Staying close while getting away at Orange County’s most luxurious resort
With all the preparation and waiting that travel requires, sometimes vacationing can be more exhausting than relaxing. After planning an itinerary, arranging papers, booking tickets, prepping sundries, hauling luggage and staying “alert” per the TSA, CHP, FRA, the PA and all the other acronyms – not to mention your better senses – by the time vacation ends it is not uncommon to feel as though you need a vacation from your vacation.
When your goal is to unwind, there is always a strong case for a stay-cation, which means there is always a strong case for the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.
Since a weekend at the Ritz offers OC locals all the “away-ness” a vacation promises without the attending hassle, it’s an especially attractive option for an uncomplicated getaway for girlfriends seeking a short respite from the obligations of home, husbands and little ones. Within a half hour, you’re in paradise, with no need to leave it until you’re headed home.
Of course, if you find yourself at any Ritz, you find yourself in luxury; but our Ritz has some special advantages. Most rooms offer breathtaking ocean views from private patios or balconies, and the entire southwest side of the property is ocean-facing, with nothing but sand interrupting the space between building and water. This factor alone transports you; but then it’s all the ritzy little things that make it a getaway.
Every guest, and every group of girlfriends, at the Ritz-Carlton has a multitude of ways to vacation. Yoga or Pilates classes and an ocean-front fitness center start your days off in wellness; free use of the sauna and steam room at the Ritz-Carlton Spa settles you in for rejuvenation; a Beach Butler Service provides beach recreation equipment including fins, towel service, umbrellas, and beach chairs; access to tennis courts, including rackets, is unlimited.
A girlfriend getaway to the Ritz-Carlton arguably would not even be one without a rendezvous with relaxation at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, where therapeutic excellence meets an ocean-inspired approach, using rich minerals, sea salt, algae and water as common treatment elements. The broader resort is an energetic place; stepping into the Spa, the outside world – even the lively Ritz, even the best of friends – fades away to quiet personal peace. The therapists at the Spa are second to none, providing therapeutic and beauty treatments as extensive as the whole body, or as specific as hands, face or feet. The relaxation massage I received was one of the best I’ve ever experienced.
Dining at the Ritz-Carlton is itself a worthy reason to pay a visit any day of the week, but for a girlfriend getaway, you could have a different experience for every meal, each appropriate to the moment: a light, casual breakfast at the Market Place (try the quinoa bowel for a guiltless treat); a poolside snack while lounging midday (the fresh pita and house-made hummus from the Dana Pool Cafe is surprisingly finger-licking); a late drink at the outdoor, oceanfront lounge, 180blũ (the Tequila Sangria is a specialty). Raya, however, is the dining experience that mustn’t be missed.
Raya showcases Chef Richard Sandoval’s signature Pan-Latin coastal cuisine, prepared with sustainable seafood, local produce, and natural and organic meats. You can find breakfast and lunch here, but we opted for an indulgent dinner overlooking the Pacific as the sun set brilliantly. At Raya, every detail of each dish is lovely to the eye as well as the palate, and every detail of table service is expertly executed – all a fitting counterpoint to nature’s exquisite display just on the other side of the glass.
Over chardonnay we shared the lobster tacos, Hamachi tiradito (served on a jicama “tortilla”) and petite lamb lollipops, all succulent ways to start a slow meal with good friends. One of us ordered the miso Alaskan black cod, one of Chef Sandoval’s most popular offerings, and all of us benefitted – it’s a dish that should not be skipped. The halibut and New York prime were delicious, too, accompanied a la carte by the Dungeness crab mashed potatoes (a special recommendation by our server that was the perfect complement to all our main courses). Dessert was an adventure – the churros were an obvious choice, but we were also glad our server suggested the pineapple upside down cake with homemade coconut ice cream, which was like Maui on a plate.
The cod at Raya, the ocean-inspired spa experience, the floor-to-ceiling views, and the prime beach location are all uniquely OC; but take away the “Laguna Niguel” and you still have “Ritz-Carlton,” which is always a compelling option for a vacation-away-from-vacation – with girlfriends, or otherwise.
