Monday, August 13, 2012

laguna coast wilderness park

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Saturday morning, my friend Jessie and I woke up relatively early and did some hiking at the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. We knew that it was going to be a hot day, so we arrived at the park right at 8am when it was supposed to have opened. Even at the very beginning of our trek through the hills, we were wishing that we had started our hike at about 5am...

If you decide to go hiking at this beautiful park, you can download a map of the trails here. Being somewhat experienced hikers who are always up for a challenge, Jess and I decided to go for the moderately strenuous hike that was estimated to take 2.5 hours. We found the map to be quite useful, and although we referenced the it a few times we still ended up going the wrong direction on the wrong trail. But, that was more a misreading of a trail post than of the map...

Given the heat, we probably would have felt much better at the end of our hike if we had gone with one of the easy trail routes. But, even though we almost died of heatstroke we had a great time bonding in our misery. And we even talked about going back to try some of the other trails. In November. Or January. 

Does anyone know of any other good places to hike in Orange County? I would love to start getting out into nature more regularly!

Friday, August 10, 2012

anniversary getaway: palm springs

Last month J and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, and we decided to celebrate with a little weekend getaway to Palm Springs. It was my first time in Palm Springs, and I have to say--I loved the whole vibe of the town. When I was in high school my mom wanted to take me to Hawai'i for my senior trip, and I thought that Hawai'i sounded like an awful place to vacation because the main attraction was laying on the beach doing nothing. At this point in my life, I loved that the main attraction on our weekend getaway was doing nothing . With my husband. It was so refreshing to get away from the everyday and just spend time together.

On our way to the hotel, we stopped at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets. Admittedly, I am not really a big fan of outlet malls and we only ended up finding anything at Nike where I finally found some new running shoes! Once we got into Palm Springs, it was so hot that we decided to take the tramway up into the mountains to escape the heat for a little while. After walking around for about 10 minutes, we ordered some cocktails and found a nice little spot on the patio where we could enjoy the sunset from 8,000 feet. We had dinner at El Mirasol per a recommendation from a colleague. I had the Pork Chile Verde and it was amazing. Sunday morning we ordered room service from the hotel and enjoyed it poolside before the temperatures rose too high for outdoor enjoyment, then we retreated to the air conditioned halls of the Palm Springs Art Museum to enjoy the air conditioning. I mean art. Of course, the art. The art museum is a must-see for anyone who enjoys modern art even mildly. The exhibitions were perfectly curated, and the sculpture gardens were both stunning and serene.

We stayed at The Saguaro (I had found a Groupon deal), and I would definitely recommend it for the 20- and 30-something crowd without children. I loved all of the color everywhere, the hotel is pet friendly, and they offer yoga and water aerobics classes for those looking to incorporate a workout into their vacation.

We had such a lovely weekend. I am definitely looking forward to another Palm Springs getaway...once the temperatures cool down.