Adventures

Adventures to Have While Saving for Bigger Adventures – Los Angeles Edition

In comparing my adventure list from 2017 to the one I’ve made for 2018, I’ve found that about a third of my adventures this year are a little more on the pricey side (pricey as in more than $100 each). In 2017, I went on a lot of smaller adventures, discovering that some of the best adventures are the ones that are both close by and inexpensive.

Inexpensive adventures make it so much easier to adventure to more places and more often. 

Like anyone else, in between bigger adventures I need time to save money but don’t want to sacrifice going out and experiencing different things.

Here are 20 things to do in LA if you’re looking to have an adventure that will allow for some space to save for bigger adventures or if you’re just looking for a way to have some fun without breaking the bank:

  1. Hike to the Hollywood sign (Free) – If you’re feeling outdoorsy, grab some water and take the 5 mile hike up to see the famous Hollywood sign. This is a great way to get some exercise and have an adventure.
  2. Go to the Getty Museum (Free admission +$15 for parking) – Not only is the Getty Museum filled with beautiful and thought provoking art, but the grounds are truly amazing.
  3. Go to the Getty Villa (Free admission +$15 for parking) – If you’re feeling super adventurey and you have the whole day to spare, you can visit both the Getty Museum and the Getty Villa (located in Malibu) on the same day and only have to pay for parking at one of the two.
  4. Griffith Park Zoo (Free) – Good for hiking and exploration.
  5. Griffith Observatory (Free admission + Parking) – This is a beautiful place to look over the city if you visit during the day and a perfect place to see the stars if you visit at night. You could also pair this adventure with hiking at the Hollywood sign and visiting the Griffith Park Zoo, as the three are all in the same general area.
  6. Visit the Bradbury Building (Free) – If you love architecture, you will love this place. It makes for a quick adventure, as you are not allowed to go up the elevators or most of the higher staircases but nevertheless, it’s still worth the visit. It’s located right next to Blue Bottle Cafe which is a cute place to grab a cup of coffee.
  7. Visit The Broad Museum (Free + Parking) – Visit one of LA’s most well known museums for free when you reserve your tickets ahead of time on their website.
  8. Take a hike at Escondido Falls in Malibu (Free) – This hike is about 3 miles long roundtrip and if you’re lucky, the waterfall at the end of the trail will have lots of running water.
  9. Enjoy some time at The Grove (Free) – I visited this outdoor shopping area for the first time during Christmas this year and it was magical. Regardless of when you go, it’s a great place to walk around, people watch, or do a little shopping.
  10. Visit the California African American Museum ( Free + $12-$15 Parking) – Check out this museum from Tuesday-Sunday for free, just pay for parking and be aware ahead of time that parking is cash only.
  11. Visit the Museum of the Holocaust (Free + Parking ) – Even parking is free if you can snag one of the limited free spaces in the museums underground garage.
  12. Visit the Last Bookstore to get your book fix (Free + Metered parking) – This bookstore not only has a major selection of books, but it’s also infamous for it’s book arch, color coordinated book wall, and wacky bookcases that look like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
  13. Check out the exhibition galleries at the California Science Center (Free + $12 Parking) – Admission to the exhibition galleries is free and you have the option to pay for admission to the museum’s special exhibits for under $20.
  14. Take in the beauty of the Wayfarers Chapel (Free) – Wayfarers Chapel is a breathtaking glass chapel overlooking the water in Palos Verdes which is in LA county but not quite in LA. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the rose garden which is right next to the chapel.
  15. Check out the view at Signal Hill Park in Long Beach (Free) – Again, not located in LA but still in LA county. This view is spectacular at night, and you can enjoy it for free. If you have some extra money to spare, head a few miles down the road from the park and grab a bite to eat at SteelCraft. SteelCraft is an outdoor space with a variety of different food options, including a waffle spot that I definitely recommend.
  16. Roam through the Venice Canals (Free) – Pick a good weather day and head over to stroll through the beautiful canals of LA.
  17. Grab a flower inspired drink and piece of cake at Bia Coffee in Koreatown ($6-$14) – Bia Coffee isn’t the most inspiring as far as interior design goes, but they have rose and lavender infused coffee, lemonade, tea, and cake. The drinks and the cake are so aesthetically pleasing and they are even garnished with edible flowers. I would definitely recommend checking it out at least once.
  18. Grab a latte with your picture on it at Carerra Cafe ($7) – This super cute cafe will put any picture you want on top of your drink of choice. It’s also located directly across from the infamous pink wall in the event that you wanted to get in a few trendy LA pics.
  19. Soak in the ocean breeze while drinking a cocktail at the Strand House in Manhattan Beach (about $15 per drink) – This restaurant is one of my favorite places to soak in the sun, breeze, and ocean views while sipping on a mimosa. They also have killer homemade donuts if you feel so inclined.
  20. Ride the SkySlide (Less than $30 + Parking) – Where else can you ride a glass slide on the side of a skyscraper?

