Tag Archives: San Diego

Paragliding at Torrey Pines, California – A Memorable First Time Adventure

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Anyone who is pining to fly like a free bird over some of the most picturesque cliffs, beaches and homes.

What? Paragliding at the Torrey Pines Gliderport in San Diego

How? The Torrey Pines Gliderport is located at

2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037
Tel: (858) 452-9858
Fax: (858) 452-9983

http://sandiegofreeflight.com/jm170/

It costs $175 for a tandem paraglide.  You can also hang glide here for $225 and take lessons on both.

Why?  For many years, I have wanted to paraglide.  Watching the grace of many a paraglider in umpteen locations around the world, it felt like the ultimate liberating experience.  So, on a trip to one of my favorite cities (La Jolla), I literally decided to fly.  I was there for 10 days, and every time I called during the first few days, my timing did not match that of the wind gods.

I was determined and finally on a clear Friday morning was ready to take my tandem flight.  I got to the Gliderport, did the paperwork, signed all the legal waivers, spoke to the instructor, got strapped in my seat and before I knew it had taken off.

My first reaction was one of delight and pride.  I had talked about this adventure with family and friends for so long and here I was finally summoning the courage to do it.  Looking down at the beach and cliffs and the tiny people left behind, the reaction turned to one of exhilaration. Then my instructor started telling me stories and I felt inhuman being suspended somewhere in open space listening to one anecdote after another of families that owned the multi million dollar homes below that they inhabited a few months during the year.  I wanted to get a better look at these homes and my instructor scooped us down a bit.  I was treated to a magnificent view of the most gorgeous villa like homes with sprawling landscapes and gorgeous pools being tended to by an array of household help.  We proceeded past these homes to admire the ruggedness of Torrey Pines (some great hiking here as well).  There were a few birds that were flying close and it was a bit surreal to be flying amidst them.

The flight was only 20 minutes in length, but somehow felt a lot longer.  As I got instructed on the landing and turned to do so, a wave of nausea hit me, increasing in intensity at landing.  I managed to thank the instructor and stumbled to lay down on the green patch of land from where we had taken off.  After fifteen minutes of laying down and relaxing, I awoke refreshed and ready to share the story of my adventure with my family.

Art Lessons at the La Jolla Athenauem – A Lovely Summer Getaway

Athenaeum Art Gallery
Source: La Jolla Athenaeum Website

By Lakshmi:

Who?  Whether you are a professional artist or a wannabe dreamer like me, you can build a lot of artistic skills, from the basic to the advanced.

What? The La Jolla Athenaeum’s School of the Arts is located at 

1008 Wall Street
La Jolla, CA 92037-4418

Phone: 858 454 5872

How? Throughout the year, this school offers a plethora of classes to cater to every skill level.  Their philosophy…. “No matter what your age or the level of your skills, we welcome you and have the right class for you. ”

Why?  Every summer, I have a quandry….how do I keep my kids occupied and yet foster their learning?  And I was honestly getting a little jealous and frustrated that my kids got to explore so many creative angles while all I got to do was hear about their day, admire their work, and stay working in my office.

So, for one summer, I decided I was going to do things differently.  I enrolled both my kids for week-long summer programs at the University of California in San Diego and decided that I was going to study printmaking at the Athenauem.   From the moment I got the catalog to the time I showed up in class, I was like a little kid brimming with excitement.

That excitement came to a screeching halt when I came to class and realized that I was going to be surrounded by artists for a week, people who knew to paint, had exhibits, made prints and sold them… and here was little wannabe me….Well, I had two choices.  I could either feel inferior or just say I was going to make a fool of myself without caring.  I chose the latter and for the next week had a blast.  From selecting colors that worked, to applying the right amount of pressure, to creating texture, we worked all day on making prints.  At lunch, I would wander off and explore a new cafe, grabbing my lunch, sitting by the ocean, feeling just so grateful for this escape and then returning to class to get my hands dirty all over again.  Interestingly, since I was new to the medium, everyone in class wanted to help out.  I would walk around and admire the mosaic-like intricate patterns created by my classmates and go back and create my own version.  A few days into it, when someone complimented me on a creation of concentric circles in shades of blue, purple and black, I felt my inner artist surging with pride.

The week was so enriching, enabling me to explore a part of my brain that had not been tapped into for a while.  I emerged from the class with over a dozen ready to frame pieces and more importantly a can do attitude that given time, I could master an art form as well.

I am sitting now on my couch looking longingly at their summer catalog, wishing I could scrape the time to go back.

If you are looking for a break with some learning, you could not find a more picturesque locale than the lovely town of La Jolla, California.

You can learn more about Athenaeum’s summer classes at

http://www.ljathenaeum.org/school.html