LIFE&STYLE SANTA BARBARA
MAY/JUNE MAY/JUNE 2017 2017
Peter Cohen Amina Rubinacci Robert Clergerie Les Copains Sonia Rykiel Norma Kamali Nili Lotan Sally LaPointe Zero + Maria Cornejo Henry Beguelin
CAPTIVATING MODERN LUXURY www.allorabylaura.com | 1269 Coast Village Rd. Montecito CA 93108 | 805.563.2425
East Valley Road - $6,950,000
DA N A ZE R T UC HE
LORI CLARIDG E BO W LES
805.565.8822 | Associates@SUSANBURNS.COM
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ÂŠ2017 Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Nowhere is the magic of a California moment more tangible than at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Itâ€™s a place where time resets, memories are crafted, and life itself has the space to hit its highest notes. Come explore how our authentically reimagined resort can help create and care for your special moment away.
Enjoy that Santa Barbara sunshine! Happy Hour 3-7 everyday Buy one small plate, get one 1/2 off Exquisite wines & European beers served with free crostini See & be seen beautiful State Street patio! Authentic scratch-made cakes & pastries Breakfast, lunch & dinner Weekend brunches High Tea served daily from 2 p.m. Farm to flute mimosas Contact Charlotte Private events: 805-770-5284
The Andersenâ€™s Danish Bakery & Restaurant 1106 State Street 805-962-5085 AndersensSantaBarbara.com
Great wine, like great polo requires passion, dedication, commitment, patience, endurance, brilliance and stewardship.
Tasting Room Open Daily 12 - 6pm |30 El Paseo | Santa Barbara, CA |805-232-3549 Private Vineyard Tours and Tastings by Appointment www.happycanyonvineyard.com
LIFE&STYLE SANTA BARBARA
ON THIS COVER
May/June 2017 Volume 5 / Issue 3 Editor & Publisher Ottocina Ryan Creative Director Silas Fallstich
Lead Photographer Meadow Rose Art Directors Josie Couch Helene Laine Marketing Manager Amy Dong
PHOTOGRAPHED by Meadow Rose STYLED by Robin Berger MODEL Avery Dey with Next Model Management HAIR by Mariay Tsushima with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar MAKEUP by Lia Barabuscio with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar MANICURE by Aqua Skin & Nail Bar using LVX in Lolli TOP & PANTS See By ChloÃ©, Allora by Laura LOCATION Ever-Bloom, Inc. of Carpinteria, California 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 www.santabarbaralifeandstyle.com
Writers Robin Berger Christina Burch Rah Riley Hana-Lee Sedgwick Elena Tico Nora Tobin Dee Dee Serpa-Wickman Photographers Silas Fallstich Coy Gutierrez Carly Otness Riley Yahr Stylists Gladis Barboza Robin Berger Zinta Braukis Rachel Teixira Account Manager Alessa Valenzuela Photography Assistant Owen Strassner
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MESAVERDE 1919 CLIFF DR. SANTA BARBARA, CA 93109
DINING Upgrade your backyard barbeque with this mouthwatering modern take on a classic.
28 / KANALOA
48 / ISLAND FEVER Did someone say oasis?
Come for the fresh catch of the day, stay for the melt in your mouth fish tacos.
56 / FULL BLOOM
36 / FRESH TAKE ON TIKI
62 / PONY UP
Toes in the sand and drink in hand.
Take a peek into a whimsical day of polo and poise.
39 / CHERRY DROP
The cherry on top of your skincare routine.
HEALTH 40 / KNOCKOUT
Sidekick your way into summer.
42 / INDULGE IN WELLNESS
Four days of athleisure and indulgence at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.
Daisy fields forever.
74 / MEET Z
From flying helicopters to traveling the globe, Zinta Braukis is so much more than a polo player.
76 / “E MALAMA KOU KINO”
Coastal & tropical rejuvenation? Check us in!
80 / 90210 GETAWAY
Around the world in Beverly Hills.
82 / CASTLE IN THE FOG Step into our majestic medieval escape.
90 / DISH IT UP COCONUT KIWI CHIA SEED PUDDING Look no further for the perfect summertime snack.
18 / STAYING LOCAL AND WILD
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Letter from the Editor
Towards the end of an interview this morning, the woman I was interviewing asked me, “What aspect of the magazine intrigues you the most?” I was stumped for a moment, ‘all of it,’ I thought, but that would be the obvious answer. I paused, and carefully considered it. It’s the locations we feature that interest me the most. I love the excitement of finding somewhere special that serves not just as a backdrop, but as a major character in a fashion or travel feature. It’s fun that we get to imagine a story that can unfold in the location and bring it to life. Santa Barbara is overflowing with magical spots, which is especially well represented in this year’s May/June issue. Several months ago, after visiting the Avoganic ranch for an article, the writer and I were offered a tour of Ever-bloom. Luckily we accepted because when I first stepped inside I couldn’t believe there were that many gerber daisies in the world let alone hiding away in Carpinteria greenhouses. Imagine flowers in every hue as far you can see and farther. It’s unreal and certainly uplifting. We added flowy dresses and wavy hair for a carefree editorial. Speaking of happy places, we shot Pony Up at Piocho Ranch in Happy Canyon. It’s probably one of the most serene places on earth. My first impression was watching the miniature ponies and donkey grazing at the entrance with no other sounds than birds chirping. And in Paradise Found, we shot at Jodi’s home, which transports you from Montecito to Bali the moment you walk inside. The atmosphere is relaxed and scented with incense. With outdoor showers and palapas for everything from spinning to sleeping, it’s like a permanent vacation. Where better to showcase unique swimwear and island ready cover-ups? I love discovering beautiful, dreamy places and sharing them with our readers—I hope you enjoy the stories we created in these locations!
Editor in Chief Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine
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Somerset represents an intersection of old-world culinary tradition and farm to table California dining. All produce is sourced within a 100 mile radius and is primarily organic. Taking advantage of proximity to the Santa Barbara coast, Chef Lauren Herman utilizes local fish mongers’ daily deliveries and livestock humanely raised on ranches in the hills above America’s Rivera.
7 E ANAPAMU STREET, SANTA BARBARA
California Grown Santa Barbara Crafted
Organic Ingredients California Grown No Artificial Anything
Gluten free Organic Ingredients sbpopcorn.com California Grown GMO free
COVET & CRAVE Staff Picks for May/June 2017
SO FRESH, SO CLEAN
MAKE A SPLASH
Jo Malone London Nectarine Blossom & Honey Body & Hand Wash, jomalone.com
Acacia Bikini, acaciaswimwear.com
BEST FOOT FORWARD Raye Shoes, revolveclothing.com
BAG IT & TAG IT Gray Malin Luggage Tag, graymalin.com
FRESH OFF THE PRESS
eos Active Protection SPF 30 Fresh Grapefruit Lip Balm
Juice Ranch The Yoda Juice
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SB LIFE & STYLE dining
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staying local and wild Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Hana-Lee Sedgwick
It’s a rare but much needed rainy weekend in Santa Barbara, and my husband and I are craving comfort food. There’s something about the rain that begs for a warm, hearty meal and cooking at home just isn’t going to cut it. Armed with hungry appetites and visions of barbecued meat in our heads, we eagerly walk into Wildwood Kitchen—the just over a year-old restaurant at The Mill. As we enter the hip yet casual space, we’re greeted by a friendly server who tells us to sit wherever we’d like, so we venture over to a cozy spot near the bar. Turns out, we’re not the only ones craving bbq on this lazy Sunday—several other groups of people are happily noshing on pulled pork sandwiches over cocktails, no doubt sharing our denial that Monday morning is quickly approaching. Mouthwatering aromas of smoked meats fill the air as we peruse the menu with anticipation, deciding on a cocktail to kick things off. The Butcher’s Cocktail—a concoction made with bourbon, Angostura bitters and agave served in a glass rinsed with Scotch—is just what the doctor ordered. Warming with a hint of uplifting citrus, it’s the perfect antidote to the cold. Add in the tunes of Bob Marley and Jack Johnson playing above, and we are definitely feeling some warmth on this winter night. Adam Poverman, the co-owner and general manager, comes over to our table to help us narrow down what to taste. He steers us in the right direction, suggesting we start with the much loved artichoke toast, a cheesy blend of artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, spinach and
garlic aioli baked on toasted bread. It’s a grown-up version of spinach artichoke dip that leaves us excited for the rest of our meal. We next dig into the mound of Tuscan kale salad topped with chopped almonds and crispy onions. The tart goat cheese combined with the slightly sweet plump dried cherries perfectly complements the bitter greens. With salty fried onions on top, this is a kale salad that even non-salad eaters can believe in! With our appetites whetted, we enjoy the bustling sounds of cooks preparing food in the open kitchen. A burst of laughter from the people at the bar turns our heads, and we are delighted to notice the arrival of the next phase of our dinner: a meat sampler and sides. Suddenly, our conversation stops as we’re overtaken with the smells of cornbread, baked macaroni and cheese and of course, smoked meats. Where to start? The meat, obviously. Equipped with house-made bbq sauces (spicy jalapeño, beer-braised and espresso), we dive head first into the pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, and ribs. I find myself immediately transported to the South, maybe Texas, enjoying a bbq feast on the range before a lively Alan Jackson song jolts me back to reality. We go back for seconds and thirds of each meat, trying to decide which is our favorite. Maybe the smoky pulled pork? Maybe the chicken literally falling off the bone? Or is it this perfectly charred, spicy and salty jalapeño and cheddar sausage? We can’t decide. As tangy barbecue sauce lingers on my tongue, I add some grilled carrots with pumpkin SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 19
BBQ Bloody Mary
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seed pesto and mac and cheese to my plate, digging into the thin layer of baked cheese and breadcrumbs to reveal the creamy macaroni below. With every bite, we change our minds on what we like best. When Chef Justin West and his business partner Adam came up with the idea for a barbecue restaurant in Santa Barbara, the goal was to combine multiple styles of bbq under one roof. They also wanted to take advantage of all the local produce and meat purveyors available in the area, which is evident with every bite. Local, fresh and never frozen (the restaurant doesn’t have a single freezer, by the way) is a restaurant concept we can all appreciate. As I cut into another slightly charred purple carrot, I picture all the carrots I saw at yesterday’s farmers’ market and can’t help but smile, knowing this is the epitome of eating local.
As the last of the still warm jalapeño cornbread topped with honey butter literally melts in our mouths, we decide that we just can’t take another bite without being rolled out of the restaurant. Adam comes by to see how we’re doing, then mentions the words “apple pie” and my husband’s ears perk up. His favorite. We somehow make room for a few last bites of apple pie with fresh whipped cream before throwing in the towel, or napkin, completely. Our eyes have seemingly been bigger than our stomachs tonight, which I’m guessing is a common theme around here. With the soft glow of the red Wildwood Kitchen sign to bid us goodnight, we thank Adam and Justin for a meal that over-delivered, vowing to never eat so much again. Until our next meal at Wildwood, at least.
The BBQ King
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s sel us Br
t Grilled Roo
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BBQ B ea n
Mac nâ€™ Cheese SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 23
Cucumber Basil Martini & Tijuana Speedball 24 | MAY/JUNE 2017
SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 25
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Wildwood Kitchen 410 E Haley Street, Santa Barbara www.wildwoodkitchensb.com 805-845-3995 SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 27
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Kanaloa Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Hana-Lee Sedgwick SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 29
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he smell of seasoned rice lures us in as we dig into the ahi poke served over warm sushi-style rice. With each bite, we get bits of thinly sliced onions, sesame seeds and seaweed, adding an array of simple yet powerful flavors to the dish. I notice there’s no aioli or creamy wasabi sauce, which I sometimes need in poke bowls, but this is so fresh and flavorful that it truly doesn’t need anything else. Eating the poke under bistro lights and palm trees, I can’t help but feel for a moment that I’m in Hawaii. Given the abundance of fresh seafood offered and that Kanaloa is named after the Hawaiian god of the sea, I guess it’s not that far off.
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Vintage Hub Cap plates, The Blue Door
Kanaloa Seafood Market and Kitchen, located on Chapala Street between De La Guerra and Ortega Streets, opened up over a year ago. I pass by it every week, see all the people on the patio enjoying the sunshine while eating fish tacos, yet I’m ashamed to say this is my first time trying it. When my husband and first I walk into the restaurant, we’re greeted by Jordan, son of owners Don and Randee Disraeli, who established Kanaloa Seafood as a wholesale provider and market in 1983. We peruse the small but varied lunch menu, taking time to eye the assortment of tasty-sounding sandwiches and tacos, and decide that we definitely want to try the crispy fish tacos. Jordan can obviously tell by the look on our faces that we’re torn with the rest. He suggests the
Korean tacos—a favorite of his—and also mentions that they’re rolling out a new dinner menu, offering to bring us some of the new items if we’re up for it. Without hesitation, we say we’re on board. As we’re enjoying top notch people watching from our table, Chef Roberto comes out with our first dish, the ahi tuna poke bowl–a brand new item he’s excited about. After my first taste, already Kanaloa has a new fan. Next, we eye a beautifully presented shrimp cocktail heading our way. This is no traditional shrimp cocktail, i.e., shrimp hanging around a cup with cocktail sauce in the middle. Instead, we are presented with a small plate of shrimp and pico de gallo over a bit of arugula pesto. On the side is a hollowed out tomatillo filled with red cocktail sauce.
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Mussels are certainly one of those dishes that I tend to be choosey about, so I’m surprised by how much I enjoy my first taste of our third dish. The mussels are served in a bowl with a deliciously light coconut curry broth. Grilled bread with just the right amount of char provides the perfect vessel for soaking it all up. As we polish off the mussels, we’re second guessing our decision to order both the crispy fish and korean tacos as well. This is a lot of food. However, with each bite packing even more flavor than the last, we don’t want this meal to end. Jordan comes over to check on us and we share how much we enjoy the food, commenting on how fresh everything tastes. He explains that his family’s goal is to provide the freshest and most delicious seafood
in Santa Barbara, so he’s happy to hear our affirmations. He also mentions that Kanaloa is the first seafood company in North America and Europe to obtain the prestigious International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification, recognizing their high standards for environmental responsibility and sustainability. All of this is impressive, and I can’t help but revel in my newfound love of Kanaloa Seafood as I take another bite of the spicy korean-style salmon taco with red chili sesame salsa and cilantro slaw. I guess that when it comes to seafood, all I need are delicious combinations of flavors and really fresh fish. It’s safe to say that I will surely be back.
Kanaloa Seafood Market & Kitchen 715 Chapala Street Santa Barbara 805-966-5159 www.kanaloaseafood.com
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Fresh Take on
From the mixology masterminds who brought-State Street The Good Lion, a haul of Cuban rums and tiny umbrellas just arrived at the Funk Zone's fresh take on tiki.
Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Rah Riley Test Pilot house rum blend, cloves, citrus, bitters, absinthe foam 36 | MAY/JUNE 2017
THE BAR Steps off State on East Yanonali—and dangerously, wonderfully close to Mony’s—wander your way into Test Pilot. The long copper bar is stacked with farmers’ market fruits and colorful cordials. Spare a few nautical nods, the front lounge is California contemporary with teal walls and fresh pops of palm leaves. And when you see the pillow-topped hanging chair, go ahead and get swinging in that out of the way first. If rum-runners are your historical icons and craft cocktails are your craving, this is your new happy hour. They did us a favor and skipped the fishing nets and pufferfish pendant lamps. The only kitschy things here are the shelves of ceramic totem mugs and we are drinking what they are putting down. True to tiki, Test Pilot’s drinks are playful, colorful, topped with tiny paper umbrellas, and, thankfully, oceans away from any nostalgia you were having about that discount-cruise slushy bar. This is tiki of the old jungle—if Jane had packed curly straws and Tarzan had agreed to a fresh, bold accent wall. Part SoCal deco-tropical, part patio drenched in dewy Santa Barbara sunset, this late 2016 replacement to Red’s is just a food truck and summer sunshine away from dropping anchor as a local escape. Plus, Good Lion regulars can gladly twist their mustaches to this new collection of cocktails—family farm ingredients, house-made cold-pressed cordials (from the same kitchen as its sister establishment), and creative presentations that somehow make clove-dusted absinthe foam and plastic pink curly straws get along just fine. The Test Pilot menu has been literally years in the making. With an initial fleet featuring 40 motley concoctions, an expert team of trusted palates flew in to (drunkenly, we can only assume) steer the finest 18 onto the menu. And they did good.
Cuban style rum, lime, orange, almond bitters
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Passion Fruit Mule vodka, passion fruit, ginger, lime, bitters, vanilla, soda
THE DRINKS Welcome to an armada of timeless tiki classics—cleaned up, dried out, modernized. The signature Test Pilot is the house drink to start, packing all the fun things about tiki bars into one quality-crafted cocktail, including the ceramic Tiki Butt Glass. We were going to call it this regardless, but it’s actually called a Tiki Butt Glass. Floating on a totem of citrus, bitters, and a house blend of rums, a fresh squeezed lime boat holds whipped absinthe foam dusted beautifully in clove. If you prefer your drink dry, eat the foam on its own; this booze cruise of airy alcohol will add sweetness, so flip that fruity excuse for a boat if you’re into sweet spirits. With a procession of sweet citrus, El Presidente is a mix of Cuban rum, blanc vermouth, dry curaçao, orange bitters, and pomegranate. It’s a clean cut cocktail dressed in a sassy fruity hat—the Cuban take on a Manhattan. For less rum and more beer, there’s a house-made, marigold-garnished ginger beer splashed with cold-pressed passion fruit cordial. For less rum and more mescal, give the Oaxacan Dead a go. Tiki Blinders is a fun favorite: A spirited smashup of three rum varieties served coupe glass, its texture melts leisurely from soft icy slush to silky smooth sedatives. And well, they had me at biodegradable stir sticks. Locals will appreciate Test Pilot's contemporary craft cocktail addition to the neighborhood. A new sure spot to meet a world of visitors seeking surfer vibes with a tiki twist this summer, Cuban Jazz is on the calendar for Wednesdays and a cool new patio concept is set to sail this spring. The infamous Sea Wolf and its captain Ira Eaton—a local light in the dark decade of prohibition and Santa Barbara's own infamous Channel Island rum-runner (for which a Test Pilot private lounge is aptly named)—would be a proud patron of this rum tiki oasis. Locally farmed finds and the-rums-to-rule-them-all are currently mixing their way into the Funk Zone's finest new fleet of handcrafted cocktails.
Mai Tai classic mai tai rum, lime, orange, almond bitters
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Test Pilot 211 Helena Avenue, Santa Barbara www.testpilotcocktails.com 805-845-2518
SB LIFE & STYLE beauty
Written by Dee Dee Serpa-Wickman
Cherry When I think of summer I think of colanders full of ruby red cherries begging to be eaten. As a child I knew cherries as pretty and delicious—all the requirements for consuming a food. Yet years later, as healthy has been added to that list, they still check every box and remain one of my favorites—for summertime picnics and my skin. This sweet fruit is packed with beneficial nutrients and unique antioxidants on a topical and internal level. You can get antioxidants from healthy eating, but only a small percentage of consumed antioxidants actually reach the skin because they primarily act internally in the body. All antioxidants have the same function—protecting against environmental damage, such as stress, sun, air pollution, and cigarette smoke, all of which harm our skin.
Internal Benefits: ~Natural anti-inflammatory, may reduce pain from arthritis and related ailments ~Melatonin in tart cherries aids in sleep ~Tart cherries help lower cholesterol levels ~High levels of antioxidants (higher than blueberries) ward off cell damage related to aging ~Speeds up muscle recovery following vigorous exercise To make sure the antioxidants of cherries reach your skin, there’s Skin Prophecy Cherry Drop Puree Enzyme, which contains 17 different antioxidant components that help the body to fight free radicals, which cause aging. The most important among these are Anthocyanins (red pigment) which strengthen connective tissue. This enzyme also aids in exfoliation, hydration and lightening hyper pigmentation. Topical Benefits: ~Minimizes fine lines/wrinkles ~Antibacterial properties remove toxins in the blood and bacteria trapped under the skin. ~Kojic Acid, derived from Japanese mushroom, lightens skin ~Lactic Acid (L) Alpha Hydroxy (AHA) hydrates and exfoliates while reducing wrinkles and pigmentation discolorations ~Arbutin, a natural plant-based derivative of Hydroquinone, brightens skin and blocks epidermal melanin
Skin Prophecy 1230 Coast Village Circle, Suite B, Montecito 805-969-6454 www.skinprophecy.com
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SB LIFE & STYLE health
Photographed by Carly Otness Written & Modeled by Nora Tobin Hair & Makeup by Kristabelle Marks with JosĂŠ Eber Salon Y-3 Leggings & Shoes, Antoinette Sports Bra, Forever 21
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Boxing may seem like an intimidating sport (it was for me), but it’s an incredible workout that doesn’t require previous experience. It’s also one of the best ways to strengthen your presence and boost confidence. By switching between high intensity boxing moves and core exercise, you will burn a significant amount of calories while improving aerobic capacity and sculpting your core. If you’d like to do this routine with boxing gloves and a bag, please do not hesitate. If you do not have access to this equipment it’s no problem at all. Either hold a set of 2-3 pound weights while performing the punches or start without any weight at all. You will still get a serious workout!
How it works:
Perform each exercise for 1 minute. The boxing moves will be performed as fast as possible and the core moves will be at a moderate pace. Do the entire routine 3 times through.
Stand with feet hip width apart in an athletic stance. Deeply bend both knees, shift hips back and lower down until thighs are parallel with the floor. Extend to straight and kick right leg out to the side as you hinge at your hips. Engage the glutes to lift the leg. Return to center and come back into the squat. Quickly drive up, extending the legs to straight and kick out to the left. Continue to alternate for 1 minute.
Stand with feet hip width apart in an athletic stance. Start with right foot forward and left foot back. Drive right fist forward, extending your arm all the way out to straight. Quickly switch arms, driving your left fist forward, extending your arm out to straight. Come back to the start position with hands up by your face. Do 1 deep squat. Then repeat entire movement (jab, jab, squat). Perform as many rounds as possible in 1 minute.
Come into a forearm plank position with feet hip width apart and nose over thumbs. Keeping hips level, rock back and forth a few inches. Keep core engaged and shoulder blades drawn toward one another. Repeat the movement for 1 minute.
Jab, Jab, Hook, Hook:
Stand with feet hip width apart in an athletic stance. Start with right foot forward and left foot back. Drive right fist forward, extending your arm all the way out to straight (wrists facing down). Quickly switch arms, driving your left fist forward, extending your arm out to straight. Then punch right fist forward keeping elbow bent and thumb upward (like you’re holding a mug). Come back to center and punch left fist forward with elbow bent and thumb upward. If you are punching a bag the hook would be punching the side of the bag. Come back to the start position with hands up by your face. Do 1 deep squat. Then repeat entire movement (jab, jab, hook, hook, squat). Perform as many rounds as possible in 1 minute.
Side Plank with Hip Raise:
Come onto your side with elbow under shoulder, wrist directly out from the elbow and feet stacked. Lift hips off the ground, engaging your core the entire time. Slowly drop hips toward the ground and quickly drive them right back up. Lift and lower for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
For a 5-week transformational fitness and nutrition program, check out www.noratobin.com SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 41
Indulge in Wellness SB LIFE & STYLE spa
Photographed by Silas Fallstich Written by Ottocina Ryan
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day four of my wellness retreat at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. I’m sitting on my bed at 11 p.m. eating a room service chicken quesadilla that came highly recommended by the same person who was encouraging me to keep holding that plank just before sunrise this morning. This is not-your-average wellness retreat. Less about detoxing with exclusively green juice, more about balance. This is four days of indulgence, healing, reflection, deliciously healthy food, cocktails (tequila Kaletini, anyone?), and a few workouts that leave us with sore muscles we didn’t even know were in there. This retreat is about envisioning what wellness means to you then doing it. And tonight, wellness to me is a decadent bubble bath and room service, because both are arguably the best perks of staying in five-star resort with one of the best chefs on the West Coast. Flash back to the first afternoon of the retreat. We gather on a lush patio alongside a plunge pool at the Ortega Bungalow; nibbling watermelon and feta bites and sipping on fresh strawberry kiwi juice. We go around and introduce ourselves (don’t worry, there was no prompt for “interesting facts”), and share some of our goals for the next few days. Obviously, leaving with six-pack abs was top on everyone’s list—a joke, of course. While most of us are strangers (I know only one of the participants), it quickly becomes clear that we are all here because we value holistic wellness and are making the time to step away from our laptops. We ease into the retreat’s fitness portion with yoga at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club. The cool studio is filled with the most Instagram-worthy palm leaf printed yoga mats beside bottled water and folded towels; the perfect space to start decompressing. SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 43
Post-yoga we find a fireside table at Bella Vista for dinner. Garnished with cilantro, lime, and cayenne salt, a surprise round of green Kaletinis appears on our candlelit table followed by garden-to-table yellow carrots and bright purple beet hummus. The ensuing entrees arrive wholesome and healthy with the flavorful uniqueness you’d expect from Chef Marco Fossati’s kitchen. We all take seconds of cauliflower steak, local roasted king salmon and organic chicken while fielding DM’s about where to get those palm leaf yoga mats. Health benefits of tequila are a hot table topic and, a couple more rounds of Kaletinis later, we collectively decide to push the 6:45 a.m. workout to after sunrise and call it a night. I have to say, there's something about that endless Coral Casino pool view lined with pink lounge chairs overlooking Butterfly Beach that's such a motivating start to the morning. I feel good waking up. The first half of this morning’s pre-breakfast workout is spent strength training beside the pool; for part two, we strip into swimsuits for half an hour of kicking drills in the heated pool. When I get back to Bella Vista for breakfast, sunlight is pouring through the glass roof onto a long table lined with white Gerber daisies, emerald glasses of juice, shots of wheatgrass, and platters of housemade granola bars. I collect a bowl of berries from the decadent buffet and order the Coconut Chia Pudding. The thick fluffy coconut yogurt topped with mango and pumpkin seeds is sweet and filling. The Vegan French Toasts on the plates surrounding me look like a mustorder for tomorrow. After a leisurely breakfast we regroup at the Ortega Bungalow for meditation. This would become my favorite portion of the retreat. Aiden, an intuitive healer, leads us into visions of ourselves in a open field of flowers, visualizing our goals and the changes we need to make in order to achieve them. Whether you are jump-starting or finetuning your wellness journey, the retreat at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara gives you a taste of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle in a luxurious environment. Nourishing menu options, physical movement, outstanding spaces, and natural views. The retreat team takes into account that wellness is different for everyone and encourages you to reconnect with your mind and your body to find what works best for you. That morning of meditation was 15 minutes of the most productive, peaceful, and memorable moments I have had. Later in the afternoon, the spa is exactly what my body needs after this morning's pool workout. My masseuse, Kiki, welcomes and leads me to my oasis of a treatment room for a Clear Mind Aromatherapy Massage. With fluid strokes of her hands and soothing scents of lavender and peppermint, I'm soon put to sleep. After my treatment, I curl up in a chair by the window. Outside the spa’s relaxation lounge, the garden is vibrantly in bloom, overlooking a calm ocean and clear minded skies. There is nothing more peaceful, in my book, than reading a magazine, sipping hot tea and knowing my phone is locked safely away in another room. I have nowhere to be, but if I had stayed in that relaxation room much longer, I might have never returned to collect my things from that locker. At sunset we gather at the Coral Casino to cheers sparkling pink kombucha cocktails embellished with lavender. As the night darkens, we move inside to Tydes, where dinner is served family style, artistically plated on wooden blocks. I fill my plate with vegetables primavera: asparagus, baby carrots, pea shoots, and fava bean puree; 44 | MAY/JUNE 2017
ahi carpaccio with pickled mustard seed; stir-fried cauliflower rice (the favorite of the evening); and beet salad with organic ricotta, horseradish and mustard greens. It’s been a day of indulgence, reflection, healthy food, and a good workout. Back at my room–atop the desk I will not be using on this trip–is hot ginger turmeric tea steaming gently beside a Knesko natural collagen eye mask. These seem like the perfect accompaniments to The Bachelor finale (sometimes, an episode of reality TV is seriously essential to one’s well being.) Everything is optional in the retreat and, you would think, the highintensity sunrise boot camp would be the logical thing to skip. And yet, here I am, walking through the jungle towards the beach–and I’m excited about it. Our fitness instructor Nora and the group’s motivational energy is making every workout fun. Bootcamp starts with a Britney Spears remix and chatter over last night’s meal; it evolves into an intensely tough workout, ending right before the foamy waves reach our towels to blanket the beach. Heading straight into breakfast to refuel, a breakfast bowl bar has replaced the omelette station and I top my quinoa with sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, and eggs sunny side up. I can barely walk from this morning’s workout–which is honestly great because, if I’m going to workout, I’m going to workout–so by the time yoga on the Pacifica Terrace rolls around, I give my body permission to spend a lot of time in child’s pose. In the second half of the practice, a series of balancing poses, I select the colorful arrangement of juice, apples, and beets at the end of the patio as my point of focus. Swarming the colorful display of juices immediately at the end of class, I think about how often I’ve gone to a yoga class only to rush off immediately for my office or onto a stressful errand; this retreat really emphasizes moments of pause and reflection. Seizing the opportunity to practice the highest level of self-care, I’m sinking into a rare state of relaxed mind and body. Overlooking the ocean, sipping a vibrant blend of beet, cinnamon, carrot, and mint juice, this is exactly how savasana should be followed. A lunch spread of sweet potato tempeh tacos and vegan ice cream topped with caramelized banana is our nourishment for paddle boarding. It’s a sunny afternoon. Sea lions are bobbing near the shore and the waves are barely more than ripples. We paddle up the coast, each at our own pace, towards East Beach, taking in how beautiful Santa Barbara really is. I can’t believe it’s a Tuesday afternoon–this must be what vacationing in Santa Barbara feels like. After a smooth return to Butterfly Beach, I head back to my room, taking a quick warm-up dip in the jungle encompassed jacuzzi along the way. Walking through the grounds of the resort, everyone smiles at you–fellow guests, gardeners, dogs in Celine handbags–I think I’ve found my happy place. Tonight’s Aquaponic dinner is denim attire (probably a polite way of saying, “We’ve let you wear leggings this entire trip, pull it together a little”). I enter the courtyard as the sun is setting. Neon pink clouds are peeking through palm fronds aglow with string lights. 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Ancient Peaks Winery is flowing and, before I know it, Chef Marco is giving me a detailed list of towns to explore on my next
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trip to Italy. It is special to start to the evening mingling with Julian and Clayton, the minds behind Eco Conscious Aquaponics who grew the greens, and Marco, the chef who prepared the exquisite dishes. We sit down at the dark wood table lined with trays of microgreens, heads of lettuce, and flickers of candlelight. Our first course is avocado toast with the flavor to rival all avocado toasts. Bruschetta is topped with half an avocado, pea shoots, mini radishes, and mint. The highlight of the meal is the watermelon salad with ribbons of dehydrated watermelon (which more than one person claimed tasted like bacon) garnished with sunflower seed butter and aged balsamic. We’re encouraged to eat not just from our plates, but also from the live centerpieces. I break off a few leaves of lettuce, while the guest across from me chops red veined sorrel from nine little pots. I can't blame him; it doesn’t get any fresher than this. As we are served sorbets, in their original citrus shells and sprinkled with petals–a presentation almost too pretty to eat–we discuss the role indulgence plays in the Santa Barbara lifestyle and in wellness. Whether that means 7 a.m. hikes or sleeping in; drinking green juice or eagerly ordering room service (hey there, quesadilla); unwinding in the steam room or going for a run along the beach; all of the above or still exploring which wellness habits will work for you–it’s all about balance and enjoyment. And this right here, is both. The next morning the resort looks magical in the mist as I head to our final meditation. The focus is spring cleaning every aspect of our lives. “The world needs more dreaminess and less stress,” Aidan says with a smile. I’m quickly back in my open field, then, in a hot air balloon.
As we return from our meditative states–knowing our entire group has experienced the elements, energy, and intentions of this retreat together–many in the group share their meditation experience. After a few days of good company, from the highs (lavender garnished cocktails at a five-star wellness retreat) to the lows (I don’t know? It was foggy one morning?) we are comfortable, centered, and all on the same page. We regroup at the Ortega Bungalow to reflect on the retreat. An abundance of delicious, healthy, local food nourished both our bodies and minds. And while there was plenty of daily indulgence in creative cuisine, there was plenty of quiet self-reflection and sore thighs too. Four days and three nights to focus on how good your life can be; fit and well and fun. Everything was on par with the highest standard of luxury you’d expect at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara. The welcome amenities, bath bombs, accommodation of every dietary preference, and personalized service. The practices that bring the most happiness and best overall well-being, that is what is what is encouraged at the Four Seasons Wellness Retreat. And while I may not be leaving with a six-pack, I’m driving up Coast Village Road in a washed car (thank you, Four Seasons) with a new set of memories, a newfound understanding of wellness and happiness, and the motivation to create balance every day in my life.
