Category Archives: Around Town

4th of July – A great day to celebrate our country!

The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate our country.  For most Americans, it means enjoying a BBQ meal and watching fireworks.  North San Diego County has no shortage of options to enjoy fireworks this year.  Check Discover San Diego’s website to see a list of firework locations throughout San Diego County.

In addition to fireworks, North San Diego County has some fun local 4th of July events.  The City of Del Mar hosts an annual 4th of July Parade in the beautiful Powerhouse Park.  Show up dressed in your favorite patriotic custom with your decorated bikes, scooters, wagons, baby strollers and leashed pets to participate in this annual tradition  The San Diego Botanical Gardens also has an annual 4th of July Parade through the garden that is wonderful for young children.  Families can parade  decorated strollers and wagons (no bikes) and wear red, white and blue!  Legoland’s Red, White and BOOM! has patriotic activities from morning to night including custom building contests, dance parties, costume contests and, of course, fireworks! The San Diego County Fair also has special Independence Day events, in addition to their amazing fireworks, including  a  Stars, Stripes and Stems Floral Design Contest, Patriotic Costume Contest, Hometown Heroes Parade and the Navy Band Southwest performing at the Grandstand Stage.

Though we may enjoy the excitement of the day, it is important to keep pets safe and stress free. The ASPCA has this great list of tips on what to do to keep your pet safe:

  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.

The Geller-Meier Team hopes you enjoy and have a safe 4th of July Holiday!

The San Diego County Fair Is Happening Now!

The annual San Diego County Fair opened this past weekend and will run through Sunday July 5th.   This year’s theme  “A Fair to Remember: a Celebration of World’s Fairs and Balboa Parkcommemorates the centennial anniversary of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition held in Balboa Park, and the great traditions and inventions arising from all of the fairs held in years past.  
For those who have never been, it is certainly a local event not to be missed.  There are so many different things to do, see, ride, eat, watch, buy, etc… it would be hard to capture in one article, but you can be assured with so many options there is something for everyone!  The variety of live music acts alone appeal to wide range of audiences.  Featured on multiple stages throughout the fairgrounds, there is everything from local, amateur acts to world renowned bands and music styles ranging from gospel to mariachi to rock and everything in between. There is the a Fun Zone with traditional and new carnival rides and games.  There are multiple barns housing rotating animal competitions.  If you are interested in art, you can spend an entire day admiring works from various art competitions including photography, painting, pottery and woodworking.  In addition, there are offbeat acts, such as swine races, hypnotists and magic shows, are also spread out among the fairgrounds. There also plenty of competitions you can enter if you are so inclined.  There is so much more than is listed here, be sure to check out the website before you go so you can plan you visit! 
The Geller-Meier Team is located in the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office at the same exit as the San Diego County Fair.  Please call us if you would like to stop by and discuss your real estate needs!  We would love the opportunity to show you properties near the fair – perhaps a condo in Solana Beach, a house on the beach in Del Mar or an estate in Rancho Santa Fe. Whatever your real estate needs are in North San Diego County, we are here to help!


Blake Lively Brings Encinitas, Del Mar and La Jolla into The Lime Light for Her June Vogue Cover Shoot!

Surfing Swami's at Sunset in Encinitas, courtesy Kdude, FlicrNew York might be her residence, but Southern California apparently has her heart!  Encinitas gets great exposure thanks to actress Blake Lively’s photo shoot at Swami’s, which is the June cover of Vogue magazine.  You can visit her Vogue Diary and listen to her dish about her beachy trip, family and her passions.  While Blake was in town she got a private surf lesson from legend Rob Machado, as did Vogue’s Hamish Bowles

Hey, Blake…if you’re looking for Del Mar CA Real Estate…you know who to call 😉

Del Mar CA Resident Speaks Out about Proposed Expansion of Del Mar Fairgrounds

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about the proposed expansion of the Del Mar Fairgrounds to include a hotel and convention center.

