San Diego Zoo Animals on an April Morning!

Thoroughly enjoyed a great visit to the world famous San Diego Zoo yesterday morning!

Here are some photos.  Feel free to click on them individually!

 

Just couldn’t resist this camel’s expression!

 

 

 The koala exhibit is an amazing natural habitat

 

 

Check out this condors wings!

condor1

 

 

 

 A condor in deep thought??

condor2

 

 

 Fun spotting this “Secretary Bird”. Love those colorful eye shadows!

 

 Captured a view of this “contemplating” orangutan 

orangutan

 

 

 

This colorful lone dragonfly landed on a perch!

dragonfly

 

 

 

 

 Gorillas in our midst!

 

 

 

 Caught some glimpses of this Tasmanian Devil!

tasdevil

tasdevil2

The pelicans greet visitors to the zoo!

flamingo

Merely Meerkats!

meerkat2

 

meerkat

 

And a few more animals we visited!

Tell me, is there anything cuter than a mama duck and her little one?

 

 

And finally here are a few of the gorgeous flowers at the zoo!

Such a fun way to spend time with friends or family, get some exercise walking, and observe the animals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Proposal Atop a Cliff at Torrey Pines State Reserve and Beach!

 

You never know what you’ll find or stumble upon at Torrey Pines State Beach!

Today was no exception.

What a joy it was to spot some cool “raked” writing in the sand and discover it was a marriage proposal…in POLISH!

(What a joy it always is to have my camera in hand as well)!

It took a small village to plan and make today happen.

I asked the two guys on the beach (Gino and Dan) who had just finished “raking” the proposal for their friend/co-workers Nathan and his soon to be fiance, Catherine (who is Polish).

It said (in Polish), “Catherine, will you marry me?” in the sand.

Here’s a quick video!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/vrLdWVyAO8M” target=”_blank”>

And a photo of the Proposal!

Nathan's Proposal for Catherine in Polish  in the sand
Nathan’s Proposal for Catherine in Polish in the sand

 

Plus an extra added bonus, they made a giant heart  in the sand as well. I couldn’t resist taking this photo of the heart!

Heart in  the  Sand
Heart in the Sand

 

 I was so captivated by the soon-to-be joyous (hopefully) occasion, that I offered to help keep beach strollers away from the masterpiece and photograph the “event” from below.

I told passersby why we were “diverting” them. It was really cool. The excitement was building. Everyone was smiling Where was the couple??

They were  going to be atop a cliff up above from where the proposal was etched!

The Proposal Cliff!
The Proposal Cliff!

The guys said that their friend, Nathan who was proposing to Catherine, had planned the exact spot up top and on the beach below.

Another friend, Scott, was waiting up above, concealed by the bushes. He was going to snap photos of the magic moment. Hopefully we’ll get a few later from Scott and I can add them to this post!

I took a few more pics of the cliff above.

We waited for about 15-20 minutes.

And then…We spotted Nathan and Catherine! Like little “ants”!

Another view of the Cliff
Another view of the Cliff with Nathan and Catherine  atop the cliff!

 

I zoomed it from the beach!  Here’s Nathan Proposing to Catherine! Soon we were all cheering and clapping!

Nathan Proposing to Catherine!
Nathan Proposing to Catherine!

 

 One more photo of Nathan and Catherine from the beach!

Nathan Proposing to Catherine! ! Photo by SJF Communications
Nathan Proposing to Catherine!

 

 

 And here are Dan and Gino, celebrating the success of the proposal writing mission!

Dan and Gino: Beach Mission Accomplished!
Dan and Gino: Beach Mission Accomplished! Photo by SJF Communications

 UPDATE! 4/28/15 7:36 p.m.

I just heard from Scott Mahoney, who took some great photos of the couple from above at the cliff!

Here they are! (Click on each photo to make it larger)!

Incidentally, you can find more of Scott’s Photos on his Instagram Account  (@srmphotography)

 

Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography
Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography

 

 

Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography
Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography

 

 

Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography
Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography

 

Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography
Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography

 

Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography
Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography

 

Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography
Photo by Scott Mahoney, SRM Photography

 

  Congrats to Nathan and Catherine for many happy years ahead together!

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It’s a RUFF life: Ugly Dog Contest…(Not Just for Ugly Dogs) 4/19/15 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club!

