Recently, I, much like many Americans headed into their mid-50’s, realized that it was going to take much more than a brisk walk or a high intensity interval gym session to hold onto the muscle mass I’d worked so hard to attain, then maintain over the years. Also like many Americans, I spent too much time and money attempting to uncover the one magical combination of spinach salads, green smoothies, and exercise that would help me achieve that increasingly elusive goal.
Adults who don’t add a weight regimen into their weekly workout routine lose an average of a half pound of lean muscle each year after the age of 25. Women and men in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond who are striving to stay strong, avoid eventual falls, and keep up their energy levels sometimes need a little extra help. That's where LeAnne Fuller and The Perfect Workout comes in.
More than 20 years in practice, The Perfect Workout is LeAnne’s long-time purpose come to fruition.
“After taking pilates and yoga through my 30’s, I started the certification process to train them both," she says. "Going through the certification process led to some important realizations about my trajectory in life, and where I wanted to end up. Not one option included working just to work, or simply to bring home a paycheck. I needed to help people: to help them get healthy.”
Sometimes, slow is fast, and the road LeAnne was on led her straight to The Perfect Workout’s doorstep a week later. Taking a step from training to running studios was simple, and from there to hiring trainers and leading certifications a no brainer. “My capacity to educate grew and grew, and thrilled me as I saw clients get stronger with every class. Folks started avoiding falls, having more energy to play with their children and grandchildren. It has been unbelievably satisfying.”
From Facility Manager of Redondo Beach to Regional Manager of Dallas, Houston, LA, SF, Orange County and San Diego, LeAnne has seen a broad range of clients, and an even more amazing spectrum of results. Specializing in 1-1 personal training, The Perfect Workout takes participants through slow motion strength training, engaging more muscle fibers than a typical workout. Reducing momentum provides a bigger challenge in a smaller time frame: so you can get the results you want in two 20-minute workouts a week instead of hours in the gym day after day. “Each exercise is performed by lifting weights for approximately 10 seconds and lowering the weight for another 10 seconds. You reach ideal intensity quickly- and then move on!”
Practicing safe, efficient movement allows LeAnne to guarantee you’ll be stronger in 6 weeks. Built for men and women who don’t want a traditional gym experience, or have never worked out but want to be healthy and strong, The Perfect Workout is, well, the perfect workout.
The Perfect Workout
My husband and I have a soft spot in our hearts for Irish Pubs. When we were on our honeymoon, we stumbled upon one in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, tucked in next to a crumbling wall from the Roman age. We discovered that it, like so many other pubs we’d frequented during our courtship, boasted the same cozy, calm, family-friendly atmosphere we felt familiar in, and loved. European Premier Soccer on every screen, delicious pints on well-worn taps, and a decent, warm meal.
David Woodnutt discovered he wanted to replicate those features in his hometown of San Juan Capistrano not long after he retired from British Airways. A Captain flying long haul around the world on a B747 Jumbo Fleet, he found there wasn’t an open door in the area that served up some solid fish and chips with a dose of “Craic” (fun) on the side.
“I owned a house in the Pier Bowl, and thought I’d try my hand at the business,” he says. “There was nowhere for an expat to hang his hat on any given weeknight, so Paddy’s Station was born.” Housed in the historic Capistrano Depot, Paddy’s includes seating in a cozy 1927 Pullman rail car.
Featuring live music six days a week, and a full menu that boasts “Irish pub grub” - cottage pie, Irish stew, and the best bangers and mash around, Paddy’s is definitely your new local community hub. Irish and hip-hop dance classes, Irish-themed films featured in the carriage areas and a dog-friendly outside deck round out David’s vision for keeping the family spirit deeply engrained in his pub.
“I must have been mad to get involved,” he grins wryly, “but our heart is to let local folk have fun and enjoy a night out.”
26701 Verdugo St, Ste. B
San Juan Capistrano
Myriad opinions about even one of the social or global events that have taken place so far. But what hasn’t changed is the calendar year, and as this one goes, we are rapidly approaching the holiday season.
