Benjamin Schwartz a Sacramento Maker

My Sacramento Benjamin Schwartz Credit Alexander TardifStudying film at the prestigious Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Ben Schwartz returned to Sacramento roots to complete his degree. He started making films and then settled on a 9 to 5 State job. A regular paycheck with benefits seemed like a safer route, but not his destiny.  A chance meeting with British shoemaker was pivotal. Nine years later, his shoes are made for walking.

"I found this book on making shoes, but didn’t act on it for about a year. There were no apprenticeships; it was just a hobby.  A friend suggested having the designs factory made, but we decided to make them ourselves.  In 2014, there Benjamin Shoe Co Credit are You That Woman Barbara L Steinbergwas one prototype when we went online. The idea of work changes when you work for yourself; more hours than you’d ever work otherwise. I sold everything I owned and, with two friends, we “bootstrapped” the business. It’s surprising, in a good way, how much local support we received. We’ve become such a throwaway society, I want to be a model for other small brands being mindful and making things that last."

Benjamins Shoes
1104 R Street, Suite 130
Sacramento, CA 95811
Tues.-Sat. 11am to 7pm
Sunday 11am to 6pm


The Dish on Placer County Small Towns

Small Towns are Too Much Fun, Too Little Time by Are You That Woman

I am so blessed to live in northern California. My dilemma always, “Where to go, what to eat?”  Less than 50 from California’s state capital, Sacramento, in any direction, farm and wine trails offer tours, festivals, music, flowers, art, and baskets brimming with edible delights. Day trips or overnight, bucolic communities wait with open arms.

Historic Higway 40 Loomis 2016 Credit Are You That WomanThis time, I choose to head out of Sacramento via I-80 east to the pastoral foothills of Placer County's famed Gold Country.  At Rocklin, I turn onto Taylor Road/Pacific Street—also known as historic Highway 40—to travel back road routes towards my chosen destinations.  I have a long-time love affair with this great American road, and slowing down is the best part of this journey.

The way is mostly quiet through the small rural towns of Loomis, Newcastle, and Auburn, whose combined populations top out at 25,000.  Up at daybreak, I’m giddy with anticipation as I head for the Old Town Auburn farmers’ market, anxious to peruse fresh produce, jams, baked goods, and crafts. Every Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon, Placer Grown and regional vendors Nixtaco Taqueria Pork Belly Tacos with pickled onion Credit Barbara L Steinbergvie for space at this premier market. My recycled bags fill quickly: Snow’s Citrus Court Mandarin Fruit Spread, The Baker & the Cakemaker Meyer lemon rosemary bread, fresh roasted chilies, crisp watermelon radishes, and made-by-hand Jollity Farm Chèvre. Seasonally, local Satsuma Mandarins are in big demand and sell out fast.  Away from the market, the Mandarin Trail provides endless possibilities for this healthful citrus, touted as a cure for the common cold.  I can’t resist Nixtaco Taqueria pork belly street tacos with pickled onions. The feasting has officially begun! 

Old Town Auburn’s historic sidewalks and brick and stone buildings speak to another place and time. IMAG0605However, a selection of retail shops and restaurants are strictly 21st Century. Fine art, antiques, wine, and museums provide a full-day’s exploration.  Across town, less than a mile away, I am drawn to Mickey’s Boots. Specializing in custom-fitting for more than 35 years, Mickey’s tops the list for Western boots. I was drooling over the Lucchese Classic – handmade in Texas since 1883 – it’s the Rolls Royce of boots. General Gomez Arts & Event Center, Winston Smith Books, Auburn Alehouse, Victory Velo Bike Shop – it’s all about locals!

