Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Paso Robles-Something Old, Something New

Going North, Paso Robles is 3 hours outside of L.A. Don't even think about taking the 5 up there.  If you want to actually enjoy yourself, take the 101.  I love the area and try to go as often as I can (which hasn't been too often lately).

There are certain things I always try to do when I go to Paso Robles and the surrounding areas.  I didn't get around to doing everything I usually do, but I marked some good ones off the list this time around.

I always go to Rotta Winery and do a tasting, if only to get just a sample of their Black Monnuka dessert sherry.  It may be the best dessert drink I have ever tried.  I bought some bottles to take home with me this time around. ;)

There are many other fantastic wineries in the region, I wish I had time to do a couple of more tastings, but that Black Monnuka draws me in every time.

I also always go to Full of Life Flatbread in Los Alamos, CA.  It just might be the best pizza I have ever eaten.  I love the town too. After having not visited for a number of years, I was happy to see that the town is growing and even has some new restaurants and bars.  I'd love to try them next time I go up.

I also always see the ocean- California's #1 roadside attraction.  Brian and I just happened to catch the tail end of a beautiful sunset.

There were a couple of new things that I did when I was in Paso that I really enjoyed!  I had not been to Paso in a couple of years, so this time around there were new places to go!

I went to a new Olive Oil Farm!

Kiler Ridge Olive Oil Farm had great scenery and a fantastic and informative tasting for only $5! It is great for taking a break between wine tastings. They even have a cute olive oil dog!   I would definitely go back the next time I'm in the area and get another tasting.

We also went to a relatively new brewery called BarrelHouse Brewing Company and sampled all of the beers that they had on tap.  Everything we tried was delicious.  They even have free pretzels and mustard to munch on while you're sipping your beers!

We were in a sampling mood, so we went to Vivant, the local cheese shop to see what they had.  We were introduced to the cheeses of Central Coast Creamery, which were absolutely fantastic.  We bought two hunks of cheese to take home with us.  Its too bad Central Coast Creamery does not have a tasting room.  I would be all over that in a second.  Their cheese is delicious.

I also went to The Ghostriders Tavern in Los Alamos for the first time.  It was not at all what I expected. I always thought there would be a plethora of burly bikers inside, and I was always kind of anxious to go in in the past. But we decided to check it out, and there were actually only a couple of regular looking folks in there. It was great being so empty, because it gave us plenty of room to play pool.

The last (actually first) thing I did for the first time in that area was visit the small town of Santa Margarita. There isn't much there, but they did have a cute cafe that Brian and I ate breakfast at, and a very decent antique store right next door.  I mean, where else in the world can you find a 1954 edition of Chinchilla News?

Paso Robles and the surrounding cities are places you wish you could stay at for just one more day.   If I had time I would go to the Madonna Inn for a fancy surf and turf dinner, check out the lavender farm in Los Olivos, and maybe do a couple of more wine tastings,  go antiquing in Los Alamos and try their new lunch spot Bell Street Farm.  Maybe if I was feeling adventurous, I would even go dancing in Santa Barbara!  Next time...

Dress + H&M
Shoes + Kelly & Katie

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Watts Towers in 1975

I couldn't find the best way to incorporate this into my blog post from August when I visited the Watts Towers, but I still wanted to share some vintage photos from my Mom's trip there in 1975.  The Towers have changed a bit since 1975, you can't climb on it anymore, and you can't go inside without purchasing a tour. I don't think the very last photo was at the towers, but its a random picture of my dad in the 70s!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gettin' Idyllwild.

Last weekend Brian and I headed to Idyllwild with Rachelle, Aaron, Paula and Matt.  Idyllwild is located on the west side of the San Jacinto mountain range.  Just to give you some perspective, Palm Springs and Joshua Tree are on the east side of the range.  The west side of the range is like a whole different world.

Brian was our designated driver again, so I got to record some of the view on the way over.

Before setting up camp we took an excursion into the town of Idyllwild to eat breakfast and shop.  The area is full of travelers, bikers, rock climbers, hikers, locals, and occasionally adorable alpacas (I want one). There is so much to do here, that I feel like you should spend a weekend just staying in the town seeing all of the shops and restaurants, and another weekend just in the mountains checking out the different nature trails.

The shops I visited all leaned a little hippie/spiritual, but they are fun to peruse and they smelled good because of all of the incense.

shot by Rachelle Neshkes

Shot by Rachelle Neshkes

When we got to the campsite we set up, and then decided to go on an easy trail to warm up for the next day.  We ended up on a horse trail, but it was beautiful just the same, and we got to see horses!

If you're into hopping on boulders, there are several large rock formations to climb in the area!

The next day we went on the Devil's Slide trail. Apparently you need a permit to hike on state lands in Idyllwild, so be sure to stop by the Mt. San Jacinto State Park Ranger Station before you go so that you can register for a permit.

The Devil's Slide trail was pretty hard, but it was completely worth it to get those amazing views.  It was a great hike because it was perfect weather, and it was mostly shaded.  We opted not to go to the top of the mountain due to time constraints, so we ended up at a junction that is part of the Pacific Crest Trail.
It was pretty awesome to be in the midst of people who were traveling so far.  I would love to take a couple of months off and experience the trail from start to finish.  Maybe one day...

Junction group shot c/o Matthew McPherson

I'd love to go back to Idyllwild and check out a couple more trails, and maybe even hike part of the PCT.  It is great for the weekend to get a taste of the town and surrounding nature.  I would probably suggest 3-4 days so you can do a little bit more of exploring the town and hiking trails.

Shirt + Nordstrom
Shorts + Insight Venice
Boots + Thrifted
Hat + Dofrman Pacific 

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Joshua Tree Weekend Getaway

Joshua Tree is about two hours from Los Angeles, but it feels like a whole different world.  Brian and I have been on a roll when it comes to weekend camping trips lately, so when Brian's friends invited us to join them in Joshua Tree, we couldn't resist!

I did some research and realized that there were several points of interest along the way to JT that were worth checking out.

Our first stop was the in the unassuming little city of Rialto, CA. Right off of historic Route 66, you can find something you don't see everyday.  It is a very unique motel where all of the rooms are actually teepees! We didn't get to look inside the "teepees", but the outside was like nothing I have ever seen before.

Our next stop was the location of the first ever McDonalds. The actual restaurant was demolished, but the original sign is still there, as well as a commemorative museum.  The museum is small and needs a little work, but it was fun to walk through and see all of the old characters that McDonalds has had through the years.

Our last stop before Joshua Tree was the famous Cabazon Dinosaur roadside attraction that is right off of the 10 freeway.  I've been out that way a couple of times, but always managed to miss the dinos.  I finally got out to check them out, and they are really quite large.  It was a fun little photo opp!

Joshua Tree is calm and peaceful.  When the sun went down we could see so many stars!  Our group decided to star gaze, so we all laid out on huge boulders and looked up at the sky for a while. I think I saw 3 or 4 shooting stars that night. It was beautiful!

The next morning we decided to go rock hopping, because Joshua Tree has a ton of huge boulders.  We spent a good hour or two hopping around rocks before heading home.

c/o Brains Rigazzi

c/o Brains Rigazzi

It was great to see all of the little stops hidden around California, and Joshua Tree was as beautiful as ever.  I can't wait to go again!

Shirt + Forever 21
Shorts + Forever 21
Shoes + Aldo