Wednesday, April 29, 2015


There are 21 public parks along the San Diego Bay, all with beautiful views. My goal is to visit, photograph, and write about each one—riding my bike along the way. Most are located on the 24-mile San Diego Bayshore Bikeway.
The more than 240 acres of parkland are managed by the Port of San Diego which provided a list and map on their website to guide my journey.
On-leash dogs are welcome and alcohol is not permitted without a special permit. Hours are 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. All require permits for groups of 25 or more. Additional amenities vary at each location and may include: picnic tables, play equipment, exercise stations, fishing piers, boat launches, concessions, and bike paths—see individual websites for details.
The Coronado Landing Park, 1201 1st Street, is located at one end of the of the San Diego Bayshore Bikeway; this is where I will begin. It sits adjacent to the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier which is the arrival and departure point for ferries that transport hundreds of visitors and commuters daily between downtown San Diego and Coronado. It is the park with the most spectacular view of the downtown skyline and is usually busy, especially on weekends. There are a couple of benches, concrete walls, and grasslands for sitting with a nice view. It's a good place for people-watching; visitors come from all over the world and speak many languages. The 377-foot pier is popular for fishing.
The Landing offers many shops and restaurants, as well as an area with a waterfall, palm trees and tables to enjoy a meal or snack. A farmer's market is held here every Tuesday from 2:30 to 6:00 pm. This is also the setting of free Sunday afternoon concerts. They are held year-round, featuring a variety of local musicians and venues from jazz to pop.
For a little more serenity and history, take a short walk north to Centennial Park, site of the original Ferry Landing Terminal. Although not officially part of the Port of San Diego parkland, it has a great view and is more peaceful and comfortable, with more seating available, to enjoy the panorama of downtown. I sometimes savor a morning coffee here with the fragrance from the spring-blooming Japanese mock orange filling the air, watching the boats pass, and listening to the birds chirping.
At the Orange Avenue entrance, there is a lovely rose garden where the shrubs are just starting to bloom. Next to them, is a historical landmark: the original Coronado Ferry Ticket Booth. The park sits in the original site of the Coronado Ferryboat Terminal which operated ferries between San Diego and Coronado from 1886 until the opening of the bridge in 1969. The ferries accommodated passengers, horses, buggies, and later, automobiles. Riding these ferries was a way of life and is a fond memory for many who lived here at that time. In 1987, the old car ferries were replaced with passenger ferries that now depart from the Coronado Landing Pier.
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For another great view and park, stroll south about one-half mile toward the Coronado Bridge. This waterfront path is one of the prettiest walks in San Diego. Here you will find a spectacular bridge view and the 22-acre Coronado Tidelands Park, 2000 Mullinex Drive, the largest San Diego Bay park.
The park is famous for its great view of the Coronado Bay Bridge which is particularly stunning at sunrise with the Laguna Mountains in the background. Adding to the photographic scene are the about 40 small sailboats that are moored here.
The park, being the largest along the bay, is especially popular on weekends when hundreds of people gather for picnics and sporting events. There is rarely a time that you can pass this park without seeing some activity. It also has an exercise station where I usually stop for push-ups when passing by.
A fascinating kinetic sculpture of a bicycle that rotates with the wind; sitting high up on a pole overlooking the bay, is a wonderful addition to this park. “My Bike” by Arnos Robinson is one of the many interesting, outdoor works of art along the bay.





Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I enjoy planning my journeys almost as much as taking them. I guess this is why I never miss a nearby travel show and wasn't about to miss an opportunity to interview John Golicz, CEO and founder of the Travel & Adventure Shows. They are the largest series of travel shows in the United States and are held annually in seven major cities. After producing more than 60 events that have brought together millions of attendees, Golicz is one of the top experts in the field of travel.

My Vintage Journeys is pleased to share this exclusive phone interview with John Golicz on April 8, 2015:

Good Morning, John. I'm glad to have this opportunity to visit with you. I love going to travel shows, and a chance to interview the guru of the trade is an honor.

Let's start with how it all began—what originally lead you to create the popular Travel and Adventure Shows?

I was always an adventure traveler and enjoyed the boating and other sport shows that were available. However, I couldn't find events specifically for the consumer traveler. This was about 14 years ago, and Europe already had a lot of them. I decided that there was probably a market in the US as well and decided to test it.

Our first show launched in January 2003 in New York City with attendance of over 26,000. They have been growing ever since—booming in the last few years.

How much time do you spend traveling throughout the year?

We do seven shows across the country in the first quarter of the year, which means I am traveling 40 plus days during that time. The rest of the year I travel throughout the world interfacing with ministers of tourism, tourism officers, and travel directors.

I just returned from a nine day multi-generational family vacation in the Dominican Republic where we stayed at Casa De Campo. There was something for everyone, including, beaches, golf, tennis, fishing, horseback riding, scooters. It was wonderful.