Carpe Vino Auburn Dining Room table tops are made from a recycled bowling alley lane  Photo Credit Keith SutterLocated in the historic Union Saloon (circa 1855), Carpe Vino – award-winning wine bar, wine shop, and fine dining restaurant – is a northern California Top 100 according to Open Table, and favored by Wine Spectator.  Guests select from more than 400 labels, 30+ wines by the glass, or a house flight. Chefs Courtney and Eric, wife and husband, trained in classical French cooking at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and describe their menu as, “refined New American using French techniques influenced by flavors from around the world.” Acquiring produce and meats from local farms, menus change every month. “This is the food basket of America. We embraced that the day we opened,” stated Eric. They walk the talk every Saturday at the farmer’s market.

Having lingered at the market, I’m behind schedule. When visiting Placer County, you soon discover why schedules are made to be broken. In this case, I am immediately derailed by the historic Newcastle Produce fruit shed. The assortment of locally sourced goods is dizzying:  breads, cheeses, olive oils, produce, chocolates, and wine – truly your farm-to-fork one-stop shop.
Newcastle Produce Credit VisitPlacer.com4
Agriculture was Placer County’s second Gold Rush.  In the early 1900s, Newcastle was the fruit shipping capital of the world, transporting more than 69 million tons of fruits and nuts. The diverse landscape – foothills and majestic Sierra Nevada – supports a wide-range of crops from stone fruits, flowers, grapes, persimmons, berries, and kiwi to celebrated Satsuma Mandarins.  Locavores rejoice at Newcastle Produce! Deli staff prepares fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and more from local ingredients. This menu attracts hungry cyclists who pedal here daily. Before departing, I grab a latte and poppy seed scone.

Halfway between Newcastle and Lincoln, I navigate winding roads to sun-drenched Wise Villa Winery with 26-rolling acres of vineyards; the patio and tasting room are humming.  “I just wanted to make good wine!” Housemade flatbread and pulled mozzerella with tomatoes and balsalmic Dr Grover Wise Owner Wise Villa Winery Photo Credit Barbara L Steinbergasserts Dr. Grover Lee, owner and winemaker. Clearly, he has succeeded. Just six years since the first release, the winery was awarded California State Fair’s Winery of the Year, 2015. 

Estate grown and bottled, the winery consistently produces award-winning vintages, in particular, red wine. Partaking of a tour and full flight, I settle on the Touriga Nacional 2013, which has gold-medaled more than once. The complex flavors of berries, chocolate, vanilla and spice were luscious. The Bistro, under the guidance of Cher Tyler Huntley, is creating food and wine pairing magic. I enjoyed handcrafted flatbread with local tomatoes, house-pulled mozzarella topped with balsamic reduction, and house-cured olives with lemon, garlic and herbs. Other culinary delights, including house-made desserts, provide plenty of incentive to return.

Embracing the farm-to-glass experience Catherine and Michael Johnson converted their big red barn into the GoatHouse brewery and tasting room Credit GoatHouse BrewingIndulge your senses along Placer’s Wine & Ale Trail.  Small-production, family-owned wineries and craft breweries offer intimate tasting experiences. The granite soil and Mediterranean-like climate has provided the ideal environment for Placer’s liquid gold.  The burgeoning craft brewery trade shouldn’t be overlooked – family-friendly GoatHouse Brewing grows its own hops, 20 varieties.  A new generation is rushing to these award-winning wine and beer riches.

Crisscrossing back roads, I arrive at Loomis and The Flower Farm.  An inn, café, nursery, citrus and vegetable farm, produce stand, gift shop, winery, and events facility, it qualifies as a one-of-a-kind lodging destination.  Taking a breather, I stroll around the property.  The rooster makes himself known as I giggle over Gypsy Chicks, the resident flock of Silkies. Yes, farm living is the life for me!

The Flower Farm cottages provides porch provdes shaded comfort on a summer day  Credit Andrea's ImagesThe turn-of-the-century farmhouse offers relaxing spaces and three cheerful rooms upstairs. Shaded by century-old trees and flowering shrubs, serenity reigns. Just steps away, four cozy cottages are surrounded by expansive lawns and adjacent to citrus orchards, Bocce courts and blessed relaxation.  Sun porch or front porch, there are endless places to soak-up farm life. I collapse in my Climbing Rose Cottage, enjoying a quiet time in the spa tub before embarking on my dining adventure.

