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Meet Our Tour Directors

Our Tour Directors

Every DayTripper excursion is led by a competent, professional Tour Director who is trained in providing a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience for all.

The Tour Directors handle all the details on your tour, allowing you to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience of being pampered.


Pat Brown

Pat has been a Tour Director for DayTripper Tours since 2009. Traveling to new places and planning vacations has been a part of her life since going on yearly vacations with her family growing up in Maryland. You may recognize Pat – every weeknight from June 2012-May 2015 she was your chief weather anchor on ABC 10 News, KGTV San Diego. Previously, Pat was NBC 7/39’s main weather anchor, KYXY radio’s morning D.J. and KFMB Channel 8’s “PM Magazine” co-host. Over the “PM” years, Pat traveled from the rainforests of Australia to the Alps of Austria. Closer to home, she scuba dived with sharks and flew supersonic in a Navy F-14 fighter jet, earning five Emmy Awards along the way. Prior to San Diego, Pat co-hosted “PM Magazine” at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minn. and at WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio. Before breaking into television, Pat worked at The Washington Post while earning her degree in Communications from American University in Washington, D.C. She is also a credentialed teacher and taught fifth grade in Solana Beach. In the San Diego community, Pat is a trustee emeritus of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, serves on the Alzheimer’s San Diego Community Action Committee, and the Burn Institute Advisory Board, She has been honored with the Leadership Award by National University and named “Health Hero” by Combined Health Agencies for her volunteer work with MS and the Alzheimer’s Association.

Pat has airtime that has nothing to do with television: she has soloed a single-engine airplane, piloted a blimp and a sail plane, run off a cliff in a hang glider, ridden in hot air balloons and helicopters, and endured aerobatics in an open-cockpit bi-plane. Don’t forget sky diving. In her free time, Pat loves reading, traveling, cooking, photography and exploring history. Ice skating and roller blading top her sporting interests, with scuba diving not far behind. Life is an adventure to Pat. “I’m so blessed to have the chance to do so many different things and to have the love of my friends and family,” she says. “That combination is unbeatable!”

To view a list of Pat Brown’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Maggie Espinosa

Maggie Espinosa is an award-winning travel journalist and author whose coverage includes national and international publications, syndicated radio interviews, and reporting for ABC, NBC, and CW TV. Her recently published book titled On A Mission chronicles her 800-mile walk to visit California’s 21 missions along the El Camino Real. Her first book, The Privileged Pooch; Luxury Travel With Your Pet In Southern California was published in 2010 and won a San Diego Book Award. She has journeyed to five continents, and has lived in Europe and the Caribbean. In 2005, Espinosa segued her travel writing skills into the classroom at Grossmont College, teaching students how to turn their adventures into stellar newspaper and magazine articles. That same year she signed on with Celebrity Cruises as a guest lecturer. Maggie has enjoyed guiding “daycations” and cultivating friendships with DayTripper Tours passengers since 2002. Feel free to follow her escapades on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/travelwithmaggie

To view a list of Maggie Espinosa’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Keri Belisle

Keri began working as a tour guide in San Diego in 1985. In the course of her touring career, she has forged up the coasts of California and Oregon, traveled across the USA, toured through the Canadian Rockies, cruised down the Inside Passage of Alaska, and bused through New Zealand and Australia. She’s landed on a glacier in Alaska, experienced a sunrise Easter service at the Grand Canyon, rafted down the American River, hiked up to Vernal Falls in Yosemite, rode a horse in Banff, bounced around the hills in a jeep in Sedona, hot-air ballooned in Albuquerque, crossed the Arctic Circle, treaded lightly along the Avenue of the Giants, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, sailed in Fiji, and much, much more. All of these experiences were shared with tour groups of strangers, many of whom became friends. In 1998, Keri joined the DayTripper Tours team. She has conducted just about every day tour and multi-day tour the company offers: Museums and Musicals in L.A., Tamale and Date Festivals in Indio, Wine Tasting in Baja, Desert Trips to Anza Borrego, as well as Catalina, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Wonder Valley and Hearst Castle. Keri loves what she does and does what she loves!  Past travelers say she is enthusiastic, fun, informative and easy going. In her spare time, Keri enjoys photography, movies, music and art. As a loyal DayTripper Tours Tour Director, Keri looks forward to sharing many experiences and memories with you.

