Tag Archives: Sun

[Traveling Tales] A Double Date of Drinks at Block15 and 4 Spirits

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In what’s become a tradition of sorts, several times a year I venture off to Corvallis to visit my family, reconnect with nature and reset my personal frequency.  While the school year brings a hearty amount of hustle and bustle to the mostly agricultural community, the Summertime brings sleepy months of stunning sunsets mixed with fantastic weather; and the food and drink? Thanks to the Oregon maker spirit and an influx of former California natives, they live up to the state motto ‘Alis volat propriis‘, and they’re getting better all the time.

This romp around Central Oregon was absolutely different than anything else; first and foremost, after three years of planning – Danny and I were finally getting married, and secondly – it was fueled with the energy of the Total Solar Eclipse.   Though there were some fantastic moments over the entire week, one of my personal highlights was actually after the weight of the big day had been lifted and we were just left with some key players, including my now husband, my dad, our officiant + best friend and my cousin.  For one glorious afternoon, we enjoyed a double date of delicious drinks and rumpus games at Corvallis’ own Block15 Brewery and 4 Spirits Distillery.  Though I’d been through the former haunt of 4 Spirits, I hadn’t had a chance to visit since their migration. 

Now conveniently located side by side, 4 Spirits and Block15 pack a hearty one two punch of some of the finest beer and rustic whiskey Oregon has to offer.  When visiting, our friend reminded us of the old adage ‘Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear’, so off to 4 Spirits we went!

Boasting a bevvy of Rums, Whiskeys and a signature Vodka, at it’s heart – 4 Spirits is a philanthropic venture, giving back to both homegrown programs from Oregon and initiatives in Wyoming, Montana and Washington. To taste a flight of four hearty half ounce shots, it’s only $5 – and if a member of you group happens to purchase a bottle, then the rounds are on the house. For the whiskey drinkers, there’s the Bourbon Whiskey with delicious undercurrents of vanilla and caramel, the American Whiskey, and Single Malt; for the rum-ophiles, there’s a silver rum, a light rum, a dark rum, and my personal favorite (and take that to heart, because I’m not a rum drinker) – their habanero spiced rum; and last, and least, their vodka – which was great, but that’s not why one goes to 4 Spirits.  To add to their cornucopia of liquor, the new spot also offers a kitchen with munch worthy snacks like Stuffed Tots and fries, full sized fare ranging from burgers and sandwiches to pizza, plus a lawn version of Yahtzee, appropriately called Yard-zee.
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After loosening ourselves up with liquor, we were off to the second stop on our double date – Block15.  Literally a hop, skip and a jump across the parking lot sat Block15’s Brewery and Taproom, not to be confused with their restaurant located in the heart (aka. within the four blocks) of Downtown Corvallis.  For about $5-8 depending on your tastes, you can get a flight of five tasty beverages.  My favorites was Hopnotize, Wandlepad and the Lil’ Dab, a cannabis infused drink – cheers to you, Oregon.  Hypnosis was on the heavier side, so if you’re of the type that likes to chew their beer – this is your best bet. Though their food menu isn’t nearly as deep at the Taproom as it is at their Restaurant, the kitchen still produces some bomb eats including a DIY charcuterie board, hearty sandwiches and a hands down the best bier pretzel I’ve ever tasted.

For anyone who happens across Oregon’s Central region or finds themselves in Corvallis, between these two locations you simply can’t go wrong.  So hop on the good foot, and do the drinks thing.

For more on 4 Spirits and Block15, visit Corvallis – their socials:

4 SpiritsWebsite | Facebook 

Block 15: Website | Facebook | Instagram

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[LA Life] Life’s a Beach at Leo Carrillo + Point Mugu

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In Los Angeles, the weather of choice from about March through October is sun, sun and more sun; and I’ve heard that the only remedy is to give in – indulge in the afternoon, frolic in the sunshine, stick your toes in the dirt or the sand – wherever the day takes you, and if absolutely necessary – take a mental health day when you’re feeling at your best, but instead let’s just agree to call it a ‘Because I’m Awesome’ day, because – well – we’re awesome, duh. Anyhow!

The other week, after realizing we’ve spent all the time we could with our A/C unit and the kitties, Danny and I did a quick about face, packed our beach bags and in a seemingly unprecedented move we left the East Side for the day, in search of sandier pastures where we could relax with the ebb and flow of whimsical, diamond encrusted waves.  Only about an hours drive sans traffic from the forever away East Los Angeles, there are ample beaches to bounce between with your choice of rough and tumble rocks, rolling sandscapes, and a sprinkling of pastel wildflowers.

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It can’t be just me that’s entranced by the the undulating consistency of the waves, with their half dangerous, half powerful and all inspiring nature, or the strength of the sun’s rays, dancing to and fro about our bodies like stars in a solar system. There’s something so calming about dipping your toes in the water, something so innately ingrained in all of humanity’s motion.  Considering how much of our bodies are actually made out of water – it makes sense that we feel so at peace in it, and then ten fold when you think that our first moments were floating within our mother – the same way we float within mother nature.

