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Three Years Later…Hiking to the Hollywood Sign

17 May

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I’ve been meaning to hike up to the Hollywood sign pretty much since I moved here.

3 years ago.

What can I say? I’ve been busy.

But this weekend the weather was perfect, the calendar was clear, and all the other cards fell into place for the hike.

If you’ve never hiked up to the sign before, there are a few different routes you can take. I took the Canyon Road route so that I could hike up behind the sign. It gets you a little closer to the sign than a front hike.

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I decided to try and plan it in that sweet spot of the day where, perhaps, things wouldn’t be too insane with tourists, pups, families of 12, etc. So hike buddy and I went around noon. We lucked out and found parking right away on the little dirt lot just off Canyon Road.

The trail is easy enough to find and navigate. Pretty much follow Canyon and you’ll hit it. There’s a map right at the entrance too, to help guide you.

Despite all my careful planning, we started the hike before remembering to swing by Batman’s cave. These were the manmade caves used in the 1960s Batman series. I’d’ wanted to go before the hike in case I was too sore and tired afterwards. But we were already 10 minutes in before I remembered.

The hike itself is pretty intense. Its legit, uphill hiking in unrelenting sun. Fortunately, the temp was only in the upper 60s. I’d imagine the hike could be pretty brutal in summer California heat.

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There were tons of great photo ops on the way up. There’s a point where you can see Burbank and the Valley. You’ll pass horses and see stables down below as well. Its really a scenic and pleasant hike.

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At the top, there’s a fence keeping you from getting too close to the sign. Its also right by a police post of sorts. An officer came out to yell at someone for leaving their bike in the wrong spot, so apparently they really are watching. There weren’t a ton of people on the uppermost little cliff, maybe 10 or so. It was peaceful with amazing panoramic views of the city.

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After you take it all in, the trek back down is easy peasy.

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Of course on the way out, I got to play Batman in the Batcave 🙂 .

 

 

 

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A Pup’s Bucket List

24 Apr

Let me just save you some Googling…there’s only one legal off-leash dog beach in LA.

Literally, I’ve been to restaurants with a menu for dogs, tripped over them in stores and malls, saw a tiny one roaming freely around a hospital just yesterday, but apparently the beach is where society draws the line.

The injustice.

My fur baby is getting up there (turned 13 in February 😦 ) So Little and I put together an unofficial bucket list of things a west coast pup should do in their lifetime.

Top of the list was swimming in the Pacific.

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She’s been to the Atlantic several times. Apparently East Coasters aren’t such haters when it comes to dogs playing in the sand.

The only beach I could find in all of LA County that allows dogs off leash was a section in Belmont Shore called Rosie’s Dog Beach. I don’t love the beaches in Long Beach, personally. Not for playing anyway because the water is kinda gross due to the proximity to the harbor. But a bucket list is a bucket list.

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So we made the trek.

Rosie’s wasn’t at all hard to find. Plenty of dog signs and scores of pups running around excitedly. We easily found free street parking (Score!) and it was just a short walk to the sand.

Furbaby has become not-so-friendly in her old age. She wouldn’t hurt a fly, but she basically yaps non-stop at anything that moves. So the beach was sensory overload for her.

She barked at everything she saw, tasted the salt water, sniffed tails, and just all around had a grand ol’ time.

I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck. She’s only about 5 pounds and the majority of the other dogs were at least ten times her size. And, of course, she likes yapping at them the most. I just knew she’d be swallowed whole. Insert, near heart attack at least 7 times.

Luckily, she wasn’t swallowed whole.

Did she have a blast? Yes. So mission accomplished. Would we go again? No. My heart can’t take it.

 

 

 

 

Playing by a Lake

19 Nov

Every now and then, I get random whims.

Like, sometimes its 3am and I absolutely HAVE to have a jerk chicken patty and coco bread. Or, on a random Tuesday afternoon, I can’t focus until I hunt down and watch 1986 cinematic classic Short Circuit.

The best part of such whims is that, most times, my friends indulge me.

Which is basically how Big Bear went down.

A couple texts later, the adventure was planned.

Its not a far trek from LA, so we went up and back in the same day. We took one of the longer trails, which winded around the lake with some pretty spectacular scenery.

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A couple unfortunate things about me I should tell people before they do anything with me ever:

  1. I’m ridiculously clumsy. So, yea, a couple scratches and bruises definitely happened.
  2. I always forget to drink extra water the day before a long hike, so dehydration leg cramps happened as well.
  3. Food is an absolute requirement, so chicken tacos at a random Big Bear taco spot was mandatory before trekking home.

