old Town Trolley Tours quiz challenge

Archive for the ‘San Diego’ Category

CASTmember Spotlight: Saul Alba

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015


” I was born in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, Mexico, in 1948.  When I was two-years old, my family moved to the city of Juarez, Mexico, where I was raised in the western outskirts of the city.  Our family survived without electricity, gas or plumbing; however, despite having to live without these luxuries, I was able to connect myself with something not many people can say they connect to: nature.
As a kid, it was my livelihood to go outside and enjoy nature.  Whether it was catching chipmunks, caring for dove chicks, or raising wild rabbits, I could not have been happier in any other environment.
In 1970, I married the love of my life, Modesta.  We lived in Tecate, Mexico, where we raised our three children.  Three years later we moved to San Diego.  I went to the university to get my teaching credential so that I could teach auto body and paint, which I did for the next 21 years.  In 2003 I retired from teaching so that I could focus my energy on the Old Town Trolley Tours.  I ended up with the job I loved the most and I am so proud to be a part of this company.”


Thursday, October 1st, 2015

All October kids ride free on our Trolley and SEAL tours in San Diego!!


In The Kitchen With Jerry Miller

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Apple Burritos:

Apple Burritos Pic











1/2 stick butter, melted
4 flour tortillas
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 can apple pie filling


Brush butter on one side of the burrito.
Spoon 1/4 of the pie filling in the middle of the buttered side of the tortilla.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the tortilla to form a burrito.
Brush the top of the tortilla with butter.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes, or until filling is heated.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Yield:  4 burritos.



CASTmember Spotlight– Tracy Ibarreta SEAL First Mate

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

I’m a native of the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista. My dad is a retired 30-year Navy Veteran and my mom is a long-time state employee. I’m the oldest of three with one sister and one brother. In school, Band was my life, playing tenor saxophone for many years. I was also an honor student, student leader, and Art Editor for my high school newspaper. I’ve been drawing all my life, cartoons mostly.
In 2000 during my senior year at San Diego State University, I was working at one of the largest music retailers in the country, a job I enjoyed and excelled in for two years. During my lunch break, I saw one of those orange and green trolleys pass by and immediately thought, “I want to drive that!” Then *POOF,* I was a tour conductor for Old Town Trolley Tours for a year and a half. I graduated from SDSU in 2001, leaving San Diego for LA then Orange County where I was a caricature artist at The Disneyland Resort. I came back to San Diego in 2005 and established my business as an artist and holistic practitioner, which I now choose to do on occasion. Some unique, temporary opportunities led me to San Jose for two years where I performed in stage shows and worked with student teams in competition all at a prestigious science museum. Afterwards, I returned to San Diego in 2014, coming home to HTA after 13 years – this time as a SEAL Guide! Woot-woot! I love it!
When I’m not doing tours, I’m often found spending ME TIME at Disneyland and DCA or venturing off on a spur-of-the-moment day trip elsewhere. I’m blessed with friends and family, but I’m also blessed with the independent spirit, so time and space by myself is empowering and very important. I’m single, no kids, no pets, but I’m open to that changing…I think.


Vendor Spotlight– Janet Kroupa, Embassy Suites San Diego Bay

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

This Embassy Suites San Diego Bay in downtown provides 321 all-suite accommodations in a convenient location, only minutes from San Diego International Airport, the San Diego Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter District and the Headquarters/Seaport Village where the Trolley and SEAL Tour pick-up. The Chief Concierge at the Embassy Suites is Janet Kroupa. Janet has been working at the hotel for nine years. Originally from New Jersey, she has lived all over the country, but loves San Diego and is proud to call it her home. Janet is one of the top sellers of Old Town Trolley Tours and SEAL Tours. She is a very important part of the staff there as guests are always looking for top concierge services. The hotel has recently undergone an 8 million dollar renovation of all the common space and updating the outside of the property. The Embassy Suites also has the only Dunkin’ Donuts in San Diego! Thank you to Janet and to all the staff at the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay – Downtown for all their support for Old Town Trolley Tours and SEAL Tours!

Vendor pic 1

Labor Day

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Have a happy and safe Labor day!Labor-day

A Culture of Safety: Whose Job Is It?

