Saturday, March 8, 2014

Saturday Morning Hike

Today for our hike we ventured to Elsmere Canyon.  It was a bit confusing when we arrived  because it shares the parking with the Park and Ride and Whitney Canyon (another hiking area).  Needless to say it was very crowded and there were a lot of bikers so this is definitely a popular place for all outdoorsy people.  The signage wasn't as obvious as in other places and there wasn't a map of the area but we felt confident where the trail began.  There were a lot more trails in the area than what showed up on the online map so at some intersections it was guesswork.

This was a much better workout than our previous hike.  It was a pretty moderate incline for a good distance.  As we neared the top we started to notice the hum from the electric towers and lines which were directly over us.  I wasn't a big fan of this.  I swear I could feel the top of my head buzz but Sean thinks Im making that up.  During this time all I could think of was, what if there was an earthquake and these huge towers came crashing down.  Then I thought, that would be a cool movie, seeing people dodge the towers as they are coming down.  :)

Some time after the power lines we started to head down into the small valley.  When we got to the bottom we noticed the trail narrowed into a single line trail along a tiny creek.  This was my favorite section of the trail.  It was very pretty and you felt like you were hours from civilization.  It was very shaded so this section would definitely be a doable hike during the summer months (the rest of the hike was only partially shaded).  My favorite part was crossing the creek which we did several times.  Since we're in our drought it was easy to jump across but if there was more water than you would definitely have to use the small rocks to cross.  At the end of this trail we noticed a breakout for the Elsmere Canyon loop which is 6 miles long.  Sean told me he wanted to come back and do that one.  I was on board for that!  Our last climb brought us to the parking lot where we were all of a sudden hit with the noise of the 14 freeway.  We were amazed that that small hill was such a strong sound barrier because we had no idea we were so close!

If you can get past the power lines than I would definitely recommend this hike.  It had some of the best scenery I've seen in Santa Clarita too!  

Sean loves how we have unique rock formations.

The cemetery over looks this area.  We'll probably end up there :)

Typical trail in the beginning of the hike. 

Look how green and gorgeous that is (by so cal standards)
One of the many creek crossings we had to make.

I found some tasty beverage along the trail!  Nope, just being the good citizen and picking up the trash we saw.
This was really interesting!  We saw several really old power lines and this one still had the wires attached.  

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Medieval Times

Sean decided to surprise me with an adventure on Presidents Day.  He didn't tell me what we were doing and even as we got close he had me put on a blindfold so I couldn't see.  When I finally took off my blindfold I saw that we were at Medieval Times.

Sean's been twice before but I've never been.  It's a cool experience where you get to participate as a guest of the kings court and watch knights joust and fight.  They have you arrive an hour early so you can get your crown, take pictures with the King and get drunk.  Of course we opted for our Shirley Temples.  After perusing their "castle" looking at the horses and merchandise, they finally called us into the court.

We sat at our table and I observed that there were no utensils.  When in medieval times, do as the medieval timers do.  We were served by wenches (I sort of wish they gave us attitude like real wenches) and the meal was a lot of meat.  They make it not so heavy in the protein by serving you extremely hot tomato bisque (which was really good).  After the garlic bread came a half a chicken (that's right, I said HALF a chicken) and spare ribs.  It took a long time picking away at the meat with my fingers but I left very full.

The entertainment happened in between our eating.  There was a super cheesy soundtrack and a story line I couldn't understand but the showmanship of the horses and the riding of the knights were quite impressive.  Our knight was the Green Knight and he was quite good with the tricks.  He was a bit cocky though, smiling too much at the ladies.  Alas, I didn't flirt back enough because after each trick he would throw flowers to the maidens and I didn't get one of them.  I was excited when the jousting happened because it was all real . . . until they "fell" off their horses in defeat.  It was more like lifting-my-leg-over-the-horse-and-jumping but I guess you got to do it safely.  We had a few laughs at the apparent lack of stuntmanship (yes I made that word up).  But that soon was forgiven when I saw them sword fight.  I was quite impressed at how real that was.  The swords were clanking and sparks were flying (how come I've never seen sparks fly during sword fights in movies?) and it was for the most part pretty legit.

