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Valentine’s Day Celebration Guide

From romantic alfresco dinners for two and meal kits ready for pick up to “Galentine’s” merriment and family-friendly options, area businesses have come up with creative offerings to make this Valentine’s Day a unique one to remember

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Ranch 45 in Solana Beach will be offering a three-course Valentine’s menu available for takeout from February 12-14. The meal for two costs $150 and includes main dish options such as Brandt Prime Filet Mignon, Campbell River Salmon, and Truffle, Cauliflower Ravioli. Each meal also comes with Spinach Salad with strawberries, purple haze goat cheese, toasted hazelnuts, and aged balsamic; Chino Farms Vegetables; your choice of Mashed Potatoes or Wild Rice, and a Duo of Chocolate Pot du Crème and Meyer Lemon Tart. To complement the meal, guests may also add a wine pairing option for $55, or add on additional dishes including Shrimp Cocktail and Crab Cakes. Orders can be placed via Ranch 45’s website until February 11. ranch45.com

Ranch 45 is also hosting an on-site pop-up dinner for Valentines Day. Chefs Aron Schwartz and Duval Warner have teamed up with Brandt Beef to offer a romantic dinner on the patio. Each table will have two heaters and will be spaced more than six feet apart. There are 3 seatings available: 4:30pm, 6:30pm, and 8:30pm. Menu highlights include Dungeness Crab Cake, Fennel Salad, Steak & Eggs, Seared A5 Wagyu, Pan Roasted Brandt Beef Eye of Rib, Cauliflower Puree, chefs’ surprise dessert, and more. The cost is$98 per person including tax and service charge, with an optional wine pairing for an additional $45 per person. ranch45.com

Ranch 45

San Diego Botanic Garden is presenting “Garden of Love,” a Valentine weekend experience for visitors of all ages (including kids!). The experience will take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 12, 13 and 14, from 5-8 pm. At Garden of Love, visitors will enjoy strolling through romantically-lit pathways, listening to live music, grabbing some food from one of the food trucks, holding hands by a fire-pit, and buying special treats. Tickets are available online at sdbgarden.org and must be purchased in advance. A limited number of tickets are available each evening in order to comply with local and state guidelines. All guests age two and up are required to wear face coverings and social distance. Prices for this evening Valentine’s experience range from $7 for those ages 3-17 to $18 for adults. Special pricing for San Diego Botanic Garden members, seniors, and San Diego Museum Council members is available. vistorservices@sdbgarden.org, https://www.sdbgarden.org/valentine.htm

Send the Berry Good Foundation Valentine’s Local Food Gift Basket to a loved one (or treat yourself!) and the organization will donate a locally grown produce box from Foodshed Inc. to a San Diego family in need. The BGF Valentine’s Basket includes local honey from San Diego Honey Company, avocados from Polito Family Farm, Cara Cara oranges from Friend’s Ranch, strawberries from Be Wise Ranch, handmande artisan bread from Chinita’s Pies, California Olive Oil caramel sauce, and a blackberry candle from Often Wander. Free delivery is available within San Diego County Thursday, February 11 through Saturday February 13. Shipping outside of San Diego County not available at this time. berrygoodfood.org/product/valentines-basket/

Berry Good Foundation

Available for dine-in or to-go, La Valencia Hotel is serving up love in La Jolla with a delectable coursed meal prepared by Chef Timothy Ralphs and specialty Valentine’s cocktails. Enjoy an amuse bouche, starter, choice of beef or salmon entree, and dessert for $89 per person. Finish your romantic evening with a sweet take-home gift when you dine at the Pink Lady. Now accepting reservations through OpenTable. Specialty Cocktails, available February 12-28, include “You’re The ‘Swan’ I Want (Rose Gin, St. Germain’s Elderflower, Sparkling Brut Rose) and “Whispering Smoked Nothings”  (Cardamom smoke infused Remy Martin 1738 Cognac). lavalencia.com/culinary-events

