emdrHave you heard of the many benefits provided by San Diego EMDR therapy professionals? This new technique has become one of the most well-received and successful integrative therapies designed to help lessen trauma and improve overall state of being, and it continues today to grow in popularity.


Highly reputable experts are available who have mastered the technique, and can provide adequate support for anyone looking to improve their emotional and mental health, either as a group or individually, throughout the San Diego area.


What Is EMDR, Really?


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a type of integrative, holistic method for treating trauma and mental problems that can be associated with anything from mild psychological disorders to conditions that have often required psychiatric assistance in the past.


According to those who practice San Diego EMDR therapy, the technique works by improving the brain's ability to resume normal processing, while preventing it from reliving traumatic events as it would normally otherwise do.


People suffering from trauma often relive the various images, sounds, smells and other sensations associated with a negatively charged memory of traumatic events. When this happens, the brain fails to process information at its regular rate. After an EMDR session, however, the process of reliving traumatic events is lessened, and the negative memories are no longer allowed to interfere with the person's normal day-to-day life, or the way they see the world.


With the help of a professional San Diego EMDR therapy expert, this effect can quickly be achieved, and the benefit results are similarly powerful as those obtained from REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Thus, the natural approach employed by EMDR treatments can be far more beneficial than most other conventional psychological and psychiatric treatments.


The Benefits of Choosing EMDR


  • The clearest benefit associated with EMDR is that it will effectively help patients reprocess any traumatic life events. Even the most disturbing memories associated with PTSD and intense trauma can be tackled effectively through professional EMDR sessions.
  • This type of therapy is widely recognized by a number of reputable organizations, such as the American Psychiatric Association, the Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs, or the ISTSS.
  • Limiting and negative beliefs about the self and about one's own abilities can effectively be transformed, so that after going through the therapy, one would be able to see oneself in a completely different, far more positive light.
  • Years of therapy can be packed into just a few months of effective EMDR therapy sessions.
  • When going through EPDM therapy, you won't have to talk too much about your experiences and repressed memories, making it much easier and more comfortable than other techniques.


Who Can Benefit from San Diego EMDR Therapy?


Virtually anyone who has experienced some form of traumatic episode, either in the distant past – such as events associated with childhood abuse – or more recently, can gain many benefits from the healing power associated with EMDR treatments.


With the help of a dependable San Diego EMDR therapy professional, you can quickly, yet gradually enough, let go of memories of traumatic accidents, episodes of abuse, experiences associated with combat or the recent loss of a loved one, and even problems associated with angry outbursts or the disruptiveness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Wealth-ManagementMany of today’s rich and famous people started out with a significant but not very large fortune that they managed to safeguard and multiply with the help of professional San Diego wealth management advisors. Wealth management is not just a service reserved to corporate managers and fortune heirs, but one from which regular people can benefit too.

How Rich Is Very Rich?

The concept of richness varies from one person to another. For San Diego wealth management professionals, it simply refers to the financial and real estate assets their clients own. These have to be managed carefully and planned for in advance, so as to avoid any negative impacts of sudden economy changes.

Not richness should be your primary goal, but maintaining and increasing the value of what you currently own. It takes a lot of skill and discipline to manage an investment portfolio, to establish the current and future market value of your home and/or of any other real estate property you own.

Trust San Diego Wealth Management Advisors with Investment Decisions

If you do not have background training in banking, finance and capital markets, you risk losing a sizable amount of your personal assets by investing them on your own. A skilled and experienced advisor will identify, for example, a good, long term investment opportunity. At the same time, they will ignore a current trend that may seem attractive to you, but is bound to be short lived.

Should you invest your cash into real estate property? You may be tempted to trust a realtor’s opinion, but remember that the realtor’s sole goal is to close the sale, not to look after your best interests. An experienced San Diego wealth management advisor knows when it is the right moment to buy and what areas expect an increase in property value.

It Is Your Future at Risk

Being prudent with your money does not mean that you do not have entrepreneurial spirit. You may have heard stories about people who risked everything they had and made it big. Behind each such story, there are thousand more referring to people who risked and lost everything.

