Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Catching Up- April & May

Hello blog family,

I know I've been MIA for a few weeks, so of course I have lots to catch up on. I have an exciting trip coming up next week for the holiday weekend that I can't wait to share with all of you. For now, here's what I was up to in April & early May.

In early April we made a day trip down to San Juan Capistrano to visit the historic 230 year old mission. I was fascinated by the beautiful flower gardens, koi ponds, and the remainders of the original church from 1775. The mission is a place of historical, cultural, and religious significance which you can learn about from one of the audio tours (free with admission). Once inside the mission, it feels like you are transported back to the early 1800's. They did a great job of preserving the grounds. We spent the afternoon walking around the gardens and learning about the history of California and the church. Of course we stopped to take lots of pictures. Admission is $9/per adult and worth it for an afternoon inside the walls of the Mission at San Juan Capistrano. 

Every year in early April if you make a trip to Carlsbad outside of San Diego, you can see hundreds and hundreds of wildflowers come to life. Admission is $12/per adult. This allows you to walk around the large flower fields, enjoy the flower gardens and maze, look through local vender booths, and shop in the garden store. They also offer wagon rides, but I didn't see the point when I could walk and save the money. I honestly just wanted to take pictures in the fields which I found were roped off so you cannot run through them like I had imagined (I wanted my Sound of the Music moment). It was still a fun experience, but I probably wouldn't go back again next year. 

After our trip to the Carlsbad Flower Fields, we drove back home and made a stop at the Anaheim Packing District for dinner. Inside you will find a foodies paradise! It's like a mall but filled with trendy food, drinks, and dessert. There is also live music played on a stage, so California! Our first stop was at Popbar which is a super trendy ice cream place right now. It was, well.... overrated. Not my favorite but something you have try once. After dessert (we're adults we can do what we want!) we then got dinner and beer from The Iron Press. We grabbed some waffle sandwiches (they taste as good as they sound), waffle fries with jalapeño syrup, and washed it down with a few locally brewed beers. I really fell in love with the whole vibe of the Packing District. If you are ever looking for a delicious trendy meal, this is your place! 

As you probably know by now, I have a California bucket list which helps me decide what to do on the weekends. One of the hikes on the top of that list was Heart Rock in Crestline, CA. This is a very easy beginners hike (only about 1 mile) with a great pay off in the end. Of course the day we decided to go it ended up raining, but I didn't mind. We had the trail all to ourselves, and the rain made the waterfall which is normally dry, flow with water. If you follow the painted hearts along the trail, you will end up at Heart Rock, and if you are really lucky you will get to see the waterfall. This is a great place to take Instagram worthy photos and enjoy being outside in nature. 

When my Dad and family were out in California last August we made a trip to Joshua Tree National Park, and I fell in love with this park. I wanted to take my boyfriend here since I knew he would love it too. The thing I love most about Joshua Tree NP (which I've blogged about before) is you can really do your own thing. Yes there are many trails, but you can pull over anywhere, get out, and explore. I love creating my own trail which will definitely involve a lot of awesome rock climbing. This is one of my favorite National Parks, and we will definitely be back the after summer heat is over.

I have more things to update my blog on like my Mom's visit last month and a few other hikes we've done. Check back soon! 

XoXo,
Valerie