Tuesday, April 24, 2012

San Diego... what a great town!

Hey everyone!
I feel like its been ages since we posted our last blog. But with the week we've had, it's no wonder. Since our last blog, we've overseen 5 corporate Scavenger Hunts, 2 corporate bus tours, completed 3 travel writing assignments and took part in our church's job fair.  Wow!  As my Facebook status asked - who needs to work out when you got a little thing called life?

Don't get me wrong.  We are NOT complaining. Actually, it's quite the opposite.  Every time Marc & I land a job, we are grateful. To us, it's truly amazing that we get to do what we do in a town we absolutely love.  And, not only that... we meet the nicest people. But then again, we highly doubt a grumpy person would sign up for a Scavenger Hunt or a bike tour.  The two just don't mix.

Over the years, we've had some pretty cool things happen during our tours & Scavenger Hunts.  Most recently, one of our friends (who happens to be a news anchor at one of the local TV stations) announced that he and his wife were expecting their first child.  He then quickly added "but please don't tweet about it because we haven't broken the good news to our parents!"   The look on his wife's face was precious.  Two weeks ago on one of our Scavenger Hunts, we had the cutest military couple who announced they were getting married the next day.  That's right... we were part of their "Weekend Wedding Getaway."

Of course, our favorite memory happened  a few years back, when our good friend Travis decided to pop the question to his then girlfriend Shannon.  He said he wanted to do it on one of our Scavenger Hunts and it had to be a private deal.  (No public hunt for this duo!)   We called up Shannon and made up a whole story how we were creating a couples Scavenger Hunt and that we needed them to "test it out."  Shannon fell for it and the rest is history.  Imagine her surprise when she found out the prize was a big diamond ring!  Now, that was cool.

We know that none of this would be possible without a strong team backing us up.  We feel so blessed to have so many supportive people in our lives. Our staff is incredibly talented and a bit crazy at times but hey, a little nutty is ok!   If you're ever up for a little fun, come check us out.  We offer public Scavenger Hunts most Saturdays and public bike rides most Fridays and Sundays.  Our website has all the details but in the meantime, take a look at these fun photos from last week.  They were taken at one of our Awards ceremony for a corporate group.  Judging by the photos, it's pretty clear we don't have a shy bunch.  Enjoy!

Hope to see you soon!
Happy Travels,
Darlynne & Marc
Where You Want To Be Tours, Inc.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cool Neighborhood Eatery Opens near Petco Park

If you're like us, you LOVE to eat.  For foodies, San Diego is a great place to live because there are so many cool restaurants to check out.  Take for instance a new place that just opened near Petco Park. It's called Lucky's Lunch Counter and we got to check it out last night.  It's a fun nostalgic neighborhood spot that's reminiscent of the lunch counters in Chicago when Wrigley Field only held 20,000 fans.

For baseball fans, it's a natural hit. (pardon the pun)  Not only is it located right across the street from Petco Park, the ambiance is all about baseball from its huge wall sports murals to the cute menus. We couldn't decide what to order as everything appealed to us. Fortunately, Chef Steven Patrick came to the rescue and made several suggestions including the Hot Pastrami Corned Beef and House made Veggie Burger with fresh golden fried kettle chips.  Yum.

Our next Downtown News Column (It's All Happening!) will feature our visit to Lucky's so be sure to look for it when it hits the stands in early May.  In the meantime, take a look at this cool video we shot at Lucky's with our new friends Richard & Joanne.  They love this restaurant so much, they drove all the way from
L.A. - talk about being a die hard foodie.   Enjoy!

Happy Travels,
Marc & Darlynne
Where You Want To Be Tours, Inc.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Relax before the game during Spa Week

Now that baseball season is in full swing, downtown will be one happening scene.
Before you make your way into Petco Park, though, do yourself a favor. Instead of arriving right before first pitch and rushing straight into the ballpark, make it a day of adventure.
Our suggestion? Arrive early and start with a relaxing massage. From high-end, luxury spas to simple Japanese massage parlors, the area is filled with all sorts of possibilities, and with Spa Week April 16 – 22, now’s the perfect time. Here’s a look at two hot spots.
If you haven’t been to Sè Spa at the Hotel Palomar, you’ll soon discover it’s a unique experience. It all starts the moment you step into their relaxation room, the Silk Lounge. This is an intimate room filled with comfortable chairs, relaxing music and an assortment of soothing flavored teas, all designed to help you forget your troubles and get in the spa zone. The couple’s massage is a wonderful, one-of-kind experience that takes place in Studio Sutra, a private couple’s spa suite that features a soaking tub, double steam shower and daybed. “With our couple’s suite, we are able to get creative with what we can offer,” said Courtney Leyva, Sè Spa manager. “The [couple’s] spa can offer any of our services side by side, which is great because guests are able to customize their time. It really is a unique experience that allows couples to enjoy the journey together,” Leyva said.
Some of Sè Spa’s treatments include reflexology, Sè Stone massage and a medley massage, a customized massage using Swedish and therapeutic techniques. Other offerings include a green tea and crushed rice body scrub and a 90-minute premiere age-defying facial. They also offer treatments specifically for men, such as a 60-minute rezone facial and the Sè Sake peel. Prices vary and treatments run anywhere from $90 to $200. Sè Spa is located at 1047 Fifth Ave. For more information call 619-515-3070 or visit hotelpalomar-sandiego.com
Green Bamboo Massage & Foot Spa is another great find, perfect for people who enjoy a good massage and are budget conscience, too. Located just north of Petco Park, this is a simple, no-frills place that provides affordable, traditional Japanese Shiatsu massage and foot reflexology. There are several small private rooms for guests wanting a full body massage and guests who prefer foot reflexology are placed in a large, non-private room that has rows of comfy, leather chairs.
Although Green Bamboo may not have all the luxuries as some of the higher-priced spas, it is clean and the massage therapists do a good job. Another plus? There’s typically not a long wait, so walk-in guests can usually get an appointment in a reasonable time. It’s also a great fit for people who don’t have a lot of time but desperately need to be rejuvenated. A 30-minute foot reflexology session costs $20 while body massages run between $15 and $69. Green Bamboo Massage & Foot Spa is located at 629 Eighth Ave. Call them at 619-564-8960 or visit greenbamboomassage.com
Now go out and get that massage!
Happy Travels everyone,
Marc & Darlynne, Where You Want To Be Tours    www.wheretours.com

