A Few Plants at Famosa Slough

famosa slough featured image

Last month, on November 23rd, my girls went over to Famosa Slough because I wanted to check out and see how the plants were doing. I knew that the toyon and buckwheat were in bloom, but what other surprises were we in for? Well, I can tell you upfront that I saw my very first California boxthorn bush! Have you ever seen one in the wild?

So today, I wish to keep things casual, seeing that I have written more in-depth about almost all of these plants.

Please see the links down below if you would like more information.

A Few Famosa Slough Facts

Famosa slough map google maps

button-map-Famosa-Slough-Google-Maps

First and foremost, the Famosa Slough is a living wetland preserve as well as a Marine Protected Area, which means nothing is to be touched or taken. It survives as a wetland by the tidal flow from the culvet pipes that connect it to the San Diego River Channel.

It consists of two sections: the Northern Channel,, which is 12 acres, and the southern portion of 25 acres of mixed wetlands. The more south you go, the less saline the water.

I have been here four times now and have written about Famosa Slough before, only concentrating on the southern section. Well, today,, we explored both.

North Channel of Famosa Slough

famosa slough pano san diego saltmarsh

The North section connects to the San Diego River Channel to the north,, with the southern portion just across the street.

Continue reading “A Few Plants at Famosa Slough”

First Day Hikes 2022

First Day Hikes 2022 Featured Image

Wow! I am so happy to write up this post in record time! You see, yesterday, I realized that the California State Parks uniquely celebrate the New Year. How is that, you may ask?
California State Park staff members, docents, and volunteers will show off the beauty and wonders of our gorgeous State Park system by leading the general public in First Day Hikes! Below is valuable information on each San Diego/ California State Park featured, plus a brief explanation of where and what is offered.
I will be starting north up at San Onofre State Beach and making my way south towards the California/Mexican Border.
It is supposed to be a bit chilly on the coast today, with the high only being 62 degrees, so please take that into account!


First Day Hikes at San Onofre State Beach

Trestles November sand dunes water surfers

Where – Trestles Beach Trailhead on Cristianitos Road/ El Camino Real

Time- 2 pm

Continue reading “First Day Hikes 2022”

Pacific Beach Boardwalk on a Mid-November Day

Pacific Beach featured image

One of my very best friends, Paula, lived in Pacific Beach for a bit when we were both in college. I have distinct memories of visiting her apartment, located right off the Pacific Beach Boardwalk and close to Crystal Pier.

Fast-forward 33 years, and we are back!

Seriously though, Paula, her husband John, and I spent an hour together soaking in the sun, ocean, and wind while reminiscing.  Check out what we experienced on this sunny but very windy mid-November day.

Where is Pacific Beach?

Pacific Beach map google maps

button map Pacific Beach google maps

Pacific Beach is found between La Jolla to the north and Mission Beach to the south.

Let’s now take a look at some of the highlights of the day!

parasailing-Pacific-Beach
The wind was just suitable for parasailing over North Pacific Beach!

Here we are looking out over North Pacific Beach from the Crystal Pier. If you follow the surf break straight ahead, this is where the Tourmaline Surfing Park is located (just south of Law Street Beach.) When the conditions are right, you will see many surfers paddling out past False Point (see map above.)

Continue reading “Pacific Beach Boardwalk on a Mid-November Day”

Checking out the La Jolla Harbor Seals

2009 harbor seals la jolla san diego

One of my favorite places to bring family and friends from out of town is La Jolla, by far! Our absolute favorite place to visit in La Jolla is over at the Children’s Pool, otherwise known as Point Mencinger or Casa Beach. We love to see if the La Jolla harbor seals are hauled out on the rocks or the beach.

Did you know that Point Mencinger and the Children’s Pool is a Pacific harbor seal rookery? (A rookery is where the seals mate and raise young.)

Yes, it is!

And just north at Point La Jolla, there is a California sea lion rookery as well! The coastline of La Jolla is magical.

On August 17, my girls and I went on a little pinniped adventure.

