What’s Good in San Diego This Weekend? April 29 – 30

There’s always something to do, see or visit in the greater San Diego area. Sitting on the sofa complaining there in nothing to do? Be sure to consider these events if you’re looking to get out of the house this weekend.

San Diego Rose Show

1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday & Sunday), at the McMillin Event Center at Liberty Station

For flower aficionados, you won’t want to miss the San Diego Rose Show presented by the San Diego Rose Society. The society invites amateurs to display their roses in the exhibit hall to be appreciated by judges and other attendees. Local rosarians will be around to reveal various tips as to how to choose and cultivate the best of the best of roses, contingent of course on where you grow your garden. Admission is a scant $5 per person, and kids under 12 get in absolutely free. Want another freebie? Park your car for free too!

Chocolate Festival

10 a.m. Sunday at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Who doesn’t enjoy the melt in your mouth taste of chocolate? Can you think of a better day to spend a couple of hours to finish off your weekend with a special treat at the Maritime Museum of San Diego? Visitors can learn about the history of chocolate and how it came to the United States. Be sure to drop by this yearly event to take a look and sample an assortment of chocolate from more than twelve local retailers. For extra excitement, parents and their children can take part in making a chocolate pizza. For those over 18, there will be a wine and chocolate or beer and chocolate pairings, plus live baking and cooking demonstrations. Tickets begin at paltry $9.

San Diego Soul Festival

Saturday 8 pm at the Valley View Casino Center
Get your soul on at the Valley View Casino Center this Saturday evening. The San Diego Soul Festival is back with groovy performances by Anthony Hamilton, Keith Sweat and Guy featuring Teddy Riley and Dru Hill. The doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets begin at $39 but group discounts for 10 or more people are available by calling (619) 363-5330.

Decoy’s Walkabout Wine Series

5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Decoy Dockside Dining
This event features sumptuous tastes from Groth Vineyards and Winery as well as knowledge from the winery’s sales manager, Mark Bernstein. Patrons can also revel in a three-course dinner prepared by executive chef, David Warner. Each course is paired with Decoy’s fine wines. Patrons are free to socialize and ask questions throughout the Walkabout. The delicious dinner is moderately priced at $65 per person. It should be noted that prospective patrons may reserve a spot any time between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. by simply calling (760) 744-0120.

5 Exercises to Remain in Shape during the Summer Months

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The time for sliding into those bikinis and getting one’s tan on is nearly upon us. Maybe you put on a few pounds over the winter months and want to look slim and trim as summer approaches. According to the US Census Bureau, over 60 million people visit a beach in the US each year. While the majority involve themselves in leisure activities, there’s certainly no reason why one can’t exercise and still enjoy the sun and fun beaches have to offer. Let’s take a look at 5 easy exercises to remain fit during the summer months.

  • Jogging on the beach. Jogging is actually a comprehensive workout. There’s no need to be an Olympic racer, however. Even a slow pace of 30 minutes along the shore can prepare you for additional exercises for those who seek to tone their muscles. While running in the sand is beneficial, it is preferable to run on flat, wet sand whenever possible. This reduces the possibility of injury, especially for newbies. If you are a newbie, avid overdoing it and build up your stamina.
  • How about some pushups? Sure, you can do pushups anywhere, but doing this simple exercise on the beach is much more pleasurable. Start in the plank position with your arms fully extended (no cheating!). Then slowly but surely lower your body down until your face is practically touching the sand. Use your strength to push yourself back up to the prone position. Again, don’t overdo it. When you feel tired it’s time for a break. The benefits are many and include building core body strength, toning muscles, improving cardio, and burning calories.
  • Sand Lunges. Lunges? That doesn’t mean reaching for the grub the next vendor is selling on the beach. If you’re looking to tone your glutes, hamstrings, calves and core muscles, this is an ideal exercise to perform on the beach and you’ll look good while doing so. Simply lunge forward with your leg and then lunge forward with the other leg in an endless motion while moving forward. On a crowded beach you’ll want to be sure you have room to perform this exercise. Go ahead and perform multiple sets of this exercise until your feel your legs getting tired and then give yourself a break. As with any exercise, be wise and don’t overdo yourself.
  • Burpees. Not Slurpee’s! To perform this exercise, squat down and place your hands on the sand in front of you. Never mind the mess, you can rinse off afterwards. Now, straighten out your legs behind you and perform a pushup. Once you do the pushup, quickly pull your legs back toward your body into a squatting position and then jump up as high as you possibly can I a nonstop motion. Repeat this exercise as necessary. Burpees are definitely a full body beach workout and you will observe amazing results as the summer progresses.
  • Running in water. Unlike jogging, running in shallow water adds extra resistance consequently making you work somewhat harder. The deeper the water, the more difficult it will obviously be. Runners should wear the appropriate footwear to avoid hazards such as broken glass, sharp shells and other sea debris. The benefits do outweigh the hazards providing you are careful.

Lounging on the beach is all good. Enjoying the fresh sea breeze, sunshine and interaction with others is good for one’s health. However, neglecting proper exercise may be avoided by simply completing the above exercises. Avoiding overdoing any exercise is paramount, especially in the heat of the day. Be wise, drink plenty of fluids and get that body in shape to show off for the summer!

What’s Good In San Diego This Weekend? April 22 – 23

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Red Velvet

8 p.m. at The Old Globe

“Red Velvet” takes you back to the tempestuous backstage world of London’s Theatre Royal in the early 1800s at The Old Globe this weekend. The play runs until April 30th with various performance times, so be sure to check the calendar if you can’t make it this weekend for the 8 p.m. performances. The multi-award-winning play by Lolita Chakrabarti relates the true story of a young American actor who steps into the role of Othello after one London’s most treasured actors of the era can’t go on. The only problem? No Black man has ever played the part of Othello before. Tickets begin at $34.

Earth Day Fair

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Balboa Park

San Diegans galore will be flooding to Balboa Park this Sunday for the 28th annual EarthFair event. The one-day festival is billed as the absolute largest free annual environmental fair in the entire world. Anywhere from 60,000 to 70,000 people come out annually to enjoy more than 300 exhibitors, special theme areas, a food pavilion, a children’s activity area and live entertainment. Kids will have a blast with various crafts, fun games that educate, face painting, plus storytelling and hands-on activities for kids of all ages. The event is free. Consider helping the environment by car-pooling, taking the transit, trolley, or even bicycling to the event. Parking goes fast!

42nd Annual San Diego Wedding Party Expo

12 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Resort

If you’re thinking about or actually already planning a wedding, you won’t want to miss the 42nd annual San Diego Wedding Party Expo! The expo features in excess of 25,000 square feet of space at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Resort. This spectacular, eye-feasting event will be covered from top to bottom and side-to-side in wedding ideas, styles and planning resources. From venues to caterers, from florists to DJs, and from photographers to gown designers, there is something to enjoy for everyone! Tickets start at mere $11.

San Diego Gem Fair

12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (runs through Sunday the 23rd) at the Scottish Rite Event Center

Your heart is sure to sing, when your eyes see all the bling, bling! The Gem Faire returns again this weekend to the awesome Scottish Rite Event Center. The event runs Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In excess of 70 exhibitors will be on hand for the sparkling event.  Participants can check out a mass display of eye-catching jewelry and stones. Admission is just $7 for a pass that’s valid all weekend long. Children aged 11 and below get in for free.

San Diego Sights and Sips

5:30 p.m. at Hornblower Cruises and Events

Delightful California sunshine, smooth sailing and mouth-watering cocktails come together on this Hornblower cocktail cruise. Patrons can hop on board for a two-hour cruise with champagne, light Hors d’oeuvres and more, as they make merriment and relish in a beautiful view of the San Diego Bay during sunset. The boat leaves promptly at 6 p.m. Tickets start at a very reasonable $37.50 per person.

The Storied History of Brockton Villa

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In 1894, the very first beach cottages were built along a previously desolate hillside just above present day La Jolla Cove. Among them was this marvelous house, built as a weekend getaway by San Diego physician Dr. Joseph Rodes, who acquired the prime oceanfront site for a mere $165. The architecture is characteristic of early California bungalows, replete with single wall construction and vertical tongue-and-groove siding of pure heart redwood with cedar shingles. A hip roof and a wraparound veranda take full advantage of soothing Pacific sea breezes. The construction was quite simple then as compared to today’s sophisticated means. Unfortunately, some historic cottages remain in disarray above the cliffs on Prospect Street, but give visitors an idea of what the construction was like at the turn of the century.

In 1900, subsequent to Dr. Rodes’ death in 1896, the house was taken over by two sisters, Olivia Mudgett and Nellie Mills, allegedly La Jolla’s first real estate agents. Believe it or not, at the turn of the century it was a four-hour trip from San Diego to La Jolla, that is, until the railroad came. Consequently, weekend cottages were very alluring to people wanting to get away to the seaside community. Mrs. Mills rented out several beach cottages, including this one, which she named The Brockton Villa. It was named in honor of her New England heritage in Brockton, Massachusetts. Furthermore, as far as history tidbits go, the diaries of her husband, Anson Mills, contain numerous references to the cottage, one of which was: “Today, I painted at the Brockton….”

Sometime in the 1920s, the unique shell-inlaid fireplace was probably built. Based on the construction material used, especially the fire bricks and Portland cement, it may be noted that the rare, oversized abalone shells are impossible to find today due to over-fishing.

During the 1940s, the house was occupied for many years by Moreland MacPike, known to many in the community as the “Turtle Lady.” She was noted to be a very shy woman who had a performing turtle. If you believe the rumors, it was purported that she and her piano-playing reptile (no, turtles are not amphibians!) once entertained President Harry S. Truman at the White House. We wonder if it was a slow performance.