Loomis Basin Brewing, less than five miles from The Flower Farm, sits nearly unseen in an industrial park off Highway 40. In the dark, even I resort to GPS! With no food truck and the back patio empty, it’s a quiet scene tonight.  Inside, the tap room feels like old home week, and regulars invite me to their table. Looking for something light, the bartender recommends the Swetzer Pale Ale with notes of pear and citrus.  On tap, bottled or growlers, brewery selections range from IPAs and wheat beer to stouts and porters. It’s all local! 


With the day winding down, I’m happy dinner is less than a mile away.  Someone has suggested the Green Elephant, specializing in Burmese food. The lone server and owner, Rachel Lunt, greets me enthusiastically.  The dining room is empty, which gives us time to chat while I peruse the menu. I was told the Green Tea Salad is a must. “The younger tea leaves preserved with ginger, garlic and spices are imported from Burma,” Rachel says, “The salad is only available depending on the supply.” It includes cabbage, peanut oil, lime, tomato, peppers and an assortment of twice-roasted nuts. “Twice roasting Tea leaf salad Credit Tesssa Bmakes them crunchier,” explains Rachel. 

It's been a full day of indulging, the sizable salad qualifies as dinner.  Fresh and flavorful, there was a party happening inside my m outh! There’s a wide variety of items on the menu including Thai, Chinese and Japanese, and nearly every item can be made vegetarian. By the time I depart, the restaurant is full and clearly many are regulars.

After a good night’s sleep, I am up with the roosters. A country breakfast is included with the room, and I’m ready to eat, again!  San Francisco tablemates, Harry and Kate, are on a hiking adventure.  We’re dining in the café, which is open to the public for breakfast and lunch.  Eggs, applewood smoked bacon, homemade jam, local organic toast, and country potatoes; I’m a happy camper.  The menu includes vegetarian and gluten-free options and is crafted around what is grown in the one-acre vegetable garden.  “We love this place,” says Kate, “We’ll be back.” I agree, but so much more awaits. 

Baby Alpaca curious and smiling for the camera Credit Alpacas All AroundA short drive away, I pass over small bridge and head down a private road.  Pulling up to Alpacas All Around, five or six baby alpacas are racing around the pasture while moms quietly graze.  I immediately start to ooh and aah, completely enthralled by their antics. Tours are available on select weekends or by appointment.  Owner, Susan Peterson, is a gracious and informative host, and the alpacas provide endless entertainment. While they don’t like to be touched, some are curious and sniff me out.  Wonderful alpaca products are sold in a tiny farm shop. My feet love their new toasty alpaca wool socks.

There’s a lot of good living packed into Loomis’ 7.2 square miles and agricultural production, including Blue Goose Produce and High Hand Nursery & Café on Taylor Road. Part of the region’s fruit shed heritage, owners have taken locavore to the next frontier. Not just produce, but meat, cheeses, wines, art, clothing, and plants.

The historic Blue Goose Fruit Shed was preserved by the South Loomis Heritage Foundation and, today, houses Blue Goose Produce, Sarah Whitcomb Antiques, and The Loomis News.  Blue Goose Produce is open year-round and specializes in Placer Grown fruits, vegetables, and nuts, including their own Westview Growers’ Satsuma Mandarins. Recently opened, Popie Wines’ tasting room is open weekends, noon to 5:00 p.m.  

High Hand Nursery & Cafe 2015 Credit Barbara L Steinberg15A sensory experience, the centerpiece of High Hand Nursery & Café is an arboretum-like garden and nursery; High Hand-grown plants fill the greenhouse.  Allow plenty of time to eat, shop, relax, and to be amazed. Lunch or brunch, the café and deli are surrounded by light and greenery. Culinary delights crafted from the local best have me drooling. Shaded by trees, a glass of wine, a Rotisserie Chicken wood-fired pizza, and slice of Whiskey Pear Almond Tart – seriously, it doesn’t get much better!

