Live Music on the Coast

The Sonoma/Mendocino Coast is home to many a musician and assorted venues featuring live music.

Anthum - Live at Stewarts Point Store Upstairs

Anthum – Rocking the house at Stewarts Point Store Upstairs

The Sea Ranch Lodge has long been the home base for Jazz Night featuring Harrison Goldberg and Friends. But lately, the newly re-opened Stewarts Point Store Upstairs and Gualala Hotel have been offering live music on the weekends. You name it they offer it – blues, jazz, swing, rock, acoustic and more. Each weekend they alternate venues for music. And, yes, local favorite, Harrison Goldberg and Friends play these gigs too.

Stewarts Point Store Logo
Stewart Point Store Upstairs is the home of the former dance hall of the community. Although the building was retrofitted a few years ago, the upstairs dance hall stills retains its charm and character. The crystal chandelier still hangs above, the bar is intact and the faded and worn decorations from New Years 1939 still grace the walls. Specialty sandwiches are served until 9 PM. There is a full bar with local beer and local wine available. You can’t beat this unique venue for live music.

The Other Brothers

The Other Brothers – Harrison Goldberg & Scott Foster – From a recent show at Stewarts Point Store Upstairs

The Gualala Hotel has long been a hangout for locals and visitors. The new owners, The Coastal Hospitality Group, comprised of Lowell and Terry Johnson and Kelly and Debbie Langwell (all formerly of the Sea Ranch Lodge) have reopened The Gualala Hotel (and Stewarts Point Store) to great fanfare. The drinks and food are excellent – something for everyone – and that goes for the music too. On Saturday nights the Gualala Hotel packs in the crowds with their musical offerings. It’s not uncommon to stop in and find a locals and visitors filling the bar and people dancing in the lounge.

This Friday, August 14th I will be sponsoring ‘Flamenco Night’ at Stewarts Point Store Upstairs. Jason Wright flamenco guitarist and flamenca dancer, Sara Maria will perform from 6 – 9 PM. There will be no cover charge. Bring your friends and family for a night of fun and flamenco.

Flamenco Night - Friday, August 14th @ 6 - 9 PM Sponsored by Carol Kozal, The Coastal Real Estate Company

Flamenco Night – This Friday, August 14th – 6 to 9 PM
Sponsored by Carol Kozal, The Coastal Real Estate Company

If you haven’t been to Stewarts Point or The Gualala Hotel lately do your ears a favor and go out for a night on the town and enjoy some live music. The upcoming shows are advertised in the Independent Coast Observer each Thursday or on their respective Facebook Pages. There is usually no cover charge. Food and drink are served at both venues.

For the most recent updates and happenings on the Sonoma Coast visit The Sea Ranch Life on Facebook.

The Language of Art

Pablo McClure (L), Dr. Paul White (center) Soledad Leonicio (R)

Pablo McClure (L), Dr. Paul White (center) Soledad Leonicio (R)

If you thought the Sonoma/Mendocino Coast was devoid of world culture well think again because the Gualala Arts Center has a new Chilean art exhibit that will knock your socks off.

Chilean artists, Pablo McClure and Soledad Leonicio, are the current artists-in-residence at the Gualala Arts Center. Pablo is an accomplished painter and Soledad a very talented sculptor. She brings forth the clay of the earth and he the light of the land to their respective mediums.

The exhibition opened Friday, June 5th and kicked off with a reception featuring Chilean food, drink and live entertainment with an accomplished pianist playing a baby grand in the foyer upon arrival.

Early in the evening a slideshow featuring the artists at work in their home and respective studios shared their inspiration and their creative vision to what we see today the Gualala Arts Center.

At one point during the presentation Soledad said that although there was a language barrier, they spoke the language art. Never have words rang so true as this was truly evident in the exhibition mounted that all worked together to bring to fruition.

This exhibit was two years in the making with the culmination of all the hard work and efforts of the artists, sponsors and volunteers this weekend. The show would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship and support of Dr. Paul White of Sea Ranch along with a host of others from the community.