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Millions have heard us tell the nation’s story.  We preserve a culture as our guests discover the compelling richness of our past.  Many discover an actionable sense of obligation to the “gifts from the past.”  They return home and become participants in sharing and furthering our cultural heritage.  What an honor it is for us to be a part of that dynamic!
There’s a culture of safety too!  We learn the rudiments of safety in the earliest phases of our employment.  Then the “rubber hits the road” and we apply the rudiments and discover the countless ways that safety keeps bad things from happening.  We discover that the feeling of safety is visceral, and that it makes everything more enjoyable.  We begin to share our thoughts and observations with other CASTmembers, and begin to really feel a part of the safety community.  There’s a synergy in showing others that safety is on our minds.  A culture of safety can exist no other way.
So as you enable our guests to participate in a national culture, take your place as an active member of HTA’s…and life’s…safety culture.


San Diego Visitors Center

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The highly anticipated San Diego Visitor Information Center opened its doors the last week of April to an eager crowd and an excited community.  Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego was chosen by the Port of San Diego to operate the Center located in the newly redeveloped North Embarcadero area of its downtown waterfront.  The building itself is considered an iconic work of art by Pae White where the transparent building, made of colored glass in dawn and dusk hues, mimic the San Diego Bay.
The center is staffed by four full-time and three part-time personnel along with other CASTmembers from our depot sales rep team.  In fact, their combined experience totals over 90 years of visitor and guest services in San Diego!  OTT San Diego’s experienced sales staff also shares the space as visitors enter to receive information on things to do, see and experience while in America’s Finest City.  Tour and area attraction tickets are sold at the Center along with San Diego logo’d merchandise.
A very special thing has been happening since we opened. Local residents and people who work downtown have been coming in to see our new Center saying that they’ve been watching its construction and couldn’t wait to see inside!  The Center is not only a feather in our company’s cap but something that our entire community is proud of.
The San Diego Visitor Information Center, located at 996 N. Harbor Drive, is open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 5 PM.


Walking for my Heart Health

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Thank you to all our CASTmembers who participated in the Walking for my Healthy Heart – Healthy Walking Challenge
We have completed seven weeks of tracking our steps, and hopefully have gained an awareness of the importance of healthy living and the FUN of walking.  You are all on the road to a healthier life!  Most of our walkers showed an improvement in their walking from the beginning week to the last week.  We had phenomenal participation from all our locations.  Celebrate this important “step” toward healthy living with your fellow CASTmembers and keep on walking!
A total of 236 CASTmembers participated across the country.  A special thanks to all our Wellness Volunteers and Office Managers for recruiting, supervising, tracking and reporting the steps each week. We hope you all enjoyed this challenge!

Ryan with Fitbit award










Individual Winners
John Jeffress – Arlington National Cemetery Tours
John Clifford – Conch Tour Train
Dell Lunsford – Historic Tours of America Corporate Offices
Ryan Darrah – Historic Tours of America – St. Augustine Offices
Leslie Nagy – Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston
Stephen Chueka – Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
Kevin Delahanty – Old Town Trolley Tours of Key West
Cathy Vaccari – Old Town Trolley Tours of Savannah
Greg Coleman – Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine
Adam Johnson – Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington DC
Karen Brandt – Tropical Shell & Gifts
Jesse Panrock – Treasurers of the Florida Keys

Overall Individual Winner
Sebastian Biagioni
Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego; with the most steps – 1,738,218!!

Sebastian Biagioni










The bragging rights for the location that had the most average steps in six weeks is:
Company Winner
The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
With an average step count for the six and a half weeks of: 550,817
(an average of 77,800 steps per week/per CASTmember)


Vegetarian Chili With Joy Stuckey

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015


– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
– ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
– ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
– 2 tablespoons minced garlic
– 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (I usually leave the seeds in ½ of the pepper for extra heat)
– 1 medium zucchini, stems trimmed, medium dice
– 1 medium squash, stems trimmed, medium dice
– 2 cups of corn (fresh if available, frozen if not)
– 2 – 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 – 28 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
– 1 cup vegetable stock
– 2 tablespoons chili powder
– 1 tablespoon ground cumin
– 1 ½ teaspoons salt










1. Chop all the vegetables and premeasure all other ingredients.
2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and jalapeno peppers.Cook, stirring, until soft, about three minutes.  Add the zucchini, squash and corn, stirring until soft, about six minutes. Add all of the seasons and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, black beans and vegetable stock.  Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.

At this point you can add adjust the seasoning.
Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream,
cheese or avocado.