Idyllwild Arts Art in Society Symposium – April 15, 2024

Idyllwild Arts Art in Society Symposium – April 15, 2024


On Monday, April 15, Idyllwild Arts showcases their daylong Art in Society’s 7th Annual Symposium, which is free and open to the public, and will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the school’s stunning campus located at 52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, California. Illustrating the Citizen Artists that Idyllwild Arts educates, this year’s event features collaborative works from all Arts and Academics departments intertwining their perspectives on the historical, literary and scientific significance of water and its impact on our lives to its powerful creative presence in all forms of art.

The topic is the intersectionality of all the different elements of water, forming a larger tapestry based on what students learned from a fundraising campaign they undertook in fall 2023 with the nonprofit Gravity Water, which supports climate resilience and clean water access in developing nations. Representatives of Gravity Water will feature a presentation in honor of Art in Society’s first global campaign, and the school’s support of a clean water filtration system for children and families in Vietnam.

The event will also showcase guest Lula Washington of the Los Angeles-based Lula Washington Dance Theater with dances based on portraying the rituals and movement created all over the world around water, including rain dances.

Seeking to ignite important dialogue, there will be six student-focused works presented as collaborations between different departments, exploring how water relates to both music and math, an interactive installation intertwining film and environmental studies, a performative activity representing the complex relationship between an individual community and its collection of water as well as visual works that symbolize the intrinsic link between art and water, highlighting how both are essential components of human existence.

Idyllwild Arts is known for its commitment to diversity, inclusion, and innovation in arts education. The institution has a strong emphasis on fostering a global community of artists and educators, welcoming students from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Its picturesque campus, surrounded by the natural beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains, provides a tranquil and stimulating environment for artistic growth and exploration.

For more information, visit:


Water Temperature and Your Skin

Water Temperature and Your Skin

Understanding the Impact of Water Temperature on Skin Wellness

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and it isn’t only for looking pretty. It serves several important functions, including maintaining your body heat. Furthermore, as solid as it seems, it contains plenty of fluid and the temperature of surrounding water can affect the wellness of your complexion.

Is cold or hot water best for glowing skin? Are there specific applications for each? How do hot tubs and swimming in cold water impact your complexion? Here’s how to look your best while protecting your health by understanding the impact of the water temperature on your skin’s wellness.

How Hot Water Affects Your Skin

Have you ever heard that you should avoid hot showers? Maybe even from a doctor if you sought a consultation for skin irritation? That’s because hot water affects your skin’s barrier, evaporating vital oils and contributing to excessive dryness.

Washing in cooler temperatures has additional benefits beyond protecting your skin’s moisture barrier. Only 0.5% of the Earth’s water is useable, and long hot showers are not always the most sustainable option. Waiting for the water to reach scalding temps contributes to waste, and cooler showers often result in shorter showers altogether. In addition, cool water also stimulates certain body chemicals that may boost your mental health and immune system.

That’s not to say that hot water doesn’t have its uses. Boiling water can purify it and even remove up to 80% of microplastics, which have unknown effects on human health. However, it’s not helpful for your skin, as temperatures high enough to kill microbes would also burn you. It also doesn’t open your pores — they aren’t connected to muscles, and lukewarm or cool water cleans as effectively.

Furthermore, while stripping oils from acne-prone skin sounds like a plus, it’s not. Your body constantly strives for homeostasis or balance and only produces more oil to compensate. As a result, you could end up with worse breakouts — stick to a twice-a-day scrub routine.

How Cool Water Affects Your Skin

If hot water is a no-go, what about cool? You already know that taking a cold shower has some health benefits, but can it improve your complexion? It’s possible.

Cold water stimulates circulation. Your blood carries vital oxygen and other nutrients to your skin’s cells, and dialing down the temperature encourages this delivery system. If nothing else, you enjoy a rosy glow immediately after a cold shower or splashing your face with cool water. Some women carry refresher mists for this purpose, which may contain rose essential oil or other substances that benefit the skin.

Those with acne-prone skin might especially benefit from using cool water for washing. According to Dr. Ishmeet Kaur, director and co-founder of Dermosphere Clinic, cold temperatures constrict your blood vessels, taming some of the angry redness associated with acne breakouts. This regimen also benefits folks with rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Hot Tubs, Swimming and Skin Care

What about hot tubs, swimming pools and other aquatic activities? How do they affect your skin?

Many people with psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions find hot tubs overly drying. Hitting the steam room after a tough workout might be the better choice for your complexion, as it improves circulation without chlorine or bromine. However, swimming, especially in salt water, can mildly exfoliate skin lesions, bringing relief to some. Everyone is different — experiment and give your body what it needs.

Another consideration is that sweat can trap dirt and bacteria in your skin. A cool dip lowers your core temperature, inhibiting sweating after you emerge, and rinses away surface grime.

Water Temperature and Skin Wellness

Should you use warm or cold water to wash your face? Understanding the impact of water temperature on skin wellness helps you make the right choice.

Using lukewarm to cool water is better for your complexion and the planet. Washing your face the right way paves the way for the rosy, healthy glow you crave.

Cover Photo by Vinur (Pexels)

Inside photo by Pixabay (Pexels)

Spring Menu Launches at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Spring Menu Launches at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Following a limited-time run of their St. Patrick’s Day themed Minty Matcha Ice Blended® drink, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is gearing up for another seasonal offering. While the Minty Matcha Ice Blended® drink had a refreshing twist on CBTL’s classic Matcha topped with handcrafted mint whipped cream, the cafe will tap into a cultural favorite for some classic flair.

