Caruso Says: It’s Officially Summer

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Caruso Asks: What Kind of Home Suits your Lifestyle?

Buying a home involves so many options. How can you possibly narrow the choices and make the best decision? Begin by looking at your finances, then your personality and how you enjoy spending your time. Eliminate home styles that don’t support your life now or in the near future.

In most cases, your financial resources will limit your choices. This isn’t a bad thing since you have to start narrowing options anyway. This is an easy starting point.

Before shopping for homes, it is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you have to use the full amount. Once you‘ve determined a budget for buying a home, consider the lifestyle you want your home to support.

 Geography Preferences

Where’s your happy place?

  • Do you love the ocean?
  • Prefer having wooded areas nearby?
  • Is it important to have majestic views of snow-capped mountains or do you prefer an intimate backyard garden?
  • Do you like dry, arid climates?
  • Do you need all four seasons or are you perfectly happy with one or two?

Ideally, you want to select a home that makes it easy to access the type of recreational activities you enjoy, meets your health needs, and pleases you visually. When you are at home you should be happy with what you see, both inside and out. It’s important to select carefully because where you live will shape your perspective on your life.

City Dweller or Country Dweller?

If you can’t bear the thought of missing out on an active nightlife, find your home in a cityscape. Conversely, if you don’t want to live where there’s constant traffic noise and lights that obscure your view of the stars, look in more rural areas.

 Yard or No Yard?

If you have children (or fur babies) and want them to have a private yard, you won’t be happy in most condo environments. Ditto if you love spending time planting and tending a flower or vegetable garden each year. If, however, the thought of raging allergies during a weekly enslavement to a lawnmower and trimming shears makes your eyes water, a condo or other yard-less options may be a better fit.

An urban setting or condo building may work for you even if you have little ones who need regular interaction with the outdoors or you want to garden. How? By selecting a high-density home with close access to parks and community green spaces (that are maintained by others) and a community garden that’s within walking distance.

 Lifestyle and Maintenance Considerations

  • Do you want to own a home so you can tinker with things and practice your DIY skills?
  • Are you anxious to begin entertaining?
  • Do you plan to cook gourmet meals for dinner parties?
  • Do you have children now, or do you plan to have them in the next several years?
  • Do you like the idea of having a workshop, a detached art studio or writer’s space at home?
  • Do you have a busy career and spend little time at home, preferring to relax and be completely off call when time permits?
  • Do you prefer to eat out, rather than cooking at home?
  • Would you rather go out with friends than entertain in your space?

Home is where you go to nurture your soul and spend time YOUR way. It’s your haven and shelter from the outside world. Select a home that brings you joy, while keeping stress, frustration and worry at bay.

Free Trolley for Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano

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Beginning Friday, June 9, 2017 and extending through Labor Day (Monday, September 4, 2017), the City of Dana Point’s daily summer trolley service is back to better serve the visitors and residents of our beautiful community. This summer, an extended operating season and an expanded service route for the Dana Point Trolley will be serviced with 5 open air style trolleys to ensure wait times are maintained at 15 minutes or less throughout the expanded route.

Passengers boarding the Harbor Shuttle can expect similar wait times. Similar to last year, the Dana Point Trolley route will run from Capistrano County Beach at Coast Highway/Beach Road/Palisades Drive in Capistrano Beach to the Monarch Beach Resort and the Ritz Carlton, where it will connect with the Laguna Beach trolley. Stops near other major hotels, the Lantern District, Doheny State Beach, Coast Highway timeshares and Doheny Village, among other areas, are included within the Dana Point Trolley route. 

Based on valuable feedback received from the community throughout our 2016 Dana Point Trolley program, six additional Dana Point Trolley stops have been added to the route for the Summer 2017 season:

• Stop #2: Strands Beach Parking Lot

• Stop #12: Costco Shopping Center

• Stop #13: Connection Point with the San Juan Capistrano Trolley

• Stop #14: Dana Point Community Center

• Stop #15: Park Lantern/Dana Point Harbor Drive

• Stop #23: Monarch Beach Promenade Shopping Center

The Dana Point Harbor Shuttle service will continue to connect with the Dana Point Trolley at the Golden Lantern and Dana Point Harbor Drive intersection (Stop #’s 6 and 17) and will allow travel to the Ocean Institute, Baby Beach and the Harbor businesses and restaurants. Similar to last year’s trolley program, the City must sustain its ridership counts to retain grant funding that helps pay for a large portion of the Trolley costs. Thanks to you, the daily summer service, expanded trolley service route and the addition of a 5th trolley to serve the community is a reflection of the impressive ridership numbers from last summer’s program. We need everyone’s help to keep our Dana Point Trolley program running strong for years to come by hopping onboard during the weekdays and the weekends. Parking options throughout the Dana Point Trolley route have been identified on the route map for the convenience of visitors and the community. Please spread the word!

The Dana Point Trolleys and the Harbor Shuttle are handicap accessible and are free of charge. Riders will be able to access real-time Dana Point Trolley and Harbor Shuttle locations and wait times on their smartphones with our custom app (Android and iPhone Search: Dana Point Trolley) or with the use of the trolley tracker at

5 Gifts Mom Will Love


  1. Perfume! If you have a good idea of the types of fragrances your Mother likes- that is a great place to start. Tell a sales person at Nordstrom or Sephora what types of perfumes or scents your Mom prefers and they can help you. Everyone likes to smell pretty, and it makes for a great gift she will appreciatepexels-photo-128945
  2. Flowers! Seems cliché but most woman do love fresh flowers, and it shows that extra thought was put into this special day for Mothers. McCools Flowers is local and has an array of beautiful bouquets that can be delivered. For those of you closer to CDM, Blooms is an amazing flower stand that can create a fresh arrangement. pexels-photo-196655
  3. Photo Collage! Go through old photos with siblings, you and Mom, fun family get-togethers and trips. Important birthdays, holidays or graduations. Think of the moments that were captured at a particularly happy time and drop those into collages designed at You can make them online and even have them already framed. If you are a last minute person, you can print your creation to show her what she will be receiving in the mail in the days to come. woman-hand-smartphone-desk
  4. Customized Notebook! If your mom loves lists, recipes or just journaling- this is a great gift. has cute designs that you can customize. pexels-photo-286483
  5. Candles! Candles are something that people generally don’t like spending money on but are a pretty, decorative and most importantly fragrant gift. If your mother likes bubble baths or a good kitchen candle to keep odors at bay- this is a good idea. Candles in decorative tins or timeless glass are nice and they can be found at Planet Beauty.

Caruso’s Tip: Keep Mosquitoes from Feasting on You

  • Blow them away. Almost any breeze — anything above 1 MPH makes it very difficult for mosquitoes to fly. Use fans on a low setting in the evening.

  • Buy tightly woven duds — particularly high-tech athletic apparel. The tightly woven fabric keeps mosquitos out.

  • Wear light colored clothes. Mosquitoes use their vision to search for food sources during the daylight hours and light colors are less attractive to them.