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Agua Caliente

Aqua Caliente Park is in the Anza Borrego Desert, just east of Julian, CA and around a two-hour drive from San Diego. We stayed at the cabins there recently and enjoyed the stark and beautiful landscape. The white Tierra Blanca Mountains rise up from the campsite, with trails for hiking offering views of blooming cactus, big horn sheep and expansive views of the desert valley. The land and vegetation of the desert seem otherworldly, as if untouched by humans. The peaceful silence that you can experience after walking just a short distance away from the campsite, makes it feel like a real getaway. At Aqua Caliente, there are tent camping areas, trailer hookups and several air-conditioned cabins where guests can stay to enjoy the geothermal hot spring pools and hiking trails. The wooden cabins are very comfortable and include solar powered electricity, running water and a toilet inside each cabin. We’ve stayed in several cabins in areas around San Diego and this was by far the most luxurious. You do need to bring your own sleeping bag and camping mattress. These cabins are popular, so be sure to book early. In our case, we reserved in early January to visit in April. The park is closed during the summer months due to high temperatures and is open Labor Day through Memorial Day. To learn more about Aqua Caliente Park, please visit their website. You can see my 360-degree view of the cabin area. (This link works best from a computer) Children get a first-hand experience of the desert at Aqua Caliente Park. At the top of this trail, we were treated to a panoramic view of the campsite. This trail was just steps away from the campsite. It’s worth visiting in the Spring for the desert blooms. The cabins are pictured here, set against another great view. S’mores are […] Read more »

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Vacant Lot Becomes Wildflower Backdrop

Today, I took some portraits amidst yellow and white wildflowers with green pines trees in the background. It looked like an ideal natural setting set somewhere in a country field. Rather than drive up into the foothills, or to an alpine meadow in Yosemite, I actually took these photos in a vacant lot near a four-way intersection, behind a bus stop in San Diego. I drive by this non-descript spot all the time. When I first saw this lot in full spring bloom, I was amazed because this dead, grassy corner had been transformed. It’s the type of portrait setting one would never expect to find in urban San Diego. I had to capture this unexpected mass of color, so we visited during the golden glow of the late afternoon. This impromptu shoot reminds me to keep my eyes open, as conditions and seasons are always dynamic.  Here are a few of my favorite images.     Read more »

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La Jolla Seaside

La Jolla, CA is a great place to visit to see beautiful ocean views and catch glimpses of wildlife.  I’d like to share a small gallery of some La Jolla moments, including views from the lawn of the La Jolla Wedding Bowl. Read more »

Skyline View

Coronado Ferry

On Friday, I had a chance to take the Coronado Bay Ferry and got a quick video of the San Diego Skyline. I shot it using my iPhone and the Hyperlapse app. This app is free and allows you to take time-lapse videos. My favorite part is that it does a great job stabilizing the video.   Riding  the ferry is a great way to enjoy the day. Did you know that you can ride for free during the week? The commuter ferry runs each work day morning, with the last boat leaving Coronado at 8:35 am. This is a completely free ride and includes a ticket for a free return trip. To learn more, please visit their website. Read more »

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Santa Barbara Beach Walkway

I just returned from a trip to Santa Barbara, California. There is a paved beach path there that I highly recommend, and I had a chance to walk it every day. It follows along the beach for a few miles, passes the pier and can take you all the way to the town of Montecito. There is plenty of entertainment, shopping, and dining options in Santa Barbara itself, but a walk along the beach is another good way to get an immediate feel for this coastal community. The views of the water, iconic palm trees, coastal mountains, sunrise and sunset are not to be missed. Sunset magazine just named Santa Barabara #1 hometown in the west praising its efforts towards the environment and sustainability. The town of Carpinteria is just a 15-minute drive south of Santa Barabara is worth the trip. It’s a lovely small town with another great beach. The beach sunset and the dune photos below were both taken in Carpenteria. Read more »