The deliciously sweet taste of Mexico will be arriving at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf this spring!

Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

On March 20, the iconic Southern California favorite, serving premium coffee and tea for the past 60 years, will launch its spring seasonal menu with festive beverages that include the Horchata Latte (hot or iced), Horchata Ice Blended® drink, Horchata Cold Brew and the Horchata Cream Cold Brew.

The beverages are inspired by Mexican Horchata flavors of rice milk and cinnamon and are blended with the iconic cafés new Single Origin Mexico Organic espresso or cold brew for a premium elevated taste experience. The Single Origin Mexico Organic features a dark roast, originating from a single estate in Mexico’s Sierra Madre range near Puerto Vallarta. These Arabica bourbon beans certified organic by OCIA and USDA, yield a robust flavor and fragrant aroma. Often compare to the milk leftover from a bowl of cinnamon cereal, horchata is beloved favorite, and a welcome addition to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Credit: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Even more, there’ a new bakery item to pair with the popular, refreshing, and creamy beverage: the Concha! Conchas are a soft and sweet Mexican pastry with a cookie-topped bread that resembles a seashell, and is a symbol of comfort and community.

These new seasonal and festive items are available for a limited time so get them while you can!

Magic Mind Becomes Top-Selling Nootropic Shot at Sprouts

Magic Mind Becomes Top-Selling Nootropic Shot at Sprouts

It wasn’t long ago that Magic Mind announced their expansion with Sprouts nationwide. And already, the nootropic shot brand has reached new milestones.

Just this past January, Magic Mind, a mental performance shot engineered with nootropics, adaptogens, antioxidants, and vitamins, announced that their product was launching nationally at all Sprouts Farmers Market locations across the United States. In the matter of a few months, Magic Mind is now one of Sprout’s top selling shots available at all their locations across the country. 

In more retail partner news, the brand is just getting started at Erewhon, becoming their #1 selling shot across all Erewhon locations – performing two times more than the second ranked item – Vive Organics! They’re ranked the #4 item in the entire Refrigerated Beverage Set, outselling Blue Bottle RTD Coffee.
In addition, Magic Mind has also hit 15K in DTC/ecommerce subscribers, growing 2.5x YoY ever since launching in 2020.

Credit: Magic Mind

With distractions being a greater part of our lives than ever, it’s no wonder how Magic Mind has gone to become a leading top seller. In one shot, Magic Mind is scientifically designed to boost energy, enhance focus, create a sense of calm alertness, and increase overall productivity. Magic Mind will not only enhance your daily routine but also provide sustained energy, preventing those energy spikes and crashes, keeping you energized throughout the day – while also suitable for taking at any time of day.A matcha-based swig, Magic Mind shots are jam-packed and infused with nootropics and adaptogens from:

  • organic lion’s mane mushrooms
  • organic cordyceps mushrooms
  • organic ashwaganda
  • bacopa monnieri
  • vitamin C
  • turmeric
  • phosphatetidylserine
  • rhodiola rosea
  • vitamin D3
  • vitamin B complex
  • choline
  • organic agave

Keto, paleo, and vegan-friendly, plus nut, gluten, and BPA-free, this concoction won’t encourage addiction, but will help provide up to 7+ hours of energy, focus, and stress management. The next best part of Magic Mind is its taste, which is a smooth and sweet mix with a barely bitter aftertaste. Easy to down, and small enough to go anywhere, Magic Mind is one of our favorite morning boosts that last through the day.

Shop Magic Mind, here, and out Sprouts locations nationwide – plus Erewhon!


About Magic Mind

In one shot, Magic Mind is scientifically designed to improve cognition, enhance focus, create a sense of calm alertness, and increase overall productivity. Magic Mind enhances your daily routine by providing sustained clarity, focus and energy, throughout the day without anxiety, spikes or crashes.

Top of The V Plans Two Events for March: Whiskey Dinner Pairing + Easter Buffet

Top of The V Plans Two Events for March: Whiskey Dinner Pairing + Easter Buffet

The Viv Hotel and Top of The V are an irresistible magnet for those who crave luxurious, resort-style living and dining, while not far from some of Anaheim’s most popular venues and attractions. If you’ve seen our recent rundown on what’s in store for your stay at The Viv, then you’ll be intrigued to know that the hotel’s crown restaurant has two special events planned for the month of March!

Guests are invited to indulge in a 5-course Glenmorangie Whiskey Pairing Dinner from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on March 26, followed by a family-friendly Easter Brunch Buffet on March 31 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sip and Savor Glenmorangie Whiskies with a Five-Course Pairing Dinner – March 26

Top of The V, The Viv Hotel’s Spanish rooftop bar and restaurant in downtown Anaheim, is thrilled to host the unique flavors of Glenmorangie’s award-winning whiskies. Guests can purchase tickets for $200 per person, and will enjoy a welcome reception followed by an exclusive five-course dinner, expertly curated by Chef Nate McCoy to complement the rich flavors of Glenmorangie’s finest scotch.
Upon arrival, guests will be greeted with a welcome cocktail, Basque Country pintxos, and a toast by Whiskey Ambassador Travis Tidwell. The five-course menu includes:
  • Bacalao Croqueta (fish and chips, potato-crusted salt cod, malt vinegar foam)
  • Arroz con Scallops y Morcilla (blood sausage paella, seared scallops, English peas, garlic aioli, pea tendrils)
  • Cullen Skink and Poached Halibut (fennel, creamed leeks, fish broth)
  • Carrillera, Steak and Ale Pie (beer-braised beef cheek, carrots, celery, onion, beef jus, puffed barley)
  •  Cranachan, Berries and Cream (mixed berries, honey, toasted oat crumble, Glenmorangie cream)

View the full menu and whiskey pairing options here and reserve a table here.

