Archive | April, 2012

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

27 Apr

You have got to go here…Pacific Marine Mammal Center – Laguna Beach, Calif.

Have you ever wanted to something fun while on vacation and help out a good cause as well?  Look no further than the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC).

Located just minutes from the beautiful Pacific Ocean, PMMC has been working to rescue, rehabilitate and release animals since 1971.  Not only are they doing good work here, but they allow visitors to come and observe – I guarantee you will have a smile on your face when you leave!

Once you enter the parking lot (free parking), just follow the seal to a fun educational experience!

As soon as you round the corner you will hear the sounds of the many animals that PMMC is helping.  Once you enter the grounds be prepared for lots of cuteness…

I couldn’t help but be drawn to the pools that housed the gorgeous native animals.  On the day that I visited there were a mixture of Elephant Seal Pups and California Sea Lions.  Watching them swim and play was addicting.

Not only can you sit and observe them playing for as long as you like, you may also get an opportunity to see the selfless volunteers help nurse these animals back to health.  While I was watching the animals, a friendly volunteer gave me a history of the facility and was more than happy to answer any questions I had.  In addition to being a fun place to visit, PMMC is just as much an educational center and offers programs for both adults and children.  They also have many volunteer opportunities for people who may have a passion for these animals that goes above just learning about them.

PMCC is place that will warm your heart and your day.  If you are visiting the Laguna Beach area, this is a must visit.  It is the perfect place to either come by yourself or your family.  Spend as little or as long as you want on the grounds taking in the glorious creatures.

While there is no fee to visit, please consider a small donation to help continue the life-saving efforts of PMCC.

My pictures do not do the animals justice, so I encourage you to take some time to see them with your own eyes. OH and by the way, feel free to visit as often as you want as you never know what new arrivals will be on hand!

Happy Sealing,

Crystal

Montage – Laguna Beach, Calif.

20 Apr

You have got to go here…Montage – Laguna Beach, Calif.

If it was up to me I would be relaxing at a five-star resort every day, unfortunately that is not possible…but I have discovered an inexpensive way to relax and take in all of the beauty that a gorgeous resort has to offer.

One night after dinner some friends suggessted visting the Montage Resort  for a drink and I am sure glad I agreed to go. 

I have always loved visiting this resort as the architectures is beautiful and the ambiance is welcome and cozy, but on this night I stumbled upon something very cool in the Lobby Lounge – TEA TIME!  While glancing over the menu I noticed that in addition to the normal libations that a hotel bar has to offer, the Montage also offers over 10 brewed loose-leaf teas – and that is not all, they even come in your own personal tea pot. (Please remember that I am a big kid and it is truly the small things that make me happy.)  I wasted no time in ordering my yummy drink!

Tea selection...

TEA TIME!

Not only does your tea come with a small jar of honey just for you, it is also accompanied by some of the best biscotti and nuts I have ever eaten.  I was in  culinary heavan!

While I sipped my Malabar Sunrise, sounds of a pianist filled my ears and I couldn’t help but take in the beautiful scenary.

There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy your time.  Choose from cozy couches that look out at the ocean or venture on to the deck and take in the sea air.

After several rounds of tea and many laughs with friends, it was time to leave.  My night at the Montage was a great lesson in not judging a book by its cover.  I thought that I was headed to a typical hotel bar for the evening, but was surprised by what I found.  You just never know what treasures are out there until you look!

Some tips – there is public parking just south of the hotel and after 7 p.m. it is free.  There is also beach access if you are interested in a stroll that is gorgeous both day and night!

OH WAIT!!! I forgot to tell you the best part…this night of fun and relaxation only cost roughly $20 for two people!  Sometimes the best things in life don’t have to cost an arm and a leg!

Happy Teaing,

Crystal

Spruce Street Suspension Bridge – San Diego, Calif.

6 Apr

You have got to go here…Spruce Street Suspension Bridge – San Diego, Calif.

After visiting Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in Vancouver I was eager to find something similar close to home…so I started to search!  To my surprise I came across a suspension bridge in San Diego, and while it is in a totally different environment, it was just as fun (and FREE)!

The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is located in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego and is 100 years old!

Historical Marker

There is ample parking as it is in neighborhood and easily accessible.  Once you park – get ready to have some fun!  OH and don’t worry – this bridge was built to hold 2,186 people!

Getting ready to cross the bridge.

Mark pretending he is Indiana Jones!

The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge links two neighborhoods and crosses Kate Sessions Canyon.  I suggest you stop in the middle and take in the beautiful scenery, but when you do don’t be alarmed – yes the bridge is wobbly!

At first I had to hold on, but then I let go and set myself free to enjoy the bridge.  I must have walked back and forth at least three times before my husband finally told me that it was time to go!  Jealous feelings arose as I so wished this path was a part of my daily walk!

While this bridge is not a place that you can stay all day, it is for sure something different.  Lots of people head down to San Diego for the big sites, but you will be sorry if you don’t take some time to experience this hidden gem!

Happy Bridging,

Crystal