Nothing Says Summer Like the OC Fair
The OC Fair brings you together with one of SoCal’s most entertaining summer traditions. Sure, we have the Ventura County Fair or the LA Fair as well, but there is something special about the OC Fair.
The fair mixes tasty fried food along with every type of carnival attraction you could possibly imagine. And in case you haven’t found yourself in more country-oriented areas, you can check out cute farm animals and the occasional rodeo or demolition derby.
I definitely wouldn’t plan on maintaining any sort of dietary restrictions while at the fair, as evidenced by the picture above. If there was ever a time for a little bit of a cheat day, it would be when attending this fair. I am not entirely sure if I’m seeing whipped cream or ice cream on top of those fries. I am both curious and horrified.
However, I am fully in support of this Flaming Hot Cheeto Pizza. I know what I am ordering when I head down to Costa Mesa this weekend. The OC Fair will conclude in early August so you have a little bit of time to check it out. All the details you could possibly want can be found right here at the event website. Enjoy your summer and the OC Fair.
The Echo Park Lotus Festival
It’s a time of celebration in Echo Park this weekend. From 12 to 9pm on both Saturday and Sunday, Echo Park Lake is the place to be. First of all, the Echo Park Lake’s beloved floating flowers are about to bloom into a majestic sight. Secondly, beyond that this event will bring in tasty food, great music, and exciting dragon boat races to an already beautiful occasion. Moreover, The Echo Park Lotus Festival promises to be fun for the whole family. The dragon boats promise to be a neat sight. Dragon boats are the basis of the team paddling sport of dragon boat racing. And it is a watersport which has its roots in an ancient folk ritual of contending villagers, which has been held for over 2000 years throughout southern China.
Celebrate Great Culture
Finally, the historic event celebrates the contributions of Asian-Americans to L.A.. This year, the celebration’s 38th, will honor the Chinese community. The dragon boat races are one way in which The Echo Park Lotus Festival does this. Furthermore, the boats were traditionally made in the Pearl River Delta region of China’s southern Guangdong Province out of teakwood to various designs and sizes. So people watching the event will get direct exposure to some interesting and historical Chinese culture.
A Special 4th of July
In a country currently defined by deep schisms and harmful rhetoric, it’s very important for everyone to remember the core tenets of this great nation. This 4th of July go to AmericaFest. You should go to this great, family-friendly atmosphere not only to celebrate your day off and your opportunity to be with your family, you should celebrate what make’s this nation great. True patriotism isn’t about wearing an American Flag tank top and watching fireworks while eating a hot dog. Instead, true patriotism is about taking a moment to remember American values. However, it’s important to remember America’s imperfections. We have to constantly criticize and seek improvement for our country to be truly great. So take a moment as you enter the Rosebowl, take a moment and remember what America is truly about.
AmericaFest gives attendees will get to dine on classic American food while they watch a dynamic motorcycle stunt show performance. Earlier in the day kids will be able to play on a variety of blow-up rides, and play games. Head over at 2pm if you want to snag the best seats, but know that fireworks don’t get started till around 9. Additional event details can be found right here. Parking itself will run you about $20, while tickets will be $15- $30.
Art in the Southland
Bloom Los Angeles is here so that everyone has seasonally appropriate Instagram pictures. But wait, actually aren’t flowers supposed to bloom mostly in the Spring? Ah well, don’t think too much into it. Cute pictures! And you know what they say, “Cute Instagram Flower Pics Are Forever.” Who said that? I said that.
This event started on Friday (sorry for the late notice) and runs through the rest of the weekend. Bloom Los Angeles will include over a dozen large scale art installations, food trucks, and music. So while it may be suspiciously Spring flower themed at the beginning of Summer, it still promises to be an entertaining time. Also I might just be horribly mistaken, maybe this whole event is celebrating some particular type of flower that exclusively blooms during the summer. Yet, I digress. More details about this nature-inspired event can be found at their website.
It really sounds like this could be good fun for the whole family. Tickets are looking to run at about $25 a pop, but Bloom certainly looks to pack a lot of bang for your buck.
If you’re anything like me, then you are both eagerly awaiting and dreading summer. While we may have wasted the winter workout months, it’s definitely time to work on those beach bodies. Some clever, no doubt a hip millennial, person has exactly what we’re all looking for. What do you get when you mix running with yoga? Well, apparently the answer is Roga. It’s an event that is an amalgamation of the two exercise pastimes, equal parts yoga and running.
So, yeah you basically get up early on Saturday and go for a 2-5 miles run and then take a yoga class. However, to sweeten the pot, this event occurs at the classic Santa Monica pier. If there was ever a venue that could combine to make for an interesting run and yoga spot it’s that pier. Roga is the cure for what ails us lazy, inflexible people. Although, I may be projecting. Let’s just say historically running is the easy part for me.