“Live everyday of your life.” – Jonathon Swift

To view a list of Keri Belisle’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Christina Koohmarey

Christina grew up in Germany and holds a BA in Hotel Management from Switzerland as well as a Hospitality Supervisor Certification from the American Hotel & Motel Association. Growing up in Germany where traveling is a regular way of life, her zest for travel was fostered from an early age. Speaking fluent German and being able to communicate in English, French and Spanish has helped her to travel outside the tourist destinations and connect on a local level with people from all kinds of different cultures.

Besides visiting all the European Countries, her extensive travels include watching the most spectacular sunrise atop the Great Wall of China, climbing the steps of Chichen Itza, admiring the incredible artwork at the Heremitage in San Petersburg as well as roaming the mysterious bazaars of Shiraz and Isfahan. Her work in the hospitality industry made her a temporary native to Puerto Rico, Colorado and Maui. An offer to manage a European Inn in La Jolla brought her to Southern California in 1986 and she immediately realized that San Diego would become her home. In 1991, she married and raised two wonderful sons. In her free time, Christina grows her own fruits and vegetables and is an accomplished cook who loves to entertain family and friends. She is an active beach volleyball player and skier, loves to dance and she never says no to a great game of backgammon or billiards.

Christina’s passion for travel led her to join the DayTripper Tours team in March of 2013. She is also a member of the San Diego Professional Tour Guide Association. Her personal motto is “Live life to the fullest one day at a time.”

To view a list of Christina Koohmarey’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Mark Jacobson

Mark loves to travel and credits his parents with establishing his “wanderlust” at a very young age. “I was taught to appreciate scenery, history and culture during our many family vacations, and for that, I’m thankful.”

After receiving a degree in Business Administration, Mark attended travel school in Minneapolis and started working for a local tour company at the age of 23.

Since then, he’s had the good fortune to escort many tours throughout the United States, Canada and abroad during 25+ years in the travel industry. “In addition to tour guiding, I’ve worked in reservations, group sales, office management, and as a travel show presenter for various tour companies. I’m well-rounded in terms of experience in the travel industry, which translates nicely into my tour guiding skills.”

Mark also loves to cook. He was surrounded by home-cooked food and fresh garden vegetables growing up on his family farm in North Dakota. Here he learned about cooking from his mother who owned and managed several successful local restaurants. “I was always in the kitchen with my Mom, and worked side by side with her at various restaurants. I was learning to cook at a very young age, without even realizing it.”

Later in life, Mark rediscovered his passion for food. In 2007 he enrolled in culinary school; “I wanted to combine my love for food with my love for travel.”

After graduating culinary school, Mark continues to work both in the travel industry as a tour guide specializing in food-focused tours, and also as a personal chef. “I work hard to exceed my clients expectations. People remember the information you give them as a tour guide, but most of all, they remember how you made them feel. I want everyone to end their tour with a big smile on their face!”

Happy travels and bon appetit!

To view a list of Mark Jacobson’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Corky Lang

Corky Lang is a native San Diegan with a varied career in travel, theatre, television, and journalism. As an international travel director, he has led premier travel groups to over 30 countries. In theatre, he performed in a national tour of The Grapes of Wrath; co-produced the musical Suds in San Francisco; and co-founded San Diego’s Fritz Theatre. Corky was production coordinator for the documentaries Primal Twang and Love-In, both filmed at the North Park Theatre. He has worked as a radio DJ, copywriter, voice-over talent and narrator. His former special events company produced elaborate theme parties for corporate clients, with the “Murder Mystery Evening” performed nationally over 100 times. Corky just finished a two-year assignment as an online columnist for the AOL-owned Lemon Grove Patch, and currently can be seen on KPBS as a pledge break host. In addition to being able to sneeze like Donald Duck and tell amusing stories, Corky loves sharing his knowledge of Southern California and the entire Golden State. Corky joined the DayTripper Tours team in March of 2013.

