Gifted Donkeys, Raccoons, and Other Bizarre Pets of the White House

With the election of Joe Biden as President of the United States, the White House will once again have pets scampering about its grounds. The Bidens have two German shepherds, Major and Champ, and Biden even made their dogs part of his campaign, including this Instagram video.  Headlines recently boasted that Major would be the…

The Legend of Whittles, Knott’s Berry Farm’s Forgotten Icon

As part of being a Knott’s Berry Farm Ambassador, I am tasked with writing posts for the Knott’s Berry Blog. Last week my first blog post for them was published, which was an overall history of the Farm. While you can read the whole post here, today I wanted to take a moment to expand…

Remembering Balboa Park’s Nudist Colony at the Zoro Garden

One of my favorite places in San Diego is Balboa Park. The sprawling park features fanciful architecture housing a plethora of museums, plus multiple gardens. One such garden is the Zoro Garden, which is tucked away behind a leaf covered wall, and shaded beneath massive trees. When I first gazed upon it I wouldn’t have…

Gallows, Ghosts, and Paved Over Graves: A Visit to San Diego’s Whaley House

On a September day in 1852 James “Yankee Jim” Robinson was taken from an adobe jail to the gallows. Standing upon a wagon, a noose was placed around his neck. When the order was given, the wagon driver pulled away, and Yankee Jim reportedly kept his feet on the wagon as long as possible, but…

San Diego’s Historic Cosmopolitan Hotel

Each July the company Patrick works for hosts a massive conference in San Diego. Sometimes Patrick attends, sometimes he doesn’t. But this year he did, and like most of his conferences, I tag along to enjoy the sights of the city. This year we chose to stay in one of California’s oldest hotels, The Cosmopolitan,…

Tracing the Journey of Mummified Outlaw Elmer McCurdy to the Long Beach Pike

Last week I talked about the history of Long Beach’s infamous Pike, including the location being used in an episode of Charlie’s Angels and The Six Million Dollar Man. What I didn’t mention was that in the Charlie’s Angels episode, “To Kill an Angel,” a man’s body is found within the Pike’s Laff in the…

The Rise and Fall of the Long Beach Pike

Towering above shops like H&M, Forever 21, and The Gap is what appears to be a rollercoaster, yet no cars race by, and no screams of riders can be heard. Upon closer inspection, it is no rollercoaster, just bridge built to look like one. But, why? Let’s take a trip back in time, all the…

Catalina Island: A Tale of Chewing Gum, Grave Robbing, and Movie Stars

On Sunday, Patrick and I finally made it over to the little island of Catalina. If you aren’t familiar with California geography, Catalina is a small island, roughly 30 miles off the coast of Long Beach, accesible by ferry from a handful of ports on the mainland. At just under 75 square miles, about 4,000…