Went running from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica Pier via Oceanfront Walk. It was 13.5kms distance return. Yup, I don’t take vacation from my running routine.
Ocean Front Walk is a concrete track for pedestrians that extends from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Pier. If you are in Los Angeles, this is a place not to be missed. The Ocean Front Walk is lined with residences, souvenir shops and restaurants. The walk offers a beautiful view of the ocean and features many interesting activities. It is populated with colourful locals and tourists alike doing one of these activities: souvenir-shopping, walking, running, cycling, walking dogs, rollerskating, skateboarding, lifting weights at the famous Venice outdoor gym, dining, lazing around on the scattered benches or just people-watching. It is incredibly busy. Everybody is doing something apart from the homeless who are happily catatonic in their made-up tents. Along the walk, you will come across a variety of vendors selling a plethora of souvenirs and buskers who offer a variety of entertainment from fortune-tellers, dancers, musicians, tattoo artists, painters, acrobats, jugglers, pet shows and many other interesting gimmicks to solicit a buck from you. The vibe is festive and the atmosphere is an entertainment in itself. I love it there.
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, USA with nearly two billion years of Earth’s geological history. If that does not impress you. I don’t know what would.
In this trip to US, I only decided to go Las Vegas as my rest point to get to The Grand Canyon. The drive from Las Vegas to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was a long 6 and a bit-hour journey particularly for someone who was jetlagged and someone who was suffering from a bad headache. I still don’t know whether the headache was caused by lack of sleep (Vegas rest point, Hello?) or plain hangover. Regardless, I happily missed the dusty and arid view of the Nevada dessert by trying to get some sleep in the car on the way to the Grand Canyon National Park. For the record, it wasn’t me who was driving.
Waking up to the the stunning colours of the Grand Canyon from afar just before the sunset is certainly an experience made to last. The Grand Canyon is 466 kilometres long and 29 kilometres wide with a depth of 1.8 kilometres. It was freezing when we got there but the amazement that this nature’s wonder brought to me kept me warm. The spectacular beauty of the Grand Canyon is indescribable and left me speechless. It’s not called The Grand Canyon for nothing. This part of the world is stunning beyond words. And it is true, any picture of this wonder doesn’t do it justice. You have to see it for yourself.
I’ve seen it in so many movies. From A grade to B grade movies. From Superman to Transformers to Viva Las Vegas to Fools Rush In. What is the fascination? I was in Las Vegas on the way to The Grand Canyon, might as well see what the fuss is all about.
Hoover Dam is in Boulder City in Nevada which is just under an hour drive from Las Vegas. It is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada. Its construction was the result of a massive engineering effort involving thousands of workers and cost over one hundred lives. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression. The dam’s generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California.
Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people visit the dam each year. And I am just one of them. If you haven’t got anything to do in Las Vegas during the day and you woke up without a hangover and have some money left from your night in the casinos, go and hire a car and drive to see the Dam. It’s worth it.
I am back for the 4th time and my impression of Las Vegas remain the same. Below is the my description of Las Vegas in an old post.
” When you are about to exit the Las Vegas airport, a huge banner is flashed across the exit door which says “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!”
I have been to Las Vegas a number of times. Three times to be exact. The first time was with a girlfriend, the second time was with my family (with a child) and the last time was with my husband (without a child). Things never change apart from the tremendously increasing number of casinos that are getting brighter, bigger and better and the increasing amount of carbon footprint due to electric bills. The nightlife with or without the kids is on steroids and by far unbeatable by any nightlife you would have ever experienced in your life. Ever! The unbelievable diversity of entertainments (legal or not legal, for adults or for kids) is endless. The city is insomniac and if it’s a person, it will be psychologically diagnosed as schizophrenic with ADHD.
You can do pretty much anything 24/7 but Las Vegas must be seen at night to appreciate the extra ordinary neon-flashing city with its oversized billboards that is uniquely incomparable to anything that you have seen before. The city is incredibly bright that I’m sure it can be seen from the furthest planet or from the moon. The city is overly crowded with every man and his dog including his wife, ex-wives and grandmother from low-life gawkers to filthy rich individuals both eager to make their Vegas experience worthwhile just staying in Vegas. And anyone who wasn’t there at the time need not know about it.”
I went running in the morning and it is certainly a different world.
State Route 1 (Highway 1) stretches up to 1,055 kilometres in length and is a major north-south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California.It is one of the best scenic drives Ive ever been. Every turn offers a spectacular view of the ocean and beautifully nature-curved cliffs and vivid green hills against the blue sky of California. The pictures don’t do it justice.
