The Magic Castle: An Enchanting Evening in the Heart of Hollywood

The Magic Castle: An Enchanting Evening in the Heart of Hollywood

Posted by on Jun 19, 2017 in California | 2 Comments

From the moment I walked into the library-themed lobby of The Magic Castle, I was captivated, transported to another world that felt like time-traveling back to Old Hollywood. Red-and-pink Victorian-looking wallpaper, rich-toned wood moldings and old-fashioned floral carpets set a mood of quiet elegance in the dimly lit space. But it was the secret doorway […]

LA’s Stahl House: Mid-century Modern Masterpiece in the Hollywood Hills

LA’s Stahl House: Mid-century Modern Masterpiece in the Hollywood Hills

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in California | No Comments

At first glance, the Stahl House appears to be a place that doesn’t draw attention to itself. Perched near the top of a winding street in the Hollywood Hills, it sits quietly among its neighbors, off the beaten path of typical Los Angeles tourist attractions. But just beyond the home’s carport is a clue on the front […]

San Diego: Five Favorite Excursions from the Port

San Diego: Five Favorite Excursions from the Port

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in California | No Comments

When I first visited San Diego in the early 1990s, it struck me as a big small town. And now after calling America’s Finest City home for thirteen years, it still feels that way. San Diego is a city, to be sure, but it’s an easy place to get around, even with the phenomenal growth […]

San Francisco: Getting Around With Uber

San Francisco: Getting Around With Uber

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in California | 2 Comments

“How long have you been driving for Uber?” My husband’s question echoed from the back seat as we rode through the hills of San Francisco. We recently spent three days using Uber to get around the city, where our daughter Emily was moving to start a new job. We were there to help with the move, […]

Aboard Captain Dave’s Manute’a Safari: Sea Lions, Dolphins & Whales…Oh My!

Aboard Captain Dave’s Manute’a Safari: Sea Lions, Dolphins & Whales…Oh My!

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in California | No Comments

The fog was hanging over the Pacific like a gauzy gray blanket as we drove along California’s Interstate 5 toward Dana Point. My husband and I were headed to Captain Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari for an 8 a.m. sailing on the Manute’a, a 50-foot high-speed catamaran sailboat that seeks out sea life about […]

California Day Trip: On Swallows, The Surfliner & San Juan Capistrano

California Day Trip: On Swallows, The Surfliner & San Juan Capistrano

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in California | One Comment

That saying about life being as much about the journey as the destination must have been created by a passenger on the Pacific Surfliner. The Southern California Amtrak train travels a route between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, weaving its way along the coastline as it offers miles of stunning panoramic ocean views.  At […]

Notes from Home: Spinning Videotaped Memories into DVDs

Notes from Home: Spinning Videotaped Memories into DVDs

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in California, Notes from Home | No Comments

We bought our first video camera in 1989 when our son was born. It was one of those large Sony Camcorders that required a steady hand, and it was magical. From family milestones to treasured vacations, our video camera served us well. We graduated to smaller versions over the years, but all of those cameras […]

Baseball Behind-the-Scenes: A Tour of Petco Park

Baseball Behind-the-Scenes: A Tour of Petco Park

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in California | No Comments

I thought there would be grass. This was baseball, after all, and even though it was February, it never occurred to me that the green fields of San Diego’s Petco Park would be replaced with mounds of…dirt. What I didn’t know was that on the weekend of our tour the park had been transformed into […]

The Great Escape Room: San Diego’s House of Hints

The Great Escape Room: San Diego’s House of Hints

Posted by on Jan 15, 2016 in California | No Comments

“Mrs. Peacock did it in the Conservatory with the Candlestick?”  Well, not quite… I first heard of “escape rooms” while doing research on Bilbao, Spain, for an upcoming trip.  The premise sounded intriguing:  You are locked in a movie set-like room and must solve a mystery using puzzles and clues hidden in the room in […]

Meeting My Hero:  A “Carpe Diem” Day Trip

Meeting My Hero: A “Carpe Diem” Day Trip

Posted by on Jan 7, 2016 in California | No Comments

This is not a political post.  It is a story of carpe diem, of saying “yes” when it would be much easier to say, “next time.” Some background:  I’ve always been a big fan of Jimmy Carter.  Ever since he campaigned in Des Moines when I was living there, I found him fascinating and inspirational…his […]