But I digress. This sounds like the perfect event to recruit some good friends and get a nice summer preview. This event starts at 8am this Saturday and April 22nd as well. So, you’ll have two separate occasions to get your Roga on at the pier. Here is a link for more info. Let’s get those bodies moving! Namaste!
Yosemite Valley is probably the most easily accessible area in the national park. As soon as you drive past the park rangers at the entrance you’re well on your way to Yosemite Valley. Although something to keep in mind is that at the entrance you have to pay about $30 for park access (lasts about a week). The really fantastic thing about the area is that the scenery makes the drive almost worth the trip itself.
On the way to Yosemite Valley, which houses a variety of different tourist friendly facilities and areas, you’ll be able to see the amazing monolith, El Capitan.
Drive a bit further and you’ll find parking lots as well as the visitor’s lodge and other areas of interest. There are campgrounds and lodges within the area in case you decide to stay within the park. Surprisingly, you can find an area with a public pool and adjacent to that, a place where you can rent bicycles by the hour or for the entire day. The whole area is quite gorgeous and has a bunch of walking and bike paths interlaced throughout.
Conveniently, in case you get tired of walking or biking around, there are buses that continuously stop along the valley and hit all the major sites. A fair warning though, the buses can crowd up a bit towards the end of the day.
A place that you should venture towards are the Happy Isles. This easy hiking area is one stop off of the road and takes you along a beautiful creek. You can walk along the various bridges and enjoy the sights.
Another cool place to check out is Mirror Lake. If you stop at Happy Isles there is even a hike you can take to it (about 3 miles). In the spring the Lake is apparently quite the sight given its ability to reflect the beautiful landscape. In the summer though, the lake was pretty dry. If you go there you can take beautifully ironic pictures just like me! At any rate, it is a stark reminder of just how dry California has been these last few years. And no matter where you go in the Yosemite Valley, you will find beautiful scenery.
Finally, in case you were worried about having to rough it out there in the valley, this is probably the most accessible part of Yosemite. There are locations by the lodges that have food and normal restrooms. Let’s call Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Lite. It’s still a great experience with poignant visuals, but you don’t really have to rough it like you would anywhere else. Next time I’ll bring things back to the town of Mariposa and mention how it served as our base of operations for the entire Yosemite experience.
And I’m back… my posting hiatus is over. I come bearing a deeper tan and a variety of bug bites. This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the great Yosemite National Park for the first time. Coincidentally, today just so happens to be the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. If I told you that I planned this trip to take advantage of such a notable occasion, I’d be lying. It honestly just worked out that way. I’ll definitely take the increased relevance, however.
In a series of posts I’d like to share my experiences, because I feel like they can provide some good information for those interested in checking out Yosemite in the near future.
The first thing I have to tell you is: prepare to drive…or have someone drive you. My girlfriend and I found and stayed in a town, Mariposa, which is about an hour outside of the entrance to Yosemite. I’ll go into more detail about Mariposa and our accommodations in a subsequent post.
However, driving up to Mariposa from Los Angeles will probably require anywhere between 4.5 to 6.5 hours depending on traffic. You need to take the 5 and the 99 as well, highways known for their sometimes desolate stretches. The enjoyment of a drive of this duration is largely dependent on your company, the availability of snacks, and the song selections. I generally lucked out in all of the aforementioned categories. Nevertheless, if you are given the opportunity to have someone drive you, I feel as though copilot and passenger are the preferred positions for this stretch of the road.
Over the next few days I’ll go over the specifics of my trip, with the hope that maybe someone will replicate it and have as much fun as I did. Tomorrow I’ll focus on the dramatic and picturesque scenery of the Yosemite Valley.
The 141st annual Ventura County Fair begins this Wednesday. If you live in Ventura County or happen to frequently visit within its borders, you have heard about this event. The Ventura County Fair is every bit as notable as its Los Angeles and Orange County contemporaries. Clearly, events typically don’t reach their 141st iteration unless they’re doing something right.
The Fair opens up at 11am everyday and runs till about 10pm at the fairgrounds in Ventura. Equally important to note is that tickets will run you about $12 for an adult ticket, $9 for children and seniors, and its free for kids under 5 years old.
The 12-day fair schedule is filled with planned entertainment, but also contains approximately 18,000 exhibits for visitors to peruse to their heart’s content. In addition, rows upon rows of baked goods and other foods run adjacent to interesting sights like giant zucchinis and rock collections. It’s safe to say that this is a great place to bring kids. I know my youthful yearning for interesting looking things is returning with vengeance thinking about the many sights. Not to mention an eclectic mix of photography, floriculture, and arts & crafts exhibits!
And of course, there is a rodeo too!
In terms of music, the Ventura County Fair also promises to bring in a great lineup of artists. Some notable participants include: Third Eye Blind, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Patti LaBelle, and Trace Adkins.
And in case you’re interested, here is a link to the website for more information.