Monday, June 29, 2009

Channel Islands

If you're looking to get away for a few hours and you love hiking and nature, you may want to consider visiting one of the Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel and Santa Barbara...also known as the Channel Islands National Park).

The best way of getting to the islands is by boat. I've personally only visited Anacapa, it is the closest one to the "mainland" about 1 hour away by boat. There is nowhere to purchase food on the island, so I recommend you pack a lunch, drinks and snacks for the trip. Once you arrive on the island, it is yours to explore. If you don't mind the cold water, you can also snorkle or kayak, but you must bring your own equipment. Remember, you must enjoy nature and hiking if you plan on visiting Anacapa, otherwise, you might end up bored out of your mind.

Island Packers offers boat rides to the various islands at reasonable prices (e.g. a day trip to Anacapa will run you about $45 for adults and $28 for children). For more information, visit:

For more information on the Channel Islands National Park, visit: http://http://www.nps/.gov/chis

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wine Tasting, Horseback Riding, and Lunch or Dinner

While perusing through the June 2009 issue of Sunset magazine, I came across the headline, Horseback Wine Tasting. Naturally, I read on!

Turns out that the Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos (Santa Ynez Valley) offers a few wine tasting tours with a twist, horseback riding. There are three different tour options all lasting about 2 hours each. The tours range from $150/per person to $200/per person.

Los Olivos is beautiful and I'm sure the views are spectacular.
For more information, visit:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Camping in the Angeles National Forest

I, by no means, consider myself an outdoor person. Yes, I enjoy hiking and spending time outside, but let's not forget that I'm also afraid of wildlife.

My friends, somehow, managed to talk me into a camping trip in the Angeles National Forest. I was definitely skeptical, but figured that if I was going to camp with anyone, it was with them, experienced outdoorsy women. They had all the know-how and the equipment, so I thought, why not?

It was definitely a fun experience, despite the warnings of bears and the plethora of field mice at night. We set up our tents, ate, drank and hiked together for a couple of days (okay, I only stayed for one night). The location was absolutely beautiful!
If you're interested in camping in the Angeles National Forest, visit:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Movie Screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The initial thought of seeing a movie at a cemetery is probably not the least bit appealing to you. The first time I heard of this, I thought it was absolutely insane. I figured only goths would attend such an event, but I was definitely curious.

I packed a blanket and some food and headed for the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to see an Alfred Hitchcock movie. To my surprise, hundreds of other people had beat me to the cemetery. There was a neverending line at the entrance to cemetery, which I could not believe! The most fascinating part was that everyone looked completely normal; there were couples, families, groups of friends. Unfortunately, for me, however, I had arrived too late and there was no chance I was getting in to see the movie.

I haven't returned since, but I definitely intend to, except next time I have to plan a little better. Perhaps arriving an hour or so beforehand would help. The screenings take place during the summer (and are in the evening). Be sure to arrive early and bring food and drinks (alcoholic beverages are permitted), blankets and pillows. You can park on the cemetery grounds for $5 or there is street parking in the neighborhood. Oh yeah, and there is a DJ spinning before and after the movie, how is that for "interesting"?

For more information, visit: