Halloween Happenings in San Diego

Halloween Happenings in San Diego

Make the most of those Halloween costumes

Who says Halloween has to last only one day?  Those costumes are too cute to wear only once.  Here are some of the fun events happening throughout San Diego to celebrate Halloween and the fall season, although it still feels like summer here!

Legoland California Resort’s Brick-or-Treat (Weekends in October) – Two trick or treat trails, a giant Lego pumpkin, themed décor and much more. 

SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktacular (Weekends in October) – Silly and spooky shows like the Pirates 4D movie experience and The Search for Captain Lucky’s Treasure walk-through adventure.  Trick or treat alongside SeaWorld characters. 

Scream Zone Del Mar (October 17-21, October 24-31 7pm until midnight) The best San Diego Halloween adventure awaits you at the Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Tickets $14.99 for one scary adventure, $27.99 for all three – Haunted Hayride, House of Horror and The Chamber.  Recommended for teens and above. 

The Haunted Hotel (September 29 through October 31st) – Gaslamp Quarter at 424 Market Street.  NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 10 OR THOSE EASILY FRIGHTENED. Buy tickets online to avoid waiting in line.  Tickets cost $17 Friday and Saturday, $15 other nights. 

Bates Nut Farm (September 29 through October 31st) – Over 40 year tradition.  Pumpkin patch, picnic, farm zoo, straw maze and hay rides.  One of the great San Diego Halloween events.  All ages. Open daily 9am-5pm 

Balboa Park Halloween Family Day (Saturday, October 27) – Children under 12 will be treated to free admission to over a dozen museums.  There will be a doggie costume parade and contest at the Lily Pond, a Great Pumpkin parachute drop at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and activities that explore legendary local ghosts at the San Diego History Center. 

 Halloween Carnival (Friday, October 26th 4:30-6:30 at Mira Mesa Recreation Center) – Even with absence of Monster Manor this year, Halloween fun (not scary) can be had as Mira Mesa Theatre Guild joins the Mira Mesa Halloween Carnival.  Children can enjoy carnival-style games, trick-or-treat, costume contest for ages 11 and under, face painting and more. 

Haunted Birch Aquarium: Shipwrecked!  (October 26 & 27 6-9pm) Live music, games, story times, walk through a “whale fall”, create slime in “deep-sea” slime lab, collect tricky treats, costume raffle.  Members $15, Public $17, Door (all) $19, Free for children 2 and under. 

Carmel Mountain Plaza (October 31st 3-5pm) – Trick-or-Treating throughout the center at participating stores.  Halloween fun, balloons and live music featuring 80’z All-Stars (2:30-5:30 in front of Barnes & Noble).  Register near Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or Reading Cinemas and receive a free treat bag, while supplies last.  Give a treat too – bring a can of food to support the San Diego Food Bank. 

Spooktacular 10k/5k Run-Walk (October 27th at 8:00am – subject to change) Lake Murray.  Register online by October 25th at midnight.  USATF certified map. Scenic gentle rolling, paved course.  Get your freaky fitness on. Fun for the whole family. 

And for those who don’t mind the drive……

Disneyland Resort’s Halloween Time (September 14 through October 31) – Experience the year ‘round favorites like Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure as well as seasonal treats like Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy.

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Snoopy’s Costume Party (Weekends in October) – Non-scary daytime event offers shows, activities, and trick-or-treating geared for kids ages 3-11.  Costumes are allowed.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights (until October 31st, select nights) (Ticket purchase required, not included in regular park admission) – Costumes not allowed, Not recommended for kids under 13.  Navigate through hundreds of haunted mazes and ScareZones, and take a ride on the Terror Tram, which drops guests off on some of the scariest sets on the Universal back lot.

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Oktoberfest 2012 in San Diego

Oktoberfest is coming

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in San Diego

Obviously, when you think of Oktoberfest, you think of Munich, Germany. Six Million people attend the world’s largest fair every year. It is a sixteen day festival held from late September to early October. This event is a very important part of Bavarian culture.