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara 1260 Channel Drive, Santa Barbara (805) 969-2261 www.fourseasons.com/santabarbara/spa/wellness-retreat SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 47
SB LIFE & STYLE fashion
Photographed by Meadow Rose Styled by Rachel Teixeira Model Kelsie Smeby with Elite Model Management Hair, Makeup, Manicure & Pedicure by Heather Roach Location Design by Jodi G Designs
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See by ChloĂŠ Top, Allora by Laura So De Mel Bikini Borbonese Headscarf, Allora by Laura Henry Beguelin Handbag, Allora by Laura Quay Australia Sunglasses, Blanka Sandals, stylist's own
Camilla Dress, Blanka Sarah J. Curtis Hat, Blanka Kai Linz Jewelry, Allora by Laura Robert Clergerie Shoes, Allora by Laura
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Jet Set Diaries Blouse, Whiskey and Leather DVF Pants, Blanka Schutz Shoes, Blanka Antik Batik Handbag, Blanka Rachel Zoe Necklace, Blanka Ring, Bracelet & Necklace, Jodi G Designs
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Tularosa Jacket, Whiskey and Leather Kai Linz Jewelry, Allora by Laura
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See by ChloĂŠ Dress, Allora by Laura Salty Babe & Heather Gardner Bracelets, Blanka Kai Linz Earrings, Allora by Laura So De Mel Handbag Ancient Greek Sandals Sandals
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Norma Kamali Bathing Suit Dress, Allora by Laura House of Lafayette Headband, Allora by Laura Stephanie Kantis Cuff, Blanka Salty Babe Bangles, Blanka Necklace & Rings, Jodi G Designs
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Full Bloom Roe + May Dress, Whiskey & Leather
Photographed by Meadow Rose Styled by Robin Berger Model Avery Dey with Next Model Management Hair by Mariay Tsushima with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Makeup by Lia Barabuscio with Carlyle Salon & Style Bar Manicure by Aqua Skin & Nail Bar using LVX in Lolli Location Ever-Bloom, Inc. of Carpinteria, California 56 | MAY/JUNE 2017
Roe and May Dress, Whiskey & Leather
Lexi LaRae Rings
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Cals Dress, Evangelina Lexi LaRae Rings
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See by ChloÃ© Dress, Allora by Laura Cupid Shoes, Evangelina Lexi LaRae Rings & Bracelet
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Ministry of Style Dress, Whiskey & Leather Free People Top, Evangelina Marcia Moran Necklace, Evangelina
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Zero + Maria Cornejo Dress, Allora by Laura
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Photographed by Coy Gutierrez Producer and Model Zinta Braukis with L.A. Models Styled by Zinta Braukis & Gladis Barboza Hair & Makeup by Heather Roach Location Happy Canyon Vineyards, Piocho Ranch 62 | MAY/JUNE 2017
Marissa Webb Top, FWRD.com ThePerfext Pants, FWRD.com Jennymac Gold Bracelets & Earrings, jennymac.com Lesebi Black Bracelet, lesebi.com
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Zac Posen Jacket Lucchese Shoes, lucchese.com Jennymac Jewelry, jennymac.com
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Preen Shirt, FWRD.com Winston Equestrian Breeches, fabsportswear.com
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Street & Saddle Dress, streetandsaddle.com Leon Max Belt, maxstudio.com The Tailored Sportsman Breeches Jennymac Earrings, jennymac.com 66 | MAY/JUNE 2017
Nightcap Dress, nightcapclothing.com Zac Posen Jacket Lucchese Shoes, lucchese.com Jennymac Earrings, jennymac.com
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Juan Carlos Obando Shirt, FWRD.com Winston Equestrian Breeches, fabsportswear.com ManeJane Belt, manejane.com Mas Bisjoux Horse Necklace, masbisjoux.com Jennymac Bracelets & Necklace, jennymac.com 68 | MAY/JUNE 2017
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Cinq Ã Sept Dress, FWRD.com Jennymac Earrings, jennymac.com 70 | MAY/JUNE 2017
Alexis Dress, FWRD.com Jennymac Earrings, jennymac.com SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 71
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Valentine Equine Shirt, valentineequine.com Leon Max Skirt, maxstudio.com Lucchese Shoes, lucchese.com Mas Bisjoux Horse Necklace, masbisjoux.com Jennymac Black Necklace, jennymac.com Belt & Choker, modelâ€™s own SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 73
SB LIFE & STYLE profile
Faith Connexion Jacket, FWRD.com Horseware Breeches, horseware.com Secchiari Boots, soleaequestrian.com Mas Bisjoux Scarf, masbisjoux.com
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Photographed by Coy Gutierrez Written by Elena Tico Itâ€™s a Monday morning and Zinta is on her way up the coast to Santa Barbara. I finish prepping questions and through my research have gathered that her insight would be incredibly valuable to people who want to embrace multiple passions and live creatively and fearlessly. Zinta identifies as a professional polo player, a model, an adventurer, a lover of horses, a world traveler, and a woman who is paving her own lane in fashion. Zinta and I kick off our conversation and instantly bond over a love for Santa Barbara; she and her husband live in SB during the summer and play polo at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. Here they take a step away from Zintaâ€™s modeling career and living in LA to enjoy a slower paced lifestyle. Zinta and I discuss how she weaves two distinctly different careers together, promoting beauty and confidence through her unique lifestyle. I have to ask, what is the origin of your name? My parents are from Latvia so Zinta is a Latvian name and can be translated to, she is wise. How did your polo career begin? I loved horses growing up, so as a little girl I wanted a
pony. I guess I never grew out of that phase. I started taking riding lessons at age 14. Around the same time I saw a polo match and it just got me. I was like I need to try that one day! Soon after I was able to try it at a club in LA and I was hooked. There is something addicting about galloping on a horse and that moment of impact with the ball, seeing it fly off, and seeing who can get to it the fastest. It's a rush. And these horses have all been bred for running and galloping, they see the ball and they want to run. Where are you currently living? LA is base for us, in the winter we live in Palm Springs, and summer in Santa Barbara. My husband and I will be representing Santa Barbara is this year’s Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships on November 11th. It is the largest attended polo match in the US. Between modeling and my own chosen adventures I have seen a lot, so right now I am really enjoying California and exploring closer to home. Before, I always wanted the longest flight, 13 hour plane ride—no problem. Now I will take the two hour drive. Traveling for modeling I am sure you had many interesting experiences, what is a time that stood out to you? In general I felt unique and special being 16 and being on my own and traveling that much. My mom came with me to Tokyo for six weeks because that was the first place I went to out of the country. After that she was like, “Okay you handled Tokyo well enough, you’re fine to be on your own.” One time I was in Paris, I was staying with a family friend, which was nice because he could keep an eye out for me. We were at dinner one night, and my agents called and said go home, pack your suitcase, a car is going to take you to the airport, we will call you when we have more details. I had just ordered my food. I ran home and packed, not knowing where I was going. 30 minutes after, my agent called saying there is a car downstairs taking you to the airport and you are going to the Canary Islands and shooting for this magazine. Have fun! So I went to the Canary Islands for a week. It was surreal. We went to Lanzarote which is a volcanic island where nothing is growing, it is all black volcanic rock and back sand beaches. You feel like you are on Mars or something. Who are your favorite clients to work with? BCBG, Nordstrom, Calvin Klein, J. Crew, and FORWARD by Elyse Walker. I have a lot of reoccurring clients and overtime I get to
know the whole crew, so it becomes fun. With FRWD.com I have a fierce expression but we are cracking up and goofing around between every shot. When did you decide you wanted to have an Instagram presence? I was never a social media girl, I didn’t feel the need to be marketing myself. You look at a lot of the models on Instagram and it’s mostly selfies and going to trendy restaurants, which is cool—but not me. About two years ago, my agents said all of our girls have to have at least 10,000 followers on Instagram otherwise there will be a lot of jobs we can’t push for. I want to work, so I thought if that is the way the game is played now, then I am going to figure out how to play it. Trying to be the cool girl going to restaurants and the beach and taking selfies did not make me happy—it just stressed me out. Occasionally I would post my horse photos and I was getting great feedback, and I noticed there are a lot of equestrian brands. Equestrian fashion is actually becoming a fashion. You can now have riding boots in every color of the rainbow, you can wear a royal blue coat and have a shiny silver helmet. A lot of the lines maybe needed a model, so I started using my modeling to post fashion inspiration photos in a blogger way to inspire riders and others to wear their equestrian clothes on the street. By doing what felt right for me, it removed all the stress of being the cool girl or the sexy girl, now I am just me. How would you describe your style in three words? Urban equestrian chic. What do you feel most confident in? Really high heels or my riding boots. Go-to items in your closet? My riding britches are definitely my main go-to item, which goes back to the urban equestrian chic—I wear a lot of equestrian pieces out in normal life. They are comfortable, a lot of stretch fabrics because they are designing for a sport that requires a wide range of motion. Regular fashion brings on equestrian influences at times so wearing the real britches fits in and I mix them with high fashion items. I am also a big fan of leather jackets. Britches, leather jackets, high heels, and loafers. What would people to be surprised to know about you? I can speak Mandarin and I can fly a helicopter. I saw the Blue Angels when I was
a kid and thought jets and flying were cool and maybe I could do that as a career. I'm not fluent in Mandarin because it takes at least four years to become fluent in Chinese, but I have the basics down. After I studied in China for a year, I backpacked and went to places where no English was spoken and got by just fine. What is your favorite book? Langston Hughes’ autobiographies. Wonder as I Wander and The Big Sea. If you are into traveling his books are beautifully written, he was a poet and I love the writing style and reading about his experiences traveling the world. If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would you go? Argentina! I’ve never been and there’s a lot of polo. Because of polo and the traveling lifestyle of a lot of polo players, we have friends down there right now so it would be a lot of fun to go. What are your favorite things to do when you are in Santa Barbara? My husband knows how to sail, so I love going out in the summer. I also enjoy the Salt Caves, and Fit Buddha for working out. What are your favorite places to eat here? I love Andersen’s, East Beach Grill, Pacific Crêpes, and Crushcakes. We also like Santa Barbara Roasting Company. I love their cold brew and they sell it to some restaurants in LA and Palm Springs! It has an interesting flavor, and is a little different than some of the others I have tried. If you had one piece of advice for someone looking to accomplish their dreams and turn their passion into their career like you have, what would it be? Do what feels right to you. Listen to other people’s advice, take it in, but filter it to what is right for you. Try to turn off the self criticizing voice in your head and figure out what is best for your happiness and your health. When you get an opportunity that you feel is going to take you the direction that you want to be, go and work as hard as you can at it. And always say ‘thank you,’ even to someone who you think did not do much for you. Getting to success isn’t just about working hard at the opportunities you get, it is also about saying no to opportunities that seem amazing but aren’t right for you. Learn to identify what it is that is right for you, and have the courage to say ‘thank you but no thank you.’
