Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Spring and Easter Happenings Around California--Some Fun Spring Ideas for your Bucket List!

Try the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa at Indian Wells, or the Paséa Hotel and Spa's Pup Fest on April 2nd

Spring is here! Southern California is always a perfect place to spend your Spring Break and we've got some amazing ideas for you to add to your bucket list.


With spectacular views of the Santa Rosa Mountains, Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa welcomes guests to Cava – its bistro-style eatery with a relaxing terrace and farm-to-table California ingredient-focused culinary offerings for Easter Brunch. - Sunday, April 9, seatings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This lavish Easter Buffet offers a spring soup of Creamy Carrot with hints of orange and ginger to begin the celebration. There's a selection of oven and hearth-baked leavened and flatbreads with assorted butters and jams and many salad selections, including Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad, Fingerling Potato Salad, Pesto Shrimp Pasta Salad, Crudité Pots and others. The assortment of California cheeses and meats features Humboldt Fog aged goat gouda, Point Reyes blue, Mt. Tam sage derby, salami, mortadella and capicola accompanied by dried and fresh fruits, nuts, compotes and local honeys. Favorite seafoods include Snow Crab Legs, Jonah Crab Claws, Poached Shrimp, Oysters, Ahi Tuna Poke and Ceviche. In addition, are a Pancake and Waffle Station, Omelet Station and Hand-Crafted Sushi. The Carving Station delights with Garlic and Herb Prime Rib, Bourbon Glazed Salmon and Roasted Chicken. The Grana Padano Wheel comes with rabbit ragout, orecchiette pasta and spinach. For hungry kids, they'll be offering Mac & Cheese, Chicken Tenders, Uncrustables, French Fries and Fruit Cups. For a splendid, sweet ending, there is much deliciousness: Carrot, Coconut and German Chocolate cakes, Mini Banana Cream Pie, the restaurant's famous Donut Wall, Easter Cookies, Sundaes and more!

$105 for guests ages 11 and older, $45 for children five to 10; complimentary for children four and under with adult brunch purchase; exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are available by calling Sofia at 760-836-1276.

Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa

44-400 Indian Wells Lane

Indian Wells, CA 92210-9971

Phone: 760-773-4444

Paséa Hotel and Spa's Pup Fest on April 2nd.

Set on Paséa's Ocean Lawn, pups attending Pup Fest will be treated to barky bites and drinks, live entertainment from local bands, costume contests, games, shopping and other doggo-centric activities.

The ultimate escape for pet parents--The Very Important Pet (VIP) package--of Paséa's modern oasis boasts:

* dog-friendly accommodations, doggy keepsakes, one complimentary entrée from Tanner's pet menu, VIP passport with redemptions, and waived pet fee.

* Tanner's Restaurant and Treehouse Lounge's fully dedicated pet menus ('Puppy Parfait,' protein bowls, peanut butter treats & more)

* Paw-séa Pup Play Park, a 1,100 square-foot outdoor, fenced off-leash play area outfitted with a lifeguard station doghouse and all the space a vacationing four-legged friend could want!

* Concierge services to arrange dog sitting or walking, while guests enjoy the hotel's photo-worthy ocean-view Ninth Island pool or Aarna Spa

* Proximity to the famed Huntington Dog Beach

The Ecology Center's Annual Strawberry U-Pick returns This Spring - Southern California's Only Regenerative Organic™ Strawberry Picking Experience Begins March 30

The Ecology Center, San Juan Capistrano's 28-acre farm and education center, is hosting its annual Strawberry U-Pick interactive farm experience beginning Thursday, March 30, 2023. Embrace the colorful abundance of spring with the only Regenerative Organic Certified™ strawberries available in Southern California, open to the public Thursdays through Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

With the purchase of a ticket, U-pick guests will embark on a self-guided exploration of the farm with three stops along the way, each touching upon the theme, "Somos Campesinos" ("we are farmers"). After the educational tour, guests are encouraged to venture into the fields and fill their baskets with fresh strawberries which can be purchased by the pound. Free from chemical fertilizers and pesticides, families can feel at ease knowing that the strawberries are safe for little ones to enjoy straight from the vine.

