Jody Robinson

Jody Robinson

My husband and I like to joke that we run an after-hours speakeasy out of our home. When the kids are finally asleep for the night and the dishes are all done, we bust out the fancy cheese and crackers, open a bottle of wine, and unfurl the tin foil around a decadent bar of dark chocolate. Of course, we have to hide the evidence from prying eyes, so in the morning we don’t have to answer questions about the chocolate wrapper, wine cork, or ice cream scoop. We laughed at each other the other day while cleaning up the evidence of our adults-only snacktime when we agreed that the best gift we could give each other was a night in a hotel room, so there weren’t any dishes to do, and plenty of activities during the day to keep our ourselves - and our offspring - entertained.

Catamaran Resort Lobby

San Diego’s Mission Bay happens to be the answer to our gift-giving conundrum, as well as the speakeasy solve: a close-to-home, family friendly travel destination that happens to have everything we need for a getaway after the last chaotic year and a half. Classically beautiful weather year round makes San Diego one of the country’s most desirable vacation destinations, and with its proximity to Orange County and LA, a quick drive down the coast is as easy as can be. The man-made saltwater bay was created from more than 2,000 acres of wetlands and marshes, and boasts activities ranging like theme parks like Seaworld and an old fashioned roller coaster at Belmont Park to water activities.

Catamaran Resort guestroom

Mission Bay’s Catamaran Resort is perched in popular "PB" - what the locals call Pacific Beach, and with gorgeous rooms facing out to the Bay, or over the glittering Pacific, every accommodation offers a beautiful view. Over 1,000 tropical trees and plants adorn the property, making it a proper urban jungle hideaway: koi ponds included. The resort's tropical vibe artfully blends with the Aloha spirit where each of the property’s 310 luxurious suites, studios and hotel rooms feature a private balcony or patio with breathtaking views of Mission Bay, the Pacific Beach neighborhood and coastline, or the property’s lush tropical gardens.

Catamaran Resort Oceana Coastal Kitchen patio

A Polynesian-themed resort wouldn’t be complete without the aforementioned robust list of water based activities, and the Catamaran certainly comes through. If Mom or Dad are feeling the fitness center or on-site spa, options include facials and massages, marine and botanical-based products to take home and luxuriate in, or a full range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment to fuel your day. Various watersports abound on property, with the waters of the bay beckoning beyond (think boat rentals, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and more via actionsportrentals.com/catamaran-resort-hotel-spa located right at the resort's water's edge). Prefer land activiites? One of the best ways in which to enjoy San Diego's premier land and sea resort destination? Simply basking bayside in a covered lounge.

Catamaran Resort beach chair

Our family opted for a lovely, leisurely late afternoon tooling around the bay aboard a pair of funcats - chaise-lounge style electric catamaran boats, followed by an equally equisite dining experience at the resort's signature restaurant, Oceana Coastal Kitchen. There was something for every palate on the menu - abundant seafood selections for me, beef and chicken entrees for my meat-and-potatoes husband and a variety of kid-friendly faves including delicious flatbreads - the sweet fennel sausage and classic pepperoni was a big hit!

CAT Pool 2021

A beach concierge can set the family up with umbrellas, towels, and chairs, or simply spend the day poolside: surrounded by the resort’s towering palm trees. The best part about all of it being (of course) that you don’t have to hide the candy wrappers at the end of the night, because the whole family gets to escape at the same time.


Catamaran Resort Hotel
3999 Mission Blvd.
San Diego
(858) 488-1081
www.CatamaranResort.com

Now Open in San Juan Capistrano

I was in middle school at my best friend’s house when her Dad got a call one afternoon. It was a complete stranger, albeit an incredibly friendly one, who had taken the time to sort through who my friend’s grandmother was and why she happened to be strolling up and down his street in the middle of the day. On our way over to pick her up, her Dad attempted to describe what was happening in her brain. Over dinner that night, I watched her between bites halfway expecting her to forget which utensil to use for the salad and the soup. But there, surrounded by her family at the dining table she’d eaten at a thousand times or more, she was sharp. Clear. Quick witted and lively.

