Sunday, May 31, 2009
First, let's start by defining grunion. In layman terms, grunion is a type of fish. "Grunion are known for their very unusual mating ritual. At very high tides, the females come up on sandy beaches and dig their tails into the sand to lay their eggs. A male then wraps himself around the female to deposit his sperm. For the next ten days the grunion eggs remain hidden in the sand, but at the next set of high tides the eggs hatch and the young grunion are washed out to sea (wikipedia.org)."
Yes, I know it sounds weird, but it is quite interesting to witness. The "grunion runs" happen late in the evening, about 10, 11pm, during the summer. There are hundreds and hundreds of people on shore waiting for the arrival of the grunion. Many people bring buckets to catch grunion (...and eat them??).
Volunteers ask the crowd to keep their distance and to avoid flash photography while everyone awaits the arrival of the grunion. As soon as the grunion arrive, the crowds can see the silvery fish flopping on the shore. Then the volunteers move out of the way and people start rushing towards the water (some to observe and others to "fish"). It can get pretty chaotic (if you bring young children, please be careful), but it is definitely worth experiencing at least once.
We didn't stay long, an hour or so was enough for us. Most of our time was spent waiting for the grunion. Please be aware that sometimes the grunion are a no show, so don't be disappointed if this is the case. Be sure to bring some blankets and some snacks!
For more info, visit: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/gruschd.asp#runs
Sunday, May 24, 2009
After much research, a few of us decided to try skydiving at Skydive Elsinore in Lake Elsinore. The day went something like this...
Naturally, you start the process off by signing your life away; the signing of the waiver is even documented on video. You don't jump alone, so you are introduced to your tandem buddy who is later strapped to your back. You practice a little on land and then it is a matter of waiting until it is your turn. You board the plane, sit side by side with the other jumpers (about 20 people total). Don't be alarmed if the plane door is open, apparently it is normal for it to be open as you take off. I, of course, nearly had a heart attack. Oh yeah, and don't make the mistake of looking out the window like I did, it only scares you! Seeing a lake look like a spot doesn't really make you feel better about jumping out of a plane. Anyway, at a certain altitude you start preparing for the jump. You and your tandem buddy are strapped together and when it is finally your turn you approach the open door. You crouch down, rock back and forth and on the third rock, you jump
It goes by so quickly that I don't remember a freefall feeling whatsoever! I do remember that we were moving so fast that I couldn't breath normally, but the adrenaline was rushing!! My tandem buddy tapped his watch to notify me that it was time to pull the parachute (otherwise, I would have completely forgotten) and then we glided down. It was great!!! When we landed, my legs wouldn't stop shaking, but I felt like I had just taken the world on...and won!
Looks like one tandem jump along with video and photos is now running at $279.00. For more information, visit: http://www.skydiveelsinore.com/index.html
If skydiving is just too much for you, you may want to try iflyhollywood. It is indoor skydiving using a vertical wind tunnel. I won't even try to explain it, check the website out and I think the pictures & video speak for themselves. Seem safe and its cheaper, too with a Double Flight First Time Flyer Package starting at $59.95. For more information, visit: http://www.iflyhollywood.com/
Sunday, May 17, 2009
There are various companies that offer the tour and the average cost is about $125 per person for a 4-5 hour tour.
For more info, visit:
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Runyon Canyon is great, but you have to like dogs if you plan on hiking here. This park is not as lush as some of the other local options, but it is always busy and there are a few different trails to explore. Since there isn't a lot of shade, I like to go in the mornings when its cool. As far as parking is concerned, there are a few free spots if you enter through the Mulholland Dr. gate. Otherwise, look for street parking. If you enter the park through the gates at the bottom of the hill (near Franklin and Fuller), your only option is street parking.
Franklin Canyon is great. I feel like I've left the city when I visit this park...I guess it is because there are so many trees and even both a lake and a pond (with fish, frogs, turtles and ducks). You can enter Franklin Canyon Park through the entrance at the top of the hill (near Mulholland Dr and Coldwater Canyon) or through the entrance at the bottom of the hill (off Coldwater Canyon and Beverly...near the Beverly Hills Hotel). There are plenty of free parking options throughout the park. Beware: there are cameras at the STOP signs in the park, so be sure to make complete stops otherwise you'll receive a ticket in the mail.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
For more information visit: http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/
If you’ve never been to the bowl for a show, parking is a nightmare, so I highly recommend the taking a shuttle! You can get shuttle information on the Hollywood Bowl site.