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in california, Fashion

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens: A Gemstone in the Heart of EscondidoFeatured

stone brewing

Stone Brewery Experience

This past weekend, I took the train down to San Diego to visit my boyfriend. On Saturday, we decided to check out Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido since it received thousands of 5 star reviews.

I thought to myself “Is this brewery really worth the hype?”

The answer is a sound YES!

The Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, is one of the largest breweries in all of southern California, and is Stone’s headquarters.

When we arrived, we were shocked by how big the brewery was. The walkway from the parking lot to the brewery was mystical as it was covered in ivys and other green plants. The lobby was castle like in nature with its majestic brown doors and high ceilings. Immediately to the left, was a gift shop selling t-shirts, jackets, cups, and other Stone Brewery souvenirs.

Open Bar
stone brewing

When we arrived at 4:45 pm on Saturday, we were told that there was a 25 minute wait for a table.

As one of the most stunning and historical breweries in all of California, it’s no surprise that Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is packed from open to close on a daily basis. If you don’t want to wait for a table or have limited time, I highly recommend you reserve a table online.

For us, it was perfectly fine because we went to the open bar and got some drinks. I got a glass of wine and Juan got the scorpion beer. With our drinks in our hands, we explored the brewery and the infamous world garden.

Whatever your preference is, you can choose to sit indoors or outdoors, both of which are fabulous choices. The outside seating, however, is slightly more marvelous because it’s located in the beautiful garden. The outdoor area features 2 outdoor mini bars, tons of seating options, a small trail, beautiful pond, games for kids, and a 1 acre organic farm. It’s honestly the perfect setting to get all your loved ones together to hang out and relax. With over 35 specialty types of beers and an extensive wine list, there is something for everyone!

Last but not least, Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido offers tours of their brewing facility and packaging area. For just $8 per adult, you will get a close look at the machines, learn the ins and outs of the beer making process, and taste several specialty beers on tap!

stone brewing

Outfit Details

stone brewing and world gardens

Jacket: CHILLY OUT BLACK AND WHITE GLEN PLAID LONG COAT

The perfect coat to spice up any outfit. Not only is it soft, but it looks even more stunning in person. FYI, the jacket is more of a fashion piece and may not be ideal for very cold weather.

Booties: REECE BLACK SUEDE BOOTIES

I actually bought my booties from Nordstrom last year but they sold out due to popular demand. I have linked the Reece Black Suede bootie, which is very similar.

Purse: TORY BURCH

Unfortunately, my bag was a limited edition and has sold out. However, I have linked to the Tory Burch cross body purses page.

LeggingsBLACK LEGGINGS

My go to black leggings for everyday and workout wear! 

Thank you for reading! If you have not already, discover the 10 Best Things to Do in Phuket and find out what Boulder Bay Park in Big Bear is like.

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions 🙂 

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Featured
krabi thailand
in Thailand

Krabi Itinerary: 3 Day Itinerary for Krabi, ThailandFeatured

krabi

Krabi is a province located on Thailand’s southern tip, and is characterized by majestic limestone cliffs, sandy beaches, and over 100 islands.

As one of the most popular destinations in all of Asia due to its prime weather, beautiful beaches, and cheap accomodation and food, it’s no wonder everyone is flocking towards Krabi.

I was ecstatic when my boyfriend and I finally booked the hotels and flights for our Thailand adventure in mid November.

Before Krabi, we stayed in Chiang Mai for 3 days, and you can read about all the things to do, see, and eat HERE.

Although we only stayed in Krabi for 3 full days, I highly recommend that you stay for a few extra days to really see all that Krabi has to offer.

With that said, let’s begin the itinerary, where I will show you how to spend 3 days in Krabi, Thailand.

Best Time to Go

krabi thailand

Krabi experiences a tropical climate throughout the year, and has both dry and wet seasons.

May-October are typically the wet months, with a higher chance of rain, followed by monsoon winds.

