San Diego’s Hidden Gems

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There are many cities in America that either have great weather, tons of activities, or a beautiful skyline but very few of them can actually boast having them all. San Diego, however, is one of the few that actually has it all. With the many sandy beaches and exciting activities, you’re bound to love San Diego whether you’re just visiting or already call this great city home.

In our most recent E&L TV preview article, we gave you a taste of the great things this city has to offer but now we want to give you a more in-depth look as to why San Diego is considered to be “America’s Finest City!”

JenniferAnn Spa & Wellness Center

Sometimes you just need to be pampered in a luxury spa, away from your nagging kids and/or busy work schedule. JenniferAnn Spa & Wellness Center is a great full-service spa and salon, fully capable of treating you how you deserve. Set in Mira Mesa, this spa, owned by Jennifer Ashlock, offers everything from the standard spa menu (such as massages and facials) to more unique treatments (such as total body offerings). JenniferAnn’s isn’t just concerned with how you look, they’re concerned with how you feel.

“We offer things such as Eastern massage modalities, more facials, like chemical peels and microderm, nutrition counseling will eventually be added, personal training, colonics, ionizing foot baths…so we really focus on a total lifestyle change for the client,” says Ashlock.

Aside from the spa portion of the business, they also have a full salon, where you can find talented hair stylists. At the salon you can get all of the traditional hair treatments, like cut and color, as well as some additional add-ons, like the Keragreen treatment. The facility also likes to keep things organic, meaning that it’s better for your body (and the environment) than many of the harsh chemicals standard establishments use.

Sumi’s Oven

Nowadays, the look and style of the cake is nearly more important than the taste, with bakeries having to step up to meet creative demands. Sumi’s Oven in Carmel Mountain Ranch is designed to, not only meet current needs, but to predict and often create future wedding cake trends.

As the owner of Sumi’s Oven, Sumi Campbell has been in the world of deserts for a long time. She started out obsessed with sugary treats as a kid, always interested in the look of birthday cakes and in how her mom would make treats for celebrations. “I even used to make cakes out of sand, I used to pack them into little cooking stuff and make sand cakes,” says Campbell. She started a home-based business in Singapore, eventually moving on to attend The Culinary Institute of America and creating a new business in San Diego.

Her gorgeous cakes reflect her artistic flair and penchant for fanciful whimsy. She strives to always create cakes that will immediately be the center of a room, snatching all attention, and really delivering a ‘wow’ effect. It may be a lot of work at times but Campbell draws pleasure from the pleased, and sometimes joyfully tearful, responses to the finished product. “I had a lady who came in here to get her guitar cake; she literally was in tears when she saw it, so it really makes my day when I know people appreciate what I do for them,” explains Campbell.

“Plan Your Escape: Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home”

While San Diego is certainly amazing, sometimes we want to venture outside of our beloved city. However, money can be tight and budgets have been encroaching upon our ability to travel as often as we would like. Rest assured because we were able to sit down and talk with travel experts Pat and Wayne Dunlap, authors of “Plan Your Escape: Secrets of Traveling the World for Less Than the Cost of Living at Home.”

It may seem unbelievable but the Dunlap’s have been to 100 countries total, six continents, 44 of the United States, and just in the last two years, 51 countries. How do
they manage to do it? Well, it began with their dream to see the world. While between jobs they decided to take a year off, rent their house out, and have an adventure seeing some of the places they’ve always dreamed of seeing. After looking into their finances, they figured out a way they could travel for long periods of time for less than it would cost to live at home.

By renting their home out for various periods of time, depending on what the guest plans on doing, they are able to pay for their home expenses, as well as travel costs. They also scour the internet for travel deals, which they promise are in plenty, enabling them to have adventures for low costs. They prefer to travel off-season, allowing them to avoid the high costs and tourist crowds. They also suggest watching the news and paying attention to what’s going on in other countries. Just because something may be happening in one area of a country to damage tourist attraction, doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the rest of the country, meaning that most people will stay away, driving cost down and upping your chances of getting a good deal.

Knott’s Soak City Water Park

If heading to Europe isn’t feasible for you, you may want to stay close to home and check out Knott’s Soak City Water Park, the perfect place to enjoy some cool water, giving you a respite from the San Diego sun. With many different rides and family-friendly activities, Knott’s Soak City makes for a great staycation. There are separate areas for kids of all ages, ensuring that no matter how small your ten year old may be, there’s something for him to enjoy safely. There’s even a bar for mom and dad if they need to relax a little.

Make sure to watch this month’s episode for more on what to do in San Diego! Plus, stay to the end to check out our great interview with famous rapper Matisyahu!


Mila Pantovich is the Lifestyle Editor at JustLuxe and runs her own entertainment website, Reel Obsession.


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