Guest Blogger

It’s Not All Work and No Play in San Diego

View from Seaport Village of the Bay

As soon as I arrived in San Diego the last week of February, I knew that the sunshine and warm breeze would capture this East Coast girl. From the beginning of our TMS 2011 Annual Meeting & Exhibition, we all felt that the San Diego Convention Center and the entire city would offer a great break from the cold winters of Pittsburgh. On my first night in San Diego, I was able to go out for a fantastic meal at The Palm Restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoyed a fantastic filet trio meal. I recommend the Chocolate Bread Pudding, top notch! The general manager was fantastic and gave our group a private room to dine in while there and we enjoyed every minute of it! On the first Sunday I was in town, I was able to go for a morning run behind the convention center and enjoy the beautiful views of the bay and even ventured over to Seaport Village, which was a great way to start one of many long working days in San Diego.


Our host hotel was the San Diego Marriott & Marina Hotel, which was conveniently located next to the San Diego Convention Center. We enjoyed all of the staff at the hotel and especially enjoyed the convenience of the proximity to the center. Later in the week, I was able to have cocktails with one of the sales staff from the San Diego Omni at The Marble Room and loved the old world charm that the location had to offer. Dressed in flapper style, the servers were fun and welcoming with their old-fashioned style drinks. I also had the chance to enjoy breakfast at The Broken Yolk and had a great breakfast burrito with excellent guacamole. To end my stay in San Diego, I made a trip to visit the USS Midway Museum. As someone who enjoys history, this was a great way to end my trip and enjoy one of the neatest historical elements in San Diego.

USS Midway Museum

San Diego was a great city and for someone who came home to snow on the ground, it makes me want to hurry back for another trip!

Colleen Leary recently visited San Diego while here for a convention. Follow her on twitter at @colleenpburgh

Stephenie

5 to Try This Weekend

watch your busker, buster

  1. Caution: Ordinary Folks Beware!! Seaport Village’s Spring Busker Festival comes to San Diego this Saturday and Sunday with a dynamic line-up of over-the-top street performances from jugglers, sword swallowers, contortionists, stuntmen and more.  This is year, Seaport Village is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the FREE festival is expected to be the best yet!  The festival takes place on Seaport Village’s cobblestone streets from 12 – 5 p.m., but from 7 – 10 p.m., the performers will be let loose for Buskers After Dark, an untamed show of bizarre and extraordinary talents best suited for those18 years and older.
  2. If you’re in the mood for warm, fresh-baked apple pie then you need to mosey on over the Cuyamaca mountains to Julian for the 2nd annual Taste of Julian event.  This Saturday from 1 –  4 p.m., you can tour and taste menu specialties and local favorites at more than 10 restaurants.  Tickets are $20 per person and can be pick-up or purchased at the Town Hall in downtown Julian.
  3. Where are all my fashionistas and fashionistos? THREAD, a one-day retail extravaganza showcasing the trends to come in the fashion world will be in town this Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Horton Plaza Event Space in downtown San Diego.  Here, you can browse and buy discounted men, women and children’s clothing from tons of independent designers along with indie art, furniture, accessories and more.  Be sure to stop by the Style Lounge for free hair and makeup and enjoy drink specials in the stylish Martini Lounge.  Admission to this Godsent event is $10 and includes show entrance, fashion show admittance, music and a gift bag for the first 250 people in the door.
  4. This Saturday, the New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego will host a day full of music just for kids during their Kidchella Music Festival from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Performances will take place inside the museum and outdoors in the park with multiple genres of music for kids to sing, clap and boogie.  Saturday also kicks-off a new museum series called “Explore AEC” in the museum’s Arts Education Center. Throughout the day, kids and families can take part in activities and crafts like Superhero Hideout, Play with Your Food and Flying Felt Bird; museum admission is $10 per person.
  5. This Saturday, the Carlsbad Flower Fields will be alive with the sound of music during Bluegrass Day – a toe-tapping concert of old-time jams and Bluegrass classics from 12 – 4 p.m.  Also on Saturday, and continuing on Sunday is The Flower Fields annual Arts & Culture Fair featuring painting, pottery, crafts and photographs from some of Southern California’s best artisans from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. both days. Admission to these events is included in the $10 Flower Field admission.
Katie S.

You Scream, I Scream!

We all scream for FREE CONE DAY I’m screaming anyway.

Today is free ice cream cone day at Ben and Jerry’s in Seaport Village. Come down anytime between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. to get your very own free ice cream cone. And if you thought things couldn’t get any better – they do. Special guest Mayor Jerry Sanders will be at the location at 10:30 a.m. scooping out Triple Caramel Chunk, and former NBA star Bill Walton will be on-site as well! Who knows, maybe Shamu will be there dishing out ice cream too (although we can’t promise that one).

 

Stephenie

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

I know, I know…We haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving yet…but the spirit of the holidays is just so contagious!!! Especially in San Diego, where we put a sunny twist on “Seasons Greetings.”

Here’s a sneak peek at the holiday events kicking-off in November (click on photos for more info):

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Old Globe Theatre; Nov. 21 – Dec. 27

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! at the Old Globe Theatre; Nov. 21 – Dec. 27

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado; Nov 25 – Dec. 18

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado; Nov 25 – Dec. 18

Holiday of Lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds; Nov. 26 – Jan. 3

Holiday of Lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds; Nov. 26 – Jan. 3

Surfing Santa at Seaport Village; Nov. 28

Surfing Santa at Seaport Village; Nov. 28

Holly Jolly Holidays at LEGOLAND; Nov. 30 – Dec. 31

Holly Jolly Holidays at LEGOLAND; Nov. 30 – Dec. 31

Stephenie

A New Sightseeing Tour Hits the Streets

Vizit Tours

Vizit Tours

For those of you that want to get out and see San Diego without having to worry about navigating the city streets, Vizit Tours offers four new sightseeing opportunities aboard a vintage Double Decker open top bus. 