This Summer at the Ritz-Carlton
You don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy the beauty of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel this summer.
Live Music & Sushi
Fridays and Saturdays, music from 5–8pm, sushi from 6–9pm.
Thursday, July 27, 5–8pm
Thursday, August 24, 5–8pm
Thursday, September 28, 5–8pm
For people and their pooches! Haute hounds enjoy lapping up libations, thanks to water in his favorite flavor – bacon, chicken, beef or vegan – while human guests relax with a glass of Mutt Lynch Unleashed Chardonnay, Merlot Over and Play Dead, or Chateau d’Og Cabernet Sauvignon. Cocktails, beer and a selection of barbecue items available for purchase. Proceeds support The Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence.
Italian-Inspired Seafood Celebration
Friday, July 28, 6–9pm
Along with the fresh seafood, a cheesemaker will hand select cheese, as well as educate guests about different cheeses and how to incorporate them into a menu. A selection of wines will complement the evening. $95/person.
A Taste of Baja Experience
Friday, September 8, 11am–2pm
This food and wine experience will highlight tapas-style tasting dishes along with 15 boutique wineries from the Baja region of Mexico. $95/person.
Lava is a spunky little pup with a silly personality. Only 6 months old, he is always up for playtime and just loves to make new friends. With a pup like Lava, you’ll never be far from fun!
This little cutie is named Chiquita and she is just about as sweet as they come. She loves to play with other dogs and is known among her handlers as being an avid snuggler. Only a year old, Chiquita is a fun pup that would fit into just about any home.
Looking for an adorable little critter to brighten your day? Dreamy the guinea pig would make a great pet for someone short on space. With his happy little squeaks and purrs, this cute little cavie is just waiting to meet you!
Seven month old Ryan is a shy little guy who just wants to be given a chance. Though he can be a tad timid, he just loves to be pet and gets along well with other kitties. Ryan would do best in a quiet home with a feline friend to snuggle with.
If you would like to know more about the animals listed here, please call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at (949)492-1617, or visit with them at 221 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente.
It takes a trained eye to note the subtle shading needed to contour a surfboard. To taper the rails just so.
To send the airbrush lightly over the fin box and trace the shape perfectly, symmetrically, precisely. It takes a trained eye to paint the female form, to counter shadow and shape until a living woman appears on the page. It takes a trained eye to dive below what William Asbury called the “large-scale manifestations of classical biology” to the molecular plane below. For Kristy Fleming, MD, each of those became immediately necessary and tangential to another when she discovered that skin cancer often occurs in cosmetically sensitive areas that take a nuanced hand to repair. “My specialty is repairing the defect left by the removal of cancer. Each one is unique, a puzzle to solve in order to give my patients the absolute best cosmetic outcome.”
A board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery, Dr. Fleming has been preparing for this task her entire life. An attendee of the University of San Francisco, Kristy graduated summa cum laude, moving on to the University of California, Irvine - where Alpha Omega Alpha elected her as part of their top tier graduate honor society. Not quite finished with her education, she moved to Houston, Texas for a residency in dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine.
“In my training at Baylor, and later as a faculty member at UCLA, I became accustomed to seeing very challenging cases,” says Dr. Fleming. Everything from minor skin concerns to life-threatening dermatologic disorders. Those are the cases that keep my days exciting and force me to stay current with emerging treatments.”
Treatments which have gained Dr. Fleming a dedicated patient following- one that made her transition from Newport Beach to Laguna Hills difficult. “I’ve been slow to move out of the Newport office because I didn’t want my patients to feel abandoned. I know it sounds cliche, but patients really become part of our family. And I believe our dedication to them is really what sets us apart.” Kristy’s sister also works in the office; a talented hair stylist and brow expert. Unique in their ability to provide multiple services at once, it is not uncommon to see Kristy offering Botox or filler treatments to patients waiting for their hair to set. Though the Mohs micrographic surgery allows Kristy to treat her patient’s skin cancers, its efficacy can affect a cosmetic change, and however small, the team wants to fix it all. “All procedures are performed in-house, under my hand. We don’t have nurses or physicians assistants working on our patients. I want you to know you are personally being taken care of.”
