Tag Archives: Travel

“An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.” -Unknown

My topic for today is MY 5TH ANNIVERSARY of having this blog. I am grateful for everyone who has stuck with me. I may not be the most consistent blogger or the most interesting but you have been here for me though it all. From my first post, “A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime” to my wedding plans and trips around the US. So much has happened in my life and I am glad I get to share it with you. I am grateful for those who have been with me the whole five years and for those who are just joining me in my adventures.

I just can’t believe that it really has been 5 years since I opened this account and began sharing my stories with the world. Literally, people from all over the world have viewed my blog, something I thought would never happen. I may not have millions of followers or be any sort of popular in the blogosphere but I am here and I am happy.

I hope you all keep coming back and enjoying my content. And for now, enjoy this amazing song that came to my mind.

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“You must be Caroline. You look just like the girls Max used to give wedgies to in the cafeteria” -Mr. Huck

This week I had to opportunity to partake in very exciting activities. What were those activities? Well, I was able to go meet Ian Harding and Lucy Hale on Tuesday evening for Ian Harding’s book signing and photo-op. He recently released his first book, “Odd Birds” and is on a book tour right now. I was then able to meet Beth Behrs last night at her Q&A/talk/book signing for her newly released book “The Total ME-Tox.”

First off, I will talk about how I found out about these events and how you, too, can find something near you. Living in the L.A. area for about a year and I had absolutely no idea these things happened. I would have been there for so many other people had I known. I was actually on Facebook last week just looking at events happening in the area when I saw it, “Ian Harding celebrates Odd Birds with Photo Op & pre-signed book.” Of course, seeing Ian Harding’s name got me excited all at once so I clicked. And that introduced me to other goings on in the area.

So how do you go to one of these events? You get yourself down to the Barnes & Noble store before it opens, stand in line to buy the book (the day of) in order to get your wristband, then go home and do what you need to do until it’s time to get back. They don’t start lining up until about 6:00pm so there’s no use in staying the entire day. Plus, whatever band you have is where you will be at in line. Because I have plans to see more people, I became a B&N member so I get to be up at the front of the line. A membership is $25 per year and gets you great perks.

ian          So what was it like meeting Ian and Lucy? Well, very short to tell you the truth. It was a pre-signed book so there is no personalization. BUT, getting a picture with the two of them was wonderful. I told them my name and we got a few pictures and hugs. They are very nice people. There was even a girl who traveled from Mexico to see them.

beth          What was it like meeting Beth Behrs? It was definitely different from the night before. First of all, the crowd was much smaller so that was a plus. It was also a Q&A rather than just a photo-op. She talked to us, which you can see in the video below. She is a very funny and wonderful person. My photo with her was also just as wonderful. I am very thankful I got to meet such an inspiring woman. I have also had the opportunity to see her perform on 2 Broke Girls (tvticket.com has free tickets to tv shows like her’s).

Will I do this again? YES! We actually have plans for a few other ones soon so keep an eye out for that. If you’ve ever been to one, please comment below with your thoughts. And if you were at either one of these, let me know. As always, thank you for reading! I hope you have a great day.

“Do you know what this is? This is a dinosaur egg. The dinosaurs are breeding.” -Jurassic Park

Since I wasn’t able to write anything on Tuesday, I had to push my Mexico trip post to yesterday and the post I was going to write yesterday was cast away. That post is important, though.

Since it is already April, I needed to write about Universal Studios in March. Sadly, I was not able to go Universal very much throughout the month but I made sure to go a couple times and keep up with all of the events going on.

Overall, the crowds were still light though one of the times that we went to CityWalk, there were a lot of students from local high schools everywhere. The weather was nice, also, so that’s always a plus. They were also still working on the globe so visitors were unable to get good pictures with the iconic piece.