Celebrate Easter at Top of The V with a Special Brunch Buffet

The Viv Hotel happily invites family and friends, once again, to its rooftop restaurant and bar, Top of The V, on Sunday, March 31, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for an Easter Brunch celebration. Here, guests can indulge in a two-hour dining experience featuring a wide array of Spanish and traditional brunch dishes at $50 per person.
Menu highlights curated by Executive Chef Nate McCoy include Torrijas French Toast, Cazuela with stone oven-baked eggs, smoked sausage Buttififara and Jidori Chicken Paella, among other mouth-watering selections. Bottomless mimosa and sangria options are available for an additional cost, and vegetarian and child-friendly options are available upon request. View the full menu here.
Reserve a table here and treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind dining experience with unmatched SoCal rooftop views and live guitar music.

About The Viv Hotel

Located close to the Disneyland® Resort and Anaheim Convention Center, The Viv Hotel creates a boutique upscale experience unique to Anaheim. The 326-room AAA Four Diamond hotel boasts a modern, stylish personality, including its signature rooftop restaurant, Top of The V with spectacular views of the Disneyland® Resort and Southern California sunsets. Whether it’s the family-friendly Oasis Pool & Cabanas or the adult-exclusive Rooftop Pool, one designs their own experiences at The Viv. For more information or to book a stay at The Viv Hotel, visit www.thevivhotelanaheim.comor call 714-408-2787. Follow along with The Viv Hotel on social at Facebook andInstagram.
An Innovative Guide to Family Activities During Spring Break 2024

An Innovative Guide to Family Activities During Spring Break 2024

As Spring Break approaches, parent, guardians, and children will all be thinking about what their plans entail. And not too long after, minds will race about Summer activities.

This is where the expertise of Camp Galileo’s parenting and education experts can come in handy, as they think outside of the box with their mindful and strategic approaches to fun and educational activities. Whether camping, or spending the break at home, there’s always plenty to do – it just takes a little imagination! If you’re looking for the right activities and strategies for a successful and happy Spring Break that everyone will enjoy, we asked Camp Galileo’s VP of Education, Pamela Briskman, some questions that are sure to point you in the right direction.

Credit: Camp Galileo

Pamela provides stellar examples and strategies that could make even adults want in on the fun! Read them below.

Q&A With Pamela Briskman, VP of Education, Camp Galileo

Q: Hi, Camp Galileo Team! Can you tell readers about Camp Galileo and what your team does?

PB: Of course! Camp Galileo is a joy-filled, imagination-sparking summer camp for rising K-10th graders that features STEAM learning, outdoor games and plenty of traditional camp fun—all designed with a mission to develop innovators who envision and create a better world. Our team works full-time year round to dream up inspiring projects and experiences, hire and train the best staff and make sure camp operations are smooth, safe and delivered with unforgettable camp magic.

Credit: Randy Weiner

Q: Summer Camp is not quite on the horizon yet, but its little sibling, Spring Break, is fast approaching. Is there any particular ideology, mindset, or strategy the Camp Galileo team applies at Summer Camp that can be implemented by parents during Spring Break?

PB: At Camp Galileo we focus on making sure that every child experiences a summer full of innovation, friendship and fun. We think that focusing on these three things (you can include family under “friendship”) is a winning combination for creating enriching and inspiring out-of-school time.

Q: We know that it’s easy to just plan a vacation, or throw technology to the kids in order to keep everyone happy. But vacations don’t always mean connection and technology can be a hindrance. What’s the best approach for families to connect, while either eliminating or implementing technology from or into family time for fun and educational activities?

PB: Setting a shared vision and then working together to make that vision come to life is a great way to create connection and have fun (and it’s an empowering life skill that we focus on developing at Camp Galileo—we call it the Galileo Innovator’s Process). Whether you’re planning a vacation, a day trip, or a family activity with or without technology, start out by:

    1. Identifying a collective goal, or set of goals, that includes ideas from everyone in the family.
    2. Then brainstorm a list of different ways that you might accomplish those goals—be open to all the ideas, even the silly ones, and build on each others’ ideas (“yes, and…”) instead of passing judgment.
    3. Once you have a list of possibilities, evaluate the list together and create a plan that everyone feels invested in and that satisfies your budget, time and other requirements.
    4. During the vacation or activity, check in to make sure that the plan is actually working—staying open to redesign (within realistic constraints) to best accomplish your goal(s).
    5. Be sure to celebrate the wins, the “marvelous” mistakes for what you can learn from them, and reflect on what you’d do the same or change for the next time.

This approach doesn’t need to take a lot of time and adds a layer of intentionality to holiday planning that highlights collaboration, activates the creative process and empowers everyone to take part in creating the experience they imagine.

Credit: Camp Galileo

Q: With technology being such a large part of kids’ lives today, how can parents discover areas of educational fun that overlap with tech, rather than cutting tech out altogether? And ahead to this year’s Spring Break, can you list some intriguing and unique activities for families to reconnect, and the steps behind turning those plans into reality?

