Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

San Diego Area Fairs and Festivals

I'm partial to Carlsbad because I live here, but San Diego has multiple fairs and festivals in the next couple of months to attend, probably more than one can reasonably expect to visit, and many of them are FREE. These outdoor fairs and festivals cover music, film, theatre, arts and crafts, food and much more. Here's a PARTIAL list of the things I discovered - I won't tell you that this is complete but it provides a pretty good range of things to do in different towns.

August, 31, September 7 and 14 - movies begin at sunset
Friday Night Film Festival at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park. Visit Carlsbad Connect for more information and schedule.

September 22 and 23 - 10 am - 6 pm (SAT), 10 am - 5 pm (SUN)
5th Annual ART SPLASH. Includes Taste of Carlsbad on Saturday, Fern Circus on Sunday. Amazing chalk art, sand sculpture, hands-on stone stacking, among other activities and learning opportunities. Fine arts and crafts, plenty of food, great ocean views. FREE.

September 22
11th Annual Taste of Carlsbad, at Armada Drive in Carlsbad just north of Palomar Airport Road held in conjunction with Art Splash

September 15 - 8 am to 3 pm
28th Annual Wavecrest Woodie Meet,Moonlight Beach - the biggest woodie meet in the world, 250-300 woodies, food, entertainment

September 23 - 10 am - 5 PM
13th Annual Encinitas Heritage Oktoberfest, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, at Mountain Vista and El Camino Real (6 blocks), 200 craft booths, food (German picnic BBQ), Bavarian bands, dancers, and a sweepstakes drawing for a trip to Germany.

October 21 - 9 am - 5 pm
California's second largest street fair, at Grand Avenue between Centre City and Ivy. 700 vendor booths, international food, farmer's market.

October 27 and 28, and November 3 and 7th - 10 am to 6 pm
7th Annual Fall Renaissance Faire and Shakespeare in the Park Festival, at Felicita Park. 1000 costumed folks participate in a range of activities. Fee is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors (62+), $7 for children 11 and under (4 and under FREE). West of I-15, exit Via Rancho, west to Felicita Road then follow signs.

September 15 and 16 - 9 am - 6 pm SAT, 9 am - 4 pm SUN
37th Annual Bluegrass Festival, in Frank Lane Park (2645 Farmer's Road) in the Cuyamaca Mountains. Tickets are $15 (purchase from Chamber of Commerce, at the festival or on-line). Music, workshops, instrument petting zoo, art vendors and live jam session.

September 1 - 11 am - 7 pm
Julian Grape Stomp Fest (fund raiser for the Julian Chamber of Commerce) at the Menghini Winery, 1150 Orchards Drive. Italian music, bocci ball, dancing, wine tasting, foods and crafts.
Tickets at $10 for adults, $5 for children 6 - 12.
October 7 - 10 am - 4 pm
10th Annual ALIVE Street Fair at the San Marcos Civic Center, corner of Mission and San Marcos Boulevard. 20 art projects to participate in, meet artists, art show, food court, dancers, live bands, magicians, baton twirlers, carnival with games, clowns, face painting and more. Call 760-744-9000 for information

September 15 and 16 - 9 am - 6 pm
Annual Oceanside Harbor Days with fishing derby, lots of food, music, arts and crafts, sailing competition (Mayor's Cup Regatta with sailing enthusiasts from all over the county)

October 28 - 10 am to 4 pm
Dia de los Muertos Festival, downtown Oceanside is transformed into a Mexican festival - music,dancing, food, retail Mercado, Chalk Cemetery, craft area, street entertainers and more.

September 20 - 10 am to 4 pm
Vista Family Fun Fest, downtown Vista 1 block from Krikorian Theatre near corner of Vista Village Drive and Santa Fe Avenue. Food court, live music, entertainment, children's area and 120 vendors (arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing and local business services).

September 27 - 5 pm - 9 pm
La Jolla Gallery and Wine Walk, self-guided tour of 25+ galleries with wine tasting (register by 5pm, 21+ only) and specialities from more than 12 of La Jolla's finest restaurants. Tickets are $30 and benefit Promote La Jolla (tickets are limited).

September 22 and 23
STREET SCENE 2007 (originally in the Gas Lamp District starting in 1984), now at COORS Auditorium, in cooperation with Live Nation music company. One of the top urban music festivals in the country with more than 40 groups, vaudeville acts, interactive processions, comedy stage and more. Tickets start at $120 for both days.

MIRAMAR (San Diego)
October 12 - 14 from 9:30 am to 4 pm; 5:30 - 9 pm on Oct. 13
Miramar Military Air Show - the world's largest air show, for more than 50 years, at MCAS Miramar off the 805(Miramar Road and La Jolla Village Drive exit)

Want to know more about what's happening in North County San Diego? Check out Hot in North County.

