San Diego Civic Center: Coming up The Carole King Musical


AUGUST 2-7, 2016

BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical tells the Tony Award-winning inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.


California Lands Three of the Top 10-Family-Friendly Fishing Spots in the U.S.

Angler Reminder
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation recently released their list of the Top 100 family-friendly places to boat and fish in the United States. California was well represented. Clear Lake State Park, Brannon Island State Park and Dockweiler State Beach ranked five, six and seven, respectively.

Criteria for the Top 100 included having a public body of water within driving distance of a major city, good fishing opportunities and family-friendly amenities. Nearly 35,000 different anglers and boaters cast nearly 650,000 votes to support their favorite fishing and boating locations.

Round up the family, get your license, pack the fishing gear, hit the road and cast your line.


 Clear Lake
#5 – Clear Lake State Park
Many professional bass fishing organizations have designated Clear Lake as the best bass fishing lake in America. Channel catfish, crappie and bluegill fishing can also be excellent.

Several thousand years ago, a landslide blocked natural drainage from a valley into the Russian River. The water rose until it found an outlet through Cache Creek into the Sacramento River to form Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely within California.

The entrance to Clear Lake State Park is 3.5 miles northeast of Kelseyville on Soda Bay Road, north of Calistoga in the wine country.

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#6 – Brannan Island State Recreation Area
Brannan Island State Recreation Area is a maze of waterways through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This park northeast of San Francisco Bay, has countless islands and marshes with many wildlife habitats and offers great fishing for striped bass, black bass, sturgeon, catfish and bluegill.

The park is on Highway 160 a few miles south of the city of Rio Vista in Sacramento County. The park is located on the lower peninsular extension of Brannan Island, and is surrounded by the Sacramento River on the west, Three Mile Slough on the southeast and Seven Mile Slough on the northeast.

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#7 – Dockweiler State Beach
Dockweiler State Beach features a three-mile long shoreline with a picnic area and concession stand. Surf fishers regularly catch halibut, corbina, croaker and surfperch from the beach. The beach is located at the western terminus of Imperial Highway in Playa del Rey.
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Continue reading “California Lands Three of the Top 10-Family-Friendly Fishing Spots in the U.S.”

Dana Point Harbor 2016

Sunset Dana Point

I love living in California by the coast because each beach town is so unique.  Just half an hour drive in any direction can take you into another city with a whole different look and feel.

Such is the case with Dana Point Harbor which is about a 35 minute drive from the smaller Oceanside Harbor and about the same distance from the larger Newport Harbor.  The city if Dana Point is only a few minutes from the Interstate 5 off-ramp, making it easily accessible.

Harbor entrance

Although the harbor is filled with tons of things to do, to me it always seems less crowded than even the smaller Oceanside Harbor and definitely less than Newport.  You can easily stroll along the bay-side walkway with just a few people in your path.  The tranquil scene of moored boats and the calm harbor makes for a relaxing time.

Resturants Dana Point
Boat slips Dana Point

I actually had the pleasure of going to Dana Point Harbor twice in one week even though it is forty minutes from where I live.  The first night was for a last minute decision to catch the sunset from a different vantage point and the other was to have dinner with a long time friend.

Sunset Dana Point 2
Dana Point Harbor at night

The first night we concentrated on the north end of the harbor with our destination of Dana Point Headlands Beach.    The beach sits at the end of the outer jetty and is a great place to sit back and enjoy the sunset or the ocean. I have dubbed it Francis Beach as a tribute to a wonderful lady whose ashes were spread out to sea nearby.

Francis beach
Francis Beach otherwise known as Dana Point Headlands Beach

As it turned out, we didn’t see much of a sunset as the sun was blocked out by a large cliff to the north.  We were content just watching the waves crashing over the rocks and the smell of the sea air.   The breakers were gently rolling over the off shore rock formations giving an appearance of dozens of tiny waterfalls.

Rock with waterfalls

A handful of  stand up paddle boarders were headed out to sea to enjoy the calmer waters near the jetty while in contrast, boats were making their way back in for the evening.


Dana Point Harbor is home to a variety of restaurants and quaint cafes with many of them sitting at water’s edge and a view of the marina.  There are unique shops and boutiques as well as rental places for any type of watercraft.  Excursions to Catalina are available and whale watching tours are popular in the migration season.

Restuarant Signs Dana Point

Yaught Club
Although they have a boat ramp on the south end of the harbor, Sup and kayak riders can launch their craft down the road at Baby Beach where the water is calm and a perfect place for families with kids.

Baby Beach
Baby Beach, a great place to take your family. Calm water, no waves.

Outrigger canoeists on their way out to beyond the harbor

Nearby sits the The Ocean Institute  with its hands-on educational sea exhibits,  children’s day camps, overnight trips, boat excursions, and other various educational resources.

The institute is also home to the ship called the “Pilgrim” which is a full sized replica of a 19th century sailing ship.

Ocean Institute
Dana Point also hosts many festivals including the annual Festival of Whales, Thanksgiving Turkey Trot, Christmas Boat Parade, Classic Wooden Boat Festival, and many others.

The harbor is also close to one of my favorite surfing beaches at Doheny State Park.  Up the hill from the harbor, the city itself has hotels, restaurants, shops, etc.

So there is plenty to do in Dana Point even if it is just for a couple hours.   A day or even weekend staycation would be even better as it is a water wonderland with surfing, stand up paddling, kayaking, Sea-Dooing, boating, or enjoying a meal or two.

Walk way
I think I may have just talked myself into going again this week.

Anyway, I think you will love Dana Point Harbor and the surrounding area, so give it a try.

Photos and Story:Debbie Colwell


Parting Shot:

Dana Point Night Lights
Dana Point Harbor at night with the walkway lit up in the background


Weekly photo challenge is “Glass”  Here are some interpretations of glass in California.

Sea Glass

FB-Glass Beach larger glass

I love looking for sea glass every time I go to the beach. I usually find at least one piece. The definition of sea glass is:
Naturally produced sea glass (“genuine sea glass”) originates as pieces of glass from broken bottles, broken tableware, or even shipwrecks, which are rolled and tumbled in the ocean for years until all of their edges are rounded off, and the slickness of the glass has been worn to a frosted appearance.”

There is no better place for sea glass than Fort Bragg California which is famous for it’s “Glass Beach” However, since it is a State Park, taking items from the park is prohibited. I wasn’t keen on taking any but I did see a few on the ground and took those home. Still, I think it should be left there for generations to enjoy.

FB-Glass Beach glass 2

Glass Bottom Boat

Catalina Glass bottom Boat
Nothing like riding on a glass bottom boat. Here in California, tons of fish could be seen off of the coast of Catalina Island. Although not in this photo, the bright orange Garibaldi Perch can often be spotted along the shores and harbor of this populated island.

Glassy Water

Harbor 2 With Logo
When I used to surf we called the waves glassy when the wind was non existent and the water had the appearance of pure glass. The same can be said of this warm California night and the water of the Oceanside harbor.

Lights or Candle Holders
Here at Bandy Canyon near Escondido, the grounds were spotted with various different lanterns and candle holders. All adding to a wonderful ambience at night.


Glass windows and especially tinted glass add to the richness of any building. Here the Hyatt stands grandly overlooking the San Diego Bay.

Omni--Building side

More Glassy Water
Even the Pacific Ocean off of the coast of California can have a beautiful blue/turquoise tone making it look like rich glass.

Wave G 900

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