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Greetings from beautiful San Diego!  If this is your first time on our blog, thanks for checking in with us.  Although we've been travel writers for years and our tour company, Where You Want To Be Tours has been around since 2003, we are new to the blogging world so we're very excited about this new journey.

Just like our tours & Scavenger Hunts,  we want our blog to be interactive so if you have any fun insider travel tips you would like to share, we want to hear from you!  We have a special interest in places & events that are unique, quirky and yes, off the beaten path.   One of our favorite things to do on our off time is to walk (or ride our bikes) in cool neighborhoods with the goal of finding at least one unique thing. During one of our bike rides, Marc found a fabulous mermaid statue in North Pacific Beach. The statue is huge and sits in front of a beautiful beach house.  The owner of the beach house is a "friend of a friend" so we even got to hear the behind-the-scenes story of how the bronze colored statue got there which we do talk about in our PB and La Jolla tours.

We're always thrilled when we come across unique finds like the mermaid statue.  Not only does it make for great story telling for our travel beat, it's great content for our tours!  Speaking of tours... if you're looking for something fun to do this weekend, come join us this Saturday (3pm-6pm) or Sunday (3:30pm-6:30pm).  We're offering TWO public Downtown Scavenger Hunts and we have availability on both days!   Give us a call or email us at tours@wheretours.com to sign up.  Mention our blog and we'll offer a special rate.

We look forward to seeing you soon.  Happy Travels!
Marc & Darlynne Menkin
Where You Want To Be Tours, Inc.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fido Friendly Happy Hours in 92101

This is our favorite time of the year. Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, the days are longer and Downtown is all abuzz thanks to baseball season! The arrival of spring means sunny days, starry nights and spending as much time as possible outside.
For dog lovers, this time of the year is especially fun because many restaurants and bars often step up their Yappy Hours. Here are some happening spots in 92101 that are Fido-friendly.
The next time you head out to happy hour, bring your four-legged friend to Canine Cocktails at Hotel Indigo on 509 Ninth Ave. The popular event is held once a month at the hotel’s Level 9 Rooftop bar from 5:30 – 9 p.m. If you haven’t been to this particular lounge, it has a cool vibe and an amazing view of Petco Park. Yappy Hour prices include $5 well drinks and draft beers. They also offer dog treats, and guests can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win a goodie bag.
Patrick McTigue, director of sales and marketing at Hotel Indigo, said the event is a big hit with locals and hotel guests. “Everyone always has a great time and baseball season certainly adds to the draw,” he said. The date of Canine Cocktails changes every month, but it’s always held on a Thursday. 
Insider’s Tip: Before you head upstairs, be sure you look at the beautiful glass sculpture at the top of the building. It’s a true hidden gem that is often overlooked called “Indigo Waters,” a sculpture created by local artist Lisa Schirmer. The Friday night Padre games often have fireworks and the rooftop is a great spot to see the show.
Another popular outdoor dog-friendly delight can be found at Sally’s Seafood on the Water in Seaport Village. Held on Thursday nights on their outdoor patio from 5 – 7 p.m., this is an ideal spot to relax with a glass of wine with other dog lovers. This is the fourth year Sally’s has offered a Yappy Hour and every year, it draws a nice crowd. Well drinks and house wine go for $5, while draft beers are $3. Some of the more popular appetizers, which are all 50 percent off, include crab cakes, spring rolls and tempura shrimp.
In Little Italy, Davanti Enotecahas a happy hour every night from 4 – 6 p.m. This is a cool Italian restaurant that recently opened on 1655 India St. The restaurant’s patio courtyard in the back and the new front patio are dog friendly and make for a great place to hang out with your four-legged friends. Their happy hour menu includes $5 house red or white wines, $4 craft beers and $6 wells. Appetizers are half off and include bruschetta, pizza and burgers.
(Courtesy Hotel Indigo)
Heavenly Cupcake is in the Gaslamp Quarter is a hidden gem that believes in spoiling your canine companion. Their Heavenly Pupcakes are $2 and are made with dog-friendly ingredients: carrots, whole-wheat flour, peanut butter, honey and cream cheese. Doggie decorations are made of fondant, which includes sugar, glucose sugar and food coloring.
Insider’s tip: The second Wednesday of every month is a good day to visit Heavenly Cupcake. They do a complimentary cupcake tasting event...and take it from us, it's worth checking out!

Aloha from Where You Want To Be Tours!

Aloha everyone!  Thanks so much for checking in with us. As many of you know, in addition to running "Where You Want To Be Tours," Marc & I are travel writers so it only felt natural that we should have our own blog.  We both love to write and we enjoy sharing all our adventures especially when it comes to finding cool hidden spots, great deals and unique events.  After all, what good is it if you're NOT sharing good news with others, right?

We want to know your thoughts too so if you have any good travel tips you'd like to share, let us know!  In the meantime, check us out on Facebook for all our latest happenings, contests & prize giveaways!

Where You Want To Be Tours  - Our Facebook Page

Traveling Wahine  -   Darlynne's Travel Writing Facebook Page 

Happy Travels everyone!
Marc & Darlynne