All posts filed under: Local

Feed Your Wanderlust with Flea Market Finds, Part One

Indulging on delicious cuisine, meeting people, exploring new places, opening your eyes to other cultures and going on epic adventures are probably the top reasons why we love to travel. They’re certainly a few of mine. But there’s one other reason that keeps popping in my head whenever I’m planning a trip or choosing my next destination: SHOPPING! Visiting a new country means a fantastic opportunity to buy indigenous, artisanal wares that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in your own country or city. You don’t know how many times I’ve started obsessing about a country all because of an Instagram photo (of a beautiful rug from Marrakech, a colorful bag from Cartagena or a darling hammock from Nicaragua.) Often, when I’m not traveling, I keep myself sane by means of retail gratification (aka shopping!) Luckily, our flea markets here in Los Angeles are bubbling with products imported from Mexico all the way to Ghana, and it’s the perfect place for me to feed my wanderlust without having to leave home and spend a few thousand dollars. Here are some of the imported, artisanal …

How to Make the Most of Your Disneyland Getaway

While it may not be as big as Orlando’s Disney World, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is just as packed with rides and attractions for both the young and the young-at-heart. Before you go, expect that you won’t be able to see the entire park, let alone go on every single ride there, in a day. However, you would want to get your money’s worth and experience as much of what the park has to offer. Here are our ten tried and tested tips on how families with kids can make the most of their Disneyland getaway:   Come Early. Depending on the season, both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure usually open around 9 or 10 am Monday thru Thursday, and Disneyland opens around 8 am Friday thru Sunday. One great way to make the most of your visit is simply to come early – not only will you have more hours to spend there, you’d also beat the crowds to the ride lines! Jungle Cruise is one of the many attractions at the park …

Remnants

Here’s the deal: relics of an almost forgotten time only remembered through Hollywood’s very loosely-adapted Western classics, rotted and rusted – typewriters, cash registers, p.o. boxes, horse-drawn carriages – are littered all over, amidst whatever skeletons are left of this old silver-mining town and the considerably cheaper, wild western version of Disneyworld (cotton candy, fake gold panning, coin-pressing machines, the works!) on what used to be Calico’s downtown/red light district/main street. There are only 9 residents left in this town today but everyday from 9 to 5, tour buses and SUVs pile into its dirt parking lot and tourists from China to France walk its streets to “experience” how life was like in the wild wild west. It’s got the markings of a tourist trap but if you step outside the traffic, whether to the northeast where an abandoned hotel was carved on the sides of the rocks or to the northwest where the old schoolhouse stand, you can almost feel the ghosts of the past, whispering tales and anecdotes about miners, cowboys, Chinese immigrants, …

Staying Put

I am scribbling this on a ruled notepad in the warm confines of our bedroom in our Glassell Park apartment. It has gotten very hot here in Los Angeles as of late and I’ve been hoping and hoping for a quiet retreat. Perhaps miles and miles on the long stretch of asphalt and then on a small patch of dirt in the alpine woods. Maybe a little cool dip in a river up in the mountains. Unfortunately, the electronic display of our bank account is a bringer of bad news and a bittersweet reminder of all the travels we’ve done in the last few months. It is telling me now that we will have to stay put for a little while; not a very comforting advice to a wanderer such as myself. I still consider myself one of the lucky ones, however, as I listen to the cars speed past our building, almost like a symphony,  constant and with purpose, to be living in a city as blue and as golden as this. An hour …

Into the Woods

We had long thought of visiting the gardens but we always found ourselves occupied with other things. As it turned out, when we finally got a chance to, it was perfect timing. It was a few days after it rained heavily in Los Angeles and I had never in my life seen my city so green. The trees and the rollings hills were so lush they were reminiscent of the Tuscan vineyards (except, of course, for the busy freeways that were ever intimidatingly present, heavy with vehicles of all shapes and sizes). I have always loved the famous golden hills of LA but the greens were a pleasant surprise and got me dreaming about the rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula, the only rainforest found in the United States. It’s always been a dream of mine to roam about its moss-covered floor. The fascination, I think, comes from living in a city whose hills, for the most part, look more like desert dunes than actual hills. The idea of an actual living rainforest seems inconceivable to …