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WIFI on the Beach

What could be better than sitting on the beach in Carlsbad, watching the surfers (yep, I’m dreaming not participating), enjoying the warm sunny weather, and blogging…or checking email. Or while you are sitting at your picnic table? Or in your tent or RV?

Sounds pathetic, doesn’t it? I suppose so, at least for those who can tear themselves away from their computers and PDAs. But for those who can’t, move over Starbucks!

There is WIFI at many of the California beaches, including South Carlsbad State Beach (within 150 – 200 feet of the Lifeguard Headquarters in the park) for folks at the picnic areas, campgrounds, in their RV or cabins, and yes, if you are on the beach close enough (and can see with all the glare). Some other local San Diego beaches with WIFI include Torrey Pines (La Jolla) and San Eljio (Cardiff).

AT & T is teamed up with the park system to provide WIFI service in multiple state parks at the beaches and elsewhere, such as the Anzo-Borrego desert (I believe this actually began back in 2005). And as long as you have wireless capability and are within a couple of hundred feet of an AT & T hotspot, things should be golden.

Ain’t technology wonderful?

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

~ Celebrate the Season of Change ~

The transition from late Summer into early Autumn is known as the season of "fluctuation." Fluctuation provides the opportunity for change because the universal energies are in the process of shifting. When energy is in a state of movement and flow you can use the momentum to release the things that aren't working in your life, while you open the door for new opportunities to enter. In fact, some Feng Shui Masters see fluctuation as a bridge that connects your past with your future.

Water = Winter
Wood = Spring
Fire = Summer
Earth = Fluctuation
Metal = Autumn/Fall

There are two periods of fluctuation per calendar year:

  • Summer into Autumn
  • Winter into Spring.

The transition (and movement) of energy also applies to your home . . .


Hallways are conduits for energy. They help to guide energy from one part of the house to other areas, giving a home a sense of flow. Hallways can also be used to connect, shift and, in some cases, separate the function of one space from another. For instance, the main living areas (kitchen, family room, living room) from the bedrooms.

It's important to treat hallways as rooms rather than non-rooms to keep a sense of connectivity. This can be accomplished through the use of artwork or photographs (creating a photo gallery), color, plants, area rugs/runners, furniture and windows. The secret is creating balance---Empty hallways cause energy to move too quickly and harshly which can have a destablizing effect. Hallways with too much furniture or clutter will cause the energy to become stagnant which can make you feel blocked or stuck in life.

Kathryn Holt 858.492.8506

Feng Shui Resource

********************Upcoming Classes*********************

Hands On Feng Shui: Energy Work
Topics: Geopathic Stress & Blessings 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Saturday, September 15
Cost $80. Space is limited
Location: The lovely home of Barbara & Blake Wood, Carlsbad (Includes light snack)

How to Space Clear
Your Home
Miracosta College
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Monday evening, September 17

Feng Shui "Q & A"
Coronado Adult School
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Monday evening, October 1

Introductory Feng Shui
San Dieguito
6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Monday evenings, October 15 - 29

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Guess Who?

Recently I had a new picture taken. I hate being photographed, but I needed it for blogs and other sorts of Internet stuff.

As A REALTOR(R) I had my "formal" agent picture taken a few years ago, under duress. It's on my business card and other places where a more formal look is probably important. I don't especially like it and it seems too formal and conservative (guess that is the New England in me). I used it on my blogs but it seemed kinda stuffy. Maybe not.

I have had a lot of comments on my photo, especially after people meet me in person, so that, in part, prompted me to take a more relaxed picture. Here is it (no, I am NOT a surfer, at least not yet). I call it my "more relaxed summer look." It works for now, until I decide it's time for another business photo.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Ultimate Art Fair in Rancho Sante Fe

The Event
If you are an art/crafts lover, then I would seriously consider attending the Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild's A Finer Art Affaire on Sunday, September 9th 10 AM to 5 PM. It should be a wonderful event with 150 booths of fine art, plus art demonstrations, Children's Art Show, music and food. It may not be the ultimate art fair, but if last year's was any indication, this one should be terrific. (photo taken from their website and available as a downloadable flyer)

The fair is held in the two parks located in the heart of Rancho Santa Fe, across the street from the historic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. The address is 6004 Paseo Delicias in the village.
A number of women from the Rancho Santa Fe Business Professional Women's Organization will be exhibiting.

Music is being provided by the San Diego Chamber Orchestra.

