Some photos from my June 9, 2017 visit to Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala’
Photo credit: SJF Communications
Feel free to click on each photo (arrow key advances), like, comment, & share!
It was a beautiful San Diego day last Sunday, April 23, 2017. I was meeting friends from the East Coast at the San Diego Zoo. Little did I know that Balboa Park was celebrating Earth Day, and it was extremely crowded! Parking took forever! But lo and behold, I finally was able to park and decided to capture some images of the afternoon at Balboa Park en route to meeting my friends.
Most of the images are flowers. That’s celebrating the Earth, right???
Feel free to enjoy these images by clicking on each one.
Have fun and kindly “Like, Comment, Share” away!
All photo credit: SJF Communications
My serendipitous connection with two-time Telly Award winning Filmmaker Sue Vicory began in 2015. It was meant to be! San Diego filmmaker/entrepreneur/educator Jodi Cilley, the President of the Film Consortium San Diego and the founder and producer of the annual San Diego Film Awards (and an equally extraordinary person) recommended that I connect with her film colleague Sue. Jodi was so intuitive in facilitating our connection (which I hope will last a lifetime)!
A quote about Sue from Jodi:
“Sue Vicory is one of the most inspiring and amazing people I know. She has dedicated her life to helping others and has gone out of her way to help build the film industry in San Diego in a variety of ways. She is a role model and I’m constantly amazed by her efforts to help people from all walks of life.” – Jodi Cilley
After reaching out to Sue via email, my daughter Emmy and I were cast in the short fiction film Downstage for the 2015 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project. Sue’s production company “Heartland Films” produced and Sue directed, along with the writing team of Sariann Monaco, Holly Rone and Talia Pauletti. “Team XX” was a history-making, twenty-five member, all-female team. Downstage is now on the film festival circuit. You can view Sue’s films and videos on Sue Vicory’s YouTube Channel. Read my previous post about Team XX .
Besides working on Downstage Emmy and I have participated in a few of Sue’s community service projects and we continually network. It was because of witnessing Sue’s purpose, passion, vigor and selfless “chill” demeanor that I decided to interview her here as an Extraordinary Person, Sharing her Story!
Sue is currently on an amazing one year trip across the U.S. in her branded van with her “extraordinary” “My Power of One” (MPO1) 12 Acts of Kindness National Tour”. Her recently retired and extremely supportive husband Jay and their amazing (will tell you why later) Golden Retriever Kacy are accompanying her.
Here is the MPO1 Facebook page link and “12 Acts of Kindness National Tour”- Go Fund Me Site. You can order MPO1 t-shirts, hats, stickers, note cards, etc.: http://mypowerofone.com/product-category/t-shirts/ and read Sue’s blog: MPO1: blog: http://mypowerofone.com/blog/
I had just sat down looking out at our 2nd floor balcony, when all of a sudden, a beautiful Monarch butterfly visited!
I grabbed my Nikon Coolpix L830 and put it on the “close up” setting and snapped away!
This post will be super short and sweet..
-Just a way to share how gorgeous this colorful butterfly was!
Enjoy these photos, feel free to like, comment and share this post link.
Beauty in nature abounds, we just need to look for it, spot it and savor the beauty of it!
p.s. (*I didn’t get a chance to determine if it was a male (black spot on hind wing) or female (no black spot)!
(Check out http://www.monarchbutterflygarden.net for more info)
Funny thing is, I just bought those two plants a few days ago and haven’t even planted them yet!
Lucky enough to catch the butterfly in flight, although a bit blurred!
Hope your day is as delightful as this butterfly’s has been!
Susan J. Farese, SJF Communications
Tonight we said goodbye to Kate
So fiercely talented, in the know.
Loving Wife, guiding Mom to her daughters
With pen in hand, her words would flow…
She touched many lives in so many ways
by guiding and writing & teaching
A Theatre Mom supporting the arts
Her essence in life so far reaching.
As we left her Memorial Service
An amazing sight was seen
The most brilliant magnificent sunset
With bright light among hues pristine.
In the midst of that glorious sunset
A shining light appeared…as if to say
My friends, I’ll be with you in spirit
Think of me as the sun goes away.
And when we returned home
I peeked at the moon
So bright, full and gleaming with light…
And I pondered, so thankful
For Kate and her life
Dear Kate, Farewell,
My Mom, (who recently turned 80 years “young”), always said…”Nothing in life is free”. Well, Mom, you were “almost” completely right!
For my birthday this year I did something really out of the ordinary: I traveled solo to and from the beautiful Mediterranean picturesque Santa Catalina Island, population just over 3000 (I will be referring to it as Catalina Island ) on my “free” round trip boat ride, courtesy of Catalina Express http://catalinaexpress.com/birthday_promo.html and enjoyed a few other free or discounted goodies thrown in!
You’re probably thinking…”Huh?”…”You’re kidding..” or “What a risk” or “How idiotic”, right?
