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California Travels with Friends USA Southwest Travels

Legoland California, Carlsbad California

Legoland California, Carlsbad California
Legoland California, Carlsbad California

I had lofty goals for my life when I was a kid. When I was in the fourth grade I wanted to win an Olympic Gold medal for downhill skiing. When I got in to middle school I went from a Gold Medal in skiing to a Gold Medal in swimming. Let’s just say I was obsessed with the Olympics. I was also obsessed with building houses with Legos and was convinced that being a Lego Engineer would be in my future.

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California Frank Lloyd Wright Tours Travels with Friends USA Southwest Travels

Window Shopping Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills California

Window Shopping Rodeo Drive
Window Shopping Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is probably one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. The street is lined with high profile stores that attract both stars and star watchers. As Laura and I drove down Rodeo Drive looking for a parking spot I realized we were a little under-car’d in our Hyundai rental car. Lamborghinis, Rolls, if it had a big price tag it was parked there. I will admit the fancy cars are beautiful but I have never seen the point in a car that costs as much as my house (or in the case of the Lambroghini, almost double). I would much rather spend the money on travel than waste it on a car that could be totaled in a matter of seconds… but I guess if you have a lot of money – you can probably buy both the car and the travel.

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California Travels with Friends USA Southwest Travels

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica California

 Santa Monica Pier
View from Santa Monica Pier

While visiting Santa Monica we had to visit the famous landmark, Santa Monica Pier. The pier dates back to 1909, where it was originally built to carry sewer pipes past the breakers… gross. The second part of the pier was built in 1916 and referred to as the Pleasure Pier. Although the name invokes another form of grossness, the pier was built for the amusement park attractions: the wooden roller coaster, The Whip, a merry-go-around and a fun house. The attractions may have changed over the years but what I hope most is that people have stopped calling it the Pleasure Pier.

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California Frank Lloyd Wright Tours Travels with Friends USA Southwest Travels

Frank Lloyd Wright Hollyhock House, Los Angeles California

hollyhock house los angeles california
Hollyhock House in Los Angeles California

Over the coarse of Frank Lloyd Wright’s career he built 532 structures and designed over 1000… talk about an overachiever! I have talked about my love for Wright designed structures often on this blog as I find him fascinating, both personally and professionally. He was a brilliant architect, who was well ahead of his years, but also led a life that could even to this day make the front page of the tabloids.

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California Travels with Friends USA Southwest Travels

Visiting the sites of Hollywood Boulevard California

hollywood boulevard california
Hollywood Sign

Hollywood, a place synonymous with glitz, glamour and movies.  But it was not always that way, originally the area was agriculture lands, which of course flourished due to the warm, sunny climate. It was not until the early 1900’s that Hollywood began to form itself into how we know it today, the land of stars and dreams…

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California Travels with Friends

Wine Tasting in Temecula California

wine tasting in temecula california
Temecula Cable Car Wine Tours

Anyone who has gone wine tasting with their friends knows it is no fun being the driver. You are limited from drinking most of the day while your friends progressively get drunker and drunker. I don’t know about you but I am not a fan of being around people who are drunk when I am stone cold sober!

So while visiting Temecula my friend Meg and I sought out a car service to cart us both around so neither one of us had to miss out on the fun. We chose Temecula Cable Car Wine Tours. I thought it would be fun bouncing around wine country in a cable car!

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California Travels with Friends

An early morning flight on a Hot Air Balloon, Temecula California

hot air balloon ride temecula ca
A hot air balloon ride in Temecula

I have had taking a hot air balloon ride on my bucket list for a long time. Go ahead and judge me for having a bucket list, I know it’s cliché :-). As my friend Meg and I were headed to Temecula for wine tasting, we thought why not throw in a balloon ride too?!? Luckily Groupon had a deal for a 2 for 1 and it cut our costs in half, which was great as the ride was not overly expensive, but it was not inexpensive either.

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All Things Beer Breweries Breweries California California Travels with Friends

It’s a Gargoyle not the Devil: Stone Brewing Escondido California

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Stone Brewing is one of the largest craft breweries in the United States and 1 of the 5000th fastest-growing private companies. The brewery was founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner. Probably their best known beer is the Arrogant Bastard, but don’t worry you don’t have to be one in order to enjoy this beer!

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They are also well-known for their IPAs and stouts and – well – that gargoyle that people always confuse with the devil. Sure he doesn’t have a very friendly look on his face, but he usually has a beer in his hand. I am only defending him as that previous sentence may also describe me from time to time.

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California Travels with Friends USA Southwest Travels

San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido California

san diego zoo safari park
The “African Plains” at The San Diego Zoo Safari Park

I have always wanted to take an African Safari, you know in actual Africa. I have yet to do it and it will probably be more years than I want to count before I can afford to go. It is not that it is overly expensive, but I would not consider it inexpensive either. Also in the light of just loosing my job, feeding Boomer is more important than me traipsing off to Africa. Dog’s gotta eat!

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California Travels with Friends USA Southwest Travels

Visiting the San Juan Capistrano Mission, California

san juan capistrano mission
Walking around the San Juan Capistrano mission

This was my fourth visit to California in four years. I had decided to do what most of the travel bloggers I read say to do. Don’t plan out everything. So I didn’t plan much.  I booked my flight, organized a few activities and headed down to California to see my friends Meg and Kris.