November-April are considered the dry months, with temperatures reaching the mid-90’s during the day.

We went to Thailand from November 14-26, and it was extremely hot and humid!

In my opinion, November-March are the best times to go; however, it is also considered to be peak season, so you will experience higher hotel and flight prices.

Where to Stay

krabi resort

We stayed at Krabi Resort, which is a traditional villa style resort located in Ao Nang, just a short walk to our very own private beach!

The resort has two pools and offers a complimentary breakfast buffet every single day.

Also situated in the center of town, the resort is conveniently located near tons of restaurants and shops.

3 Day Itinerary for Krabi, Thailand

Day 1: Railay Beach and Ao Nang

railay beach

Railay Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in all of Thailand, and is only accessible by boat because of the limestone cliffs surrounding the beach.

If you decide to stay in Ao Nang, head over to the beach and you will find numerous longtail boats close to shore.

The Ao Nang Longtail boat services charges 200 baht per round trip ticket to Railay Beach, and the boatride is approximately 15 minutes each way.

Try to minimize the amount of stuff you bring and wear flip flops and shorts because you have to wade through the water to climb onto the boat. The boat is not very steady and may seem scary at first, but it is the only method of transport to Railay Beach.

The last boat ride is at 6pm, so make sure you don’t stay too late or else you won’t be able to get back to your hotel.

railay beach

Since Railay Beach is a popular destination, try to arrive early to beat the crowd.

The beach is quite large with restaurants, shops, and hotels. Kayaks are also available for rent and are great options for exploring the ocean and seeing the limestone cliffs up close.

Although the water at Railay Beach is not as clear compared to some of the other beaches in Krabi, the water is extremely calm and pleasant to chill in.

We spent half our time bobbing in the water, and the other half tanning on the beach.

Warning: Thailand is known for having jellyfish in the water.

We both got stung in on our legs, and the affected area got bumpy and red at first. There was some pain, but it went away within a day.

If you get stung, try not to fret and get out of the water as soon as possible. Find the nearest restaurant and ask for some vinegar to rub on your sting.

Make sure to seek medical attention, if the pain does not go away.

Ao Nang

Once you arrive back to Ao Nang, I recommend you grab dinner at the local night market.

When we were in Krabi, there was a night market directly across the street from the Krabi Resort.

The night market consisted of approximately 20-30 booths that served a variety of quick bites including fried shrimp tempura, chicken tenders, pad thai, noodle soup, fresh seafood, burgers, and smoothies.

The food there is cheap and won’t break the bank.

After your belly is full, walk down the street and explore Ao Nang town. There are lots of massage parlors that offer a variety of massages at affordable prices and lots of souvenir shops.

Day 2: Phi Phi Islands

monkey beach thailand

Phi Phi Island is the superstar island of all islands in Thailand.

Many movies have been shot there, and it’s no mystery why. As one of the most hyped islands, the beaches and views are beyond beautiful.

When approached by ferry, the island looks like a jungle you see in the movies. I immediately fell in love!

Phi Phi Island is about a 2 hour ferry ride from Krabi and offers a variety of activities to do. Some of the best things to do include:

  • Monkey Beach
  • Maya Bay
  • Deaf Gecko Climbing at Tonsai Bay
  • Bamboo Island
  • Mosquito Island
  • Snorkel at Hat Yao
  • Kayak at Ko Phi Phi
  • Climb up to Phi Phi Viewpoint

 

Phi Phi Island does not have tuk tuks or taxis, so you have to walk around the island or take a longtail boat.

We booked our roundtrip tickets on www.phuketferry.com from Ao Nang to Phi Phi, and it also included a private taxi that picked us up from our hotel and dropped us off at our hotel.

The roundtrip ticket was about $43 for each person.

The ferry left Ao Nang at 930am and left Phi Phi at 330pm. With only 4 hours on Phi Phi, we felt rushed for time but enjoyed every minute.

phi phi islands

Monkey Beach

We took a longtail boat from Tonsai Bay (the place where the ferry drops everyone off) to Monkey Beach.