October already, somehow, and as everyone gears up for whatever the last two and a half months of the year might bring, there’s really only one place that should make your must-go destination list: the Laguna Niguel Promenade. An expansive retail center in the heart of Laguna Niguel, the promenade brings together a hit list of services and dealers to brighten up any weekend or make checking off your early holiday shopping easy. Even this year. Start by letting Seabreeze Cleaners launder your garment worries away with their state of the art dry cleaning technology. Lost a pound or two with all the stress of the last few months? Let Owner/Operator Andrew Jung alter that favorite pair of pants while you head on over to Elements Massage for an hour or two of self-care. Offering Gift Certificate stocking stuffers, owners Michael and Jamie O’Keefe are gearing up for November and December with a stunning buy one get one half-off deal. Stroll down through the promenade’s red roofed arcades for a bite at Avilas El Ranchito, named “Best Mexican Restaurant” by the Orange County Register’s 2020 Readers. Lovingly established in 2006 by a third-generation Avila family member, there isn’t a better place for making family memories or grabbing some delicious chips, guacamole, and a margarita. Taste the family heritage with original recipes from Mama Avila, a nod to her ancestors in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Feeling savory instead of salty? Swing through Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, and host a family feast over slow cooked meats and delectable sides. Whatever your individual needs might be this holiday season, the hospitable crew over at Dickey’s has the perfect solution. A heat & eat complete feast, or simply some a la carte holiday meats and sides to round out your time-honored family favorites. New this year to the lineup is Dickey’s ready-to-eat Holiday Big Yellow Box, available for pickup or delivery to keep you rolling.
New to the center is Billups Insurance Services, bringing Allstate agent William Billups and his impeccable ability to find the best solution for his client’s lifestyle and budget. Joining a robust community allows him to build local relationships, and offer the best variety of coverage and services one could ask for. “Laguna Niguel residents are discerning about their home, car(s), and financial futures. I’m ready to review your coverage or speak with you about the necessary adjustments to fit your changing needs.”
Haircuts, cell phone repair, tanning, and dental services are all within reach at Laguna Niguel’s one-stop destination. Great Clips offers online appointment booking, putting customer’s safety at a priority during these uncertain times. And The Art of Hair boasts a newly remodeled space that rivals the most modern studios. Both having taken advantage of the unfortunate Covid-19 restrictions, the salons, like many other businesses out there have come back stronger than ever, and decidedly ready to help you look your best heading into 2021. Rockstar Tan, founded in Orange County, has expanded from its very first location in Cypress. Offering the premier experience tanning in the area leaves nothing to the imagination, from the tanning equipment itself to the radiant glow you’ll see. Give the gift of membership and your loved one can tan at any one of the three locations in the county.
In a rush? Drop your phone off curbside, or mail it into CPR: Cell Phone Repair, Laguna Niguel. Bring your dead phone back to life just in time for recording all the best holiday moments with the stellar team of industry experts on call. Why let a broken phone, tablet, or laptop bring you down? Free estimates get you on your way quickly, and if there simply isn’t any life left, the experts will get you set up with a used and freshly refurbished cell. Frame some of those holiday photos with Art + Frame Warehouse, where two decades of service bring to life some of the family’s best work. Offering shadow boxes, frame repairs, custom mirrors, glass replacement and more, there isn’t much you can’t accomplish, especially with expert design consulting and pick up and delivery services all over Orange County.
Get the festivities started with OC Sparkle, the county’s largest retailer of party dresses, now open by appointment. Ready to fulfill all of your special occasion demands, you can find nearly any designer at the highest quality. Dresses for Prom, Homecoming, Cocktail or Evening events and weddings: no event is out of reach. Pair up with Planet Beauty for the perfect holiday gift, or simply to upgrade your self-care experience. Gifts for men and women, and more beauty tools than you could dream of round out their expansive list of offerings.
Need some practical assistance at your new home school? Sylvan Learning hasn’t stopped giving the most in-depth personalized tutoring, test prep, and homework help to those stuck at home in front of yet another Zoom call. Certified teachers take the lead, and give every satisfied student a leg up in the confusion of this past school year. Whatever feels right for your family, Sylvan is open online and in-person to accommodate the full range of schooling needs. Use that open tablet or smartphone to book your next appointment at the Laguna Niguel Dental Group, and keep your pearly whites smiling into the new year. With new teledentistry appointments now available, you can talk to a dentist from the comfort of your own home, and take care of any nagging questions keeping you up at night. After all, who needs more to worry about this year?
