Sunday, April 28, 2013

#dontsithome & Go To Cali!

What a great trip to sunny California I just had!


My walk to my gate at Newark Airport
I took a trip to Texas back in March (Blog Post: http://bit.ly/16hVvmA), and not even 24 hours after touching down in Newark Airport on March 25th, did I have a ticket booked out to Los Angeles, California to visit a friend!  It doesn't matter if I am away from home for two days or two weeks, travel of any length always gives me the travel bug and inspires me to plan another #dontsithome adventure!

Day 1 - Thursday:

My friend picked me up from LAX and we headed straight to Venice Beach for some good old people watching and some lunch to help me unwind after the 5+ hour flight.  I could not have asked for a more perfect arrival day.  The weather was beautiful and instantly I was in heaven after coming from the not so warm east coast.  As we walked around, you saw ALL kinds of people!  I have driven through Venice Beach before, but have never really had the full experience of walking around and taking in the wide variety of people and things to see. 






After our time in Venice Beach, we took the scenic route of the Pacific Coast Highway to drive to my friend's place in Ventura, California.  The views of the beach, ocean and mountains along the way are just stunning.  You can think of worse things than driving by beautiful Santa Monica and Malibu, right? :)



After arriving at his place and taking in the awesome view of the Channel Islands from their balcony, we headed out for a low key night at a local bar and restaurant called The Tavern.  If I was a local, I would definitely be a regular at this place...I loved the atmosphere!



I was hurting a little bit with the three hour time difference, so having a cocktail and some appetizers was the perfect relaxing start to my vacation!

Day 2 - Friday:

We started off the morning with some hoops.  I’m a former high school and AAU basketball player, and occasionally play in my work coed league.  When my friend asked if I wanted to start the morning by going to shoot around a little, I definitely agreed since the day before I left for California, I submitted my form for this summer’s work league.  This basketball showing was two words…fun and ugly lol.  I can take a break from some sports and it’s like riding a bike getting back into the grove. Unfortunately, basketball is definitely not fit in that category for me and I had a rough time.  It still was fun and I got in some exercise, but it definitely showed me I need to hit the court a few times before my work season begins!

We then went for a delicious breakfast.  As you can see from the picture below, I had a large pancake roll from Pete’s Breakfast House.



This restaurant was featured by Guy Fieri on his Food Network show, Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.  After tasting my breakfast, I could tell why…it was awesome!

Before my friend and I headed to Santa Barbara to take in some sights and some wine tasting, he drove me up the hill right behind his place.  What a view!



We then continued to Santa Barbara for such a nice day.  We stopped by the mission of Santa Barbara, experienced some wine and beer tasting, and saw this awesome, gigantic fig tree!


Mission of Santa Barbara
Wine Tasting at Oreana Winery & Marketplace in Sana Barbara
Beer Tasting at Corks n' Crowns in Santa Barbara
Moreton Fit Tree - Santa Barbara
That night we headed to The Greek At The Harbor restaurant for some delicious food…yum!


Beef Moussaka #eatsomethingnew
Day 3 - Saturday:

I decided to go for a morning run up the hill where my friend had driven me up the previous day.  The views along this route would never get old to me.  It’s just so beautiful.



I saw the below random act of peace at the base of the giant cross at the top.  After the Newton, CT tragedy, hearing stories of the random acts of kindness done in the victims honor have truly warmed my heart, and seeing this note and flowers definitely brightened my morning. Thank you to whomever left this nice gesture :).



I am a big baseball fan, so I was excited to learn that my friend was already heading to see the World Series champs, the Detroit Tigers take on the Anaheim Angels at Angels Stadium during my scheduled visit!

Me & my friend Tyler who was my
awesome host/tour guide for my trip!
Angels Stadium
I have watched and attended many baseball games, but this one was definitely not the average game.  The Angels took a 9-0 lead in the first inning and the final score was 10-0. Yes you read that right…9-0 in 1 inning!  Considering most of the game’s action happened during the first inning, I am definitely happy we arrived in time for the first pitch!  I think its awesome checking out different venues for sports, music, etc. for an activity you enjoy, so this definitely made for a fun day for me!


Stopped by the Griffith Observatory on the way back to Ventura
View of LA from the Griffith Observatory
Day 4 - Sunday:

This was another morning of starting off the day with some exercise.   My ego was not completely destroyed from my previous, less than impressive performance, so we headed out to the park again.  I still didn’t break out Michael Jordan like skills, but a few more jump shots fell and it was just a fun morning.

The highlight of the day was going out on my friend and his buddy’s sailboat.  One of my favorite things to do in life is to be out on the water.  Whether it’s a ferry ride or a kayaking trip or sailing, being out on the water has a peaceful and calming effect that never gets old to me.



It was kind of ironic because up until we were scheduled to go sailing, the weather couldn't have been clearer.  Of course the fog rolled in before we were scheduled to sail, but it burned off a little when we were out on the water and it didn't take away from me having a great time!


Out sailing on my friend's boat
Day 5 - Monday:

Since I had an afternoon flight home, I spent my last day in California relaxing, shopping around Ventura, and having a great last meal before making the trip back to LAX. 

Some places you visit and you think it’s great for a visit, but you couldn’t live there. I could 100% live out in California.  The weather is beautiful, the people are awesome, and there is such a wide variety of things to do!  I was sad to leave, but I know that I will be back again soon.  My friend was a fantastic host and tour guide, and I couldn’t have asked for a better few days away from New Jersey. 

For more photos and information about my adventures,
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1 comment:

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