Food Services
Food services will be provided by Caffe Positano and beverages will be located in the street area between the parks.

Port-a-potties will be provided in both parks.

Children's Art Show
The Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild Gallery will host the annual Children's Art Show featuring the art of Rancho Santa Fe Elementary School students. In addition, for the first time, the Guild is featuring art of students from local Junior High and High schools at the Art Fair (located on the closed street between the North and South Parks ).

For further information and questions, call 858-759-3545 or email

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Carlsbad Business Expo in September

The Chamber of Commerce in Carlsbad will be hosting the 17th annual

Carlsbad Business Expo
September 19 from Noon to 6 PM
at the Westfield Plaza Camino Real (just off the 78).

This is the largest business expo (over 100 vendors) in San Diego County and a terrific place for consumers and other business owners to learn more about technology, health, home and other products and services. You might also strike up some new business relationships while chatting with one of the vendors.

There will be a Technology Pavilion that will have high-tech equipment, services and information from local experts. Also featured is a Home Pavilion (products and services for improve and care for your home) and a Health and Wellness Pavilion.

A neat service also to be featured is the E-Recycling Truck by E-WorldRecyclers. They will be collecting e-waste such as computers, TVs, monitors, laptops, LCD screens and more. Anyone bringing in e-waste to recycle will be given FREE ADMISSION to the expo. Otherwise admission is a very reasonable $5.00

Don't miss this great opportunity to expand your business and learn more about today's new products and services.

Call Lisa Manemann for more information and to learn how to become an exhibitor at (760) 931-8400 or visit the Carlsbad website.

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Indigo Grill in San Diego's Little Italy

The Indigo Grill in the Little Italy section of San Diego is a real find, in my opinion. I have eaten there a number of times and just had dinner again this past Friday. I decided it was time to write a bit more about this terrific restaurant.

Indigo Grill features the creative cuisine of one of San Diego's better known chefs, Deborah Scott (the restaurant is part of the Cohn group of restaurants that also includes favorites like Island Prime and Kemo Sabe). With a vibrant, eclectic, upscale atmosphere and indoor and outdoor dining, this is a terrific place to gather after work or on the weekend after touring around Little Italy.

This place is NOT for the faint of appetite, as the servings are VERY GENEROUS. I mean it. Unless you have a huge appetite I expect you will find that having both an appetizer and an entree will do you in (or you will have a snack to take home for the next day). And if you like fairly straightforward, uncreative dishes this may be an overload for you.

Don't let that keep you away, as the creative, flavorful, exotic food with tastes "from the artic region to the South of Mexico" (quote from their website) is a winner. I would say Deborah Scott is a master of combining foods, seasonings and presentation on beautiful dishes to provide you with an all-around delicious and visually-appealing dining experience.

We (a party of 4) enjoyed the Pipian Crusted Brie with jalopeno jelly, scallion flatbread, mole negro, honey-roasted garlic and grilled nopales. The trout dish a friend had was outstanding, as was the salmon. I had the wild mushroom ravioli for my entree and it was excellent.

Sitting outdoors, especially when the weather is warm, is nice. But keep in mind you are on a city street corner so there is some noise. But quite frankly I can't say it bothers me much.

So check it out - I'd be curious to hear what you think.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

A Heartwarming Story of Adversity

I read an article in the Coast News for August 10 and wanted to share it in case you did not see it. Perhaps you have even heard of this 17-year-old from Del Mar.

ROY PERKINS is an amazing young man and a tremendous swimmer. He has several world records and a bunch of American and Pan-American records as well. And he has set his sights on winning GOLD in Beijing at the Paralympics.

What makes his especially impressive is that he was born without hands or feet. I can't even imagine...

Here's the link to the on-line story. Read it - it will make you feel good! And you'll be pretty impressed.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Follow-up on Cannon Art Gallery Show August 2007

Well I didn't get to the golf course to check it out on opening day, but I did stop by the artist reception at the Cannon Art Gallery.

Here are some photos. Enjoy!


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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Happenings on August 11

Two noteworthy events are occurring today, August 11, in North County San Diego in Carlsbad.

First, the much anticipated opening of The Crossings at Carlsbad public golf course occurs. The original opening on August 4 was pushed back due to a small plane crash from Palomar Airport, which damaged the greens and the fairway near hole 3. Residents quickly signed up and filled the available spots for the "Carlsbad Residents Days" on August 5 and 10. The official Grand Opening ceremonies are delayed for a few weeks in order for the grass to grow in. This 18-hole $68 million golf course has been much anticipated, although not without controversy given the time it took to build, the budget, and other issues.