Pablo and Soledad will be demonstrating their talents and offering workshops at the Gualala Arts Center during their stay as artists-in-residence. For a schedule of event and offerings visit

This exhibit is very much akin to a museum quality show in many respects with presentation, execution and talent. It is a real treat to have such a world class exhibit in our local community. The Chilean art exhibit will remain on view through June 28th and travel next to New York. If you find yourself visiting the Sonoma/Mendocino Coast this month see for yourself just how especial y fantastico it really is.

Soroptimist Architectural Tour & Wine Tasting

Cover image courtesy: Soroptimist International of Mendocino – Sonoma
Photo by Diane Wilson & Joan O’Connell

The 31st Annual Soroptimist Architectural Tour and Wine Tasting is just around the corner. Each year Soroptimist International of Mendocino – Sonoma Coast (SIMSIC) organize an architectural tour of homes from Sea Ranch and Gualala. This year, being the 50th Anniversary of Sea Ranch, the Soroptimist’s have decided to change things up a bit.

Super Moon and White Barn | Photo by Paul Kozal

Super Moon and White Barn | Photo by Paul Kozal

Highlights of the 2015 tour, taking place Saturday, May 9th, include the historic Knipp-Stengel Barn and nine architecturally significant homes over five decades. A handsome and informative commemorative four-color booklet with photos and descriptions accompanies each ticket purchase.

This year, my house, a three-story cluster home with crows nest, is on the tour. The clusters, as they are dubbed, were commissioned by developer Oceanic Properties as modest homes for weekend stays with city dwellers in mind. The architect, MLTW/William Turnbull, designed the homes with Matt Silvia as builder, names that are synonymous with Sea Ranch.

Cluster Home

Cluster Home | Photo by Paul Kozal

Our cluster home was sited to take advantage of the verdant views into the canyon of redwood and white fir trees with peeks of the ocean from each level. If you attend the tour you will see what I’m describing when you enter the dwelling.

My husband Paul and I will be on hand to welcome you and share the features of this classic, yet timeless design located in this unique neighborhood. A defining feature of the clusters is their ‘car barns’ that house and shelter cars communally as opposed to each home having a dedicated garage.

The self-guided architectural tour is followed by a wine tasting and auction at the Gualala Arts Center that is always a crowd pleaser. Several local and regional wineries are present to share their wines. And, it’s an opportunity to add to your wine cellar with the auction that follows.

The Architectural Tour and Wine Tasting is a fundraiser for the Soroptimist’s of Mendocino – Sonoma Coast. Not only will you enjoy this event immensely but you will help to support the good work the Soroptimist’s provide year-round to improve the lives of women and girls in our local community. For more information about this event visit www.simsic.

Springtime in Sea Ranch

Springtime in Sea Ranch
It’s official, Spring has sprung. It’s the time of year where the wildflowers are in bloom, the wind picks up and sea lions seek shelter in our Marine Preserves with their pups.

The first week of April has brought gusty winds and a few rain showers. Spring wildflowers are appearing everywhere. California coastal poppies dot the landscape up and down the coast. Wild iris can be spotted in the open fields and meadows as hints of purple sprout forth from the ground. Calla lilies are everywhere and in abundance. Ice plants clinging to the ocean bluff, one of my favorite sights, are starting to open and reveal their many colors.

Whales continue to be spotted by Sea Ranch residents and visitors. Our local list serve is abuzz with activity about frequent sightings of greys, humpbacks and killer whales.

Our protected Marine Preserves in Units 18 and 28 attract onlookers walking the bluff trail hoping to glimpse the seals below that give birth to pups this time of year.

Now that Spring is here and daylight savings upon us, the additional hours of daylight allow one to enjoy the beauty of the area and life on the beautiful Sonoma Coast for just a few hours more.

Arch Madness 2015

Go Sea Ranch Condo 1! Image courtesy of Architect Magazine, The Journal of American Institute of Architects

Go Sea Ranch Condo 1!
Image courtesy of Architect Magazine, The Journal of American Institute of Architects

We’ve all heard of March Madness but what about Arch Madness? Very similar to the basketball tournament, this one pits iconic architectural designs against one another. Competition is stiff and everyone is picking his or her favorite.

This year, Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker’s Sea Ranch Condominium 1 is entered into the competition. It’s MLTW vs. I.M. Pei & Partners, East Building, National Gallery of Art.

