Issue: 117
December 2019
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In this issue:

7 Ways Citrus Fruits Make the Holidays Brighter and Flavorful
How Milliennials are Changing Holiday Dining
Laura Fowler and Conde Nast-Traveler Identify the Top 19 Holiday Destinations in 2019 

Limoneira and Take a Healthy Stand In The Retail Dietitian Business Alliance Podcast

Grocery shoppers have more on their plates than ever. They're time-pressed and focused on convenience and health for their families. They're also looking for simple solutions and sustainability and they don't want to give up great taste. 
During this new RDBA podcast, registered dietitian nutritionist Megan Roosevelt, founder and CEO of Healthy Grocery Girl®, and John Chamberlain, Vice President of Marketing at Limoneira, introduce you to "Take a Healthy Stand." Limoneira's Take A Healthy Stand ™ Educational campaign utilizes research supported by the National Institute of Health to help consumers with easy and delicious ways to optimize health.

This program is designed to assist retailers in meeting all the shopper needs mentioned above. One of the many components of Take a Healthy Stand ™is The Produce Department is Nature's Pharmacy ™ is Limoneira's new App which cross tabulates 57 health concerns and desired outcomes with 74 fruits and vegetables. This fast-paced podcast also addresses produce as nature's pharmacy.

Progressive Grocer Shares How Consumers Shop for Holiday Groceries

While conversations about the "grocery wars" today often center around price, a recent study showed that consumers prefer to shop at food retailers that offer the best quality over those with the lowest price tags.
In fact, quality was the highest-ranking factor (31 percent) that consumers consider when choosing a food retailer, according to the State of Grocery Retail Report from Phononic as reported by Progressive Grocer, one of the U.S.' leading trade publications. 
The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. consumers, uncovered insights into shoppers' routine patterns, as well as specific trends during the busy holiday season. Additionally, the study looked to evaluate how preferences are evolving as younger Millennial and Gen Z consumers increasingly become a dominant buying cohort.
"With the rise of e-commerce, consumers have come to demand convenience and a seamless experience no matter where they shop, and brick-and-mortar retailers are increasingly embracing advanced in-store technology to compete in the digital age," said Nicole Scott, senior product manager for food and beverage at Phononic. 
"This survey also clearly shows that solid-state freezers and refrigerators at checkout can help innovative grocery retailers meet the high consumer demand for quality and convenience - ultimately improving brand loyalty."
The report, released earlier this year, found that 89 percent of consumers want to shop in a grocery store that understands how to make buying groceries an easier or more efficient experience.
Convenience is even more critical during the often stressful and busy holiday months, with 55 percent of consumers feeling that grocery retailers could make their lives easier this holiday season by grouping holiday items in one area of the store. The youngest demographic polled (age 18 to 24) were especially drawn to convenience, with a quarter of respondents in this age group wanting to see popular items at checkout (26 percent) and pre-made holiday meal offerings (24 percent).
The good news for retailers is that consumers - across age groups - are most often loyal to one grocery store for the majority of their shopping, with just under a third (29 percent) identifying themselves as loyal shoppers.
However, this trend shifts when looking at Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Thirty-four percent of 18- to 24-year-old respondents identify themselves as bargain hunters, demonstrating that food retailers must foster loyalty
 among this demographic. The study also found that the holiday season can impact loyalty, with 34 percent of consumers noting that during the holidays they make several trips to a variety of different stores for food shopping.
The report also revealed several additional key findings related to the holiday shopping season:
Grocery stores should rethink the checkout line, as one in four consumers (25 percent) would like to see more fresh produce offered at checkout this holiday season, even beating out alcohol, which came in third at 17 percent.
The regional grocery store is still a staple for consumers during the holidays, with 43 percent of respondents noting they do most of their holiday food shopping at these stores.
When it comes to holiday meal essentials, consumers want convenience, with one in six respondents noting they want pre-made holiday meal offerings to make their lives easier during the holidays, and one in four want to see fresh produce such as vegetables at checkout. When it comes to favorite holiday meals that consumers may want to see more of from food retailers, more than half (51 percent) of consumers surveyed listed mashed potatoes as a must-have side dish on their holiday table followed by stuffing at 45 percent.
Consumers want food retailers to make the holidays easier and more efficient, with the majority of shoppers (57 percent) agreeing that the crowds and long lines are the most frustrating part of shopping during the holidays.
Turkey trends haven't changed with the times, with the majority (57 percent) still buying their Thanksgiving turkey in a traditional grocery store, further solidifying the report's finding that most consumers identify as loyal shoppers.
About Phononic,
Phononic's solid-state chip has the power to transform daily lives, cooling and heating our modern world responsibly, without toxic refrigerants. They are delivering the solid-state technology platform that the world needs.

