January Favourites

January has been fun, we had a lot of snow and Kiwi has been enjoying lots of snowboarding at the numerous resorts close by. So far as soon as it warms up and the snow starts to melt within a few days we have another snow storm. It’s been nice to watch out the window and enjoy wintery walks.

Whilst we had some time we visited Capitol Reef, one of the smaller national parks and admired the rocks and went petroglyph hunting. There’s been a fair old amount of baking in the house, mostly as I am still adjusting recipes to work at high altitude – this is a real thing and really annoying! I think though I’ve got my favourite brownie recipe to work. Now I’m waiting for mini eggs to start hitting the ships to add these in!

We have been seeing a fair few sporting events, first basketball and then a gymnastics meet. I really enjoyed the gymnastics, I’m always so impressed at the athletes physicality, this was a great weekend. We have also been invaded for Sundance film festival, this takes place just up the road in Park City, and you can even Uber a helicopter to take you around! Craziness! We attended a few screenings which was very exciting.

At the end of January I went on a trip to LA for a long weekend, it was great to walk along the numerous beaches, eat many ice creams and enjoy the warmer weather. So that’s life lately, and snuggling with the kitties of course.

 

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LA Weekend – Part 2

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Having spent a fabulous day exploring Santa Monica and Malibu and soaking up the sunshine, it was a little different to wake up to storm and flash flood warnings. I guess it doesn’t often rain in LA. It was fairly windy but armed with a waterproof jacket we set off to walk around the main downtown area. We stumbled upon the end of the world bookstore, selling new and used books and spent ages browsing. It felt a bit Harry Potter-esque. Afterwards we walked around the market and found a lovely coffee shop before heading onto Hollywood.

I’m not sure what I expected, Hollywood I guess is a very diluted version of Gatlinburg, only with less neon, but a similar feel. It was fun to see the walk of fame, and some well known buildings. LA traffic is fairly busy and most the drivers are crazy so that was interesting. It was a bit like being in London again, only instead of narrow twisty roads there were 6+ lane highways! And lots of palm trees.

Afterwards we drove up to the Griffith observatory, admiring the view and catching a star show. This was great and despite being a bit cold after the sun goes down, the view of LA lit up was really something. It was also fun to see the ‘Hollywood’ sign, although I didn’t manage to get a decent picture.

For our final day before heading home we drove around Mulholland drive admiring big mansions and houses on stilts that looked impossible. Although there were other areas in the valley that looked fun to explore we ended up going to Venice beach, as beach and ice cream! Here there is a pretty wooden fishing pier and crazy ‘muscle’ beach paraphernalia. I enjoyed walking around the small canal walkway that is tucked just behind the beach front. Someone decided they wanted to recreate a mini Venice, it wasn’t quite the same, but the little bridges were adorable and it felt miles away from the crazieness of muscle beach just minutes away.

This was really a whistle stop tour of LA, but great fun to see some interesting places. It already feels like a long time ago now as I sit watching the snow out the window. The kitties were very pleased to have their family all complete again mind. And I do enjoy kitty snuggles.

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LA – Weekend trip Part 1

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As it’s fairly chilly and snowy here at the moment, I was quite keen to have a fun weekend away. Even better was the prospect of exploring a place I’d never been. So as LA is only 1.5 hrs away by plane I jetted off to see Hollywood, eat ice cream and catch up with friends.

I’m still pleasantly surprised how quick and easy it is to jet off to California for a long weekend. It took me a little while to work out what to cram into my hand luggage as I’ve forgotten what temperatures above 10 degrees feels like! I hadn’t visited LA before and had a few places I was keen to visit. The only thing I know is that it is a large sprawling city, 2nd biggest in the US in fact, that it is full of Hollywood people and it has access to some fabulous beaches.

We have previously visited some of the pacific coast highway when we visited San Francisco last year. So when I arrived on Saturday, the beach was top of my list. Having got my bearings of the vastness of LA we headed up the pacific coast highway to stop at Santa Monica. I loved walking around the main downtown area, which had small streets, vibrant shops and great cafes. We stumbled across a market selling strawberries. That’s right in season strawberries in January. The mind boggles.

We ventured to the pier, and walked along the broad walk gazing at the carousel and admiring the many performers scattered along. It was lovely to sit in the sunshine and seep up lots of vitamin D. We then found an English imports shop where I purchased some Cherry Bakewells and some Malteasers. This was excellent, and then next door was an actual authentic Irish pub serving proper fish and chips, and a cheeseboard with English cheese, pork pies and Branston pickle.

Having filled myself up with yummy foods we ventured onwards to Malibu. This coastline is especially pretty and we stopped at the beach to enjoy a brief walk, the sunset and some amazing ice cream from a local creamery. All in all for the first day LA is pretty awesome!

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