Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Exploring San Diego's Hidden Canyons

Whenever we hear locals say "life is too crazy, we need to get away,"  we can't help but think why?  Living in San Diego is truly paradise. There's so much to see and do. On the other hand, if you want to get away from it all and relax, we have that too. There are so many places that are peaceful and tranquil. And the best part?  You don't have to travel far.

For example, many people don't realize San Diego has colorful canyons just minutes from Downtown. Exploring the canyons can be so relaxing - it really is a great place to quiet your mind and get lost in your thoughts!  This time of the year is especially nice because the weather is warm and the flowers are blooming.  One of our favorite walking tours is our Neighborhoods of Balboa Park - it's a wonderful, leisurely tour that features beautiful canyons filled with wildflowers, cactus, palms and bamboo forests.

We also walk across two spectacular footbridges which is amazing! While many locals may have heard about the footbridges, we find that many have never walked across them so it's always fun to see their faces light up when they discover these hidden treasures.   The neighborhood is also filled with lots of gorgeous, historical homes. We enjoy walking through this neighborhood because all the homes are different and the gardens are beautiful. On a recent tour, one woman summed it up perfectly - "this is a great tour to get out and enjoy nature AND get some home decorating tips!"

We offer this walking tour to both private groups and the public and it's always so much fun!  The next public tour is scheduled for Monday, May 19th from 4:30pm to 6:45pm and we are offering a limited number of complimentary tickets to active military.  For more information, email us at tours@wheretours.com   We are expecting this tour to fill up quickly.

Note -  Kids must be at least 7-years-old, and be able to walk for a couple of hours.  

We hope you can join us!

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Honoring our Military

Growing up in a military family, definitely has its advantages.  As a child, I got to travel the world.  I was exposed to different cultures, different foods, different languages - all at a very young age. By the time I was seven, I had been to Austria, France, England and I lived all over the U.S.  I even lived in Germany for a couple of years, which I loved. Compared to some of my civilian friends, I was a world class traveler!

As an adult, I see how these childhood experiences helped shape me to be the person I am today.  For example, I love to travel and see new places. Whether it's right here in my own backyard or we're headed to a faraway destination, I enjoy exploring uncharted territory.  Living in San Diego is a perfect place for curious people like me.  That's because there are so many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered!

Since April is Month of the Military Child, we wanted to do something special to honor our military families. We hope you will join us!

On Monday, April 28th our company Where You Want To Be Tours will offer another complimentary secret beach hike to military families. The tour will run from 2:30 pm to approximately 4:45 pm and will cover a secluded area of Ocean Beach & Point Loma.  April 28th is a low tide so it'll be a great day to take a stroll on this hidden beach. We offered this tour a couple of months ago to military families and the views were fantastic. Be sure to bring your camera and we'll bring along the snacks!

We are limiting this tour to 15 people and we're expecting to fill up quickly so RSVP soon.  Children must be at least 8-years-old. There is one slight hill so all participants should be comfortable with walking up & down a hill.

Please RSVP to tours@wheretours.com      Once you've signed up, we'll send you the meeting location and address.

To all our military men, women and families - thank you for serving our country!

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

In the mood for some good Asian Pacific Islander Food?

Whenever someone asks us what we love the most about living in San Diego, we always have to pause and think about it.  And no, it's not because we can't think of anything positive.  It's actually the opposite - there are so many things we love about America's Finest City!   From our weather to gorgeous beaches and year-round outdoor activities, it's hard to beat.

But one thing we absolutely do appreciate is the wide variety of ethnic food San Diego offers - especially when it comes to Asian and Pacific Islander dishes.  As an API, I'm always up for checking out the latest Japanese restaurant or Hawaiian Plate lunch cafe. Both my parents are from Hawaii so yes, I grew up eating "sticky white rice" with practically every meal.  As an adult, I've continued that tradition and I'm proud to say that even my husband has picked up the habit. That boy sure does love his rice with soy sauce.

I recently had the pleasure of emceeing the Asian Pacific American Coalition's Gala Awards Dinner and it was such an honor to be surrounded by fellow API business entrepreneurs. Not only did they have great business advice, they also shared some of their favorite Asian & Pacific Islander restaurants. So what are some of my favorite hangouts?  Well, for starters... you can't go wrong if you head to Kearny Mesa. Just on Convoy Street alone, there's more than a dozen simple but tasty and affordable Asian restaurants. Back in my TV News reporting days, I would always look for opportunities to sneak away for dinner to one of these "no frills" spots. Over the years, I worked at three TV stations in Kearny Mesa (Channel 8, 5 & 6) and they were all within striking distance of some fantastic Asian & Pacific Islander restaurants!  Pho Convoy Noodle House was a popular place as well as Tajima Ramen House and Jasmine Seafood Restaurant.

If I'm craving a Hawaiian Plate lunch, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue on Sports Arena Boulevard is the closest restaurant to our beach house. It's not a fancy place but the food is flavorful and it's not expensive.  We love the BBQ Chicken and Spam Musubi. Yum.

Of course, my favorite spot is the 99 Ranch Market on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.  That place has everything - from killer lunch time specials to unique jewelry, knick knacks and beautiful Asian Kitchen ware.  Whatever you want, they have it.   Wow, all this talk of food has made us hungry.  Bon Appetit!  

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

*Want more?  Check out this fun travel & lifestyle video featuring Jeff Roberto's Sushi on   
  a Roll!     Click here to watch the video.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Giving Thanks by Giving Back

It's hard to believe but January is almost over. Wow, where does time go?  If this first month is any indication on how the next 11 months will progress, 2014 could be one fast year.  As our good friend Scott Milnes once told us, "Get ready for the ride of your life!"

Hmm. Scott may be onto something. Looking back on the past year, we have been on a wild and wonderful ride. Sometimes, it's hard to believe. Like many of our friends, we have so much to be grateful for. We live in beautiful San Diego, we run a cool tour company that we love and we're doing it together. We definitely are blessed and we don't take it for granted which is why we're big believers of "giving back."   To whom much is given, much will be required.

This year, we'll be giving back in a number of ways. For starters, we'll be offering complimentary walking tours of "hidden spots" to our military throughout 2014.  The first one will be a beach hike in the Ocean Beach/Point Loma area on Wednesday, February 26th from 12:15pm to 2:30pm. If you're into exploring cool, secret beaches... this is a great area. The ocean views are fantastic and it's a wonderful way to kick off the week and cure the Monday blues. We'll cover a lot of ground but not to worry, we go at a casual, comfortable pace. We selected this specific date because it'll be a low tide - a perfect day to take a walk on the beach!

Space is limited to just 15 guests so sign up now at tours@wheretours.com before it fills up. We'll email you the meeting location and directions after you RSVP.  As for what to bring? Your spirit of adventure, great attitude, a camera, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat and a good pair of sneakers is all you'll need!  If you wish, feel free to pack a snack and bottled water and we'll bring along our fun trivia questions with cool prize giveaways.

We hope you can join us.  To all our military men, women and families - thank you for serving our country!

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