ITAITA Community Service Month Presented by Limoneira Grant Recipients Announced

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced on November 1st, the three college tennis programs that received ITA grants based on their participation in the third annual ITA Community Service Month Presented by Limoneira during the month of October.
 ITA Community Service Month Presented by Limoneira was created to spotlight all the great community projects ITA member coaches and student-athletes do on an annual basis. The Limoneira Hours Challenge provided a friendly competition by tracking the total number of hours that each school served.
 A total of $2,000 in grant money was awarded by the ITA to the Bucknell University and North Carolina Central men's teams, and the Converse College women's tennis program.
 During ITA Community Service Month Presented by Limoneira, more than 650 student-athletes from all five divisions served 6,523 hours of service in their community or on their campus. Projects ranged from volunteering at Boys and Girls Clubs, visiting senior center centers and elementary schools to participating in community clean-up projects.
 "Limoneira is proud to sponsor the ITA's Community Service Month. Community Service is an important part of Limoneira's core and we believe it is central to our ongoing sustainability," Limoneira President and Chief Executive Officer Harold Edwards said. "We applaud the ITA for making Community Service part of its core and are pleased to be a small part of the ITA's positive influence."
 The Bucknell men's tennis team won the Limoneira Hours Challenge and $1,000 ITA grant by performing 393.5 hours of service during October. The team worked with the Boys and Girls Club, Central Pennsylvania SPCA Animal Shelter, the Lewisburg Community Garden, volunteered at the Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment Annual River Symposium, and assisted senior citizens and special needs children.
 "The student-athletes embraced the idea of the ITA Community Service Month and completely ran with it encouraging each other and looking for additional ways to help in the community," Bucknell head men's tennis coach Bruce Myers said. "Being student-athletes I believe they are very competitive by nature and the aspect I really enjoyed was the fact that we were able to complete 16 or 17 different and unique service projects that helped such a wide range and variety of groups in and around our community.
 "I do not think any of my players viewed this as "work" and we left each and every project with a small sense of pride that we were able to make a difference and left a positive impression upon those with whom we interacted," Myers added. "As important, we learned a great deal about so many issues that are facing communities, and I think this is something we will be able to incorporate in many different ways in our everyday lives. It was an eye-opening process to see all the ways and means to serve the greater Lewisburg community.
 Myers concluded by saying "it is an extremely proud day for me as a coach of this group of student-athletes - not that we won the challenge, but that we were able to do so much good in such a short period of time. It is a testament to the character of my student-athletes."
 The North Carolina Central men's tennis program received a $500 ITA grant through a random drawing of programs that used #CollegeTennisServes in their social media posts. The team worked with Brain Center Southpoint and volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties.
 "Truth and Service is the official Motto of North Carolina Central University and our students, faculty and staff take great pride in giving back to the community," head men's tennis coach D. Curtis Lawson said. "The NCCU tennis program takes a keen interest in Community Service and the Limoneira Challenge was a fun-filled way to serve a higher cause. " 
 The Converse College women's tennis program won a $500 grant and one free coach's registration to the ITA Coaches Convention through a random drawing of programs that totaled 50 or more community service hours. The team participated in Walk to School Day with Pine Street Elementary School and A Thousand Thanks Valet event.
 "Community service is a big part of our team's core values as well as the core values of the college," Converse College head women's tennis coach said. "We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have won this award."
 About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association
  The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men's and women's varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men's and women's varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at, like the ITA on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

ENJOYEnjoy The Holiday Season With Limoneira Lemons
December is a great month to spend quality time with your friends and family and there is no better way to do this than with an abundance of flavorful and hearty delicacies. Healthy Grocery Girl and Limoneira spokesperson Megan Roosevelt suggests enlivening your morning routine with these Winter Citrus Spiced Waffles; they're guaranteed to kickstart a hectic holiday morning. 
In need of a side dish for your holiday party? Look no further than this mouth-watering Lemon Spinach Artichoke Dip that is sure to please everyone. Finally, in order to please your sweet tooth, this recipe for Cardamom Orange Sugar Cookies pairs perfectly with Orange Spiced Hot Cocoa and tastes great while cozying up to the fire. While the year comes to a close, we know that your kitchen remains open. Filling those around you with these flavorful and healthy recipes are sure to bring you and your loved one's peace and joy during the holidays! 
Don't forget to subscribe to Limoneira's YouTube Channel - videos with more wonderful recipes, tips, and tricks not detailed in this release are added weekly. For more details on the tips below, watch this video for the recipe below here.   

Winter Citrus Spiced Waffles

1 ½ cup of gluten-free baking 
Juice of 1 Limoneira classic lemon 
1 cup of non-dairy milk
1 egg 
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar 
1 teaspoon of baking soda 
½ teaspoon of pumpkin spice 
Click here for instructions!

Lemons Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 Limoneira lemon juiced
2 (14oz) cans artichoke hearts chopped
2 cups spinach
8oz- cup cream cheese of choice or vegan cream cheese


Cardamom Orange Sugar Cookies

3 tablespoons orange zest from Limoneira lemon
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 cup 100% real maple syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Orange Spiced Hot Cocoa

1/4 cup of fresh-squeezed Limoneira navel orange juice
2 cups non-dairy milk of choice
1 teaspoon whole spice
1 teaspoon whole cloves

Limoneira has also partnered with additional global chefs and mixologists, nutritionists, and beauty lifestyle and green cleaning experts to share their knowledge with the customers of our grocery and foodservice partners around the world. Their biographies can be found on Limoneira's website. 
About Megan Roosevelt and Healthy Grocery Girl ®
Megan Roosevelt is an internationally published author, cooking show host and producer as well as a nutrition expert for regional and national television and magazines. In addition to being a plant-based Registered Dietitian, Roosevelt through Healthy Grocery Girl® provides her extensive audience with online cooking videos and says, "I love helping people get healthy in ways that are realistic and fun".
Roosevelt is the spokesperson for Limoneira's TAKE A HEALTHY STAND ™ campaign and says, "As one of the largest growers of citrus in the United States, the partnership with Limoneira made a great deal of sense", she said. "It's synergistic. We all know that citrus is among the healthiest products people can integrate into their diets". One World of Citrus™ highlights a variety of ways that lemons can be integrated into consumer's lives. These include recipes, natural cleaning, beauty and health tips as well as lifestyle applications.

GLOBALGlobal Food Defense Institute To Speak At The Ventura County Safety December Meeting

On December 5th, Featured Speaker Rod Wheeler of the Global Food Defense Institute will speak about vulnerability Assessments at the Ventura County Food Safety Association. 

Rod's extensive experience stemmed from working in law enforcement and with homeland security. He is an internationally recognized law enforcement and homeland security expert, educator, on-air international news analyst and consultant. He specializes in conducting and developing risk mitigation plans for food operators and provides security action plans for food processing and manufacturing facilities to guard against sabotage and intentional adulteration. 
The Ventura County Food Safety Association represents over 40 different produce packers, processors, distributors, vendors, labs and cooling companies throughout Ventura County. The Association's motto is "Food Safety Has No Competition!" For more information visit

7 Ways Citrus Fruits Make The Holidays Brighter and Flavorful

Cristine Struble, Site Expert at Foodsided notes that Citrus fruits are a must during the holiday season. This delicious produce can be the key ingredient to make your holidays bright and flavorful. Beyond being a bright punch of flavor in favorite recipes, citrus can do so much more. During the holidays, there should be no citrus left behind.

Earlier this year, during the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit, the full bounty of citrus was on display. While many people think of oranges, grapefruits and lemons, the citrus category is filled with a full rainbow of deliciousness.
Even just thinking about lemons, the options are numerous. Personally, pink lemons, like  Limoneira  pink lemons, are my obsession. While the color instantly draws your attention, the flavor is equally intriguing. From cocktails to recipes, pink lemons are a fruit to discover.
Those pink lemons are just one example. Citrus can be the colorful boost to your beverage, recipe or even just home décor. Additionally, there are some health benefits from using citrus, too. The apple isn't the only fruit that keeps the doctor away.

As the holiday season ramps up, here are seven ways to use citrus fruits to make the holidays even brighter.

Lemon can fight the flu
Lemon can help soothe a sore throat or even help combat that dreaded flu. Add some lemon to tea, water or other beverages. No one wants to feel blah during the holidays.

Citrus décor

Why just have another pine wreath in the house. Use citrus to make a festive holiday wreath. Also, use citrus as table décor or a festive centerpiece. Plus, when the party is over, you can use all that citrus in a recipe.

Save chapped lips
During the winter, chapped lips are a common occurrence. Combine a little lemon juice, cream and honey to buff away those chapped lips.

Fight fridge odor
Did you know that half a lemon in your fridge can take away those unpleasant smells? This natural odor eliminator can help keep that refrigerator smelling fresh.

Zest up your favorite snack
During the cold, winter months, many people enjoy curling up on the couch with a good movie. Add a punch of citrus flavor to your favorite snack with a little zest. For example, zest some lime on top of popcorn. Mix in some spices and you have a flavorful snack for a night of binge watch.

Keep hydration fresh

Everyone knows that staying hydrated is important, especially during the holidays. Add a lemon (especially a pink lemon), lime  or even grapefruit to your water. The citrus adds a bright flavor without all the extra calories. That flavored water will help entice you to drink a little more.

Baking gets brighter
While everyone might be baking sugar cookies during the holidays, think about adding some citrus flavors to those favorite baking recipes. From Meyer lemon curd to orange with clove, citrus and baking recipes are perfect during the holidays. The bright, fresh flavors keep the recipes light.

Do you use more citrus fruits during the holidays? Do you have a great tip using citrus? Share your tip below or tag #FoodSided on social media.
Christine Struble is a food, entertainment, travel and lifestyle writer. She is the site expert at FoodSided and a contributor to Culturess. Follow her on social media at @CristineStruble or @StrublePublications.
FoodSided is the Food Reviews, Recipes & More news and opinions site brought to you by the FanSided Network. FoodSided is dedicated to providing top-notch Food Reviews, Recipes & More news, views, and original content. The site also serves as a community for like-minded fans to come together to catch up on the latest news and to discuss their passion.


How Millennials Are Changing Holiday Dining

The Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is one of the few full-service restaurants open on Thanksgiving in the small town of Harriman, Tennessee (population: 6,261). That's why Jon Rybka and his parents have occasionally spent the holiday there for the past eight or nine years. "If you don't want to cook and you want to eat out on Thanksgiving, Cracker Barrel is one of the few choices," Rybka said.

Cracker Barrel, a southern-themed restaurant chain, wasn't always the Rybkas' go-to Thanksgiving spot. When Rybka was a child, he and his parents would venture to Georgia for a traditional dinner with his mom's family. But once he grew up, the large gatherings, cooking, and traveling became too much of an effort. "I cannot imagine a universe where my mom will want to do the big Thanksgiving meal again," Rybka said. "The juice is not worth the squeeze for her."

Restaurants tend to lose money on Thanksgiving, but for all other winter holidays, spending is on the rise.

Rybka and his family aren't alone. For many people, traveling during the holidays - the busiest days of the year for airlines and roads - is too much of a hassle. Data shows cooking holiday meals might be falling out of fashion with some groups, as more and more people look for alternative dine-out options.

But are holiday dinners in restaurants becoming the norm?

If so, Mani Kulasooriya, CEO of CAKE, a Sysco-owned technology company, wants to help more restaurants capitalize on that trend. CAKE specializes in point of sale and guest management technology for independent restaurants, and its latest data pull showed that - despite the growing popularity of alternative holiday dinners - independent restaurants actually lose money on Thanksgiving. New credit and debit card spending data from Bank of America data supports that: While other holiday-related restaurant spending is up, restaurant transactions on Thanksgiving increased by only one percent in 2015 from the year before. That suggests people looking for alternative Thanksgiving meals are still spending the day at home unless of course there is a Cracker Barrel nearby.

But while Thanksgiving remains an eat-at-home event, more and more people are choosing to dine out during the season's other holidays. Independent restaurants that stayed open on Christmas and New Year's Day last year increased profits by 40 to 50 percent compared to average days, according to CAKE data. OpenTable, the restaurant reservation service, found that restaurants served almost twice as many meals on Christmas Eve and more than three times as many meals on New Year's Eve, compared to the average day.

Millennials might be driving the growth, according to Bank of America data, people between 18 and 34 spent six percent more at restaurants on Christmas Eve, a larger percentage increase than diners in all other age groups (though those percentages went up, as well). Millennials also spent four percent more than the previous year dining out Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Meanwhile, search interest in "Christmas menus" and "restaurants open on Christmas" have been slowly growing in the last three years, according to Google Trends data.

This gives independent restaurants the chance to meet growing demand, especially in small towns with few options. The Holtin family, for instance, typically spends Christmas in Texas with a huge gathering of about 15 people and lots of home-cooked food to spare. But last year, 25-year-old Rachel Holtin found herself spending the holiday in her small town of Woodland, Texas, with just her sister and parents. Instead of cooking a huge feast for four people, they ordered Chinese food.

"That was the first year we didn't do a huge family Christmas," Holtin said. "The only places really open were Chinese spots." She said if there were fancier options, she would have preferred to eat there.

"The reason why my parents do it that way is so that we can focus on the people, and not the food."

If more smaller, local restaurants paid closer attention to data, more might consider staying open during the holidays, said Kulasooriya, citing CAKE's data analysis. Many smaller restaurants don't, and according to Kulasooriya, they may be losing out. "We see a big gap here," Kulasooriya said, adding that many smaller eateries struggle with overlooking passion and focusing on data and numbers. "We want to make them think harder about business."

But there are other things to consider besides profit. "For us to go out means that someone has to work," Rybka said. Should restaurants take the department store route, staying open during the holidays to maximize profit, possibly keeping workers from spending time with their own families, or lose thousands of dollars? The answer depends, according to Kulasooriya. "The restaurants need to take that data and see how they can apply it that is beneficial to themselves."

While outsourcing holiday cooking might be a growing trend, the lack of dining options may not even be an issue for some - there are more important things to consider, Rybka said. "The reason why my parents do it that way is so that we can focus on the people, and not the food."
Source: EATER 

THE TURKISH RIVIERA-  A chic-but-affordable alternative for the beach-party crowd
A couple of years ago the Turkish Riviera was all but off-limits - so what welcome news that this glorious coast is back with a bang. British Airways has resumed its direct flights from London to Dalaman, making secret beach spots such as Dacta and Bozburun super accessible. Meanwhile, the Bodrum Peninsula is all of a flutter with smart new developments that are taking the scene up a notch. 
Around the corner from the superyacht-filled Yalikavak Marina is Ian Schrager's all-white Bodrum Edition, which launched in summer 2018 with a restaurant by El Bulli's Diego Muñoz, a full-on disco (including a giant pink glitter ball), and a non-stop deep-house soundtrack that resonates from the pool to beach club . 
With the value of the Turkish lira having fallen significantly, the Turquoise Coast is currently a well-priced, chic alternative for those who want to swim, sail, eat and party.
EGYPT-  The New Art Pilgrimage

The opening of the game-changing Grand Egyptian Museum has been delayed again - until when, we're no longer exactly sure (though the latest word is 2020). And yet, the news from the ground is for the first time in 8 years, there's a waitlist for city hotels and boat trips along the Nile. 
After a tumultuous few years, Egypt, it seems, is back on the map. It had been hoped that the $1 billion, sleek, marble temple to the country's antiquities would have swung open its doors by now, revealing, among a wealth of other national treasures, most crucially King Tutankhamun's entire burial collection - more than 5,000 pieces - displayed to the public in an exact replica of the tomb itself. Which means visitors will be able to see everything - bejeweled sandals, embroidered tunics and the Boy King's death mask - just as Howard Carter did when he made his milestone discovery in 1922.
THE PELOPONNESE, GREECE- A go-slow corner of the Mediterranean
While the starriest Greek Islands- such as Santorini and Mykonos - grapple with over-tourism, forward-thinking visitors are heading to the mainland and discovering the wide-open spaces of Greece off-season. The Peloponnese has been bubbling just below the radar since Costa Navarino opened in 2010. Soon afterward, the local airport at Kalamata opened up to international flights, shaving off several hours' driving time from Athens and boosting arrivals to the region by 15 percent last year.
This year, the rail service linking the port of Patras with the town of Pyrgos, in the south-western Peloponnese, resumed after a seven-year halt. A train ride is the perfect way to explore this laidback region which has been a destination for wellness and fitness since Hippocrates prescribed therapeutic olive oil massages.  
The west coast of the Peloponnese is rippled with mile upon mile of sand dunes.  
MATERA, ITALY-  A romantic ravine in Italy attracting travelers looking for an immersive experience
Down in the arch of Italy's foot, Matera is built into the rock of a ravine. This strange, prehistoric-looking city is miles from anywhere, and so out of time that it has been used as a set for films needing an authentic Jerusalem: Ben-Hur, and The Passion of the Christ, for which a crucifix was made that remains on the hillside. 
But Matera's sassi are what people come to see, the troglodyte cave dwellings where, even in the mid-20th century, its impoverished citizens lived in dank darkness until it was eventually abandoned. In 1993, UNESCO declared Matera a World Heritage Site. Slowly its fortunes changed, and now, as in Santorini, they've become hot property among travelers keen for an immersive stay. Many sassi are being rented out on Airbnb or turned into galleries, restaurants and charming cave hotels, upscale hideaways in limestone grottoes, such as the Palazzo Gattini, Corte San Pietro, Relais La Casa di Lucio (which has a new royal apartment) and Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, one of the most romantic dios in all Italy.   
PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA-  The wild West Coast's riverside capital
The Margaret River region is well established as a foodie destination, with its Gourmet Escape pulling in international chefs (Rick Stein, Nigella Lawson) every November. Now its top-notch produce and wines are fuelling a proliferation of independent new cafés, bars and restaurants in the state capital.
In 2019 the Ritz-Carlton Perth opens on redeveloped Elizabeth Quay, joining the new Westin Perth (which launched in 2018 in the heritage-listed Hibernian Hall and has 2,000 artworks, including aerial photography of WA, and a great rooftop pool) and other relative newcomers COMO The Treasury and Alex Hotel (founded by the brewers behind Little Creatures, stars of the city's enthusiastic craft-beer scene).
THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS  A sweep of visionaries are shaking up the Scottish Highlands
The Danish team behind the exquisite Killiehuntly Farmhouse and Kinloch Lodge- clothing billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen and his interior-decorator wife, Anne - are busy revamping additional tumbledown properties with their Scandi-Scot good taste. Kyle House - a former smokery turned Danish-minimalist masterpiece, with mountain views from every seat in the house, including the bath - has just opened.
Set to follow soon are lovely lochside Hope Lodge and Lundies, a restored manse aimed at bikers and hikers on the North Coast 500, which is bringing new life to this beautiful area. The Povlsens have also just opened Kennels Cottage, in the Cairngorms, while the village of Braemar, across the peaks, is all abuzz as the Swiss gallerists behind Hauser & Wirth undertake their epic makeover of the Fife Arms, transforming it into a top-notch, 46-room hotel with Jinny Blom gardens, a spa, a restaurant and, of course, a bar - plus a knockout collection of Scottish and international art and installations.
ST BARTH'S, CARIBBEAN- The Caribbean comeback

In 2017 the most powerful storm ever to sweep the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma, struck the Caribbean - swiftly followed by the equally devastating Hurricane Maria. Several entire islands  were wiped out.
Now the breezy-breathe-easy island is definitely, defiantly open for business again. Renovation efforts have been phenomenal as islanders have beavered away to rebuild lives, homes and infrastructure, as well as the hotels  and beach bars we cross oceans for - so going to the Caribbean in 2019 is a philanthropic act, too. 

