Category Archives: TRAVEL

#TravelThursday : Just 4 Miles

January 19, 2017

As my sister and I made our way up to Mt. Baldy, we had encountered some back-to-back traffic – the same kind of traffic you get at 7am in the morning when you’re heading to DTLA.  Having accumulated almost two hours on the road, my sister and I were working our bladder muscles and our stomachs were beginning to eat itself.

While my sister and I were debating whether or not we should “pop-a-squat” or not, we were hitting our breaking points.  Okay, more me than my sister.  As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, I have the worst patience.  As the road begins to narrow due to the cars parked alongside the road, my sister and I found ourselves at a standstill.  There was absolutely no way for us to move forward or even turnaround so, in other words, we were stuck.

People started getting out of their cars to see what the fuss was all about, and others tried to squeeze their way up the road.  There were some folks who had just given up, and settled with what snow they had.  Even though the sign says we have only 4 miles till we reach the top of the mountain, I had begun to question the worthiness of all of this — “Should we just stay here?  There’s some snow.”

Passionately, my sister exclaims, “No!  We didn’t make it this far not to reach the top!”  My sister has always been the more optimistic one, and it’s moments like these, where she pushes me to do more than what I believe I am capable of.  So, with two “hangry” women whose bladder was about to burst, we had inched our way through the mountain, and, finally, a sign appeared in bold letterings, “Welcome to Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts.”

This is just one of the many incidents that day, where I had almost deprived my sister and I from witnessing a beautiful sight.  This experience had reminded me to never give up so quickly, and to have a little faith.  As quoted by Nicholas Sparks (not a huge enough fan to even quote his work, but what he shared has some truth in it), “nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.” 

If you have the time this weekend and is in the SoCal area, make a stop to the mountains.  It’ll especially be great this weekend as fresh snow is expected to fall!  So, even though you’re just 4 miles away, and stuck in back-to-back traffic, the destination will be worth the trouble.

 


#TravelThursday : It’s A Day-Cation For Me

August 25, 2016

The past few months have been non-stop hectic both work-wise and socially.  Since I wasn’t planning on taking a vacation this summer, I had found myself very tensed, weary and overwhelmed.  In other words, I was in dire need of a break.

If you’ve checked out my Instagram, you’ll notice that I had taken a little ferry ride-out to Avalon at Catalina Island.  My best friend and I had basically planned a “day-cation” for ourselves.

We had relaxed at the beach by Decanso Beach Club, which I was surprised to see other people my age.  I mean, I grew up thinking that Catalina Island was a place for seniors to retire — it probably is but as I was just informed by a random dude at a bar over the weekend, Catalina Island is actually a place for people to party now.

After we had roasted ourselves on the beach, my best friend and I went parasailing.  We were both 800 feet in the air, and the only sounds that we can make out was our laughter.  All the noise from the ground floor disappeared. If I was to ever go parasailing again, I would probably ask to do it on my own because it’s kind of a spiritual feeling when you’re up in the air like that.

Kayaking was the next activity on our list, where we were basically looking for fishes underwater.  I didn’t care much for it, but my best friend was seriously all into it.  Beware of the sharks!  So many of the passerby’s kept warning us about it, including the cute security patrol.  Turns out, there are baby sharks in the water, but they mostly come out at night.

Before returning to the dock, we had ice cream from Scoops Homemade Ice Cream, which you can find my review here and a taco joint that was tucked away from main street.  By the end of the day, my best friend and I was absolutely exhausted.

Take a look at some of the highlights of my “day-cation” below:

FYI, you can get a free roundtrip ferry ride to Avalon in Catalina Island on the day of your birthday, and you can get a discount on some of the activities as well.  Save yourself $72 plus dollars!

#TravelThursday : Howdy Ya’ll !

January 28, 2016

If you follow my Instagram page, you already know that I was down south this past weekend.

My friends and I spontaneously booked a trip to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas — a place I thought was pretty random, especially for a girl like me.  But, to my friend, it’s a place she had once called home.  In Fort Worth, we checked out the Stockyards — a rodeo show that features bull riding, tie down roping, team roping, barrel racing, bronc racing and break away roping.  Here, I definitely saw plenty of men and women dressed in their cowboy hats and boots.  It felt as if it was Halloween again!  In Dallas, we took a tour of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, where John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.  It felt disheartening to stand in the same place where our former president was cruelly assassinated, but also inspiring to know that this human being accomplished so many great things before his death, such as establishing the Peace Corps.  For the rest of our stay, we spent most of the time grubbing — we had a bbq, crab boil and Mexican cuisine.  I’m kind of drooling here…   

There are three prominent characteristics that I want to point out during my stay in Texas:

  1. Endless amount of land.  You know that saying, “you can run, but you can’t hide?”  Well, it applies here in Texas.  There are so much space, it makes sense that everything is 30 minutes away from each other.  The homes are definitely bigger — they have a huge front yard, drive way and back yard (you can literally build another house with all that land).  I even saw a full playground set in the yard, where kids were running around.  It was like watching a Hallmark film!  So, if you’re looking to settle down with a family and all, Texas would be the place!
  2. An unfamiliar sense of politeness.  The people aren’t in a hurry like that in LA or NYC, so the Texans actually take the time to say, “Excuse me Ma’am,” while tipping their hats.  On top of that, it’s not weird to be smiling at someone while making eye contact without it meaning “Come hither.”  Although we did get some looks here and there, it was not enough to make me feel uncomfortable like some places I’ve been to.
  3. Conservative and patriotic.  It wasn’t until I was at the rodeo that I realized I was surrounded by devoted Christians,  who had a great deal of pride for their country.  Compared to Los Angeles, the people are pretty much liberal when it comes to religion and politics so talking about atheism at a dinner table would just bring conflict.