On top of skin cancer removal and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Fleming is personally invested in the physical health of her community.
“We’re very excited to be partnering with the Orangewood Foundation to provide laser tattoo removal to victims of human trafficking,” says Dr. Fleming. “The girls are branded with large tattoos across their necks, or chests. We’re out to change that.” Kristy and her team also began a program called Fresh Start, which provides basic skin and hair care products to women and children who fled from unsafe living conditions, and are currently residing in shelters for battered women.“
Now open 5 days a week at their location in Laguna Hills, Kristy and her team are excited to become a staple in the local community, and start changing the way patients view themselves. It doesn’t take a trained eye to see the good in that.
Fleming Dermatology & Aesthetic Center is located at 23141 Moulton Parkway, Suite 110 in Laguna Hills. For information, call (949) 916-5956 or visit www.coastalhillsdermandplastics.com
A couple of years ago, Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, California was named “The Coolest Block in America” by the Editors of GQ Magazine. A valid qualification for a street that boasts some of the hippest retail locations in LA, on top of “niche-cool” boutiques and a “contemporary look” at beach gear: (think: mirrored sunglasses). You can even buy a retrofitted beach cruiser and receive a hip haircut on the street named after a late 19th century millionaire entrepreneur and visionary. More than a hundred years after he spent a fortune creating a replica of his favorite city, Venice, Italy, history is still in the making on the street GQ named a clear community mainstay.
Similarly, down the road in sunny Orange County, California, history continues to be made at Bud and Bloom. Established in 2016 under the city of Santa Ana’s Measure BB, the dispensaries’ owners had a “very precise vision.”
“We wanted to create an exquisite, professional environment where mature, discretionary patients felt welcome and at home,” says Aaron Herzberg, CalCann holdings partner and founding member of Bud and Bloom. Making the list of Top 10 Most Beautiful Cannabis Dispensaries in America, one might consider that vision attained. Together with a group of extraordinary storefronts across the nation, Bud and Bloom is on its way to creating a one-of-a-kind experience for their discerning customer. “Demonstrating just how far we’ve come in a few short years of legal cannabis,” notes Brett Konen, author of Leafly’s Top 10 list, Bud and Bloom has found its place among dispensaries such as Serra, in downtown Portland, and Barbary Coast, a beauty of “exposed brick, mahogany accents, and brass-studded bar stools” on Mission Street in San Francisco.
So, for a moment, forget what you know about cannabis dispensaries. Gloomy, garish neon signs abounding. Imagine instead a quietly chic industrial space, featuring exposed brick and reclaimed wood. White marble countertops. Sleek Edison bulbs hanging from the rafters. Unmistakably Californian, Bud and Bloom has taken the stereotype and turned it on its archaic head. And that’s just the atmosphere. Offering top notch products, and an eager, warm, and engaging staff, B & B is ready for your every need - be it medicinal or holistic.
“We’re here to redefine the cannabis retail experience”, says Herzberg. “Our approach is to create an inviting selection and cultivate the customer experience with educated wellness advisors and high quality medicine.
We carry an extensive selection of products that ranges from Kosher Flower, CBD Flower, biodynamic farmed flower, to vapes, tinctures, pills, topicals, oils, and exclusive product like 1964 Supply Co. flower and prerolls.”
Reviewing all products for pesticides, dosing, taste, and effects ensures the highest quality service and product, to give the customer the highest quality medicinal care. “Upscale” and “cannabis” no longer have to be mutually exclusive, and with a tailored experience such as Bud and Bloom is willing to offer, the dispensary is at the forefront of the push to create passionate, holistic care in a legal environment for the members of the medical marijuana community to access the medications they need. Sounds like the top of the top to me.
