, Santa Barbara. See for more info.

❃ Learn more about the Los Padres National Forest, and the Santa Ynez Mountains, at To volunteer with Sage Trail Alliance, visit or email

❃ Cajé and Lab Social are located at 416 E Haley St, Santa Barbara. See and for more info.

❃ For more information about Franceschi Park,


❃ For more information about 1st Thursday,


❃ Youth Interactive is located at 1219 State St, Santa Barbara. Visit for more info.

Off the Beaten Track What do the locals like as much as their beaches? Their mountains. Overlooked by many visitors, the Santa Ynez Mountains, part of the Los Padres National Forest, rise just behind Santa Barbara, forming an emerald green backdrop for the city. The Sage Trail Alliance provides 2,000 hours of volunteer work annually to the care of mountain trails, which are accessible year-round. Delight your senses in an immersive hike with a group of environmentally savvy locals. The heady, spicy scent of sage will fill your nose as you traverse through swatches of bright yellow, purple, and white wildflowers nestled among the chaparral. Wield the tool of your choice: pruning shears, pick-ax, or the ever-popular Macleod — a cross between a rake and hoe that makes you feel like Thor — and fix up the trails while making new friends. Afterward, you’ll share a free lunch and be invited on a group hike or bike ride on the freshly trimmed trails. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll understand why many have adopted “voluntourism” as their preferred way to travel. Leave behind the tourist hot spots for this cocktail lover’s paradise. Cajé is a treasured local coffee nook by day and transforms into Lab Social by night, with handcrafted libations, live music, and sass. But be forewarned: It’s so hidden many locals haven’t heard of it yet. And that’s no surprise because, as a speakeasy, discretion is in its DNA. But it’s gotten rave reviews by those who have found the entrance. Something about a red light out back... Instead of hanging out at Stearns Wharf for that Instagramperfect sunset shot over the ocean, take a short drive along Alameda Padre Serra Road (APS). The road winds up the foothills east of the Mission Santa Barbara, through the European-esque Riviera neighborhood, offering spectacular

Winter 2019


Photos Sophia Dentzel

Why get stuck in traffic heading to tourist traps when you can get your hands on the land — and take in amazing views while you’re at it? Get in touch with the Sage Trail Alliance and do a good turn for the community, and maybe make a few new friends while you’re at it, too.

peek-a-boo views around each curve. Just off the APS, Franceschi Park is the best place to watch the sunset. It offers Pacific views in the shadow of a creepy-in-a-cool-way 19th-century house. Share a cozy moment at one of the picnic tables with the group of locals who make the pilgrimage there each evening to watch the sun slip behind the mountain peaks in bursts of violet, orange, and pink sherbet. Santa Barbara has long been heralded by those in the know as a hub for artists and creatives. Come out to see the funky, diverse, and inventive artwork behind the scenes on 1st Thursday Art Walk, a monthly opportunity for locals and visitors to immerse themselves in the arts community. The highlight of this night is the crowd at the Youth Interactive Collective. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to have a tailormade memory there—visitors can choose specific fabrics, beads, paints or patterns, and local art students will make

a custom piece for you in real-time. Why buy an overpriced tchotchke at a tourist shop when you can support young artists by commissioning a tailor-made keepsake? Have you ever heard that the best way to see a place is to explore with someone who lives there? Take it from me, your local aficionado: For a transformational time, seek out the less-obvious pockets of town during your next trip to Santa Barbara, the American Riviera.

Photo Rebekah Beeghly

1st Thursday allows locals and visitors alike to interact with local artists, and buy treasures you won’t find in gift shops. The Youth Interactive group also creates made-to-order, one-off art while you wait. 52

Winter 2019

Winter 2019



CA 101

quilting • Knitting needleworK • arts and gifts

Hours: M-s • 10 to 5 sun. • 11 to 4

Roxanne’s 919 Maple St., Carpinteria, CA 93013 (805) 566-1250 Hours: M-S • 10 to 5 Sun. • 11 to 4 A colorful and whimsical shop with everything you need for quilting, knitting, embroidery, special gifts and so much more! Not only will you find great fabrics, beautiful yarns, supplies, books and classes but you will have an experience in artful living. Come in and be inspired!

…simply fine wines at great prices!

Carpinteria Wine Company 4193 Carpinteria Ave. #1, Carpinteria CA 93013 (805) 684-7440 Wines for all occasions

Soap 910-A Linden Ave., Carpinteria CA 93013 (805) 684-6695


Fine Body Products, Candles, Robes, Loungewear, Jewelry and Purses

Stop in and shop our tremendous selection!

Unique Gifts From Over Twenty Countries

M-F 10-6pm Sat 10-5pm

featuring: Kai, Votivo, Pre De Provence and much more

Take the Carpinteria Avenue exit from 101 South - 4th building on the right


Winter 2019


CA 101

Susan Willis Ltd. 4488 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria CA 93013 (805) 684-5085 “2020 brings a fresh renewal. A time to pack away the old and bring on the new. Find treasures, decorative accessories, pillows and bedding. Maybe some awesome pajamas, bubble bath and candles. We also have lots of small items for someone special or for yourself.” Monday- Saturday 10-5

Murphy’s Vinyl Shack 5285 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria CA 93013 (805) 318-5506 Vintage LP records and current new releases. Vinyl Art and Nostalgic Posters....more than just a record store... A BLAST FROM THE PAST! Worthy of a trip to Carpinteria.....stop in and say “Hi”.

Robitaille’s Fine Candies 900 Linden Ave., Carpinteria CA 93013 (805) 684-9340 Located in the heart of Carpinteria, Robitaille’s Fine Candies is home of the famous Presidential mints and Santa Barbara County’s largest retail candy store. Our unique selection of handmade candies, sugar free candies, and gigantic selection of packaged candy have been pleasing Santa Barbara County for over 40 years!

Winter 2019


i f L e , s ’ N r e a t n t i u a P A Emilie Lee finds inspiration in the serenity of rally nature’s wild places, discovered on her travels.

By Amelia Simpson A landscape and stilllife painter, Lee calls Carpinteria home. By way of Vermont and with a stint in NYC, Lee settled in the small, seaside town just south of Santa Barbara two years ago. She wanted to be close to her fiancé, who had accepted a new position at the Patagonia headquarters. Lee cites the “small-town” feel, incredible climate (she is able to paint

Photos by Mariana Schulze outdoors year round, and grow her own fruit and vegetables), the dog-friendly beaches, and Carpinteria’s emphasis on healthy living as definite plusses to her move.

Photo by Mariana Schulze

After years of painting out of a converted schools bus and then in New York, Emilie has now planted roots in Carpinteria.

For the most part, Carpinteria has resisted the inevitable development and bigbox store takeover of many towns, and remains somewhat encapsulated in a bygone era. “I live in a place that people go to on vacation, and that’s pretty dreamy,” Lee shares. “Carpinteria is very similar to where I grew up, a town where

Emilie, in her element.

Photo by Mariana Schulze


Winter 2019

Emilie prefers to paint what she sees, in person, rather than from a photo. everything you need is on one street, a place that exudes such a family-friendly, safe feeling.” As a girl growing up in Vermont, Lee’s mother, a painter, exposed her to art early on, sparking a life-long passion. Lee honed her skills at art school then went on the road pursuing her two great loves, the outdoors — more specifically rock climbing — and her art. From 1999 to 2007, Lee lived a carefree, nomadic life in her converted school bus. She painted the environment she climbed. “I was rock climbing as much as I could, living the real rock climbing life. I began painting landscapes as a way to connect even more with the nature around me.” Lee traveled wherever the climbing took her, working odd jobs along the way and always painting. Eventually, she decided to go back to school, temporarily abandoning climbing to focus on her art.

Photo by Mariana Schulze

New York beckoned, and Lee joined a group of professional oil painters who were teaching painting and sculpture in the traditional way, as it was taught in the 1800s. “Studying at the Grand Central Atelier helped me focus on accuracy and on the technical aspects of creating the illusion of reality in my painting. I was inspired by other artists I met and the community there. The level of work that was coming out of the studio was incredible,” Lee recalls.

But seven years of city life began to wear on this selfprofessed lover of nature. Inspired by her growing confidence as an artist, Lee packed up and liquidated her city life. She camped in her car, on the road again — this time on a pivotal, crosscountry road trip. “I spent two months driving across the country, painting, camping, and visiting friends,” she says. “That was a huge turning Emilie mixes colors on her palette. Photo by Mariana Schulze point for me. I was Winter 2019


producing a lot of work and happily sold it all on Instagram as I was traveling.” By the time Lee arrived in California, she had amassed quite a nest egg. She realized the life of an artist, with the help of using social media, could work well for her. Lee continues, “My main drive has always been the freedom of being outdoors and away from the contracts of society. I’ve tried to plan my life so I can spend more time outside, away from a computer, and work for myself.” Now living in Carpinteria with her dog, Honey, and her fiancé, Kristo Torgersen, Lee often paints her local haunts, Santa Claus Beach, Loon Point in Summerland, the worldfamous Rincon Beach, and the waves and surfers at Carpinteria Bluffs State Park. Lee adds, “I also paint at the top of Rincon Mountain at my friend’s place, Sweet Mountain Top Farm.”

Photo by Mariana Schulze

Honey and Emilie visit her work at Heritage Goods and Supply. Lee’s paintings are soothing to the eye, swooping and bucolic natural scenes; she paints with oil on panels which are often mounted with linen. She paints directly from the landscapes she sees, and does not work from photographs. She sees this as a way to keep her paintings more alive. Lee captures a scene before the light changes, which gives her about three hours to get a good start on a piece. “Sometimes when there’s a storm coming in while the light is shining on the waves in the foreground, I have to rely on my memory,” she says. “Being on location, I have to work quickly and be in the zone to capture life. It keeps my work spontaneous.” Emilie Lee’s work can be found and purchased through her Instagram as well as her website, Lee also sells her paintings at a local store, Heritage Goods and Supply, next door to the Lucky Llama Coffee House in Carpinteria.

Fall colors in Yosemite. 58

Winter 2019

Photo by Mariana Schulze

Look out for an upcoming workshop given by Lee, scheduled for Jan. 11, 2020, at Santa Claus Beach in Carpinteria. Register at

Winter 2019


446 E. Main St. Ventura, 93001





Monday – Saturday: 11am-7pm Sunday: 11am-6pm

(805) 628-3665


Winter 2019

Winter 2019


F RED E VANS S ELLS ... V ENTURA C OUNTY T O THE W ORLD ! Memeber of RE/MAX Hall of Fame • Top 1% In The Nation


5348 RINCON BEACH PARK DRIVE, VENTURA Gated Ocean Front Seacliff Beach Colony, Ventura. Trilevel oceanfront home w/ 4 BR, 5 ½ BA, approx. 4,142 sq. ft., 50 feet of ocean frontage. Waterfront master bedroom suite. Private elevator all 3 levels. Offered at $4,575,000

N ANN STREET, VENTURA The West Ridge of Seamont Ranch. Build dream home on this rare approx. 2.41 acres ocean-view overlooking Ventura. Channel Islands & panoramic Pacific coastline views. Listed at $2,500,000. Call Tori Pearson (805)216-2060 for information.