PB: One great and educational way to engage with technology is to approach it as a creator instead of as (only) a consumer. There are so many opportunities to use technology as a family in a generative way and customize the approach to suit your interests and goals. Some ideas include:

  • Watching DIY videos to guide you through building a project or learning a new skill—or making a how-to video to share your own passions
  • Researching new recipes online to plan and then create a special meal or dessert
  • Going on a geocaching adventure. Use a GPS device or smartphone app to find hidden caches (containers) placed around your city or local park.
  • Assembling photos from a family outing or activity into a slideshow or editing video into a polished piece with titles, music and special effects
  • Telling an original story by using drawing and painting apps to create illustrations for a comic or book, using stop motion animation apps with toys, clay figures, etc. to make an animated short, or using video editing software to bring your story to life through live action
  • Creating a video game using beginner-friendly platforms (like Scratch or Blockly) or more advanced programs that enable kids to design their own games with characters, levels, and storylines.
  • Exploring physical computing with devices like Raspberry Pi that enable creative projects combining coding with electronics like lights, sensors, and motors

Working on creative, technology-based projects as a family can be a great opportunity to learn new skills together (oftentimes kids can even teach their grownups!), have fun, and celebrate your creations. Plus, these activities produce lasting artifacts that you can enjoy yourselves and share with extended family and friends.

Q: And on the other hand, what are some great activities that don’t need tech at all? Activities where families can almost forget tech exists?

PB: There are lots of wonderful ways to unplug and reconnect as a family during Spring Break or anytime. Here are some ideas that involve working together or creating/learning something new:

  • Planning and going on an outing to a national or regional park, beach, city, museum or other destination.
  • Playing board games or card games, then thinking about changes you might try to make the game harder, easier or more enjoyable. Try them out and see how it goes.
  • Creating a meal or a special desert. Use favorite recipes or experiment with new ones then enjoy on your own or invite guests.
  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter, soup kitchen, or for an organization or cause you care about. This can be a great way to give back to your community and create a meaningful experience together.
  • Visiting an escape room or trying an escape room game. Once you have foundational ideas for how escape rooms work you can build one at home for friends to enjoy. (Middle schoolers can try Galileo’s Escape Room Experience this summer!)
  • DIY depending on your skills and interests or try something new. Plant a garden, build a birdhouse or a Rube Goldberg machine, try watercolor painting, the sky’s the limit.
  • Get Active. Go for a hike or bike ride. Try boating, or bowling, or roller skating, or juggling. Or invent a combination activity, ex trampoline-juggling.

By putting down the phones and tablets, families can find new passions or pursue old favorites while enjoying quality time together, fostering creativity and creating lasting memories.

Q: It is widely believed that before smartphones, kids spent more time outside and taking part in recreational activities. Is this true, and if so, do you think this trend can change?

PB: Both scientific research and anecdotal evidence suggest that children today spend significantly less time outdoors compared to previous generations. I think that there are many factors (cultural, environmental, technological, etc.) that contribute to this in addition to smartphones. While our evolving understanding of the impacts of screen time and social media on mental health and well being are concerning, smartphones are here to stay.

Most important, is for children to maintain a balance between physical activity (sports and outdoor recreation), interpersonal connections (with peers and family), creative expression with and without technology (suggestions above), and consumption-based screen-time (social-media, many video games, etc.) At Galileo, we believe that when kids see themselves as innovators—individuals who can imagine things that don’t yet exist and have the skills and creative confidence to make those ideas a reality—that these challenges due to technology can fade.

Credit: Camp Galileo

Q: Once the fun of Spring Break is over, it’s difficult for some kids to return to the classroom. Are there any strategies parents can use to ensure a smooth transition back to school, while giving them something to look forward to regularly, and even as summer approaches?

PB: While every child is different, here are some strategies families can use to to help their children smoothly transition back to school after Spring Break:

  • Organize Schoolwork and Workspace: Over the break help them clean out their backpacks, organize notebooks, and declutter/refresh their workspace at home. This can give them a fresh start after the break.
  • Use Positive Back-to-School Talk: Remind them of favorite teachers, friends, upcoming school activities or new learning opportunities. This can generate excitement and help them look forward to the remainder of the school year.
  • Prepare for the First Day Back: Reduce morning stress by readying backpacks the night before, packing a special lunch and laying out favorite clothes. Give kids the agency to take on these tasks independently as they are able. Feeling prepared eases anxiety and fosters a sense of control.

Q: Camp Galileo provides Summer Camp programs throughout Southern California with activities that make even us adults quite jealous! Please share more about the Summer Camp programs you offer for kids, when enrollment opens, and the types of activities that families can expect their kids to enjoy?

PB: Camp Galileo is open for enrollment at more than 60 locations (throughout California, Colorado, Seattle and Chicagoland) on our website: Our award winning programs are grounded in the Galileo Innovation Approach, our unique framework for developing innovators with substantive knowledge that guides breakthrough thinking, a mindset that promotes innovative work and a process that supports bringing the best ideas to fruition. We’re introducing an all-new program this summer with exciting projects and activities for campers in every age group.

This summer, our Elementary School campers (rising K-5th graders) will experience age-appropriate activities in each of our three daily rotations: Innovator’s Studio, Idea Lab and Outdoor Adventure.

  • In Innovator’s Studio, they will practice sustained focus to bring a personal vision to life, taking home impressive, polished, design & engineering project(s) that really work such as: a ride-on rocking pet (K-1st grade), a working hand-held vacuum cleaner (2nd & 3rd grade), and a custom pinball machine (4th & 5th grade).
  • In Idea Lab, the focus shifts from individual to collaborative projects as campers work on open-ended STEAM challenges where part of the fun is the spectacular crushing, crashing and crumbling that follows pushing a physical design to its limit. Campers learn to look critically at their “failures” and, with a growth mindset, glean learnings that enable them to take their designs (and their creative confidence) to the next level.
  • In Outdoor Adventure, campers experience exciting outdoor games along with classic, get-your-wiggles-out camp fun. Each day they engage in a combination of physical team-building challenges and collaborative games designed to build community and nurture kinesthetic practice of the Galileo Innovation Approach (including problem solving, collaboration, creativity, etc.)

