Using AirBnB: Sequoia National Park


Have you heard about the sharing economy? It’s the latest and greatest phenomenon spawned by the internet, and is all the rage now that social media is old hat. Sharing economy businesses all have a common thread in that they allow users to make use of some excess in their life. Want to rent out a seat at your dining table every time you cook an extravagant meal? You can do that. Got an empty closet that someone can use for storage? It’s now rentable with a few mouse clicks. Have a guest house and live in San Diego? Say hello to your new vacation rental. While none of these activities were technically impossible before, but thanks to the web and the presence of companies that aggregate the things to be shared and ensure accountability for the sharer and the borrower, it’s now realistic for everyone to participate. We jumped into our first foray into the sharing economy with great success.

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Strava Review


My life is pretty data driven. If there’s a numerical way to evaluate something, I like to explore that. Sometimes this earns some well deserved eye rolls, when I do things like calculate how much it costs per hour to own a kayak. Of course, we all know that people can be all over the spectrum when it comes to this sort of analysis. I don’t think any of you readers are like this (I mean come on, this is Optimizing Adventure after all), but we all know someone on the opposite end that will go buy toilet paper in a 4-pack at the grocery store each time they need it without a second thought. Funnily enough though, I’ve found one specific area where everyone is data driven.

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Snow Valley – Skiing in Southern California


Southern California isn’t a place you’d associate with skiing, especially this winter. The dry and warm winter we’ve been experiencing leaves hitting the slopes far from the mind – so most people are surprised when I tell them that Kendall and I have been taking several day trips to ski just two hours drive from San Diego. Southern California isn’t typically known for much else than beaches, so few know that SoCal actually plays host to serious mountains.

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Top 5 Cars for an Adventure


A few weeks ago, we headed up to Los Angeles for one of the better reasons to make a trip up there – the annual LA Auto Show. It’s a pretty strange experience – walking through a carpeted parking lot full of nearly every car currently made, all of which you can take a seat in and see if they fit your liking. Whether you are in to 500+ horsepower leather-lined rockets, massive luxury trucks that weigh more than some domiciles, or the humble 3 cylinder subcompacts, everything is represented. Fear not, as we’re here to sort out the mess of the current automotive landscape for you!

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Go See The Hunchback of Notre Dame at The La Jolla Playhouse



There are numerous reasons I’ve been waiting excitedly for months to go see The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I have been a fan of the Disney movie, on which the play is partially based, since childhood. Every time I re-watch it, however, I realize just how dark the tone and themes of the story are and wonder why millions of children love the Disney movie so much. I consider it the darkest Disney  movie, which is probably why it has always been my favorite.

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Miramar Air Show


Early fall brings a few things to San Diego. One of these is usually a heat wave. You’d think early October in San Diego would be a time for cooling temperatures after the beach crowds have left, but that never seems to be the case. I’ve moved into new dorms/rooms/condos in San Diego around this time of year 4 times since I’ve been here. All but one of these were accessed by stairs, so suffice to say I’ve grown to despise this early fall heat wave. Despite the blistering temperatures, myself and what seems like 3/4ths of San Diego brave the temperatures to stand on the blistering tarmac at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and catch their yearly October air show – the largest military air show in the U.S. After a hiatus due to the government shutdown last year, we ventured back to the air show with Kendall’s family last month.

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Snow Summit Bike Park


I am pretty old-fashioned when it comes to my sports. I spent many of my weekends in middle and high school walking through the woods and burning logs at night, which humans have done for millennia but has only recently become known as the sport of “backpacking”. Skiing is old too – we’ve only been recently using it in a way that involves blasting carved turns down a groomed slope at sixty miles an hour and resting in cozy lodges between runs, but people have strapped long sticks to their feet to navigate snow since the dawn of time. I do have one sport which definitely bucks this trend.

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K1 Speed Go Karts


A good adventure often has a bit of an adrenaline rush involved. There’s something about stepping outside your comfort zone – pushing beyond the boundaries of what you are easily comfortable doing, and enjoying the thrill and sense of accomplishment that goes along with that. Speed and acceleration are great ways to push that boundary, and while skiing and mountain biking are my normal fixes, go karting offers an accessible and entertaining way to go faster and turn harder than you’re used to. With Kendall’s family in town and her dad’s birthday needing to be celebrated, we figured a trip to K1 Speed in Carlsbad was in order.

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Our Trip to the San Diego Padres


I’m coming up on five years living in San Diego now. That’s a pretty long time, but San Diego is a big city, so there will always be things I haven’t been able to do yet. That said, five years is a lot of time not to make it to a Padres game, even for someone that isn’t into pro sports. Let’s look at it this way: I managed to make it to a few games here and there while living in Santa Fe, a solid days drive from any team. Now, with five years in San Diego under my belt? None. Kendall, even more surprisingly, has never been to an MLB game at all. Due to a very generous offer by Kendall’s friend Mandi and her mom, we finally made it out to Petco Park to see the San Diego Padres face off against the Miami Marlins.

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Birthday: Disneyland and The Ritz

Toast at Dublin 4 Gastropub

Last weekend I drove up to Laguna Hills (about an hour North) to celebrate my friend Cassidy’s 21st birthday. I wanted to share a few pictures from the weekend.

As soon as I arrived on Friday, we went to a trendy Irish pub where Cassidy had her ID inspected for the very first time. We had some delicious foods and desserts – such as Guinness flavored ice cream and orange bread pudding. The backyard of Cassidy’s house has an in ground jacuzzi overlooking a beautiful green canyon, which we enjoyed before going to sleep.

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