7477-7481-WHEELER CANYON ROAD, SANTA PAULA Two luxury homes on 20 acres, Santa Paula. Log cabin inspired in Wheeler Canyon. Main residence 4 BR, 5 full & 2 half BA w/ over 5600 sq. ft. Three stories w/ elevator. The 2nd residence, single story 3 BR, 2 BA approx. 1190 sq. ft. Over 1200 sq. ft. garage for each home. Listed for $1,999,999.

3045 GROVE STREET, VENTURA Ventura Hillside Panoramic, Ocean & Island Views. Almost 1/3 of an acre lot & home approx. 2500 sq. ft. These 3 BR/2 BA property offers serenity & privacy. A separate large office or art studio w/ private entrance from deck, includes built in cupboards & tables. Could be used as guest quarters or rental. Terraced hillside back yard, large front & side decks. Listed at a great value of $1,200,000

729 ALISO STREET, VENTURA Ventura Aliso Estates. Simi custom home 2944 sq. ft., ¾ acre hillside lot. 4 BR, 3 BA, 3 car garage. Approx. 700 sq. ft. family room. Last house in the culde-sac. Private back yard. Quiet location. OFFERED AT $1,089,000.

1029 PACIFIC VIEW DRIVE, VENTURA Ventura 240-degree panoramic ocean, island & city lights view lot. Above downtown Ventura on a private street. Over a quarter acre lot. Now is your chance to secure spectacular view lot in the city. Offered at $795,000

8106 SILVER CIRCLE, VENTURA Ventura east end Citrus Walk. Corner lot location close to Community Park. Featuring 4 BR, 2 ½ BA and over 2000 sq. ft. Air conditioning. Washer, dryer & fridge included. Listed for $649,000

3207 FOOTHILL ROAD, VENTURA (JUST LISTED) Ventura Ocean & island View. A Mid-Century beauty with a second story addition completed in 2001 with 5 bedrooms & 3 baths and over 2000 square feet. Lot approx. 9100 sq. ft, enough room for accessory dwelling unit. Listed for $999,000.

697 VIA CIELITO, VENTURA Ventura Ondulando lot. Spectacular views of the City, Ocean, islands & farmlands. Highly sought after and desirable neighborhood. Certified building pad. Grading & soils clearance. Private location. Flat over 1/3 acre lot. REDUCED TO $475,000

Fred Evans - Bringing a world of Real Estate knowledge & experience to Ventura County.


Winter 2019

Translated in over 42 languages

Buying or Selling? Call The Fred Evans Team: 805-339-3502 (office) or 805-267-6701 (cell)

DRE Lic.# 00893591

The Best Flag & Cutlery Store! • U.S., California, Armed Forces Flags • Flagpoles & Accessories • Armed Forces Windsocks Kitchen Knives & Tools from • Messermeister • Wusthof • Victorinox • Kyocera • Epicurean & More

Plum Gift Boutique 420 east main street – downtown ventura – 805.641.0113 @



Hunting & Pocket Knives from • Benchmade • Spyderco • Kershaw • Buck • CRKT • Swiss Army • Ka-Bar, and more


Flags & Cutlery

305 E. Main Street, Ventura 805-641-1941 Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat 10:30 am - 6 pm Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm


CA 101

Hook’s Landing 3600 Cabezone Cir., Suite 115, Oxnard, CA 93035 (805) 382-0402

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Welcome Aboard! Hook’s Sportfishing is a 4th generation family operated business that

specializes in providing the finest in saltwater sport fishing experiences in the Channel Islands. DEADLINE FOR AD CHANGES IS 12:00 NOON THE TUESDAY PRIOR TO THAT ISSUES RELEASE.

We offerofopen party and private charter trips for all occasions! Whether you are looking for an ed by the production department of Southland Publishing, is the copyrighted property Southland Publishing. outerthe island overnight or multi-day adventure to local freelance half and 3/4 day trips, placement of advertising in any of Southland Publishing’s publications is prohibitedexotic without express consent of we stand ready to help make unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime! plus any applicable fees. p OK to run Date:_______________________________

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Hopper Boat Rentals 2741 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard, CA 93035 Signature: __________________________ (805) 382-1100 Come on down and enjoy a day on the water. Hopper Boat Rentals is the best place along the coast to rent almost any kind of “U-Drive” boat you’ve been looking for. We have electric boats, kayaks, paddle boat and paddle boards, all available for hourly rentals. Most popular are our electric boats which can fit 8-12 passengers; perfect for packing a picnic and some beverages and heading out with a few friends in the early afternoon for a little buzz around the harbor.

Channel Islands Sportfishing (CISCOS) 4151 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard, CA 93035 (805) 382-1612 Fishing enthusiasts love having access to the thriving marine habitat that surrounds the Northern Channel Islands. Fish species include World record Halibut, White Seabass, Yellowtail, Sheephead, a variety of Rockfish, Lingcod and Whitefish, along with surface fish, which can include Calico bass, Barracuda, Sand Bass and more! In the off season, Sand Dab fishing is excellent. Daily trips available include, 1/2 day, 3/4 day, Full day and Overnight trips. Seasonal Whale watching, private fishing charters, harbor cruises, dolphin adventures, and more are also available. *All sport boats at Channel Islands Sportfishing are privately owned and operated.

Winter 2019



Winter 2019

The Spirit of the Cent�al Coast: Craſt distilling along the 101 By Zachary Rosen

With the rich agriculture and lush landscapes lining U.S. Highway 101, it’s no wonder that the wineries and breweries along the way have become known worldwide. With about 20 craft distilleries dotting the 101 between Camarillo and Paso Robles, there is now a whole new group of craftspeople capturing the spirit of these cities and putting these regions on the craft distilling map. Although distillery tasting rooms are currently limited to only serving 1 1/2 oz per person, always remember that liquor is much stronger than beer or wine. Never drink and drive.

Fortunately the distilleries along the 101 will take you on a ride. Just off Hwy 101 and a short drive up SR-33 lies a large warehouse painted with swaths of sky blue. Off to the side, a large ramp leads down past a mural of Ventura Spirits’ bold logo to their festive tasting room. While many college students may spend time thinking about liquor in college, two engineering students, Andrew Caspary and Henry Tarmy in particular, thought about it is as a solution for a school assignment. Their project looked at using a distillery as a way of dealing with excess agricultural waste. Many farmers have to throw out “secondary” fruit that is not aesthetically pleasing, but perfectly fine otherwise. Both had a lifelong fascination with distilling, and the idea stuck. Andrew’s brother, Anthony, was an industrial designer and Henry’s brother-in-law, James Greenspun, was a package designer. It was a natural fit for this team of family and friends, and together they formed Ventura Spirits. To this day, they stay true to the intent of that college project. Not far from the distillery lie the expansive strawberry fields of Oxnard. Knowing that during harvest many farmers often need help off-loading secondary strawberries, they planned a

strawberry vodka for their initial launch. Those strawberries are now used to produce their gentle yet firm brandy that is aged for two years in French oak. Ventura Spirits’ new vodka, Haymaker’s, uses excess potatoes and apples in a 50-50 blend to produce a zippy vodka with a hint of earth in the nose and a dash of apple that brightens up the neutral spirit. Their whole team has a love for nature and harvesting wild botanics. The Wilder’s Gin turns this passion for foraged botanics into a gin with its own spirit and a minty finish, balancing the wild and cultivated with exotic flavors that highlight the diverse flora of the central coast. Or as James puts it, “We want to take the natural elements of our environment and distill them down.” The New and Old in Santa Barbara and Beyond

In Santa Barbara’s popular Funk Zone lies a small tasting room, where a window looks in on a busy workshop piled to the ceiling with bottles, crates, and equipment. This is Cutler Artisan Spirits, and its namesake distiller Ian Cutler will sometimes be in the front room leading a tasting — but more often than not, he can be seen through the window, Photo courtesy of Ventura Spirits toiling away tirelessly in back. Ventura Spirits brought the skills of several friends and family Ian seems almost born to be a members together to create a distinctive selection of spirits. distiller. In fact, he is the fourth Winter 2019


Photo by Zachary Rosen

Ian Cutler is a multi-generational distiller with a wealth of knowledge.

generation of his family to go into the trade. His great-grandfather was an (alleged) bootlegger during Prohibition, and Ian pursued geology in college. He will happily discuss the mineral content of water for vodka or the chemistry of various terpene compounds. Ian opened the distillery in 2013 and since then his line of whiskies, gin, and vodka have won a range of awards, becoming known for their sophisticated yet clean and balanced

Photo by Zachary Rosen

Plenty of experimentation goes on at Cutler’s shop.

Photo by Zachary Rosen

The vodka from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits perfectly reflects the natural flavor of ethanol The award-winning lineup from Cutler’s Artisan Spirits.


Winter 2019

flavor profiles. More recently, he installed a continuous still and new charcoal filter towers to begin producing a vodka that will be available nationwide. It’s one of several new endeavors he has undertaken, including a completely new line of spirits that will soon be announced. This new line will have more approachable flavors and price than his standard range of spirits. Of course, his original line of spirits remain classics. His Grandma Tommie’s Apple Pie Liqueur is a family recipe and combines Ian’s vodka with fresh apple juice and organic cinnamon and vanilla, along with a secret blend of other spices. It makes the perfect ingredient for a range of fall drinks with its ripe apple flavor, hint of sweetness, and warming buzz of spices. In nearby Goleta, the university and growth of tech companies are fueling a vibrant new culture to support the expanding industry of the area. In a large industrial park, through a quirky hallway you can find one of the area’s newest additions, Goleta Red Distilling. Open for about a year and a half now, it is run by founder and head tinkerer, Michael Craig. This is his newest profession, but in the past Michael says he has done a “million different things.” He was a potter for years, which sparked his interest in chemistry, even owning a pottery store and teaching classes. Later, he worked for 25 years with adults with developmental difficulties, feeling that that work was a life calling. Michael knew he was ready to retire from that line of work, though, and began thinking of his next life calling. He started homebrewing as a way of unwinding from the stress of his humanitarian work. Brewing naturally led to an interest in distilling. However, the seed was first planted at age 14, when he experimented with distillation in an advanced science class. And after doing the math and seeing that it was practical to open a distillery, he began down the path. It took him a few years to find a building and set up the space, but it’s now really beginning to take off. Michael uses mostly molasses and raw turbinado sugar,

Photo by Zachary Rosen

Although they have other offerings like gin and an agave spirit, Goleta Red mostly focuses on producing rums.