The only event, either through Universal or from a third-party, is the following:

Sadly I was unable to keep up with the Universal Studios calendar but I hope to do better this month.
17838524_1660824457559279_806213365_o          I also wanted to include a review from a restaurant each month (hopefully). For the month of March, we ate at Krusty Burger. If you didn’t know, there is a section in the park devoted to The Simpsons. This is includes a ride, areas for meet and greets with The Simpsons characters, a couple of restaurants, and a fair games. The Krusty Burger had televisions that played parts of episodes and kept you entertained while waiting in line. Thankfully the line wasn’t long, though. The menu was easy to read and had a great selection. We both chose the Legendary Krusty Burger, shown in the picture. This meal included the burger (with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickle), fries, cole slaw (that I didn’t particularly enjoy) and a drink. The only issue I have seen is with the cups. There is a sensor on the bottom and the machine knows if you’ve already had soda and while we were there it didn’t work for one of the customers at all. She had paid before us and they had to give her a new cup.

The rides that we went on were Jurassic Park and The Mummy. It is said that the Jurassic Park ride is a whole foot taller (for the big drop) in Orlando but I can’t tell the difference. Both were fun and we really enjoyed our time. The lines weren’t terrible for either ride, though we did ride The Mummy shortly before the park was due to close.

I hope that you found this helpful. Please feel free to comment with your March experiences for Universal Hollywood. What did you do? Where did you eat? If you’d like to see more content, please subscribe. As always, thank you for reading!

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“Mexico is a mosaic of different realities and beauties.” -Enrique Pena Nieto

17836970_1660350574273334_712357375_o          I first want to say I apologize for not posting on Tuesday. I got home later than planned. This post will actually be the one that should have been posted on Tuesday, so nothing will be missed.

On Saturday morning I left with my husband and my in-laws to go to Mexico. Not the Mexico that tourists flock to but the Mexico where my husband’s family resides. His grandma and many of his aunts, uncles, and cousins all still live in Mexico so his parents visit at least once a year. This is my second time visiting them so they all knew who I was. The first time I went was a couple of months before we got married so we were able to take them invitations.17837709_1660350420940016_1661096531_o

This time wasn’t much different from the last. We visited family, I understood very little because they all speak spanish (though a couple of them do speak English), we ate a ton of wonderful food, and walked around looking at all of the shops. We bought candy, Hector bought some shoes, I found a pair of boots that I love but they didn’t have my size, and we had so much food. So much so that I gained a few pounds that I now have to add that to my goal that I already had.

17820387_1660350500940008_176045479_o          One thing different from last time is the amount of spanish I learned. Last time I was too shy to actually ask about any spanish words but this time I was very into learning. I hope that I will one day be able to actually speak with Hector’s family but for now, I am a beginner. I will be the first to say that some of the words I learned won’t help me much but it was still fun to learn. I think the thing I loved the most was learning how to say baby animals. Hector’s grandma had little chicks in her backyard (pollitos) as well as one of her cats had 3 little kittens (gatitos).17820043_1660350464273345_735349511_o So, of course I learned how to say what they were. I also learned to say a couple of food things so that I could order for myself sometimes. For example, I was able to tell the person that I wanted a Strawberry Fanta at one of the places we went to eat tortas. If you have never had tortas, I highly recommend them because they are great.

 

As I mentioned previously, we ate A LOT. We probably ate too much, to be honest. But we don’t get good Mexican food here in the states very often so we took what we could get. A few things that we ate includes the following:

  • Tortas17837708_1660350517606673_878834059_o
  • Tacos
  • Mariscos
  • Churros
  • Mangoneadas
  • More tortas
  • More tacos
  • A stew with cactus in it (I have no idea what it was called, Hector’s grandma made it)

I absolutely loved the food and can’t wait to have it again. The picture to the right is actually one way that they made taco meat. I have to say that the place we ate this at makes the best tacos ever. Absolutely delicious. We hope to go again in October, when his parents are going to help Hector’s grandma fix up her house, but there is no guarantee. If not, at least I have pictures to drool over this time.

