Rounding out an already awesome crew at the 2021West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat Redux, we are happy to announce the addition of Del Rey and Nancy Piver to our staff of ‘ukulele pros and merrymakers: Gary Peare, Dave Egan, Jim D’Ville, and Catfish Jack.
Del Rey, an American blues singer, guitarist, and ukulele player, hardly needs an introduction. Specializing in blues and jazz from 1900 – 1950, Rey also developed a “Women in American Music” concert/lecture series to provide an historical and cultural look at the contribution of women to music in the early 20th century. You can check out Del Rey’s teaching style in the video below. (You can also visit her website.) And if you like what you see, please consider putting a little something in Del Rey’s tip jar.
Nancy Piver is a life-long ukulele player and a graduate of the James Hill Ukulele Initiative’s teacher certification program. She is the music director of the SLO Strummers and has directed small and large ukulele ensembles, playing her unique arrangements, at numerous west coast retreats. You can get a feel for what Nancy will be offering at the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat by visiting her website. Nancy also plays violin, string bass, banjo, accordion, and piano, and will be bringing a wide range of musicality to the retreat.
Registration for the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat is now open. We encourage you to register early, as we will be limiting attendance in order to maintain safe social distancing. (FYI The apartments and RV spaces have all been spoken for.) Please review all the options available before registering.
It’s been a long time coming, but we finally feel comfortable offering the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat Redux at Camp Ocean Pines, in Cambria, on the beautiful Central California Coast. So, please, mark your calendars for :
November 3 – 7, 2021
Or better yet, REGISTER NOW, because space will be limited. BUT FIRST. please read about all the new opportunities and options below.
Options for lodging & meals
Everyone signing up for the retreat this year will have four main options to choose from:
Option 1 – Arrive on November 3 (Wednesday) after 3 pm, and depart on Sunday, anytime before noon. And stay at camp in one of the group cabinsor one of the two private apartments. (The apartments have already been spoken for.) You can also pitch a tentor bring a self-contained RV,* (all spaces for RV’s and motorhomes have been spoken for. Meals will begin with a light afternoon snack on Wednesday and end with a take-away lunch on Sunday. In between the Camp will be providing breakfast, lunch, & dinner each day along with morning and afternoon snacks. Our evening activities will begin Wednesday evening after dinner and workshops will begin on Thursday morning and end on Sunday morning.
Option 2 – This is the same as Option 1 above, but you will arrange for your own lodgings off campus** and breakfast is not included.
Option 3 – With this option you can arrive a day early, on November 2 (late Tuesday afternoon) and catch a few special workshops on Wednesday morning. We are not providing dinner on Tuesday night, but we might organize a group dinner and activity for that evening.
Option 4 – This is the same as Option 3, but you will arrange for your own lodgings off campus and breakfast is not included. We are not providing dinner on Tuesday night, but we might organize a group dinner and activity for that evening. Regular meals for this option begin with lunch on Wednesday. We can only offer 6 spots for self-contained RVs. (There are no hook-ups available.)
* We have a very limited number of spaces available for self-contained motorhomes. There are no hook-ups.
** Cambria has a lot great places to stay listed on AirBnB and VRBO. It’s also a very popular vacation destination. So, if you’re hoping to find a place to stay using either of those platforms, I suggest you get your place secured as soon as possible.
We have a fine cast of characters (including me!) already lined up for this year’s retreat and will be adding more in the coming weeks. So please stay tuned.
The Early Bird Registration Fees listed below include all of the retreat activities & workshops AND meals and lodging as described above. Early Bird registration ends June 5, 2021.
Option 1: Early bird fee: $899/student ($1,479 with non-uke-playing companion***)
Option 2: Early bird Fee: $779/student ($1,229 with non-uke-playing companion***)
Option 3: Early bird fee: $1059/student ($1,719 with non-uke-playing companion***)
Option 4: Early bird fee: $879/student ($1,349 with non-uke-playing companion***)
*** Non-ukulele playing companions are welcome, as always, and we will have a couple of workshops and activities just for them.
SAVE THE DATE! From the Papal Palace in Avignon to the pink flamingos of the Carmargue (and a little Van Gogh in between), this promises to be a spectacular journey. And we’ve timed it to avoid the intense heat and crowds of summer and still enjoy some fine spring weather. Days of scenic cycling will be followed by afternoons and evenings of ukulele instruction and fun. (Don’t let the 15-35 miles per day dissuade you, electric bikes are available for a nominal fee.) And if cycling is not your thing, you can stay on board and simply enjoy the world passing by. Most importantly, if you’re traveling alone, this is a great way to make new friends from around the world. It also makes a great rendezvous for long, lost friends or relatives. (“Sister acts”, in particular, have been a recurring theme on our Uke-Bike-Barge Adventures.)
Most importantly, we will have the entire barge L’Estelle to ourselves, the key to ‘ukulele happiness. So, if you’re looking for an active vacation you can take with your ‘ukulele through an exquisite part of the world, and make some new friends at the same time, this could be the trip for you.
A little something for everyone. . . .
We will begin in the lovely, ancient walled city of Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (For those wanting to explore the area around Avignon, we’ll be offering optional day trips before our uke/bike/barge trip begins. This will give us a chance to visit some note-worthy villages, do a little additional wine-tasting, and perhaps take a cooking lesson or two.
Our journey ends in Aigues Mortes, another walled town that has changed little since its glory during the Middle Ages. Among other things, today it is famous for its Fougasse. (Here’s a recipe, in case you can’t wait!)
In between, our route will take us along quiet, country roads with lush, breath-taking scenery, delightful hilltop villages, medieval fortresses, orchards, endless vineyards, and stunning vistas. Not only is this an ideal adventure for anyone looking to add a little physical activity to their vacation, it offers an opportunity to experience France in ways most visitors never get to enjoy.
History buffs will appreciate the Roman aqueducts and the Papal Palace, where the 14th-century Popes lived in magnificent style. Art aficionados will love seeing the scenes so lovingly depicted by Van Gogh and Cézanne. Food and wine enthusiasts will appreciate Provencal cuisine and the wines of the Rhone River Valley. Budding naturalists will go nuts in the wild Camargue region, the dramatic river delta where our journey ends, that is home to wild horses, flamingos, and an abundance of bird species. And ‘ukulele players will revel in all the ukulele fun and mischief and opportunities to hone their skill.
We would love to have you join us!
This will be our fourth ukulele/bike/barge adventure. And I must say my favorite part of every day is the lovely welcome we get from the crew when we arrive back at the our barge. (The barge, incidentally has miraculously appeared in a new location.) That is followed by the camaraderie enjoyed over a delicious meal before settling in for an evening of ‘ukulele merriment. And then, I get to retire to my own, familiar cabin. . . . .same bed, different part of the country. It’s no wonder we have people coming back for more.
We still have a few details to work out including before we can start finalizing things for our first, scheduled, post-COVID ukulele adventure. Never-the-less I wanted to make sure you got a heads up as these trips tend to fill quickly. So, if you are seriously interested in this, please let me know via the Contact Us page and you will be the first to know as we fill in more of the details. And rest assured, well be answering questions as answers become available.