sourced from a small Louisiana farm, to produce his spirits. This means that there is a large focus on rum in the distillery. The unaged Sterling Silver is a white rum with a smooth vanilla and banana flavor, followed by a touch of grass and hay in the finish. The Solid Gold is produced by aging the rum on American white oak cubes, which imparts a slightly peach color to the liquid that complements the toasted cinnamon aroma and gentle honey sweet warmth on the palate. In addition, Michael produces several specialty rums, including one aged on cacao nibs to give it a dry finish of peppered earth, raisin, and cocoa. Beyond his well-rounded rum offerings, Michael offers a fresh, flowery gin and a smooth agave spirit with a cantaloupe-like sweetness. There are new projects in the works, too, like an amaro and a barrel-rested gin. Naturally, it is best to swing by the tasting room to see what new treats he has in store.

crush” facility is where people can commission their very own beer, wine, or cider, using the equipment and resources of the facility. Now, inevitably, not all of these projects are seen to completion by their owners — and this was the problem that In Vino Veritas’ full time resident winemaker, David Vondrasek, was trying to address when he and the other owners opened up Azeo Distillery. This attached distillery, located in the custom crush facility, now brings new life to these abandoned projects. While some of these abandoned projects may no longer fit their intended product, they were still perfect for distilling. They became the original batches of grape-based vodka that Azeo now produces. David also makes an apple-based vodka, and uses both of these vodkas as a base for their own respective brandies. He feels that brandy hasn’t had a big revival like gin and some of the other spirits, but hopes that these two can help restore people’s interest in fine brandy. In contrast, the boozy moonshine they produce is just for fun; they even put it in a special brown bag-lined bottle. Easily the largest of the Paso Robles distilleries is RE:FIND Handcrafted Spirits, which sits next to their associated winery, Villicana Winery. The winery was opened in 1993 by husband and wife team, Alex and Monica Villicana. They built the vineyard themselves, even digging each hole by hand. When making their wines they Photo courtesy of RE:FIND

Alex Villicana pours some RE:FIND in the tasting room.

Photo by Zachary Rosen

At just under two years old, Goleta Red is the new to the craft distilling scene.

The Wine Country Spirit Heading north on the 101, you reach the rolling hills and lush landscapes of Paso Robles. This area is known worldwide for its wines. Several of these wineries have begun to produce spirits that capture the essence of these renowned grapes. There is now even a Paso Robles Distillery Trail. Traveling along this path, you can find nine different distilleries around Paso Robles. At the top of the route lies In Vino Veritas Custom Crush Winery which also houses Azeo Distillery. A “custom

Photo by Robin Black

RE:FIND’s lineup of spirits. Winter 2019


The final barrel rest will remove 10 to 30 is used to produce percent of the free run RE:FIND’s unique Barrel juice (saignée) to help Finished Vodka from increase the contact their signature spirit. between the liquid and grape skins. This Monica remains helps the wine extract dedicated to being more flavor and color local and hands-on during fermentation. The with their approach removed juice would to both the winery normally go to waste; and distillery. RE:FIND however, Monica and produces several Alex wanted to find seasonal products that another use for it. A each highlight a local distillery seemed like a crop. Springtime brings natural fit, and in 2011 the fresh flavors of their they opened up RE:FIND, Limoncello Liqueur. the first craft distillery The heat of summer in the area. Today, they is lightened by the use more of the saignée refreshing taste of their than they can produce, Cucumber Flavored so they buy the excess Vodka. Just in time for juice from other Paso the crispness of fall Robles wineries to keep and winter’s calm is the up with demand. By release of their feisty Monica’s calculations, Kumquat Liqueur. One they use enough of this of their exciting new excess juice to reclaim products will be a selfa 60-acre vineyard, Photo courtesy of RE:FIND described “Paso Robles not just recovering RE:FIND spirits emerge from the condenser. Whiskey,” made entirely the grape juice that from locally grown and would’ve gone to waste but all of the energy and water it malted spring wheat aged in wine barrels. took to grow them, as well. For those visiting the distillery, Monica focuses on education The high quality grapes they use in the distillery means that and hopes to demystify the world of spirits. Spirits, she their base vodka has a naturally high glycerin content. This explains, are just another form of “agricultural product.” Each gives it a fuller body and a perfumey finish. Whether it is in the one takes fruit, grain, or sugar, and captures the essence of winery or distillery, Monica is conscious about reusage and both the source and its surroundings. waste. Their barrels, on average, are used three times before being passed on to craft brewers. The barrels first house their And whether it is revived wines, wasted juice, or heirloom recipes, each of these distilleries captures the spirit of the bourbon batches before being used to age their rye whiskey. Central Coast, and celebrates the diverse landscape found The esteemed Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is nearby and along the 101. produces special proprietary base “beers” for their whiskies. • Ventura Spirits is at 3891 N Ventura Ave, Ste B2A, Ventura. For hours and more: • Cutler Artisan Spirits is at 137 Anacapa St, Ste D, Santa Barbara. For hours and more: • Goleta Red Distilling is at 93 Castilian Dr, Goleta. For more: • Azeo Distillery is at 3230 Riverside Ave, Ste 190, Paso Robles. For hours and more: • RE:FIND Handcrafted Spirits is at 2725 Adelaida Rd, Paso Robles. For hours and more: 68

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Spacious duplex in heart of downtown Ojai just steps from Libbey Park and walking trail. Set among towering Oaks, the front unit-A is 3-bed, 2.5-bath recently updated and currently vacant.Unit-B is 2-bed, 1.5-bath with rent $2050/mo. Separate meters for each unit. $995,000



Flat 1-acre lot just minutes from town. Utilities at street--buyer to verify. Buyer advised to check with City or County about possible development. Perfect for mini estate, horses, planting etc. Great mountain views----Reduced 50K! $375,000

One of the last buildable lots in Rancho Matilija---Buyer to verify. Completely at, interior location, mountain views, adjacent to walking and riding trails and includes 1 Casitas water and sewer hook up. $549,500


cell: 805.798.1998 OfďŹ ce: 805.646.7288 727 W. OJAI AVE., OJAI CA 93023 Lic. 00499291

Winter 2019


CALIFORNIA 101 Dining Guide


CA 101

Sakura Ojai Japanese Restaurant 219 E. Matilija St., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 646-8777 Mon - Thur - 11:30 - 2:30/5 - 9:30 • Fri - 11:30 - 2:30/5 - 10 • Sat 11:30 - 10 • Sun - 11:30 - 9:30 • Sushi, Roll• Vegetarian Dishes • Teppan Yaki (Salmon, Shrimp, Chicken, Beef, Rib Eye Steak) • Soup and Noodles • Salad and More!

Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill 214 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 640-1301 Voted Best Burrito & Best Burger in town! Proudly serving locals & visitors for over 21 years! Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Veggie, Vegan & G-free items available! Margaritas, Seasonal Cocktails, Craft Beers • Happy Hours 3-6pm Mon-Fri, Sports on 5 HDTVs! Restaurant open @8am Daily Enjoy a drink on the patio! Cantina open @12pm M-F, 11am S-S

Food Harmonics 254 E. Ojai Ave. In The Arcade, Ojai, CA 93023 www. (805) 798-9253 Paleo Haeling food & drink in a beautiful setting, in Ojai’s Historic Arcade. Inside & Patio setting. Organic Wine & Beer

Ojai Cafe Emporium 108 S. Montgomery St., Ojai, CA 93023 www. (805) 646-2723 Open 7 days a week from 7am till 3pm Serving the Ojai Valley since 1985. A favorite Breakfast and Lunch spot for locals and visitors. Voted Best Bakery, Breakfast and Lunch. Beautiful outdoor dining as well as indoors. Visit our Bakery located in the front of the building, featuring fresh baked goods and coffee bar. We are known for our fresh food and extensive menu, you’re sure to find something to please everyone. We look forward to serving you soon.


Winter 2019

CALIFORNIA 101 Dining Guide


CA 101

AZU Restaurant & Ojai Valley Brewery 457 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai CA 93023 (805) 640-7987 AZU Restaurant and Ojai Valley Brewery is located in downtown Ojai on Main Street. Offering Fresh California, Mexican Cuisine, Local Artisanal Beers handcrafted on Bryant street, Local Wines and Craft Cocktails. We make gluten free beer and have a dedicated gluten free fryer for celiac-friendly french fries. We offer a multitude of dining experiences with family tables and bar in the front, romantic fireplace dining room, private dining room with bar and garden patio open seasonally. We are open all day 7 days a week, serving Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. Check out our website for more information

Bonnie Lu’s Country Cafe 328 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 646-0207 Open Daily for Breakfast & Lunch 7am - 2:30pm • Closed Wednesdays We are a charming country cafe serving good fixin’s with a smile! An Ojai favorite classic American diner since 1995. Traditional comfort food including farm-fresh omelets, homemade soups, and hearty sandwiches made with ingredients from local distributors.

Ca’ Marco Ristorante 1002 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 640-1048 www. Ca’ Marco has become a hit in Ojai with its inviting atmosphere and delicious authentic Italian dishes. On warm days, guests enjoy the patio with views to the back nine of the Soule Park Golf Course. When it chills up they cozy up inside near the fireplace. No matter where you sit, you bask in that sweet spot between fine dining and comfort food that Ca’ Marco has managed to master. The food is prepared to impress, from the fresh bread and dipping sauce brought to the table, to the thoughtfully constituted salads, to the homemade pizza and large, interesting wine list.

Hakane Sushi 967 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 640-3070 www. “We treat our fish with care from the heart” • Locally Owned Patio Dining • Pet Friendly Patio • Wine & Beer • Variety of Cold Sake, Daily Lunch & Dinner Specials • Vegetarian Menu • Seasonal Hot Soups Available Check out our Fish Art Gallery

Winter 2019


Full Bar. 50 beers. Full Kitchen from 5:00.

Summer Camp is a home, lifestyle and custom frame shop, located in a 1950’s gas station along highway 150, in Ojai. We carry handmade objects and gifts, with a focus on small batch, local and sustainable work. We love working with local artists and makers to bring one of a kind goods to you. We also specialize in custom picture framing. Preserving and showcasing your artwork, paintings and photography, with a wide range of options to choose from. We will match any written framing quote, including online framing websites. Open Tues-Saturday 11am - 5pm & Sunday 12pm-4pm

Wine tasting available 7 days a week Open Noon Every Day Live music 7:30-11:00

1020 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 861-7109

308 E Ojai Ave









408 Bryant Circle, 408 Bryant Circle, Ste. G, Ojai Ste. G, Ojai

805.640.6464 805.640.6464 State permit C10-0000474-Lic

State permit C10-0000474-Lic

us online at and onon Instagram @SLCC_Ojai @SLCC_Ojai line and Instagram 74

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Explore California’s Shangri-La on horseback! Escape into nature and experience a majestic tour of one of the most beautiful places on Earth, on horseback! We have trail rides suited for the beginner to the advanced rider all year round!

