Tag Archives: california

Road Trip to Yosemite

29 Jul

 

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Yosemite is one of those places that has been on my bucket list for years, and after seeing it, I’m glad it was.

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It’s very much unlike anything I’ve ever seen. With the massive rocks, big waterfalls, and trees for days, you really can spend days getting lost among its trails.

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Unfortunately, I only really had a day. Still, I managed to pack a lot into my short time there. I saw Half Dome, the falls, El Capitan, and the explored the Valley and its little shops.

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The toughest thing about the trip was hiking to the upper falls. Its basically like climbing a flight of stairs for 2 and a half hours. Couple that with the fact that it was about 90 . Or the new cupcake shop that opened in Old Town. I’m flexible 😉

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Palos Verdes Shipwreck Hike

3 Jul

One of the fun things about living in L.A. is that there are ton of new little random bits of history sprinkled into it to explore.

This week’s exploration was of the SS Dominator shipwreck ruins in Palos Verdes. The ship was marooned back in the 60s, and is now mostly underwater. But there are a few rusted pieces that remain on shore.palos verdes shipwreck Hike 3.jpg

This was not the easiest hike, as the trek is basically entirely across the rocky shoreline. But Palos Verdes is so beautiful, and the weather was spectacular, which alone made this trip worthwhile.

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There were tons of cool little tide pools, little crabs, and other typical beach side finds.

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The wreckage itself is not going to blow you away if you’re expecting a big pirate ship, treasure, etc. But there are still some big pieces that were cool to see and explore.

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That includes this big piece that looked like a giant fish head.

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And this one. I’m still trying to figure out what it was.

The whole hike itself only took about 2 hours round trip. There were only a few other people on the trail, so it was mostly peaceful. Of course, I did get hustled out of my water bottle by a random guy and his kid. What can I say? I’m a big ol’ softy.

The kid inside me is satisfied. What kid doesn’t want to go searching for sunken ships?

 

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 🙂 .

 

 

 

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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About Those Beaches…

4 Mar

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So…. Have I mentioned I love California? I really do. Its such a beautiful state and I feel like I discover a new gem every week. Like this beach. See how thoroughly un-overcrowded it is?

I’ve been a West Coast gal over a year, which I feel gives me full rights to make opinions now. Coming from Miami, I was a skeptic. But, I must say, I’ve never felt more settled, motivated, driven, and happy as I have since moving out here.

The views don’t hurt either.

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Nikita Goes LA

8 Jan

Figuratively and literally. I’ve actually gone LA. Kinda why I’ve been all awol and such lately.

I made the cross country move, got myself a genuine LA agent, and have begun the audition process in the big sea with lots of other big fish. Loving it.

And, when I say figuratively. I’m doing as the LA-ers do. Hiking regularly, planning for at least 2 hours of traffic before I go anywhere, and getting all of my tools in order. Thus, the new reel. I’m so west coast.