Anyway, as always please comment below. I’d like to hear your experiences in Mexico. If you’d like to see more of my content, please subscribe.

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“Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else.” ―Tennessee Williams

Hello everyone. I know there have been many new subscribers here and I want to thank you. I am doing today’s post so late (it’s about 10pm) is because I attended my third REI class earlier this evening and I wanted to report on both of my classes from this week. One of which pertains to only women, and will be at the bottom to spare your eyes if you don’t want to see it.

For those who are new here, I am planning a trip to go backpacking and I’m currently taking as many REI classes as possible. Thankfully they offer so many for free but I hope to attend a couple that aren’t free, simply because I need the info. I will, once again, be sharing my notes with you because I want to share what I am learning for those who may not have access to a nearby REI.

First off, on Tuesday evening, I attended the “Overnight Backpacking Basics” class. The instructor had set out materials so he could point them out to us, which is something the previous class did not have. Some of the slides in the Powerpoint were the same so I simply put “same as before” and moved on.

  • What is backpacking? Going out for more than a few days
  • Trip Plan
    • The 4 W’s and How
      • Who will be going? Who will be the leader? Who has more knowledge?
      • What are you doing? What is your objective?
      • Where will you be going?
      • When will you be heading out and coming back? This has to do a lot with weather and the season you go
      • How will you get there? How will you supply yourself? How will you do it?
  • General Guidelines17670609_1656635491311509_1305134530_o
    • Rules and regulations of public lands, wilderness areas
    • Backcountry travel considerations
    • Pass on your knowledge, respect, and passion (which is what I am doing)
  • Outdoor Ethics
    • Leave No Trace
    • Plan ahead and prepare
    • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
    • Dispose of waste properly
    • Leave what you find
    • Minimize camp impacts
    • respect wildlife
    • Be considerate of other visitors
  • 10 Essentials Plus
    • Same as before
  • Dressing
    • Same as before
    • Mid weight would be best (for your base layer)
    • Zip off pants are highly recommended
    • Long sleeve summer shirts are good
    • Synthetic vs. down jackets
    • Fleece dries faster than most synthetic
    • How does your outer layer fit?
    • Picking your shell is important
    • 2 pairs of gloves: base layer and outer layer
    • Having ankle support boots is important
    • SmartWool socks or Darn Tough
    • Liner socks help with blisters
    • Take your shoes off each time you take a break
    • Gaiters are for protection
    • Take care of your feet
    • Look into inserts if you can
    • Have a good sleeping socks and leave them in your sleeping bag
    • Keep your feet dry, warm, and happy
    • Some hikers put Gold Bond in their socks and claim that helps
  • Shelter
    • Same as before
    • Average 2 person tent is about 2 pounds
    • Backpacking tent peak height is 2-4 feet, typically
  • Sleep system
    • Comfort, lower limit, extreme limit
    • R value: thickness and heating of insulation (sleeping pad)
    • sleeping bag liners (usually about $40-$80)
    • Yoga mats DO NOT work for sleeping pads
    • Try out a pad at REI before you buy one (you don’t have to buy it there but do try it out)
  • Camp kitchen
  • Pack types
    • Internal vs. external
    • Mesh helps with sweat
    • There is no one backpack to rule them all

The class went by pretty fast and, as you can see, there was new information on some of the same topics. I highly suggest this class because you can learn so much of the basic stuff. I loved it and the teachers are always so upbeat and lively.

Now, the next part of this post pertains to women so if you don’t want to read on, I understand. But women, I highly suggest you at least skim this part. This class is called “Women’s Backpacking Basics” and you can look for it using the same link above.

