View Blog Posts About: This & That about San Diego

What’s that Mini-Cruise Ship That Has Been Parked in San Diego Bay?


January 22, 2013

The other day, a guest on my San Diego tour asked me about the cool looking mini-cruise ship parked in San Diego Bay, right between the Maritime Museum and Cruise Ship terminal on Harbor Drive.

Yes, it does look like a mini-cruise ship since it’s longer than a football field and has two helipads. But no, it’s actually the 19th largest superyacht in the world and when first built in 2010, it was claimed to the the largest expeditionary yacht in the world able to traverse long distances without refueling.

It’s been in San Diego Harbor for the past two months and you can still see it today. I’m not sure who’s brought it to town since it is owned by a Russian Billionaire, who also owns what is now the largest superyacht in the world, but charters these boats out to others. I have heard rumors that there was a Russion Billionaire who was visiting La Jolla and is now traveling the Southwest. However, I don’t know if the two are connected.

Anyways, keep your eyes open when driving or walking along Harbor Drive in San Diego. What may look like a cruise ship could in fact be one of the largest yachts in the world owned by someone famous. Here are the pictures I’ve taken and a little background on three superyachts I’ve seen San Diego. If any of the superyacht visitors are reading this, I’d love to take a tour of your yacht!

Superyacht Luna in San Diego Bay

Owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. It’s the 19th largest yacht in the world at 115 meters long (377 feet …longer than a football field!) and has two helipads. Abramovich apparently started off selling rubber ducks and built an empire that now includes the Chelsea football team. [Yacht photo taken December 30, 2012]

Wikipedia Profile for Roman Abramovich
Luna Profile on

Superyacht Attessa in San Diego Bay

Owned by American billionaire Dennis Washington along with Attessa IV (see comment below post), which is the 27th largest yacht in the world at 100.6 meters long (330 feet) and has a helipad. Washington started a construction business to build highways in Montana and branched out into mining, railroads, shipping, and more. [Yacht photo taken July 7, 2012]

Wikipedia Profile for Dennis Washington
Attessa IV profile on

Superyacht Ice in San Diego Bay

Owned by Russian billionaire and politician Suleyman Kerimov. It’s the 39th largest yacht in the world at 90.1 meters long (295 feet) but surprisingly no helipad as it was built supposedly to be an environmentally friendly yacht. Kerimov started as an economist before helping to start a bank to invest in struggling companies, which obviously became quite successful. He also served in the Russian Duma. [Yacht photo taken September 4, 2008]

Wikipedia Profile for Suleyman Kerimov
Ice Yacht profile on

Largest Yachts in San Diego

The yacht rankings above will change as it seems each week a newer, longer yacht is introduced to the world. There’s a good chance we’ll get to see some of them not only because they like to visit San Diego but when I took a tour of the Port of San Diego, I learned that billionaire’s like Larry Ellison and Paul Allen send their yachts to San Diego for repairs and maintenance.

I’m curious if any of you know what are the largest yachts home ported in San Diego. If you have some ideas, let me know!

Marvin Hamlisch – I love what he had to say about San Diego


I was sad to see musician and conductor Marvin Hamlisch passed away yesterday. He was a very entertaining conductor for the Symphony Pops Concerts in San Diego. I’ve always wondered how San Diego attracted so much of his attention. Maybe it was for the same reason why so many people want to live here.

I tweeted a comment he made during the Jane Monheit concert with the San Diego Symphony last year: “San Diego has great weather … and it has La Jolla. What more could it want?” I certainly agree.

But, I also read that he served as a Principle Conductor in Pasadena, Seattle, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee on top of all the other work he was providing for various productions. How was he able to be in so many places at the same time?! I’ve always wanted to be in multiple places or working on multiple projects at the same time. If anyone knew his secret, please clue me in!

Well, I’m glad so many people in so many cities got to see Hamlisch in person. He brought beautiful music and joy to our lives.

Have a good day.

Watch the Visa and Calvin Klein TV ads filmed at La Jolla Home


The Razor Residence, designed by famed architect Wallace Cunningham, finally sold…for $14.1 million. Many of the news accounts about the sale make note that TV commercials for Calvin Klein and Visa were filmed in the home but none of them that I’ve seen have provided links to video of the actual commercials.

Since I think it is cool to see commercials filmed in San Diego showing off our great city and beautiful landscape, I present them below for your pleasure. If you like seeing interesting tidbits about San Diego, be sure to follow this TourGuideTim Reveals San Diego blog, or follow my TourGuideTim page on Facebook or Twitter where I’ve posted the Visa Black Card Commercial filmed in La Jolla a few times in the past year.

For those who don’t know, the person who commissioned Wallace Cunningham to design this modern home on the cliffs overlooking Black’s Beach, went bankrupt after spending $34 million for construction. For a while, there were attempts to sell the home at various price points starting at $45 million. It was in the news lately because it got to the point where the home was going to be auctioned off. Now, the home in the La Jolla Farms neighborhood has been sold for $14.1 million, supposedly to a Florida investor who plans to live there.

Visa Black Card Commercial filmed in La Jolla

Here is the full 2-minute commercial.