Laguna Niguel Promenade
27891 La Paz Road
Travel for our family has always been an exciting opportunity to explore both far-flung destinations and closer-to-home hidden gems. During these unprecedented times defined by shelter-in-place and safer-at-home, we - like many families - pressed pause on several planned summer vacations and weekend getaways to destinations farther than an easy driving distance. For Southern Californians, the beaches are open, and the weather is bright and warm well into the fall and few places are as idyllic as Coronado Island to while away a couple of days in the surf and sand.
Just over the bridge from San Diego, Coronado is a small, quaint, tree-lined retreat characterized by beautiful, rarely crowded white sand beaches, a rich, romantic history and laid-back, small town atmosphere. Although locals refer to it as “the island,” Coronado is really a peninsula connected to the mainland by a finger of land called the Silver Strand. With wide leafy streets lined with Victorian homes and Southern California beach bungalows, the island is small enough to walk almost anywhere (it’s only a mile from the San Diego Bay side of the peninsula to the Pacific Ocean). Once we parked upon arrival for a recent stay at the lovely Glorietta Bay Inn, we discovered that Coronado truly is a “car-optional” environment and were able to easily navigate the relatively flat paths on foot and by bicycle.
We chose the Glorietta Bay Inn (www.gloriettabayinn.com), a beautiful boutique hotel and historic landmark famous for its grandeur architecture, as “home base.” The former private residence of sugar baron John D. Spreckels, the hotel (which features 11 historic mansion rooms in the main original building circa 1908 and 89 contemporary rooms and suites in structures added to the property in later years) is situated across the street from Coronado Beach and a short walking distance from an array of retail shops and restaurants.
Defined by an artful blend of Old World charm and contemporary coastal comfort, the Inn features a scenic outdoor verandah, a storied music room complete with a baby grand piano and a sun warmed lobby that once served as the grand foyer to Spreckels’ home.
Each of the historic mansion rooms are uniquely styled: the Sugar Baron Room, originally the private bedroom of Mrs. Spreckels, features king-bedded room with a large balcony and a spectacular view of Glorietta Bay; the Spreckels Suite the private bedroom of John D. Spreckels, this beautiful room has a living room area with a convenient kitchenette, and a separate bedroom with a king size bed. French doors off the living room open up to a spacious balcony with an equally gorgeous view of Glorietta Bay. Amenities for all accommodations include the complimentary use of beach chairs, towels, and sand toys for Coronado Beach.
As our family discovered on similar sojourns to “the island,” it doesn’t take much planning to have a perfect day in Coronado. We had brought our bicycles and started off along Coronado Beach - a picturesque stretch of sand and surf that stretches for over a mile along Ocean Boulevard in front of historic and glamorous houses. Voted in the top 10 beaches in the USA by the Travel Channel, this long and wide beach is great for walks, runs, beach volleyball or sandcastle building. If you bring along a furry friend, there is a leash-free dog zone at the far end of the beach where pups chase each other in the waves.
Fans of author L. Frank Baum’s iconic classic “The Wizard of Oz” will enjoy pedaling past the quaint yellow Cape Cod-style home (located right across from Star Park) that he rented during his stays and the place where he penned three of the books in the Oz series.
We spent the better part of an afternoon tooling around town, along the Bayshore Bikeway, past Glorietta Bay and the Coronado Golf Course and under the Coronado Bridge (if you continue following the well-marked bike path, you’ll end up at the Coronado Ferry Landing, where a ten-minute ride would bring you to downtown San Diego.) After our bike ride, we strolled Orange Avenue, a beautiful commercial boulevard that curves back to the Glorietta Bay Inn, and stopped in Bay Books where staff members leave heartfelt handwritten recommendations under their favorite reads and stumbled upon MooTime Creamery - where locals and tourists alike were lined up for what they all (accurately) claimed was “the best handcrafted ice cream and hand-rolled cones” in town.
