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The World-Class Restaurants of Napa Valley

Wine Country in California is one of the most relaxing destinations in all of America. With such a large variety of wines and drinks to choose from, any true connoisseur understands the importance of properly pairing a wine with a meal. Napa Valley does not come short when it comes to foods, restaurants, or, unsurprisingly, wine selection. Here are the top restaurants in the Valley, which are guaranteed to make your time in Napa and unforgettable one.

The first on the list is The French Laundry, which offers medley of American and French foods expertly paired with some of the finest wines Napa Valley has to offer. A fan favorite since 1994 is the Oysters and Pearls dish. This dish contains tapioca pearls and a few oysters with caviar and creamy sabayon. This dish has been a staple of the restaurant and is a must-order for any first-time visitor to the restaurant.

Next on the list is The Restaurant at Meadowood. The only other three Michelin-star rated the restaurant on the West Coast, besides the French Laundry, the Meadowood offers exceptional food that draws its inspiration from across the globe. The menu is almost overwhelming as each dish sounds, and is, as delicious as the last. Furthermore, the wine selection is world-class. If you are on a budget but still want to experience the delicacies of The Restaurant at Meadowood, visit their much-more-affordable, but equally delicious bar lounge.

The coziest and most comfortable member of this is Bistro Jeanty. This bistro, situated in a small but charming town of Yountville, offers an incredible tomato soup puff pastry and a stunning collection of local wines which can be enjoyed in their outdoor patio area.

Zuzu - Napa Valley

Zuzu is a bit of an anomaly with regards to the culinary scene in Napa Valley. Many restaurants are french inspired, which pairs nicely with the extensive wine collections that Napa has to offer. Zuzu, however, is a Spanish tapas restaurant and boasts an extensive collection of wine that perfectly complements their Iberian dishes. The restaurant does not take reservations, but it’s well worth the wait.

Another top-notch restaurant in Napa Valley is Solbar. Like Zuzu, this is one of the few top-rated Napa restaurants that does not feature contemporary French cuisine. Solbar is uniquely designed with modern, sleek look and has an amazing backyard patio. The restaurant offers a great deal of the hardest-to-come-by local wines.

You may be surprised to find the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, a traditional BBQ, American restaurant, on this list of highly-refined world class restaurants. But make no mistake, the food at Farmstead is top-notch. It has gained popularity in recent years due to the freshness of its food. Believe it or not, the cows are actually raised on site, as are the chickens. The restaurant also grows their own fruits and vegetables, and even produce their own olive oil. It may not be a popular location for wine lovers, but it is the best for a classic American BBQ in the region.

The Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County: How You Can Give Back

“Down syndrome is the most common genetic variation, occurring in about one of every 691 live births. Approximately 400,000 people living in the United States have Down syndrome. Although researchers have not yet determined its cause, we know that Down syndrome results from an extra 21st chromosome and affects people of all ages, races and economic levels.” – DSF of Orange County

Down Syndrome Foudnation of Organce County

Mission: Continue creating opportunities for children with down syndrome.

The Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County values the ability to foster amazing relationships within the DSF community. The mission is to serve those with Down Syndrome by developing their educational and social skills. The foundation continues to support programs that deliver partnership to individuals, families,  professionals and communities willing to partner with the Down Syndrome Foundation of OC. DSF collaborates with various organizations whose sole mission is to enhance learning models to suite their members.

How Can You Help? Spread The Word About The Learning Program!

The Learning Program

Down Syndrome Foundation’s primary program, The Learning Program offers several programs to support students with Down Syndrome and their families.

Learning Program Orange County (LP OC) Classrooms that range from level 1 – 6 offering programs for parents and children. The LP OC is delivered through Newport Beach and runs from September – June every year.

Goal: To empower parent advocate in behalf of their children and improve their academic abilities. The Learning Program Orange Court delivers a formal instruction habitat in literacy, Math and includes occupational and Speech therapy.

Learning Program Online (LP online) Is the online community that supports the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County. Learning Program online utilizes online webinars to replicate the same mission as the face-to-face learning program.

Goal: Through this online community you are able to access families throughout the world. Participants are able to join live sessions in real time and foster exciting relationships with those who share the same mission.

Learning Program Community Classroom (LP Community Classroom) Is an open community that delivers resources and information. These sessions are face-to-face and can only be offered during regular Learning Program OC sessions and or Stand alone seminars.

Goal: The Community classroom supports families and professionals from extended communities who are interesting in specific Learning Program topics but cannot commit to the full 10 month program.

Learning Program After-School Enrichment  This is a two hour after school program also known as Learning Program After School Academy. This program is intended to provide homework help, tutoring and social skill building.

Gold: Credentialed teachers and professionals provide therapy to students, peers and volunteers. The program enables hands on support for students and allows them to interact with others in their community.

Learning Program’s Teen Time Offers opportunities for youth ages 11-17 where various targeted programs don’t exist. Teen Time offers Learning Program resources, focusing on tutoring, social skills and relationship building for teens.

Learning Program National This program serves over 8,700 parents and professionals. The Learning Program allows them to work more efficiently with students who have Down Syndrome and improve their visual learning strengths.

Learning Program Partners This program’s goal is to solely share educational resources and strategies with other Down Syndrome groups so they can deliver to the Down Syndrome community in other areas.
See LP Partners for more information.