Alas our Green Knight was defeated but the ultimate victor was the kingdom next to ours so I'll count it as a win for us.  It was a lot more entertaining than I expected and I'm really glad Sean surprised me and took me to it.  But next time we want to bring kids.

Go Slytherin . . . I mean Green Knight! 
You can't tell but this horse has its hair braided.

I was princess for the day.

Our Shirley Temples came in these.

Our meager place setting.

The arena!

Our knight was the only one wearing mail.

Sean and his HALF a chicken.

Celebrity Sightings

When I tell people I live in LA they ask me if I've seen any celebrities.  I have . . . sort of.  Can you really count celebrity sightings when you see them at their place of employment -- the studio lots?

If so then I have seen Rob Lowe, Conan O'Brien and Andy Richter (my favorite story if you want to hear it sometime).  As cool as that is, what's even MORE cool is when you see celebrities out and about around town.  

I've seen four major celebrities during my time at the Children's Museum (Conan O'Brien, Michelle Williams, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck) but I think I now have officially surpassed that number with my time here in LA.  
My first "out and about" celebrity sighting was technically someone I didn't know.  We stopped at an In-n-Out in Torrance on our way back from the Long Beach Aquarium and Sean pointed out Wee-Man.  I had NO clue who that was but MANY people in the restaurant did.  He took many pictures and was very accommodating.  

My first celebrity of someone I actually knew was Jennifer Morrison.  She's not an A-lister by any means but if you watch Once Upon a Time (which I do) then it was a pretty cool sighting.  We saw her at Disneyland as she was heading to Club 33 (Sean literally ran into her).  FYI, she's pretty short.  I really wanted to ask for a picture but I totally chickened out.  I also felt bad that I only knew her character name and not her real name.  I couldn't really play the "I'm your biggest fan" card. 

The most random celebrity sighting was Jay Leno in one of his fancy cars.  We were driving down the 405 and we spotted this really cool old fashion car.  As we drove by Sean exclaimed, its Jay Leno!  What was funny was Jay was in the passenger seat, but we're pretty sure it was his own car.
The sun wasn't being our friend but you can recognize his distinguishable profile.  PS, check out the back seat passenger . . . what do you think he's doing?

We had friends who invited us to a Clippers game.  We got pretty sweet seats and we look in front of us and guess who we see!  Phil from Modern family.  He was really into the game.  Zendaya was also sitting in the row in front of us but she didn't catch my attention since I didn't know who she was.  I actually went into the bathroom with her and washed my hands next to her.  I looked at her thinking, you're only as famous as your fan base.  I could care less that I was in the bathroom with her but her fans probably would have died to be in my position.

At the end of the game Sean spotted Rick Fox.

My biggest celebrity sighting was when my sister and niece came to visit a couple of weeks ago.  My coworkers told me of a marionette show and I thought it would be perfect for my 4 year old niece.  It was kinda in a ghetto area and the theater was a bit run down but it was a unique experience.  At the end of the show they told us that they had free ice cream if we wanted to head over to the party room.  We were one of the last people to enter and I looked at the table in front of us and I spied her.  I turned to my sister and causally asked, is that Drew Barrymore?  My sister did a quick glance and said, yep.  Of course we sat strategically so we could see her and I snapped a picture of my sister and niece with Drew in the background.  She was super friendly and cute with her family.  They ended up leaving right after us so we saw them get into their car in the parking lot.  They drive a Honda Odyssey if you're wondering.  

I know the pictures not the clearest, but I didn't want to be too invasive.

Who will we see next?  You just never know!  They film a lot of shows in Santa Clarita including my favorite, NCIS.  I am still holding out that one day I will see Mark Harmon.  That would be an amazing day!