What changes do you foresee in the travel industry in the upcoming year?

Self-directed travel is growing: a recent poll of our travel show attendees indicated that 80% are not using a travel agent.

Europe is red hot. The euro is at recent historic lows. Airfares are dropping, and Europe is experiencing a recession so accommodations are more readily available and rate-friendly.

What are some of your favorite European destinations and tips for families traveling together?

We've traveled multiple times with our kids and we try to make the trips kid-directed, as much as possible. For example, when we went on a family trip to Paris and London about four years ago, we gave each of them an opportunity to chose two things that they wanted to do in each city. In Paris, my son wanted to see the catacombs and do the sewer tour. My daughter wanted to go to a museum related to her interests in medicine. They all found something, and we separated at times if necessary.

We also hired a guide for a private walking tour of Paris. We had a three-hour introductory tour of the city, visiting the major sights and neighborhoods and learning how to get around. Now we're acclimated to where we want to go on our own. Later, we did a tour of the Louvre, which was also very helpful.

We are finding that a lot of families come to the travel and adventure shows together in order to plan their next trip. It gives the kids a chance to meet people from other countries, hear the local music, and even taste some of the local food.

We all love travel gadgets and apps. What are the top ones for 2015?

I like the HeadDEFENDER which is a headrest cover for the airplane, train or bus seat. Your head is resting on a clean fabric that feels good and prevents germs from spreading. It comes in a nice carrying pouch, and I always travel with it.

I used the NapAnywhere on my last trip and I plan to use it again. It is an ergonomically-stable neck support that is covered with a foam padding that molds to you and allows for a good sleep while sitting up. I tried it on my last trip, and it really worked—I plan to use it again. .

Another trend I'm seeing is “on demand travel.” I'm coining that term right now because you're really set free on how you travel these days. With apps like, for example, you can just show up in a city and open your app and find a hotel that matches your preferences at discounted prices, in just about any city in the world. Now think about that: I don't have to preplan where I'm going to go. Now there are apps. I can just show up and get a hotel room, and I'm guaranteed it at a good price. I can make restaurant reservations at I can use Uber to get my ride. I'm kind of set free. I can also get train and airline tickets. RickSteves also has free on demand walking guides on his website for many cities in Europe.

Do you have a favorite travel gadget that you never leave home without?

I always travel with an iPad and iPhone.

Do you like to take photos when traveling? If so, what camera do you use?

I use my iPhone for photos rather than a camera. It's more convenient and I can send them anywhere.
Another tip is to copy important docs and credit card information onto your iPhone in case of emergency—just make sure you have a security code on it.

As the founder and editor of, tell us about the website?

It was launched in February, and I'm really excited about it. We're asking travel experts and others to contribute concise and simple travel tips on a wide range of travel topics. There are a lot of great ideas out there. Our goal is to provide our readers with the most up-to-date travel advice available.

MyVintageJourneys is a website for those of us who like to travel the vintage way, often one month at a time, which leads to my final question: If you could choose one place in the world to spend a month, where would it be?

Italy, I love Italy. We'd like to take a trip for a month where we will spend a week in four different spots. We're thinking about Tuscany, Venice, Sardinia, and Sicily.

Thank you, John—this was very informative. I'm already looking forward to attending the next San Diego Travel & Adventure show January 16-17, 2016. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Finding the best airfare can be complicated and frustrating. How do you make sure you're getting the best deal on the already overpriced airfares? With dozens of websites available to search—sites where you can reserve tickets and some that search multiple sites and send you elsewhere to book. Add to this the recent consolidation of major players, and the addition of new ones—it's confusing and time consuming. Then there are the extra charges imposed by airlines for amenities such as assigned seats and carry-on luggage.
I guess it's no surprise that a recent article entitled “The Best Way to Find a Fare Online” peeked my interest. It was published in the Wall Street Journal on April 2, 2015; written by Scott McCartney. At the end of the featured story, he provides a valuable, no-nonsense approach to finding the best airfare. Here is what he has to say:

Best advice for consumers now: Shop several search sites, such as Kayak, Google, Hipmunk or Skyscanner. They are strong and reliable, but have different features. See which ones you like best. Hipmunk shows options in useful time bars so you can easily schedule. Skyscanner lets you easily shop inventory available in other countries where airlines may be running specials.
      Once you find what you want, book directly at the airline. Booking on the airline website gives you the best shot at accurate information about what you get—or don't get—with that fare, plus add-on fees or buying potential up-grades. You also stand a better chance of getting your Known Traveler number to TSA Pre-Check if you're enrolled.”

Note that the four sites he recommends are sites that do not book tickets —they send you elsewhere. Google Flights is a new search engine that is getting good reviews. The TSA Pre-Check is a real value—you don't need to remove computers and toiletries from your bag and you can leave your shoes.

Follow his guidelines. Keep it simple. Be flexible. Good Luck.