For my full photo album, head over to my Flickr and show some lovin’ 

For more on Leo Carrillo Beach or Point Mugu, head to their socials – or just get off your beach bum and head there yourself.  Trust me, so worth it!

Leo Carrillo Beach:  Website | Yelp 

Point Mugu: Website| Yelp

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[Self Discovery] How Do Your Stars Align?

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Raised as far away from organized religion as possible, my personal view on life and the world around us is that we’re inhabiting a universe built on vibrations emanating from a master source, strung together across infinite planes of existence.  So, to a large degree, it’s no wonder that I believe that the exact placement of the planets and stars around our sun are indicative of unique personality traits based on the day of our birth.

Born on a Full Moon during Mercury Retrograde, my lifetime long obsession with horoscopes, astrology, numerology, tarot, rune stones, and the like makes infinitely more sense. As a child, my parents unwittingly fanned my medium-esuqe flames.  They let letting me run rampant in used bookstores and gifted me ‘The Secret Language of Birthdays‘ when I was still in Middle School. Fast forward to High School and I was handed down my first tarot deck -a beautiful Ryder-Waite deck from the 70’s.  All of these events grotesquely shaped my view on the spiritual and physical worlds and I’m eternally grateful that I’ve discovered a bevy of resources for my metaphysical mind to wrap itself around.

Though I’ve considered myself Sagittarius through and through, the older I get2457724028830 – the more I realize that sun signs are only one piece of your complex, personal puzzle. To get the entire picture, you’ll want to delve into the entirety of your natal chart.  Plain and simple, your natal – or astrological – chart gives you keys to unlock and understand key personality traits.

To get a look at your natal chart you’ll need your birth place and birth time – an approximation will do, but exact is always the best.  Astrolabe is currently my favorite online resources for natal charts, and even better – the basic chart is free. For the cosmically curious and astrologically enthused, I suggest snagging a copy of Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Astrology – it’s the perfect introductory reader, and you’ll learn tips and tricks, including how to compute a natal chart by hand.

Beyond your sun sign, you’ll discover your moon sign – an emotional, and feminine energy that plays into your shadow self and subconscious behaviors.  If you were born on a Full Moon like me, it’s a pretty easy formula: our moon signs directly oppose our sun sign – my sun is in Sagittarius, and my moon is in Gemini.  In parallel with the moon sign, the moon phase when you were born equally indicative of deeply ingrained personality traits; if you don’t know the moon sign for the day you were born, you can calculate it here.

The more I delve into my own natal chart, the more I answer unasked questions about my personality and inherant behavior.   Do you notice anything divine about the way your stars align?

Let me know in the comments below!

Doing it Right: Going Overboard with Harmonic Productions

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Besides the times I sing along to ‘The Lonely Island’ – I rarely step foot on any type of boat.  When I was in preschool,  one of my teachers had a little 15′ boat he’d take us little tykes out on; it was honestly one of the highlights of my childhood.  A group of 15 kids would go out in the middle of the Bay and have story time; but the older I got, the more seasick I became and started to avoid smaller boats like the plague.

My body has a weird habit of internalizing my movements during the day and replaying them at night, and even if I was on a Ferry – I would wake up in the morning, feeling like my body was rocking to and fro. Last summer for the 4th of July, I went out in Santa Barbara on a friends boat and had to jump ship 30 minutes in because being in the cold water was preferable to feeling sea sick.  Long story short, I’ve essentially sworn off boats of all shapes and sizes.

TWel, that all changed last weekend when I cruised down to Newport with some of my good friends for some fun in the summer sun.  Harmonic Productions, the promotional team that runs HEAR, BASK,and Damaged Goods, has been throwing Overboard boat parties on the famed Tiki Boat in Newport Harbor for the past few summers.

Los Angeles was in the midst of a 100+ week long heat wave and being outside wasn’t exactly fun.  Down in Newport the weather was a gorgeous 85 and sunny, a few clouds but overall amazing weather to sail around the harbor.  The timing could not have been better.

The Tiki Boat has a fully stoked bar on the bottom level, a DJ booth, dance floor and there were a few booths to sit and relax in if you’re into that type of thing.  But between the deep house jams, lively conversation and run ins with friends both new and old – that wasn’t a very likely scenario.  The upper deck had a large observation area and ample space outside for us to mingle and enjoy some sunshine. The cruise lasted for five crazy fun hours and we were making friends up and down the harbor; there were a few little kid moments that reminded me of being on the school bus and making faces at the people passing by.  But instead of faces, it was peace signs, good vibes and fresh dance moves.

I was lucky enough to have several different groups of friends in attendance, which FYI was kept to a very low number so we could get everyone on the boat.  Maybe 250 tickets were sold for the event, and that’s being generous. But even if you didn’t know anyone when you got on the boat, when you left you had some brand spanking new friendships to show for yourself.  Everyone that was involved, from the promotional team, to the DJs, to the bartenders and back to the fun loving, trouble making crowd in attendance – helped make that event as fabulous as it was.  I can’t wait to go back for the party next year!