San Diego-Best Weather in the USA?

Balboa Park greenhouse

I like San Diego.  I’ve been here a few times, most recently just a week or so ago.  The weather then (late September) was hot and relatively dry which is typical for that time of year-typically it gets hotter and dryer as you move away from the beach  It’s almost always sunny, which is why San Diego is pretty consistently ranked as having the best weather in the USA.  But is it really so?

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They don’t call it Death Valley for Nuthin’

Asa pre-teen, I grew up in Arizona, and am an Eagle Scout to boot, so I know a thing or two about heat related illness.  That’s why I felt pretty foolish when I endangered myself and my wife on a hike through Death Valley recently.

Badwater Basin
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The worst beach in the world?

Let me start by saying as a native Floridian, I know what great beaches look like.  As a world traveler, I’ve seen them all: nude beaches in Spain, jaw-dropping coastlines on the Amalfi coast, palm-lined jewels on the turquoise Caribbean Sea.  Black sand.  White sand.  Red sand.  Green sand.  Deserted.  Over-developed.  Laid back. Sophisticated.  First world and third world.

Venice Beach
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Solvang-Making “Cute” Cool

I love the movie “Sideways”, so I was delighted to have a drink at the Hitching Post bar when I visited Solvang, CA recently.  I ordered up an enormous burger and washed it down with an exquisitely crafted Pinot Noir (what else?), and I enjoyed them both immensely. What better way to experience the town than to relive moments of the movie that was made there?

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Pismo in Pix

Pismo is in my estimation one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  It has it all: deep blue ocean, swaying palms, dramatic bluffs, golden sand, a mountainous backdrop, and all within close proximity to world class wines.  What more could you want?  Here are the pix of my September 2019 trip.

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On Philanthropy and the Hearst Castle

I didn’t know William Randolph Hearst was a major league philanthropist until I visited Hearst Castle a few days ago.  I shouldn’t have been suprised.  Many of the so-called “robber barons” of that age (Hearst wasn’t one but he mixed in those circles) left legacies that modern day crony capitalists like Zuckerberg, Bezos, and Soros, et al, should emulate, instead of spending their billions on themselves and investing in LLCs posing as philanthropic organizations.

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Carmel

The Lone Cypress

Here it is, in  pictures.  The 17 Mile Drive, surely one of the most (justifiably) famous roads in the world, as seen on a beautiful September day.  Enjoy.

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Napa vs. Sonoma Wine Tasting-which is better?

I came here back in the early 80’s when the big Napa valley wine boom was barely getting started.  At that time, you could cruise from winery to winery tasting all of the wares for free-and without an appointment.  Boy, have times changed.

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Three things to do in (and around) Fort Bragg

The only Fort Bragg I’d ever heard of before now was associated with the Army Airborne, but just a few days ago I visited the one on the other coast in northern California, and I loved it.  Giant redwoods, fascinating history, tourist trains, cute towns, stunning ocean views and great beaches-this place is a great two or three day stop.  Here are three highlights of the trip:

Glass beach, Ft Bragg
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Redwood National Forest Hikes-Tips on Tall Trees Grove Hike and Fern Canyon

I spent 4 nights/3 days in the area, which is about the right amount of time to see the most important sites and soak up the ambience of the park.  Here’s what I did, with some helpful notes:

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