We kept the “enjoy the outdoors” theme going through the end of the day, spending the afternoon and early evening playing in the waves and soaking up the sun on Coronado Beach. The kids spent the entire trip outside and active - and much to their parent’s pleasure, off their respective electronic devices. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed kicking back on the balcony with a glass of wine each evening and even managed to finish a couple of books we’d been wanting to get to for weeks (you’d think we would have found the time at home, but it seems as though there’s been no shortage of home improvement projects to focus on).
Our weekend away in Coronado was just what we all needed - a change of scenery and experience - at a destination fast becoming one of our favorites. Given its ideal location central to literally everything, its unparalleled amenity and service and laid-back charm, the Glorietta Bay Inn will undoubtedly be our family’s first choice for future visits.
Glorietta Bay Inn is the ideal location for an Orange County Staycation. For our readers, use code ORANGE at www.gloriettabayinn.com for an Exclusive Staycation Offer with discounted room rate and free parking until January 31, 2021. With extra hygiene measures in place for the safety of guests and staff and flexible cancellation up to the day before arrival, feel confident in booking.
Glorietta Bay Inn
1630 Glorietta Boulevard
Things change. It’s inevitable. But some things simply evolve from good to great. Better to best. It can be hard to find a business that weathers change in such a way, especially through recessions, divestments, and change in leadership. California Silk Plant Company is just such a business. Founded in the mid 1980’s, it has since seen a few different storefronts. Settled now in its present location on La Paz Road in Laguna Niguel, the business profits from its membership in the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce, especially through the recent upheaval from COVID-19 and its fallout. But from the very beginning, its emphasis has been on providing topline quality: both in their product offerings and their customer service. After all, as Co-owner Mattie Seiwert says, “only happy customers come back.”
California Silk Plant Co. offers only the finest, most natural and lifelike artificial replica trees, botanicals, floral arrangements and unique accessories for the most elegant and admired upscale home and commercial interiors. An unmatched design team offers creative design assistance or customized products as needed for stunning results in virtually every design concept imaginable - from Coastal Living, Tropical, Asian or Desert Living to Contemporary/Urban, Mediterranean/Spanish and more. And the company also works closely with designers and their clients.
But beyond the physical product however, is the intangible and invaluable aspect to California Silk’s continued success over the years: customer connection.
“Our people have been with the company since the beginning, or close to it, and are true artisans,” says Mattie. “Known for their creativity, they do everything from residential and office renovations to major showroom displays for suppliers throughout the world.”
Mattie and her husband Joe aren’t strangers to hard work. After corporate careers (Mattie in Aerospace Facilities Management and Joe in the Chemical and Environmental Control industries), they sought to find a new endeavor that would capitalize on Mattie’s degree in Fine Arts and Interior Design coupled with Joe’s engineering background and Midwestern work ethic. Both proved invaluable when the pair landed at the crux of plant-based landscaping and design.
“We didn’t want to just retire and sit in front of the television all day,” says Joe. “A smaller, niche market was the ticket, and when the opportunity came along in 2005 to acquire ownership of California Silk Plant Co. from its original (and very successful!) founders, we jumped at it.”
On a personal level, owning and operating California Silk Plant Co. is both an escape and an opportunity. “Unique days and the opportunity to create in a family atmosphere” as a couple are among the ways in which the Seiwerts keep the work interesting. So it isn’t a surprise that the fun and creativity haven’t stopped in the last fifteen years. Needless to say, knowing that their orchids, palms, fiddle-leaf figs and other trees, succulents, and more bring everyday happiness to their clients also helps drive their success. It’s no small feat to “bring the beauty of nature inside”: and Mattie and Joe are up to the challenge. After all, everything they’ve done up till now has led them to make your home, office, and commercial interiors as stylish and elegant as you’ve always wanted.
27781-B La Paz Road | Laguna Niguel
(949) 643-6798 | www.CaliforniaSilkPlants.com
Time is interesting. If I were to outline, for example, that it has been 40 years since 1980, you might balk in shock at the number. 40 years? Already? Yet, if I were to tell you that the local business you’re looking at to reupholster your boat, or provide some custom drapings for your window treatments has been around for over 23 years, you’d probably feel pretty secure. Somewhere between those two reactions, lies Jeddy’s Interiors.
