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Lobster Festival

16 Sep

Karl and I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon hanging out at the Port of Los Angeles with Arianna, her hubby Steve, and a couple of their friends. The event? Lobster Festival 2012. We missed it two years ago because it was around the same time we moved to our new place so I’m glad we were able to come.

We all decided to meet at 4:30pm when it got a little cooler. Traffic was heavy when we arrived, and  we had to drive to a designated parking place more than ten blocks away from the port. But it didn’t take us long to find a parking along 22nd Street. We walked crossed the street toward the bus stop where shuttles were transporting people to and from the event. Pretty clever of them to use school buses. I was impressed at how organized everything was.

Although parking was free, we had to pay a $10 admission fee. It was easy to spot Arianna with her salmon dress and red lobster hat already standing in line for her lobster meal. We snuck in line, which was moving pretty fast, and before we knew it we had a large juicy lobster on our plate with slices of lemon, butter, and a side of coleslaw salad and potatoes. All that food for only $19. What a deal!

Good thing they had large tents set up where people could eat in the shade away from the blistering heat of the sun, otherwise, it would’ve been torture. The temperature had risen to about 103f. Eating lobster is incredibly messy, but fun at the same time. Arianna’s hubby took some videos of her for her blog via a Flip cam. (I learned from them that Flip had recently gone bankrupt and no longer exists. Ours got chewed up by Miles two Christmases ago.)

Not satisfied with his lobster, Karl moved on to Cajun Chicken Sausage in a French Roll. Talk about an appetite.

Only $19 for the entire plate.

The lobster wasn’t enough…

Refreshing pina colada with cherries and whipped cream. Plus, free refills!

Just hanging out and listening to a live band performing.

Time to go home.


Sturtevant Falls

14 Aug

A few months ago a friend of mine on Facebook who happens to be a photographer, posted beautiful photos of his hike with some friends to Sturtevant Falls. I became curious and decided to find out where it was. I was happy to learn that it was not too far from where I lived. In fact it’s safe to say it’s right in my own backyard! So when my friend Rachel texted me last week to find out if we could meet up again, I was reminded of this place and asked her if she was up for hiking. I thought it would be a great way to indulge in the final days of summer since the weather has been terrific. We originally planned to go in the morning, but due to some obligations we decided to postpone it in the afternoon. It was a good thing because I was still pooped Sunday morning from spending a day at Universal Studios with Karl.

Rachel arrived at my place around 3:3opm and we left a few minutes after that in my car. We got to the actual site at around 4:30pm. We had to drive about 28 miles to get there. Upon reaching the base of the mountain which was a residential area, we had to drive up on Santa Anita Canyon Road all the way to the end. About half a mile away from the entrance, one of the hikers who was getting ready to leave offered to give us his $5 parking pass. Rachel and I looked at each other and thought, “It must be our lucky day!” Then when we reached the main parking area another person was getting ready to leave as well and told us that we could take her spot. Cool! We didn’t have to park very far.

We packed water, sunscreen, and our cameras to document everything that we saw along the way. Too bad the stench from the restrooms was the first thing that greeted us as we walked toward the start of the trail. It looked like a very popular spot as there were many hikers there. There was a mix of children, young adults, and seniors present. Some of them brought their dogs with them, even the tiny ones. I’d read on this website that this was going to be an upside-down hike which means we’d be going downhill first and on our way back that’s when we’d be going uphill.

I would say that it was a very relaxing hike and although I came prepared with a hat, I really didn’t get much sun because the trees carpeted the sky. Majority of the time Rachel and I were walking in the shade. We walked down a long winding road with a glorious view of the mountains until we crossed a green bridge and came upon a stream. We saw several dams along the way. For me the stream one of the most interesting places on the trail because the reflections on the water were glorious. However, right along that area, as we stopped to take some pictures, we were attacked by a swarm of bugs and mosquitoes. We had to keep moving to keep them away.