Hotel Le Toiny  which was relaunched only three years ago by new English owners Charlie and Mandie Vere Nicoll, has been revamped again. It reopened in October with eight new suites added (all with pools and ocean-view terraces) and its beach club has been so well re-landscaped that it's hard to believe it was destroyed; just in time for the Saint Barth Gourmet Festival, which took place in early November.  
ARLES, FRANCE- A city flexing its artistic muscles in honor of its most famous resident
Vincent Van Gogh's dream is finally coming true. It was his vision for Arles to become a kind of utopian refuge for a collective of artists and now, with a major new arts venue being created, including a centerpiece by Frank Gehry, this Provençal city in the Camargue is set to become an important art destination for Europe. 
He was hugely prolific during his year in the city's 'Yellow House', where he lived, painted and cut off his ear after a row with his housemate, Paul Gauguin. Philanthropist Luc Hoffmann launched the Foundation Vincent Van Gogh here in 2014; and now Luc's billionaire daughter Maja Hoffmann is transforming a disused railway site into a vast arts campus called the Parc des Ateliers with the Luma Arles the foundation and Gehry's gleaming tower at its center and studios and exhibition spaces in the old engine sheds   
VALLE DE GUADALUPE-  New flavors for Mexico's wine country

This boulder-strewn bronze sweep of Baja California has been luring wine-lovers and weekending West Coasters for some time (it's just a 90-minute drive from the U.S. border). Now it's earning itself the lofty billing of Mexico's Napa Valley, for its architect-designed tasting rooms and complex bottles - many of them innovative organic, biodynamic and minimum-intervention.
The foodie landscape has been maturing as well, drawing on farm-to-table ingredients and seafood from the nearby Pacific. One of the area's best-loved chefs is Javier Plascencia, who set up in the Valle in 2012, when it first turned heads as an emerging wine region. His Finca Altozano now encompasses the original outdoor grill restaurant, an Airstream tortas truck, an ice cream shop and a pop-up space under a 100-year-old oak tree.
NEW ORLEANS- Hip hotel openings lead a revival parade

In New Orleans, a city of sensory overload, you can pick up wafts of chicory, spilled rum, warm beignets and stale cigarettes in the same breath. But in the lobby of the new Hotel Peter & Paul in Marigny, it's more like... gardenias. There's a feeling of lightness here, from the extra-high ceilings that give the rooms a bright glow to the cheery canary-yellow check-in desk.
This is one of the most anticipated hotel launches in a city that really needed a hotel resurgence. Fusty places with antique-cluttered rooms were the standard here. Properties either nailed the bar and courtyard or had great rooms. Finding both seemed impossible. Until now. Peter & Paul is actually a bundle of buildings: a 19th-century Catholic church, schoolhouse, convent and rectory reimagined by ASH NYC, with gingham curtains woven in Switzerland.  
TAHITI- A barefoot beach-shack island with smart new places to stay

There are certain signs that new tribes of travelers are making their way to French Polynesia. Nicolas Malleville and Francesca Bonato, the lithe and lovely couple who founded the boutique hotel brand Coqui Coqui and helped turn Tulum from a sleepy Mexican beach town to the haute hippy utopia it is today, are opening an outpost on Bora Bora a little later this year. No doubt, this will be a dog whistle to Isabel Marant-wearing sun-seekers across the globe.
Families looking to escape the tyranny of proper sit-down dinners with kids - and the constant lobbying for $26 poolside mocktails - will have the opportunity for more pared-down experiences (and their own kitchens) as new family-operated, Tahiti Tourisme-vetted guesthouses on some of the region's most gorgeous, less-trafficked islands and atolls.
MOZAMBIQUE-  Louche and luxe: two words that sum up a trip to the islands off Mozambique's coast - and all thanks to an unlikely combination of history and new hotels

Mozambique was once sub-Saharan Africa's answer to Havana- a hedonistic hideout with nightlife, naughtiness, and no limits. The fun was centered around the islands fringing its coast, especially the southernmost Bazaruto archipelago - home to the Santa Carolina hotel, a midcentury modern masterpiece with its own landing strip, and whose cocktail hour famously inspired Bob Dylan to pick out a few notes on the hotel's piano, a love song to the place itself.
Today, after two decades of civil conflict ending in the 1990s, the Santa Carolina survives, just; it bakes in the sun, an elegant ruin. But new high-end hotels are finally channeling its legacy, luring visitors with a similar, if less naughty, appeal: privacy in paradise, with pristine, palm-fringed beaches rolling out to the bluest Indian Ocean.  The first, and Beyond Benguerra Island, debuted three years ago next to the Santa Carolina; the luxury safari company just overhauled a sister site in the northern Quirimbas cluster, on Vamizi Island, and added a lodge to its 20 private villa-style rooms in 2019.

NAMIBIA- Sharp new lodges in the outback of the outback

With its otherworldly landscapes and elemental emptiness (this is one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth, ranking only marginally behind Mongolia), Nambia has always enthralled us. Its raw beauty is in the remarkable barrenness - of the desert, of the dunes, of the savage Skeleton Coast - the collision of earth, sky, sea and little else.
But there's a fresh focus on the Southern African nation this month as a pack of lodges have just opened across the country. Serious new safari outfit Natural Selection, whose founders previously set up the much-respected Wilderness Safaris, is behind two of them: tented Hoanib Valley Camp in Kaokoland in the remote north-west, and high-design Shipwreck Lodge on the Skeleton Coast.