17668844_1656635501311508_1308518268_o

  • Guidelines
    • Leave no Trace
    • Backcountry Knowledge
  • Getting Started
    • Same as before
  • Trip plan
    • Same as before
    • Trip plan should always be left with someone at home
  • Websites to visit and other resources
    • recreation.gov (you can find permit information)
    • nps.gov (you can get park information
    • summitpost.org (personal reviews from other hikers/backpackers)
    • REI Hiking Project App
    • Call the nearest ranger station
  • Rethinking the 10 essentials
    • Same as before
  • Dress
    • Same as before
    • Keep clean clothes back at your car if you are returning to the same spot after backpacking
  • Choosing your gear
    • Women’s specific gear (THERE IS A DIFFERENCE)
      • Packs
      • Sleeping bags
      • Trekking poles
    • other gear
      • Tents
      • Stoves
      • Filters
    • Sleeping with a bottle of warm water will help when you are cold
    • Trekking poles can help take some pressure off of your knees and back
    • Know the food before you go, try it before hand because you don’t want to take food hate.
    • Try to get water from the middle of a stream not on th edges
  • Carrying the load
    • Adjust weight to account for women’s center of gravity
    • Gage the water you are using, have a bladder as well as water bottles on each side of your pack (make sure it is even)
  • Women in the woods: Hygiene
    • Try using a Diva Cup, practice with it at home first.
      • Clean it with wipes every day (multiple times a day)
      • You can boil them (in its own pot, not the one used for food)
    • Using a GoGirl is so helpful!
    • Take a bathroom bag
    • Keep your feet out of the way when you pee
  • Safety
    • Recognize the sounds of nature
    • Know about wildlife in your area and how to react in an encounter
    • Engage the hiker community
  • Women in the woods: Preparation
    • Exercise and nutrition
      • Muscular strength and endurance
      • Flexibility and stretching
      • Training hikes
    • Hydrate before you get to higher elevation
  • Extra
    • Try to stay below 30 pounds in your pack
    • You can’t light fires at 10,000 feet
    • Don’t be afraid to go to an REI and ask questions, even if you don’t buy your equipment there.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope my notes prove helpful to y’all! I am including a couple links below if you would like to help Redheaded Owl and I prepare for our long hike in 2019. Feel free to look at them! As always, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you enter the weekend on a high note!

https://www.gofundme.com/pctwomanhikers

https://www.amazon.com/wedding/share/wishlistforPCT

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ―Lao Tzu

A couple weeks ago, I wrote that some friends and I were planning to go on a small 17455121_1653116321663426_492670397_obackpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail. If you missed that post, click here. Today I want to talk about a class that I took through REI that will prepare me for this hike. The class I took was called Backpacking in Southern California. I decided to take this free class because I feel that I should gain as much information as I can before setting off into the unknown.

If you have never looked into an REI class, I highly recommend it. I know that some people don’t have an REI near them. My friend at RedheadedOwl lives almost an hour from the nearest REI but since she will be going on this hike with me she did decide to sign up for one class. I am very fortunate to live near so many REIs but, again, I know that some people aren’t.

As I mentioned before, the class I took was completely free. I was not a member when I started 17455020_1653120948329630_1881051706_osigning up for these classes but I am a member now. For members and nonmembers alike, there is no charge. Yes, some classes do cost money but there are usually enough free classes to tide you over. And if there are some classes you want to take that cost money, I suggest getting a membership. It’s a $20 one time fee and has many great things included. I might talk about that another time.

Going back to the class I took on Backpacking  in Southern California, I want to share the notes I took. So, I will write them down below in note format. I hope they make sense to you.

