All posts filed under: Slow Travel

The Flower Fields in Carlsbard

The Carlsbad Flower Fields – located at 5704 Paseo Del Norte – have been around for more than 85 years. Blooms first appeared in the early 1920s when Luther Gage, an early settler to the area, brought Ranunculus seeds and planted them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. Since those humble beginnings in Gage’s few flower beds, the fields have sprouted into a huge attraction in San Diego’s North County, serving about 125,000 visitors each year. The Flower Fields are located near the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, another popular destination in the area. [California Poppies] The best time to view the flowers in all of their gorgeous glory is usually mid-March through mid-April, but those dates can change, depending on the weather. [Bed of Ranunculus] This is my second time here in the flower fields. Loved the experience both times. I recommend riding the wagon ride to see the whole field then walk around & look at the flowers up close & take pictures. My favorite part of the field …

Grand Central Market in Los Angeles

Spent the last two Saturdays  (Feb 17 and 24) at Los Angeles’ version of Europe’s night market, Grand Central Market. Built in 1917, it is the oldest concession type of market here in the Pacific Coast. It is said to have survived depression, recessions, earthquakes, and re-developments. It is now a vibrant community of multicultural stalls and food stops. It extends from Broadway Ave to Hill St. Grand Central Market is the food court for the foodies, it has ramen to tacos and coffee to ice cream, this place has something for everyone even for the vegetarians. You can find food, fresh or cooked from several countries, particularly from China, Mexico, Thailand, Italy, Salvador, Japan, Philippines in a wonderful fusion of flavors. You can choose among several different qualities of chili peppers or beans or fruits or rice. You can taste very hot spicy fried chicken or an excellent steamed salmon. You can take a hot or an iced American coffee or a good ice cream. You can speak Chinese or Thai or Spanish or Italian …

Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Attention all gardeners, plant, and flora lovers… this is a wonderful and photogenic place to while away an afternoon. We  arrived late in the afternoon, 2 hours before closing and spent the hours here walking and photographing the lovely flowers and landscapes. This is a huge, beautiful, tranquil park and botanical garden – an absolute must-visit place for all ages, to enjoy its enormous acreage of woods, flower/fruit/herb gardens, waterfalls, ponds, lawns, tropical “forest”…. not to mention the many peacocks running around everywhere. The Baldwin guest mansion with its citrus and rose gardens is the highlight of these impressive acres of natural beauty. So many gardens to see at your leisure. I highly recommend a visit to the Arboretum and Botanic Garden. I’ve lived in the Los Angeles area for forever, but it took me this long to realize what a lovely respite from all-things-Los Angeles this peaceful place is. Do visit the Arboretum… you will want to return for every season under the sun. And more. A gorgeous and cheaper alternative to the Huntington Gardens. …

Little Tokyo, Again!

I love coming here because of the many cool restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores and for the stationery stores. Little Tokyo Mall, located at the heart of Little Tokyo is on 1st St, has a bunch of small shops, a bit pricey but there’s another reason I like coming here, it is as clean as Downtown Los Angeles gets. There are also a lot of great food spots in and around the area such as sushi, bento, bakery, ramen, etc. Pretty much any Japanese foods. And right at the corner of Astronaut E Onizuka and 2nd Streets, is another plaza that is full of Japanese shops, and one of my favorite shops here is Kinokuniya, a book/stationery store. I’ve come here to check Frixion pens, Japanese ballpoint pens, and really cute notebooks, and whether they already have the 2018 Hobonichi planners/journals, but seems like they don’t carry it anymore. Anyway, I enjoyed browsing through their shelves, as always, because they really have exceptional products. We had  lunch at Orochon Ramen after a little shopping at Kinokuniya. Ordered two …

Japanese Tea Garden in San Franciso

As you visit the Japanese Tea Garden, you’ll enjoy gorgeous landscapes and scenery complete with kaleidoscopic floral arrangements, waterfalls and koi ponds.  You will also see a rich display of Japanese culture by prominent structures such as the pagoda, a drum bridge and a tea house. What you probably won’t be able to see, however, is its rich history of the past – a past that many would rather forget. Most of the structures that you’ll see, such as the Mount Fuji landscapes, the pagoda, the Zen Garden, among others were actually additions made from 1960’s through 1980’s. The original gates, which are rich in history and culture, were restored in the 1980’s. It is a pretty big place to walk around and explore.If you get hungry or thirsty, there is a place inside where you can eat and drink tea while enjoying the scenery. Having a cup of Japanese tea while enjoying the sunshine is a wonderful experience. The small shop is worth taking a look too. I bought a Japanese wind chime, incense, …

Pier Fishing at Huntington Beach

California’s mild season allows fishing enthusiasts to enjoy an all year round ideal fishing conditions. Summertime and Fall season are the best times to catch certain species but the surfperch will stay until the winter. If you are interested in doing some pier fishing in the Southern California area, Huntington Beach Pier is on pierfishing.com list for public piers and is listed under the yellow zone on PVS Fishing website which also lists the types of fish that are safe for eating. The Huntington Beach Pier is a fun place to fish and it is the home to the longest pier in Southern California, so you can imagine why it is so famous for many fishers because from the mid-pier area to the end is the home of most of the pelagic. According to Pier Fishing in California when fishing, it is always best to bring two poles. One is for catching small live baits such as the sardines and topsmelt and the other should be heavier and sturdier for larger fishes like the corbina, halibut, …

Getty Villa in Malibu

In 1945, J. Paul Getty purchased a sixty-four-acre site in Malibu and in 1954, he opened the original J. Paul Getty Museum in his home to show his collection, of which Greek and Roman antiquities are an important element. In 1968, Getty decided then to re-create a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri, on the property to display his growing collection of art. And in 1974, the new Getty Museum opens to the public, becoming one of Southern California’s cultural landmarks. In 1997, the Malibu site closed for renovation; the Getty Center in Los Angeles opens to the public. In 2006, the newly renovated Malibu site opened as the Getty Villa, dedicated to the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. To me, the Getty Villa is an all-star. The view alone from the porticos across the expanse of the San Fernando Valley is well worth the price of admission. The architecture alone is worth the visit. Top left: Outdoor Theater Top right: East Garden, the colorful fountain with shells and …