Vacation Recap–Southern California

Friends, sorry for my silence since Thanksgiving. 2Chili and I took a much-needed getaway to Southern California to get some sunshine and warm temperatures, and I pretty much disconnected from all technology. We all need to do that from time to time!

I thought I’d share a few photos from our trip. Ordinarily we would have spent our time exploring the area via hiking and biking, but, that’s not really possible for me right now with the kneecap rehab. The good news is, we still had lots of fun, even with a slightly less active vacation. We flew into and stayed in Ontario because we wanted to do a bunch of day trips and it’s just way easier to fly into Ontario than LAX. Hotels are cheaper, too!

On a side note, I took all of these photos on a Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone, and didn’t edit them at all. The camera on that device is simply incredible. I’ve had the device about six weeks, and with its really great operating system and ability to block specific phone numbers (e.g., telemarketers), I wouldn’t go back to an iPhone now for anything!


Our first day in town, we went up to Big Bear, and amazingly, I didn’t take any pictures! So, our first photographed day was in Malibu. We headed out to Zuma Beach and had a nice walk and soaked in plenty of sun. This is the beach that I preferred during some time I spent living in L.A. in the late 90s, and it continues to be my favorite – lots of parking, low crowds, and a beach that is protected from the highway.


Someone wrote this in the sand, and this day, we were definitely loving L.A.!


It could not have been a more gorgeous day!


Long Beach

From Malibu, we drove the PCH (Highway 1) along the coast to Long Beach to see the Queen Mary. As it turns out, there is some big holiday event going on at the Queen Mary, so, we settled for seeing it from a distance and heading to the Veggie Grill for dinner.


Long Beach has quite a nice downtown, no matter what Snoop Dogg may have you believe!


Mt. Baldy/Glendora

On Sunday morning, we took a nice ride to Mt. Baldy and over the Glendora Mountain Road, which is a favorite among local cyclists. The views are incredible!


If you look closely, you can see downtown L.A. in this picture, which was taken from about 30 miles away – there was no smog interfering for a change.


That afternoon, 2Chili wanted to see a cyclocross bike race at a park in Chinatown, so…we went to a bike race. Cyclocross is a winter sport, so it’s odd to see the riders in dry dirt and 80*F temperatures. For what it’s worth, these guys will be racing in Bend, Oregon this weekend in 20*F temperatures.


This dog was my favorite part of the race! How can you not love him?!


We finished up the day with what I wanted to do: Dinner at Café Gratitude in Larchmont. If you are ever in Los Angeles and have a preference for veggie dining, I highly recommend you visit Café Gratitude. Though it’s a vegan restaurant, it’s one that you could take omnivores to – the selections are super delicious.


Hoover Dam

2Chili had been to Hoover Dam as a child, but, I had never seen it, so we road tripped it to Las Vegas to take it in from the newly constructed bridge connecting Arizona and Nevada. I don’t recommend looking over the edge of the actual dam – talk about a long drop!


The bridge is just as impressive as the dam!


I took this sunset photo from the passenger seat while the car was moving – it was an amazing desert sunset that day.


Warner Bros Studio Tour

We love to take the studio tour at Warner Bros – it is different every time you go, and this time, we got to see inside the sets for The Big Bang Theory and Two Broke Girls, which was really neat. And, we stumbled into this coffee shop – maybe you’ve heard of it?



For the Ellen fans, this was the car parked in her parking spot outside of her studio. She loves Porsches, so it’s safe to say this was her new ride.


Palm Springs

Are you tired of this vacation yet? By Palm Springs day, we were exhausted! But, it was a worthwhile day to take in PS and see what it’s all about.


The sky really was this blue – just a gorgeous, gorgeous day in the desert.


And with that, we packed up and headed back to Seattle, and back to the reality of freezing temperatures and snow, which I know many of you are dealing with right now! Stay safe and stay warm!

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