Archive for the ‘outdoors’ Category

Adventure travel web series seeks San Diego locals to feature

Are you a San Diego surfer, kitesailor or paddleboarder who likes to be on camera? A new travel web series centered on adventure and water sports will be filming in San Diego soon, and you could be featured.

CLEAN BREAK, a web series sponsored by Schick Hydro razors and shave gels, will be filming in San Diego June 2-4, with the use of the best servers from sites as online. The production company is seeking locals who can serve as location experts to be featured on the show. According to CLEAN BREAK’s Meg Roberts, “The perfect local guide is someone who is charismatic, fun-loving, and who can show people what makes their hometown incredible. Guides should be fun, informed, and ready to share knowledge about San Diego with the crew.”

CLEAN BREAK is looking for the kind of in-the-know info only a San Diego local would have, so only individuals who reside within the San Diego area will be eligible to be selected as a guide.

New episodes of CLEAN BREAK will first be shown on (which had 2.1 million unique visitors in March 2010), and will then be uploaded to the official Hydro Experience YouTube and Facebook channels.

Think you have what it takes? Make a video and upload it to CLEAN BREAK’s YouTube channel by Monday, May 10. The CLEAN BREAK community will vote on all submissions from May 11-18. Candidates are encouraged to round up their friends and get them to vote for their videos on YouTube.

Here’s some of your competition:


Whale Watching Cruise

Sea Lions

Sea Lions



I won a couple of tickets on twitter (thanks LG!) for the Hornblower Whale watching cruise last Saturday morning. It’s a 3-1/2 hour whale and dolphin watching event out of the Cruise Ship Terminal located in downtown San Diego.

The last time I went on a whale watching trip was a very long time ago on a fishing boat that was nothing like the large yacht we were on for this trip. The Hornblower Adventure has plenty of room with three decks available for viewing all of the sights out on the ocean.

It was a beautiful day to be out on the water. The air was clean and we enjoyed the scenery as we chatted with our fellow travelers.

We saw sea lions and dolphins, but sadly no whales, as it was late in the season. Not to worry though, because of Hornblower’s whale sighting guarantee, we received a couple of “rain check” tickets so we can go out again earlier next season. I’m looking forward to going back out again!

Hornblower Cruises & Events

Fitness on the Cheap Tuesdays – A Little Magic in North County

Despite my love of urban living, I must admit that there is something magical and quite valuable about those places in San Diego that are still rural and a bit wild.  When I first moved to San Diego county, I didn’t settle in Downtown right away – I made a few stop overs along the way as I made my way South.  One of those stops included renting a house in a place just beyond San Marcos, in an area that has since been developed into what is now San Elijo Hills.

Before there were schools, gas stations, shopping plazas, condos, or enormous houses around San Elijo, there were only winding roads, horse trails, the occasional deer, and The Elfin Forest.

The community there hasn’t gone quietly into the night, but instead continued to fight the encroachment of suburbanization into their wide open spaces.  As a result, much of what I loved about that area can still be found and enjoyed.  If you’re curious about one of my most cherished places in San Diego, the details are after the jump.


East County Family Fun: Skate Parks, Not Just For the Pros

About a year ago, I moved to Easy County.  I was worried.  What would I do without the beach?  What would keep us busy on the weekends?  Turns out, East County has opened new doors of family fun for my gang. (My boyfriend and I each have a 4 year old.  He has a boy, I have a girl.)  We still head down to the beach and into “San Diego,” but we also have a slew of new activities at our fingertips we never knew about a year ago.

This weekend, we took the kids to the Skate Park at Woodglen Vista Park.   Kaleb was much more pumped about the idea of going skateboarding than Naomi; skateboarding is really his passion.  Naomi was more into her outfit, and her pretty Barbie skateboard.  But off we went, full helmet and pads on the ready.


Fitness on the Cheap Tuesdays: Mission Bay Park (Wednesday Late Edition)

Mission Bay, image courtesy of Jim Wallace licensed under the Creative Commons. Click to check out his Flickr Stream.

