Indian Summer Locale Magazine San Diego

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ERIK HALE Quarterback

What an amazing and scary first year. I think it must feel the way Charger training camp feels to a rookie. Bigger. Faster. Intense. I remember how big San Diego seemed only one year ago. I couldn’t stop looking in amazement at how tall the buildings were downtown. I was scared. Ready to ‘BOLT,’ you might say. The first time I exited my car in downtown La Jolla, past LOCALE issues in hand, I felt a force pulling on me, holding me back, restricting me from leaving my car’s perimeter. Fear can be amazingly powerful. Ultimately, I forced myself out of the confines of my mental captivity and headed toward the line of scrimmage. I stopped and met with over 40 local businesses that day and learned a lesson about the people in San Diego. I learned how great a stranger could make you feel about a decision. Sometimes their encouragement can mean more than that which comes from a friend. I was greeted that day by outstretched hands, reaching for mine. I was encouraged in my endeavor. LOCALE would soon have a second home. The past year has been spent learning about this great city. We have covered charities, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. We have driven thousands of miles, conducted hundreds of interviews, taken tens of thousands of photos and made a lot of new friends. We really think San Diego is ‘SUPER.’ With training camp coming to an end, we are truly ready to take ‘CHARGE.’ We hope you will continue to take us under your wings, and we will continue to make you proud.

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| Indian Summer 2013 Issue


Kristal Docter

Mike Todd Smith


Tight End

Running Back

Born and raised in New Jersey, Ashley Hickson had made yearly visits to her family in sunny Southern California, quickly realizing that there wasn’t anywhere else she would rather live. After graduating from Chapman University in Old Town Orange, Ashley pursued her dreams and began the journey of helping create LOCALE Magazine. Often referred to as Erik’s right and left arm, Ashley is THE go-to girl for everything LOCALE. She enjoys being an intricate piece to LOCALE’s puzzle and is proud of the down-to-earth, innovative magazine. For advertising, marketing, accounting, and to find out where Erik is, call LOCALE Magazine and Ashley will answer all of your questions.

A writer transformed by the beatnik’s before her, Kristal Docter headed West after earning a degree in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University. Her career has been driven by diversification as a newspaper editor-in-chief, copy editor, corporate advertising professional, blogger, stylist, nonprofit marketing maven and brand contributor to a venture capital firm. Throughout her cultured journey, Kristal continued asserting an appetite for all things linguistic, and has become an influential voice at LOCALE as their foodie and now Editor in Chief. A vocab vixen and grammar guru, Kristal is an eternal book whore, live music lover, casual culinary artist, conch diver, and will always be a farm-girl at heart.

Mike is a California local to the fullest. Growing up his time was split between being raised in Laguna Beach with his Mother and spending weekends with his Father in Del Mar. By living in both the OC and SD, Mike acquired an early love for beach living. Attending the University of Arizona, Mike made a living by starting an event production company while getting his degree. He took this knowledge with him after he graduated and moved back to Laguna to pursue multiple careers. After working in real estate, Mike ended up partnering with two good friends to open ECCO Restaurant in Costa Mesa. From there, he moved to Palm Desert and started another company with his family, LUXE Electric Cars. After three years in the desert, LOCALE called and Mike answered. When not on the streets spreading the LOCALE love, you can find him surfing in Cardiff or out on the town with friends.

AMY HOOD, Jennifer Hood and Julie Mack Boyce the defensive line

Amy, Jen and Julie are the graphic designers that make up Hoodzpah Art + Graphics. The three mildly tortured creatives based out of Newport Beach, CA revel in sending messages through brazen, bold, unapologetic graphics and art. Amy is a tiny blonde who loves a good laugh, great tattoos, Kobe Bryant and only the best rock n’ roll. Jen is the other half of the Hood twin duo and enjoys reading smelling an issue of Esquire on the beach, attempting to hustle pool to no avail, or singing a pitchy rendition of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” at the local karaoke bar. Julie is a tall nerdy drink of water with a rubber face and a knack for knitting. For more on Hoodzpah, visit them online at


M E N S H A I R C A R E P R O D U C T A VA I L A B L E I N P R O F E S S I O N A L S A L O N S & B A R B E R S H O P S




not at the table next to you in your favorite restaurant, then she’s out cycling in the city or hiking in the forest.

book junkie, she prefers paper over e-books and loves few things more than surfing four to five-foot waves. You can follow her projects in process on her blog:


HOLLY CLINArD Known around OC as Holly in Heels, Holly Clinard is smitten with shoes and addicted to style! Holly has earned the enviable reputation as a leading shoe blogger with her own blog, When she’s not sorting through her floor-toceiling heel closet, she’s sipping coffee, traveling the world, and listening to 90s music (sometimes all at once). Follow @ hollyinheels on Twitter!

NAtALIE fItzgErALD After dedicating her twenties to teaching high school English, Natalie retired from the classroom to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She is currently a regular contributor for Exquisite Weddings Magazine and The Bride Suite, where she creates weekly posts on everything from wedding inspiration and planning tips to fashion trends. You might also find this Mrs. and Mama at the park with her son, whipping up healthy meals in her kitchen or drinking and dining at the hottest San Diego locales. @_nataliefitz and

Afton Larson is an authentic San Diegan; self-taught foodie; reformed cynic; hug dealer. There’s E.E., Saunders, Plath, and Eugenides, and then there’s me, fangirling. I’m the reason all the baconwrapped dates are gone. Twitter @ afton_brooke// Instagram @ala0387


ErIN rOSE BELAIr Erin Rose Blacque Belair is a writer living happily in Newport Beach. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Creative Writing emphasis from the University of California, and has since spent her time traveling the world, reading endlessly and writing constantly. You can catch all of her works in progress at www.roseblacque. com. She loves iced tea and her black cat Belladonna.


ED HALEY Ed Haley currently writes for Screenpicks. com, doing entertainment and film reviews and has been on the Hollywood film critic circuit for several years. A native of California residing in Orange County for most of his adult life, Ed finds satisfaction in moonlighting as an unsuccessful writer while also co-owning a small real estate investment firm.

Carolyn Samuelson recently accomplished her dream of becoming a California girl after one too many Chicago winters. An aspiring rockstar, socialite and philanthropist, Carolyn has many projects and is always looking for more. She is usually singing, either in a bar, coffee shop, hotel liquidation sale or her own head.

Meghan Meredith is a Southern California native. She is a freelance writer and photographer who has worked with The Chopra Center for Well-Being shooting for the Oprah Winfrey Network. Her work has been seen in FINE magazine, Pilates Today and IDEA Health and Fitness. She also participates in storytelling projects involving creative writing, photography and film.



MICHELLE SLIEff Michelle Slieff is a local. She enjoys hiking, poetry, and cured meats, but not necessarily in that order. Her favorite food is Mexican, probably because it’s more available than the Hungarian cuisine she grew up on. Michelle has been in the restaurant industry her whole life. She’s combined her two passions of food and writing and is a freelance foodie. If she’s



Britt Hackmann is the co-founder of Nubry. com, fashion and style blog that creates editorials, lookbooks, and social media advertising campaigns for brands. Britt is born and raised in Florida and Ohio and started her career in Boston, specializing in marketing and retail analytics. She has a BS in Entrepreneurship and an MBA from Babson College. Come find her this summer at the SD Polo field! @nubry

NAtALIE HOLtz Natalie Holtz is a writer living in San Diego. She received her BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. A word sleuth and

Gretchen Hackmann is the co-founder of, fashion and style blog that creates editorials, lookbooks, and social media advertising campaigns for brands. Gretchen has called the east and west coast her home for the last decade during which she launched several fashion and tech startups. She has a BS in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Babson College and a PhD in style. Her favorite fashion trend to date is “the claw.” @nubry

Create free or featured business and calender event listings on! Promote your business or event to our tens of thousands of monthly, local online visitors! Visit to get started.

NANCY vILLErE Nancy Villere has been a professional photographer for 18 years. Her passion for photography lies in the discovery of another human being. Her clients’ energy and excitement gives her energy, making their images a co-creation. She is currently uncovering her purpose as a photographer through her studio work at Crush Photo Studios. Fashion, commercial and boudoir photography are Nancy’s emphasis. It is her greatest joy to witness the freedom and self-confidence women experience after their sessions.


JEff fArSAI Jeff Farsai specializes in editorial, celebrity, fashion, sports and wedding photography. After earning his B.F.A. in photography and visual communication, he quickly dove into the commercial world of photography. Since then, Jeff has photographed countless celebs, musicians and gold medal athletes all over the world. He recently started writing and directing music videos; and is also working on a feature film, projected to be out in 2014.

ADAM gENtrY Adam is a Southern-California native, a photographer and an entrepreneur. He is passionate about profiling interesting people whether they are a break-through artist, a fledgling stylist or simply someone with a compelling story to tell.



Sierra Prescott is a lifestyle fashion photographer, born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. People are her passion, so she photographs them for a living. Working or not, you’ll never see her without a smile on her face.

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LOvINLIfE MuLtIMEDIA LovinLife Multimedia is your world

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue

travelling, commercial resource for professional photography, video productions and graphic design. Our work has been published by brands including CASIO, G-Shock, The Associated Press, Oakley, Microsoft, CBS, Fuel TV, Transworld and Nylon Fashion Magazine. Director/Producer/ Cameraman Antonio Pullano has created content in over five countries. For lifestyle and editorial photography, product and service videos and unparalleled event coverage - choose

creation. She is a lifestyle and wedding photographer that possesses the ability to see the beauty in everything.



DHruMIL DESAI Dhrumil Desai is a fashion and beauty photographer who focuses on creating sophisticated, elegant photos. His images highlight the fashion but also develop a relationship between the viewer and the photo by having a strong character present. He created a series of photographs taken from the window seat of an airplane, which won him an award in the Fine Arts category in the 2nd National Photo Awards held by the Government of India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Born in Connecticut and raised in Southern California, Photographer Frank Ishman received his education and training at Morehouse College and the Art Institute of Atlanta. Frank has lived and worked around the world in locations like London, India, New Zealand and throughout the United States, and has recently moved from Brooklyn New York back home to the Los Angeles area.

CHrIS CHAvIrA Southern California photographer Chris Chavira regularly shoots corporate, portrait, entertainment and advertising photography. He has been published with clients of all sizes and industries. Chris is energized by creating impactful images for clients. Use of light, composition, space and storytelling all play a part in the process. Portfolio at 310.500.9075

DAvID CHrIStIAN David Christian is a San Diego-based photographer. With an emphasis in portrait, landscape and architectural photography, David’s work encompasses a variety of subjects and techniques. Initially earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from San Diego State University, David eventually traded in his paintbrush and canvas for a camera and lens. David draws inspiration from the connections that are made and found through his lens.


Francisco, Eddie and Alex Barragan are three freelance fashion stylists from Orange County who collectively form Style by F.E.A. Working as a team, the Barragan brothers give clients the unique experience of having three creative minds working as one. Apart from being fascinated by all things fashion, the brothers have a genuine interest in helping others look and feel their best.


LAurEN PAWELL Lauren Pawell is the founder of Bixa Media, a digital marketing agency focused on developing an effective online presence for local companies. She helps clients grow their businesses and implements revenue-generating online platforms. Lauren has a diverse background: an OC native who has lived and worked abroad in Spain, England, France and Belgium. When not creating groundbreaking marketing plans and awesome websites, she can be found traveling, dancing or attempting to learn a new language.



JENAvIEvE BELAIr Jenavieve Belair is a curly-headed lady that finds herself in a constant state of

Brittany Hart is a wardrobe stylist and fashion blogger based in OC who strives to keep fashion fun and attainable for each of her clients. She specializes in editorial, advertising, and look book styling. When she isn’t busy styling shoots she runs a site called www., which profiles the latest fashion trends, designer collections and eye candy obsessions.

rICK rAMIrEz When racks run out, Rick runs in.


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= Starting from Scratch: LUNCH PUNCH Edition = DRINK Expert: The Ripple Effect = Dim the Lights = SHOP Expert: Tunnel Vision


= 1st TIMERS GUIDE: We Dig Julian = PANORAMA: Art in Unexpected Places = Get Bolted In. A Guide to San Diego’s Super Chargers


= ESCAPE: Mexigo!


= SETTING THE TABLE: The Great Outdoors




= SU CASA: A Sweet Escape




Erik Hale Publisher





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All rights reserved © 2013, the entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. No part of this publication can be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any forms or by any means without the express written prior permission of the copyright owner.

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LOCALE Magazine ph: 949-436-8910 | fax: 949-682-4807

Cover: Photography By: Nancy Villere of Crush Photo Studios Model: Selma Alameri Hair & Make Up By: Salina Santoya Styled By: Brittany Hart Clothing Provided By: House of Boutiques, Jewelry Provided By: Gaia Goddessa,

Indie in Summer (Fashion Spread): Photography By: Nancy Villere of Crush Photo Studios Hair & Make Up By: Salina Santoya Model: Selma Alameri Styled By: Brittany Hart Clothing Provided By: Luella Boutique, Eden Boutique, Capricorn Boutique, Dolcetti Boutique, Pink Lagoon, House of Boutiques Jewelry Provided By: Gaia Goddessa, Exclusive Diamonds by Carter, Dolcetti Boutique

Locale Looks: Photographer: Antonio Pullano of LovinLife Multimedia Styled By: Style by f.e.a Locations: World Famous, Corvette Diner, Great Maple, Sycamore Den Clothing Provided By: Frock You Vintage Boutique, Studio 12-20, Buffalo Exchange, Flashbacks Models listed in order from left to right.

Beach Lovin’ Brittney Grimmett Agency: ZARZAR MODELS Joshua Coveleski Agency: Refresh Talent

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Summer Days Alexa Skonieczny Agency: Refresh Talent

Kira Conkle

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Mod Squad Marissa Huffman

Shara Somoza John Lamon

Andrei Razmeritsa Agency: Refresh Talent

Thank you to ZARZAR Modeling Agency and Refresh Talent Agency for providing models in Locale Looks.

Groovy Baby Chelsey Chavez

ABOUT THE Cover Model Selma Alameri Selma Alameri was on Season 17 of The Bachelor and stood out for her undeniable sense of style. She has a passion for fashion that never fails to amaze. Since the show, Alameri has even been named one of San Diego’s most fashionable people in LOCALE Magazine. Alameri has also been featured in US Weekly as having one of the top 100 hottest bodies. She is a believer in healthy living and her hard work has paid off. In addition to her success in fashion and beauty, Alameri is also the CEO of Brio Ventures, a real estate company located in her hometown of San Diego.


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NAtIvE KNOWLEDgE By Locals, For Locals EAt EXPErt: PurISt Of tHE SEA Local Fishmonger Tommy Gomes Practices What He Preaches vS. BurgEr Culinary Throwdown: What Makes The Best Burger, You Ask? StArtINg frOM SCrAtCH Lunch Punch: Local Chefs Show Us How To Upgrade Our Brown Bag Skills

DrINK 62

DrINK EXPErt: tHE rIPPLE EffECt Nika GM Jordan Mellul Spreads The Word of Water


DIM tHE LIgHtS San Diego’s Most Qualified Hosts Taking You From Dusk ‘Til Dawn


SHOP EXPErt: tuNNEL vISION Jenny Amaraneni And Dana Holliday Of SOLO Eyewear Improve Sight All Over The World



LOCALE LOOKS It’s Time To Do The Timewarp


tHAt’S WHAt SHE SAID Prep. Primp. Pack.


INDIE IN SuMMEr Boho Fashion To Keep You Cool In Late Summer

fEAturE 140

SurfEr StOKE PrOJECt Finding And Spreading Your Own “Stoke”


LIvINg LIKE A tOurISt A Local Girl Does San Diego Right


KEEPINg tHEM IN StItCHES A San Diego-Based Charity Organization Knits Happiness

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fIrSt tIMEr’S guIDE: We Dig Julian


PANOrAMA Art In Unexpected Places


A guIDE tO tHE CHArgErS Get Ready for The 2013-14 Season With Our Preview Guide, Including Interviews, Training Tips and a Tailgating How-To


ESCAPE: MEXIgO! Daytrippin’, Border Crossing, Mezcal and Art


DO EXPErt: tOuCH tHE SKY Dean O’Malley Talks World Records, Pushing Boundaries And Flying High With JetPack America

HOME 158

HOME EXPErt: OLD SCHOOL COOL Jeff Spence, A Modern Antique Collector Talks Mid Century


SEttINg tHE tABLE Breaking Bread In The Great Outdoors


Su CASA A Sweet Escape

For more on culture, entertainment, food, style and design in San Diego, visit us online at

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 27


RAISE YOUR GLASS RESPONSIBLY ©2013 Band of Brewers Company, Fort Worth, Texas



CHARLIE SEELIG Account Executive, Aramark Uniform and Career Apparel

MONDAY: What better way to start off the workweek than cleansing your body with a nice organic veg smoothie from our friends over at GreenFix, located behind The SD Sports Arena. I found out about this little gem at the PB Farmers Market! To continue the cleansing trend I go to The La Jolla Sporting Club for an all-out cardio sesh to rid any remaining toxins. Lastly, I stop by PB Sushi for some take-out, because Mondays are dreadful enough, who wants to cook? | TUESDAY: The day begins with my ritual stop at Robeks UTC for an Acai bowl. Then, I head up the coast and go about my workday. As the day winds down, what better way to spend a Tuesday in San Diego than the Native way at Taco Tuesday! DUH? I call up my fiancé Tricia and some friends, and we all head to South Beach in OB. GOD I LOVE THIS PLACE! South Beach has great views and a FUN atmosphere (not to mention the foods pretty good too). | WEDNESDAY: Did someone say “Hump Day Happy Hour?” Oh yeah, how about a little vino to help you get closer to the weekend! I can either be found canoodling with the business crowd in North County at Solterra in Encinitas (great apps, too); or, if I am a little closer to my beach home in South Mission, I will dip into Wine Steals in Point Loma. THURSDAY: Start off with a run to Coffee Break in South Mission (great mochas), and the owner Nick is not only a local but a solid guy as well. (Hi Nick!) Later, I start making calls to friends to see who wants to get a little action in over in North Park. I usually visit the same three spots, True North for some drinks, then I make my/our way over to Urban Solace for some kind grinds, and I usually end the night in South Park at Hamilton’s. Mission Beach Coffee Break: (858) 488-8482 | | FRIDAY: This is usually date night for me, so once I am done with work at 1pm (whoops who’s reading this?); I go shoot a quick round of golf with the fellas at Lomas Santa Fe or Balboa. Now it’s time for some downtown dining and fun! There are so many choices, but one of our staples is Lou & Mickey’s for their wide array of seafood apps and their succulent filet mignon. | SATURDAY: What better way to start a Saturday in San Diego than to go hiking at Torrey Pines State Park? Afterwards, head north into Encinitas for brunch at Union Kitchen & Tap. I usually end my Saturdays drinking with friends at Firehouse in PB. | | SUNDAY: So we finally reach the end of our weekend and highly recommend sleeping in a little before taking that run around Mission Bay. After my run, I once again find myself at another brunch (little piggy) at The Catamaran in Mission Beach. It is reasonably priced and if you love seafood, they have a great selection that is super fresh. Then go catch a flick at one of the two Cinepolis locations! |

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rOug N DAY t H O M E B O WHErE t


Public Relations and Social Media, Be Social PR - Solana Beach

Y H S u N DA



Founder & Director, Fashion Week San Diego - Encinitas

MONDAY: Daley Double Saloon (everyone calls it Saloon) in Encinitas offers locals’ night on Monday. A fun time if you’re looking for a wild night, but the best part is that they even gather bands such as Daft Punk and Foster the People to play live. Keep your eyes and ears open as they don’t publicize it heavily. Daley Double Saloon: (760) 753-1366

MONDAY: This is a maintenance day. I get my bangs trimmed at Gila Rut with Miss Karla in Hillcrest, then hop over to Little Italy to see the Urban Skin Care girls for my eyebrows and a once-a month-facial. It's a super treat and great way to start the week regardless of what has fallen into my lap. |

TUESDAY: RAMA on 4th Avenue just launched happy hour with their new King RAMA Bar. If you’re looking for a cool and refreshing cocktail, try the Thai Sangria, it’s perfectly blended with Asian fruits to complement the spice of the restaurant’s Thai cuisine. Add the King Rama Martini along with a variety of craft cocktails and unbeatable pricing; it’s a must-visit for happy hour after work.

TUESDAY: I hit the mat with my yoga practice at Mosaic Yoga. The 9:30am class is the BEST! Taught by guru Chelsea Casey, it's a must to start off the week. Don't forget to bring a towel; she likes to turn up the heat. PS: her playlist is incredible.

WEDNESDAYS: Jazz nights at Bailiwick are a much-needed midweek pick-me-up. Plus, if you check their social media, they often give away oysters, tater tots or other freebies (yes, FREE) to San Diego locals. The mule family also makes quite an appearance with $5 Moscow, Kentucky, Gin-Gin and Italian Mules during cocktail hour, which starts at 4pm.

WEDNESDAY: After work, I love to take the coast route home and pit stop at my hubby's practice to get adjusted before the Encinitas Farmer’s Market. At the Encinitas Farmer’s market I pick up my favorite goat cheese and dinner from Green Door Catering. The owner Martin is one cool dude. All his food is organic, locally procured and vegetarian. He even has glutenfree and vegan options if that’s your thing. |

THURSDAY: Le Papagayo will put anyone in a good mood with live music and Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine. With all the new restaurants in Leucadia, such as Priority Public House, Regal Seagull and Solterra, it makes for a unique Thursday night exploring this quaint and funky little city.

THURSDAY: Thursdays are usually for work nights and dinner meetings. These usually take place downtown in the Gaslamp, which usually ends at Barleymash to listen to DJ sets by Sleeping Giant Music. I love to dance and can always count on these guys and gals to bring it. |

FRIDAY: After a date night with the boyfriend at Queenstown in Little Italy and enjoying their 100-percent grass-fed, organic beef hamburgers, we will head to The Baked Bear in Pacific Beach to indulge in some ice cream cookie sandwiches. Although they’re new to the area, they are always packed, but always well worth the wait and price. Try the snickerdoodle and butter pecan...mmm! |

FRIDAY: Date Night with the dogs. I have three dogs and love when I can take them to work and then out to be social afterwards. I love to go to the W Hotel with the dogs to their "Paws on the Patio." They have $5 bites for humans and their doggie companions. This happens every weeknight from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on the Kelvin Patio.

SATURDAY: A hidden gem in Carlsbad, Skinsational Day Spa, has all the amenities of a full-service spa. When you walk in, you will be in awe, greeted with green tea and a robe; it’s like a five-star hotel experience right along the beach in Carlsbad. I suggest the signature skinsational facial...60 minutes of pure bliss. For us working women, they have an express facial that will get the job done in just half the time. Plus, check in on Yelp, and you will get a discount on your first visit. SUNDAY: For a relaxing, yet toning Sunday to prepare you for the week, Yoga Six does special workshops every Sunday. FIT60 Sculpt is always a good idea for an invigorating calorie burn with a hint of yoga. Watch out for Lauren’s class...she is killer! You’ll have a toned body in no time. Head over to Juice Nation afterwards, which is right across the way, for a Green Supreme drink. |

SATURDAY: Saturday is when we take advantage of our coastal living and spend the day driving and exploring the coastline. Lunch at Roppongi on the patio in La Jolla is where we start, followed by a walk on the cove and a drive south on PCH (best drive into Encinitas). Before getting to our home, we pit stop at the Flower Hill Promenade to do a little shopping at Tre Boutique, Whole Foods or my husband’s favorite, Nathan's, to get some sweets. | SUNDAY: Sunday is fun day! My team and my friends have started to make a ritual of going to Little Italy to Craft & Commerce for punch bowls and brunch. Get a punch bowl to share or throw out the drink menu and ask them to create a special drink for you, just pick your poison. Note: Don't be that "guy" who asks for ketchup at this joint.

J. DEAN LORING CEO & Founder, Burger Lounge Restaurants


Director of Operations, Belmont Park

MONDAY: On Mondays, I start with breakfast at Mission Café in the East Village. Then, we rent beach cruisers, tour the Maritime Museum and Star of India before catching the ferry to Coronado. We cruise down to the Hotel Del Coronado; grab some burgers at the Burger Lounge to enjoy on the beach. Then, we head back to the mainland to Searsucker for appetizers and drinks, ending the day with dinner at Bice for authentic Italian cuisine. | | |

MONDAY: Mondays are an early start for me, so I begin my day with a cup of coffee from the Café Calabria coffee cart at the North Shore Café on the boardwalk in Mission Beach. Then, I take the Sunrise Yoga Class at Wave House Athletic Club, and if I’m feeling ambitious, laps in The Plunge pool. By the end of the day, I’m looking for a little fun. On my way home from work, I typically swing by Moondoggies for their Monday night “After School Special” with mac bites, grilled cheese and Otter Pop shots. |

TUESDAY: Breakfast and bloodies at the Waterfront in Little Italy is a great way to start a Tuesday. Then, rent a sailboat at the Marriott Marina and sail the Coronado Islands. Dock at the Bali Hai for tropical elixirs and light edibles. Dinner and a ball game at PETCO Park is a fantastic way to wrap up a Tuesday. |

TUESDAY: I start my day with a morning training session at Honu Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and then refuel with a breakfast of either Chef Brad Wise’s Chili Verde Hash or Shrimp Omelet at North Shore Café. I live downtown, so Tuesday nights I stop by Barleymash and order the Crispy Pork Belly Confit for dinner, and then stay for their TWOs-day Nights, which features a DJ and a live musician. |

WEDNESDAY: Kono's at the beach in PB is my first stop on a Wednesday morning. For a day of catching some waves, I head to Hillstreet Beach at Sunset Cliffs in OB where there’s no lifeguards and no rules. I crave a healthy, vegetarian dinner at Rancho’s Mexican Restaurant after a day at the beach. Kono’s Café: 858.483.1669 Rancho’s Mexican Restaurant: 619.574.1288 THURSDAY: A late breakfast at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla is in order before a day of snorkeling at the La Jolla Cove or hang-gliding over Blacks Beach and the Torrey Pines cliffs. Make sure to take in the architectural views of the University of San Diego and Salk Institute. Thursday evenings are a perfect night for a quiet dinner at the Marine Room, followed by a nightcap at Manhattan in LJ village. | | FRIDAY: Skip breakfast on Fridays, and head to Cuatro Milpas Mexican Restaurant in Barrio Logan for an early lunch. Walk off your feast with a stroll in Balboa Park before heading to dinner at Cucina Urbana. Find the Balboa Park knoll on the South East end of the park, directly under the flight path of the San Diego Airport. Lie out and watch the jets come in. (with a good bottle of wine) Las Cuatro Milpas: 619.234.4460 | SATURDAY: Lock down in a casita at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa. Soak in first-class service and spa treatments all day long. Then grab dinner at Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe. | SUNDAY: Breakfast at the Hash House a Go Go in Hillcrest, before heading own to Mission Valley to Mission Basilica de Alcala, California’s first church, is a must. After church, stroll the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market for fresh flowers, veggies and ethnic food. Take in the views of the Pacific and state reserve with an afternoon round of golf at the US Open host, Torrey Pines South Course. End the week with dinner and drinks by the fire at A.R. Valentien at Torrey Pines Lodge. | |


WEDNESDAY: Wednesday nights during summer, I head over to Tower 23 + JRDN for their summer beverage series at sunset that features craft breweries and small batch wines. While there, I can’t get enough of Chef Dave Warner’s steamed mussels with chorizo and truffled avocado appetizer. I usually follow those with a Brandt beef skirt steak with mustard chimichurri. THURSDAY: On Thursday nights from 6pm-8pm, I grab a cabana at WaveHouse Beach Club to check out the “Night Flight” big air show, which features world champion flow boarders and an amazing light show. While you’re there, make sure you try one of their signature Beach Club cocktails. I recommend the Strawberry Rock Coconut Mojito or the Red Bull Frozen Berry Lemonade.


FRIDAY: Friday mornings, I train with my Jiu Jitsu family and team at Gracie Jiu Jitsu Eastlake, which has the best selfdefense and Jiu Jitsu program in South Bay. Afterwards, I stop by Blue Water Seafood for their catch of the day fish tacos for lunch. On Friday nights from 6pm-8pm, I take my daughter, Ella, to the Summer Kids Series at Belmont Park. It makes for a great family night, and they have free activities for kids ranging from face painting, earth friendly arts and crafts and kid’s cooking demos. After the summer series, we grab a bite at Belmonty’s Burgers or Plunge Pizzeria, then Ella has an ice cream cone for dessert at the Sweet Shoppe. | SATURDAY: An ideal Saturday includes an overnight at North County’s hidden stay-cation destination, LakeHouse Resort & Hotel in San Marcos. Newly renovated, it features two lakeview swimming pools, two oversized Jacuzzis, full marina services, a state of the art fitness center and St. Mark’s Golf; a Harry Rainville designed par 71 golf course. It's a great way to sneak in a mini-vacation without having to travel too far. | SUNDAY: Sunday is our relaxing family day, so we usually grab brunch at Alchemy for their frittatas or JRDN for their chilaquiles and the T23 Bloody Mary with meat on stick and a bacon salt rim. Afterwards, we’ll go to Sea World or if there is a baseball game, we’ll catch the Padres play from Park in the Park at Petco where they now have a Phil’s BBQ. We also love to hit up the beach in Cardiff by Campgrounds surf break. On the way back to town, we swing by Dallmann Confections in the Flower Hill Mall where we pick up chocolates. Try the bee pollen and fennel. | | |

The Baked Bear


Mille Fleurs

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 31

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Local Fishmonger Tommy Gomes Practices What He Preaches WRITTEN BY: MICHELLE SLIEff PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DAvID KINg


ommy Gomes is a salty dog, a purist of the sea and an advocate for children on land. Gomes is a retired fisherman who swapped his boat vessel for Catalina Offshore Products. Here he resides as your local trusted fishmonger. He practices sustainability and makes waves in the community by educating San Diegans on making ethical, healthy lifestyle choices; he also prepares a mean Chilean Sea Bass. Follow him on YouTube at FishSlang101 for tips on how to cook fish...with a plastic fork? Gomes lives and breathes the sea air, what doesn’t he do that involves the sea? He makes and distributes fishing products, like Uni Goop and Uni Butter, products that practice what he preaches, using leftovers from urchin and re-appropriating them in a usable form (fish attractant for bait). He hosts seven-course charity dinners with his buddies (who happen to be some of the finest executive chefs in San Diego) and gives all of the profits to needy children. His past is salted but the future looks fresh. Q: What’s the name of your boat? tOMMY gOMES: My boat? I don’t have a boat. I retired from commercial fishing and now I’m a local advocate for local sustainable seafood brought in by California fishermen and also the fishermen of Baja, Mexico that are doing it right. I’m an advocate for the small fishermen, hook and line and trap guys. We don’t buy any fish that’s brought in by massive vessels or big dragon bottom trawlers that go in and wreak havoc on the habitat and destructive fishing practices. If you’re a commercial fishermen and your boat is registered as a commercial fishing boat and hold a commercial fishing permit, then we will purchase from you. We want the smaller local guys, anything that’s landed within a 100 miles point-ofsale. We really don’t buy a whole lot of fish that’s flown in from around the world, or third world nations. One needs to remember that American fishery is one of the highly most regulated fishing in the world. They buy more permits and spend more money and we have observers on our boats making sure that we’re doing the right thing, and that’s one of the reasons why our seafood is a little more costly, plus we don’t have cheap labor. We have labor laws that we have to abide by. I’d like to say with your food in general, don’t be fast, don’t be easy, don’t be cheap and don’t be fake. We’ve got enough people like that in California (laughs); there’s no reason why your food needs to be that way. There is no such thing as cheap seafood or food in general. You’re going to pay with your health. Eat healthy, be wise. Be smart. You are what you eat. Garbage in, garbage out.