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Not a real specific disease, as I learned later through some of my own research, but more an umbrella covering the impairment of at least a couple of different brain functions; dementia’s group conditions affect memory loss and judgment, often the two most important pieces in the typical motions of an everyday life. Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s all snug up neatly under the umbrella, as does vascular dementia. At some point, like with my friend’s grandmother later that year, it can become necessary to offer more care than is available around the home. That’s when care in a senior living community like Serra Sol Memory Care in San Juan Capistrano becomes so vitally important.

pic0012A partnership between Protea Senior Living and Agemark Senior Living - two of the foremost names in senior residence care - Serra Sol Memory Care prides itself on offering “a truly inspired life” for its residents. As with all things, there are homes that feel like sterile hospitals and communities that feel like home. Serra Sol certainly falls in the latter category. Providing exceptional care is the tip of the iceberg at the new South Orange County location, and like most icebergs, the weight of their mission hovers below the surface, imbuing each day with meaning derived from little things that mean a lot. As the management company who will oversee all day-today operations, Agemark creates true communities that are warm and welcoming, and works diligently to give those in their care love, laughter and joy and encourages residents to live life fully - despite the challenges they face.

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Renowned for turning the traditional image of an old-folks home into a passionate, engaging, mission-driven community, Agemark’s custom touches at Serra Sol include an onsite Director of Nursing, Physician oversight, assisted telemedicine appointments, balanced menus and dining services, on-site physical, occupational, and speech therapy from preferred partners, and regular communication of resident’s assessment and needs with loved ones.

An Agemark facility, in conjunction with Protea Capital Partners - two of the foremost names in senior residence care - Serra Sol Memory Care prides itself on offering “a truly inspired life” for its residents.”

My friend later shared that her grandmother’s room at the senior care residence might not have been a replica of her bedroom in the home she lived in for years, but all of the important things were there - photos, cards from the grandkids, her favorite reading chair. At Serra Sol, they understand that in addition to making sure your loved one’s health-related needs are met, equally important is the warmhearted staff who care deeply about their feelings, and the routine and familiarity of place that sparks an awareness of the positive memories they carried in with them.

pic0013As far as personalized care goes, Serra Sol has it all. In fact, through the 26 Agemark communities spanning six states, everything from the environment to the friendly faces one sees each day contribute to an elite level of service. The leadership teams are all handpicked, ensuring that each member of the staff exemplify the values they hold close: professionalism, integrity, compassion. Employees assist with daily outings and activities, customizing them to each resident’s passions and interests. From social gatherings to individual spiritual practices, crafts, baking, yoga, walking, or trips to local attractions, keeping residents motivated and excited for the day-to-day means stimulating their minds and bodies. After all, feeling engaged combats memory loss, and can even trigger new neural pathways to link old and new memory together.

pic0014Serra Sol boasts an incredibly safe and secure environment, keeping those with memory loss top of mind. By Jody Robinson Inspirational Living at Serra Sol Memory Care Now Open in San Juan Capistrano An Agemark facility, in conjunction with Protea Capital Partners - two of the foremost names in senior residence care - Serra Sol Memory Care prides itself on offering “a truly inspired life” for its residents.”

pic0017Secured entries and exits, alarm systems, and emergency call buttons complement lovely natural vegetation and water features in the residence’s secure outdoor courtyard, perfect for dining or simply enjoying an afternoon chat. Restaurant-style meals are served in a beautifully appointed dining room, and a multipurpose area serves to house crafts, cooking, games, film screenings and more. A state-of-the-art Tovertafel table features a game system providing cognitive stimulation to its players in the form of movement and interaction. Don’t miss the ice cream sundae dipping station in the dining area, where everyone can enjoy a sweet treat. Additionally, activities and outings will be in abundance, with a Life Enrichment Coach on hand to ensure residents are able to cultivate their current interests as well as try new things.

