Tour ‘Vista Del Lago’ on Holiday Home Tour


Vista Del Lago, the lakefront home of Ron and Leigh Martel, is one of five Canyon Lake homes being featured on this year’s Holiday Home Tour on Sunday, Dec. 3. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the POA, Coldwell Banker, Pack Wrap & Post and from any Woman’s Club Board Member. Photo by Donna Ritchie

The annual Holiday Home Tour is a 44-year tradition in Canyon Lake. The event, hosted by the Woman’s Club, features a self-guided tour of five Canyon Lake homes, vendor boutique and an opportunity drawing for decorated Christmas trees and wreaths. More than 400 guests attended last year’s tour.

This year’s tour will be held on Sunday, Dec. 3. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the POA Office, Coldwell Banker in the Towne Center, Pack Wrap & Post in the Towne Center and from any Woman’s Club Board Member.

The tour begins at 9 a.m. at the lodge where guests can pick up tour maps, sample the signature cocktail, enjoy coffee and cookies, shop at the vendor boutique and purchase tickets for the opportunity drawing for the decorated trees and wreaths. Each tree is valued at a minimum of $200. Opportunity drawing tickets are $5 for six tickets. The drawing will be held at 2:30 p.m. and winners need not be present to win.

The Friday Flyer will showcase each home in the weeks leading up to the tour. This week’s feature is the lakefront home of Ron and Leigh Martel, 29728 Buggy Whip Ct.

“A Teddy Bear Christmas at Vista Del Lago” is the theme of this home Vista Del Lago means “View of the Lake,” and what a beautiful view these homeowners have.

Ron and Leigh’s home sits on a bluff in a prime location on the main lake. The fountain and leaded glass doors usher you into a unique octagonal foyer all aglow for Christmas and guarded by a huge nutcracker. The upper great room, with its 18-foot ceiling, sports new porcelain floor tile and ornate wrought iron railings, adding to the old world charm of the space.

The fireplace has been replaced with a wall unit over which hangs a castle tapestry, which reminds you of Europe. Leigh has some of her vast collection of Teddy Bears adorning the balcony and stair rails, along with fully decorated Christmas trees both inside and out.

The formal dining room sparkles with silver garland and Santas. The cozy kitchen is decked out with red poinsettias, angels and candy canes. The “Memory Room” houses many of the family related treasures collected by Ron and Leigh through the years. The next room is Ron’s office. Ron is President of the Canyon Lake Fine Arts Guild and all presidents should have an Oval Office. What a fun room this is.

Travel downstairs to the mezzanine, which is the dining, bar and entertaining area. This part of the home houses a booth and signs from Pepe’s Restaurant. Leigh’s Nativity scene and Christmas village are displayed on this level.

In the lower great room is the family tree, with ornaments brought each year by family members. Each ornament is dated and has a special word on it to describe the importance of that year. Walk through the lobby and note the popcorn machine and the sarcophagus guarding the entrance to the movie theater. Ron was very pleased that he was able to acquire actual theater seats from both Cal Oaks and the Historic Hemet Theater, increasing their home theater capacity to 35. Outside on the balcony visitors will find large reindeer and a 20-foot holiday tree lit for the season. The backdrop of the main lake completes the scene.

Ron and Leigh have spent their lives collecting wonderful memorabilia and have put them on display for all to see. Weeks of work have gone into this labor of love. Enjoy the visit.

For more information about the Holiday Home Tour, contact Jan May at 951-970-8333. For vendor information, contact Sue Collins at 951-246-2773.