Certified by the American Board of Opticianry, the staffers at 20/20 Optical match faces with a pair of their more than 5,000 frames aided by customer-service chops that earned them a spot on Pacific Sun's Best of Marin Hall of Fame 2012. Their cache of glasses includes haute and stylish frames from designers such as Tom Ford, Lindberg, and Anne Et Valentin, which stand ready to welcome newly crafted single- or multifocal lenses. All lenses are cut with laser technology in 20/20’s own onsite laboratory by certified opticians.
With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
With a concept imported straight from Italy and a menu of quickly made, fresh-to-order authentic dishes prepared using premium imported ingredients, Pasta Moto specializes in giving its customers a true taste of Italia in a time-efficient fashion. Start your boot-shaped feast with a half Caesar salad ($4) and chicken panini ($8.50), or devour delectable wedges of pizza napoletana, with smoked mozzarella, tomatoes, chicken, olives, and capers ($9.75), or pizza funghi, with mushrooms and white-truffle oil ($9.50). Pastafarians can order up al dente delicacies such as fusilli arrabbiata ($7.95), rigatoni bolognese ($9.25), and spaghetti puttanesca, made with olives, capers, anchovies, and tomato sauce ($8.95). Chicken parmesan ($12.75) comes with a side pasta and fresh sautéed veggies, and an order of Mama's turkey meatballs ($12) provides a trio of savory spheroids, forcing hungry jugglers to make tough choices.
In the spring of 2012, culinary school student Elizabeth Hill brought some of her classmates on a retreat to Inverness. She gave them a tour of West Marin, drawing from childhood experiences ranging from boating trips with her grandfather on Tomales Bay to afternoons spent picking berries for her grandmother. As she led her friends on this in-depth exploration of the local creameries, farms, and wineries, they observed that she could do this for a living.
Following their advice, Elizabeth formed West Marin Food & Farm Tours. She still holds on to her country roots; on each of her regular tours, she leads visitors through the region's rolling hills while revealing its history from an insider perspective. She also incorporates her culinary know-how. She may lead guests to sample local organic produce, grass-fed meats, and baked goods, or embark on private tours and tastings at creameries, wineries, and oyster farms. During many of the tours, Elizabeth gathers visitors for picnics on the shores of Tomales Bay, where they dine on locally made foods and taunt dolphins who are unable to hold sandwiches.
Unlike productivity-driven bosses and staunch proponents of gravity, Airward encourages people to keep their heads in the clouds, offering flying lessons, scenic tours, and aircraft rentals. Within the cockpits of Cessna and Piper aircrafts, its pilots fly passengers on custom tours of the Bay Area and help novices grip the yoke for the first time during introductory flight lessons. Subsequent lessons—typically over three to six months—turn students into licensed pilots, at which point they can fire up the propellers on Airward's seven rental planes. Lifting off from Novato, these aircraft can take short trips to nearby Tahoe or two-day journeys across state lines. Back on the ground, the staffers in Airward's equipment shop stock thousands of items for airplane repair, maintenance, and upgrades, including oil filters, microphones, and FAA aeronautical charts.
Body Time has stocked the Bay Area with local, artisan body products since 1970. Earth-concerned patrons can indulge their bodies’ consciences by using Body Time's Botanicals line, which is made from quality plant-derived ingredients, many of which are sustainably and locally produced in addition to being 70% certified organic, and includes aromatherapy olive-oil soaps ($8.50) and rosemary-and-mint conditioner ($14). Mark limbs with cologne ($16.50) or moisturizer ($8–$21) scented with the famed China Rain fragrance to add a fresh, floral, and lightly musky aroma to your person and stand out in aromatically sensitive crowds. Sensitive-skin owners can pamper with perfume-free unscented products and particular patrons can craft custom scents using perfume ($1.60/item) and essential oils (starting at $3/item) to enchant a football team captain without becoming a teen witch.