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November 2014

Alex Ross comic book art fans superheroes await at The Haggin Museum in Stockton

Pow! Zappo! Bam! Superheros & villains are highlighted in this world-class exhibit of comic book art by Alex Ross. The Joker by Alex Ross currently on display at The Haggin Museum in Stockton California
Photos: Are You That Woman@California Travel Insider

Rating: Star!Star!Star!Star!Star!

Pow! Boppo! Boom! The callouts of your favorite superheroes! Pardon the cliché, but The Haggin Museum’s temporary exhibit Heroes & Villains, The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross is fun for all ages.

Alex Ross is the caped crusader of comic book art. His feats of fancy began as a young child – early drawings and construction paper creations were clear indicators of his future talents. At 23, he was hired by Marvel Comics as an illustrator – Bam! Zap! Zowee! – the rest is legendary superhero history.

The Haggin and Alex Ross share symbiotic and devoted relationships with illustrator J.C. Leyendecker. How many among us know thatLeyendecker was the nation’s most popular and successful commercial artist – gracing the covers of Collier’s magazine and the Saturday Evening Post, yes, way back in the day. The connection here? The Haggin Museum’s collection of more than 50 original Leyendecker works is the largest held by any other museum. Side-by-side, Leyendecker and Ross share a spotlight in this current exhibit which features more than 130 works from Ross’ personal collection.

Heroes & Villains runs until January 18, 2015. Don’t miss the 1st & 3rd Thursdays with Food & Drink – November 6th features art scholar Alice B. Carter and November 20th, comic book artist Ramon Villalobos. 2nd Saturdays for Families with art activities for children ages 5-12 specially-designed to complement the temporary exhibitions on display

“The Haggin Museum is a hidden gem,” says publicity coordinator Meredith Lange. “People are amazed at the major works of art. Other museums know what we have and are very interested in our collections.” Exactly why The Andy Warhol Museum (located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) contacted The Haggin and borrowed two Leyendecker pieces for the first Heroes & Villains show which took place at the museum in 2011.

An art and history museum, The Haggin is world-renown and does Stockton proud. Othermajor works include 19th- and early 20th-century American and European artists Jean Béraud, Rosa Bonheur, William Bouguereau, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Paul Gauguin, George Inness and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Landscapes of Yosemite Valley by American painter Albert Bierstadt are awe-inspiring. The Haggin has the largest museum collection of major Bierstadt works.

Holy artwork Batman, lots of super(latives) for Stockton!

The Haggin Museum
1201 N. Pershing Ave.
Stockton, CA 95203-1699
12:00-5:00 p.m. - Saturdays-Sundays
1:30-5:00 p.m. - Wednesdays-Fridays
1:30-9:00 p.m. - 1st & 3rd Thursdays

Plumas County the Lost Sierra – Life at a different pace and a recreation paradise

2   Two Lane DreamingThe awesome allure of Plumas County California is approximately 300 miles round-trip including some of the most beautiful two-lane roads you’ll ever drive -- loved by motorcycles, cyclists, and all others.  Don’t count on GPS or cell phones – timber-lined mountains, valleys, lakes and streams stand in your signal’s way and entice you to slow to a new pace. A map or maps will come in handy. Challenge yourself to explore off main roads to Taylorsville, Greenville, and Genosee.

1 The Lost Sierra Plumas County Locator MapThere’s a reason why the Lost Sierra aka Plumas County is still lost on some people’s radar. Sprawling over the northernmost regions of the Sierra Nevada it seems almost as remote as it did when gold miners christened it. If I say Graeagle or Lake Almanor, some will nod their heads but most locals will shrug and ask, “Where?”

There’s more than one way to get to this recreation wonderland. My preferred approach is Highway 99 north past Chico to Hwy. 32/36 east and up through beautiful Deer Creek Canyon to Chester/Lake Almanor. On the return, loop-back through the Feather River Canyon. Stunning! Less stress which is what Plumas County is all about. It takes slow down you move to fast to a whole new level. But slow doesn’t mean bored.  It’s life the way it used to be – incredibly friendly – maybe, just a bit Mayberry R.F.D.