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SB LIFE & STYLE travel
“E Malama Kou Kino”
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How the Hawaiian antidote cured far more than the common cold Written by Christina Burch
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and let it sink in, the sweeping view of the bay and the warm breeze that accompanies it. I settle into my room, also an open-air oasis, with crisp whites and blues, modern bamboo seating and an ocean-view balcony with its couch of fluffed pillows just begging for a vacationer’s midday nap.
Timing is a funny thing. It’s often great. Really great. But it can also be bad. Really, really bad. Allow me to explain.
I’ve been invited to partake in a wellness weekend hosted by a worldclass resort on a tiny island in the Pacific. That’s right, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on the island of Maui, and its annual “E Malama Kou Kino” Care For Your Body weekend of rejuvenation. This invitation comes at a perfect time in my life, after a busy year of transition (along with an ever-present desire to travel). Therefore, the timing in this case? Amazing. But looking forward to it for months and then getting sick hours before boarding my flight? Devastatingly unfortunate. But if there’s one thing I have learned about time it’s that it can also be your friend. So I convince myself to give the Hawaiian antidote a try. Perhaps I’ll sweat it out at a sunrise yoga class or I’ll be cured swimming amongst sea turtles in the salty ocean. This is my rationale at least. So here I am, starting a wellness weekend (ironically) with a lingering cold that decides to fully take hold just as I toss the last swimsuit into my luggage. I sniffle, out of necessity, but also with sad frustration. Let’s just say it’s a little less exciting of a tropical vacation when your packing list also includes ‘tissues’ and ‘DayQuil.’ However, if there’s a time and place that’ll make you well, it’s Hawaii and a weekend dedicated to health and renewal. Maui, you’ve got this. I board the 6:30 a.m. flight with the eagerness of a kid on Christmas morning. I watch beads of water run across the window of 19A as we ascend through the rainy drizzle of a Santa Barbara morning fog. I reach for the inflight magazine and thumb through several pages before I can no longer fight the heaviness of my eyelids. Perfectly at peace, I sleep throughout the majority of the flight knowing palm trees and plumerias await me on the other side.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua We begin our descent into Maui and catch the perfect view of the emerald green mountains, looking soft and huggable, as if to welcome us to the island. I check in at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua—the lobby a seamless echo of its natural surroundings with rich wood grain, marble and floral accents woven throughout. I walk out to a wide-open terrace of outdoor seating and admire the exotic pools below. I breathe deeply 78 | MAY/JUNE 2017
By the time I freshen up, the sun is setting beneath the clouds of an elegant Hawaiian watercolor sky. I swing by the opening reception where I meet fellow fitness retreat friends, and we take a quick stroll around the property past moonlit pools and tiki torches to find The Banyan Tree, where dinner awaits. We start with an order of the Ahi Poke, with Maui onion, ogo seaweed and tobiko. I savor each fresh, cubed ruby. I pair mine with a Waipoli butter lettuce salad topped with candied macadamia nuts along with the braised short ribs with brownbutter kabocha pumpkin so tender and sweet. The highlight for me is definitely the special batch goat cheese ice cream, entertainingly crafted before our eyes with liquid nitrogen and a KitchenAid mixer. The masked pastry chef shoos the cloud of frigid air away from his staging area and offers me a fresh scoop. He tops it with crunchy coconut chips, and the creamy confection is a hit. I lend the remainder of the night to the beauty of my balcony, after showering and cozying up in a white robe. I snuggle into the outdoor couch, perfectly angled toward the water, and watch the wind push the clouds across the near-full moon lit sky. Would it be so bad to fall asleep right here, right now? I find an answer in the soothing crash of the waves and slip into an idyllic sleep.
“Embracing The Sea” I’m out the door at 7 a.m. with DayQuil in one hand and my camera in the other. I’ve caught word that an annual outrigger canoe race happens to be launching right from the base of the resort at Honokahua Bay. I run down a meandering path in my Rainbow sandals, hoping not to miss any of the action, until I spot a group of men with “Ka Mamalahoe Canoe Club” and tribal tattoo markings printed on their shirt backs. Suddenly team “New Zealand” appears alongside them; it looks like I’m at the right place, and apparently, right on time. We continue down to the beach where it’s packed with over a hundred people standing alongside their shiny outrigger canoes, each sporting their team name and hometown with pride. Among them, there’s a generous outpouring of hugs, handshakes and extra sunscreen bottles. I snap some pictures of a team warming up on the sand with dynamic stretches and of a woman massaging her friend’s tight shoulders. A man with a microphone climbs to the top of a lifeguard tower to gather the crowd. Now everyone’s hand-in-hand, encircling the line of canoes and unified in purpose; I stand in awe, taking it all in. It’s the most genuine display of camaraderie, athleticism and Aloha spirit rolled into one, and the race hasn’t even begun. I stay for a while to watch the teams launch into the water and fight against the first walls of waves until their paddling rhythm takes over. A friendly couple tells me it’s the Pailolo Challenge, a 26 mile race from Maui to Moloka’i, the neighboring island standing tall in the distance. I contemplate hopping into the last canoe as a stowaway so I can see this mysterious paradise up close. I wave goodbye to the last team and
bury my feet in the sand instead. Perhaps the snorkeling excursion I have scheduled for this afternoon will be enough of my own aquatic adventure. Soon it’s time to head down to the Ambassadors of the Environment center, and I’m given a snorkel and pair of flippers for a day in the sun. Along with a crew of fellow mainlanders, I meet two marine naturalists, Catherine and Anna, who will be our guides in the water. Kapalua, Catherine explains, means “embracing the sea.” I’m sure it’s due to its bay-shape but I attribute it to the fact that I can’t wait to jump in. I strap on the gear and waddle into the water as soon as I’m given the go-ahead. We follow Catherine and Anna like a little school of fish along the surface of the water as they teach us all about the unique biodiversity of Maui and point out the occasional eel creeping out from the coral. I snap a picture of one with my underwater camera and make it a mission to catch some more. Our group is especially eager when we spot a sleeping sea turtle snuggled along the soft ocean floor. We all take turns holding our breath and diving down to get a good look at him, only to rise to the surface to find a giant sea turtle hanging closely behind, almost as if to say, “What’s going on over here? What are we looking at?” We’re ecstatic to eventually spot four more. On our swim back to the beach, one of the guides points out a sea slug and passes it around. Hawaiian tradition says if you kiss it, you’ll enjoy seven years of good luck. I pick up the fuzzy potato-like creature, much heavier and more solid than I expected, and go in for a kiss. We all get our pictures with him, and I sneak one last kiss before I pass him off. 14 years of good luck will do me just fine.
