Socal Mom Life

A Closer Look At SeaWorld San Diego

Disclosure: I partnered with WomensForum and SeaWorld for this post, however all opinions are my own.

One of the best things about living in San Diego is having all these world class theme parks practically in our backyard! And many visitors have come to know SeaWorld as one of the greatest of them all, but what many of them don’t realize is how much work and commitment it takes from the staff in order to create such an unforgettable experience. A few weeks back, my family and I got to take full advantage of our location when we were invited to visit SeaWorld San Diego. Read on to learn more about the park’s behind the scenes operations along with its many amenities as well as a few other great reasons why you should visit this great place sooner rather than later.

Hands On Exhibits

In addition to the expected rides and shows, SeaWorld offers a variety of Hands On Exhibits. The Explorer’s Reef was one of my children’s favorites. This exhibit greets you as soon as you enter the park, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the day by letting you get to know smaller marine animals (the ones who typically inhabit coral reefs and shores). Our kids were a little hesitant at first, but they caught on pretty quickly, running from each area of the exhibit to the next, touching the animals and gaining a better understanding of their habitat. Plus listening to the friendly staff share facts about each animal made the visit much more engaging.

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Another exhibit we loved was the Shark Encounter. Having visited this exhibit many times as a child myself, I have to say that it’s much more meaningful as an adult! We were educated with plenty of fun facts about these creatures and learned things that we tend to overlook; for instance, reef sharks have a longer upper tail and a shorter bottom tail, meaning their tails don’t move as fast. On the other hand, there’s the great white shark which has a proportionally shorter tail, which in turn makes them swim faster than other types of sharks (and their prey!). Sharks also have three different types of teeth; the first is fork teeth, second is knife teeth and lastly they have can opener teeth which sharks use when they eat turtles, because of their hard shell.

Shark EncounterWe then headed over to the Penguin Encounter to get up close and personal with a macaroni penguin. We got to pet it and learn all about their feeding patterns and how penguins live in general. To top things off, we got the special treat of stepping into the penguin exhibit during feeding time. That’s something I can mark off in my books—it was literally 26 degrees! We all put on our jackets and headed into the exhibit to get a first look at what life is like for these penguins. The keeper was so knowledgeable and her passion for these beautiful animals was obvious. You could see the love the penguins had for her too.  To book your own Penguin Up Close Tour, head over to SeaWorld San Diego – Exclusive Park Attractions.penguins seaworld san diego 1

Seaworld Rescue Rehabilitation Center

During our visit to SeaWorld, we got to go behind the scenes and see day to day operations take place. Our day began by meeting our guide, Dave, who started things off by taking us over to preview the Animal Rescue Center, state of the art labs as well as the veterinary hospital.  We experienced how the park carefully treated and tenderly handled the many animals that are brought in daily needing nourishment, medical treatment and help with their general survival.

We witnessed many different kinds of animals in need of help and medical care. One awesome thing that we learned during our visit was how SeaWorld rescues an average of 300 to 400 animals per year on the West Coast alone!

SeaWorld San Diego has saved more than 17,000 animals and birds during the 50 years they’ve been rescuing animals, with the number only continuing to increase. It’s really amazing to know the staff are hard at work  24/7, ready and willing to care for these animals. In fact, SeaWorld has veterinarians and wildlife experts ready and waiting to help treat and care for any animal in need of a rescue, with an end goal of releasing them back into the wild after they are well enough. The staff are in demand 24 hours a day with the call line open in order to take in rescue missions.SeaLion 1

One of the coolest things we learned is SeaWorld’s policy to never turn away any animal that is brought in for help needing aid. This is one of the many reasons why I love SeaWorld; the organization is constantly helping animals in need! Once the animals are treated and deemed safe to return to the ocean, they are released locally. We walked through the hospital and were able to greet the various marine patients in their living quarters.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We had a really great visit to SeaWorld. Not only did we have fun, but we learned so much, and entertaining education is always the best! Our kids were so exhausted from all the fun that we left the park in the early evening, even though closing hours are not until 9pm. The main thing was that we left happy and with some amazing memories. We highly recommend SeaWorld San Diego for your next family trip!  I hope this post was helpful and helps you understand SeaWorld and their mission even better!

SeaWorld San Diego

Behind the scenes look at SeaWorld San Diego

Disclosure: I partnered with WomensForum and SeaWorld for this post, however, all opinions are my own.

I was recently invited to visit SeaWorld San Diego and share the experience with my readers – and it was amazing! My family and I discovered the magic of SeaWorld on a whole new level. We were taken behind the scenes and witnessed how much care and dedication is put into preserving the life of all the animals. It really made me feel at ease enjoying the day at the park, knowing first-hand that the staff are doing all they can to create a wonderful living environment for the animals.