A successful entrepreneur is never a reckless investor ready to bet it all on some new, geeky or high tech discovery, but a responsible spouse and parent who would not risk and would not advise anyone to risk their family’s safe future for the sake of a one-in-a-million business venture.

Successful people have their own wealth managers and consult with them before putting their asset into a new investment or business opportunity. That is because the art of managing money and wealth at the present is a very complex one. Times change fast, values increase and decrease overnight, and the stock exchange is permanently fluctuating.

The only people who understand how these mechanisms work are disciplined wealth consultants who do their homework both on their clients' situation and on the best investment opportunities available to them.

The wise and responsible decision is to hire an experienced San Diego wealth management advisor to look after your wealth and present you with the best investment opportunities. You will find such a professional at Softwealth, the company that has taken financial services to the next level.

wine barrel chairsIf you love to keep up with the most recent trends in home and garden furniture, it is time you found out more about wine barrel furniture. This recent trend started from the broader concept of saving trees and reusing wood in as many ways as possible.

Wooden pallet furniture was in fashion last year and the trend is still going strong, but, right now, a small group of entrepreneurs has found a new way to transform wine barrels and give them a new lease on life.

Why Wine Barrel Furniture?

The idea of turning wine barrels into deck chairs or coffee tables has presented itself to two entrepreneurs with Hungarian heritage, who are trained in the art of traditional furniture making.

The sources of their raw material are the wine cellars in California, where, every year, millions of gallons of wine are stored in wooden barrels to age. Once the wine is bottled and sold, the barrels are not reused, because they would affect the taste and quality of the new wine stored in them.

The usual fate of these barrels was to become sawdust, mostly used as filling in the furniture industry, but the Hungarian Workshop owners had a different vision: the beautifully aged and carved wood barrels would make lovely pieces of furniture by themselves. So, why should they go to waste?

Types of Furniture Items Made from Wooden Barrels

Large wine barrels have a specific shape and curvature that makes them perfect for deck chair, love seats or even rocking chairs. Each piece of wine barrel furniture is handmade and guaranteed to have a long useful life. The staves of the barrel are individually sanded and polished, to clear all types of impurities, until the wood grain stands out in all its natural beauty.

Deck chairs and love seats made from wine barrel staves are just what you need for a relaxing day in your back yard. The typical bend of the staves provides you with all the comfort you could hope for in a relaxed seating position. You can also sit and enjoy the sunset in a sturdy and rustic looking rocking chair that will certainly make your neighbors envy you. In the morning, you can have your coffee on a table made from the full bottom of a wine barrel, with a barrel lid on top of it.

The Manufacturing Process

The Hungarian Workshop's wine barrel furniture is made of aged French Oak wine barrels, bonded together with stainless steel elements. Their artisans work on the wooden staves until they are clean, safe and solid enough to ensure a long use in your home. This way, you will enjoy the rustic aged look of real wood and create a cozy atmosphere in your kitchen, garden and, why not, your own wine cellar.

Every piece of furniture from San Diego's Hungarian Workshop comes with the guarantee of authenticity, quality and comfort. You know without a doubt that the chair you sit in was built with care and skill by the artisans' talented hands.

Finally, remember that, if you want to be environmentally responsible, you have to go all the way in changing your life to leave a smaller footprint on the planet. Wine barrel furniture is the responsible way of decorating your home and enjoying natural wood furniture.

San Diego HorsesThere are many outdoor activities available in California, but few rival the San Diego horseback riding opportunities. Indeed, this region offers great premises: a beautiful scenery, the warm weather that makes horseback riding possible all year round and welcoming farms with well trained horses and dedicated staff.

Not Just a Hobby, a Personal Journey Towards Self-Knowledge

Many parents bring their children to learn riding and equitation from a very young age. Currently, the youngest age for taking lessons is 7 in most San Diego horseback riding farms. They say that, by learning to win the trust of a horse, children will develop a strong sense of empathy and social skills that will serve them well in the future.

Horse riding is highly recommended for the harmonious physical development of children and a great way to spend more time outside in the middle of nature. In fact, exploring nature leisurely is the top motivation for most horseback riding clubs members. If a small part of them participate in competitions, most of them simply want to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and a very special type of friendship - that with a reliable, discrete, smart and loyal horse.

