The Best things to See in La Jolla, California

Last week, I took a break from writing blog posts so that I could explore while I was on a work trip. But man, let me tell you I really missed writing all my thoughts and communicating on this platform.

Since I knew I was going to have some downtime after trade show hours in La Jolla, I decided to look up a few things to see in the area. I didn’t want to travel all the way down to the center of San Diego because I knew I didn’t have that much time to see things. So instead, I ended up finding things in near La Jolla. Check out what I saw while I was in San Diego for a few days.

Sunny Jim Cave, San Diego

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Sunny Jim Cave

Since I was traveling for work, I knew my time to explore was going to be very limited. I made it my goal to see Sunny Jim Cave if I didn’t see anything else. Lucky for me, we had some extra time on Tuesday to explore.

Sunny Jim Cave was built in 1903 as a tourist destination. It originally was just a steep descent down into a cave with just a simple rope. A few years later, 145 steps were built into the cave. The way the folktale is told, bootleggers used the cave as a way to distribute whiskey to San Diego. To visit the cave, you pay $5 and work your way down the 145 steps. Save your breath because you’re going to have to crawl your way back up.

Tip: you can also walk on top of the cave through an entrance left of the gift shop. You’ll see some amazing views just watch your step because it’s a long way down!

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La Jolla Cove

Right next to the Sunny Jim Cave is an adorable path where you can walk along the beach where… tons of seals are! Oh my goodness, I loved watching them waddle their little bodies across the beach. The entire walk takes about half an hour to an hour depending on how fast you want to take a stroll. We ended up turning around at Children’s Beach where most of the seals are.

We actually watched a lady go on the beach with a selfie stick to try to take a picture with one of the biggest seals. The seal almost bit her and made loud sounds, yet she continued to fumble with her phone to get the “perfect picture.” Don’t be like this lady, these seals are wild creatures and they will bite your fingers off. Sometimes it is better to watch from afar then be up and close with some wild animals.

Note: When the breeze does not blow the correct way it can smell like an entire zoo just punched you in the face. If you have a sensitive nose be aware of this.

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Scripps Pier 

I tried to limit my pictures for Scripps Pier in this post but it was just too hard! After my last day at the trade show, I ended up walking 2 miles to Scripps Pier from La Jolla Sheraton. I put my headphones on and walked past University of California San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I actually took the first three photos from a lookout point from the Institution of Oceanography.

There were a ton of professional photographers waiting for the sun to set so I had to awkwardly crawl below them to be able to take a few pictures. Check out my tweet to see what that looked like. If you want to get an “instagramable” photo of the pier make sure you go a few hours before the sunset to avoid all these photographers or just crawl your way into the crowd like I did.

Tip: Wait until sunset! Seeing the sun dip behind the west coast water was such a beautiful sight. Plus, you have to dip your feet in the water as well!

Have you ever been to San Diego or California? Let me know in the comments down below. 

P.S. My next trade show is in Pasadena, California so let me know if you’ve ever been or have any tips on what to see. I’m definitely going to try and see the Hollywood sign my last day!

As always,

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What to See and Do in Northwest Arkansas

This past weekend, my father and I traveled to Northwest Arkansas to visit my brother, Andrew. My brother moved down to Arkansas two years ago to become the head brewer for JBGB. I had a such an incredible time exploring a new state and seeing my brother do what he loves. While I was there, we were able to explore what Northern Arkansas has to offer. If you’re ever in the area here are a few things you should check out.

Tanyard Creek Nature Trail

Location: Bella Vista

The first full day we were in Arkansas we traveled up to the Bella Vista to leisurely walk the well-groomed nature trail. This ‘hike’ was more of a stroll but it was equipped with quirky bridges, streams of water, and a great view. This hike is perfect for someone who wants to get out of the house and just have a fun time.

Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel

Location: Bella Vista

A five-minute drive from the nature trail is the captivating Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel. The chapel was designed by a local architect in memory of Mildred B. Cooper. The entire structure is inspired by the cathedrals designed in the middle ages and is built with thirty-one tons of steel and 4,460 square feet of glass. I didn’t take any pictures inside the chapel so you’ll just have to see this gem for yourself!

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas

The history behind Crystal Bridges is that Sam Walton’s, owner of Walmart, daughter wanted to create a gallery where she could showcase her love for the arts. The incredible building is designed by Moshe Safdie and is home to artists such as Georgia O’Keef, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol, and so many more. There are also architecture gems all throughout the building and even exhibits outside of the museum such as Frank Lloyd Wright house.

I was incredibly blown away by how magical Crystal Bridges was. The entire place from the building’s structure to the collection of art inside its walls was surreal. When I studied abroad, I went to a few art museums but none of them stuck with me like this one. This would be reason enough to visit Arkansas.

Original Walmart Store

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas

If you know anything about Arkansas, you probably saw this coming. Arkansas is home to the first ever Walmart store. Although, it was called something else back then. Located in a little time square you can find the original Walton’s running in all its glory.  Next to the original store, you can even go through the history of Walmart equipped with the history of Sam Walton.

JBGB

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Obviously, I had to save the best for last. I was able to tour JBGB and see what my brother has been talking about for the past two years. It was one thing to hear about how the beer process works and another to actually see how it is done. If you’re in Arkansas and want to see how the beer process works you can easily contact JBGB to set up a date.

Alongside the brewery my brother works for, is an adult playground equipped with the second largest music venue in Arkansas, beach volleyball, ping pong, shuffleboard, bocce ball, and a wading pool. During the summer, JBGB throws a summer concert series with regional and national acts. You can eat food, play games, and drink all while listening to some of the best regional and national acts around. Since I went this past weekend, I wasn’t able to see the concert series but I can only imagine what it is like once it is warm again!

