California Man Explores Pacific Coast in Repurposed Ambulance

Ian Dow’s life had hit an all-time low when his fiancée dumped him and kicked him out of their shared home. When Dow realized he couldn’t afford the high rents in Newport Beach he decided to buy a Mercedes-Benz van to serve as his mobile home. However, fate intervened when he injured his shoulder in a motorcycle accident, and he was inspired to find an old ambulance suitable for renovation. He found the perfect prototype being sold by a charity in Missouri and drove it back to California to begin renovations.

Dow’s additions took four months to complete, but he soon transformed the tired old emergency vehicle into a cozy home. Using his nascent carpentry skills, Dow added a tiny tiled kitchen with shiny hardwood floors and a wooden fold-out table. For his living area, Dow created a convertible bed and a cedar closet to store his clothes. The ambulance, affectionately known as Ambi, also comes equipped with a hot water heater, shower and generator. He also converted the roof into a makeshift guestroom with an Astroturf surface perfect for pitching a tent.

Accompanied by his trusty dog Dino and one human friend, Dow set off on an epic journey along the Pacific Coast in June. Driving from California to Costa Rica, he has explored volcanoes, surfed in the warm waters of the Pacific and become an unexpected Instagram star. Dow plans to return to Newport Beach in the spring and make a living from ambulance conversion. He wants to help spread his unique lifestyle by transforming more ambulances into rolling homes.

Wine Country is Still Open for Business

The news coverage was difficult to avoid. If you turned on your TV or looked at the internet within the past few weeks, chances are that you saw images of the devastating wildfires in northern California. With a death toll hovering at over 40 and images of fires consuming vineyards and wineries, many have made assumptions about the state of wine country. However, it turns out that some of the worst predictions have been proven incorrect. Although there were many evacuations and a lot of damages, many would be surprised to learn that areas such as downtown Sonoma are open for business and just as beautiful as ever.

Of course, it didn’t take long for tourists to react to all of the news coverage. With many canceling their trips, the embattled region has been suffering even more. After all, the tourism industry is huge in wine country. And with a whopping three billion dollars worth of damage inflicted upon the region, it’s not difficult to see how a drop in tourism could cause even more financial problems for the area. Although the region has not emerged unscathed, there are some parts of Napa Valley that only seem to have suffered from hillside damage. And even though many assumed that all the 2017 wine would be of poor quality, the evidence is indicating otherwise. In fact, this might be the best time of all for people to go visit wine country.

Disney Cruise Lines Will Expand Operations In San Diego

People living on the West Coast will have more opportunities to take a magical Disney cruise in the near future. The American entertainment giant just announced that the Disney Cruise Line will expand operations out of San Diego in 2019.

Executives say the Disney Wonder, a 1,754-passenger ship, will be the primary vessel sailing out of “America’s Finest City.” The Disney Wonder will offer guests trips ranging from two-day excursions to weeklong adventures.

This Disney Cruise Line expansion will take place between the months of March and May in 2019. A few of the Mexican port cities guests can visit include Mazatlan, Ensenada, and Puerto Vallarta.

The Disney Wonder will return to its normal hub of Port Canaveral, Florida, for three- and four-night trips during January and February. These trips will include stops at destinations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.

Anyone who lives near Miami can take a cruise on the 1,754-passenger Disney Magic on four- and five-night trips. These trips include stops at locations like the Bahamas, Nassau, Grand Cayman, and Key West.

Port Canaveral will also be adding larger ships to its fleet in the coming years. One ship Disney Cruise Lines just revealed to the public is called the Disney Fantasy. This mammoth ship will be able to hold 2,500 passengers. Disney engineers are hard at work on both the Disney Fantasy and its sister-ship the Disney Dream.

Disney Cruise Line executives say they want to add at least seven new ships to their fleet by 2023. They believe the first of these new ships will be ready for operation in 2021.

The Oregon Coast Parts Unknown

Traveling to the west coast has so many sights to behold both in the cities as well as out in the great wild of its ocean sounds and woods. And if you’re passing through Oregon, you won’t want to move too fast or you might miss some sights to behold. According to Christopher Elliott of the Huffington Post, the Oregon coast has some hidden spots that you may not find in regular travel magazines. Much of it comes not only from the coastal beach formations, but also in the surrounding landscapes.

