On a beautiful and warm Saturday morning, we took a family trip to Franklin Canyon Park to go hiking. This park in tucked away in the Hollywood Hills and is a hidden jem! With about 13 miles of hiking trails, this place has it all! You can picnic, take an easy walk around Heavenly Pond, bird watch, sit and paint, take photographs, hike, or find a spot to sit and read a book.
If this place looks somewhat familiar… you may recognize it from the opening credits of The Andy Griffith Show. I grew up watching that show with my dad. Our favorite episode is Aunt Bea’s kerosene cucumbers!
While we hiked, I took tons of pictures! You wouldn’t guess that I was just a few minutes from bustling Beverly Hills! If you plan on visiting, take lots of water! Enjoy!!
I still can’t believe that this past holiday weekend was the first time we went out to the Amboy Crater! The crater site is only a short drive and the sites are amazing!
Once we parked, we took the trail to the crater. The trail is about 3 miles, round trip, and I was amazed that the kids made it! It is also very important to wear good sneakers or hiking boots and you should bring lots of water!
While on the trail, we spotted some lizards and lots of lava rock! Some where even put into shapes for everyone to enjoy!
On Christmas Eve, we took the kids to see Endeavour. It was so awesome to see this massive shuttle in person! The kids thought it was amazing! Also noted, very dirty! I guess that’s what happens when you go in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere!
Los Angeles is still buzzing over the arrival of Endeavour, there we so many people there to see it on Christmas Eve!
If you plan on visiting the California Science Center to see the shuttle, remember to get tickets online ahead of time!
Two days and one night along the Oregon Coast with three young children was quite the adventure. This mini-vacay/ road trip is, so far, one of my favorites. As soon as my husband got home for work we hit the road and took the long way (avoided the 5). We drove through the Willamette Valley, passed like 1,000 wineries and a ginormous boarding school. The thing I love most about driving to the beaches or “the coast” as Oregonians call it are the long winding forests drives and streams, rivers, and lakes that you pass by. Once on the 101 it’s still almost as if you’re in a magical forest with the lovely (and chilly) sea to the West. Once we arrived at our hotel we changed the youngest and set out for some dinner at Rogue’s Ale House in Newport.
The next morning we surprised the kids with a visit to the Newport Aquarium. We were surrounded by sharks, saw some sea animal behaviors, got splashed by a naughty puffin, and got hands on with sea cucumbers, starfishies, and sea urchins.
After the aquarium we wanted to hit up the Yaquina Head Lighthouse but two out of three of our chitlens were too small for the stair-hike. So we continued on back up the 101 to visit the Devil’s Punchbowl and Cape Foulweather.
The views from Cape Foulweather were amazing. You could almost see the curvature of the Earth.
P.S. To visit Yaquina Head Lighthouse requires a $7 day pass and a height requirement of at least 42″. Also, if you are traveling without children there are plenty of wineries and a couple casinos along the way… depending on where you’re coming from.
As if visiting and walking trails at Joshua Tree National Park wasn’t enough, we decided to stop by Pioneertown too! We were in the neighborhood and Pappy & Harriets was calling our name! I have posted about Pappy & Harriets and Pioneertown here, we went New Years weekend this year. Also, check out the LA Times article for Joshua Tree from Sunday’s paper- they also talk about this hidden gem.
When we arrived, we walked around Pioneertown with the kids. The kids enjoyed exploring the little, sleepy town.
Afterwards, we stopped to eat an early dinner at Pappy & Harriets. They have the craziest and most random decor.
I also spotted one of Summer’s favorite bands had played there before, The Entrance Band! The restaurant also doubles as a bar at night where shows are played. I will have to check that out for sure!
I had the chili and it is spectacular! Of course, I didn’t finish the bowl! Could you imagine? The leftovers tasted good the next day too!
The kids loved the atmosphere and they love to make silly faces too! Hope everyone had a great weekend!
We took a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park this weekend. Purely by coincidence, the Los Angeles Times had this article in the Travel section and we looked for insight into our day trip.
A secret passage way
We stopped at the visitor center and picked up a map. We set out with a plan to walk a trial first, have lunch, then walk a second trail. The first walk we took was at Skull Rock, a 1.7 miles trail.
We climbed a few rocks and took in the view. The kids had a great time exploring.
We completed the first half of the trail and then the little one got tired and hungry. We cut the trail short and headed back to the car.
The next stop: Key View. This .25 mile trail has great panoramic views of the Coachella Valley. We had some lunch first, then walked the trail to see the sights.
We had a great time, despite the fact that it was extremely windy and a bit cold. We will be going back for sure… we have a pass now! Have you ever been? What are your favorite trails?
Its National Pancake Day! I love breakfast any time of day and today you can get a free short stack from IHOP all day long! But don’t feel guilty for having such an indulgence in the middle of the week. Any welcomed donation goes directly to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in your area. I think that’s the best part! Your money isn’t going to some nameless black hole. You know that children’s hospital in your community, where perhaps your own children have been treated? Ya, that one. That is where your donation is headed. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a delish and filling stack of pancakes and feel good about it for once! So tell your diet you’ll call back tomorrow!
Maybe this is me getting all nostalgic for the past, but I am really getting into vintage cars. Of course, this should be no surprise. I love vintage fashion and furniture. I also am obsessed with the architecture of old buildings and little ghost towns.
My brother is really into his old truck, I think he calls her “Betsy.” He loves old trucks so much he started his own car club with some friends. I asked if I could join, but my Prius doesn’t qualify. Bummer!
While this truck is old and dusty, doesn’t run, needs a lot of work, I can still see the beauty of it all.
Over the New Year’s weekend, we took a trip to Pioneer Town. Pioneer Town is a little town in the High Desert near Yucca Valley. We went specifically to eat at Pappy and Harriet’s, a fun place to eat with delicious burgers, chili and more! Pappy and Harriet’s was also featured on an Anthony Bourdain special, so they are kind of a big deal! The place has fun decor and band posters everywhere! They have a stage and lots of bands come to play live there.
After getting full on yummy grub, we walked through Pioneer Town.
This little tourist attraction reminds me of walking through Knott’s Berry Farm!
Have you ever been to any ghost towns or places like Pioneer Town? I love places like this!
Happy New Year! It feels like we have been away FOREVER! As you all know, my family and I travel to the desert a couple of times a year. It’s one of our favorite getaway spots and for good reason, it’s so beautiful and QUIET!
We spent New Year’s weekend in the desert again this year. The kids enjoy it so much, every trip is a wonderful adventure! I hope your 2012 is a wonderful adventure too!