TheOCmix_Portola

A New Breed of California Shopping Mall

TheOCmix_Portola

If you have any reason to be in Costa Mesa or passing through, I recommend a quick visit to this place. It's between Los Angeles and San Diego. What drew me in originally is an organic specialty coffee shop called Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab. I read that they give you an intimate experience at their six-seat "craft coffee lab" and use old bartending trends like adding barrel aged bitters to caffeinated drinks – pretty Read More

immersed in a rain forest

Immerse yourself in a North American Rain Forest

immersed in a rain forest

Located at the Northshore Rainforest in Vancouver is 27 acres of pure nature called the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park; it's a real treat for anyone who loves nature, fresh air and some adventure. It's only a 30-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver (there's a free shuttle too) and I recommend it for solo travelers, couples and families alike. The park has several reasons to visit: The Suspension Bridge is 250 feet above Read More

Clipper ship on Lake Michigan

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Tour

Clipper ship on Lake Michigan

The Chicago skyline, in my opinion, is the prettiest in the US.  Whether you've been to Chicago or not, seeing the city from Lake Michigan is the one thing you should definitely do.  Wendella is one of the only companies that do a combined tour of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Don't get jipped and take a cruise that only takes you on the river! Wendella's tour lasts 90 minutes and I found it to be informative, Read More

armstrongs_vintage_fashion_scotland_womens_lingerie

A Vintage Fashion Wonderland in Edinburgh, Scotland

armstrongs_vintage_fashion_scotland_womens_lingerie

  I found myself in Edinburgh, Scotland with a few days to kill. I had no plans, I only knew I didn’t want to spend my days in the souvenir shops. As I strolled down a winding road I’m thinking, ‘this is more like it’, there is almost nobody around and I see these quirky, artsy store fronts, the kind that make you wonder what exactly they are selling. I didn't realize then that I was headed to the Grassmarket area, a Read More

Coastal Downtown Chicago

Chicago’s Priceless View from the Top

Coastal Downtown Chicago

One of the best ways to see Chicago is from 1,000 feet high at the John Hancock Observatory (aka Chicago 360), and yes, it's better than the view from the Sears Tower. There are interactive kiosks and historical murals throughout so you can learn exactly you’re looking at if you want to know. I personally just have fun checking out the 360 degree views and taking pictures. Did you know that Chicago has a beach? Like, a real Read More

Santa_Ynez-9604

Santa Ynez Valley

Santa_Ynez-9604

The Santa Ynez Valley is a collection of six distinctive communities encircled by the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountains. It is a fantastic destination if you’re looking for a mellow-paced trip to California wine country. It is just 35 miles from the Santa Barbara Coast, 125 miles up the coast from Los Angeles and 300 miles south of San Francisco. I suggest it as a destination no matter where you are from, no matter the time Read More