 

Hoping this list gives you some ideas for a worthwhile adventure at a cost that leaves a little extra money in your wallet.

Happy adventuring ♥

Adventure of the Week – Mt. Rubidoux & Lift Coffee

Seated with Him in Heavenly Places

In committing to being more active this year, we are going to be incorporating more outdoor activities into our weekly adventures.

This week, we drove out to Riverside to hike at Mt. Rubidoux. The hike, reaching a little over 1300 feet in elevation, was easy, beautiful, and incredibly worthwhile.

Here’s the need to know:

  1. There is plenty of free street parking and entrance to the trails is free as well. As an added bonus, if you love old cemeteries like me, there is an old cemetery with the big head stones at the bottom of the mountain. To get to the mountain, simply plug in the address for Mt. Rubidoux Memorial Park into your GPS and follow the directions. (Here is the address I used : 4706 Mount Rubidoux Dr. Riverside)
  2. The trails are actually paved roads which is really nice and makes the hike a lot easier in my opinion. There are several different paths to choose from, one of which looked like a dirt trail but I’m unsure if that path leads to the top. Be sure to watch your step, as many people bring their animals on the trails and fail to clean up after them (don’t be that person).
  3. The path we ended up taking was roughly two miles round trip and it felt more like a walk than a hike. Even though the hike is up a mountain, the incline increases gradually so it doesn’t feel like you are struggling to walk up the mountain.
  4. If you are afraid of heights, I would think twice if this hike is for you. While the path is paved, there are no ropes or guard rails on the sides. I normally am not affected by heights, but there were a few times when I looked over the side of the mountain and felt a little anxious about how high up we were.
  5. The summit is amazing. Not only can you see the whole city, but there is also a huge American flag, a stone bridge with a tower, and a giant cross. There are a lot of rocks and slippery spots when you get to the top, so again, be sure to watch your step.

 

 

Naturally, we still had to get in our caffeine fix so decided to give Lift Room Roasters a try. Lift Room Roasters is located in a super random warehouse looking area, making it somewhat difficult to locate. Once inside, we were pleasantly surprised to find such a hidden gem. From the outside you would never know that Lift Room Roasters is busy roasting their own coffee out in the open for visitors to see.

We ordered two vanilla lattes (mine iced with almond milk and Julianna’s hot with regular milk) and a snickerdoodle cookie to share ($14 total). I don’t think all almond milks are created equal so my latte left a bit to be desired, but Julianna’s was excellent. She rated it a 8-9/10. There are three Lift Room Roasters in Riverside, and I would definitely return if in the area.

 

Adventure is out there ♥.

Adventure of the Week – Bagels & Brew and Chill at The Queen Mary

Unicorn Bagels we were hoping to try! (picture from Bagel & Brew's Instagram)

This week’s adventure was truly that…an adventure. We learned about planning ahead and finding what’s great about where you end up.

We set out to find Unicorn bagels at Bagels & Brew in Lake Forest. Usually I drive, but this week Julianna drove. Instead of driving to the Lake Forest location, we ended up at the Aliso Viejo location which was an extra 20 minutes away from our starting point (side note: make sure the driver knows how to operate their GPS before you actually start driving). When we finally arrived, we found out that Bagels & Brew only offers their colorful unicorn bagels Thursday – Sunday which was too bad for us because it was Wednesday. We ended up ordering a pizza bagel melt (about $5.50) to share, and it was so good that we ordered a second one. If you head over to Bagels & Brew for a pizza melt, make sure to ask for ranch because they have the good ranch (if you’re a ranch connoisseur, you know what I mean when I say “good ranch”). They also have a range of other things on their menu from salads, sandwiches, smoothies, ice cream, burgers, soup, and coffee all made with fresh ingredients.  The shopping center is cute and has several stores, a movie theater, and lots of other places to grab food if you’re in the mood for a different type of cuisine.

Pizza Melt Bagel

After dark, our family headed over to Long Beach to experience CHILL, an annual winter event that takes place aside the historic Queen Mary. CHILL showcases the food and culture of six different regions of the world.

Here’s the need to know if you plan to check out CHILL for yourself:

  1. The experience runs from December 13th- January 7th (closed on New Years Eve) from 4:30pm-11pm.
  2. Everything about it is expensive. My mom got the tickets off of Groupon, but I no longer see them available on the site. Tickets can be purchased here and cost $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids. Parking is a whopping $20, and to our surprise, many of the attractions inside of the event cost extra. The best attraction by far is the zip line, which cost an additional $90 for 6 of us to ride.
  3. There are free attractions once you get inside of the event such as ice skating, shuffleboard, a giant rocking horse and a tubing slide.
  4. There are plenty of places inside to get food, which feature tradition foods from different regions such as Russia, Switzerland, etc.
  5. There are several little houses where you can make crafts such as your own gingerbread house and Christmas stockings.
  6. It may be worth it if this is something you’ve really wanted to experience, but all in all, I would say that the prices are just too high when there are so many adventures out there. In calculating the cost of the full experience (entry, parking, food, and attraction tickets) for just a family of three, it would easily be at least $200. Yikes.

