Fun Weekend Events to Give Thanks for in San Diego

Holiday cheer is filling the air in San Diego and we couldn’t be happier to share the love with you in America’s Finest City. From Thanksgiving traditions to fun Christmas events, San Diego will certainly lift your spirits and make sure you’re cheery for the holidays ahead. Check out these fun things to do in San Diego from November 29 to December 1:

Friday, November 29th

Holiday Happenings at Westfield Mall & Festival of Christmas at Lamb Player’s Theatre

Holiday Happenings are taking over the Westfield Mall’s Horton Plaza this Friday with many festive activities to kick off the holiday season! Beginning at 10 a.m., you’ll be able to pose with Santa, shop for Black Friday deals, as well as watch the lighting of the Salvation Army Angle Tree! For family fun for all to enjoy, you must go to Holiday Happenings at Westfield Mall.

If you have fond memories about Christmas mishaps and meltdowns, this is the holiday play for you! At Coronado’s Lamb’s Players Theatre, Festival of Christmas will surely make you feel better about the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The play is centered around Ella Eden, who is determined to create the ideal holiday gift! A live performance for a musical holiday card… however, many obstacles cross her path, leading to a very fun interpretation of Christmas festivities. Admission varies; the play begins at 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 30th

San Diego Jazz Festival & Random Radio at Beaumont’s in La Jolla

The San Diego Jazz Festival is here in full swing! For the 34th year in a row, the San Diego Jazz Festival will combine the traditions of jazz, Dixieland, ragtime, stride, swing, boogie woogie, and rockabilly. With over 30 bands performing in 12 different rooms, you’ll be pleased with the variety of renowned artists as well as professional dancers. Join the San Diego Jazz Festival at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online for this lively festival.

Rock out tonight in La Jolla and indulge in some mouth-watering eats and delicious cocktails while you’re at it! This 5-piece rock band known as Random Radio is uber-talented and fun to watch! Surrounded by the ambiance of the swanky La Jolla eatery, Beaumont’s, you won’t want to miss their happy hour in addition to the performance by Random Radio. The show is free for all; Random Radio will take the stage at 9 p.m.

Sunday, December 1st

SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off & Chula Vista’s Nightly Musical Snowfall

This weekend is the perfect time to head over to the South Park/North Park area of San Diego for their annual Chili Cook-Off and SoNo Fest! From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., this fiery event will boast unbelievable chili concoctions, a large beer and wine garden, great holiday shopping deals, hand-made crafts, and live music presented by The Casbah and Bar Pink. The event is free but you can get a handmade chili bowl and unlimited chili samples for just $20! And, all the festive fun goes to a great cause. The SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off will benefit the McKinley Elementary School Foundation, so eat, drink, and be merry in the name of education!

Every night from December 1 to December 24, come and join the Village Walk of Chula Vista where you can see the snow fall (don’t forget your cameras!) and community group caroling. It’s only for one hour, so bring the family and come enjoy some of the fun for Christmas! Cheers!

Photo Credit: SNRE

Allow San Diego’s Bus and Trolley Schedule to Take You Where You Need to Go

Whether you’re on a mission for Black Friday shopping or you’re enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday with the family, the San Diego bus and trolley schedule will help you navigate through America’s Finest City to find shopping bliss or holiday traditions in every neighborhood.

The San Diego buses and trolleys are set up in a unique pattern that allows you to explore all parts of San Diego county from East San Diego areas like El Cajon, La Mesa, and Santee in addition to the luxurious coastline including La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Imperial Beach, and many other hot spots!

No matter where you need to go to find your holiday cheer, San Diego’s public transportation is here to get you there! You can use interactive trolley maps and bus routes to plot out your excursions, check out our Public Transportation portion of the website for more details on how to travel around America’s Finest City.

When you choose Foxwood Corporate Apartments as your temporary home in San Diego, you’ll enjoy the convenience of the bus and trolley system right outside your front door! The 933 bus stop is across the street on Delcardo Avenue so all you’ll need to do is get up and go. Big outlet stores and fashion malls are accessible for your Black Friday extravaganza or posh dinner options are also close by to the trolley lines for a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

With the holidays just around the corner, it’s best to travel with the San Diego bus and trolley this season. Check out the San Diego bus and trolley schedule to see how you can use the bus and trolley during your stay for the holidays. We hope you enjoy America’s Finest City with the convenience of public transport as well as with Foxwood Apartments!

Photo Credit: Keoni Cabral

USS George Washington Navy Ship Departs Philippines

After the devastating Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington took the lead for international relief operations according to military officials.

The aircraft carrier George Washington left the Philippines on Friday as the amphibious dock landing ships, USS Ashland and USS Germantown, took over extending aid to new areas surrounding the Philippines.

Still remaining in the Philippine Sea is the San Diego-based cruiser Cowpens along with its embarked helicopter crews. As stated by Marine Captain Rebecca Melesky, spokeswoman for Joint Task Force 505, Cowpens has been flying missions into Tacloban while a joint task force has been providing relief to typhoon victims in Visayas.

Currently, the U.S. government has a little more than 1,200 people in the Philippines. These troops are mainly from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan.

Along with aircraft, the U.S. military has been using amphibious ships like small boats and hovercraft to transport trucks and heavy equipment to shore in order to clear roads and debris in addition to providing relief to areas that are inaccessible by aircraft.