Choose one of three floorplans, and enjoy a private or companion room. All feature en suite, private bathrooms, walk-in showers with grab bars for safety, and a bench for comfort. Storage space ensures residents can bring their favorite objects from home - making each suite a welcoming, warm respite at the end of the day. My friend’s grandmother passed away a few years after she moved into the home, at a ripe old 93. I’m told she was surrounded every day by the comforts of her own memories until the end, and remained a hilarious, crisp fighter regardless of what came her way. I understand the perils that a disease like dementia can bring a bit better now that I’m older, but that only amplifies my gratitude for the safety and sense of community that the residents of Serra Sol Memory Care enjoy. Set the standard for care for your own loved ones, at Serra Sol.


SERRA SOL MEMORY CARE
31451 Avenida Los Cerritos
San Juan Capistrano
(949) 485-2022
SerraSol.com

Committed to Exceptional Care

All throughout my youth, I wondered why people didn’t like going to the dentist. That all changed when I moved away from home to go to college, and had to find a new dentist for the first time. That experience opened my eyes to how intimate dentistry is and how vulnerable you feel if you are not comfortable in the dental office.

Your smile/mouth is the first thing people notice when they speak to you. Finding someone you trust to take care of your dental hygiene is imperative to enjoying the confidence a beautiful smile gives you. Ivan Ho, DDS is one of those select few dentists you can trust. From the moment you meet him, you are immediately touched by his warm nature and empathy.

Dr. Ho has been caring for patients for over twenty years and has won numerous awards and reviews that focus not only on his excellency within dentistry, but also the warmth with which he treats his patients - as welcome guests and friends.

As a University of Southern California School of Dentistry graduate and an award winning board certified dentist, Dr. Ho lectures nationally and internationally about both cosmetic and implant dentistry. His expertise and warm demeanor have earned him the respect and trust of both colleagues and patients.

“As a doctor myself, extensive knowledge and expertise is important,” says Patient Steve H., MD. “Dr Ho is truly an expert!”

Angela P., a local school teacher, echoes the sentiment and adds: “I’ve been searching for a dentist with honesty and compassion, I found Dr Ho through a co-worker and refer all my friends and family to him.”

Dr. Ho has had more than his fair share of time in the dental chair as a patient. This has given him the unique perspective of both a professional and a patient.

“I had extra teeth and gum issues that required multiple gum and oral surgeries from my childhood all through my adolescence,” says Dr. Ho. “Despite the many and varied procedures I went through, I was fortunate enough to see wonderful providers and I was extremely grateful for the care they gave me. The experience of rectifying my own oral health led me to pursue dentistry. I wanted to give back to a profession that changed my life.”

In 1992, Dr. Ho started his practice in Laguna Hills and added a second office in Rancho Santa Margarita and with great dedication and hard work, cared for residents of both cities.

“As my children started to grow up, I realized that I wanted to spend more time with them while I could,” he says. “So I sold my Laguna Hills location and focused on RSM, which is where I lived. I recently relocated back to Laguna Hills as now my children have grown, but my parents need a little more attention. They reside in Laguna Woods Village.”

Dr. Ho has been enjoying his return to Laguna Hills and being able to care for patients that got him started twenty-plus years ago.

“It is not just fillings, crowns, implants, cosmetic dentistry or cleanings: it’s ‘beyond the nuances’ dentistry. Your oral health plays a very important role in your overall health and your ability to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like eating good food.

“After all, your smile is an indication of what is within.” Dr. Ho says with an engaging smile of his own.


Ho 123 Edit 2Ivan Ho, DDS
DOCOI, FAAID, AACD
Pro Smiles OC
24953 Paseo de Valencia, Suite 6C
Laguna Hills
(949) 880-6638
ProSmilesOC.com

When I was younger, my Mom loved to read me the book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.” The plot essentially revolves around an ever-growing list of to-do’s that had to be accomplished, all set into motion by the simple act of giving a mouse a cookie. This tale came back to me recently when I purchased a new television at Best Buy.