Ho’omaika’i My wellness retreat has been filled with plentiful adventure so I’ve booked an appointment at The Ritz’s Waihua Spa for a little rest and relaxation, Maui style. I settle on the Lomilomi Massage, known to promote ancient Hawaiian healing, which is definitely something I could use right about now. My cold has been an active participant in my activities but I have good faith that some time spent in a grotto of heated whirlpools and eucalyptus infused steam rooms will change that. I’m welcomed by my masseuse Kristina, and she goes on to explain the tradition of the Lomilomi and how its techniques promote the body’s own natural healing ability. She opens a door to a private garden, and the serene ambient sounds of chirping birds and trickling water have me nestling into the massage table. The soothing papaya lotion she uses to work out the tension in my shoulders and neck is heavenly. She then covers my back and arms in warm towels and tucks me in until I’m completely encapsulated in a terry cloth cocoon. She works out the tension in my legs, focusing extra attention on my quads, iliotibial band and other tight ligaments from years of running. I admit to her my lack of regular stretching, and she laughs in complete agreement as she punches her fists into the bottom of my feet.
plans for her. Desiring one last summer trip before attending a long stretch of law school and life as an attorney, Kristina allowed Hawaii the opportunity to sweep her off her feet. She welcomed the coursecorrection with open arms as she fell in love with the pace, the spirit and the beauty of the Hawaiian people. “My trip has lasted 18 years,” she says with a smile and a glow of serenity, confident in the decision that changed her life forever. She beams with a contentment that’s contagious. She ushers me to the open-air relaxation lounge and taro garden, and offers me lemon hibiscus water. Before leaving me to the various amenities of the spa, her eyes widen and she prompts me to await one last thing. She returns with a fishbowl full of small strips of paper, each with a Hawaiian word and meaning printed across it, like the spa’s own version of the fortune cookie. I carefully select a paper and read it to myself. It’s “Ho’omaika’i,” meaning grateful, and all I can do is sigh in agreement. Yes, this cold has been ill-timed but I’ve been surrounded by people and a culture that so beautifully embody gratitude.
Ke Ānuenue The arrival of my final morning on the island has me lacing up sneakers and out the door for a run along the rich coastline. I usually set a time limit or at least plan a destination; not this time. I decide to let it all go, almost as if to ask Hawaii to do the talking. An early morning rainstorm has left everything covered in water, reflecting Maui’s natural beauty in abundance. Heading down an unknown path, I stop to take a picture of a gigantic white flower and a bird seemingly painted with vibrant orange. I settle into a stride as the path connects me to the highway, and I contemplate following it as it winds around the entire island. Perhaps it’s an adventure for my return. One last uphill climb leaves me breathless, and I look out to the ocean to drink it in one last time. How can something so mighty and unknown be such a source of comfort—so peaceful and sound? An extra glance at the clouds reveals something I’d been waiting for my entire trip, “Ke Ānuenue.” It’s my very own rainbow—the beautiful promise of hope and renewal amidst the dark of a storm. I hike down to the cove of black lava rock and the turquoise of crashing waves and admire the brilliant band of color outstretched in the sky for a while longer. I breathe in the last moments of salty ocean air and spot the Kapalua resort in the distance. My cold, having come and now gone, is insignificant. Instead, I’m left with a soul that’s overflowing—a feeling, I’m convinced, that must be native to this little island on the Pacific.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua 1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Lahaina, Hawaii 808-669-6200 www.ritzcarlton.com
Nearing the end of the massage, I snap out of my coconut coma and thank Kristina. As it turns out, she’s from Michigan and originally had no plans to permanently live in Hawaii. However, Maui had other SBLIFEANDSTYLE.COM | 79
90210 Getaway Experiencing the vast oceans, jungles, iconic sites, and obscure corners of our world requires travel at 40,000 feet, a lot of luggage and looming jetlag. As I whiz past LAX I’m thankful I can find international familiarity behind the pristine gates of Beverly Hills. Lined with Bentleys and Maseratis, the drive to Montage Beverly Hills exudes luxury and opulence. As I step out onto the marble pathway, the valet grabs my weekend bag, casually mentioning, “If you need assistance or a ride anywhere around town the Rolls Royce is available to you.” The Montage is only blocks from Rodeo Drive with panoramic views of the city and immaculate amenities including a lavish spa, rooftop cocktail hour and world class service. This is the place to be pampered. I arrive at my suite where monogrammed pillows and chilled Champagne await me. Walking onto the private balcony in my spa robe, I bite into a chocolate covered strawberry, Champagne flute in hand, and gaze at the upscale stores and private gardens in the distance. I’m on cloud nine. Entering the spa, the luxuriant atrium is drenched in natural light from copious skylights. I’m ready to loosen up and diminish any sense of worry and time. The Mineral Wellness Pool is easily noted as the heart of the spa. Its water, laden with over 60 minerals, promotes optimum cellular function, detoxification and joint relief. I slip into the pool and let my mind and body unwind. Making this dreamlike oasis even more plentiful, the Swiss showers, Turkish steam rooms and dry redwood saunas are picturesque and luring me to pamper myself. Sufficiently relaxed, detoxified and refreshed, I meet up with my girlfriends and head to The Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel to start off the evening. With our heels making a loud mark on our surroundings at the Michelin star restaurant CUT, we toast bubbly to the three-day getaway. I’m laughing, sparking up a flow of fun girly conversation and now sipping on the Indecent Exposure. The Herradura Silver, Bruxo Espadin, mint, cilantro, jalapeño, pineapple, and lime gives me the go to meet the bartender and compliment his divine expertise. I could have one too many of these. We all could. We savor every last bite of our appetizers at CUT, but save the remainder of our stomachs for dinner at the newly opened Italian restaurant Nerano. I’ve engulfed a pound of pasta, bumped into Ryan Seacrest and my pearly whites are now coated in a Pinot pairing, but I haven’t stopped enjoying the moment. Chef Michele Lisi’s dishes have a contemporary flare, complemented by rich and dense flavors. Each course mimics those served at tiny little spots nestled on the Italian coast. Yet we are so close to home. We make our way back to our suites for a restful sleep, I polish off the last drops of my Champagne and the delicate macarons while positioning myself in a bubble bath. This may be the cure for just about anything.
Following a serene wake up call and coffee in my robe, the girls and I meet at Georgie for breakfast and I order my go-to vanilla latte and the overnight oats with almond butter, honey and almonds. If this 5-star service could follow me around everywhere I know my happiness would be at an all time high. Time to just soak it all in now. We beach cruise around town as the sun crests over the hills, leaving me energized the remainder of the morning. This is my kind of trip. Come lunch time, we assemble ourselves on The Belvedere Terrace at The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Candles, wood burning fireplaces and stunning flower arrangements enhance the restaurant, and the decor perfectly matches my Greece inspired outfit of a light blue cardigan and white jeans. As we consume the seafood-centric Mediterranean fare, we note that we feel a world (or at least a trans-Atlantic flight) away from our pinned location. We are then whisked away to a private shopping tour at Louis Vuitton. Overlooking all of Rodeo Drive from the VIP terrace, we toast to each other and our beaming smiles. The sun sets through a cotton candy LA sky and, a few shopping bags and a vibrant red Louis Vuitton clutch in tote, we walk through the lit palms that line the lengthy and spotless streets. For what feels like a brief trip to Japan, we head to Tempura Endo, where the private dining ambiance captures the true essence of Kyoto. As we sip warm sake in the intimate setting, the chef prepares a 7 course tuna, scallop and salmon dinner—my ideal meal. Saving room for dessert, we head to Bouchon Bistro for a taste of Paris and cheers rosé to Chef Thomas Keller as we dip into a variety of handmade sweets. To end the night we make our men jealous with a private spot at £10. The authentic whiskey bar welcomes the connoisseurs of cigar smoking and whiskey drinking. Packed with the most specialized whiskey in the world, us girls sip on our picks in Lalique crystal glassware. The Macallan Single Malt is imported from the highlands of Scotland and served over ice spheres. I feel transported to a Mad Men speakeasy, but mostly just feel composed, collected and nonchalant. Oh a man’s world. Waking up energized for our last day, we chat and express our excitement for our private yoga lesson at the ‘Pink Palace,’ also known as The Beverly Hills Hotel. Over the last century the stars have enjoyed the glamour and legendary service that this hotel offers. Laying on a banana leaf printed mat I ease into the flow of what I note as one of my favorite practices, and the women around me agree. Completely replenished, we receive a private tour of the Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor suites. Immaculate interiors and the true authenticity of Old Hollywood fill the rooms. It’s almost like meeting the past occupants. As our trip comes to a close and we pack up our memories and exchange hugs, I feel like I’ve traveled around the world in one weekend, and I’m only an hour away from home.
