Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Renaissance Pleasure Faire

A few years ago, a few of us took a trip down to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire (in Irwindale) to see what it was all about. Truthfully, we didn't really know what to expect; we were just hoping for a day of fun.

Upon entering the faire, it was clear we were Renaissance Pleasure Faire virgins. We were among the minority of attendees who weren't dressed in costume and I'm sure we looked stunned, maybe even a little afraid! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures from that outting, but I found pictures online and included them in this post for your viewing pleasure. I think the pictures give you an idea of what to expect at the event.

This year, the faire is scheduled to run from April 4th - May 17th. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $25 (adults) and $15 (kids). If you buy them online and print them at home, you can save a few bucks. As for parking, you must pay an $8 fee to enter the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, which covers parking costs. For an additional $10, you can valet. For more information, visit: http://www.renfair.com/socal/

SoCal Savings - I recently discovered a new site, http://www.experiencela.com/. While perusing the site, I noticed they have a calendar of FREE events! So, if you're looking for something to do (anything from hikes to exhibits), be sure to check the site out: http://www.experiencela.com/Calendar/eventlist.asp?start=1&query=&d1=&d2=&monthly_view=&year1=&monthname1=&monthsearch=&sorttype=3&searchstringer=&searcharea=&psearchtype=&yearnumber1=&year=&day=

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sailing Adventures

For those of you who don't know, I'm a HUGE fan of the beach, the ocean, boats, etc! Recently, I read about an experience that I had to share with you.

In San Diego at the Maritime Museum, they offer a 3 hour sailing trip aboard the schooner, Californian, for $42 per adult and $31 per child (under 17). The boat looks amazing and the price doesn't seem bad at all for a 3 hour tour, along with admission to the museum and its fleet of historic ships. FYI, this tour is known as the Adventure Package. http://www.sdmaritime.org/contentpage.asp?ContentID=26

The Maritime Museum also offers other "tour" options, if you're interested:
Whale Watching Whale watching trips aboard the America yacht are available for $65 for adults and $34 for children (12 and under) through April. Check the public events calendar for more info: http://www.sdmaritime.org/eventtickets_chooseevent2.asp?ContentID=169

Catalina Adventure Sails
Sail trips to Catalina (lasting between 3 and 4 days) are available from $475 per person to $575 per person. These trips look like they primarily take place around holiday weekends.

California Coastal Voyages
Beginning in June, they will offer California Coastal Voyages that take passengers to various Channel Islands. These expeditions, however, are pricey at about $2K per person!

SoCal Savings - From March through May 22nd, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is running its Shark Lagoon Nights promotion. Basically on Fridays from 6-9pm, guests are invited to visit the aquarium's Shark Lagoon (free!). For more info visit: http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/newsevents/eventsdetail/shark_lagoon_nights/

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kogi BBQ

Here's a unique one that has been in the headlines recently: Kogi BBQ!

Kogi BBQ consists of two Kogi Korean taco trucks that roam the streets of L.A. selling their tasty tacos. The only way to find out where the trucks are headed next is through their Twitter feed, which you can find on their website at http://www.kogibbq.com/. If you're not familiar with Twitter, in their own words, it is "a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?" For more info go to http://www.twitter.com/.

Apparently, these tacos are quite the rave! People are so into this that by the time the trucks arrive at their next destination, there is already a line of people waiting! The best part is that not only is the food supposed to be delicious, but it is inexpensive, with tacos at about $2! So, if you've never chased a taco truck around L.A., you may want to consider it.

SoCal Savings - There are many "Kids Eat Free" restaurant promotions going on right now due to the state of the economy. I came across this website that lists promotions by city, just select your city from the drop down menu and a list will appear. http://www.mykidseatfree.com/states/California.asp

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Whale Watching

One of the best experiences I've ever had is Orca whale watching in Victoria, British Columbia. It was phenomenal!! We wore life suits (not life jackets, life suits!) and went about an hour into the middle of nowhere. The whales came super close to our tiny boat (the boat literally looked like an inflatable raft, but we were assured it was Coast Guard material). I've included some pictures for your viewing pleasure.

No, I'm not suggesting you make the trip to Victoria (of course, if you have the chance, you should definitely take advantage of it), but try whale watching in Southern California. I've done it once or twice and have actually seen whales AND dolphins!

According to one of the websites I researched, gray whale watching season is from December to May and then blue whale watching season begins in June and lasts through December.

Here are a few options, if you're interested:
http://www.2seewhales.com/index.asp (Newport Beach)
http://www.newportwhales.com/ (Newport Beach)
http://www.daveyslocker.com/ (Newport Beach/Long Beach)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Local Wine Tasting

If you're in the mood for wine tasting, you don't have to drive to Temecula, Los Olivos, Napa or Sonoma...although if you have the time, I say, GO FOR IT! There are actually a few tasting rooms nearby that you may want to consider. I've never been to these, but they're definitely on my "places to go" list.

Malibu Family Wines (Malibu)http://www.malibufamilywines.com/tastingroom.aspx

Malibu Estate Vineyards - Cielo (Malibu) https://www.cielofarms.com/wine-tasting.php

Rosenthal Estate Wines Tasting Room (Malibu) http://www.rosenthalestatewines.com/visit.html

San Antonio Winery (Los Angeles) http://www.sanantoniowinery.com/homefr.html

And then, of course, there are numerous wine bars in the area. Here is a link with the top 10 (thanks, Guevara!): http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/bestof/LA_winebars.html

SoCal Savings - If you haven't already heard, Disneyland is running a birthday promotion this year. You get free admission into one of the parks (Disneyland or California Adventure) on your birthday. Just register & you'll get your ticket! For more info, visit: http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/disneyparks/en_US/WhatWillYouCelebrate/disneyland/index?name=CelebrationsDLRFreeOnYourBirthdayPage