However, if you are limited in time and travel, we have plenty of places right here in San Diego County to go to enjoy some beers, brats, and a little “oom-pah-pah”!

  • The Carlsbad Rotary Clubs’ Oktoberfest being held on October 6, 2012 at Holiday Park from Noon to 10PM.  Go to their website at www.rotaryoktoberfest.org for more information
  • San Diego’s Original and Authentic Oktoberfest is being held at the German American Societies of San Diego September 28,29,30, October 5,6,7. 1017 S. Mollison Ave, El Cajon, CA  92020. www.oktoberfestelcajon.com
  • Ocean Beach Oktoberfest is on Friday, October 12th from 4-10 pm, and Saturday October 13th from 11am-10pm, being held on Newport Avenue.
  • Finally…my personal favorite, The La Mesa Oktoberfest, October 5-7th. Friday and Saturday 11am-11:30pm, and Sunday Noon-5pm. This festival boasts 300 booths, 2 beer gardens, Food, rides, live music…the works.
  • Click on the link below to determine which San Diego Oktoberfest is best for you!

http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/Blogs/Around-Town/Fall-2011/Which-Oktoberfest-Should-You-Attend/

As they say in Germany…Prost!

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Bank of America promises up to $30k in short sale bonuses

Banks offer cash for completed short sales

Incentive helps bank minimize losses.

 Bank of America launched a nationwide program that offers delinquent mortgage customers an opportunity to prevent foreclosure, minimize damage to their credit scores and walk away with some extra cash for relocation expenses.  With an already strong and solid short sale initiative, this short sale relocation assistance program has already led to 200,000 completed short sales in the last two years and another 30,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

In order to qualify, borrower must work proactively with the bank to obtain a pre-approved sales price prior to submitting a purchase offer for review and approval.  To be eligible for this program, the short sale must be initiated by the end of this year and close escrow by September 26, 2013. 

The relocation assistance provides borrowers anywhere from $2,500 to $30,000 at the completion of a qualifying short sale.  The average payout has been around $12,000. 

In addition to the relocation assistance being offered to qualifying short sales, there has been a significant decrease in the time it takes to approve a short sale.  The process has been streamlined by real estate agents’ use of the Equator system – which keeps banks and agents in communication about the status of a short sale. 

In our experience with Bank of America short sales, we have had approvals come in as little as a few weeks.  We have also seen the relocation assistance payments be presented to sellers, often times on top of the HAFA incentive payment being offered.

If you would like to see if you are eligible to participate in this program, contact us.

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Fire Season is approaching, be prepared!

Wildfire season is approaching, are you prepared?

Things you can do around your home to prevent wildfires.

 According to website www.readyforwildfire.org :

Cal fire warns that this fire season may be especially dangerous, as the winter months were relatively dry. Much of the vegetation from the 2007 fires has returned. So, it is not a matter of if we are going to have a large fire…but when!  It is important for us to be prepared.

Preventative steps to make your home defensible:

  • Remove all dead plants, grass and weeds
  • Remove dead or dry leaves from your yard, roof and rain gutters
  • Keep trees trimmed so they remain a minimum of 10 feet from other trees
  • Remove branches that hang over your roof. Keep dead branches 10 feet away from your chimney
  • Relocate wood piles into an area at least 30 feet away from the house.
  • Remove vegetation and items that could catch fire from around and under decks

Assembling an Emergency Supply Kit (as per Cal Fire)

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person. 
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.

 For other tips in preparation for fire season, such as evacuation guides and the best emergency supply kits, http://www.readyforwildfire.org/defensible_space

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San Diego Real Estate Photographer Featured

Local San Diego resident featured as top Real Estate Photographer

Former real estate agent photographs multi-million dollar homes

As featured in an article in the San Diego Union Tribune, written by Lily Leung:

Shooting homes of some of San Diego’s rich and famous, Brent Haywood of Brent Haywood Photography, Del Cerro resident and former real estate agent, is one the highly requested photographers in the industry.  He has shot some of the most expensive homes in San Diego and those of some famous San Diego residents including Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson. 