Behind the Scenes Look at the Visa TV Ad

Here is the behind the scenes look on finding the model, the home, and the boat used in the TV ad.

Calvin Klein TV Ad filmed at the La Jolla Mansion

When advertisers create the dreamy world of wealth and elegance, they create it in San Diego!

Where to see the La Jolla house

The best way to see the Razor Residence with your own eyes is to visit the Torrey Pines Gliderport and look south into the adjacent canyon. Never been to the gliderport? You’ll find it and the architecturally signficant Salk Institute (designed by Louis Kahn) using my brand new La Jolla Map being used by hotels and visitor centers. (Check out special offers by the Birch Aquarium, Torrey Pines Golf Shop, and Hike Bike Kayak Tours.)

TourGuideTim Tip: If the style of the house looks vaguely familiar, it may be that you’ve seen Wallace Cunningham’s City House, a very thin house you see on your left as you drive into the Village of La Jolla on Prospect.

Will we break a San Diego weather record today?


July’s average high temperature is 76 degrees and the average low is 66. Since weather records started being kept in 1850, over half of our July’s have never measured any rainfall. Thunderstorms are extremely rare but there happens to be a chance for them in today’s forecast.

On this date in history, July 4, the highest rainfall amount recorded was a trace in 1980. It will be interesting to see if we can beat that record today considering there is a 20% chance of rain.

Finally, the highest wind speed ever recorded for July is 30mph.

You can read more about current San Diego weather observations and learn more about our weather history from NOAA.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

I’m Back to Blogging & Tweeting about Why It’s So Great to be in San Diego!


I’ve missed blogging and tweeting on a regular basis over the past year about the unique tidbits that make San Diego such a great place to live. Instead of blogging and tweeting, I’ve been keeping busy launching a tour business that takes guests on a historic tour from downtown San Diego to La Jolla and Torrey Pines.

Apparently I’m doing a good job showing out-of-towners our great city because based on their reviews, the tour is listed in the Top 10 out of 200+ attractions in San Diego. Now I just need to get the word out to more people about the tour. So, please help spread the word to anyone you have coming to town!

I’ve even had volunteers from the local visitors centers, concierges, and meeting planners take the tour and say it’s the best tour they’ve been on. So, even if you’ve been to La Jolla a hundred times, you too may enjoy the tour. I share a lot of unique trivia on the tour similar to the unique tidbits I’ve shared through my blog posts and tweets in years past about attractions in San Diego and the things that make San Diego such a great place to live.

You probably noticed by now that I also changed the name and domain of the blog from “The Best Places In San Diego” to “TourGuideTim Reveals San Diego”. I was unable to get the previous name trademarked so after talking to those who work with trademarks, I was eventually led to creating the TourGuideTim name as a way to build brand awareness in the years ahead.

So, I look forward to sharing with you unique tidbits about the wonderful County of San Diego, the place we get to call home.

In the days ahead, I’ll share the interesting comments out-of-town guests (33% of them foreign) often make about San Diego. But, to start off, I’ll spend most of this month providing unique tidbits about local museums participating in this month’s ‘Museum Month’, sponsored by Macy’s.

Going forward, I recommend you follow me here (sign up to receive emails or RSS posts), on Twitter, and on Facebook. I’ll be spreading my unique tidbits across each of the mediums. The shorter ones I’ll just post to Twitter and/or Facebook while I’ll post the longer comments about the great things to do in San Diego here on the blog.

I look forward to your comments, unique insights you have about our area, and just simply enjoying this amazing place together!

La Jolla Cove – Historic but Dilapidated Red Rest & Red Roost Homes Finally up for Sale


I couldn’t believe my eyes Friday when walking through the most beautiful spot in Southern California…La Jolla Cove. There was a Real Estate sign in front of, ironically, the two most dilapidated homes anywhere in the country. They are known as Red Rest and Red Roost, both of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Red Rest can be seen behind the 'Do Not Enter' signs on the upper right side of this photo.

Red Rest can be seen behind the 'Do Not Enter' signs on the upper right side of this photo.

They are among the original La Jolla bungalows – single story with interiors of unfinished board and batten wood strips and open front porches. Built in 1894, they have been uninhabited since the 1970s. How could two homes with unobstructed views of La Jolla Cove and the Pacific Ocean become dilapidated and deprive someone of the pleasure of living there over the past 40 years?

Well, the owner of the property wanted to build a hotel on the property. However, his request was denied as locals fought to preserve the historic homes and as San Diegans passed Proposition D in 1972, which set a 30 foot height limit on new construction in La Jolla. In response, the owner decided to spite the community by throwing out the current renters and allowing the homes to fall into disrepair ever since.

Well, it appears the heirs of the owner, who has since passed away, are ready to put the property into someone else’s hands. If you have a minimum of $10 million to spare for 1 of the 2 lots and are ready to restore these homes listed on the National Register of Historical Places, the listing company is Since last week, calls have been coming in from around the world expressing interest in purchasing the properties.

For more history on these homes read the articles from the Save Our Heritage Organization, which listed these homes as the 2009 Most Endangered, and the La Jolla Light.