SBLS July/August 2019
Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine
A PLA C E IN T H E SU N
1269 Coast Village Road Montecito CA 93108
Bella Vista Drive
SOAK IN THE VIEWS 4 BD / 6 BA / Ocean & Island Views / $8,475,000
LORI CL ARIDGE BOWLES
805.452.3884 · lori @ loribowles.com CalRE#01961570
805.403.5520 · firstname.lastname@example.org CalRE#01465425
COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE
The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2019 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved.
Folded Hills Welcomes You to TWO NEW TASTING ROOMS
Montecito Tasting Room 1294 Coast Village Road Montecito, CA 93108
Estate Tasting Room 2323 Old Coast Hwy. Gaviota, CA 93117
Built with care.
Close your eyes. What do you see? Floor to ceiling windows with endless vistas... Smooth plaster walls with a traditional touch... An open space with warm, cozy woods... Where family memories are created... Finishes chosen with sustainability in mind... A place to call your ‘forever home’? We can do that.
B U I L D A LLEN.C OM | 805.884.8777 | LICENSE #503300 REMODELS
| CUSTOM HOMES | ESTATES
SANTA BARBARA LIFE&STYLE delivered to your mailbox
SBLS Santa Barbara Life & St yle Magazine
JULY/AUGUST 2019 Editor in Chief & Publisher Ottocina Ryan Creative Director Silas Fallstich Art Director Ana Stork Marketing & Content Coordinator Kennedy Williams Digital Marketing Manager Delaney Willet Executive Assistant Avery Martin Contributing Photographers Jacqueline Pilar, Jon Premosch, Kennedy Williams, SalomĂŠ Levy Writers Ansley Ashmore, Kim Hashemi, Meghan Kelly, Katy Rupp, Alexandra Sharova, Kara Thompson, Celine Wallace, Delaney Willet Stylists Delaney Willet, Madeline Williams, Naomi Zinns
ON THIS COVER
SUBSCRIBE at sblifeandstyle.com
FOLLOW US on Instagram @sblifeandstyle
Photographer Jacqueline Pilar Stylist Madeline Williams Model Tanya Mityushina with Elite Model Management Hair & Makeup Heather Roach Location listed with Montecito Associates Blouse Scotch & Soda, Whiskey & Leather
Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine is published by Santa Barbara Life & Style, Inc. 26 West Mission Street #5, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 For distribution, advertising and other inquiries: email@example.com santabarbaralifeandstyle.com
o li versofmontecito.com @ oliversofmontecito (8 0 5 ) 9 6 9 - 0 8 3 4 Now Open For Lunch
Design your own WELLNESS EXPERIENCE IN
Santa Barbara WINE COUNTRY
BIRTHDAY PARTIES CORPORATE EVENTS FAMILY REUNIONS WOMEN'S RETREATS AND MUCH MORE 8 0 5 . 3 1 6 . 4 5 4 0 @VALLEYWELLNESSCOLLECTIVE WWW.VALLEYWELLNESSCOLLECTIVE.COM
An eclectic blend of fashion & accessories for women and girls
3388 Orcutt Rd • 805.922.9195 Mon-Sat: 10:30-6 • Sun: 11-5
2920 Grand Ave • 805.697.7377 Mon-Sat: 10:30-5:30 • Sun: 11-5
890 Price St • 805-773-1055 Mon-Sat: 10:30-5:30 • Sun: 11-5
wildflowerwomenboutique.com #LOVEWFW @WILDFLOWERWOMENBOUTIQUE
TIMELESS CLASSICS FOR THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
22 | DID SOMEONE SAY SASHIMI?
46 | SUNDAY MORNING
Mar vel at the magic of Montecito Inn’s new Sushi|Bar.
26 | PURSUIT OF HOPPINESS You will not be able to say no to another at State Street’s new tasting room, Institution Ale.
30 | FLOATING FEAS T Set sail with the Funk Zone’s finest dining destinations.
wellness 32 | USING CONFUSION TO FIND CL ARIT Y
How to find peace of mind.
34 | NOURISH & FLOURISH Jumpstart your life towards one of mindfulness and empowerment with Valley Wellness Collective.
profile 36 | FIT FOR S T YLE Get to know the creator of activewear as we know it, Lorna Jane.
38 | SPARK YOUR CURIOSIT Y Jake & Jones boutique opens up conversation with local creatives and businesswomen.
Ever y day feels like a weekend at this Montecito dream house.
56 | SPARE ME THE DETAILS A date night that strikes up all the fun.
travel 66 | TRAVELING THE WORLD, ONE POINT AT A TIME Upgrade your summer travel plans with these simple tips.
68 | FJORD SAFARI Coast through Iceland’s natural wonders.
74 | BREATHLESS IN PERU Touch the sky on a tour of Peru’s luxurious lodges and archeological sites.
78 | SEASIDE SANCTUARY Settle into Zihuatanejo’s La Casa Que Canta.
80 | A PARADISE TO C ALL HOME Taking house hunting to the next level at One&Only Mandarina Residences.
82 | 48 HOURS IN MONTECITO Vacation in our own backyard.
home 42 | SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
Photo by Salomé Levy Model Kennedy Williams
Explore an innovative yet historic Ojai estate revived by Allen Construction.
14 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Bonnie Strauss lace top, Juniper Frank & Eileen tank top, Juniper L’Agence jeans, Juniper Necklace & belt, Juniper
see SOMETHING NEW
COME TO YOUR SENSES
State Street at De la Guerra PaseoNuevoShopping.com Text or Call 805-900-7385
Est. 1999 Santa Barbara • Montecito • Camarillo Goleta • Solvang
D i n e I n • Ta k e O u t • C a t e r i n g • l o s a r r o y o s . n e t • 8 0 5 - 9 6 5 - 6 1 7 3
Raw Denim Watches Shoes Accessories Grooming Products 14 Helena Avenue Santa Barbara 805.869.2414 @shineupmens
COVET Staff Picks for
Viajera Designs weekender tote viajeraimports.com
Sunday Forever Tanlines candle sundayforever.com
M-61 PowerGlow Gradual Tan Pad bluemercury.com
Roxy Sister swimsuit roxy.com
Brick Barn Wine Estate Grenache RosĂŠ brickbarnwineestate.com
Chan Luu x Carrie Forbes sandal & anklet set chanluu.com
M-61 Hydraboost Face Mist bluemercury.com
HennĂŠ lip serum henneorganics.com
Yves Delorme beach towel Yves Delorme Santa Barbara (805) 682-0894
Taja coconut water tajacoconut.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 19
Open Daily | 795 West Highway 246, Buellton, CA 93427 | 805-686-1208 | www.brickbarnwineestate.com
M A S H A K E AT I N G N E W B O TA N I C S
SEASIDE STATIONERS 1150 COAST VILLAGE ROAD LETTERPERFECTSANTABARBARA.COM 805 969 7998
JUNE 30 TH â&#x20AC;&#x201C; JULY 25, 2019 2346 LILLIE AVENUE SUMMERLAND CALIFORNIA FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT
PERSONRYANGALLERY.COM / 805 770 3677
FARM FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE YOU LIKE... HEALTHY MIND. HEALTHY BODY.
ART CLASSES. CURATED EXPERIENCES.
SUMMERLANDCENTERFORTHEARTS.COM 805 770 3677
AT PRICES YOU LOVE! OPEN EVERYDAY
2346 LILLIE AVENUE SUMMERLAND CALIFORNIA SWEETWHEELFARMS.COM
SB LIFE & STYLE dining
Bluefin Tuna Tartare, Ponzu, Soy, Avocado Mousse, Scallions, Ikura
22 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Did someone say
SASHIMI Written by Hana-Lee Sedgwick Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Delaney Willetby Hana-Lee Sedgwick I didn’t think a 17-course tasting menu existed outside the confines of Napa Valley’s French Laundry, but that is exactly what Montecito Inn’s newly opened Sushi|Bar accomplishes— culinary feats never before thought possible. It is the second of its kind—the first opened in Los Angeles in 2017 as part of Phillip Frankland Lee’s group, Scratch Restaurants, and has been selling out months in advance ever since. Phillip’s brother, Lennon is working magic while simultaneously charming guests behind the counter at Sushi|Bar. Before my Sushi|Bar experience even began, I sensed that this would be more than just a meal. This was a well-oiled machine, and mere weeks after opening at that. A week before my reservation I received an email from Sushi|Bar’s hostess, asking me to arrive 15 minutes early to enjoy a specialty cocktail before our meal. As I breezed through Montecito Inn’s lobby at 5:45 for my 6 o’clock reservation it was as if the staff had been lying in wait, theatrically repositioning themselves for each guest’s special arrival. A couple and two other women were littered about a grand fireplace, sipping from saucers. I was escorted to a bar cart tucked away from the main drag of the lobby, where the hostess triple-checked that I had no dietary restrictions and went on to perform a ceremony of sorts with Japanese whiskey. She explained to me that in Japan, cocktails are poured with the intention of overflow to symbolize the abundance of spirit and joy. The mix of sake, ginger, lime juice, and Japanese whiskey tingled my taste buds, a warm-up for the adventure they were about to encounter. Upon finishing our warm welcome cocktail, my four dinner companions and I were led to a rounded room on the other side of the inn. The anticipation amongst the group was palpable as we approached the door. Everyone seemed to be celebrating, whether it was in the spirit of sweethearts’ anniversary or simply
Prepare for sashimi to melt on your tongue in ways you never thought possible at Sushi|Bar.
Spanish Blue Fin Chu-Toro with Italian Sturgeon Caviar, Housemade Soy Sauce, Fresh Wasabi & Sliced Scallions
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 23
Yellowtail, Sweet Corn Pudding, Wasabi, Sourdough Breadcrumbs
life itself. Curtains were drawn to obscure our view into the dining room and our hostess rang a small white doorbell that sat at eye-level. This speakeasy style of dining nodded to the Japanese sushi bars of the 1930s and further separated Sushi|Bar from any dining experience I have had before.
When presented with the oyster first course, I shuddered at the thought of slurping the slimy specimen. Then, the team let me know it was filled with caviar and fresh from the docks, and I decided this was the sort of dinner where one threw caution to the wind.
Inside, a menu of each of the seventeen courses was posted behind the bar and the seats were outfitted with a chalkboard denoting each guestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name. The space was cozy in all the right ways, creating an intimacy with the dinner team and my fellow diners. Not a detail was missed. My water glass, along with my plate, was infallibly refilled before I noticed it was empty. A soft evening light shone in from Coast Village Road as the magic closed in before our eyes.
Sushi|Bar is as much an education as it is a meal. Outfitted with a mixologist, Head Chef Lennon Lee, and his sous chef, the diners had three overqualified teachers behind the bar. Along with the toro and caviar, I also consumed the facts that Santa Barbara has some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best, creamiest uni and Japanese beer tastes better in a cedar box, as it brings out the natural flavors.
24 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
The Real Seal Of Shimoda with Suntory Toki, Pomegranate, Smoked Honey, Green Tea Salt Rim
Morrow Bay Oyster with Caviar, Puffed Rice, Aerated Nigori Sake Foam
With the recommended house pairing, each course or two was matched with a wine, a sake, an original Japanese-inspired cocktail, or imported beer to complement the particular bite’s flavor. In the words of the house mixologist, this was a marathon, not a sprint. Wise words, too, as this was the sort of meal that made one want to hang on until the lights went off and management had to kindly tell them it was far past time to leave. Before we were presented with the meal’s finale (dessert—a kaffir ice cream cube), the bar opened up to market specials that may have been missed in that night’s menu or repeats of any personal favorites. Naturally, I had to know how Chef Lee would prepare the truffle. A comfortable silence filled the room as we
contentedly devoured our chosen bites. The chefs filled the space with a sort of farewell, presenting us with our final pour of cedar beer. This was their home, they told us, and we were their new friends. What greater sign of hospitality than opening up your home and sharing a beer? Ubers inched closer and the group begrudgingly scattered from our seats. By the time we parted ways, I was equipped with a full stomach, more sushi facts than I knew what to do with, and seven new companions. After all, what brings people closer together than over pouring Japanese whiskey and fresh fish? * sushibarmontecito.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 25
Pursuit of Hopp
Tasty beers and refreshing vibes at State Street’s new INSTITUTION ALE Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Katy Rupp When summer comes around, my cravings for refreshing, crisp beer spike with the temperatures. My recent go-to fix? An afternoon at State Street’s new Institution Ale tasting room. As I approach, the patio is filled with smiling people enjoying cold beers and dogs playing. I am immediately drawn to the tasting room’s vibrant energy and clean, industrial architecture. Each section of the space fosters a different vibe, whether you like a lively social atmosphere or laid-back refreshing one. McKenna, the Tasting Room Manager, greets me at the bar. Early in conversation, I learn she just moved from Camarillo to Santa Barbara to oversee the space. She explains that Institution Ale started off as a small brewing operation headed by a father and his two sons in Camarillo and is named after the mental institution that stood before what is now Cal State Channel Islands.
26 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Now onto what we all care about most in life: beer. The first brew I try is the Raspberry Day Dreamin’, a delicious ale with a fruity aftertaste. It takes me back to my childhood summer lake days with my dad, spending the afternoon basking in the sun and tasting the sweet, tart flavors of raspberries he grew. Every week something new is placed on tap, including a golden ale base beer with added fruit. The rotating flavors include guava (one of their most popular), tangerine, and mango. These beers are light and easily drinkable with a sweetness that is just right. Another one of my favorites is the White Walls IPA, a softer, fuller bodied beer with flavorful aromas and intense hop fruitiness. My vote for the drink of the summer undoubtedly goes to the White Walls IPA.
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 27
When I get a moment to glance at the food portion of the menu, their pretzels immediately catch my eye. What better to pair with a delicious, quality beer? As soon as I swipe my plush, salty pretzel into the IPA mustard and spicy cheese sauce, McKenna sees my eyes light up as I experience the piquant taste combination. She tells me everything is handmade in the kitchen, and an ingredient in the mustard sauce is one of their IPAs. If I could take home a large mason jar full of the IPA mustard, I would not hesitate. My idea of a perfect afternoon in Santa Barbara now must include a stop at Institution Ale. The compassionate staff and delicious selection of beer combined with a refreshing and polished ambiance will forever leave me day dreaminâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of sunny days in this tasting room. * institutionales.com
28 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 29
30 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
pillow, The Blue Door Lucky Penny Pizza
Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Delaney Willet There is no better way to get to know our beautiful Santa Barbara than by cruising its most tempting attraction—the open sea. With Santa Barbara Sailing, a local can feel like a tourist in their own town and tourists are made to feel right at home. Boarding the Double Dolphin sailboat on a Thursday afternoon felt like the sort of luxury I couldn’t afford in the middle of the week. Yet, with harbor cruises starting at $65 ($49 for members of the Sailing Center), the ride is a brief escape that can be better for the soul than even a spa splurge. Though some favorite local snacks and drinks were provided, like popcorn from Santa Barbara Popcorn Company and brews from Topa Topa and Figueroa Mountain, the sailing company’s fresh partnership with restaurant group Acme Hospitality organized onboard enjoyment of dishes from restaurants close to the waterfront. With choices from most of the Funk Zone’s busiest spots and the best views in town, Acme and Santa Barbara Sailing combined two hallmark experiences in one. Nothing goes better with blue skies and a sea breeze than Tyger Tyger’s spring rolls or a sunflower seed pesto pizza from Lucky Penny. I would be hard pressed to remember a time when I felt a greater sense of calmness than lounging on the bow of that boat, my mid-week worries passing with the waves, delighting in the seals on the buoy while surrounded by my customized Funk Zone feast. * sbsail.com tygertygersb.com luckypennysb.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 31
SB LIFE & STYLE wellness
Written by Celine Wallace Photographed by Jacqueline Pilar Model Emma Ostilly with L.A. Models Hair & Makeup by Heather Roach
CL AR IT Y
Have you ever had those moments where you stop and wonder what the hell is going on with your life? Maybe you had a bad day, a bad week, or a bad year. As humans, we’re always chasing this state of euphoric bliss and happiness. Yet the reality is, happiness is a fluctuating emotion that is an unsustainable permanent state of mind. Don’t let that discourage you. Rather, make it relax your body and ease your psyche. Without moments of happiness mixed with bouts of unease or sadness, we wouldn’t know what happiness is. It’s like the yin to the yang of life; you can’t appreciate the light without the dark. If you’re someone who seems to have more darkness than light in your life regularly then, yes, that’s not a good situation to be in. These dark patches probably keep occurring so that your attention is drawn to them, allowing you to choose to delete them. It’s well
known that an issue will keep resurfacing until it’s resolved, so what do you need to give attention to in your life? What areas are bringing up repetitive roadblocks? Your career, your finances, your love life—or better yet, maybe all three? What is your obstacle? A problem can become a blessing in disguise. Even better, when that ‘problem’ is handled efficiently, it can be a catalyst for change that can transform your life. When things get tough, it’s important to remind ourselves that no one has ever transformed or grown from staying in their comfort zone. It might suck right now, but it’s the universe’s way of propelling you in a different direction. So ditch the word ‘problem’ if you can and replace it with ‘lesson.’ That way life is either giving you a ‘win’ or a ‘lesson,’ and if the lesson is taken as such, you’re going to win anyway. Doesn’t sound too bad when you phrase it like that, right?
So De Mel bikini
32 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
“Finally, the universe had to hand it to me, because although life was tough, I was determined not to let it get me down.”
Nobody is immune to sadness, anger, or unease, so remind yourself when you’re down that you’re not the only one who has been there. The world isn’t out to get you. In fact, there are people out there experiencing the same problem at the same time that you are. Reminding ourselves that we are not the only ones going through something is important. If we aren’t aware of this, we are more likely to victimize and pity ourselves, and that will keep us in this state of unhappiness and unease for longer. It’s up to you to decide why something is happening, how it will affect you, and ultimately, how long it will continue before you handle the situation. I was in India last year, and I was sitting with a monk. We were discussing life, and he said: “You can accept the situation fully as it is, or change it; anything else is insanity.” It really stuck with me because it’s true—as humans we like to get wrapped up in the semantics of daily life. But it’s really that simple. Change your circumstances and move on, or don’t, but don’t wait for the situation to change itself; that’s the definition of insanity. I remember when I first started to do this, and it was probably one of the lowest points of my life, or so I thought. I was living in Hollywood and had been there for almost a decade, fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming an actress. I lived a life that looked fantastic from the outside, but in reality, it was hectic and far from satisfying. I was always ‘on’; I had to search for moments of stillness while constantly chasing my dream and being endlessly on the go. I wouldn’t leave Hollywood though, and although I was reaching burnout, I was determined not to give up. After all, giving up or changing my path was a sign of not working hard enough, right? Finally, the universe had to hand it to me, because although life was tough, I was determined not to let it get me down. Until I had a catalyst that changed my life; my partner and I broke up after we had a miscarriage. At the time, I was devastated. I thought it was the lowest my life could get. I was confused and lonely, but I gave myself one night of being sad and then decided to pick myself up by my bootstraps. I emotionally removed myself from the situation to look at my options. I say it was a catalyst because although it hurt at the time, this milestone altered the course of my life—I’m nothing but thankful for this experience. I learned more about myself in that month than I could have in years of staying in my current situation. I’m not saying you need to go through some catastrophic event to find your power, but for me, this wake-up call was what the universe required to propel me into action and give me clarity. My partner had always made fun of my innate spiritual nature too, which I let happen. I had always read tarot cards, practiced yoga, and I even got certified in Reiki energy healing. Unfortunately, or fortunately, as I thought at the time, he was a wealthy, type-A businessman, and his only priority was money. Anything spiritual wasn’t entertained, so I contained that part of me.
