Amid the bustling streets of Santa Rosa sits Passions for Hair & Spa, its staff of stylists busily evicting the stresses of bustling life from clients' scalps, feet, and hands with practiced techniques and therapeutic product lines. During hair and scalp treatments bolstered by botanical-infused Aquage Biomega serums and Kenra and Schwarzkopf hair products, stylists update manes and brighten the color of tresses dulled by sun damage and heat with demi-permanents, semi-permanents, or color glosses, leaving noggins as dazzling as a diamond-encrusted street magician. Skilled nail techs ensure hands, legs, and feet receive their fair share of coddling with soothing massages, exfoliating scrubs, and vibrant coats of nail polish from Gelish, OPI, and China Glaze. Massage therapists also knead knotted muscles, and aestheticians wax unwanted hair and perform relaxing facials.
Cupcake swathes stylish toddlers and moms-to-be in chic outfits and adorable accessories. Swaddle tots in the comfy Daily Tea sol floral tank bubble, a 100% cotton onesie ($24), or a pair of See Kai Run merilee sandals, trendy footwear with rubber soles and easily adjustable velcro straps ($44).
In its four-decade history, Bananas at Large has provided production equipment and instruments to musical acts including the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, and Poison. At both the business' locations, soon-to-be superstars can stock up on their own equipment from well known and specialty brand names. Musicians just learning to tickle guitars till they cry melodies meet with dedicated teachers, many of whom studied music in school or have played professionally for years. In classes, the teachers draw upon their backgrounds in genres from funk to classical to lead 30- to 45-minute classes on instruments including the guitar, keyboard, and drums.
Customers can sharpen both their vision and sense of style with Optical World's collection of high-end prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts. Comprehensive exams uncover hidden maladies of the eye and calibrate exact prescriptions to fit in bold, colorful spectacles fresh from the runway shows. The location can outfit clients with frames from top brands ranging from Ray-Ban to Maui Jim to Sama, as well as fashionable enhancements that help shield eyes from harmful rays, such as mirror-coated lenses or umbrella-toting butlers small enough to live in eyebrows.
Situated in the Railroad Square Historic District, Cellars of Sonoma's quaint storefront gives way to a warm, lofted interior where wines from nine boutique vintners flow. Single tastings or themed flights offer flavorful introductions to a selection of more than 60 bottles. As visitors sidle up to the carved wooden bar, they can sip crisp Pinot Noir with hints of cherry, or try a bright, clear Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of lime, banana, and honeysuckle.
Beneath the high ceilings of Cast Away's yarn shop, towering shelves overflow with bundles of color-coordinated wool, cashmere, and alpaca yarn. Cobblers' tool shelves, iron baby bathtubs, and even a dingy retired from its maritime duties catch the runoff, creating a homey space peppered with vibrant colors for a distinctly bohemian feel.
At the center of this antique bliss is a pair of vintage armchairs, where customers can recline and survey how-to books or familiarize themselves with the supplies for one of Cast Away's staff-taught classes. Though the calendar implies a steady buzz of activity, the shop's proprietor doesn't stop there. She regularly books notable authors and designers for workshops and special lessons that center around projects such as knitted afghan squares and lace vests that add old-timey charm to an outfit without forcing one to wear steel gauntlets.