Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

The Landsby – Solvang, Calif.

5 Sep

You have got to go here…The Landsby – Solvang, Calif.

Usually I write about places to go and see, but I was so impressed with a little boutique hotel that I just had to honor it with its own blog post.

Located in the quirky, but oh so cute town of Solvang, The Landsby is the perfect hotel for a girls weekend, a romantic night or just an excuse to get away and eat great food.

When looking for a cute hotel just to spend one night at while passing through town, I stumbled upon The Landsby. It looked quaint in pictures and got rave reviews so I said, why not.  When we arrived the first thing we noticed was how great the service was.  The second…SUPER cute, but simple decor.

It made me feel more like a guest in someones home, rather than a number at a big hotel chain.  After receiving our keys I knew that this was going to be a great stay…

20160711_191013

This is a saying that resonates with me and I loved this small, but personal touch.

When we unlocked our door, we were immediately greeted by lots of light and again, very simple but inviting touches.

Not only was there a bag of lavender on our bed, but there was a ocean noise machine, a huge bathroom and plenty of space to relax.  Our view was the lovely town of Solvang and I couldn’t have been happier.  What I was really surprised by was that this awesome room was the least expensive one on the property.  I can’t even imagine what the other rooms looked like (there is even one with a loft).

The last thing (and most important) I want to talk about is the FOOD.  We were actually on our way  out to dinner when we got to the lobby and it smelled so good, we stayed for Happy Hour.

The prices were great and the food was out of this world.  They have a great selection of local beer and wine as well. It also doesn’t hurt that they play awesome music.

I was sad to leave the next morning, but happy to have discovered such a gem that I know I will be visiting again.

A couple of other things…they don’t offer room service, but have PINT service.  In the evening you can order a pint of local ice cream and have it delivered to your room.  Also, fresh continental breakfast is included with your stay.

DSC_0167

Happy Landsbying,

Crystal

Roar & Snore Safari – San Diego, Calif.

15 Aug

You have got to do this…Roar & Snore Safari – San Diego, Calif.

Who doesn’t dream of seeing majestic animals on an African safari?  Well, I may have  a closer alternative for you!

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers a Roar & Snore Safari on select weekends throughout the year. This experience gives campers an opportunity to sleep amongst some of the most beautiful creatures on earth while getting to take part in exclusive programs.

Your first decision – what tent to pick. There are three options that range from $140 to $220 per person.  We chose to glamp (glamorous camping) and I am not going to lie…it was AWESOME!

Our tent came with a bed, fan, outlets, a deck with chairs and sat right on the edge of the African Plains. Everyone time I went outside (no matter what time of day or night) I was graced with the beauty of an animal grazing the vast area. Here is a sneak peek of what you will see…

DSC_0195

I firmly believe whatever tent you pick, this will be an experience you will never forget.

Speaking of the experience…from the time you check-in to the time you leave, you are hosted to non-stop activities, like up close and personal interactions with animal ambassadors who aren’t normally seen by the general public.

BUT, my favorite things were the night and early morning walks that gave you access to the animals when they are the most active (and there are no other guests around as these walks were outside of park hours).

It was so awesome to see the elephants playing under the moonlight, baby tiger cubs wrestling with their mom and of course the lions waking up and greeting the first visitors of the day. Talk about feeling like a V.I.P!

How could this be topped…how about s’mores?

DSC_0200

Oh, I forgot to mention, we went to adult only night, but they have family night and even a Girl Scout night, so there really is an event for everyone.

A few tips:

-Dinner, snack and breakfast is included and is actually pretty good!

-It is a late night and early morning, but the sights you will see will make up for the lack of sleep.

-Speaking of lack of sleep…another thing that is included is ROARING!  YES, the lions roar all night and it is so rad!

This isn’t an inexpensive trip by any means, but it is a worthwhile outing that needs to be experienced at least once.

Happy ROARING and not so much snoring,

Crystal

 

 

 

Yellowstone Bear World – Rexburg, Idaho.

14 Sep

You have got to go here…Yellowstone Bear World – Rexburg, Idaho.

Trips don’t always tun out as they are planned and that is OK!  When bad weather re-routed us through Idaho to Yellowstone National Park we were lucky enough to be able to visit Yellowstone Bear World and truth be told it is one of the best memories I took home from our trip.

The anticipation while waiting for the gates to open killed me, I was like a kid on Christmas morning.

