Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Playa Del Rey

Another power spot for me is in Playa Del Rey. A long time ago the Spanish must have chosen this place for the king with the very same reason.
Playa Del Rey is just north of LAX (about 5 minutes driving) and there is the "Ballona Wetlands" which is one of the last significant wetlands in Los Angeles.  
Bellona Wetland used to owned by Howard Hughes. Now the states owns it and you can only enter with permission or on open house days. Please check to see the days with this site→

March and April are the best months to see the beautiful wild flowers here.
Pickle Weed
Sage Flower
Wild Radish

Also you can meet gorgeous spring birds.

303 Culver Blvd
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

If you want to enjoy this beauty during lunch or dinner, then this is the spot.

Destini Cafe is an Asian Fusion restaurant. They have a cute garden patio and you can enjoy the view of wetlands.

You can bring your own alchol without corkage fee!

Their significant dishes are General Tso Chicken (Chinese) and Bimbim Bop (Korean).

423 Culver Blvd
Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

From the restaurants's backdoor you can see this view in spring.
Now is the time that all the wild flowers are in bloom. This is where you can find the original true nature in Los Angeles.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Escondido

During spring break, I stayed in Escondido for a new adventure. Escondido is on the north side of San Diego and it is about 2 hours driving from LAX.

First I had to go to visit the world famous "San Diego Zoo Safari Park".

"San Diego Zoo Safari Park"
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027
(760) 747-8702

There are 5 dining facilities in the park. I talked with a volunteer woman (there are volunteer people everywhere and they will help with your park plans) for advice and she recommend to me "Mombasa Island Cooker" for lunch.

"Mombasa Island Cooker" is located in Nairobi Village. They serve up Italian and Asian specialities as well as gourmet burgers and salads.

I chose to have a "Thai chicken wrap" and a beer. It was one of the happiest moments at the park.

My most favorite spot in the park was the "Butterfly Jungle" (This is a temporary exhibit until May 8, 2011). Playing with bunch of beautiful butterflys was a fantastic experience.

I'm a RCI member and use them when I travel for long periods. This time I stayed in "Welk Resorts San Diego" for a week.

What I like about RCI resorts is that they are always very gorgeous and ready with everything you need. 

At the Welk, I stayed in room No.3431 which is a one bedroom with a nice full kitchen.

Lawrence Welk was a musician, entertainer and successful businessman who passed away in the 90's.
"Welk Resorts San Diego"
8860 Lawrence Welk Drive
Escondido, CA 92026

Every Monday from 3pm to dusk, there is a farmer's market inside of Welk resorts. 

The food choice was very international such as Mediterranean, Indian, Mexican, Japanese and West African. I tried Tamale (Mexican) and Hummus (Mediterranean).  Both dishes were great and I had a nice Monday evening listening to live accordion music.

During my stay in Escondido, they had a awesome "Renaissance Faire" at Felicita Park.

at "Felicita Park"
742 Clarence Ln
Escondido, California 92029

Time trip to 500 years ago.
The day in Escondido was about 80 degrees. This faire was at a beautiful park that was transformed into a very real looking medieval village. I had a wonderful time.

For the beer drinker, "Stone brewery" is the place to be in Escondido.

Their sampler is only $5! (above 4 beers). 

This is a huge brewery and bistro, you can enjoy a brewery tour or walking around in the beautiful garden with your family and friends.

1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029