There are a variety of lodging options before the snow flies, but many vacation rentals and other mountain properties close for the season. You’ll be on first name basis with your year-round lodging hosts John and Debbie at Quail Lodge Lake Almanor, Carrie and Bob at Chalet View near Portola, and  Mike Nellor at Ada’s Snowmobile Explore Sierra TouringPlace in Quincy – just to name a few. Open seasonally, Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch -- a dude ranch in the truest sense -- is already taking reservations for next spring. Give the gift of Plumas County this holiday season.

With only nine people per square mile, this rural, four-season mountain retreat offers beauty, solitude, blue skies and fresh air, making it the ideal spot for a peaceful vacation. More than 100 lakes and 1,000 miles of rivers – just for starters. You’ll run out of time before you run out of fun – but you’ll be back.

7Family recreational opportunities abound in Plumas County or within driving distance and include several tournament golf courses. Numerous lakes and mountain streams create a playground for those who love the water. Framed by mountain ranges and public lands, the area is also a Mecca for hiking, mountain- and road-biking, wildlife viewing, ATVing and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobling and the county favorite of longboard skiing where "Dope" is King!" The list goes on and on.  Of course, small town charms include local museums, performing arts, restaurants, festivals and life in the slow lane.

Once you visit Plumas County, you’ll be come back again and again. Trust me.

Find us at and  Plumas Recreation.

PS  - Favorite dining options: Moon's and Quincy Natural Foods,
Plumas Pines overlooking Lake Almanor and Carol's Prattville Cafe

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Elk Grove Subaru
 Subaru spoken here!


Quail Lodge Lake Almanor year-round relaxation, recreation, repeat

Quail Lodge Lake Almanor Canyon Damn Credit Are You That WomanThis is not a romance review, but I'm in love with Quail Lodge Lake Almanor! In love with John & Debbie the new owners. And in love with Max -- official Max Official Greeter Quail Lodge Lake Almanor Credit Are You That Womangreeter and lodge dog! In love with the quiet, star-studded dark sky and the chill in the air. The no frill exterior hides a cozy and warm interior. Love the outdoorsy themed bedspreads and pine log beds. The tiny gas stoves are fabulous on a cold night. All the little touches that really translate into "attention to detail" were all there. All rooms have mini-fridge, microwave, coffeepot, flat-screen TVs, free WiFi,and  bathroom heaters. Nice towels which I have often pointed out is a big plus.

Great for families, couples, friends, romantic getaway -- whatever! Picnic tables, barbecue, easy access to Lake Almanor and all of the open space and outdoor recreation in Plumas County.

Quail Lodge Lake Almanor Queen Twin Credit Are You That WomanRooms are spotless! Double-queens, single queen, and queen with twin. Connecting rooms are an added benefit for larger groups and families. If you need a fishing guide...just ask. Love the lodge lobby with fireplace, over-stuffed sofas, larger flat-screen TV. John and Debbie are to please, serve and send you away smiling. BTW - yes to the dog-friendly question!

Known as the Lost Sierra, Plumas County is in the northern most reaches of the Sierra Nevada north of Lake Tahoe and approximately 170 miles northeast of Sacramento. If you want to discover California, loose yourself in Plumas County.


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Agricultural bounty San Joaquin County and Stockton earn high marks

Asian Farmers MarketTo-may-to or to-mah-to, San Joaquin County earns high scores when it comes to California commodities and promoting healthy eating through local farm stands and farmers markets. We’re #1 according to the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) in berries, blueberries, apples, asparagus (no surprises there), watermelon, English walnuts, and cherries. And in the Top 5 – San Joaquin is holding strong with fresh tomatoes, potatoes, olives and sweet corn.  Okay, enough with the mind-numbing stats, but just in case it comes up in’ll be prepared.