After our break up, I had to stop the roller coaster I was on and think, “Did this miscarriage happen for a reason? What can I learn from this? What do I want to do from here?” I truly believe after looking back on this experience that this was what both of us needed to realize we weren’t right for each other. If I stayed with that person, I wouldn’t be the person I am today; I wouldn’t be my true, authentic self. This experience is a good example of a low point when I thought my world was falling apart, but in reality, it was shaping me and coming together to create a whole new destiny beyond what I could imagine. After mentally removing myself from the situation and the breakup, giving myself some quiet time, and receiving some stern words from my family and friends, I packed my bags, sold my car, said goodbye to Hollywood and booked a trip to Bali to become a certified yoga teacher. To say that confusion brought me clarity is now an understatement because it brought me so much more than that. You have to take control of life’s ‘lessons,’ and again, that choice is up to you. Something else that is undervalued yet needed to find clarity is giving ourselves time away from being constantly available. In this modern world, we are continuously online and put pressure on ourselves to be available 24/7. But this is dangerous and overwhelming, and it leads to burnout. It is important to recognize whether or not you do this; so ask yourself if you need to take a step back, and if you feel the need to be available to those around you continually. If you do, think about how you can create healthy boundaries, and how you can spend less time stressed out and more time honoring yourself. Remember to stop, breathe, take a walk, or have a cup of tea when everyday agitators or stressors come up. It doesn’t always need to be addressed immediately, so give yourself the time to process it. I really hope that this article provides you with some perspective, reminds you that you’re not alone, urges you to think of problems as lessons in disguise that can change your life if you let them. Think of yourself like a lotus flower: they are one of the most beautiful flowers whose petals open one by one. But it only grows in the mud. To develop and gain wisdom, sometimes we have to experience some mud too. * Celine Wallace is a New Zealand born Yogi, Lululemon Ambassador, wellness expert and writer, and Founder of Sattva Soul transformational women’s events and retreats.
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 33
Positivity and growth are abundant at Valley Wellness Collective’s private, customizable wellness retreats
Positivity and growth are abundant at Valley Wellness Collective’s private, customizable wellness retreats Written by Ansley Ashmore Photographed by Brittany Taylor Imagine yourself on a remote vineyard in the lush hills of the Santa Ynez Valley. The smell of rosemary and fresh-cut grass fills your nose. Upon arriving, you stroll up a gravel walkway covered with jasmine flower arches. You continue around an old sprawling oak tree, across a lawn embellished with dangling Italian lights, and down to a wide patio with a crisp-blue pool that overlooks vast rows of the vineyard. Under the pergola behind the pool awaits your welcome package for the Valley Wellness Collective Mindfulness Retreat. This charming welcome is but one of the many personal touches that the women behind Valley Wellness Collective offer at their retreats. A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to try something I have been wanting to do for a long time. A girlfriend of mine organized a private wellness retreat through Valley Wellness Collective for a birthday. Naturally, I couldn’t say no considering my interest in wellbeing and wellness strategies. As someone who regularly does yoga, spends (way too much) money buying fresh-pressed juices, enjoys the rejuvenating nature of clean eating, and looks for creative outlets wherever possible, I had been looking for something to take my personal journey of balance and wellness to the next level.
34 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
I am by no means someone who meditates often, nor someone who employs methods of mindfulness into their daily routine. In fact, my days often consist of a scatterbrained running dialogue in my head about the many things I have going on. Forced meditation makes me uncomfortable, talking about my feelings is something I do only with those closest to me, and I often scowl when people use the typical mindfulness jargon we might hear in an ultra-hippy yoga class. That being said, attending this retreat held by Valley Wellness Collective was certainly out of my comfort zone—but in the best way possible. I left feeling energized and grounded, aware and inspired, and most importantly—I felt as though I challenged myself and grew as a woman because of it. The retreat began with a warm welcome from Valley Wellness Collective founder Kelly Fiore and a profound group meditation guided by Staci Curry. We were encouraged to make the most of the one-day retreat by looking to each other for support, recognizing each other’s struggles and strengths, and finding awareness so that we could cultivate harmony and happiness. What came next was the perfect thing to catalyze the day of balance, invigoration, reflection, support, and strength.
If you’ve never done yoga wearing headphones blasting all sorts of uplifting music, you should immediately add it to your to-do list. On the lush lawn of Italian lights, overlooking the valley and the vineyard, yogi Emma Davis led the group through a traditional yoga sequence—but with a twist. In between the relaxation-focused yoga, we danced in a circle to a playlist of ultimate feel-good tunes. This hybrid of traditionally calming yoga and unsurprisingly vivifying dance was exactly the thing I didn’t know I needed in my life.
The women behind Valley Wellness Collective successfully create private retreats that serve as a perfect balance of personal creativity, feminist vivacity, and life-refreshing guidance. It lies at the crossroads between challenging and comforting and encourages the fostering of a mindful, wholesome, truly happy version of self. * valleywellnesscollective.com
Following this perfect icebreaker, acupuncturist Jennifer Lindley guided us through a lesson on acupressure. From hearing about the ancient origins of this practice to hands-on learning the special seven acupressure points, this session reminded us of the power of our own bodies. We can alleviate a cough from simply massaging a point on our heels. We can reduce digestive pain and discomfort from kneading a specific part of our shin. The list goes on and on, and its benefits are far from sparse. There was never a low point throughout the day. The fresh salad and fish lunch was mouthwatering, the retreat leaders were each uniquely inspiring, and the activities were diverse and insightful. We danced, we did yoga, we learned how to administer at-home selfcare acupressure, we practiced the art of henna on ourselves and each other, we became experts on all things juicing, and we breached our comfort zone in a group therapy discussion. As Staci Curry emphasized in her opening meditation, the retreat is about personal awareness catalyzed by the power, strength, struggle, and beauty in the women around you. This could manifest through seeing a strength in another woman that reminds you of a goal you’re working to achieve, or maybe, you find sincere comfort in a retreat leader’s presence. It might even simply be that your friend’s unique energy pushes you to find yours.
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 35
SB LIFE & STYLE profile
FIT F OR
ST YL E M eet the creator of
activew ea r a s w e know it ,
36 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Written by Meghan Kelly
In a conversation with the brand’s founder, Lorna discusses a modern healthy lifestyle, her brand’s roots, and its Santa Barbara bearings. What does your day-to-day life look like? I’m naturally an early riser so I wake around 5:30 a.m. I do about 10 minutes of meditation before blending up my morning smoothie. Then, I do either a strength session with my trainer, a yoga class or some stretching at home. Then it’s out for a morning walk with my dog, Roger, and my husband, Bill. When we get back home, I go through a few emails over breakfast before getting ready to head into work. My work days vary and can be anything from meetings with my team, working on design or creative concepts, fitting our next collection, to researching trends, conceptualizing shoots, writing, or planning future projects. Even though there’s always plenty to do, I try not to over-book myself with back-to-back meetings. I find that leaving some time between meetings allows for a little spontaneity and space for unexpected things that may come up. It also means that I don’t feel rushed to make decisions and it gives me some time to play with Roger! Even if work is hectic, Bill and I try to leave the office at a reasonable time (usually around 5:30 p.m.) so we can spend some time outside before the sun goes down. We walk Roger and catch up on anything that happened during the day, bounce ideas off each other or discuss any pressing issues. Our afternoon walk is one of my favorite parts of the day. I can literally feel any tension just slip away. We’re both starving when we get home, so dinner needs to be quick and easy—usually some veggies with a lean protein—and I never skimp on dessert! After dinner, there can be a few more (international) emails and then I relax with some reading or Netflix. Finally, a cup of tea or water with a few drops of lavender oil and off to bed ready to do it all again tomorrow! What makes Lorna Jane’s pieces unique from other activewear brands? Believe it or not, we actually invented the concept of ‘activewear.’ We have always designed pieces for an active lifestyle as a whole, rather than activity-specific garments. I also want the women who wear Lorna Jane to feel stylish, but also know that they have the latest in technology to support them in their workouts. We want you to put your activewear on in the morning and know that it will perform well, whatever you decide to do in your day. Our pieces are perfect for yoga but will work just as well on your morning run or a session at Barry’s Bootcamp! What got you so taken up with an active way of life and why is it so important to you? I have been fit and healthy for as long as I can remember. I know how good it feels to be full of energy and enthusiastic about life, and I just want everyone else to have the opportunity to feel the same way. I believe that looking after your health is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It takes a little discipline but it sets you up for success in the rest of your life.
Were there any particular experiences in your lifetime that ignited your passion for fitness/desire to motivate women? Growing up in England, I was more of an inside, book-loving type of girl. But when I emigrated to Australia in my early teens I was inspired by the region’s great outdoors and active way of life, and that’s when my love for fitness and health began. Wanting to inspire women was something that came a little later. It started with teaching fitness classes and then intensified when I moved into designing activewear. When I started building a brand it grew from a personal passion into a community and resource for women to be inspired and motivated to live fit, healthy and empowered lives. What would you be doing if you weren’t designing activewear? Design really is my passion. So, if I wasn’t designing activewear I think I would be designing either swimwear or sleepwear (both are secret obsessions of mine) or maybe even working in interior design. What has been the biggest change in the fitness/ activewear industry since you founded Lorna Jane in 1989? Everything has changed. When I started designing activewear (in the late 80s!), the idea that your workout clothes could be fashionable, and that you would actually want to be seen wearing them outside of your workouts was unheard of! Options were really limited, especially for women, and workout gear didn’t fit well. Also, back in the 80s there was more of a focus on working out to lose weight, rather than for your overall health and wellbeing. I’m so happy to see that this has changed and that people now workout to feel good and see it as an investment in their future. I’m also incredibly proud to be one of the women leading the change. What are a few staple foods you think every healthy woman should have in her daily diet? It’s not really a food, but I’d have to say water! It really is the elixir of life— it boosts your metabolism, reduces food cravings, detoxes your body, and keeps your energy levels high. It is also without a doubt the oldest and cheapest anti-aging potion on the planet. Some of my other staples would have to be: Fresh young coconuts – for replacing electrolytes after sweaty workouts. Oats – for a quick and easy breakfast. Peanut butter – because it’s full of protein and healthy fats and makes everything taste delicious. Steamed greens – with snow peas, broccoli, and asparagus being my favorites. Berries – for a sweet, low-sugar treat. Fresh salmon – pan fried in coconut oil and a little salt and pepper, yum! What brought Lorna Jane to Santa Barbara specifically? I’ve always loved the relaxed vibe of Santa Barbara. I’ve been a regular visitor since I started coming to California. It has such a wonderful sense of community and the perfect weather and environment for anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle. It was the ideal place for us to open a Lorna Jane store, and we chose Paseo Nuevo mall in the heart of vibrant downtown as it’s centrally located but at the same time so close to the beach.
