At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Los Angeles area is full of contrasts

What we learned yesterday is that the greater Los Angeles area is full of contrasts. They say that the area contains about 18.5 million people, and they must all own cars. And it seems that everybody is driving them all at the same time. There certainly is lots of traffic.

But while the traffic is hard to get away from, there are a lot of places in the greater metro area where you really do seem to be away from it even though it's always very close by.

Yesterday, Mike and Tamara took us to do a long hike on the Pacific Ridge, a network of trails near Newport Beach and Crystal Cove State Park.

At the start of the trails.

Despite some vast open land in this area, it's still what you would call an "urban" hike. As you'll see in the photos below, there are some residential areas very close by...expensive residential areas, with multi million dollar properties.

Not long after we began, we came across some of these pretty colored thistle plants.

We've never seen a plant like this. Pretty blue colors!

We can see the sea!

Great scenery.

Mike, Tamara, Ruth, Kevin.

Getting closer now. It was about 5 miles (8 kms) one way.

At the end of this trail, you come in to Crystal Cove State Park which is located right on the coast. It has a camping area with some sections having full RV hookups and some are just dry camping sites. We thought about camping there with Helen and Tony who arrive this afternoon, and while the beautiful ocean views are attractive, the $75 USD ($97 CAD) for full hookups and $50 USD ($65 CAD) for dry camping are hard to swallow.

Despite the prices, they are sold out on weekends.

We walked along a coastal path for a half a mile or so to get to "The Shake Shack". Operating in this location since 1946, it's a popular stopping place for lunch or a milkshake. 

The shake shack!

Ruth and I shared one of their famous date shakes.

Delicious hamburgers...with gluten free buns!

The view from where we were sitting.

And then, with full stomachs...we did the return trip.

California coastline.

I think Ritchie Rich lives here, He has a beautiful view of the ocean. 

We saw a whale in the distance.

We followed the same route back to the car. I had my GPS on the iPhone operating, and we had done 11 miles (17.5 kms) round trip. A great hike, on a beautiful day. It felt really good to get out and get some exercise.

But then, it was back to reality!

Traffic is certainly busy, but it seems to flow along. It's just one of the things that people put up with who live in the area. There is a lot more greenery and scenery than we expected, and so far we can understand why it's a popular area to live.

We're off for another (shorter) hike this morning, and then we pick up Helen and Tony from Los Angeles airport late this afternoon. 

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A huge selection of Coleman camping gear is on sale today only at Amazon.com





27 comments:

  1. Love the ocean! We flew into LA and then took a bus to San Diego. Really didn't see much of LA!

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    1. Yes, the ocean is beautiful and hopefully we will see some more of it while we are here. Too bad you missed seeing the LA area because there are really some nice places to visit despite the weather.

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  2. K&R,being born and raised in Palo Alto,California We understand the attraction that has occurred over the last 45-55 years,great place to live,close to San Francisco,great education for kids,beautiful country,all the best life can provide,but we couldn't ever stand la la land even on trips to Disney land.But that wasn't the case in college,friends in Newport Beach,La Jolla,Fountain Vally,showed me a very good time.Right now its 5months on La Ropa beach.Zihua,where you guys boondocked years ago.Have to head north in the next 2 weeks,headed to Bend Ore.,our summer home,won't be going near la la land,but will stop

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    1. Yes, we can certainly understand the attraction as well to California and LA there are so many different sides to see. We aren't really into all the touristy type of places although I am sure we will see a few of them but want to spend more time seeing the beauty of the area.

      Glad you enjoyed Zihuatanejo, it is a wonderful area there and we did enjoy ourselves any time that we have stayed there.

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  3. Sorry,we will stop in Half Moon Bay,to see our son and check on our properties,then on to Bend.Summers in central Ore.pretty sweet.Safe travels,looking forward to your blogs,Rod&Kerry.

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    1. Sounds like you have some great plans ahead! Enjoy your travels. :-)

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  4. Just way too many people there for us country folk.
    I know you will enjoy it though, have fun.

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    1. Yep, lots of people and traffic for sure but also some great sites that are really worth seeing.

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  5. Contrasts for sure! I always found it difficult to "get away" but then have to deal with the traffic on the way home. As soon as I got home, I needed to "get away" again. That sure was a beautiful hike!

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    1. Yep, we know exactly what you mean! There is some wonderful hiking in the area and you feel like you are miles from the city yet it is not very far away at all.

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  6. LA boomed in the 1920s (oil) and because that was a high point in residential architecture (and they had money) there are many absolutely charming residential neighborhoods. One of my favorites is Manhattan Beach, where the houses front on wide sidewalks instead of streets. Unfortunately many of the original cottages are being replaced with three story monstrosities.

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    1. Yes, you are right there are some charming old places like the old historical cottages at Newport Beach which are lovely to look at. If we are in the area at some point we will try to check out Manhattan Beach, thanks!

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  7. Lived there in the late seventies to 1983. They can keep it. Beautiful state, but some very strange laws that seem to not do much for the economy nor the environment. Still one of the most air-polluted states. Big business and the rich pay for all the loopholes and get away with murder.

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    1. Don't think we would care to live here either, definitely a little too busy for us but we do love all the possibilities that they have for some beautiful urban hiking. We could certainly come back to visit and spend more time here exploring the out lying areas.

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  8. My cousins live in the area. You have to try Sees candy - we love it - even more than PA's Hershey's! Last year we rented a house in Newport Beach for a week while out there. We also stayed in Palm Springs while our team participated in the National Field Hockey Tournament in Indio. Had a fun time checking out the area between PS & LA. Lots to see & do on the "back" roads. Enjoy!!! B&C in PA

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    1. We will try to find a store during our travels here, sounds like a fun place to go! We agree there does seem to be lots to see ad do on the back roads away from the crowds. Looking forward to our time here, just wish there was some way to avoid all the traffic. ;-)

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    2. There is a Sees candy store at 144 S Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. We were busy during the days there with going to field hockey events. So we spent our evenings enjoying the downtown area. Easy to find parking. Lots of food places. Friendly people. Nice weather (cooler) in evenings. Have fun!

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  9. Such a contrast between your pictures of hiking and the awful traffic. The Shake Shack looks fun and delicious.

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    1. Yes, there is quite a difference and hard to believe that one is not very far from the other.

      I think we will be returning to the Shake Shack with Helen and Tony, it was delicious!

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  10. That plant looks kind of like an artichoke to me. I wonder?

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    1. It looks similar but I haven't been able to find one with such blue leaves but I have seen a picture of a thistle type of plant that also looks much like the one above, so we just aren't quite sure.

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  11. I was in LA about 40 years ago-missed the good parts you have shown, but still not planning to go back:)

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    1. Just because of all the hiking we could easily come back but it would be nice to be able to avoid all the traffic.

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  12. That looks like a great hiking area, tho I don't remember it from when I lived in SoCal. Must be new. It got too crowded for me and I moved away in 1989, but California has its own allure, and my husband I moved back four years ago ... this time to NorCal and the Sierra Nevada foothills ... and quiet Nevada City. Love it here.

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    1. I have no idea if it is relatively new or not but there is a ton of hiking in and around the LA area. I think the part of California that you live in now would also be to our liking and would have lots of options for us.

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  13. That blue plant is gorgeous. Odd how L.A. can be so rural in some areas.

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    1. We think it is some type of thistle plant but now Poula in her comment above has us wondering if it might be from the artichoke family. The blue colour was incredible though!

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