San Diego Horseback Riding Farms and Their Impressive Services

Horses are magnificent animals. Besides their beauty, they are renowned for their intelligence and for the bond they form with their owners or riders. There are many wonderful activities involving horses available, including psychological therapy and horse petting for at-risk children, youths and adults.

Classic equitation courses for children and adults are organized as well, offering participants the chance to master the art of guiding a horse through various standard routines. Some of the most loyal members and guests of the local riding clubs and farms have noted an overall improved posture when standing or sitting and a higher sense of self-confidence and wellbeing.

From open field to track riding, you can enjoy the full experience of horse riding and become more confident in approaching various trails and your relationships. For children and teenagers, riding is a wonderful way to discover nature, learn more about horses and the environment and embrace a healthy and exciting outdoors activity.

The Power of Human-Horse Friendship

Above all, those who enjoy horseback riding appreciate the bond they create with their favorite horse. Most San Diego horseback riding farms have returning guests who book the same horse for their riding sessions and plan their next visits with great excitement.

Trainers actually recommend building a personal relationship of confidence with a single horse and learning, not just the art of riding, but also the art of communicating with the animal, understanding its moods and reacting accordingly, with understanding and empathy.

By making friends with a horse, you win a loyal and dedicated animal friend who will never betray you. You have the chance to enjoy this special friendship in the wonderful scenery of San Diego, horseback riding farms like Salisbury Farms welcoming you with heavenly landscapes, great services and well mannered, friendly horses.

San Diego PropertyHave you ever thought about investing in real estate and hiring a San Diego property management service? If you're already an investor, you might want to check out some of the remarkable benefits that these companies have to offer.


With the help of a reliable and highly versatile property management company such as Leasing San Diego Property Management, you can have every possible aspect of your investment covered, from getting your property to look spotless and feel sturdy, to making sure you can find new tenants to occupy it.


The Best San Diego Services


In San Diego, there are plenty of good property management services to choose from. However, while most of them don't offer a complete package when it comes to dealing with every potential issue that could arise when owning a large property or a distressed house, Leasing San Diego Property Management is one service that will provide you with everything you can possibly need.


Here are just a few of the main advantages the company has to offer when it comes to organizing your interests and finances, keeping track of your investments and making sure your properties are all in top shape:


  • Through a complete set of organization services and advantages, such as turnover lag time reduction, resident retention, aggressive pre-leasing and fast collection of due fees and rents, the company will help you maximize your profits and know exactly whether or not you need to change anything with regards to your policies.
  • With the help of Leasing San Diego, you will know exactly what you're spending money on and keep all your expenses under control. They will help you make sound decisions regarding maintenance, implementing various upgrades and performing necessary repairs.
  • By keeping close track of changes on the business and political arena, the experts at Leasing San Diego will also be able to take into account any important changes with regards to the laws or regulations that would affect your investment, and take the necessary actions right away.
  • They are also able to help you with property rehabilitation. In case you want to buy distressed properties or homes that may be extremely old and in bad condition, their property management experts will work around the clock to make sure your new property is ready to be rented or resold, and you can start earning a profit in no time at all.
  • Whether you need help keeping the air conditioning in good order or making sure the plumbing doesn't perform poorly over time, Leasing San Diego Property Management can help with all maintenance tasks required by a home or building.


A Company You Can Rely on


Leasing San Diego is the only property management service that can handle any and all tasks you require for your investments in real estate. Whether you need help fixing the porch, keeping track of the market, upgrading the HVAC or making sure your tenants pay the right amount for rent and fees, the company will exceed all your expectations in terms of efficiency and promptitude.


If you do some research on Leasing San Diego Property Management, you will quickly notice how numerous companies and individuals who have worked together with them had only words of praise to describe them by in their reviews and testimonials.


When you're looking for a San Diego mortgage broker as a first time home buyer, you might not know what to expect. The prospect of finding a good loan may be difficult, and you will need to do some research to make sure you've landed the best available deal.