Gerald “Jeddy” Moskowitz and his family, having been in business for the last 40 years, 23 of those spent in Dana Point, knows both feelings well. Amazement at having been a fixture in the drapery and upholstery world so long, and security, knowing that their family-run, multigenerational business serves their customers unbelievably well.
After moving from the East Coast, Jeddy and his wife Marilyn settled in Palm Springs with their two young daughters. Quite the transition, and not one made lightly. They opened a small business, built off the back of Jeddy’s long apprenticeship with a fantastic draper back in Connecticut. Expanding to offer flooring and carpeting, as well as draping and custom upholstery, the family has been serving homes and business for four decades. Two of them, most recently in one of the most gorgeous, idyllic California coastal towns you can find, saw an expansion to yachts and boats all kinds. Perking up the appearance as well as the overall functionality of any room the family touches, it was a natural transition to move from Palm Springs to Dana Point, and expand their business oceanside.
“My love of boating might have played into the decision as well, “ says Jeddy. “Having owned a boat for 30 years, my love of the activity naturally carried over to my client’s boats.”
Designing the boat in the first place is an incredible labor of love - and requires an inordinate amount of skilled craftsmanship. Jeddy and his associates boast an unmatched attention to detail: one that comes only from their upholsters, drapers, and technicians longevity in the business.
“Most of our employees have been with us for over 15 years,” he says. “Since our main objective is just making the customer happy, making them look at their flooring or draping design with pride, no job is too big or too small.”
Repairs, design jobs - from beginning to end, all of Jeddy’s associates are experts at what they do. Knowing every type of upholstery and having the skill set to build custom furniture ensures each project receives the utmost care and precision.
“We’ll take the proper time for whatever job you hand us: whatever it takes to ensure we’re around for another 40 years.”
34118 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 2
My husband and I have reached the stage where we (I) finally understand how important it was for our parents to go on vacation...without us. We adore our kids, but sometimes it is absolutely necessary to leave the younger set behind for an adults-only getaway to celebrate our anniversary month. The only problem? The absolute monkeywrench of this global pandemic. The solution? The casual, yet upscale L’Auberge Del Mar.
I knew instantly that we’d look into the absolutely gorgeous beachside “dream home by the sea” when I learned that they renamed our most-used phrase of 2020 tropical distancing. Let’s be honest, how social is distancing when all you can think about are the most updated safety protocols or CDC warnings? L’Auberge has taken care of the hard work for its guests, and it shows. With extremely detailed protocols in place, there isn’t a more relaxing spot to head for a romantic fall escape. A stay at this award-winning Four-Diamond luxury resort is more akin to what you might expect to experience at a private coastal estate with luxurious rooms, gourmet dining an ocean-inspired spa, relaxing pool area and private access to the beach. That’s not even mentioning the property’s panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, inviting firepits and estate-style guest suites.
Appealing to my inner foodie, the resort’s signature restaurant, Coastline, serves up sustainably sourced seafood, seasonal ingredients and a true SoCal style on their open-air terrace. For starters, try the delicious local bluefin poke paired with guacamole, yuzu, sprouts and puffed rice crackers or the shrimp ceviche in a spiced tomato broth accompanied by Japanese yams and salsa macha. For the main course, I went with a wonderful citrus-glazed Mediterranean salmon salad with flavor combinations unlike any I’d ever sampled - cous cous, smashed fingerlings, spiced yogurt, calabrian chiles and mint. My husband opted for the equally delicious Anderson Ranch Steak Salad with charred broccoli panzanella, parmigiana Reggiano, caper-raisin vinaigrette and creamy horseradish.
Soak up Del Mar’s shopping via Electra beach cruiser or electric bikes, or simply stroll down a stretch of sand before heading back to the resort for an open-air meal at Coastline, or a delicious cocktail at Bleu Bar. We swapped out our sandals for swank at in The Living Room, enjoying getting gussied up for the night and not having to share a menu with the 10-and-under crowd. With plush, light, and luxurious rooms to retreat to after lunch for a siesta or after a late night out on the town, there really aren’t any reasons to stay away. Step out of the routine and the rush, and into your dream for a bit: you won’t regret it.
