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Tag: Middletown

Pay It Forward – Middletown Florist & Gifts

Middletown Florist & Gifts is locally owned and operated by Julie Willis, Ellen Munk & Mary Costa; creating and providing exquisite floral arrangements, delivery, local gifts and more. Middletown Florist & Gifts offers a beautiful website filled with colorful floral options—everything from spring bouquets to cherry blossoms to a unique designer’s choice arrangement. They even offer matching cards to accompany your bouquet.

MAC Hosts Raíces Hermosas: Conversations with Artists

The Middletown Art Center (MAC) invites the public to Raíces Hermosas: Conversations with Artists, Saturday, April 6th, from 5–7pm at the MAC gallery. The Raíces Hermosas ~ Gorgeous Roots group exhibit highlights contemporary expressions of Latinx art and culture. Conversations with Artists and the Raíces Hermosas exhibit are free and open to the public.

Senior Summit Returns – Event Celebrates The Give Back Generation

On May 6 at the Twin Pine Resort & Casino Event Center in Middletown, the Lake County Silver Foundation will again host the Summit – an event featuring  Inspirational Senior Awards, a Health and Wellness Faire, speakers, a complimentary lunch, raffles and more. Seniors are encouraged to register early to secure their place for the event. “The last time we held the Summit at Twin Pine, walk-ins had to be turned away,” said event organizer Olga Steele.

Pay It Forward: Koontz Mercantile

Koontz Mercantile is a locally owned and operated general store with a unique twist. They offer spectacular custom and upcycled home décor and gifts – everything from unique gourmet foods to lightweight backpack wear to one-of-a-kind, custom furniture, handmade goods, and so much more!

Pay It Forward – Barbecue By Biasotti

I am happy to present to you our tenth local business spotlighted in the Pay it Forward feature – Barbecue By Biasotti. Barbecue By Biasotti is a locally owned and operated barbecue establishment that caters to and supports our local community – they will soon be opening a restaurant in Middletown! Barbecue By Biasotti (BBB) earned the Best BBQ & Catering award in the Best of Lake and Mendocino contest.

Middletown Trailside Nature Preserve

Our star, the sun was out in all of its glory after the winter storms, providing a respite from the intense but welcome weather this late winter. Middletown Trailside Nature Preserve’s 107 acres, with its mile-and-a-half loop, like much of the fire-ravaged lands in Lake County, is making a welcome comeback.

Exploring the World’s Largest Geothermal Plant: The Geysers

The chartered tour bus winds up the mountain, swings around switchbacks, and groans against the steep grade before pulling out on a ridgeline that workers call the North Slope, referring to how cold it gets in the winter when the wind blows. Right now the clouds rest below the tops of the surrounding mountains, dropping a mist that promises to turn into full-blown rain. Tim Conant, Calpine’s Director of Engineering, steps out of the bus first, followed by Danielle Matthews Seperas, Director of Government and Community Affairs. Both hunch their shoulders against the breeze and walk to the edge of the ridgeline. Just below, one of many geothermal power plants hums away, turning treated recycled water into electricity.

“When you flush a toilet in Clearlake Oaks, we pipe it up here and inject it,” Tim Conant explained earlier at the visitor’s center located in Middletown. He pointed at a large, lit model stretching across the wall. “We get about eight million gallons a day from Lake County and twelve and a half million from Santa Rosa.”

Five Great Places to Shop in Middletown (Plus Three Great Places to Eat)

Resting at the foot of Mt. Saint Helena on Highway 29, Middletown has long been the gateway to Lake County. The first stagecoaches entering the county came through town and stopped at the hotel before either heading up Cobb Mountain to the numerous hot springs resorts or continuing on to the shores of Clear Lake. In fact, Middletown’s called Middletown because it’s–surprise–the midway point between Calistoga and Lower Lake. But Middletown has more than just stories. It’s also got some great places to shop and eat.

Tuleyome Tales: The Story of a Forest Alligator Lizard

As I take a late spring, early morning walk at the edge of the woods not far from the creek in southern Middletown, it feels like a luxury to drink in the sounds of these surroundings. I note the scolding squawks of several blue jays in the oaks. They appear to be distressed at the sight of a pair of crows as they near the jay’s nests. In contrast to the cacophony above, the mellifluous sounds of the creek invite me to come closer. As I arrive at a clearing, a Forest Alligator Lizard is sitting as still as a stone in the sunlight. This is the second one I have seen this month! Wanting to watch this elusive and long-bodied creature I step ever closer.

Party-Hopping in Lake County

It’s early Saturday evening in Lake County, and there are more things going on than a person can possibly fit into one evening. The solution? Pick a general area in the county; if you plan it right, you can party-hop all night long. It goes without saying that the best parties start with a designated driver. After you’ve figured that out, let the fun begin! 

Camarones, Alambre, and Molé: Enjoying the Delights of La Parrilla in Middletown

Once you’ve passed the heart of Middletown and are working your way towards the winding roads of St. Helena, you’ll pass by La Parrilla Grill. You might not notice it right away, but it’s there on the right side of the road. If you pass The Geysers Visitor Center, you’ve gone too far. La Parrilla’s part taco stand, part restaurant, and is filled with incredible Mexican food. And Lake County’s full of good Mexican joints. But here, you’ll find unique, homestyle dishes you won’t find anywhere else. 