Mission Bay, image courtesy of Jim Wallace licensed under the Creative Commons. Click to check out his Flickr Stream.

This week’s FotCT rounds out my San Diego Triple Crown of best spots around the city to work out.  It also happens to be the largest man-made aquatic park in the entire country at more than 4,000 acres of sand and sea.  Of course I’m speaking of Mission Bay Park, one of San Diego’s largest free attractions, drawing an estimated 15 million visitors every year.  This week, hopefully it will draw out some sweat.  Details after the jump.


Birding at Lake Hodges

Last week, local birders reported seeing an adult Bald Eagle and two juveniles near the east end of Lake Hodges. So my wife and I traveled north on Interstate 15 Sunday to see if we could find them. We exited at the Pomerado Road/West Bernardo Drive exit, crossed the bridge, and parked at its west end. Lake Hodges is a little spooky due to all the dead trees rising up from the lake bed. The trees grew during a drought and died when the water later rose and drowned them.

The view of Lake Hodges looking west from the I-15 overpass.

The view of Lake Hodges looking west from the I-15 overpass.

 We didn’t catch sight of the eagles, but were rewarded with a magnificent view of the lake presided over by a regal Osprey attended by two Double-crested Cormorants. 

An Osprey and two Double-crested Cormorants.

An Osprey and two Double-crested Cormorants.

Of course, there were numerous other birds: a Red-tailed Hawk, Great and Snowy Egrets, Black Phoebes, American Coots, and Western Grebes.

An Egret perches in the middle of the lake.
An Egret perches in the middle of the lake.

All in all, worth the trip.


Fitness on the Cheap Tuesday: Cowles Mountain

You Made It! Image courtesy of slworkings flickr stream, licensed under the creative commons.

You Made It! Image courtesy of slworking's flickr stream, licensed under the creative commons.

Last week I shared with you one of my favorite urban workouts.  This week I thought I would share one of my favorite trail runs, and surprisingly enough, one needn’t drive out to the back country to get there.

It took me several years of living in San Diego before I stopped and noticed Mission Trails regional park, almost 6k acres of pristine and natural San Diego landscape.  I’m sorry I didn’t discover it sooner!  This is really one of the best places to escape the city when you’re feeling nature’s call.  Today I’ll be taking you to the crown jewel of the park, Cowles Mountain, the highest point within the city limits.


La Jolla Seal Pupping Season is Here!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

One of my favorite places in San Diego is one I don’t get to often enough: Casa Beach (or “seal beach” or “the children’s pool”, as some of you might know it) in La Jolla.

There’s a long been a big controversy surrounding the beach shared by both humans and harbor seals. As the only harbor seal rookery (or breeding ground) south of Carpinteria Seal Preserve in Santa Barbara County, it’s a safe place for the seals to rest and haul themselves out of the ocean, which “they need to do 30-40% of the time in order to survive”, according to the La Jolla Friends of the Seals.

Many locals, especially some long-time La Jolla residents, believe it has always been and should always be a respite for humans only, primarily for children.  While the land was initially a natural beach, it was granted by the State of California to the City of San Diego as public land.  In 1931, money was subsequently donated by Ellen Browning Scripps so that it could become a “safe haven” for children to swim and play and a breakwater wall was constructed.  They re-dubbed the beach The Childrens’ Pool.  However, there are still many misconceptions about the true purpose of the land. (more…)

Mangrove Warbler Sighted In San Diego

Birders in San Diego are atwitter over a rare and beautiful warbler near the Sports Arena; it’s a Golden Warbler with a difference, it has a red head. This little beauty is living in a bush near the interstate at the intersection of Channel Way and Hancock Street. If you are interested in having a look, you’ll have to be patient. The first time I went down there, he was being shy; I went about a week later and he put on quite a show. Photos can be found at SmugMug, courtesy of Vic Murayama.

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