I recently received a copy of a letter written by Drew Cady, Del Mar CA resident and concerned citizen, to the Del Mar Fairgrounds Board on December 11, 2009.  If this plan is approved, it will seriously impact the quality of life for residents and visitors of the villages of Del Mar & Solana Beach and adversely impact the delicate wetlands adjacent to this fairgrounds.  In Drew’s opinion, it is an “ill-conceived, greedy attempt to secure revenues for the State, by sacrificing nature and our local communities.”  If you agree, or have an opinion to share, please comment.  You can also voice your opinion directly by writing your own letter to the board…

Here’s the letter:

Letter to the Board of Directors, 22nd District Agricultural Association, State of California commenting on the draft EIR for the expansion and development of the Del Mar

Dear Board Members of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Agricultural District No.33:

I attended a meeting of the Fairgrounds Board of Directors several weeks ago and
spoke to you during the public 3ʼ commentary.  What I said is that I believe the quality of
life, not just for human beings, but for all the creatures who live on and near the Del Mar
Fairgrounds land will be radically and negatively altered forever by the enormous
development which you have set forth in your plan.  This development is wrong and
represents the greedy interests of a few people who are shortsighted and unaware of
the fragile ecosystem which exists around this massive fairgrounds land.  The other
evening while at the Inn LʼAuberge Hotel, I viewed an historic photograph of the river
basin that is now the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Before me was a serene wilderness which
represented perhaps one of the most wonderful aspects of this relatively undisturbed
coastal area, up until man placed his heavy footprint upon it.  The slow takeover and
alteration of this marshland and delta which is the outflow of waters from a major
watershed along southern California has been mostly without regard for the damage
that it has caused to the natural environment.

We have learned a great deal in recent decades about how critically important these
natural environments are in maintaining a sustainable lifestyle for those of us who live in
this region, as well as for our offspringsʼ future.  To overdevelop this fragile land area, as you have depicted in your ʻmaster planʼ is thoughtless and reckless and damaging to
the future potentials of this region.  Like any environment, ours relies upon a cycle of life and a restorative water culture, which can endure all the burdens which mankind places
upon it.  I dare say, we are at a critical juncture in our history; one, that perhaps we will look back upon in future years, and realize that without significant efforts to preserve our watersheds, we would not have been given the privilege to continue to reside in this coastal desert land.  The earth is a naturally sustaining ecosystem which miraculously absorbs so much of the industrial and overdevelopment schemes of man, but we are rapidly approaching a time when these fragile systems will not be able to counteract the enormous pressure put upon them by Manʼs non-sustainable usage of natural

We are at this crossroad together and it is only through careful planning that we will be
able to assist the earth as it attempts to restore from all of the plunder it has endured
during the ʻreign of manʼ.   Our erroneous political structures and overactive
development instincts have proven us a weak caretaker of these lands, but we now
have perhaps our last opportunity to reverse this behavior and begin to work with the
earthʼs naturally sustaining systems in building a healthier and friendlier environment in
which to sustain our race and take care of all the other living beings on earth.

You can either ignore the pleas of what you might regard as a radical environmentalist
without any rationale for how to better utilize these Fairgrounds, or you can recognize
that your master plan represents a short sighted personal gain for few, at the expense of
the masses and our revered nature.

San Diego Botanical Garden of Lights

What a magical world the San Diego Botanical Garden in Encinitas CA becomes after sunset! 

After spending a few glorious hours exploring the gardens with my family last Sunday morning, with a particularly long visit to the Hamilton’s Children’s Garden, a true masterpiece in conception and realization, we heard about the Garden of Lights and decided to return later that same evening.

Treehouse at Hamilton's Children's Garden in Encinitas CA

After the sun goes down, the Garden is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland with thousands of sparkling lights illuminating the Garden for a magical holiday experience. Many of these lights are LED, which are much brighter than regular lights. Adding to the sparkle is the “Poinsettia Garden,” festively decorated with many varieties of poinsettias, and serving the most delicious warm mulled wine.  Two buck Chuck never tasted yummier!

My two kids, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the numerous activities offered, including a horse-drawn wagon ride, marshmallow roasting, a visit with Santa in a charming holiday decorated gazebo, and live music – all magically illuminated. 

Garden of Lights

If you haven’t had a chance to visit this spectacular event yet, RUN!  You only have until December 30th.  I promise, this might be the most memorable holiday experience you’ll have – here in Encinitas CA or anywhere!

Encinitas CA – Pet Friendly or Going to the Dogs?

Being a pet owner most of my life, I love the pet friendly attitude here in Encinitas CA where I live.  However, the issue of off-leash dogs at local parks in Encinitas has recently set off a real dogfight in the community
Complaints about Sheriff’s enforcement actions for loose dogs in area parks during non-“off leash” hours caused the city council to expand those hours at several local parks.  “Off leash Hours” are the times that dog owners can let their pets roam leash free in designated parks.  The council approved the action on a 4 to 1 vote.