The boat cost us 1,000 baht for a private round trip ride to stay on the island for 1 hour.

With our professional bargaining skills, we were able to stay on the beach for an extra half hour!

Don’t be afraid to bargain because the Thai people will not hesitate to overcharge you.

Monkey Beach is a beautiful and small land of paradise located about a 10 minute boat ride from Tonsai Bay.

It has recently become more touristy and crowded; luckily, when we went, it was not too crowded.

The sand is undeniably soft, water is clear, and the views are brilliant.

Within minutes upon arriving at Monkey Beach, I spotted several monkeys. Oh my, were they were adorable.

I brought a basket with our beach towels and camera gear inside.

The monkeys cautiously approached us and sat next next to us with their innocent faces. We naturally took some pictures…

Then, the monkeys came up to our basket and tried to open it, looking for food and other goodies that they could snatch!

Aghast, we shooed the monkeys away but they were persistent and kept coming back. Eventually, we had to leave our basket in the longtail boat so the monkeys would not steal our stuff.

Although the monkeys look cute, they are not scared of humans and will act aggressively if you taunt them.

After putting our stuff in the longtail boat, we finally were able to go in the water and snorkel.

The water is extremely calm and clear so it makes snorkeling a piece of cake; however, due to all the tourists stepping on the corals and wearing toxic sunscreens, all the coral at Monkey beach were dead.

Even though we didn’t see any fish, we had a great time using our snorkeling gear and paddling around.

monkey
monkey

Before taking the ferry back to Ao Nang, we stopped at Lucky 13 Sandwich for lunch.

This is a slightly upscale restaurant that serves delectable sandwiches and burgers. They have several locations throughout Thailand and I would recommend you try this place!

 

Pro Tip: Try not to bring anything to Monkey beach or the monkeys may steal them from you. Book your ferry ahead of time and decide whether or not you want to stay overnight.

 

Day 3: 4 Island Tour (Poda, Tup, Phra Nang, and Chicken)

tup island

The infamous 4 island tour is something most tourists do when they go to Krabi.

This tour is great for seeing multiple islands in one day, especially if you are short on time.

The tour can be done by booking it online ahead of time or renting a private longtail boat.

We booked a private longtail boat for a few hours with an awesome German couple, who happened to stay at the same resort as us. What a coincidence!

Since we had a late lunch, we did not start our tour until 2:30, which meant we only had time to visit 3 islands: Poda, Tup, and Chicken.

The first island was Poda and it took about 25 minutes to get there.

Poda Island was the most crowded out of all 3 islands, but we were able to snorkel and see lots and lots of cute little fish in the water. I kid you not, I saw about 100 fish. It was so amazing!

tup island

After Poda Island, we set off to Tup and Chicken Island, which happened to be connected to each other, and about a 5 minute boat ride from Poda Island.

Getting off the boat was slightly difficult because the floor was covered in small rocks that made it painful to walk on. Luckily, we brought water shoes, which helped minimize the pain.

Both Tup and Chicken Island were pretty empty so it felt as if we had the entire islands to ourselves. We walked all the way from Tup Island to Chicken Island.

These two islands are great for relaxing and seeing the natural and untouched beauty of Thailand. Except for a small and empty shack, you will not find any restaurants or stores on Tup or Chicken Island.

At the end of Chicken Island, there is a large tide pool with starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and other mysterious sea creatures.  

Tip: If you ask your boat driver to go around Chicken Island, you will see a rock formation toward the edge of the island that is shaped like the head of a chicken!