Admission: Tickets are required for all adults and children ages two and up

Thursdays and Fridays – $7 per person

Saturdays and Sundays – $9 per person

Strawberries: Pay by the pound for strawberries picked from the farm

WHEN: March 30 through April 30, 2023 or while strawberries last - Thursdays-Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Ecology Center: 32701 Alipaz St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

For more information on Strawberry U-Pick visit To learn more about The Ecology Center and upcoming events, please visit


Easter Brunch and "Love Your Mother" Candlelight Dinner Planned for Earth Day

Celebrating longer and warmer days ahead, oceanfront Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach, an Autograph Collection Hotel, presents a lavish Easter Brunch on Sunday, April 9, and a special "Love Your Mother" Candlelight Dinner on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22. Both celebrations will take place at Pequín Coastal Cocina, a Baja-style dining venue offering expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and al fresco seating.

April activities at Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach include:

*Easter Brunch at Pequín Coastal Cocina - Sunday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Newly appointed Executive Chef Alex Aviles and his culinary team at Pequín Coastal Cocina have selected favorite dishes from the restaurant's customary breakfast and lunch menus and have added special dishes to this celebratory brunch. They'll be serving Easter fare to please family and friends, including Roasted Prime Rib, succulent Dungeness Crab and other holiday surprises. Premium sparkling wines from Arroyo Grande-based Laetitia Vineyard & Winery, known for its SIP (sustainability in practice) certification, will be available as well as Bloody Mary and Mimosa flights, composed with a variety of freshly squeezed fruit juices.

*Easter Egg Hunt on Starlight Lawn - Sunday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

An Egg Hunt for resort and Pequín brunch guests takes place just steps from the beach, Pismo Beach pier and the promenade. It's a colorful, fun activity set up for the very youngest kids and kids five to 11 years old. Parents may opt to give a $5 donation for the Easter Egg Hunt with all proceeds going to the charity AmpSurf, a national non-profit organization established to promote adaptive surf therapy and other outdoor activities for people with disabilities.

"Love Your Mother" Candlelight Dinner on Earth Day - Saturday, April 22, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m .; live music at Blend Bar from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.

To celebrate Mother Earth, the resort's signature restaurant hosts a "Love Your Mother" Candlelight Dinner with lights out dining, offering Pequín's customary dinner menu. Choices include entrees such as Wagyu Picanha Steak, Grilled Lobster, Central Coast Market Fish, Cauliflower Frita and for dessert, Churros In A Cloud, Tres Leches Bread Pudding and more. Suggested wine selections are from Edna Valley and San Luis Obispo County vintners.

For reservations, guests can visit

The incredible restaurant Pequín, with its relaxing dining room and alfresco patio, is the perfect venue for contemplating oceanside nature, the environment and all the Central Coast culinary gifts and beauty in the region. Some of the eco-friendly and sustainability efforts that Pequín and the resort have instituted include purchasing and serving on melamine plateware and glassware for use throughout the resort to reduce the use of paper and plastic to-go supplies, and a wood-burning grill has been replaced by a charbroiler gas grill that is more efficient and requires less maintenance. In addition, the resort has eliminated complimentary plastic water bottles in guest rooms and public spaces, switching to PATH water bottles in guest rooms and FloWater dispensers. The resort was built with water conservation in mind and continues to adhere to these practices – green spaces that are artificial to eliminate watering, low flow showers and other water fixtures, a water recycling plant for laundry and participation in ongoing beach clean-up.

Where: Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach 147 Stimson Avenue Pismo Beach, California 93449 (805) 773-1011

Chanin Victor is a family travel specialist focusing on experiential, immersive, multigenerational travel. She is a versatile freelance writer, skilled journalist, and avid photographer. Based in Los Angeles with her family, Chanin seizes every opportunity to embark on new adventures. Discover her travels and insights at - PLUS - if you're interested in Chanin's family-friendly travel stories, inspiration and travel tips, look HERE: at the Santa Monica Observer!


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