If we can remember last weekend there were a ton of festivities happening in San Luis Obispo. Between Barrels in Plaza, Art after Dark and the 2015 Central Coast Sustainability Festival it was definitely a tough call choosing how to spend the weekend. Sometimes the best thing to do though is something completely not mainstream; which is exactly what I decided to do.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to spend the weekend being active in the community but that I knew I needed to surrender to self-effacement and spend my time focused on something that doesn’t happen quite often enough.
Now, before I begin I want to acknowledge the fact that I totally get what you’re thinking. ‘Why the heck is she venting about healing?’ And friends, I’m talking with you about this today for a lot of reasons. The most important being that living in San Luis Obispo has healed me and I think that’s worth sharing.
When I moved to the Central Coast last August I had just started an acupuncture-healing regime related to a five-year-old college injury. I had been in an accident that left my eye struggling for sight and my mental state completely distraught. In the process of healing I focused primarily on my vision and completely neglected the rest of body that caused a lot of built up tension in my neck, shoulder and jaw area.
Around this time last year I decided to do a home acupuncture session due to some minor facial swelling which began an uprising of built up tension, emotion and misalignment I had neglected to care for over the last five years.
As I started to release I noticed more and more systemic progression. And for me, being the adventurous person that I am, I started experimenting with different forms of therapy to promote restoration.
I had read a little bit about cupping therapy but never thought too much about it. Yet as I went in for my biweekly acupuncture appointment my acupuncturist, Michelle Hamilton (who you should absolutely see at SLO Wellness for all your holistic healing needs) suggested we try it to release deeper uncovered tension in my back and shoulder area.
I trusted her judgment as Michelle is truly an expert at her craft and probably asked 100+ questions about the therapy before we began. Now, for those of you who don’t know Michelle she really listens and educates during her sessions (not to mention she always dresses super cute!) so I felt really comfortable moving forward with the therapy.
What it is is an ancient Chinese method of relieving pain and extracting toxins from the body. A vacuum is essentially created by placing heated cups on the skin that creates a suction and increases blood flow and energy to the treated area. It literally feels like the pain is being lifted out of the body through a tingling massage like sensation! What’s super neat about it too is that the treatment only lasts about three minutes and has serious long-term effects. I will warn you though, it will create some serious bruising, so don’t freak out when I show you the end result.
Are you ready?
Wait for it…
Wait for it...!
Are you shocked? Don’t worry! The bruises went away after about a week and my back has never felt better!
But that’s not even the best part! The best part about the treatment is that I cannot even begin to tell you how many people have inquired about my experience. What does it feel like? How is it done? Where did you go? Were you scared? Can I see more? I couldn’t believe it! All these inquires right here in our little community!
The following day I had a little pain and soreness but nothing like what you might assume from the picture. My purpose here though is not to tell that you that you should or shouldn’t do this treatment because frankly it’s not for everyone. What I’m here to tell you is that this therapy is available right in your own backyard. The Central Coast is filled with alternative therapies for those who live an active lifestyle or are interested in experimenting with more holistic remedies. We’re very lucky to have so many unique forms of healing in our little bubble and the fact that so many people expressed interest in my story is why I’m sharing it with you today.
If I can share the magic, and the power, and the opportunity that the Central Coast has to offer than my mission is complete. I’m here for you and I know you’re here for me and that’s why the Central Coast is the ultimate place to be.
There's nothing like a good road trip. You pack the cooler, your swimsuit, your favorite tunes and zip out on the open road for a grand adventure. I like to think that sometimes the destination lies in the journey but that other times your path leads you to something you would have never expected; almost as if you stumbled upon something with surprisingly outstanding qualities unseen by the common eye and usually found by luck.
As Central Coast dwellers we're privy to countless gems; some more hidden that others. With luck on my side I was fortuitous enough to visit one of these gems last weekend when I received an invitation from a group of close friends who recently bought seven lakefront rental homes on Lake Nacimento. The previous owners were a family who owned the space for 50 years so the new owners took it upon themselves to add some freshness and modernity to these timeless lakefront properties and with the rentals up and running for summer, the new owners graciously encouraged a weekend getaway. Without missing a beat I cleared my schedule and prepared for a road trip to Land’s End!