A joint venture between local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Hoanib Valley Camp was designed by Cate Simpson of Reflecting Africa, riffing off the color and textures of the setting. The interiors also incorporate the geometric patterns of the Himba people, whose temporary settlements dot the landscape between roaming endangered rhino, desert-adapted elephant and giraffe, oryx, springbok and jackal.
CHENGDU, CHINA- Cutting-edge culture in New China

Chengdu's lure for visitors has long centered on two Chinese clichés: giant pandas and hotpot. The Sichuanese capital is home to the world's largest concentration of those doe-eyed bears, and its food has been exported worldwide. Yet there's nowhere better to glimpse the future of New China than here, the Middle Kingdom's coolest city. Domestically, it has a reputation for locals who are both laid-back and cosmopolitan - it was on the Silk Road, after all. In a country where the LGBT population is often invisible, Chengdu is a rare, rainbow-colored exception. Come here to experience the cutting edge of contemporary Chinese culture: Check out the Higher Brothers, a rap group at the vanguard of the emerging domestic hip-hop scene, and the city's independent boutiques such as the newly opened Kerry RC, more adventurous than their coastal counterparts. Head to the Eastern Suburb Memory complex for an impressive roster for fashion and art; some of those artists double up as tattooists, making the adventurously inked millennials who stroll around the new Tai Koo Li luxury shopping hub the center of the country's new tattoo culture.  
TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA- A corner of Romania steeped in folklore and superlative beauty

The offbeat destination being whispered about by first-to-go travelers is Transylvania, the rural region of Romania known for its Gothic myths and dark fairytales. Its very name means 'land beyond the forests'. A place where the Pied Piper lured Hamelin's children, Bram Stoker's Count Dracula drained blood and Vlad III impaled.
Now, finally, it is beginning to attract visitors interested in more than just schlock-horror visits to Bran Castle to see a man in a cloak - its burgeoning wine scene, for one thing.
Transylvania remains a land lost in time. Separated from the modern world for decades by the Iron Curtain, many of its inhabitants emigrated, and its 13th-century Saxon villages were left to crumble. As a result, its distinct character has remained intact; its forests and wildflower meadows gloriously untouched. Life is beginning to return and dilapidated buildings are being rebuilt.
The Prince of Wales was way ahead of the curve. Since the 1990s, he has been gently overseeing the restoration of houses, and you can stay in his Prince's Retreat, a rustic wood and stone house on his nature retreat in Zalán Valley near Brasov. 
Across the meadows on Count Kalnoky's estate more houses and cottages have also been rebuilt, similarly rough around the edges, featuring stone floors and dark Transylvanian antiques with a whiff of imperial fiddle-de-dee, and chairs like fairytale thrones. In winter there are horse-drawn sleigh rides; in summer the horses trot through green fields growing high as their bellies.
PATAGONIA-  A blossoming back-to-nature stretch of South America
While the rest of the world drives itself mad, Patagonia's still, epic landscapes increasingly appeal as one of the last true escapes left on earth. It is one of the least populated regions anywhere. Adventurers are drawn to the vast emptiness of its desert and the drama of its Lake District, where the snow-capped Andes are reflected in the bright water. So little pollution is there, so dark and clear the night skies, that the Milky Way is easily visible, and sometimes the southern lights.
That's not all. The new 1,700-mile Route of Parks has just opened - the world's longest hiking trail - passing through 17 of Patagonia's national parks, from Puerto Montt in the Chilean Lake District all the way down to Cape Horn. It's thanks to the Tompkins, the philanthropic founders of The North Face, who have donated vast tracts of protected parkland to help create the route and open up this spectacular part of the world to visitors.
In September, high-end safari company &Beyond opened its first property outside Africa, in Chile's  Lake District just outside Patagonia's northern edge. Set on an organic working farm, &Bevond Vira Vira is all wood and modernism, low-slung in forest greenery with mountain views, and a sustainable ethos with farm-to-table food.
Patagonia's wine and food scenes are gathering pace too. Beside the Argentine coast, Río Negro's fertile soils make for honest-to-goodness farm produce, and also grapes: new winery Wapisa opened here last year, and Patagonia now rivals Mendoza in producing Argentina's best Malbecs.
MUMBAI- A shake-up in India's creative capital

