BY DEBBIE YOCUM
MOMARAMA GUEST AUTHOR
The washing machine, dryer and dishwasher all broke at the same time. My SUV should be painted yellow with "TAXI" painted on the side because sometimes I feel more like a pick-up and delivery service than anything else. There is a tournament for some sport every weekend and practices of some sort every day. I have listened to my children read their science, history, California Indian and Egyptian reports to me three times each. I don't want to know about science or history. What I want to know is when will spring break start?
We are lucky to live so close to so many different environments. The beach, desert and mountains are only an hour's drive away. With the weather in Southern California you can go to body surfing at the beach on Monday, skiing in the mountains on Tuesday, take a trip on the Palm Springs aerial tramway on Wednesday, purchase a ticket for the Metrolink for lunch on Olvera Street on Thursday and enjoy the Ferris wheel on the pier in Santa Monica on Friday and still have the weekend to do a million other things. Another option is you can find one place you love and relax there for the entire week.
One of our favorite places to stay when we need to get away is the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. From the minute that you drive down the beautiful entry, lined with tiki torches, you feel like you are in Hawaii. The resort is located on a 44-acre island filled with lush tropical gardens and meandering lagoons in Mission Bay. Sea World is a neighbor, an added convenience if that's on your agenda of things to do while visiting in San Diego. The resort is not your traditional hotel. Instead the accommodations are built as separate bungalows, some with living rooms and kitchens, others with single rooms built in a lagoon setting within the garden area of the island or, even better, scattered along the white sand beach.
Located within the resort is a state-of-the-art fitness center, full-service marina (great opportunity if you have your own boat or want to rent a boat, sailboat, kayaks, wakeboard or stand-up paddle board), five swimming pools (main, lagoon, adult lagoon, meadow or waterfall pools), various sports courts and recreational activities. You can bring your own bikes from home or you can rent them at the resort for a sunset bike ride along Mission Bay. If you want to pamper yourself after a day at the beach, there is a full-service spa located next to the main pool. Volleyball and tennis courts are also located on the island.
If you are in the mood for miniature golf there is an 18-hole putting course next to the island market (my kids love it). At night you can find one of the 15 bonfire pits on the beach and enjoy s'mores and hot chocolate while you appreciate the view of the lights across the Bay.
For meals, there are three restaurants on the island: Baleens (which requires a little more dressed-up attire than the other two), The Barefoot Bar and Grill (outside dining next to a tropical waterfall and a sea-life lagoon) or Tropics Bar and Grill (near the main pool). You can always order room service or pizza from a nearby restaurant and enjoy your meal in your bungalow while playing your favorite card or board game with your family.
Special activities are offered during spring break and summer, which include the on-site hotel children's camp, the Island Adventure Club, hosting activities such as arts and crafts, treasure hunts and guided nature walks through the lagoons and gardens. Paradise Point's "Dive-In" Movie Nights let guests watch some of their favorite films from the comfort of a poolside lounge or stretched out on a pool float.
Several of the bungalows allow small pets, but there's a fee and you must sign an agreement to follow certain rules.
Rates change during the year so to get the best deal, go online (www.paradisepoint.com) and sign up for email alerts. This year celebrates Paradise Points 50th anniversary so there are plenty of deals offered. Paradise Point is the closest thing to a vacation in Hawaii that we have found without the cost of the airfare. My kids just love it and the fact that you are in San Diego with all that it has to offer just makes the stay that much better.
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