Orpheus Park in Encinitas CA

Orpheus Park in Encinitas CA

Proponents of the new hours celebrated the extended hours citing years of loose dogs that have never led to a serious incident.  Opponents say “Encinitas is going to the dogs”.  They feel the extension was unnecessary and hampers the rights and freedom of non dogowners.  Some local residents have even requested that the city consider fencing in loose dog areas to keep kids and loose dogs separate.  Especially residents with small children, who aren’t comfortable letting their kids roll around in the grass because of the amount of dog poop that’s repeatedly deposited there, are up in arms over the expansion.  They are particularly afraid of an incident that might be scary or even traumatizing for a young child.

Courtesy of This Year's Love, flickr

Courtesy of This Year's Love, flickr

So far, dog lovers have won.  Orpheus, Sun Vista and Viewpoint Parks will begin the new “off leash” hours; 6:00 to 9 a.m. and 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sunday in Mid January 2010.  Glen and Hawk View Parks will be considered for extension in the spring.  Keep in mind, fines for having your dog off leash where or when it is not legal can cost as much as $445.00!

More Bad Ideas for the Del Mar Fairgrounds

We haven’t even caught our collective breath from a failed attempt by the Governor to sell our fairgrounds, and here comes government with another very bad idea.  It seems that the 22nd Agricultural District Master Plan includes a massive expansion project that would adversely affect the area in so many ways.

The new additions would include a 330 room multi story hotel, a 60,000 sq ft health club, and a large convention center.  Along with with all the commercial activities that go along with such a project, they want to add sports fields on the rooftops!  They even want to put a large casino like electronic sign advertising facility events along the freeway.

Finally and probably most disturbing, the 22 Agricultural District actually wants to fill in part of the San Dieguito Lagoon wetlands that we just finished revitalizing.  After all, we can always use more parking lots, can’t we?

This project is wrong for our community. A large hotel and convention center on the Del Mar Fairgrounds will bring more crowds, noise, traffic congestion and bright lights to our community year around.  It will re-damage sensitive ecological areas that were just restored from past mistakes.

Local residents, as well as fans of all the activities that we enjoy at our county fairgrounds, should make themselves heard.  Contact the Ag Board and tell them to get back to their original charter, running the county fair and the Del Mar horse races.

Encinitas Holiday Parade Next Weekend

More holiday festivities are around the corner – the Encinitas Holiday Encinitas CAParade is coming up on Saturday, December 5th, in Encinitas CA.  The fun starts with a Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:00pm in the courtyard of the Lumberyard Shopping Center on Coast Highway 101, adjacent to the famous St. Tropez Bistro.  The Parade itself begins at 5:30, heading south along Coast Highway 101 from D Street to J Street. 

This year’s Parade theme is “Season’s GreeNings,” celebrating all things environmental in Encinitas.  Shuttle bus service will be available from parking locations near I-5 directly to the Parade. Call (760) 633-2740 for exact shuttle service locations and for general Parade information.

Bring your family and friends (and a lawn chair or blanket) to watch as nearly 100 entries make their way down the Parade route.  And stick around afterwards to enjoy dinner at one of the many great downtown Encinitas restaurants. Q’ero is one of my favorites, and the relatively new 3rd Corner is excellent, reasonably priced and has a phenomenal selection of wines.

The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Restaurant in Encinitas CA

The 3rd Corner Lounge in Encinitas CA

It’s Almost Time for the Holiday of Lights at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and here in Del Mar CA, it kicks off with the 15th annual “Holiday of Lights” at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Starting with opening night on Thanksgiving, November 26th, we can once again enjoy the unique transformation of the fairgrounds into a holiday wonderland decorated with thousands of lights.

Holiday of Lights in Del Mar CA

The 1.5 mile journey through luminescent tunnels, loops of garland, snowflakes and many other amazing displays all made of holiday lights is a great family experience. From the comfort of your car you’ll see everything from dinosaurs to elves playing volleyball. While driving through the spectacular displays, you can tune your radio to the fairgrounds holiday radio station and enjoy festive music to complete the experience.

In years past over 500 vehicles a day have cruised through this North San Diego Coastal holiday experience. This year’s event will run through January 3, 2010, and is open Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10:00 PM, and Friday and Saturday, 5:30 to 11:00 PM. The cost is $14.00 per car for up to five occupants.

So come to Del Mar CA and experience this great holiday event. Once inside, you can drive back through as many times as you like.