Tourism

Lake Hodges re-opens for season and more

Lake Hodges is back in business, baby, re-opening this week for the 2020 season and getting a makeover cleaning to boot. The 1,234-acre reservoir just has been closed since November, but the serene paradise — home to grebes, fishermen/women, and just plain lovers of lovely landscapes and hiking —  is opening its gates to let the good times roll. The lake’s shoreline stretches for 27…


Pala Store at the end of the road

Pala Store may be a hundred yards away from Pala Casino Spa & Resort, but it feels like a creature from another planet. It is, too, for this store lives in a parallel universe, both in space and time. At 3000 Pala Mission Road, the store that has served as focal point for nearly eight decades was, and remains, the only store from Pala at…


Esc-RSF Adobe Home Tour; holocaust exhibit

An historic landmark home built in 1831 and three residences built between 1926 and 1982 represent the spectrum of San Diego County’s romance with its adobe heritage. The Ninth Annual San Diego Adobe Home Tour, Sunday will allow visitors to experience California’s multi-cultural roots in the rancho hacienda and California ranch house styles, where immigrant pioneer, Spanish and Mexican influences coalesce. This year’s tour showcases…


World-Famous Chino Farm is just over there

Last week I made the easy trek to Chino Farm at Rancho Santa Fe. If the traffic gods are smiling, it’s just a short drive to the unprepossessing north San Diego County farm stand, where, upon arriving, if you didn’t know in advance you would never guess that anyone outside the immediate neighborhood has any idea the place exists. But, oh, do they ever. Thanks to patrons like…


Yes, Mayor Pete, Pala has a wine cave, too

Dateline Los Angles Democratic Party Presidential Debate: A fund-raiser for Pete Buttigieg held in a wine cellar in Napa Valley elicited the most strident clash between the Democratic candidates at a debate Thursday night after a mostly staid discussion of policy platforms and impeachment, leading to a round of criticism of the mayor that continued into a later exchange about his previous criticisms of Washington…


Out & About—She sneered at me…. TWICE!

She informed me that the Academy was private property and that I couldn’t take pictures. I apologized and told her I would leave. Then I asked her what the Academy was. She said, “It’s an Academy.” — Russel Ray When I was up in North San Diego County a couple of weeks ago visiting the San Pasqual Battlefield State Park for my San Diego Historical…


Meet Safari Park’s Southern White Rhino calf

Edward, a 13-day-old southern white rhino calf at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, got his first chance to experience a true mud wallow this morning today, under the watchful eye of his mom, Victoria. Rhino keepers decided to create a wallow for the youngster to provide him the opportunity to experience an instinctive behavior for rhinos. Keepers scooped up mud from the area around…


Memories of Pikake Gardens

Its gates are forever locked. The koi have died. A lonesome breeze blows through faded gardens overgrown with weeds. The waterfalls have ceased falling and even the roses have faded into wilted dreams. Welcome to Pikake Botanical Gardens at 15515 Villa Sierra Road, once one of the wonders of the horticultural world, now reduced to ashes and memories. A private botanical garden on nine acres,…


No more Thyme in the Ranch for you, or is it?

Everybody loves the iconic Thyme in the Ranch breakfast and lunch deli that has been humming along with th finest delicacies for nearly a quarter of a century at Rancho Santa Fe. The question now, however, is will the tradition continue now that owners Shane and Dawn Pursell have announced their retirement from the business of making the best lunches and baked good anywhere in…


Firefighters learn from Battle of San Pasqual

The Battle of San Pasqual: Decision Making Lessons Learned from the “Bloodiest Battle in California’s History” By Fire Apparatus Engineer Heather Thurston, CAL FIRE – Monte Vista Unit During the Mexican-American War President James Polk sent the U.S. 1st Dragoons, under the command of General Stephan Watts Kearny, 2000 miles from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to California. On December 6, 1846 these troops engaged a group…