We (my daughter Emmy, her friend Sydney and I), enjoyed a great afternoon on April 19th, 2015 at the 20th Annual “Ugly Dog Contest” at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club! We arrived about 30 minutes after it started, but still caught most of the contest!

The San Diego Coastal Chamber of Commerce and Del Mar Kiwanis were hosts. Sheila McDonnell, who passed away three years ago but was founder of the contest, was recognized and honored. Sheila’s wish was “for the event to continue to take place and to continue raising money for organizations that benefit animals and children”.

There were many 4-legged contestants, their owners/handlers, an MC (Greg Vicino- Associate Curator, San Diego Zoo Global), vendor booths, raffle prizes and snacks, and of course spectators.

According to the program, Judges were Brandi Williams (KUSI), Christy Manry (Elam’s Hallmark), Anna Orlando (Kilroy Properties), Sara Ingrande (Torrey Pines Bank) and Kelly Baldieri (Del Mar Hilton).  Vendors were: Camp Run-a-Mutt, Welk Resorts, RDSI Designs, Easy Turf, Real Blue Proerties, The 4 Foundation, CruiseOne Dream Vacations, Keane Studios, Kahoots Pet Store, Total Thermal Imaging of San Diego, Built Green California, The San Diego Humane Society and Reality Changers (which received a portion of the proceeds).Product donations were provided by Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs, Whole Foods, Mary’s Tack & Feed, RDSI, Dirty Dogs, Dexter’s Deli, Keane Studios and the Del Mar Hilton.

The categories were “Cutest puppy/dog”, “Most unusual markings”, “Dog that looks like owner”, “Best trick”, “Best costume Adult & Dog and Child & Dog”, “Cutest Mutt”, “Most beautiful male and female” and finally “THE UGLIEST DOG”! The winner of the UGLY DOG contest: RASCAL!

dog64
Rascal, the winner of the Ugly Dog Contest with his owner Dane Andrew and the MC Greg Vicino (Associate Curator San Diego Zoo GLobal)

Here below are the top three finalists of the Ugly Dog Contest: Snack , Puddin’ and Rascal!

Winners of the Ugly Dog Contest
Winners of the Ugly Dog Contest

Here’s a video of Rascal and his Owner, (Dane Andrew) by Animal Planet!

http://www.animalplanet.com/video/meet-rascal/

And here is Rascals’ WEBSITE LINK: http://www.theworldsugliestdog.com/index.html

 Here’s a peek at  the contestants and a few other images of the day!  Click on each photo for a larger view.

We don’t have all the names, so leave a comment if you can provide names of the pooches)

Photos by SJF Communications. http://www.sjfcommunications.com

San Diego or SAND Diego??? Catching up in Del Mar with JT and Tony of San Diego Sand Castles!

What a fun surprise! While power walking today on Del Mar Beach with my friend, (yep, we powered on for 7000+ steps), we serendipitously saw something really creative and cool!

First we saw these buckets…and wondered what was going on!

Sand Castle Gear

 

Then we met JT and Tony from San Diego Sand Castles who were coaching their prospective clients of the afternoon how to build their own masterpieces! San Diego Sand Castles has many terrific reviews on Trip Advisor too! Here’s their Facebook Page LInk

First we met Sand Sculptor Tony Leib who was working with local resident,  Catherine. It was Catherine’s  first private lesson and she was excited to spend three hours learning a bit of the craft.

 

Then we walked a few hundred feet and met the owner of San Diego Sand Castles, JT Estrela (in the hat) with a cool Father (Chris) and Son (Trey) from Seattle, who were celebrating Trey’s Spring Break. Great Father-Son bonding in the sunshine!

We left the beach and saw the cutest bunny near a unique tree, a few interesting palms and a train passing by at Seagrove Park in Del Mar. Couldn’t resist snapping away!

Seagrove Park in Del Mar
Seagrove Park in Del Mar

 

Rabbit at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Bunny  at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Rabbit at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Bunny at Seagrove Park, Del Mar
Palm Trees Del Mar
Palm Trees Del Mar

 

Train Passing Through Del Mar
Train Passing Through Del Mar

 

 Lesson for the day: You never know  what you’ll discover each day, so have your camera handy!