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Travel BLOG
August 08, 2018

WORK IT: SOMMELIER ALYSSA TWELKER

Photos by Garrick Ramirez

Meet Alyssa Twelker, one of a growing number of young individuals energizing the Santa Cruz wine scene. An early food and drink enthusiast, the Sunnyvale native went to work as private chef straight out of high school and celebrated her 21st birthday with a sommelier certification. Weeks later, she was in Santa Cruz working at Soif where she eventually became wine director. After tasting—and surfing—her way through Europe, she’s back in town behind the bar at the gorgeous new tasting room for Birichino. We recently sat down with Alyssa to chat wine and get answers to burning questions such as “Do we really need to sniff the cork?” and “What Star Wars character would make the best somm?”

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June 18, 2018

EAT LIKE A LOCAL: A FOODIE’S HISTORY TOUR OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY

Photo by Kyle Jouras courtesy of Liz Birnbaum

Everyone loves tasting the local cuisine when they visit somewhere new. Vacation, after all, is the perfect excuse to indulge and sample the variety of food and beverages a region is known for. With its rich soil and moderate climate, Santa Cruz County is an agricultural mecca with fertile fields of strawberries, tomatoes, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, vineyards, and apple orchards. It’s one thing to Yelp your way through each meal and snack break, but to truly savor each bite, you need to know the stories behind the food fueling your weekend adventure.

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June 04, 2018

Work It: Meet Well Within Massage Therapist Karuna Gutowski

Photo by Molly Ressler

Karuna Gutowski starts her workday at 4:40pm with a 10-minute meditation. Her calm demeanor and smiling eyes put you immediately at ease and prove the effectiveness of her daily practice. Gutowski has been a massage practitioner at Well Within for eight years and when you visit the Japanese-inspired spa, it’s no mystery why someone would trade their desk job to work here.

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May 01, 2018

3 Reasons to Spring To Annieglass this Season

Photo by Garrick Ramirez

While Watsonville has become a recent hub for independent artisans, a pioneer of its burgeoning craft scene is Annie Morhauser who founded her Annieglass glassware studio amidst the town’s sprawling agriculture fields in 1983. Today, her luminous pieces are featured at high profile hotels and retailers—Four Seasons, Neiman Marcus, the Bellagio in Las Vegas—and two of her pieces are on permanent display at the Smithsonian. Yet, each elegant piece continues to be handmade here in Santa Cruz County. This year, we honor Annieglass’ 35th anniversary with three reasons to visit this spring, as well as a chance to win a free experience at Annieglass’ fun and innovative Craftbar!

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May 01, 2018

Work It: Meet the Captain of Chardonnay Sailing Charters

Photo by Garrick Ramirez

Having sailed the far reaches of the globe, John Ribera chooses to hang his captain’s hat in Santa Cruz. As Head Captain for Chardonnay Sailing Charters, Ribera navigates the sea life-filled waters of Monterey Bay, offering guests a firsthand experience of our wondrous marine sanctuary. It’s little wonder the affable Ribera, a successful realtor by day, refers to the Chardonnay as his fun job. We asked him about his twenty years helming the company’s two, iconic 70’ racing yachts, and what makes the Monterey Bay such a special place to sail.

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