Tag Archives: Google Maps

My First Trip Ever To Palm Springs

Would you believe, I’ve lived in San Diego since 1986, and not once have I ever gone to Palm Springs? My only excuse is that I never realized how close to San Diego, Palm Springs really is. It’s about 135 miles from San Diego, which according to Google Maps, is a little more than a two hour drive. I never really looked at the maps to see how close it was to San Diego and just always figured I’d end up seeing it sometime, well that sometime has finally come. My reason for going was because my favorite ABBA tribute band, Arrival, from Sweden was going to be performing at the “Evening Under The Stars” charity event for the AIDS Assistance Program and this event is the closest they’ve come to San Diego since last year’s appearance at the San Diego County Fair. (Click here to read my blog entry for their appearance at the San Diego County Fair). I was invited to attend as a guest of the band.

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My “New” iPhone 3G

Earlier this month, my good friend Vito Grandolfo, said that he was going to upgrade his iPhone 3G to an iPhone 3GS phone and wanted to know if I would be interested in his iPhone 3G. I was definitely interested and I asked Vito if he was interested in my older Blu-Ray player, a Samsung BD-P1600. And he was interested so we decided to do a swap. A older Blu-Ray player for an older iPhone.

Vito got his new phone on Christmas Eve and we arranged a time to the technology exchange on the day after Christmas as Vito was flying out to another assignment for his job the very next morning. I helped Vito set up the Blu-Ray player on his TV and gave him a couple of the freebie Blu-Ray discs I had gotten by mail order rebate with the purchase of the player and we made sure it all worked.

Because I’m a T-Mobile customer and not an AT&T customer it was going to take a little bit of time to get the new iPhone ready for use. I already knew I wasn’t going to be able to use the 3G network as AT&T’s 3G network operates on a different frequency than T-Mobile’s 3G network and they’re not compatible. But what I was looking forward to was the integrated GPS as the older original generation iPhone I was using was only ever able to approximate my location using triangulation between cell phone towers and was not always the most accurate, especially when trying to use Google Maps for directions or having the phone identify the direction I was traveling on highways for one of the traffic monitoring applications. Additionally the iPhone Vito gave me was double the capacity of the small 4 GB iPhone I was currently using at the time. So plenty of room to expand.

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Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

Every once in a while I get a craving and generally nothing really satisfies it until I get what I’m craving. And today I was just getting the bug to have some food from an A&W restaurant. I grew up in Canada and A&W’s are one of the first and larger fast food chains in Canada. I’d even go so far as to say they are far more popular in Canada than I’ve seen here in the United States (using in Southern California anyway). Usually when I get a craving for A&W its due to nostalgia for the Canadian A&Ws. I know the last time I got a craving for A&W and went to one of the ones here in San Diego I was disappointed because American A&Ws are nothing like the Canadian ones. The menus don’t offer the same items and the food doesn’t even taste the same. So I knew I was probably setting myself up for another disappointment but it’s been a couple of years since I last went to A&W but I was willing to chance it.

These days A&W is one of the “brands” of restaurants part of the YUM! Corporation which consists of all the restaurant brands bought up by the Pepsi Corporation. (In Canada, A&W’s were started by the American A&W’s but were sold off in 1972 and have no ties to the American A&W operations) I’m not sure if YUM! is just a new name for the division, a spun off & separate company, or even sold off, but anyway, they are home to familiar restaurant names, like Kentucky Fried Chicken (or KFC), Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, A&W, and Long John Silvers. Pepsi originally bought up these restaurants so they could ensure these restaurants served only Pepsi products as beverages. One of the concepts YUM has been doing in recent years is putting in single locations that offer more than one brand in one restaurant. Usually it ends up being a KFC or Taco Bell co-branded with one of the other not quite as popular brands.

In any case, all of the ones in San Diego county were KFC/A&W’s and oddly enough all of them are in the South part of the county, none of them were in North County. So none of the locations are conveniently located for me. So I headed off to the closest location that Google maps pointed me to. I even checked it on the street view to see the location before going there and sure enough, there was a KFC & A&W combination store. However, when I got there, the signage for the A&W was gone, just the KFC remained. From the dirt on the walls where the signs used to be, it looked like it must have been a recent removal. Continue reading Where Have All The A&W’s Gone?

Thanksgiving At My Parents’ New Home

Mom's New HouseI got to have my first look the new house my parents moved into in Temecula, California on Thanksgiving. I was a little sad to see the old house in the process of being packed up and ready to go last week when stopped by. (Click here to read about that visit.) But I was excited to see the new house even though it’s considerably further away from where I’m currently living.