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Q: Do you still fish even though you’re retired? tg: Oh yeah, I fish every weekend. Q: On a boat? tg: Yeah, I got a little boat that I take my father out on. My family came to San Diego in 1892, and we’ve been in the fishing industry ever since. My dad was a captain of a tuna boat that fished all over the world. I fished for seven different governments throughout the world. I fished tuna all over the place. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I don’t have a high school diploma, I don’t have any $20 words in my vocabulary, but what I do know, is seafood and I’m very, very passionate about that. You are what you eat. Q: What’s the biggest catch you’ve ever had? tg: An 1,800-pound Blue Fin Tuna in the North Atlantic in 1976. There is a set of jaws hanging up here from an 890 pounder that we harpooned 60 feet in water outside the surf line at Blacks beach last year. He had a seal in him. Q: Wow! What’s the rarest thing you’ve ever caught? tg: The Oar Fish (which you can check out on the wall when you come visit). Q: What percentage of your seafood is never frozen here at Catalina Offshore Products? tg: Ninety percent of our seafood here is fresh. Q: What advice would you have for people to stay away from those cases with frozen fish? tg: I always suggest fresh, it’s more in price, but it’s better for you. We’ll try some stuff out. If they come into the center, and they are a new customer, I always ask them the same questions: Who are you cooking for? Do you like who you’re cooking for? And where is your culinary talent? If you burn it, cover it in sauce and call it blackened Cajun, we’ll bring them over to the little kitchen and show them how to cook some seafood. Q: Catalina Offshore Products practices sustainability but still offers frozen options, why is that? tg: We’re not perfect, but we are trying. The Sockeye block Tuna…yeah you know that stuff’s really neat, it looks great in color, and if you like chewing on cardboard that’s probably what you want to eat. You see that stuff at all-you-can-eat buffets. It retains its color because it’s frozen at sea and gas treated. Once it’s defrosted it looks that way forever, and real true fish is not like that. It will spoil within six days. So Sockeye block anything is a gas treated carbon monoxide piece of fish. Know your sources, read the label, ask questions and check and see the country of origin. The country

of origin in our fish and in our food today plays a huge part. I ask your readers when you go to these huge super markets and you see Salmon for $6.99 per pound and you see its country of origin and see that it’s from Chile, ask yourself what does Chile know about Salmon? They are growing them in these pens and they’re packing the pens so full because they want them bigger and growing faster. The American Farmer, the American Fishermen are a dying breed. There was an article that came out that said in 30 years China is going to be our number one food import for this country. It’s pretty scary. We need to seriously think about our food source now, for our kids’ sake. Q: So being aware of this information is that what inspired you to start your Educational Seafood Nutrition Center? tg: I started the program because I felt there was a need for it in San Diego. We have an open door policy here and anybody is welcome to come in. Our Educational Seafood Nutrition Center is held on Fridays and Saturdays, I have guest chefs come in and we show you easy simple healthy ways to cook fish, and during the week, you have to suffer because I’m the one doing it. We go a step further and we have local cooking classes throughout the city with Chef Jen Felmley, and we also do a monthly cooking class here called Collaboration Kitchen where I bring in a top chef. And, Catalina Offshore and Specialty Produce donates everything needed. We do seven courses, and we talk about each piece of seafood being served, and we talk about the vegetables and how they’re grown, and then we donate all the money to a charity of my choice. That charity always changes, for example, Monarch School, King Chavez Prep School. I only like to donate educational tools for kids. There was a group of children that we took from a school of underprivileged children; none of them had been fishing. So we took them, all forty of them. And that gave us an opportunity to talk to these children one-on-one, who came from broken homes, their moms or dads were in prison. I was in prison. I did ten years, straight. And just because you go to prison doesn’t make you a bad dad. You went because you did something stupid, and you paid your debt to society and now, you need to make amends and move forward. With some of these children, they need to know that they’re ok, and that it’s not their fault. They didn’t do anything bad; a lot of kids have that guilty feeling. One of the ways you can bring them around is through education and food. On our fishing trip we caught some Bass and Mackerel; we had a really great time.

“I don’t have

a high school diploma, I don’t have any $20 words in my vocabulary, but what I do know, is seafood, and I’m very, very passionate about that. You are what you eat.


Catalina Offshore Products 5202 Lovelock St. San Diego, CA 92110 Phone: 619.704.3639 | Local Orders: 619.704.3638

Q: Can you tell me more about the Collaboration Kitchen Event? And how do people find out more about it so they can buy tickets? tg: They can go on my Facebook, Tommy Gomes. The event that we had in July I sold 100 tickets in seven minutes. People are waiting to go to these events. I like to throw bait on my Facebook and Collaboration Kitchen page and say “tick tock, tick tock, get ready, tickets go on sale soon.” Tickets always go on sale the same day of the month, at the same time. But unless you know that, you’re going to miss it. Q: Are you going to tell me when? tg: No. You have to check the page. That way it

allows us to bring people in that are passionate about their food and know what we’re doing with this program and are part of it. There is no way that this educational center and collaboration kitchen would ever work if it wasn’t for the love and support of San Diego’s people. Without the love none of this would be able to work. This started four years ago and here it is today. Q: What restaurants use your seafood here at Catalina Offshore Products? tg: Who doesn’t? From Pamplemousse in Del Mar all the way to Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park to Mitch’s Seafood down on the water front, Farm House Café, Terra Restaurant. We support the

entire farm-to-market restaurants throughout the city. Carnitas Snack Shack on University – they’re known for their pig, it’s an all-pork menu, but when he does have seafood, it’s from us. Q: I noticed you can order online if you can’t make it down here. How far do you ship to? tg: You can order in advance as far as you want. We deliver all over the country. You could order from us, and I’ll have it on your door the next morning, same thing for Texas, Monday through Thursday. Our most popular items online are Uni, Sushi Kits and Tuna. You can order at

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Yes, we serve breakfast: Sandwiches Bagels Scrambles Benedicts Omelettes Pancakes Waffles and more.

Lunch & Dinner too.

LA JOLLA 7 7 3 4




J O L L A ,

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337 N. EL CAMINO REAL, STE. A E N C I N I T A S , 7 6 0 - 9 4 3 - N O S H We cater!

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What makes the best burger, you ask?


It’s not just what’s between the buns, it’s the whole experience. We scoured San Diego high and low to find that all-encompassing experience of enjoying the city’s best burger. The best burger upholds quality, service, environment, accessibility, and most importantly—taste. That’s a lot to stack, and we certainly managed it all with these amazing burgers. One ultimately prevailed above them all, but each was a winner in their own right. No matter what part of San Diego you reside in, a trip to any of these locations is well worth it just to try the...


Slater’s 50/50

2750 Dewey road San Diego, CA 92106 619.398.2600 t Slater’s, they play with the food for you so you don’t have to. You’ll see what I mean when you take a look at the menu and check out the fun creative recipes they’ve come up with for their burgers. At Slater’s, the most important part of the burger is the meat. Their signature patty is half beef, half bacon, and boy do they love their bacon! For those of you who are particular about what goes into your burger, you can design your own burger. Or, you can try some of Slater’s award-winning burger specialties. We tried the Peanut Butter & Jealousy Burger and the ‘Merica Burger.

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| Indian Summer 2013 Issue

The PB&J Burger is exactly what you’re thinking; between a honey wheat bun lays a Sterling Silver ground beef patty with bacon (of course) nestled between creamy peanut butter and strawberry jelly. Not extreme enough for you? No worries, you can order it a la’ mode. I doubled down and got it a la’ mode, and it was delish. The ‘Merica burger was a fun treat, too. In a nutshell, it’s bacon. It could be disguised as breakfast but it’s not. It featured a 100 percent bacon patty, topped with bacon, a sunny side up egg, and two pieces of bacon (naturally), and held on with bacon

cheddar cheese. Wait…there’s more… bacon island dressing as well as a bacon pretzel bun. I’d say the ingredients speak for themselves, because when I saw the burger I was speechless. After the fact, I can’t stop talking about it, and I was surprised at how well the flavors worked together. Bacon is a great pairing for bacon, that, and a beer. At Slater’s they are not modest with their love for beer, featuring over 100 different beer selections on tap. If you have any questions, all of the servers and bartenders are Cicerone Certified Beer Servers, so they can surely help you out.


600 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.255.7373 t Barleymash, we were served “The Champ,” and the name is suitable for describing the burger, too. This is a non-white tee event served with Scotch. This is a gentleman’s burger. Don’t try to cut it with a knife or try to be dainty during consumption. This will just make things go south.

Own it with both hands and dive in! This place and its burgers are just plain awesome. They bake their bread daily, and between their buns, they’ve stacked a grilled beef patty, juicy mouth-watering pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, habanero jelly, bourbonbbq ranch and tobacco-fried onions. This burger is the size of my face! What I loved most about this was the little details of love that made it so tasty and the big flavors that could stack up to the size of it. A lot of their menu items are made from scratch, in house, and in my book, that always makes for great cuisine.


OCEAN BEACH LOCAtION 5010 Newport Ave. San Diego, CA 92107 619.224.4623 *visit Hodad’s other locations downtown and at PEtCO Park hey say its lunch and dinner, not life or death. This place offers a relaxed, carefree environment where you can tell all the employees are friends and probably go out for beers after work, too. And, they welcome customers in to be a part of that close-knit group when you visit. Customized license plates adorn the walls amongst other interesting things to look at, and the secret behind those is that if you bring in a customized license plate for them to put on the wall, you get a free burger! Fun eclectic music plays while patrons from all walks of life nosh on burgers. This was a great location to start at, with its refreshing abundance of fresh produce stuffed between fluffy buns. We tried the single bacon cheese burger with frings—a classic. The bacon was crispy, cheese melted to perfection, and the patty was deliciously juicy. The most memorable part of the burger (if I had to choose because there was so many) was the veggies. That might have been because juice from the tomato landed all over my leg (tip: eat over the basket), but mainly it was the crunch that added balance, and the fact that we were left feeling satisfied not stuffed. Oh, and one more tip for the road: don’t order all you can eat on the menu, it’s supposed to be a joke. The burgers are huge, so you wouldn’t get very far.

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7007 friars road San Diego, CA 92108 619.225.7900 or all of you technology lovers out there, this spot is a real treat. IPads adorn the tables, placed there to provide an innovative ordering approach. Not only can you now be certain that your order was taken correctly, when you’re ready to leave, you can conveniently take care of the check on the iPad, that way you don’t have to wait around for a server to bring the check. Since the computer is right there, you should sign up to be their friend on Facebook, too. They offer “random stacks of kindness” and

randomly take care of one of their friend’s bills after they check in. They do this twice a day, so the odds are in your favor! Sign in at the restaurant and special items will appear on your menu as well. I went ahead and tried the Pepper Stack Burger with a refreshing IPA on tap. The flavor of the meat was perfectly seasoned and was super juicy. This burger reminded me of what California is all about. First of all, it’s a burger. Second of all, it combined those spicy flavors that we all love in Southern California but was approachable at the same time. The spice was for flavor, not heat. The grilled onions added a sweetness that complimented the red pepper aioli nicely. I suggest bringing your picky eaters here, because there really is something for everyone.


777 g St. San Diego, CA 92101 619.446.0002 he first thing I noticed was the giant painting on the wall. The second thing I noticed was a taxidermy ostrich. Once you get past the exciting décor and fun interior at Neighborhood, it’s all about the burgers. We tried the Neighborhood and the 777 Burger. Needless to say the 777 was a jackpot. I really liked how instead of lettuce it was served with organic baby spinach; it had a plum tomato confit and was served with a béarnaise sauce on the side for dipping. Yum!






Bare Back Grill

4640 Mission Blvd. San Diego, CA 92109 858.274.7117 his is the spot for PB locals. There is a welcoming vibe that will make your first time feel like a time warp. They make you feel like your close friends work there and that you’ve been coming for years. The taps are filled with craft selections, the bread is from a local bakery, and the produce is from Specialty Produce. It’s the epitome of a locals spot. This is the kind of place I would go to and hang out with my friends. It’s close to the beach, it has a patio, the space is nice and open, and the manager wears board shorts to work. I’m always game for a spot where I can rock flops, drink a cold craft beer from the tap and still get quality ingredients with casual food. They prepared for us the Bare Lil Lamb burger with garlic aioli, pickled beets, mint jelly, a fried egg, bleu cheese crumbles and tomato chutney. The quality of the ingredients was definitely the star of this burger. Order it the way it comes, each component adds that lil something extra. The mint jelly is cooked into the patty at the last minute to add a pop of flavor, the freshness of the produce added just the right texture, and the vessel (bun) was soft on the inside and durable on the outside to hold everything together. The beets were just for fun.

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Burger Lounge

1608 India St. San Diego, CA 92101 619.237.7878 inner, Winner! We tried a lot of burgers on the quest for the best, 17 to be exact, and at the end of the day, I had finally found the burger I was craving. Burger Lounge served us the burger we will be telling all of our friends about. A lot of the burgers we tried were large and in charge (and tasty), but Burger Lounge offered a product that I could see myself eating on a weekly basis and not feel bad about it. A lot of the indulgent burgers we tried were delicious, but I don’t think I could handle going back for seconds a week later. Like I said in the beginning, the best burger is not just what’s between the buns. It’s more than that, and this place held up to its end of the bargain. The concept is that one should utilize healthy ingredients in a sustainable way. At Burger Lounge, they use grass-fed beef, local produce and

organic options. Grass-fed beef are those happy cows located at Sunfed Organic and Rain Crow Ranch. Happy cows make me a happy camper. Even the cooking oil they use is converted into bio-fuel to run the vehicles they use. They have organic ketchup. They have organic sodas straight out of the soda fountain! Today we are in an environmentally conscious society, and it helps when some of the places we go to eat at do the hard work for us, making it a little easier to make the right decision. The burgers feature simplicity done right. The Lounge Burger featured an organic whole-wheat bun, grass-fed beef patty, gooey melted organic American cheese, your classic produce from a local distributor, and housemade 1,000 Island. I liked that when I took a bite I could fit the whole thing in my mouth, which allowed me to taste the combination of ingredients and what the burger truly had to offer. We also tried the “Game Changer,” which was a grass-fed lamb burger with Asadero Cheese, Jalapeno Relish, and Tomatillo Green Chile Mayo. Come to Burger Lounge, it’s not complicated; it’s just the right choice.



best D AROUN



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Live Jazz Music

Sunday Brunch 10-3pm There’s a bundt

for every moment.

Whether it’s a special birthday, the ever elusive hole-in-one or a simple thanks, it’s a good day for delicious. Mention LOCALE and receive 25% Off any retail item with a purchase of an 8” or 10” decorated cake Good at San Diego Area Bakeries only. One offer per visit. Expires 12/31/2013

whatflavor flavor are are you? you? what

Poway/Scripps Ranch 858.566.2863 Mission Valley/San Diego 619.294.2253 Del Mar/Flower Hill 858.764.7521

Carlsbad and Chula Vista Opening Holidays 2013

Notorious Burgers

6955 El Camino real Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.431.2929 rom the moment we walked in, we were taken care of, and not just us, but everyone that was dining at the new Notorious Burgers in Carlsbad. The hostess was super friendly, the servers were very attentive, and the managers were on point. Having worked in the hospitality industry myself, I can’t stress how important that aspect is to anyone’s dining experience. The burger was spot on and didn’t fall short, juxtaposed with that awesome service. The burger we tried was delicious and cured my comfort food craving. It was served on a soft pretzel bun with a thick patty, awesome sauce and a fried egg. We’ll be back.





Bubs @ the Ball Park 715 J St. San Diego, CA 92101 619.546.0815

f you’re like me and looking for a place to go after the ball game because you’re not quite ready to quit the fun, then come to Bubs, and come hungry! This is the place to go for good food and entertainment. Ask your server for Soundog at your table. It’s like your own personal speaker for whichever game you’re watching. They have games and an open floor space so you don’t have to worry about feeling cramped when it gets busy. It’s located on the corner, too, so your friends won’t get lost when they’re meeting up with you for locals night on Mondays (they have $2 off all drafts). The burger prepared for us featured crisp green apples with gruyere cheese and bacon. The burger was rich and decadent. This was my first time trying a burger with apples in it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the texture the apple provided to the burger. This one is definitely a must try!

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The Habit Burger Grill 845 Camino De La reina San Diego, CA 92108 619.299.9913

ow this place, I could make a habit out of‌ especially you college kids. Habit Burger offers their Charburger, starting out at the steep price of $2.95. This place reminds me of my childhood, having many a

Charburgers in my day. There is just something about char grilling on an open flame that creates that exceptional flavor you strive for in a delicious burger. There is a sense of nostalgia and comfort when you come here, and you can tell this is a spot inspired by California with beachy undertones to the menu. I loved the Charburger, and the patty was the star. I liked that the lettuce was shredded-it made it so much easier to eat! Check this place out for easy dining. Nothing is too complicated and the affordability makes this place accessible to all ages.

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With long, lingering summers here in San Diego, getting outside and taking advantage of our uncharacteristically beautiful fall weather is non-negotiable. And what better way to enjoy a sunny summer outing than with a perfectly packed picnic. But, coming up with ideas for packing that picnic or back-to-school lunchbox can be akin to sorting through your emails on a Monday morning: it can be kind of overwhelming. Frightening images of Lunchables and soggy sandwiches come to mind, but wait! There should be a way to make packed lunches into delicious, luxurious meals, suitable to take on the go? We wanted to find out how to make lunch at your desk more exciting, so we sat down with the head chefs from five of the best restaurants in San Diego and asked the question: what would you put in your perfect lunchbox? | Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 49


Loins of Fire sandwich


Chipotle potato salad, fire Sesame Slaw, Sesame Noodles and a chocolate chip cookie.


Sheep Riley


Q: What would you pack in your ideal lunchbox? SHEEP rILEY: My lunchbox would be great to take to a concert - something my wife and I do quite often. I would pack the Big Front Door’s Loins of Fire sandwich, which is fabulous; a Caprese sandwich for my wife; and a bunch of sides, including our Chipotle Potato Salad, Fire Sesame Slaw, some Sesame Noodles; and as much beer as we could possibly fit in the lunchbox. Lastly, I’d definitely include some cookies: Chocolate Chip. That’s the house favorite. Q: What are some of your other favorite foods to make on the run? Sr: Grilled cheese or shrimp quesadillas. We eat a lot of fruit on the go, too. Kraft Mac & Cheese. There’s always a doubleburner stove in my truck from my Phish concert days, don’t worry. Q: What do you do to keep your packed lunches exciting? Sr: Being a working professional, eating can be tricky. I see the options of what people have to go pick up and take home to eat. If you were shopping for lunches to pack on a daily basis, take the time to research so you’re not just cooking up the cold cuts from just the grocery store. Or, even to take a note from us: mix in

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just a little home preparation. Roasting chicken breasts the night before, or maybe taking a day on Sunday afternoon if you do enjoy cooking to prepare a bunch of meats for the week that you’re going to use. A lot of food will last a couple days at least, so think about doing pasta salads and stuff like that. Have fun with it. Q: give me five words that describe your restaurant. Sr: Bright, smoky, friendly, clean, and fun. Q: there are thousands of restaurants in San Diego. What makes Big front Door unique? Sr: I think the most unique aspect of this restaurant is it’s really kind of under the radar, and under-marketed intentionally. It’s really intended to be kind of a local spot, an insider, in-the-know type of place. It creates a like-minded customer. The media is just catching on to us a year later. It’s got a really die-hard following already. It’s sort of been, “Build it, and let them come.” Rather than a force-feed, “This is cool.” I’ve worked in this business a long time, and I’ve found that good food can prevail. Foodforward, take care of people, let them tell their friends, and let it grow. It’s a different attitude than a lot of restaurants take.

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BIG FRONT DOOR (bfd) 4135 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 92103 619.255.4100




Chipotle Potato Salad

5 lbs . red potatoe


1 red pepper

3 cloves garlic

1 poblano pepper 2 Cups mayonnais



6 hardboiled eggs Salt & pepper to


DIRECTIONS: Quarter and boil

potatoes until ten der. Dice peppers an d onion. Crumble eggs and gently mix all ingredien ts in a large bowl.


other hot chili pepp


4 Cups vinegar

1 small onion ¼ Cup chipotle pu

bfd Hot Sauce

1 lb. red Fresno or

1 Tablespoon kosh ½ teaspoon suga

er salt


DIRECTIONS: De -stem pepper s and roast in a 450 degree oven until skins start to ch ar. Once cooled, pu t in a blender wi th remaining ingred ients and puree for several minutes un til smooth .


| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 51

ROPPONGI 875 Prospect St La Jolla, CA 92037 858.551.5252




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| Indian Summer 2013 Issue

La Jolla Cobb Salad and charcuterie



Michael McDonald



When I was in France, we would see people with picnic bask ets enjoying the day with a varie Not just one thing. So ty of things. something that inspireI think that’s d me to do it, and it’s what I real ly like to eat when I do that sort of thing. Kind of like our restaurant: it has a little bit of everything. – MICHA E MCDONA L



Q: What would you pack in your ideal lunchbox? MICHAEL MCDONALD: I would pack our La Jolla Cobb salad. It is made with pork belly, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, blue cheese, poached egg, butter leaf and tatsoi lettuces, and dressed with a Japanese mustard vinaigrette. It would be appropriate more for the beach and the mountains, because I’ve lived in both areas. For packed lunches, I also really like to have a variety of things to eat, like hummus, different types of cheeses, charcuterie, maybe a nice French baguette and pickled mushrooms. When I was in France, we would see people with picnic baskets enjoying the day with a variety of things. Not just one thing. So I think that’s something that inspired me to do it, and it’s what I really like to eat when I do that sort of thing. Kind of like our restaurant: it has a little bit of everything. Q: What do you do to keep your packed lunches exciting? MM: People should pack their

lunches based on what they like to eat. I also think there’s a huge opportunity now that there’s a lot more ethnic markets. Middle Eastern markets are really fantastic. Q: give me five words that describe your restaurant. MM: Tapas, fusion, Southeast Asian, French technique, and a royal dining experience. Q: What makes this restaurant unique from others in San Diego? MM: The use of French technique with Asian ingredients. And if you look at Southeast Asia or different countries in history that were occupied by the French, their food is very French but they use their local ingredients. So the French were actually doing fusion hundreds of years ago. I also think the previous chef and myself have been able to keep the food very consistent. So when you come, you know when you order the Crab Stack, it’s going to be the same Crab Stack you ordered last time. It’s always the same, and I think that’s what has kept the public coming back.

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 53

AVANT 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive San Diego, CA 92128 858.675.8550



gathering in AVANT’s chef’s tasting kitchen. Groups of 12 en joy a custom, multi-course meal co oked right in front of you. Sit down with and discuss the menu ah the chefs ea and completely plan ou d of time, t with wine pairings ahea your meal d of time. It’s a completely customiza ble situation for your next party. 54 |

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue


Prosciutto sandwich


on a french baguette with house-made mustard, fig and orange spread and wild arugula. Paired with 82 percent dark chocolate; and Lost Abbey Lost & found Ale


Nicholas Bour and James Kozak

Q: What would you pack in your ideal lunchbox? AvANt: We did a fresh baguette with prosciutto, the mustard that we make in-house, wild arugula, and a fig and orange spread. We paired it with some 82 percent dark chocolate; an aged goat cheese, and a Bermuda Triangle goat cheese as a snack to go with it; and a local beer, the Lost Abbey Lost & Found Ale, because that’s what we like to do on our days off – drink beer. It’s a gourmet kind of a lunch, but simple enough that anybody could do it. The matter of the ingredients being excellent is the most important thing. Our sandwich is definitely more interesting than peanut butter & jelly. It’s not something you would bring to work. It’s for being outdoors. Think of going up for a nice drive to the mountains or something, and you pull over on the side of the road – it’s the perfect lunch. As long as the beer is cold, then it’s good to go. And notice we didn’t use mayonnaise or butter or anything that is going to go bad, the only thing is probably the cheese you’d want to eat it that day. Fruit and mustard go great together, too. It’s kind of a classic thing to eat. Q: there are thousands of restaurants in San Diego. What makes AvANt unique? NICHOLAS BOEr: The mustard thing is unique. We are making the

mustard ourselves. And having wine on tap and a charcuterie bar together, I don’t think it’s been done. Not here in San Diego. JAMES KOzAK: We’re leaning more towards wine country cuisine. Not to say we’re like Napa, but somewhat along the roots of Napa with a Southern California-flare, and Southern California’s seasonality and different style of cooking. I don’t really think you see that anywhere else around here. It’s going to be showcasing what’s in season. The wines that we’re getting are coming directly from the vineyards. We’re working directly with the wineries, getting it directly from the vineyard and then tapping it right there at the bar for you. And the wine taps are conveniently located right next to the charcuterie, so when you’re drinking wine, it’s all right there in front of you. We have a lot of local beer partners as well, with very unique flavors that can be paired with food. We also have a large menu with different small plates that can be passed and shared, and I feel that they’re pretty unique. It’s more of a social thing. You don’t even have to sit in the main restaurant and order a bunch of courses, you can order a bunch of small plates and have a vibrant social hour. It’s going to be a social hub for the neighborhood.

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 55


Grilled chicken Caesar wrap Oatmeal cherry cookie, and composed salad



Q: What would you pack in your ideal lunchbox? KEEGAN GERHARD: A grilled chicken Caesar wrap, an oatmeal cherry cookie and a composed salad. The wrap is a spinach tortilla wrap with grilled chicken breast, grilled baby romaine and a ranch dressing with Sriracha, chili powder and a little bit of bacon. I am a big fruit lover, so I always put in an orange; I always put in a banana. My favorite cookie is oatmeal with whatever fruit is in season. Right now, it’s the cherry. So we did oatmeal and a couple of other grains in a cherry cookie. For the composed salad, I did one with quinoa, olives, grilled corn, a bunch of vegetables and grains from around the kitchen. We just put salt, pepper, and olive oil on romaine lettuce and grill it so it’s still crunchy on one side but it’s cooked on the other side. It holds that consistency while it’s inside the wrap. This is the way we do our Caesar on the menu at D Bar, too. And I didn’t put my chicken sandwich on a bun because a flour tortilla is more fun, and it travels better and it eats better. Ideally, I would take this lunch above Balboa Park and ride on the Velodrome. It’s funny, not many people in San Diego know it’s there, but it’s been there since the ‘80s. You can go in the summer and watch some of the best cyclists in the world do track racing. It’s open Friday nights. It’s really cool. Ideal for me: yeah. Pack up my box lunch and go to the park, walk around,

and end it with either walking or riding around the Velodrome. Q: What items from the D Bar menu would be great to put in a lunchbox? KG: The Pizza Salad Sandwich. It’s pizza dough rolled flat, and then you put whatever you want on it. At the moment, we have pesto, mozzarella cheese, and then we take it out of the oven and we make our simple salad and put it on there and fold it in half, and eat it like a sandwich. It’s what I did when I was working in hotels all the time, and I didn’t have time to sit and eat. It works really well for a picnic, too. It’s really hearty and it keeps well. Q: What do you do to keep your packed lunches exciting? KG: Everybody’s days are so hectic that you end up making some crappy sandwich or throwing in some pre-packaged food. The key is to have all the vegetables, salads and proteins you need for the whole week with you on Sunday, and get it all ready then. Make a great sauce; make stock, just once a month. Put it in ice cube trays and take it out one at a time when you make a proper meal. Know what foods you like, know how you like foods prepared - whether it’s fried, grilled or sautéed. Good dressings, good vegetables, good proteins, salt, pepper, and olive oil and you’re golden. Keep it simple and keep it fresh. That’s what I do for myself, that’s what I suggest people do for themselves.



nch is to lu t a e r g packing a ds and la a s The key to , s le b he vegeta or the whole have all t need f y, and get it u o y s in e prot on Sunda u o y h it week w AN then. EEG all ready D – K




D BAR 3930 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 619.299.3227

WHISKNLADLE 1044 Wall Street La Jolla, CA 92037 858.551.7575


EXECUTIVE CHEF: Ryan Johnston 58 |

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue

Q: What would you pack in your ideal lunchbox? rYAN JOHNStON: I would pack a crab salad sandwich with bacon, avocado, a little bit of mayonnaise, aioli, mint and basil on some toasted brioche bread. The crab has a lot of basil, mint and chive in it, so it’s about the fresh taste of the herbs rather than the thick, mayonnaise consistency. I think that would be really nice, because the crab is not too moist so it won’t seep into the bread. And right now, tomatoes aren’t quite ready, but I would do a crab with tomatoes. I would pack house-made potato chips with a little bit of malt vinegar powder. I would add a little grilled, pan-roasted asparagus with a little black pepper, a little lemon, some shaved

Crab Salad Sandwich and house-made potato chips

Parmesan on the side, too. It would be great for going to the park. It would be great to take to work as well. It’s really healthy, good for you, delicious. Kate Sessions Park is nice. I like going down to the wharfs in Little Italy, too. There are some nice parks down there where you can sit and eat. Q: What would you do to keep your packed lunches exciting if you had to take your lunch to work everyday? rJ: This is what I do: go to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, like the one in Little Italy, and buy whatever is in season; whatever you feel like you want to eat. I went last week and I got beets, I got chard, I got avocados, I got some tomatoes. And then take those









y lan out m p o d I o s betes, ad I have dia actually h I , h c n lu r e. day, fo ayonnais i, m h meals. To it w d il ean ch on brea Tofurkey ht, I made some b s from And tonig that with vegetable and I ate ’s Market. N r YA – R the Farme



ingredients, roast them, boil them, whatever you want to do - and then marinate them. They will last a week. You can bring those with you as a little salad. You can always take avocado and make a sandwich out of it. Maybe do an avocado salad with a little bit of lettuce from the Farmer’s Market with crispy bacon, add some asparagus, and top with a dressing from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods or whatever you’re into. A creamy dressing or balsamic would be best. Also, buy salami, and make little sandwiches with the salami. You can spice it up by buying a spicier spread or making your own, like a Fresno aioli, like a really spicy aioli and add sweet peppers.