Let’s now take a look at what we saw, and as a bonus for you and as well as for me, I have listed several La Jolla harbor seal facts.

The Pacific Harbor Seals of La Jolla

Point Mencinger la jolla san diego
Point Mencinger is North of Boomer Beach, 2021

First off, it blows me away that I never knew that the formal name of this area, in La Jolla, is known as Point Mencinger. 

Down below is a photo during a King Tide, so the tide was super low.

Continue reading “Checking out the La Jolla Harbor Seals”

Best San Diego Family Beaches

Moonlight 7 1 family beach san diego featured image

Welcome to San Diego Beach Secrets! Today I would like to concentrate on the best San Diego family beaches. There are so many different types of beaches in San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline. The variety is endless,  and some of which you can only reach four times a year. But what does constitute a great family beach? My first pick would be calm waters, followed by soft sand, maybe a playground? But most definitely a restroom and showers. So, today I will be highlighting where, when, and how each beach is ideal for a spectacular family day at the beach.

Ready?

Let’s go!

—>Beaches of San Diego County<—

Best North County San Diego Beaches for Families

Oh, how I love North County San Diego Beaches! You see, these beaches (sans Oceanside) have huge and gorgeous sandstone bluffs to accent the already beautiful Pacific Ocean.

Down below, I have three wonderful family beaches to share with you!

Let’s go!

Oceanside Harbor Beach- Family Fun in Oceanside

oceanside pier sand ocean waves

button map buccaneer beach oceanside

Oceanside Harbor beach is great for families because there are so many amenities to choose from. What I think is the main draw is the extensive sandy beach.

Continue reading “Best San Diego Family Beaches”

Sea Caves at La Jolla Underwater Park

Cave window la jolla underwater park

Wow! Do I have some exciting information for you all! Many of you may have somewhat of an idea of my complete, somewhat obsessive love of King Tides. For all others, a King Tide is when you have the highest and lowest tides of the year (click on the link for more in-depth information.) Most attention is given to the high tide, as people seem to enjoy seeing just how far the ocean will reach on land.

I absolutely love going to the beach during the lowest of the tides, so I can examine what is usually covered by the ocean and have rare access to beaches that are typically not accessible. And let me tell you, today is one of those days.

Yes! My girls and I explored two caves at the La Jolla Underwater Park!

Now I must say right up front that getting to these caves is no easy feat, and you have to have tremendous balance as there is at least a quarter-mile of rocks to walk over until you reach the semi-sandy beach over at Caves Beach.

Would you like to see what we saw?

Let’s go!

Continue reading “Sea Caves at La Jolla Underwater Park”

Surfin USA Lyrics-A Closer Look

Surfing USA lyrics Featured Image

The other day I was thinking about the Beach Boys and how they put several San Diego beaches on the map, so to speak. Did you know that five out of the fifteen beaches named are found in San Diego? I thought that it would be enjoyable to take a closer look at the lyrics of Surfin USA.

First of all, most of the website that provides the song lyrics misspell two top-rated surfing beaches, so I am here to be the official spell-checker for you.

  • Trestles-not Trestle
  • San Onofre- not San Ahofree
  • Swami’s- not Swamies

Ok, that was satisfying!

Also, for fun, I will be picking a prime photo for each San Diego location to help you can capture a feel of the beaches the Beach Boys were singing about

Continue reading “Surfin USA Lyrics-A Closer Look”

All San Diego City Beaches Are Closed

San Diego Beaches closed featured image

I can not believe that I am writing these words, but all San Diego city beaches are closed to the public as a precaution to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Can you believe what you are reading? I keep thinking that I am going to wake up and this is all a bad dream.

Here is a timeline of events that have been occurring in San Diego County, starting on March 15 to “flatten-the curve,” to discourage large gatherings and to maintain social distancing.