L’Auberge Del Mar
1540 Camino Del Mar
Taking Care of the Skin You’re In with Dr. William James Tidwell, Golden Coast Dermatology, Skin Cancer and Vein Center
There are at least 19 popular “skin” related sayings. “Thick-skinned,” “by the skin of one’s teeth,” “no skin off my back.” The list goes on far longer than you’d think, especially considering how easily most people forget about their skin entirely. We carry around a bottle of expired sunscreen, or none at all. We get a new mole or freckle and think nothing of it. We worry about our developing wrinkles in front of the mirror and then walk right out the front door without a second thought. Yet there is an entire practice of medicine dedicated to treating your skin like the hero it is.
Dr. William James Tidwell, M.D. has made it his focus in the last decade to ensure that his patients receive top quality treatment by the best, most professional team around for their dermatology, skin cancer and vein care needs.
“My vision was to create a practice people looked forward to coming to,” says Dr. Tidwell. "Our newly renovated, modern office space is the realization of that vision, and the fulfillment of a long-time passion of mine that caused me to apply for medical school in the first place so many years ago.”
Taking care of the whole body means restoring his patient’s full health - no small task when you’re starting from the outside in. Yet being fellowship trained in both Mohs Micrographic Surgery and endovenous procedures, and dual Board Certified in Dermatology and Venous and Lymphatic Medicine certainly helps. What that translates to in layman’s terms is that Dr. Tidwell completed an additional training program after his dermatology residency - learning from the best physicians worldwide "how to cure cancer and leave only minimal evidence it was ever there. Using a microscope, we completely remove all the cancer in one treatment so you leave knowing that you are cancer free that day. No other method does that. It also saves more healthy tissue than any other option treating skin cancer."
Though the core of the practice is providing skin cancer screening and treatments, Dr. Tidwell and his team also use advanced procedures to treat painful and swollen varicose veins.
“Many people struggle with painful legs, swollen veins, cramps or restless legs at night which patients might not realize can be a result of venous insufficiency and circulation problems,” he says. “You don’t have to suffer with this any longer and insurance covers vein treatment when they meet medical criteria. We can help resolve this to get your sleep and shorts back."
Modern vein care, like the Mohs treatment, is minimally invasive, and requires virtually no downtime. Instead of taking days to find out results or lay up in bed after surgery, Dr. Tidwell’s patients can see the results in less than an hour.
“I really try to spend time talking to my patients about what their desired outcomes are - be it dealing neatly with cancer on the nose, lip, or eyelid, looking at diseased veins, or putting together a personalized, customized treatment plan for cosmetic procedures,” he says. Advances in medicine have made it possible to achieve holistic and rejuvenating outcomes. “Seeing where the issues are, restoring healthy blood flow, or reducing the risks of general anesthesia by having skin cancers removed in the office instead of on the operating table makes it possible for patients to experience an office visit where health and wellbeing are first.”
Billy Travis and Naomi Miller are just two of Dr. Tidwell’s many patients who took the time to write glowing recommendations about his skill, attitude and approach in addressing their specific medical needs.
“I have to say I generally don’t do the review thing BUT, Dr. Tidwell definitely deserves this review. He has such a positive attitude and genuinely cares about his patents,” says Billy Travis. "He does an incredible job. He takes time with his patients and answers all questions completely. No one likes going to the doctor, but please take the time and schedule an appointment with him. Skin cancer is not to be taken lightly. Thanks to Dr. Tidwell, I am cancer free. You can’t even see the scar from the 2-inch long incision! Thank you Dr. Tidwell, I will be coming back yearly for a checkup.”
Naomi Miller echoes Billy’s assessment and adds “… Dr. Tidwell has a professional manner and takes great pride in this work. But his peaceful and calming demeanor sets him in a class of his own …If you have a need for a dermatologist, I can highly recommend Dr. Tidwell and his staff, based on my real experience.”
While Dr. Tidwell doesn’t want skin to be your number one pressing question each day, he’d prefer it if you paid him a visit at least once a year: that way, when you walk out your front door, you do so with a confirmed sense of confidence in your own skin. And if there is a cosmetic treatment you might be interested in or wanting to know more about, Dr. Tidwell and his team are happy to advise you because “aging gracefully and feeling confident are wonderful things. I don’t believe in overhyped marketing or unnatural results. Just the right treatment, for the right person, in the right amount to make them happy."