High Hand Art Gallery, the oldest section of the fruit shed (circa 1901), houses leading artists of the region:  art glass, textiles, sculpture, jewelry, and paintings. A fantastic collection of shops include everything from flowers and garden art to olive oil and antique and vintage goods. The Tin Thimble, a creative sewing and fiber arts shop, tops my list. Hand-dyed felted wool, handcrafted children’s clothing, and vintage notions – it’s truly inspired. For the creatively challenged, classes are offered!

Carriage Loft and garden Courtesy of Carriage LoftFor this very local excursion, farm stays, bed and breakfasts, VRBOs, and Airbnb are a harmonious alternative to hotels and motels. On VRBO, the “Carriage Loft” included farm-fresh organic eggs, veggies self-picked from the garden, swimming pool, hot tub, foothill views, and luxurious décor. If comfort and close to the action is your preferred lodging, rest your head at the award-winning Auburn Holiday Inn. Elegantly remodeled, the new decor it's all that (snap) and more!  Amenities galore you can wine, dine, swim, workout and relax in the heart of Placer's gold country.

“People are nice here – a small town is like a big family,” observed one resident.  In Placer County, small towns deliver big on a promise of too much fun and too little time.  I can say without hesitation, “It’s true!”

   Placer County Logo hi res 2016
Originally published Food & Travel Magazine
April 2016

Food & Travel Logo


Yuba and Sutter counties define food, festivals, fun

Yuba Sutter Pumpkin FarmPlan your taste of Yuba-Sutter during autumn when harvests and seasonal festivals are abundant. 
Highways and country roads link Yuba and Sutter counties to history-rich communities. A short drive from Sacramento, Gold Rush-era towns and multi-generational farmlands overlap in a most delicious way.  From the Central Valley -- California’s agricultural heartland – to Sierra Nevada foothills, Yuba and Sutter’s proverbial plate overflows with both farm-to-fork and cultural and outdoor recreation delights!

Stop by Visit Yuba-Sutter’s visitor center for regional maps and brochures including the North Yuba Grown farm trail map, a guiding light to farm stands, wineries, and locavore shops north of Marysville. Soil, Cordi Winery Live Oak 2015 Credit Barbara L Steinberg4topography and climate inspire hand-crafted wines from Renaissance, Lucero and Clos Saron – Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – and olive oils from Apollo and Athena’s Grove do the region proud. A feast for your senses, explore local art and seasonal fare at Yuba Harvest.  The crème de la crèmeof tasty must-dos, the North Yuba Harvest Festival features more than 50 vendors.

Along Highway 99 in Sutter County, the striped awning above Stephen’s Farmhouse beckons. Farm-fresh pies and cookies, jellies and jams, pickled veggies of all kinds, and seasonal produce and walnuts will tempt the most discerning palate. Your favorite pooch will love the homemade Snicker Poodles.

Find the “Great Pumpkin” of your dreams at Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland. Old-fashioned hayrides and u-pick pumpkins, a historic carousel and fresh-baked cookies are just the beginning. Nearby, Salle Orchards offers more tastes of Yuba-Sutter year-round. Autumn means persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins and 27 varieties of apples. 

Sutter Buttes HikeDrive, hike or bike the Sutter Buttes, the world’s smallest mountain range. Ancient volcanic soils and cool breezes breathe life into Cordi Winery’s grapes and award-winning wines.  Bring a picnic and enjoy the view. Continue on scenic back roads to Sutter and the Sutter Buttes Natural & Artisan Foods. Bring an appetite for olive oils, infused vinegars, gourmet mustards, and dipping sauces. Among many award-winning products, their Blood-Orange Brownie Kit brought home Sofi gold at the 2015 New York Fancy Food Show. You can bring it home, too! In late November, look for Moody’s Middle Mountain Mandarins self-serve farm stand.