When real estate agents or homeowners themselves need high quality images to post in magazines such as “Dream Homes” and “San Diego Premiere“, they call him.  He shoots mid-priced homes also.  He treats every home with the same professionalism and careful eye. 

A former real estate agent himself, it was a stroke of luck but also perfect timing as he has built his photography business to a hugely successful one, shooting not just homes but family portraits, body-builders, yachts and anything else you can think of. 

Real estate shoots can start from $125, but depending on size of home and time of day photo shoot takes place, they can be $1,200 to $1,500 a day.  His biggest challenge is image theft as he isn’t always able to watermark his own photos. 

One of his favorite places that he has shot is in the Electra building in downtown San Diego.  Check out his website for samples of his beautiful images or to book him for your next photo job.

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San Diego Restaurant Week 2012

San Diego Restaurant Week September 16-21 2012

San Diego County’s Largest and Most Successful Dining Event

San Diego Restaurant Week 2012With the growing popularity of the term foodies and with San Diego’s idyllic climate, there is always a reason to go out and eat.  When I was a kid, going out to eat was reserved for a super special occasion (not even birthdays – those were only celebrated at McDonald’s).  But in this day and age, even my young children have gone to more restaurants in their short years than my husband’s parents and mine in their whole lifetime — combined.

Here’s the perfect opportunity to try some of the restaurants that you’ve heard about from your co-workers or have driven by and are curious about.  It is the twice annual San Diego Restaurant Week – over 180 restaurants with prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner.  Most of the menus include three courses – an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert.  But check out each individual menu for their particular offering.

San Diego Restaurant week spans 6 days from September 16th through September 21st.  There are no tickets or passes to be purchased, just check out the website and menu – see if the particular restaurant takes reservations, otherwise just head on down there for a good time.  This would be perfect for date night or to get together with your group of foodies friends.  You just may find a new favorite among the offerings.

Some of the ones restaurants I am curious about include one of Brian Malarkey’s restaurants called Gabardine in Point Loma ($30 prix fixe dinner menu), La Gran Terraza at USD ($15 prix fixe lunch menu, $30 prix fixe dinner menu), and Kensington Grill in San Diego – I may be the one person who hasn’t been here yet.  ($25 or $30 prix fixe dinner menu).

There are, however, a few restaurants that I have enjoyed in the past that should be a sure hit.  Some of them include Bo-Beau in Point Loma / Harbor Island ($30 prix fixe menu – love the moules) as well as Pamplemousse Grille in Del Mar (no menu posted at time of write-up).

Bon Apetite

 

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Women in Leadership Conference

The 9th Annual Women in Leadership Luncheon (WILL) was held at the Double Tree Hotel in Mission Valley.  Each year, the East County Chamber of Commerce hosts a luncheon in October designed to showcase the professional accomplishments of our San Diego region in six different categories. San Diego women in the fields of Art/Media & Culture, Business, Education, Government, Healthcare and Non-Profits, are featured at 400 person luncheon where their stories of success and achievement are told to inspire the crowd and signify our Chamber’s commitment to ensuring that a strong, diverse and empowered local workforce is present in San Diego.

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SDSU Aztecs Finish Season Co-Champs

SDSU Aztecs Viejas Arena Basketball Court

SDSU Aztec Men's Basketball Team finish regular season as Co-Champions of the Mountain West Conference.

San Diego State Men’s Basketball Team Finishes 29-2

Tournament Play Begins March 10th vs. University of Utah

Our SDSU Aztecs Men’s Basketball team finished their regular season as Co-Champions of the Mountain West Conference. This is only the 2nd time in 33 years that the Aztecs have claimed a regular season championship. After the last game, a 66-48 victory over Colorado State, Coach Fisher cut down the nets from the goal posts of the sold out Viejas Arena.  Coach Steve Fisher earned the Mountain West Conference Co-Coach of the Year, an honor he shares with BYU’s coach Dave Rose. In addition, DJ Gay and Kawhi Leonard were voted to the first team. 