R iveR v alley T Rail R ides - F oResT T Rail R ides - P ony R ides

(805) 890-9340 ~ Call for reservations

3.5 Miles from Downtown Ojai - Open 7 days a week! ~ Ojai City License #14950

Explore Ojai Valley’s History, Art and Culture 130 West Ojai Avenue (805) 640-1390

Winter 2019


CALIFORNIA 101 Mind, Body & Soul


CA 101

Body Essentials of Ojai Wellness Spa 236 W. Ojai Ave., #101, Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 646-7600 www. Voted 2018 BEST DAY SPA & BEST FACIAL Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Ojai, Body Essentials is the valley’s oldest day spa. Using a holistic approach with an emphasis on stress reduction, and the balance of mind, body and spirit, we offer a wide variety of relaxing, detoxifying and revitalizing spa treatments. Our team of professionals provide excellent customer service in a beautiful environment where our guests are truly cared for. Give us a call today and enjoy state-of-the-art wellness delivered with Ojai love!

The Day Spa of Ojai 209 N. Montgomery St., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 640-1100 www. Our mission is to offer a place of tranquility and rejuvenation. A place where one can come to mend … to rest their body and their mind. A quiet place to reconnect with the spirit within. We will do all we can to make you feel comfortable … to take care of you… to help bring you back to an energized feeling of wellbeing. The therapists at The Day Spa of Ojai are highly trained to recognize and apply our various treatments and products to your specific needs. The professional and personalized skin analysis and recommendations you will receive at The Day Spa of Ojai are simply not available at your local department or drug store.

Bamboo Creek Spa 1002 E. Ojai Ave., Suite B, Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 299-5899 Open every day 10am - 10pm (except Tuesday 11am - 8 pm) Bamboo Creek Spa is a sanctuary located in downtown Ojai, California. Opened in 2012 by Alice Ramsay, a Chinese native now living in the USA, the spa is an outgrowth of Alice’s desire to bring massage to more people at modest prices. Hot oil massage - Allows for deep finger pressure and slow firm strokes, releasing chronic patterns of tension and stress. Reflexology - An ancient Chinese healing therapy that stimulates the entire body and brings on natural healing properties. Hot Stone Therapy - Hot stones bring heat to sore, stiff muscles, restoring energy and balance while melting away tension.

AA Relaxing Station 323 E. Matilija St., Ojai, Ca 93023 (805) 640-1602 Wed - Mon: 10am - 10pm • Tues: 10am - 8pm Both men and women can find professional spa services to suit their needs at Ojai’s AA Relaxing Station. Reduce stress and unwanted knots with a full body massage. Seeking alternative remedies like physiotherapy? This spa can help you with all of your needs. Stop going to places that make you wait days or even weeks for an appointment. This spa lets you come in when you’re ready with their convenient walk-in policy. Customers at AA Relaxing Station will love the simple and nearby street parking options.

Ojai Energetics CBD Integrative Health Center 236 W. Ojai Ave., #100, Ojai, Ca 93023 (805) 640-5586 Ancient Roots | Modern Innovation. Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Elixir · CBD Sport Gel · CBD Coconut Oils Experience the most advanced CBD on the planet. Our water-soluble Full Spectrum Hemp Elixir is the fastest-acting, most bioavailable CBD available. All Ojai Energetics products are organic and free of synthetics to deliver the purest, safest, most effective CBD rich hemp oil. 15% off first purchase for California 101 Traveler’s Guide Visitors! Wed- Sun · 9AM - 5PM - Community Ear Acupuncture Clinic · Most Sat - 10am-2pm


Winter 2019

HORSE, HEART & CONNECTION An Equine Experience in Ojai, Califor nia Explore spiritual wellness, mindfulness and embodied intuition with the horse as your mirror - with Equine Facilitated Learning teacher, Andrea Gaines

i s an o p p o r tun i t y t o be w it h

Small group s es s io ns a nd privates , maxim um 6 participants.

t o ex p l o r e yo u r in t u it ive

Cultivate your inner k nowing with hors es.

Equine F a ci l i ta te d L e arn in g hor s es, w i th ou t riding, n a tu r e, no n -ve rbal

Andre a G a i n es (847) 971-3643

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Instagram: @horseheartandconnection




Ojai Cafe’ Emporium, a turn key, well established breakfast and lunch restaurant, located in the heart of downtown Ojai. Prime location steps away from all of Ojai’s events and attractions. Ojai Cafe’ Emporium has for over 34 years addressed the need in the community for a warm and friendly dining experience for family, friends and business. A family tradition for every generation serving high quality, fresh and healthy food. And if you crave something sweet, there is an adjoining bakery producing fresh baked goods every morning. Take advantage of this prime piece of commercial real estate with a fully operational up and running business. 108 S Montgomery St Ojai, 93023 $2,200,000


Tom Weber, Broker DRE#00805061

38 years in the business in the Ojai Valley Winter 2019


HOrses HeLPinG HUMAns

E q u i n e F a c i l i t a t e d L e a r n i n g i n t h e O j a i Va l l e y By Amelia Simpson “Something beautiful always happens here!” Andrea Gaines says of her Horse, Heart and Connection workshops with an exuberant smile. Winston Churchill said it best when describing our connection with horses: “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Andrea Gaines spends her time in Ojai making sure as many people as possible experience that important connection. Gaines, an accredited Equine Facilitated Learning teacher, studied with Wyatt Webb, author of It’s Not About the Horse, and

All photos by Mariana Schulze considers him a mentor. Additionally, Gaines uses her history as a life and wellness coach and fitness instructor to bring substance and wisdom to her sessions. Natives of Chicago, Andrea and her husband, George, were initially drawn to Ojai when they attended couples’ workshops hosted by David Deida and Michaela Boehm. The couple fell in love with the town and soon moved west. They enrolled their son in The Thacher School and made Gaines’s lifelong dream of owning and living with horses come true when they purchased their

farm house. Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) exists on a parallel field to the more widely known Equine Therapy. Gaines expands, “Equine Facilitated Learning is a method for achieving personal growth that uses horses on the ground (typically no riding), to help develop the ability to connect and communicate in the subtle, non-verbal realms. This connection often moves the participant to have an epiphany or to delve into their past to unleash blockages, coming to a place of mindfulness and calm which enhances their everyday lives.”

Flash and Red are Andrea’s trusted equine partners. 78

Winter 2019

Horse, Heart and Connection’s Andrea Gaines cooks up something tasty in her kitchen.

EFL usually takes place as an unstructured interaction between the horse and participant. The horse is at liberty in a large corral, which allows the animal to choose to interact with the person or not. In comparison, Equine Therapy is generally more structured and specifically used to help people with PTSD or others with real therapy needs.

workshops by asking each person what drew them to the program and what they want to get out of the session with my horses,” she says. “Then I lead a group meditation to help everyone settle in and create trust within the group.” Guests can expect to spend about 15 minutes of solo time in a large corral

Horse, Heart and Connection workshops are held at Gaines’s private ranch in the East End of Ojai with her trusted equine partners, Red and Flash. The ranch is surrounded by orange orchards with stunning mountain views and an oldfashioned barn, creating a peaceful and serene environment. “I always start off Horse, Heart and Connection

Andrea gets some love from Flash.

with one of the horses. They are asked to have a question or an intention before they enter, and to take time to let the interaction unfold naturally. Gaines explains, “Horses are honest, and their reactions can give us insight into our true feelings and the hidden parts of ourselves.” In the Horse, Heart and Connection sessions, Gaines facilitates the interaction in the corral with the participant and the horse. The guest is asked to just wait and see what happens as they walk around the corral with the horse. They can sit down, pet the animal, even on the odd occasion lay down with the horse. The guest is then asked to reflect on what happened between them and the horse, and Winter 2019


share their reflections with the group. “Often, people have a lot of fear of these large animals,” Gaines shares. “I ask them to stay centered and use their breath as a way to relax the nervous system while I facilitate their way to learn something about themselves. “Once we had a woman who was terrified of all animals in general. When this happens I often will have a person put their hands on the horse until they feel comfortable enough to close their eyes and breathe deeply, getting a sense of calmness.” Many of these sessions are full of emotional breakthroughs as the horse provides profound insight into communication. Participants begin to see patterns of learned behavior that may be working against them.

“Some people hold a lot of emotions inside,” Gaines explains. “Being with horses can really crack people open. I saw that happen to a woman who while in the arena with the horse, spontaneously started crying, letting it all out. She lay on the ground sobbing, while the horse came up to her and nuzzled her, sweeping the length of her body with his nose. She trusted him, and she stopped her crying. Once she began petting him, the horse pulled on her shirt to tell her it was time to get up.” Gaines holds a few workshops a month with between one to six people in each session which last between two to three hours. Gaines has also developed a program directed towards high school students to help them discover the emotional intelligence that horses offer. Gaines

provides a safe environment for teens to connect with horses and explore issues they often face such as: boundary setting, self-confidence, esteem building, responding without reacting, and cultivating their intuition. Witnessing such dramatic, positive changes in her participants in the areas of confidence and self-assuredness keeps Gaines passionate about her work. “My intention in doing this work is to help people expand and slow down enough to be open to inspiration and in turn be able to inspire others. Mindfulness and being in nature inform us and help us to remember that we are more than just our mind and our thoughts.” For more and to book a session, visit

Andrea Gaines wanders in her garden. 80

Winter 2019

Ojai Cafe Emporium Ojai’s favorite gathering and eating place for over 30 years.

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Winter 2019



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Larry Wilde began his real estate career in Ojai in 1975, and by 1978, together with his partner Dennis Guernsey, formed their own Real estate business. Today it is the premier brokerage in the Ojai Valley.


Winter 2019

Rancho Matilija | Full Guest House Pool/Spa | Room for Horses | $1,895,000

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Winter 2019


Warm Winter Eats

By Randy Graham

Photos by Randy Graham

Cooking with fresh, local ingredients has its advantages. What, you ask, are the advantages? Glad you asked. The money you spend on products from local farmers, growers, and ranchers, for example, stays in the community and is reinvested with other local businesses. Studies show that every dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the community. Fresh, local products such as unprocessed animal and plant foods are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that are essential for good health. A Big Mac® is quick (and two 100 percent all-beef patties sounds good, right?), but contains 540 calories with 240 of those calories coming from fat. It has 80 mg of cholesterol, which is high for one sandwich, and 46 grams of carbohydrates. Eating one of these sandwiches every once in a while is probably OK, unless you have severe health challenges. But a steady diet of processed and fast foods can’t be healthy. Fresh is better, and my recipes below feature fresh ingredients. When you make my BBQ chicken pizza, navy bean soup, baked ravioli, or asparagus and Gruyère quiche recipes, I think you’ll find them to be healthy and nutritious — and tasty, too. Before you sit down to dinner, consider a wee dram of whiskey or bourbon from one of the many distilleries in the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County region.