OPEN OPEN OPEN

                    OPEN OPEN OPEN

I interrupt this blog to insert a word of advice, there are two very cool experiences you can partake in: feeding bear cubs (yes, you heard me right) and feeding all the animals on the grounds from a raised vehicle. RESERVE EARLY!  Unfortunately we were too late to reserve on-line so as soon as we arrived we headed straight to the sign-up desk near the petting zoo to see if there were any last minute cancellations.  Luckily there were and I couldn’t wait to feed the animals.

While we waited for our tour to begin we couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the bear cubs at play.

DSC_0577 DSC_0575 DSC_0571 DSC_0586

I LITERALLY could have stayed there all day and watched them, but alas it was our turn to load up and set off on an adventure.

For just $25 (for up to 7 family members – not a bad deal if you ask me) you are loaded in a raised vehicle and given food to feed the animals as you are driven through the park.  Butterflies were rampant in my stomach as I had been wanting to do something like this for so long.

DSC_0627 DSC_0602 DSC_0623 DSC_0618 DSC_0614 DSC_0634 DSC_0616

The tour is approximately 45 minutes, led by a docent and there are several stops along the way to feed the animals. I can’t say this enough – DO THIS!  Not only do you learn so much, it is immensely fun along the way.  They had to pry me off of the tour…

BUT, the fun didn’t end there…there is also a petting zoo, a store filled with goodies and snack shack that sells bear shaped french fries (I know this sounds so touristy, but they were actually delicious and I wish I hadn’t shared them!).

Oh wait, did I forget to mention the best thing – you can drive your own car right by bears, bison, moose, and wolves just to name a few.  For $17 per adult (everything in this blog is included with this price except the extra experiences and bear fries:)) you can drive your car through the park as many times as you would like, no two drives will ever be the same.

DSC_0613 DSC_0625 DSC_0635 DSC_0632 DSC_0642

Bear World is another example of awesome things that may not be your destination, but are an important part of the journey!

Happy Bearing,

Crystal

DSC_0597

The Love for Thirty Project

28 Jul

You have got to read this…The Love for Thirty Project!

I was lucky enough to be able to guest post over at My Thirty Spot to talk about what being in my 30s means to me.  While it hasn’t always been easy…it has definitely been the time in my life that has really made me realize who I am and where I want to go.  Hope you and enjoy it!

Happy 30ing,

Crystal

Muir Woods – Mill Valley, Calif.

12 Jan

You have got to go here…Muir Woods – Mill Valley, Calif.

Do you think this view is worth $7.00?

Beautiful!

I do, and I promise you  will too!

Now you may be asking yourself…where can I find such a beautiful sight? The Muir Woods of course!  Located less than an hour north from San Francisco is this majestic National Park full of redwood trees.

Welcome!

Before we go any further I have two big tips for you!!!  1. Go early – I mean it.  The parking is FREE and close parking is limited so unless you want to take a shuttle or park off-site I recommend you go right when the park opens. 2. Bring a sweater. Even on the sunniest of days the park is primarily shaded so you will want something to keep you warm.

OK, now that we got that covered let’s have some fun.  The entrance fee for the park is $7.00 for ages 16 and older and 15 and under are FREE!

When you enter pick up a map as there are several trails that you can take.  If you want to challenge yourself there are options for you, but a nice family stroll can also be achieved.  We decided on the loop around the park and started in the canyon and then took the hillside on the way back to change up the scenery – I highly recommend this!

One of my favorite parts of the walk is entering the Cathedral Grove.  The park asks that you remain quiet when entering so that you can become one with nature and just enjoy being amongst its beauty.

Really take the time to enjoy what you are seeing around you as you never know what cool things you will discover!

You can even be silly in nature!

Another thing I love about this park is that it is good for the whole family, so don’t be afraid to invite the whole crew for an awesome day out!

DSCN8677

OH and don’t forget the best souvenir ever – a smashed penny! DSCN8685

So what will you see other than trees might you ask?  Well first off they are some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring trees that you will ever see, but there is also a lot of history about the park to be learned (No, I am not going to tell you about it – you must discover it on your own!).

Happy Woodsing,

Crystal

P.S. Are you hungry?  Well, I have some options for you!  You can eat at the cafe in the park or take a lovely drive north on Highway 1 and stop in Stinson Beach, a quaint little town with a lot of character. I recommend eating at The Lunch Box.  They have fresh sandwiches/salads/treats and you can take it over (or they will actually deliver it to you) to the park right across the street for a picnic!