Lose yourself at the Sikh Festival, possibly the largest cultural event in California. The first Sunday in November, it’s a cacophony of color and aromas. Each November, harvested rice fields attract migrating Swan Festival  Credit David Rosenwildlife. Along with thousands of tundra swans, nature enthusiasts arrive to celebrate at the annual California Swan Festival. Guided tours include Gray Lodge Wildlife Refuge and Sutter Buttes.  An unparalleled experience, the Buttes’ privately owned lands are accessible only through Middle Mountain Interpretive Hikes. 

Birding and hiking is a hungry business. Yelp reviewers love AJ’s Sandwiches, an easy stroll from Swan Festival H.Q.  Chow down on Farmers Hand BlackBerries Yuba Suttergourmet burgers and specialty sandwiches with a side of pesto frips!  Where, oh where to taste more? In Yuba City and Marysville, The Cookie Tree and The Candy Box are sweets central.  GPS yourself to New Earth Market, Oregon House Grocery & Deli, and The Crave. Among scrumptious treats you’ll find J▪Heier Farms blackberry jams, Sunsweet prunes, North Yuba Bread, and POM pomegranate to satiate locavore retail therapy. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Dancing Tomato Caffé’s daily mantra is farm-to-table.

With so many tasty options, make Yuba-Sutter a play and stay getaway. Many tasting rooms, country stores, and farms are Yuba Sutter Logo seasonal or open weekends only. Always call ahead for days and hours of operation.

 

   

 

 





 
 



 


Back road adventures @ Taste of Visit Yuba-Sutter California

Oregon House Grocery Deli Taste of Visit Yuba Sutter Calfiornia 2015 Credit Are You That Woamn3Yes, I'm hanging 5 stars on this out-of-the-way grocery, deli, gas station aka  Oregon House Grocery & Deli.  Employees and owner have hit this one right on the mark. We were ravenous by the time we arrived and the very local OHGD went above and beyond to satisfy our taste buds and tummies.


We ordered deli sandwiches. Were they gourmet? Define gourmet. They were fresh. Made to order. First thing for any sandwich is the bread. Just you're basic sliced rye -- but it was exceedingly fresh and we all noticed. Two of us had the veggie -- adding cheese -- all the veggies were cold, crisp and (one more time) FRESH! All the extras pickles, onions. We snatched it down. Our third lunch guest had sliced turkey (yes, pressed) but was Veggie Sandwich Oregon House Grocery Deli Taste of Visit Yuba Sutter Calfiornia 2015 Credit Are You That Woamn4perfectly content with the results -- not a scrap left. 


While we waited for our lunch we explored and were amazed at what we discovered. Overlooking all the usual sodas and snack food, we found an amazing number of local/regional goods from wine, chocolate, fruits and veggies,  We jumped on and bought loaves of local North Yuba Bakery bread -- that was a real treasure and another review coming up soon.  Great chocolates and other taste-tempting treats. Local farms of North Yuba Grown should be part of this locavore adventure. 

North Yuba logoOne last thing: Staff was friendly. Sandwiches delivered timely. Now we were there well-after the lunch rush, but still need to acknowledge good service. When we inquired about other local products they were quick to respond and happily so. Good selection of local wines, beer, coffee, jerky, produce. Much of the store is given over to what you would expect in a rural destination such as this -- but they have clearly made an effort to support locavore, farm-to-fork mantras. I can only hope it continues.

The back roads leading to Oregon House Grocery & Deli are a cyclist's dream. Along the way, make haste and get to this oasis of Visit Yuba-Sutter.  FYI - Deli closes at 3pm. Grocery store is open until 8:30pm but I always recommend calling ahead. Despite being a bit on the remote side of life, prices were exceedingly reasonable -- three of us agreed. That said, one should expect slightly higher costs for places off the beaten trail. 

