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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Hermosa Beach

This has to be the best spot to see the sunset in Los Angeles.
About 6 miles south of LAX, there is this place...
 
Hermosa is a Spanish word meaning "beautiful" or "gorgeous". You can see why the moment you visit this place.
Hermosa Beach is popular for beach volleyball, sunbathing, surfing and paddleboarding.



In the evening the pier becomes a power spot.

1 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(213)480-3232


I was there in the middle of December.  The ocean and sunset were even more amazing than in the summer time. 




After it becomes dark, Hermosa Beach shows it's real face.

Many pro surfers and athletes love to party here at night. 
Hermosa Beach is the biggest party beach in Southern California.
Especially in the holiday season it is fun to go out!


I will introduce some of Hermosa's hot spots.


First you gotta try the legendary pizza at "Paisanos Pizza & Pasta". I used to work next to here and grabbed a slice all the time. My recommendation is their "mushroom pizza" and "BBQ chicken pizza".
1132 Hermosa Ave
Hermosa Beach CA 90254
(310)376-9883





If you want to have a really nice dinner with a romantic mood, it has to be at "Zane's". This has been one of Hermosa's it places for a long time.


"Zane's"
1150 Hermosa  Ave
Hermosa Beach CA 90254
(310)374-7488



















For breakfast or a casual lunch I love to eat at "Gum Tree". This is a charming organic food cafe with a "down under" feel. They have a patio section great for people with kids and dogs. Also there is a shop that sells attractive living room items, selective kids goods and pet toys.


"Gum Tree"
238 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach CA90254
(310)376-8744





"Java Man" is the oldest coffee house in Hermosa Beach. I always stop by here to get a coffee and relax on their sofas.

157 Pier Ave
Hermosa Beach CA 90254
(310)379-7209






Hermosa Beach is also famous for having the largest arts & crafts fair in Southern California "Fiesta Hermosa" which happens every Memorial day (May) and Labor day (September).


 I love this fair because there are so many original shops for accessories, clothing and handmade items with great prices.
1007 Hermosa Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
(310)376-0951




At the Fiesta, I always choose to eat the T&T's Cajun Shrimp. Their shrimp is huge and has an unforgettable taste.





Hermosa is hot all that time!







Monday, December 12, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Wrightwood

I went snowboarding in the mountains of Los Angeles county.
Wrightwood is a cute village near the Los Angeles ski resort "Mountain High".



First I had to wax my board so I stopped by a snowboarding store "Mountain Outhouse".
They waxed my board for $12 which costs $15 at the resort. They also sell many choices of snowboarding goods such as helmets, gloves and outfits. It's worth it to stop by to see their clearance stuff!
1433 State Highway 2
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(760)249-3191









While my board was getting waxed I went walking around the village.
The village has many unique souvenir stores and good looking restaurants.




I found a really cute clothing store.

"Apple Blossoms"
1271 Apple Ave
Wrightwood CA 92397
(760)249-3939
Hair band and hair pins

This is a used and handmade clothing store. I really love their handmade hair accessories! The owner is a cute grandma who crafts the products with her daughter and grand daughter.

Ear warmer 













This time I rented the Little Red House for a night.
This is a perfect house for 4 people to be relaxed.



There are 2 bedrooms with a living room and a full kitchen.  It has all you need. 
1415 Laura St
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(760)488-5222
This house is in a village so you can walk around to shops and restaurants.




For dinner I had to check out one of the most popular restaurants in Wrightwood.
Their Tortilla soup was yummy in my tummy!



1455 State Hwy 2
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(760)249-6733
I enjoyed their grilled shrimp and warm, friendly service.  It helped me get ready for the next day. 




Early the next morning I went straight to the Mountain High Resort.
It was the first week of December but there was plenty of snow for fun.

24510 HWY 2
Wrightwood, CA 92397
(888)754-7878

Mountain High is a snowboarder paradise! Their playground is amazing. I also recommend for beginners because of the easy access.





Do you want to feel the real winter?  Wrightwood is the easiest commute from Los Angeles for a snowy wonderland.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Las Vegas vol.2

I went to Las Vegas again for Thanksgiving weekend.
The weekend was not crazy crowded but there were still lots of people here for partying!



I visited Las Vegas last year also you can see the blog from here. http://marikojohnson.blogspot.com/2010/11/hidden-hot-spots-in-las-vegas.html




On the way driving from Los Angeles, I stopped by the largest silver mining camp in California "Calico Ghost Town".

Calico had over 500 mines and a population of about 3500 people in the late 1800's. However the price of silver drove down and the town was abandoned in 1907 and became a Ghost Town.
36600 Ghost Town Road
Yermo, CA 92398
(760)254-2122
In 1951, Knott's Berry Farm purchased the town and restored it to it's original condition. They donated the town to San Bernardino County in 1966.
Today, the park operates mine tours, gold panning, railroad, a restaurant and many gift stores. This is a perfect stop to feel the California history on the way to Nevada.
Their housing was a little spooky..

Going underground is a little adventure.
You must try the gold panning to feel the passion that drove the miners.









My 8th time in Las Vegas, I stayed at the casino hotel "Mandalay Bay" for 2 nights.



The resort opened in 1999 and became famous in a few movies such as "Ocean's Thirteen", "Rocky Balboa" and "the Hangover".






The view of the city from my window was absolutely gorgeous!
For dinner, I wanted to eat a bunch of crab legs so I chose to go to the "Bayside Buffet" in the hotel. I enjoyed their seafood and turkey with excellent service.

3950 Las Vegas Blvd  South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119
(702)632-7777
In the winter season the main pool is closed but there is one pool open with warm water and a bar side jacuzzi. I really love how the bar and jacuzzi are next to each other.  Perfect for a yummy frozen cocktail.








I heard there is a beautiful hiking course near Las Vegas.
About a half hour driving from the strip, I reached the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center and got the best information for an adventurous hiking course.
Red Rock Canyon Rd
Las Vegas NV 89124  
(702)515-5350


There are 19 different hikes and trails in this park.

The red rocks were fun to climb up and the view was fantastic.
Enjoy easy a hike or hardcore climbing.


The day was about 72 degrees.The sky was so blue to contrast the red of rocks.





For your children 6 weeks to 12 years old for fun and safety...try this place.   They open until midnight!
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89103
(866)942-7777


On the top floor of Palms, there is a fabulous French Restaurant "Alize".
The view from my seat was breath taking and the service was 5 stars.
4321 w.Flamingo Road
(702)951-7000



I won a little and lost a little..

4321 W. Flamingo Road
(866)942-7770






On the way going back to Los Angeles, I stopped by the chocolate factory of "Ethel M Chocolate".

This is the company that makes Snickers, Dove, M&Ms and Milky Way.
From their gourmet collection, I recommend "Raspberry Champagne" and "Mucha Margarita".

1 Sunset Way
Henderson, NV 89077
(702)458-8864


I loved the M&M accessories! So cute!