Nope! Best trip ever! I am still smiling inside!
Although I’m originally from New Jersey, I’ve lived in several cities, states and a few countries. California is especially dear to me because overall, I’ve lived here a total of 18 years. Despite so many years here, I was yet to experience a trip to Catalina.
So, this past April, on my birthday, my husband would be working, my daughter was in school and I didn’t want to “obligate” friend(s) to pay for the round trip boat ride. Plus, and this was a big bonus: I absolutely love photography, and I’d be able to snap away where, what and when I wanted! So….
I drove bright and early from San Diego to Long Beach, grabbed some breakfast, checked in with proof of my actual birthday, received and donned that cool “It’s my birthday” ribbon and boarded the boat! I sat outside and bundled up for the ride!
Oh…I did take some children’s strength medicine for potential motion “challenges” which turned out to be a real plus! Did I say a real plus???? Yep, some queasiness hit me a tiny bit, but I survived!
I’m happy to share some photos and tidbits from my trip.
We left the harbor and suddenly it was extremely windy !
We passed by the Queen Mary on the way to Catalina, another place I’d like to visit sometime soon!
Also saw the “China Shipping Line” En Route!
Aha! Our first view of Catalina Island in the distance!
How cool is this? A parasailer welcoming us!
A view of the beautiful Catalina Island Casino!
The beautiful Carnival Cruise was in port! Passengers took smaller boats to get onto the island.
When I arrived Avalon was very busy with many cruise passengers for the day. Then at around 4 p.m., they all left, and Avalon felt like a ghost town!
Another colorful view of Catalina Island!
Once we happily “disembarked”I was eager to explore Avalon on Catalina Island. What a delightful way to spend the day! I decided not to rent a golf cart (the golf carts are all over the place, since they only allow so many cars on the island and there is a 14 year wait for a car permit)! and strolled at my own pace. Here’s a look at some of the shops and tourist spots I snapped. Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!
After wandering a bit, I decided to enjoy a delicious lunch and a Margarita at Maggies Blue Rose. I was having such a great time, that I thought…why not stay overnight??? I knew it was completely out of the ordinary for me…but nonetheless decided to do a quick search of hotels but also asked my server what she recommended. Serendipitously, I decided to stay upstairs from Maggies at the Hotel Vista Del Mar. They also had some fun birthday freebies, including a bottle of wine or champagne (I chose the bottle of wine and brought it home), and a celebratory balloon ! I bought a few essentials for staying overnight and relaxed for the rest of my solo journey! Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!
The Hotel Vista Del Mar has a great fish tank in the lobby filled with colorful fish and coral decor ! It was very relaxing to peek at the tank while relaxing on the lobby which overlooks the water.
Once I checked into the hotel, I decided to take the very interesting Catalina Scenic Tour. The bus driver a.k.a. narrator was terrific spokeperson for the Avalon and island of Catalina.
Here are some of the sights from that trip:
Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!
After the bus tour, I strolled around Avalon some more. I thoroughly enjoyed a great dinner at Steve’s Steakhouse!
Of course, I then had to sample some ice cream and candy from this place!
Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!
I noticed the beautiful tiled fountain on Crescent Street, which is made of clay from Catalina Island.
Afterwards, I decided to walk towards the famous Catalina Casino and these are the sights seen on my way! Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!
That was it for my day in Catalina. Then it was time to get some rest at the hotel! They had some cool DVD’s that I borrowed. I didn’t drink the wine, brought the bottle home, but enjoyed looking at that balloon! Had a great night’s sleep too!
The next morning I decided to venture out a bit more to the casino area, the Museum and then and Descanso Beach Club. Feel free to click on each picture for a larger view!
It was soon time to say goodbye to Catalina Island! Here are some photos from my final minutes of solo joy!
Even though I could have traveled free roundtrip, on the way back to Long Beach, I decided to take advantage of the Commodore Lounge on the Catalina Express for $15 and go back in style!
We were served a drink and a snack, and had very comfy seats!
We arrived back in Long Beach and I happily drove back to San Diego! This was a quick, fun, safe getaway and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Avalon on Catalina Island!
Feel free to like and share this post. Subscribe to my blog.
And now to finish with a Haiku:
Overnight in Catalina Island
Seeing sights, snapping photos
I embraced it all!
A gorgeous island
So perfect for sightseeing
And relaxing too
Yes I will be back
I will bring my family
We shall all have fun!
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!
And a photo of the Proposal!
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!
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 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”!
I zoomed it from the beach! Here’s Nathan Proposing to Catherine! Soon we were all cheering and clapping!
One more photo of Nathan and Catherine from the beach!
And here are Dan and Gino, celebrating the success of the proposal writing mission!
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)
Congrats to Nathan and Catherine for many happy years ahead together!
If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe, like, comment and share!
SJF Communications: Our Mission: Your Communications!
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!
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!