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 37
SB LIFE & STYLE community
Ace & Jig dress, Jake & Jones Coclico booties, Jake & Jones
Smaranda Lawrie 38 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Jake& Jones ’
Ever Curious Series
Written by Meghan Kelly Photographed by Silas Fallstich What makes you curious? Using that question as a focal point, local boutique Jake & Jones launched its Ever Curious Series, a collection of events spanning May to October, presenting a cohort of local ladies who are kicking ass. Each installment explores the topics that keep these ladies curious like politics, well-being, business, and spirituality. The end goal? To start a conversation and bring together people who otherwise might never cross paths. The series was conceived when the store’s owner, Jen Steinwurtzel, saw a need to create a place where ideas and community merge. “I thought, ‘how do we bring in a bunch of different demographics in a collaborative way?’” says Jen. “The store has always been a place that’s more than clothes and shopping. It’s community.” Fueled by a philosophy of ‘support not compete,’ the Ever Curious Series invites community members to join in on this movement for dialogue. Each event takes place at Jake & Jones on Canon Perdido Street and features refreshments and a social hour sponsored by a range of local companies. What’s more, each speaker is connected to a non-profit organization of their choice, and proceeds from sales of the customized Ever Curious journal will be given to the respective nonprofits. For Jen and the Jake & Jones team, the series is just the first step of a bigger picture. I got the opportunity to sit down with two of the twelve women being featured—Laura Capps and Smaranda Lawrie—to pick their brains, learn about their fascinating lines of work, and chit-chat about what keeps them curious.
Spark Your Curiosity
Get to know a couple of the local legends featured in
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 39
Laura Capps Laura Capps is truly a woman who does it all. She’s the founder of a local public affairs firm, member of the Santa Barbara Board of Education, part-time TV host, ex-speechwriter for Bill Clinton, and of course a mother. On top of this, she manages to show up to our interview looking chic and elegant as ever in an eye-catching yellow dress, accompanied by her boxer pup, Sunflower. But don’t let the yellow dress fool you, Laura means business. Laura’s vibrant story starts right here in Santa Barbara. “I grew up riding my bike down the beach,” she says. A local born and bred, she first left the nest to complete her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley. This was followed by a cross-country move to DC where she landed an internship in the White House which eventually turned into a full-time job. “I later became the presidential speechwriter for Bill Clinton,” she says nonchalantly. The transition from life in sunny Santa Barbara to the fast-paced world of DC was no bike ride to the beach. At her new job in politics she used the intensity as fuel rather than folly. “There was a lot of high-pressure and high-stakes,” says Laura. “I had no choice but to learn how to keep rolling with it.” After years establishing her career in DC, she knew she eventually wanted to return to Santa Barbara, it was just a matter of when. “I would always say I’m going to end up back in Santa Barbara at some point, but that begs the question: when does the ‘ending up’ start?” notes Laura. “For me, having my son was such a defining factor of prioritizing my life and recognizing that I have this wonderful opportunity to raise him here.” She is now able to share snippets of her own childhood with her son as she brings him up in the very home she grew up in. “He’s in second grade at the elementary school I went to as a child, we walk to school every day, he learned to swim in the pool I learned to swim in,” says Laura. Upon returning to SB, she founded Mission Partners, her public affairs consulting firm. There, she uses her background in strategic communications to inform her work. “It’s all about what messages are needed to move different audiences,” says Laura. On top of her duties as a girl boss, she is an active member of the Santa Barbara community with a seat on the Board of Education and a hand in advocacy campaigns left and right. “It was a privilege to work on the national level impacting millions of people and our economy. Now I get to work on the ground level in the community,” she says. She points to the tight-knit, engaged nature of the Santa Barbara community as another reason for her return, noting that it’s a unique locality that allows her to be an activist. Her passion for her profession reads all over her face as we discuss opportunities for local activism and the importance of public schools. Her work ethic, she says, is driven by the impacts her endeavors bring. “I’m always grateful that my profession allows me to do work I believe in,” says Laura. “That gratitude motivates me.”
40 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Today, Laura remains hard at work and busy as ever, but she still manages to find the time to further dig into the community in any way she can. Her talk for the Ever Curious Series takes place on August 14th at Jake & Jones.
Smaranda Lawrie Smaranda Lawrie is a woman who laughs in the face of adversity. She’s what I’d call a closet nerd—pretty on the outside but wildly intelligent on the inside. She has already earned a handful of graduate degrees in fields ranging from economics to education, but since that’s simply not enough, she’s also working on her PhD in UCSB’s psychology department. Her research focuses on positive psychology across cultures and sets out to determine how we can live our best lives. “More than any other species on the planet humans are found in more parts of the world and we’ve adapted to these surroundings,” says Smaranda. Her face lights up and she shifts into an enthusiastic posture. “To me that’s really exciting, the fact that people live in such different ways. It’s on a deep level. We think differently and we feel differently, but we’re still so coordinated.” Her interest in examining well-being across cultures stems from her blended identity and experiences as a refugee and immigrant. Smaranda was born in Romania but moved to Austria at a young age. “My family and I were immigrants in Austria living in these refugee camps,” says Smaranda. “I started going to school there and had to go on a separate bus for immigrants.” Then at age eight, she immigrated again, this time to the United States. This unique upbringing brought about a girl who embodies the philosophies behind the Ever Curious series. Smaranda is boldly curious, asking big questions in big ways. After studying economics and psychology as an undergrad at UPenn and researching Romania’s manufacturing industry, she was offered a position by a Romanian firm to work as a consultant to help increase their productivity. At 22 years old she packed up and headed for Eastern Europe. “It was basically a bunch of middle-aged engineers with mustaches,” says Smaranda. She explains how her initial approach to managing these mustached men was one of positivity and encouragement, likely omitting the same bubbliness she exudes today. “I very quickly learned that that doesn’t work there. Everybody just didn’t take me seriously.”
It was this experience that marked the beginning of Smaranda’s cross-cultural explorations. Cue the curiosity.
She began to read up on Eastern European management practices. This brought to her attention the deep cross-cultural variances that exist on this planet, which now serves as the basis of her PhD research. “I look at positive psychology and wellbeing across cultures. I define those things broadly,” she explains. “For me, well-being means happiness and life satisfaction, but it also means motivation, health and so forth. By culture, I’m looking at national cultures, but also age and socioeconomic status.” Critically studying well-being does not necessarily entail unending positivity. Smaranda readily admits that she still struggles with her well-being, but thanks her positive psychology studies for keeping her sane in her demanding academic life. “Learning these practices for positive psychology has been really beneficial,” says Smaranda. “The way I think of positive psychology is like maintenance. I teach positive psychology practices and I love teaching it. I do this research and I’m so gung-ho into it. And yet, I still have periods in my life where I get really sad. I think doing some of the practices is sort of like that maintenance in between, so that you don’t get into those dark moments too often.” To hear more of Smaranda’s keen insights on positive psychology and practices for well-being head to Jake & Jones on August 29. She’ll discuss her research on positive psych practices and likely stir up some riveting banter about why we do the things we do. Smaranda thanks the challenges she faced in her life as a refugee, immigrant, and female. She uses those challenges as fuel for her fire. “Everyone’s got some sort of adversity, right? I think it’s really important to think of that adversity as a strength as opposed to something that victimizes you in some way. I think struggle is—if we can turn it into strengths—what gives us power.” *
jakeandjones.com Saloni dress, Jake & Jones LMC jacket, Jake & Jones Vince shoes, Jake & Jones @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 41
SB LIFE & STYLE home
Something Old, Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more than meets the eye at this historic Ojai estate restored by Allen Construction
42 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Something New Written by Meghan Kelly
A quick drive down California’s scenic Casitas Pass leads to a
picturesque valley with an alluring charm. The Ojai Valley is a lush and cozy conglomeration of nature, simplicity, refinement, and history. The town is quintessentially central coast, and like any California community, there’s far more to Ojai than meets the tourist eye. Nestled deep within its winding roads and flourishing foliage lies an enchanting estate with a paradoxical disposition— it’s a historic landmark yet a beacon of modern technology, operating on net-zero energy. The El Toro estate, originally built in 1926, has taken on a new life over the course of the past few years. Originally built by famed architect Arthur E. Harvey, creator of the Château Élysée in Los Angeles, El Toro is one of Ojai’s historic landmarks. This presented quite the challenge when it came into the hands of its new owners who wanted to honor the home’s history but also convert it into a modern and sustainable property. A complex endeavor that called for nothing short of expertise, Allen Construction rose to the challenge.
The Santa Barbara based custom home construction and remodeling company specializes in historic home restoration projects, a perfect fit for the task at hand. Working on a property that houses a bounty of historical artifacts is no small feat, but one step onto the estate proves that the years of hard work that went into this restoration surely paid off. The home is a work of art. In its entirety, the property is a living breathing organ, expansive and open with a distinct energy about it. I am accompanied by a palpable calmness as I roam through the halls of the outwardly luxurious yet inwardly humble main house, guided by the new owners. In a hallway, a melange of candles flickers atop a rustic wooden table. Step into the kitchen and onto the Juliet balcony and you’ll find a serene view of the shimmering pool and expansive green lawn capped by the airy pool house, a new addition to the property. Although the pool house was built almost a century later, it blends seamlessly with the estate’s original home, a testament to the informed precision of Allen Construction.