  • Why do you want to go backpacking?
  • Bear canisters are a necessary item
  • Look into the permits you need for the area you will be backpacking through
  • Pack it out (meaning toilet paper or ANY TRASH)
  • Check the weather conditions before you go
  • Know what kind of wildlife is in the area
  • Backpacking can change your life
  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose of waste properly (cat holes)
  • Leave what you find (wildlife, plants, rocks, etc.)
  • Minimize campfire impacts
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be considerate of other visitors
  • Ziplock backs are your friend
  • People at campsites probably aren’t going to bed early
  • Look into your area’s national park or forest website for more guidelines
  • You need to train in order to really be prepared for backpacking
  • Look into backpacking trips with REI and other groups (REI can become costly, though)
  • 4 liters of water per day in the desert
  • 1 liter = 2 pounds of water
  • Always, always, always filter your water
  • 30-40 pounds in your backpack
  • Who is in your group?
  • Where are you going?
  • What will you be doing?
  • 17430889_1653120954996296_1403105930_oWhen will you be back
  • GET IN SHAPE
  • Build up to it
  • 10 essentials:
    • Navigation
    • sun protection
    • Insulation
    • Illumination
    • First Aid supplies
    • Fire
    • Repair kit/ tools
    • nutrition (make sure you have extra snacks)
    • Emergency shelter
  • Take moleskine for your blisters!
  • Cotton balls soaked in vaseline is good for a fire starter
  • Duct tape solves everything
  • Emergency shelter can save your life
  • What to wear
    • Base layer “wicking”
    • Middle layer “warmth”
    • Shell/outer layer “Weather”
    • Don’t forget the head and hands
  • Wool or fleece is what you want
  • COTTON KILLS
  • Boots!!!! There are hiking and backpacking boots
  • Wool/synthetic socks
  • Gaiters
  • Liner socks
  • 55-80 liters backpack
  • Consume 1-2 pounds of food each day
  • Your bear canister will be the heaviest item
  • Find a lightweight tent
  • Don’t stick your head into your down sleeping bag because the moisture from your breath will ruin it
  • There is a difference in men’s and women’s sleeping bags
  • Filtration and purification for water treatment
  • Download any maps onto your phone.

I will be taking more class and I will talk about those when they happen so stay tuned for more notes from my REI class adventures. As always, thank you for coming to my blog. If you want to get more information about this and other posts, please subscribe!

“How often are we to die before we go quite off this stage? In every friend we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part.” -Alexander Pope

As we get older, our lives change. The things were valued when we were 5 are not the same things we valued at 16 and the things we valued at 16 are, most likely, different from the things we value most in our adulthood. We may move away from home, experience the death of a loved one, or even the birth of our own children. Some changes are hard to cope with while others are accepted with open arms. One of the more difficult ones that I have recently dealt with is loosing a dear friend.

As we age, we find that the friends we had in high school are probably going to go on different paths in life from you. Every once in a while we find that one friend, sometimes two, who stick with us through all of those changes. They’re what we all call our best friend. You don’t see anyway that would make your friendship end because you’re just too close. But then, life throws you a curve ball and you’re leaving her house at midnight because she hurt you in an unforgivable way. You go days, weeks, months without saying a word to her. You see that she’s happy, even with you gone, while you’re trying hard to stop the flow of tears. It’s not a happy time in your life. It’s harder than when the guy you were in love with broke up with you. She knows all of your secrets, she’s the one you talked to when anything (big or little) happened in your life and all you want it to have that again. But you can’t. You can’t have that again because she broke your heart in a way you never thought possible.

17238931_1647987095509682_603771781_nIf you’ve never experienced such a pain as I just described, then you are very lucky. I actually experienced this more than once. The first time started in high school. After several years of barely talking, we are actually on good terms. We are not where we used to be, we may never get there, but we are still friends and we do care about each other. The second time happened on March 4, 2017. I won’t go into details but when I was verbally attacked by two people I thought were supposed to be my friends. I wasn’t going to sit around and let it happen so I left. I left the house in the middle of the night and walked down the street. I left all of my stuff that I had with me, I had no jacket, I didn’t even have any plans. I just made a couple of phone calls until I found someone able to pick me up and take me out of there. I felt numb. Not just from being cold but from the torture I was just put through. The one person I trusted with my life, let me down.