Until next time, adventure is out there! ♥

Adventure of the Week – Dough & Arrow

Iced Guava Tea, Iced Cookie Creme Latte, Red Velvet Cookie, Smookie, and Creme Brulee cookie with our ZeroUV glasses

This week we tried the coffee and desserts at Dough & Arrow in Costa Mesa. I had originally found this spot on Instagram and was lured in by their Stranger Things inspired drinks (I rarely watch TV but cmon…it’s Stranger Things).

I had driven right by Dough & Arrow at least 50 times this year and never once even noticed it, which is further proof that some of the best places can be right under your nose!  The exterior is your average, basic strip mall store; the interior is cute, clean, and features their signature pink cookie that you see on everyone’s posts.

Dough & Arrow is known for their Ube desserts ( Philipino yams that are purple and mixed with condensed milk and butter), cookies, and edible cookie dough. They’re generous with their samples, so be sure to ask to try out the cookie dough if you can’t decide which flavor you might like. They also have a range of beverages, and they will give you a free cookie if you check in on Yelp while you’re there.

We ordered a red velvet cookie, a smookie (the cross between a smore and a cookie), a creme brulee cookie, an iced cookie cream latte, and an iced guava tea (total was roughly $12). The cookie cream latte was incredibly good, but it was also incredibly sweet. The guava tea was exceptional. They add activated charcoal to it, giving it an ombre color (this was the base of the Stranger Things drink I had originally seen online, but they stopped making it after Halloween). It is so light and refreshing, and if I had to pick one item that would cause me to return, it would be this. The cookies were also amazing. I don’t typically like creme brulee, but it was definitely the best one of the three we ordered. It was perfectly torched on the outside, yet soft and moist on the inside.

Three days later, we’re still talking about how good everything was and how we want to go back. I would definitely recommend giving Dough & Arrow a try if you are in the area!

 

Happy Adventuring ♥

Adventure of the Week- Façade Fun House and Neat Coffee

Money Baths with Rihanna

Pop up museums are a thing of the now. This week Julianna and I scouted out the newest pop up to hit Orange County – Façade Fun House. Located in The Lab in Costa Mesa, Façade Fun House features about 8 small sets where you can let your photo loving heart run free.

You can play in a money filled tub, watch TV in the mad house, or roll around in confetti in a room that honestly has the worlds best lighting.

This pop up is small, but delivers. It delivers so well in fact, that we have decided to go again so be sure to stay tuned for more pictures from our repeat adventure!

Here’s the need to know for your trip to the Fun House:

  1. Get your tickets online ahead of time here. The tickets cost $10 (plus a $2.50 convenience fee) each. As of right now, they only have tickets available into the end of December, but the website hints at there being a change in the sets in the future instead of it just being closed.
  2. Entry is timed (as with other pop ups), but once you’re in, you can spend as much time inside as you’d like. As I mentioned above, Façade Fun House is very small inside. However, the sets are super colorful and there are so many photo possibilities. We arrived at 10 AM, were the only ones in there, spent about an hour inside, and maybe saw a total of four other people over the course of that hour. I’m not sure how it gets later in the day, but I would recommend going early if you want to avoid a lot of other people who are also there for the pictures. The Fun House is also available to be rented out for private photoshoots.
  3. The lighting inside isn’t great (except for the one room in the back), so if you have a LuMee case or a flash for your camera, I would definitely recommend bringing it.
  4. There is plenty of free parking.
  5. If you’ve never been to The LAB, it’s also a great space to get in some inspiration. Do a little shopping, grab a gourmet donut, or just sit on their outdoor swings and people watch. If you’re looking to catch lunch there, I would highly recommend eating at Habana, which is a Cuban inspired restaurant that literally makes you feel like you’ve stepped into Cuba as soon as you cross their threshold. Get the empanadas – thank me later.
  6. If you’re a macaron fan, there is also a super cute spot called Honey & Butter at The LAB that is located inside of an old school camper. They have a bunch of different flavors and designs and cost around $2 each if I remember correctly.

 

The Façade Fun House

 

The LAB

 

Honey & Butter

 

 

And would it really have been an adventure for us if it didn’t include coffee? We wrapped up our adventure with conversation and coffee at Neat Coffee, also located in Costa Mesa (approximately five minutes from Façade Fun House if you were looking to try both in one day). This little shop serves up delicious coffee along with fresh baked items. The best thing is, they share a space with FLDWRK, which is a place for entrepreneurs, adventures, students, and people of all kinds to come together to work on their ideas. The sign located at the entry sums it up perfectly:

“We are builders, innovators, & culture shakers.

