Tokyo Girl

One night in Tokyo while looking for dinner I stumbled across a restaurant where I spent the whole evening hanging out with the staff and chatting with a few of their regular customers in broken English and cell phone photos. Lucky for me Japanese model and actress Mizuno Natsuko happened to be one of them, after chatting about photography I invited her to meet me the next afternoon in Sasazuka to take some photos. When she showed up in a traditional Yukata I knew it was going to be a fun shoot.

Mizuno is currently working on stage productions in Tokyo, but has appeared in a number of magazines, short films, web series and commercials. We shot these photos around the streets of Sasazuka, Tokyo.

You can follow her on Twitter HERE.

Hostel Kyoto

My recent trip to Kyoto was an amazing adventure. It was my first time in that city and while many traditional hotels are avaliable, a new breed of boutique hostels offer an attractive affordable alternative, so I thought I would check one out. By the way this is not a sponsored post and they didn't know I planned on writing a review.

The Piece Hostel Sanjo, is in the heart of Kyoto, just a few blocks from the river walk, restaurants, shopping and parks. I had not stayed in a hostel for a number of years, but this is not your backpacker hostel with old bunk beds and one shower. It is a clean modern establishment with friendly staff, great facilities, and great free wifi.

The rooms are fresh, well designed and clean. There are options for private and family rooms as well as 4-10 person dormitories with bunk boxes. They do also offer all female dormitories for female travelers who prefer not to share a room with men.

Each morning breakfast is served, this being a hostel means that you wash your dishes when you are done, it's not much of a chore, but just be prepared for it. The showers are private and large by Japanese standards and the laundry room is modern and has a number of machines.

4 Person Room

Each dormitory is only accessible to the guests staying in that room and for added security each bunk gets it's own large locker for valuables. If you are taking a road trip there is a pay by the hour parking lot across the street, if you took the train like we did, I recommend renting bicycles as a great way to get around the city.

Ranging from $29-90 a night depending on the type of room you select and the dates, the Piece Hostel Sanjo offers great value. The staff is also helpful with directions, pointing out local festivals, and they offer bag storage on the day of checkin and checkout so you can enjoy the city without hauling your luggage around.

In the basement is a lounge/bar called Drip & Drop that serves coffee, beer, and a daily menu of light meals, if you don't feel like going out. Overall I have to say the Piece Hostel Sanjo changed my opinion on hostels in general and is a great choice for a solo traveler or groups.

For more information or to book your your own stay visit their official website HERE 

Bunk in 10 person room

Barrel Racing

There is no championship, no big buckle to win, no crowd in the grandstands, but across the US barrel racers gather together to hone their skills and engage in some friendly competition. Tonight, is a Thursday night at Ingalls Equestrian Event Center and riders from all over the area have come out to race. Ingalls draws a fairly large crowd seeing as it is in "Horsetown USA" better known as the City of Norco. 

I generally only cover larger events, but it seemed like it might be a good opportunity to capture some grassroots enthusiasts enjoying some time in the area, so I stopped by. One awesome thing about the Barrel Racing Community is that no matter what skill level or how nice your truck is, most everyone is there to encourage each other, coach new riders, and truly enjoy the sport. Enjoy the photos below and share your own barrel racing photos and stories with us on the Cassidy Magazine Facebook Page

Robert Mondavi Winery Turns 50

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery, a milestone that was celebrated at the winery in Oakville, California on July 16. The event begins at noon and will include live music, in-depth wine seminars and tastings, cooking demonstrations with top local chefs, a photo booth, horse-and-buggy rides through the historic To Kalon Vineyard and more.

Robert Mondavi established his winery in 1966, inspired by the belief that he could produce world-class wines in the Napa Valley. Today, Robert Mondavi Winery is recognized as a pioneer and industry leader that not only produces exceptional wines, but helped put Napa Valley on the map as one of North America's most highly-regarded wine regions. The July 16 celebration will commemorate this significant milestone at the winery where it all began 50 years ago. Robert Mondavi Winery has prepared a video short to commemorate the anniversary and pay tribute to the late Mr. Mondavi. Link:

Paws Up® Wilderness Workshops

This year, The Resort at Paws Up is excited to offer a new crop of enlightening instructional activities as part of their robust schedule of Wilderness Workshops. The workshops offer guests the chance to grow their artistic, equestrian, literary and musical skills, as well as their expertise about how truly to appreciate the great outdoors.

Wilderness Workshops are an added value for Paws Up's guests throughout the 2016 season and offer the opportunity to develop a new talent, perfect a craft or experience something completely new as a family. When booking a trip to Montana's premier luxury ranch resort, guests can choose from a wide range of engaging and complimentary workshops including:

Wild Writing: July 29-31, 2016
NEW for 2016: For centuries, writers have been finding inspiration out in the wild. And Montana may well be the place where your literary muse resides. So whether you're a professional writer or simply a seeker with a pen, come find your unique voice under the nurturing guidance of an internationally successful author. Veteran writer Laura Munson will lead the Wild Writing workshop. Munson is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir This Is Not the Story You Think It Is. Her writing has also been featured in numerous high-profile publications. Munson is the founder of Haven Writing Retreats, which are ranked in the top five writing retreats in the U.S. by Open Road Media. This custom Wilderness Workshop will give you a renewed feeling of empowerment through self-expression. It's an adventure within, in the great wide open.

Starry Night Photography and Champion Horsemanship: July 18–21, 2016
Aspiring cowboys and cowgals can join acclaimed ranch-life photographer and Cowgirl Hall of Fame member Barbara Van Cleve for a unique and captivating photography workshop. Guests will spend time indoors and outdoors photographing all that Montana has to offer. Van Cleve is known for her spectacular nighttime imagery, and she will instruct workshop participants on how to capture vivid, dreamy photographs under a starry, moonlit sky. Additionally, guests can take their horsemanship skills to a whole new level with instruction from the real deal—champion equestrian and Cowgirl Hall of Fame member Barbra Schulte. With an emphasis on mental toughness, Schulte has helped elite riders from all over the world reach their full potential. Workshop participants will focus on control as they wind through obstacle courses along scenic trails and practice their aim on horseback with mounted water pistol shooting.

Gettin' Primitive: August 7–13, 2016
NEW for 2016: Learn about the old ways of the great outdoors from an honest-to-goodness mountain man, Gary Steele. For one week at his self-built camp, guests will get hands-on instruction in "primitive" skills, such as edible plant identification, fire making, knot tying, longbow archery, music making, orienteering, shelter building, storytelling, tomahawk throwing, tracking and woodsmanship. Designed for families to come together in an environment that fosters curiosity and confidence, this Wilderness Workshop is sure to ignite your imagination. Steele, Paws Up's resident mountain man, will also make appearances at the Kids Corps of Discovery, around The Resort's luxury camps and on chuck wagon rides.

For more details on the complete Wilderness Workshop series, please visit here.

For reservations, please call (877) 588-6783. The Resort at Paws Up is also on Facebook and Twitter @Paws_Up.

The Resort at Paws Up combines luxury with unforgettable adventure on 37,000 acres of untamed Montana wilderness that is steeped in history. The Resort offers accommodations for a maximum of 225 guests in 30 tented accommodations (seasonally) and 28 luxurious vacation homes, ranging from the two-bedroom Meadow Homes and three-bedroom Wilderness Estates to the charming, private, four-bedroom Morris Ranch House. Paws Up is located in the heart of the Blackfoot Valley in western Montana, just 35 miles from Missoula International Airport. Travelers can access Missoula via direct flights from Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco and Seattle. For more information, please visit or call (800) 473-0601.

SOURCE The Resort at Paws Up

Marriott Deals for Texas Travel

Marriott wants to insure travelers have a very rewarding summer! It's almost time to hit the highways or airways and celebrate the relaxing summer season Texas has to offer. JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels and Marriott Hotels are helping vacationers dig deep into the heart of Texas by giving access to fabulous destinations while earning reward points faster. Marriott Rewards® members will find earning points easier this summer by staying at participating Marriott properties in Texas (see list below).

From Houston's NASA Space Center to Austin's live music scene to San Antonio's Alamo Mission, then north to Dallas for world-class shopping and art and don't forget Fort Worth's Stockyards and renowned art museums, travelers will enjoy more points with more stays. Marriott Rewards® members can pack their bags and take a road trip driving to several destinations while racking up points to use at future destinations.

Marriott Texas summer campaign:

Get on the fast track to free nights and other bonuses and hit the Texas trail to enjoy professional sports teams in remarkable ballparks such as Minute Maid Park in Houston and the Dallas Rangers' Ballpark in Arlington. How about treating the family to a gastronomy tour of Texas by mapping out notable diners, dives and drive-ins along the route? Imagine finger licking barbeque, golden fried seafood, homegrown fresh fruit pies and hand-churned ice cream. Don't forget the Texas-sized amusement and water parks such as Six Flags in Dallas and San Antonio and SeaWorld in San Antonio. Texas' major cities offer magnificent museums such as Houston's Museum of Fine Art and the Menil Collection, the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Dallas' Nasher Sculpture Center in the middle of the largest urban art district in the United States, and Fort Worth's incomparable Arts District which includes the Kimbell, Amon Carter, Modern Art Museum as well as the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

Now through September 5, 2016, stay at a participating Marriott property (see list below) and Marriott Rewards® members can earn 2,000 Marriott Reward® points. It's free to join the program and points are earned right away. Members also enjoy free standard in-room Wi-Fi and other exclusive offers and promotions just by registering for the program.

Points will start accruing with the member's second stay within the bonus period. Members are eligible to earn up to 10,000 bonus points, that's 10 stays, this summer. While accruing valuable award points, members will also enjoy a special discount on each stay – 2% midweek and 5% on weekends. That doubles the rewards throughout the summer.

Participating Summer Splash Down properties:
Renaissance Austin Hotel
Renaissance Dallas Hotel
Dallas Marriott City Center
Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center
Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott
The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel
JW Marriott Houston
Houston Marriott West Loop by The Galleria
Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental
San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk
San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter

Offer Details:
Dates Available
Now through September 5, 2016

Participating Marriott Hotels
JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels

What's Included

2% discount during midweek stays, 5% discount for weekends
Rewards Members may earn 2,000 bonus points for every stay between May 26th and September 5th, starting on the second stay
The offer is limited to 10 separate stays and 10,000 bonus points
Rewards Members may qualify for 100 prizes of 100,000 points each; a 10 million bonus point giveaway during the summer to Rewards Members
This summer, discover all that Texas has to offer – travelers will be rewarded with great experiences as well as Marriott Reward® points and hotel discounts.  For more information, visit

Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar

Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar at Pechanga Resort & Casino stands on it's own a destination restaurant within the sprawling restore. As someone who is not big on gambling myself I often look to the other amenities, entertainment, and dining that resorts have to offer. Umi stands out in the old west stagecoach stop, turned wine country destination of Temecula, where the top restaurants are almost all Italian or American.

At the heart of every great restaurant is the chef and Umi is no different. Headed by chef Kiyokuni Ikeda, a self-taught sushi chef who grew up working in his parents soba noodle and coffee shop in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. When his father became ill, Chef Ikeda dropped out of high school to run the family restaurant, where his passion and talents for the culinary arts blossomed. His handmade soba noodles and coffee became so popular that locals and tourists would go out of their way to sample them.

Chef Ikeda wanted to expand his culinary skills and began working at restaurants in Tokyo and assisting sushi chefs, later he would apply for a position in the US that would lead him to working at prestigious sushi restaurants in Philadelphia such as Zama and Morimoto. Today Chef Ikeda's culinary vision is on display inside Pechanga, California’s largest casino/resort.

From world class sushi and oysters to poultry and beef dishes Umi has something for everyone, the full bar offers a wide selection of drinks.

I started with the marinated beef tenderloin skewers served with an apple coleslaw and wasabi cream sauce ($9). For sushi I sampled the Sake Abo a salmon and avocado roll ($11) and for my main course I had the chicken a la brassa ($29). While desert looked amazing, I had already had far too much as the portions are generous, and the food is so good you don't want to leave anything on the plate. Chef Ikeda came out personally to greet our table see how dinner was and would regularly circulate around the dining room visiting with guests.

Even if you are not a gambler I doubt that Pechanga is on your radar, but Umi is worth visiting as a stand alone dining experience.

Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar is open for dinner from 5:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5:00p.m. to 11:00p.m. Friday and Saturday. Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar is one of Pechanga’s 11 dining outlets. To view the menu CLICK HERE.

I was invited out to Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar at Pechanga Resort & Casino as a guest however, the opinions expressed are my own.

Country Vibes with Banke

Banke is a LA style blogger and model who created "With Love, Banke" in 2014 to release the stress associated with being a college student. She describes herself as a random, quirky, nerdy girl whose fashion matches her personality. Banke loves mixing and matching vintage and modern pieces and turning it into a magical outfit. In her spare time, she enjoying eating sour candy, listening to t.A.t.u. and Crystal Castles and thrift shopping. She stopped by the ranch and checked out the M&P Speed Shop Courier.

Shirt: Vintage Early 1980's
Shoes: Converse

Follow her on Instagram HERE

Destination: Mission Inn

The Mission Inn is the heart of historic downtown Riverside for over 125 years, the original hotel was built in 1876, but by 1935 the hotel had grown into the sprawling complex you can visit today.   Frank Augustus Miller traveled the world collecting artifacts and architectural elements to incorporate into his hotel, many are still on display to this day. 

St. Francis of Assissi Chapel
When Miller decided to build the St. Francis Chapel on the grounds, he had the building designed around four large stained-glass windows and two original mosaics by Louis Comfort Tiffany. They were salvaged from New York City's Madison Square Presbyterian Church. Inside the Mexican-Baroque styled "Rayas Altar" is 25 feet tall by 16 feet across, carved from cedar and completely covered in gold leaf. Today it serves as a popular wedding venue and offers old world charm in the heart of Southern California. 

Hotel Lobby

Presidential Lounge
 Eight U.S. Presidents have stayed at the Mission Inn over the years, which hosted Pat and Richard Nixon's wedding and Nancy and Ronald Reagan's honeymoon. It has also had notable guests such as Susan B. Anthony, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Albert Einstein, Joseph Pulitzer, Booker T. Washington, Helen Keller, Bette Davis and many more.

3rd Floor Lounge

Today the inn offers a bit of old world glamor and luxury that is seldom seen today, as you wander the hotel's maze of courtyards, hallways, and staircases you can't help but feel that you have been transported far from busy streets of Southern California. 

Pool and Spa
Deluxe Queen Room

Room's vary in size and decor depending on what part of the hotel your room is located and the style of room you select. But all are luxurious and well appointed. Mine has a view of the pool and was spacious and comfortable. Room rates start at just under $200 per night, plus taxes and fees, parking in the secure garage is $15 per day, however, it is the best option since street parking is restricted during certain hours. Valet is $20 per day (plus tip) and is much more convenient, so be sure to budget for parking.

The inn has four restaurants on the property the Bella Trattoria, a small Italian bistro that serves Southern Italian Cuisine. Duane’s Prime Steaks and Seafood Restaurant, the Inland Empire’s only AAA Four Diamond awarded restaurant. Las Campanas Mexican Cuisine & Cantina. The Mission Inn Restaurant which offers a wide range of options and a season menu.

I had dinner at the The Mission Inn Restaurant and enjoyed the filet mignon with a chocolate lava cake for dessert. The food was excellent and the service staff were attentive and polite. If the weather is nice I suggest dining in the Spanish Courtyard and enjoying the view.

The Presidential Lounge is the hotel’s main cocktail lounge, with live jazz and portraits of each of the visiting presidents. It also serves a menu of appetizers and snacks if you are in the mood for a light meal.

Overall my first stay at the Mission Inn was an excellent experience and especially fun for a fan of history and architecture. The only other property that rivals the Mission Inn in California would be Hearst Castle, which is one of my favorite places in the State.

I found that the Mission Inn's "lowest booking price guaranteed" on their own website proved true, after checking rates with my favorite booking tool the Priceline App and several other hotel sites, was over $40 cheaper than the next booking site.

For more information on rates, ammenties, or to book your stay check out

Check out more photos from my stay below and follow us on Instagram @CassidyMagazine