Every tour is narrated by a local tour guide that will tell you the history, facts and insider tips about each location throughout the tour. You can even hop-on or -off at any stop and get back on at a later time to complete the tour.  Busses run every hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Or, you can catch the one-hour nighttime tour at 6 p.m. 

Tour highlights and stops include:

A couple of weeks ago, I tried out and La Jolla Loop and had a great time! The views of La Jolla are truly breathtaking and I highly recommend an afternoon tour so you can see the ocean glisten in the sun. (I know that sounds corny but it is sooo pretty!)

Prices: Tickets are good for two days and cost $15 per person, per loop or $35 per person for all four loops.

Note: For those of you that want gorgeous views and prime photo opps., I recommend sitting on the top level.  (The views are unbeatable.) But, for those that are interested in learning about the history, facts and insider tips, I recommend sitting inside on the bottom level. (Due to the open top up there, it’s difficult to hear the tour guide on over the wind.)

Guest Blogger

Scenes From ArtWalk on the Bay

Of Stephenie’s 5 to Try This Weekend, here’s the one I tried — #1.

When you consider all the public art along downtown San Diego’s waterfront — from the temporary and seasonal to the permanent collections — it’s clear the Port Authority of San Diego is committed to art as a way to keep the waterfront dynamic and its visitors stimulated.

Each year, ArtWalk on the Bay celebrates that spirit by packing as many artists and art pieces into Embarcadero Marina Park North (right where Seaport Village is) as possible, along with art teachers, musicians (on two stages), and even demonstrations from culinary artists.

Here are some scenes from my art walk today — day one of ArtWalk on the Bay 2009.

A herd of large, iron creatures in motion greet you on your way into the festival.

You won't miss the herd of large, iron creatures in motion greeting you on your way into the festival.

Attention future painters, sculptors, mask shapers and kite makers: Start young!  Start here!

Attention future painters, sculptors, mask shapers and kite makers: Start young! Start here!

Beat it, kid!  Kids' drum circles on Kids Walk are led by Susan Hall of Rhythm Worx, and they're a blast.

Beat it, kid! KidsWalk drum circles are led by Susan Hall of RhythmWorx, and they're a blast.

And look!  Real, live artists making real, live art before your eyes!  This is Michael Summers

And look! Real, live artists creating real, live art before your very eyes! This is Michael Summers, painter, painting.

This was just a small taste of day one of ArtWalk on the Bay.  The art festival stretches all along the Embarcadero North, and there’s still one more day to go.  The festival starts again Sunday at 10:00 A.M.

A tip for those of you not taking advantage of our great public transportation system to get to ArtWalk: Seaport Village offers the closest parking but it’s best to get there before noon for a good shot at that parking lot.  Otherwise, since there is no parking enforcement on Sunday, grab any of the metered parking spots along Harbor Drive and save your change.

Stephenie

5 to Try This Weekend

can't wait to hang out with my dad!

can't wait to hang out with my dad!

My dad is coming to visit me this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! I decided to turn our weekend plans into a special “5 to try,” which includes some of our favorite things to do and some new places we’re going to check out. 

I think we’re going to have a great time this weekend and maybe I’ll see you around?

  1. Our first stop will be the Fish Market for oysters and cheesy garlic bread, a little tradition of ours. It’s located right next to the airport and since he arrives in the afternoon, the outdoor patio will be a perfect spot for lunch. The restaurant is located right along San Diego Bay and has awesome views of military ships, sailboats and pelicans. I think this will be a great start to the weekend.
  2. The Del Mar Races are in full swing every Wednesday – Sunday until September 9, we’ve never been but we’re going to try our luck this Saturday. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. and tickets cost $6 for stretch run seating and $10 for clubhouse seats. Wish us luck! In addition to the races, this Saturday at the racetrack is the Craft Microbrew Festival from noon to 6 p.m. The festival will have live music from local bands and tasty taps form over 25 of San Diego’s finest breweries; admission to the festival is free with racetrack tickets. Can’t wait!
  3. Of course no trip to San Diego would be complete without a visit the beach. We’ll probably head over to my favorite, Ocean Beach, on Sunday morning to hang out and walk around. It’s a great location for people watching, something my dad and I both enjoy, as well as grabbing a quick bite and shopping…Hmm, I wonder if I can talk my dad into getting me a new pair of shoes??
  4. The first time my dad came to visit me in San Diego, we went to Busters Beach House & Longboard Bar in Seaport Village. We had such a great time, that we’ve gone back every time he’s visited and this weekend is no exception. We’ll be there sometime between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the daily happy hour specials, $1 fish taco and $3 Pale Ale, yum! Before we leave, we’ll probably walk around Seaport Village and stay for some of the live music and entertainment.
  5. This weekend is the Latin American Festival and Mata Ortiz Pottery Market in Old Town. This free festival takes place Friday through Sunday at Bazaar del Mundo and will showcase really neat, authentic Mata Ortiz pottery, art, music and live art demonstrations. Since my dad has never been to Old Town, this will be a great stop before dinner on Sunday evening. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.