San Diego Beach Closures –Timeline of Events

beach closure timeline california san diego

  • Sunday, March 15- all restaurants and bars are to be closed until April 28.
  • Tuesday, March 17- the State of California closes all state campgrounds and beach parking lots, but beaches, trails, and non-campground areas are still open.
  • Thursday, March 19- Governor Gavin Newsom declares a ‘shelter-in-place’ order for the entire state of California.
  • Friday, March 20- the cities of San Diego, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar close all parks, beach parking lots, and boat launch ramps. Cabrillo National Monument was closed but stated that it would open back up on April 10. All outdoor areas and trails are still open. (Update- Everything closed until further notice.)
  • Monday, March 23- due to lack of social distancing and gathering of large groups at several beaches in San Diego on the previous weekend, the mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer calls for the closing of all San Diego City-owned lakes, beaches, boardwalks, parks, and trails. The cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar, follow San Diego and do the same.
  • Tuesday, March 24, the Port of San Diego officially closes all parks, trails, parking lots, and boat launch ramps of San Diego Bay. Imperial Beach officially closes all if its beaches.

Continue reading “All San Diego City Beaches Are Closed”

Walking Around Guajome Lake and Regional Park

Guajome Regional Park featured image water birds cattails

In mid-January, I took my daughters and Mother-in-Law to experience Guajome Lake and Regional Park in Oceanside for a couple of hours. You see, we are constantly passing by the front entrance whenever we take Highway 76 to the coast.

I have always been intrigued by what Guajome Lake looked like, so today was the day to find out!

Guajome Regional Park Map

A Bit of Guajome Regional Park History

Guajome regional park grassy picnic area

First off, here are a few statistics regarding Guajome Regional Park. The park spans over 394 acres and is 8 miles inland from the coast.

Continue reading “Walking Around Guajome Lake and Regional Park”

San Diego Beach Buzz- March Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz March Events

Welcome back! Lord have mercy this year has been shooting by! Are you planning on visiting San Diego in March? Here is a bunch of things happening in this beautiful city. Take a look and figure out which events interest you! Down below, I have compiled for you a bunch of different things that you can do while on the coast of San Diego. Most events are free to the public. So let’s take a look at San Diego Events for March 2020

The Carlsbad Flower Fields Open in March!

Carlsbad Flower Fields San Diego March Events
Photo Credit- Kellinahandbasket @ Flickr

Starting March 1, the Carlsbad Flower Fields is open to the public for only six to eight weeks!

Now is the time to visit this 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.

“Today, the fields are a direct result of over 85 years of floral cultivation that began when Luther Gage, an early settler, and grower, settled in the area in the early 1920s.

Mr. Gage introduced Ranunculus seeds and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. This started a business called “Luther Gage Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs.” The name “Tecolote” came from the owls that nested on his property.”
Continue reading “San Diego Beach Buzz- March Events 2020”

Desperately Seeking Torrey Pine Trees

Desperately seeking torrey pine tree featured image

I would have a bit of fun with this post today. You see, with all the exploring that I have been doing in San Diego County, I have been noticing the elusive Torrey pine trees while on my adventures.

I am so intrigued that the Torrey pine tree is endangered and is the rarest pine tree in North America. The Torrey pine tree only grows naturally on a tiny strip of land on Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve (TPSNR). Because of this, I keep noticing them wherever I go around San Diego County!

I have tried to find any information on who planted all of these trees, but regardless I was ecstatic every time I saw a Torrey pine tree. So I did a little research, and let me tell you, it was not easy.  There is plenty of necessary information, but other than that, not so much.

Torrey Pine Tree Information

torrey pine tree scientific information

First and foremost, the Torrey pine tree only grows naturally in two places Del Mar and Santa Rosa Island, off the coast of Santa Barbara, which is 175 miles away.

Continue reading “Desperately Seeking Torrey Pine Trees”

San Diego Beach Buzz- February Events 2020

San Diego Beach Buzz February featured image

Welcome back! Can you believe how fast the month of January has gone by? Wow! Down below are some fabulous events that are happening on the coast of San Diego in February. Now, I am sure most in the country can not even imagine that here in February, the average high temperature in San Diego is 65 F (18 C). Pretty nice, yes? While most of the country is dealing with snow,  here in San Diego we are wondering if we need sunscreen. Let’s now take a look at what is happening this month, shall we?

