Tuesday, June 30, 2009

San Diego Zoo

Working at a hotel has it's perks. Sometimes you get free stuff. In this case... tickets to the San Diego Zoo!
San Diego is about 1 1/2 hours south of Orange County. I loved this zoo. I haven't been in years so it was great to visit. There were lots of babies and most of the animals put on a show for us.

Things I Learned At The Zoo:
1. Hippopotamas' are ginormous!
2. Baby monkeys get in trouble by their mama's too.
3. Gorillas are amazingly human like. Especially when they interact with their babies.
4. Big cats like to sleep alot.
5. Baby Bears and Koalas are hilarious when they try to get comfortable in a tree.
6. Polar Bears like carrots.
7. The San Diego Zoo is very hilly.
***A GREEN TIP- The San Diego Zoo does it's part to Recycle. They have tons of recycle bins for cans and plastic containers. You can also recycle your old cell phones there.
Here are a few pics from the day.
This is the most action we saw out of all the big cats.
Look at the way he is sitting. So human like...it's scary!
You see a lot of reflection from the window but how cute is this little guy playing with his mom or dad. His face is priceless. You may need to click on this one to see his face up close. Adorable.
This guy is in charge.
These guys were swimming all over.
About to take a swim.

This is a cool pic.
This position didn't work too well. His paw is soooo cute! ha ha.
Maybe this position is better.

Now it's the Koala's turn to get comfy.


Ciao Travel Peeps!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hiking- Laguna Coast Wilderness

Laguna Coast Wilderness
Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
18751 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

So, my friend and I decided to play tennis a few weekends ago. I met her at her apartment in Irvine, Ca at about 9:30am. We went to play tennis at some courts near-by and they were all full with people waiting. We then tried 2 other courts that we could find and all of them were full. She had remembered a co-worker mentioning hiking near the hotel that we work for. Since we were near our hotel, she called her to get directions. We ended up at Laguna Coast Wilderness.

Since we were only planning on going to play tennis, I only had 1 bottle of water. She had her water in a to-go coffee mug. We just thought we would be going for a little "walk". That was mistake #1. Armed with 1 bottle of water between the two of us (remember, she had the mug so she couldn't bring it on the walk), car keys and my camera, we headed out on the trail. We left our phones in the car because again, this was just supposed to be a little walk.

5 hours later-Dehydrated, dirty and hungry.....we got back to my car. I've never been so happy to see my beautiful air conditioned Nissan. We had been so excited that we found this jewel in Orange County. It was so beautiful. Lots of fun plants to look at, bugs, caves, etc. Also, it was an easy hike. Until we decided to go back in the direction of our car. It was all up hill from there. Literally. It was really steep. Plus, we were out of water. I started to see black spots and was dizzy. After resting for a few minutes, I felt much better and we went along. An older man and his daughter and grandson were hiking and asked us if we had anymore water. Which of course we didn't. He was decked out in a "camelback" full of water and bags full of food. He told us to take some of his water from his flask. We felt bad and politely declined. He insisted. God bless him because we needed that water soooo bad.

So clearly we were not prepared for this 5 hour hike. We were not very smart. We should have stopped somewhere to pick up some sort of food and more water. We didn't realize how long we'd be out there. The older man pretty much saved us. He told us if we didn't drink the water, we would become coyote bait. Ek! We must have looked dehydrated. ha ha.

Well, even though I almost died....it was an amazing place to go hiking and I can't wait to go back. Next time I will print out a map from their web-site, pack a back pack with snacks and extra water, maybe bring a cell phone and enjoy the view. I really loved the cave we found and I heard there are more of them! It was really overcast and drizzelly when we went (which was kind of nice actually), but I hear on a clear day you can see the ocean from some of the spots.

So if you are in Orange County and like to hike (or mountain bike), you should definitely check it out! Here are some pictures that we took. Yes...we brought a camera but not a cell phone. We're lame.

***A hint. There are paid parking areas which you will see on their web site. However there is an entrance in Newport Beach that is free! From Newport Coast Drive and Ridge Park Road. Take Ridge Park Road all the way up to the top. Park where it ends and there is an entrance right there. You can't miss it.

Amazing views.

Can you see the huge spider web??

Um not sure what this paw print belongs to. EK!

Our cave.

The entrance to our cave.


These butterflies were everywhere. They're blue!

Don't look too close at this one. No make-up and very dehydrated!

This was funny. Had to take a pic.

A hawk!


Have a great summer Travel Peeps!!