I’ve never been to this park in San Diego but it looks very interesting!
My entire almost 13 month journey has been guided. Sometimes I was led to areas or homes via friends I wanted to see; sometimes through my barter for housing ads on craigslist and whichever town/person responded that felt correct, that’s where I went; sometimes it was through friends asking friends; and more rarely, it was through getting a hotel room for a night or two or a room in a B and B. And…I had one couch surfing experience..but we won’t talk about that But it has been really clear to me that each person and place I’ve been led to involved healing work…sometimes overtly and sometimes covertly.
One of my clients whom I connected with led me to stay with her friend in Campo, CA, which is a little over an hour southeast of San Diego, almost to the Mexican border. My host is care-taking a small farm and there was available space in an empty (and I mean empty) house that was set to be re-done. So….I’ve been camping out in the this room for almost 6 weeks, sharing meals with the host in his trailer, sometimes taking care of the animals, sometimes going for walks and bringing healing to the land.
This land used to have Native Americans on it, and there is still some reservation land near here. These natives’ spirits that were on this land were unhappy and felt like they had failed to protect their people better in the past. The land has been neglected and there was much sadness in the earth. So a psychic friend led me to do healing for the land.
I have been waiting for a project of mine to come to fruition so that I could return to San Diego and finish up things there, then leave to go settle in CO. So, it has been interesting that Spirit led me here. It is quite a small town with only a little commerce and the locals like it that way. There are some people who move out here for cheaper housing costs and they commute to town for work. Others come here for ranching and farming or just to get away. There is quite an extensive train museum here.
It has been very isolated though as even my phone doesn’t get reception here, internet has been slow and intermittent, and I’ve spent much time alone. Due to the isolation, I didn’t really promote my work here or online either as the phone connection is so awful. But I can see how it gave me time to be away from clients, friends, events, places to go, and kept me tethered while I finished up the inner work and spiritual work I am doing right now on so many levels as I prepare to move on to my deeper work for the future.
I wanted to take the time to post some photos of this little farm and this little town. I have grown to appreciate it’s charms and I hope you get a glimpse of them with these photos!
Here are pictures of some of the animals. Three of the 4 little pigs, some of the chickens, the female pig with her pretty eyes with the long eye lashes, the male pig with very interesting eyes and the female pig poking her snout through a hole in the fence.
When I went for walks I usually walked east on the road, then north, then followed the train tracks, or I’d just walk along the road to the east or west. I love the rock formations out here and the amazing huge oak trees.
It has been a treat to almost daily pay attention to the beautiful sunrises, sunsets and a night sky filled with stars. Other than how intensely the wind often blows, this is a very quiet place. Come see for yourself!
Isn’t this amazing?! It would be wonderful just to see these rocks on a normal day but with this particular view it is stunning!
I’ve been staying in Encinitas, CA for a short while. I came here awhile ago on the last vacation I took with my Mom, in the summer of 1997. While there we stayed in a small hotel near the beach but it was north of Moonlight beach, and involved a very steep set of stairs to get to the beach. I remember walking south though to Moonlight beach. I also visited the gardens at the Self Realization Fellowship compound while there that time. I have posted pictures on this blog before of the gardens, with the pictures taken during a visit a month or so ago.
Locals tend to like Swami beach, south of the SRF compound as Yogananda frequented them and is honored there, but also because it is less crowded. I like Moonlight beach because it is an easy drive west on Encinitas Blvd. which becomes “B” st. and I always find parking in the neighborhood. There is a large parking area though on a hill above the beach. The beach has bathrooms, showers, a concession stand with beach rentals, picnic tables and a playground.
I recently walked to the beach and walked both north and south of the main area. The sand was sparkling with what looked like gold flecks, like real gold was shining in the sand. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It is a lovely area and an easy walk. Come check it out!
Here is a photo of the trees on the cliffs above the beach and one of the gold in the sand.
This photo is the beach looking south from Moonlight Beach.
This is the beach looking north.
Love this blog and all the travel places it explores! Enjoy!