Second, art fanciers (such as myself) will appreciate the opening of the new show at the well-known Cannon Art Gallery (adjacent to the public library in South Carlsbad). "Natural Connections" features artists Joanne Hayakawa (ceramic sculptures) and Gail Roberts (paintings). Both are Professors at San Diego State University. The reception is from 5 - 7 pm. There will be Family Open Studios at the gallery courtyard with opportunities for children and adults to make their own creations on Saturday September 15 from 11 - 2 PM. FREE to the public.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

East Coast Meets West

I am a big fan of San Diego (well, obviously, given this blog), and I often have commented on comparisons of my former life on the East Coast vs. now. Some of that is humorous, and some more serious. That, naturally, is true whenever you move from one part of the country to another, which I have done several times. I expect you have experienced this yourself.

For some reason (perhaps some recent experiences, and the pending visit from a friend who has NEVER been to California) I felt like writing another article about life here as compared to Boston. Some of it was poking fun, but in part it was to provide an educational experience to those readers who might be thinking about moving here (remember, I am a REALTOR(R) so I sometimes veer off in that direction). I am not necessarily encouraging a mass immigration here...we are crowded enough...but some folks WANT to be here and I am happy to help them learn all about it.

So if the mood strikes, you can read my post here...and see my new photo.



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Monday, August 06, 2007

Fun at the Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla

I spent some time at the Torrey Pines Gliderport yesterday, not to go hangliding or paragliding, but simply to learn more about what it all involved, and to enjoy the hangliders on a beautiful day.

If you haven't been here, it really is worth the trip on a nice day. There is something special about watching the hangliders along the bluffs overlooking Black's Beach and the Torrey Pines State Beach. Plus the views up and down the coast are truly amazing.

There is a casual restaurant so you can grab a snack while you enjoy the views. or sign up for lessons in the sport shop - there are several options available depending on your interest (try out the tandem flying with an instructor, perhaps).
Want to read more? Check out my other article.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

A Visual Journey to the Desert Cities - Palm Springs and More

One of the things I really enjoy about living in San Diego (well, besides great weather, great beaches, great people) is the ability to visit other nearby areas that are dramatically different, but a relatively short distance away.

San Diego certainly has a terrific reputation as a destination! I was just in San Francisco for a one day conference. Everyone I met, from those up in Northern California, in the northwest, or from other parts of the country, commented on what a wonderful city San Diego is. I couldn't agree more. But it was neat to have some validation from folks from other areas.

I recently spent two days visiting the desert cities for the first time (there were a number of people that were shocked I had never been there - guess it is a popular destination for Southern Californians as well) and wanted to share a few impressions, including some photos.

The contrast of the mountains and the desert is remarkable. Coming over the San Jacinto Mountains from the San Bernardino National Forest on the Pines to Palms Highway (Route 74) is a terrific way to enter the desert - the views of the Coachella Valley from the road at the peak of the mountains is incredible and well worth the extra travel time (and it affords you great photographic opportunities) as opposed to taking the 15 (north) to the 215 to the 10 (east).

Yes, it was hot, but it's the desert. When we arrived it was 111 (about 95 up in the mountains), which was such a contrast from the 78 degrees we left behind in Carlsbad, so you have to be prepared for the heat (have lots of water available - it's easy to get dehydrated without realizing it). There are lots of resorts to chose from (we stayed at the Westin Mission Hills) with golf, swimming and other activities and the rates are pretty good if you go during off season.

Shopping is abundant, although there are fewer stores open, especially on Sundays, during the off season. Lots of great restaurants too (we loved Johannes Restaurant in Palm Springs on South Indian Canyon Drive), although some of them are closed in off season too - so call ahead. We also enjoyed Roy's in Rancho Mirage - a great seafood place that oozes Hawaiian fusion (yes, it's a chain - there's one in La Jolla - but it was well worth it). The La Quinta Resort in La Quinta is very charming and a great place for lunch on the terrace (there are several restaurants to choose from).

There seem to be lots of tourist things to do, although we did not have the time. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (Palm Desert/Indian Wells) is supposedly a great place to visit and really get a feel for the animals, plants and flowers that inhabit the desert (some of them quite rare). I understand that the aerial tram from the desert up to the top of the mountains is quite a journey, with fabulous views. Next time, perhaps.

A good number of people own time shares or second homes in the area, and it definitely has the feel of a tourist/vacation/second home destination. It's worth the trip if you have not been there. The winter may be a better time if you don't like heat, but be prepared for higher prices, tourists and more residents (who often vacate during the hot summer months).

Enjoy the show! (there's music so turn up your sound if you would like to enjoy it)

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Jeff Dowler (RE/MAX Associates): Real Estate Agent in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California on