With the help of Maureen Martin, all these difficulties will be overcome. All you have to do is schedule an appointment, and Maureen will do the rest. Also, if you truly want the best tips on finding good interest rates and figuring out all you need to know about buying your first home, she can provide you with all the information you might require.


What You Need to Know as a First Time Home Buyer


Like any other reliable San Diego mortgage broker, Maureen Martin can provide you with plenty of tips on what you need to think about before investing in a new home. Her more than 14 years of experience will turn out to be the best guide on deciding exactly what you need from a home loan, how much you should consider spending on your new home, and which type of mortgage loan you should get.


The first thing you have to think about, however, is figuring out exactly what you want and how much your current income and financial situation can help you in achieving it. Consider asking yourself the following questions:


  • Do you have a stable job, and do you think you might be able to afford making mortgage payments for the next 20-30 years?
  • How many family members are you currently supporting, and how much does your household income sum up to?
  • Do you have a good credit score, and have you taken out any other loans in the past few years?
  • What type of home are you looking for? Have you already found a great looking house that you hope to purchase?


All these questions need to be answered before you go out trying to find a San Diego mortgage broker. Once you have a firm grasp of knowing your options and figuring out what you want to achieve, an experienced and efficient mortgage broker like Maureen Martin will easily be able to help you figure out what steps to take next.


Which Interest Rates Should You Consider?


One of the most important things to think about in advance when going to see a San Diego mortgage broker for the first time is the option of finding lower, more accessible interest rates.


Regardless of the type of loan you are considering, a stable, low interest rate will help you reduce your overall payments, stabilize your budget, and borrow a larger amount that could help you pay for your dream home.


Maureen Martin can easily guide you through the process of finding out whether you require a fixed or adjustable mortgage rate, and take into account all the most advantageous choices you may have at your disposal as a first time home buyer.


When it comes to finding the right mortgage loans for yourself and your family, there is no better San Diego mortgage broker you can trust than Maureen Martin.

Dog Beach San DiegoSan Diego dog training programs are known throughout the region as some of the best solutions for pet lovers to engage in fun activities with their canine friends, while managing to teach them about obedience, diets and all the special perks that come with putting their intelligence to the test.


Who says you can't teach old dogs new tricks? At Who's Walking Who, you can get the best training resources for your dog, whether he/she is older, a puppy or just has a very strong personality that won't allow for any new changes.


What You and Your Pooch Can Look Forward to


Who's Walking Who is a service that specializes in dog training, and it is also considered to be one of the best San Diego dog training companies available. Whether you're on a busy schedule, and can't deal with your dogs' training needs, or you want a thorough training program that aims for total obedience, there is nothing you can't achieve with the help of these experts.


Consider just some of the remarkable advantages that the programs created by Who's Walking Who can offer:


  • The obedience training program they have come up with uses humane methods to teach dogs about the rules they need to learn and abide by, while also helping you bond with them. The reward-based training program will make your canine companions excited about learning, and help them maintain a balanced, upbeat personality.


  • A special program is available for training puppies. Most San Diego dog training facilities do not provide these types of services, but at Who's Walking Who, your pups will have a fun and exciting time while learning to overcome some of the most important house training issues related to barking, jumping, chewing, digging, respecting boundaries and biting.


  • The company also offers private training services delivered straight to your home. Whether you live in San Diego or anywhere in the Riverside County, Who's Walking Who specialists can visit your home, and help both you and your dog learn about the most engaging and easy to understand training techniques, while helping you bond as well.


  • You can also benefit from special behavior modification training for all your dogs. Sometimes, the world can be quite distracting for your canine companions. With the help of experts from Who's Walking Who, however, you can find out exactly how easy it is to change your dogs' behavior, and have them respond to your commands, no matter the circumstances.


San Diego Dog Training at Its Best


If you live in San Diego, your pooch has nothing to worry about when it comes to learning all he needs to know about following commands and behaving properly around the house.


Affordable, well-designed training programs, experienced dog training specialists, a friendly, upbeat environment and much more is offered by Who's Walking Who as part of the new and engaging school program your fur babies will be taking part in.