Our Middle School campers (rising 6th-8th graders) experience aged up fun. Instead of three daily rotations, they focus on one epic project per week that allows them similar opportunities to collaborate with their fellow campers and flex their imaginations. This summer, project options include go-karts (where campers learn and practice woodworking skills to design and build a one-of-a-kind ride), remote controlled robots (where they bring an original character to life and add original attachments to navigate fun challenges), and an escape room experience (where they explore a range of puzzle types and flows and then create original clues and a themed room for others to escape).

Finally, we have a Counselor-in-Training (CIT) program for our oldest campers (rising 8th-10th graders). Each day CITs experience an exciting mix of community-building games and engaging activities designed to develop their leadership skills, have opportunities to shadow instructional staff and mentor younger campers in their classrooms and flex their own design muscles by taking on projects that contribute to camp culture/magic or that enable them to express their own creativity. This program is a great transition for campers who are ready to take on new responsibilities while still having a blast as campers.

Q: Finally, are there any plans to bring Camp Galileo beyond the current areas served in Southern California? For example, the Santa Clarita Valley with its large family population?

PB: We are always looking to grow and bring Galileo to communities that are looking to help students become active members of their communities to envision and create a better world. If this sounds like something that would be interesting to you, we’d love to talk and be introduced to your school district! Our SoCal team is actively working to identify potential new partners and communities for summer 2025 so now is a great time to begin the conversation.

We partner with school districts in a couple of ways through our direct-to-consumer summer camp program as well as our Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (E-LOP) to help bridge the gap in accessibility to high-quality summer programming for unduplicated students. Feel free to reach out to for general inquiries and E-LOP opportunities.

Below the Border

Below the Border

Lunch with a friend recently revealed that he had never been outside the United States and had little desire to travel. “How different people are,” I thought, as I love to travel and have always made an effort to find my way to an airport. Indeed, travel is not easy—checking in, missing flights, security checks, luggage, seating arrangements, snacks at a cost—it takes effort, but the landing and the arrival are more often than not worth it.

An email arrives announcing a press junket to Cabo. A term not heard much anymore, “press junket” once referred to an opportunity for journalists to interview celebrities for an upcoming film. It could also be an invitation to visit a particular hotel, property, or event. For the record, I have been on many junkets, most notably to Egypt and the Maldives. This particular press trip was to visit a resort located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California Peninsula—Cabo San Lucas. From Los Angeles, this is a less-than-three-hour flight.

Cabo is known for a few things: a vibrant nightlife, the Arch of Cabo San Lucas (the iconic arch-shaped rock formation located at Land’s End), and as a port of call for large cruise ships. It is a tourist destination, as are Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tulum, and, most recently, to the north, Holbox.

From the Cabo airport, shuttles are frequent, and it is less than a half-hour drive to the heart of Cabo. The veil lifts as Highway 1 comes into view—here, the Gulf of California meets the Pacific. Connecting San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas is the Tourist Corridor, a 33-kilometer (20-mile) four-lane highway surrounded by stunning views of both the desert and the coastline of the Sea of Cortez. And here we find Mar del Cabo by Velas Resorts. This is but one of the three Velas Resorts that all sit next to one another. To the right is the Grand Velas Los Cabos, a luxury all-inclusive resort. A short walk to the left is the Grand Velas Boutique Los Cabos.

Our stay is at Mar Del Cabo, a boutique hotel catering to adults only, with a pet-friendly crowd. All three are designed by Ricardo Elias, principal of Elias and Elias Architects in Guadalajara. The three hotels could not be more different—Del Cabo exudes old-world charm with lush entryways and a sloping sidewalk to the sea. The Grand Velas Los Cabos has an entrance that is dramatic, stylized, and cinematic.

For this junket, we are joined by fellow travel writers—it is a good group: diverse, informative, and friendly. We are staying at Mar Del Cabo by Velas Resorts, a triptych of hotels, all unique and vastly different. Mar Del Cabo is a boutique hotel—it feels intimate and organic to the region. The hotel, Mar del Cabo, is a stylish adaptation of a classic boutique hotel, designed to captivate and comfort with its unassuming and pleasing minimalism. With 46 one- and two-bedroom suites, two penthouses which have king or two queen-size beds; kitchenettes with a coffee maker and microwave oven; terraces with a sitting area, separate living areas with a sofa, a bathroom-width step-in rain shower, and daily turndown service. The restaurant, Encanto Farm & Sea, showcases the local and fresh flavors of Baja California in a unique seaside chic ambiance less than 50 yards from the ocean’s edge. Two bars, spa services, a sleek and sensual oceanfront pool, as well as outdoor spaces to hold private events, complete Mar del Cabo.

It was our first day on the press trip, and we headed off to Todos Santos with Cabo Adventure with our loquacious driver, Marcello. It is a 47-minute drive north on Highway 19. Marcello informs us that in Todos Santos we will find the Hotel California—the hotel behind the famous Eagles’ song. He alludes to “colitas,” which in Spanish is the flowering bud of the cannabis plant, as proof of the song’s linkage to Mexico.