What was a simple shopping trip ended up being an adult’s version of that circular tale. If you give a grownup a television, they’ll have to measure their wall. When they measure the wall, they’ll realize they may actually have room for a bigger television. When they buy the bigger television, they’ll find out they have no idea how to mount it to the wall. When they start mounting it to the wall, they’ll see that the power outlets are all in the wrong places. When they realize the outlets need to be moved, they’ll call an electrician. (This could go on forever.)

Luckily for clients who have been on the receiving end of ReelTime’s patient, intelligent, and personalized service, the rabbit hole of home automation doesn’t have to swallow you entirely. With the help of their independent certified Control4 dealer, it’s easy to update your home without upending your entire life. After all, the true luxury of an integrated entertainment system is really dependent on its ability to deliver seamless entertainment. By placing every control at your fingertips, the team at ReelTime helps homeowners manage everything from how brightly lit your family room is, to your streaming devices - all with a single remote. And best yet? You can control your whole home from the comfort of your couch- even seeing who is at the front door, without ever leaving your seat. Simple, clean, and uncluttered.

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And on the home entertainment front … when you started planning for your ultimate home theater set-up and sound system, could you find the right media cabinetry for your particular space – cabinetry that wouldn’t catch on fire from the heat of the equipment, or that would simply look good in the room? Did you understand half of what the televisions, receivers and other devices could do, and did you have anyone to hold your hand to make sure you weren’t overspending for what you wanted?

Big box retailers, the professed champions of value, are happy to sell you any home theater and sound equipment you think you might like, and send you off to figure it out at home. That’s what they do. And that’s all they do.

If you want the home theater system that you envision, seek the services of Skip Myers and his team of experienced professionals at ReelTime to take you from start to finish for the home theater or sound system of your dreams.

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“Usually there is a part of the job that you find you just can’t do by yourself,” says Skip, who has overseen the design and installation of thousands of home theater and sound systems over the course of 40-plus years in the business. “You get your brand new television home, you’re so excited, then you realize you need to move an outlet or none of the cabinets you can find will fit your space. We’re here to make sure you get the equipment that will give you what you want and the system that will work with that equipment, without leaving you to fend for yourself.”

Skip opened the doors at ReelTime in 1983. Today, the technicians and designers that Skip assigns to clients are all ReelTime employees, knowledgeable in all home theater and sound technologies. First, they work closely with you to determine what you’re looking for. Then they custom design every aspect of the project, from wiring to custom-built cabinets, frames, or built-in wall designs. Finally, licensed, in-house contractors install your entertainment system with care and precision.

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There are a couple of things that people may not think about when they embark upon the road to their own home entertainment system.

“You need to think about your home theater goals,” says Skip. “You don’t have to do everything at once – you can do it bit by bit – but if you know where you’re going, you’ll save money and when it’s all said and done, you’ll have exactly what you want and what you will actually use. We’re here to help you determine your goals.”

Skip is also an advocate for getting what you’ll use, which is part of the design and planning process.

“You can buy everything you want to, but if you can’t operate it, what’s the point?” he says. “There’s the television, DVD and Blue-ray; there’s the receiver, there’s Apple TV… it’s all great, but how do you get them to work together? We’re big advocates of the universal remote. Not everyone knows how to get the most out of their systems with one powerful remote – they’re not expensive, but the best ones are computer-based. We’ll set that up for you so you’re getting the most out of your custom system.”

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It’s easy to assume that personal service is expensive, but a conversation with Skip and the experts at ReelTime is free. Ultimately, in planning your purchases for the right outcome, you’re likely to save money while avoiding chilling setbacks. The only chilling you want to be doing is in front of your fantasy home theater system.


Connect with Skip Myers and ReelTime by calling (949) 240-0555, stop by their beautiful new showroom at 26381 Via De Anza in San Juan Capistrano or visit www.reeltimeav.com

My daughter loves the movie Frozen. The Disney hit is based around locations in Norway, but there’s one stand out part in my mind every time I watch the movie, and it really belongs to Arendelle’s non-fictional neighbor to the east: the sauna.