Valentine’s Day cocktails, La Valencia Hotel

Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe is offering a four-course menu at $125 per person, with menu options by Chef De Cuisine Michael Moritz including Dungeness Crab Agnoletti, Shallot Cream, 6 Hamahama Blue Pool Oysters 2 Ways, Lobster Risotto, Atlantic John Dory, Prime Beef Filet Chateaubriand, Veal Tournedos, and more. An option to add a Siberian Caviar Tin (1oz), Buckwheat Blinis, Fresh Cream, and Chives is available for an additional $95. millefleurs.com

Pacifica Del Mar’s a la carte menu is available February 12-14 for takeout or dine-in at the restaurant. Starter choices include Blue Lump Crab Cake, Crispy Calamari, Steamed Mussels, Kumiai Oysters on the Half Shell, and more. For entrees, select from Sugar-Spiced Salmon, Pan Roasted Chilean Seabass, Filet Mignon, Braised Short Rib, Roasted Free Range Chicken Breast, and more. Every entree comes with choice of a soup or salad. pacificadelmar.com

Serēa is reopening February 11 for outdoor dining on its expansive patio complete with fresh, sea salt-scented air. Located at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado, the James Beard Foundation Fresh Catch Leader & Executive Chef JoJo Ruiz crafts seafood dishes with a Mediterranean flair and other specialties complemented by seasonal ingredients from the best of the region’s oceans, farms, and fields. Valentine’s Day specialties include Chicory Chop Salad, Pan Seared Scallops, and Guava & Pineapple Layered Cake. Serēa will be open for dinner from 5-9pm on Thursday and Sunday, and 5-10pm on Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.com.

Serea

Reopening February 10, Lionfish, located at the Pendry San Diego Hotel, honors the essence of the city’s lifestyle with modern coastal cuisine that features fresh-catch cooking and seasonal ingredients, all prepared with innovative twists with both sustainable seafood and prime meats in casual yet complex offerings by Executive chef and James Beard Smart Catch leader JoJo Ruiz. Lionfish invites guests to enjoy al fresco date night on its spacious outdoor patio overlooking 5th Ave for Valentine’s Day with specials including Strawberry Fraisier, The Love Boat Raw Platter, and more. Lionfish will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 5-10pm, and Friday and Saturday from 4-10pm. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.com.

Lionfish

Let Café Sevilla set the mood for romance this Valentine’s Day weekend, February 12-15th. Dine your heart out with the restaurant’s “Lovers in Spain” menu, available all weekend long. The special menu includes romantic classics with a Spanish twist including a bottle of Poema Cava Brut Sparkling Spanish Wine to share; chorizo Basque stew with crumbled Spanish chorizo, baby kale and chickpeas in a savory broth; lobster paella featuring two cold water lobster tails atop Café Sevilla’s classic Paella Valenciana, made with mussels, clams, calamari, shrimp, chicken and grilled sausages on a bed of saffron infused bomba rice; and almond tarta de cupid with fresh berry coulis and Licor 43 for dessert. The Valentine’s menu is priced at $125 per couple; items are available for dine-in or takeout and also available à la carte. The regular dinner menu is also available all weekend. To provide an enjoyable and safe dining experience, Cafe Sevilla has a spacious patio and parklet for outdoor dining on Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp, and performs wellness and temperature checks on each employee before their shifts. A QR code is printed on each receipt so guests can pay in a touchless manner if desired. 619.233.5979, cafesevilla.com 

Cafe Sevilla

Madison on Park will be open for outdoor dining on Valentine’s Day from 9:30am-2pm for weekend brunch and from 5pm-10pm for dinner. Featuring the restaurant’s approachable Mediterranean and Southern California fare, cocktails, and an extensive wine list, guests can cozy up on the restaurant’s beautiful alfresco street-side patio. Reservations are recommended and can be made through OpenTable. The restaurant will also continue to offer takeout and delivery through DoorDash and Postmates.