The arrival of India's first Soho House is creating a scene in Mumbai right now. As ever, the group has nailed the hottest neighborhood in town to set up shop: Juhu, in the northern suburbs, where lately Mumbai's movers, shakers and creators have been flocking from the south of the city.
'Mumbai is one of the most creative cities in the world,' said Soho House founder Nick Jones. 'Our location in Juhu means we're close to the film industry, but our community is made up of musicians, artists, sculptors, illustrators, architects, jewelry designers, fashion designers and restaurateurs already.'
Overlooking Juhu Beach, Soho House Mumbai has 38 bedrooms, as well as elegant and light-filled members spaces and two restaurants, and the most gorgeous rooftop pool and bar (mint-green and white stripes here). Local design elements are incorporated into unmistakeable House style, with Rajasthani block-printed fabrics and antique saris, locally made furniture and works by artists from the subcontinent.
Mumbai has always been India's creative capital - where you find the movie makers, the models, the money. And in recent years it has become the culinary capital, too, with a new generation of young chefs and international players trying out brave and exciting things.
SINGAPORE-  The diamond-studded backdrop for Crazy Rich Asians
Singapore  loves to flaunt its assets. This city-state burns bright with light shows and flash designer shopping malls (shopping is the national sport), and made the perfect diamond-studded backdrop for Crazy Rich Asians.
The all-Asian blockbuster may have ignited a flame for Singapore as more than just a stopover city, for its tropical British colonial grandeur and futuristic architecture, for street food in the night markets and skyscraping sundowners in Marina Bay Sands' rooftop pool, and for slings at Raffles, the original grande dame of the Far East, which is undergoing a full facelift and will reopen with a bang in 2019. Joining the fray is the fabulous new Six Senses Maxwell, opening in a restored colonial building.
There's desert-island fun here, too. Yes, Singapore is a jumping-off point for the islands of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia but it's also got a bunch of incredible private islands nearby. Hottest spots are eco-chic Cempedak, with its curving, modernist grass-roofed bungalows set among beach and jungle (hotelier Andrew Dixon also opened Nikoi island in the same archipelago), tiny driftwood-charming Pulau Joyo, and beautiful Bawah Reserve,accessed by seaplane from Singapore, with 35 teak overwater villas in the bright lagoons of a marine conservation zone.
TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA- From bogan to bohemian
Hasn't the backwoods bogan come a long way? Until recently, Tasmania was a national joke - the Isle of Man of Australia. Now, suddenly, savvy travelers are obsessing over its devastatingly handsome coastline, its wilderness lodges, and the out-there arts venue that started it all.
When weird genius David Walsh opened his subversive, edge-cutting Museum of Old and New Art in 2011, it set in motion a transformation of Hobart. Mona turned the world on its head - not just in terms of its upside-down architecture (three subterranean stories) but for its challenging collection and unusual happenings. It's just got an excellent new restaurant, and its arts festivals,  Mona Foma and winter compatriot, Dark Mofo, are shaking up the island. In the pipeline: look-at-me Hotel Mona (potentially HoMo - very David Walsh), cantilevered over the sea in red steel like the beginnings of the Golden Gate Bridge, with a theatre, library, and outdoor concert venue - plus some sleek suites on the east coast.
There's nothing hokey about Tasmania's hotels. This island does a great line in all-out modernist luxury in isolated locations, from Saffire Freycinet to driftwood-artsy Satellite Island and every traveler's fantasy, Pumphouse Point (a jetty hideaway on a remote lake), which has just opened its brand-new shoreside Retreat. Also new for 2019 is the Three Capes Lodge Walk along Tasmania's incredible Tasman Peninsula, staying at a set of fabulous places en route.
Yes, it's about as far as you can get from Britain - but Qantas' new 17-hour direct flights to Perth coupled with a domestic hop to Hobart has made this dream destination a very real possibility.

Many of us have a great deal to be thankful for, but we should remember that the holidays can be a time of stress and sadness for many of our fellow citizens. Fortunately, there are a number of service organizations that can help provide a little comfort at this time of year. 
Santa Paula Rotarians are busy little elves this time of year and have set up colorful holiday boxes throughout our community. 
Please consider donating toys and canned goods for struggling families. Food Share of Ventura County Since 1978, Food Share has been feeding the hungry in Ventura County. It all began when eight friends banded together to provide food to those in need under a bridge in Ventura, CA. The early philanthropic movement started in a family garage, quickly outgrew a donated fire station in Saticoy and now operates in Oxnard, CA with two warehouses with a combined 36,000 square feet.
Today, staff and volunteers distribute more than 13 million pounds of food, or nearly 12 million meals annually through its 190 pantry and program partners. As Ventura County's regional food bank, Food Share provides food for over 75,000 hungry friends and neighbors monthly. Food Share is a member of Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief network of food banks, as well as the California Association of Food Banks.

SANTASanta Paula Holiday Parade

The 70th Annual Santa Paula Christmas Parade is planned for Saturday, November 30, 2019 from 5-7pm. Yes you read that right. This year Santa Paula is doing their first nighttime Christmas parade in decades!

Marching bands, toy soldiers, floats, automobiles, equestrians, community groups and Santa Claus will be part of the festivities. There will also be a Christmas festival earlier in the day. 

winnerLimoneira's Winner Block

This month our lucky winner is Maria Anarez from Phoenix Arizona. As our monthly winner, Maria has won a Limoneira Orchard Fresh or Lifestyles Gift.  Congratulations Maria !

For your chance to win, make sure you're on our mailing list to be entered into our monthly drawing. To join  click here  or visit our website at

Be sure to check out our other contests and drawings for additional changes to win prizes.