Tag Archives: California

Last Visit Of The Vista Home I Grew Up In

Vista HouseIt seems as time goes on, the only constant in the universe is that things change. My parents have finally sold the home in Vista, California that they’ve owned since 1988 and yesterday, I stopped by the house to take a final look and hand over my key and garage door opener. I wanted to make sure I got a chance to take one last look at it before it was completely empty and handed over to the new owners this Friday.

When I got there, the movers were there doing the final packing of everything into boxes. They were hard at work packing away the contents of the kitchen when I arrived. Yesterday was just the last day of packing so that it would be all ready for today to make the move to their new home in Temecula, California. I stayed for a little while to visit my mom who was supervising the packing. She showed me pictures of the new home and all the work they’ve done to it in the last couple of months since they bought it. They had done some serious renovations including the removal of some half-walls, completely replacing all the flooring and carpeting as well as giving the kitchen a much needed makeover. I’m sure I’ll see it soon enough with Thanksgiving being next week.

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Trying Hodad’s, One Of CNN’s Top 5 Burgers In America

Hodad's BurgerIn one of those the truth is so strange it sounds like fiction moments, I was listening to Mary Occhino on my Sirius Satellite Radio because I woke up fairly early this morning. Her show now airs here in California between 4 am and 7 am due to the recent addition of Rosie O’Donnell to the Sirius XM Stars channel lineup. I decided to give Rosie O’Donnell’s program a try and stayed listening to her show.

During the Rosie Radio show, she was discussing how she and her daughter are addicted to one of the coffee style drinks at Dunkin’ Donuts. So I ended up checking out Dunkin’ Donuts webpage and on a long shot checked to see if any were in town. And it came up with no results. But a Google search yielded some different results, and so I ended up on Yelp.com where some local reviewers of some local donut shop were reminiscing about how that particular shop used to be Dunkin’ Donuts at one point in time. On the right hand side of the page was a Canadian Maple Leaf that caught my eye. Naturally as a Canadian, I had to see why there was a Canadian Maple Leaf on this page of reviews for a local donut shop that used to be a Dunkin’ Donuts however many years ago.

The Maple Leaf image was basically being used as a profile picture and it was tied to a list called “Comfort Foods” that was under a header called “Related Lists.” So whoever this person is had prepared a list of locations on Yelp, that he or she felt were great comfort food locations in San Diego, so out of curiosity, I clicked on because I’m assuming that he or she is also Canadian like me, so maybe they would have similar tastes.

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Junior’s Sugar Free Cheesecake Arrives In San Diego

Whole Junior's CheesecakeWhen I was in New York, I went to a Junior’s restaurant specifically to try a slice of their sugar free cheesecake. It was absolutely incredible as I detailed previously on my blog. (Click here to see my entry about the Junior’s Sugar Free Cheesecake. So needless to say, I decided it was time to order a whole cheesecake and it was definitely good enough to justify a price tag of $29.95 plus $11.00 for shipping.

I placed the order for the cheesecake a week ago and picked to have it shipped on Monday, October 19th, for delivery today, October 21st. I had actually forgotten I had ordered it by the time the email from Junior’s showed up in my e-mail box to indicate the cheesecake had shipped and the e-mail also provided the UPS tracking number so I could monitor it’s progress on its way across the country to me here in San Diego.

I watched the cheesecake progress from it’s arrival at the Lawnside, New Jersey UPS center, it’s transfer to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania processing center, where it was loaded onto a airplane and arrived at the Ontario, California processing center. As soon as it arrived there, I even reported to co-workers I told about the cheesecake that my cheesecake had landed in California. And soon after the cheesecake was sent to the UPS center in San Diego where it was loaded into a truck and arrived at my door in a brightly colored box in the Junior’s colors.

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My Proudest Moment On Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure

Belly Fat Cure Proudest MomentWhen I first met Jorge Cruise in April, one of the things I said to him was that one of my goals when I joined his Belly Fat Cure program was to be able to get on one of the smaller commuter planes and be able to latch my seat belt without having it stretched out to it’s widest point and still having to suck in my gut or contorting myself in such a way so that I could just get the belt latched. The reason why this is was a goal for me is because those 30 seater commuter planes have shorter seat belts than the ones you find in the bigger jet planes.