Bring your snorkel gear and water shoes to make the most of your 4 island tour trip!

chicken island thailand

Other Activities to do in Krabi

  • Take a day trip to Koh Lanta – Clear water that is perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. The downside is that the ferry ride is long.
  • Visit the Hong Islands – A great island but is touristy.
  • Visit a temple in Wat Tham Sua – Located in the caves
  • Take a refreshing dip at Klong Thom Hot Springs
  • Party at Ao Nang Beach – There are lots of bars to choose from
  • Visit the Krabi Elephant Jungle Sanctuary – Never ride elephants because they have delicate spines.

Thoughts

  • Thailand is a beautiful country! Always pick up your trash before you leave.
  • Wear reef safe sunscreen
  • Use a lot of mosquito repellant. Mosquitos love American blood! I got  bit more times than I can remember.
  • Keep your belongings with you at all times
  • Exchange your money at exchange booths. The exchange rate is 1 US Dollar = 32  Thai Baht

 

Krabi is one of my favorite destinations of all time, and I would happily go back.

It is a land full of adventures, beautiful sights, sunny weather, and delicious food. With over 100 islands in Krabi Province, you’ll never run out of things to do or see.

What places do you want to go to in Krabi? Have you already been to Krabi? If so, what did you like most?

krabi
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Visiting Boulder Bay Park at Big Bear
December 25, 2018
Featured
bigbear
in california, Uncategorized

Visiting Boulder Bay Park at Big BearFeatured

Boulder Bay Park

boulderbaypark

First of all, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with all your loved ones. This year went by too fast, and I can’t wait for what 2019 has in store for both you and me! 

This past weekend, I went to Big Bear with some of my friends that I’ve known since high school. Out of the blue, we suddenly had the urge to see the snow and experience “winter,” something Californians never get to experience.

It had been years since I last been to the snow, and I guess I wanted an excuse to wear my Columbia puffer jacket and beanie. After some last minute planning, we set off to Big Bear on Saturday morning.

Since it was the weekend before Christmas, there was some traffic on the way there; however, it was expected.

boulderbaypark

We decided that our first stop would be Boulder Bay Park, a quaint and beautiful park located a few miles before the infamous village.

The drive from the San Fernando valley to Boulder Bay park took approximately 2.5 hours. During the entire drive up the mountain road, we saw no snow!

It wasn’t until we reached Boulder Bay park that we started to see some snow…and my was it beautiful! The weather outside was a stunning 55 degrees, and I wore a long sleeve, thin sweater, jeans, and sneakers (Snow attire, i know).

bigbear

Due to the drought, the lake at Boulder Bay park receded so low that most of the docks were sitting on dirt.

On the plus side, there was a nice dirt path straight to the middle of the bay. Naturally, my friends and I took advantage of the low water level and walked on over to the magnificent boulders.

We struggled at first to find a safe and way up the rocks. After some time, we found a path to the top, and boy was the view amazing.

Boulder Bay Park is a place you must visit if you venture out to Big Bear. With its lush and green grass, picnic tables, and paved walking paths, what’s not to love! The park’s parking lot is small and fills up fast; however, there are lots of free parking on the street right along the park.

I highly recommend that you spend an hour or two to walk around the park and relax before continuing your way to the village.

Hopefully by Spring time, the lake will rise to its proper levels so people can kayak or fish in the lake.

Have you ever been to Boulder Bay Park? What do you like or dislike most about it?

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in hawaii, oahu, travel, Uncategorized

East Oahu – Fun Things to DoFeatured

east oahu

         Venturing out to the east side of the island is a must do while on Oahu. A trip without a visit to the naturally beautiful and less crowded east coast means you don’t get to truly experience all the wonders of what Oahu has to offer. Unlike Waikiki, the east side of the island does not have multi-million dollar sky rises or lines of designer shops and high end restaurants.  It definitely will have a place in my heart for a long time.

         Instead, the east side of the island is a dream come true for those who enjoy the outdoors and the ocean. The beaches are less packed and stunning in ways that words cannot fully describe. Small and authentic restaurants serve fresh pulled luau pork, sweet tropical fruit juices, and poi. The options are endless!

         Now, lets start with how to get to East Oahu from Waikiki.

