Archive for August, 2011

postheadericon Best Bites in Laguna Beach


Here are a few of the restaurants and bars we visited in Laguna Beach and the surrounding areas.  Everything was so yummy and the views, oh the views….amazing!  You can hardly pick a bad spot!  
Outdoor seating is really a must with abundant sunshine all year!  The average daytime temperature is between 67-79 degrees and when it cools off at night don’t worry…many of the bars will give you a blanket to keep you warm or sit you next to a toasty heat lamp!  The above photo was probably one of my favorite spots…The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel!  Dana and I decided to go one evening to have a drink and see what a $550++ per night will get you…take a look at this view!   The Resort sits so high you can see all of Laguna Beach!  I wish I got more pictures of the inside of this beautiful hotel.  It’s top notch! 
 
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postheadericon Crystal Cove State Park – California

Crystal Cove State Park is not just an ordinary beach along the beautiful Pacific coastline, it is a park that boasts wooded canyons, open bluffs, beautiful tidepools, and an offshore area designated as an under water park.  It is used by people looking to swim, surf, sunbath,  fish, mountain bike, and hike.  It is also a spot that had great dining and quaint historic cottages available for rent! 

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postheadericon Newport Landing Whale Watch – California Day 2

On day two of our California Girls Trip Dana and we decided to go on a Whale Watching Tour because neither one of us had ever done it before and California is supposed to be a great place for it!  We made reservations with Newport Landing Whale Watching out of Newport Beach.  Balboa Island is such a great place to visit and this spot is in a perfect location with plenty of other things to do, too! 

The summer (May-Nov) has warmer waters and brings blue whales,  finback whales, huge pods of dolphin, sea lions, and many other types of marine life!  December through April is prime season for Grey Whale migration! 

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postheadericon California: Laguna Beach Day 1

Last week Dana and I spent a few days California where we ate, drank, and beach-hopped our way through Laguna Beach and the surrounding areas of Southern California!  We had an amazing time…the beaches are beautiful, the weather is perfect, the activities are never ending, and the views just take your breath away! 

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postheadericon Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Winter the Dolphin

Clearwater Marine Aquarium is not your typical aquarium, it is actually a working animal hospital that rescues, rehabilitates, and when possible, releases animals back into their natural homes!  We were very excited to check it out and meet Winter who, if not already, will become world famous on September 23 as she will be starring in the new movie Dolphin Tale along side a few actors and actresses you may have heard…Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr…just to name a few!  The movie was filmed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and we can not wait to see it!

Winter is an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin that was found by a fisherman in Mosquito Lagoon off of the coast of Florida after getting caught in a crab trap when she was just shy of three months old.  The fisherman, Jim Savage, saw her floating at the top of the water and called for help.  A team from SeaWorld came to help and brought her to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  They were able untangle her from the trap and save her life, but the injuries were so severe that Winter ended up losing her tail.

You might be wondering how a dolphin can swim without a tail, right?  Well she has a very inspiring story of how she adapted to the loss…..a story of recovery and hope!


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postheadericon Dolphin Tale Movie GIVEAWAY with Winter the Dolphin Stuffed Animals!


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postheadericon Photo of the Day

postheadericon Photo: Laguna Beach, CA

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of the Laguna Beach area!  I have so many to go through…should have some great info on California next week!!

postheadericon Saddlebrook Resort: Tampa’s Best Accommodations

 

 

For the second part of our Florida trip last week we turned in our beach bags and headed over to one of the Top 100 Golf Resorts according to Conde Nast Traveler Magazine:  Saddlebrook Resort-Tampa!  We had a family function to attend and I am so so happy that we found this amazing gem of a resort which is the home of two 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature golf courses, Tennis Programs, a half-million gallon Superpool, European Style Spa, award winning restaurants, and much much more.

It’s gorgeous grounds are beautifully landscaped and you really have no other choice but to feel completely relaxed!  If you’ve been to Florida before you know that it’s a little crowded and a little fast paced, but at Saddlebrook you will feel like you’re stepping away from all of that hustle and bustle into the luxuries of rest and relaxation!

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postheadericon Old-School Family Fun: Buccaneer Bay & Weeki Wachee

Feeling very nostalgic on our last trip to Florida, I decided to introduce Spencer and the girls to a place that I grew up enjoying:  Buccaneer Bay and Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida!  It was like stepping back in time when we arrived at Florida’s only spring fed waterpark.  It is almost exactly as I remember it from so many years ago!  It still has that old-school charm and it is still just good ole family fun!  There is really no other place like it.
The mermaid show grabbed the attention of the girls instantly and they walked out of there saying that they now wanted to be mermaids!  We took the boat ride down the river and got a little history of the park, wildlife, trees, and even spotted a huge bald eagle’s nest.  We finished out the day swimming and playing in the crystal clear spring water that is a cool 72 degrees year round and bubbles out of subterranean caverns.
Check out their website for the history of the park.  It is very interesting!
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