Monday, 29 September 2014

Stumbling on San Diego

San Diego. I am pretty shocked it took us less than 2 hours to drive to this gorgeous city from Long Beach. We had big plans for our trip with lots of points of interest in our itinerary. Firstly, en route to Seaport Village we had an accidental stop-off by the Harbour and took a brisk walk down the promenade, stumbling by the Maritime Museum. We had no real idea of where we were going the whole time.

We were greeted by an older chap wearing a cowboy hat. He initiated conversation to tell us a bit about different boats we could experience in the museum. Kindly - knowing that we didn't have enough time to explore properly - I asked him how we would arrive at Seaport Village as we were visiting today only. He pointed us in the right direction and we jumped back into our rented Nissan Micra and set off for Seaport Village. Seaport Village was full of eateries, bars, quirky shops and friendly people. We had expected the area to be less of a tourist trap but nonetheless we were 'holiday' feel of the area.

Ben and Jerry's...
Swings & Things, a small boutique selling hammocks and swings.
Jo just had to have a go.

Thanks to the breeze from the sea, I had quite a few 'Marilyn' moments.
I loved this guy's sign.
From there we decided to make our way into the Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown San Diego. This area is well known for it's spanish homage and boasts independent boutiques, sports bars and LOTS of Mexican Cantinas.
We were desperate for a drink. The sun was scorching.
We passed Hustler and couldn't stop ourselves from causing some mischief.
Jo and I thought about getting some money-making heels.
Costumes everywhere!
We had an issue with the Sat Nav (non-recognisable to Americans by this name but known rather as a GPS) so stopped at a hotel to ask for directions on the way home. They offered to charge our GPS for us as it was our power point in the car that was jacked. Although we had to cut our day short and head back to LA, we had enough power to make two more much needed stops on the way home. Solana beach was first. We arrived at the best time too! The sunset was beautiful.

More importantly, we managed to stop for my first ever IN-N-OUT burger. They cost about $3 for a burger and are definitely healthier than anything from the MacDonalds saver menu. Highly recommended!

It's delicious!

With a full stomach we retired back to our hotel and stumbled into our beds. Until next time, San Diego, peace out!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Horseback in the Hollywood Hills @ Sunset Ranch

September has been a fantastic month for trips at work with friends I trained with. Fernanda, Josh and I decided we were going to hire a car and visit Sunset Ranch on our trip to LA. We made off in the morning especially early to avoid the morning LA traffic and to ensure we managed to get there before closing time at 1pm.

As soon as the Hollywood sign was in sight we looked out for a coffee establishment.
The most adorable independent coffee shop sorted us with our morning caffeine fix.
Community Notice board outside the coffee shop.

Training Pals.

Rocking those helmets!

Saddlin' up my horse Limo.
Howdy Cowboy!
On the trek. Limo was the alpha-female of the group so was leading the rest of the team!
Follow the leader, leader, leader. Follow the leader.

Fernanda refused to kick her horse for 'GO' because she's all about the love.
Our awesome instructor Garran.
Garran told us how Hugh Hefner was the last person to fundraise and save the Hollywood sign from being abandoned.
Thanks Hef!
We had to slow down so Josh's horse could take a leak and afterwards head back to the ranch...

We made it!

Next stop, the Griffith Observatory; To learn some stuff about space.
We were distracted by the awesome view of Downtown LA from the observatory.
A picture Josh took of me taking the last picture. A picture within a picture, yeah?
Fernanda checking out the view.

The sun was out and i had so much SPF on my face that my hair did this unwashed-look thing. We decided a dip in the sea was the best thing to do. However we didn't make it to Manhattan beach after a complication with the car. Despite cutting our day short we were so glad we opted for an early wakeup to experience Sunset Ranch. I would absolutely recommend anyone visiting to give it a shot. The ranch provide evening and dinner rides too. I can't wait to go back and ask for my alpha-female Limo again!