It’s really easy to make. But usually, I just bring everything separate and mix it together, because I have diabetes, so I do plan out my meals. Today, I came in and I brought cereal and a little bit of almond milk. And today, for lunch, I actually had Tofurkey on bread with mayonnaise. And tonight, I made some bean chili, and I ate that with vegetables from the Farmer’s Market.

sweet flavor to them. We put them on bread with a little bit of mozzarella, tapenade, a little pesto. We build the sandwich and we toast it to order, but you can eat it cold like that. That would carry very well. We have a nice grilled zucchini salad with fried bread that would carry very well, too. You could put the vinaigrette on the side and mix it later.

Q: What items from the Whisknladel menu would be perfect to put in a lunchbox for a picnic? rJ: We have a really nice grilled vegetable sandwich with eggplant, zucchini and peppers. We grill them and then marinate them in sherry vinaigrette so they can sit and get a little sour,

Q: give me five words that describe your restaurant. rJ: Delicious, seasonal, family, passionate, and unsatisfied - in other words, we are always trying to be better.

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 59

There is only one local Vodka that is... crafted by hand, one batch at a time, distilled 5 times using pure mountain spring water, filtered 5 times for a smooth, clean finish, 100% gluten-free (made from corn), giving it the uncompromising taste as great as the city we live in. 619 Vodka. (Don’t be sad 858 and 760, we’re served in your neighborhoods too.)




Nika GM Jordan Mellul Spreads the Word of Water


If commitment, energy and hard work is the formula for transforming a small business into a nationwide retailer, then Nika Water Founder Jeff Church chose right when he asked Jordan Mellul to move across the country and join the team in 2009. A company with a cause, Nika Water was formed in 2008 with the purpose to sell environmentally friendly bottled water, which profits charity projects around the world. So far, the company has raised approximately $400,000, impacting 55,000 people in countries like Ethiopia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Kenya and Uganda, and much of that has been accomplished with the guidance of Nika Water’s everyman and General Manager, Jordan Mellul. Mellul, who has entrepreneurialism running through his veins and claims it as the only hobby he can think of, travels the globe spreading the word about Nika Water. He showed up to our interview with no less than six cases of Nika Water, always ready to fi nd and greet his next customer. But underneath his vigor for the product and desire to help this business

continue its fast success, Mellul seems a man of many layers…particularly when he tells his story of visiting his fi rst project site in Kenya where he met all of the children whose lives he was about to change. Q: Your degree is in psychology, did you ever see yourself in the water industry? JOrDAN MELLuL: I thought it was interesting and cool, but I never saw myself being a therapist or psychologist; but, it turns out, being the general manager for a start-up company is just like being a therapist like every day! I wear many hats. So no, I never saw myself in the water industry. To be very honest, I grew up drinking tap water like everyone else on the East Coast. So the fact that I helped start a bottled water company was odd to me. I got into it because I always wanted to help start a business from the ground up regardless of what that was. This opportunity came to me from the CEO Jeff Church, and he said this is what we’re doing and there is a humungous social and environmental side to it on top of being an entrepreneurial venture, so it

was the absolute full package for me. Q: What was it about Nika Water and the Church family’s business plan that made you move across the country to be a part of the team back in 2009? JM: That’s right. Two days after I got the phone call from Jeff, I packed up my stuff in a bag and got on a plane. I was attracted to the business itself, but the stories and the photos also drew me in… When the face is on the bottle sitting on your desk or your nightstand, you may think that you might have had the worst day ever, but it can’t be even close in comparison to the people Nika impacts. Q: Why bottled water? JM: The reason why we chose bottled water is because we wanted to choose a product that has no demographic; everyone uses it; and we don’t have to convince consumers of something new. Therefore, we can focus on the message. When you buy a bottle of Nika, you’re not just giving us the 58 cents profit or whatever it is, you’re giving us a physical item of awareness that you’re carrying around and now you’re

SHELtEr ISLAND’S PACIfIC POrtAL The Pacific Portal at Shelter Island was designed by legendary artist James Hubbell in 2005. The concrete gazebo design echoes the organic forms of ocean waves and billowing sails and is named for its position at the entrance of the bay, leading into the Pacific Ocean.

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| Indian Summer 2013 Issue

“All of our shocks on our cars are done, because we all carry way too much Nika water in our trunks. It’s a lifestyle at this stage. You have to give it all you got.~ -JORDAN MELLUL


JORDAN MELLUL Age: 31 title: VP of Operations & General Manager, Nika Water Company Originally from: New Jersey

a messenger of what we do. Our bottle looks different than other bottles. The bottle tells a story, and consumers tell the story by carrying our bottles around. We’d rather have 10,000 people spend $1 on a bottle of water than have someone give us a $10,000 check. It’s like the ripple effect is so much the point of what we do. It’s about getting that water out there, because it creates awareness. That’s the whole point. Q: tell me about Nika Water and its overall concept. How do you pick the projects you contribute to? JM: The business model is very simple – we’re just like every other consumer-based product out there, except at the end of the day, we donate our profits to charity partners to accomplish goals versus giving profits to shareholders. Jeff Church funded most of the company out of his own pocket, so we can do that. The way we choose our charity partners, is we meet people and organizations through various connections and fundraisers, and it just becomes an open conversation about how do they work, are they willing to work with a group like us and what projects can we help with. One of the big things that we look for is that they have to be pretty well established with successful projects. We like to do longterm, large-construction, sustainable projects.

We want to build a $10,000 well and school and health clinic in one. The charity has to involve the community, too. We don’t want to be those people that come in and say, “There you go – there’s your well. You’re saved!” Q: Can you tell me about a couple of the organizations Nika has contributed to? JM: Free the Children is based out of Toronto, and started by Marc and Craig Kielburger. These two brothers started the organization when they were about 12 years old (they’re around 30 now). It’s the largest community of children helping children in the world. Almost every middle school and high school in Canada has a Free the Children club. It’s almost mandatory. Free the Children have just started to enter the US Market, too. Locally, we work with a San Diego called Project Concern International (PCI). We got to go to Nicaragua in 2010 with them. Right now, we’re trying to get some things up and going with Surf Aid, a younger, more funbased project. We try to mix it up and work with good people. Q: You mention visiting some of the sites for which Nika’s profits have contributed. tell me about one experience that just blew you away. JM: When we arrived in Pimbiniet, Kenya

together with Free the Children in 2011, we were driving these big military trucks down this dirt road full of rocks and glass towards one of the school campuses; and all of a sudden, we heard this overwhelming sound that was like a flock of seagulls. It turned out to be 986 students screaming, because they were so excited to see us! We were still a good mile away, and they came running, sprinting full-force, barefoot on those roads, jumping at the sides of the jeep…I felt like I was the Beatles, I’m not kidding…and they had never seen anything like us! They just wanted to touch my face and my tattoos. They wanted to communicate, so they gave us everything they had. They held us by the hand and gave us a tour of everything that they were proud of. It was really neat. And then, they sang for us. They’re so excited about what we’re doing for them and what other organizations are doing for them, so they put on a whole presentation for us. They gave us a goat that we couldn’t take back with us, and they made us bracelets. They’re just really thankful. You always want to help people in need, but when they don’t ask for it, and they’re so happy whether you’re going to help them or not, it just makes it so much more awesome. Q: tell me about your roll as gM/vP. What does a typical day consist of for you at Nika

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 63

“When the face is on the bottle sitting on your desk or your nightstand, you may think that you might have had the worst day ever, but it can’t be even close in comparison to the people Nika impacts.”

“The Restaurant That Never Sleeps”


Water? Obviously, you don’t get to go build homes in Kenya everyday. JM: I wake up every day and it’s different. Aside from the good-cause stuff, we’re a young business, so I never know what the day is going to be like. I get emails, I do marketing and social media, guerilla events, festivals, design and creative writing, and in contradiction to that, setting up logistics, shipping, sales and all the little things people don’t think about. At the end of the day, we have to sell water. All of our shocks on our cars are done, because we all carry way too much Nika water in our trunks. It’s a lifestyle at this stage. You have to give it all you got. Q: What’s the best part about your job? JM: I think that in addition to seeing those people overseas or getting a great feature in a new magazine (laughs), the beauty of our job is that with only eight people in the company, you get to really feel like you’re making an impact. It’s neat to be able to own it that much. It’s cool to feel like every single bit that has happened, whether it is the most mundane thing like getting boxes pressed or the biggest, coolest thing like building a school in Africa, we did that. We do everything in house.

Gaslamp Quarter’s Only Full-Service 24-Hour Restaurant E ST








little thing; I’ll find a way to take something away from every experience. I grew up on rock and roll, so I’m inspired by a lot of that. In the story of rock and roll, they start with nothing and build up to something. Simple. Q: tell us something people might not know about you? JM: I’m an artist on the side. I buy a lot of furniture from Craigslist or Good Will stores and art ‘em up or refinish them for my house. I’m very music-based. I like to keep my hands in everything I can – more than I can probably. I love being busy. I love working 100 hours per day. Entrepreneurialism is my hobby. I’m so excited to dump mounds of information on those that want to hear about my experience. Q: How many bottles of Nika Water are bottled per day? JM: 10,000 bottles per distribution area, including California, New York, Seattle and Portland. Q: How many bottles of Nika Water does Jordan Mellul drink in a day? JM: I drink about a half a bottle a day. I just don’t drink water, but when I do, it’s Nika Water! (laughs) I always have one with me even if I’m not drinking it.

Q: What has been your proudest moment with this company, and why? JM: There are so many. It’s such a rollercoaster. Within one day, I can feel like, “this is the greatest company ever – we’re going to rule the world!” And within an hour, I’m thinking, “this isn’t going to work – we’re screwed.” But, being in Africa when the kids came running, that was probably my proudest moment. You have to feel it then.

Q: How much does a bottle Nika Water cost the consumer? JM: $1 to $2, depending on the size and the retailer.

Q: How do you intend to continue impacting the world with this water company? JM: It’s about selling water. When people say how do we help? It’s more bottles, more retailers in more territories across the country. It’s a developing process.

NIKA WAtEr COMPANY, LLC PO Box 2348 La Jolla, CA 92038 800.545.5841 Follow Nika Water on Facebook at /NikaWater and Twitter @NikaWater

Q: Who has been your biggest mentor in life? JM: For me, it’s about internalization. Whoever I meet could be a role model for the simplest

Q: Where can we find Nika Water in San Diego? JM: Whole Foods, Jimbos, Sprouts and Mothers Market. For more Nika Water distributors, visit .


Daily Happy Hour: 4 pm – 7 pm

(619) 702-8410 828 6th Avenue (between E & F)

Nika Water Eco Policy



Visit our full bar locations at Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum, Huntington Beach (Warner/Beach) Visit our other locations for great food and fun: Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Inland Empire, Nor Cal

Colorado, Hawaii, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Texas


San Diego’s most qualified hosts taking you from dusk ‘til dawn WRITTEN BY: AftON LArSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DAvID KINg

an Diego transitions from day to night as seamlessly as your business-casual wardrobe. When the evening stretches long in front of you, San Diego gives up the goods. From North County coastal to urban Downtown, LOCALE has you covered with our favorite lounges for a quality experience more alluring than a bar but less high-maintenance than a club. Consider this your go-to list for the next time you plan on heading out for a drink. 68 |

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue


723 felspar Street San Diego, CA 92109 858.270.5736 I hate Sundays. The dread of Monday and The Grind and responsibilities and alarm clocks give me a case of the “adults” no Sunday Funday can ease. Enter JRDN Lounge at Tower 23 in Pacific Beach. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. If you haven’t, welcome to the party my friends. JRDN makes the list of places every senior at La Jolla High takes his girlfriend on their big six-month anniversary. He asked Dad to cover the tab, put on a button-down for the first time since Winter Formal, and spent five minutes perfecting his sleeve roll. There’s complimentary three-hour valet with validation. They’re as close to the beach as you’d want to be without getting sand in your food. She’s impressed. But they’re not drinking, and we are. Seated on the patio, minutes from sunset, I start conservatively with a strawberry mojito. It’s light, the rum teases its way through the sweetness of the berry, and it’s summer. The mussels are a menu original so after a firm recommendation from our waitress who “didn’t think she liked mussels” before trying these (exactly), I order a dish for the table. Unsaddle any baggage you might be carrying around from that one bad experience you had with shellfish. At JRDN, they’re here to break down those walls. The mussels are supple, the meat so delicate your seafood fork won’t battle to release it. Mild in taste, they’ve absorbed the chardonnay and cream sauce and on top, crumbled chorizo adds a smoky flavor. Garlic, chard and herb butter hang in the balance. The portion is generous, but somehow there still isn’t enough to go around. It’s no surprise Executive Chef David Warner gives them long-term residency on a menu that changes every season. “They’re one of those dishes that I just can’t take off. If I did, I would be dragged through

the streets of PB. It’s something about the way the chorizo bleeds its flavor into the broth. I’ll tell you that broth keeps our bread company in business.” That bread company is Con Pane in Liberty Station, and I’d be leading the charge if the mussels went missing. Consider yourself warned, Chef. My mojito long-gone, I replace it with a second recommendation. The chili-mango margarita is a drink I wouldn’t have gone for without a nudge in that direction. Though the name leads with the chili-infused tequila, don’t let that put you off. The spice is diluted and more of an encore after the mango puts on a good show. I’d use a few choice profanities to emphasize its holiness, but I’m a lady. Try it and thank me later. I go with a strawberry salad for dinner, the rosemary shortbread a dreamy sidekick to the fresh strawberries, goat cheese, almond, pickled radish and vinaigrette medley. Excuse me while I have a moment. For contrast, I sample a Tower 23 burger that holds its own against some of the best in town. Ground Meyer and Kobe beef, white cheddar and aioli on a brioche bun are a standard of excellence as is, but add avocado, bacon or an egg sunnyside up and you’ve transcended. And there are truffle fries. Of course there are truffle fries. After seven years at JRDN, Chef Warner has hit a rhythm that will entrance your taste buds. For fall, when sweet and savory return as America’s favorite couple, Warner is already playing around with a lardo, apple and chicory salad and a fivespiced spaetzel with candied yam and shaved Brussels sprouts. Though the ingenuity of his menu suggests otherwise, Chef Warner’s philosophy is about keeping it simple. He likes to enhance natural flavorings with surprising accents all while using straightforward cooking methods. The ingredients and their preparation are familiar, but presented in a way that makes you incredibly thankful this New Jersey boy found his way to San Diego. We’re keeping him.

Native Knowledge

For a special night out, ask for table 401. According to Warner, it’s the “best romantic seat in the house, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and beside the fire pit. After dining with us, finish up your night with a glass of Barolo Chinato, that’s how I roll!” Happy hour runs from 4pm to 7pm, Monday through Friday, with a reverse happy hour from 7pm to 10pm on the weekend.

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue | 69

Native Knowledge

Set the mood with live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 8pm. Jazz, blues, R&B, Samba and Superclub Saturdays with the ArchTones push the work week out of mind.

Grant Grill Lounge

326 Broadway San Diego, CA 92101 619.744.2077 Entertain the sophisticate in you, the demure in you, the dapper in you. Bypass the frenetic pace of the Gaslamp and give your senses the focus they deserve. Borrowed from the history of the US GRANT Hotel on Broadway, there’s an old-world charm to Grant Grill Lounge that invites you in. It’s not long before your eyes mist over with total adoration. Resident Sommelier and mixologist Jeff Josenhans really gets it. Aside from developing a contemporary cocktail program within a timeless hotel brand, he’s turned the art of drink making inside out. In a sitting room adjacent to the Lounge’s baby grand, Josenhans impresses with his ingenuity. Six divisions of cocktail royalty, from Timeless Classics to Raw Cocktails and the Luxury Collection, have me lusting to the point of indecency. I settle down with a Cocktail Sur Lie. I die. There’s a corner of heaven where angels sing in harmony as you savor the gentle richness of a Cocktail Sur Lie. A hybrid of beer brewing and applied champagne science, bottleconditioned cocktails have the lightness of an apéritif but a huskiness of flavor that comes from the yeast fermentation. Josenhans spent months braving FDA regulations and working with Middle Ridge Winery to debut a drink that began as a modest in-house experiment. My favorite, La Grenade, once gratified wedding guests as the couple’s signature cocktail and has since earned Josenhans well-deserved acclaim. Pomegranate juice, hibiscus tea, vodka, bay leaves, grape concentrate, cognac and a bite of black pepper blend happily in my antique

glassware. It’s liquefied wizardry. His bag of tricks runs deep. For the hotel’s Centennial Celebration, Josenhans commemorated the anniversary with a gift befitting the drama and grandeur of the event: a Manhattan cocktail, aged for 100 days in an oak whiskey barrel. The first of its kind, the US GRANT’s Centennial Manhattan is still in production today. Don’t share with your date; order your own. If you haven’t caught on, Josenhans has a knack for doing the things you already love – just a little bit better. Take his New Apple Martini, the tart juice of an entire granny smith apple cut by Casa Noble Blanco, confetti cilantro, lime juice and an entire apple. He’s not skimping. And because Grant Grill Lounge can do no wrong, Josenhans’ cocktails are flavored by fresh ingredients grown on the rooftop garden. As if there were another way. Having let your appetite build over good conversation and refined elegance, let yourself indulge in food offerings as competitive in quality and creation as the cocktails they pour. The pork belly is as it should be: shamelessly laced by its own crisped fat and dribbled with buttermilk dressing. Bedded on a savory bread pudding, the dish makes memories with a tang of mostarda di frutta. Other small plates are half price for Happy Hour, 4-7pm SundayThursday. And if you happen to notice the menu, know this: it’s thoughtful design was inspired by the journal Josenhans keeps in his breast pocket to catch his wandering thoughts. They even created the font out of his handwriting. Sigh… Your first evening at Grant Grill Lounge won’t be your last. With a pedigreed win of “Hotel Bar of the Year” in Vegas from Nightclub & Bar, the Lounge takes its craft seriously. And seriously, tell me you don’t feel a little Belle Époque about it all.

Air Conditioned Lounge

4673 30th Street San Diego, CA 92116 619.501.9831 Owner Gary John played up the drawl as he said it: “I’m from outside Nawlins.” Okay, listen: you throw a little boy from down south my way, dressed smart in a slim-fit red button down and broad grin who’s offering me a signature cocktail, and I’m into it. Air Conditioned Lounge, you’re off to a damn good start. Salvaging the bare bones of nowdefunct Your Place Bar and Grill, the AC Lounge feels big league without any self-promoting or entitlement. The space is intimate and vibrant; the high-backed mid-century retro industrial bar stools, their tapered legs enclosed by a brass ring footrest, are that perfect vintage accent you scour thrift shops for but never find. “I knew the colors I wanted from the very beginning,” Gary tells me. And here’s the thing about Gary: he could be reading me his grocery list and I’d still feel like he was letting me in on a secret. “We wanted a club that had a colorful vibe, that was not going to be classified as a dive bar.” The “we” refers to his partners in the AC Lounge enterprise, best friend Paulo Emanuele and Los Angeles-based entrepreneur Richard Rosenblatt. Paulo,

killed tragically in a plane crash in 2009, gave the Air Conditioned Lounge its name “from a small sign above the door,” a relic from its humble beginnings as Your Place that told customers off the street they were steps away from cooling down inside. Nearly ten years later, that tired karaoke bar has made way for a novel experience. Dive bar it’s not, neighborhood dance lounge it definitely is. I’m cozied up in a lofted booth with a protected view of the main floor, sipping a Berryjito that features a summer-sweet blend of Van Gogh blueberry vodka, acai and fresh blueberries. It’s the product of an internal competition among the bartenders where Gary dictates the criteria and the winning drink hits the menu. To date, whiskey, tequila and a shooters challenge followed that first vodka mix-off. Up next? Rum. Their VIP section, the FREON room, is ideal for a few rounds in private, but if you want the best view in the house, reserve the Sunken Lounge for an exclusive frontrow seat at the party. The warm browns, reds, oranges and gold of the color scheme that Gary first envisioned are as classic as he knew they would be. The room, under the watchful eyes of a vintage James Bond panel, would be a fitting refuge for any workweary Darrin Stephens or Ward Cleaver. But come in on a Monday, when Organized Grime pumps out dubstep and drum and bass, and you’ve time-warped into “the

year 2030,” he laughs. “It’s so alive.” Known for its strong drinks and dance parties, the AC has garnered a reputation as a bit of a flagship in cutting edge music. From the old-school Rockbox Wednesdays with DJ Superfox and DJ Atari where mashups hit the map in San Diego to the three-and-a-half-year reign of Big Sonic Chill, Gary has made it a point to give his talent the freedom of innovation that comes with trusting and respecting your team. With weekend lines hugging the block, patrons are giving their nod of approval. It’s seven nights a week of tailored entertainment, and thanks to DJ Mike Czech playing ‘80s, ‘90s and top hits on Saturday nights, you don’t have to be an EDM enthusiast to pay them a visit. Whether you’ve stopped by before or are planning your first drop in, be on the lookout for some choice improvements ahead. Gary winked at an interactive social app currently in development for use inside the bar and an elevated, Vegas-like treatment in the Freon Room. In 2015, there are plans for a complete layout overhaul that’s going to turn the place “on its ear.” With attention to details both overt and subtle, maximizing the quality of your night out. I’m not at all surprised the Air Conditioned Lounge has marked its territory in San Diego for the long term. While nothing about it mirrors its predecessor, don’t hesitate to think of it as a place of your own.

Native Knowledge

Arrive in style. A weekend dress code means the crowd here looks ace, so it’s no wonder that more than one chance encounter at the AC Lounge has led to marriage.

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Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge

1015 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118 619.437.6087 Born and raised in Chula Vista, Executive Chef JC Colón was bred to know what San Diego expects from a meal. He stands behind highquality preparation of accessible, recognizable ingredients that take the fuss out of fancy but deliver on flavor. At Leroy’s Kitchen and Lounge, it all comes back to the integrity of taste. Schooled in serving local, sustainable cuisine from stints at hometown favorites Cucina Urbana and Kensington Grill, Chef Colón is settling in with high standards. He’s cultivated invaluable relationships over the years with recognized names like Suzie’s Farm, Crows Pass Farm and Brandt Beef who grant him access to the best ingredients for building every dish. Leroy’s dedication to farm-to-table is absolute; their menu changes each season at a minimum, giving patrons something new to try every three to five weeks. When I take my seat across from him, Chef unveils three items added just days before and speaks of plans for additional menu

changes in the coming weeks. He rattles off a list from potatoes to Tahitian squash, already thinking seasons ahead. In the meantime, though, he’s embracing the summer months where ingredients “speak for themselves and everything comes into full bloom.” A true talent in the kitchen, he still loves to grill out as much as the next guy. “What’s more relaxing than being off on Sunday?” he asks me, “throwing food on the Weber, hanging out, having a beer while football’s on.” For the men and women who love them, Leroy’s serves a burger as satisfying as they come. Order one alongside your choice of any 16 beers on tap, 14 of them from California, and you’ve got a meal that’s tried and true. But tonight I’m not here for the burger. My first dish is a chilled avocado soup, surprising in its robustness. A puree of fennel and avocado, seasoned with salt and pepper and sherry vinegar, creates a base that has me apologizing for every doubt I had about a soup served cold. Crabmeat accentuated by citrus and chives hides beneath fresh radishes and the concentrated flavor of daikon radish tops. Finished with smoked paprika oil, this soup is the result of three weeks of work. I feel entirely incapable of stopping my spoon from hitting

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Looking for comfort food? Come in for Fried Chicken Sundays. Only two people know the recipe, and they’re not telling. Get in early, because it’s only available ‘til they run out. And if you can wait, there’s something in the works for Oktoberfest, too. “An eventevent,” he calls it. Think house-roasted pork, house-made sausage, pretzels and beer pairings that will take the sting off your friends flying to Munich without you. By September, keep an eye out for a bubbles-themed dinner: a five-course meal paired with a glass of something special all the way through.

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bowl’s bottom, but I keep reminding myself to act like I’ve been here before. Up next, house-made, chorizo-stuffed calamari in a pimentón sauce is accompanied by a spray of crostini and heirloom cherries at their peak. Flecked with salt and pepper, a touch of arugula and lemon oil, the flash-sautéed tentacles are the fulfilled potential of every over-fried, meatless crunch that dared to call itself calamari. Fried calamari, hide yourself in the shadows of your unfairly good-looking, athletic older brother and don’t ever ask who your mother loves more. But the dish that made me a believer, that’s responsible for my new streak of food-snobbery, is the diver scallops and shrimp. Synonymous with American cuisine, the summer corn succotash that shares my plate is usually served up with bacon or pancetta. In Colón’s rendition, the fava beans, sweet mini bell peppers and grilled sweet baby corn take this side from redundant to exciting. In true form, there’s no sauce to override the natural juices of the corn and beans. A squeeze of lemon and butter finish it off…until I do. “People don’t think of Coronado as having good food.” Colón remarks. In this girl’s humble opinion, he’s about to change all that.

Native Knowledge

The Pearl is cute, quaint and hospitable right down to its promotions. Cozy up inside and save 15 percent on your entire bill when it rains. (Just mention this deal to your server.)

The Pearl Hotel

1410 Rosecrans Street San Diego, CA 92106 619.226.6100 Think society’s sweetheart, dolled up in her white gloves, her smooth bob, and her sensibility. She dreams of waking up a Kennedy and doesn’t need an excuse to wear her pearls. Think Paul Walker in a Ford Fairlane 500 Sunliner telling Reese Witherspoon in Pleasantville she’s “just about the keenest girl in the whole school.” Think your last trip to Coachella, if you’d sat between Rumi Neely and Jonathan Adler at the 3.1 Phillip Lim pool party. Welcome to The Pearl Hotel, a hum of excitement in quietly yawning Point Loma. Unless you’d like to pretend you’re somewhere else. It’s all too easy here. A Palm Springs modern exterior gives way to Michael Soriano’s unique brand of playful brilliance within. What was once the Sportsman’s Lodge Motel is now home to an airy glamor. Owned by architecture nerd, real estate developer and allaround friendly local Greg Strangman, the boutique hotel debuted in 2007 in a part of town that was a little seedy. Now, they’re throwing New Year’s Eve parties sans cover, hosting Vintage Prom, and giving you a Wednesday night Dive-In Movie by the pool that could be anything

from a Rat Pack classic to Jaws to James Bond. There’s a modern crescendo to their retro melody. It’s exciting. Their drink menu will quicken your heartbeat, too. From the day I set eyes on that copper tin, the Moscow Mule has been a favorite. The Pearl’s version livens up the original with rhubarb liquor and muddled strawberry: every bit as refreshing, just a wink more ethereal. The Arne-y Jacobsen and the White Manhattan are the gentlemen’s club of cocktails while two specialty shots, one a blend of tequila and pineapple and fresh herbs and the other Jameson-based with a pickle back, keep the night young. Ten local craft beers, from Belching Beaver Brewing to Coronado Brewing Company, share the tap list. Here for a snack? Put in an order for yellowtail crudo, the sweet mango and watermelon rind gently flavored by the buttery fish and pine nuts. Strangman’s favorite is the kale Caesar, served with a garlic dressing that makes no apologies and extra bacon. For a heartier meal, they offer mains that feature every protein from pork chops to duck with pasta in between. If you’re hungry when you walk in, you won’t be when you leave. It’s sustainable, fresh, and local; they’ve even listed their lineup for area farms right on the menu. At The Pearl, Greg Strangman gives you mid-century nostalgia without the TV dinners, making it about as charming as it gets.

PERUVIAN SUMMER 1 1⁄2 pisco 1 1⁄2 fresh watermelon juice 1 ⁄2 lime juice 1 ⁄4 simple syrup 1 dash peach bitters 5 mint leaves Build all ingredients in a tin, add mint leaves and ice and shake, strain into a fine strainer over ice and garnish with a mint crown.