The Philippine government has 19 active hospitals on the ground and did claim that air and medical support was not necessary from the George Washington carrier strike group.

U.S. Marine Lieutenant General John Wissler, the task force commander, said in a statement, “In addition to the enhanced capabilities of the Ashland and Germantown, the Japanese Navy will be surveying the eastern coast of Samar and identifying additional impacted areas for relief support.”

Even if the air and medical support of the George Washington carrier strike group is not deemed necessary, the Philippine government has been appreciative of the U.S. government’s assistance. Lieutenant General Alan R. Luga is vice chief of staff of the Philippine armed forces. Lt. Gen. Luga shared his gratitude: “We are very thankful to the United States armed forces for sending one of their aircraft carriers to the Philippines and immediately supporting our humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations following the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda.”

The United States military will continue to be present in supporting and helping the Philippines heal from the devastating typhoon. Until deemed unnecessary, U.S. troops will extend aid to the Philippines.

Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Malfunctioning Drone Hits Navy Ship during Training, Injuring Sailors

Investigators are still determining what went wrong with the malfunctioning drone that hit a Navy guided missile cruiser during a training exercise near San Diego, CA.

A Navy official reported that two sailors were injured Saturday when a BQM-74 series drone hit and damaged USS Chancellorsville, the San Diego-based guided missile cruiser.

About 300 crew members were aboard the USS Chancellorsville when the drone struck its side, however, only two sailors were injured. The two sailors are being treated for minor burns.

According to Lieutenant Lenaya Rotlein of the U.S. Third Fleet, the ship had been testing its combat weapons system off Point Mugu in Southern California. The aerial target drone was being used to test the ship’s radar when it crashed into the ship’s left (port) side.

Investigators at Naval Base San Diego are currently assessing the damage to determine why the drone malfunctioned. The BQM-74 series aerial drone is 13 feet long, 1 foot in diameter, and has a wingspan of approximately 6 feet. Manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corp., these drones are used frequently in testing for combat and weapons systems.

USS Chancellorsville will be returning to the Naval Base San Diego for reports and to undergo an investigation regarding the drone mishap.

USS Chancellorsville is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser that carriers guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons; this Naval vessel also has anti-subsurface, anti-surface, and anti-air capabilities. Focused on anti-submarine warfare, USS Chancellorsville also carries two helicopters.

Please enjoy this video of the heroic USS Chancellorsville gliding along the San Diego Bay. The amount of damage will be determined soon by Navy officials.

Photo Credit: Naval Surface Warriors

Day Tripper: Rub Elbows with Elites in the Stunning Town of Montecito, CA

The gorgeous city of Montecito is filled with celebrities, California elites, and incredible beaches and botanical gardens. Take a day trip to Santa Barbara County where you can wine and dine by the local celebs or spend a relaxing day surrounded by nature. Here are just a few attractions in Montecito:

Butterfly Beach

Butterfly Beach is a gorgeous beach in Montecito. Known for its celebrity sightings and popular paragliding sport, Butterfly Beach is perfect for people watching and lounging on the beach or being sporty and trying something new. Although there are no public facilities, you’ll love the privacy and gorgeous sunsets found at Butterfly Beach. Spend an afternoon here or catch the sunset in the evening.

The Easton Gallery

A great way to know more about a city is to check out its artistic side. The Easton Gallery of Montecito showcases the artworks of local artists. Since 1990, the Easton Gallery represents contemporary landscape artists every weekend and weekday afternoons. For more information about this stunning exhibit, see more at the Easton Gallery online.

Lotusland

Lotusland is a must-see in Montecito. The 37 acres of whimsical gardens will surely take your breath away! As the former estate of famous opera singer and socialite Madame Ganna Walska, Lotusland is a collection of exotic plants, a topiary, a cactus garden, a butterfly garden, and many surprises in between. After having spent 43 years perfecting her estate, Madame Ganna Walska passed away in 1984. Her estate has been transformed into a nonprofit botanical garden that is able to help out the local community with educational programs as well as horticulture activities. For more information about Lotusland, visit them online!

Casa del Herrero

Built in 1925, Casa del Herrero is one of the finest examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. As a creative collaboration of design visionaries, Casa del Herrero was designed by well-known architects like George Washington Smith, George Fox Steedman, Lockwood de Forest, and Francis T. Underhill. Arthur Byne and Mildred Stapley, also known for their craftsmanship of the Hearst Castle, were a part of the creation of Casa del Herrero.

Guided, 90-minute tours of Casa del Herrero are by reservation only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Come and see Santa Barbara’s 4th National Historic Landmark, Casa del Herrero while you’re in town. Admission is $20.

Accommodations

If you’d like to stay in Montecito overnight, there are many great accommodations to choose from. Montecito Inn was built by Charlie Chaplin in 1928 and is just as plush and luxurious as it was on opening day. Book your stay at the Montecito Inn for an unforgettable night in pure luxury! If you’re watching your wallet, another option for an overnight stay is Coast Village Inn where you save a bit of money yet you’re still on the coast.

For the best way to spend your weekend, cruise up the coast from San Diego to Montecito!

Photo Credit: Brewbooks