Bud & Bloom is located at 1327 E. St. Gertrude Place in Santa Ana. For more information, call (714) 576-2150 or visit www.budandbloomoc.com
The Individual Patient Consultations are an opportunity to get educated on a one-on-one basis from a Medical Cannabis Specialist. They will guide you on what product(s), dosing and route of administration might be right for you.
Patients who will benefit most from an individual consultation include those who are new to medical cannabis, senior citizens, cancer and pain patients.
Your Medical Cannabis Specialist will cover the following:
Yappy Hour, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s monthly cocktail party for canines and their companions, returns this season for tail wagging fun. Dapper dogs, haute hounds and classy canines are invited to party with other pups and pooches and lap up libations such as bacon, chicken, and beef-infused water and the ever popular house-made dog biscuits, while their companions relax with a glass of Mutt Lynch Unleashed Chardonnay, Merlot Over and Play Dead, or Chateau d’Og Cabernet Sauvignon. Cocktails, beer and a savory selection of barbecue items are also available for purchase. As part of the resort’s Community Footprints program, proceeds from Yappy Hour will once again benefit The Veterans Initiative™ of Canine Companions for Independence.
With a dramatic increase in wounded veterans, The Veterans Initiative™ provides an opportunity for veterans to regain their independence through the support of Canine Companions for Independence assistance dogs.
Situated atop a seaside bluff with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and more than three miles of sandy beach, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is continues to redefine the guest experience by creating distinctive and unforgettable moments that instill memories that last a lifetime. For more information, call the hotel directly at 949-240-2000 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com/LagunaNiguel.
2017 Yappy Hour Dates
Thursday, May 25 | 5 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, June 22 | 5 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 27 | 5 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, August 24 | 5 to 8 p.m.
Thursday, September 28 | 5 to 8 p.m.
Trusted, tried and true. That’s the reason why United American Mortgage has been successful for over 20 years. Since 1993, UAMC specializes in providing mortgage-financing solutions to homeowners and homebuyers.
You’re almost tired of reading about it but it’s true: the mortgage meltdown hurt more than a few and people are still trying to recover. It’s hard to know whom to trust. With many mortgage companies competing and failing, UAMC has found itself expanding into 9 states. Originally formed to provide for the specific needs of Southern California borrowers seeking mortgage products tailored for them, UAMC has made it their personalized business to get to know and help you.
“We’ve grown substantially because we have the ability to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace,” says UAMC President Al W. Hensling. “We are in the home business, the helping-people business. Yes, it requires us to at times work around the clock. Yes, we have to keep up-to-date on the latest products and regulations. We take our clients and what we do seriously because at the end of the day, everyone should either be in the home of their dreams or keep the one they love so much. To some people, it’s just paperwork and numbers. But to us, it’s personal. It’s home.”
Their incredibly impressive, rare, referral-only business model may also be the key to understanding their success, as customers flock just to see if UAMC truly walks the walk. To them, offering you efficient, cost-effect and timely service is just a day’s business. These days, most companies feel the need to plaster those words all over their advertisements. UAMC doesn’t need to express that they go above and beyond, they just think that it should come standard. “I guess you could say we just want to help how we can. Since our business is referral based, we truly get to know your family and friends.
UAMC continues to evolve with new products and financing solutions to the ever-changing Southern California real estate market. While many have given up the idea of owning a home or even refinancing, UAMC holds to the knowledge that today’s new and innovative programs are making it easier than ever to purchase or refinance.
“After a period of time in which it was extremely difficult to obtain a mortgage, things have started to normalize and lending guidelines are starting to loosen,” says Al. “The ‘Mortgage Meltdown’ created a great deal of uncertainty in the marketplace and made it difficult for so many to secure financing. We understand that a lot of people are scared to see where they stand and that’s ok. We just want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Most of our clients feel the same way. Some people tell us they didn’t even want to find out about their options in the first place because they didn’t understand the jargon. Well, we aren’t the company that just explains things once. We’re with you step by step, no matter what.”