 

Getting to East oahu

Taken from the car on the highway to East Oahu

         If you are staying in Waikiki, it is generally a good idea to either take an Uber/Lyft or rent a car for 1-2 days to get to the east side of the island. There are a multitude of car rental stations that you can choose from with discounted pricing and flexible options to meet your needs.

         The drive from Waikiki to the east Oahu takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on whether or not you decide to make stops along the way. Although the drive is somewhat long in length, the beautiful sights throughout the ride are 100% worth the drive. The two main highways, H3 and 61, are the two choices to get you from Waikiki to east Oahu. The highways are surrounded by magnificent, towering mountain ranges and millions and millions of trees.

         No matter if I looked left, right, straight, or behind, I was greeted by green vegetation everywhere! I really felt as if I was in a jungle…something I never get to experience in Los Angeles.

 

things to do

1. Go on a tour at kualoa ranch

east oahu
View from the jungle jeep tour
jurassic park
Ah, I'm about to Enter Jurassic World. Dinosaurs don't exist, right?

         Have you ever watched Jurassic World or Jurassic Park? If so, then you will definitely want to spend some time at Kualoa Ranch. Why? Because, put simply, Kualoa Ranch is the place where they filmed the movies. It is an undeniably gorgeous working ranch with horses, cows, chickens, cats, and more. Kualoa Ranch offers various tours including: UTV raptor tours, jungle jeep expeditions, zipline tours, ATV tours, horseback riding tours, and movie walkthrough tours. With reasonable pricing ranging from $30 to $100+, these popular tours sell out fast and it is highly recommended to book them at least 2 weeks – 1 month in advance.

         My family and I did the jungle jeep tour and we had such a blast! The jungle jeep tour lasted about 1.5 hours total and was $45.95 for each adult ticket. The tour guide gave us detailed information about the Hawaiian culture, talked about the different films shot at Kualoa ranch, and even gave everyone a freshly plucked strawberry guava to sample. Man, the strawberry guava was sour! BUT also delicious… I guess it was comparable to a sour patch gummy.

         Not only did we absorb interesting cultural information, but we also got fabulous views and pictures of Kualoa ranch, Chinaman’s hat, and of Kualoa beach throughout the tour. There was not a second where I was bored, especially because of the bumpy ride that felt almost like a roller coaster. The jungle jeep tour was worth it, and I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat.

 

2. Visit kualoa park and kayak to chinaman's hat

dolcegal

         Kualoa Regional Park is literally a one minute drive from Kualoa Ranch. I got stunning views of the park, ocean, and Chinaman’s hat while at Kualoa Ranch. Kualoa Regional park is an actual park right next to the beach. There are several benches to sit and eat lunch or BBQ your own food. My family and I went to an authentic Hawaiian cafe beforehand and got to-go orders of Kalua Pig and Poi. It was relaxing eating our lunch at the park with the waves crashing onto the shore and the gentle wind blowing around.

         Chinaman’s Hat, also known as Mokoli’i Island, has been termed that nickname because the island itself resembles the hat of a Chinaman. It is located about ⅓ of a mile offshore of Kualoa point. If you crave adventure, feel free to rent a kayak from Hawaii Beach Time. Hawaii Beach Time offers free delivery to any beach on the island, like Kualoa Regional beach. Choose from kayaks and paddle boards to beach chairs and umbrellas. Although I did not kayak to Chinaman’s hat, I did my research beforehand and I would have used Hawaii Beach Time.

         From various reviews on Yelp and Tripadvisor, kayaking to the island takes approximately 20 minutes. Some reviewers noted that during low tide, it is even possible to wade, or walk, over to the island. Just make sure to check the tide levels beforehand, or it will be a somewhat difficult swim and back. Also, bring water shoes so you don’t cut your feet on anything sharp on the seafloor. Safety first!