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Written by Robin Berger
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SB LIFE & STYLE dining
Castle in the Fog Photographed and Written by Silas Fallstich
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will tell you a brief and mostly true recollection of the most unique vacation rental ever visited. I don’t make such broad and assuming statements lightly. So pay attention and read with eagerness. I’m dusting up 101 North watching the bumpers of traffic wash in and out of view. I’m the slowest traveler on the roadway, content going the predetermined 65 mph. The recent culmination of rain has transformed the roadside. Where only sparse greens once existed now entire hillsides boast vibrant hues further than my eyes can reach, it’s as if someone played with the saturation of the entire central coast. A flock of starlings catch my eye over farmland north of Paso Robles, their murmurations are little more than a defense mechanism but I marvel at the fluid yet seemingly erratic pattern of their flight. They are one of many momentary sidebars on my drive to San Francisco. When I exit the freeway down 3rd, instantly the drive feels different. Kids of varying ages step haphazardly into the roadway, unconcerned with oncoming traffic. A right turn down Innes and I slide right past the castle entrance, from the street view its facade mimics its neighbors. When I circle back and am properly inside the castle walls I feel as if my location, my destination, is a sanctuary and somewhere far removed from Hunters Point. Not that I need it to be but it’s impossible not to feel displaced once inside, this location defines outcast with its sheer existence. At once my host takes me within, beyond a wrought iron wooden door, through a recently excavated manmade cave, into a 200 foot stone cistern. Pitter and patter of water echoes around me. I climb several stairs and opening before me is 10,000 gallons of clear aqua colored spring water. Albion Castle builder John Hamlin Burnell dug not one but two stone cisterns, one of the pools is fully excavated and provides fresh clean water to this day. For Burnell the structure was Albion Porter & Ale Brewery as well as a petite castle home, the original structure was completed in 1870. Today, echoes of Burnell’s building are intrinsic in the raw stone and foundation components. My host in tow, I climb a mossy rock stairway above the cisterns to the living accommodations. The front door leads into a grand living room—white washed walls, an iron chandelier and semi modern furniture define the space, mixed feelings
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are conjured and I instantly see this place has been restructured many times. Its skeleton intact but the outward features holding on to its history bit by bit. Every room exudes original character, especially noticeable in the Art Deco touches introduced by 1938 purchaser and sculptor Adrian Voisin, who decorated the space with medieval fixtures and wood paneling. He lived at the castle for over 20 years. We climb another set of stairs into the slender four story tower, through a rustic sitting room, past a king-like throne toilet and bathroom, into the master bedroom. Colored felt chairs, a vintage black globe and Persian rug lead to a simple bedside table, desk and bed. The light is natural and moody, the room is sleepy and regal.
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Above this are two additional bedroom floors and a loft that provide a stunning yet narrow aerial view of the Bay Bridge. On the landing floor, the kitchen with its paneled wooden features, original stained glass cupboards and modern appliances exudes a mishmash tone. The contrast from room to room is notable, yet the piecemeal assemblage is homely and quaint. Once my host departs I instantly gravitate to the large fireplace. Itâ€™s beginning to rain outside and the space reverberates an empty feeling from wall to wall. It takes longer than Iâ€™d like to admit to get the wood burning fireplace lit. But before long the hearth is glowing and the room offers a smokey fragrance of time. A weathered impression of home, that reaches back in history and purges my idea of normal. Itâ€™s early in the afternoon and despite the cool temperature and rainy weather, I leave the castle walls on foot.
I tread for 5 minutes past rundown houses and storefronts, neighboring vintage doorways, shops, and garage doors. I stumble into India Basin Shoreline Park. Buttoned up to the shore with unique ocean views to the north, south and east. Along my walk I visit with a local and her friendly dog. From the shoreline I can see the smoke rising above Castle Albion. From this vantage I fully appreciate the simple yet distinct castle structure set into the hillside. The neighborhood’s exterior has been used harshly, but looking closely, treading through the streets and park I become captivated by the overwhelming sense of time. The unfiltered rawness of an area that has yet to be infiltrated by overzealous developers and deep pockets. Before long my sister hails me towards more central and traditional San Francisco. At her office we sip on Jameson and chamomile tea. Her co-workers are welcoming the weekend by gambling on the maximum
distance of paper airplane flights. My girlfriend’s flight to San Francisco is grounded and I muse over the irony. It only takes a few sips of Irish whiskey and I’ve assembled my own craft. It nose dives on its maiden voyage. I like the whiskey better anyway, and the Irish spirit is just the beginning to a weekend of eating well. Defined not by a single place or meal but echoed through a cacophony of homemade, store bought and restaurant grown meals, snacks and momentary lapses into far off lands. On Saturday morning, with rain clouds looming and a gloomy forecast, my girlfriend, sister, her boyfriend Steven, and I pillage the local grocery for pancake, egg and coffee breakfast fixings. What we are unable to fetch, my sister’s best friend and husband requisition from the inner city. At the castle we delve into a family style breakfast. The assemblage content with a simple meal, warm fire and vicarious
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conversation. I play tour guide one at a time for everyone. Always keen to climax the tour in the cistern. After the dishes have been washed and put away and the visitors have disembarked, my girlfriend and I depart for the city. We visit a bustling Ferry Building Marketplace whose slogan states “Delicious is Always in Season.” We slurp down oyster shooters with hot sauce and consume steaming bao buns while tucked into a vacant vignette. People come and go like waves, when one departs it’s always replaced by at least another. I shop with a semi-disinterested eye, more involved with the coming and goings than the wares. Outside the rain is picking up. We take in the Bay Bridge and cityscape views. The looming clouds and rain increase the drama and aesthetic, the whole block feels like it’s breathing in black and white. We retire to the sanctuary of Triple Voodoo Brewery in the Dog Patch Neighborhood. The beer a solitary solace from the rainy damp weather.
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We retire to the castle for a warm afternoon of reading and fire side relaxation. Our biggest concern—finding an open reservation. For dinner we enjoy Basil Thai Restaurant & Bar. A progressive locally sourced Thai restaurant. The highlight of the meal is the conversation. Our table is barely separated from neighbors on either side, yet we are able to dine in our own world. The tastes combine authentic Thai cuisine with a modern approach, I can’t get enough of the Brussels sprouts served in a warm broth. Before long we are tucked into our sleepy master bedroom. The morning brings a cloudy sunrise and massive rainbow that seems to sit above the castle as if to say look no further for your pot of gold. Our vacation almost over, we pack and head into the city for one last taste of San Francisco. I add ‘another’ favorite croissant to an ever growing list of favorite croissants at Neighbor Bakehouse in the Dog Patch Neighborhood. Then drive through much of eastern San Francisco for an early morning Americano at Trouble Coffee, even if it’s only for a brief espresso you must go and inspire yourself to get
in trouble at Trouble. As we jump on 101 South I can’t help but reflect on what it has meant to stay at Castle Albion. This destination is a wrought iron dissection of homogenous vacation rentals. The only way it fails is in its efforts to conform. This place helps to stretch our ideas of normal. Breaking down and infusing how comfort is defined with a raw and unfiltered sense of history. It’s unique to any and all. Not necessarily for its accommodations or location but for its history and future. Not only the owner and property manager, but also you the guest, will define what’s next for Castle Albion. No other place I’ve stayed offers such an opportunity to craft a unique and completely individual visit. There is no conformity, only opportunity. Come get your piece before it’s too late.
Castle Albion is available for rent on VRBO.com
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SB LIFE & STYLE recipe
DISH IT UP
Coconut kiwi chia seed pudding
1/4 cup chia seeds 1 cup canned coconut milk 1/2 cup water 1 tsp honey 1/2 tsp blood orange zest, plus more for garnish 1 kiwi, sliced for the topping
In a medium bowl, combine the chia seeds, coconut milk, water, vanilla, honey, and orange zest.
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Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. Serve with kiwi slices and enjoy! Recipe & Photography by Riley Yahr For more recipes by Riley, visit mixedandmeasured.com
232 Natoma Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Reservations: 805-965-3586 or TheEagleInn.com
Escape to The Eagle Inn
for your romantic getaway! Share Champagne on the veranda, relax in the whirlpool tub and cozy up to the fireplace. 232 Natoma Ave, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Reservations: 805-965-3586 or TheEagleInn.com No blocking fee for bridal parties and wedding guests.
his x hers x home
Boutique for eclectic living 1101 Coast Village Road
Published on Apr 24, 2017