When traveling out to this part of the west coast, you’ll certainly take notice of a lot of dunes but in close proximity to cliff formations lining the shore. They’re the perfect places to do a little climbing and exploring, and those who have gotten to the top have spoken in great terms about the fantastic view you’ll find. There are also several rivers flowing out into the Pacific including Salmon River and if you want to experience beauty in the water, taking a kayak tour in this vicinity is a great idea.

Another place Elliott wrote about as a great visit is the Cape Meares Lighthouse and Wildlife area that lets you go up into a historic lighthouse and then go out into a wildlife park where you just might catch some exotic animals at play. And there are even points of interest in the small towns on the coast including the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel. No matter where you go, it’s almost certain that you won’t be disappointed.

California Is Doing Thanksgiving Different This Year

Many people in California are going to be celebrating Thanksgiving differently this year. A tradition that was started decades ago is resurfacing, which is to eat salmon on Thanksgiving. This tradition originated in the Pacific Northwest. It’s no wonder that the Pacific Northwest sells more seafood than any other part of California.

The way to make the salmon is oven baked with toasted almond glazed on top of it. A common side dish would be parsley salad or the like. Californians participating in this tradition are planning to be creative as possible. There have been rumors of chopping the salmon up and mixing it with mixed vegetables, and other people are rumored to actually stuff their turkey with salmon. These individuals believe it is good to start a new tradition from an old one.

Another reason why the salmon tradition is coming back is due to health reasons. Californians have been informed that salmon is healthier than turkey. This is information people in California want to pass down to their children and grandchildren.

This health issue is especially true for people who want to do their traditional shopping at 4 a.m. the next morning. Turkey is known to make people tired and sluggish. Salmon does just the opposite and rejuvenates the body.

Though a lot of people in California are participating in the old salmon tradition, many people are still going to have Thanksgiving the old-fashioned way. This will include turkey, pudding, pies, sports, fun and games, and so much more.

San Jose Tourist Attraction Featured in New Book

San Jose author and macabre historian Colin Dickey has written a new nonfiction book exploring the famous haunted house of San Jose, the Winchester Mystery House. Published by Viking, “Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places” started from Dickey’s childhood experiences of growing up near the reputedly haunted mansion in San Jose.

As a child, Dickey became fascinated with the mysterious building. This interest didn’t wane over the years while he earned his doctorate in comparative literature and began teaching creative writing at San Diego’s National University. In 2009, he delved into the grisly world of grave robbing with “Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius”, a historical true crime account of larcenous phrenologists. With his newest effort, Dickey has hit closer to home by focusing on the origins of the legends that surround the Winchester Mystery House.

The Winchester Mystery House started life as a humble farmhouse. Sarah Winchester, the wealthy widow of rifle mogul William Winchester, purchased the house and began a lifelong construction project. Over a period of 38 years, she added on multiple additions, built doors that opened into blank walls and filled the house with hidden passageways. Local legends explained Sarah’s strange building obsession with spooky stories about vengeful ghosts determined to haunt the widow of the man whose rifles killed them. According to popular lore, Sarah would be safe from these malevolent forces as long as she kept building on to her home.

Dickey paints a less sensational picture of Sarah Winchester in his new book, arguing that she was more motivated by architectural interests than spiritual. He also connects her to the phenomenon of building ghost stories around independent women. The childless widow did not match the cultural norms of the day, and Dickey argues that the ghost tales may have been a response to this.

“Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places” is currently available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle editions. An audiobook version of the book is also available from Penguin Audio.

Clean, Affordable Places To Stay When Going Out West To the West Coast

The West Coast of the United States is a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. It has been a sought after place for people all over America for many years. If you are traveling out west to the West Coast, there are a number of places that you can stay at that are relatively cheap. Some of these places range from being jewels to being dumps. Here is a list of clean, affordable places to stay at that are located in convenient, pedestrian-friendly areas.

The Dolphin Motel in San Diego is one of Southern California’s best deals when it comes to quality and cost. You can stay here for $55 a night. The Dolphin Motel is located in San Diego, in Point Loma. It is located only five minutes from the airport. The motel is owned by a family that takes good care of the place. They offer beds, continental breakfast and internet.