All of which is conjecture—there is no evidence any of the Eagles ever stayed at this particular hotel, but it is a fun storyline nonetheless. Todos Santos is a magical and mysterious place. There is a large bazaar which belongs to the designer Rouss Ramírez. In the bazaar, you can discover the objects that Rouss has found on her travels through Mexico and around the world.

From there, we head back south towards Cabo and stopped at Cabo Adventures’ Camel Ranch. Here, we are treated to a vision straight out of Lawrence of Arabia—groups of people on dromedaries wearing shemaghs (headscarves). It is here that we learn a single-humped camel is called a dromedary—a camel with two humps is a Bactrian.

Lunch is enjoyed outdoors while in the distance we watch whales play along the Pacific.  Later that night, the entire press group is treated to dinner at Encanto. It is Valentine’s Day, and the atmosphere at the restaurant is festive. Near the sea, with a small stage, a performer is singing love songs in English. It is our last night—the days have swept by. Tomorrow is the short flight back to Los Angeles.

I think of my friend and what is missed by not venturing beyond. I have been visiting Baja since I was a child. As a young teen, I went to the bullfights, and the dog races in Tijuana. I have slept on the beaches below Rosarito, been astonishingly drunk at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, eaten lobster in Puerto Nuevo, and only recently, in the briefest of windows, come to Cabo on a “tender boat” from a large cruise ship and swam in the moody waters. For Californians, Mexico and Baja, in particular, hold a certain allure—proximity, cost, food, people, weather, and a coastline that rivals Italy. It is part desert, mountainous and almost always close to the ocean—  A striking combination of cactus and palm trees that invite the traveller to experience the lower California known as Baja.

: The “famed” Hotel California in Todos Santos.

The locks—legend has it that if you write your names on the locks and leave them here at the

Bésame Mucho Bazaar, you will be together forever. Surreal artwork on display. The man who sweeps the Bazaar. Our guide, Marcello, gives us the heads up that its time to leave.


Catalina Island Welcomes New Educational Attraction: IMMERSED Ocean Wonders

Catalina Island Welcomes New Educational Attraction: IMMERSED Ocean Wonders

Immersive Education LLC Teams with Red Dot Digital Media to Create Immersive Viewing Experience in New Domed Theater on Catalina Island

If you didn’t know, there’s a small oasis off the California coast that makes for great weekends and day trips – Catalina Island. And every visitor to the island should be able to tell you that at the heart of it is a strong effort to highlight the environmental and ecological history, dangers, and fights that still go on today. Over the years, the island has faced and been subjected to whispers, rumors, and news of outlandish belief, such as the idea of opening an amusement park on it someday. Conservationists have done their best to educate and protect the largely undeveloped island and its surrounding waters, but a new installment could help pass the message along even further for not just Catalina Island, but the world.

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

Spheres are all the rage these days, and Catalina Island just got its very own tiny and environmentally friendly sphere, with Red Dot Digital Media helping to bring it to life! The prominent specialist integrator within the digital signage sector, was commissioned by acclaimed underwater filmmaker Mark Davidson to provide a simple-to-operate media playback system for IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders, his innovative tourist attraction unveiled on Catalina Island. Mark not only filmed and produced the movie, but also designed and built the very dome that visitors gather in for their virtual dive. Nestled just 22 miles off Southern California’s coastline, Catalina Island serves as a favored day-trip and overnight destination, easily accessible via a swift one-hour high-speed ferry journey from the Los Angeles area.

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders offers a distinctive cinematic voyage, transporting visitors on a 30-minute virtual “dive” across the globe’s oceans. Spectators embark on a journey through Catalina’s verdant kelp forests, encountering a diverse array of marine life, including majestic whale sharks, soaring oceanic manta rays, inquisitive bull sharks, captivating bait balls, playful dolphins and sea lions, and even the rare dugong. Entirely filmed underwater in full 360-degree 8K resolution, the immersive experience projects footage onto a domed screen enveloping the audience, synchronized with contemporary music and informative narration for a truly captivating encounter.

Beyond providing educational entertainment, the theater’s operations contribute vital financial support to local ocean conservation initiatives. Immersive Education pledges to allocate 10 percent of the theater’s annual profits to the Marine Mammal Care Center, a regional nonprofit dedicated to responding to distressed seals and sea lions in Catalina’s waters.

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

Mark Davidson, Founder & CEO of Immersive Education, expressed, “Our hope is that IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders will deepen visitors’ connection to our world’s oceans by giving them an underwater view that people rarely see, and by reinvesting a portion of our profits back into the local nonprofit community, we’re taking a tangible step to preserve this underwater beauty by protecting the animals that call these waters home.”

For the execution of the AV system powering IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders, Immersive Education enlisted the expertise of Red Dot Digital Media. Red Dot devised an interactive touch panel interface to manage movie playback and control, integrating a Bluefin touch panel with BrightSign Built-In technology employing UDP commands to trigger content through BrightSign’s BSN.Cloud player management platform. This user-friendly touch interface empowers staff with minimal technical training to initiate, pause, and resume movies on demand, or schedule predetermined screenings effortlessly.

“Given the remote location of the theater, it was essential to create a control system that is both easy to use and extremely reliable,” said Darryl Kuder, President, Red Dot Digital Media. “Using a Bluefin touch screen with BrightSign Built-In, we created a cost-effective, dead-simple operational workflow whereby daily staffers power up the projector and speakers, and with a single tap of the touchscreen they start the first show of the day. At closing time they simply power down the projector and speakers and lock-up.”