 

3. visit the legendary sandbar

sandbar
Me sitting on the seafloor - I will never forget this moment
kaneohe bay
That "dark stuff" is coral

         On my last day of the trip, my parents and I took an Uber to He’eia State park. I previously made a reservation for a 4 hour self guided kayak tour on www.holokaiadventures.com in order to kayak to the legendary Sandbar. Upon our arrival at He’eia state park, we checked in at the front desk, signed a waiver, and took a short trek to the kayak dock. The helpful employee at the kayak dock gave us a waterproof map, life vests, and quick instructions on how to kayak (and how to get ourselves back in the kayak in case we flipped over…AHH).

         The kayak adventure took a terrifying, yet thrilling 45 minutes from shore to the Sandbar. For inexperienced Kayakers like myself and my mom, I sure had lots of confidence. Originally, I thought to myself…how hard can it be to kayak in the ocean? I’ve kayaked several times in lakes, this should be no different. Er, no. Big no.

         The first 5-10 minutes were quite pleasant. We laughed, smiled, and took a bunch of selfies. Everything was great. Then, came the ginormous patches of coral in the water. They were so large that our kayak touched the coral reefs numerous times, even accidentally breaking off small bits of the coral. After maneuvering our way farther into the ocean, the water began to get darker and the waves stronger. We furiously paddled our way through the “rough waters” and throughout that time, my heart was beating so fast because we were literally the only kayak, and humans, in the water. We were totally scared out of our minds and just wanted to get to land as fast as possible.

         30 minutes later, soaked with ocean water and drenched in sweat, we finally made it to the sandbar!

         Oh my god, it was so amazing. Words cannot describe the beauty of this wondrous place. The sandbar, which is the largest saltwater sandbar in the world, is basically a white beach in the middle of the vast ocean. After anchoring our kayak in the sandbar, we hopped off into the water. It was around 9 am and low tide so the water went as high as our ankles. It was an amazing experience being able to stand in the middle of the ocean and get stunning views of the the lush mountain ranges, Mokoli’i island, and Coconut island. There were only a few other boats so it felt as if we had the same sandbar/ocean to ourselves! A group of people eve brought their own beach chairs and umbrellas, relaxing while drinking a beer. What a dream come true. 

         If you decide to venture out to the sandbar, make sure to look at the tide levels beforehand. The Sandbar can only really be experienced when the tide is low, or else the water levels will be too high for you to stand in. Going in the early morning is preferable than in the afternoon because the tide will be much lower. Although kayaking to the sandbar was terrifying, I did not regret it one bit. If you ask me whether I want to go to the Sandbar, I will say YES! But via kayak? Hmm, I may prefer going by boat next time haha. Not only did we get an awesome arm workout from kayaking, but we had plenty of time to soak in the views of the sandbar and take lots of memorable photos and videos.

 

Victorious Shot after Kayaking in the Ocean. Yay me!

These were the only places I personally visited in East Oahu. Each and every place was stunning in its own way and I highly recommend visiting all three places if time permits.

Other places to visit in east oahu

4) Lanikai Beach: A beautiful and popular beach spot destination. Great for snorkeling!

5) Lanikai Pillbox Hike: Depending on how far you go, this hike offers spectacular views of the ocean, especially during sunrise and sunset. It can get crowded at times…so the earlier, the better!

6) Waimanalo Bay: Another beautiful beach area that is typically less crowded.

7) Makapu’u Point: Also along the coast and it even has an awesome tide pool. Great for the kids!

kaneohe bay

       East Oahu should be experienced at least once in your life. A good 2-3 days should suffice to see everything; however, if time allows, spend as much time there and just relax…I mean, that is what a vacation is for. Right?

        I hope this post was helpful and gives you a better idea of what fun things you can do on your next trip to East Oahu. As always, I would love to hear you feedback. Feel free to leave a comment below or email me. 

         If you haven’t already, check out my first blog on the Best Things Do In Honolulu – A Travel Guide  

Thank you so much for reading!!!

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