From Southern California Travel

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Uncorked Wine Walk and Concert at Westfield UTC highlights amazing meals, wine and music

by Andrea Verdin

Going to the mall isn’t just for kids anymore, especially if you live in Southern California. Westfield Malls have done a great job of making sure that each shopper not only finds ideal items to buy, but also can have a full day of leisure and luxury while shopping. A great example of this was the Uncorked Wine Walk and Concert, which happened on May 2 at La Jolla’s Westfield UTC.

The third annual Uncorked Wine Walk & Concert didn’t just feature award-winning Temecula Valley wineries — it helped guest pair them with some of the best Westfield UTC’s gourmet dining options. This year, participating wineries include award-winning Falkner WineryDanza Del Sol WineryCallaway WineryMaurice Car’rie WineryRobert Renzoni Vineyards and Lorimar Winery and unlimited bites will be crafted by PIRCHSeasons 52Eureka Discover American Craft and Tender Greens. Palm Plaza live music complemented the outdoor event. Ticket sale proceeds benefited non-profits Temecula Valley Winegrower’s Association and Bright Pink.

Guests were able to jam out to great music, snack on amazing food, and buy a few items as they meandered through the mall. After a great afternoon, my Mister and I decided to swing by Seasons 52 for more of their food; we weren’t satisfied with mere samples!

If you have a chance to visit Westfield UTC, I strongly recommend you check out one of these great restaurants during your purchasing.

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For information about Westfield UTC, check out their website.

Hello Betty Fish House Celebrates a Great Year of Amazing Food

By Andrea Verdin

I love birthday parties. There’s something great about celebrating achievements that have occurred throughout the year, and the Hello Betty Fish House celebrated all of its accomplishments at its birthday in style: Beats ~ Boards ~ Bites ~ Brews.

As a part of the beautiful Oceanside landscape, Hello Betty Fish House is more than just an adorable restaurant — some serious eats can be had here.

While the downstairs restaurant features more formal dining options, such as whole fried fish, Betty linguine, and a whole seafood boil, I was instantly drawn to the upstairs patio. This patio has a great view of the Oceanside Pier, and guests can sit back in the open air deck, grab a drink, eat some tacos, and watch the sun set.

The Open Air Deck of Hello Betty Fish House
The Open Air Deck of Hello Betty Fish House
The set is gorgeous
The set is gorgeous
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Chips and smoky salsa served in campechanas
Chips and smoky salsa served in campechanas
Fabulous crab cake sliders
Fabulous crab cake sliders
Oysters freshly shucked by Executive Chef Nick Schultz
Oysters freshly shucked by Executive Chef Nick Schultz
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Smoked Octopus
Smoked Octopus
Chicarones
Chicarones
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Mexican Brownie
Mexican Brownie
Oyster shucking presentation
Oyster shucking presentation
Caramel Panna Cotta
Caramel Panna Cotta
Shrimp skewers
Shrimp skewers
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If you ever get a chance to head to Hello Betty Fish House after work, I highly recommend coming on an empty stomach and gorge on tacos. eat the calamari, eat avocados, and devour the mahi mahi.

For more information on Hello Betty Fish House, head to their website.

San Diego Rhythm and Brews Festival a Success for San Diego Brewers Guild

By Andrea Verdin

San Diegans showed that a little moisture and clouds weren’t going to keep them from having a good time, and flocked to the San Diego Brewers Guild’s annual San Diego Rhythm and Brews Festival. Music, craft beer, and delicious local cuisine were enjoyed by all, with many dancing away as they discovered new favorite brews.

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The event was held in the historic downtown Vista Village, which was right in the heart of the Hop Highway. Guests were able to sample brand new barrel-aged brews, saisons, and sour ales along with their longtime favorites. San Diego’s top breweries were also joined by home brewers who competed for ‘Best of Show’ in the popular homebrew contest, sponsored by Mother Earth Brewing Co.

“We are thrilled to offer craft beer fans another opportunity, in addition to Beer Week, to access their favorite breweries,” says San Diego Brewers Guild president Kevin Hopkins. “Rhythm & Brews grows larger each year- and this year will be no exception.”

To complement the wide selection of brews from San Diego and beyond, the San Diego Rhythm and Brews Festival featured continuous live performances on two stages by seven popular local bands, including the Bill Magee Blues Band, voted the “Best Blues Band in San Diego” by the San Diego Music Association, Ben Powell, whose most recent album was nominated by the San Diego Music Association for ‘Best Blues Album’ in 2014, and renowned band leader Bubba McCoy. The Tighten Ups started up the festival, and crowds continued to dance their afternoon away.

 

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Celebrations were made with good conscience, as a portion of the San Diego Rhythm and Brews Festival ticket sale proceeds benefit Fight ALD, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education about adrenoleukodystrophy. Fight ALD was founded by a Vista, CA couple who tragically lost their young son, Sawyer, to the deadly genetic disorder. In addition, the event benefited the San Diego Brewers Guild to facilitate the organization’s efforts to bring attention to San Diego’s innovative brewing community and to elevate the craft as a whole on a national level.