My husband and I drove 75 minutes up to North County through a scenic stretch of rolling hills and windy roads. Blooming wildflowers covered the stretch into the shimmering waters through a maze of lakefront homes. The aerial views of the lake were incredible as we approached the gate welcoming us to Land's End.
We were greeted by one of the partners who so generously gave us a history and tour of the property. Each home has its own name and distinguishing features complete with hard wood floors, custom finishes, uniquely assembled decor and a wraparound deck overlooking the lake.
Our guide was kind enough to let us choose our bungalow for the night (which was almost impossible) and after some serious deliberation we decided to stay in the home nicknamed Water's Edge. This particular space had two bedrooms, one bath with a full modern kitchen, dining room and living area. A flat screen connected to Direct TV rested on the wall with several DVD’s and board games on the coffee table. The deck was strung with twinkle lights and a white crochet hammock facing Lake Naci.
We enjoyed a picnic style lunch on the patio as we planned the day’s activities and watched the boats go by. There were a lot of people on the water wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, jet skiing and fishing. I even saw a dog in a life vest cruising with his owners on a joy ride around the booies. Choosing our activities was challenging as we had our choice of jet skis, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and even a paddle boat, but we knew we needed to get in the water so instead of choosing just one we decided to do them all!
Jumping in the tepid waters was exhilarating! I can’t even begin to count the number of times we leapt off the dock, which was only a two-minute stroll from the house. The property actually has three docks, which is perfect for large groups and various activities, so we had tons of space to enjoy the water. After a full day of play we settled in and prepared a nice dinner using one of the many wood fire grills. We even had the option to barbeque on a custom made grill with a Land's End logo plasma cut in the top. Bottom line, this house had plenty of space to lounge, grill and entertain.
We watched the sunset in the midst of the flickering twinkle lights and enjoyed the stillness of the lake as the daylight dwindled into darkness. The stars twinkled as we rocked and dozed on the hammock, and the next thing I knew my loving husband was carrying me into the cozy casa.
The sun soon rose amongst a foggy distance and I embraced the porch and its spaciousness with a gentle yoga practice. The lake stood still and I felt grateful to be in the presence of water. That's the real message here. Land's End at Lake Nacimento represents a gathering place. A place to enjoy California's man made beauty and remember the importance of family, friends and everyone special your life. It's a place where recreational activities thrive and happiness sores. It’s the perfect getaway.
A real hidden gem.
Ah brunch. That weekend morning meal between breakfast and lunch that indulges all-in-one weekend success. You've already slept in, and in the midst of feeling completely well rested and full of joy because you have the entire day to yourself, your instinct tells you, 'Who needs Wheaties when you can have champagne and orange juice?' You throw on something in between pajamas and casual wear without completely kidding yourself to pass like you 'woke up like this' and you decide to treat yourself. By this time it's already 11:30am and you have a cocktail paired with a mess of deliciously eccentric breakfast concoctions, maybe a sandwich but usually not, and life is just good!
So needless to say I was totally on board when my friend invited me to her birthday brunch at Novo. I rode my bike, which was a smart move, and upon entering the restaurant I was completely immersed in the amazing ambiance that is Novo. We sat creekside in a completely serene setting with just enough space between each party at a table for eight in the shade. I enjoyed a Mojito but our table was filled with specialty cocktails including Bellinis and Bloody Marys. Something I liked about the Bellini's was that the mixologist included fruit in the glass. As for the Bloodys, these babies we're topped with everything from bacon, green olives, celery and lemon. I'm personally not a fan of either drink (hence the Mojito bit) but the fact that they went the extra mile to create a visually appealing beverage says a lot in my book.