“If you’re considering anything in our sector then consider us the right team for the job,” Al says. “Call us, visit us online, or stop by the office anytime. We’re always on standby to see how we can help you. Don’t let the mortgage meltdown of yesterday affect where you’re at today. We’ve got the cutting edge techniques and knowledge to help your unique situation. We’re ready to meet your challenges and assist you into getting or keeping your home!
As the economy continues to grow and we experience job growth, more families will have an opportunity to experience the ben- efits of home ownership.
“As the Economy continues to grow and we experience job growth, more families will have an opportunity to experience the benefits of home ownership. Clients always ask what is going to happen to interest rates. I really wish I had that crystal ball to answer them accurately. It is difficult to say what rates will do, as markets have not reacted to this economy as they had previously. I counsel clients to borrow based on need and what they can afford. Loan programs are changing almost daily. As we move farther away from the mortgage meltdown of 2008, more and more programs and financing options will open up. But always be wary of the deal that sounds too good to be true. Even though recent changes have cleaned up the lending industry, there are still people out there that are not looking out for the client’s best interest. Families should always determine the experience level of their mortgage professional, along with checking references from previous clients.”
Pacifica Quartet with Johannes Moser • Pavel Haas Quartet • Emerson String Quartet & Calidore String Quartet • Ebène Quartet Brentano Quartet with Dawn Upshaw
The Chamber Series, with its world-renowned artists and ensembles, represents the Center’s commitment to providing an array of great music and musical experiences that inspire and engage its classical music audience. The artists and their works are selected to complement each other and to provide a memorable and carefully led journey through the chamber repertoire. This year’s series includes two works by Pulitzer Prize-winning American women composers: the West Coast premiere of a piece by Julia Wolf commissioned for the Center by Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting and a work by Caroline Adelaide Shaw. In addition, performances will feature beloved soprano Dawn Upshaw performing with the Brentano Quartet and cellist Johannes Moser with the Pacifica Quartet. Author, composer and professor Dr. Byron Adams will offer preview talks one hour prior to each concert. All performances will be in the intimate and acoustically ideal Samueli Theater.
Season ticket packages for the Chamber Music Series are $369. Visit the Center’s website, www.SCFTA.org for more information about the 2017 – 2018 Season.
Rosie is a pretty Snowshoe cat now available for adoption. Recently relinquished to the shelter, Rosie is doing her best to get her bearings while patiently awaiting her forever home. At eight years old, Rosie is a low maintenance kitty who would thrive in a quiet home where she can settle in permanently.
One year old Nala is a happy little Boxer who just wants someone to love. Whether she’s running around in the yard or simply relaxing, Nala is happiest by your side. This friendly and fun-loving pup also enjoys outdoor activities and would do well in an active household.
Only 8 weeks old when he first arrived at the shelter in January 2011, Trentino has spent most of his life at the shelter. Sadly, he recently also lost his sister rabbit and is now looking for another companion. Trentino is a sweet and calm rabbit who is used to being handled. He has excellent litter box habits and would be a real joy to have around the house.
Chantilly is a sweet Miniature Pinscher ready and waiting for her new best friend. Three years old and full of fun and lively energy, she enjoys playing in the yard with other dogs her size. A lap dog at heart, Chantilly would make a great dog for almost any family.
If you would like to know more about the animals listed here, please call the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter at (949)492-1617, or visit with them at 221 Avenida Fabricante, San Clemente.
Marvel fans, assemble! Marvel Universe LIVE! tour is returning to SoCal this summer with a brand new, action-packed arena stunt show made for the entire family! Watch your favorite Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man and The Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk and more) plus menacing Marvel Villains come to life to wow audiences once again with a completely new thrilling adventure! Marvel Universe LIVE! will be playing at the Honda Center/Anaheim from July 20 - 23.
Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office. For information, visit www.marveluniverselive.com