Husband-and-wife team Ryan and Angie Bates man the shutters at Ryan Bates Photography, where Ryan draws on 15 years of experience as he snaps images that bring out individual personalities and family dynamics in every shot. Professional lighting shines down on subjects as they say cheese, eat cheese, or impersonate cheese in the boutique studio, and the natural light of the outdoors illuminates on-location shoots held amid trees or at the shore. Captures of candid smiles, playful interactions, and motion shots celebrate timeless family moments, and senior-portrait sessions—viewable afterward on a private online gallery—yield prints worthy of relatives' mantels or wallets. Ryan also occasionally leads basic to advanced workshops, where pupils learn to manipulate their own DSLR cameras with coy winks and promises of mink-lined camera cases.
Dedicated to supporting soon-to-be and new moms, Eco Chic Baby brims with a wide range of products for maternity, childbirth, babies, and young children. Its selection of cloth, bio, or Fabergé diapers helps parents save money while young ones stay comfy and fashionable, and its organic vitamins and super foods spur healthy growth in children. Eco Chic Baby also keeps tikes safe with a selection of high-quality strollers, high chairs, and car seats. Made in the United States or sold through fair-trade agreements, the shop's goods are eco-friendly and nontoxic, and many of them are handmade locally.
In addition to purveying baby supplies, Eco Chic Baby hosts classes throughout the week, such as Pilates and yoga, and maintains optional onsite childcare for moms who wish to attend. For new parents needing time to themselves, Thursday morning R & R sessions boast complimentary tea, pastries, live Raffi performances, and a lending library for relaxing readings of War and Peace.
The expert dry cleaners at Browns Valley Cleaners employ a special eco- and clothes-friendly method that keeps colors vibrant and fabric soft. The staff eschews typical dry-cleaning materials in favor of a carbonated fluid and gentle soaps that won’t cause harm to the environment or attract squawking flocks of seagulls. Browns Valley Cleaners’ free home pickup and next-day delivery services ease the burden on customers who don’t have the time to commute to the store itself.
Helmed by long-time HVAC techs and tradesfolk Tommy Simkins and Richard Kramer, Air Solutions, Inc. has promoted clean, comfortable interior environments throughout three generations of family ownership. The team of licensed technicians extends its expertise far beyond conventional ventilation services, with installations of radiant-heat systems that cut down on monthly bills, and geothermal-energy hookups that help homes tap into the vast renewable energy produced by moleman barbecues. Preventative measures ensure existing air-conditioning and furnace setups run smoothly and efficiently, with dust-busting vent cleanings and thorough multipoint inspections.
Genesis Health Institute's co-owners, Dr. Douglas L. Weed and James Aguilar, promote personal health as they leverage wisdom acquired from a combined half-century of practice in the wellness industry. The institute’s captains draw from backgrounds in physical rehabilitation, chiropractic care, and integrative therapies as they design weight-loss plans based on ultrasound body-composition tests. Three health programs emphasize the institute's four pillars of health—detoxification, diet, proper exercise, and the use of targeted nutraceuticals—to help clients lose weight, boost metabolism, or contour the body. Supplements streamline success toward these goals, providing all the essential vitamins and minerals to increase bodily health and decrease cravings for orange crayons.
While cigarettes from Smoking Vapor curb nicotine cravings, they never emit a puff of smoke. The electric cigarette's LED tip lights up as it releases customizable doses of nicotine in time with users’ drags, stripping the smoking experience of tobacco, toxins, and smoke itself. Long-lasting rechargeable batteries or strikes of lightning power each of the cigarettes, which immediately detect users’ puffs via a microprocessor and sensor, with no button pushing required. Smokers can select from traditional or flavored nicotine cartridges. A variety of flavors are available in stores, including Grape, Coffee, and Strawberry.
Wind tousles the broad leaves of vines above clusters of grapes the off-black blue of the dusk sky. Frank and Liz Vezér, owners of Vezér Family Vineyard, originally began growing the fruit to help fill the needs of wine producers including Ravenswood and Sin Zin. More than a decade ago, they also began producing their own wines. “One could call it beginner’s luck,” says Touring and Tasting Magazine, “but their award-winning streak has yet to be broken. Every single wine Vezér has produced has won a top award or superior rating. Of most recent note, the 2007 Vezér Cabernet Sauvignon won double gold at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition and a whopping 97 points at a blind tasting at Napa’s Bay Leaf Restaurant.”
The winery adjoins the original Pony Express offices, and one can still almost hear the sound of plodding hooves and hooves frustratedly trying to apply stamps. On a copper-roofed cupola, an equine weathervane twists to face the winds above a sweeping swath of grass that fills with chatter during weddings and other events.
Vezer Stock, the Vezér Family Vineyard's version of Woodstock, will be held at the Blue Victorian Winery on July 13th from 4p.m. to 10 p.m. Attendants are encourage to dress up in their most far out 1969 outfits while they enjoy tunes from the Used Blues Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band, and Rick Harris & Silverado.