I haven’t talked to her, I can’t. There’s nothing left to say. I still very much care about her but I just can’t get over what I was put through. At least not right now. I spent three days crying off and on because of it. My heart is aching. But the words that were said cannot be taken back. Nor will they even try. Them wanting me to accept their harsh words is more important that friendship, which hurt even more when I was told that.

I’m not posting this to call anyone out or to get sympathy from my readers. I am posting this because I want my readers to know that you are not alone in the pain you feel after losing your best friend. I’m not the first person to every experience this and I most certainly will not be the last.

I decided to do a bit of research on dealing with a “Best Friend Breakup” and I was pleasantly surprised that there was a lot out there on Google pertaining to the topic. Here are a few things that I took away from my Google search:

  1. “Friend breakups tend to go unacknowledged, which can contribute to why people suffer so much from them. When the public response is ‘Eh, it happens,’ you feel like you shouldn’t be mourning as much as you are.” (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  2. The closer you were to the friend you broke up with, the more you’re going to hurt. So give yourself adequate grieving time. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  3. Don’t get down on yourself if you find that you need more time. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  4. Try not to disavow all the good times you and your former friend had. (How to Deal—and Heal—When a Friend Breaks Up With You)
  5. The 13 steps on wikiHow to Get Over the Loss of a Best Friend
  6.  Buzzfeed’s article “17 Things Anyone Who’s Ever Had A Friend Breakup Knows
  7. Let yourself cry it out (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  8. Write a letter to your friend that you never intend to send (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  9. It may seem obvious, but don’t force your other friends to take sides. Get comfortable with the fact that they may still spend a great deal of time with your ex-gal pal and that this is no reflection on you. (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  10. Just like dating, sometimes you have to be the one to take the first step (Surviving a Friendship Break Up)
  11. Put yourself first and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep, eating well and sticking to your usual routine. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  12. You’ll need to surround yourself with other friends and family if you have lost a close friend, and it’s important to keep up with your social commitments, so that you don’t sit at home feeling increasingly depressed and isolated. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  13. It’s normal to sit around going over things in your head and wondering what went wrong – this is how we grieve the loss of a person in our lives and it’s an important part of the healing process. (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  14. Be optimistic and remember that just because you have lost a friendship, doesn’t mean there won’t be more opportunities for new friends in your life! (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  15. If you are struggling to come to terms with the friend-shaped hole in your life, talking to other friends and family members can help you get some perspective. If you’re feeling really low, seek support from a counsellor or therapist (Friend breakups are the worst – here’s how to handle them)
  16. Don’t spill secrets that the two of you once had. (8 Ways To Survive A Best Friend Breakup)
  17. Don’t look at their social media. Like most break ups, when you look at their social media you’ll see that they went out with a different group of girls and jealousy will strike. (8 Ways To Survive A Best Friend Breakup)

I promise it will get better. It takes time but healing will come. I’m not there yet but I know I will be. Just like when a relationship ends, this friends breakup won’t end the world. There are people who want to be there for you, even if it doesn’t seem like it. I’m here for you.

If you have your own tips for healing after a best friends breakup, please comment below. I’d love to read them! As always, thank you for coming to my blog! Hit the follow button to stay up to date on all things in the life.

“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.” -Wild (Cheryl Strayed)

Being in nature is something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience. I grew up going camping and I have always loved it. It was, more often than not, due to hunting season, but it was still a blast. My senior year in high school, my friend and I decided to do our senior pictures while camping. We brought along a couple of outfits, our makeup, and our hair stuff. The company that our school went through was very expensive me 1.jpgso we decided to do our own. It actually turned out nicely, considering the lack of photography skills we had. I, sadly, don’t have access to them right now but I did find one picture from that weekend (it’s not one of the Senior portraits, though). I had fallen and my friend decided to snap a picture of me. I’m sure you can see that I’ve changed quite a bit since then.