What I didn’t tell Jorge was one time I had to suffer the embarrassment of having to ask for a seat belt extension from the flight attendant one time because no matter how much I tried to suck in my gut, I still couldn’t get the seat belt latched when a few days before I was able to successfully do it. The flight attendant made no big deal about it but I was absolutely crushed and shamed. And if it wasn’t for the fact there were people around me that could see me, I probably would have shed a few tears over it at that moment too. I was extremely embarrassed by it.

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Enjoying An In Flight Which Wich? Sandwich

In flight Which WichYou might be asking since when does United Airlines serve Which Wich? sandwiches on their flights. How on Earth would they be able to customize a “hot wich” mid flight? Unfortunately, that’s not (yet) a service they offer. I can just imagine a flight where every seat back is equipped with a Which Wich? bag, and a red Sharpie for passengers to check a page in the flight magazine to write out the basic type of sandwich they want and then use the bag’s check boxes to further customize the rest of the bag and write on a seat number instead of a name so that an inflight Which Wich? attendant could prepare the sandwiches and have them delivered hot and fresh to passengers in flight, but unfortunately that’s just a dream at this point.

In the era of airlines trying to nickel and dime their passengers for all the formerly included services, such as food offerings on cross country flights, the good thing is they allow you to bring your own food on board. So which airport offers Which Wich? in the terminal? Well none in California at the moment. How I got a Which Wich? sandwich on board my red eye flight from Los Angeles International (LAX) to Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD) was stopping at the Which Wich store in Carlsbad, California where I had bought two sandwiches, one to enjoy hot and fresh there in the restaurant and the other to take with me on my flights.

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ABBA Fab Brings Unique ABBA Tribute Show To Escondido

ABBA FabHaving literally just gotten off the plane from New York where I spent two nights with the real Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus as they presented the first English language performance of their musical, Kristina at Carnegie Hall, I took the opportunity to attend the ABBA Fab tribute concert at Escondido’s California Center For The Arts. As the author of the eZine article, “ABBA Tribute Bands – 8 Tips To Improve Your Show” I often like to check out ABBA Tribute Bands to see which ones are worth recommending and which ones are worth avoiding.

ABBA Fab bills themselves as “The Premiere ABBA Experience” on their posters for the event and on their website at ABBAFab.com as “The most amazing tribute show you will see anywhere.” which are some pretty grand statements for a tribute band that has never been seen or heard by me or any of the other ABBA fans I am in touch with around the globe. So I was a bit skeptical of their claim as I have seen some truly great ABBA tribute performances and some truly appalling performances as well.

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A Fantastic Wedding – Craig And Ana Woodard

Ana And Craig Woodard WeddingIt’s funny when you start a job that you never really know how that job is going to impact your life. When I started at Document Sciences as a part-time Graphic Design Assistant way back in October of 2000, I could never have predicted the friendships that I’ve formed there, nor even how my life has change since I started there. Even though I haven’t worked for the company since the end of June 2003, I still periodically see several of the folks I used to work with there.

Last month for example I attended the CD Launch Party for Roxy Monoxide, a local San Diego band that was started by my former boss, Scott Samuels. I do miss working with Scott, he was definitely one of the better managers I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Document Sciences introduced me to one of my best friends in the world, the incredibly fantastic Caroline Bender. She was a trainer for the company and has since moved on to become a Marriage & Family therapist. She is without a doubt the person from Document Sciences I keep in contact with most. And for both of us 2009 has been a great year of weight loss. She’s been following a program that’s been working well for her and I have been following one that’s been working well for me. So now we seem to be more keen on getting photographs with each other every time we meet up so we can track our weight loss progress. And through Caroline I’ve also become better friends with another Document Sciences co-worker George Graham, who I didn’t know I had a lot more in common with at the time I worked with him at Document Sciences. Caroline and I attended his wedding last year.