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 43
Built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the El Toro estate mimics California’s Spanish missions with its arched entryways, gleaming undecorated walls, and exquisite iron adornments. The property’s palatial complexion at present makes it hard to believe that just a few years ago it was bordering on decrepit. “We bought eight acres of dead land and a house that was falling down,” says the owner. When they purchased it, the estate had been more or less untouched since its original construction. Its condition was questionable, but the vision was there. Their goal was to honor the home’s history and revive it to its original historic state, preserving as much authenticity as possible. To do so, the experts at Allen Construction left no tile untouched— literally. During the restoration process, they discovered an abundance of collectible and valuable handmade historic tiles, which they promptly preserved with immense care. To achieve the goal of maintaining as much of the home’s original authenticity as possible, the Allen Construction team pulled from the original design blueprints and brought on an architectural historian. The tasks involved in this project included restoring a decaying wooden ceiling while somehow preserving its original intricate paintings. “The color schemes and textures echo the original as much as possible,” says the owner, pointing to the ornate ceiling. “They relied on a forensic paint consultant to ensure that fresh paint throughout matched the original color palette.” This remarkable attention to detail can be found throughout the property’s nooks and crannies, amounting in a space that nods to history but embraces modernity. It’s a splendid dichotomy of old and new, elegant, understated, and at the same time monumental. What’s so remarkable about this property, apart from the exquisite architecture and historic prominence, is its efficiency. A major goal for the project was to make the house net-zero energy and selfsufficient in its landscaping. With the profound plant knowledge of permaculturist Connor Jones, life was breathed into the hills that surround the estate. “It started out with bare soil. Save for one orange tree, everything was dead,” says Jones, peering out over the foliage he knows so well. Today, the estate’s eight acres of land look like a modern Garden of Eden, brimming with vegetation and produce. We wade through the trees and shrubs on the estate’s terraced
44 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
garden, a farming method implemented by Jones to retain the water that runs off from the slopes. As we do so, he points out the various crops growing on the property, with a list that sounds like the menu of your local juice bar: goji berries, guavas, bananas, figs, papayas, grapefruits, mulberries, apricots, plums, and avocados. When neighboring farms lost two sets of avocado crops in last year’s heat wave, the trees at El Toro remained unharmed. He explains that a particular tree, the tipu tree, was planted surrounding the fruit-bearing trees to create a closed canopy in order to shade the fruit and protect them from the harsh sun that hits the valley. “These are ancient systems being revived in a modern context,” says Jones. He points to these age-old systems as the reason for the baffling prosperity of the vegetation at El Toro. Using farming methods that foster self-sustenance and mimic nature, the landscape is now a sea of abundance. “It went from completely dead earth to bursting with unbelievable amounts of produce in one year,” says the owner as she picks a ripe mulberry for me. “Connor allowed the property to come to life.” Now the garden produces a profusion of crops which the owners donate to local food banks. “Our mission is to grow as much as possible and donate as much as possible to local shelters,” explains the owner. Additionally, the property hosts weekly farm work days in which visitors are invited to contribute to the harvesting of the farm’s crops, which are used either to feed the attendees or given to local food banks. “Our philosophy is unconditional love,” says the owner. “Something that’s inherent in unconditional is abundance. Our garden gives people a feeling and sense of abundance.” To date, the El Toro estate has hosted over 27 events including weddings, architect tours, green tours, and community events. It’s truly an exquisite place that underwent an ambitious transformation, and the owners’ goal for combining preservation with modernization was made possible by the dedication of Allen Construction. “Allen built our architect’s vision. Everything was restored. It looked as if nothing happened,” says the owner. “Every single thing they do is of the highest quality. It’s almost emotional to think about it, to have companies that care that much and have the talent they do.” * buildallen.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 45
SB LIFE & STYLE fashion
SUN DAY morning Every reason to stay at home Photographed by Jacqueline Pilar Styled by Madeline Williams Model Tanya Mityushina with Elite Model Management Hair & Makeup by Heather Roach Hair & Makeup Assistant Colleen Konowitz Location listed with Montecito Associates Contact Lori Bowles & Dana Zertuche 805-565-8198 www.montecito.associates
46 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
For Love & Lemons swimsuit, Coco Cabana Leviâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jacket, Loveworn
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 47
For Love & Lemons swimsuit, Coco Cabana
48 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Mara Hoffman dress, Jake & Jones Clergerie shoes, Allora by Laura Valet hair clips, Coco Cabana
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 49
T-shirt & cardigan, Loveworn Stoned Immaculate jeans, Loveworn Vince shoes, Jake & Jones
50 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Mara Hoffman top & skirt, Jake & Jones Valet necklace, Coco Cabana
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 51
52 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Scotch & Soda blouse, Whiskey & Leather Cosabella bralette, Whiskey & Leather
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 53
Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Agence blouse, Jake & Jones Aviator Nation pants, Jake & Jones
54 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
McGuire blouse, Whiskey & Leather Leviâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shorts, Loveworn Zacarias bag, Allora by Laura scarf, Jake & Jones Casa Clara earrings, Coco Cabana
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 55
SPARE ME the DETAILS 56 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Photographed by Jon Premosch Styled by Naomi Zinns Models Valerija Sestic with Elite Model Management & Max Wilbur with Wrenn Management Hair & Makeup by Heather Roach Hair & Makeup Assistant Colleen Konowitz Location Zodos Bowling & Beyond
On Max: Kenneth Barlis suit pskaufman boots On Val: Yves Camingue dress Ted Baker shoes
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 57
OTT trench coat AYA by DK dress Iris Trends necklace Stuart Weitzman shoes
58 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 59
LUCKY 60 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
On Max: Kenneth Barlis blazer James Perse shirt On Val: OTT trench coat Iris Trends necklace
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 61
On Max: Paraval shirt On Val: Reformation top The Kooples pants Madame Baloge earrings
62 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 63
Paraval shirt Joyce Penas Pilarsky pants
64 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
AYA by DK tracksuit
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 65
SB LIFE & STYLE travel
TRAVELING THE WORLD Written by Kara Thompson
66 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Have you ever walked out of a store and quietly asked yourself how one bag of groceries could cost $65? Have you set aside money to save for something special, like a classic handbag or nice golf clubs, only to feel a strong sense of buyer’s remorse when they’re left to collect dust in the back of your closet? We’ve all been there, but what if there was a way to ease the regret of those daily spendings and extravagant purchases by knowing that the money is going toward an experience you may not have otherwise. What if every time you pumped gas or went out to dinner, you were earning points that could score you a flight to Paris, an upgrade to first class, or a fancier hotel room? Influencer and travel expert Lindsay Silberman has mastered the art of using credit card points to fund vacations across the globe. Using points, she’s flown round-trip to Tokyo for $45 and upgraded to first class to and from Lake Como for no additional cost. Later this year, she plans to visit Greece and the South of France and will only spend $117 in taxes on those flights. Understanding how to earn points that can fund adventures like this might seem overwhelming, but Lindsay is living proof that if you just take a little bit of time to research, you’re sure to reap the benefits. “I always knew that I wanted to travel and I wanted to attempt to have first class experiences, but I certainly didn’t have $8,000 to spend on that kind of flight,” she explains. Lindsay realized that if she was strategic with points and miles that she could hack her travel expenses and ultimately visit more destinations and have better seats than the average jetsetter. She started by reading about the different types of credit cards that were offered and took a deep dive into researching the benefits that would best suit her lifestyle. Her favorite tool for educating herself on the subject was The Points Guy—a travel website run by founder and CEO Brian Kelly that gets roughly 7 million unique visitors a month. Lindsay says that Brian’s site has taught her everything she now knows about traveling with points. If you’re longing to get away for less like Lindsay, she recommends you start by comparing the sign-up bonuses on different cards, take note of the annual fees, and see what other offers you get as a cardholder. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which she pegs as a great beginner’s option, offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases, gives you two times the amount of points when you spend on travel and dining, and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Another advantage is that the card’s annual fee is only $95, which is much less intimidating than many of its competitors. For those of you with a wanderlust spirit who are looking to go all in, options like the American Express Platinum Card have higher annual fees but offer greater benefits. Sure, you might have to dish out $550 upfront, but a $200 airline credit, access to airport lounges, and monthly Uber discounts alone make it worth opening. “The annual fee is always a big turn off to people, but if you take a few minutes to look through the benefits and discounts they’re giving you, the fee pays for itself in a month or two,” Lindsay says.
Some cards will even give you two, three, or four times the number of points when you spend in certain categories, like hotels, airlines, and dining. “That’s how things add up quickly. If you spend $500 on a flight and you book it with a card that gives you three times the amount of points for travel, that means you’re really getting 1500 points instead of 500. In a lot of ways it’s like you’re being credited back money to put toward another trip.” Cards aside, when it comes to getting the most out of a vacation, it’s also important to remember that doesn’t hurt to ask for upgrades. If you’re early to the airport, talk to the gate agent to see if there are better seats available on your flight, or when you check in to a hotel, ask the concierge about room upgrades. You might get both for little to no cost. Similarly, if you’re going to be spending a lot of money on a special trip, like a honeymoon or anniversary, it’s always good to see what packages are available and see if the resort will offer any throw-in perks. “A lot of hotels tend to be more generous, particularly with honeymoon couples, because they know that those guests spend more money on average. They may give you a bottle of champagne, a free massage, or a better room,” Lindsay explains. “It’s the same for big trips or big spends in general. It’s always good to ask what they have available or see if there’s anything extra they can offer.” Becoming an experienced traveler like Lindsay will take some time and accumulating points to cover round-trip vacations won’t happen overnight, but doing your research and finding the right card is a great first step. Spending is inevitable, but receiving perks on common purchases without having to think about them is a bonus that everyone could benefit from. At the end of the day, you’ll have a nice fund set aside that just might turn into the most lavish trip you could dream up. *
3 Travel Essentials
Noise Cancelling Headphones I’ve tried several brands, but always go back to Bose Quiet Comforts. They are the only way I can 100% guarantee that I’ll have a calm, relaxing flying experience.” nordstrom.com Sleep Mask “If I’m on a red-eye, long-haul, or early morning flight, I swear by my Slip eye mask. Trust me: wearing one will significantly increase your chances of actually getting decent sleep on a flight.” cosbar.com Facial Spray “This Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a super light and refreshing facial mist that I have with me on every single flight. A few mists, a few deep breaths, and you’ve got hydrated skin and relaxation in one.” bluemercury.com @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 67
68 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
A wildlife excursion through Iceland’s most remote reser ve Photographed & Written by Silas Fallstich
you can imagine the absolute best safety meeting possible, one of the main talking points would be cake, and the destination of this meeting would be aboard a sailboat that looks like a pirate ship, with skull and crossbones flag and all. As much as this sounds like fiction, it’s not. This is the first moment aboard the Arktika in Isafjordur, Iceland. Captain Siggi is introducing myself and our already close-knit group of 10 strangers to the itinerary of a six-day wildlife excursion to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, the most remote region of the Western Fjords of Iceland. He explains that the vessel and its crew operate as a mobile hut to destinations that have no huts, and without further adieu, we bid our harbor farewell. Sails up and only 30 minutes from town, we spy a pair of humpback whales. They’re impressive animals and seeing their sprays and flukes is a prequel to coming adventures. Many of the guests including myself stay on deck, not wanting to miss a moment. We sail along, not pressed for time. Fjord after fjord ebbs into and out of view. The ocean is rolling, creating a rhythmic motion like an overused washing machine stuck on repeat, but the Arktika glides effortlessly. Our day of sailing is complete when we arrive at Hornvik Bay. Coming into the
protected area reveals 200 degrees of dynamic coast. To the east, and the point of the horn, a steep coastline leads gradually down to a rocky shore, a waterfall spilling into a black sand beach is just visible in the distance. Siggi gives us a quick briefing and we take a zodiac ashore with our crew member Óli at the helm. Once on land we are allowed to roam freely. I ditch the trail and head upward through yellow and purple fields of flowers. An accumulation of granite boulders my chosen path, wanting to leave the flowers as intact as possible. I climb up for a short spell and reach an area of wet, mossy ground. As I continue there are a few moments of handheld climbing needed on an area with a steeper pitch, then I reach an outcropping. Here I put down my pack and take in the view. A small patch of sunlight moves across the vacant land before me, occasionally landing on the Arktika below on the water, and then passing on. I remain here and time stands still. Tranquility, peace, and calm come over me and I realize that I’m alone, the only thing in sight is wilderness and a sailing yacht. I’ve needed this.