Originally posted on International Bellhop Travel Magazine:
Everyone is looking to take a vacation to the wildly-popular destinations that attract millions of visitors every year (I.E. Athens, Rome, Paris), but sometimes you feel the need to spend your vacation time relaxing in a peaceful and serene location away from the hustle-and-bustle of the cities, and just reconnect with nature. When you are feeling the stress of work and life getting to be too much, a lakeside vacation is often the best medicine. Wherever you choose to take that lakeside vacation, don’t limit yourself to just the most local recreational lake, there are some awe-inspiring views and beauty in some of the most famous lakes in the world. Below, is a selection of our favorite World lake destinations:
I came to San Diego often as a child, and we always stayed on the ocean side of either Pacific or Mission beach. My parents had some friends who stayed on the bay side and as a kid, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to stay on the bay side. I was familiar with the Catamaran, as it was across the street and a block away from where I often stayed on the ocean side. So I decided it was time to visit the Catamaran and find out more about it and the bay side appeal.
As an adult, I can better appreciate the peace, tranquility and quiet slower pace of the bay side now, and yet, the Catamaran is not just for those who want to lay by the pool or on the beach next to the bay. Yes, the resort offers that lush hidden feeling of being in a secluded jungle and yet it has it’s own restaurants, exercise room, spa, numerous water sport offerings and even a steam boat to board to listen to music, grab a drink and dance!, And, since it is located right on Mission Blvd. it is just across the street from the ocean, walking distance to stores, and numerous restaurants and night clubs. These are a bay side photo of the resort and another photo of the entrance.
The hotel and surrounding property were originally the summer estate of the Scripps family. and in 1958 William D. Evans bought it. He has remodeled it and added to it using Colonial Hawaiian architecture, materials from around the world, and art pieces especially from the South Pacific. There are more than 1000 species of plants and flowers, 100 varieties of palm trees, a Koi pond, 30 types of hibiscus flowers and exotic birds. The resort is even green certified!
There are 312 rooms, suites and deluxe studios, some with ocean and bay views, some with garden views. 151 of these are standard rooms, 110 are studios, and 51 are suites with full kitchens. These range in size from 329 sq ft to 604 sq. ft. The studios are 430 sq. ft and have kitchens, too. Prices range from $143.65 to $245.65 a night. Unlike most resorts there is no resort fee for internet, use of the pool, fitness center, etc. Plus there is a complementary passage on the Bahia Belle historic river boat, with live music, cocktails and dancing, and a tour of the bay. The Bahia Belle runs every night in the summer months and on Fri. , Sat. and Sunday during the fall and winter months. Here is a photo of the lobby and a bay view room.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many activities available at the resort. There is a business center, fitness center, outdoor whirlpool tub, heated pool, video arcade and gift shop. During the summer there is a kids camp, live music, bird shows, and a Polynesian luau with music, food and entertainment. Other activities offered are sailing, surfing lessons, biking, skating, water skiing, wake surfing, kayaks, paddle boards, boogie boards, power boats, ski boats, segways, all available to rent right on the property. My favorite is the fun cats, which look like big lounge chairs but they are powered and you can just lounge and cruise the bay! Chairs and umbrellas are also available for lounging on the beach. You can also access the bay sidewalk and walk for miles. Photos are of the lounge chairs next to the whirlpool which is next to the spa. You can see the water sport rentals in the background. Also, photos of the pool, pier and beach chairs.
As a long time holistic therapist I always enjoy seeing the spa, and the one at the Catamaran did not disappoint! I loved the beautiful tiled floors, lovely cabinets, steam and dry sauna rooms, tranquility room, beautiful locker rooms and all the wonderful spa treatment offerings. The spa was built in 2005 and is 9300 sq. ft. It has 10 individual treatment rooms, a ritual room for combination treatments, a Vichy shower room and a couples treatment room. The treatments all have marine and botanical elements. There are skin and body treatments offered, along with a hair and nail spa. There are hydro therapies, scrubs, wraps, water therapies, and they all have a South Pacific or Asian influence. There are monthly specials and locals are encouraged to come and partake in the spa, too. Along with a spa treatment, locals can enjoy the use of the pool and beach chairs, making a day of it.
During the summer, the pool bar and grill is open. The Atoll restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a Sunday Champagne brunch. Morays lounge has live music and offers a bar and food as well. This is a photo of the fire pit in the outside seating area of Moray’s lounge.
The Catamaran is a lovely place for business meetings, weddings and other gatherings. There are 14 function rooms available; 20,000 sq. ft. of contiguous space; and room for 30-450 guests. In addition to the beach area and function rooms, you can even book one of the two 19th century 100 ft. Sternwheeler boats and host up to 575 guests on it!
I am so glad that I took the time and had the opportunity to widen my views of the delights of staying on the bay. You can find out more about the Catamaran on their website http://www.catamaranresort.com/san-diego-resorts/.
Come and explore it for yourself!.
Photos are all courtesy of the Catamaran Media relations manager.
On Tuesday my friend and I received a wonderful tour from the delightful German assistant front desk manager. We were lucky to be shown several rooms and suites including the palatial Presidental suites. This resort is one of only 6 resorts in the world to be given 5 diamond/stars for their spa, resort and restaurant and one of only 23 five star spas in the country. It was built in 2007 and elegant touches are everywhere from the walls, ceilings, floors, floor coverings, lighting fixtures, furnishings, windows, and even mini-bar offerings.
The resort is located next to the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. It has several green initiatives and works to support the preserve. The resort uses energy efficient lighting; recycling; water conservation; china/glass/cutlery/cloth in all business retreats and large gatherings to avoid waste; organic/in season/local/sustainable/fair trade food as much as possible; chemical free dry cleaning; organic fertilization on the landscape; re-use of green waste for mulch; minimize over watering; use a filtration system at their wash station; and work to protect the wetlands using native re-vegetation and other initiatives. They even have a manager for green initiatives and sustainability.
There is an 18 hole Tom Fazio designed golf course, 7 acres of practice areas, a junior academy and a 50, 000 sq. ft. clubhouse with the Club M restaurant that offers food and entertainment.
There are 4 heated pools in the resort, including an adults only relaxation pool located next to the spa. There is a bar next to a couple of the pools, offering light casual dining. There is also white sand seating.
There are various guest rooms and suites to choose from along with over 4500 sq. ft. Villas. The guest rooms range in size from 550 sq. ft for $495 a night, to 2840 sq. ft Presidential suites that rent for $5000 a night. The Villas rate is $6000 a night. There are various packages available.
There are several dining options including the 5 star Addison, the more casual yet still very elegant Amaya Restaurant, the lounge that serves afternoon tea and light offerings, pool dining, Club M next to the golf course, and several private dining venues in the wine and Champagne cellars. Here is a photo of Amaya. A friend ate there and was quite impressed with their large vegetarian menu. Of course they have other food as well.
As I mentioned, the spa is also 5 stars. I was unable to tour it. They have 11 treatment rooms,, have wet and dry areas for treatments, whirlpool, scrubs, Vichy shower treatments, massage, lymph massage, wraps, facials, waxing, a salon, and various packages available combing scrubs, massages, facials and wraps.
There is a fitness center with fitness and movement classes, including yoga and meditation and tennis. There is an explorer club for children ages 5-12, beach service to transport and set you up at the beach, surf school, kayak tours, picnics, lawn games, and horseback riding and instruction offered.
There are many events available such as: wine tasting; behind the scenes food and wine secret classes at the Addison; a painting and wine event; happy hour; Sunday concerts; movie night; sand castle building on the beach; hikes; Italian movies; perfume making; and an art and architecture tour.
The various ball rooms can be divided or opened up for various size venues for weddings, corporate retreats and other large events. I love this large lawn area that is available for weddings and the gazebo known to be a place for romantic engagements. The Capella is another beautiful chapel like area available for weddings and business meetings.
Everywhere you look from the picturesque driveways to the elegant seating areas in the foyers to the luxurious hallways connecting the guest rooms, to the striking stairway, it is all designed to provide a high end resort experience, and yet is still very warm, inviting and friendly.
Come check it out as a local or a guest! You can find out more on their website:
I have been a holistic therapist, trainer and coach for over 34 years, and have worked in various resorts, so being able to tour a spa is always a special treat. And what a treat this small yet elegant spa is to see. They are dedicated to using mostly organic products in all of their treatments and a few of the lines are produced locally. The spa director, Carol Holguin, described the Kimberly Parry Organics line produced locally, how Kimberly makes up the batches when ordered so they are fresh and how they’ve been able to go to the facility and ask for additions and alterations to the various ingredients to produce signature products for their treatments. All body treatments are done with Kimberly’s line and all facial treatments are performed with either the Kimberly Perry line or the Hungarian line, Ilike, which is made up of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Several lines are carried in the lobby for purchase, too.
Carol also showed us a device used for non-invasive face lifts, called nuface, using a microcurrent. She has used it and says in five minutes it produces visible results. This is available for purchase in their lobby. She also showed us poultices filled with herbal pearls that are used to perform both massages and facials, a signature treatment.
The spa has 2 facial rooms, 6 massage rooms, including a couples massage room; a manicure/pedicure station that looks out to the lovely pool; locker and relaxation areas for both men and woman; a eucalyptus steam room.
Various massages, body treatments, and facials are available alone or in a package. I love how dedicated they are to organic product; water conservation and other green initiatives; and all they do to support local guests as well as guests of the resort. During the summer they have bi-monthly happy hour offerings with various treatments, vendors, and food. During the off season these are offered monthly. Oct. 4th-6th, they are offering a weekend of wellness with classes, workshops, treatments, and wellness consultations. My favorite was the special of a lunch, use of the pool, steam room, outdoor hot-tub and fitness center, all for only $5 added to the purchase of a 50 min. treatment. Most resorts charge a fee of $25 for spa, pool and fitness center use alone. They also cater to small groups, wedding groups, etc.
Here are some pictures of the spa. All are photos taken from their website except for the photo of the women’s locker room.
I was quite impressed with the Sheraton Carlsbad resort as well. They are connected with the MarBrisa time share, too, so guests are welcome to use the main pool as well as pools connected with the time share. They are in the process of building some new timeshare units which adjoin the new two pool area called “The Cove”. The cove is a lovely area with what will eventually be a family pool and an adult pool, a bar, outdoor pool and ping pong tables, and food service at the pool, plus several lounge areas. The pool can be partially rented out for groups.
The first and last photo are of the main pool. The last photo is taken from the website and includes a picture of the rooms. The other three photos are of the Cove and the new MarBrisa time share units.
The Sheraton Carlsbad is located right next to Legoland and has a private entrance to it, plus special rates to explore it. I love the Mediterranean architecture and how lovely the landscaping is throughout the property. They are also next door to the Crossings Golf course. The resort has ocean views and all rooms have patios and balconies that face beautiful scenes of flowers and gardens, the ocean, the canyon or the fairway. There is a large conference center and many companies hold meetings and retreats here as well as having business travelers stay here. There is 40,000 sq ft of meeting and event space for corporate retreats, weddings and other large gatherings. There are several outdoor spaces available as a sweet wedding setting.
Their Twenty/20 restaurant has recently been remodeled and has 5200 sq. feet of space, of which 1700 is outdoor dining with views of the Pacific Ocean. The setting is elegant yet casual. They use local organic produce as much as possible. I love the resorts dedication to green initiatives such as the Blink recharging system for electrical cars, use of recycled paper products, organically grown flowers, green transportation, sustainable food options, china service for meetings to avoid all the waste that often accompanies these events. They even donate left over food. These are photos from their website.
The rooms range from 488 sq. ft to 915 ft. for the Presidential suite. Prices start at $199 per night and go up to $639, plus a $12 fee for internet, paper, resort activities, and use of fitness center. There are 250 rooms. They are pet friendly.
These are photos taken from the website:
I highly recommend these facilities for locals as well as guests either visiting Lego Land, or wanting a mid-range lovely resort option for their ocean vacation. The airport is close by and soon there will be major airline service there, in addition to the computer jets. It is very close to the ocean near the I-5 interstate and there is transportation offered to the beach and other local attractions!
On Friday, I was given a very delightful and through tour of the Cal-a-Vie resort. http://www.cal-a-vie.com/.
As part of my 34 years of researching wellness centers and resorts, I had researched this resort several years ago. It opened in 1985 more as an upscale weight loss resort. With the purchase and restoration of the spa by the present owners, Terri and John Havens, it truly feels and looks like a small French village. With the 200 acres of hilly countryside , just 40 miles north of San Diego, the small orange grove that honors frequent guests and the grape orchards, you feel like you are in another country. This very private luxury spa resort treats its guests to a 5:1 ratio, and the extra attention and care is seen in every aspect of this place.
The first photo is of the Chapel and L-Orangerie, originally part of a Carmelite monastery in Dijon, France, built in the early 1700′s and brought over piece by piece to be rebuilt on the grounds. The other picture is of the rolling hills and orchards seen from the Chapel grounds.
When you enter through the front gate, you will see the Ted Robinson style private golf course to the east.
The entire resort is furnished with 17th, 18th and 19th Century antiques purchased by the Havens and shipped back to the resort for furnishings as well as to sell to guests at their antique store. I loved how each room is unique with it’s different couches, light fixtures, tables, etc. My favorite was the wood used on many of the floors, pine barn wood taken from an old world barn.
Here is a photo of the floor and antique storeroom.
The chapel and L’Orangerie are very special buildings, with a great history. The chapel is used for meditation, weddings, yoga, and other small gatherings. It has no electricity so everything is done by candlelight. The L’Orangerie is used for corporate retreats and meetings, weddings, and other gatherings. It’s demonstration kitchen is used to instruct guests in simple techniques they can take home to use for healthy meals. The meals demonstrated are then cooked right there and provided to the attending guests.
Here are pictures of the inside of the chapel, the foyer of L’Orangerie (a Cal-a-Vie photo), plaques on both of them, the demonstration kitchen and the wonderful lawn outside the L’Orangerie which provides a lovely space for weddings.
There are 32 Mediterranean style villas including 7 suites. The rooms run from 500 sq. ft. to 800 sq. ft for the suites. Each room has a private sun deck or balcony. The bathrooms have a jacuzzi tub and separate shower, and heated limestone floors. The rooms are furnished with unique French antiques and lighting fixtures. Rooms are cleaned with green cleaning products only. Guests come for 3, 4 and 7 day visits. A 7 day stay runs from $8295 – $8795; 4 days from $5295-$5795; and 3 days from $3995-$4395 plus tax. These rates include all meals and snacks, several spa therapies or golf, all classes, fitness facilities and recreational activities. There are special rates for 2 people signing up together. Guests are limited to 18 years and above.
Here are some pictures of the outside and inside of the guest rooms. The first photo is provided by Cal-a-Vie, a picture of a suite; the next two are ones I took of the outside; the next one is provided by Cal-a-Vie, a picture of the inside of a guest room; and the last one is one I took of the inside of a guest room.
The executive Chef, Curtis Cooke, formerly of the Golden Door resort, uses organic and local sustainable produce as much as possible and meals are served in the dining room, the outside patio of the dining room, the demonstration kitchen, in rooms when requested and even in the sweet room in the working windmill. The windmill room is offered to newlyweds, to have some time alone after their wedding and before moving on to the reception. There is no alcohol served with meals. Guests may bring alcohol to have in their rooms only. An on staff dietician is available for private consultation and teaches nutrition classes and gives lectures. The new chef is working to expand the organic garden onsite.
The first photo is taken of the windmill room, the second picture is of the dining hall, the next one is of the outside pizza oven and organic garden, and lastly, a photo of the outside patio and pond.
The focus of this resort is on providing guests with activities, instruction, therapies, cooking classes, etc. for relaxation, retreat, an opportunity to get back in shape and create a new healthier lifestyle they can continue when they return home. Guests fill out a questionnaire when they first register and then go through an interview upon arrival. During this interview they are asked about their particular health and fitness goals, past exercise routines, and needs, so that a personalized daily schedule can be created for them. Daily fitness classes aren’t scheduled ahead of time but rather created to meet the needs of the guests for that week. There are daily hikes, over 100 exercise classes, 20 mind/body classes; including pilates, spinning, yoga, walks, an Olympic sized pool and a smaller pool, water classes, meditation, tai chi, Qi gong, tennis on a clay court, sand volleyball, basketball, other lawn games, and of course the golf course. The fitness center is as luxurious as all the other buildings, looking much different than any other fitness center I’ve seen. There is even a labyrinth!
Below is a picture of the recreation courts, tennis court, labyrinth, the library and lobby of the fitness center and the Olympic sized pool.
