Octoberfest is a great happy celebration time in Germany. Here in my home town we have a wonderful resort called the Westlake Village Inn where at the vineyard winery, Stonehaus, Octoberfest was celebrated for the first time and the plans are already in the works for next year. If you are in Southern California during October, look to see when Stonehaus is celebrating Oktoberfest and join in on the beer, food and music by Hazelhuss Daz Music, in my home town of Westlake Village. See you there! Cheers!
Most of the locals believe they have a piece of heaven in their home. A city out in the country. This is the land of plenty for a few but still the young and restless try to find an abode in the area as well. There are some rentals and the prices are not on the kind side. Homes start in the middle income area and go up, way up from there.
Westlake Village may be upscale with presidents of companies, TV and screen actors, entertainment industry writers, professional athletes, music moguls, lawyers, doctors, and accountants but we still have the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, as well as the teachers, police officers, small business owners, and government workers. Don't get me wrong, we are not snobs. Far from it. Some may be affected by wealth, most are down to earth, and many still go to bed at night wondering what tomorrow will bring. As the song says "He works hard for the money" or "The money works hard for me" is very true to be able to hold on to a piece of this real estate. As a whole, the community gives to the charities of the world and cares about the environment and the future of mankind.
We have great parks and schools, restaurants, movie theatres, malls, car dealerships, golf courses, lakes, religious facilities, and hotels. Many shops from boutiques to large discount warehouses are within minutes drive time. Yes, I believe it is a piece of heaven and one that we are constantly being thankful for is this blessing that we do not take for granted, living in Westlake Village.
What does Bonzai mean? That is the question many ask. So let us go to the pros and find the answer. The Conejo Valley Bonsai Society has a Mission Statement, which I quote: "The Conejo Valley Bonsai Society is an organization dedicated to promoting the ancient art of bonsai. Our mission is to educate, share knowledge, ideas, and available resources that will foster enjoyment of bonsai for club members and the community." Yes, Bonsai is appreciated around the world, even in my part of the blue marble, Earth.
So, what does Bonsai mean? Bonsai derives from the Japanese terms Bon, meaning a tray or low-sided pot, and Sai, a planting or plantings. In Japanese culture, Bonsai is a way of practicing Zen Buddhism and Wabi Sabi. It teaches the disciples the impermanence of beauty and to find simple objects interesting, fascinating and beautiful. Many families have passed down a Bonsai from generation to generation. At Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California, two Bonsai grace the Japanese Gardens and are maintained by the Conejo Valley Bonsai Society. Bonsai looks like a miniature tree but is an art form carefully designed by man to look like nature shaped a tree. Bonsai is a centuries old practice of art.
The Conejo Valley Bonsai Society has hosted their 9th Annual Exhibition at Gardens of the World. I was fortunate to have been there to see the fantastic display of Bonsai at their Exhibition and was amazed at the variety of trees used in this ancient art form. There are many Bonsai Societies throughout California and major shows and even conventions have been held for over 55 years. I learned from a few members of the Conejo Valley Bonsai Club that I spoke with at their Annual Exhibition held at the Gardens of the World that I could make a Bonsai from any tree that produces true branches and can be cultivated to remain small through pot confinement. Remember, you just don't start out with a 20 year old fully grown tree, but a seedling that you will shape into the art form you desire. I even got to cast a vote in the People's Choice Award for my favorite Bonsai . It was not easy, until I decided that as art, I had to find a Bonsai that moved my inner soul at the sight I beheld. One stood out for me and if you care to see my choice, go to my Bonsai Travelogue and you will see the beauty and art of Bonsai. You might even have a favorite of your own.
PRIVATE. That's the sign on the door. This is a residents only club and at the present time to only a select few. 250 member families belong to this yacht club. They do have guests over. The building, itself, is like a beacon for Westlake Village Lake.
Across the way, are the electric boats that have a waiting list of about 2 years to get a mooring space at the docks. There are about 180 slips at the moorage. Home owners on the fingerlings of the lake and those who live on the island have their own dockside backyards.
You can still enjoy the lake by visiting one of the restaurants that are at the Landing or by strolling around the Landings walkway along the lakeside. The lake takes on its own beauty at sunset. The club and boating may be private, but the view is there for everyone.