JNH Lifestyles shares my affinity for the Finnish invention, dated back originally to 1112 AD. Introducing the heat-based healing tool to the world was simply the first step, however. As the technology evolved, so did its health benefits.

“What began as a simple tradition became one of the most invaluable homeopathic tools used to relax, detoxify, and regenerate humankind worldwide,” says COO, Brian Montes.

Essentially an enclosed space filled with steam (wet) or air heated by stones (dry) for an extended period of time, a traditional sauna utilize heat to release toxins through sweat, pressing the circulatory system to release toxins, thereby reducing stress, pain, and even aid in weight loss. JNH Lifestyles’ offerings on the other hand elevate your level of healing and pain relief using an even more updated technology: the infrared (IR) sauna.

Senior Woman in Sauna

IR employs far infrared light to emit a frequency of light waves that match the frequency of the water in one’s cells. The water molecules vibrate, causing friction on a microscopic scale. This is what generates heat and causes perspiration. When this occurs, toxins are released into the bloodstream and are excreted from the body. The long and short of this? Safer than a traditional sauna where the cabin temperature can rise upwards to 190 degrees, IR saunas utilize “radiant heating” - warming the sauna user rather than the cabin air.

IR saunas offer a myriad of health benefits including increased circulation and lowered blood pressure, joint and muscle pain relief (particularly for arthitis sufferers), improved sleep and stress reduction, collagen growth for smoother skin ... and with up to 600 calories burned per session, can aid in weight loss.

Today, millions of Americans experience the benefits of having a home infrared sauna.

Modern IR saunas can be installed in any average home at an incredibly reasonable price.

Designed by a team of dedicated engineers and experts with over 30 years industry experience, the one, two, three and four-person capacity ultra-low EMF or Full-Spectrum Infrared saunas come equipped with 6 to 16 infrared heater panels depending upon the size of the unit. Each operates simultaneously to deliver infrared benefits 80% more efficiently than other brands. Tested and approved by two independent third party facilities, the carbon fiber heaters maximize output and ensure a safe sweat in the comfort of your own home. The units are easy to install for DIYers or can be delivered and installed for convenience (Southern California only). JNH offers flat rate shipping and financing, should the need arise. Using only the highest quality untreated, unstained FSC Certified Canadian Hemlock, “our tongue and groove construction makes it a literal snap to set up.”

Eliminating the traditional need for framing tools, mitre joints or other woodworking tricks to keep the wood in place, tongue and groove also allows the wood to flex with the infrared heat, and give when it shrinks back into shape. Dual-wall construction means the sauna will trap more heat and also keep its overall shape, ensuring owners can tuck it into a smaller space and not worry about additional insulation or heat expansion. A see-through safety glass door allows for visibility within and without the sauna, and a digital control panel lets you decide on the temperature and duration of your IR experience.

“Unfortunately, we can’t literally touch infrared the way you’d pet your dog,” which is indeed unfortunate, as it feels like the IR waves are giving you the loveliest hug imaginable, “but we can feel the heat it generates within our bodies.”

Like your levels of excitement once you get the sauna put together, your cardiac activity will soon increase with the heat, and you can start enjoying the long-term rewards of lower blood pressure and increased relaxation. The Finns got it right. JNH is bringing it home. And you can relax for less, with quicker set up and greater benefits in less time than it takes to get a child to sing through the entire Disney song library; again.


JNH Lifestyles
(949) 979-6034
JNHLifestyles.com

Insurance for All with Jonathan Bayani. GEICO Laguna Niguel

There are very few things that throw people off balance more easily than an accident. Be it at home, in the car, or on the water, an accident can ruin a day, a week, or even a year for the uninsured. For the last 85 years, your safety and that of your family has been GEICO’s ultimate priority, and for Agency Owner Jonathan Bayani and his team of licensed agents at the GEICO local office in Laguna Niguel, carrying that mission on is about much more than offering competitive rates.