Breakfast: Strawberries, brown sugar, and sour cream Before you even think about dinner, however, why not start the day with fresh strawberries for breakfast? Ingredients: 8 ounces fresh strawberries ½ cup light brown sugar ½ cup sour cream Bottle of sparkling wine Directions: Twirl a strawberry in the brown sugar and then dip that in the sour cream. Feed it to your lover and offer a sip of sparkling wine. I like the Grenache Blanc de Noir from Santa Barbara’s Jamie Sloane Wines. If you like traditional champagne, try a bottle of my go-to bubbly, Moët and Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne. 84

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BBQ chicken pizza My omnivore wife, Robin, and I were eating at Marv’s Pizza in downtown Paso Robles this summer. Robin ordered their barbecued chicken pizza and, loving the pizza, asked if I could duplicate it for her at home. Always open to a food challenge, I assured her I could and that it would be even better because I would use my homemade barbecue sauce. This pizza is baked in the oven, so if your barbecue is buttoned up for the winter, this is a perfect way to enjoy barbecue on a cold day without going outside. Pair with Chaparral, a light and dry ale, from the Ojai Valley Brewery, and enjoy!

Ingredients: 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided) ½ pound prepared pizza dough (room temperature) 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast 4 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (divided) Salt and freshly ground pepper 2/3 cup smoked Gouda cheese (grated) 2/3 cup whole milk mozzarella cheese (grated) ¼ small red onion (sliced thin)

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven to preheat. Brush a large bowl with two teaspoons of olive oil. Shape the pizza dough into a ball, add it to the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place. Put the chicken in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and brush with two tablespoons barbecue sauce. Bake on the middle oven rack until cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, then cut into half-inch cubes. While the chicken bakes, lay out a sheet of parchment paper and brush with one teaspoon olive oil. Transfer the ball of dough to the parchment and roll it out into a 10-inch round, stretching it with your hands as needed. Lightly brush the dough with another teaspoon of olive oil, cover with another piece of parchment, and set aside to let rise slightly, about 20 minutes. Uncover the dough and spread with 1/3 cup barbecue sauce, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with Gouda, mozzarella, red onion, and chicken cubes. Slide the pizza (on the parchment paper) onto the hot pizza stone. Bake until the cheese melts and the crust is golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle the remaining two tablespoons barbecue sauce over the pizza. Let pizza cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

Navy bean soup The navy bean got its current popular name because it was a staple food of the United States Navy in the early 20th century. They are mild, pea-sized beans that are creamy white in color. Like other common beans, navy beans are one of 13,000 species of the family of legumes, or plants that produce edible pods. When combined with whole grains such as rice, navy beans provide virtually fat-free high-quality protein. Pair your meal with Carpinteria’s Rincon Brewery Dos Arboles Pilsner beer or with a bottle of the 2016 Grenache from the Brick Barn Wine Estate in Santa Ynez.

Ingredients: 2 Italian sausages 16 ounces dry navy beans (rinsed) 1 medium onion (diced) 3 stalks celery (diced) 1 tablespoon fresh dill (chopped) 4 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped) 4 cloves garlic (minced) 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil (chopped)

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon (no chicken base)

2 quarts vegetable broth

Directions: Plug in your slow cooker and set to low heat. Slice the sausages into ¼-inch slices and fry until browned on both sides. Place the cooked sausages and all other ingredients in a slow cooker, and cook for five hours. Before serving, adjust for salt, adding more if necessary.

Winter 2019


Baked ravioli This recipe was inspired by memories of eating fried ravioli in the mid-1980s. I was consulting, on weekends, for a couple of older Irish gentlemen whose names shall be changed to protect the dearly departed. I’ll call them Jim and Graham. For the nine months I worked with them, I was invited to meet on Saturdays for drinks and fried ravioli at the Club Pheasant Restaurant in West Sacramento. My Irish friends had a reserved table at the Club Pheasant Restaurant, and I would meet them in the early afternoon. After a few Saturdays, I would walk into the restaurant, and the hostess would say, “Hi Randy. Your mentors await. Shall I get you the usual?” “The usual” was Bombay gin over, with a twist. It wasn’t my usual. I had never tried gin until I met Jim and Graham. But it was their usual, and I grew to enjoy having this pre-lunch cocktail (or two) with my friends while listening to stories of their mischievous boyhood pursuits. Just as we finished sipping our gin, plates of fried ravioli would magically appear. No one ordered them. They just appeared. There were two plates of fried meat ravioli for Jim and Graham and a plate of cheese ravioli for me. My plate included marinara dipping sauce. Graham would tease me about the ravioli saying, “I think the cook got our orders mixed up this time. Be careful you don’t bite into any meat.” Those were fun times. When I was 35

and still invincible, the fried ravioli was a terrific weekend treat. Today I try to stay away from fried foods, but will once in a while make this healthier version for Robin and me. Pair with your favorite Chianti, or try a semi-dry 2015 Reserve Jeunesse Red Wine Blend from Oxnard’s Herzog Wine Cellars.

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds fresh or frozen cheese ravioli

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 ½ cups whole milk mozzarella (coarsely

3 cloves garlic (minced)


Salt and ground pepper (to taste)

½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

1 tablespoon fresh basil (medium chop) 1 teaspoon sugar 28-ounce can whole fire-roasted tomatoes 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper; cook, occasionally stirring, until softened, about five minutes. Add oregano, basil, sugar, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Break up tomatoes with a spoon and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce is thickened and reduced. While the sauce is simmering, cook the ravioli in a large pot of boiling water not according to package directions but just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in the oven). Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce to the pot and gently toss pasta with sauce. Pour pasta into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with cheeses. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes. Serve with a fresh garden salad and breadsticks. 86

Winter 2019

Asparagus and Gruyère quiche Are you looking for something new for a family get-together? Look no further. This quiche has body and, just as important, a fantastic combination of flavors that complement almost anything you serve for dinner. Gruyère is a hard yellow cheese named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland. It is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming with age more assertive, earthy, and complex. This recipe takes advantage of aging. The flavor and texture of my whole wheat crust adds yet another dimension of flavor that will make you yodel with delight. I like to serve this with a classic Caesar salad and a bottle of Albariño wine (Tangent label) from the Niven Family Winery in San Luis Obispo. Crust Ingredients 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

Filling Ingredients:

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon butter

1 ¼ cups half-and-half

1 cup wheat germ

1 leek (white and light green parts only, halved and thinly sliced)

½ teaspoon salt

1 pound asparagus (tough ends removed, stems sliced thin diagonally)

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1 ½ cups white flour

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons butter 10 – 12 tablespoons cold water

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper 1 cup aged Gruyère cheese (grated)

Crust Directions: Stir together flour, wheat germ, and salt. Cut butter into these dry ingredients (a pastry cutter makes this easy). When the dough is the consistency of rolled oats, sprinkle with enough of the water to hold the dough together. Form into a ball, cover, and refrigerate for about an hour while you prepare the filling. Filling Directions: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add leek and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, occasionally stirring, until asparagus is tender — about seven or eight minutes. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Set aside. Baking Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Roll out dough and lay carefully in the baking dish creating a 1½-inch high crust up the sides of the pan. Sprinkle Gruyère on the bottom of the crust and top with asparagus/leek mixture. Pour egg mixture on top. Bake until the center of the quiche is set – about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Randy Graham has been a vegetarian since August 1975. He eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He enjoys cooking for friends and family using ingredients from his backyard vegetable and herb gardens. He teaches at the Ojai Culinary School, and his Chef Randy column can be found in various Central Coast newspapers. He has written and published six cookbooks and is working on a seventh, the Ojai Valley Instant Pot cookbook. See his recipes and cookbooks at

Winter 2019


Photo by Nathan Wickstrum

Together, our community will help protect Ojai’s trails and open spaces for everyone to enjoy, forever. Visit a participating Wild About Ojai business today and take part. A Taste of Ojai

Greyfox Investors

Ojai Quarterly

Alojai Creations

Jennifer Keeler, Hair Stylist

Rowsie Vain

BeCalm of Ojai

Lorraine Lim Catering

Sol Haus Design

Chamber on the Mountain Char Man Brand Hot Sauce

Mary Nelson Skincare & Massage Studio

The Southern Los Padres Trekking Company

Dogs Fly Design

Meridian Design Construction

The Glass Man Professional Window Washing Company

Mooney Creative 88

Winter 2019

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works on paper

Gustav Klimt Egon Schiele

December 12 – March 1

canvas and paper

311 N. Montgomery Street Ojai California 93023

Thursday – Sunday noon – 5pm

Winter 2019


From the Mountains to the Sea By Bennett Barthelemy

We’ve been pushing our bikes up some of the hill. But we don’t mind because we are able to better appreciate the shimmering diamond light bouncing off the Pacific Ocean 15 miles away, and the Channel Islands swimming off in its hazy distance. Remnants of the devastating Thomas Fire two years ago are barely visible on the trail around us as the tenacious chaparral has rebounded after welcomed winter rains.

From Shelf Road, the fire access road that skirts the edge of Ojai’s Topa Topa mountain range, Rita Maes and I make our way to the well-marked and quite steep Fox Trail. These tight switchbacks mean we are pushing our bikes on the well-groomed, single-track trail past fragrant purple and black sage. Turkey vultures catch thermals and rise ever higher paralleling our ascent. Since the mid-1980s, I have been rolling through the streets, bike trails, single tracks, and fire roads of Ojai and Ventura. There is something here for every level of rider — the mellow seaside cruiser, the seasoned roadie, and the ace technical backcountry pro. Whether you’re looking for a casual one-hour or a more strenuous half-day ride, here are a few of my favorite outings. Sweat burns our eyes as we approach the junction to Foothill Trail. We will connect it with the Luci Trail for a very steep and very technical descent loop just under four miles. It’s the perfect length for 92

Winter 2019

a quick escape to sample some of the amazing singletrack mountain biking the Ojai Valley has to offer. These trails are housed inside what is known as the Valley View Preserve, and part of over 25 miles of valley trails maintained by the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy.

Sweet local bicycle riding in Ojai and Ventura

Great views of the Ojai Valley can be found on Shelf Road, and its many more rigorous off-shoots.

The trails are a wonderful resource for visiting and local riders, runners, and hikers alike. For a more relaxed ride, the aforementioned Shelf Road is perfect for beginners. At around two miles long, it rises above downtown Ojai and is easily accessible via either Gridley Road or Signal Street. Its gentle climbs and descents offer epic views of “ShangriLa” (aka the Ojai Valley). This lush green bowl is comprised of a patchwork of avocado and orange orchards set between thousands of oak trees, all of which is couched in by the Las Padres National Forest on three sides, and Sulphur Mountain to the south. On the far east end of the valley, the Topa Topa Mountains reign over the valley floor. And because they’re situated at the far end of California’s distinctive Transverse Range, they provide the perfect backdrop for Ojai’s famous Pink Moment sunsets.

Winter 2019


Photo by Bennett Barthelemy

Author Bennett Barthelemy tools down Shelf Road in the Ojai Valley.

For those who prefer pavement over dirt but still appreciate a minimal disturbance by cars, the 15-mile Ojai Valley Trail from Ojai to the beach at Ventura is a great way to spend a couple of hours. Gently sloping downhill to the beach from the Ojai Valley, “The Bike Trail,” as it is known by locals, offers ever-changing views of the valley. Not interested in making the full loop from Ojai to Ventura and back? Connect with the Gold Coast Transit bus, which has room to load a few bikes on their rack on a first-come basis for the passage back to Ojai. Side note: Until Jan. 20, 2020, the chunk of trail skirting the communities of Oak View and Casitas Springs will be closed to allow for construction of a new bypass storm drain facility. See for a map of the detour, or simply plan to take Santa Ana Boulevard to Santa Ana Road, and reconnect with

the Ojai Valley Trail just south of Casitas Springs.