26732 Crown Valley Pkwy. Suite 571
By the time my friend’s grandmother passed away at 92, she had fallen six times. Two of those falls resulted in broken bones - once, her hip. Horrifying, to find oneself in that position. Tripped up by your walker or the corner of a rug. Often, a wet bathroom or kitchen floor. She was in a home for five out of the six falls, and still, it took some time to respond, get her stabilized, diagnosed, and fully recovered. Falls, my friend and her family quickly learned, are the leading cause of injury related deaths in Americans aged 65 and older. She didn’t end up passing because of a slip up directly, but her bones certainly didn’t give her a pass either, in those last days.
Home Safety Advisor’s President Dave Riggle has a similar story, as do so many around the country. His mother passed from a fall in her bathroom, and was the direct impetus for his business beginnings. “None of us five kids had any idea she struggled, or we would have fixed it immediately. I have skin in this game - I don’t want anyone else to suffer like my mother did.” While other home improvement companies may include walk-in tubs as a part of their overall offerings, safe bathrooms are the entire focus and area of specialization for Dave and his team of professionals. So much so that Dave personally interviewed over 400 seniors about the difficulties they were experiencing in order to provide the best possible product to meet their needs.
While the business formally began in Indiana, the team at Home Safety Advisors expanded their operation into the Southern California market a year ago and are thrilled to have met with such a positive response and feedback to their scope of services. Many clients come to them via word-of-mouth. And it’s not hard to see why. Installing something that could literally mean the difference between serious injury or not is no small feat. And something that Dave’s team takes extremely seriously. All of their walk-in tubs and showers are made in the U.S.A., come with a lifetime warranty, are great for health and easy to clean. But perhaps a lesser known perk is the luxurious spa experience available in the privacy of your home.
“Their (occupational therapists) confidence in referring us speaks volumes about our capability and their trust in us,” says Dave. “This is rarely done in our industry, and certainly not by any big company.” The showers and baths are crafted right here in California, providing clients a spa-like experience with a side door. Once inside, just relax. Ergonomic faucets, a hand shower, and marine grade fiberglass combine to make your bathing experience relaxing, instead of stressful.
While most steps into a walk-in shower or bath are still 6-9” tall, Home Safety Advisors boast just a 2” threshold, low enough to greatly decrease - if not eliminate - your chances of spilling over the edge accidentally. Offering bench seats, grab bars, and shower wands, Dave can even customize the threshold or seat to fit the client specifically.
As Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists (CAPS), Dave and his team understand the unique needs of older adults and will do everything they can to provide their clients and their families with a sense of confidence and safety in their own home. “We don’t want any slip ups: from the initial consultation to our single-day installation; we’re here to walk you through the unique experience of finding solutions to carry out your aging-in-place modifications.”
I don’t use the word “jewel” lightly, when it comes to California resort properties. It’s a hard word to capture with descriptions of tree-lined estates, or themed accommodations. And yet there are a few properties tucked away into the state boundaries that encapsulate the multi-faceted beauty of a cut gem. One of the most seductive is the Alisal Guest Ranch, which leans into the old west, like a charming cowboy tipping his hat: to history. To the future. The 10,000-acre property is just 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara, and boasts two golf courses, tennis courts, a pool, spa, and a spring-fed lake.
A perfect diamond reveals unlimited dimensions, and can catch the fiery glow of even the lowest candlelight. It is illuminating, clarifying. Such are the endless ways to spend one’s time (alone, with your partner on a romantic getaway, as a family retreat) at the Ranch. California’s temperate year-round clime and a rotating offering of seasonal activities ensure that every visitor finds something to keep them entertained. Indeed, though the times have changed drastically in recent months, Alisal’s spirit of exploration and dedication to the finest service hasn’t wavered.
A recreation center unto itself, the 100-acre spring fed Alisal Lake, filled with bass; trout; and bluegill, offers “catch-and-release” fishing. You can rent a boat or fish off the dock – our son caught his first fish here (a Bigmouth Bass) by casting from the dock. This sportsman’s paradise attracts bird watchers and water enthusiasts with Bass Boat Pro rentals, canoes, rowboats, peddle boats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.