Have you ever visited Northern Arkansas? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Exploring Montreal in Less Than 72 Hours

Hello darling! The travel bug didn’t stay in Italy! This past weekend my friends and I decided to drive three hours to explore Montreal. None of us have ever been so we were extremely excited to see what Canadian life is like.

Friday

We departed early Friday morning and entered Montreal around noon. We quickly got a bite to eat and then decided to walked around the shops and street corners. Everywhere we went it seemed like there was beautiful artwork painted on the street corners or funky stairs greeting a painted door. Montreal was definitely one of the most “earthy” cities I have ever been to. There seemed to be trees emerging from every which way.

 

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After we walked around, we decided to rent bikes. We ended up biking around the city for about 2 hours. We actually ended up biking all the way to the Olympic stadium where the 1976 summer Olympics were held. I have officially been to two Olympic locations now (Germany was my other location).

We went to Schwartz for dinner and ended up getting sandwiches with tons of smoked meat falling out of the sides. Afterwards, we decided to walk around and pop our heads into stores.

Saturday

We decided to venture farther into Old Montreal and see the Notre Dame Basilica. The architecture of the building was stunning. The basilica is made up of rich stain glass windows and elegant staircases. What I appreciated most was the use of colors at the alter. The light blues and strong purples made the alter seem as if it was alive. It is definitely something worth seeing.

I was not aware of a second church in the basilica. The second church was made mostly out of wood and copper, giving the alter and earthly feel. It reminded me of the Trinity library in London because of the unique colors and materials used.

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After our eyes fell out of ours skulls from the basilica, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We ended up finding this adorable little cafe that is half a store and half a restaurant. There was even a man playing a piano! The place is called et Bistro Le Magasin Général du Vieux-Montreal and I definitely recommend it. The only issue with this restaurant was how long it took to get our food. I think we waited for at least 45-50 minutes after ordering our food. But it was definitely worth the wait because the food was amazing.

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After our tummies were full, we decided to drive to the overlook at Mont Royal. There you can see some of the most breathtaking views of the city. If you really want to treat yourself, you should wake up early and see the sunrise over Mont Royal. I’ve been told it is amazing.

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For dinner, we ended up at at a vegetarian restaurant called Lola Rosa. The food was incredible. My brother makes amazing nachos but Lola Rosa came close to topping his batch. Everything at Lola Rosa tasted incredibly fresh and flavorful. It also helps that my favorite food is a burrito and they had that on the menu. If you’re ever in Montreal I highly recommend Lola Rosa if you want something with a strong flavor. Another unique thing about Lola Rosa was that inside ever table there were notes stored. Anyone could write notes and leave them inside the table. There were really funny notes and even serious notes about needing to love yourself. If you even come to Lola Rosa and find my note let me know!

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Have you ever been to Canada? Would you ever go? Let me know in the comments down below!

As always,

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Cinque Terre: The 5 colorful towns.

Hello darlings! This wonderful weekend I went to Cinque Terre with three of my friends! Each weekend in Italy is spent seeing the most beautiful places. Cinque Terre might be my new favorite. This weekend we hiked, ate the best seafood, and saw some of the most picturesque houses in the word. I took over 200 photos and I am being serious when I say not one photo turned out poorly. Cinque Terre is one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been to (so far).

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Lets start with food.

Have you ever heard of focaccia? I never heard about it until I went to Cinque Terre. Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread similar to pizza… but better. If I could have Focaccia every day of my life I’d be pretty happy.

My first piece was a vegetarian slice in Vernazza:

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The second piece I tried was rosemary and tomatoes in Manrola:

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After having a piece of focaccia, I would recommend getting calamari. I’m having a tough time deciding if I liked the calamari in Vernazza or the calamari in Riomaggiore more. It’s a tough pick! If you want it deep fried go to Vernazza and get the best salty, crispy calamari ever. If you want something fresh go to Riomaggiore and have some calamari at La Lampera.

Calamari in Riomaggiore:

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Calamari in Vernazza:

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If you decide to get calamari in Riomaggiore make sure you get pesto when you sit down. It’s their specialty food. Pesto actually originated in Cinque Terre! It was worth getting.

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Enough about food! What is there to see? Well every town is worth seeing. Each of the 5 towns has it’s own personality. I recommend seeing them all but if you were to leave one out I would leave Corniglia out because there wasn’t much to see. The other four are tied for my favorite. I loved every single one of them. If I had to pick I would say that Vernazza was my favorite because the food was out of this world.

Since it was rainy when we went, we took a train from Riomaggiore (where we stayed in a hostel) to Corniglia. We climbed a million stairs and not much was there once we got to the top. We did see a couple take beautiful wedding photos though. We then took another train to Vernazza where we had lunch (focaccia and fried calamari). By the time we were finished with lunch the weather cleared up and we were able to hike to Monterosso. The hike is the best part of the trip because we got to see a ton of sights that we wouldn’t have seen if we had taken the train instead. It also makes it you very excited once you get to your location. It is a pretty challenging hike. There are tons of stairs up a few mountains. My iphone said I did 133 floors.

Proof:

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How cool is this? The locket on the bottom says “Tegan & Daniel 05. 09. 2015 Just married”

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If you look closely at the rocks in the middle you can see a bride and a groom taking wedding photos!

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Micky, me, Courtney, and Susana (in order). It was Courtney’s 21st birthday!

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Date goals in Monterosso:

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Locks and the view on our hike:

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Check out Susana’s video blog of our Cinque Terre experience! It came out fantastic!

If you want to read her post click here. 

If I ever return to Cinque Terre and the weather was nice I would love to hike all the different paths. It’s a great work out and it makes you feel less guilty for eating all that delicious focaccia and calamari!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend as well! Next stop: Amalfi coast!

As always,

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