Weekend Getaways

Weekend Getaways

SUMMER NIGHT SKY TOURS IN ANZA BORREGO DESERT

 

East County News Service

May 21, 2015 (Borrego Springs)--Dazzling sights can be viewed each night in the clear dark skies over Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert―including colorful stars, stellar clusters, planets, star-forming nebulae, Earth-orbiting satellites, distant galaxies and more. 

Famed astronomer and night sky photographer Dennis Mammana invites you to treat yourself or your family to an inspiring and personalized tour of the cosmos above Borrego Springs—California’s first and only International Dark Sky community – with the power of a large telescope and one of America’s favorite celestial tour guides. The summer 2015 night sky tour schedule is now available at http://www.borregonightskytours.com/.

BAJA BLOG: THE NEW SPLASH OCEANFRONT RESTAURANT AND BAR

 

Photos and story by Susan A Mahalick

May 17, 2015 (Baja, Mexico)--Established June 13th, 2009 and owned by the Santos family, this is the place to hang out, be seen and meet new people all wrapped up with excellent food, service and views of the volcanic rocks being shaped by the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

BAJA BLOG: LA SALINA CANTINA IN LA MISION, A REAL MEXICAN CANTINA

 

Story and photos by Susan A Mahalick

April 20, 2015 (Baja, Mexico)--Located as an exit off the toll road, or Cuota, is La Salina at Km 73. Two exits after crossing the bridge with the estuary to the left as you travel south from Rosarito is a public beach with palapas to the right. It is Easter weekend which traditionally starts the official camping on the beaches, no matter the weather, as Mexicali, Tijuana and Tecate empty out for all the free camping in this part of Baja. Here the fee is $500 pesos, around $4 at the current exchange rate, per vehicle which accounts for this beach not being overcrowded.

MOST ROMANTIC VALENTINE RETREATS IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- What better way to infuse passion into your relationship than to slip away for a Valentine weekend stay  at one of East County’s romantic inns, cabins or lodges? Or give a getaway gift for later in the year as the perfect way to say”I love you.”

Here are few idyllic places to rejuvenate your spirit with that special someone:

MEXICO TRAVEL WARNING BROADENED TO INCLUDE BORDER REGIONS

 

East County News Service

December 28, 2014 (San Diego)--The U.S. State Department has broadened its warning for U.S. citizens regarding risks of traveling to parts of Mexico due to criminal activity that has resulted in deaths of 85 American citizens this year, including some who were innocent bystanders. Kidnappings are also on the rise; 130 American citizens were kidnapped during the first 11 months of this year.

HEADING ABROAD FOR THE HOLIDAYS? APPLY FOR YOUR PASSPORT NOW

 

Source: County of San Diego’s News Service

November 16, 2014 (San Diego)--If you’re planning to travel out of the country over the holidays, now is the time to apply for your passport book or card, the County advises.

BAJA BLOG: LA MISION EQUESTRIANS - MORE ABOUT HORSES IN BAJA

 

By Susan A Mahalick

October 21, 2014 (Baja, Mexico)--In my previous article about Black Cross Winery and the Pretty Horses Ranch, I touched on how important both wine and horses are in this part of Baja. Now I want to expand on a group founded by Carla Jesme to help pay for the upkeep of her horse. She arrived here and fell in love with horses and the way of life in La Misión, with all the unpaved roads and trails up in the hills, along with beach rides.

BAJA BLOG: BLACK CROSS WINERY IN ROSARITO AND PRETTY HORSES RESCUE

 

By Susan A. Mahalick

September 6, 2014 (Baja, Mexico)--Nestled up in the golden hills is a winery that is the vision of another one of our women winemakers here in Baja. The location of this venue was determined by the location of the Pretty Horses Rescue ranch. This part of Baja and horses go together with wine tasting as a natural outcome of blending two favorite activities of residents down here. There is a hitching post at the tasting room and plans are to build a horse trail around the ranch property.

BAJA BLOG: SPLASH, BEST OCEANFRONT RESTAURANT AND SPORTS BAR

 

By Susan A. Mahalick

August 5, 2014 (Baja, Mexico) - Want to be outside, see waves splash up onto volcanic rocks, watch dolphins swim by and sea birds perch everywhere? Add to this some of the finest hospitality, drinks and food and this is a sure winner.

VIVIAN BLACKSTONE - A REMARKABLE WOMAN

 

Former Campo artist now creating film on cofounder of Rancho La Puerta

By Mimi Pollack

On July 24th, 2014, my good friend Vivian Blackstone will celebrate her 86th birthday. A woman in excellent health, she has lived an unconventional life with an artistic, bohemian and spiritual bent. That artistic side still continues as she is working on a film about Edmond Szekely [aka the professor], who along with Deborah Szekely, created and developed the world famous spa and resort in Tecate, Mexico, called Rancho La Puerta. This film is important to Vivian as the professor was an influential person in her life and she hopes this film will honor him and the influence he had on her.

SATURDAYS AT THE RANCH: A DAY TO REJUVENATE YOUR SPIRIT

 

By Mimi Pollack

July 24, 2014 (Tecate)--Many of us lead hectic, stressful lives, so it is always healthy to find ways to unwind. Spending a week at a spa is one good way to relax and recharge, but not everyone can afford that or has the time. Here in San Diego, we are lucky to have a world class spa and retreat, Rancho La Puerta, just across the border from East County. Founded in Tecate, Mexico in 1940 by Edmond and Deborah Szekely, Rancho La Puerta has built a solid reputation and a loyal following over the years.

BAJA BLOG: POPOTLA FISHING VILLAGE - OFF THE BEATEN TRACK

 

By Susan A. Mahalick

July 10, 2014 (Baja) - Many have heard of Puerto Nuevo as a lobster village, an adventure in eating experiences. Few have the same pleasure of knowing of Popotla, Km 33, just south of Baja Studios, there is an arch and a dirt road leading into a tiny village full of tiny eateries and curio shops. Unlike Puerto Nuevo, much more than lobster is served up, caught only minutes or hours before it is served to you. The entire village can be walked in a mere twenty minutes. One can bring in their own beverages most places. It is also possible to purchase fish to take home for that party or intimate dinner.

TECATE'S RANCH CATS

 

By Mimi Pollack

July 3, 2014 (Tecate)--Gizmo is one of the official greeters at Rancho La Puerta, a spa in Tecate, Mexico, just over the border from San Diego’s East County. Deborah Szekely and her late husband, Edmond, started Rancho La Puerta [the ranch] in 1940. Back then, it was very rustic and primitive as they were living in harmony with the surrounding nature. That love of nature continues, and today Rancho La Puerta is ranked as one of the best spa destinations in the world.

PRESERVING THE PAST AT CENTRO CULTURAL AND KUMEYAAY MUSEUM IN TECATE

 

By Mimi Pollack

July 1, 2014 (Tecate)--There are only 70 to 80 people left in Baja California who speak Kumeyaay, according to Michael Wilken Robertson, an anthropologist who also specializes in ethno-botany. When Wilken-Robertson first started his journey studying the indigenous people of Baja California, he was told there were no indigenous cultures there.  

He believed something had to be done to preserve these ancient cultures and traditions before they were lost, especially those of the Kumeyaay [Kumiai] people. The Kumiai are the indigenous people on both sides of the border, starting from Carlsbad on the United States side, down to the Santo Tomas Valley in Baja California, Mexico.

The Museo Communitario de Tecate [Tecate Community Museum] and the Kumiai wing is a good first step towards documenting the life and history of these people. It is part of the Centro Cultural [Cultural Center] in Tecate, Baja California.

VACATION TIPS, CHECK-UP SERVICE FOR HOMEOWNERS AWAY

 

Source: San Diego Sheriff

June 25, 2014 (San Diego)-- It's officially summer and finally time to take that vacation. You can make your break even more stress-free and sign up for vacation checks from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

BAJA BLOG: CAVA VINTANGO IN THE GUADALUPE VALLEY

        

 

By Susan A. Mahalick

June 11, 2014 (Baja California, Mexico)--Designed by Jo Ann Knox Martino, and situated in the eastern portion of the valley in the same area as Baron Balché in Porvenir, is the elegant cava built for storage, wine making and tastings of her famous Tango wines. The name, Vintango, comes from Jo Ann’s love of tango.

A REJUVENATING WEEKEND AT THE HEALING WATERS & ARTS FESTIVAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 4, 2014 (Jacumba Hot Springs)—Slipping away to the high desert community of Jacumba Hot Springs proves a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Not too long ago, Jacumba nearly became a ghost town after a resort hotel from the ‘20s burned down and Interstate 8 was built, drawing traffic away from Old Highway 80 through the heart of Jacumba.  But then a revitalization committee petitioned the state to take back the town's historic name -- Jacumba Hot Springs. Since then, these movers and shakers have infused new life into a town named by the Kumeyaay Native Americans who once camped here in the winter months: Jacum—a place of healing waters.

Now celebrating its centennial year, the town recently hosted the Healing Waters & Arts Festival--a successful event for the community and guests alike. 

BAJA BLOG: WHY MOVE TO BAJA?

 

By Susan Mahalick

May 20, 2014 (Baja)--I am not retired, like so many people are down here, but I consider Baja to be my home, and have for eleven years now. I used to come down for long weekends when I lived up in San Diego, staying with a friend in Baja del Mar. I started crying going back over the border on Sunday evenings, so I decided I could fix that problem by moving here. My friend helped me a find my first tiny casita to rent in Colonia Reforma which is close to the power plant in Rosarito.

BAJA BLOG: 5TH ANNUAL ROSARITO ART FEST 2014 MAY 24 - 25

 

By Susan Mahalick

May 9, 2014 (Baja California)--Art Fest started due to the vision of one man who wanted to promote the abundance of fine art in the northern Baja area. Organizer Benito del Aguila Malvaez, owner of Los Naguales, a Mexican folk art gallery, has been putting on this event since it started in 2009 with 5000 attendees.

NEW CABINS OPEN AT POTRERO COUNTY PARK THANKS TO GROUP HELPING CAMPERS WITH DISABILITIES

 

April 29, 2014 (Potrero) --For the first time, Potrero County Park is offering cabins to visitors who want to enjoy the natural beauty of San Diego County’s southeast region.

County Parks and Recreation celebrated the grand opening of two new disabled-friendly cabins Monday. Each one, with porch, measures 390 square feet, sleeps five and features heating, a ceiling fan, a restroom, and a small seating area.

BAJA BLOG: VALLEY GIRL TOURS COME TO GUADALUPE VALLEY IN BAJA

 

By Susan A Mahalick

Photos by Sitara Monica Perez and the author

April 12, 2014 (Baja, Mexico)--Sitara Monica Perez, the woman with the lyrical name, arrived here almost two years ago to accomplish her dream of making wine. She is not only doing that, but also becoming an expert on the winemakers and wineries in the process. Originally from Alaska, she has lived in Costa Rica and Argentina before coming to Baja to learn winemaking.

BAJA BLOG: MULE 61, AREA'S NEWEST CONCEPT RESTAURANT

 

New column! 

(If you would like to sponsor the Baja Blog, or any column on ECM, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org)

By Susan A Mahalick

Photos by Sitara Monica Perez

March 19, 2014 (Baja)--You walk into a long space broken up by curves of white walls, stained glass windows and a large bar with lights behind the stained glass at the base at night. Both bistro type seating and regular dining tables are available in the main dining room. There is a second room for events or private parties. A very large window at the rear overlooking the Pacific opens to the fresh salt air. Ceiling fans circulate in key locations. The ceiling is made from plastic, clear tiles which provide plenty of natural light.

WEEKEND GETAWAYS: BARONA RESORT, LAKESIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2014 (Lakeside) – If you’re looking for a place to getaway from the hustle and bustle of city living without traveling far away, consider a stay at one of San Diego County’s local Native American resorts.  Recently, I won a vacation to Barona Resort & Casino in a prize drawing at the La Mesa Centennial party –so in early January, my husband and I savored a relaxing weekend at Barona.

Unlike Las Vegas casinos, Barona resort is not glitzy or gaudy.  The casino and hotel complex are designed to fit in with the rural ambience, complete with a casino designed to resemble a barn and a waterwheel.  The property includes several lakes, providing idyllic places for walking or relaxing in an Adirondack chair to watch the sunset over the nearby mountains.  The site is also designated as a migratory bird sanctuary by the Audobon Society.

DON'T PACK A PEST IN YOUR LUGGAGE

 

December 23, 2013 (San Diego) – If you love California’s agricultural products — our fruits, nuts, veggies, chicken, eggs and pork chops — the County Agricuiltural Department has this reminder for you: don’t pack a pest in your luggage!

The holiday season is also the season for traveling. And we should all do our best to protect the California agricultural products we love to eat — and which make up a huge part of our state and local economy — by making sure we don’t accidentally bring something home that can force quarantines, wreck crops and wreak havoc.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CRUISE SHIPS

 

By Roy L Hales

November 6, 2013 (San Diego) – Cruises are popular getaways, and many ships depart from Southern California.  Only some cruise lines have better environmental records than others.  Marcie Keever, of Friends of the Earth report, recently did an evaluation of 162 cruise ships to help people choose green and sustainable businesses.

Among cruise ships departing from San Diego, for example, ratings ranged from “A” to “F” depending on the cruise line and category.

FROM THE CHIEF'S CORNER: VACATION SAFETY TIPS - DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEM!

 

By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

June 17, 2013 (San Diego) – It’s summer time, and time for a vacation! Many of us may be ready for or planning a vacation for the summer months.  Here are some safety tips to help make your vacation safe and enjoyable says Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. Vacation safety actually begins while you are still at home and begins with planning for safety!

VIEJAS CASINO & RESORT ACHIEVES PRESTIGIOUS FOUR DIAMOND STATUS

 

June 4, 2013 (Alpine) – Viejas Casino & Resort has been awarded the prestigious Four Diamond status from the American Automobile Association (AAA), officially designating the property as one of the nation’s premier resort destinations.

Fewer than 5% of the nearly 31,000 properties approved by AAA achieve the highly-coveted Four Diamond distinction.

“We are extremely proud to be acknowledged as one of the finest resort destinations in the country,” said Viejas Casino & Resort General Manager Chris Kelley. “This honor is a testament to the dedication, hard work and professionalism of our Team Members and reflects our absolute dedication to the highest standards of guest service, accommodations and amenities.”

GREEN TRAVEL OPTIONS ARE SPROUTING EVERYWHERE

By Laura Chapman

March 28, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--We all know about going "green" around our homes. Recycling newspapers, plastic and aluminum has become so commonplace that we actually look for recycling bins when we're out and about. How many times have you gone to a dinner party and helped with the cleanup by asking, "Do you recycle?" All of this is aimed at the goal of reducing our individual carbon footprints. If we can all lower the amount of carbon by-products released into the atmosphere we'll be taking proactive steps to bolster our fragile eco-system.

Now the green movement has spread beyond homes and businesses and out into the travel industry. Yes, you can see the world and still go green.

Pages