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Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain – The Future Of Soda Fountains

Coke Freestyle FountainThe future of Soda Fountain dispensing has arrived, at least in beta testing form. When I stopped at the San Marcos, California location of Noodles & Company to redeem the free bowl of pasta offer I received for my birthday from the chain, I discovered they have installed a new soda fountain machine which according the signs offers over 100 different flavor combinations. Amazingly the machine didn’t seem to be much any bigger space wise than a traditional fountain machine except for the fact it was freestanding instead of having to be mounted on a counter. The opening within which to place the cup seemed to be styled from the “Men In Black” school of retro looking futuristic designs.

Instead of offering individual taps for each of the 100+ flavors, there was just a single opening in the Coca-Cola Freestyle Fountain. You just insert the cup against the lever in the back to have ice drop through the machine into your cup, then just allow the cup to sit in the center while using the touchscreen to pick the brand of beverage to bring up a sub menu of available flavors from which you can choose to fill the cup with. Many of the flavor choices are ones that aren’t available in retail stores as bottled choices because there simply is no way any store would ever carry that many different flavors.

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Trying The Which Wich? In Santa Ana

Which Wich? Santa AnaSince originally being introduced to Which Wich? sandwich shops by Brian Hill, I’ve also become a fan of the shops and have recently made a point to try out all three of the Which Wich? locations here in San Diego. And since there’s just one additional location in California at the present time, I thought I might as well check it out too, since I’d be in the area to visit Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland for my birthday.

As I wrapped up my afternoon at Knott’s Berry Farm, I punched in Which Wich? into the Google Maps on my iPhone and it pulled up the Santa Ana location and I used the directions feature to tell me how to get there from Knott’s Berry Farm. It was just a short little drive down the Interstate 5, past Disneyland, and once I found the right highway exit, just a couple of miles to the East of the highway.

I got there in no time at all and despite the relative emptiness of the shopping center in general, the Which Wich? location was actually busy. There were a couple of people waiting for sandwiches to be made, one at the register, and a couple filling out bags for their orders and a number of people at the various tables in the shop. There even was a California Highway Patrol officer enjoying a sandwich in there at the time.

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Pet Peeve: Restaurants Who Face Their Entrances To The Street

Elephant BarEvery once in a while I get in one of those moods where I really start to question the logic of how things get done. Today happens to be one of those days. It seems that the latest trend in restaurants in the suburb strip malls is that they now situate the free standing restaurants so that the main entrance seems to be at the furthest possible point from the parking lot. To me this just seems really stupid.

I do realize that the restaurants are trying to create an impression for people driving by in the hopes that people will stop in and catch a meal there, but to me it seems rather counter intuitive to situate a building facing the street and have a section of parking to the side of the building but put the actual entrance on the opposite side furthest away from the parking. And then they will often do elaborate landscaping and curvy sidewalks so getting to the entrance from the parking lot is an adventure in itself.

Take the photo of the Elephant Bar restaurant that’s pictured above, they have one that looks very similar in San Marcos, California. In this picture the entrance looks to be centered on the building but it’s actually to the right as the round curved section to the right which is an enclosed by outdoor bar area obscures how far to the left the building actually extends. The way the restaurant is set up, the parking lot is off to the left of the building outside of view in this picture. It just seems really dumb to be putting the main entrance so far from where people park.

I’m not against having to walk a little bit further, but it just strikes me as not very customer friendly a tactic to do this. If you want to attract drive by traffic then I think the approach to facing the entrance towards the street actually works against you during the peak hours of the restaurant. You may have a lot of people waiting outside the restaurant for tables, and it would seem to me that having that visible to the street would make a person feel more inclined to pass on that restaurant than stop and put their name on the wait list. With an entrance facing the parking lot, you could at least hide the overflow of waiting people long enough for drive by diners to have at least pulled into the parking lot before showing them they might be in for a bit of a wait. Continue reading Pet Peeve: Restaurants Who Face Their Entrances To The Street