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 69
When I descend the slope it’s with reckless abandon, running and jumping down the mountainside. Back at the beach, members of the group start straggling in. I ride the first zodiac back to the boat. Once on board I beeline for the shower. All cleaned up and dry, I come to find out that everyone on board saw a fox from the deck, it was on the beach not but a few feet from our zodiac landing. I’m clean but feel like the last picked kid at recess. Dinner makes me feel less left out. The halibut with citrus sauce and stoemp (a hearty potato and vegetable puree) are simple but delicious. For dessert the final crew member Annukka made a fruit fudge. All of us are amazed that such fare has come from the small galley and the talented crew. After dinner we bring out our supply of beer and spirits and remain to socialize, this evening we get a chance to interact with a more lively, slightly inebriated version of Óli. I’m up at 6 a.m., someone else’s alarm woke me but I’m grateful for it. I have the saloon to myself. I’ve been writing for 40 minutes and nobody has stirred, just the occasional clink of rigging on deck. The deckhouse is warmer than I expected, not that I thought it would be cold. It’s more than the temperature, it has a comforting atmosphere. A lived-in aroma of warmth, hot tea, and cinnamon permeate the space. Siggi at one point alluded to this excursion being like taking family on vacation and I already feel right at home. 70 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
Before long Siggi and Óli are making coffee in silence and laying out a simple yet extensive breakfast. Granola, muesli, various breads, every jam and spread you could want, meat, cheese, and fruit. Within no time the whole boat is around the table, talking and eating. Siggi details the day’s itinerary and in a flash we’ve packed sack lunches, layered up, and are back on the zodiac, heading to the eastern shore of the bay. When I climb off the beach the group is 30 yards ahead of me beyond an A-frame outhouse. As I near my companions, a small but distinct figure slowly reveals itself and I instantly fall to my belly. The tiniest little creature is all but 10 feet in front of me. An arctic fox pup, as gray as metallic metal. His demeanor is relaxed, my posture is working. His movements don’t make a sound and I feel as if my every breath is echoing through the landscape. He is small and delicate yet maneuvers with confidence. He props himself up on his forelegs and poses, searching the land for something unseen. We move down the trail along the beach and begin climbing. As we gain the ridge I bear-crawl to the edge and look out over a sheer thousand foot cliff into an expanse of vast blank ocean, into the Arctic. To curtail my landscape interest, I spot a napping fox 15 yards from the trail I’ve just left. His body is curled into his tail, only his snout exposed. I lay in the grass not far from him, both of us neither sleeping nor moving. A siesta on a cliff with an arctic fox as a companion.
The group walks down the trail and we hit the ground again when we come upon another fox doing what seems like yoga. Disinterested in distance, it beelines straight up the path to us. Leisurely walking within five feet of our faces, it pauses for a moment, offers us the most dismissive of glances, and runs off straight past the remainder of our hiking group. This feels like an amusement park of wildlife sightings. For a moment I even think Siggi is impressed. The group fractures at this point and our close-knit group of fox observers heads for the beach. Five minutes after regaining the beach what else but a fox appears on the trail ahead of us. He surveys the landscape for a moment and then lets out a scream. It’s a high pitched yelping bark that gives me goosebumps and makes me feel more connected to the land than I’ve felt in a very long time. Within the hour we find ourselves at the waterfall. It doesn’t fall directly on the beach but into a small lagoon that’s surrounded by the ever-present yellow and purple flowers. We head for the beach and hail Óli and the zodiac to hasten us back to the boat. The zodiac’s nose is pointed for the Arktika, there are seven of us on board, and everyone is silent. The only noise is the subtle splash the craft makes on the water and the hum of the engine. I take long deep breaths, letting this immense day of hiking and nose-to-nose fox sightings set in. This has been a truly incredible day and we haven’t even gotten to dinner. We leave Hornvik Bay in the morning, feeling a little sad as it has shown us so much. We motor a few miles north of the bay into the Arctic Circle. Siggi cuts the engine and when everyone is on deck he asks if anyone wants to jump in. Without thinking, I’m down in my bunk and then back in board shorts, fearful of missing this chance.
The rope chords are smooth as I climb one ring at a time, unsure of myself at first. With each ring I gain confidence. Six heaves upwards, not to the top of the rope ladder but high enough for me, as I rest here for a moment, someone says backflip. I turn my attention on the deck and not the dark black, oddly still waters. Óli says jump away from the boat, his voice a clear instruction above the other jests, encouragements, and happenstance words. Time slows down. I inhale two big breaths, I want arctic air in my lungs if I’m to go plunging into the sea. I yelp out a fox howl and spring from my perch. My hands steady me in the air, I can’t feel anything just the sweet kiss of the ocean as I plunge feet first. There is a submerged moment of stillness when everything stops, my eyes shut tight I hold everything in. I could stay in this moment—this so peaceful moment—for eternity. Caught between a fox yelp and a whale spray. The noise on deck, the crash of waves, is all lost. Pure silence. I break the surface with a spout of my own and the cold hits me. I swim to the boat, it only takes a few strokes, and hoist myself up the short ladder, the metal of the deck colder than anything else. I’m back on deck, deaf to everyone yet still hearing what I need most. “Jump again! Jump again!” And for no apparent reason I lose my puffy coat, regain my perch, and go plunging into the sea a second time. When I climb aboard again I know I’ve had my fill and that all is well for there is laughter on deck and a hot shower only a few feet away. As if jumping into the arctic ocean isn’t enough for the day, we sail south to Sambòl and put ashore. En route, Siggi gives us an ever-changing itinerary, but it’s delivered with confidence and always creates the perfect experience. Once underway, we cross a bog that leads to a slow rising mountain, up a snowfield that’s barely surviving the summer, and gain the high ground. The walking is easy as a well-used path with large rock towers
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 71
marks the route. Once in sight of the next fjord, Siggi gets a phone call from his dad and it only takes a few moments of scanning the horizon for him to point out his dad’s boat. It’s miles off and mostly an indistinguishable blur to me. I take the second half of the hike to myself, letting the natural progression of the path be my guide. We are bound for Hesteyri and our first order of cake. I have stumbled ahead of the group and Siggi radios me to order for everyone when I arrive at the cafe. When I get there I leave my muddy boots at the door and find a server. When I say that I need to order for 11 she looks baffled. It takes some convincing and looks from the cook that would scare the devil out of most anyone, but before long the owner of the cafe comes along, in a few blinks all of us are sharing hot coffee, some of the most delicious pancakes I’ve ever had, and the host even plays us a tune. The next morning I rise early, knowing this will be our last full day aboard. We return to Hesteyri and Annukka leads us to an abandoned whaling station. She does an incredible job detailing the process and which procedures happened where. One of the guests is an avid geocache enthusiast, so during the hike I jump into an abandoned silo, milling around with minimal light to find the cache even though I had no clue what I was looking for. The joy on her face was something to marvel at when I emerged from the decrepit silo holding a small plastic box. A short hike later, we are back at the cafe having hot coffee, pancakes, happy marriage cake, and lamb pate toast. We depart the bay in haste and motor towards Vigur Island, our final destination. Along the way whales begin to show themselves, at first one and then two. After a short spell of this, there seem to be whales in all directions. I feel as if I don’t know which way is up and which is down, this is euphoria of a different kind. There are illicit shouts of glee as someone spots a spray or fluke. The shared
72 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
energy on deck is as important and as keenly felt as the sight of these incredible beasts. At Vigur Island our time is slightly hedged in. We are given strict rules as this is a smaller and more inhabited place, as well as there being nesting terns. When we reach the coast a small cluster of us find a nice rock outcropping with a horde of puffins. We sit seaside starring at the puffins as the tide brings them into the shore and out again. The energy of the birds heightens as they near us and then wains. The repetitive nature of this is a joy. Once back near the boat we find that there’s yet another cafe. The farmer and operator of the cafe gives us a tour of one of the preserved historic houses. It’s an instant snapshot into history. They have kept many of the ornaments of the home intact, making it easy to visualize what life in a different time entailed. After the tour we retire to the cafe for coffee and our second helping of happy marriage cake. I still can’t get enough. Back on board we settle into the same routine of preparing for dinner. Then one and all gather at the table for a feast with a happy hum of conversation all around the room. Like many nights on board, we stay up late. Tonight the creative side has appeared from somewhere and soon Siggi and Óli are digging bottles out of storage. With the most incredibly random hodgepodge of spirits on the table, Óli invents the Fox on the Beach, a cocktail of varying portions of all the liquors, beers and nonalcoholic drinks. It’s a murky sludge-like color, smells of corroded earth, and tastes like a kitchen sink. We all take turns making rounds and boat life revelry encompasses the space. To cap off the evening a highly spirited Óli commands the group to jump from the boat the next day before finishing the journey.
