Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 Travels and Adventures: A Year in Review - Part 2

WHEW!   We've made three days into the new year.    I hope your goals and resolutions are still on track.   I've made it to the gym twice, so I'm on track for my regular goal of fifteen days of fitness a month.    Most of the rest of the month will be spent walking around Southeast Asia, so whatever gym time I'm seeking, and it's not much, needs to get knocked out in the next week.

Before we get into double digits of 2018, here are some highlights of the second half of 2017.  

July 2017

Summer was in full force.   It was time cupcakes, fireworks and America.   And also the Sun & Sea Festival in Imperial Beach.  One last minute spontaneous two day visit to San Francisco amidst the craziness that is Comic-Con week at work.   

Sand Castle Fun! 

This is the scene of an incident in my younger years 
that involved a shot of Patron. 

Hi SF - good to see you!

August 2017

In 2017, our family celebrated our first ever Bratsgiving.   It needs to be an annual thing.   Getting together in northern Wisconsin in the summer and spending time together.    

The Brats in Question

September 2017

My sister and I have actually created a tradition.   2017 made five years in a row going to the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Experience over Labor Day.   In San Diego news, it was time for the 7 Bridges Hike and hanging out on the pier in Oceanside.  

Larimer Square - Denver

Twin Lakes - Colorado

Bridges of San Diego 

Why Hello There...


October 2017

Disclosure:  I had never been to Phoenix/Scottsdale before other than passing through the airport.  I had a great weekend visit with friends and can't wait to go back!   October is also Bike MS Bay to Bay time where we hop on our bikes and ride 100 miles to help find a cure for MS.  

Desert Botanical Garden
(cactus everywhere!!!)

Go team go!

November 2017

The month started off with an amazing sunset, followed shortly afterwards with a trip to Texas.   This was my second time trying to mess with Texas this year and I consider it a success.    My family came to visit for Thanksgiving both in California and a holiday extension into Cabo.   

November 1 is looking good

Howdy to you too!

Just a longhorn going on a walk
Nothing to see here

Fiesta de Reyes

Thanksgiving Eve - Encinitas

Traditional Thanksgiving poolside poke bowl

Cabo views

December 2017

So much eating and socializing.    The best month of the year for that.    Holiday shenanigans included the OB Holiday parade, the San Diego Santa Run, Global Winter Wonderland, and the Holiday Bowl Parade.   I got my white Christmas Denver style.  

Shave ice!  The best I've found on the mainland so far.

Global Winter Wonderland

Sunny Santas on the run

White Christmas views

Hudson Gardens Christmas

Parade Balloons

Bye 2017!   Loved you a lot.  

Can't wait to see what 2018 has in store.   Travels and Adventures will continue.   I don't even need to make that a resolution.  

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Travels and Adventures: A Year in Review - Part 1

Happy 2018!

I need to get my act together in celebrating the fun adventures of 2017 before I hop on a plane in another 10 days to start off on my first journey of 2018.    Between the things planned and the unscheduled fun to come, I can only hope that 2018 is as memorable as 2017.

Cheers to travel, whether near or far!

January 2017

The year started off strong in January.   I hiked into 2017 with a visit to Joshua Tree National Park,  followed by a long weekend trip to Maui to visit my friends (first visit back since I moved in May 2016) and then wrapped it up with my first trip to Disneyland.    Being a midwestern girl, we went to Disney World because it was closer, so it was fun to see the OG.  

Joshua Tree National Park 



February 2017

I stayed in California for the whole month.  (WHAT?)
First ski trip since Spring 2013, this time at Big Bear and a weekend trip to see my mom and one of her friends in Rancho Cucamonga.  

Big Bear Views

This restaurant - so much character 

March 2017 

Spring in San Diego included the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden.    Then, I needed more flowers, so it was time to go to the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.    The month wrapped up with a weekend trip to Dallas where we played tourist and ate all the things.  

So very cherry 

Flower Fields 

Give me some of that Texas BBQ! 

April 2017

Naturally when it comes to holidays, we don our festive hats, or ears in this case, to celebrate.  
I also traveled to Chicago for work and it was an added bonus to catch up with friends and family for a few days before actually going to my meetings.  

Somebunny in San Diego says Hi! 

Big city reflections in Chicago 

May 2017

I finally made it to the Galapagos Islands, a destination that has been on my life list for quite a while.  I  can't pick just one photo....

In other fun, I checked out the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla and my sister came to visit - the picture with TREX sums up what happens when we get together. 

 First off, I got to travel with my mom over Mother's Day

Giant Galapagos Tortoise 

Adorable Sleeping Sea Lions

Sea Dragons

If this isn't the best day ever, what is? 

June 2017

Hey there summer!  The June Gloom faded away and it was time for:
  • Road trip to Long Beach
  • My one Padres game for the year
  • The San Diego Fair (and bonus 5k) 
  • An urban hike up to Mount Soledad

Fun in the sun in Long Beach

Not sure who won

Fair Time:  Where the West was Fun

 Mount Soledad 

Up Next:   Part 2 

Including the First Bratsgiving and a foam party in Cabo.   The second half of 2017 didn't disappoint. 

What were some of your great memories from 2017?  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Explore San Diego: 7 Bridges Urban Hike

Only recently have a I heard, much less used, the phrase urban hike.  What makes it a hike rather than just a walk? Because we know I'm not doing any urban running.   

For me it's the element of discovery and exploration with a longer distance than your standard neighborhood walk.    We're looking at an urban setting in a fresh new way.

Last weekend I explored San Diego through the 5.5ish mile 7 Bridges hike through Balboa Park, Bankers Hill, and Hillcrest.     The bridges in Balboa Park were familiar.   I'd also gone on the hunt for the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge last year.    My new favorite after this adventure is now the Vermont Street Bridge.   

Let's go!

This hike starts at Balboa Park on Park Avenue by the Rose Garden and the Cactus Garden.    I love the rose garden because I can enjoy all the flowers without having to do any actual gardening.   

Bridge #1 
Cross Park Avenue and go from the Rose Garden into Balboa Park. 

Bridge #2
After walking through Balboa Park on the Prado, you'll pass the Museum of Man, and then you'll cross the bridge that goes over Highway 163.    It's very dramatic when you're driving under it, but it's hard to capture that when you're walking over it.  

Bridge #3
The First Avenue Bridge 
Fun Fact:  It's the only steel arch bridge in the city 
Views of the harbor to the left and one of the many San Diego city canyons on the right

Bridge #4
Quince Street Bridge

Bridge #5
Spruce Street Suspension Bridge 
This is a fun one!  

Bridge #6
You get some of your fitness between bridges 5 and 6.   Good news, you're strolling along University Ave in Hillcrest and there are no shortages of restaurants and coffee shops if you need to stop.   This is a urban hike - coffee is what we do.   

I had no idea the Vermont Street Bridge existed and now I love it.   It's full inspirational quotes and connects Hillcrest with University Heights.  

Snack Stop
On Sunday the Hillcrest Farmers Market runs from 9a-2pm.     Feeling adventurous, I tried these hot Cheeto spam balls.    This farmers market is great -  good produce, beautiful flowers, and tasty food vendors.  

Bridge #7
The Georgia Street Bridge is currently under construction, so at this point, you have to walk around and imagine that you urban hiked over this last bridge.   

For more fun facts about this hike as well as map, check out this article from the San Diego Reader. 

Looking for other ways to explore San Diego?


(Traveler in the Kitchen is the hungry portion of this blog)

Do you love San Diego?    Where do you go?  


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