Year-round and seasonally, a variety of local farmers markets serve Stockton and the region. Stockton’s Asian Farmer’s Market (circa 1979) is considered one of the best according to Saveur magazine. They included it in their 2007 list of Top 100 Places – pretty high praise if you don’t already know! Years later, the market continues to draw thousands of consumers every Saturday beginning at Stockton Asian farmers market5:30am – these shoppers are serious. It’s not the latest marketing frenzy of Farm-to-Fork (F2F) that lures them. It’s the history of Stockton’s Asian community which began arriving during the Gold Rush and continued to grow bringing a wealth of culture and goods to the Stockton and, eventually, the markets and heart of San Joaquin County.

Downtown Farmers Market - Stockton Certified Farmers Market Association. Open year-round every Saturday - 5:30 am until 11:00am (or sold out). Under the cross-town freeway between El Dorado and San Joaquin streets across from St. Mary's Church. 

Stockton lOgoPS – It’s freeway close; no pun intended!

More great stories in Stockton


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Land Rover driving experience Carmel Valley thrill ride @ Quail Lodge

Land Rover, Land Rover send off-road driving right over! Yes, this vehicle is sitting on two wheels above this ditch. Yes, I drove into this precarious situation on purpose. That's the point. Extreme off-road experience ala Land Rover. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

Land RoverWooHoo! As good as it gets simply isn't enough Yelper adventure fans! Let's push this to a new standard -- Six-Star E-Ticket Thrill RIde Freakin' Good Time! Think that just about sums it up.

We laughed. We screamed. We cheered each other on as we got sideways, vertical, looking down the front end into nothing, and rolling around in the back seat holding on for dear life. Tense? You bet! Our driving instructor, Mark Curtsinger, had it all under control. And the Land Rover came back none the worse for wear except a little road warrior dirt. Looking for perfect team building event? Wedding, birthday, whatever party?! This would be the ultimate gift. 

Exhilarating to the maximum degree! When they say they accomplish the impossible -- they aren't kidding. The Land Rover practically drives itself over gullies and steep terrain. Off-roading, one-of-a-kind experience close to home at Land Rover Experience Driving School at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley.

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Howonquet Lodge provides all the best in one of California's most beautiful settings #WildRiversCoast.

Howonquet Jr Suite Courtesy of Howonquet LodgeRecently celebrating its first birthday, the 71-room Howonquet Lodge is comfortable, quiet and close to all of the stunning views and outdoor recreation of California and America's Wild Rivers Coast.

While it may not be top of your list, the bath towels are fantastic! This, for me, is a very good sign. Really comfy beds and bedding. Ocean or mountain views, 100% smoke free rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi - though it's spotty (probably my only complaint), flatscreen TVs with cable channels, secure in-room safe, alarm clock with MP3/iPod dock, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, fridge -- okay, no microwave...but so much more.

There's a smal Ocean view near Howonquet Lodge Credit Barbara L Steinberg 2014l exercise room, heated indoor pool and Jacuzzi! Okay, good stuff. Coffee and sodas offered for free just off the lobby. Staff is incredibly friendly and professional. Double-queen and king rooms and a couple of suites. Enjoy that fabulous North Coast air! It's a short walk to the mouth of the 

Smith River and the Pacific Ocean. Seriously! LOVE IT! Hiking, biking, fishing, boating, hunting, kayaking or just sit and breathe in the views.

Oceanview rooms are a plus! Pet friendly, too. Inquire about rates for both.

The drive up California's north coast is breathtaking. And on this journey, get two great coastlines for the price of one. Just minutes from Howonquet Lodge, you cross the Oregon border into Brookings. It's all uphill from there.

And how could I neglect to mention in the heart of redwood country -- Redwoods National and State Parks in all directions. Get out and explore.


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