In the morning, his speech comes to fruition when three guests jump into the water, one backflipping his way from boat perch into the sea. After these incredible feats, several others depart on kayaks and SUPs. The area is calm and we even see a car from the boat, which alarms us and reminds us we aren’t so far from civilization anymore. We embark for the harbor in silence. I climb the highest rope ladder and find a momentary perch that seems to suit the moment. Before long our personal pack of whales returns and brings the boat back to life. We are once again reveling in the experience, with whale spouts hastening us all the way to Isafjordur. Can you think of the best day you’ve had in the last year? Or no, go further, the last five years? Don’t answer quickly, really think on it. I’m sitting over a half-eaten lukewarm bowl of curry, the roll of the ocean tells me it’s calm but the presence of the sea is close at hand, there’s a hum of happy, excited conversation all around. I’ve just had the best day in recent memory, full of Arctic Circle views, rugged cliff lines, hiking from black stone beaches to mossy summits and back to a seaside waterfall strewn with yellow and purple wildflowers. All of this interspersed with rubbing noses with arctic foxes. Oh, and of course second helpings of curry. You will be hard pressed to find as much adventure, cheerful laughter, and enthusiastic nature-induced revelry as aboard the Arktika with Captain Siggi at the helm. * Home Harbour: Isafjordur, Iceland firstname.lastname@example.org aurora-arktika.com
Home Harbour : Isafjordur, Iceland
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 73
B rea thles s An a we - i nspiring lu x u r y trek wit h Mount ain Lodges of Pe ru Written by Ottocina Ryan Meet Darwin, our Mountain Lodges of Peru tour guide. His favorite English word is fluffy, he loves to cook, and he knows everything there is to know about Inca history, Peru, and hummingbirds. And he only sometimes jokes about human sacrificing us. I guess you could say he’s a pretty good guide. He has even guided Prince Charles and Camilla after all. He’s also hilarious, which is a definite plus since we are about to spend the next five days with him, trekking through the Andes on a Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP) Sacred Valley and Lares Adventure, from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Over the next week, Darwin leads us from one luxury lodge to the next via untrodden trails and Inca sites where we are the only visitors. Our expedition starts in Cusco, a vibrant city in which we spend a day to acclimate. We ease into the 12,000-foot elevation and Andean culture by walking around the town—which was once capital of the Incan Empire and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site—exploring Inca fortress Sacsayhuaman (pronounced “sexy woman,” but we went for the historical aspects, I swear) and dining on alpaca skewers and giant pisco sours at Pacha Papa.
74 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
The next morning we depart MLP’s El Mercado hotel bright and early. My friends and I pile into a Sprinter van as Darwin introduces us to our driver, going on about what an experienced and trustworthy driver he is. I disregard it as overkill—until we start driving. The road to our first trailhead is high, narrow, and unpaved, with only eucalyptus trees and scattered adobe dwellings between us and the Urubamba River hundreds of yards below. For the first hike, we are accompanied by a local porter, Pedro, and his three mules who carry our water for the next several hours. Don’t let his sandals fool you, at 53 years old Pedro could do laps around us. As I take the first few steps up the trail, I’m already out of breath. The 13,500-foot elevation is no joke. I look at my friend laughing, wondering what we got ourselves into. (Disclaimer: my preparation for this trek was limited to hiking a few times at an elevation slightly above sea level the weekend before the trip, and purchasing a waterproof pair of Timberland hiking boots because they looked cool. In my defense, they turned out to be super durable.) But as we continue traversing
the trail, our bodies acclimate. The peacefulness and tranquility of the mountains override any exhaustion. If nothing else, we can always think of the beautiful lodge waiting for us at the end of the day’s adventures. Darwin imparts knowledge about the Incas as we walk along stone-lined trails created centuries ago. There are no other hikers, only the occasional sighting of kids playing on their way home from school. Children are a necessity in the Andes to help with farming, and it’s not uncommon to have 14 in a family. We pass by a farm, and Darwin points out fava beans, quinoa, corn, and black mint, noting that Peru grows almost 3,000 varieties of potatoes, 55 of corn, and 17 of quinoa. He mentions that black mint is a guinea pig’s best friend. “Why? Do they eat it?” My friend asks. “No, we marinate them in it,” Darwin chuckles.
We end the day’s hike at the largest Incan burial site, where the faces of cliffs are strewn with holes once occupied by mummies (which have since been looted). Even though the hike is physically challenging, there’s no point at which I feel incapable or frustrated. I’m not sure if it’s the ample time to think, the spiritual setting, the strength required, or a combination, but I feel as though after this, I could do anything. And I’m excited to wake up and hike again tomorrow. Our ride is waiting at the burial site and takes us to the bohemian Lamay Lodge where we are welcomed by gardens with a jacuzzi, fire pit, and two llamas. That evening we feast on local specialties of Andean trout, guinea pig, several types of potatoes, and mushroom ceviche, finished off with a thick, syrupy blue corn pudding. Afterward, we stretch out our muscles in a yoga class and then curl up on velvet couches in the lobby to go over tomorrow’s itinerary. Each night we discuss options for the next day’s schedule and customize it to fit each person’s interests.
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 75
The following morning we visit Mercado de Cala, where local vendors offer everything from giant avocados, to cheeses and cakes. Old women sit on the ground selling herbs and natural remedies for any ailment. Many vendors have been working at this market their entire lives, and the resulting camaraderie is apparent. After a short drive, we climb to Asamarka, an Inca site used for storing grains and jerky. The only other people at the secluded ruins are women sitting at a loom weaving as children nearby spin wool. Darwin translates for us as we ask about what they are making. I feel lucky to interact with locals who are carrying on traditions of Incan culture. These are not your get-the-Instaphoto-and-dash tourist attractions. That afternoon I set out on my own (accompanied by our other guide Jose) to hike the trail from Quelquena to Huacahuasi. We have a picnic by the river then climb up steep switchbacks to reach the ridge with a breathtaking view of both valleys. He points out a village below. There are 10 families that live in this village, and they grow potatoes and raise guinea pigs. Once a week they walk a few hours to town in order to stock up on supplies and trade with people from jungle climates for coca leaves and tropical fruit.
76 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
As we head down the other face of the mountain, we slosh through mud as alpacas stare at us in disbelief. We’re one of the few people they see a day; the trail is used only by MLP. Our hike ends directly at the door of Huacahuasi Lodge. The surrounding mountains and waterfalls are even more awe-inspiring when seen through the floor to ceiling windows in the lobby. I settle into a couch and take in the panorama before heading to my room, which has a jacuzzi on the balcony overlooking the Sacred Valley. I reconvene with my friends at dinner and hear about how they spent the day visiting the small town of Choquecancha where a healer read their futures on coca leaves. The next day we drive through the Sacred Valley. The views of lakes and glaciers appear too pristine to be real. We stop multiple times to take photos, but no photo truly captures the beauty. The only traffic is llamas wandering along the dirt road, some with colorful earrings and necklaces to identify their ownership. In the afternoon we hike to Pumamarca archeological site where we enjoy lunch and a yoga class within the stone walls of the ruins. On our descent, we encounter a dog who follows us for miles. When we reach “Half Moon” terraces, our new furry friend leaves us for its owner as we hop in the van and head straight to Sacred Valley Brewery for a well-earned pint.
What to Pack Timberland Men’s Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots timberland.com
Sun & Swell Fruit & Nut Bites sunandswellfoods.com
Medicine Mama’s Bee Magic Wand lip & face balm medicinemamasapothecary.com
M-61 Hydraboost Moisturizer SPF 30 bluemercury.com
In the morning we explore the ruins and town of Ollantaytambo and then hop on the Inca Rail to our final destination: Machu Picchu. As the train to Aguas Calientes (the town at the base of Machu Picchu) runs along the river, the landscape changes from farmland lined with cactus to drizzly cloud forest. We arrive at Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel and are lead through the jungle-like property to our rooms. My suite’s lofty ceilings, fireplace, and large windows remind me of how fortunate we were to stay in beautiful and comfortable lodges every night instead of the campsites along the trail. The next day we explore Machu Picchu: it is a place of centuries-old temples built in the 1400s and towering peaks lost in the clouds. Darwin’s narratives give meaning to the impressive and magical Inca site, otherwise buzzing with tourists in a rainbow of plastic ponchos. The visit makes me appreciate not only the history but also our week of near solitude that only MLP could offer. Having the sites to ourselves offered so much more of a spiritual experience. From learning about the culture through immersion in local practices, to hiking to different sites, to staying in beautiful lodges, it was never the same thing twice, and all without a hitch or tourist. * mountainlodgesofperu.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 77
Perfection is in the details at
La Casa Que Canta I
Written by Ottocina Ryan
just returned from a trip where I did something I’d never done before. I visited a city I’d never been and didn’t leave the hotel. I wasn’t sick, the town wasn’t far away, I just didn’t need to venture out to find what I came for. Relaxation is a rare thing these days and I had yet to experience a place that fosters it as well as La Casa Que Canta in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
The hotel feels like an ancient European town transported to the ocean. Wandering around the maze of open-air salmon-hued hallways and flights of adobe stairs, each landing offering a perfectly framed glimpse of the ocean and palm trees, makes everything feel romantic and relaxing. Each room is different and it feels so safe and private that it doesn’t seem like a hotel at all—more like a home, not one bit commercialized. It’s the owners’ first and only hotel yet they got everything just right, from the landscaping to the always grinning staff.
78 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
My days begin waking up to the sun streaming through the glass door looking out over the bay, followed by room service on the balcony of my room. My terrace is a retreat on its own, with a hammock and a plunge pool overlooking the property’s infinity pool and saltwater pool. Enjoying the view accompanied by breakfast of lime pancakes and Veracruz poached eggs in a spicy broth with beans and chorizo takes it to a whole another level. My favorite pastime becomes napping on a daybed beside the mystical saltwater pool which is framed by palms and has a waterfall that lands into the ocean. There is no pool scene, just the shade of white umbrellas and the sound of waves crashing against the rocks below. Due to the layout with chairs—all facing the ocean and secluded by planters—some days the only other person I see poolside is the server bringing guacamole and chips to my table.
Even with just laying by the pool, my days don’t seem long enough. Yet when I need a break from the sun, I take shelter in the Spa by Clarins for a massage to the soundtrack of actual waves crashing. No spa music necessary. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t work from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and sitting in the relaxation area, sipping on lemongrass tea, makes that feel like a different lifetime. In the evening, at a table on the edge of the restaurant patio just above the surf, I sip a Marieta margarita, with damiana, lime, and grenadine, as the sunlight drains from the sky. In the dark, the hillside across the bay illuminates with hundreds of little lights from the homes. It is just as magical as it is unexpected, I feel like the world doesn’t exist outside of the hotel. As I peruse the menu the server prepares salsa from scratch tableside, which I promptly devour with sweet potato chips. The menus change daily based on what’s freshest and what fish are caught that day. Probably a good thing as otherwise I would order the ceviche followed by Seafood Pozole every night.
Returning to my room, I notice they changed the ever-present flower arrangement on my bed at turndown service. It’s now in the shape of a hummingbird with flowers—intricate and impressive. Just one example of how they really took every aspect of a hotel and elevated it. In an attempt to describe just how much care they put into making every detail special, this should offer some perspective…. There are hotels that leave toilet paper as is. Then there are places that fold the toilet paper into a triangle. Then there are places that fold the triangle so it has a pocket to hold a tiny flower arrangement. La Casa Que Canta has tiny flower arrangements tucked into the toilet paper. Now imagine the attention to detail designated to everything else. * lacasaquecanta.com
@ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 79
A PARADISE TO Within the jungle of Riviera Nayarit lies Mandarina, One&Onlyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first residential property
80 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
CALL HOME Written by Ottocina Ryan
From a yacht anchored offshore, I can barely make out the structures hidden in the dense jungle. The dramatic volcanic rocks rising out of the water are topped with what appears to be just a canopy of trees. As I squint I begin to notice contemporary villas nestled into the lush hillside above the beach. These are the beginning of One&Only Mandarina Private Homes in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Concealed within the jungle is not just the villas but also boundless life-enriching amenities. Although they are still being constructed, awaiting buyers’ preferences for 2020 completion, each of the 55 four-to-eightbedroom villas that comprise One&Only’s first residential property has a unique footprint based on its location in the terrain. With more space per lot than any other development in Mexico, the natural biodiversity thrives and provides tranquil and comforting privacy. The homes seamlessly blend into the jungle with stone accents (think bathroom counters cut from single slabs of marble), earthtoned walls, outdoor soaking tubs, light-filled living rooms made for entertaining, and infinity pools that drop off to the jungle. The contemporary structures, designed by Rick Joy Architects, and the landscape transport you to South East Asia (although you’re only 30 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport). Open floor plans contribute to an airy atmosphere, allowing you to feel one with the natural surroundings. You look out the glass walls to tropical plants and vast ocean and hear nothing but the sound of the waves. The ambiance is unparalleled, but it’s the amenities that really make it. It’s a place where the sun rises over misty horse pastures and you can watch the sunset from the fire pit at the end of the jetty, cocktail in hand. The hours in between can be spent at the Maiahua Beach Club, paddle boarding down the winding estuary that runs through the property and enjoying a poolside dinner prepared by a renowned, Michelin-starred chef. Plus, all of the amenities of the adjacent 108room One&Only Mandarina resort are available to homeowners, from turndown service to access to the nature-inspired spa. For the adventurous ones, the property encompasses extensive hiking, biking, and riding trails, as well as a climbing wall and zipline. Here, boredom is unlikely, and that’s a lot to say for a secluded beach community.
The property also has a Kid’s Club you would feel proud to send your children to. The club’s designer won an Oscar for her set design of Moulin Rouge, so it looks straight out of a movie. Complete with a butterfly sanctuary, treehouses, ancient petroglyphs found on the land, and Juan’s House—a fictional character’s hut where kids can learn about the insects that inhabit the land—the club allows children to immerse themselves in the jungle. And that’s not even all of it: Mandarina also has a farm where they can get acquainted with animals. But the animals aren’t just for the kids…If you had to choose between petting horses and avoiding getting hit by a golf ball, which would you choose? It’s a no brainer if you ask me, or Mandarina Developer Ricardo Santa Cruz. Over dinner in nearby Punta Mita, Ricardo explained that he intentionally did not build a golf course and instead included an equestrian center, based on the connection humans have with horses and the time-consuming and excluding nature of golf. Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club offers stables, polo fields, and jumping and dressage arenas. Plus, it’s the sister club to Aspen Valley Polo Club, so members enjoy the same rights. Just a 15-minute drive away, the beach town of San Pancho offers an authentic Mexican experience worth leaving Mandarina for. The town is colorful and as beautiful as it is slow-paced and relaxed. Cobblestone streets are lined with pastel buildings draped in bougainvillea and tiny shops. Restaurants like Organi-k (for hearty acai bowls and poke) and Barracuda (for amazing ceviche and tacos) are not to be missed. Jungle isn’t what you typically think of when you think of Mexico, but its part of what makes Mandarina unique. The flourishing landscape draws you in and the sleek architecture and endless amenities of One&Only Mandarina make you want to stay. It’s not often you go somewhere that is not just beautiful and luxurious but also undeniably special; it is a place anyone would be lucky to call home. * discovermandarina.com @ S B L I F E A N D S T Y L E | 81
end hours i p s o t 48 how
Day 1 COFFEE
o t i c e t n o M BREAKFAST
Day 2 Day 1
Start your day at Caffe Luxxe’s first location outside of Los Angeles with a Lilac blueberry muffin and a cup of the Montecito Blend—a medium bodied, balanced blend of cocoa and dark cherry with aromas of grapefruit zest inspired by the crisp climate of the Central Coast’s rolling hills. @caffeluxxe
Savor the flavors of a French cafe at Renaud’s Patisserie. The Baker’s Basket features traditional Parisian breakfast items, giving you a taste of Paris without the trip. Pro tip: order an almond croissant (or two) to take with you. @renaudspatisserie
From Onia swimwear for him and her, to Tamar Mogendorff pillows for the cabana, La Serviette towels, and Pachulah jewelry, get beach and pool ready at Coco Cabana. With a pink sign, tropical plants, and chic surfboards, this boutique is summer in a store. @ilovecococabana
“I have too many bikinis,” said no one ever. Visit So Del Mel’s loft boutique for timeless Brazilian swimsuits designed with soft, forgiving, high-quality fabrics, and a personalized shopping experience to help you choose the right styles. @sodemelswim
Whether you’re shopping for a special event or stocking up on summer staples, the perfect piece awaits at Allora by Laura. Carrying European styles with a Californian flare, the boutique makes luxurious everyday style achievable and effortless. @allorabylaura
Select a unique gift or order personalized stationery for you and loved ones at Letter Perfect. Don’t forget to check out their selection of homewares, luxury pens, and witty greeting cards. @letterperfectsb
WINE Sip on award-winning Rosé and Grenache wines amidst upscale ranch decor in Folded Hills’ new Coast Village Road tasting room. The leather, wood and equestrian accents will transport you to the Gaviota ranch where the vineyards are. @foldedhills
LUNCH At the newly opened Rosewood Miramar Beach, you can now enjoy your favorite Malibu restaurant closer to home! Treat yourself to branzino filet tacos topped with cucumber tomato pico, pepper jack cheese, radish, and cilantro lime crema while basking in the tranquil atmosphere at Malibu Farm at Miramar. @malibufarm @rosewoodmiramarbeach
Featuring a selection of couture eyewear from the most innovative designers in Europe and America alongside staff with prescriptive expertise makes Occhiali a one-stop shop for eyewear. Refresh your collection with a pair of sunglasses from your favorite designer or a new one you are bound to discover with the help of one of Occhiali’s knowledgeable team members. @occhialifineeyewear
From an impossibly flavorful appetizer to a pasta course to an almosttoo-pretty-to-eat dessert, enjoy an interactive three-course Chef ’s Table dinner with Executive Chef Marco Fossati at Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore. On Wednesday nights, diners can observe the cooking process from start to finish while dining with a view of Montecito’s Butterfly Beach. @fssantabarbara
From one-of-a-kind belts to edgy jackets to standout floral pieces, a stop in whimsically decorated Juniper boutique will have everyone asking where you got your outfit. @juniper_montecito
STAY Settle into your refined yet rustic bungalow style cottage set among oak, eucalyptus, lemon, and loquat trees at San Ysidro Ranch. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the 500-acre property houses expansive gardens filled with roses and lavender. Rooms are adorned with one-of-a-kind antiques hand-selected by Ty Warner (owner of San Ysidro Ranch), handmade four-poster canopy beds, and stand-alone Parisian bathtubs. For a truly revitalizing experience, book a Nirvana Massage—the ultimate stress relieving treatment, using the Ranch’s signature blend of rosemary, lemon, eucalyptus, and lemongrass oils, helps to ease muscle tension. @sanysidroranch
Browse exhibitions of important works from a cross-section of periods, movements, and genres (including Impressionist and Modern) as well as blue-chip artists whose work has been inspired by the cultural history of Montecito at Heather James Fine Art Gallery. @heatherjamesfineart
DINNER Head to the historic Montecito Inn lobby for pre-dinner drinks before your 18-course journey of delectable performance art at Silver Bough. The innovative menu created by Chef Phillip Frankland Lee and Pastry Chef Margarita Kallas-Lee is divided into three acts: Ocean, Land, and Sweets. Meticulously crafted dishes featuring worldly and opulent ingredients including Tokyo turnips, 24 karat gold and Japanese wagyu served upon custom-made tableware alongside some of the world’s greatest wines and spirits will leave you with a night to remember. Be sure to book your tickets for the Silver Bough in advance! @thesilverbough
Written by Kim Hashemi 82 | JULY/AUGUST 2019
W E L C O M E TO THE CALIFORNIAN