Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Surf, street eats, succulents: Oceanside's Sunset Market

Crowds stroll Sunset Market along Pier View Way.

Every Thursday night for the last eight years, starting at 5 p.m., Oceanside’s Sunset Market kicks off. Consuming four blocks down near the pier, this market’s more than your standard farmer’s fair. With live music on every corner, festive lights, spicy aromas and boisterous vendors, downtown becomes a family-friendly party.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Altadena: a rustic Los Angeles

L.A. smog over Altadena, 15 miles northeast in the San Gabriel foothills.
Author Zane Grey said, "In Altadena I have found those qualities that make life worth living." 
Walking down Mariposa Street, “Millionaire’s Row,” where Grey’s home still stands – past the oversized craftsman-style bungalows and through Janes Village, the English cottage-style homes set back behind fences and overgrown hedges as an affordable housing option for the town founded on Victorian opulence – you’d never suspect that anything but easy, quiet living transpired in this small community. (Read more...)

SoCal's San Dunes

The larger dunes are on the west side of the North Algodones Dunes Wilderness (2.5 hours from San Diego).

I typically love the sea, sun and sand. Interestingly though, not all the sands I’m drawn to lie in coastal regions. In fact, most of the sand on Earth is stacked in massive piles in remote areas – rarely in coastal regions, which you might expect. That doesn't stop surfing sufis from hitting the slopes.
The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado claims the continent’s tallest dune, Star Dune at 750’. This particular dune is estimated to be approximately 12,000 years old, formed by deposits carried down the Rio Grande River canyon.
But SoCal’s got its share of sand. (Read more...)

The Queen Mary's Sir Winston's Smoking Deck

The iconic 1936 British ocean liner in the California sunshine.

There is no smoking on the Queen Mary. Signs are posted everywhere stating just that. So, when we arrived at the topmost deck to dine at the luxurious Sir Winston's Restaurant and Lounge, I noted the rather large glass front humidor.
“Are those for sale?” I asked.
The tall waiter raised an eyebrow at me, wondering if I had asked because I, myself, indulge. I smiled and shrugged, not feeling the need to explain my inquiry.
“Uh, yes, they are,” he answered, still considering the type of gal I might be.
“But, there’s no smoking allowed on board,” I offered. He smiled hugely at this comment.
“True, there isn’t. Except for this portion of the deck right here.” The young man gestured to me where I might smoke a cigar if I so chose. “And on the bow.” (Read more...)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Photo Credit: Deviant Art
You can zig, and you can zag, but lightning kills about 30 people in the US each year, and more in Florida than in any other state. Of the 25 lightning deaths reported by the National Weather Service (NWS) already this year, five have occurred in Florida.