The design and construction of the theater were accomplished by domed projection specialists at Lumen & Forge in Las Vegas, completed on-site within a swift eight-day timeframe. The venue features a 576-square-foot wooden deck as its foundation, supporting a circular wood frame enveloped in all-weather vinyl adorned with underwater artwork from Catalina’s renowned Casino Point. Showtimes for IMMERSED: Ocean Wonders are available throughout the day, five days a week, with tickets and additional details accessible at

For further insights into Red Dot’s comprehensive array of content management and specialty integrator services, interested individuals can visit

About Red Dot Digital Media

Established in 2007, Red Dot Digital Media is a leading digital signage specialty integrator focused on global digital signage deployments, content design, programming and CMS integration. As a BrightSign Top 10 Global Preferred Partner, Red Dot has grown to become one of the top digital signage companies in the country and, in 2014, created a global team to support its international projects. For more information, visit or follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Immersive Education LLC

“Immersive Education LLC’s mission is to create immersive exhibits that generate wonder, spark curiosity, and instill a commitment to ocean conservation using cutting edge 360 degree filming technology.  Our goal is not to bombard audiences with facts about what they are seeing, but to let them experience these magical moments in the same way that we did while filming them.  Falling in love with the oceans is the first step to protecting our oceans.”

Credit: Red Dot Digital Media

Andaz West Hollywood Hosts ‘black in every color’ Exhibition Series: ‘Ours’

Andaz West Hollywood Hosts ‘black in every color’ Exhibition Series: ‘Ours’

March is here, which means so is a warming trend in the weather. As we move into Spring, more people will be venturing out to appreciate Southern California’s natural beauty, events, and more. This month, art lovers can rejoice as Andaz West Hollywood has teamed up with Valence Projects for “Ours,” showcasing 20 LA-based artists as part of their “black in every color” series.

A nod to both the series’ 1-Year Anniversary and Black History Month, “Ours” is the next installation of their “black in every color” exhibition series, which highlights 20 LA-based artists. The exhibition celebrated the 1-Year Anniversary of black in every color and Black History Month, while also running through March 29th.

Credit: Valence Projects

“A nod to the future of creativity, community, and expression, “Ours” is posed as an ode to innovation born from detachment. The exhibition invites you to navigate the expansive terrain of artistic exploration as artists of color and recontextualize the fine art space.”

The concept of time, ever-present, underscores this exhibition. “Ours” is a reflection on the epochs it has taken for us to arrive at this juncture, yet it is equally a portal to the future—a nexus where innovation intertwines with history, and forward thinking dances with tradition,” said the exhibition’s Curator, Josiah David Jones.

Artists serve as pioneers of transformation, navigating the uncharted territories of self-expression and collective introspection. Highlighting a range of artists like established fashion photographer Micaiah Carter’s “Preserve”, to first time exhibitor Natasha Rivero’s “Alori”, and multi-disciplinary artist Doug Hickman’s fabric dressed transformation of the Andaz Mezzanine. black in every color’s goal is to elevate artist’s practice through community, collaboration and visibility.

“Ours” will be exhibited at the Andaz West Hollywood (8401 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069) through March 29, 2024. Visit for more information.

Featured Artists Include:

● Dom King
● Brittney S. Price
● Isis Dua
● Kipkemoi
● Kader Ampka
● Mary Harris
● Natasha Rivero
● Peyton The Artist
● Micaiah Carter
● Perry White
● Liam Woods
● Carrington Mitchell
● Jonah Elijah
● Dez Porter
● Doug Hickman Jr.
● Kodjovi Sevon
● Brandon Gastinell
● Yashua Bloom
● Shaylen Nelson
● Stvteoftheart

About Valence Projects & ‘black in every color.’ Curation

The ‘black in every color.’ exhibition series was conceived by Josiah David Jones, founder of Valence Projects. Valence Project’s mission is to empower underrepresented artist communities internationally. Valence Projects strives to build a world where creativity meets purpose, where artists thrive, and where impactful campaigns are born to make a profound difference in the world.

The ‘black in every color’ exhibitions aim to highlight emerging creative communities of color internationally. Valence Projects plans to bring the exhibition to other cities across the US and globally. Among the line-up planned for 2024, the exhibition will be held at Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor and Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills.

About Andaz West Hollywood

With its iconic history as the first hotel on the Sunset Strip, Andaz West Hollywood offers guests the rare opportunity to trace the footsteps of a long list of legendary rockers who frequented the property throughout the 60s and 70s and earned it the nickname “Riot House,” including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, The Doors and more. The historic property experienced past lives as Hyatt on Sunset and Hyatt West Hollywood, before rebranding as Andaz West Hollywood in Hyatt’s boutique lifestyle collection in 2009. The modernized hotel features 239 stylish guest rooms including 20 suites with chic aesthetics, coveted views of the Hollywood Hills and Sunset Boulevard, a rotating art gallery exhibition, and the highest rooftop pool in Los Angeles. An eclectic and fashionable destination, Andaz West Hollywood provides the ultimate LA experience with elevated comforts and amenities for guests to unleash their inner celebrity and indulge like no one, or everyone, is watching.

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping”

The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping”

Netflix’s latest docu-series “The Program: Cons, Cults and Kidnapping  is making a huge splash. It hit #1 in USA and the UK the day after release, and currently holds the Top 5 spot on the global chart (3 days after release).