The Sundown Inn in Morro, California, charges $45 per night during their slower season. During their summer season, they may charge double. Despite the low price, the place is pretty well-maintained. The surrounding area is known for a large rock that lies along the shore line, as well as an old power plant that is no longer being used.

At $115 a night the Ocean Park Motel in San Francisco, California, is a great deal. It is right next to the MUNI L-Taraval rail line, which is great because it makes it easier to traverse through the rest of the city. The Ocean Park Motel is near the coast, so there are plenty of opportunities to catch a sea breeze.

Norblad Hotel and Hostel in Astoria, Oregon, charges $69 per night. For hostel beds, they charge $29. They have Scandinavian-themed decor. Fort George Brewery is across the street. In Blue Scorcher Bakery and Street 14 Cafe, you can get a good cup of coffee.

Myths Debunked For Those Who Wish To Go To The West Coast of the USA

Before traveling to the West Coast, there are a number of things to understand. There are many stereotypes and general beliefs about the place that are not entirely true.

For example, people on the West Coast are stereotyped as being raging leftists. Well, yes, there are a lot of left-winged people. However, there are also a lot of right-winged people. When you move away from the urban coastal areas, there are many more right winged people and voters of Republicans.

When people think of the West Coast, they tend to think of palm trees and eternal sun. The West Coast happens to be home to a variety of different climates that range from very hot to temperate. There are parts of the West Coast that experience freezing temperatures and snowy weather.

The “West Coast” is not just California; it consists of California, Oregon and Washington.

No, not everybody is blonde on the West Coast. When some people think of the West Coast, they may think of blonde, Barbie-like Valley girls. Not everybody is like this. There are plenty of brunettes, raven heads and maybe a few redheads thrown in.

Not every single human being in San Francisco is gay. The city has the highest amounts of people who identify as LGBTQ. However, when you look at the big picture, this makes up only 6.2% of the city’s entire population. About 4.6% of New York City’s population is in the millionaire category, though nobody says that everybody in New York City is a millionaire!

The West Coast-Where To Visit

The west coast is home to United States wildest landscapes, including beautiful coastal cliffs to adventurous parks. Here are various places to sample the next time you decide to visit the West Coast.

Big Bear

Big bear offers the best place for water sports lovers. You can decide to go mountain hiking, kayaking or decide to go paddle boarding and if you need to relax, fish on the 7 mile lake near it. All this will set you back around $938 per week, a bargain for all the fun there is to enjoy.

Cathedral City

Cathedral city is a place to take the family for some fun time, with community parks to visit, they are ten, and you can also go hiking up the San Juantino Mountain and get to enjoy astonishing views from its peak. The charges are $1007 a week, which is affordable for a family budget.
Lake Arrowhead

Lake Arrowhead is for those who want to go shopping and dining and later get to enjoy some water sports, or enjoy a walk in the National Forest’s numerous trails and when one is through, head over to Peak Arboretum and enjoy more trails. For spectacular views, you can visit the Fire Lookout, charges are at a weekly cost of $1179.

New Port

If you want your family to enjoy some coastal vacation,New Port is the place to take them. They can also go visit the 91 feet Lighthouse and have a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, cost are $1,231 per week. For more ideas on where to go you can check ( and get to see more places to suit your travel needs and budget.
Welcome to the wild wild west!

Expert Tips on Planning Out a Trip to the West Coast

Traveling to the west coast is a great way to explore the area and enjoy the different attractions. If this has been something that’s been on your bucket list, it’s time for you to work on getting things into reality. This is a great way for you to feel confident about the trip and spend as little money as possible. One way to accomplish this is by planning months in advance to the trip. This not only helps to cut down on the frustration that you’ll feel doing it all last minute, but it is also going to encourage you to save a bit of cash.

You are also going to want to figure out where you’d like to go. Whether you’re going to Disney or just traveling to California for the sights, there are lots of places you can check out for a price that you’re going to find to be affordable and easy on the budget. By simply planning in advance, it is easy for you to make the most out of this option and know that it is something that is going to help you out in the long run. Be sure to look at the different options out there and know that you can and will easily travel without it being too expensive for you. This is why there are so many people who are making use of this as an option and know that they are going to be able to travel with absolute ease.