To view a list of Corky Lang’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Kathi Diamant

A San Diego resident since 1983, Kathi Diamant has enjoyed multiple careers as an author, actor, broadcaster, adjunct professor, travel and arts writer, mind-body instructor, and most recently, tour guide.  Born in New York City, Kathi moved to Europe when she was two years old, growing up in France and Germany. She graduated from Seou lAmerican High Schoo lin South Korea, and then from Florida State University with a degree in Theater and Communications. In 1974, she returned to Korea as a Recreation Center Director for the 8th US Army, and organized her first tours to cultural and historic sites. Returning home in 1976, she and a friend embarked on a “Grand Tour” and travelled for four months by ship, train and plane, from Japan, across the Soviet Union, and then throughout Europe. A highlight of that trip was celebrating the US Bicentennial inLondon, hearing Andre Previn conduct Gershwin’s “An American inParis” at Royal Albert Hall.

Kathi moved to San Diego in 1983 as co-host of KFMB-TV Channel 8’s “Sun Up San Diego,” and realized she’d found paradise. But she never stopped traveling. In 1990 she became a travel writer for Copley News Services, circling the globe and writing hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles on travel, arts and culture. Her travels in the UK, Europe and Israel enabled her to conduct research for a biography, which won the San Diego Book Association’s Geisel Award for the “Best of the Best.” It has since been published in the UK,France,Spain,Russia,China, Brazil and Germany.

From 2004-2008, Kathi was a fixture on KPBS TV and Radio, where she served as On-Air Anchor for Fundraising, and created and hosted an armchair travel series: “San Diego Treasures.” She continues to appear on KPBS and national PBS pledge programs as an interviewer and host. In 1998, she was appointed adjunct professor at SDSU for the Kafka Project, a nonprofit research project to recover a lost literary treasure. To support her research efforts, Kathi has created and leads her own “Magical Mystery Literary History” tours to Eastern Europe. When not traveling, Kathi teaches writing classes at SDSU’s Osher Institute, as well as Tai Chi and Qigong at the YMCA Mind-Body Center.

Kathi joined DayTripper Tours’ team of professional tour directors in July of 2013. She is thrilled to be able to share her love of travel, and the opportunity it presents for personal and intellectual growth, and, of course, fun!

To view a list of Kathi Diamant’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Donna D’Alia

Donna completed her training in Travel & Tourism in 2004 and joined DayTripper Tours as a part-time tour director shortly thereafter. Most of her experience in the industry has come from her own personal travels all over the world and her love for meeting people from all different walks of life. She even spent time living abroad learning a new language. She is also known as our “Singing” Tour Director, as she has been playing guitar and singing since she was seven years old, took piano and flute lessons as a young girl and is also an accomplished songwriter with several published CDs. She has performed concerts in thirteen different countries as well as all over the United States.

Donna is a native of San Diego and shortly after completing high school worked in retail as an Operations Manager for ten years. During that time she attended El Dorado college where she completed a course in Hotel Operations. After briefly living in Las Vegas fate would eventually bring her back to San Diego in 1995 to work in her family’s printing company where she still works today as a full-time Graphic Designer and Pre-Press Specialist. When she has free time she enjoys taking Kick Boxing and Boxing classes to stay in shape. Although she has no children of her own she enjoys being Aunt to seventeen nieces and nephews.

To view a list of Donna D’Alia’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Leslie Winkel

Leslie is a California girl thru and thru. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated with a BS degree in Journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She has lived in the Los Angeles area and currently resides in San Diego. She has an active lifestyle participating in triathlons (swim, bike run), yoga, hiking and running on the beach. Leslie has traveled to Kona, Hawaii to volunteer at the Ironman World Championship Triathlon and has been to the Tour de France to watch the top cyclists in the world race.

In 2001 Leslie completed training at the International Tour Manager Institute to become a certified Tour Director. She has directed tours throughout California, the Southwest (Arizona, Nevada and Utah), the Pacific Northwest (Washington. Oregon and Idaho), Canada (British Columbia and Alberta) and America’s National Parks (South and North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming). She has also led groups on cruise tours to such countries as Italy, Greece, Turkey, Sweden, Germany and Russia. Travel is Leslie’s passion and she can’t wait for the next tour so she can share her experiences and enable guests to bring home memories of a great vacation.

One of Leslie’s favorite quotes is from Saint Augustine who said, “The World is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” She hopes to open that book and read many pages together with her guests!

To view a list of Leslie Winkel’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Chrissy Allen

Chrissy was born and raised right here in San Diego, and after spending four years in both Arizona and Wisconsin, she has moved back home to stay.

Chrissy has been with DayTripper since 2012, and works full time in our office as the Reservations Manager. Before joining the DayTripper staff Chrissy spent a large part of her adult life as a corporate trainer. Using those public speaking and leadership skills she has chosen to add Tour Director to her resume. Her love of people and sheer appreciation of talent and beauty make this a perfect career choice for her!

Chrissy’s first love and biggest passion is music. Chrissy began singing at the age of 3 years old, and began playing piano at age 5. After years of shows with San Diego Junior Theatre and attending O’Farrell School of Creative and Performing Arts, Chrissy moved away from stage, working in both church and cover bands spanning all types of music. Currently Chrissy can be found each and every Sunday morning at St. Columba church where she plays with the praise band, Spiritus, who released their first CD in December 2014 (www.SoulCalMusic.com).

When Chrissy is not working at DayTripper or singing at church, she spends time with her husband of 19 years, and her three children, ages 18, 10 and eight.

To view a list of Chrissy Allen’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Hilde Gross

Hilde was born and raised in Germany and at a young age developed a passion for the outdoors and traveling. After visiting almost every country in Europe, she fulfilled her dream in 1992 by going on a three month trip to California. As soon as she discovered San Diego she fell in love with the city and decided to leave Germany and move to San Diego.

Hilde’s passion for travel and being bilingual (German/English) led her to become a Tour Manager in 1996. She has been a tour director and coordinator for local and international tour operators, overseeing events, conducting city tours and over the road tours in California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. Along the way, she has received many awards for excellent service including the “Salvation Award for Quick Thinking and Leadership”. Hilde worked for DayTripper Tours from 1999 – 2003 and recently returned to the company in January 2014.

Aside from her passion for travel, Hilde loves to help those in need, especially children. After studying psychology and positive discipline for many years she developed a strong desire to pass on her knowledge and personal growth experience to others. After mentoring Foster children from 2001 – 2002, Hilde decided to start her own business as a Family Coach, Mediator and Professional Speaker. She teaches the skills that create self-confident, responsible, respectful, cooperative, drug- and violence free children and offers the tools we need to develop close relationships. Her mission is to impact entire communities in such a way that children will experience this sense of empowerment at home, school, friends’ homes, and anywhere else their lives lead them.

Hilde has an active life style and loves adventure. She dared to sky dive once, has zip-lined in Mexico, and has gone white water rafting, hiking and mountain biking in Whistler & Alaska, snowboarding in Colorado, Utah, Idaho & Mammoth and loves swimming in the ocean, especially in Hawaii. In her spare time she enjoys rollerblading, swimming or walking at the beach, dancing, reading, movies and theater.

Hilde loves to meet people from all different walks of life and looks forward to sharing many travel experiences and memories with her DayTripper Tours guests.

To view a list of Hilde Gross’ upcoming tours
clickhere


Patti Foley

After spending 25 years in the advertising industry, Patti is delighted that her 2nd career is following her passion of travel.  She is thankful to her parents who exposed her to travel and stopped at the historical markers on the side of the road to enrich the many road trips her family would take.  Patti has hit the ground running since her 2014 graduation from the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI) in San Francisco.  Patti’s passion for travel has taken her almost every state and over 20 countries with many more to tackle.  The routine of travel never gets old for Patti since she loves the planning, organizing and researching her next vacation.  She volunteers at the Gaslamp Historical Museum conducting walking tours and enjoys meeting the people from all over the world who come to San Diego for vacation. Patti graduated from California State University Northridge with a B.S. in Marketing and in her free time enjoys exercising, reading, cooking, gardening and making homemade soap.

To view a list of Patti Foley’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Jan Shields

Jan was raised back East in “Amish Country” Lancaster County Pennsylvania. She was fortunate to be in the close vicinity of many historical locations in our country such as Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and  Baltimore. Growing up, Jan visited these historical places quite often and developed a great love of history and travel. After graduating college she took that love of history and travel with her to Europe and visited the places she had only read about in books; Westminster Abbey in London, the Blarney Castle in Ireland and the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome. She swore to herself that one day she would combine her love for adventure and seeing new places into a full-time way of life and realized her dream in 2008 when she graduated as a Certified National and International Tour Director.

Since 2008 Jan has worked (only she does not call it work she calls it “loving what she does”) in leading guests on travels through our National Parks and major cities through out the United States and Europe including Boston, New York, San Francisco, London, Dublin, Paris and many others. Asked often to pick the favorite place she has ever traveled to she responds without hesitation “San Diego.” After arriving here in the early 80’s (despite having been to so many beautiful and historic places in the world) San Diego captured her heart and has never let go. In addition to all San Diego has to offer, there are many other places to travel to with DayTrippers, and Jan is excited to be a DayTripper Tour Guide and share the wonderful experiences of these places with other travelers. She look forward to traveling with you soon!

To view a list of Jan Shields’ upcoming tours
clickhere


Brian O’Brien

Brian is one of the most recent additions to the DayTripper family, though this is not his first “rodeo” in the tour world. He was an award winning guide with Old Town Trolley Tours for two-and-a-half years where he helped develop their La Jolla and Beaches tour. He was even gifted with a letter of commendation from the CEO of the parent company, Historic Tours of America. He is also a dedicated member of the San Diego Professional Tour Guide Association.

Since childhood Brian has had a lust for the far horizon and new adventures, particularly as an active outdoors-man. Among his experiences are decades of surfing from Mexico to Hawaii. In younger years he was a surf instructor at the Hotel Del Coronado and La Jolla shores teaching hundreds of “wannabes” from around the world to stand up and ride a wave. The pay was poor but the experience was rich, watching their faces light up when they “got it!” was always a thrill. Brian is also a certified scuba diver, sky diver, river rafter, fly fisherman, and an inveterate hiker who’s extensively traversed most of the trails in San Diego’s mountains. He has also walked every mile of beach along our county’s coastline. Brian is a wilderness camper who has Jeep camped the Rocky Mountains from end to end and much of the Sierra Nevada Range. Winter’s snows bring downhill skiing into the picture as well, Mammoth Mountain, Oh Ya! Brian is also an experienced business owner, running his own construction business from 1977 to 2008 and he is currently retained as a consultant by a local construction corporation.

While on one of his tours you may just wonder why Brian looks so darn familiar to you; well, in addition to all of the above, Brian is a bit of a celebrity too! He’s a card-carrying member of the Screen Actors Guild and has done both modeling and acting, appearing in film projects including Titanic, to Silk Stalkings, Mad Men, and most recently on Patty’s Millionaire Club.

Brian matriculated as a Literature major at Mesa College and UCSD; he intended to write the next Great American Novel but has settled for minor notoriety as a lyricist, currently collaborating with a local singer-songwriter when time permits. He is an avid reader which balances an otherwise outwardly extrovert guy. The present and enduring loves of his life are his son, Sean and wife Elly, and grandchildren, Chandler and Riley Lynn. This Irish-American story teller enjoys interacting with people of all ages and stripes, and relates to members of his tours as truly “souls on board.” He is honored to be included in the amazing and talented DayTripper Tours family!

To view a list of all of Brian’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Jennifer Hudson

A native of San Diego, Jennifer is a self-described “history nerd” who has a BA in history from UC Santa Barbara. It isn’t the “facts” that make history interesting, but the stories of the people and the context of events that happened in the past that interest her. In following those interests Jennifer has worked in a variety of fields and positions that all lead back to history and stories – Park Ranger for the National Park Service in Massachusetts, leading tours of Ireland, Alaska and the Western US, and guiding local tours in San Diego since 2002. Jennifer also spent a decade working for a nationally known e-commerce company advocating for customers, but prefers spending her time on a motor coach than in a cubicle.

In her spare time Jennifer likes to read, hike (she walked 185 miles of the Camino de Santiago in May, 2016), cook, visit museums, attend plays &concerts, spend time with family & friends, and explore San Diego with her dog, Bailey.

To view a list of Jennifer’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Steve Weber

Steve spent his early years moving from place to place and hasn’t really sat still since. His father’s job required the family to move often, both in the states and abroad, and taught him at an early age the enjoyment of meeting new people and places. In the mid 70’s, Steve worked as a radio DJ and campus tour guide before graduating from the University of Notre Dame. He then worked as a page at NBC in New York City, guiding studio tours before becoming talent coordinator for Saturday Night Live in the program’s very first year. Steve left New York to become Assistant Cruise Director on Sitmar Cruises, where he traveled the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Venezuela and the Mexican Riviera. Duties included escorting tours and performing stand-up comedy each night. Steve returned to New York and began a career in media sales, which eventually brought him to San Diego. He retired as National Sales Manager for the local NBC affiliate after a 34 year career in the media business. Steve has parachuted, para-sailed, scuba dived, run multiple half-marathons and summited numerous local mountains, as well as Mt. Whitney in central California and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. He has enjoyed traveling to many different states and countries with his wife and daughter. Europe, Machu Picchu, Kenya and Tanzania have been among his favorite destinations. Steve is excited to bring his life full circle by returning to his love of working with people as a tour director for DayTripper Tours. He looks forward to meeting you.

To view a list of Steve’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Ann E. Smith

Ann E. moved to Coronado in 1970 from Stuttgart Germany. Her father was a Naval Intelligence Officer and pilot. That’s where she got her love to travel and to see the world. She was a travel agent for four years before she became a tour guide for the last 25 years.She has worked for many companies specializing in National Parks, train travel in the US and Canada and cruises. She has a place on the Big Island of Hawaii and is a rough water swimmer.

To view a list of Ann E.’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Robert Santos

Robert has called San Diego home for 15 years. You may recognize him from his days working as an anchor, meteorologist and reporter for KFMB Channel 8, WB-5 and most recently, ABC 10News. As a journalist, Robert has lived and worked in Los Angeles, Salinas, Monterey, San Diego, Las Vegas and Seattle. He’s also traveled to just about every major city in the U.S. Since he was a teenager, Robert always considered himself a ‘world citizen.’ At 18 years old, he left his home on the pacific island of Guam to fly across the world for his first trip to Europe where he visited the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Since then, he’s traveled to other parts of the world including Spain, Tokyo, Manila, Bangkok, and in Mexico, one of his favorite vacation spots much closer to home. When Robert is not traveling around the world, he’s exploring places right in San Diego. He also opens up his home to international students who come to San Diego to study. He often takes them on tours of our great city. His natural love for exploring and sharing his adventures with others led him to work with DayTripper Tours. He looks forward to creating a memorable experience on your next trip with us.

To view a list of Robert’s upcoming tours
clickhere


Our Motor Coach Drivers

o (1)DayTripper Tours selects only the most professional and customer friendly drivers for its tours. We understand that even with the most modern fleet of motor coaches, the driver of that coach is ultimately responsible for a smooth and safe journey. Our motor coach carrier conducts pre-employment screening and requires all its drivers to take part in a rigorous training and on-the-job coaching program. Additionally, all drivers participate in federally mandated drug and alcohol testing. You can count on our hand-selected, professionally trained and uniformed drivers to help create a safe and memorable travel experience.