My first look at the house wasn’t actually when I drove up, when I got the e-mail from my mother with the new address, I checked it out on Google’s maps using the street view feature. The photo was not unlike the one I took that’s shown above. The house is definitely bigger than the older house and as my mom tells me, it’s approximately 1000 square feet bigger than the old house, but because lacks the same level of storage space of the old house. Understandable considering the old house, my folks had “California Closets” installed in all the closets to maximize the closet spaces and a full set of storage cabinets inside the garage. The new house has just the bar to hang clothes in the closets and from what my folks told me, the garage wasn’t even drywalled when the bought the house. So eventually the closets will get transformed into California Closets and cabinets added to the garage, but it’s not a priority.

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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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Ramada Limited In Jersey City Offers Excellent Service

Ramada Jersey CityOn my recent trip to New York City, my fellow San Diego travel companion (who likes to remain anonymous) and I opted to stay at the Ramada Limited in Jersey City as opposed to a more expensive option inside New York City. Some of the nice benefits of staying there is that they offer complimentary airport shuttles to Newark’s Airport (which we were both flying into, albeit on separate airlines), free Wi-Fi, and complimentary continental breakfast all for about $100 a night. ($110 with all the taxes and fees.)

Another key selling point for booking here was the fact it’s located a block away from the PATH trains which head right into New York City. I used Google Maps to run public transportation estimates on how long it would take to get to Carnegie Hall from the hotel and back, and of the reasonably priced options in Jersey City, this one allowed for easy public transportation options twenty-four hours a day with approximately 45 minutes travel time each way, which is roughly the equivalent of getting a hotel about two miles away from Carnegie Hall and walking but at less than half the price. I absolutely had to do this trip with as much savings on cost as possible so that pretty much ruled out an in the city hotel for this trip for me.

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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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Officially Been To Every Which Wich? In San Diego

Which WichI have officially now tried each and every Which Wich? location in the San Diego area. To date there are three locations. The first location to open was the Hillcrest location on 5th Avenue. The second location to open was the Pacific Beach location off of Garnet. And the newest addition to the San Diego Which Wich? family is the Carlsbad location located in the Forum shopping center off of Calle Barcelona. However, I didn’t visit them in the order of their openings, I started with the Hillcrest location, then tried the Carlsbad location, before finally making it to the Pacific Beach location.

As a new and up and coming chain of sandwich shops here in San Diego, I have become a big fan of their concept as a sandwich shop. The premise that you set foot in the shop, grab a Which Wich? bag for one of the ten sandwich categories or get the bag for their signature sandwich, “The Wicked” and a red sharpie and you proceed to check off the condiments and toppings you’d like on your sandwich. I’ve included a photograph of one of my sandwich bags for a Roast Beef sandwich I had on one of my visits. From there you take your bag to the register and purchase the sandwich and if you like you can add on your choice of chips, cookies, sodas, iced teas, and milkshakes and then relax while the sandwich experts behind the counter make your sandwich completely customized to your order. There’s no need to point at ingredients or shout over a sneeze guard like at other sandwich shops. Your sandwich comes out how you want it, and when you write your name on the bag, you get the extra personal touch of having your sandwich called out by your name.

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Busy Week Full Of Pride In San Diego

Pride FlagAfter having attended the last two San Diego Pride Parade’s in the last couple of years and having to work, I decided this year I was going to make sure I saved a few days of time off so that I could take part in the festivities this year. And with the Chantal Kreviazuk concert in Los Angeles last week, I decided to add a few more days to my time off request and as a result I was able to take part in quite a few activities.

On Tuesday night, after I had stopped by Jorge Cruise‘s office to say hello and show off the results of my 47 pounds of weight loss using his incredibly awesome Belly Fat Cure program, I treated myself to a late lunch at Which Wich sandwich shop in Hillcrest and then because I was in the area, I saw The Center for San Diego’s LGBT community was hosting a Bear Pride Bingo event that a lot of my local friends were attending, so I quickly sent in an RSVP and headed on over to the event. For $15 for a packet of bingo sheets, $2 for a dabber, and $1 for an optional game, I was set. I didn’t win any of the games but came very close on a few occasions. I did happen to know a couple people who did win, namely Vito Grandolfo and Tim Palmer. I even went with Vito and his friend Earl Shearin over to Brians’ American Eatery for a post-Bingo bite to eat. (Many thanks to Earl who wouldn’t let me pay for my meal.)

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