The food though is what's really good. Our table had eggs benedict with potatoes along side an english muffin, smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese and capers, turkey avocado crepes in a delectable cream sauce and a hearty burger on a brioche bun topped with sauteed mushrooms and all the fix-ins. With all these choices what's not to love? But for the sake of encompassing all the elements, my only gripe would have to be the price. Maybe I'm not at that level to order $9 shrimp avocado spring rolls and a $14 calamari appetizer plus a $9 fennel citrus salad, $15 burger and two $11 Mojitos, (because that's what I really wanted) but a girl can dream; and when I get to that point I'll be back because Novo is definitely worth the trip!
Want more? Feast for yourself.
Novo Restaurant & Lounge
The Network Shopping Center
726 Higuera St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
This weekend brought a swarm of visitors to the Central Coast to celebrate and share one common goal: healthy living! The Central Coast’s largest Health and Fitness Expo was held at the Madonna Expo Center last Saturday and Sunday with action packed educational seminars, fitness classes, performances, medical testing, a chance to win a three-night getaway to Nevada and even a 5K run.
Upon entry the Expo Center was filled with positive and bubbly vitality. As we passed by the live group Zumba class, two energetic hostesses greeted and graced us with a map and tote bag for acquired swag. We kicked off our journey with a visit to my personal favorite mobile kitchen, KunFusion Kulinary, SLO’s ultimate food truck. The creative genius and owner, Lori Nunes, shared her most gracious hospitality while dishing out legendary fish tacos with lime, cilantro, chipotle aioli and cherry tomatoes.
As we continued through the ins and outs of the counties finest health and fitness vendors my husband and I learned about organic dog food, local exercise facilities, spirituality and more herbal and preventative health remedies than one could ever imagine. There were interested and disinterested vendors, most of whom offered a parting gift. Other vendors made an impression with their unique product mix such as the oxygen bar and hyperbaric chamber.
One thing I really admired about the event was that everyone was there in pursuit of the same ambition. The organic energy and collective mindset gave the Expo Center a warm glow. A sense of community not easily described, but fully tangible.
As we exited through the balloon arc and classic, “See you next year!” sign, I stopped to look back. You most certainly will.
I've always felt a sort of special connectivity to vibes. Whether it's intuition, sense of fear or a first impression vibes are coursing all around us. There's something especially spectacular about feeling something from higher up. With this in mind, my husband and I decided to go up on a Sunday. With the dog in one hand, and lots of water in the other off we went on the quest to the ultimate SLO high spot: The M.
As we headed up Madonna Mountain, also known as the Cerro San Luis Trail, the trail continuously curved through the ins and outs of the lavish green hillside and blooming wildflowers.
We stopped below the power lines to further embrace the depth of our surroundings and although fairly steep this 1.5 mile trek overlooks the SLO valley from multiple perspectives. Before we knew it we were at the M screaming and shouting, "Can you believe it!" As we overlooked the endless stretch of mission style homes and buildings, the clouds shaped a perfect outline of the bubble that is San Luis Obispo. I couldn't help but be grateful to live in such a beautiful place.
In the midst of the excitement I asked my husband to hike to the top of the M for a picture. The M, which we assumed stood for Madonna Mountain, is actually a white painted canvas for Mission College Prep High School. Constructed in 1966 this SLO symbol encompasses hard work, determination and success. As my husband hiked up the significantly high hillside to reach the top, dog and water bottle precariously in hand, time stood still. Chakk-chackk-chak-chak, chak-a-chak-akk-chk-chk-chk, swish, bustle, swish, swish.
The water bottle. Gone. From the top of the M to no man's land in a flash.
Just as the dog almost fled the scene to retrieve said bottle my husband was already crawling down the large wooden M and into the brush. I couldn't see or hear anything that was happening and thought for sure I had lost both bottle and husband.
"Found it!" came wafting from below. Still out of sight, the pooch and I anxiously awaited the return of our hero. And just like that, my husband beat gravity at it's own game and with the same determination and explorative drive used by the M's creators, we basked in the SLO vibes with water bottle, dog and each other safely in hand.
San Luis Obispo Blog
We look to provide ideas to get folks away from the couch, and out exploring California. We aim to provide day-trips. We want to provide suggestions of things to do, in a single day. Whether you're from out-of-town, or looking to get to know the our magnificent section of California (and beyond) a little better....we want to inspire you to explore.