Bayani and his team strive to serve South OC residents with elite and tailored customer service curated over the last twenty years in the auto and insurance industries. Customers can purchase car insurance, as well as coverage for renters, condos, RV’s, boats, and commercial vehicles. Identity protection, jewelry, and homeowners are also among the list of offerings GEICO boasts: a far cry from the original single policy auto coverage GEICO founders Leo and Lillian Goodwin offered clients in 1936 when they first opened their doors.

“As the father of three children, looking after the wellbeing of my family is top priority,’ says Bayani. “Insurance is integral to every industry and after serving the San Diego Padres and seeing how closely knit the players and their families are to their individual coverage, I wanted to bring what I learned to everyday folks in my own community.”

A bilingual team of agents, the office in Laguna Niguel will look to bring savings to each client that walks through their doors. “We have special association and alumni discounts for graduates of UCLA, SDSU, UCI, CUSF, CSULB, USC and other local schools.” Active duty military serving at Camp Pendleton may also qualify for GEICO’s military discount.

Accidents or incidents can derail even the best laid plans, but they don’t have to. GEICO has been proving that for 85 years, and Jonathan and his team are here to back you up for those to come.


GEICO
Local Office
Laguna Niguel
27261 La Paz Road, Suite J
Laguna Niguel
(949) 268-6740
Geico.com/Laguna-Niguel-Bayani

The last 12 months have been some of the most taxing in recent memory. Nearly a year of intermittent lockdown, skyrocketing unemployment rates, global pandemic.

Not necessarily the right time to start a business, when so many need assistance. Unless, of course, the business you start is the business of helping others out. Amidst one of the more nutty summers on record, the Irvine-based Ola-Help! got its start. Looking to assist people with fast and efficient services and delivery for personal shopping, buying, sending gifts, or even scheduling rides for appointments for residents in South OC, there isn’t a challenge too large for the team.

Specifically targeted at those most compromised by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ola-Help! looks for ways to meet the demands of a world driven by technology and connection when so many were driven into isolation, separated from the ones they love who helped them stay relevant through computers, tablets, and the seemingly endless scroll of smart phone apps. My Mom turned 88 in September, and we haven’t seen her in months. As such, we’ve taken to screens as much as we can to help walk her through paying some of her bills online, downloading podcasts from the cloud, or getting her set up on a shared photo feed so she can see incoming images of the grandkids.

But not everyone has the bandwidth to support what sometimes feels like a part time job keeping their loved ones afloat, especially during such trying times.

“We believe in humans helping humans," says Owner Prashna Raniga, Ph.D. "Assisting those that are the most vulnerable part of the community is our priority.” When you call Ola-Help!, you speak with a person, and not an automated message system asking you to repeat your command until you’re blue in the face.

A recent 5-Start Yelp review by client Mariam A. of Irvine speaks to the level of customer service you can expect: “Ola-Help! is an amazing service! I was looking for a someone to deliver some perishable items to someone locally and Ola-Help! was the PERFECT SOLUTION to my problem! I will definitely use this service again!”

Ola-Help! serves as your “one-stop, personal assistant” to navigate the myriad of online resources - whether you are looking for someone to run errands, seniors who need help with online purchases, scheduling transportation to a doctor’s appointment, grocery shopping or food delivery.

“We’re a tele-concierge service that understands the difficulties of living in a predominantly online community platform,” says Dr. Raniga. “It can be tough to know who to trust, or which app to open.” My Mom used to say how nice it would be if she had an- other set of hands to get everything done, and now you do: just call up Ola-Help!


Ola-Help!
(833) 927-3782
OlaHelp.com

The most recent season of Netflix’s revolutionary bio-drama The Crown follows Britain’s royal family to the Queen’s Scottish estate house, Balmoral. Views of verdant, rolling hills, and moody, dark skies await its guests. As a fan of the show and an avid traveler, I’d been dreaming about a family getaway. I couldn’t have been more excited when my husband and I planned a weekend retreat to La Jolla’s atmospheric the Lodge at Torrey Pines. I’d only seen photos of the sprawling expanse, and on the drive in felt utterly transported - just to the north of the property the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve showcases 1,750 sprawling acres of unspoiled land that protects its namesake - one of America’s rarest pine trees. By the time we pulled in under the Lodge’s porte-cochere and were greeted by doormen attired in traditional Scottish kilted dress, we knew we were in for an experience unlike any other.

