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California

  • Last summer we got invited to check out an awesome new music festival in San Diego - KAABOO. Since then it's been at the top of our list for 2017 and the wait is almost over! The 2017 KAABOO lineup looks even better, with bands including Jimmy Buffett, Aerosmith, Jack Johnson, Fall Out Boy, Lenny Kravitz and so many more that I can't event list them all here. Plus, this is not just a "music festival" - they've got celebrity chefs, comedians, artists and even spa treatments.

  • From the moment you walk through the doors of Hotel Zeppelin you are either going to love this place or hate the incredible hipster vibe. It's just that kind of place and frankly it works in a city that prides itself on creativity and re-imagining yesterday's cool as today's chic. I've stayed in several Hard Rock Hotels and while I've never had a bad experience - Viceroy Hotel Group has done it better.

  • There's no shortage of beer festivals in San Diego, but last weekend I had one of my all-time-favorite experiences at one though initially I was skeptical. For those of you who have attended beer fests, you know that typically these events are just row after row of tap tents in a park or along a road somewhere. This one was scattered among the many boats at the San Diego Maritime Museum! Yes - that's right, drunk people navigating gangways and ships moving beneath of our feet... what could possibly go wrong...

  • When planning your next beach vacation, you might have your heart set on a hotel by the water but here's an alternative - Staybridge Suites. During our #MenWhoBlog trip earlier this year, we stayed here and it was the perfect home base for an awesome guys getaway in Torrance, California.

  • The Toyota history museum in Torrance is closed.

    While Detroit may be known as "Motor City", Los Angeles is absolutely a Car Kingdom with the US Headquarters for numerous Asian manufactures including Mazda, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, and Honda. Because of this, it shouldn't be surprising that there are some amazing automotive museums in Southern California that chronicle this perspective of automotive history. We recently got invited to visit the Toyota USA Automobile Museum in Torrance and I learned a lot about the impact that Toyota had on the American industry as well as just how integrated Toyota is in the US industry and how it got there.

  • To many people, the desert is an inhospitable wasteland but to me it is an open canvas just waiting to be explored. Lucky for me, this romantic ideal is shared by others as well! For many years, vacationers have made the journey to the desert so they can bake in the hot dry sun and relax in the pool, play golf, and generally escape reality for a few days. With La Casa Del Zorro, Heather and I had the chance to spend four nights at the resort with the first two being just us (and Niki Belle) in one of their casitas with a private pool. 

  • I live in paradise so sometimes it's difficult to really think about where I want to go on a summer vacation since everyone seems to want to come here to San Diego. However, last spring I had the opportunity to explore a really unique Southern California desert community called Borrego Springs. In particular, there's a fantastic resort there that I've had my eye on called La Casa del Zorro and since it's summer they have some amazing deals on their casitas with private pools.

  • All too often we look at "big cities" as the places we want to visit and ignore the  smaller towns and suburbs that orbit those population centers. That's often the case with San Jose as well since people typically say "I want to visit San Francisco" and ignore this great destination south of the bay.

  • It's getting hot and if you are in the Southwest United States, it's going to get a lot hotter over the next few months. I just drove back from Las Vegas and as we drove through Baker, CA the thermometer on the car hit 116 degrees! That got me thinking about ideas for places to go visit later this summer to avoid the heat and cool off for a few days. 

  • June is California Avocado Month and so we were invited to help celebrate it with a fantastic dinner at the top of a mountain in a real avocado grove along side the farmer who manages one of the largest avocado ranches in California. A dinner outside under the stars is always special but this was over the top since typically avocados are a sort of mysterious fruit. Sure, we all love them in guacamole but where do they actually come from and what else can you do with them?

