by michelle tremblay | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

When Lori and Kevin Hetzel moved to Rancho Peñasquitos some twenty years ago, it wasn’t the big-city lifestyle that they were looking for. “We chose the actual neighborhood by Adobe Bluffs because, twenty years ago, you felt like you were still out in the country,” said Lori. “There was the ‘back road to the coast,’ the cows were on the side of the barbed wire fence and you could see the hang gliders off of Black Mountain.” Today, PQ is quite a different place but their feelings about living in 92129 remain the same – they love it!


Lori and Kevin resided in their Adobe Bluffs home for ten years. “Then we moved four blocks away because we needed a bigger house,” shared Lori, “but we really wanted to stay in the same neighborhood because we loved it so much.” They have lived in that second home for 12 years, where they continue to raise their four children: Erik (17), Kasey (16), Kylie (15) and Kaden (9).


Lori, who knows a thing or two about education (she is a science teacher at Oak Valley Middle School in 4S Ranch), explained that one

of the main reasons she and Kevin chose PQ as their home was for the Poway School District. “We appreciate living in a neighborhood that provides the option for our kids to attend either Westview or Mount Carmel High Schools. They are both great schools offering the perfect academic and social fit for each of our kids,” said Lori. “We love the competitive rivalry it promotes amongst the kids!”

“We chose the actual neighborhood by Adobe Bluffs because, twenty years ago, you felt like you were still out in the country.”

– Lori Hetzel

On that note, all of the Hetzel kids are heavily involved in local sports. Erik has been on the varsity golf team for four years while Kasey is a pole vaulter for her track team. Kylie has played with the PQ Girls Softball Association for seven years, and plays on Westview softball and volleyball teams. Kaden plays basketball, flag football, soccer and often golfs with his older brother.

The family’s love of sports doesn’t end with the kids. “As a family, we like to play beach volleyball,” offered Lori. “We also enjoy snowboarding in Big Bear and Mammoth.”

When they’re not busy with sports, the Hetzels like to frequent local restaurants with their favorites being Wings N’ Things (where Erik is an employee), Fresco and Golden Bagel. The family has another unique characteristic: “We only wear Von Zipper sunglasses and goggles!” laughed Lori. “It’s a family favorite and a must!”

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Parents:  Lori Hetzel (forever 39), Kevin Hetzel (49)
Community:  Rancho Peñasquitos since 1991
Parents Hometown:  Lori – Bonita, CA; Kevin – Halfway, OR and Pleasanton, CA
Parents Occupation:  Lori – Science Teacher; Kevin – Real Estate Appraiser
Children: Erik (17), Mt. Carmel High School, 12th grade
Kasey (16), Westview High School, 10th grade
Kylie (15), Westview High School, 9th grade
Kaden (9), Adobe Bluffs Elementary School, 3rd grade
Pets:  Dash, a Havanese breed dog