Photo by Bennett Barthelemy

Rita Maes basks in the gold hour light on Shelf Road. 94

Photo by Rita Maes

Biking in the late dusk light in Ojai.

Winter 2019

My favorite portion of the paved Ojai-to-Ventura trail — especially during the late afternoon — is at its end, where it comes to a T-junction. From here at the ocean’s edge, there are several miles of designated bike trails hugging the coast. They begin at Seaside Park just beyond the Ventura Pier, and continue to Emma Wood State Beach to the north. After a lazy ride past Surfer’s Point, the Ventura River spills to the sea where there are plenty of pelicans,

Photo by Bennett Barthelemy

Ride the Ojai Valley Trail all the way down to the water’s edge in Ventura.

Photo by Bennett Barthelemy

Take a detour off the trail and dip your toes in the sand near the Ventura Pier.

shorebirds, kite surfers, and stand up paddle boarders all sharing the fading light of another famous Ventura sunset. For those seeking libations along the way, stop at the Ventura Pier for a pint at the MadeWest Brewery Taproom. With indoor and outdoor seating, the sunset veranda views can cap your ride perfectly. A local’s secret about the weather: Almost any day of the year in Ojai can surprise you with 80-plus degree temperatures; and, during the summer, 100-plus degree days

are not unheard of. Mornings and evenings, therefore, are ideal for an active escape into the hills. There is no water out there, so be sure to bring your own, and plenty of it. Ventura tends to be 20 degrees cooler on average than Ojai, however, making a nice escape from the heat. Being coastal, Ventura mornings until early afternoon can hold a good bit of fog, especially in spring. It might be clear and warm in Ojai, but chilly and socked in on the coast. So along with extra water, bring layers, too.

Helpful links: • Ojai Valley Land Conservancy trail maps, weather conditions, and more: • Ventura County Transportation Commission website hosts a map of all the bike lanes in the county as well as basic repair stations with compressed air for the riding public: • Bike Rentals: in Ojai, Bicycles of Ojai (108 Cañada St, Ojai), or The Mob Shop (110 W Ojai Ave, Ojai); in Ventura, Wheel Fun Rentals (450 E Harbor Blvd, at Crowne Plaza in Ventura), or Ventura Bike Depot (239 W Main St, Ventura) • Detour map for the Ojai Valley Trail:

Photo by Rita Maes

Sunset rides provide epic views in the Ojai and Ventura area.

Winter 2019


THE EL TORO ESTATE: AN HISTORICAL WORK OF ART This Spanish Colonial Estate was built in 1926 by architect Arthur E. Harvey, creator of the Château Élysée in Los Angeles; on 8 lush acres, it has incredible views. The main house was authentically and beautifully restored with an architectural historian from the original blueprints. Allen Construction from Montecito used the finest materials and and paid exquisite attention to detail.

The property is truly a work of art, from the historical tiles to the arched entryways. It feels like a modernized California Mission. The main house has 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms; the property includes a well, a tennis court, a pool, and a 2br/2ba guest house. Ecological landscape design facilitates water retention that feeds a huge variety of fruit trees. 11 90 E l To ro R dO j ai. co m

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Winter 2019

CALIFORNIA 101 Artists and Galleries


CA 101

Human Arts Gallery: FOR SALE 246 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 646-1525 An arts destination for over 44 years, Human Arts is known for a diverse and unique collection of jewelry, furniture, ceramics, glass, textiles, art and sculpture. Located in the middle of Ojai’s historic shopping district the gallery represents over 120 nationally known artists, including 25 who are local. 2500sq.ft. space, lease with options; includes fixtures, point of sale, inventory and more; great reputation in the community and loyal following. For more information, e-mail Stan: Hours: 11-5 Mon., Wed.-Fri. (closed Tues.) Sat. 11-6, Sun. 12-5

Firestick Pottery 1804 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 272-8760 FIRESTICK POTTERY STUDIO, is home to more than 20 ceramic artists, who sell their wares and teach classes. Stop in for a tour of the studio, or browse in the gallery. You may even sign up for a Pottery Party or 2-hour Workshop. The Studio is on a park-like acre, with pomegranates, succulents and citrus trees: Open Daily 10am - 6pm Call to schedule a workshop or party

Brittany Davis Gallery 214 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023 (714) 369-9869

@BrittanyDavisGallery /BrittanyDavisGallery

Open Monday-Sunday 11am-7pm Closed on Tuesday Brittany Davis Gallery is a classical fine art gallery with a new exciting twist. Showcasing a wide variety of paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, glassware and more by local and international artists. The gallery has monthly rotating exhibits with group and solo shows. Every time you visit, there are new works to enjoy with our monthly rotation. Also, you can find a few surprise installations in the gallery. One being the in the Sky room. Walking around the gallery is friendly to all that want to view and learn about who and how the work is made.

Dan Schultz Fine Art Gallery & Studio 106 N. Signal St., Ojai, CA 93023 (805) 317-9634 The gallery’s exclusive focus is artwork by American fine artist, Dan Schultz. Visitors will see the full range of his subject matter including his popular plein air Ojai landscapes, his award-winning paintings of figures outdoors and also his portrait work. “In fact, Dan has been named Best Artist in Ojai by the Ojai Valley News Best of Ojai competition.” When Dan isn’t outdoors painting the beautiful Ojai landscape, he is usually painting in his studio area inside the gallery. Please stop and visit next time you’re in the Ojai area!

canvas and paper 311 N. Montgomery St., Ojai, CA 93023 Dec 12 – March 1 works on paper by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele Hours: Thursday – Sunday, noon – 5pm A non-profit exhibition space showing paintings and drawings from the 20th century and earlier in thematic and single artist exhibits.

Winter 2019


an Ojai tradition since 1964

Open Every Day 9:30 - Sunset


Winter 2019

302 W. Matilija Street | 805-646-3755

WINTER EVENTS It is cold outside — at least, by California standards! Luckily, the Central Coast has a calendar full of fun activities and events to keep you toasty. ONGOING

JANUARY Egypt’s Lost Cities Now through April 12, 2020

Tamale Festival Jan. 17 and 18, 2020 Do you love tamales? Of course you do, and Atascadero knows it. Their fifth annual Tamale Festival is back and bigger than ever this year with dozens of vendors selling every conceivable type of tamale. Seek out old favorites and expand your palate with unusual flavor combinations, all while enjoying live music and entertainment. There’s something for everyone: dancing horses, Folkloric Dancers, specialty adult drinks, a tamale-eating contest, locallymade gifts, bounce houses, and yes, fireworks! Where: Downtown Atascadero For more:

Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation

Cambria Art & Wine Festival

California is just about as far as you can get from Egypt — a 7,500mile, 16-plus hour flight. But to see the wonders of this incredible place, you need only to travel to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley. Now on display are almost 300 artifacts, remnants of Cairo, Alexandria, and two ancient cities that vanished under the waves of the Mediterranean. The cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus were centers of commerce and culture 1,200 years ago — that is, until an earthquake and tsunami wiped them off the map. Where: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Dr., Simi Valley Tickets and more: Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival Jan. 17 to 20, 2020 When you’re in the midst of a long road trip, signs for a rest stop offer a welcome respite from the highway. If your trip happens to take you from Alaska to Central America — and you happen to be a migrating bird — Morro Bay is a sight for sore eyes. The area’s estuaries, lakes, and reservoirs lie halfway along the migratory paths of hundreds of species of birds, making it an ideal place for birds to rest, and humans to catch a close-up view of them. The annual Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival provides dozens of activities, field trips, and events to give

W inter E vents

Celebrating the National Lands of California Jan. 19, 2020 - Closing Weekend: Artist Panel Discussion, Sunday, January 19, 2020, 3 - 4:30 p.m. Where: Wildling Museum, 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463 Tickets available at or call (805) 686-8315

W inter E vents

Downtown Ventura Tasting Tour Sundays Whether you’re new to Ventura or have lived there your whole life, whether you’re a foodie or just like to eat, do yourself a favor and book a Downtown Ventura Tasting Tour. Go in-depth and behind the scenes with local chefs, winemakers, and shop owners, and get a taste of the true flavor of this historic and scenic area. Plan for about three hours for each tour. Ventura Food Tours also offers various eating and drinking tours in Ojai and Santa Barbara; see the website for more on each location. Where: Various locations Tickets and more: or (805) 295-TOUR(8687)

veteran birders and novices alike the chance to explore the region and nerd out, bird-style. Along the lineup of activities: sunset cruises, wine tasting, talks with experts, an all-things-bird bazaar, and guided trips to regional hotspots, among many other activities. Learn about how woodpeckers can save the world, how to identify birds by their calls, and what brought California condors back from the brink of extinction — all in some of the most scenic locations on the Central Coast. Where: Various locations in and around Morro Bay Tickets and more:

Jan. 24 to 26, 2020 Art and wine — the perfect pairing. Come up to Cambria Jan. 24 26, 2020, for the annual Cambria Art & Wine Festival. Art shows and demonstrations are scheduled throughout the event, as are wine tastings, of course! Peruse vendors and sip regional delights at several locations across this charming beachside community. You’re going to want to keep Friday evening open for the five-course dinner and wine pairing. Where: Various locations in Cambria Tickets and more:; (805) 927-3624 Winter 2019




W inter E vents

BlendFest on the Coast Feb. 20 to 23, 2020 Merlot, cab, chard … they’re all amazing on their own but let a winemaker blend, and the possibilities explode. The fourth annual BlendFest on the Coast celebrates the rule-breaking blendhappiness with some of the Paso Robles region’s top winemakers. From tastings to winemaker dinners, blending seminars to brunches, this is sure to expand your palate. Where: Various locations in Cambria Tickets and more:; (805) 239-8463 MARCH Ventura Gem and Mineral Show March 7 and 8, 2020 The 57th annual Gem, Mineral, Fossil & Jewelry Show brings together dozens of vendors and educators for a fascinating weekend to celebrate — well, a lot more than just rocks. Do you know what a mineral actually is? How do fossils form? How did that amethyst get found, shaped, and transformed into a beautiful ring? Or do you just really like making jewelry? This show has you covered. You’ll also find kids’ activities, silent auctions, raffles, plant sales, and a lot more, so bring the whole family to this free event sponsored by the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society. Side note: there is a small charge for parking. Where: Ventura County Fairgrounds, 10 W Harbor Blvd, Ventura For more: Camarillo Beer March March 14, 2020, 1 to 4 pm Why go on another pub crawl when you can go on a beer march? Get to stepping through Camarillo’s charming Old Town on Mar. 14, 2020, at the fifth annual Beer March! Explore the area’s vibrant and growing craft beer, wine, and spirits scene, with more than 20 stops along the way — live music included! Upgrade to the VIP experience for more exclusive tastings.