In 1968, Pannikin Copper, Coffee and Cookery opened at 1296 Prospect, specializing in freshly roasted coffee beans and copper cookware. Shortly after opening its doors, Cooper and Cookery gave way to tea and spice. Pannikin’s first coffee-roasting plant was located in a garage near the Cave Store just up the street from Brockton Villa. Today, Pannikin Coffee and Tea is recognized for being way ahead of its time.

During the 1990s, Pannikin obtained the lease to this historic but somewhat decrepit property. The idea was to renovate it and thus modify it for use as a restaurant. Pannikin founder Bob Sinclair had a robust commitment to preserving the community’s architectural legacy. It comes as no surprise that he also renovated and adapted other buildings for several of its locations. In 1993, Pannikin won the prestigious Orchid award for preservation of the distinctive restoration of the Brockton Villa cottage. Megan (Lee) Heine, daughter of the Pannikin family, took ownership of the Brockton Villa Restaurant in 1994, and the remaining Pannikin coffee business was sold to outside interests.

In 2001, Brockton Villa celebrated the 10th anniversary with 300,000 Coast Toasts sold! In 2005, Megan and her husband Dave expanded their family of restaurants into the Bird Rock area with “Beaumont’s Neighborhood Eatery.” Beaumont’s features an extensive grill menu, including dinner & weekend breakfast, takeout lunches, a full bar and live entertainment.

In 2006, the La Jolla Historical Society honored the Brockton Villa at their 15 Year Anniversary celebration. Meanwhile, over in thn budding Bird Rock, Brockton’s sister restaurant, Beaumont’s Neighborhood Eatery, celebrated its first anniversary. These days, the aforementioned live music, full bar, lunch takeout bags, as well as nightly dinner and weekend breakfasts has made Beaumont’s a true local favorite.

Brockton Villa remains an important reminder of the architectural past which is very much alive and well in the La Jolla community: simple and charming, blessed by the Pacific Ocean breezes, the ever abundant sun, and the warm sand that has seen countless toes sink into its depths.

Four Great Spots for Easter Brunch

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Whether you’re an Easter morning church-goer, Easter basket opener, or just appreciate good brunch, come 11am, you’re going to want to go get brunch at one of these fabulous places. Hop on down and enjoy! Cheers!

The Marine Room

(2000 Spindrift Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037)

For well over 75 years, The Marine Room has been a seaside staple in La Jolla. Long celebrated for its superb views and surf pounding outside the restaurant’s windows, the culinary embodiment of luxury draws people from La Jolla and well beyond. This Easter Sunday, The Marine Room will serve its holiday brunch buffet beginning at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The awesome and ever creative menu includes breakfast fare such as leek goat cheese frittata and first course options such as sweet potato orzo salad. For main courses, delectable foods include Signature Spindrift Seafood Crepes and many, many other items. A delightful and ever tempting dessert station rounds out the impressive buffet. The Easter holiday meal is priced at $72 for adults and $36 for kids. Due to the immense popularity, reservations are required and may be made quickly online here.

Nine-Ten Restaurant

NINE-TEN will be hosting a delicious Easter Sunday Brunch.  Chef Jason Knibb and Pastry Chef Jose Alonzo, III, will prepare a very special Easter Sunday a la carte menu featuring everything from Strawberry Salad, Salmon Rillette Toast, and House-Smoked Salmon Benedict to Short Rib Hash, Shrimp & Grits, and Chilaquiles….and bottomless Mimosas for just $16 per person. If pastries and coffee are more your breakfast speed, the acclaimed Sunday Brunch Pastry Bar will be even better than ever.  Reservations strongly recommended and can be made by calling 858.964.5400.

The Shores Restaurant

Easter brunch on the water- does it get any better than that? You’ll find something for everyone with Carlsbad Strawberry and Spinach Salad and Herb De Provence Leg of Lamb. There’s also a complete children’s station for the kiddos, and plenty of tasty sides and a selection of seasonal desserts.

George’s at the Cove

(1250 Prospect St.)

A long time feature in the quaint seaside community of La Jolla, George’s at the Cove only serves brunch twice a year, and Easter Sunday is one of those special occasions. Easter brunch will commence at the charming restaurant’s California Modern area beginning at 10 a.m., as well as George’s Ocean Terrace and Level 2 beginning at 11 a.m. The menu proudly features individually priced selections such as warm French Toast at $18, a scrumptious Baja shrimp omelette for $22, and various vegetarian and vegan options, all served against the backdrop of the magnificent Pacific oceanfront view. Patrons who enjoy fine brunches are encouraged to make reservations online here.

La Jolla Open House Weekend Guide for April 15 – 16

Move into your dream home with our La Jolla Open House weekend guide. This week we’re featuring three La Jolla homes. Happy house hunting!

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