For those seeking to hit the links, Alisal showcases two 18-hole championship golf courses – the par 72, 6,500-yard Ranch Course and the par 72, 6,800-yard River Course with four lakes - provide impeccably manicured fairways and greens with spectacular views of the Santa Ynez River and nearby Santa Ynez Mountains. A full range of facilities and services are offered at both courses including a clubhouse, driving range, putting green and pro shop. Private and group lessons by PGA and LPGA professionals are also available.
A full-service Tennis Center with a well-equipped pro tennis shop is situated on a scenic area of the Ranch. Tennis buffs can choose from seven hard courts. Tennis professionals, one of whom is nationally ranked, offer both clinics and private lessons by appointment.
Visitors rarely leave the property during their stay and for good reason. Leaving at dawn, guests enjoy more than 50 miles of equestrian trails on horseback circling the magnificent hills and sycamore groves. Twice daily group rides, private rides and breakfast rides to the historic Adobe Camp (on horseback or in a wagon) round out a stay.
Capturing the essence of California cuisine with the depth of flavor and heartiness of Western ranch cooking, Chef Anthony Endy (a Santa Ynez Valley native) serves up delicious culinary offerings from casual meals to fine dining dishes. Because Governor Newsom mandated special guidelines for dining at restaurants, guests can keep the outdoors theme going by dining al fresco (the Lake BBQs have been relocated to the Grassy Oval - an expansive green space surrounded by sycamore trees. All food can also be packaged for takeaway (think picnic lunch) or delivered to your room.
The Ranch Room, the resort’s signature restaurant, serves American and western style favorites. Guests enjoy a choice of a hearty a la carte American breakfast menu items that include Linguisa scrambled eggs over a Grilled Portobello Mushroom, savory Huevos Rancheros and the Alisal’s own Buttermilk Pancakes (which no surprise, were our kids’ favorite). A lavish Ranch Room breakfast buffet of Eggs Benedict and Corn Beef Hash is also served with freshly squeezed orange juice and homemade baked muffins, pastries and breads.
Dinner here is a formal affair (collared shirts and sportcoats are required for men over the age of 16) and “dinner dressy” for the ladies. Since opening the ranch in 1946, it’s been customary to “dress up” for dinner - and keeping the “country-formal” tradition alive is part of the property’s charm. Entree options include frontier-size portions of juicy barbecued steaks, tender prime rib of beef and the fresh catch of the day including swordfish, John Dory and Seabass. Specialty dishes such as Osso Bucco, Hickory Smoked Briskett and slow roasted Farm Raised Wild Boar are prepared with the freshest ingredients for the guests’ dining pleasure.
Not to be missed (and reservations highly recommended) is the horseback or Hay Wagon ride to the breakfast buffet at the Old Adobe Camp where the resort treats guests to a full ranch breakfast including buttermilk flapjacks, scramble eggs, bacon, sausage, ham and more. The highlight of the morning meal is the live entertainment in the form of a western crooner and a cowboy poet.
Alisal’s 73 pastoral suites and studios blends the charm of a gracious bygone era, decorated in authentic Western decor. Each guest unit, designed for maximum privacy and comfort, includes a wood-burning fireplace with complimentary firewood; high-beamed ceilings; Western art; refrigerator; coffee maker (coffee and tea supplied in rooms), and filtered water dispenser. In keeping with the resort’s timeless ambiance, there are no in-room televisions or telephones; however, complimentary wireless Internet is available throughout the ranch.
With such close proximity to Los Angeles and Orange Counties, it is a wonder that such a treasure would remain as secluded and satisfying as it is. And yet there is something so pleasurable and refreshing in stepping away from the beaten path for a few stolen moments of luxury. Finding time with the family to create new traditions in the world of endless screens may seem impossible, but that’s just the beginning when you step away, and get back to what really matters. Some jewelers judge a gem by its “presence.” By that meter, Alisal Guest Ranch is a flawless cut above.
Alisal Guest Ranch
1054 Alisal Road