  • The 2015/2016 ski season didn’t disappoint. It has snowed practically EVERY weekend on EVERY mountain west of the Mississippi. After many great powder days with my ski/snowboard buddies, we decided to take a spring skiing trip to celebrate such an epic season. Over the past few months, I’ve been revisiting my collection of old ski movies and one resort kept popping up; Squaw Valley Alpine Resort. From Scot Schmidt in The Blizzard of Aahhh’s to the McConkey (R.I.P.) documentary, and countless Warren Miller films, Squaw Valley was always showcased as a resort with great snow, amazing terrain, and a list of accomplished locals to back it all up. I ran the idea past my friends, and flights were booked that evening.

  • While most people think about the coastal California cities Los Angles, San Francisco and San Diego, the reality is that this state is enormous and most of it is really only accessible by driving. A few weeks ago, we packed up our cars and joined 9 other bloggers on a once in a lifetime adventure exploring the deserts of California. From majestic Joshua trees to weird art, post apocalyptic scenery, wonderful weather, fun roads, and amazing people, this was a trip that I recommend trying for anyone who agrees that Driving Matters!

  • San Diego is the craft beer capital of the country as far as I am concerned. While there are many towns across the country where there are fine people brewing great beer, no town has a culture of beer quite like San Diego. With more than 100 breweries in the county, there is something for everyone from large breweries like Stone, Ballast Point, and Green Flash to tiny ones like Intergalactic you are sure to find one that matches your personality. While I dream of one day having been to every brewery in San Diego, last weekend I took two friends on a whirlwind tour of five of my favorites.

  • Everyone should have a neighborhood bar. It's one of those places that can be a home away from home where the bartenders welcome you warmly when you enter the door and you feel comfortable before you even have a chance to order a drink. That's what San Diego's The Whiskey House is to me, so when I got the opportunity to join them for a Glenfiddich tasting a few weeks ago I jumped at the opportunity. Then I discovered that they were opening a $4,000 bottle of Glenfiddich 40 year and I cleared my schedule for the rest of the evening!

  • There is certainly no shortage of options for where to golf in Southern California. We're privileged to have some of the best and most beautiful courses in the world right here at our doorstep. One of these resorts is a relatively hidden gem that is in the process of being brought back to life. The Ranch at Laguna Beach is open right now for golf but the full resort experience will be coming online in early 2016 following an extensive renovation of the resort that traces it's heritage all the way back to the 1940s.

  • So do you like wine?  I think most adults enjoy a glass or two of fine vino at dinners or social events.  Its a nice way to unwind and relax from the day's stresses add a little music and now its a party.  What if you could do a little run at a great destination and then enjoy a great Wine+Music Festival?  Well next month on 21 Nov 2015 you have the opportunity to do just that!  

  • South Lake Tahoe is an interesting mixture of high-rise casino resorts, modern ski condos in the Heavenly Village, and old independent motels. There's a relatively new player in the market now and that's Basecamp Hotel. The hotel has taken over the bones of a classic motel, renovated the crap out of it and has even built some all-new buildings too. It's an interesting boutique hotel that somehow actually creates the feeling that you're part of a community when you stay there.

  • Visitors to Coronado Island are typically familiar with the famous Hotel Del - afterall, it's one of the earliest buildings in the area and set the tone for the next 100+ years as a mecca for beachgoers. What I learned this week, was that just across the road is an even older building that was built a year earlier in 1887. Originally serving as the boathouse for the resort, it now houses a fantastic seafood restaurant that is part of the Bluewater Grill group.

  • Who doesn't love spending a hot August day outside drinking cold San Diego craft beer? Good! I don't see any hands up... To celebrate the second annual "Uncasked" beer festival, we're giving away a pair of tickets.

  • This is the stuff that dreams are made of - the chance to sleep on the outfield grass of a real MLB team! I am constantly impressed by the Padres organization for offering its membership great opportunities to get even closer to the team and this is no exception. My only suggestion is that they should do this event again - but just for adults and pair it with the Padres Beerfest. However, as a family friendly event, the Padres hit a home run and it's something you should consider doing next year if you are a Padres member like I am.

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