Madison on Park

To sweeten up Valentine’s Day this year, The Presley, located in Liberty Station, has teamed up with fellow Liberty Station small business, The Cravory, to serve up the ultimate Valentine’s Day sweet treat, Cupid’s Cookie Sandwich. The perfect complement to your Valentine’s Day meal, Cupid’s Cookie Sandwich is an ice cream sandwich that combines creamy strawberry ice cream stacked between two of The Cravory’s Choco-Berry Cookies (Strawberry dough, mixed-in strawberry jam, dried strawberries, milk chocolate chips, and a generous sprinkle of heart-shaped fun.) The $6 treat will be available for purchase at The Presley from February 11-14. The restaurant will be open for outdoor dining from 11am-10pm on Valentine’s Day with ample outdoor seating. thepresleysd.com

Celebrate amore at farm-to-neighborhood eatery Rusticucina in Hillcrest featuring executive chef Marco Provino’s Sicilian-crafted cuisine. The three-course Valentino Dinner is available for $135 per couple and includes a choice of appetizer with options including Salmon Carpaccio or Crispy Burrata and Oysters, entree dishes such as Fig Caprino Ravioli with black caviar or King Crab Legs, and for dessert, Chocolate Covered Strawberries along with a complimentary bottle of Italian Prosecco, available for dine-in on the restaurant’s beautiful alfresco patio from 4pm-10pm or to-go. The “You, Me, and the Couch” package is available for $75 per couple and includes a half dozen oysters or charcuterie board with Italian Prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries. The Chef’s special Valentine’s Day menu is also available for $49 per person and can be enjoyed for dine-in on the al-fresco patio from 4pm-10pm. Pre-orders can be made by calling the restaurant at 619.310.5291 or through the website, with pickup on February 14 between 4pm-8pm, and reservations can be made through OpenTable

Rusticucina

Garibaldi, the InterContinental San Diego’s rooftop hotspot downtown, will be offering a two-day Valentine’s Day Menu February 13-14 to celebrate the holiday. The three-course dinner for two is available at the restaurant for dine-in on the sundrenched terraza from 4pm-9pm and is priced at $95 per couple. The menu, also available to-go for $75, includes an Arugula & Sorrel Salad, Sardinian Surf ‘n’ Turf with Lamb Osso Bucco and Grilled Shrimp, and Torta di Ricotta to finish off the meal. Patrons also have the choice to add on one of three Italian wines ranging in price from $30 a bottle to $55 a bottle. To-go orders can be placed by emailing info@catchgaribaldi.com, and are available for pickup February 13-14 from 3pm to 7pm. catchgaribaldi.com

Garibaldi

Treat your sweetheart to an Italian feast this Valentine’s Day courtesy of Barbusa. Cozy up for a romantic evening at home, or enjoy a night under the stars on the restaurant’s outdoor patio, with options such as Bolognese Al Forno, Lollipop Chops, Sicilian Bone in Ribeye, Cavatelli Con Bone Marrow, and Barbusa’s renowned Granchio pasta. Takeout orders can be placed from 4-8pm by calling the restaurant, and dine-in seating is available on a first come, first serve basis. For those who prefer delivery, Barbusa has partnered with a meal delivery service for the first time, and can now be ordered through DoorDash as well. 619.238.1917, barbusa.com

Barbusa

Teriyaki & Bao in Carlsbad will be serving up special Valentine’s Day Owl Bao Buns filled with nutella and strawberries as well as offering a combo deal, Delimanjoo for Two. When you spend $50 or more at the restaurant, you get one order of Delimanjoo for free. Delimanjoo is a fish-shaped South Korean bread, and at Teriyaki & Bao it’s made with pineapple filling and served with chocolate dipping sauce. The offer is only valid when you order in store or over the phone. Additionally, sister restaurant Harumama will be offering Valentine’s Day Puppy Buns at all locations. The character buns have a red-velvet inspired cream cheese filling and will be available February 8-22. harumamasd.com/teriyaki-bao-menu

Teriyaki & Bao

Saint Archer is releasing it newest R&D series brews on Thursday, February 11, the Raspberry Berliner Weiss (4% ABV) and BBA Imperial Stout(11% ABV), brewed to be reminiscent of everyone’s favorite childhood classic, the PB&J sandwich. Saint Archer took a full dive into that confectionary memory and enhanced the sweetness of their Imperial Stout with peanut butter, marshmallow, and banana (aka a fluffernutter). The brewery also dug into their barrel inventory, using a hand-selected Imperial Stout aged in a Woodford Reserve barrel for three years to kick up the richness, and then adding in the contrasting acidity and jamminess of jelly with a Raspberry Berlinerweisse. To complete the brew Saint Archer teamed up with local baker Cathy de Leon of I Love Banana Bread to concoct a bread, to later be added into beer, that captured all of those precious memories in a single loaf. Saint Archer recommends purchasing each beer and mixing them in equal parts to create the perfect “PB&J” flavor for a fun throwback this Valentine’s Day. The new releases will be available at both tasting rooms in Miramar and Leucadia sold in four-packs for to-go and curbside pickup. saintarcherbrewery.com

San Diego-based female-founded high-end culinary brand, Kaneh Co., specializing in gourmet cannabis infused edibles, is setting “high expectations” this year. Go above and beyond and gift your loved one Kaneh Co.’s Red Velvet Cookiesdelectable cakey cookies with hints of cocoa, loaded with white chocolate chips. Infused with 10 mg of cannabis extract made from California-grown marijuana plants, the cookies can be found in 200 dispensaries across California, including boutique cannabis dispensary March & Ash in San Diego for $20 (10mg THC per Cookies, 10 cookies per package, 100mg THC total) available via delivery and curbside pickup herekanehedibles.com

Kaneh Co.

The Gluten Free Baking Company’s Valentine’s Day Menu, which includes gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options, features a variety of treats, complete with breakfast and dessert options. Highlights include Valentine’s Cream-Puffs, Cookies, a Two-Tier Donut-Topped Cake, Cherry Crumble Pie, Cookies, and Valentine’s Decadence Cake. In addition to the Valentine’s Day specials, the bakery’s daily offerings of bread, muffins, bagels, cupcakes, and more, will also be available. Orders for Valentine’s Day can be placed up until Tuesday, February 9 via the bakery’s website, with order pickups available from February 12-14 at the North Park bakery. Valentine’s Day treats will also be available in the shop’s bakery case for same day first-come first-serve basis. thegfbakingco.com

Gluten Free Baking Company

The Friendly Feast Valentine’s Day Pop Up will feature exclusive chocolate baked goods from San Diego’s top pastry chefs including Rachel King of Kaneh Co., Aly Lang of George’s at the Cove, Joanne Sherif of Matteo, and Lindsay Sipress of Juniper Ivy —  all in support of Kitchens For Good. Guests can purchase a box of delicious chocolate treats pre-ordered at $30 a box from the Friendly Feast website, available for pick up Sunday, February 14 at Chi Chocolat in Liberty Station from 11am-12:30pm. Each box will contain all five chef-created items with proceeds benefiting Friendly Feast and Kitchens For Good, a nonprofit that transforms lives and nourishes communities by providing people with skills and support to launch meaningful careers. friendlyfeast.org

Friendly Feast Chi-Chocolat chocolate-bombs

Just in time for Valentine’s Day and the President’s Day holiday weekend, Trust Restaurant Group’s (TRG) Rare Society and Fort Oak will reopen for dinner. Rare Society will reopen its extended patio for dine-in on Thursday, February 11. New menu items perfect for date night include a Seafood Tower, Oysters Rockefeller, and a 4 oz. butter-poached Maine lobster tail with drawn butter. Pair with one of Chef Brad Wise’s savory steaks and homemade sauces while sipping on their famous Espresso Martinis. Reservations are now available via exploretock.com/raresociety.

Rare Society

For the love of wood-fired food, Fort Oak will reopen for dine-in on Friday, February 12. Indulge in the restaurant’s eccentric raw bar, smoky vegetables, and acclaimed whole hearth grilled branzino, just to name a few. Reservations are available via exploretock.com/fortoak.

Fort Oak

Celebrate love with a cozy night at home and a gourmet meal prepared by the chefs at Gelson’s, with locations in North Pacific Beach, Del Mar, and Carlsbad. Their to-go dinner for two includes either Two Truffled Beef Wellingtons and Lobster Tail, or a 16 oz. Prime Rib and Lobster Tail. Both entrées are served with an apple pomegranate salad, roasted garlic Brussels sprouts, red roasted potatoes, and a half dozen decadent Villars Swiss Chocolate dipped strawberries. If you’re not in the market for a full dinner, Gelson’s has the option to pick up their famous chocolate-dipped strawberries in gift box increments of four, six, and ten. Don’t forget a fresh bouquet of swoon-worthy flowers from their in-house florist along with a bottle or two of their Gelson’s branded wines crafted by 100pt winemaker Julien Fayard. Valentine’s Day orders can be placed through February 13 and are available for curbside pickup February 13-14. For a list of Valentine’s Day selections and to pre-order, visit gelsons.com/valentines.

Gelsons

Escape for a romantic coastal staycation at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. The “Smore’s Suite Love Package” includes one overnight accommodation in a two-bedroom Ponto Suite, a “Roast Your Own Smore’s Kit” for two, a fresh floral arrangement, and a $100 resort credit for California comfort cuisine from 7 Mile Kitchen or onsite bike rentals. The package is valid for stays booked from Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14. Use the promo code ROM to reserve your stay by February 10. marriott.com/hotels/travel/sanbs-sheraton-carlsbad-resort-and-spa/

Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa

Why keep romance to just one day? Feel the love and connection at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa as you reconnect with your special someone all month long. Whether you’re looking for tasty cocktails, couples’ yoga or private dinners, your stay will be filled with love. Guests and locals alike can taste the flavors of love with Greenfinch Bar’s specialty menu. Take your Valentine cocktail to-go and head home, or better yet linger on the gorgeous property near a fire pit, the Secret Garden, or in your guest room. Additionally, the hotel will host an Aphrodisiacs & Oysters Event on February 13 and 20, which will feature French 75s and live oyster shucking. meritagecollection.com/estancia-la-jolla/special-events/valentines-month

Valentine’s Day Cocktails, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

The Love Sparkle Capsule collection by Julez Bryant is a special collection to express your inner and outer love through brilliant sparkle. An extension of Julez Bryant Golden, the designs are created to be worn every day to celebrate yourself and the ones you love. The collection includes gift friendly necklaces, pendants, and more including versatile mixed metals of yellow and rose gold, to represent life’s endless combinations of love. julezbryant.com/collections/love-sparkle

Julez Bryant

Celebrate love by treating you and a loved one to an acupuncture session at Modern Acupuncture in Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Acupuncture has long been known for reducing stress and pain for various ailments, making this wellness service a great way to unwind, relax and show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day. Modern Acupuncture offers an enhanced experience wherein unlike traditional acupuncture treatments, it does not require the removal of any clothing to access full-body health. Treatments are convenient, usually 30 minutes, and by appointment. The open-style clinic will offer “Bubble Events,” where couples, groups of friends, coworkers, families, or anyone in a quarantine bubble  can enjoy the entire space to themselves for the duration of the treatments. modernacupuncture.com/california/san-diego/del-mar-highlands-town-center-ca031

Modern Acupuncture

Whether you are a thrill-seeking couple or group of girlfriends looking for a safe way to celebrate Galentine’s Day this year, Everyday California has you covered. The La Jolla-based ocean adventure and apparel company offers whale watching and sea cave kayaking tours, snorkel tours, and surf lessons, so you can enjoy fresh air and beautiful coastal views in an area with one of the highest concentrations of sea life in the entire state. Everyday California ensures the safety of its customers by thoroughly sanitizing all gear between uses, requiring customers and staff to wear a facemask and maintain 6 feet distance from one another, and restricting tours to a maximum of ten people. More information on Everyday California’s preventive measures and precautions on tours, lessons and gear can be found hereeverydaycalifornia.com

Italian culture is known for romanticism and San Diego’s Little Italy knows how to keep that romance alive. Spend the afternoon strolling the lively downtown neighborhood, exploring local shops and eateries, and drinking in the sunshine with the ones you love.

Little Italy

Sometimes a little fresh air is all you need! Spend a few hours taking in the vibrant sights of the street-lined trees and vast piazzas. Find yourself enveloped in the bay breeze and sunshine as you walk through the Piazza della Famiglia, the “heart” of Little Italy. Stop and take a moment to enjoy a local coffee from Caffe Italia or James Coffee Co. Don’t forget to document the moment by taking a picture in front of the iconic Little Italy Sign or on the Big Red Chair.

Reservation for two at home? Little Italy has all the accoutrements you need to create a special meal. Swing by Carruth Wine Cellars  or Pali Wine Co. to search for the perfect bottle of wine to accompany a decadent dinner. Stop into The Market By Buon Appetito or Mona Lisa Italian Foods where you’ll find a variety of meats and cheeses for your Valentine’s Day charcuterie board. For true, rustic Italian style bread and pastries, you won’t want to pass up Solunto Ristorante and Bakery.

Mona Lisa

Prefer to leave the cooking to the pros this year? Enjoy a romantic meal for two outdoors beneath the twinkling lights. Feast on everything from housemade pastas at Barbusa or Bencotto and hand-tossed pizzas at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto to Michelin Guide recognized bento boxes at Cloak & Petal and fresh oysters at Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar.

Make sure you take the time to spoil yourself or a loved one with a unique and thoughtful gift from the neighborhood’s one-of-a-kind shops. Show your love through pampering with luxurious soaps, fragrances, candles, and other apothecary and household items from Love & Aesthetics. Of course, every holiday deserves a new outfit or accessory. Find just the thing that makes your heart sing with a new outfit from Be Boutique. Accessorize your look with earrings, necklaces, and other accessories from Vocabulary. If you want to make this Valentine’s Day truly memorable, check out Irelia Fine Jewelry for a little something that sparkles.

Craving a sweet treat? Grab a scoop (or two) of ice cream from Salt & Straw or enjoy a scoop of gelato topped with espresso from Pappalecco. For something on the lighter side, check out Holy Paleta or Pop Pops Paletas for a variety of frozen pops made with all-natural ingredients or pick out an assortment of petit desserts from Extraordinary Desserts.

End the night with a romantic stay at one of Little Italy’s beautiful hotels — Porto Vista Hotel, Carté Hotel or La Pensione Hotel. There’s nothing like a nice glass of prosecco, while taking in the city views, to end your evening.

Show your love with something as unique as your special someone thanks to the local businesses at Arts District Liberty Station, featuring many unique shopping experiences and gift options,

Get crafty and create something cozy with a variety of quality yarns, tools, and take-home kits from Apricot Yarn & Supply. Get your hands dirty as you sculpt and paint your own custom piece of pottery at Milk Oolong Studio or give the gift of creativity with a private class. Check out Hakkai Aquascape Design Gallery for a list of fun and interactive workshops for those who enjoy working with Mother Nature. Join San Diego Craft Collective on February 6 for a Valentine themed family workshop, or leave the kids at home for a date night on February 13 hosted by ceramic artists Allison Taylor.

For the ultimate art lover, check out the destination’s variety of galleries. Karen Jones Gallery has just what you need to impress the animal lover in your life. Pick up an archival matted photograph from MK Envision Galleries or an original oil painting by artist Lauren LeVieux. Have your art and drink it too with a custom insulated tumbler from Anne Gaffey Art. Check out Mingei International Museum’s Instagram for a curated collection of folk art and design from around the world. To elevate the everyday, add a piece of hand painted fine art, home goods or personalized jewelry from The Art of MVP. Help the fashionista in your life accessorize their look with a variety of wearable art including jewelry, pins, and scarves from Visions Art Museum.

Visions Art Museum

When in doubt, stick with tradition. Pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers from Flor Vida and keep the fresh flowers coming with a three-month subscription. Dine your heart out with a romantic Italian dinner from Solare Ristorante followed by an assortment of artisan chocolates from Chi Chocolat & Banyan Kitchen. Seal the deal with something that sparkles like a one-of-a-kind custom piece of jewelry from Gilmore Family Jewelers. End your evening with a romantic stroll through Arts District Liberty Station and check out the variety of public art installations located throughout the beautiful and open spaces.

Flor Vida
Image Credits Madison on Park: Photo by Haley Hill, Garibaldi: Photo by Lucianna McIntosh, Barbusa: Photo by John Dole, Teriyaki & Bao: Photo by Hiba Khalid, Kaneh Co.: Photo by James Tran, Gluten Free Baking Company: Photo by Lindsay Kreighbaum, Fort Oak: Photo by Jim Sullivan, Julez Bryant: Photo by Christian Quiocho

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