EAT LOCAL. LITTLE ITALY 1660 India Street . San Diego, CA 92101 619.398.8383


Sublime Tavern

3790 via de la valle #301 Del Mar, CA 92014 858.259.9100 There’s a place just far enough out of reach on Via de la Valle that the abundance of tourists and teens fresh from the beach aren’t likely to turn up here. And frankly, that’s kind of the point. They’re not hiding, but they are hoping you’ll be the one to find them. Allow me to help. Owner of the newly unveiled Sublime Tavern, James Limjoco’s latest north county venture is polished to a beaming shine. Boyishly curious and endlessly inspired, Limjoco is in the business of making people fall in love…with beer…with wine…with food. A self-professed flavor hound, this craft beer guru has a knack for playing matchmaker with your taste buds. “One of my favorite things to do – because there are so many different flavors – is to pinpoint a particular taste you love and give you that in a specific type of beer.” Put the fate of your next drink in his hands, and you’ll find yourself falling head over heels. With a beer list paying homage to the best of what’s local, Sublime Tavern offers up 17 hometown brewery favorites and many more domestic and international varieties to keep you well-rounded. In total, 55 beers on tap from the likes of Mother Earth, The Bruery, and Lost Abbey, feature a profile that will spark instant chemistry. “I’ll get you on the beer.” Limjoco laughs. Climb the stairs and step inside: Sublime Tavern

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is the idyllic hideaway for a moment of respite. Reclaimed wood from weathered Wyoming fences and dissected barrels salvaged from a Black Tuesday production create gorgeous tabletop and paneling features, all custom made. Inside it’s rustic, warm, and welcoming. They’re here to take care of you. Aesthetics not forgotten, it’s what’s behind the bar that gives Sublime an edge. Limjoco’s devotion to wine, or perhaps the indulgent experience of it, underlies his extensive wine program. “There’s an intimidation factor that I just want to eliminate,” he tells me. “I want other people to be able to try something normally out of reach.” You’ll see that philosophy behind his pricing structure, where bottles sell for as much as $40 dollars less than the last time you checked. An oxygen displacement system, holding 24 bottles and keeping them preserved for weeks after uncorking, gives you access to Quintessa and Duckhorn Cab by the glass. It’s pedigreed wine on tap served in Riedel glassware, because it “tastes that much better.” For the beer drinkers, he’s got you covered. Laser etching hashed onto the bottom of your glass creates a nucleation point, forming tiny bubbles that release the beer’s aroma as you drink it. He’s serious about the subtleties of nextlevel dining. “I’m a details guy.” You don’t say? On a late afternoon, seated lazily on a second story patio that opens up to years of San Diego Polo Club tradition, it’s all too easy to lose track of time. Glass in hand, order from their small plates menu that hits the standard with local, seasonal fare and you’re in the midst of a robust culinary retreat.

Native Knowledge

Keep your eyes peeled for Beer vs. Wine features, from full-course meals to chocolate tastings. According to the man who would know, beer and chocolate is the superior palate pair. Don’t be the last one to find out.


616 J Street San Diego, CA 92101 619.531.8744 Swank and swag beat deep within the heart of Jsix, an East Village mainstay that celebrates chic but discards the pretentious. Envision a sophisticated, Dr. Seussian playfulness, complete with a gorgeous embossed floral ceiling and colorful accents, and you’ve arrived. Tiered lanterns light the restaurant’s main floor, their glow reflecting off of the mixedmedia walls and sunken leather benches. Adjacent, the bar reminds you how hard you worked today and just how thirsty it’s left you. Their Serrano gimlet is a local’s favorite, but I opt for the day’s market cocktail. I’m treated to a watermelon basil cooler: the watermelon puree is lush, the basil fresh from their small garden upstairs. At Jsix, juices are made in-house for both the restaurant and lounge bars. Aside from the basil quietly infusing my citrus vodka, mint, rosemary and lavender are all sourced from their rooftop. Lemon and lime trees fill out their herb garden and give LOUNGEsix a wafting fragrance. On an airy summer evening, with panoramic views to photograph #nofilter and a pool framed by private cabanas; you can enjoy downtown’s full potential.

Assistant GM Lauren Lathrop Williams describes the distinction of LOUNGEsix in its identity as a destination for patrons who respect a well-made drink and want their music to complement – not overwhelm – good conversation. In an atmosphere that embraces the diversity of their guests, “It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a cocktail dress or if you’re wearing jeans, everybody’s welcome with open arms.” You’ll find that hospitality, sincere to its core, is a garnish on everything from Executive Chef Christian Graves’ thoughtful menu to free entry at the lounge. To soothe y our hunger pangs, stuffed squash blossoms drizzled with green goddess dressing and roasted Padrón peppers lead the appetizer lineup. Beware of the peppers: our waiter dubbed them the Russian Roulette of Peppers, mild but for one in 60 that’ll blow your hair back. The tuna crudo had me at first bite: a smooth black garlic puree finished the dish so delicately it was an edible sigh. If you’re looking for more substantial fare, let resident Sous chef David Pugnier treat you to his short ribs. “It’s one of those things I put my heart and soul into,” he said. You’ll taste the difference. The meat was so tender I could’ve separated it from the bone with a whisper. For dessert, the raspberry semifreddo or lemon crème brûlée guarantee you’ll be back before long.

Native Knowledge

Every year, local restaurants submit teams of two to take down a win at Shuck N’ Swallow, the timed oyster eating competition held at Jsix. Enjoy drink specials, appetizers, and a show as you watch one side shuck as many oysters as possible in ten minutes for their teammate to slurp down.

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765 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101 619.795.3036 Nominated for a 2013 San Diego Orchid Award in interior design (and rumored favorite to win), the Gaslamp’s prettiest face, Bailiwick, is a treat in every sense of the word. It’s your great grandmother’s jewelry box, a European marketplace, a boudoir and an east coast collegiate library merged into a single downtown experience that gracefully smolders. She’s out of your league but classy enough not to tell you; and, you’ll elevate your standards just by knowing her.

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I’m here during cocktail hour, which runs Tuesday through Friday, 4pm to 7pm. The deals are substantial: $5 off their cocktail of the month, $5 mules and $1 oysters on the half shell. Comfortably reclined on a pin-tucked black leather sofa, flickering candles on the table, I order my first drink from Bailiwick’s lead bartender Brent Harrison. It’s called the Nectar of the Gods: grapefruit juice, grapefruit bitters, gin, basil and fresh lime hint at immortality. It’s energizing and royal and fit for a chalice. A glance across the top of their menu, which reads, “Pouring our spirits to raise yours.” They already have. My cocktail service in good hands, I order something to nibble. Their cheeseboard, “San Diego’s Most

Reserve a seat at the window for prime people watching up and down 5th Ave while you refill your flute with endless mimosas, $15 until 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Order from a selection of your favorite sweet and savory dishes from 10am to 5pm and consider it a weekend well spent.

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Legit,” reminds me of the time I made my own charcuterie board and dreamed it would turn out like this. A grilled sourdough baguette, coppa and bresaola meats, brie, firehouse-smoked cheddar and ricotta compete for my attention. There’s truffled honey (omg!) and a house-made grape mint jam for garnish. Rounded out by marinated olives and roasted almonds dusted with sugar, rosemary, salt and pepper, its Game. Set. Match. And Bailiwick hasn’t forgotten the staples: eight rotating craft drafts and a wine selection ranging from house to Cristal caters to guests in the mood for something straightforward. Add a bartender in a vest/tie combo, and you’re safe to assume everything will taste as good as it looks.

Imig’s Kitchen and Bar at the Lafayette Hotel 2223 El Cajon Boulevard San Diego, CA 92104 619.296.2101 imig-s-kitchen-bar.htm It’s only right that I start with an apology to the Lafayette faithful’s; because, I’m about to blow the top off your secret. Though you’ve held it dear to your hearts, sharing its existence with the select few you deem worthy, you just can’t keep The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club and Bungalows to yourself any longer. North Park exists beyond 30th, after all. Let me address the Elephant in the room. Yes, it’s on El Cajon Boulevard. No, the stereotypes don’t apply here. A four-columned entrance frames the red brick exterior in a deliberate nod to Southern grandeur. Gas lamps reflect off open-shuttered windows and if it weren’t for the palm trees, you’d have clicked your heels to a slower pace of life. I half expect to

walk through the lobby onto a wraparound porch, where a big brass band invigorates the summer air and a few guests keep time with the tap of their feet. Parasols float against the ceiling in the main lobby and to the left, Imig’s Kitchen and Bar humbly awaits your arrival. Don’t be shy. When I take my seat, I see why there have been comparisons to other trendy craft cocktail spots in town. There are similarities: the bar manager, Brandon, looks dapper in a newsboy cap and suspenders. His deep side part is on point, as are his skills behind the bar. He asks me if he can make me a drink that’ll have me loving gin. Uh, yeah. It’s a Pamplemousse. For those uninitiated, I’m treated to Beefeater London Dry, St. Germain liqueur, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and a basil garnish. Words fail me. He made me a drink that has me loving gin. It’s so good I might be vain enough to order it by name. A Southern Ladd shows up next, the perfect

Native Knowledge

Stop by on Sundays for a 91x live broadcast at the pool. DJs are spinning vinyl from 1-5:30pm, 21+ and $15 cover at the door.

drink if you won’t mind being the center of attention during its preparation. Buffalo Trace bourbon, Averna Amaro, Benedictine and peach bitters collude to blow your hair back. The showstopper? He glazes peach slices with a mini torch. At Imig’s, the food stands up to the mastery of their drink. I put my stamp on their Brussels sprouts and pork belly, dressed up in their barleywine and date jam Sunday best. The grilled beef skirt steak was blissfully paired with a sweet corn succotash and I indulged in a real cola float for dessert. While there’s plenty in the bar to occupy your senses, pause for a moment to step onto the balconied porch outside that overlooks historic Weissmuller Pool. I’m here on a Friday evening: classic high-backed rocking chairs are angled toward a movie screen across the water. Dirty Dancing is about to start and I find myself thinking that if my corner were here at the Lafayette, rocking lazily in one of those chairs, then baby put me there.



Jenny Amaraneni and Dana Holliday of SOLO Eyewear Improve Sight all over the World WRITTEN BY: CArOLYN SAMuELSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADAM gENtrY great pair of shades is an essential accessory for all things fun in the sun. SOLO Eyewear is far more than your typical ray-blocker; all proceeds from these awesome shades go towards restoring vision for people in need. Each pair funds prescription eyeglasses and a portion of a cataract surgery. Jenny Amaraneni (CEO) created the idea during her MBA program at San Diego State University, and shortly after, Dana Holliday (COO) joined in with her graphic design expertise. With their powers combined, an eco-friendly, socially conscious brand was born. I had the pleasure of sitting down with the founding mothers to discuss what SOLO stands for: addressing eye vision issues and restoration, using sustainable materials, embracing personal journeys and engaging in artistic collaborations. You can find them in about 40 retail locations and on sites like Roozt, which streamlines products from humanitarian based companies. They’ve been featured by, and The Today show, to name a few. As more and more people fall in love with these beautiful, handcrafted glasses, SOLO gets closer to reaching its impact goal of restoring vision for one million people. Without question, the passionate team will not stop there. Q: Where did the name SOLO come from? JENNY AMArANENI: I was driving to work one day, and I had been beating my head against the wall, trying to come up with a name for the company. I was thinking about the things in my life that I was most proud of and I started to notice a theme – my biggest achievements were those that I pursued by myself. I moved out to California, I traveled abroad to volunteer... I went “solo” and they were life-changing experiences. I really wanted to create a brand that inspires people to go out and accomplish something. Every person is capable of more than he or she can imagine. If SOLO can inspire any one person to go out and do something awesome, that’s amazing. Q: What were the highlights of this independent, life-changing trip? JA: I had always wanted to travel to Africa and volunteer. I had the opportunity to go and was trying to plan a trip with a friend. My friend was unable to go, so I ended up hopping on a plane and heading to South Africa by myself. I can’t lie, I was pretty nervous when I boarded the flight alone. It ended up being one of the best decisions

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I ever made. I taught English to three and fouryear-old children and went on adventures like cage diving with great whites. It was such an amazing experience, one that really inspired the name and meaning behind SOLO. I wanted to create a brand that inspires individuals to go out and do amazing things. Individuals impacting the lives of others are exactly what we’re all about. Q: I read that you got your inspiration to make eye care your business’ focus from reading Paul Polak’s out of poverty. What was so compelling to you about addressing eye vision problems? JA: The book discusses many problems; it briefly mentions the need for eye care in the world. It wasn’t until reading this book that I realized how blessed I am to have access to an eye doctor to fix my vision. I started thinking about how many people are just like me but are without access to eye care. There are people who can’t reach their potential because of their poor vision. There are a billion people without access to the eye care they need. Q: Eighty percent of blindness is preventable... What does that mean? How can SOLO mitigate blindness? JA: There are dozens of reasons blindness is preventable, the most common being cataracts. For this reason, we focus on funding cataract surgeries along with prescription glasses. We work with three organizations to fulfill that mission: L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Aravind Eye Care System and Restoring Vision. I was actually able to take a trip to India to meet with two organizations and develop a partnership so we can fund surgeries. It’s an international effort; we’re not concentrated in a particular area. So far we’ve been able to restore vision for over 6,540 people. Q: Were you always planning to use recycled bamboo to create your glasses or did that come about as your mission evolved? JA: It all started with the need to address eye care and develop a sustainable business model. I had no background in sunglasses, and I wasn’t even much of a sunglass person. I did research and looked at trends. I asked myself, “How do we set ourselves apart?” There are a million brands out there, but I wanted our company to be so much more than just a sunglasses brand. I knew it was going to be socially conscious but it was equally important to be environmentally

conscious to create the well-rounded brand that I envisioned. Why not do a hybrid approach with acetate frames and bamboo temples? Bamboo is highly sustainable. It’s the fastest growing plant. We work with a flooring company and use all of their scraps, which would otherwise be thrown away, to construct the temples. Q: How do you balance your energy between the mission and the product? JA: The whole reason SOLO Eyewear exists is because there is a need for eye care in the world, and our purpose is to fund eye care and restore vision. Sunglasses are our vehicles to accomplish that. In order to have the outreach, we have to drive production. When it boils down, every unit sold impacts someone’s life. Q: You’ve collaborated with rAW artists. Could you talk a bit about that? DANA HOLLIDAY: Last September, we picked seven RAW artists. We ran a program where each made two designs for a sunglass temple design. We held voting both online and internally as a team to determine the three winners who would get their own mini-series. We picked Jason Acton, Kari Powell and Robert Piper. It was a really cool experience, because each one approached the design differently. One even put fabric on the sides. There was so much attention and excitement over the artist program that we decided to re-launch in June with local Southern California artists. They’re available on our website, too, because they were flying off the shelves in retail. Q: Are you interested in taking on more collaborative projects of the sort? JA: Absolutely! There are so many cool things going on in this city, and it’s great to be able to translate that onto our glasses. For example, ARTS is a program that helps disadvantaged children, who are either homeless or live in a poor part of the city or have parents in jail. The program provides a creative space so the kids can use art as a way to get involved in something positive. Q: Are the frames suitable for prescription lenses? DH: All of our frames are prescription friendly. We have quite a few customers reaching out about this. We’re just now launching our summer collection with polarized lenses. We held off on this before, because we were just getting our feet wet and we’re now progressing.

The whole reason SOLO Eyewear exists is because there is a need for eye care in the world, and our purpose is to fund eye care and restore vision. Every pair of sunglasses sold impacts someone’s life.





Q: I would imagine you’re excited for your employees to be directly involved with the international efforts, yes? JA: That’s something we’ve been discussing. We’re very much a start-up, so funding a trip for our team to go on a mission isn’t feasible at this point, but we have been addressing it. At our meetings, we’ve been watching documentaries on eye care, we share stories of people who’ve received eye care, and we’re getting much better on reporting our numbers to translate the impact. That’s something that I really want to improve. It’s so easy to get caught up on the business because there’s so much going on. You really have to focus on WHY. WHY do we do all this? Q: Where can we see SOLO in the community? DH: We participate in artist events, we have some of our own events, we do volunteer events and we

get our team out there. We also support charity causes and donate products to charities to raise funds. In late June, we had an event to make some announcements about how many lives we’ve impacted to date and to introduce our polarized line. It was an opportunity to get our fans and the community together to express our gratitude because we could not do it without them. Q: Is a sunny city like San Diego the perfect place to build an eyeglasses company? JA: I don’t think we could have picked a better place to get started! We have about 40 retailers, most of which are down here. We’re slowly growing our presence by means of hard work. Trade shows are in the pipeline. We’re not concentrated in a particular area of San Diego. It’s pretty widespread as we have retailers in just about every community around here. Plus, the

people are great. They really have a pulse on what’s going on in the world. Q: What are three of your favorite spots in San Diego? JA: I love hiking at Torrey Pines, the Beer Garden at Cali Kebab, and bonfire-ing at Mission Bay. DH: I love yoga at Spirit Yoga, Rose Wine Bar in South Park and the Without Walls productions by the La Jolla Playhouse. Q: What would be your best piece of advice to an aspiring entrepreneur, either with starting a new business or tackling a big goal independently? JA: Passion and instinct are crucial. Whatever you do, make sure you are passionate and always trust your gut. And remember, every great movement starts with one person. You can do it!

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TIMEWARP in style with these LOCALE looks


e invite you to throwback to decades of years past – those that have influenced music, food, drinks, and of course, style – as we warp through time in our favorite LOCALE looks! Perfect your look with vintage finds from boutiques all over the county. Ready, Get Set, GO! #tbt WRITTEN BY: NATALIE FITZGERALD PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ANTONIO PULLANO OF LOVINLIFE MULTIMEDIA STYLING BY: STYLE BY F.E.A Thank you to ZARZAR Models and ReFresh Talent Agency for providing the models in Locale Looks

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WHErE? World famous 711 Pacific Beach Dr. San Diego, CA 92109 858.272.3100

WEAr (get these looks) Studio 12-20 1923 Calle Barcelona Ste. 147 Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.942.1248 Buffalo Exchange 3862 5th Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619.298.4411

v Beach Lovin’ If you're looking for casual beachfront dining with a fun vibe, World Famous has you covered. Located in the heart of Pacific Beach, this local favorite sits on the boardwalk and overlooks the popular beach-goers' paradise. Boasting one of the best happy hours on the water, World Famous offers half off all appetizers on Mondays ($4 fresh ahi!), taco specials and reasonable drink prices all week. You'll find this place buzzing on the weekends with $10 bottles of bubbly and spectacular views of the ocean - and boardwalk traffic,

too. Keep your eye out for Slow-Mo, the PB rollerblading legend. For an afternoon or evening at the beach, we went for a ‘60s California-Mod look with a vintage fitted polka dot button-up and slim/straight shorts for him; and for her: a sleeveless black and white sheath dress, accessorized with a bright pop of yellow around the neck. Metal plate sandals and a gold cuff add a little more edge to the otherwise nautical-inspired look, which is perfect for a champagne-sipping Sunday or a weekday sunset on the water.

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s Summer Days Bebop your way back to the ‘50s at an old San Diego favorite – the Corvette Diner. This is not your typical greasy spoon. The Cohn Restaurant Group (CRG) who runs the joint (along with other acclaimed establishments such as The Prado and Island Prime) is "obsessed with hospitality" and good food. You'll find ‘50s-style comfort food with a modern twist. A few favorites include the Rory Burger (a take on Elvis' favorite peanut butter bacon sandwich), a fifteen ingredient Meatloaf and the Chocolate Mint Patti Shake - spiked upon request! About six years ago, CRG relocated Corvette Diner to a new 13,000+ square-foot historical building after 22 years in Hillcrest, where they originally opened their doors. Now, the space boasts three distinct themed dining areas; two themed private party rooms; a main dining room dripping in vintage memorabilia and showcasing a 1958 Regal Turquoise Corvette (which was too big to fit through the new doors and had to be craned in!); and a 5,000 square-foot "Gamer's Garage" with over 50 games - from the latest high-tech simulators to old time favorites like interactive pinball. This family-friendly destination also has live DJs spinning at night and magicians, balloon artists and live dance performances on weekends. You'll find hostesses and servers in full-blown ‘50s period uniforms (bouffant and all). Don't have a poodle skirt lying around? Visit one of these local consignment stores and arrive in true vintage ‘50s style with an awning stripe dress or sleeveless Peter Pan collar shirt paired with a floral circle skirt, and pearl embellished t-strap, high heeled sandals. You'll find tons of fun ways to accessorize your own ‘50s look, too!

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WHErE? Corvette Diner 2965 Historic Decatur road San Diego, CA 92106 619.542.1476

WEAr (get these looks) frock You vintage Boutique 4121 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 92103 619.220.0630

r Mod Squad Located in Hillcrest, Great Maple opened its doors in February and this retro-glam "European dinette" is all the buzz around town. Thanks to Johnny Rivera (Hash House A Go Go and The Tractor Room), this iconic 1963 building with a stone facade has a unique mid-century modern feel unlike any of its kind. Local craftsman were key players in re-creating the space - from the retro speaker boxes to the wooden tables. The seasonal, sustainable menu and handcrafted cocktails are just a few reasons to visit Great Maple, as are the unique tableside services. Grab something off a toast board, which circles the establishment with the chef's choice of the day (Brie and brioche with fig

and caramelized onion compote, anyone? Cherry cheesecake wonton cups?). Or sip on seasonal cocktails such as the California Cooler or the Black Crow, prepared tableside on one of their adorable bar carts. From just off the beach to a dressed-up date night, come as you are - the folks at Great Maple won't mind! No dress code here – their only requirements? Enjoy fresh, seasonal food, creative libations and great conversation. We went for a more dressed-up look for our date at Great Maple with a silk necktie blouse, flared jeans, and raffia platform sandals. And nothing says vintage glam like a denim shirt with an accent neckerchief. Groovy!

WHErE? great Maple 1451 Washington St. San Diego, CA 92103 619.255.2282

WEAr (get these looks) frock You vintage Boutique 4121 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 92103 619.220.0630 Studio 12-20 1923 Calle Barcelona #147 Carlsbad, CA 92009 760.942.1248 flashbacks 3847 5th Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619.291.4200

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M Groovy, Baby! Sycamore Den, the newest neighbor in Normal Heights, opened its doors in April. This cocktail lounge pays tribute to the late 1970s middle class family, particularly the beer drinking, cigarette-smoking, bearded patriarch: Dad. Inspired by his own ‘70s upbringing, owner Nick Zanoni wanted to create a place that is comfortable and accessible with a cozy neighborhood vibe (and great cocktails, of course). A partner in the project, Eric Johnson (Noble Experiment) helped him create just that: a contemporary take on favorite classic cocktails inspired by Dad. The space, transformed by design mavens of Bells & Whistles (Starlite Lounge, The Smoking Goat, Lafayette Hotel), looks like a modernized 1970s middle-class family living room, complete with a player piano (with

an IPod hook-up), colorful vintage light fixtures, (non-functioning) replica guns, and an impressive 16x8 foot brass fireplace which serves as the focal point to the sunken "den." Don't leave without paying a visit to the restroom, either! That's right. The Ladies' and Gents' rooms don images of dads in the ‘70s that were submitted via Facebook by friendly neighbors, fans and San Diegans alike. For a night at Sycamore Den, we added some flare from local vintage boutiques, and glammed up our look with sparkle, pops of color and even some animal prints. You never know what old school favorite might sound from the player piano and you'll be beckoned to the stage! A body conscious dress or white blazer always helps boost that singalong confidence.

WHErE? Sycamore Den 3391 Adams Ave. San Diego, CA 92116 619.563.9019

WEAr (get these looks) Buffalo Exchange 3862 5th Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619.298.4411 flashbacks 3847 5th Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619.291.4200

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! THAT’S WH AT S HE SAI D An irreverent retail column


ON BrItt: Coat, $3170, Son Jung Wan ON grEtCHEN (rIgHt): Dress, $325, Diane Von Furstenberg; Shoes, $945, Christian Louboutin (both available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley); Earrings, $460, Antonym

ne of the perks of being Nubry

POrSCHE Of SAN DIEgO 9020 Miramar Road San Diego, CA 92126 twitter: @PorscheSD_ instagram: @PorscheOfSanDiego

is being able to take part in luxury branded experiences. What is that, you ask? You may recall our summer stay at The Palazzo Hotel in Las Vegas during their Venetian festival, “Carnevale.” follow #NubryAtPalazzo on Instagram for trip pictures. Most recently, The Luxury Collection – a selection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences – personally invited us to their “All American Roadtrip,” along with One Kings Lane – the leading online destination for home accessories and furnishings at up to 70 percent off retail prices. follow #LCRoadTrip on Instagram for trip pics. Our trip would commence at The Nines Hotel in Portland, Oregon; then, lead us to San Francisco’s Palace Hotel; next to The SLS in Beverly Hills; and lastly, to San Diego’s iconic US Grant Hotel. Planning for a lavish trip like this is no easy task and involves a great deal of prepping, primping and packing, and in this issue’s That’s What She Said, we’re going to tell you how to do just that, fashionably, of course.

Roadtrip Packing Tips Wondering what we packed in our duffle bags for an eight-day trip down the West Coast? We did a little research about each of the locations we were visiting in advance, so we could prepare ourselves to have the best time possible! Our itinerary would require casual, comfy and dressy clothing and would take us from hot to chilly at a moment’s notice. A black tie party in San Diego calls for gowns and a trolley ride in San Francisco calls for Swarovski crystalembellished sandals – Azzurra Capri, yes please! These are the must-have items that made it into our suitcases…

One of the perks of being Nubry is being able to take part in luxury branded experiences

➺ Soft, duffle bag ➺ Workout clothing ➺ Practical, non-crease dresses that go day-to-night ➺ Pretty pair of embellished sandals ➺ Lightweight, large tote for daytime ➺ Pouches to keep tote organized (e.g. lip gloss, makeup, money) ➺ Pair of stilettos ➺ Evening clutch ➺ Something warm

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Like you, we prefer to give in to our gluttonous desires while vacationing, which is why we rely on our coaches at Fitwall to keep us lean.

Fitwall 7710 Fay Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037 @Fitwall |

Step into Robina's for a unique and exciting fashion experience, contemporary fashion mixed with timeless classics spun around a west coast vibe. 1261 PROSPECT ST, SUITE 1 LA JOLLA, CA 92037 (858) 454-2964 ROBINAAPPAREL@AOL.COM

First up on our list of to-dos, fitness! Vacation tends to add a few pounds to one’s physique – honestly, can you really resist the “Sautéed Cauliflower Couscous,” “Eggplant Tempura” with local honey and buttermilk, or the “Pa’amb Tomaquet” (a Catalanstyle toasted bread with manchego and tomato) from The SLS Hotel’s Bazaar? Or, how about The US Grant Hotel’s waffle brunch buffet at The Grant Grill? Like you, we prefer to give in to our gluttonous desires while vacationing, which is why we rely on our coaches at Fitwall to keep us lean. So, what exactly is Fitwall and why do we train prevacation here? Fitwall is a researchdriven, vertical training workout on a wall that seriously improves one’s strength, cardio, and flexibility – and it’s all accomplished in just 40 minutes! For busy professionals like us, an efficient workout is so necessary. Did we mention the coconut water shots and ice-cold, aromatic spa towels that await athletes post workout?

ON BrItt (BACK): Pants, $48, Splits59; Sneakers, $495, Miu Miu (both available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley); top, $42, lululemon

ON grEtCHEN (frONt): Pants, $48, Splits59; Sneakers, $495, Miu Miu (both available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley); top, $42, lululemon

ON grEtCHEN (LEft): Top, $1620, Shorts, $580, Son Jung Wan; Earrings, $460, Antonym; Shoes, $1095, Charlotte Olympia (available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley) ON BrItt (rIgHt): Dress, $412.50, Coat, $587.50, S.I.L.K.; Shoes, $595, Brian Atwood (available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley)

These smoothies are healthy, organic and yummy!

Lean and Green Cafe 7825 Fay Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037 twitter: @LeanAndGreenSD instagram: @LeanAndGreenCafe Following our sweat bath and intense caloric burn at Fitwall, we have our thoughts set on yummy things. But, where do you find tasty eats in La Jolla that also offer healthy, fresh and organic

menu items? Right down the street from Fitwall is Lean and Green Café, an organic stop-and-go restaurant that’s nestled behind The La Jolla Sports Club on Fay Avenue. Lean and Green Café is all about health and vitality, and as such, every ingredient served is organic – a rare find these days unless you have your own garden and cook at home. With muscles fatigued and cheeks the color of cherries, we skip the glutenfree acai bowls this morning and opt instead for two large organic smoothies – the “Berrylicious” for me and “Mango Tropics” for Britt. Always happy to add more punches to my Smoothie Loyalty Card – buy 11, get 1 free!

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20 Lounge

Hush Mobile Tanning

2025 San Elijo Avenue | Cardiff By The Sea, CA 92007 @20Lounge |

Mobile to San Diego County | 760.908.2343 instagram: @Hush_Tanning twitter: @HushTanning |

Fit and fully satisfied, we’re now ready for the beautyprimping portion of our trip prep. In Cardiff-By-The-Sea, there’s a fabulous boutique nail bar that’s unlike any other. One of our favorite nail spots is 20 Lounge — a beautiful, clean spa-like environment that boasts $20 manis, $30 pedis and $40 facials. Upon arrival, a glass of champagne kicks off the party at the nail bar. Our obsession here, though, is not the creamy, dusky and pastel polish colors, it’s the nail glitter and nail art behind the bar. Tubs filled to the brim with glitter in every color, size and shape, a girl can only dream of having nails this sparkly. At 20 Lounge, this is our reality!

Our last order of duty before our swoonworthy West Coast Roadtrip with The Luxury Collection and One Kings Lane, is a natural, sun-kissed glow – aka spray tans. Packed to the brim and ready to boogie, I place our final Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere bag in the front entrance. Then, a knock at the door and in walks the beautiful and sweet Andrea, owner of HUSH Tanning – a mobile, to your door, heated, airbrush tanning company. I mean, come on, such service! We love being sprayed by HUSH Tanning, because the spraying takes place in the comfort of our home, and it’s always the last thing we do before shuteye – meaning no one ever sees us all unnaturally browned, smelly and dressed in head-to-toe black garb out and about the town – except, that is, for my significant other. Sorry Eric! Not only is the convenience of Andrea’s mobile tanning a huge benefit, her state-of-the-art equipment has heated spraying and applies streak and scent-free.

Wondering what we packed in our duffle bags for an eight-day trip down the West Coast?

ON grEtCHEN (LEft): Dress, $325, Diane Von Furstenberg; Shoes, $945, Christian Louboutin (both available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley); Earrings, $460, Antonym ON BrItt (rIgHt): Dress, $325, Diane Von Furstenberg; Shoes, $965 (both available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley); Necklace, $475, Antonym tHE LuXurY COLLECtION AND ONE KINgS LANE @TheLuxuryCollection @OneKingsLane | #LCRoadTrip

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...after a joy ride through Big Sur... champagne by the sparkling rooftop pool at The SLS Hotel, and a visit to the local Portland farmer’s markets, we pulled up to The US Grant Hotel.