CAA screening with Q&A – Photo credit: Samantha Smart

It’s no surprise that so many viewers are captivated by this three-part docuseries because it’s shocking, disturbing, and utterly outrageous. Director, Katherine Kubler quickly pulls you deeper and deeper in as she attempts to make sense of what happened to her at 16 years of age. Armed with an inextinguishable sense of humor, Kubler examines and exposes the madness of the youth residential program at Ivy Ridge where she spent 15 months of her young life. This disciplinary boarding institution marketed itself at “helping troubled teenagers” but instead exploited desperate parents while unconscionably damaging the teens. No smiling, no looking out the window, no going outside, no talking, and even no farting without permission——these were just some of the near impossible rules that the kids were meant to follow in order to complete the program and be released. With the daily enforcement of brainwashing, abuse and all around mind-f*ckery, Kubler describes the Ivy Ridge staff  as “trying to murder children’s souls”. Kubler knew she had to make this docu-series “because there really was nothing out there to help explain what had happened to me, to my friends and family, and to warn them about these places.”

As Kubler and other survivors relate their stories, the depth of cruelty is revealed, and we are confronted with the fact that similar programs are currently still in operation. It’s the responsibility of anyone who knows child abuse is happening to take action to stop it…and as Kubler tells you at the end of the final episode: “Now you know!”

Expo West March 12 – 16, Anaheim, CA

Expo West March 12 – 16, Anaheim, CA

File under good to know—this coming week, the Natural Products Expo will take place in Anaheim, CA. An event that really requires more than one day it is a look into the health food market and products that will be coming to the public soon. Like most conventions of this sort, one walks out with bags of swag—CBD products, vitamins, sports drinks and many, many more.

Informa Markets’ Natural Products Expo West is one of the largest trade shows in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry. Typically held annually in Anaheim, California, this expo attracts thousands of attendees from around the globe, including industry professionals, exhibitors, and media. It serves as a key platform for companies to showcase new products, innovations, and trends in the health and wellness space.

The expo’s history dates back to 1981 when it was first established. Over the years, it has grown significantly in size and influence, reflecting the growing consumer interest in natural and organic products. The event covers a wide range of product categories, including food and beverage, supplements, health and beauty, natural living, and pet products.

One of the main features of Expo West is its emphasis on education and networking. The event typically includes a variety of educational sessions, workshops, and keynote speeches by industry leaders, aimed at providing attendees with insights into market trends, regulatory issues, and sustainability practices. These sessions are designed to help industry professionals stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving market.

Sustainability and innovation are often key themes at the expo, with many exhibitors and speakers focusing on eco-friendly practices, organic farming, plant-based products, and other trends that cater to the growing consumer demand for products that are not only healthy but also environmentally responsible.

Expo West has also been known for its efforts to promote inclusivity and support for small businesses and startups. The event provides a platform for emerging brands to gain visibility, connect with retailers and distributors, and potentially scale their operations.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the expo adapting to virtual formats, demonstrating the resilience and flexibility of the natural products community. As the industry continues to evolve, Natural Products Expo West remains a vital event for networking, innovation, and insight into the future of natural and organic products.





Location and Dates

Anaheim Convention Center

Get Directions to this Location on Google Maps
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802 USA

Closest airports are John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA), and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

2024 Dates & Hours

Events and Education:
March 12-16, 2024

Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace
Wednesday, March 13, 2024 | 11:00am – 4:00pm

ACC Level 3 & North Halls
Wednesday, March 13, 2024 | 12:00 – 6:00pm
*Buyer-only Exhibit Hall Badges: 12:00 – 1:00pm
*All Exhibit Hall Badges: 1:00 – 6:00pm
Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 9:00am – 6:00pm
Friday, March 15, 2024 | 9:00am – 6:00pm

ACC Halls A-E & Arena
Thursday, March 14, 2024 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Friday, March 15, 2024 | 10:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday, March 16, 2024 | 10:00am – 4:00pm

*Buyer-only hours include retail buyers, hosted buyers, food service buyers, and health practitioners

Little Dom’s Seafood Kicks Off Seafood Season with Insatiable Selections

Little Dom’s Seafood Kicks Off Seafood Season with Insatiable Selections

With Ash Wednesday behind us, seafood season is upon us and living on the West Coast comes with its perks. Where you take advantage of those perks matters, though.

Just in time, the beloved and iconic Little Dom’s Seafood  the seaside sister restaurant of LA’s Little Dom’s by Executive Chef and Co-Owner Brandon Boudet – wants everyone to know that their offerings are some of the most delectable around. The best part is that they aren’t just limited to seafood. For anyone with an allergy or who just isn’t feeling fishy, Little Dom’s Seafood offers a classic Pizza Margherita, Meatball Burger, Rice Balls, Fried Oyster Mushroom Po’Boy, and veggie-centric and vegan plates and salads, and much more!

Offering some of the freshest, locally sourced seafood dishes in Southern California (some even just 24 hours after they’ve been caught!), Little Dom’s Seafood is the ideal location for weeknight dinners, date nights, lunches, or weekend celebrations.

In addition to serving over 200-dozen oysters a week, a few of Little Dom’s Seafood’s best-selling seafood dishes include:

  • Albacore Pastrami with chive butter & Arugula on Housemade Stecca
  • Wood Oven Roasted Littleneck Clams with Toasted Sourdough & Garlic Oregano Butter
  • Santa Barbara Live Uni

Pay them a visit for your dietary needs and restrictions, for those special occasions, or just because! It’s always a good time at Little Dom’s, who have shown consistency and dedication over the years.

Little Dom’s Seafood is located at:
686 Linden Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013

Learn more about Little Dom’s Seafood at their website.