In an interview, Coach Fisher stated that, although he and his team were honored by the awards, he would trade them in for two more wins. SDSU finished the regular season with a record of 29-2. Fisher’s team led the league in field goal defense, three-point percentage defense, scoring defense, rebounding offense, blocked shots, offensive rebounds, and in offensive rebound percentage. Truly a great accomplishment! 

It has definitely been an exciting season; a season that has made the 8th largest city in the USA, a little smaller. It brought America’s Finest City together in unity, and conversation. The Viejas arena was sold out early in the season. Students camped out in horrific weather for days in order to snag the general admission tickets available to them; and then, after receiving their tickets…went over to the next line to secure the best possible seats. 

The biggest fans of SDSU basketball, known as ‘The Show’ have really enhanced Aztecs Basketball over the past few seasons. “They are sensational,” stated Coach Fisher. “They’ve created an atmosphere that makes it fun for others to watch, wondering what they’re going to do tonight, wondering what chant they’re going to have; what somebody’s going to look like; what big head they’re going to throw up. They’re more than a sixth man. That group has created a home-court advantage for us. They are invaluable to us.” 

The Show is definitely “All American 1st team” in my book. What an incredible display of creativity and support for their team. 

Take a look for yourself! 

SDSU Aztecs will play their first game of the MWC Tournament against The University of Utah, on March 10th. Game time is set for 6:00PT and will be televised on The Mtn. (San Diego Cox Cable 320, Direct TV 616, and simulcast on Channel 4 San Diego (Cox Cable) 

I BELIEVE!!!

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SDSU Aztecs in Coaches’ Top 10

SDSU Coach Steve Fisher
Coach Steve Fisher and I @KOGO Coaches’ Talk 12/2/10

Undefeated Aztecs ranked #10 in ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll!

Congratulations to our San Diego Aztecs Men’s Basketball team for breaking in to the top ten of the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll. We have seen most of the other teams in the top ten before…so it’s extra nice to see our Aztecs ranked among the classic teams. San Diego State has a winning streak of 10 games, which is the 2nd longest winning streak in the 90 year history of the program.
We, at QualityFirst Real Estate, would love to invite you to our sponsored Coaches’ talk with KOGO radio and Steve Fisher at Hooley’s, in Grossmont Center, on three separate dates…January 20th, February 10th, and March 3rd.

The last KOGO Coaches’ Talk with Steve Fisher was a huge success. It took place at Hooley’s on December 2nd. It was great to meet the coach and hear of the team’s success. I even got to take a picture with him!

Call me at 619-994-5515, if you are interested in being my guest at the VIP table for the upcoming KOGO Coaches’ Talk with Steve Fisher!

GO AZTECS!!

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Santa’s Village in Poway

 FREE event for families for the Holidays

17868 Joyas Court, Poway, CA

Something fun to do with the family is check out Santa’s Village in Poway.  Usually advertised through word of mouth, as I have yet to find a website advertising it, the house on 17868 Joyas Court opens its doors to families in the community usually starting Dec. 10th and running through the 22nd of December from 6-8pm, except on Sundays.  Parking is somewhat limited, as you’ll have to walk to the house and up a bit of a hill…but it is very much worth it.  Once you get to the house, the walkway has gorgeous lighted archways.  You will more than likely see a long line…don’t fret….that line is to see and take photos with Santa.  You can easily bypass the line if you choose to go straight into the home to view the extravagantly decorated rooms.  You may be overwhelmed at how much there is to see, but take time to appreciate all of the effort that went into putting it together.  There is an area where you are free to enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.  And finally, each child is given a small gift…and by the way…everything is FREE!

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Mary Ellen Haywood
CA BRE License #01264878
Mobile:619-994-5515

Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
810 West Washington Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Office: 619-269-2277
eFax: 619-819-9910

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