The US Grant Hotel 326 Broadway San Diego, CA 92101 twitter: @USGrantHotel instagram: @TheUSGrant |

ON BrItt (LEft): Gown, $2950, Escada, Earrings, $295, Alexis Bittar, (both available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley) ON grEtCHEN (rIgHt): Gown, $5395, Escada (available at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley)

Six Days later, after a joy ride through Big Sur, an antique shop exploration in The City of Angels, champagne by the sparkling rooftop pool at The SLS Hotel, and a visit to the local Portland farmer’s markets, we pulled up to The US Grant Hotel. Our white Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet had chauffeured us safely and stylishly down the West Coast to our last roadtrip destination in The Luxury Collection. What awaited us here in San Diego, was an unforgettable cocktail experience with The Grant Grill’s Sommelier & Mixologist, Jeff Josenhans, and a private lobster diving session with their Executive Chef, Mark Kropcznski. Yes, we got to eat our hand-caught lobster that very evening! And, shall we not forget to mention our luxurious living quarters in the bi-level, Presidential Suite with an expansive balcony, offering enchanting views of the downtown skyline. As part of our handcrafted itinerary from The Luxury Collection, One Kings Lane has curated private sales for its members that include keepsake items from the trip that will always remind us of our West Coast Roadtrip.




Spa | Salon | Sauna/Steamroom | Outdoor Whirlpool & Fitness Center

Ask about our Holiday Gift Cards! GET SOCIAL with the Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa | 858.539.8821 3999 Mission Boulevard | San Diego, California 92109


CLOtHINg PrOvIDED BY: LuELLA BOutIQuE 949 Turquoise St San Diego, CA 92109 858.488.8846 BELt PrOvIDED BY: EDEN BOutIQuE 520 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.696.3336 JEWELrY PrOvIDED BY: gAIA gODDESSA


CLOtHINg PrOvIDED BY: CAPrICOrN BOutIQuE 5544 La Jolla Blvd, Ste B La Jolla, CA 92037 858.551.2660 JEWELrY PrOvIDED BY: DOLCEttI BOutIQuE 635 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.501.1559 gAIA gODDESSA

CLOtHINg PrOvIDED BY: HOuSE Of BOutIQuES PINK LAgOON 1033 Silverado St La Jolla, CA 92037 858.792.7813 JEWELrY PrOvIDED BY: gAIA gODDESSA


CLOtHINg PrOvIDED BY: PINK LAgOON 1033 Silverado St La Jolla, CA 92037 858.792.7813 CAPrICOrN BOutIQuE 5544 La Jolla Blvd Ste B La Jolla, CA 92037 858.551.2660 JEWELrY PrOvIDED BY: EXCLuSIvE DIAMONDS BY CArtEr 861 6th Ave, Ste 185 San Diego, CA 92101 619.236.9812 gAIA gODDESSA

CLOtHINg PrOvIDED BY: LuELLA BOutIQuE 949 Turquoise St San Diego, CA 92109 858.488.8846 HOuSE Of BOutIQuES EDEN BOutIQuE 520 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.696.3336 JEWELrY PrOvIDED BY: gAIA gODDESSA


There’s Gold


he winding stretch of highway 78 leading me east of San Diego and up through the Cuyamaca Mountains may very well be a one of the most lovely drives I have taken. The bends and dips in the road brought me finally to a small town just 60 miles east of our beloved San Diego: Julian, California. This old gold rush town is nothing short of the wild west I had in my imagination, and upon arrival, I am convinced somewhere along the 78, we must have found a way to time travel. Rolling into town there aren’t many choices. You go left or you go right. The main drag stretches just a few blocks long and has everything you’re looking for. We parked far off to the left of town under a weeping willow and took to the streets. The quiet streets hold endless shops, restaurants and artifacts all giving a nod back to the golden days when time moved slower and life felt simpler. I don’t think I would have to argue with many when I say a muchneeded respite from city life can change one’s perspective entirely, and there isn’t a better place to do so than Julian.

A HISTORY LESSON Before we go gallivanting through my time in Julian, I’ll bring you up to speed on just where we are. Julian was originally founded following the Civil War but became famous in 1869 after the discovery of gold flecks in the creek. Miners from all around the world descended upon the quiet mountain town and while no one actually struck it rich, it gave Julian a name and place in history forever. Around the same time, pioneer James Madison arrived and decided it was a fine place with fertile soil and perfect for planting apple orchards. Julian to this day is most famous for it’s incredible apple orchards and the delicious products they produce like pies, ciders and more. However, coming to Julian, I discovered there is a whole lot more to get excited about. This location is a must-do getaway this summer.

Gold Mining & Panning Tour at Eagle and High Peak Mine Call to book tours: 760.765.0036 Ah, the legendary mines of Julian California. We now find ourselves high in the hills at The Eagle Mining Company. This wonderful, exciting and

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informative tour will teach you to relive the golden glory years of the mines as you tour the underground mining operations and experience first hand the milling process. You will see 1000 ft. of underground hard rock tunnels, authentic machinery and tools, rock displays, antique trucks and loads of gold veins. Bring a lunch with you and enjoy the afternoon surrounded by the “rich” history of Julian California.

EXPLORE & TOUR Julian Tea & Cottage Arts 2124 Third Street Julian, CA 92036 866.765.0832 Our first stop of the day was the Julian Tea & Arts Cottage. Open Thursday through Monday year-round, this adorable home is the perfect way to spend a relaxing afternoon. They highly recommend reservations for all days. Their delicious menu can serve as a full lunch destination or perhaps you will just order a few homemade scones served with fresh homemade jams and lemon curd. With countless loose leaf and bag teas, the options and blends are endless in this oasis. They also host special events like bridal showers and birthdays. After you finish your cuppa’ tea, take some time to browse the fabulous selection of china and tea sets available for purchase. The fine ladies running this shop know the in’s and out’s of their teas and take pride in sharing this knowledge with you. Be sure to stop by and say hi.

DRESS AND VEST PROVIDED BY: DOLCETTI BOUTIQUE 635 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.501.1559 SHOES PROVIDED BY: LUELLA BOUTIQUE 949 Turquoise St San Diego, CA 92109 858.488.8846 JEWELRY PROVIDED BY: EDEN BOUTIQUE 520 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.696.3336

Old Time Photos by Larry 3rd & B Street Julian, CA 92036 760.504.2822

TOP, NECKLACE, AND PANTS PROVIDED BY: DOLCETTI BOUTIQUE 635 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.501.1559 SHOES PROVIDED BY: LUELLA BOUTIQUE 949 Turquoise St San Diego, CA 92109 858.488.8846

When you come to Julian, you have to go visit Larry at Old Time Costume Photography at the OK Corral. Larry has been doing this gig for almost 40 years and has taken his act on the road for many years, starting way over there in Tennessee. The walls are filled with costumes that will send your imagination racing. Larry will dress you up so well you’ll hardly recognize yourself or those you came in with. Set up in front of a backdrop of an old speakeasystyled saloon, Larry hands you fans and guns and every other kind of prop you could imagine. Trying to keep a straight face while taking the pictures was the hardest thing I’d done yet. Larry and his Old Time Photographs are nothing but a good time, and the perfect keepsake to take home with you.

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The Julian Pie Company 2225 Main Street Julian, CA 92036 760.765.2449 If there is one thing that Julian does best above all else, it’s making pies. I am talking about mouth watering, fresh out the oven, and steaming, perfect crust kind of pies. And they are churning them out all day long. While there are quite a few spots to hit up for a pie, I was told on good authority by more than one local that the only spot they buy pie is The Julian Pie Company. So, that is exactly where I headed. They sell over a dozen pies by both the slice and the pie. During apple season, they use nothing but the finest homegrown Julian apples to stuff those pies. It would be close to impossible to decide which one is the best one, but I put my vote on the Dutch apple pie. However, I think you’ll just have to head over there and figure it out for yourself.


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HAT, NECKLACE, TOP, PANTS AND RING PROVIDED BY: EDEN BOUTIQUE 520 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619.696.3336 SHOES PROVIDED BY: Luella Boutique 949 Turquoise St San Diego, CA 92109 858.488.8846

Cider Mill 2103 Main Street Julian CA, 92036 760.765.1430 The Julian Cider Mill is a small cider pressing operation located on Main Street in the heart of Julian. Willis Harold “Turk” Slaughter and his son, Fred Slaughter, founded the Cider Mill in 1975. The family had a knack for local goods such as honey and dried fruits in addition to their cider quest; and thus, the mill was born. This wonderful shop offers everything your mouth could ever want to taste. They have an endless variety of dried fruits and pickled everything in addition to what I believe to be the world’s greatest cider. During apple season, you can get the goods by the gallon, but once they run out they’re out. For the rest of the year they make delicious ciders from berries. If you trek out there during apple season (roughly September through December), then you can witness the pressing take place first hand and walk off with a jug that you just may not want to share with anyone!

come on back now,

Ya hear?



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uNIvErSItY AvENuE & grIM StrEEt

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O FFI C I A L FA N G U I D E 2 0 13

G et B o lted n. A





fuN fACtS #1 - #9 The Chargers were one of the eight original teams in the innaugural year of the AFL in 1960. 7 Trips to the Playoffs and 3 AFC Championship appearances since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970.

1978 - Lance Alworth

One Super Bowl apperance in a devastating loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the 1994 Season. When Jack Murphy died in 1980, San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson crowned the San Diego Stadium as the Jack Murphy Stadium. It then became the Qualcomm Stadium after the 1997 revamp, which will remain the property’s name until 2017.

1979 - RON MIX


71,500 Seats 53 Ticket Windows 166 acres

There are 3 numbers tiled into several entryways: #19 for Lance Alworth and Tony Gwynn, #14 for Dan Fouts, and #35 for Randy Jones, Cy Young winner for the Padres. 17,000 riders arrive at the stadium via the MTS trolley



Position: Running Back | Experience: 4 years, First round pick (12), Pro Bowler Up close and personal, Ryan Mathews might lead you to think that asking the wrong question could be your last one, but once we got him talking – it was quite the opposite. We discussed everything from good eats in San Diego all the way down to what he does before each game. Written by: Ed Haley Q: What do you like to do around San Diego in your off time? rYAN MAtHEWS: I don’t go downtown much. It’s too fast paced for me. I like going to the beach, usually around South Mission…it’s a little quieter around there.

2013-14 Schedule

wanting to mess with one another. This morning I hid Ronnie’s doughnut in his backpack, and he was looking for it for about 30 minutes. Q: How do you get prepared before a big game? rM: I like listening to music. I’ll throw in some slow jams, and then as soon as I get to the locker room, I’ll pick it up.

fuN fACt #10 Mathews is the 9th Ranked Rushing Leader in Franchise History

Q: Are there any spots in particular that you like to eat or drink at? rM: Guava and Firehouse have some good food. Shore Club has good drinks, and there are always people there. A lot of my teammates go there. I live in Mission, so I’m usually hanging out there.

Q: Are there any team rituals or pranks that you guys do to keep the momentum going? rM: Every now and then you might get someone



Q: What’s it like walking out on the field for a game going from college ball to the NfL? rM: It’s kind of the same but on a bigger stage. There is a lot more noise, lights and fans.

Q: Do you still get nervous? rM: Of course, but that’s part of the excitement and the rush…not knowing what the outcome will be but also trying to go out there and have fun with it all. Q: Do you play any fantasy football or maybe Madden? rM: No, not much of either. My brother beat me one time in Madden, so I don’t play that anymore. I get to play the real thing.

1978 - DAN FOUTS


1996 - Charlie Joiner

Mon. Sept. 9 HOUSTON 7:20 pm

Sun. Oct. 20 at Jacksonville 10:00 am

Sun. Dec. 8 N.Y. GIANTS* 1:25 pm

Sun. Sept. 15 at Philadelphia 10:00 am

Sun. Nov. 3 at Washington 10:00 am

thur. Dec. 12 at Denver 5:25 pm

Sun. Sept. 22 at Tennessee 10:00 am

Sun. Nov. 10 DENVER 1:25 pm

Sun. Dec. 22 OAKLAND* 1:25 pm

Sun. Sept. 29 DALLAS 1:25 pm

Sun. Nov. 17 at Miami* 10:00 am

Sun. Dec. 29 KANSAS CITY* 1:25 pm

Sun. Oct. 6 at Oakland 1:25 pm

Sun. Nov. 24 at Kansas City* 10:00 am

Mon. Oct. 14 INDIANAPOLIS 5:40 pm

Sun. Dec. 1 CINCINNATI* 1:25 pm

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fuN fACt #11 If you lined up all of the hot dogs sold during the year, they would cover 16 miles.

The Bolts are Charging Up

Q: the team has a lot of new changes. What are some of the things you are most excited about? A.G. Spanos: It’s a new era in Chargers football that we’re starting, and we have some of the youngest leadership ever with the new coach and GM additions. They don’t have any pre-conceived notions of how things have to be done, because of the way they used to be done. I think they are more interested in innovating and getting things better, which I think has energized our fan base and everyone else around here. It’s exciting, and I can’t wait to get the season started.

Training Day with the Chargers Written by: Ed Haley


here are some first impressions one might experience while spending a day visiting an NFL training camp, like the ear-piercing, thunderous sound coming from the punters practice, kicking the football to what seems like miles into the air, seemingly supernatural; or, just seeing the sheer size of the players in person in relation to yourself. It’s enough to make you realize the amount of courage and strength the average NFL player must endure in order to compete with their co-workers. And thirdly, but certainly not last, is the precision of professionalism one can instantly see at first glance of the whole squad scrimmaging through their drills and playbook. Throw all these impressions together, and you get an amazing viewing experience of some of the best NFL players in the world, carefully chosen to be our own – the San Diego Chargers. LOCALE got a couple of days with the Bolts in action, and to say the least – they are one of the nicest and most accommodating teams in the business, allowing us to make our rounds through the owners, coaches and players. Their amazing team camaraderie was immediately apparent. It was a memorable experience to have players like Ryan Mathews give us an example of an intimidating stare from under his helmet before heading over to the weight room and receiving tips from the Chargers’ strength trainer on how to maintain our own pathetic physique. This meant a lot with the considerable amount of changes the team has gone through over the past six months or so. Complete with new player additions, a new GM and head coach, we were able to get the dirt on how the new changes are unfolding along with some details on what it’s like to be an NFL team in the great city of San Diego.

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MEET THE CEO, A.G. SPANOS It was hard enough making it down the halls of the Chargers headquarters without continuously stopping to see all the historic memorabilia that graces the walls, but once we stepped into the Chargers’ CEO A.G. Spanos’ office, we were greeted with a warm smile and enough collectibles to make any Charger fan weep. While meeting with Mr. Spanos in person, we could immediately see that despite the stresses of being the boss, he must have one of the best jobs in the world. LOCALE was lucky enough to kick back in his office and get the rundown on what it’s like to be the Executive Vice President for the San Diego Chargers. Interview by: Ed Haley

Q: What was it like growing up as a kid in a football family? A.G.: My parents couldn’t have been more supportive with anything that I wanted to do and to just try and be the best at it. I have always been a football fan, and I really am living my dream job. I just want to get out there and win that Super Bowl. Q: Does the philosophy of how you were raised cross over to how your run the organization? A.G.: We have a really good staff, and I am constantly challenging everyone to give me feedback on how we can do better. I think it’s vital to get that type of feedback from everyone, and it’s amazing when it gets implemented. Q: It sounds like an overwhelming task to manage, but where do you measure your level of success between how well you are doing on the field or how happy the staff and team are? A.G.: It’s a unique business that we are in, and we are definitely judged outside by our wins and losses. There are 31 other


Eric Weddle

Position: Free Safety | Experience: 7 years, First-team All-Pro, 2012 Chargers' MVP Raised in California, Eric Weddle was more than nice enough to give us some insight on what he likes to do during his spare time. The family man talked about San Diego and what it’s like to be a Charger. Written by: Ed Haley

to bring work home. I enjoy home better that way, and I can be a good dad and husband. I am also lucky to have a wife who understands what it’s like to be in professional sports. We have a great relationship and this helps me to go out and play well.

Q: What’s it like being a Charger? Do you guys play any pranks or jokes on each other? ErIC WEDDLE: There’s definitely a lot of goofing around daily when we’re not out on the field. There’s a lot of singing, or making jokes and drawing funny pictures of each other. Nothing too crazy though, and every year that passes, it gets easier and easier on the rookies.

Q: Are you more of a tackling guy or a swatting the ball away kind of player? EW: Oh I definitely like to get in there and make some tackles if I can. I’m not the biggest guy out there on the field, but I’m definitely not scared to get in there and throw some tackles. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s an art for me, which is probably why I have over 100 tackles a year.

Q: How do you feel about the new changes with the team? EW: Change is good – especially for a lot of the guys that have been around for a while. It rejuvenates you in a sense where you got to really get out there and prove yourself even more now, because the new coaches don’t know whom you are or what you’re about, regardless of your reputation. It’s been a nice, seamless adjustment. We are excited for training camp, that’s for sure. Q: What do you do to prepare mentally for your games? EW: I spend a lot of hours here, and I try not

teams that want to win just as bad as we do, and it comes down to that one team that is truly and completely happy at the end of the season. It can get tough, but that’s our goal and I’m grateful to be part of an organization that works well together and is completely focused to achieve that.

It all starts here and is really the first thing that’s crucial before entering any type of exercise routine. Working on your range of motion and how well you can move is the single most important exercise to consistently focus on in your lifetime. As we age, our joint health becomes increasingly important, as it will affect our overall lifestyle performance. Repetitive circular motions work best for individuals who are new to exercising. 2. COORDINATION:

How well you can control and synchronize your movements. Balance and rhythm become important factors. Simple balancing on each leg, one-by- one for periods of time, are basic starters for beginners. Research shows that being able to balance properly improves your cognitive abilities, which in turn, promotes the inner health and wellness that will mentally prepare you for physical challenges. Try balancing on one leg while reading a book!

Q: What do you like to do when you are not working? A.G.: My fiancé and I like to go to the movies. Cinepolis is a great place to do that out here in Del Mar with the lounge chairs and full bar.

Q: Does that ever make it tough to draft or work with certain uSC rivals? A.G.: Not at all as there are guys here from all over, except maybe sometimes when it’s our Alma Mater meeting on a game day, it might get a little uneasy. Coincidently though, we do have a display case out here in the hall that shows the number of drafts from all the different colleges, and USC has the most. Q: What is one of your biggest NfL moments? A.G.: Since I have been working with the team, one that comes to mind is when we were in Indianapolis and nobody was betting on us to win when Phillip Rivers went out with an injury. Billy Volek pulled it off with a field goal, and there is nothing like seeing 70,000 people instantly stunned.

Q: What are your hobbies? EW: Definitely hit the beach. I used to be an avid golfer, but I have three kids that take up most of my time nowadays. We like to bowl and miniature golf or do some of the major attractions like Sea World and Legoland. But mainly the beach, we love being in the water. We’ll do Escondido, Del Dios, Del Sur and El Camino Real.


Q: What did you tell the new guys that they just had to do when they arrived in San Diego? A.G.: Definitely take yourself and kids to the beach. I live near La Jolla shores, so I love it there. As far as places to eat, I would say Rimel’s Rotisserie. You got to try the green sauce.

Q: Speaking of, do you have any favorite sports movies? A.G.: Hoosiers was great, and so was Rudy. Being a USC graduate made that one a tough one to love, though.

Q: How many interceptions are you going to get this year? EW: Hopefully 20! But to be honest, as long as we win, it doesn’t matter.


TR A I N I N G TI PS From Kent Johnston

Chargers Strength & Conditioning Coach Whether it’s competing in a sport, wielding a hammer or simply chasing your kids around, there are a few major exercise components to ensure you a healthy lifestyle as you age. We were lucky to get some important pointers from the Chargers strength and conditioning coach, Kent Johnston. With his Texas drawl and characteristics that resemble someone out of a Clint Eastwood flick, Kent was nice enough to give us the rundown on getting back in shape properly.

Maybe the easiest plan to a fitness goal, but being able to strengthen your muscles and skeletal system is very important in maintaining overall health and avoiding deterioration as we age. Simple pushups, to lunges, to focused weight training can be more than enough to whip the average human body into good physical shape. 4. SPEED:

Believe it or not, there is a certain degree to being born with speed or not, and there are many different types of speed. For the average human who isn’t necessarily in the athletic realm, incorporating certain types of speed to be effective in their daily routines can boil down to just being able to react quickly. Even if it’s just to chase after your two-year-old, being able to quickly think and move are things that will come with all the above routines as you work harder and harder on them. 5. ENDURANCE:

Being able to combine all the above steps into whatever your routine or skill sets are and being able to do it with the same level of precision for long periods of time. For example, someone that uses a hammer every day will be very effective with their skill as they combine all of the above steps consistently. For someone that hasn’t exercised in a long time, a simple walk several times a week is a great starting point.

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fuN fACt #12 The Padres dugout is still intact under the stadium seats. They left the bullpen phones on the wall. Calling Trevor Hoffman...

The Pro Bowler

fuN fACt #13 The Juma Ice Cream Bar provides after school jobs for low-income high school students through the Juma Ventures program. More info at

the front office: bill johnston Director Of Public Relations Experience: 34 Years


dwight freeney

Position: Outside Linebacker| Experience: Seven-Time Pro Bowl Selection Q: What is it like coming to a new market after playing for one team for so long? DWIgHt frEENEY: It is a combination of things. While you are excited for all of the new opportunities, there is also the unknown. You don’t know what to expect after spending your whole career in one place. Q: How do you feel about the City of San Diego? Df: Unbelievable. It is beautiful; everyone is nice; sun is always shining; and it is 75 degrees everyday. I am not used to that. We had great people in Indianapolis, but it wasn’t 75 everyday. Q: Have you been to the beach yet? Df: I went by the beach and tried a few restaurants. The Chargers were trying to woo me with the

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views. It was ridiculous. I was eating steak, looking at the ocean, watching a guy surfing and enjoying the sunset. Ridiculous. Q: Do you think you will call this home for the rest of your career? Df: Absolutely. It does not get much better than this. Weather like this, people like this, two sports teams – it is just so vibrant. Q: When you arrived at camp, Cam thomas had already claimed your career-long number (#93). What will you do to get your number back? Df: Whatever it takes! I need pressure from the media and community. I might even have to call in a favor from the President. (laughs)

Q: How long have you lived in San Diego? Bill Johnston: I have lived here for 55 years, my entire life. Q: What are your favorite places to eat in San Diego? BJ: In San Diego, it’s either seafood or Mexican food. For seafood, I go to a place called Peohe’s in Coronado. The food and view are both unbelievable. For Mexican food, I go to Old Town San Diego to Miguel’s. Q: What do you like to do in your downtime? BJ: The only downtime for us is the period between the end of mini camp in June and the start of training camp. There is no better place to be than San Diego, the way I look at it. Q: What is your favorite thing about your job? BJ: Everyday is a new day. It is never boring. The people we work with and work for are amazing people. It is an amazing business. I like being part of a team, too. We have a team/family atmosphere where everyone is pulling for the same goal. Q: How do you think all of the recent changes are going to impact the team this year? BJ: All of the changes in our building have created a lot of optimism outside of our building, which has had a good impact on everyone. The fans are excited about the unknown. They are excited to see how good the Chargers are going to be with our new GM Tom Telesco, new coach Mike McCoy and our new players. The changes we have made have created an unknown that make people excited.



3rd Season

3rd Season

MEREDITH 2nd Season

ALEXIS LAUREN 2nd season

Something to Cheer About Q: If we were to look on your facebook page, would we be able to tell you are a Charger girl? ALEXIS LAurEN: By my Facebook page, you would never know that I am a Charger girl. We pride ourselves on being very professional and keeping the two separate. We keep everything Charger Girl in the Charger world. Q: How did you become a Charger girl? Was there an ad in the paper or an ad on Craigslist? ALEXIS LAurEN: I grew up in San Diego with a family that has had season tickets since the ‘60s. I grew up going to Charger games and have also been a dancer my whole life. From going to football games, I realized that cheerleading was the perfect opportunity to do something that shared my love of football and my love of dance. I then made it a point to find out where auditions were being held and what I needed to do. KArA: Growing up in Carlsbad, I have always been a fan of the Chargers. In 1999, I was a 12-year-old Junior Chargers girl and made it my goal then to become an actual Chargers girl. Q: What experience did you have that enabled you to become part of the Chargers girl team? Kara: I danced basically my whole life. Seventeen years of dance and one year of cheerleading in college. MErIDItH: I was a cheerleader at Fresno State. I actually cheered for Ryan Matthews and Logan Harrell (practice squad). KYLIE: It took me two tries to become a cheerleader. I came to the tryouts really inexperienced the first time. I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t know what to wear or what to do. I didn’t even have on the red signature lips.

Q: What one piece of advice would you give to a girl trying out to be a cheerleader? KYLIE: You have to wear red lips. Not too many NFL cheer teams wear them, and it definitely sets us apart. Q: How did you become a Chargers fan? ALEXIS LAurEN: I love going to every home game as a season ticket holder. Seeing the same faces every week cheering for the Chargers cemented my love for the team. I would say that the single coolest moment was experiencing a fly-by. That still gets me every time. KYLIE: I went to my first Chargers game as a student at USD. I found myself gravitating towards the cheerleaders. Q: Who is your favorite Chargers player of all time? KArA: Darrell Stuckey. I have been with him at a few events, and he works just as hard out in the community as he does on the field. I think that is really respectable. We got to hang out with him and Marcus Cromartie on San Diego appreciation day, and they were really great. MErIDItH: My favorite players are Melvin Ingram (unfortunately he tore his ACL in OTA’s a few weeks ago but that made me like him even more) and Donald Butler. Melvin Ingram and I have something in common, because I tore my ACL also, and I feel like I can relate to what he is going through. Also, he can do a backflip, and that’s awesome. Donald Butler, a linebacker for us, had a huge season last year. I love defensive players and the hitting part of the game. He has also returned from an awful injury. He tore his Achilles last year.

Who they love, where they hang and how they became Chargers Girls Written by: Erik Hale KYLIE: Charlie Whitehurst. We hung out during San Diego appreciation day. He was definitely a goofball. He asked us about spray tanning. It was fun getting to know him better. I also really like Eric Weddle. He has a strong presence both on and off the field. ALEXIS LAurEN: On San Diego appreciation day, we were on the bus with Eric Weddle, and I have to say, he is one of my favorites. I was completely star-struck when I saw him, but he is a normal person and such a nice guy. Q: What was it like (in one word) the first time you ran onto the field? ALEXIS LAurEN: Overwhelming. KArA: Breathtaking. Q: Can you tell us a fact about yourself that most people don’t know? KYLIE: My mom was a cheerleader for the San Diego Clippers, and I am an alternative rock fan. Q: You don’t actually lead cheers. How do you inspire the fans? ALEXIS LAurEN: We do not lead in cheer, but when you see our gold pom poms, we do hold a presence. Q: Where can we find you on your day off? ALEXIS LAurEN: At the beach. My favorite is a little cove off Marine St. in La Jolla. KArA: I enjoy the views at A’s and Altitude sky lounge. You would probably find me there. KYLIE: You would probably find me at the PB Shore Club. It has a great view of the ocean, and I work for a DJ company and our DJ’s play there all of the time.

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fuN fACt #15 Originally based in Los Angeles, the Chargers moved to San Diego in 1961.











1. Theme: Try a mixlology theme or a BBQ competition between your friends. 2. Grill: No matter what size you bring (the bigger the better), make sure you remember matches and to check your fuel. 3. Cooler: Bigger is better applies here, too. If you can fit two chests even better: one for beverages and one for your grub. 4. Food: Take time to plan a real menu that fits with your theme. We suggest pairing your mixology theme (handcrafted margaritas) with a menu of Chips, salsa, carne asada and guacamole. 5. Booze: In San Diego, the majority of our tailgates begin at 9am, so we like to have Sobieski Vodka for Bloody Mary's and Screwdrivers. We follow the Sobieski wake-up-calls with craft beer in a can, TailGate Beer. 6. Hydrate: Make sure to drink plenty of water and sport drinks. This will help you stay focused on your party. If you are tailgating in 80-degree weather you can become dehydrated quickly. 7. Televisions: TV and a satellite dish make your tailgate seem big league and feel like home. 8. Furniture: Pop-up tents are a must. You will need at least two foldable tables and as many chairs as you can manage.


9. Friends: Invite all of your friends but don’t stress about them showing up. With this set up you are sure to make plenty of new ones fast.

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Our biggest challenge comes months before the season as we are reviewing the schedule and trying to select the perfect theme for each tailgate.

fuN fACt #14 The Hamburger Huddle offers a “Bolt Relish” that is not on the menu and only available to those that ask.

| Indian Summer 2013 Issue

Q: What is the largest number of people you have ever hosted at your tailgate parties? DG: We've hosted over 100 people on multiple occasions. Whenever the Steelers are in town, our tailgate numbers shoot up – same with Green Bay. Both of these team's fans are cool people. Q: Where do most of your tailgaters come from? Any other countries represented at your gatherings? DG: As you can imagine, most of our tailgaters live in San Diego. But, It’s a Beer, it’s a flame, it’s Super tailgate Man! we have tailgaters from all over the world. In just the last three years, we've had fans from about 20 NFL cities, Mexico, MEEt tHE EXPErt: Switzerland, England, Australia, Canada, Name: Dominic Giammarinaro Holland and New Zealand. Company: San Diego Chargers Tailgating Q: You mentioned having themes for


founded: 1993 Motto: We can't control the game, but we can control the tailgate. Website: twitter: @sdtailgater Q: You started this business over 20 years ago. Describe your first tailgate. Dominic Giammarinaro: I wouldn't call it a business, more of a passion. Growing up in San Diego, going to Padres and Chargers games at San Diego Stadium turned Jack Murphy Stadium turned Qualcomm Stadium, tailgating was a staple. I remember as a kid going to Padres games and barbequing hot dogs in the parking lot and drinking sodas. In 1993, my brother and a couple friends became Chargers season ticket holders and our true passion for tailgating began. But, it took a while before our tailgates tightened up. The first season of tailgates in '93 included pizza, sub sandwiches and carne asada burritos. Hell, I don't event think we brought a cooler back then. In subsequent years, we started taking it seriously and eventually our events have become must-attend events on Fall Sundays. Q: What are some of the challenges that brothers face when working together? DG: Work? Tailgating isn't work; it's fun!

your tailgating parties. What was your favorite theme? DG: I can't pick just one. My favorite events are the cocktail and grilling competitions, so I would say Iron Bartender and Iron Tailgater. Another San Diego Chargers Tailgating favorite is Taco Guy. Our Taco Guy tailgate is hosted by an authentic taqueria from Tijuana that cooks pollo and carne tacos for us in our parking lot village in Section D3. Q: Would you rather have a great tailgate party or watch a great game? DG: I'd prefer an awesome tailgate followed by a blowout Chargers victory! Q: How have your parties changed as your company’s grown? DG: We have become more efficient. I know that sounds weird, but all of our core tailgaters have a role. From tents to televisions to tables to food prep, everyone knows their role and the San Diego Chargers Tailgating village is usually set up within 20 minutes. I don't run our tailgates, WE run our tailgates. Q: How long will you continue throwing tailgate parties? DG: As long as the Bolts are in SD and there is blacktop under our feet, we'll be tailgating. If you anyone wants to tailgate with us in Section D3 of the parking lot at Qualcomm Stadium, visit or hit us up on twitter @sdtailgater.

fuN fACt #16

The Hands Man

Shoes are left, strung together by laces, hanging off the pipes in the tunnel connecting the field to the parking lot. Boots, sandals, roller blades and snow boots dangle overhead.


fox Sports San Diego girls Always root for the Home team Written by: Erik Hale Q: Where are you from? KAtIE: Born and raised NAtHALIE: I’m from Encinitas.




Q: What is your main responsibility as a fox Sports San Diego girl? NAtHALIE: We represent Fox Sports San Diego as fan ambassadors. We connect with the fans on a personal basis. We also manage our own social media pages where we give our fans updates and prizes. Katie and I connect directly with the fans at community events and sporting events. Q: How long have you had your positions? KAtIE: We have each been doing this for about a year and a half. Q: What is your favorite sport? KAtIE: I am a huge Padres fan, but Charger’s football, woo-hoo!


vincent brown, jr.

Position: Wide Reciever | Experience: 3 years Q: Since we interviewed you last year, what has changed? vINCENt BrOWN: I am back to work, coming off an injury. I am finally back out here with the guys. Q: If we asked your QB (Philip rivers), what do you think he would have to say about you?

vB: I’m not really sure at all – hopefully some good things. Q: What do you hope to accomplish in this season? vB: Keep it simple. Take advantage of opportunities to help our team win. We have new coaches, new offense – I just want to fit in and help us win.

find them! foxsportssandiegogirls Twitter: @FSSD_girls Instagram: @FSSD_girls

Q: Who is your favorite player? KAtIE: Well, LT. I know he is not with the Chargers anymore, but I just love him (sigh). I think he is an amazing person, and it is my lifelong goal to meet him. My favorite current player is Antonio Gates. Q: Where is your favorite local spot to watch the game? KAtIE: I like Brody’s Burgers and Beer. Their sweet potato tots are like, Uhhh! Q: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time? NAtHALIE: I love to watch the Padre’s play. I am a huge fan. Q: When people are reading this story, you will have concluded your search for a third fox Sports San Diego girl. How do you feel about that? NAtHALIE: We are excited. The more the merrier. Maybe she could be a redhead (since I am a brunette and Katie is a blond). Our main requirement is that she loves sports and knows how to be a total dork.

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0 9A Z 2 75 86 8 6 75 2 0 9A Z

fuNfACt #17 The type of grass used on the field is a specially grown Sport Tif Bermuda blend. fuN fACt #18 The stadium hosts two college bowl games: The Holiday and Poinsettia. fuN fACt #19 Get your Chargers Tix online!

7 Reasons to Watch the Chargers Game from a Barstool Written by: Whiskey Girl (located in the GasLamp Quarter) 1) BRUNCH:

Participate in an interactive Game Day Experience with prizes, $10 Bottomless Pink

Lady Cocktails, "Hot Momma Sliders," the Chicken & Waffle Sandwich or the Stuffed French Toast. For the burger lover, a must-try is the "Whiskey Burger," a burger basted with Whiskey and served with a shot of Jack Daniels. 2) BINGO:

Rounds of Bingo are played on Sundays during breaks in the game to keep the energy of the crowd up. Don’t forget to wear your Chargers gear! 3) SPECIALS:

During the week, it’s Happy Hour with $3 wells, drafts and $5 select appetizers. 4) NUMBER OF TV'S:

Whiskey Girl has close to 30 TV’s, plus, the

game is shown on the large overhead wall above the bar. All games are shown in HD with stereo surround sound. 5) DJ:

Jams are provided by Super DJ Romeo, followed by a night with DJ Marc Thrasher. 6) THINK PINK:

The Pink Ladies are always cheering on the fans and engaging the crowd with games and shot specials. 7) RESERVED SEATING:

Fans can call ahead and reserve the seating on the stage for the Ultimate Game Day experience.

Simply the Best... At The Sporting Club, expect a fitness experience like no other. Here, you will find everything you need to keep your mind, body, and spirit in top performance. Unique fitness programs, unsurpassed trainers and staff, top-of-theline equipment, special member activities, cafe, and a relaxing day spa.

Mention this ad for a free workout and special joining package. 8930 UNIVERSITY CENTER LANE • SAN DIEGO • CA • 92122 P: 858.768.2171 • F: 858-552-8264 • WWW.THESPORTINGCLUB.COM



Daytrippin’, Border crossing, Mezcal and Art WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ErIK HALE

You may wonder what made me want to venture to a place so many are anxious to escape? Was there something to all of the warnings that made me curious or tempted to check it out for myself? I would not classify myself as a thrill seeker. I’m adventurous but certainly not a risk taker. I would gladly visit India, but I wouldn’t dance with a cobra. I would love to visit Africa, just not the “Blood Diamond” or “Blackhawk Down” versions Hollywood has shown me.


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My girlfriend and I drove through Tijuana last December at midnight after a fun weekend at the Hotel San Nicolas in Ensenada. I did not feel safe at all while we got lost looking for the border crossing. We would have made for hilarious you’re-onhidden-camera TV as we navigated unsuccessfully through a very dark part of town. “Babe! Don’t slow down,” my girlfriend yelled. “I know, F#%* these stop signs,” I agreed in chorus. You would have thought we were being hunted down by members of the Tijuana Cartel instead of cruising solo (in circles) through quiet, empty streets without a soul caring about our existence. So, what would make me feel safe? What compelling sites could I hope to see that would make the reward worth the risk? I searched the web for something unique, but I still

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wanted to experience Tijuana in the same way I made LOCALE, “Like a Local.” I decided to place our fate in the hands of a thirty-year-old expatriot and former journalist that had taken up residence in Tijuana six years ago. Derrik Chinn is the owner of the self proclaimed “Rad Tijuana Touring” company called Turista Libre that promises atypical trips to museums, markets, concerts, sporting events, parks, breweries, wineries, gastronomic gems, architectural delights and other cultural hotspots in Tijuana. Perfect. I had found my Tijuana sherpa. The day of our trip approached, and we followed Derrik’s instructions the best we could. We left our home and just kept driving south, exiting at the last possible exit, finding the closest long-term parking lot and waited for him to pick us up. Normally you would exit, then head over the bridge, find a parking lot and wait at the McDonalds for the person holding the Turista Libre sign or take the trolley to the very last stop (San Ysidro) and do the same. We found our pay lot, took our ticket and found a space for our 2012 model car. I only point out the year of our vehicle, because it was easily a half-decade newer than any of the other 300 cars we had parked among. Maybe I was

just stereotyping what I was about to see. Maybe this close together, countries that had stood shoulder to shoulder for so long, started to look like each other and take on the other’s attributes naturally. All my visual influences, however, like this parking lot’s trash-strewn spaces, the pedicabs, signs in Spanish and the towering Mexican flag waving high nearby, made me feel that we were already South of the border. “Beep, beep.” Derrik had pulled up to the right of us, undetected, as I stood gawking. We made our introductions, asked about his career at the UT and found out about the weekly excursions that had become daily excursions. We asked about his reasoning, his motivation to not only call Tijuana home but also spend all of his time giving tours of the area. It was so hard to get your head around someone wanting to live in Tijuana. We weren’t there yet. We hadn’t even crossed the border, but I had obviously made decisions about the city. He was going to have to convince me as to why he had chosen to live here. Luckily for me, he was patient. Maybe he was predisposed to patience, maybe he had answered the questions so many times they were now commonplace and no

longer off-putting. Whatever the case, he found a way to avoid many of our barbs. He just kept driving, determined. He had proved people’s ideas of this city wrong before. He seemed confident that this trip would do it again. The towering sign, stretching across six lanes of traffic, make it obvious that the people here do not hold any of my preconceived notions about their country. The red, white and green sign spelling Mexico in eight-foot letters show how proud they must be. The fact that 80,000 people from countries around the globe transplant here annually tell a different story as well. There must be something here. Our very first stop gave me reason to pause, and to plan a return visit. We drove through streets making rapid lefts and rights. It felt like switchbacks in some mountain pass. I was instantly grateful for Derrik. I think it would be impossible to navigate these streets without his experience. We made our way through a residential neighborhood and parked along a curb on an empty street. We put our valuables in the trunk of his car, made sure our windows were up and the doors were locked, and then made our way a few blocks by foot through the Gabilondo neighborhood (where the old

bull ring once stood) to a large restaurant, El Tio Pepe. It was time for lunch, and we were in for a treat. Derrik politely took charge of the ordering once he realized that my stammering tenth grade Spanish was not capable of ordering our lunch. Our server disappeared and returned minutes later with a table full of hot food and cold Modelo’s. The food he ordered was the same for all three of us. Plastic sandwich holders, full of manufactured holes had been made into bowls by being wrapped in plastic bags. These little boats contained a large roll stuffed with seasoned pork that was literally floating in sauce, threatening to overflow. Pickled onions, cilantro and hot sauce were served on the side as suggested toppings. We indulged in all of them. The torta ahogada is a sandwich in name only. If I had happened to stop for even a sip of my beer between bites I feared I might be eating my sandwich as a soup (although, it would be an awesome soup). I love wet burritos. It had never dawned on me to eat my sandwich the same way. I had learned something already. I was digging Mexico. We waddled back to the car, wiping our faces and loosening our belts. Derrik again began with the series of lefts and rights that made me feel like we were being tailed.

We parked in front of a warehouse and went through our lockdown procedure again. We exited the light and entered a dark warehouse to the sounds of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.” It was much quieter in here. The city’s noises were blocked out. Our eyes started to adjust to our rustic yet modern surroundings. We were in a craft beer lounge. BCB’s interior decorations, beer selection and ambience would be right at home in the Gaslamp or Hollywood. This might not seem peculiar, but don’t forget…we’re in Tijuana. There is a beer duopoly in Mexico. Probably the reason you see so many Corona, Tecate and Dos Equis signs when you travel anywhere in Mexico. The beer distributors – not the government – are in charge of alcohol licenses for bars. You must generally only carry the brands that grant the licensed products. BCB walks a fine line, and by doing so, provide options where few previously existed. We are greeted warmly and have the opportunity to try several locally brewed drafts. After sampling, we decided on Tijuna Bufadora and the Filibustera. They were both wonderful choices. The tours that Turista Libre conducts are generally much more planned out than this one. Our excursion felt more like an old Army buddy

showing me around his hometown, randomly stopping in at places he frequents. The tours they normally conduct have themes. When you find the person at the Mickey D’s, after parking your car or disembarking the trolley on the other side of the border, you are escorted to a school bus on the Mexican side. You may be transported to El Vergel waterpark for a day of sliding and splashing or to a Tijuana Toro’s baseball game or even a culinary adventure, tasting tacos from different barrios deep within the city. Our trip, however random it felt, still needed to fulfill a purpose. Derrik has not quite yet converted his passion project into his full time career. When he is not busy escorting his groups of adventure seekers around his adopted city, he spends his time teaching at a local school. He has a full schedule. Intermixed with our series of seemingly arbitrary stops are locations he is scouting for an upcoming street art tour. Street art is pervasive in Tijuana. It covers buildings, walls, overpasses, home interiors and galleries. A form of expression often frowned upon in our beige-washed suburbias. Here, it appears to be lauded. Today we are in search of pieces by PANCA (Paola Villa Senor) a 26-yearold visionary whose art can be

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found beautifully curated in street ‘museums’ across the city. Her pieces are geometrical and trippy. They are whimsical, geometric designs portraying faces with oversized features and multiple orifices. They are extremely colorful and original and therefore become easy to identify. I find myself believing I am now a connoisseur. I start pointing out her work to our guide. He smiles when I do this, as I am only right about half of the time. It is July, mid afternoon, the interior of the car is sweltering and hot wind is blowing through our rolled-down windows, carrying in bus exhaust and the heat of the city. I have killed the battery on my camera, and my internal battery is flashing red. I need a recharge. Derrik can tell I am wilting. He makes a quick left and asks me if an ice cream would help. I am about to agree when I look up and see us heading for Dairy Queen. “No, I’m fine. Let’s keep going.”

I suggest against my better judgment. I really wanted to keep this trip authentic to the local culture. “I think you will really like this place,” Derrik answers back. I am relieved as we turn right into a shopping center, away from Dairy Queen, and park. We walk across the lot and into a local ice cream shop called Tepoznieves. They offer over a hundred flavors of ice cream. Tequila with lime or fig and mango with chile are just a few. I settle on a scoop of coconut and a second scoop of pineapple with chile. They hand us tiny little spoons, and we head out to the patio to cool off and enjoy our tiny treats. A little breeze cut across the patio and cooled my outside while the ice cream cooled the inside. Here was another reason to come back. There have been several days since my return from this trip that I had wished I could replace one of the Dairy Queens on this side of the border with a Tepoznieves. Instead of satiating my hunger, the ice cream

Oh, down in Mexico I never really been so I don’t really know Oh, Mexico I guess I’ll have to go –James Taylor “Mexico”

seemed to revitalize it. It had only been about three hours since lunch, but I was hungry again. I wasn’t alone. When Derrik recommended we go for a taco, my girlfriend and I provided a gutteral “yes” at the same time. Jinx. We climbed back into the car and drove to La Cacho district. The restaurant we were looking for was in a sort of taco alley. Six individually owned taco shops, billowing smoke, offering curbside stools and packed from end to end, stuffed and crowded into a half block of real estate. Each restaurant looked the same to me, but Derrik said Tacos Los Paisas was his favorite (it had also recently made Anthony Bourdain’s list of favorite TJ eateries), so we followed his lead. It was the middle of the afternoon, but the place was still busy. We each grabbed a Strawberry Fanta out of the dining room fridge and made our way to the inside counter. We were greeted with a plate of smoky red salsa and fire roasted green and yellow peppers. Derrik ordered all of us a Samurai taco. It seemed appropriate, as the meat was being mesquite grilled in front of us by a Teppanyaki chef using an old Weber BBQ instead of a grill. The taco was a tostada inside of a tortilla, topped with barbecued pork, fresh cut onions and a creamy avocado sauce. The first bite was heavenly. I tore through the rest of the taco. Maybe it was all one giant bite with fits of chewing mixed in. It was instantly evident that tacos like this were the reason we had a proliferation of taco joints in the US. They were all trying to achieve this level of authenticity. Yet another reason to return. If you are married or have a significant other, you know this next part to be true. You cannot leave the house on an adventure and do fun boy stuff all day without balancing out the gender scales by adding some girl stuff in the mix, too. Girl stuff generally means shopping. We were in Mexico the day prior to Opening Day at Del Mar, and my girl was in need of a big floppy hat and shoes. It was getting late in the day, and she was convinced that she was not going to have a chance to find these muchneeded items before tomorrow’s event. Derrik suggested we shop here, in TJ. Even though she was in the back seat, I could feel my girlfriend’s eyes roll. And honestly, I was on the same page. The places we had seen so far surely couldn’t offer the selection or styles needed to dress up for the races, but Derrik had not been wrong all day. Even so, for the first time I can recall, I had to quite literally drag my girlfriend into a mall to shop. I just may have joined her in her little shopping excursion, but you cannot force me to write about it. Suffice it to say, this mall (bizarrely) looked like every other mall I had been in. The mall boasted stores with American names, international products and busy women pushing strollers and hefting giant bags (presumably full of shoes, hats and purses) out to their SUV’s. She found a hat and shoes (Steve Madden’s) at our very first stop. Derrik had saved me and proved us wrong again. Thank you. We piled back into the car and headed for the border. After driving a few blocks, Derrik suggested one last stop if we were up for it. “No more shopping,” I laughed. “No, not shopping,” he replied. And then one magical word rolled out: “Mezcal.” “In!” was our instant reply.

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We headed to the one part of TJ that I wasn’t that excited to tour. The part with which everyone seems to associate the city – Avendida Revolucion, the grimy collection of strip clubs, bars and prostitution. He promised me the place would be worth the diversion. Still? Really? Ok... The streets here looked nothing like the shopping mall we had just left. It was the first time all day that I felt Derrik was rolling the dice when he parked his car. He almost seemed doubtful it would be there when we returned. We made our way through the stained streets, past men loitering outside of seedy dark bars to what looked like the opening to an office building. Behind two sturdy glass commercial doors was a reception area whose couch, table and lamps reminded me of my late grandmother’s living room. Behind the faux wall was La Mezcalera. A super hip, local trafficfocused Mezcal bar. We plopped down in the main bar and perused the menu. This bar was opened on La Sexta in 2009 as an opposition to the rowdy bars we had just walked past. They were succeeding in their opposition. In the hour or so we sat at the bar, we sipped Mezcal straight (firewater), tried it as a Pina Colada cocktail, as a Cremas de Mezcal (yummy) and nibbled on roasted grasshoppers for an appetizer. As I sat at the bar, a lemon resting on the napkin that also held my last few grasshoppers, my head a little foggy from my drink, I realized how far from the US I felt right then. We were only a few miles away but it felt like hundreds, thousands maybe. I was on a vacation. Mexico was not scary. It was an adventure an hour from home. As we said our goodbyes and started walking across the border, I promised Derrik I’d return for one of his tours. After this local-guided, insider experience of TJ, I will definitely keep that promise.

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WRITTEN BY: AftON LArSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY: SIErrA PrESCOtt einforced by three exclamation points and underlined twice, AVOID UNINTENTIONAL BACKFLIP is as emphatic a personal warning as they come. I’d been watching the safety video before my first time out with Jetpack America, and I was taking notes. I was the girl with a spiral in her lap, watching an eight-minute instructional video, jotting down helpful reminders. Because “ohmygawd” there were at least a hundred scenarios in which I was convinced would lead to deadly embarrassment. Thus, the notes. Unintentional backflip, hovering

midair, bring it. My notes would protect me. As would my instructor, coaching me from land through the waterproof radio inside my helmet. The guys running this operation are like the guys who lived next door to you in college. They sweet talk their way through every missed assignment in your math class and have this frustrating charm that makes you feel cute against your own will. One remembered seeing the job for Jetpack America posted online and initially thought it was a prank. The idea that a water-powered jetpack


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can make you airborne still seems a little futuristic. But it’s real. You can fly. Since April in Mission Bay, while everyone around you is paddleboarding, kayaking, jogging, and bike riding, you can fly. Jetpack America uses the Jetlev (read: jet levitation) technology to pump over one thousand gallons of water a minute through a 33-foot hose connected to your jetpack. It’s the thrust of the water released from dual nozzles attached to your pack that gives you wings. So long as you’re doing it right, that is. I don’t

recommend you throw your video training out the window when instinct takes over. On your first flight, your instructor controls the throttle, which allows you to focus on steering alone. We’re talking micro-movements here, raising and lowering your arms with the smallest, barely perceptible adjustments. It’s a game of subtlety, but when your natural reaction is to throw your hands overhead in an attempt to regain some balance, all the note taking in the world won’t save you. That unintentional backflip? Did one. Unceremonious faceplant? Nailed it. The beauty of the Jetlev is that trial and error with a jetpack is still really, really fun. At no point does it feel unsafe or unsettling, and this from someone who fell out of a second story window early on in life. I get it, people afraid of heights, so don’t count yourself out. The Jetlev experience exists within your comfort zone. With ten tiers of tricks to work through, from the stairway to heaven to 360 spins and corkscrew flips, there’s some serious entertainment to be had at every level. Girls, you’ve got this year’s present on lock. He doesn’t want cuff links. He doesn’t want a new wallet. Jetlev is jetlove. For my flight, Jetpack America sent out the best to talk me through the basics. Dean O’Malley, President of Jetpack America, knows the Jetlev as only someone who’s explored its every limitation can. After trading in a life on corporate cruise control, O’Malley took to the skies. In his short time with Jetpack America, he’s set a world record and helped grow a business that provides what is fast becoming a staple summer activity in San Diego. They call him Superman. And me? Superfan. Q: You left a completely different profession for a startup, took a bit of a gamble, and came on board with Jetpack America. What led up to the change? What was the final push that made you realize you were all in? DEAN O’MALLEY: Joining Jetpack America wasn’t necessarily a gamble; it was something I felt right about from Day One. When I left my position at Chase, I knew it was the right decision despite the uncertainty ahead. My friend from UCSD, Katie Morris, showed me a video of the Jetlev and told me about the company she and her dad were starting. I was immediately awestruck by the concept and because I knew it had the potential to be the next big thing, I jumped at the chance to join the team. It took some time to convince the rest of the company (all five people at the time) that I was right for the job, but two years, three

flight centers, thirty employees and five thousand customer flights later, they’ve finally agreed that hiring me was a good decision. Q: Were you a risk-taker as a kid? When did you first get a taste of that adrenaline high? DO: As the youngest of three boys, I was always trying to keep up with my older brothers and my parents encouraged me to push my limits. Whether it was skiing in Mammoth at the age of five or river rafting down the Colorado at nine (when they lied and said I was 11 to get me on the trip), I’ve always considered myself a “calculated” risk-taker. Skateboarding was my first real taste of adrenaline, but snowboarding is where I started to push myself, building jumps in the backcountry to backflip from, or searching for the steepest chutes or the biggest cliffs to drop. In everything I do, I always weigh the pros and cons and the likelihood of various outcomes before trying something “crazy.” The mind will often exaggerate possible negative outcomes as a defense mechanism, but if you can silence some of that noise, you’ll see that most fears are unfounded. It’s proven by the number of times people do something and ultimately say, “Oh, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.” Q: Years later, you were able to use that love of pushing boundaries to set a world record. When did you start considering the Catalina flight as a possibility? DO: The whole Catalina flight idea had been kicked around long before I joined the company. For boaters in the Southern California area, Catalina is a very common day trip. When someone asked about the fuel capacity and range of the Jetlev, (it was common to ask) whether or not it could make it the 26 miles from our office in Newport Beach to Catalina. With the 22-gallon fuel tank and the quoted range of 80 miles by the manufacturer, the answer was always, “Yes, but no one had… yet.” Within the company, we’d joked about who would do it and how difficult it would be, but it wasn’t until Eric Longabardi, now our full-time media-consultant/PR rep/news-wrangler, came on board that the idea took shape. He told us that the Catalina Air Show was taking place at the end of September where, ironically enough, they were going to be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Glenn Martin’s flight from Newport to Catalina. Glenn’s flight established a world record for the longest distance traveled by plane over water, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to finally see

if the jetpack trip could be done. If all went well, it would ring in the next 100 years by setting a world record for the longest distance traveled by jetpack. Seeing as I was still the only full-time employee of the company at the time and the only one crazy enough to dedicate the effort to make it a success, I found myself begrudgingly nominated to pilot the jetpack for the crossing. Q: How did you train? Aside from not finishing, were there any other concerns that had you worried? DO: Once the project had gained momentum and news outlets were informed, there was no turning back. I started to think about what I’d need to do to actually make it happen. Anyone who’s flown the Jetlev knows the two main pain points: the seat and the shoulders. After about 20 minutes in the pack, the not-so-ergonomic seat starts to become really uncomfortable in places you don’t want to feel pain and the shoulders start to burn. For the seat issue, there is a trapeze, which is essentially a footrest that hangs down and allows the pilot to lift some of the weight off the seat. For the shoulder pain, there isn’t much that can be done other than strengthen the shoulders. I started doing shoulderraises with five-pound weights at the gym to mimic the minor adjustments of the jetpack control arms; incrementing each day until I was able to do 1000 reps. The next concern was the actual flight time. Having done 99 percent of my flying in the nice calm waters of Newport Harbor, we had no way of knowing how fast we could actually expect to go on the open ocean. With perfectly glassy water, the Jetlev can hit speeds of up to 30 mph, but with any chop at all, the top speeds are much lower. At 30 mph, the Newport to Catalina trip could be done in less than an hour, but the conditions wouldn’t be that perfect. To be conservative, we estimated speeds of 10-15 mph, which would mean 2-3 hours. When I first signed on to try the Catalina crossing, my longest flight was about 45 minutes. Part of my training was to do longer and longer flights to better understand what to expect from both the equipment and a physical standpoint. A week before the flight, I completed a two-hour open ocean flight. Little did I know the actual flight would end up taking more than twice that long. Q: tell me about that day. What was the physical strain of the 4.5-hour flight? DO: When my alarm went off at 4am that morning, I was waking up from a far-from-restful night of sleep. The evening before, I had flown the Jetlev

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from the Jetpack America office to our CEO John Morris’ boat, The Jolly J, at Newport Dunes. That flight is less than three miles and takes about thirty minutes due to the 5 mph zone throughout the harbor. The disconcerting thing was how rough the engine felt during the short flight and the amount of gas that had been consumed. At that point though, there was no calling it off. Nightline and Inside Edition were set to arrive at the boat in the morning to document the trip and they weren’t going to care how much fuel we were using or how the engine sounded. It was time to cross our fingers and hope for the best. Arriving at John’s boat in the pre-dawn darkness, I kept the engine situation to myself and quietly added a few extra fuel cans to our support boat just in case. As soon as I took off from the back platform of the boat and flew over to the beach press conference that was being held before our departure, I knew something wasn’t right. I did my best to shrug it off as I gave my final interview. After the sunrise press conference, I waved my goodbyes to the people who’d gathered along the shore and set off toward the mouth of Newport Harbor. In all of the departure commotion, our primary support boat had taken off alongside me only to realize they’d left all of the reporters back on the beach. They had to turn back to get them, but rather than hovering at the mouth of the jetty, I decided to head out. With calm winds and relatively flat water, I was able to maintain speeds of close to 15 mph. After almost thirty minutes of flying with Catalina Island still not in sight and the California coastline fading in the distance behind me, I suddenly realized how alone I truly was. I had no idea where my support boat was. I figured they would’ve caught up to me within about ten minutes of leaving the harbor, but with no other choice than to keep moving, I pressed forward. If the support boat had chosen even a slightly different angle toward the island, they could’ve been hundreds of yards away even when they’d traveled the same distance. Before too many negative scenarios could cloud my thinking, the Jolly J came speeding alongside me with several other boats joining in the processional. Those extra boats would prove critical to the success of our journey. Shortly after the boats came together, the weather conditions started to change, with much heavier chop and increasing winds. Since each boat was throwing its own wake, I quickly found that the safest place to be was directly behind the Jolly J because it smoothed out the water and kept me close enough to yell to the crew on board in case I needed anything. We settled into a slow but steady pace of about 8 mph, which was far below what we were hoping to average but reasonable to maintain. At 8 mph, I was able to keep a fairly consistent height between 5 and 10 feet. I told the crew on the boat to keep an eye on me, since speeds were slowing and 10 miles in an hour wasn’t good. I had a feeling I’d be running out of gas soon even though we’d hoped to make it the full 26 miles on one tank. Sure enough, the engine sputtered and I dropped into the water at about the 13-mile mark. Tank number one – done. Luckily, someone on the boat saw me and signaled to turn around. They threw a few fuel cans on one of the support dinghies and motored over to the pod to fill it up while I bobbed in the water taking my first sips from the water bottle around my neck and trying to not think about the possibility of sharks circling below me. Fifteen minutes later, I was refueled and back in the air. With 15 mph winds now causing white

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caps on the four-foot waves, we slowed even more and it was about another hour into the journey when I ran out of gas again, this time at the 20-mile mark with Catalina visible in the distance. The support dinghies were dealing with issues of their own at this point, so they were several miles ahead of us trying to get to the island. The second refueling took almost twice as long as the first. With waves throwing the boats back and forth, the group contemplated putting fuel cans on the back of a paddleboard for the refueling, but thankfully the calls to the dinghies were finally heard and they made the long trip back to the boat to assist. It was at this point that we put the remaining three fuel cans into the pod, two of which weren’t even supposed to be on board. After seeing how much fuel had been consumed the night before on the short trip from the office to John’s boat, I was glad I made the decision to bring every single can available. After 40 long minutes in the water, I started the engine one last time. With only six miles to go, it was at that moment that I realized that it could be done. Despite the pain in my shoulders and general discomfort, it was so close I could taste it. Avalon Harbor was only a few miles away and the world-famous casino was just starting to come into view. The waters were starting to calm as we came closer to the wind-protection of the island, so I knew it was only a matter of time. As trick airplanes flew stunts above Catalina as part of the air show, we made our final approach into Avalon only to be greeted by hundreds of boats crowding the harbor. It quickly became clear that they were not prepared for our arrival. We requested access to cut through the traffic to make our final landing on the beach, but we were held up by the harbormaster that was awaiting final approval. After over four hours of flying with the finish line in plain sight, I was forced to hover and fly around the harbor for another excruciating 20 minutes. Finally, the Jolly J was given dock access to drop off the members of the press, and I was given the final go-ahead to fly in. Ironically enough but in fitting fashion, the last of the fuel was used up about 15 feet from the sand, and, rather than the grand entrance I hoped to make, I dropped from the sky into waist-deep water and had to walk the last few feet onto the beach where the crowd was waiting. It was far from perfect, but it was done. Twentysix miles in four-and-a-half hours. I’m not sure how long it took Glenn Martin, but I’m guessing he had the same feeling of relief and satisfaction. Q: And now you hold the record. Having taken jetpack flight to an extreme, do you think there’s a place for it in a competitive arena? I know you guys have used the jetpack to give paddleboarders a boost, so do you think there’s a way to incorporate it into watersport events? DO: I truly think that we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. There will definitely be races, both speed and distance. I also see obstacle courses, freestyle competitions and relay races. We’ve already seen various TV shows with Jetlev competitions, the most exciting probably being when we rigged up the packs with paintball guns and we had two people shooting at each other for a show called Game Changers, which focused on real-life activities that are similar to what you see in today’s video games. We’ve been contacted by Red Bull, who is interested in incorporating us into the intermission of the Flugtag in Long Beach this September, which is this big competition where

teams create these crazy flying contraptions and see how far they can fly them. We’re hoping the event will expose even more people to what the Jetlev can do and establish a long-term relationship with Red Bull, since they’re synonymous with extreme sports these days. Q: Is there anyone in your personal life that you’re still trying to convince to fly? Someone who hasn’t quite gotten over his or her fear or hesitation yet? DO: HAHA, yeah, there are plenty of people I’m still trying to get to fly: my mom, my brother and some of my good friends. I’ve heard every excuse in the book by now. I get it though; I respect that. But I’ll still do my best to show them how safe it is and how fun it can be. Q: What philosophy do you bring to work everyday? DO: How can we do it better? That’s the question I’m constantly asking myself. I guess it comes from my consulting background. Our business has been evolving since the day I joined. Some of my employees make fun of me, since there’s nothing that stays the same for longer than a week. I think we’re doing a great job, but there are still a million things I want to improve. My hope is that people have a better time each and every time they come out flying with us. Q: What’s the most satisfying part of your job? DO: Without question, it’s seeing someone who’s clearly hesitant or maybe even a little scared to give the “Jetlev contraption” a try, then seeing that ear-to-ear smile when they come back into the office after their flight. We even had one guy admit to us that he literally cried while he was up flying, because it was the realization of the flying dreams he’s been having his whole life. That’s pretty cool. Q: You’re out to lunch and you hear two people talking about Jetpack America. What is it you hope they’re saying? DO: I hope one of them is a happy customer and the other a potential customer. The customer is describing just how amazing it is to hover 30 feet above the world below you suspended in the air by nothing more than two streams of water. Q: As Jetpack America continues to grow, what can San Diego expect from you in the future? DO: We’d love to see flight centers in San Diego Bay and possibly Carlsbad to give even more people access to the activity. We’re growing extremely quickly at our Mission Bay location, so it’s only a matter of time before we outgrow that spot and need to open additional local flight centers. San Diegans are fun-loving watersports enthusiasts, so Jetpack America is a perfect fit here. Q: Anything San Diego would be surprised to know about you? DO: People always seem to be surprised to learn that I’m 36, and I have the coolest job in the world, yet I’m still single. I guess I’m a bit of a workaholic and that often gets in the way of relationships, but if you were flying jetpacks for a living, wouldn’t you be a workaholic too? While I waited for my turn, I sat watching a firsttimer finish up his flight. He walked on water, went for the submarine dive and tried a stairway to heaven. His tricks were definitely a work in progress, but his confidence was growing by the lap. When his instructor cut the power, I watched him shed the jetpack and climb the stairs to dry land. Breathless and to no one in particular, he said, “This is awesome, man. This. Is. Awesome.” I couldn’t agree more.

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Jetpack America is located at the Mission Bay Sportcenter 101 Santa Clara Place San Diego, CA 92109. visit them online at or call them toll-free at 888-553-6471 to schedule your next ight.


Jesse Billauer Q: What do you think is most important in life? JESSE BILLAuEr: The most important things in life are your health and your own happiness. Without those two things, you can't put out positive energy. If you don't put out positive energy, you're going to get negative energy. Whatever you put out into the world is what you're going to get back. And some of the most important things in life are finding out what your passion is, and believing in yourself. That confidence is what is going to take you to the next level. If you don't believe in yourself, you're not confident, and you're not a leader, then that's how people are going to perceive you. And you don't want that. Q: What is your advice to those who are trying to ďŹ nd their way? JB: My advice for anyone is: try all the things you feel you want to do. Find what your passion is. Don't follow your friends' dreams, your parents' dreams. You have got to follow your own, because those are the ones that are going to make you the happiest. When you love something, everything is just seamless. Q: Do you believe in a higher power? JB: Do I believe in a higher power? Yeah, I believe in a higher power. Like the beautiful storm system that brings in beautiful waves, or the power behind that fish "Going man, I want to bite your line today." But, I'm not really religious, I'm more spiritual in the way that I think life is beautiful, and there is opportunity for everybody. Maybe things happen for a reason, maybe, maybe. And if, right now, that's the reason that I'm paralyzed, I think I'm answering to the God above. I think I'm doing the right thing. Because at the end of the day, I'm the only one who really knows if I'm doing the right thing, and I have to put my head on my pillow and fall asleep and share my life with the people that I love. And if I'm not doing it right, it's going to be an uncomfortable, unhappy life. I'm super happy, and I'm good, so I must be doing everything right.

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If you are a Gen Y-er living in Southern California, the word "stoke" is more than likely a part of your vocabulary. The word's most common use is in the form of an adjective: "We are meeting at Typhoon at 10." "Sweet, stoked! (Translation: Sweet! Excited!)" Less common, and the only way I have heard "stoke" used as a noun, is when surf-savvy people talk about a phenomenon known as "surfer stoke." "Surfer stoke" is impossible to adequately explain unless you have experienced it. This aside, surfer stoke is basically a surfer's passion for surfing. Surfers often talk about surfer stoke when an enthusiastic beginner rides a wave for the first time. This happens close to the shore in the white water, usually on a foam board, and it's not pretty, but there is nothing like your first ride on a wave. Like clockwork (and to the chagrin of locals) that lucky nube, kook, or Zonie is hooked. She or he now has "the stoke." If you have never surfed, trust me when I say, there is no other feeling like it. I have skydived, bungeejumped and traveled around the world, but there is nothing like paddling, feeling gravity take hold and becoming part of a wave. But my project, The Surfer Stoke Project, is ultimately not about a person's love of surfing. It is about chasing and spreading a stoke-like feeling, happiness basically, and I believe the most powerful form of this comes through human connection. The way I use the word "stoke" in the title of my project is not as a noun or as an adjective, but as a verb. defines stoke the way it is used here as: "to poke, stir up, and feed (a fire)." I started The Surfer Stoke Project, because I had lost my fire, and as far as I could tell, my friends had lost theirs, too. I graduated college in the midst of the worst job climate since the Great Depression. And without making

too many excuses for ourselves, for my friends and I to pursue careers that we were "stoked" on was next to impossible. So, we took jobs we weren't "stoked" on. I have heard plenty of the "stop feeling sorry for yourself" talk. “You should be grateful you have such a good job in this economy. Most people can’t even get a job.” “Work is not supposed to be fun, that’s why they call it work, not play,” and so on. But I believed then, and I know now, that it is my responsibility my paramount priority - to make a livelihood doing what a) involves my natural talents and allows me to share my gift with the world; and b) what makes me happy. There is a big difference between a job and a vocation; and though, plenty of people said otherwise, in the throes of my post-college hangover, I clung to hope that I could make money doing something I loved to do – that I could find true happiness. So came The Surfer Stoke Project and my obsession with it. I have thought of little else since it's pilot post. It's always in the back of my mind. Surfer Stoke started out as a happiness project. I wanted to figure out what happiness was because, I myself, was unhappy. But the goals and aims of the project have changed as I have changed, and I could never have imagined how far this, a blog I started, would take me. Since the start of Surfer Stoke, I have interviewed Slightly Stoopid, surfed in a turkey costume on

Thanksgiving; and left an eight-year career in the legal field behind. I started writing positive messages on the sidewalk in chalk; taking street portraits of San Diegans every week; and reading scores of books about happiness and what is important in life. I meditated every day in November; went to 30 Starbucks putting up flyers for a random act of kindness week; and have written over 100 essays about happiness and following your dreams. Highlights of The Surfer Stoke Project include listening to advice about life and happiness from surf legends and heroes of mine: Skip Frye, Bird Huffman, Tim Bessell and Jesse Billauer. These men not only gave me sound advice I will never forget for as long as I live, they touched my heart in their willingness to help me. I have written to many people asking for interviews, so when DeLa of Slightly Stoopid actually wrote back, you can't imagine how "stoked" I was. He even suggested we go for a surf. Surfing with Slightly Stoopid? Is this real life? DeLa shared with me his own trials: finding a baseball-sized tumor in his brain and described how that experience changed his perspective on life and happiness forever. How it taught him to appreciate the little things: like ocean sets rolling in at Swami's and the feel of sunshine on your face. Needless to say, that was an unforgettable conversation over coffee at Pannikin off the 101. DeLa gave me free tickets to Slightly

Stoopid's concert with Atmosphere this summer, and restored my faith in the good of people. I don't want to be famous. What I want is a more beautiful San Diego where people actually smile at each other. I want people to recognize that we have so much more in common than we realize. That the psychological distress you feel the doubt, the fear, the worry - is common to everyone. I want every person to know: you can find work that makes you happy. Following your dreams became a focus of The Surfer Stoke Project because in the studies on happiness I read and listened to, I learned that finding a passion - a purpose for your life - is of paramount importance to capturing that bluebird of happiness. I hated being a paralegal, but it took me a considerable amount of time to figure out what I actually wanted to do. I have found that what makes me "stoked" - what stirs a fire in my heart - is not what I thought it would be. It's not money - it's helping others. It is feeling solidarity between the members of my community. It is trying for the impossible and realizing, to my surprise, it can be achieved. Now that I have searched for something that fills me with that feeling - that surfer stoke I am happier. I have discovered something that gives me the peace that surfing does. I have found my “stoke” out of the water.

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Tim Bessell Q: What’s something you know about happiness now that you did not know at 25 years old? tIM BESSELL: Life is whatever you make of it. If you fear things, then you’re going to be afraid. If you embrace things, then you’re going to embrace them. And you have to think beyond doubt. It's like surfing. You can have fear about surfing, right? Everybody does. And when the surf gets bigger and bigger and bigger, your fear level goes up and up and up, because it's natural. It's natural to be afraid of something so powerful and potentially life threatening or disabling. But, if you ignore that, and focus on the task at hand which is one step at a time: getting in the water; getting out there safely; getting yourself in the right position for success; taking off; not falling; not being freaked out; not being afraid…you usually don’t eat it. And if you do, you’re going to eat it with a good attitude. If you eat it with a good attitude, you’re not as likely to get hurt or make bad decisions. I think it comes down to attitude. I really do.

for you – that are super critical in your future. My suggestion is to decide what makes you the happiest and do it well. Q: What are your favorite surf spots? tB: I love Windansea, and I love Black’s. And I love Chasms and Little Macaw. Those are my favorite breaks in Southern California. But I love Pipeline, Cloudbreak and Uluwatu. There are a lot of places I have surfed that I just absolutely loved. Hanalei Bay is one of my favorite waves. There are so many. They are like women – there are so many to love.

There are so many different factors that come into play with happiness but if you appreciate what you have, you will be happy. If you value the things that you have and the things that you do – that’s the road to happiness. I think also you need to know when to say “no” to life choices that are wrong

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Bird Huffman Q: What is your definition of happiness? BIrD HuffMAN: Happiness for me, in simple terms, is a good open communication with God. In a nutshell, that’s it. If you’re comfortable with your creator, whatever you want to call him, her, it, whatever, higher power, for me it’s God. If you can be comfortable with him and know he has your back and that everything happens for a reason, that’s pure happiness in a spiritual sense. In an emotional sense, or a human sense, having my wife, having a woman who shares my life and who has raised kids with me for 30 years. That’s another source of happiness, being able to share that with somebody is pretty amazing. And then, just being able to pretty much live a healthy, productive life doing something that I want. I’m not making a lot of money doing it, but it was never about the money for me. That’s pretty happy. Coming to work and being able to have a good time stoking people out…yeah, that’s pretty happy. Q: What does “stoke” mean to you? BH: Stoke…it’s funny, because it’s an old term that was used when I was a kid. It’s a surf slang term that went out of fashion for a long time and somehow it sort of

came back in somewhere along the lines. But, to me, stoke may be another word for energy, and maybe positive energy. You can’t use stoke in a negative way. It’s positive. It’s putting out good vibes – putting out good energies and sharing in a lot of ways. Stoke and sharing, sharing and stoke it’s kind of the same. So it’s just another way of saying sharing, maybe or happiness. Stoke is stoke. Q: What is your advice to those trying to find their way? BH: Number one again, I don’t want to sound like a bible thumper or what not, but think about God, about a higher power. And take some of the pressure off yourself. Realize that we’re only here for a short while, and there’s a reason why we’re all here. Go with the flow sometimes. If it gets too hard to do, it’s probably because you’re not meant to do it. That doesn’t mean roll over and shy away from a challenge. But if you feel like you’re forcing something, sometimes it’s best to take a step back and reassess where you are and make some serious decisions as to if where you’re going is really where you want to go. Breathe deep, take life slow, and stay happy and stoked.

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DeLa of Slightly Stoopid thing: and say, that’s so simple, but I’m so happy to be able to do that again. But let me pick one. Surfing. Surfing, because there’s a part of music now, that is work for me. Not that it's a bad thing. Not that it's a negative thing, but it can be an energy-consuming thing, and surfing is peace. You go and focus on nothing. You go and immerse yourself in somebody else’s world for two hours and feel about an inch big. You feel about this tall when you’re in the ocean. Q: What’s something you know about happiness now that you did not know at 25 years old? DL: I hate to tell everybody at 25, but at 25 you don’t know

anything. I’m sure at 45 I’m going to say the same thing to my 34-year-old self. If I could say anything to my 25-year-old self… I was always driven, so that was good, but the getting caught up stuff was a waste of energy. That being said, you have to walk before you can fly. Like if you could just all the sudden be mature without having to learn about what that actually entails… If you don’t put in the work it’s just like anything, it’s just like everything we’ve been talking about. If you don’t put in the work or the experience or the time, you’re not going to get it. To my 25-year-old self, I would say, ‘you’re doing the right thing, but keep doing more of it.’


Q: What are some simple things that make you happy? DELA: There are so many. It could be the sun on an 80-degree day… when I get home and my beautiful girlfriend makes me a beautiful meal to eat after being on the road. Something so simple like my daughter’s smile in the morning when I go see her. There’s nothing that you need that’s more than that. Or ten days after the surgery when I got onstage at ACL (Austin City Limits), and I was able to play my horn, you know? That’s pure happiness. You feel like you’re on a mountain. And that’s because the proverbial wool that was over your eyes is gone. You don’t see all the stuff that’s in the way anymore, you just see that one

Skip Frye Q: What is your definition of happiness? SKIP frYE: When you feel good. Happiness is feeling good – everything is in sync. It’s a pretty hard one because this world keeps you in trouble and stuff happens all the time. I think my faith has a lot to do with keeping me happy. There are priorities there – family, friends and work. I try to take care of those things first, and then all the rest – like surfing or whatever, comes after. You have to balance it out, but you gotta’ take care of the priorities first. If you don’t take care of the priorities, then even if you’re having fun, you’re not happy because you know you gotta’ take care of school, work, family or whatever it is. Q: What is your advice for those trying to find their way? Sf: You always need to do something that

you really like. So many people are unhappy in the job they are in and are not doing what they really like. I think as far as a vocation or something, you’ve got to get something that you really like to do, no matter what it is. It doesn’t have to make you a million dollars or anything, but it’s worth a million to just to do something that you really like, and that you can get involved in. You gotta’ enjoy what you’re doing. You gotta ‘have a little bit of a passion for whatever you’re doing. Sometimes, something might be more economically viable, but you don’t have a buzz for it. I’d say, just go for something you have a passion for and follow through, because your energy is going to be more involved in doing whatever you have a passion for. If you have a passion for something and you really enjoy it, just keep with it. It will follow through, and you’ll have fun, and you’ll be successful at it.

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STOP 1: La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks

A Local Girl Does San Diego Right WRITTEN BY: NATALIE HOLTZ • PHOTOGRAPHY BY: DHRUMIL DESAI MAKEUP BY: ALEX TRAN • HAIR BY: MICHAEL BUI • STYLED BY: KATIE WATFORD FEMALE MODEL: SHANNON SEVERE @ ENVY MODEL MANAGEMENT MALE MODEL: TANNER SUSA @ ENVY MODEL MANAGEMENT Asking a daughter of San Diego to live like a tourist is like asking a fish to climb a tree. "But, I'm a local," this Southern California surfer girl cried. "I have lived in this city for 25 tours around the sun…I have surfed since my twelfth birthday… My palate has been trained in the culinary art of good Mexican food… I know what freeways to avoid during the Rock & Roll Marathon and Comicon. I'm a local," objected my sand-covered, just north of the Mexico border-bred persona. Climbs down Black's Beach Trail and wanderings through the Whaley House caused me to think I knew this city's secrets. And as a native San Diegan, I confess: I thought I knew it all. But what I discovered, after a "high-five if you're alive" for my first kayak surf; “Back to the Future-ing" it through San Diego's past on the Old Town Trolley Tour; and savoring a mojito aboard the Bahia Belle Boat Cruise under a firework-lit sky, is that San Diego is like an onion: it has a lot of layers. Our city wears a lot of hats: the military hubbub hat, the beer capital of the country hat, the surfing center and tourist destination hats…San Diego is so many things, it sort of makes your head spin – in a good way. The beer, beach, and beauty here run deep, and while I thought I knew my city like the back of my local San Diegan hand, in fact, I realized, I know about as much about this city as Ron Burgundy knows about tact. I see why so many people come here, and I can't blame them for crowding the lines at In & Out or the wave lineups in the water. San Diego truly is paradise. And to all you locals: heed my words. Living like a tourist will remind you why we have settled here.

Want to surf a six-foot wave in a kayak; see Dr. Seuss' house; or jump ship to take photos of sea life underwater with a GoPro? Check, check and check! The La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks Tour combines my three favorite things: sea creatures, adrenaline and an educational experience. Founded in 1989, La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks is the oldest kayak company in San Diego, and I think their experience shows through their tours. They know how to build enthusiasm in the group, and really showcase the treasures that La Jolla has to offer. Our kayak tour took off at the boat ramp at La Jolla Shores on the most perfect day, in the crystalline blue, 70-degree water. As a seasoned surfer, I confess, I assumed the paddle out would be a piece of cake, but I was wrong. Gripping the sides of my kayak to stay aboard, my blood pumped as my guide pushed me through four to five-foot waves to safety on the outside. And as an adrenaline-junkie, I got my fix for the day just in those first few minutes, struggling to get beyond the whitewater. As we paddled one mile south to the La Jolla cliffs and caves, our guide pointed out dolphins in the water and Dr. Seuss' house perched high on a cliff. He related a ghost story associated with one of La Jolla's seven caves, The White Lady Cave. Legend has it, a bride and her groom fatally toppled into the ocean after too many drinks on their wedding day. It is said the bride can be seen on nights of a full moon. As I soaked in the sun on this 80-degree day, I absorbed stories from my city's past. Once we reached the caves, we began looking for wildlife in the water. Sea lions bobbed within arm's reach, and the flickering orange of Garibaldi's could be seen in waters beneath our boats. Leopard sharks, bat rays, stingrays, guitarfish, dolphins, sea lions, seals and pelicans can all be seen at the caves. And because there are two deep underwater canyons off the shores of La Jolla, the waters are fresh and cool, so sea life flourishes. This means prolific animal sightings and refreshing dips in the water for us. Not all of the kayak tours will do it, but La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks will take you, one boat at a time, into one of the caves if the conditions are safe. My guide scanned the horizon for signs of sets, and then shouted at me, "GO!" We paddled furiously into one of the caves, made a 180-degree turn, and emerged from the cave in one piece. High on endorphins, my brush with adventure, and my new knowledge of La Jolla, I forced my arms to begin the one-mile paddle back to shore. And then came my favorite part of the tour: the surf ride to shore. I have to say: I have four surfboards, but I may soon be adding a kayak to my quiver. Surfing in a kayak is nothing like surfing on a surfboard, and many of the guides said that the ride into shore is their patrons' favorite part, too. My guides at La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks were knowledgeable, wary of the safety of their patrons, and visibly happy to be out there with us. What's up, to the guys at La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks: let's go for a surf sometime!

La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks 2164 Avenida De La Playa • La Jolla, CA 92037 • 858.454.0111 • • Hours: April 1st – October 15th, Monday – Sunday from 8:30am to 7pm • Tour Prices: $60 for a single-person kayak on weekdays; $65 on weekends and holidays OR $80 for a tandem kayak on weekdays; $85 on weekends and holidays.

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STOP 2: Old Town Trolley Tour

Sunburned, salty, and floating on cloud nine, I headed to my next stop: The Old Town Trolley Tour. As a local, I must admit: I learned more about the history of San Diego on this short trolley ride than I had in 25 years of living here. In our orange and green trolley, we rode a 25-mile lap around the best parts of downtown San Diego, including Coronado, downtown, Old Town, Little Italy, and Balboa Park. Old Town, the only state park that offers 32-ounce margaritas, is a great jumping off point for the tour. By far, one of the best things about the tour is that when you buy a ticket, you have a pass for all day. This means you can get on and off at 11 different stops, essentially anywhere you want, all day long. Hop off in Coronado, have a drink,

or two or three, and get on the trolley to take you back to home base in Old Town at the end of the day. The trolley ride shows tourists all of the best parts of San Diego, while offering all the most interesting parts of their histories. I enjoyed traveling back in time, while being introduced to parts of my city I never knew existed. To my surprise, I learned that one of the hills behind Old Town is considered to be the birthplace of California; that San Diego's airport, Lindbergh Field, has only one runway; that Balboa Park was built for the 1915 Exposition; and, that some of the houses on Coronado were floated on boats across the bay from San Diego. The tour is about to celebrate their 25th year, and it is clear to me, that the company has mastered the recipe for creating a positive experience for their customers. Their employees, the guides and trolley drivers, clearly love history, San Diego and interacting with people. I loved the drive over the Coronado Bridge, looking at the aircraft carriers and the skyscrapers on one side, and the ocean on the other. This is a great thing for locals to do, because it's an adventure, it's incredibly interesting, and you'll see parts of San Diego you didn't know existed.

STOP 3: Balboa Park

What can't you do at Balboa Park? Asking a native San Diegan to do a tour of Balboa Park is like telling a writer to finish a book in one day. There is so much to do in Balboa Park. From perusing through fine arts and crafts in the colorfully tiled Spanish Village Art Center; to zen-ing out at the Japanese Friendship Garden; to seeing through eyes of astronauts at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center, there is something for everyone at San Diego's biggest and most beautiful park. Spanishstyle architecture sprinkled with exquisite fountains, gorgeous gardening and thousands of trees planted by Kate Sessions herself, provides the perfect backdrop for wanderings through this famous park's many exhibitions, events and performances. As a creative person, I began my tour at the San Diego Museum of Art where my craving for all things paint was satisfied by works by everyone from Monet to Cassatt. I then meandered through the sweet-smelling Botanical Building, which houses more than 2,100 different permanent plants and flowers, including my favorite:

orchids. Walking next to the everphotographed Lily Pond and it's stunning coy fish out front, I made my way over to the San Diego Museum of Man where I admit, I was fascinated by the "Instruments of Torture" exhibit. From listening to a concert (as Albert Einstein once did here) in Spreckles Organ Pavilion, to seeing a show at The Globe, to packing a picnic for a lovely afternoon in Inspiration Park Courtyards, there is so much to do in Balboa Park – it's mind-blowing. But I have to highlight a few of my favorites for you. As a native, I have always loved the Moreton Bay Fig Tree. I remember when I was little, there wasn't a fence around it, and every time I go to Balboa Park, I have to visit it. It's just north of the San Diego Natural History Museum, and if you have never seen it, you have to go. Cancel your plans for tonight, and go see this tree. My favorite thing at Balboa Park, though, is the International Cottages. I love coming on a Sunday (the only day during the week that these 32 quaint houses open their doors) and traveling into different countries, if only for a few hours. Starting at noon, each house showcases the national traditions, foods and music from many different countries around the world in an effort to promote multicultural goodwill and understanding. Sampling Czech pancakes, learning about Italian tradition, and listening to the sounds from the four corners of the earth, all for free, make for my kind of Sunday.


CLOTHING PROVIDED BY: Her Laurenly Clothing Boutique 142 N. Glassell Street Orange, CA 92866 Him Seed's People Market 2937 Bristol St c101 Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Old Town Trolley Tour 888.910.8687 (TOUR) • • Hours: Tours depart at 9am from Old Town (departure times vary at each stop). Tours depart approximately every 30 minutes with “11 different stops and more than 100 points of interest.” • $36 for an Adult Ticket (or $32.40 if pre-purchased online); $18 for a Child Ticket (412) (or $16.20 if pre-purchased online)

Tour Prices:

Her Laurenly Clothing Boutique 142 N. Glassell Street Orange, CA 92866 Him Seed's People Market 2937 Bristol St c101 Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Balboa Park

1549 El Prado • San Diego, CA 92101 • 619.239.0512 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat from 10am-5pm; Sun from 12pm-5pm. • $12 for adults; $4.50 for ages 7-17; see website for other admission prices. • Friday through Wednesday from 10am to 4pm • Free • Daily from 10am to 4:30pm; open until 5:30pm Thursday – Sunday through Summer • $12.50 for adults; $8 for ages 13-17; $5 for ages 3-12 • Sundays from noon-4pm • Free

San Diego Museum of Art • HOURS: TICKET PRICE:

Botanical Building • HOURS: PRICE: San Diego Museum of Man • HOURS:


PRICE: House of Pacific Relations International Cot tages • PRICE:

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STOP 4: U.S.S. Midway


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From the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway I can see the entire Coronado Bay Bridge, the skyscrapers of downtown San Diego and the sailboats trailing in and out of the harbor like ants. The U.S.S. Midway truly is a floating city, and I found myself taken aback by the sheer size of her. At 1,001 feet long, and weighing nearly 7,000 tons, the aircraft carrier houses, among others, a chapel, a post office, a jail, an engine room, a cafeteria, a welding station, 60 exhibits and a collection of 29 aircrafts on board. As someone who knows very little about ships, I truly loved the audio tour. I loved the independence, ease and straightforwardness of it. You put on your headphones, turn to a channel, and make your way to whichever of the 60 exhibits most interest you. Match up the number of the channel on your audio set with that of the number on the exhibit in front of you, press play, and instantly be taken back in time to the Midway's glory days out on the high seas. Famished? Not a problem. The U.S.S. Midway has an outdoor patio

cafe overlooking the Coronado Bridge and the "Kissing Statue." It's called Fantail Cafe and it's menu items come from the ship's 1945 cookbook. Best of all, with everything on the menu priced for under $10, eating aboard won't hurt your pocketbook…matey. There are also a ton of onboard activities for kids, making the Midway a great place for a family outing, too. There are two types of flight simulators and several climb aboard aircrafts and cockpits for Kodak moments, as well as short films and music videos. But, what I loved most about the tour were the spectacular views of San Diego from the flight deck and the narration of the audio tour. Operated from 1945 all the way through the First Gulf War, the U.S.S. Midway is like walking through the pages of a history book, and the audio really helps you to feel that. Using the voices of important people in the Midway's history, incorporating music, and keeping the content interesting, but brief, also made this audio tour one of the best I have experienced.

CLOTHING PROVIDED BY: Her Laurenly Clothing Boutique 142 N. Glassell Street Orange, CA 92866 Him Seed's People Market 2937 Bristol St c101 Costa Mesa, CA 92626

U.S.S. Midway

910 N Harbor Dr • San Diego, CA 92132 • 619.544.9600 • Daily from 10am-5pm, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day (note: last admission is at 4pm) • $17 for adults; $13 for ages 13-17 or with college ID; $8 for ages 6-12



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STOP 5: BBQ Donut 速 on the Bay

BBQ Donut on the Bay 速


HOURS: Available in 3-hour blocks for lunch (11am-2pm), dinner (3pm-6pm) or the Sea World fireworks show (7pm10pm, seasonally)

PRICE: $395 for three hours with seating for 9-10 people CLOTHING PROVIDED BY: Her Seed's People Market 2937 Bristol St c101 Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Him Swift Vintage Shoppe 3216 W Magnolia Blvd Burbank, CA 91505

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I have a decided what heaven is really like. It's a stereo, a grill and alcohol in a boat shaped like a donut. Seaforth's Boat Rentals' BBQ Donut速 is a hot commodity in San Diego, and it's easy to understand why. Operating the boat requires no experience, so after completing a 10 to 15-minute course in boat driving, patrons are permitted to take their donut, a small circular boat with a fivehorsepower engine that seats 10 people, out from Mission Bay into Sail Bay. Before you leave the dock, the wonderful staff at Seaforth teaches you the in's and out's of driving the boat, reviewing with you the different emergency scenarios, making sure you feel completely comfortable taking the boat out on your own. If, however, everyone in your party wants to drink, you can hire a boat captain to drive you safely around the different coves and inlets for an extra $100. Either way, once you leave shore, you are free to barbecue, drink, dance and swim to your hearts' content. When I boarded the BBQ Donut, I found myself immediately planning my own BBQ Donut excursion with my group of friends. What drinks would we bring? What meats would we cook? What music would we play? The options are endless, and with the cold water of the bay, good

beer, music, sun on your face and your closest friends by your side - what more do you need? In the center of the small, circular boat there is a barbecue for grilling (thus, the name BBQ Donut); cup holders for housing your drinks of choice; and an umbrella above for shade if so desired. There are color lights for those party people among us; storage containers beneath each seat for holding food, ice and drinks; and, an IPod dock for getting your groove on. Tours last three hours for $395, which, split 10 ways is not a bad deal at all. One of the most popular tours is the 7pm to 10pm time slot where patrons can drive the donut directly next to Sea World and watch the nightly fireworks show from the water. Sea life is in abundance in the bay, and while we rode through, I saw several sea lions sun-tanning in the water and dolphins travelling in from the ocean. Mission Bay is the only location where the donuts are offered in the state of California, and they can be used for any occasion, including those teambuilding business meetings. With the donut, the opportunities are endless. But one thing is certain: the donut means rest and relaxation. With beautiful views, good food, good alcohol and good company, you can't go wrong with the BBQ Donut.

STOP 6: Bahia Belle Boat Cruise

Bahia Belle Boat Cruise

998 W Mission Bay Dr • San Diego, CA 92109 • 858.488.0551 • • Fall/Winter/Spring cruises Fri, Sat and Sun evenings only during February, March, April, May, September, October & November. No cruises during December and January. Summer cruises Thursday through Sunday evenings in June and 7 days a week during July and August • $10 for adults; $3 for ages 12 and under



CLOTHING PROVIDED BY: Her Laurenly Clothing Boutique 142 N. Glassell Street Orange, CA 92866 Him Klein Epstein & Parker 2930 Bristol St, A108 Costa Mesa, CA 92626

I’m nearing the end my tourist-activity filled day, and I am one happy camper. As I sip one of The Catamaran Resort and Spa's signature Moray's Mai Tais, I watch the movements of coy fish speckled with color flicker in the pond next to me. From my seat, I can see the Bahia Belle approach the dock…and wow! What a beautiful boat. We're in Southern California, but suddenly I am teleported into New Orleans, glimpsing its southern charm. The Bahia Belle is a Mississippi-style sternwheeler made of white wood. It has three decks; two long smokestacks capped with decorative crowns; and ruched red, white and blue flags everywhere. The lights from inside the boat cast a glow on the still water of the bay, and I can't wait to board. As we leave the dock, the nightly summer Sea World fireworks shower the sky with color, as if cuing our departure. Once on board, I head to the bar, grab a mojito and bring it out to the third-story deck to enjoy in the warm night air. We chug around the bay. Live swinging blues music wafts

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up from the deck below. The atmosphere is romantic, fun and carefree. I think to myself, that this could be perfect for date-night or a great place to take the family. At only $10 a ticket, including complimentary rides for hotel guests, the price is another thing to love about the Bahia Belle Boat Cruise. This boat cruise is a perfect activity for our fall months, as well as our summer ones, too. The cruise lasted for one hour and traveled between the Bahia Hotel and The Catamaran Resort. The cruises run every hour on the hour starting at 6:30pm or 7pm (depending on where you board). (Note: The Bahia Belle Boat Cruise takes a break in the months of December and January, so do not miss it!) You may stay on board as long you as like, but after 8:30pm or 9pm (depending on which hotel you board from), no one younger than 21 is permitted on board. The "Family Hour" cruises end, and the "Cocktail Cruises" begin. A "Last-RunCruise" boarding at 12:30am is available from the Bahia on Sundays; and on Fridays and Saturdays from The Catamaran starting at 1am.

Are you ready to join the yoga80 revolution? Become a Yoga Teacher

10999 Sorrento Valley Road San Diego, CA 92121 (858) 353-7703

Keep THEM IN Stitches


A San Diego-Based Charity Organization Knits Happiness WRITTEN BY: CArOLYN SAMuELSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY: ADAM gENtrY

Stitches From The Heart has a simple mission: to provide comfort, love and support to each newborn and their families coast-to-coast, regardless of economic or religious background. Through meet-up groups, hospital donations and outreach programs, this local, non-profit organization is changing the lives of its recipients with woven products and passionate volunteers. It began in 1997 with Kathy Silverton’s daughter’s service project. She read in the Los Angeles Times that many infants were leaving hospitals with nearly nothing. Her solution was simple: “Mom, you knit!” It is now a cadre of knitters, crocheters and crafters alike, creating beautiful items for newborns and families in need. With 17,000 volunteers nationwide, the impact is unimaginably widespread.

Stitches From The Heart is a cadre of knitters, crocheters and crafters alike, creating beautiful items for newborns and families in need. With 17,000 volunteers nationwide, the impact is unimaginably widespread. 154 |

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What better place to display these handmade works than in the Home & Hobby room at the Del Mar Fair? Stitches From The Heart has been featured at the fair for nine years, gaining momentum from avid crafters seeking camaraderie and inspiration. So up to Del Mar I went, eager to experience their involvement at the fair firsthand. Having never been, I was quickly lost in the sea of huge stuffed animals, fried bananas and sugar filled children. With the help of a site map, I found my way to the booth I was looking for, filled with incredible blankets, assorted baby garments, animals and fun heart pins. GeorgeAnne Plaza is the mother hen of the group. Passion pours out of her, spilling onto all she does. As I speak with people - her husband, knitting ladies, even the woman working the event - the care and love with which she fosters all her relationships is evident. The Stitches From The Heart network creates an outlet for like-minded people to interact, with 400 meetings across the country. Over 1,600 hospitals are on the donation list, with quickly growing numbers. Elderly women who

would otherwise be knitting alone now have a sense of purpose for their wonderful projects. Of course, it doesn’t stop here; children can get involved, too! Stitches From The Heart has provided the foundation for many Girl Scout and service projects. The Stitches women showed me some of their handcrafted pieces. I discovered the difference between cable and knit patterns. I was shown how incredibly small the head of a premature baby, or a preemie, can be - as tiny as golf ball! It is inconceivable at first glance that a little human could fit in the palm of your hand. Thumb-sized hats cover the noggin of a tiny being, preventing precious energy from escaping, while covering the multiple monitors and tubes. “All energy must go to growth,” explains Plaza. “The hats, booties and blankets also humanize these little guys.” Premature births are those that occur before 37 weeks. Without sufficient body fat, it is very difficult for a preemie to retain warmth. Premature births are often unexpected and usually require extensive hospitalization time, and Stitches’ heartfelt gifts provide comfort to their families in trying times. From the initial coffee table-based collaboration of knitters making baby-related items, the organization has made huge strides. Friends told friends, exciting interest across generations, harnessing human power to adorn needy newborns. Plaza was a blanket recipient for her preemie, Michael. That’s how she found out about Stitches From The Heart. Twenty years ago, she relocated from the East Coast with her son to California in search of warmer weather. She was introduced to the founder, Kathy Silverton, by one of Michael’s teachers. Initially a crocheter, GeorgeAnne was a volunteer for over eight years. With her leadership and fervor, she soon became the Executive Director in September 2011. Her role cannot be boiled down simply - her myriad job titles include Chief Financial Officer, delivery woman, inventory supervisor, journalist and marketing director. On top of it all, she is a wife and a mother. She runs the Gazette, which has been publication for 16 years. As I flip through the archives, I see

how the content has evolved as its readership grew. The pages are filled with various entertaining and informative content. Comics blend with little games, advice columns pair with pattern ideas. Big updates of the organization are discussed and key members are highlighted. And most importantly is the fruit of Plaza and others’ tireless efforts: letters from hospital nurses line the pages, praising the items that have brightened lives. A knitter asks, “I usually finish my crochet items with a single crochet around the edges, but that gets boring. Is there an alternative?” Plaza has an answer: crab-stitch crochet, also called backwards crochet, produces a beautiful corded edging. Other advice, like how to massage a cramped hand, is offered. Until three years ago, Stitches was technology-free, with just a paper gazette through mail. They now have a well-trafficked site, over 1,000 followers on Facebook and are switching over to an email-based publication. They have a shipping location in Mira Mesa and a home office which doubles as a storage facility. Upon entering her house, she says, you’ll find blankets, hats and yarn everywhere. It’s a home office, but it’s also in the garage, the kitchen, the living room. I imagine my great aunt’s home with her crocheted doilies and large-buttoned sweaters, but with a project base multiplied by... 200. “Everything is quality controlled,” she explains. Certain fabrics cannot enter the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). After sorting, she sends out 12,5000 items a day. You might wonder how in the world this is accomplished? It’s all thanks to Plaza and her phenomenal crew, including her son, Michael. “He is one of my best mailers. He helps with envelopes, labels and stickers.” Michael’s high school requires 80 hours of community service to graduate. He completed his the first semester of his freshman year. With multiple support roles, everyone can come in to do service, even if they don’t knit or crochet. That is, after completing an interview process with the head honcho, to make sure they know what they’re getting involved with. “So many people see volunteer work as punching a clock and being done. I want it to be more than that, and I want you to take something away from the experience,” Plaza said.

Deliveries are weekly. Plaza sends out an email to hospitals saying she’ll be in the neighborhood, asking what they need. With their new Adopta-Hospital program, volunteers can drop items off directly at the hospital, allowing them to see where their creations will go. I was curious how much the average volunteer produces. It varies from one hat a year to even 1,000. Plaza once did an astonishing 300 blankets in one year - that’s completing 82 percent of a blanket each day! There is no minimum or maximum; it’s from the heart. Plaza says, “It brings friends together, generations that may not have known about each other. We have 13-year-olds knitting with 80-year-olds.” Because Stitches is a non-paying organization, they rely on people donating their hours, which creates a strategic team. They utilize everything from the word power of a journalist to the analytical insight of a web designer. There are men, too, some 100 to 150 of the 17,000 - that’s a start! The board is five large and in San Diego alone, there 500 members. There are endless inspirational stories. They gave a hat and booties to two active lieutenants for their premature baby, who is now thriving. A letter from the family reads: “My husband and I wanted to write and say thank-you for the lovely handmade hats and blanket we were given for our newborn son, Wallace, while we were at Balboa Naval Hospital. It really meant a lot to us. Wallace has worn his hats quite a bit, and it’s done a good job keeping him nice and warm. Thank you again. We were really touched by your generous gifts and support of active duty service members.” Mary and Aaron Robinson LT and LT, USN” The gratification comes with the heartwarming stories like these. She shows me a blanket that took three weeks to create. A nurse contacted her saying the woman who received it was overwhelmed with happiness. Her husband was stationed, and she was all alone. “Sometimes we’ll see someone walking by and say, ‘you need a blanket?’ My ladies are amazing. They’ve given me the ability to be their voice and I’m very honored to represent them,” Plaza said.

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“My grandmother always said, ‘every child comes into this world innocent and should be wrapped in love.’ I can’t think of a better way to honor my grandmother than by making hats and booties and blankets to wrap infants with love. I’m fortunate to have many like-minded individuals with me doing the very same thing.” Her husband attests to her passion and agrees that it’s all because of her grandmother, who served as a role model and introduced her to the world of stitching. Stitches From The Heart is about taking the skill you have and using it to help others. It’s therapeutic to be engulfed in a project, knowing that it will one day be the first item on a baby’s head, the first garment of memory for a new parent. Plaza jokes that she has a happy marriage, because he drives and I crochet. A Stitches woman, Barbara, and her husband just retired, and she won’t go anywhere without her knitting. Plaza intimately knows all the people she works with. She knows their families, too, and takes interest in keeping in touch. I certainly had no idea how small a preemie could be. Oranges are used as a visual for head size. An average baby’s head is approximately the size of a softball. When you put it in comparison, you feel like

a giant. Stitches makes hats for full-terms and for the small toddlers visiting their new siblings. In the past two-three years, they’ve had an insurgence of bereavement items (for babies who do not make it). To humanize the baby, the hospitals will put a hat and a blanket on the baby for parents to hold before saying goodbye. The thumb-sized hat then goes into a memory box. “You always have your child in your heart, but now you have a tangible item. It’s been therapeutic for these parents to know that their was someone in this world and is remembered. We do grieving sessions. We do hospice, outreach with the bereavement centers, social services out of Children’s national hospital in DC.” Many little ones don’t receive warm items in the colder states. The sweaters that don’t fit the newborns cant be repurposed. Social workers often request these sweaters. When Stitches hears that there will be a grief session with parents, they’ll send blankets, booties and hats on their way. They are also engaged with centers, giving options to young women going through the difficult pregnancy process. Plaza receives many emails asking how to get involved. Making that phone call or sending that email makes them involved. Stitches cannot

contact everyone, so it’s uplifting to have new people reach out. Upon completing a survey, they’re placed on the receiving list immediately. What’s the next stop for Stitches? The Texas State Fair in September! They’re trying to get into the OC/LA fair. Because crocheting and knitting are an old fashioned medium, this is the perfect place for them to meet the public and spread the word. Beyond efforts to recruit knitters, Stitches also serves as a receiving center for unused items. Often times, storage rooms will be cleaned out and dozens of blankets are suddenly in need of a home. Stitches will find the home for anything. Boxes of yarn go to senior centers to be knit into creations or to the Girl Scout crews looking for assistance in projects. Every penny goes towards the organization. Among large withstanding organizations such as YWCA, Stitches is blossoming. In 15 years, they’ve reached a million items. The goal? Two million in the next five years. As the interest grows, Plaza becomes more confident in this achievement. Having seen the size of this amazing woman’s heart and all the great this organization is doing, I have complete confidence, as well.

“My grandmother always said, ‘every child comes into this world innocent and should be wrapped in love.’ I can’t think of a better way to honor my grandmother than by making hats and booties and blankets to wrap infants with love.”

~ GeorgeAnne Plaza

Stitches From The Heart 9450 Mira Mesa Blvd Suite C419 San Diego, CA 92126 877.985.9212

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Executive Director, Stitches from the Heart

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Mid Century 3795 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 92103 619.295.4832

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alking into Mid Century, a modern antique store on Park Avenue, feels like entering a portal back in time when the art of living was simple; when quality was king and the good things were built to last. People talked to each other. People shopped on sidewalks. Furniture and home goods were crafted and refined. People kept things. There is an art to the buying and selling of antiques. To buy an antique is to buy an investment; and not necessarily an investment in the piece itself, but rather in the feeling and culture of a time gone by. The piece purchased has a past and, like a good story, it connects people back to each other and back to humanity. An antique buyer doesn’t live in a box or by the status quo. The lure of antique is in the originality. Jeff Spence, the owner of Mid Century, is also one of a kind. He is not a hands-on salesman. And thank goodness. He keeps time in his store, his sweet, rescue dog a constant by his side, but that’s it. He greets customers kindly, not particularly interested in pushing a sale. There is no feeling of rush, of having to accomplish something. In fact, you have to check yourself once you walk in – because you change. The pace is slow, but efficient, simple and yet profound. Walking into Mid Century is, well, pleasant. Once inside you are taken back to times that were not bent on acquisition, of owning as much stuff as possible. There is a relief to it. A sense that you can think and you can take your time. You are allowed to ask questions. But more importantly, you are allowed to imagine. Jeff can sense when his customers need engaging and when they simply want to look. He lets them feast their eyes, to travel the lines of a lamp or a table without interruption so that they may find that special piece that will give new inspiration to their home. Making wise decisions is encouraged, and so listening to your heart becomes inevitable. Jeff’s collection showcases furniture that was meant for sitting and conversing with each other, for living well and for gathering people together.

Q: How did Mid Century (formally known as Boomerang) come to be? JEff SPENCE: I started about 25 years ago and just always had an interest in the ‘50s. I just loved the style. And in the beginning years, in the late ‘80s into the ‘90s, it was quite different than you see now. It was mostly chrome dinettes and tacky, but now it has become more and more serious design. The expanse of the store has been doubled, and I’ve taken the next store over. Q: In the last 25 years, what has your clientele looked like? JS: That is what is so interesting about it is that there isn’t a typical client. There’s anywhere from teens to 80 year old people. It’s the full gamut of people discovering it for the first time, and then people who are adding to their collection or downsizing and needing different types of pieces. The variety is more than most stores would cater to, and I try to run the whole gamut of pricing as well. There are things for people just starting out and pieces for the designer and the collector. Q: Where do you find your pieces, without giving away too many of your secrets? JS: I would say half are referrals, estates, people who shop for me, and word of mouth. I still like to shop. I’ll shop three days a week. I am purely local. I don’t do anything online. Q: So, Mid Century could actually be considered a collection of San Diego history from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. JS: Yes. It is. This is one of the few total brick and mortar stores. I don’t buy online or sell online. And I don’t look forward to when stores like this don’t exist anymore. Younger people go online and they find a piece they like and off they go to look at it. They don’t hit the pavement and shop. Q: What do you feel makes the Mid Century store unique? JS: I definitely have a niche. I don’t really offer a gallery experience. That’s not what I’m after at all. I’m into people who can pick out things from the store and imagine them in their house. There are great pieces here that you can add to what’s going on in your house and make it happen. This

type of furniture can add to an eclectic home. There are people that will have Asian but they’ll have modern pieces offsetting the Asian, and it just looks really good together. It doesn’t have to be cookie cutter or predictable. I’m selling much more of a variety than ever before including the ‘20s and a little bit from the ‘80s, too. Q: Do you have favorite pieces that you would be sad to part with? JS: There’s a woven cane sofa that is low production and designed by Paul Laszlo, and that is something I never even thought I’d see because it’s very rare. They were basically handmade in Los Angeles in the 1940s and you just don’t see that many of them. Q: How do you feel when your customers buy the pieces you have hand selected? JS: I hope the pieces go to those who appreciate them. I’m not as acquisitive as I used to be. Q: What do you see for the future of the store since going online doesn’t sound like it’s happening? JS: There’s pressure to expand online, but I don’t know if it’s for me. I like the personal experience with the customer and the one-onone interaction. It’s more interesting to me. I have a feeling I’ll have the store until I retire, and then it will be sold. Q: Have you ever walked into a home and recognized a piece of yours? JS: Yes, absolutely, and there’s been pieces that I’ve sold more than twice, more than three times. I think people don’t realize that if you buy properly and with some thought you actually can live with something, it will accrue in value and you can sell it back to the person and almost make your money back. Q: What do you feel is the draw of the antique? JS: I think a lot of people want their own stamp of individuality, the way you put together a house. It’s not just the elements but it’s the way that it’s done that makes it interesting. The draw to Mid Century is inexplicable. It’s a broad spectrum that offers quality and simplicity.

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Breaking Bread in THE

S e t t i n g t h e Ta b l e A Guide to Glamming Up Your Outdoor Dining Adventures WRITTEN BY: MICHELLE SLIEFF, JENNIFER HOOD, AMY HOOD PHOTOGRAPHY BY: FRANK ISHMAN

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each BBQ at San Onofre San Clemente, CA Exit San Onofre off the 5 Freeway in San Clemente 916.653.6995 Can you say glamping (Glamorous camping)? San Onofre has some amazing campsites on the bluffs. All camp sites include a fire pit and a picnic table, and of course, a complimentary sweeping view of the Pacific. When doing a beach BBQ, it doesn’t hurt to bring a chef with you either, but if you can’t, we’ve provided the recipes and tidbits to spruce up your own outdoor festivity. Sure, bringing extra stuff in the car is a pain, but sitting by the campfire on a cushy pillow while listening to your friends play the congas underneath the stars is a pretty sweet setup. And don’t forget the S’mores! Get creative and play with your food. Try different ingredients to spice up a classic staple of camping.

Tips for camping at San Onofre

New Zealand Red Snapper

1. Bring your water shoes! The beach is rocky. 2. Have a food tent! That way when you hit the surf or call it a night, all you have to do is zip it up, and presto, no food left around to tease the animals. 3. Bring two types of wood! Use soft wood for breakfast and lunch campfires, and use hardwood for nighttime – it takes longer to start, but it lasts all through the night.

Stop by Santa Monica Seafood and your local Farmer’s Market for these ingredients.

Recipes for food prepared by Keith Prante



→ New Zealand Red Snapper → Fresh thyme → Fresh lemon → Salt & pepper

→ Patty Pan squash → Red bell pepper → Yellow onion → Chopped fresh thyme → Torn sourdough bread → Salt and pepper

GL AM S’MORES: Marshmallows

Hershey’s Bar

Coconut Macaroon Cookies

Peanut Butter


Special thanks to Lindsey Bro for providing blankets and company.

Flower Arrangements by ENCHANTED FINE FLORALS 157 Avenida Granada San Clemente, CA 92672 949.429.5550

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Portable Record Player


Mexican Street Food Bowls from Puesto! Our Fave: The Grilled Shrimp


icnic at Balboa Park Balboa Park is possibly one of the most beautiful urban parks in America. Fifteen Museums, restaurants, the San Diego Zoo, sweeping gardens, hiking and biking trails and one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs call this 1,200-acre park home. When you visit, pack a picnic (we went to nearby Puesto in La Jolla for fresh Mexican street food that is easy to eat without a table setup), park your motorcycle or car

in one of the satellite parking lots if it’s a busy day, and ride the trolley into the Park to choose where you’ll set up camp for the day. A blanket, some wet naps, sunscreen, bubbles, a sketchbook or book and even binoculars are all great ideas when packing for your picnic. We brought our portable record player and some vintage tunes to complete the ambiance.

Tips on picnicking at Balboa: → Alcohol is permitted from noon until to 8pm in designated areas, so if you want to bring some bubbly or a microbrew from a local brewery, check the website for acceptable areas. However... → Glass is not allowed anywhere in the park, so rebottle into canteens or plastic containers. → The grounds are open 24 hours a day! Spice it up and try a moonlit picnic and some stargazing. Don’t forget your flashlight and some scary stories. → Got leftovers? Visit the Botanical Building and check out more than 2,100 permanent plants, including the ones in the Carnivorous Garden that eat insects and might deviate to try your ham sandwich. Flower Arrangements by ENCHANTED FINE FLORALS 157 Avenida Granada San Clemente, CA 92672 949.429.5550

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We recommend PUESTO in La Jolla. You will die over their amazing Mexican street food.

1026 Wall Street | La Jolla, CA 92037 858.454.1260 |


1549 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101 619.239.0512

FREE Admission Park organizations offer free admission on a rotating basis on the first four Tuesdays of the month to San Diego City & County residents (with ID). Don’t Forget Your Appetite! We Brought our Sketch Books to Draw While We Sipped...

Sunglasses Or Your Tolerance...


appy Hour at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Garden Liberty Station

2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116 | San Diego, CA 92106 619.269.2100 | It’s the largest restaurant, space-wise, in San Diego, and there’s still a two-hour wait on the weekends. That’s how bewitching the newest member of the Stone Empire proves to be. It’s no surprise with their 40 unique craft beers on tap and a bottle list of more than 100 craft beers, including Stone’s own year-round and special releases as well as exceptional beers from other breweries around the world. Setting the table at this location proves easy, with an attentive wait staff ready to bring you beer flights, pints and a variety of salads, appetizers and entrees from their restaurant, which is housed in a historic U.S. Navy mess hall. Even quainter, the bar is located where the U.S. Navy’s chapel used to be. Sit by the bar, the communal fire pit or partake in the bocce ball court, outdoor cinema space and an 11,315-square-foot garden. Roaming the beautiful grounds is encouraged, and the taps never run dry. All you have to bring is an appetite, a bit of tolerance, a hat and some shades.

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unchies and Movies at South Bay Drive-in 2170 Coronado Ave | San Diego, CA 92154 619-423-2727 |

Get nostalgic and set up a small dinner party or snack buffet to be enjoyed during a movie under the stars. Pack easy to eat, non-messy snacks and treats into jars and bags, bring plastic serving bowls, and then let everyone pick their party mix of goodies to enjoy during a showing of the latest feature films. Bring drinks with screw on tops or sealed lids with straws to avoid spilling as much as possible. Things to remember? It gets cold once the sun sets and the film reel starts, so bring sweaters, beanies and blankets to bundle up. Also, make sure to get comfy. If you have a truck, build out a fort of sofa cushions in the back for the kids, or just line the cabin of your car with plush pillows from home. Flashlights or electric camping lanterns, a roll of paper towels and wet naps will also come in handy.

Tip to save your battery The movie’s sound plays through a designated channel on your radio. To avoid your car’s battery going dead, turn the engine on for a few minutes every 30 minutes or so. Vintage Sodas

Our favorite snacks:

Candied Walnuts

Whoppers Chocolate covered sunflower seeds

Wasabi peas

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Cheddar popcorn

Do-It-Yourself A-Frame Tent an easy guide



Monday-Thursday 4-6pm & 9-11pm

4-foot long 1” dowels


4-foot long 1” by 2” boards


insert nuts


yards of fabric


2 .5” hex bolts

YOU 'LL ALSO NEED: a drill, a hex wrench, and a sewing machine.



Drill holes in each end of the dowels so that the insert nuts will fit snugly.


Hammer the insert nuts into each end of the dowels.


Now drill holes for the hex bolts into the boards:


A . For two of the boards, drill a hole all the way through that is 1” from both ends. B. For the remaining four boards, drill a hole 4.5” from one of the ends and 1” from the other end. Attach two of the boards from 3B to either end of one dowel using the hex bolt (the side with the hole 4.5” from the end will be on top) Open the boards (from step 4) up to make an A shape.


Place the boards from 3A across the bottom of the A shape.


Use the two remaining dowels to connect the bottom points of the A shape, then attach them with a hex bolt at each end.


Cut the fabric into a 56” by 95” rectangle

9 10

Hem the long edges, an hem the short edges with a 3” hem (this includes space for the bottom dowls to slide through) Place the tarp on the frame by draping it over the top dowel, then unscrewing the hex bolts at the bottom corners of the frame. Slip the dowels through the pockets sewn in step 9, then reattach the hex bolts.


3105 Ocean Front Walk San Diego, CA 92109 * 858.228.9283



Our sneak peak inside gorgeous local homes



veryone needs an escape. Life is so often filled to the brim with appointments and prior commitments, and after your calendar fills up, it’s always good to have something to look forward to when you’re done with the “business” How about a relaxing weekend getaway at the end of the week, a day at the beach on a peaceful Saturday or a day at the spa where you can take a deep breath? But what if all of this existed in your very own home? What if you were able to escape to your home - like a vacation every day of the year? Yep, it does exist. It exists all around you - all you have to do is look. In this issue, we are featuring one of these special places in which to escape, in the heart of Encinitas.

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front private experience. Love it. Stand outside this home and look south to Swamis (an all-time favorite break for surfers) or peer to the north to find San Diego County’s famous Moonlight Beach. You are surrounded by the spots that every surfer and beach-goer dream about.

At 546 4th Street, Encinitas, California, you may forget about all of your cares. This outstanding oceanfront villa is a stunner, that’s for sure. If your idea of an escape is a picturesque venue in the south of France, then consider this your paradise. Overflowing with European design and interior, this 4 bedroom, 3.5-bathroom home was built and designed by its original owner and his wife back in 2003. The couple added their own personalities to it as they designed the home - their exquisite taste in the details throughout the house’s 4300 square feet. This European dream sits on a 10,500-square-foot lot and is hidden in the heart of downtown Encinitas.

As you enter this getaway home, you may think the exterior is quite nondescript. Its humble outer appearance only adds to the “Oohs and Ahs” that will come when you take a walk inside. As you enter, you’ll find that the high-vaulted, wooden paneled ceilings in the living room will welcome you right in - a sight within itself! A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace in the common gathering room seems miles high, but brings warmth to the overall look of this great home. A gorgeous black iron Euro-style chandelier hangs from the ceiling, above the dining room table, but is rarely used for light as the windows and sunny days throughout this castle do their job! Soothing beige and stone walls throughout the house in every room bring a calming vibe to the space and a neutral place for one’s own unique decor spin. The main living room, a great place to gather and entertain, gracefully spills out into an outdoor living room, with a protected courtyard. This interior courtyard also has yet another fireplace, for those chillier Encinitas nights. Enjoy, entertain, and live your life on this courtyard landing, and you’ll be happy as a clam.

Encinitas, as you may know, is one of the all-time top places to live - not to mention a well-known surfing destination, which is world-class. When you’re here on 4th Street, you are just steps away from the downtown attractions - restaurants, lounges, boutiques, and bars - and all of the excitement that comes with being near the “hub” of a city. In addition to the city-like life, you get a little bit of country, too. And by country, we mean the great outdoors, found in this bluff-

Head back inside, and you’ll come across one of the two wrought iron staircases. Also in European-inspired design, these swirled dark stairways lead to a few different places. The first one leads you into the master suite, which of course is also oceanfront. The master suite’s ocean view is your lookout onto some frequent ocean-water guests: dolphins, pelicans, and surfers are all in your view as you peer into the great outdoors. Another special touch

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is the neutral tiled oceanfront shower - room for more than one inside this relaxing space. A huge Jacuzzi spa tub is right next to the shower, and the oval windows in the bathroom carry that Euro feel throughout. Exit the master bedroom and bathroom space, and it opens up to a landing where you can make your way to the other bedrooms of the second floor – all pure beauty. One of the big highlights for every visitor to this gorgeous home is the great room and kitchen that face the ocean. If you are chopping carrots, pouring wine, chatting on the phone or even entertaining guests, you are guaranteed to always have a view of the sunset or sunrise, and a reminder that you are living in utter paradise. This unique element of a family room and kitchen with a view is one of the many perks of having an owner-designed home like this one. Those special touches are everywhere! As you head outside through this great room’s sliding doors, just remember that these are no typical sliding doors. These are bronze clad Albertini sliding doors - as in Albertini, the renowned 1954-founded window, door and shutter workshop of Verona, Italy. These doors breath luxury and take you straight to luxury as you walk through them to your divine ocean view. The back yard area has a huge entertaining bluff, with a fire pit and spots for literally dozens of lounge chairs. In this neighborhood, where there is D Street beach access, you’ll find that there are some homes to the north, but all of the homes are fairly spread out - with only about 10 luxury homes like this in the neighborhood. You are sure to find privacy and solace here on 4th Street. That comfort, paired with the constant sound of crashing waves that rolls up the bluff of this outstanding home, are sure to make for the perfect escape.

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This for-sale, fully decorated home has been shown to celebrities and families alike, by one of San Diego County’s real-deal “coastal experts” and listed with Willis Allen Real Estate. Alongside this particular home, there are listings for LEED platinum homes on nearby Neptune Avenue - which are homes with leadership in environmental design. The property, a true European-style gem in the heart of one great city, is a guaranteed sweet escape. Well done, Encinitas! We like your style.

What if you were able to escape to your home like a vacation every day of the year?

Listed with Willis Allen real Estate featured home’s address: 546 4th Street Encinitas, California for more information or to schedule a showing, visit

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