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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

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:

To view a list of Maggie Espinosa’s upcoming tours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victor Knarreborg

As a native San Diegan, Victor’s adventurous childhood exposed him to all the natural resources San Diego has to offer. From hiking the desert, camping in the mountains, exploring the inland canyons and surfing and snorkeling the coastline, nature has been a major influence surrounding him his whole life.

So it was only “natural” that in his twenties he volunteered as a nature guide for kids at his church summer camp for several consecutive summers. Later his love of nature led him to become a guide at Cabrillo National Park, volunteering as a docent for their tide pools and nature walk. He was also certified as a local trail guide in local flora and fauna by the Balboa Park Natural History Museum’s “Canyoneer” Trail Guide program.

Victor and his wife have enjoyed traveling throughout most of the United States and internationally to 17 countries. The experience of taking guided tours in each country, Victor realized the true value of a good tour guide was making a destination come alive to the visitor. This inspired him to pursue becoming a tour guide himself.

His professional career as a tour guide started with one of San Diego’s premier tour companies that offered visitors a 5-hour bus and walking tour of La Jolla’s natural and cultural resources and also a 2- hour bus and walking tour of the history and highlights of San Diego. This was great training and reinforced that a tour guide’s job is not just sharing knowledge but ensuring a positive experience for the visitor. Victor has earned certifications from the National Association of Interpretation and the San Diego Professional Tour Guide Association, which he currently serves as vice president.

Victor brings a natural enthusiasm and knowledge to DayTripper Tours and feels that all of his life experiences have brought him to this opportunity to ensure that his passengers not only have an interesting tour and a fun time but most of all, leave each tour with a great memory.

To view a list of Victor’s upcoming tours

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

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

Teresa Lampert

Teresa is a transplant from Peru to San Diego, via Oregon. Teresa has spent over 24 years in the travel and tourism industry. Her love of history, geography and an ardent admiration of the wonders of the world led her to a lifelong career in Travel & Tourism. She has traveled the world over leading tours throughout the United States, Latin America and Asia. Teresa is a true “World Citizen” and is known by all who meet her as a caring, personable and positive individual that easily relates to people of different backgrounds and walks of life. She stands ready to provide clients with impeccable service in the pursuit of memorable and meaningful experiences of a lifetime.

Fluent in Spanish
International Tour Management Institute, Certified Tour Director and Tour Guide
San Diego Professional Tour Guide Association, Certified San Diego Tour Guide

To view a list of Teresa’s upcoming tours please

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.

Evie Daniel

September 19, 1942 – March 7, 2014
We’ll miss you!

A 35 year veteran in the tour and cruise industry, Evie served as a tour guide with Day Tripper tours for 12 years. She contended that as long as she could hear her alarm clock go off and push the juice cart down the aisles of the coach, she would continue to pursue her pleasure as a tour director. Formerly in management for a Palm Springs tour operator, Evie remained active even after retirement as an independent contractor conducting city tours, overseeing events, and as a home based cruise and vacation specialist with Cadence Travel. Evie was a very proud widow of a Vietnam Marine, mother of 3, grandmother of 7 and a happy member of the DayTripper family.

*It is with heavy hearts that we pass along news of our beloved Evie Daniel’s passing in March of 2014. Her laughter and warm personality will be truly missed, but she will forever remain in our hearts and memories.