I am saying loud and proud to be Omni-local @ Oregon House, California! There is much to see and do in this unexplored corner of the Golden State. I'll get it done! You should, too!

 

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Omni-local adventures begin anew @ Visit Yuba-Sutter

California Swan Festival, November 2014, the journey started!

Yuba Sutter Logo
Actually, the seed was planted years ago celebrating back roads, wildlife, agritourism and culture in quaint towns along highways 99 and 70 in Yuba and Sutter counties. Decisions to hike the smallest mountains and lose myself in the throngs of (possibly) the largest cultural event in California -- it didn't take much convincing.  

Last year's California Swan Festival, opened a new chapter for my California Omni-local passion -- this time inYuba-Sutter. Not my first destination forary to eat, sleep, drink, breathe, drive and become Omni Yuba-Sutter and most certainly not my last. Defined: Omni - all or everywhere; the whole; of every kind. Yes, Omni-local! I have been scouring my Thomas Bros California Road Atlas to begin finding all the roads I must discover. Shocking, I have no GPS!  I challenge myself to get lost and find my way back. The best omni-local adventures happen this way. I plan, quite simply, to lose myself in Yuba-Sutter and to bring you along as I do.

Just a scooch over 24 hours and my senses were revving. The images tell the whole story. Over time, I will tell you much more. If you have Yuba-Sutter secrets you'd like to share, please do! They're safe with me -- insert a smile and a wink here!

 

 

Visit Yuba-Sutter 24-hour Adventure from Are You That Woman on Vimeo.


Stockton Chinese New Year Parade came in like a Lion

Stockton Chinese New Year's Festival 2015 Credit Barbara L Steinberg 0109Under blue skies and sunshine, the 37th Annual Stockton Chinese New Year Parade was pure celebration! Year of the Ram was greeted by young and old -- including 95-year-old Blanche Chin Ah Tye Grand Marshall and CCSS Citizen of the Year.  Honor guard, dignitaries, vintage cars, and Lion Dancers paraded past Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium.

The traditional Lion Dancers were the most exciting and colorful part of the day-long event. A tradition in China since 619 A.D. and the Tong Dynasty, Kung Fu is the foundation of this beautiful art form. Lion Dancers develop their stances and conditioning based on this martial art.

Following the parade, the festival included a vendors, food, and more Lion Dancing. Join us in Celebrating Stockton.


Happy New Year Stockton: Again!

Year of the Ram Goat 2015Stockton is culturally diverse. Beautifully and deliciously so! The impending Chinese and Vietnamese New Years are a perfect indicator of this fact.  A lunar celebration – parade and feasts will take place within two months of the Western Gregorian/solar calendar.  More reasons for merriment and festivities I always say. Can’t get enough of a good thing.

In the Vietnamese tradition, 2015 is the Year of the Goat – one of the 12 Eastern zodiac animals.  The Vietnamese zodiac also incorporates five elements: Metal, Wood, Wind, Water, Fire and Earth. The coming celebration is actually Ất Mùiwhich means Wood Goat

People born under the sign of “goat” are said to be hard-working and determined. I’m not sure if the owners of Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant are born under this sign, but they are incredibly hard-working and determined. There’s a wonderful “My Stockton” story that supports that thought, but for now the focus is the upcoming Tet – Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant has a long history on Pacific Avenue. The current owners took over in 2001.  Annually, Saigon Vietnamese celebrates with a prix fixe dinner and lots of traditional fanfare. Firecrackers, martial arts demonstrations, dragon dancers, friends and family pack the restaurant, and Belly Buddha another good luck sign, he’s always laughing. 

Chúc Mừng Nǎm Mới The restaurant's celebration is February 21st – reservations should be made ASAP for the $36 per-person party – it’s nearly sold out! Appetizers, salad, special New Year’s eggroll, Nem a traditional Vietnamese sausage just for the celebration, and dessert – of course!