My friends thought I wouldn’t like Texas, but I’d have to say, I didn’t think the whole southern, country lifestyle was bad at all!  I’m actually hoping to plan another trip down there, but in a different city this time.  Honestly, I wouldn’t mind spending a week down south.

Check below to see some of my highlights of the trip!

Hope you liked my brief glimpse into what Texas is like, and if you ever get the chance, you should definitely try to head south for a week or two.  There are definitely a lot of things I wanted to see, but had no time to do such as line dancing and horseback riding.  I guess, that’s another reason to head back then!

#FridayFunday : Mountaintops + Ocean Views

January 22, 2016

At an impulse, my best friends and I have decided to do a little weekend getaway so if you’d like to see where I’m headed, visit my Instagram for all the deets!

If you aren’t getting away this weekend, there are plenty of things you can do in your own backyard!  One of the great activities that Los Angeles has to offer is a vast array of mountaintops for you and your friends to reach.

If you checked out my Instagram feed, it’s apparent that I am an avid hiker.  My friend, however, is not.  Since she is undergoing a new phase in her life, I thought I’d introduce a new experience to her.  We headed up to Corral Canyon Park, a 2.5 mile loop in Malibu that took approximately 2 hours to finish.  The hiking trail is just right off of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH/1 Hwy), next door to The Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market.  There is also a $5.00 parking fee for the visit.  Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’ll get a view of the beach and the highway — something you’d get out of a picture, but way better.  If you ever plan to visit this trail, plan to wear long sleeves and pants because you’ll have plants brushing against you.  The difficulty of the hike from 1 to 5 — a 5 rating being “difficult” — I’d give it a 1 so it’s not rigorous at all.  My favorite hiking trails are the ones with an ocean view, where I’m surrounded by greenery, not just dirt and dead trees.  In Los Angeles, the winter season is the perfect time to go on a hike.

The best part of the hike is the reward that you would give yourself right after  — for me, that’s food!  My friend and I went to the Malibu Farm, where it has a restaurant in the front and a cafe at the end of the pier.  The Malibu Farm is all about the local, organic and healthy lifestyle, which you can check out my review here.

If you are ever in the area, here are some of the most popular hiking trails in SoCal: Eaton Canyon, Hermit Falls and Crystal Cove State Park (my favorite place to hike by far).

#FridayFunday : It’s All Grand At The Grand Ave Arts

October 30, 2015

Days like these are always the best!

I spent the past weekend being a tourist, exploring parts and bits of Downtown LA that I call my home.  There was actually an event on Grand Ave called the Grand Ave Arts: All Access — an event where the arts opened their doors to the public with free tours, admissions, performances, screenings, and more!

The most popular of them all was The Broad, which recently opened this past year.  The Broad was offering architectural tours of the building, lobby, and an exhibit on the third floor.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go that day, but I did reserve tickets for next month so I’ll just wait then.  There is a separate line for walk-ins, but I suggest getting there early since the line builds up!

My friend and I ended up checking out The Museum of Contemporary Art, where they offered free general admission.  This wasn’t my first visit to the MOCA, and I have to say, I like the exhibit this time around.  One of the pieces I admired was a light bulb that extended to the outlet on the other side of the wall.  I’ve interpreted the work as a symbol of people’s willingness to do anything for an outlet…

We also took a look at the Disney Concert Hall, where we saw a screening of John Williamson being honored.  John Williamson is known for creating the theme songs to Jaws and Star Wars, including the “Imperial March.”  I’m hoping to catch a performance there one day!

But, before all this exploration, my friend and I grabbed lunch at the Grand Central Market.  The Grand Central Market is like the Chelsea Market in New York and the Anaheim Packing District in Orange County.  We waited forty-five minutes for Eggslut, which was the biggest fad this past summer.  You can read all about my review here!

Across the market is the Bradbury Building — it’s been used in movies like 500 Days of Summer.  My friend and I actually caught ourselves in the middle of a performance by The Industry.  There were musicians, dancers, and singers walking through the staircase, making an eerie yet alluring sound.  I just love stumbling into things like this!

Days like these help you become aware of the present moment.  It allows you to fully observe with what’s going on around you, leading to newfound discoveries.  Exploring new places, including my own backyard, is exciting to me, and I’m sure it is to you too so share some of your memories where you’ve explored your own backyard!

Before I close for the weekend, I just want to wish you all a spectacular, spooky time!

 

Happy Halloweve!

 

XOXO,

– Lori