The two advanced to Round Three with voting ending yesterday. You can take a peek at how Condo 1 fared in Round Four at

Architect Magazine, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects will post the final results of Arch Madness 2015 on March 30th.

The Sea Ranch is an architecturally unique community that will fulfill any armchair architects fantasy. I know it does mine…

PS – You can now follow or “Like” The Sea Ranch Life on Facebook

Sea Ranch @ Night

Midsummer's Night - Photo by Paul Kozal

Midsummer’s Night – Photo by Paul Kozal

The Sea Ranch at night is a very different Sea Ranch. It’s dark, it’s quiet and it’s the ideal place to stargaze. The Sea Ranch, in my opinion, is one of the best places for stargazing. Why? There are no streetlights or city lights to interfere with viewing which makes for optimum conditions.

Stargazing is an activity that one can participate in on any clear night. On some evenings you can even observe the Milky Way with the naked eye. And, if you look long enough you may even see a shooting star. If you really want to know what your looking at download one of the many stargazing apps and you’ll get instant results that reveal what stars and constellations are in the night skies. A great time to be in Sea Ranch is when the Perseid meteor showers are in the forecast. It’s your front row seat under stars and you’ll probably lose count after about an hour.

Armchair stargazing is no substitute for the real thing but watching this slideshow at The Sea Ranch Life on YouTube may be a close second.

P.S. – If you’d like to stargaze from the comfort of your own bed there is a walk-in-cabin for sale with an oversized skylight in the sleeping loft for sale at 276 Redwood Rise. Take a virtual tour at

Star Light, Star Bright


Star light, star bright
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have this wish, I wish tonight.

My husband Paul couldn’t resist the opportunity to photograph our house last night with the glow of the forest and the night skies twinkling above. No, my house isn’t on fire. It’s the light from inside my neighbor’s house illuminating the forest behind our house.

It’s not often we see photos of Sea Ranch homes at night so I thought I’d share this image tonight. And, I couldn’t resist the reference to the nursery rhyme, ‘Star Light, Star Bright’ for the introduction. It just seemed appropriate.

Power Outages

Candles - check; Flashlights - check; Wood in fireplace - check; bottle of wine - optional

Candles – check; Flashlights – check; Wood in fireplace – check; bottle of wine – optional

When we have heavy rain and wind during our winter storms there is a tendency to lose power. Today is no exception. We’ve had lights flickering on and off several times today not just at my house but throughout Sea Ranch. I’ve heard some units are temporarily without power.

At times like this there are a number of things I do in preparation for potential outages. First I charge up all my devices – iPhone, iPad and my laptop. Then I begin with the laundry, followed by the dishwasher and then running the vacuum. In the event the power is out for a substantial amount of time, at least my devices are charged and I’m caught up on my household chores. Should the power only be out for a short period, then I’m ahead of the game.

I actually don’t mind when the power goes out for a little while. If it’s during the day it’s a great opportunity to curl up with a good book, that is if I don’t have to be at the office. But, I especially don’t mind the power going out in the evening. The first thing I do is round up my collection of candles. Next, a fire is lit in fireplace usually followed by the opening a bottle of wine and some jazz music on the wireless speaker. It’s great to sit around the living room by candlelight and the glow of the fireplace.

If visitors are in town when outages happen we may continue with more of the same but often I’ll bring out my acoustic guitar and serenade them with a few tunes. I’m a beginner and not very good at playing guitar so my attempts to play certain songs and have people name that tune is always good for a laugh especially since the songs I play sounds nothing like they should. The deck of cards that gathers dust in the drawer sometimes sees action for a game or gin rummy or poker on the dining table by candlelight. I know this sounds corny but it can actually be fun sometimes.

But one of the best things about the power going off is it promotes good old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation.There are no distractions for that brief period which force us to unplug from our modern world and modern conveniences. Sometimes it takes moments like this to appreciate all the things we take for granted on a daily basis. When the power does comes back on we fall right back into our routine of turning on the lights, the tv, our computers, check email and the like, as is our habit.

It will be interesting to see how the day progresses. At least I’ll be prepared. So far the power has been on long enough to compose this post on my laptop. I take that back – the power just went off. Oh, now it’s back. I guess I should publish this post before the power goes out – again.