Your problems will be over as soon as you contact Who's Walking Who and talk to them about your pet - their San Diego dog training services never fail to yield the best and fastest results!

san diego hypnotherapyWhen talking about the best therapists specializing in hypnotherapy, San Diego experts tend to have mixed feelings when it comes to comparing their work with that of therapists who mainly use western practices.


Nevertheless, through the work of highly skilled therapists like Karen Kerschmann, hypnotherapy has really taken off, proving that you can use it to get even better results than any conventional western method may provide.


What Is Hypnotherapy?


Hypnotherapy is the therapeutic practice through which a therapist uses hypnosis to find the subconscious causes of various psychological and sometimes physical problems that patients may suffer from. When talking to an expert in hypnotherapy, San Diego clients can quickly find out that the practice is not painful, has no side effects, and can be combined with a variety of western therapy methods in order to achieve the desired effects.


According to most experts, hypnotherapy is also considered one of the safest forms of treatment, when it comes to dealing with emotional and psychological problems, such as addictions, phobias, as well as chronic pain or childhood trauma.


A hypnotherapy session basically just puts you in touch with your subconscious, and allows the therapist to guide you through your memories and subconscious thoughts, finding the root of any problem you may be struggling with. The process may last through several sessions, during which the therapist could see fit to change her approach, combine the treatment with various other methods, or recommend self-hypnosis sessions that you can try out at home.


Calling upon a good therapist can make all the difference in the world when it comes to reaching the best results during your sessions and becoming healed. San Diego hypnotherapy expert, Karen Kerschmann can provide you with complete and affordable, personalized hypnotherapy sessions that are sure to help you get to the core of your psychological issues.


Hypnotherapy San Diego - The Importance of a Reliable Therapist


Not many San Diego therapists practice hypnotherapy. Karen Kerschmann is one of the few who havebeen working on mastering this field. She has been working with hypnotherapy for decades, and, today, she is able to produce excellent results almost in every case.


In some cases, of course, even experts using hypnotherapy can have difficulty in getting to the root of the problem before the 4th of 5th session, and sometimes healing is slow to come. However, an experienced therapist like Karen Kerschmann knows exactly what techniques to use and how to adapt her practice in a unique format in order to cater to the particular needs of her patients.


This way, she will be able to help you use your own psychological strengths, making them work for your own benefit in order to treat phobias, depression, addictions, or any other psychological condition you are suffering from.


If you live in California and you're looking for a dependable, experienced and trustworthy specialist in hypnotherapy, San Diego therapist Karen Kerschmann is the one you should talk to regarding any types of psychological disorders you may be struggling with.

ILocal SEOf you're interested in ranking higher in search engine results, hiring an SEO firm – and especially an experienced team of SEO professionals who are located in your area – may be one of the most inspired choices you can make. However, it takes a little effort and discernment to find out just what you might need from a company that can truly provide you with the kind of efficiency and concrete, practical results that you are looking for.

A Few Quick Tips

Here are a few simple recommendations to start you out on the path to improving the ranking and recognition of your website by hiring the most reliable SEO firm in your area:

• Consider the size and type of your business and the businesses that the SEO firm you're looking at normally caters to. It would normally make good sense to choose a company with a positive track record serving businesses similar to yours.
• What's their customer care service like? Can they offer relevant and practical information about the search engine optimization process and the methods they use?
• A respectable SEO firm, like 1st Rank - San Diego SEO, should be able to help you with the most basic and significant SEO techniques for improving the recognition of your website, such as link building, Page Rank and keyword optimization.
• Make sure the company in question places emphasis on the importance of good reporting practices.
• Always look for an SEO firm that charges fairly and doesn't ask you to pay too much for what most experts would call “basic optimization.”

Important Misconceptions to Keep Track of

Of course, not all SEO firms are made the same, and if you want real quality, you have to avoid making any kinds of assumptions before doing your research.

One of the first things that people look at when they try to find a good SEO company is the way their website is structured, as well as its appearance and ranking. This would normally make sense, since, after all, an SEO company that can't rank high and do a good job promoting its own website isn't really worth the money, right?