Along the route, we noticed some cabin homes. Some of them were occupied while others weren’t. We saw an old man setting up dinner on a round table in his patio and an old woman reading a magazine on a rocking chair outside. It made me and Rachel wonder what it was like to live there, how they got their groceries and just other logistics that came to mind.

We had a lot of fun balancing ourselves on the rocks and planks while crossing the shallow stream. I almost slipped at one point because the rock that I was stepping on looked steady but it actually wasn’t.

The start of the trail.

There were several trails to choose from.

That way!

Time to head downhill. This was the easy part.

Crossing the stream via this green bridge.

Stopping to enjoy the glass-like reflections in the water.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Rachel actually did a split on this log. But she is too shy to show her skills!

Perhaps, Goldilocks and the three bears used to live in there.

Rachel breezing through the wooden plank.

Walking down a very narrow path.

Rachel and I sitting across the waterfall. We became very sweaty from the hike but the breeze cooled us down.


Rachel actually brought her swimsuit, but she agreed, the water was too cold!

Ah, such beauty!

It was my first time seeing a waterfall in the US so it was quite an experience for me. Sturtevant Falls is a hidden pocket of water in the Los Angeles National Forest. When we arrived there, we saw several people swimming and just taking a rest. I touched the water to check out the temperature and brrr…it was very cold. I thought maybe I could bring our dog here to swim since I didn’t see any rules posted that dogs weren’t allowed. Maybe next time. It was starting to get dark so Rachel and I decided to make our way back up. We were dreading it because we knew it would be tiresome going uphill.

Feeling happy and content from watching the scenery.

We saw this picturesque bench on the way back up.

Rachel is glowing from all the exercise we got.

Clouds hanging low create a blue hue.

Back to where we started. Whew. Going back up was the hardest part.

Rachel and I were laughing on the way back up because we were going really slow and several people had gone ahead of us including dogs. Haha. We decided to go out for dinner afterward since we were both hungry from the hike, albeit short. We settled on a Maki & Sushi Bar in Arcadia. I didn’t know that Rachel wasn’t a fan of raw fish, but somehow I sneakily convinced her to eat there. (wink, wink) She had broiled salmon with lemon but she did try some of my mackerel sashimi. Together we enjoyed coffee and green tea mochi. We left the restaurant just as this drunk woman was getting rowdy by the bar. Haha.

Thanks Rachel for the super fun day and great company. Until next time!

Peters Canyon Regional Park

22 May

Miles bugs. He bugs and bugs until he gets what he wants. Whenever he wants to go out he will lay his head on me and put pressure on it. For example, if I’m typing he will place his head on my hands right on top of the keyboard preventing me from moving them. Once he stares at me with that puppy face and hazel marble eyes, however, I begin to melt.

I usually walk him around our neighborhood or at Laguna Lake Park, but I figured that if the world did end today, we’d at least be somewhere elevated so we can watch the earth crumble and/or explode ala Woody Harrelson in “2012.” But that didn’t happen which is a great thing because I don’t think the hill we hiked on was high enough anyway.

I decided to drive us to Peters Canyon Regional Park because they allow pets there as long as they’re on a leash. There were quite a number of people present but because the trail is loopy it’s hard to tell. The views were gorgeous and Miles thoroughly enjoyed it. He especially loved walking the narrow pathways and climbing up one of the steeper hills. At one point I had him pull me because I was getting tired. Too bad his dad wasn’t there to experience it with us, but we got to share some pictures with him along the way.

The entrance. It

Miles having fun.

Miles insists that we stay on the trail.

That way.

View from the top.

This was a tricky one to take!

The beautiful lake.

A very narrow path.

Casting shadows on the path.

A beetle tries to get to the other side of the dirt road.

Engelmann prickly pear.

Cottonwood trees.

A burst of yellow.

Catching the sunset on the way back to our starting point.

Poison oak down below.