Lunchbox

Angels Flight Railway – Los Angeles, Calif.

24 Jun

You have got to go here – Angels Flight Railway – Los Angeles, Calif.

Want to do something totally out of the ordinary and super inexpensive in downtown Los Angeles?  Why not take a trip on Angels Flight Railway?

Angels Flight Railway

For just $1.00 roundtrip you can take this historic (originally built in 1901) incline railway named “The Shortest Railway in the World” between Hill Street & Grand Ave.

Tickets!Enter for fun...

I can’t explain it, but there is something so fun about riding one of these cars between all of the giant modern buildings that make up the downtown skyline.

Olivet

Riding with FriendsLooking down...

While the trip is short, there are plenty of things to do on both sides of your journey.  Why not start at the Museum of Contemporary Art, then take a ride on Angels Flight Railway down to Grand Central Market for some lunch?  There are endless possibilities of adventures that could be had…

Angels Flight Railway is open from 6:45 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. 365 days of the year, so there is no excuse not to take a ride. Believe me, no trip to downtown Los Angeles is complete without a visit to this unique landmark.

Happy flying,

Crystal

I want to ‘Go With Oh’ to London!

10 Dec

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

– Martin Buber

You know what excites me most about visiting London?  Yes, seeing the big attractions like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Big Pen, Parliament, etc… sets my heart a flutter with anticipation, but it’s the small things that bring butterflies to my stomach.

I imagine myself getting off the plane at Heathrow and shedding tears of joy due to the fact that after countless years of dreaming, my time to cross the Atlantic has arrived.  And so the adventure will begin…

I want nothing more than to squeeze my toes between fresh grass in Hyde Park while sitting in a deck chair along the Serpentine basking in the glory of where I am.  Feeling the sun hit my face while holding my husbands hand, I will give it a squeeze – an unspoken gesture signally my utter happiness.  In no rush, when we are ready, we will seek out more sites.  Where to go? Who knows, it is all up in the air and that is an amazing feeling – so freeing to have endless possibilities in front of me.

Maybe we will wander into Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese so I can finally experience what it feels like to sit in a building that has been around since the 1500’s, or perhaps my feet will take me to the Athenaeum Hotel where I will let my lips indulge in all the wonderful tasty delights that an afternoon tea brings.

What to do next…I know – act like a big kid!  Did you know there are slides at the Tate Modern and that you can actually play in them?  This is something that the 5-year-old in me will not be able to a pass up.  I can already feel my smile reaching my eyes as I am whizzing downwards in joy – dare I say it may be the best museum ever!

Speaking of museums, a trip to the The British Museum will be a must on my to see list, but not for the usual reasons.  Yes, I am sure that there are thousands of jaw-dropping relics to be seen, but the only thing I want to see are my husbands eyes as he enters the front door.  For years, visiting The British Museum has been on his bucket list and it will warm my heart to know that a dream of his is being fulfilled.

Oh dreams – that reminds me!  One year a friend brought home a purse from Harrods, you know the one with the cute bear on it.  Ever since that day I have dreamt of crossing the pond to get my own.  So to Harrods I will go. I will wander the aisles and let my fingers graze all the fine linens as I thank my lucky stars for the chance to do so.

Visiting places that you have only seen in books or visualized are of course a highlight of any trip, but you know what is just as good?  Making new friends in foreign lands.  I can’t wait for the opportunity to talk to the locals and visiting travelers as I ride along the bus to see Stonehenge.  Sharing excitement over a common destination with other people is part of the fun and it is something that is a must do when you are on vacation.  You never know who you will meet, how many lifelong friends you will get, and what memories you will make when you are brave enough to say “hi”.

Now that I have my new friends, I am going to drag them to the one place that I know will make my trip complete and it is just a short jaunt from London – all for a photo.  Ever since I saw Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley I imagined myself at Chatsworth House having a picture taken of me kissing my husband in front of the fountains just like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.  This is a memory that I will hold dear for the rest of my life.

What makes a good trip?  Everyone has a different answer, but for me it as about the small stuff that comes out of the big stuff.  I can’t wait to visit Westminster Abbey, but I also can’t wait to find a secret door…you get the picture.  Sometimes it’s those moments that are the most magical.

You have just read about my dream trip to London, want to win your own?  Visit Go With Oh for your own chance.  Good luck and happy traveling!

Crystal