As the resort focuses on creating a stress free environment, they provide windbreakers, rain gear, gray sweat shirts and pants, t-shirts, shorts, robes, bath shoes, and bedroom slippers so that guests don’t have to worry about packing. There is a boutique that sells anything else you might need. There are guest speakers and themed weeks throughout the year.
As therapies are a big part of this program, there are over 60 daily spa therapeutic treatments and services offered at the salon and spa. Some of the spa offerings are reiki, Thai massage, shiatsu, vibrational therapy, cranial sacral, acupuncture, facials, body wraps and various massage modalities. The spa rooms are beautiful, spacious and have the same elegant furnishings that are throughout this resort.
The first photo is the registration lobby, and then a Cal-a-Vie photo of the inside of the lobby and lastly, a sweet hot tub for relaxation.
My pictures don’t do this place justice so please go to their website for more information or better yet, book a retreat for yourself!
Last Friday, I was treated to a delightful tour of the resort by the marketing coordinator at the resort. As you drive in via the main entrance you drive within the Aviara planned community and past the Four Seasons residence club which has time shares. Real estate is available in this community but the jewel of this property is the beautiful AAA 5 diamond resort and Arnold Palmer 18 hole golf course.
The Spanish Colonial architecture is complemented by the lush landscaping on the 200 acres and the breathtaking view of the Batiquitos natural lagoon and the ocean beyond. There are sculptures placed around the property and all the guest rooms have either a private balcony or terrace to access these views. Even the pools are situated to best take advantage of the lagoon, ocean and landscaping views.
There are 329 sleeping room, from the 540 sq. foot guest room to the 855-2140 suites, including the Presidential suite. All rooms are certified hypo allergenic with special cleaning processes, materials, etc. to provide this clean environment. When I looked today, the rates ranged from $259 per night to $459 for the Park Suite deluxe, plus the $25 a night resort fee and a parking fee.
There is 78,000 sq feet of indoor/outdoor facilities for weddings, business meetings and events, and 17 meeting rooms. The meeting rooms are held on one side of the hotel and the guest rooms on the other, to keep a separate and more private space available for guests and attendants.
There are five dining venues as well as in room dining. The Vivace is the fine dining venue, Italian, offering dinners and a Sunday brunch. The California Bistro has a wonderful buffet that the marketing coordinator says is exquisite, featuring locally sourced and organic food as much as possible. The Argyle Steakhouse is located next to the 18th hole on the golf course. The Ocean bar and grill is next to the pool and lastly, the Lobby lounge is in the library area and serves tea and finger foods as well as cocktails in the evening. Wed. through Sat. there is live music in the lobby and lounge area.
One of my favorite offerings at the resort is their quarterly Masters of food and wine events. The event during the summer months is focused on teaching families how to make pizza dough, mozzarella cheese and decorate cupcakes. Earlier in the summer it focused on the local Carlsbad Aqua Farm, with a tour, and oyster tasting paired with fine California wines. Later on the focus will be on Single Malt scotch tasting paired with cigars. Bridgette stressed that food is one of the main focuses at this hotel, one that lifts it above the rest.
Other facilities in the hotel are various shops, 6 lighted tennis courts, a game room for kids and adults, a golf academy aligned with the Arnold Palmer golf course, 1/2 court basketball court, sand volley ball, movies, and camp Hyatt for the kids. There is a large and lush family pool and a more secluded adult only Tranquility pool below that one. Another fun offering through the resort is called their Beach Butler service. They offer transportation to the beach, along with beach chairs, towels and umbrellas; a picnic lunch and/or morning coffee service.
I wasn’t able to view inside the spa as it was booked full with appointments but a friend of mine has visited there and says it is lovely. It is 15,000 sq. ft, has 20 treatment rooms, an indoor solarium lounge, whirlpool, steam room, sauna and a fitness center. They offer various body treatments, facials and massage treatments. There is a salon onsite as well.
I am sharing the photos I took here but if you want more info or pictures, you can go to: http://www.parkaviara.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html
This is a view of the lobby and fountain, the view from the fountain and the view of the lagoon.
These last two photos are of the fine dining restaurant and the bistro:
Although this is a fairly large resort, it felt very comfortable and intimate to me. Go visit yourself and let me know what you think!