We are creators, dreamers, & difference-makers.

We are mothers & fathers, sons & daughters,

neighbors & friends.

We are believers in the beauty of work & we’re committed to lives of impact.

We are advancers of the common good.”

Boom.

 

Don’t forget to share your Façade Fun House and Neat Coffee experience and pictures with me!

Happy Adventuring ♥

Adventure of the Week – The Lost Bean

The Lost Bean

We visited Happy Place on Monday, but still had to head out for a quick coffee date on Wednesday before I left back to the Bay Area for the rest of the week.

This week’s coffee adventure took place at The Lost Bean in Costa Mesa. This is my new favorite coffee spot by far. The outdoor space is quiet, modern, refreshing, and sure to evoke new thoughts and ideas.

If you’re looking for a new spot to get your caffeine fix, here’s what you should know about The Lost Bean:

  1. There are two locations, with the original being in Tustin and the newest being in Costa Mesa. The Costa Mesa shop is in an off the grid kind of location, one where you are not likely to find it unless you are looking for it.
  2. We visited the shop in the late morning, and there were only a couple other people there when we arrived. It is a perfect place to get in some quiet work, studying, reading, or writing.
  3. I love the outdoor space. Both the front and the back of the shop have plenty of seating, but the back of the shop also has tables in the shade, trees, large artistic doors and a ping pong table.
  4. The Lost Bean roasts their own coffee in store and uses local and organic ingredients. We got a chocolate chip cookie that was undeniably home made with quality ingredients, a Zebra latte that was made with both white and dark chocolate, and a pumpkin latte that was seasonally perfect (total cost: $13). I will definitely be back to try their variety of teas and their best seller, Better than Bulletproof, which is made up of multiple espresso shots, butter, and coconut oil amongst other ingredients. I was pretty much stuck at butter – I had never heard of anyone putting butter in coffee before!
  5. If you love The Lost Bean, you might also be interested in The Lost Vine, which is an organic wine bar that is attached to the Tustin location. Be on the lookout for a future adventure post featuring The Lost Vine, as I’m sure I will be making my way there soon.

Don’t forget to tag @spillyoursoul_ in your adventure Instagram pictures or share your experience with me in the comments!

Happy adventuring ♥

Adventure of the Week – Happy Place

Ducks

This week was a busy one! In the midst of work, school break, traveling, and the holiday, we still made sure to get in our weekly adventure.

Our mom has some kind of radar for pop up museums and other random events, and she got us tickets to Happy Place on opening day. Happy Place is a Los Angeles pop up museum centered around positivity, fun, and of course, happiness. The creators of the museum have created colorful rooms full of sensory goodness and selfie opportunities. The rooms include a yellow and white striped room featuring giant shoes covered with M&M’s,  a red room with a lip couch, a flower room, an upside down bedroom, a giant birthday cake room with delicious cake pops you can take home, and several others. The highlights include jumping into a giant pot of golden coins creatively placed under a rainbow, confetti “snow” perfect for making confetti snow angels, and a confetti filled dome where visitors can spend up to 60 seconds frolicking or taking pictures.

Here’s your adventure guide for Happy Place if you plan to go:

  1. We got our tickets via Groupon, but they have since sold out. You can purchase your tickets through the museum’s website, which can be found here. Tickets are $28.50 each and are only on sale until January 7th, 2018. Happy Place is open Wednesday-Monday and closed on Tuesdays.
  2. There is street parking, but it is limited. We paid $10 to park in a lot that is directly down the block from the museum.
  3. Entry is timed, but once you are inside you can spend as much time exploring as you like. However, you cannot go back into a room once you have gone through it, so be sure to soak in the fullness of each room while you are in it. It takes about an hour or less to walk through the whole museum.
  4. If you get hungry, they do have their own food truck that serves rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Two sandwiches, two bottled drinks, and one cup of soup cost $38, which was a bit expensive in my opinion. Happy Place is also within a very short walking distance of Urth Café, where you can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you decide to go there, make sure to try their Spanish latte – it’s amazing.
  5. There are unfortunately some major downfalls of this pop up in my opinion. Picture taking is highly encouraged, but the lighting inside of the museum leaves much to be desired. The rooms are much darker than portrayed in pictures, the sets are hard to photograph well, and overall it is slightly underwhelming. Some areas seem like the creators were in a rush to finish instead of properly planning and executing. All in all it is still a very worthwhile experience, especially if you make a full day out of being in LA and plan out other adventures while you’re in the area.

If you adventure to Happy Place, tag @spillyoursoul_ in your pictures on Instagram or share your experience with me in the comments ♥

Adventure is out there!