Another wonderful time I can remember being in a nature setting is our Summer 2008 Girl’s Trip. My grandma, aunt, cousin, and I went on an adventure. We were driving along when all of a sudden we see a bunch of elk on the side of bearthe road. Being from California, you don’t see that. We decided to stop and take pictures of them and, upon further inspection, we figured out that it was part of what is called Bear Country USA. We all agreed that it would be a nice little detour so we paid for admission and drove on in. There is a wide range of animals to see but one of my favorite parts was when we got to drive next to bears. There were so many of them and one was even walking along our van.

If your haven’t had a fun experience in nature, you need to get out there and just do it. That’s what my friends and I decided to do. On Monday, we decided to plan a backpacking trip. Yes, it’s insane but we’re really excited. Jewel is one who is fearful of the outdoors but wants to overcome that fear and Michaela wants to challenge herself. As for me, I want to get out and be in nature for a few days.

Michaela is actually the one who brought up the idea and Jewel and I agreed to do it. Ourpct.jpg plan is to backpack through a small section of the Pacific Crest Trail. If you have never heard of this trail, it’s a trail that spans about 3,000 miles over 3 states. It starts at the California/Mexico border and ends at the Washington/Canada border (or vice versa). We decided to backpack through part of the trail that goes through the Angeles National Forest.

We have never been to the area, we’ve never been backpacking, and we’re all untrained. So, is it really such a good idea to do this? Some will say yes while many will say no. We have, however, signed up for multiple REI classes specifically for backpacking and Jewel and I have multiple overnighters planned before our full 4 day trip (yes, only 4 days) in the area. We even already have plans for how we are going to obtain some of the necessary equipment for this journey.

One important thing we have done is talk to people who know what they are talking about. I spoke to my uncle for about two hours on safety and what we needed to know or do (or not do) while we are out there. Talking to people who know what they are talking about is always a good idea. Jewel has also been able to talk to her dad, who has been backpacking multiple times.

wild.jpgAnother thing we decided to do was to pick up a copy of Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild.” Why did we do this? Because it is about her travels through the entire Pacific Crest Trail. What better way to learn about the trail than to read a first hand account?

Are we afraid? Of course we are! There are bears, mountain lions, rattle snakes and other various things that could potentially kill us out there. Why should fear stop us from pushing ourselves? We are strong and willing to let life teach us a lesson so we’re going to do this. Are we excited? Most definitely! It’s something new and new things are always exciting. We are doing something that will challenge us more than anything we’ve done in life this far.

Have you ever hiked a section of the Pacific Crest Trail? Maybe even the entire thing? Please comment below with a story from your experience. I will be keeping a journal while we are out and I plan to write all about it when we are done. Maybe I’ll even be able to backpack through the entire trail and write a book based on my experiences, just like Cheryl Strayed.

If you haven’t been to the Pacific Crest Trail, comment below with any memory you have about being in nature, good or bad. And as always, thank you for stopping by. Hit the follow button to get more updates on everything in my life.

“My family took a vacation to Universal Studios when I was really young. Me and my brother Richard – who’s also an actor – were both really intrigued by seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff of how films are made. We kind of begged our parents to get into acting.” -Jonathan Jackson

To continue what was started last week, I will be giving a brief synopsis of each months’ usvisits to Universal Studios Hollywood. This month I am talking about my trips in February. It was a great time to go, as long as you missed the rain. IF you have a season pass, you probably have little to no blackout dates for February, since it is what is considered an “off-season” month. This just means that fewer people visit.

Overall, the crowds were light and there were plenty of events going on. I was really excited because I finally got to go to the Harry Potter section here, I was blessed with the opportunity to go to the one in Florida last year but wanted to experience it here as well.

Events, that I know of, that happened this month:

  1. Lunar New Year event (official USH event)
  2. Lord Voldemort’s Valentine’s Death Eater Day (Facebook event)
  3. Old Hollywood Day (Facebook event)

I’m sure there were more events that occurred that I was unaware of but these I was aware of.