Community events, including Rhythm & Brews, are representative of the Guild’s tradition of bringing craft beer to the masses, and offer local brewers needed visibility and opportunity for continued success. According to a recent study, the economic impact of San Diego’s craft brewing enterprise continues to grow substantially— doubling in the last three years to reach an estimated $600 million in 2014. Beer tourism has been an important component of that growth as millions of visitors explore the region to experience our county’s nearly 100 craft breweries. At Rhythm & Brews, a San Diego Brewers Guild premier event – the other being San Diego Beer Week – craft beer devotees can familiarize themselves with the best of San Diego’s brewing culture all in one place.

Ted Z and the Wranglers
Ted Z and the Wranglers
The Tighten Ups
The Tighten Ups
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Criscito Pizza brings authentic pizza
Criscito Pizza brings authentic pizza
Pretzel necklaces were for sale
Pretzel necklaces were for sale
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For more information about the San Diego Brewers Guild’s upcoming events, please visit www.sandiegobrewersguild.com, the Guild’s Facebook page, or follow @sdbrewers on Twitter.

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4th Annual Rhythm & Brews Music & Craft Beer Festival: Bringing Music, Craft Beer and Good Causes Together

by Andrea Verdin

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend in San Diego County, look no further: the fourth annual Rhythm & Brews Music & Craft Beer Festival which will take place this Saturday, April 25th from 12-4PM in the Historic Downtown Vista Village.

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This event has been a big hit in North County since its beginning. This year, more than 60 breweries will be a part of the festival. In addition to local favorites like Ballast Point, Belching Beaver, Green Flash, and more, visiting breweries from Colorado, Illinois and Hawaii are slated to participate.

This means thirsty attendees can enjoy tastings of more than 100 craft brews. Beer enthusiasts will also enjoy live music, spanning from blues to folk to funk on two stages and outstanding local fare will be available for purchase.

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In addition to the SDBG, this year’s event will benefit  Fight ALD, a non-profit organization founded by a Vista, CA couple who tragically lost their young son to the deadly genetic disorder.

This event is sure to please, so head on over! If you see one of the Wander Crew there, be sure to take a pic with us.

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For more information on the  Rhythm & Brews Music & Craft Beer Festival, check out their website. For more information on Fight ALD, visit their website.

Joshua Tree Music Festival attracts people of all ages

Joshua Tree Music Festival paints a perfect picture of music, relaxation and fun for festival goers

As some of us are preparing for the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival that kicks off today, many of us are dying of envy as we watch our friends done headdresses, lace, and art gear to enjoy the festivities. However, there is another amazing festival that takes place in awe-inspiring Joshua Tree — the Joshua Tree Music Festival, which is happening May 14-17, 2015.

The Joshua Tree Music Festival is its own experience, and festival planner Barnett English is proud to plan a global music festival that is fun for people of all ages. This is completely different experience from other festivals because your children, friends and family can all come to this event, bond, and truly revel in the experience that can only be had at Joshua Tree.

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If people aren’t familiar with the Joshua Tree Music Festival, it’s important to note that it’s definitely an intimate affair, said English.

“We are not a huge festival – we have at most 4,000 people on site,” he explained. “There are no crushing crowds, and you can get right in front of the stage. It’s super laid back. From my experience, Coachella has about 100,000 people, and the madness can get pretty intense. Ours is not like that. You can see the eyeballs of the guy playing the guitar. It’s a more authentic experience because you are not getting lost in a sea of people.”

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This festival melds the overwhelming spirit of desert freedom with powerful music from around the world to create a lighthearted oasis for music lovers. Magically magnificent art installations, a robust Kidsville schedule, the heavily shaded Music Bowl, a full spectrum of yoga classes from sunrise to sunset, 27 different music playshops and didjeridu classes, late night Astronomy theatre, and a World Market further inspire, intrigue and invite festival goers.

Not to knock bigger, louder, and rowdier festivals like Coachella; it is absolutely a blast when you know how to survive Coachella and all the insanity that comes with it. However, for some, the overwhelming crowds, heat, and overall experience is dampened because you don’t really connect with new friends, or even have the same experience as your own friends. At the Joshua Tree Music Festival, your kids can dance and sway to the music, or you and your significant other can spend time stretching at the yoga class before heading to the main stage together.

Th-19The festival has been held at the same site since its conception, and is held at a privately owned campground with sweeping views of Indian Cove National Park.

“The folks that own the place have given us five acres of 40 acres for us to dream and build stages, shops, and yoga area,” said English. “At the end of the festival, we don’t tear down; we get to leave it here and add onto it every year. It’s not very common that a festival can do that, and we are super grateful to make it funkier.”

The Joshua Tree Music Festival has two main stages, and bands alternate between the two so that no two bands are playing at the same time. This allows for guests to have the same experience, creating a bonding experience.

“All weekend long and afterward, people are affected in a positive way,” said English. “The music has been inspiring and they walk away with more energy. I love to see people have the time of their lives. People come away with meaningful conversations and new friends that they can’t live without.”

If you can’t make it this May, don’t fret. English is proud to say that the festival is so much fun, he and the other planners host it twice a year.

“We are having the 13th annual festival in May, but we also have the 10th annual fall event in October,” he said. “We just couldn’t wait a whole year!”

Full festival line up, schedule, and more information at the following sites:

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