恭禧發財Following close on its heels, Stockton’s 37th Annual Chinese New Year CelebrationChinese New Year Courtesy of Stockton Chinese New Year Festival March 1, 2015; 11am to 5:30pm marks the Year of the Ram.  A great community and cultural event it attracts more than 3,000 attendees.  City-sponsored, this one-day parade and festival is family-friendly and it’s all FREE!  The parade begins at 10:00am rain or shine! You don’t want to miss the Lion Dance Troupes!

The festival at Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium features continuous stage entertainment from 11:30am to 3:30pm and includes the Stockton Chinese Ladies Dance Troupe, Bayland Dancing, Capitol Chinese Orchestra and the Stockton Bukkyo Taiko Group. This year’s festival features a KidZone with carnival games and Paul Buethe “The Yo-yo Man” – he’s very cool and Uber across the pond, so I'm told! Not to be forgotten, lots of food – chow mein, sweet & sour pork, Dim Sum, sesame balls and the usual festival food – come famished. 

Proceeds from the festival benefit cultural programs and scholarships for local youth through the Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton.  


Travel adventures for New Year 2015 begin with Stockton

On air Channel 10 Sac & Co for Visit Stockton 2014Wow, 2014 flew by.  On several flights of fancy, I found myself exploring, enjoying, and smiling my way through Stockton and San Joaquin County. New experiences and friends (truly) made it a year to remember. And feeling very gratified for a myriad of opportunities to write about and share online, on television, and face-to-face OMG! Stockton moments.

I love all things California! You may be wondering how I chose to Visit Stockton? Like so many destinations, Stockton chose me! Well, almost. Two years ago, January 20, 2013, on a random outing at Cosumnes River Preserve, I fell in love with a little girl wearing gold-sparkly Tom’s. She and her parents were exploring this nearby Stockton neighbor.  Stella, the future star, caught my eye and I asked if I could take her picture.  They said, “Yes!” I did.

Stella at Cosumnes Credit Barbara L Steinberg Are You That WomanThe parents and founders of The Tuleburg Group, Jason and Becky, invited me to discover their insider perspective of Stockton. I did again! The rest, as they say, is history. It’s not that I had never visited Stockton before, but they opened my eyes to all that I did not know.  I have been thanking them ever since. For a non-Stocktonian, I am their biggest fan and likely know more about the city than most natives or locals! When I embrace something it’s always 120%.

Overtime, Visit Stockton and I engaged in a win-win arrangement.  Actually, I genuinely believe I’m the big winner here. Ask all of my new Stockton friends who know me as a sometimes local.

There are so many stories that haven’t made their way to the websites, blogs and Facebook yet, but I vocally spread good news about Stockton to anyone who says “It ain’t so!” Looking forward to a year filled with exploration -- California and beyond.

Back to the concept of a random outing – nothing is random.  Stella and I were on a collision course that day two years ago. When in my Facebook posting I said, “I see great things ahead for Stella,” the reality is that great things were destined for me as well.

Stockton Restaurant week Courtesy of Visit StocktonFind me on Facebook. Find me in Stockton. Just find me and bring me your stories. Say hello! This weekend I’ll be around for Stockton Restaurant Week. Too much fun and not nearly enough time.

Chow babies!

Facebook quote that got this whole Stockton obsession rolling:  “Okay...drum roll. The next candidate for Are You That Woman? Presenting.... Stella. Out with parents, Becky & Jason, Stella was a perfect Cosumnes River ambassador. Proudly showing off her sparkling Toms shoes, offering to share her Swedish Gummy Fish, and completely fascinated by every little thing. I see great things ahead for Stella. 1/20/2013”

 

Are You That Woman magnet - sticker


Stockton urban farm creating community and support

Wide range of vegetables and fruits are grown.
Wide range of vegetables and fruits are grown.
Photos:  Are You That Woman@California Travel Insider