Palisade Room Balcony 3rd FloorWith warmer, Craftsman detailing than you might find at the Queen’s residence, the AAA 5 Diamond rated resort boasts expansive public rooms with fireplaces, marble mantles, leather chairs, and unbeatable views of the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Beyond, you’ll find you’re looking at the Pacific, not the cool Atlantic - but to be honest, I knew I’d be hard-pressed to be pulled away from the cozy poolside cabana. The heated pool, especially during California’s winter months, was just what we all needed to unwind and relax.

Understandably, travel looks decidedly different these days and as a family with two middle-school aged children, safety is a top priority. Transparent in its commitment to ensure the well-being of resort guests, The Lodge’s Clean & Care Commitment protocols have earned the property a Clean + Safe Certification from the California Hotel & Lodging Association (see website for details).

Accommodation + Amenities

It’s easy to see why Sunset Magazine rated The Lodge as the #1 Hotel in the West and described it as “one of the most beautiful hotels anywhere.” Our stunning guest accommodation featured the most luxurious Egyptian cotton linens, gorgeous oversized soaking bath, a cozy fireplace, spacious living quarters and breathtaking views of the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course overlooking the California coastline.

We chatted with a couple who raved about the 36-hole facility owned by the City of San Diego, originally designed by William F. Bell. The South Course was redesigned in 2001 by Rees Jones in preparation for the 2008 U.S. Open and is now 7,698 yards with a par of 72. The North Course is 7,258 yards in length with a par of 72.

The Lodge features a full-service spa and state-of-the-art fitness center. Although these may be closed due to state guidelines at the time of your visit, there’s no shortage of open-air recreational opportunities - from outdoor yoga and croquet to golf, guided hikes and of course, the gorgeous heated pool.

Grill fireplace rockingchair

The Lodge’s signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien, highlights seasonal cuisine crafted from locally sourced ingredients - delicious dishes we enjoyed “outdoors” in an elegant, open air, timbered dining room. The metal-strap post-and-beam structure, hand-crafted wood framed windows and stained-glass lanterns all a nod to its Southern California heritage and Craftsman architecture and further enhanced by the panoramic views overlooking the 18th hole of the Torrey Pines Golf Course.

For starters, we sampled wonderfully fragrant and flavorful artisanal cheeses paired with spiced nuts and jam followed by a delectable crispy skin sablefish butternut squash tortellini, lobster consommé, pomegranate and preserved orange relish.

Lodge Aerial CopyDuring our stay, we also indulged in room service with wood-fired favorites (think chimney roasted chicken and wood-grilled tri-tip). My daughter and I are completely addicted to the charcoal bread avocado toast topped with smashed avocado, fennel, pickled and fresh vegetables, watercress and Everything seasoning and the wood roasted vegetable quinoa (our attempts to replicate the recipes at home came up a little short so she’s already angling for a return trip). My son would eat the Grill’s “Drugstore Hamburger” at every meal if you let him and my strictly meat-and-potatoes husband thoroughly enjoyed the cooked-to-perfection New York Strip paired with a glass of regional wine.

Thorsen Suite ExteriorAn offshoot of the early 1900s Arts and Crafts Movement, the Lodge boasts one of the loveliest examples of California Craftsman you can find. Clean lines, warm, open spaces, and naturally rough raw materials, like stone, wood, and plenty of natural light give beautiful complement to the deliberate and exceptional care the staff take to ensure each guest’s stay is comfortable and memorable. You’d think we were titled guests of the estate with the unprecedented service we received. The best part? You don’t have to claim a royal lineage to stay.ARV Deck View 2top


The Lodge at Torrey Pines
11480 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla
(858) 453-4420
LodgeTorreyPines.com

The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous stayed above the fray and blossomed while the rest of the gift industry flounders? “That’s easy,” responds Diane Silverstein, owner of the iconic Huntington Beach-based Absolutely Fabulous gift boutique, “quality, selection, price range, and ease of shopping.” After many visits to her “absolutely fabulous” gift and décor shop, I would have to agree. “Plus – we ship world-wide, so you can mail your stuff right from here!”

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While the internet excels at making home shopping the easiest experience, when you know exactly what you’re looking for, much of holiday gift-giving starts with “who is this for, and how much do I want to spend on them?” Absolutely Fabulous makes this type of shopping easy with their “you know the personality, we know the product” approach to holiday gift-giving. “You see,” Diane explains in her charming English accent, “we spend hours and hours searching for the best new products offered in the gift industry. When our customers come in with their lists, we walk them around and point out options that our customers would never have found in an internet search.”

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Diane is not kidding on that last point. The variety and uniqueness of products at Absolutely Fabulous is astounding: hand-made jewelry, Miche Bag purses (the ones where you just drop the “insides” of your purse into a new shell, rather than having to dump all of your stuff out!), $10 silk scarves, old-school shaving kits for men, a “Daddy’s Tool Bag” that includes diaper changing equipment, and instructional DVD, face mask and other funny items, rare paintings by successful artists, large crystal chandeliers, crystal perfume bottles, stuffed animal baby bottle covers, piggy banks for kids, wedding party gifts, rare Disney art and collectibles, holiday-themed decor and gifts, Christmas decorations that range from very inexpensive bottle stoppers and tree decorations to 6-foot high collectible Santa dolls. Ab Fab really does cover the gamut of gifts for anyone: “from birth to death and everything in-between is our moniker” Diane proudly states. I tend to agree.


This holiday season, find out why Absolutely Fabulous is so appropriately-named. Connect with Diane and the crew at Absolutely Fabulous located at 6026 Warner Avenuein Huntington Beach, call (714) 842-1608 or visit
www.absolutelyfabulous1.com

The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous stayed above the fray and blossomed while the rest of the gift industry flounders? “That’s easy,” responds Diane Silverstein, owner of the iconic Huntington Beach-based Absolutely Fabulous gift boutique, “quality, selection, price range, and ease of shopping.” After many visits to her “absolutely fabulous” gift and décor shop, I would have to agree. “Plus – we ship world-wide, so you can mail your stuff right from here!”

IMG 3696

While the internet excels at making home shopping the easiest experience, when you know exactly what you’re looking for, much of holiday gift-giving starts with “who is this for, and how much do I want to spend on them?” Absolutely Fabulous makes this type of shopping easy with their “you know the personality, we know the product” approach to holiday gift-giving. “You see,” Diane explains in her charming English accent, “we spend hours and hours searching for the best new products offered in the gift industry. When our customers come in with their lists, we walk them around and point out options that our customers would never have found in an internet search.”

IMG 4544

IMG 4570 EditDiane is not kidding on that last point. The variety and uniqueness of products at Absolutely Fabulous is astounding: hand-made jewelry, Miche Bag purses (the ones where you just drop the “insides” of your purse into a new shell, rather than having to dump all of your stuff out!), $10 silk scarves, old-school shaving kits for men, a “Daddy’s Tool Bag” that includes diaper changing equipment, and instructional DVD, face mask and other funny items, rare paintings by successful artists, large crystal chandeliers, crystal perfume bottles, stuffed animal baby bottle covers, piggy banks for kids, wedding party gifts, rare Disney art and collectibles, holiday-themed decor and gifts, Christmas decorations that range from very inexpensive bottle stoppers and tree decorations to 6-foot high collectible Santa dolls. Ab Fab really does cover the gamut of gifts for anyone: “from birth to death and everything in-between is our moniker” Diane proudly states. I tend to agree.

This holiday season, find out why Absolutely Fabulous is so appropriately-named. Connect with Diane and the crew at Absolutely Fabulous located at 6026 Warner Avenuein Huntington Beach, call (714) 842-1608 or visit www.absolutelyfabulous1.com

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