San Diego February Marathons

February San Diego Marathons february events

There seems to be a wide variety of San Diego marathons to choose from in February! I was pleasantly surprised at the variety that is offered.

11th Annual Warrior Spirit 5k Run/Walk Family Festival

warrior run carlsbad marathon

Website

Time: Registration-8:30 am and Opening Ceremonies-9:15 am

Sponsored by the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, on Saturday, the 1st starting over at Poinsettia Park in Carlsbad, join others to race to support those with life-threatening childhood diseases and their families.

“Funds raised from the event will go toward MTF’s Families Team Pages where their bills will be paid from. MTF’s Programs; Medical & Home Assistance, Healing & Rehabilitation, and Wheelchair Conversion Vans Programs.”

There will be live music, food and health vendors, Kids Fun Zone Area, mini-therapy ponies, a dance contest, and even a costume contest. Registration is $45. Click on the above link for more information.

Continue reading “San Diego Beach Buzz- February Events 2020”

King Tide at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

I knew that the King Tide was due in for that weekend, so I thought, what better place to check out than the tide pools over at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park-Garbage Beach.

My husband and I had tickets for the ‘King’ of all concerts- Tool at  Viejas Arena SDSU (San Diego State University) on Sunday, Jan 12. It was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law (thank you, Tess!). My husband even made the situation sweeter by getting a hotel room. I usually work on the weekends, so you can probably imagine how excited I was to take a day off! My main objective was to make this one of the best days ever in San Diego (my best days are always at the beach!)

What is a King Tide?

point loma tide chart jan 11 to 13 King Tide
Point Loma Tide Chart

A spring tide occurs after a full and new moon occurs due to the moon and sun’s gravitational pull. The result produces a very high tide and, in turn, a shallow tide. In essence, a Spring Tide is when there is the most significant distance between the high tide and the low tide. The best time to experience the tide pools is during an extremely low tide and, of course, during the day. In the summer months, all of the very low tides happen at night. Continue reading “King Tide at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park”

San Diego Summer Fun- 2019

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Panoramic

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been my favorite season! It could be that my Birthday is on July 1st, but to be honest, I think it is more than that. You see, my favorite place on this Earth is the beach. So can you think of a better time to visit the beach but in summer? Me neither! Join my daughters and me and see where we explored during our San Diego Summer of 2019!

The Best  Summer Possible!

Heermans gulls encinitas moonlight beach
Heerman’s gulls on Moonlight Beach

This San Diego Summer, I wanted to make it super special because it was the last summer with my girls before they were both off to college.

My eldest daughter has been in college for two years already and came home for the summer, but my youngest was just about to start. I have been a stay-at-home Mom for over twenty years, so the thought of not having any children home puts the panic of God into me.

However, I was not going to let my anxiety of missing my kids get in the way of having the best San Diego summer possible.

Continue reading “San Diego Summer Fun- 2019”

California Super Bloom at San Onofre

Trestles Beach April 2019 California Super Bloom

Over three weeks ago, I had the supreme pleasure of taking the opportunity to get out and see what was happening on the coast of North County San Diego. Amidst all of the rain that we got this winter season, I was extremely excited to see how all of the plants on the coast looked. Did the California super bloom affect the coast?

So I grabbed my backpack and filled it with plant ID books, my iPad, water, sunscreen, and ran out the door.  Well, maybe not running, but I was super excited!

My two daughters and I headed first to Trestles Beach Trail and afterward, doubled back and explored Bluffs Beach at San Onofre State Beach.  I have to say, what I saw, took my breath away.

San Onofre State Beach Google Map
Trestles Beach Trail to the north- San Onofre Bluff Campground south

button map trestles beach trail google map

Ok, are you ready to check out all of the plants at San Onofre State Beach in North County San Diego!

Continue reading “California Super Bloom at San Onofre”