Weaving Together the MAC and the Community

It’s a bright early Spring Saturday morning in Middletown. The warmish-cool breeze blows through the open doors of the MAC. Inside, the bright white-washed walls hold ever-changing themed art. The floor’s filled with chairs and people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s what art in any community does; it brings people together. David and I quietly find a seat in the back of the room and settle in. There’s a spirit of anticipation and expectation, but not like you would find at an art show. No, this is different. This is a calling to learn something both new and ancient, holy and practical. Quiet expectation fills the room.

Your One-Stop Shop: Middletown Florist and Gifts

It was a spontaneous stop. I happened to already be in Middletown with some time to spare when I remembered a little shop I wanted to check out for a potential Bloom review. That’s when I met Ellen Munk, co-owner of Middletown Florist and Gifts, standing behind the florist desk cleaning up the last bit of greenery from a bouquet.
“Welcome!” came her greeting. “Feel free to look around and let me know if you have any questions,” she said, moving back to the front of the shop. The unmistakable smell of fresh-cut flowers filled the room.

Get Your Dose of Coolness at Koontz Mercantile

Reuben and Kassie Koontz moved back to Lake County in 2015 after living in Santa Rosa for years. There, Reuben did high-end autobody work and made great money. But they wanted a different, more rural lifestyle. So Kassie moved back home to Middletown, where her family has lived for four generations. There, she and Reuben created Koontz Mercantile, an eclectic shop filled with all kinds of cool stuff.
And ‘cool’ is the right word. The place has an aura of hipness. A surfboard serves as a shelf in the outdoor room, while a bicycle turned into a side table sits underneath rows of aprons filled with different sayings. “Shut up Liver, You’re Fine,” one reads.

A Sure Stop for Sandwiches: Perry’s Deli

Perry’s Deli is currently owned by Derrick and Courtney Fiske. Derrick is a 3rd generation owner who took over from his parents in 2019. I had a chance to talk with him on the phone a few days earlier, and knew that I was in for good food. Derrick explains that his father’s motto is “quality, quality, quality.” Derrick’s grandfather, he says, is “an old-school deli guy who emphasized specific measurements.” The family is no stranger to the deli business as they opened up Novato Perry’s years ago and Middletown in 1992.

A Journey Seven Years in the Making: Middletown Farmers’ Market

We spot Ben Hittle as we walk into the Farmers’ Market in Middletown. He stands underneath a gigantic oak tree, sunglasses pulled up onto the striped beanie pulled tight on his head. He’s selling trees. “It’s a cedar,” he tells us, his blonde goatee framing his smile, “and it can only be found in two places in Lake County. It’s an endangered species.” “That’s incredible,” I reply. “What type of cedar is it? “I don’t know,” he responds. “I’ve looked for hours and spent way too much time on the phone trying to figure it out. Nobody knows. No,” he pauses. “Somebody knows. I’ll find them.”

Eat, Stay, and Play at Twin Pine Casino

It’s seven o’clock in Middletown, California. The sun has just set, leaving its last beams to stretch across the rugged Mayacamas Mountains. As the last glimmer of purple eases from the ridges of Mount St. Helena, the lights around Twin Pine Casino begin to glimmer.
Located approximately thirty minutes north of Calistoga and just south of Middletown, a rural town with an incredible art gallery and spectacular Thai food, Twin Pine has been a part of the Middletown community for decades. It hosts free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, supports the local community, and serves as an evacuation center during fires.
And, like everyone else, Twin Pine has had to adapt. Following the COVID shut down in March, Twin Pine made some large adjustments to ensure that the guests were safe when they visited.

TAKING FLIGHT: ARTIST EMILY SCHIEBAL

Emily Schiebal’s redbrown hair falls straight against her green floral print blouse. Rain pounds on the single-wide trailer converted into an art studio. We sit at the kitchen table, Emily sipping on some hot chocolate while I take a taste of water. A beekeeper’s suit hangs on a wooden mannequin next to an old upright piano. She’s nervous. “I’m used to hiding behind my husband,” she tells me. “He’s such a prolific artist. It’s easier to hide behind him.”

LAKE COUNTY’S GENIUS LOCI: ECOARTS SCULPTURE WALK

Karen Turcotte pulls her dark-rimmed glasses away from her face and lets them hang by their purple chain. Her blue eyes glimmer with intensity. “It’s a locus,” she says, leaning forward to emphasize her point.

ARTFUL COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: LISA KAPLAN, MIDDLETOWN ART CENTER, AND ECOARTS

The County of Lake, as part of our #LakeCountyBrilliance initiative, will be sharing powerful lessons learned in conversation with Lisa Kaplan in the coming weeks, lessons that challenge us all to greet obstacles with an eye toward wholeness and restoration, encouraging us to identify not as permanently scarred, but hopefully resilient.

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