This is an amazing sight. Something I’ve never seen before. These seals migrate to molt, breed and give birth towards and during Summer months at Piedras Blancas (Elephant Seal Boarwalk) on Highway 1 which is seven miles north of San Simeon, California.
If you are in Monterey, I recommend you to hire a car and drive through the 17-Mile Beach Drive to Pebble Beach. The 7-Mile Drive is popularly known as one of the most scenic drives in US. Whilst driving, Every turn presents an awe-inspiring vista. The scenic coastal road extends through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach, from the dramatic Pacific coastline to the majestic Del Monte Forest. The spectacular coastline passes famous golf courses, grand mansions and picturesque sceneries of some of the California’s nature’s treasures including The Lone Cypress – one of California’s best-known landmarks (it has prevailed on its perch for over 250 years); Spanish Bay – a scenic picnic stop and a beautiful place to stroll around the coastline, Cypress Point Lookout and Carmel Bay. You can also see the emerald fairways of The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and the world-renowned golf course – The Lodge which was built in 1919, The Lodge is the heart and soul of Pebble Beach and home to the world-famous Pebble Beach Golf Links. It is open to the public and it offers a variety of dining and shopping options.
Monterey Bay Coastal Trail stretches up to 18 miles along the coast of Monterey. However, we didn’t have the time to walk the long stretch so we only walked 6.5 miles return. We started the walk at sunrise from Fisherman’s Wharf to Monterey Bay Aquarium then back. It was a reasonably short walk for us however, we tasted the fresh ocean breeze and enjoyed the stunning views. Every mile offers a scenic view of the ocean against the beautiful houses sitting on the cliffs, colourful flora and fauna and wildlife including harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions and birds.
Monterey is a beautiful coastal city of California and could make for a great two day trip for those visiting San Francisco (just a little over 2hrs drive) or Los Angeles (just under 5 hrs drive) which is exactly what I did when I was at Los Anegeles.It is best known for its beautiful coastline and its world-renowned aquarium including Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat. You can enjoy actvities such as going to the beach, kayaking, scuba diving, surfing and whale watching in and around Monterey. There are also land-based actvities such as playing golf at the legendary gold courses or visit The Lodge and the popular 19th hole; shopping at Cannery Row which is lined with shops, hotels and reastaurants and driving the spectacular coastline to Big Sur. From Cannery Row, you can walk the scenic Monterey Coastal Trail to Fisherman’s Wharf. Along the coastal walk, you will see harbour seals, sea otters and pelicans in natural habitats on the beautiful waterfront of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. There is certainly something for everyone in this beautiful town.
El Yunque National Rainforest is at Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. It covers 28,000 acres and receiving more than 200 inches of rain per year. If you love the nature and enjoy hiking, it’s worth a visit. We did the La Mina Trail which I think is an easy grade. It is narrow and paved and may require stepping off the paved track to let an oncoming traffic pass. Don’t wait to go for swim at La Mina Falls because it can get really packed when you get there unless you get there early. Go and swin at the water holes you will pass by. I think it would be more enjoyable than sharing the waterfall with a hundred and one tourists.
Loquillo Beach is located at at East Of San Juan via the Coastal Highway. We came here to cool-down after a hike in El Yunque Rainforest. It is one of the most popular and nicest public beaches in the San Juan. The beach provides huge majestic coconut palms shades along the beach of fine and shimmering sand. It’s a nice clean beach. However, it’s not white sand so it’s not particularly inviting to me. I’ve been spoilt with white sand beaches in Australia.
Old San Juan lies on a small and narrow island in the north coast of Puerto Rico. Old San Juan is a an incredibly colourful towm and a tourists favourite in all of Puerto Rico eventhough it does not offer any natural beauty so to speak. However it boasts its over 500 years of history, its historic and beautiful colonial architecture, colourful vibes, lively and festive Hispanic culture and an inexplicable magic that makes it one of the most enchanting destinations in the Caribbean. We spent so many fabulous hours just walking around the walled city.
We visited the amazing and massive Fortresses such as El Morro and La Forteza, we dined out at the popular Fortaleza Street, we took a sunset stroll along Paseo La Princesa to the Gate of San Juan and enjoyed the souvenir night market on the weekend. We skipped the salsa dancing due to tiredness. Being in Puerto Rico during the Easter Holidays, we were also lucky to witness the parade of Easter Re-enactment of Jesus Christ Crucifixion.