• Courtyard by Marriott, a reliable upbeat and convenient place to stay to enjoy baseball in Rancho Cucamonga

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    By Anna Wilding, Contributing Editor
    RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA (Herald de Paris) — ¬†Rancho Cucamonga was voted by Money Magazine as being the 42nd¬†most livable city in the United States. Why? ¬†We wondered the same thing. ¬†As we were researching the nearby mountain community of Wrightwood, we decided to spend time in Rancho Cucamonga¬†to find the answer. ¬†To see if the claim was valid, we approached it like a challenge. ¬†We checked into the ¬†Courtyard By Marriott Ontario Rancho Cucamonga. ¬†I will give the Marriott credit. ¬†The bed was even more comfortable than some five star hotels we have stayed in and the comforter exactly the right weight, not to thick or to thin. ¬†Our top floor room also came with an adorable, exceptionally comfortable, heart shaped sofa, perfect for sitting and relaxing.

    The comfort of the room proved to be important, as to be honest, there is not much to Rancho Cucamonga.  It has become a showcase town of mass American consumerism, at its most brazenly evident.  We were yet to discover this fact, however.

    logo_courtyard_marriottAfter checking in at the hotel, we asked the staff why they thought Rancho Cucamonga¬†may have been voted the 42nd most livable city. ¬†Their eyes widened. ¬†After a moment of silence the locals said, ‚ÄĚOh wow that’s really cool,” or something to that effect. ¬†Fact is, we didn’t actually meet anyone who lived there, everyone came in to work. ¬†However, everyone did say Rancho had a low crime rate and was peaceful.

    I had heard about Victoria Gardens, so I was looking forward, after spending time in the dusty mountain desert, to some green grass and pretty rose beds and flowers.  I was to be disappointed.  Victoria Gardens is simply the largest outdoor shopping all I have ever been to.  Built by Forest Hills Development, with a slight nod to the work of Caruso Affiliated, the LA-based commercial developer, Victoria Gardens covers 147 acres.

    Each acre is crammed by stores, and large corporate chain stores, at that. ¬†The streets have some trees and the odd fountain, other than that you are on your own to peruse every single branded corporate American shop there is. ¬†There is nothing local. Rancho Cucamonga¬†is mass consumerism at its worst, and this my friends, is almost all there is to Rancho Cucamonga. ¬†That and rows upon rows of stand alone and townhouse dwellings, all homogeneous, every color, every design the same, ¬†It¬†is like Stepford, but in the desert … with shopping. ¬†There is nothing cultural, just a library and a movie theatre. ¬†Culture to locals means Victoria Gardens. ¬†After two hours walking the 147 acres, I was at loss as to what to photograph, let alone write about Rancho Cucamonga. ¬†I wasn’t even particularity inspired to photograph the stores. ¬†At least a Carouso property will give me photos, Disney-ish as they may be. ¬†All I can say is that this complex is a luxurious oasis in ¬†the rather barren desert mountain community areas of San Bernandino, and in that context, it is worth a visit. ¬†It is also worth a visit if you want to do all your holiday shopping in one day. The Courtyard by Marriott is a reliable, clean, upbeat, and convenient place to stay.

    There were no local companies save one, the N7 Creamery, a forward thinking coffee shop, Ice cream parlor, and brunch restaurant, artfully crafted with reclaimed materials and farm to table foods.We also enjoyed dinner at the fun and buzzy Asian BBQ restaurant ¬†Gyu-Kaku. After dinner we had a great time at the Minor League Baseball game, which I have to say, if you want to catch the region and it’s heart , it is the place to go. It was great fun.

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    unnamed (3)BASEBALL
    By JE Sved, Publisher
    Wait – there was one thing we thoroughly enjoyed about Rancho¬†Cucamonga. ¬†When the sun set and we were completely over-saturated by Victoria Gardens, we found ourselves at The Epicenter, a minor league baseball park, home of the Rancho¬†Cucamonga Quakes, an A-ball affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. ¬†If you haven’t been to a minor league baseball game, it is one of the best, most enjoyable, good old fashioned fun times you can have with your family, on a date, or any other time. ¬†The Epicenter is a lovely ballpark for A-ball, with plenty of good seats close to the action on the playing field. ¬†In typical minor league fashion, however, at least half the entertainment happens off the field. ¬†Staffers shoot t-shirts into the crowd between innings, with a slingshot; mascot dinosaurs entertain the crowd from atop the dugouts; and the baseball is not half bad, either. ¬†If you must go to Rancho Cucamonga, don’t miss the opportunity to stop by the Epicenter and catch a Quakes game. ¬†Seriously, it’s the most fun you can have in Rancho.¬†

    For dinner we ad our choice of chain restaurants. All standard and heavy on American fare. We decided to go to the most different one there was, the chain Gyu-Kaku. ¬†I hadn’t eaten there before and had heard good things, so we chose them. ¬†The place was definitely fun and buzzy and again, based on the strength of the friendly staff and enticing menu,that was suitable for vegetarians as well, we gave them a stand alone review.

    We did manage to find one indoor farm to table supermarket in a different part of Rancho Cucamonga, and one old historic vineyard, which we gave a quick walk though. Oddly, Victoria Gardens has no supermarkets.  Its sole purpose is consumerism.  Thus, from what we gathered, the lifestyle in Rancho Cucamonga is to buy a homogeneous house, work hard wherever you work, then spend it all at Victoria Gardens.  For those a bit more adventurous, there are some lakes and the beach an hour away, and the odd, dusty hike.

    scan_1xAll in all though, I have to question why this hot, arid desert shopping complex is considered the 42nd most livable place in America, and wonder just how much Forest Development Corporation, who own the shopping mall and presumably much of the housing, paid for such positioning.  Given towns like Santa Barbara, La Jolla, Laguna, San Diego, Mill Valley, the Napa region, and many other great places in California, the placement of Ranch Cucamonga seems a stretch.

    On the flip side, I guess if you arrive at LAX and want to see American consumerism and a modern suburban Americana, then take the 45 minute journey.  There is one thing for sure Рyou can get all your shipping done under one sunny sky blue roof.

    We were thankful for the Courtyard By Marriott Ontario Rancho Cucamonga for providing us accommodations that were inviting to stay in.

    I was thankful for a good book, by Clive Cussler, to while away the hours.



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