If you’re planning a trip to Big Bear for a day hike like we did, definitely plan it in advance. There’s tons of trails there and some are much tougher hikes than others. Get yourself a map, bring plenty of water, and load up on snacks. And keep in mind that the dark hits pretty quick and its really tough to navigate your way out in the dark (true story).

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Its a beautiful place with a slow, mountain lifestyle and I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed being out of the city for a day. This whim actually worked out much better for me than 3am jerk chicken patties. LA Jamaican restaurants, I’m gonna need you guys to get it together.

 

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Top 10 Reasons Kids are doing it Right

2 Oct

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Ever hear that saying “Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten”?  It basically talks about sharing, being a good friend, and how to take care of yourself. Really good, solid life lessons. But, have you ever thought about what would happen if we as adults could still get away with some of things that kids can? How much better the world would be? Think about it. Kids can:

1. Walk up to a strange kid in  the park and ask “wanna be best friends?” Imagine walking up to a complete stranger in the mall and saying “Hey! You’re wearing jeans and I’m wearing jeans too! We have so much in common! Wanna be my new best friend?!

2. Have a huge fight with a friend, then instantly forgive them. Remember this: your friend won’t share with you. So you say “I’m not your friend anymore!” Then two seconds later, the shiny stickers are gone, you’ve therefore forgotten the offense, and you’re playing together again. When’s the last time you’ve instantly forgiven someone for what you’d deemed a major crime?

4. Assume only the best of everyone. Once I worked at summer camp with very young kids. They were all preparing to go to various kindergartens in the fall. I asked them to draw a picture of what their new teacher and friends at their new schools would be like. Ten students, every single one of them drew their new classmates and teachers with happy, smiling faces. None could even imagine anything different.

5. Laugh. Library, church, funeral.. No one would look twice at the kid rolling around on the floor in side-splitting hysterics. Admit it- you’re in a meeting with your boss, and he’s being all serious.. You kinda want to laugh.

6. Live everyday like its an adventure. Things have been bleak. There’s not much food. Little water. The last hope for the masses (or, at least, for the family) is for you and mom to cross the dreary terrain. If you could just make it from aisle one to aisle seventeen, there might (just might) be hope for mankind.

Remember that? Just going to the grocery store with your mom was epic.

7. Imagine limitlessly. Suppose someone presented you with a problem. How can I get to [blank] in time to [blank], for example. And your response was allowed to include unicorns, magic bubbles, fairy dust, and chocolate chip cookies. Granted, it may not be entirely helpful at the moment, but limitless innovation is always beneficial in the long run.

8. Love unashamedly. You’re never left guessing how a kid feels about those around them. Kids aren’t afraid to hug their family and friends. And they can just as easily dish out a “you’re mean and I don’t like you”.  

9. Share their cookies with a stranger they just met. How freaked would you be if a grownup on a train offered your kid a cookie from an open container? A kid does it, and its automatically cute and sweet that they’re sharing

10. Skip everywhere. I’m not sure this technically would make the world better, but it’d definitely make it more fun. And make for better people-watching. Adults of all ages skipping through the aisles of their local Target? That’s gold.

My Subconscious Can Beat up your Subconscious

28 Sep

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Had a dream last night I was mountain climbing. I was with people I didn’t know-but higher and higher we climbed. The higher we got, the more scarce the footholds became. They were getting smaller too. I remember in the dream, I was getting nervous because I was becoming aware of the likelihood that I was going to fall. One more step across an opening and we were going to be at our destination. Everybody else made it, and then it was my turn.

I saw the fall before it even happened. I began to plummet further and further. For some reason, the dream slowed down and I was falling in slow motion and very aware of my thoughts. I was thinking to myself “I can’t believe they did this to me. They set me up”. I knew someone wanted me to fall. And I wasn’t referencing the group of people-I was talking about one specific person. I was completely calm; I wasn’t afraid; I wasn’t bitter; I was just aware.

I closed my eyes and allowed my senses to take over: The cool air rushing past.. The faint screams of the people I was with calling after me… Usually in a dream, this is when people wake up- that moment when you know you’re about to hit the ground. But I didn’t wake up. I wasn’t worried. I just awaited that hit. And then it came- I splashed into a pool of water and swam to the surface.

My interpretation- My subconscious reminding me to have faith and to stop holding myself back from success. Yup- dream Nikita is mega deep.

Leather!

3 Sep

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I’m loving leather for the fall. I’d love to don a pair of leather skinnies, but the idea just seems so uncomfortable. I think I’ll start with the leather shorts first and ease my way into skinnies (literally and figuratively)

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The Boys…

3 Sep

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If I weren’t a girl, I’d totally wanna be  a boy.