Five Must-See Museums in Italy

Europe, as it relates to western culture, is the mecca of great art and culture. People from across the planet pay a hefty fee to travel thousands of miles to have the chance to view the sites of France, the UK, and other European nations. Italy, which served as the birthplace of the renaissance, is chock full of significant cultural, artistic, and historical monuments with every turn you make and every gondola ride you take. Regardless if you are visiting Rome, Florence, Naples, or nearly any other Italian cities, you will encounter a great deal of museums, cathedrals, and paintings. If you are looking for a short list, here are a few of the best museums Italy has to offer.

One museum which inspires a sense of awe is the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy. This museum is Turin’s Egyptian Museum and is the only museum outside of Egypt to solely house Egyptian artifacts. The only other such place on the planet is the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. The Egyptian Museum in Turin initially began collecting items as early as the 18th century when European historians began closely studying and investigating Egyptian history. Exhibits in the museum include monumental stone statues, sphinxes, papyri, and even mummies. They have around 6,500 objects on display at any single time, and over 26,000 pieces in storage. The Museo Egizio has been popular amongst tourists and locals for decades and is a must-see if you are in the area.

Museo Ferrari - Italy museumsA trip to Italy would be incomplete without seeing some of the nation’s most famous and fastest cars at the Museo Ferrari in Maranello. This museum boasts six main halls filled with the instantly recognizable Ferrari Red cars on display. This museum is great for fans who love the Grand Prix and would love to learn more about one of the most famous car brands in the world. Not only can you see such marvelous cars, they also have a simulator where you can experience driving a Ferrari Formula 1 car for yourself.

Unlike the first two museums, the Musei Vaticani in Rome delves into the rich history of the Roman Catholic Church. Musei Vaticani allows visitors to explore the history of the Roman Catholic Church from the early 16th century on, and contains artifacts that helped shape the Church. Not only is this museum rich of history, they also house an array of priceless historical artifacts which certainly merit the long lines. For those who are traveling on a budget, the museum offers free entry on the last Sunday of every month.

Arguably, one of Italy’s most beautiful museums is the Galleria Degli Uffizi in Florence. Not only is it one of the oldest museums in the world, it is a go-to for any true art lover. It holds some of the most popular and famous pieces in Western art. It is home to Leonardo’s Annunciation as well as Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera. It also has work from some names you are sure to recognize including Michelangelo, Raphael, and Piero Della Francesca. The one downside to this museum is that it may overwhelm you with the sheer quantity of its artistic masterpieces. This is a fairly good problem to have when visiting. Besides the paintings, the architecture of the building is magnificent in its own right.

The final museum which is worth a trip is the Museo Archeologico Nazionsli Di Napoliin Naples. This historic museum gives visitors a chance to get a taste of many civilizations which include, Greek, Romans, and even Egyptians. This museum typically attracts a more mature crowd given the nature of some of its pieces. For any individuals who are looking to learn about a variety of cultures, this is the place to visit.

Top Seven Golfing Apps

Visulax Golf ($4.99)

Being that golf is 90 percent mental, Visualx devoted all of their efforts to seamlessly providing everything from visualization and relaxation techniques to managing courses and blocking distractions. Visualx incorporates the left and right brain tendencies to accomplish daily goals, rate your progress and send you notes. Consider Visualx your own sports psychologist.

SwingSmart ($249)

Swing Smart - Golf While this may seem pricey compared to the other options on this list, SwingSmart can be well worth it if you are looking for instant quality feedback from renowned golf teacher Peter Kostis. Peter Kostis also known as Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teacher offers various tips on ways to correct common golfing bad habits and mistakes. These video tips are made viewable to you after you have used the app and SwingSmart club sensor to upload your detailed, 3-D swing data onto your smartphone or tablet.

Golf Rules Quick Reference 2012-2015 ($9.99)

How is it possible to keep track of every rule during a game of golf? This digital application helps you get a handle on them, including recent changes, and yes it is in real time. Answers and solutions to your ongoing disputes in the tee box or the hazard come in a matter of a few seconds. Utilize the interactive tool called a Relief Finder, it will tell you if you really deserve that free drop.

My Pro To Go (free)

Personalized instructions have to be the most useful and powerful aspect of this mobile application. So here is the deal, film your swing from two angles – from the side and from – and then just simply upload the video. Within the next 24 hours, you’ll receive extremely detailed frame-by-frame feedback from a certified instructor. This will include customized drills, and an interactive follow-up session, along with access to a video library of your past lessons, and drawing tools that you can use on yourself and your friends.How is that for a free golfing lesson?

Swing by Swing Golf GPS Rangefinder (swingbyswing.com)

You can now receive access to over 34,000 courses worldwide. Some perks while utilizing this free application include accurate distances to the centers of greens and to hazards, all with a simple swipe of the screen (for free of course). If you invest $14-per-year into the application, the upgrade offers distances to the fronts and backs of greens and also allows you to track vital playing stats. Swing by Swing is available on iPhone, Android, and most BlackBerry phones.

Golfshot: Golf GPS (golfshot.com)

Golfshot is a $29.99 given map of any course that has a clear aerial image from Google or Bing maps, which is equivalent to about 38,000 courses worldwide. TouchPoint positioning gives the distance to any point from tee to green, with up to 40 targets per hole.

WGT Golf Lite (free)

This escapist application allows the daydreamer in you to play a match against your buddies on a virtually mapped layout that looks surprisingly real. In WGT Golf Lite, you are able to pit your skills against your opponent, but compare your skills on a global roster. The current version has two striking courses: the Ocean course at Kiawah and Wolf Creek in Mesquite. Moreover, additional features like peer-to-peer challenges and tournaments will be arriving soon.

(Source: Golf.com)

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