That's not actually true in most cases. Google puts emphasis on many different factors when ranking a particular website higher than others, and in some cases, simply having an older domain than all your other competitors might rank you higher in SERPs. Of course, the company may have done a decent job with its ranking efforts, but that doesn't mean SEO firms from the 2nd and 3rd spot, or even lower, cannot offer similar quality.

Another misconception to steer clear of is that the company you find has “been around” for a long time, and has a lot of employees. Depending on what you really need, the size or age of the company might not matter all that much, and it is often a much better idea to search for SEO firms based on their skill and experience in dealing with specific types of SEO related problems and SEO techniques.

You'll find most of the companies in your area may be able to offer excellent service at a good price. Ultimately, there is no substitute for diligent research and careful consideration, if you want to find the one that would be best suited for what your promotional efforts would require.

Mormon Battalion San DiegoThis is a follow up to Top Ten Things To Do In San Diego Part 1.

#6 - East Coast comes West - Mission Beach

(3795 Mission Boulevard, San Diego)

Looking for a beach that is relaxed and laid back? Look again! Because Mission Beach is about the closest thing to a classic east coast beach like Atlantic City and Coney Island! Mission Beach is an action beach!

It’s true that with its designated surf areas and lifeguards year round from 9 am to dusk, many people do flock to Mission Beach to boost their tans and people watch (especially in the summer season when extra lifeguards man towers along the beach). But, as well as the usual beach activities, there is also a lot happening at Mission Beach.

In its early days, Mission Beach was home to a summer circus with all the fun of the fair – carousels and stalls. These days the party continues, though the surroundings are somewhat more sophisticated. There is a great night life here at Mission Beach with some of the hottest night clubs in the district and a pace that never stops.

A narrow concrete boulevard runs the length of Mission Beach which itself extends between three different areas:

North Mission Beach – this is where the summer circus began in days gone past. Now it is lined with funky apartments and equally funky clothing and gear stores;

Belmont Park – home of the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster. This is a must-do for the family when you visit San Diego. There is nothing greater than a ride on a Roller Coaster by the sea!

South Mission Beach – here the pace slows a little and as you come to the end of the Boardwalk you will find a pier full of fishermen, so bring your line! Out from South Mission Beach is an artificial reef which has been created out of shipwrecks. So if you are a diver, bring your gear and explore this man-made diving mecca.

If you want to take some exercise – other than strolling through the wonderful shops, or swimming in the Pacific Ocean – grab your running shoes and head for the Boardwalk. You will see that there are orange strips on the beach wall. These are marked at quarter mile intervals. So you will be able to actually measure your run. Great for the enthusiast, and a boost for the would-be enthusiast who needs some focus! Mission Beach is two miles of shoreline … you can do the math! Or, hire some roller-skates and explore the Boardwalk on wheels. There’s one thing for sure, at Mission Beach you won’t be the only one doing something!
#7 - Where it all began - Cabrillo National Monument


(1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego 92106)

Cabrillo National Monument is part of the National Park Service and covers 160 acres of native habitat with the Pacific Ocean to its west and San Diego Bay to its east, part of a larger area – 660 acres – at Point Loma, west of San Diego city.

The area was largely undeveloped until 1962 when a new superintendent, Thomas Tucker, took over control of the area. He was concerned that there was not a real awareness of what the Cabrillo National Monument commemorated and wanted to heighten awareness of locals and visitors to the area of some of the history which had led to the setting aside of the area for the Monument which, of course, commemorates the arrival in 1542 of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on the West Coast of the USA.

The area itself begs to be preserved as it includes such varied terrain as to make it a safe sanctuary to a wide range of creatures with its rocky shorelines on the west home to marine plants and animals, and the ocean and air above both major migratory links.

If you take a self-guided two mile walk, for example, you will have views of San Diego Harbor and city skyline and, between December and March, there is a chance of spotting the Pacific Gray Whale as it passes by on its migration from Alaska to birth and rear its young in Baja California, Mexico.

Check at the Visitors Center for the tides, and then choose the right time to get the most out of your exploration of the tide pools which are abundant along the coastline.

It isn’t only at sea that you can witness great migrations, though. Cabrillo National Monument is on the Pacific Flyway which means that if you are a bird watcher, this is one great place to go and sit! There are over 200 species of birds recorded within the Cabrillo National Monument area.

For more information, take the short walk from the parking area to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse which has been restored to its 1880’s appearance. The buildings associated with the lighthouse, including the lighthouse keeper’s quarters, are used these days to house the park ranger staff and the Visitor’s Center. Ranger guided presentations of the high caliber we have all come to enjoy through the National Park Service are on offer. Remember, if you are planning to do a short walk, wear sturdy closed-in footwear.

Within two years of Thomas Tucker taking over as Superintendent of Cabrillo National Monument, the Visitor’s Center was up and running alongside a 430 car parking area. San Diego residents and visitors alike are now able to reap the benefit of his wise foresight and enjoy this wonderfully diverse habitat.

Remember, Cabrillo National Monument is part of the National Park Service. There are no food concessions on site, and you should take your own drinking water into the area, and picnic either before or after your visit rather than within the Park area itself. That will be your contribution to keeping this area a safe habitat for a wide number of birds and other creatures for generations to come!
#8 - Up close and personal with the Beluga and Friends - SeaWorld San Diego


(500 Sea World Drive, San Diego)

If it is a theme park attraction you are seeking, or just a great day out for the kids, then SeaWorld San Diego is a compulsory must-see! This animal theme park is also a marine mammal park so you can have loads of fun and also learn a little about some of the mammals who share the planet with us, even if we wouldn’t normally get up close and personal with them in our normal daily life! Want to know what I’m talking about – think close encounters of the exotic kind with penguins, belugas, dolphins and whales!

If wandering around a theme park is something you struggle with, check out the Bayside Skyride. This six minute gondola ride takes you over Mission Bay and, with its towers sitting at 80’, will give you great views all the way. Including of the water! This is the only skyride which carries its passengers over a body of salt water.

But if you are travelling with little kids, or you are a big kid yourself, then you will want to check out some of the fun rides that are up and going here at SeaWorld San Diego. Obviously, they will all have a sea-based theme and, yes, you can be sure to get wet on some of them – especially, the Shipwreck Rapids raft ride which will take you through the turtle exhibit and so educate you a little before hauling you under water falls! Don’t want to get wet? Walk right on past the Shipwreck Rapids ride!

It’s not all about getting wet, though. The latest ride addition to the Park is a rollercoaster. But not just any old rollercoaster! This Manta two minute ride is not for the fainthearted – it boasts drops of 54’. This may be the longest two minutes in your life!

If you survive that, though, it might be time for a stroll through Rocky Point Reserve with its entertaining bottle nose dolphins. This dolphin cove is a wonderful exhibit of this species and it is definitely somewhere you should spend some time even if you did come to SeaWorld San Diego predominantly for the adventure of the rides!

For a slower paced roller coaster action than the newly installed Manta, check out the Flume rollercoaster which has thrills and spills and climbs and plunges but also takes time to wind through rocky scenes and provide a narration of the story of Atlantis at the same time.

And if you weren’t satisfied with the view from the Bayside Skyride, step into the capsule of the 320 foot SeaWorld Sky Tower. The capsule will soar you to the top at the rate of 150 feet per minute (that’s fast!) and spin you slowly at the same time. The SkyTower has been in operation for some time, but was recently refurbished in 2002 and is somewhat of a ‘must-do’ icon for SeaWorld San Diego.

Some advice for your visit? As with all theme parks, take some snacks and drinks with you if you have the kids as the concession prices will be fairly steep and the range fairly limited, wear sensible footwear so you can enjoy all the activities on offer, and, above all, allow yourself plenty of time for maximum enjoyment.
#9 - Natural Testament to Survival - Torrey Pines State Reserve


(12600 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego, CA 92037)

Situated off Coast Highway 101 between La Jolla and Del Mar is Torrey Pines State Reserve, a State Natural Reserve.

Although the landscape here is extraordinary with its sea cliffs and lagoon providing a wonderful natural habitat for a wide range of bird and animal life, the Reserve is named after the rare pine tree, Pinus Torreyana. While the pine itself can live in other areas, the decision to preserve it in this area is based on the extraordinary fact that it can live in such conditions – perched on rocks and enjoying, at best, drought conditions.