But let’s start at the beginning. SeaWorld San Diego has always had a special place in my life. I have countless memories of my mother taking myself and my brother, which was awesome for us kids. Now it’s my turn to take my own children and let them experience SeaWorld, and I’m so happy they get to see things in a new way; one that offers so much more education and interaction not only with the staff, but with the animals that call SeaWorld home. SeaWorld is more than just a great way for guests to explore the world they live in – my kids left the park inspired by what they learned and they now want to take action to protect the ocean and its animals.

SeaWorld San Diego
Our children petting Sandy, who was such a beauty.

Casual visitors might not understand just how much dedication and hard work the staff put into their jobs taking care of the animals at SeaWorld. During our visit, we got to tour the state-of-the-art in-house facilities for treatments like radiology, pathology as well as a dedicated area where mama mammals can come for alone time or a break from their babies (Even marine moms need a break from their kids!). Many of the animals become like children to the staff members who have devoted their lives to protecting and caring for them. The bond between the trainers and animals is definitely something to see and admire.

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The biggest thing we learned during our day at the park is that SeaWorld has so much more to offer than just the rides and attractions – it’s about getting to know the history and lifestyle of these precious animals. Learning where the animals come from and what their lives are like, helps to create a closer connection between them and the guests that visit SeaWorld. As a San Diego native, I can tell you first-hand how many times I have taken my visit for granted; with so many visitors, it can be difficult to fully appreciate SeaWorld and understand the hard work and commitment that goes into creating such an awesome experience. SeaWorld is one of the largest marine animal rescue operations in the world and caters to over 20 million annual guests.

Up close and personal Inside The Penguin Encounter

Throughout the tour, we were introduced to the many ways the animals are nurtured and raised at SeaWorld, along with state of the art healthcare that is offered. Seeing how the animals interacted with my children made the whole tour especially enjoyable. Overall, our visit to SeaWorld went beyond our expectations, and I’m sure it will remain an unforgettable experience our family will be talking about for years to come.

We weren’t ready to leave after all the fun we had experienced, but there are a few upcoming attractions that we’re looking forward to for our next visit.  This summer, SeaWorld will be opening three new exhibits that will let visitors experience marine life in uniquely personal ways. First, the Orca Encounter will give guests an opportunity to witness the natural behaviors of these amazing animals up close via a large infinity screen that will bring their story to life in an exciting way. Secondly, during the Ocean Explorer and Electric Ocean are opening during Memorial Day weekend, and these two features will be a festival of lights, music, and vibrant colors, plus there is going to be electrifying dance music and dazzling lights that I’m sure many families will love. We can’t wait to visit SeaWorld again this summer!

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The Haven Pizzeria hits the spot

The Haven Pizzeria

Let me start off by saying how much I love pizza, especially when it’s loaded with Canadian bacon, mouthwatering mozzarella, and of course my all time favorite topping, pineapple. Over the weekend my husband and our son made a visit to The Haven Pizzeria, located in the heart of Kensington. We indulged in some delicious appetizers, freshly prepared pizza along with some tasty drinks that satisfied our cravings. I’m not much of a beer drinker these days, so it was nice to chase our food with some Ginja Ninja Hard Cider, that was absolutely tasty. Let’s not forget about the root beer, that totally brought back childhood memories except with a little more kick than your average.

Their menu is crafted for anyone looking for unique pizza toppings that you won’t find anywhere else, with ingredients that can be trusted. Guests can get creative and craft their own pizza after choosing from a list of all natural meats, vegetables, cheeses, and sauces. Vegetarian options are available along with wheat and gluten-free crusts to accommodate every guest’s dietary needs. For those of us avoiding certain ingredients, you can be sure that they will prepare your food in proper condition without any hesitation.

There is so much more to be excited about than The Haven’s assortment of gourmet pizzas and appetizer. They also provide a colorful ambiance of unique wall art, decor and a cozy outdoor patio that overlooks the beautiful neighborhood of Kensington.

The Haven remains true to its name by offering a family-friendly atmosphere, with an exciting personality and a uniquely delicious menu made for anyone looking for a fun night out with friends or a relaxing evening with the family.

The Haven

4051 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116

Disclosure: I received a media meal for consideration, all opinions are 100% my own.

 

Ponsaty’s Fine Dining

Ponsaty’s Brunch is truly one of a kind.  Before arriving at this gem of a restaurant, the drive took us on a road that led us to a beautiful, secluded area to one of the wealthiest locations in the nation, Rancho Santa Fe. During our trip to the restaurant, my husband and I felt as though we were in a completely different world. The scenery was breathtaking and so relaxing. The anticipation of experiencing Ponsaty’s brunch was creating a much-anticipated arrival for the both of us.

Ponsaty’s welcomes couples and families to dine in its elegant main dining room; or in their casual front and back patios that offer a view that is uplifting. During our visit, we couldn’t pass up on the view. The weather was perfect, so we decided to make our way to the patio where we enjoyed the view of the town and conversations with locals.