A few things to be aware of (good and bad) because it is the off-season:

  1. All water related things (other than Jurassic Park) were closed for refurbishment.
  2. The park closes early during the week
  3. There may be rain, it rained a lot this year
  4. Ticket prices are lower
  5. Crowds are lower
  6. It will be cold in the mornings
  7. Some attractions may close that aren’t water related

In the month of February the Jaws, Waterworld, fountain in CityWalk, and glove at the entrance were all down because they were being refurnished.

If you have any questions, comment below. I’m sad to say that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we didn’t get to visit Universal Studios too much during the month. We hope to visit more in the month of March. As always, thanks for stopping in to read my blog. Don’t forget to follow me so you can stay up to date with my life!

“When I was a little kid – and even still – I loved magic tricks. When I saw how movies got made – at least had a glimpse when I went on the Universal Studios tour with my grandfather, I remember feeling like this was another means by which I could do magic.” -J. J. Abrams

For my 25th birthday, my husband gifted me with Universal Studios Hollywood season 20170211_144221passes and my goal is to make a summary of each month. Today I am just sharing with you my plans for this project because I want to know what you, my readers, would like to know about. I have the ability to go every month for a year and I plan on making it worth my while, as well as yours. If there is a specific food you would like me to try, comment below (I would also hope that you would include where to get it and, if possible, the price, so that other readers can try it as well). If there’s a ride or show you want me to check out, I’d be glad to go to it. Keep in mind that I’ve been on all of them, though.

As an introduction to this segment, I would like to give a little more information on the beloved park, so if you’re someone who knows all about the park share your thoughts. If you know nothing about the park, you’re about to learn.

Universal Studios Hollywood opened up on July 15, 1964 (meaning that it is 53 this year). In a simple search on the official website, I was taken to the About Universal page. On this page it states the following:

Entertainment is Universal
Universal was founded in 1912 by motion picture visionary Carl Laemmle, a German immigrant who had a dream of building a world of entertainment in Southern California. On March 15th, 1915 Mr. Laemmle’s dream was realized with the opening of Universal Studios Hollywood. On that day, Laemmle issued a press release that predicted not only the future of Universal Pictures but of the global entertainment company that would grow out of the movie studio.

“…just think what this would mean…to see the inner workings of the biggest moving picture plant in the wide, wide world. A whole city where everyone is engaged in the making of motion pictures, a fairyland where the craziest things in the world happen. A place to think about and talk about for the rest of your days!

From the very beginning, Laemmle invited the public on to the property to watch silent films being made. In 1964 the Universal Studio Tour formally opened, allowing visitors from around the world the rare opportunity to experience movie-making magic first hand. In the decades since the Studio Tour tram first drove visitors through the back lot, Universal Studios Hollywood has grown to become a world-class destination.

Performers and behind the scenes personnel at Universal Studios Hollywood play a major role in bringing that magic to life for our guests; whether it’s doing a 50’ high fall on fire in Waterworld, teaching audiences the behind the scenes secrets of movie-making at Special Effects Stage or making a child’s dream of meeting their favorite animated character come true. Universal truly is the Entertainment Capital of LA!

It’s it fun to get a little background on a favorite park? I love getting to know the places that I frequent. There have been many changes to the park since it opened up 53 years ago and there will be many more changes in the next 53 years. For a list of all the those changes visit this list on Wikipedia or this article, Past Attractions at the theme park. What ride were you sad to see go? What ride would you be happy to see go now? Or even sad to see go now?

To close this post, I am including a few articles I found in my research that might interest you. I hope you enjoyed learning about Universal Studios Hollywood with me and as always, thank you for stopping by. If you want to get updated on my new posts, follow me via email or with your WordPress account.

12 Things That Will Surprise You About Universal Studios Hollywood

Facts About Universal Studios Hollywood

16 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD