An Interview with Author Patricia Lipe

0-1Patricia Lipe is a  La Jolla native and an author of 8 books, two of which included stories about La Jolla. She has a collection of vignettes and essays about historic the La Jolla, with emphasis on the many extraordinary people who helped to build and shape this special place. Along with the books, she includes vintage photos of famous faces and places, many published for the first time.
We had the distinct privilege of talking with Patricia Lipe about her books and her time in La Jolla
You were raised bi-coastal. Did you have a preference between La Jolla and Washington?:
I liked La Jolla! I was an ocean person- I loved swimming. I was born and raised right across the street from the Pacific Ocean on South Coast Boulevard. My house is no longer there- there’s an apartment where the house used to be, but it was wonderful. Since I lived across the street from the ocean, I of course fell in love with the ocean. I body surf, and my husband body surfs.
For as amazing as La Jolla is now, it really sounds like it was a prime spot back in the day:
Yes, one of the reasons I wrote these books about La Jolla was so that people could see what it was like in La Jolla back in the day. Also, to learn about all of the famous people, and what they did for La Jolla and what La Jolla did for them.
It sounds like so much work went into this 2002 book just to curate these stories. How long did this take you to write?:
Well, here’s a little bit of the story to that: La Jolla Historical Society asked me to volunteer, and I said that I would be happy to open on Saturday’s. At one point I got a phone call from Beach to Bay Press, and they asked if I would write articles for them. They asked for an article of the history of La Jolla every week. I decided to contact Barbara Dawson, and she did so much work in helping me understand the community. She was the first president of the La Jolla Historical Society, and she introduced me to so many people and so many things in La Jolla. But the book came about because the publisher had read the articles, and asked if I could make a book out of the articles. We integrated all of the photos into the text, and greatly reduced what we had originally. It took a good amount of time to finish everything.
This book is so celebrated, and you’re so celebrated. It’s was the 2002 winner of San Diego Book Awards, and in early 2004, you were presented with the 2004 “Woman of Achievement” award by the La Jolla Branch. How does all of that feel?
 
Yes, it was all a lot of fun. That was an honor, and it was an honor to be president of the La Jolla branch- and it was really successful. I miss all of that, being out here on the East Coast now.
What do you think made La Jolla so special back in the day?:
 
In La Jolla, you had a feeling of community. It didn’t matter if you were rich or poor, you were family. That’s what made it so special.
What is one thing that you would like for your readers to know about your La Jolla books?
I wrote these books in hopes that people will have a respect for the real La Jolla- the original La Jolla that I know and love.
To learn more about Patricia Lipe and purchase her books:

Community Spotlight Feature: La Jolla Kayak

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 2.07.17 PMMichael Luscomb, owner of La Jolla Kayak is a true La Jolla native. In fact, he was one of the last to be born at the old Scripps Hospital. The San Diego area is certainly no stranger to the Luscombs, either. If you’ve ever heard of Luscomb Point (the surf break), it’s named after Michael’s father, a surfer and lifeguard from Point Loma. So, you could say (in a very Ron Burgundy-esque way) they’re kind of a big deal.

 

So, what was the Genesis of La Jolla Kayak you ask? Well, it was a trip to Napoli that gave Michel the idea. After exploring Italy’s kayaking adventures, Michael came back to the states, bought six kayaks, and started piecing together the plans for his business out of his garage. With paper flyers and a pager in hand, Michael started marketing. In 1996, he opened the space that he’s still at today. Cut to 2018, we’re La Jolla Kayak and Hike Bike Kayak are moving about 50,000 tourists annually through their shops alone.

 

If you haven’t been yet, you should know that La Jolla Kayak is known as San Diego’s premier ocean kayaking and snorkeling destination. Located just a few blocks from the world famous La Jolla Shores beach, it’s no wonder why La Jolla Kayak is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Operating from the Shores since 1996, La Jolla Kayak provides tours of breathtaking cliffs, caves, and natural landscapes. Guests have the opportunity to venture out into La Jolla‘s 6,000 acre underwater reserve. This protected ecological site is renowned for its deep trenches, expansive marine life, and stunning reefs. “It’s like SeaWorld in the raw. You get to have an interactive experience with these animals, and you’re not in a confined place. You’re in the water, you’re with the water, and you’re with nature” says Luscomb.

 

Michael runs the business with his wife Sharon, who handles all of the background work and event coordination. He has over 90 employees, all of whom are like family. “The gratifying thing to me is to see the kids who I’ve hired grow up. They’ve gone on to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, some are in nuclear submarines. I have 6 marriages that people have met through my company. 4 out of those 6 couples have children. I’m like a dating service” Michael jokes.

 

There are two convenient ways of exploring this local gem. Guests can either rent individual or double kayaks and explore the sea caves on their own, or join a guided tour with a certified instructor. “It’s amazing to have people come up to me who are 60 years old and say ‘you know, that was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.’ It’s just a very rewarding experience” says Luscomb. You can also rent snorkeling gear and observe the marine life and reefs native to Southern California. “The conditions are epic right now. The leopard sharks that have not been seen yet this summer are now starting to come back.” 

 

So what are you waiting for? Take adventure a step further in the beautiful city of La Jolla. La Jolla Kayak gives tourists and locals the opportunity for an experience of a lifetime. All kayaks are waiting for guests at the only public kayak launch on the beach. The only thing you need to worry about is getting yourself there. Experience some of the finest scenery in La Jolla with a company that is the premiere kayak and snorkeling exploration outfit in San Diego. Make a reservation to rent a kayak or snorkeling gear and get out on or in the water. Locals come in for a local rate. Give them a call at (858) 459-1114 or visit Lajollakayak.com to make a reservation.

Exploring The Coastline With La Jolla Kayak

La-Jolla-Kayak

La Jolla Kayak is known as San Diego’s premier ocean kayaking and snorkeling destination. Located just a few blocks from the world famous La Jolla Shores beach, it’s no wonder why La Jolla Kayak is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Operating from the Shores since 1996, La Jolla Kayak provides tours of breathtaking cliffs, caves, and natural landscapes. Guests have the opportunity to venture out into La Jolla‘s 6,000 acre underwater reserve. This protected ecological site is renowned for its deep trenches, expansive marine life, and stunning reefs. Continue reading

Spotlight Feature: An Interview with Jason Millard of California Bicycle

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California Bicycle is located on La Jolla Blvd. right off of Pearl Street. The family owned company has been serving La Jolla since 1977. The last three decades have been spent not only providing great customer service, but filling every customer’s bike-related needs. Whether you are looking for a beach cruiser to explore gorgeous beach areas in La Jolla, road bikes to amp up fitness routines, Mountain bikes for some off roading in the mountains or hiking trails, or beginners bikes for children and adults, California Bicycle has everything in stock. They also have a large amount of bike parts and accessories as well as provide in store service and maintenance on bike items. Visit California Bicycle Tuesday through Saturday and get yourself on out on two wheels.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Jason Millard of California Bicycle.

What is the history behind California Bicycle? I understand that it’s been a family owned business for three decades, originally owned by your dad Kevin?

My dad, Kevin Millard started California Bicycle in 1976 at the age of 16.

Did your dad come from a cycling background? What made him want to get involved in owning a bike shop?

He always loved bicycles and began working in a bicycle store at the age of 13. He loved the mechanical side of a bicycle and that passion continues today. He did a lot of riding when he was younger including a long tour of Europe by bicycle in 1976 right before he opened our store.

In addition to selling bikes, what other services do you offer?

We offer a full service family-oriented store. We specialize in everything bicycle–sales, service, and rentals. Our reputation for higher-end bicycles expands around the world. Our clients will travel to us for their custom built dream bicycles.

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California Bicycle has won several awards over the past few years. What makes you stand out from other bike shops?

Our pride. We take a lot of pride in everything we do – offering the best selection of products and the absolute best personalized service you will find in any retail environment. Call us old school, but we still prefer a good old fashioned handshake over a fancy e-commerce website that offers no personal interaction. We instill in our entire California Bicycle Team to treat our clients like family. This “Cheers” type atmosphere shines through whole heartily and we truly do remember everyone’s name!

You guys have been in the business for over 40 years, what trends are you seeing in the industry?

We are celebrating our 42nd year, all of which have been in La Jolla. I think the largest growth we are seeing locally is the electric bike market. This new breed of bicycle is now offering riders of all skill levels an opportunity to enjoy La Jolla in ways that was not possible just a year ago.  With four different brands of electric bicycles we have an option for everyone. For our clients that live up the hill, Mt. Soledad is no longer a problem with these high powered-pedal assist bicycles.

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Of all the bike brands, are there any companies we should get excited about?

Over the past four decades we have learned to pick our brand partners wisely.  We have partnered with these brands for their advancements in technology, materials, and client support.  We work very closely with our partners to insure we offer our clients the best products and after-sale support possible.

It seems like you’re very involved in the community. What is the best part of having a store in La Jolla?

The best part about the village is the diversity of the people. We operate in one of the most beautiful places in the country and maybe the world. People come from all over the world to visit ‘The Jewel” and the beauty it offers. The locals are fabulous and many have been clients since we opened 42 years ago.

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Every Saturday you guys do the morning group ride- can you tell us a little about that? 

We started our Saturday Morning Ride years ago.  We created this event for beginning to intermediate riders. There are many rides in San Diego that cater to the more aggressive riders which intimidates the beginners. Our ride leaders are California Bicycle Ambassadors that offer many tips and tricks, safety recommendations and will never leave riders behind (we always stay together).

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Are there any upcoming events you want to let folks know about?

Our most exciting news for 2018 is the addition of our California Bicycle Ambassador Squad. We started this group of hand-selected riders to focus on bicycle awareness, safety, and advocacy. You should plan on seeing our squad all over San Diego doing road/trail maintenance, bicycle training rides, safety courses, helping to promote a healthy lifestyle and many other things to come.  We would also like to reach out to our community to teach children about the benefits of riding and appropriate cycling etiquette. This is an all-volunteer squad, so if you see us out there be sure to say hi!

For more information about California Bicycle, click HERE.


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
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Spotlight Feature: An Interview with Sima Alefi of Serenity Financial Planning

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Sima Alefi is a wealth management advisor. She helps her clients break down financial details into a simple picture of where they stand, without using complicated financial jargon. Sima can help you focus on making a plan for your financial future today.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Sima Alefi about her business.

I understand that you have over two decades in the financial industry. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?:

My background is finance and business management. I started out back in 1994, so 24 years in the financial industry. I started a very successful practice in Northern California, and now I’ve relocated down to Southern California.

Well welcome to Southern California! What do you like best about La Jolla?

La Jolla just feels like a small, cozy town. It’s so serene. I love the ocean, the people, the atmosphere, the little shops. I just love everything about La Jolla.

Are there other advisors on your team?

I’m completely independent. I am the only advisor in the business, yet affiliated with LPL Financial.

So in your opinion, when is the right time for someone to seriously start planning their financial future?

There is really no time. My philosophy is that it’s time in the market, not timing the market. Nobody can predict the future, so to stay abreast of your financial goals the best thing to do is to take the first step. It’s like the Chinese proverb, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For people that are pre-retirees or retirees, they probably need to stop procrastinating about seeking professional advice and consult with a professional. There can always be surprises in the market and they won’t know what decisions to make.

What would you say is the key to a successful retirement plan?

The key to a successful retirement plan is to pay yourself first, even before you pay your bills. Also, diversify, stay away from greed, and seek professional help.

What is the most common financial mistake you see people make

The most common mistake is selling at the wrong time or buying at the wrong time, and also following the advice of their family, friends or neighbors as opposed to financial advisors. You wouldn’t go to a friend when you get sick, you go to a doctor. The same thing applies to managing finances.

You seem very warm and personable, so I’m sure for you it’s not just a business transactions with your clients:

I pride myself in keeping clients fees low, be generous with my time, making sure that I always do what’s in the client’s best interest and not my firms, and giving people the service and the attention that they deserve.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do?:

Seeing people achieve their financial goals. For example if somebody is retired or retiring and they’re seeking better interest rates in todays market, and since interest rates are low, they usually think that there’s not much out there to help them get a nice income stream from the assets that they’ve saved. So to find out that I could actually provide a comfortable retirement income for them and give them more choices than the average CD is rewarding.

I’d imagine that you foster a long relationship with your clients as well:

Yes, I cherish the relationships not only with them, but with their children and their grandchildren.

Sima A. Alefi is a Registered Representative with, and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.

To learn more about Sima, click HERE. 


8-395x600-1We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
www.lajollabluebook.com
“Find It La Jolla” App

Facebook
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Spotlight Feature: An Interview with YURU

 

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YURU Studio is a photo studio located in La Jolla which captures the wisdom and image of seniors through videos and portraits.

Their mission is to record video and create portraits of senior citizens to memorialize their life’s story and beautiful image. YURU’s foundation is family, and their efforts to create a lasting memory of their loved one(s) for families to share and keep forever is admirable.

The YURU process honors and celebrates elders’ lives as they thoroughly interview and photograph them to capture their essence.

We had the pleasure of talking with Marci Adams of YURU.

I understand that Eric is a fourth generation photographer, going back to his great-grandfather! Were they all portrait photographers?

Yes, his great grandfather, grandfather, father and himself were/are all portrait photographers. His great grandfather used to call himself “the best second-rate photographer in the country.” His grandfather was known as “The Chicken Man” because he used a rubber chicken to get kids to have an authentic smile and laugh for their portraits. His father started and co-owned Kiddie Kandids. Eric opened, hired and trained the staff at every Kiddie Kandids location. He’s trained literally thousands of photographers.

What made you decide to open up a studio for senior citizens?

I LOVE the elderly! So I told Eric that I thought we should make a shift and focus on senior citizens. I could spend hours listening to people’s interesting stories. We need to memorialize the elderly! Celebrate them! Document their legacy and their legends! So YURU (“Why You Are You”) Studio was born. We want to know why people are who they are – and the elderly know this. They’ve had the years to figure it out. They don’t care what others think about them anymore. They are authentic – REAL. They have so many amazing stories to tell, history to leave with us! Our society doesn’t listen to and respect their elders as in the past, and this is a shame. We want to allow those who have wisdom the opportunity to pass it on. Stories to be shared generation to generation, to learn from our past, our ancestors.

 

In addition to photos, you also offer video interviews. Can you tell us a little about this?

The video interview idea came because we knew a picture wasn’t enough to capture these stories, wisdom, and legacy. I would have loved to have had a video of my ancestors. We have journals, and some letters, but their voices and their expression are missing. This has been so precious for families. We have had a couple of families bring parents to us for a session because their parents are in the beginning stages of Alzheimers and we’ve been able to capture them when they are in their “aware” state, as well as their “forgotten” state. These moments are so cherished by the kids and grandkids.

Eric and I have also conducted Yuru sessions with our parents. I cry every time I watch my dad’s video! He chokes up when he talks about his kids and how important they are to him… and his “little girl” (I’m the only girl of 3 brothers). It’s so precious, because my dad is this big, strong, important, intimidating guy and to see him get emotional about his kids and hear his voice crack- wow!

After Eric interviewed his mom, he realized things about her that he hadn’t before. He saw her in a different light. She became less of a mom and more of a person to him. I also think so many people were really important in their younger days and then when they retire, they aren’t recognized anymore. My uncle was a very prestigious judge and when he talks in his video about his working years, the awards and recognition he was given, how important his position was, his eyes light up. These sessions bring families closer together and nourish family relationships!

I imagine in these video interviews you hear some pretty great stories. Do you have a favorite that stands out?

Oh boy, that is difficult. There are favorite stories in every session. We are currently weaving clips of our favorite stories together into a compilation video. We will add these compilation videos to our website as our business continues to develop.

We understand that you have two other photo businesses – FotoFly, FotoFly Santa, in addition to the FotoFly Academy. Can you tell us a little more about these?

For FotoFly, we have four studios in Utah that focus on children and families. FotoFly Santa is unique in that we have a ‘real’ Santa at the location we are shooting pictures but we have the parent of the child dress up like Santa so that the interaction between the child and Santa is more authentic. It’s a brilliant idea and we see around 5500 families every year. It’s become a family tradition.

Eric and I both have backgrounds in training. Eric has trained thousands of photographers. I was the training director for big beauty companies like Aveda and Wella, as well as my own company M2Beauté. We have a passion for sharing information and watching people learn and grow. So our Academy fulfills our dream of giving people knowledge to become better at the skill of photography. Eric teaches local seminars once a month. Some are free, some are for a small fee – but we want people to feel comfortable with their photography skills.

Our Academy is a four month program that is very intense. It is selection based, which means we interview and accept only a few students. In those four months we take people from not knowing anything or little about photography to being really good professional photographers.

I have used the 4Mat methodology of training for years and we have incorporated that into our curriculum. We develop our trainers to be very good at training others. We will offer online training this year – including a subscription based model that allows people to learn at their own pace. We will also have a very humorous “what not to do” YouTube channel for people to watch photographers make mistakes and learn tips on correcting bad habits.

What is the most rewarding part of what you do at YURU? I’d imagine it’s very rewarding!

The most rewarding part of YURU is getting to know people in a deep and meaningful way. They are so vulnerable which makes them so real and there is so much love felt after you learn about each and every one of them! I feel every emotion during the interview – I laugh, cry, feel concern, I feel their regrets, their pride. I feel with them. Eric said, as he was taking his mother’s picture, that he had never seen her in that way – she was so beautiful. She wasn’t just his mom, but this amazing, loving, funny, charismatic, sweet, beautiful women. It strengthened their relationship.

What is the best part of having a location in La Jolla?

We love La Jolla and think their are so many amazing people here with grand stories to tell. The senior demographic is here. We also have a studio in Utah that we will be taking Yuru sessions at, and we definitely want people to known that we are available to travel also. We can go anywhere in the world to capture someone’s story. La Jolla is special and we know the customers here will appreciate the opportunity to document their stories that will talk to their posterity.

Are there any exciting events or specials coming up that you’d like to tell us about?

If people join our Yurustudio MeetUp site and Facebook Page, we regularly post photography classes that we teach, activities we are doing, and models we may need. We try to interact with our audience and keep the public informed on social media and invite people to our training courses.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to aspiring photographers?

Discover and stay true to your style. There are a lot of photographers. It’s very hard for customers to choose. It’s much better to be known for something – even if it eliminates 90% of your potential customers. It’s worth it to be known as the best at that one thing than to be all things to all people.

We are first and foremost here to know YURU!

To learn more about YURU, visit www.yurustudio.com


8-395x600We would love to promote you or a friend’s San Diego business via our 80+ year established diverse local media brand:

Serving the San Diego area for over 80 years, Blue Book Media Group has been generating enormous amounts of revenue for local businesses in the La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe areas, along with San Diego County businesses wanting to do business in these same areas thanks to their consistent advertising with our media brand. Our local La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Blue Books (annual community guides) are so revered and used by the long time area locals that they refer to our print and web resources as the Bible of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.

We would like to offer our diverse annual print, web, app and social media marketing/advertising platform to your local business as a way to help you generate new clients and customers to increase your revenue. If you or someone you know would like to see a true increase in their business, customer base or sales, please reach out to us by phone at 858-459-7939. We look forward to sharing information on our successful established diverse advertising resources with you.

We are thankful to have so many local businesses who have been advertising with us successfully every year since the 1940’s. We would like to be able to bring you the same huge ROI we have brought other local businesses each year due to their advertising with us.

For more information on our nearly 500-page annual Blue Book community resources, our website, our app, or our social media platforms, please call 858-454-7939 today.

Some ad space opportunities are limited as so many businesses renew their same ad spots with us year after year. We hope to hear from you soon.

858-454-7939
www.lajollabluebook.com
“Find It La Jolla” App

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
LinkedIn
Google+

Welcome to 2018! Achieve Your Cycling Goals with California Bicycle!

The following is from our friends at California Bicycle. We hope you can join them for some great rides!

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California Bicycle Store Rides are Back! For 2018 we will be rotating from 4 routes with increasing speed and elevation as the month progresses. Not to fear, all of our rides will be a no drop policy. The idea is to build fitness, confidence and comradery over a 4 week build period and help you achieve your 2018 cycling goals!

Rides will be lead by our wonderful team of ambassadors who will be there to guide you. Helmets are required and we highly recommend lights front and rear. Riders of all abilities are welcome.

The first ride of the month (this Saturday) will head to Harbor and Shelter Island. This route is very flat and will is perfect for anyone trying to ease back into cycling. Pace is social, views are amazing, times are good! Check out the route here: Strava Route

For the second Saturday we will do our well known ride to Cabrillo Monument. After and nice jaunt over the park entrance we will regroup and decide if we want to do ride down to the tide pools for a couple extra miles and a bit more elevation. Check out the route here: Strava Route

The third Saturday will go around Mission Bay and head up towards UCSD before dropping back down to La Jolla. We will ride at a casual pace over to Fiesta Island were we will regroup and do a hot lap around the island and regroup at the end. We will keep riding around the bay to Rose Canyon bike path. We can climb Gilman Avenue at a more spirited pace and ride back to La Jolla at a more casual pace. Check out the route here: Strava Route

Our Soledad and Torrey Pines route will be the last route of the month. This route has the most elevation with just over 2000ft over 28 miles. We start out by riding down La Jolla Blvd and hit the first climb up La Jolla Mesa as a good warm up. After riding around the campus we ride down to Torrey Pines. Once at the bottom we will turn around and right back up. You have the option of riding the inside (steeper) or the outside (longer) and we regroup at the top before heading back to the store. Check out the route here: Strava Route

Interested in being a cycling advocate? What inspires you to ride a bike? Want to promote bicycling as a way of life? Looking to train with individuals who will take you to the next level? Join our California Bicycle Squad! We are a group of like minded cyclist from commuters, mountain bikers, road cyclist and top level racers who want to make cycling accessible for all. Please stop by or send inquiries to info@calbike.com.

An Interview with Gladys Collins of The Dinosaur Gallery

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If you haven’t been to The Dinosaur Gallery in Del Mar, you’re in for a real treat. This shop owned by Gladys Collins sells and showcases minerals, dinosaurs, shark teeth, artwork, and more!

The Dinosaur Gallery isn’t just a store- it’s an an eye opener and an educational experience. Collins says it’s a little bit like a museum- but as an added bonus, you can buy these incredible pieces and take them home with you.

We had the pleasure of talking with Gladys Collins about her fascinating store.

La Jolla Blue Book: This store is so unique. What made you want to get involved with The Dinosaur Gallery?

Gladys Collins: I liked the product. It’s like a museum type product, so it’s very interesting. It was one of the fossils that blew me away

LJBB:  Wow, which fossil?

GC: It was the Orthocera. It had lived 500 million years ago, and I found that fascinating.

LJBB: How do you collect your products that are in the store?

GC: Well, I meet the people who mine them at Tucson. Tucson has the best presentation of people who mine fossil and minerals from all over the world, and they come from all over the word to buy there, so Tucson has quite a show- it’s usually every February. We’re fortunate in that we can drive there and bring the things back in our car, whereas other people who come from all over the world have to ship them.

LJBB: Has film and television industry affected your business? I’d imagine that it’s sparked some interest.

GC: These things aren’t widely known, but I think they’re more widely known now because of the film industry. Movies like “Jurassic Park” have definitely sparked an interest.

I know Christine Capanelli who did models for “Jurassic Park.” We sold her models when they were through with them. She lives here, so she does many of the models for me now, like the T-Rex head and the Pterosaur flying dinosaur. She’s done many other things- her talents are quite diverse.

We’re fortunate in that little children really love dinosaurs because they do have some TV programs with them in them. Then when they get older, they sometimes really get into the digging and finding of it all.

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LJBB: What’s your favorite item that you sell ?

GC: I like the crystals, but it’s hard to pinpoint what would be my favorite. I hand pick everything. I hand pick every fossil and every piece of mineral I have in the store. I can’t say that I love one over the other.

LJBB:  It’s like your children picking your favorite child.

GC: Yeah, exactly. I have some wonderful fossils though. I have a full crab from Italy that’s 50 million years old, and I have stingray from the green river formation that is absolutely beautiful. I also have a piece of stomata light that is some of the oldest fossil. The piece I have goes back 2.7 billion years

LJBB:  Well you’re so smart and knowledgeable, going into your store is probably more like a science class.

GC:  It’s a little bit like a museum, but everything is for sale. That’s the beauty. If you go to a museum, you can’t buy the big fossils and minerals.

LJBB: Tell us a little about the jewelry you sell.

GC: I have the semi-precious jewelry. They’re nice pieces that you don’t necessarily find in other stores. I have little bracelets of nearly every mineral you can think of. People buy them for the metaphysical aspect. That’s now a big part of my business, as people have become interested in metaphysics. They tell me I have the best collection. I have pieces that are nice polished pieces- not just little tiny ones. They’re nice sized ones that they can hold in their hands, or carry in their pockets, or use to meditate with.

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LJBB: What’s your most favorite part about being located in Del Mar?

GC: Well it’s a tourist area, so I get people from all over the world. They come back year after year just to just visit the store and pick up new things.

LJBB: What a great gift to bring back home – it sure beats a keychain.

GC: Yeah, they like it. Del Mar does have quite a few other stores, but it’s not rampant with shops. One another thing I keep that is quite sought after are our coral and shells. It wasn’t part of the original store, but I put those in and people love them because we’re right off the ocean.

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LJBB: For folks have never been to the Dinosaur Gallery before, what’s one thing you think they should know before they come in?

GC: Not enough people realize that our earth is full of all these beautiful crystals- they think our earth is just made up of dirt. Come and experience some of the beautiful and amazing crystals that are found in our earth. It was an eye opener for me seeing that first fossil. It made me want to find more of these things, and it would really great if people just appreciated what’s in the earth.


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