The Torrey Pines were named after a leading botanist in the late 1800’s who never actually visited the area. A Botanist in the area as part of the US-Mexico boundary survey wanted to protect the pines, because of the rarity of the condition they live in with hardly any soil. The City Council was persuaded in 1899 to set aside 364 acres as a public park and over the years more land, including the cliffs with the Torrey Pines, was added.

Apart from the pine trees, though, Torrey Pines State Reserve is a wilderness in an urban sea and home to one of the last salt marshes and water fowl refuges in Southern California. The lagoon is vital in order for the successful migration of the seabirds that pass through this area.

Because of the fragility of the ecosystem which keeps all these things alive and thriving – animal and birdlife and trees – there is no camping and no picnics allowed in the area and you will be encouraged on your visit to explore within the eight miles of laid out trails, though the area itself consists of 2,000 acres. Check at the Visitor Center for more details of the trails as there is work continually being done to keep them in a safe condition for use and from time to time rock falls do close off areas of the reserve. The Visitor Center will also be able to guide you as to what you might to expect to see on a certain trail which is useful, particularly if you have limited time available.

Whether you are a resident or a visitor, you may also find it interesting to take in the view from the Torrey Pines State Reserve of another natural phenomenon. The Carmel Valley Faultline is quite easily seen in the cliffs. The Park Rangers will be able to show you the best viewing places for this faultline and others which pass through the Reserve.

Remember, wear sturdy shoes for your walking within the reserve, take layers of clothing if you plan to sit and watch the birdlife for any period of time, and carry in water only to drink. Preserving this area is arguably more important now than it was to the botanists in the 1800’s who had the foresight to set aside the area for us to enjoy today.
#10 - Follow the March - Mormon Battalion Historic Site


(2510 Juan Street, San Diego, CA 92110)

Motivated by a desire to leave Illinois and find a more welcoming and friendly home in Utah, a group of Mormons came to an agreement that their move would be supported by the leaders of the day in exchange for some service to the US Army.

And so it happened that during the American-Mexican war, there was one religious based battalion in action – the Mormon Battalion. This volunteer unit, with a Mormon officer leading but under a Union commander, marched 2,000 miles from Iowa to San Diego, a march which was particularly significant for the American Union as it secured much of the south west and opened up wagon routes. On arrival in San Diego in 1847, the Battalion worked alongside other Union soldiers to build the city’s first court house. Before their part in the arrangement was completed, they continued on to their intended final destination of Salt Lake City. No members of the Battalion were injured or killed in any battles on the way and many civilians (women and children) accompanied the march.

The Mormon Battalion Historic Site Monument was established in 1940 and a Visitor Center at the site was erected in 1960. Originally, the site was very much a place for the Church of Latter Day Saints to educate visitors to their own origins, but in 2010 the Visitor Center re-opened with an emphasis on sharing also the history of the region with less emphasis on the religious aspect.

On arrival at the Site you will be greeted by guides dressed in replica period costume and taken on a tour which uses state of the art interactive displays. On entering a large reception room, you will notice a wall of framed portraits. These images embrace the latest digital technology and interact in conversation with the guide while telling the story of the part that they played in the Mormon Battalion, including the march and other events around the time. The characters literally bring to life their story.

After passing through the room, the story is taken up again with the introduction of the gold panning exhibit which is considered to be one of the most authentic available for public viewing as you are whisked into the history of the era which included, of course, the somewhat frenzied and exciting gold rush period.

There is an opportunity to pan for gold, make bricks and try on replica period clothing at the conclusion of the tour. This is an educational activity which is very popular with district schools as it relays in an easily understood and interesting way a segment of history from the area. The activity is also provided at no charge by the Church of Latter Day Saints and you should not be surprised, for that reason, to also be given an insight into the beliefs and mechanisms of that Church during your tour.

This very popular activity is open from 9 am to 9 pm. The use of technology provides quite a wow factor for what could otherwise be a very dull historical narrative! There are some great photo opportunities at the gold panning exhibit, so remember your cameras!