During our visit at Ponsaty’s, we appreciated the responsibly sourced cuisine that showcased its classical French and Spanish flavors, that focused on the Basque region of France and Spain. Ponsaty’s has created a menu of locally sourced meats and produce, which I’m certain guests will enjoy. The oysters were so fresh and clean. We were told they had been prepared a couple hours prior to our visit and you could definitely taste the freshness. From the bloody mary to the braised short ribs crepes, the taste of every bite was amazing.

Raw omelet bar, Raw seafood bar, assorted pastries, assorted cheeses, fresh fruit, and desserts.

The new restaurant boasts an elegant indoor dining room adorned with chandeliers by Jonathan Adler and Schonbeck; booths upholstered with custom French tufted leather and a private, intimate seating area that can accommodate up to six guests. The main dining room also features seating options ranging from romantic tables for two, to custom burl wood tables complemented by custom faux-alligator chairs by designer Laurence Solc. Front and back patios provide a more casual dining experience perfect for families, where guests can order a selection of signature flatbreads and other small tapas-style plates. The front patio also features an herb garden, where Ponsaty will grow herbs for use in his signature dishes.

Ladies will appreciate the extravagant bathroom that awaits them once they enter. It truly is breathtaking.

Ponsaty’s

6106 Paseo Delicias

Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067

Disclosure: I received a media meal for consideration, all opinons are my own.

Farmer’s Fix, Eating healthy just got easier.

Disclosure: I received a meal for media consideration. All opinions are my own

Are you looking for a new way to stay healthy? Well, I’ve got some great news for you. I recently came across a new health and wellness salad subscription company based out of sunny San Diego.

I want to introduce you to Farmer’s Fix, a San Diego salad delivery company, that’s making it convenient to eat healthy by delivering locally sourced ready-to-eat salads right to your doorstep at home or the office. Their delicious salads are made up of wholesome ingredients, and they only source and handcraft their organic grains and greens after orders are confirmed to ensure maximum freshness for their clients

Farmer's Fix company

Farmer’s Fix salad comes in an insulated bag for maximum freshness.

I don’t know about you, but with a hectic day-to-day schedule, I tend to become consumed with life’s activities, therefore, making it easy for myself and I’m sure many other moms’ to skip meals or resort to ordering a last minute, and probably unhealthy meal. Can you relate?

Subscribers can make salad selections any time before Wednesday 11 p.m., and orders will be delivered the following Sunday. Farmer’s Fix currently offers a selection of 14 different salads to choose from including gluten-free and vegan options.

Each salad is packed with a colorful and healthy variety of vegetables and fulfilling grains, with no additives or preservatives, which is a major plus for me. I am always trying to steer away from fake food. Salads can be customized to accommodate any food allergies, sensitivity or dietary restrictions. Rest assured, each salad contains approximately 300-500 calories.

 

We understand that maintaining a healthy lifestyle takes commitment, and we aim to provide convenience without sacrificing nutrition. Your easiest food choice should be your healthiest.

 

A few good reasons to visit Wood Ranch Bbq & Grill Restaurant

I received a meal for media consideration. All opinions are my own. 

Wood Ranch bbq & grill is a lively, family-friendly restaurant located in Mission Valley.  My family and I hadn’t been to a Southern California barbecue restaurant, so when we came across Wood Ranch, we were so excited. A few good things we discovered before arriving at the restaurant was learning how they BBQ & grill their food, specifically the ribs and tri tip, which my husband was talking about for the rest of the evening.

Many of their barbecue items are prepared using their unique two-step cooking process and state-of-the-art smokers. Wood Ranch slow-roasts their baby back ribs, tri-tip roasts, chickens and prime rib. Then, they grill and sauce them to order over a mesquite fire. I can even explain the taste that came from the tri-tip, it had the perfect combination of a subtle sweet and fire roasted flavor. The tri tip was tender as soon as you cut straight into it and once it entered your mouth it literally melted away. It was AMAZING! As for my children’s’ ribs, they were just as soft and tender as the tri-tip. They couldn’t get enough of the flavor. With the help of my husband, they learned how to properly devour every single portion of their ribs.

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill provides a stylish, American dining environment showcasing large comfortable booths and tables, natural slate flooring, and warm wood tones.

They are known to produce what their guests and critics consider to be Southern California’s best barbecue.

Wood Ranch features award-winning, high quality, uniquely seasoned food items such as: Premium American Baby back Pork Ribs; Certified Angus Beef™ steaks, and burgers; USDA Choice tri-tip roasts; fresh fish and chicken; and pasta. Wood Ranch also offers a broad selection of innovative and beautifully presented salads, appetizers and homemade desserts, as well as full liquor service.

Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill

Hazard Center, 7510 Hazard Center Dr #215

San Diego, CA 92108

Wounded Warrior Project Ball

A few weeks back my husband and I had the pleasure of attending the Wounded Warrior Ball. This year it was held at the beautiful Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. We were so excited to know it was being held there because we had been there in the past and had one of the best times ever. I had the chance to get dolled up, which is not a recurrence, so I went shopping and found the perfect LBD. Being at the side of my husband along with the other Marines, really put things in perspective. Many people come to know my husband and see him as a regular guy, yet have no clue that he suffers from PTSD and TBI due to combat and multiple deployments among other things. Because of the Wounded Warrior Project, he is able to find a community with other men and he’s able to be himself without feeling lost. Just thinking of the sacrifices everyone in that ballroom made and to be able to celebrate with others on that night was pretty amazing. The food was delicious and the entertainment portion of the night was great to watch. The Satin Dolls were a hit and they performed so beautifully.
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Imperial Beach Summer Days

Summer is quickly coming to an end, but not here in Southern California! All Summer long my little ones and I took advantage of going to the beach, enjoying the tender warmth of the California Sunshine against our skin. Over the weekend I met up with a mommy and daughter and took advantage of heading out to the beach, which also happened to be my birthday weekend. Lately, I’ve been into off the shoulder tops and when I came across this lemon top I knew it would be perfect. It’s so versatile, it can be paired with jeans, shorts, and skirt.

On this particular, me and the kiddos went to our local beach (Imperial Beach) and took a trip under the bridge where we were able to catch some decent waves, and a cool breeze. I always enjoy documenting my kids during their most precious years of their life and observe them doing what they love to do. Kids do the cutest things, I swear.

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Back to School Haircut with Pigtails and Crewcuts

Pigtails and Crewcuts is known for their child-centric salon which brings to life a colorful wonderland experience filled with toys, trains, books, movies, video games and their signature automobile and airplane chairs. My husband and I are usually in Liberty Station area enjoying some church time with our family. One day we just happened to be walking around when we noticed the salon, I immediately fell in love with the trendy atmosphere and the design of the place. I also couldn’t help but notice all the kids so excited and looking so fresh with their new haircuts.

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Staycation Hot Spot: Paradise Point San Diego Resort

A few sweet advantages of living in Southern California are the beaches and resorts. I mentioned to my husband that I wanted to do more touring around our city since I have lived here all my life and had not explored much within the city. My husband took initiative and thought it was the perfect idea to make reservations to one of the most exotic and tranquil resorts in San Diego, Paradise Point. Our stay was nothing short of amazing, the man at the front desk even upgraded our room to be placed right in the waterfront, where the bay meets the sand, it was absolute bliss. Before booking our stay at the resort, I had only been there once which was for a brief lunch date with the hubby and it was delicious. After my little teaser at the resort, I wanted more, do you blame me? Valentine’s weekend couldn’t have come at a better time to enjoy this tropical staycation. Below you will see why it has become my favorite place to unwind and enjoy what life is all about!

paradise point san diego resortAs soon as you enter the hotel you immediately notice the high-quality interior design and furnishings. It’s such a luxurious place to rest and bring your family. paradise point san diego resortparadise point san diego resortparadisepoint6IMG_4563 The sweet cottage we were upgraded to felt like we were home away from home, it was cozy and felt just right. Not to mention the view from the front of our cottage was the island of Mission Bay, minutes from the heart of Downtown San Diego. Our place was so cozy and inviting.
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The amenities will blow you away. Paradise Point offers their guests:

  • 44 acres surrounded by one mile sandy beach
  • pools, including one adults-only retreat
  • Hotel-wide high-speed internet access (both wireless and hard-wired)
  • Multiple waterfront restaurants and dining options
  • Island-inspired luxury spa and salon with private garden courtyard and intimate couples’ bungalow
  • Fitness center and movement studio for fitness classes
  • Marina with sailboats, speed boats, kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis & more
  • Daily surf lessons at the Paradise Surf Academy
  • 14 bonfire pits (wood-burning and gas-powered)
  • 18-hole putting golf course
  • NBA basketball court
  • 5 tennis courts
  • Beach cruisers, quadracycles, Segways for rental
  • Access to 14 miles of waterfront bike and walking paths
  • Unique gifts and vacation essentials at the Island Market
  • Reserved doorstep parking – $38 per car per night
  • Passport to Paradise – $32 per room per night*
  • Pet-friendly hotel accommodations
  • Over 80,000 square feet of waterfront event space for meetings, weddings, and other special celebrations
  • Across the street from SeaWorld and minutes from top attractions like Old Town, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Gaslamp Quarter and the airport

IMG_4602IMG_4607IMG_4609IMG_4615IMG_4573IMG_4589paradise point san diego resortUntil next time Paradise Point 🙂