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palm d


neill rd Buellton Wine and Chili Festival 2020 Sunday, March 15, 12pm - 4:30pm PDT s glen Aoin us for a Sunday Fun Day of wine, craft beer, chili, salsa and live elm darr entertainment on Sunday, March 15th at Flying Flags RV Resort & palm Campground from 12 - 4:30 p.m. 30+ wineries, and craft breweries, and plenty of chili and salsa! Live entertainment, lawn games, great vendors and food. You can sample from any of the chili and arne illsalsa rd cooks on hand, and vote for your favorites!

Ventura Blvd

Lucas & Lewellen Valentine’s Day Winemaker Dinner Feb. 14, 2020 Great food, fantastic wine, and your Valentine — what could be better than that? Lucas & Lewellen Winery is bringing its popular Valentine’s Day Winemaker Dinner back to Solvang’s Alisal River Grill on Feb. 14. Set on the stunning River Course at the Alisal, this romantic dinner will pair Lucas & Lewellen wines with an impressive culinary lineup. Both Royce Lewellen and Louis Lucas will be in attendance (as will their Valentines!) to personally share the story of the wines with attendees. This dinner sells out quickly, so get your tickets soon! Where: Alisal River Grill,150 Alisal Rd, Solvang Tickets and more: or (805) 686-9336

Where: Old Town Camarillo Tickets and more:


Camarillo Ranch Wedding Showcase February TBA , 2020, 1 – 4 pm Be inspired by the latest trends in rentals, florals, photography, décor and more to help you wow your guests. Chance to win fabulous prizes from all participating vendors. Where: 201 Camarillo Ranch Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012

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elm dr Cheers to Zinfandel March 20 to 22, 2020 fir st If it’s a sin to love zin, we’re in trouble. Celebrate Paso Robles’ heritage varietal for three days at this event hosted by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. More than 100 wineries are scheduled to participate so far, and they’re all creating zin-fully delicious special tastings and events. The list of activities keeps growing, so check out the website below to plan your itinerary! fir st Where: Paso Robles Event Center Tickets and more:; (805) 239-8463 oak st


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Starry Nights: Visions of the Night Sky Saturday, February 1, 2020, 3 - 5 p.m. Artist Panel Discussion, Sunday, January 19, 2020, 3 - 4:30 p.m. Where: Wildling Museum, 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463 RSVP to or call (805) 686-8315


dar dr 75th Annual Santa Barbara Intl. Orchid Show March 13-15, 2020 This spring, discover the thrill of “Orchids – A World of Adventure” at the 75th Annual Santa Barbara Intl. Orchid Show, March 13-15, 2020 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. Named “one of the top oak orchid shows in the world” by the Los Angeles Times and featured st alongside the U.K.’s prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, the Santa ce r Barbara Orchid Show unites a thriving, international communityda of dr growers and enthusiasts cultivating an environment of wonder and delight in celebration of the world’s most exotic flower.

APRIL The 30th Cattlemen’s Western Art Show April 3 - 5, 2020 Fifty Western Artists exhibiting all new original paintings and sculpturesProceeds of this event go to sponsor agriculture activities for 4-H, FFA and Cal Poly Students Cattlemen’s Western Art Show is held at the Paso Robles Event Center (in Estrella Hall). The Paso Robles Event Center (formerly known as the California Mid-State Fairground), is located at 2198 Riverside Ave, Paso Robles 93446. Phone: 805239-0655 Where: Various locations in and around Paso Robles 17th Annual Spring Barbeque Sunday, April 26, 2020 Where: Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos Tickets coming soon to

Andorra Beach, Palm Springs, San Diego, and Bakersfield. Los Angeles International Airport, otherwise known as LAX, lies one hour Antique Mall of Camarillo southeast of Camarillo, serving the greater Los Angeles area. Bella Capri Inn Blvd Brgr Company Bone Deep Tattoo to Camarillo OldGet Town HowOld to to Camarillo Old Town How toHow GettotoGetCamarillo Town California Designers Choice Custom Situated in the heart of Southern California and near the Situated in the heart of Southern California and near the Camarillo several other major Golden Situated incoast, the heart of neighbors Southern California and nearState the Cabinetry Alas Boutique Camarillo neighbors cities, such as Ventura,several Santacoast, Barbara, Santa Monica, Longseveral other major Golden State coast, Camarillo neighbors other major Golden cities, such as Ventura, SantaState Barbara, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Palm Springs, San Diego, and Bakersfield. Los Angeles Chapel City Church cities, suchInternational as Ventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Long and Bakersfield. Beach, Palm Springs, San Diego, Los Angeles Airport, otherwise known as LAX, lies one hour All Sorts Thrift Shop Chastain Insurance Services International Airport, otherwise known as LAX, lies one hour southeast of Camarillo, serving the greater Los Angeles Beach, Palm Springs, San Diego, and Bakersfield. Losarea. Angeles southeast ofLAX, Camarillo, serving the greater Los Angeles area. International Airport, otherwise known as lies one hour Christian Family Supply All Source Realtors southeast of Camarillo, serving the greater Los Angeles area. DeLeon Salon American Legion Dot Dot Smile with JZ Boutique nn dr El Rey Cantina Andorra Empty Hangers Antique Mall of Camarillo dr Flower Power Green Goddess s glen Bella Capri Inn n dr Lamplighter Sports Bar s glen n dr Blvd Brgr Company LegalpaShield lm dr/ IDShield Lularoe Sarah and Joanne Bone Deep Tattoo palm d r Studio Luminous Skincare & Makeup neil n ldrd rn r Mills Jewelers & Loan California Designers Choice r Mister Rogers Hairstyling ar neill rd Custom m dr elmSoftee Mister dr Cabinetry (Surfside Softee, Inc.) elm Moxie Hair & Design Studio dr Chapel City Church Museum Quality Art Services Old Town Café Chastain Insurance Services Painting with a Twist Christian Family Supply Palm Dental Smiles r Posh Hair & Skin Studio DeLeon Salon fir st Que Pasa Mexican Café Dot Dot Smile with JZ Boutique Red Carpet Formal Wear firSummit Realty One Group st El Rey Cantina Revolution Surf and Skate Empty Hangers Robert Martin Salon The Camarillo Old Town Association is Salon eLLe Studio and Spa an organization of business and property Flower Power Designs oak Schearer owners, area residents and stakeholders in st Green Goddess Sessions at the Loft / the Camarillo Old Town business district,. The cedar Don Harper Productions Lamplighter Sports Bar dr Association strives to improve economic vitality SoCal Flooring oak st and enhance the neighborhood’s reputation Legal Shield / IDShield Studio Channel Islands as a vibrant, friendly, clean and exciting place Sun Kissed Yoga Lularoe Sarah and Joanne cedar to attend music performances, art exhibits, dr TCR Accupuncture







Visit Old Town Camarillo

Tony's NY Pizzeria Twenty 88 Usborne Books + More Visit Camarillo Window Box Antiques Wine Closet Woof Pack Grooming Zander's Game House

dine, shop and play! Visit their local office in Old Town located at 1820 Ventura Blvd. Camarillo, CA 93010 to get more information on the local events and happenings and to find out how you can get involved. Go to their website at

Luminous Skincare & Makeup Studio Mills Jewelers & Loan Mister Rogers Hairstyling COTA

CA 101

Mister Softee Moxie Hair & Design Studio Museum Quality Art Services Old Town Café Painting with a Twist Palm Dental Smiles Posh Hair & Skin Studio Que Pasa Mexican Café Red Carpet Formal Wear Realty One Group Summit Revolution Surf and Skate Robert Martin Salon Salon eLLe Studio and Spa Schearer Designs Sessions at the Loft / Don Harper Productions SoCal Flooring Studio Channel Islands Sun Kissed Yoga TCR Accupuncture Tony’s NY Pizzeria Twenty 88 Usborne Books + More Visit Camarillo Window Box Antiques Wine Closet Woof Pack Grooming Zander’s Game House

Back by popular demand… Friday Night Cruises will be held from 5pm – 8pm on the 3rd Friday of the month starting in April and going through September! Family friendly event. Cars, Music and games for the kids!

Winter 2019



Winter 2019




Winter 2019


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Winter 2019


Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation

Colossal statue of a ptolemaic king reassembled underwater after excavation and preliminary cleaning. Thonis-Heraclion. Red granite. Maritime Museum. IEASM excavations. (SCA 279)

eXtrAOrDinArY “eGYPt’s LOst Cities” eXHiBitiOn

OPen At tHe rOnALD reAGAn PresiDentiAL LiBrArY AnD MUseUM OCTOBER 5, 2019 – APRIL 12, 2020

Time may have eroded the memory of a civilization but not the mystery of what was. Long ago, two bustling cities in ancient Egypt were known throughout the world as cultural centers of power, of wealth, of trade, and novel artistry. One day as the Mediterranean sun beat down on the bay of Aboukir, the cities slipped into the sea without a whisper of wind, buried for centuries. Determined to recover the cities that vanished, Franck Goddio, an economist by trade and underwater archeologist at heart, delivered the discovery of a millennium, for he located not a shipwreck but an entire civilization. This remarkable story will be told at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum’s Egypt’s Lost Cities exhibition. “Egypt’s Lost Cities brings back to life two cities that time forgot,” said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. “We’re privileged to bring this rich story of ancient cities from the time of ancient Pharaohs and Alexander the Great—both lost at sea —to the Reagan Library. It’s a find as magnificent as Atlantis, something you just have to see to believe.” Opening on October 5, 2019 and running through April 12, 2020, Egypt’s 106

Winter 2019

Lost Cities showcases more than 250 of these authentic artifacts, including three colossal 16-foot sculptures of an Egyptian pharaoh, a queen, and a god. The Reagan Library will also display The Stele de Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II, an 18-ton monolith, the first time this artifact has ever been on display in the United States. Additional highlights of the exhibition include: • Precious gold coins and jewelry • Bronze vessels • Objects inscribed in the ancient Egyptian or Greek languages • Statues from the sunken and forgotten ancient cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, including the statue of the god Hapi. Made of red granite, the statue is 18 feet tall and weighs 8 tons. It is the biggest statue of a god ever discovered in Egypt. “Visitors will be able to see artifacts which have never been seen before,” said Franck Goddio, curator and underwater archeologist who discovered the two lost cities. “This exhibition shows the result of 22 years of work on those two sunken cities. For me and my team it is extremely gratifying to know that this superb

exhibit has been chosen to appear at the Ronald Reagan Library.” To help tell the story of these ancient lost cities, these artifacts will be seen alongside ancient Egyptian artifacts from museums in Cairo and Alexandria. This not-to-be-missed exhibition is ideal or the entire family. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit This exhibition was organized with the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine with the generous support of the Hilti Foundation and in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is underwritten in part through the generosity of the Salem Media Group, in conjunction with AM870 The Answer Los Angeles and 99.5 KKLA FM Los Angeles. The Reagan Library is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, California. Public hours are from 10 am to 5 pm daily. The Museum is only closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day. For Museum Admission fees, please visit As large crowds are expected to view the exhibition, pre-purchased timed-entry

Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation

(left) Bust of the black stone queen set up underwater on iste. Heracleion. Ptolemaic Period, granodiorite, H. 220 cm. National Museum, Alexandria. SCA 283. IEASM Excavations.

Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio / Hilti Foundation

(above right) The awakening of Osiris, Egyptian Museum, Cairo The magnificent warmly coloured gneiss sculpture dates from the 26th dynasty. It shows the rising god returning to life. His face of timeless beauty expresses serenity and the full certitude of youth renewed. (right) The goddess Taweret – Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The remarkably polished graewacke statue dates

from the 26th dynasty 664-525 BC and shows the goddess as a hippopotamus standing on lion’s paws; her drooping breasts and rounded belly symbolist maternity and fecundity.

tickets are recommended by visiting For more information, call (800) 410.8354 or About The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is the sole nonprofit organization created by President Reagan charged with continuing his legacy and sharing his principles - individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy, and national pride. The Foundation is a

partisan organization which sustains the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA, the Reagan Center for Public Affairs, the Presidential Learning Center, The Air Force One Pavilion, and the Reagan Institute, which carries out the Foundation’s mission in Washington, D.C. The Reagan Library houses 55 million pages of Gubernatorial, Presidential and personal papers and over 60,000 gifts and artifacts chronicling the lives of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. It now also serves as the final resting place of America’s 40th President and his first lady. Winter 2019



One of California’s most beautiful and unique destinations! • Over 250 priceless Egyptian treasures • Egyptian artifacts, jewels, gold coins, and colossal statues more than 1,200 years old • Recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea from two bustling, long forgotten, sunken Egyptian cities Organised with the Institut Européen d’Archéologie Sous-Marine with the generous support of the Hilti Foundation and in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt

NOV. 2019 - JAN. 2020

Photo: Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

• 26 exquisitely decorated trees representing the 26 countries President Reagan visited while in office • Beautiful hand-crafted menorahs



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• Original artwork by White House artist Thomas William Jones

40 Presidential Drive • Simi Valley, CA 93065 • • 805-522-2977

Your next

ADVENTURE awaits in


Start your next adventure at SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Winter 2019


Vibing Ventura: Three live music meccas in Ventura Story and photos by Nigel Chisholm

Growing up in the gritty steel city of Birmingham, England, I loved the song, Ventura Highway. Full of the impossible dream that was California, and sung by a band named America. Although the lyrics of their song, A Horse With No Name more accurately represented my circumstance, well, this boy was allowed to dangle an impossible dream at the end of another grim day, right? Fast forward to 1987 and I found myself living in, you guessed it, Ventura. I rode on that famed Highway 101 every day and eventually moved up to Ojai. That’s where I met and became friends with keyboardist and saxophonist Jimmy Calire, who toured with, you probably didn’t guess this, America, for more years than you can shake a stick at. Funny how life often does what you make it do. All these years later, I have found myself immersed in the music scene for the past 15 years and now writing about three profoundly different music venues in, yep, you definitely guessed this one too, Ventura. Ventura is chock full of music and is often called the Nashville of the West Coast. Due to its interesting mix of yuppie and redneck inhabitants, its less flattering moniker is Ventucky (also the name of an album by the supremely talented Dan Grimm). Fortunately, all inhabit the place in peace! So, here we go. These are the places that you would not normally be drawn to while passing through Ventura’s blue highways. But, if you fancy a bit of local color, a bit of fun, and a heap of quality, read on and give them a visit.


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CA 101

Three live music meccas in Ventura

Sans Souci lounge area.

First on the list has to be the Sans Souci, also known as The Sewer to anyone from around the area. Tiny, dark, and not the tidiest place you’ll ever visit in the world, you will immediately wonder why you are walking into what appears to be your imminent demise. Hidden away at 215 S Chestnut St, directly across from the historic Ventura Theater, this place was last on the market 20 years ago although it has been around for forever. Given its size, one has to wonder how it survives. However, to go there on any given night is to understand. It is always busy and it is always full of locals. Make no mistake, this is a dive bar in every

sense of the term. A place where the bartenders move fast, the drinks are strong, and the music is loud. The bands here tend to be rock to metal and can be found on most weekends. Regardless whether the type of music on offer is to one’s personal taste, the aggressive music fits the environment to a T. This is accentuated by the fact that the bands usually set up for their late sets on the far side of the tiny inside bar leaving barely enough breathing space to order your gin and tonic. Don’t be fooled by the environment, though. These are some of the best bartenders in town, and they will hear your fancy drink order and make you a believer in Ventura’s classic dive bar.

Sans Souci front door. Winter 2019


Vibing Ventura:

CA 101

The Star Lounge’s autographed guitars on display.

Turning left out of The Sewer, left again on Main Street, walking down the gentle hill for a couple hundred yards and crossing the road, you will be standing in front of The Star Lounge. Goodness gracious me! If ever there was a bar that was an institution in Ventura, it is this place. This is old-style Ventura in the flesh. Ventura used to be a big oil town and this was the place where those hardened men drank, swore, fought, and took aim at the spittoons. The Star Lounge has mellowed somewhat but it still holds true to its traditional roots, even after local Mark Hartley bought it a decade ago. Mark completely

The Star Lounge bar and pool table area. 112

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renovated the space while retaining its real purpose: booze, pool, and music. The thing is though, Mark happens to be one of the biggest country music managers in the world, so he has done things properly. In went a nice stage, in went a nice backdrop, in went a great sound system, and all tied together very nicely with great stage lighting. The red walls, which hold five massive TVs (all on sports) match the red felt that tightly covers the two pool tables. When I rolled in on a Friday night, the Star Lounge was doing what it does. The joint was busy with a culturally diverse and eclectic mix of locals young and ... older, hippies,

rednecks, blue collar working folk, and beautifully coiffured and dressed yuppies. There was an awesome cover band by the name of Reign on stage (it’s always cover bands here) playing ‘70s and ‘80s anthem rock incredibly well. Not to be missed is something else that Mark gifted this bar. Without being ostentatious or drawing attention to themselves, the walls are adorned with signed guitars of incredibly famous musicians, mostly, but not exclusively, from the country genre. As you walk in, glance to your right, and you will see the first of many: Vince Gill’s axe. The Star Lounge does what it does, and makes no apologies. It is a fabulous music venue for the type of music we all know, love, and need. And, boy, does the Star Lounge scratch that itch!

The Star Lounge front door.

CA 101

Three live music meccas in Ventura

Squashed Grapes stage area.

And now, for something completely different. Squashed Grapes located on Market St, is commanded by possibly the two most determined men in the business and driven by a simple goal: Play Music, Love Jazz, Make Wine. Owners Adam Randall and Josh McNutt have had a challenging journey over the past few years. The original Squashed Grapes was located in mid-town Ventura, not exactly known as a hot-bed of anything let alone wine drinkers and jazz aficionados. However, they provided a fantastic environment for musicians with a “build it and they will come” type of model and, indeed, they did! Anyone who was anyone in the music world trooped down and played there. It was a beautiful scene, even if jazz wasn’t necessarily your bag. And, given that neither was wealthy, for Adam and Josh it was all a labor of love. Circumstances arose that led them to vacate their original space, but that wasn’t going got stop this dynamic duo. They came up with a plan to push forward with

two places: One ostensibly for the making of wine and wine tasting, and the other as a new and improved jazz club. They saved their pennies, found locations, and went along to the City to sort out their permits. It was there, at the counter of the faceless bureaucracy, with signed leases in hand, that things began to go horribly wrong. The permitting process threw roadblock after roadblock in their way, and as a result, two years later, only one of their places is currently open. Throughout this mind-numbing process, the boys have barely missed a step. While waiting on the final permits for the winery space, they teamed up with another local restaurant to take over the front of the house and not only present jazz, but to raise money for charities. These guys are determined! Just recently, the Squashed Grapes winery slung open its garagestyle doors to reveal an expansive wine tasting room filled with maturing barrels of their own wine. I showed up on a Saturday afternoon at about 3pm to be greeted by the incredible sounds of the five-piece Dogfish jazz band. The space that Squashed Grapes has cut out for the bands that play there is remarkable. The bands and musicians are not deemed to

be “help” — they are viewed (and treated) as an integral part of the business. Adam shared with me that he views music, and jazz in particular, as an intrinsic part of his soul, and that he is irresistibly driven to provide the best that he can for the musicians. That would probably explain the exquisitely tuned grand piano available for the bands and the excellent sound system. After all, what is jazz without a piano! Once again, while still awaiting an end to the permitting nightmare for the second part of their project, Squashed Grapes is attracting the support of all of the musicians that they’ve supported over the years. Not too many years ago when I first started bumping around the downtown area of Ventura, it was a music desert. It has now become a beautifully vibrant beachfront music property. To take the lyrics from another of America’s hits, “I never believed in things I couldn’t see, I said if I can’t feel it then how could it be?” The owners of all three of these fabulous places noted here have proven that you don’t have to see things to believe that they exist because if you feel them, then You Can Do Magic — just as America said you could. • San Souci is at 21 S Chestnut St, Ventura. For more: (805) 643-4539 • Star Lounge is at 343 E Main St, Ventura. For more: (805) 648-4709 • Squashed Grapes is at 4746 Market St, Ventura. For more: (805) 535-4295 or Winter 2019


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1370 Cuyama Ojai, CA , 93023 Sitting perfectly on over an acre of land with citrus fruits and a driveway of cypress trees, this home has the modern design that unites family spirit, cozy atmospheres, and large open spaces. Recently renovated, this light filled house has a spacious floorplan, vaulted ceilings, polished concrete floors, and custom doors leading to a private backyard. The property’s meandering paths lead to an artist’s studio and a sleeping cottage. Located minutes away from trails, organic grocer, coffee shops, and yoga studio, this home is made for a true Ojai lifestyle.


Winter 2019

“There’s no place like home – Let me find yours.” RE / MAX Gold Coast Realtors® (805) 798-0516

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520 Buckboard Lane Ojai, CA 93023 Sitting on over three acres in the prestigious Persimmon Hill area of downtown Ojai, this five bedroom, three bathroom sprawling ranch style home showcases open beamed vaulted ceilings, a stunning great room with a massive brick fireplace, formal dining room, hardwood floors, and a large master suite. The French doors and large windows bring a perfect mix of indoor/outdoor living and stunning mountain views to every window. The magical meandering pathways will lead you to an artist’s studio where you can once again find your creative soul. Plenty of charming areas to gather and enjoy the sensational views of the famous Pink Moment or enjoy a swim under the stars in this completely private gated estate. Living off the grid is easy with your own private well and solar panels. This slice of Country living offers a prime location all within walking distance to Libbey Park, shops, restaurants, and the Ojai Bike/Hike Trail.

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Winter 2019

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