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After more than 20 years of a sedentary lifestyle and the gain of over 20 pounds I decided (a couple years ago) to try to change my habits and start to have an active life. It started with swimming classes then the lack of free time in my life made me change to a membership at the gym center by my house and bla bla bla bla …. and I love hiking now, and it became one of the things I enjoy doing the most around here in San Diego.
Since I got here on March I was able to go to some cool hikes but for some reason I decided to talk about Cowles first. I guess it is the one I go more often.
The trail takes you to the highest spot in San Diego, once you are up there you have the opportunity to see a 360 degrees view of the city with all kinds of scenarios: beach, downtown, coronado bridge, lakes, fields, houses, mountains and desert. Pretty awesome, huh?
For those who are asking yourselves whether it is really easy or not I have to say that it depends… I mean… if you are a burger lover and the last time you had something to do with sports was in 1994 watching the USA World Cup (on TV) when Brazil became the first country to be the world’s champion for the 4th time.. yes, it is definitely hard for you. But if you are a normal person who at least walks once in a while.. you will be fine. For hikers though, it is a veeeeeeeeeery easy one, it is only around 40 minutes uphill in a marked trail, no woods, no dangerous cliffs, nothing big. I would say it is not a wild hike at all but I feel like I cannot since the first thing you see when you get there is a board with all kinds of snakes you can see while you go up.. DON’T PANIC! I have definitely heard a lot of them but have never seen one hanging out where humans are supposed to walk. I swear.
Cowles Mountain is a fun thing to do with your friends and family and you see people around there all the time, a lot of San Diegans who live in the area go there daily to exercise… it is not a place to go if you are looking for meditation, silence and to be by yourself enjoying nature.
It is here in San Diego (more precisely in San Carlos) but, unfortunately, I do not have any idea how to explain how to get there. In case you are around here and want to check it out I am sure that our smartest friend Google will be more than happy to help you find out where the hell it is. And, if you end up going, make sure you touch the rock up on top, people say that it does not count if you do not do it but I still have not heard about something bad happening if you do not do so.
It is very cool and worth the exercise. Get your fat ass out of the couch and go do something! I can guarantee it will make you feel good about yourself!
Tip: The view is awesome, the view + the sunset is beyond awesome.
Personal request: For those who would like to take you beloved dogs along, I am very sorry to say that they are not smart enough to clean their own mess so please, take their crap back with you!!!!
Since I started this blog I have been thinking about writing about Prague, trying to figure out what/ where I should talk about. After thinking a lot I came to the conclusion that there is not a sweet somewhere there. I know you are thinking: “Whaaaaaat? Why the hell you are talking about it then?” What I mean is that Prague is, itself, the sweet somewhere. The combination of its architecture, culture, views, people and
free pivo & absinth environment makes it awesome.
There are a bunch of reasons that makes me love Prague so much but the first one is that I ended up there without any plans, it was not part of my backpacking itinerary at all, I just happened to be in the right place on the right time with the right people (Berlin’s hostel “lobby”/ saturday night/ crazy canadians).
We took the bus in Berlin and after five hours I was in Prague’s Bus Station with no czech money (read czech koruna) and absolutely no czech skills, thinking
“thank god I am not by myself” “What now???” Soooo, we exchanged our money, caught the subway (by the way, it has the longest escalator ever, sooo weird, you even think your are going to reach China before you get to the station) and after a few minutes and bumping into thousands of loud people wearing blue-red-white we were in town. For one second I thought we finally made it but it took us around 40 minutes to find the hostel (it was supposed to be 8 minutes away) and it was not because I am a person with no ability with directions (maybe it was, but just a little) but it is sooooo complicated to understand Prague’s streets.
After we were all set and while enjoying free czech pivo (beer) at the hostel we were told that it was a big night because the Czech Republic hockey team was playing against the russians for the international championship finals (yes, as you are wondering, that was why everyone was out being loud and wearing blue-red-white) and we were already late because the game had started a few minutes earlier. We ran to town to find a place to watch the game and we found this super cool czech tavern that was packed with, believe it or not, russians! It was soooo funny because Hockey is a real big deal for both countries (and for canadians) just like soccer for us brazilians (biiiiig) so it was very loud in there. The Czeck team won, the russians cried and the party started: FREE PIVO at the Old Town square!!
The next day the plan was to go on a free tour by New Europe (which I highly recommend) and so we did, I mean, kinda did. Canadian crew + hostel crew + yo met with our tour guide at the Old Town square where we started the tour. The guide was suuuuper funny (according to the laughing crowd). Myself could not understand a word he was saying, he was from Wales and his british accent was too much for both my neurons (haha). Everything was fine, the sky was blue, the sun was shinning and then RAIN, pouring rain, grey sky, chaos, cold, very cold, freezing, BAM! I got lost [ I decided to find shelter and since everybody else had taken the trees I had to go inside a store where I bought magnets for my collection and tiny bottles of absinth (dad’s order) and when I finally went outside (after about 3 minutes) the sun was shinning again and everyone else was gone, GONE, for good, never found any of them again and missed the second half of the tour]. This was a shame, big one, because I was really enjoying the tour drinking free pivo (I forgot to mention that we had a stop at a bar where they gave us beer, for free) so after a few minutes trying to find the crew I realized I would have to do the rest of it by myself (+ the map) and I did a pretty good job, the only problem was to find the hostel again, it took me over an hour, walking in circles (do not laugh, it is not a joke). I got upstairs and this cool czech girl that works at the hostel handed me a note. It was from the canadian crew and it was saying “Where the hell did you go? See you tonight, thanks for keeping our bags” (they left their bags with me because they were going to a different hostel after the first night).
When we did the free pivo stop during the tour we bought tickets for the night club and at 9h15 I was by the Astronomical Clock, the meeting point. When we got to the pre-game bar (where we had one hour of open bar) I realized I had no czech money so I figured to leave my so beloved free pivo behind and start a relationship with free absinth shots since I would not be able to drink for the rest of the night. So I did and the night was beyond great and we only got back to the hostel at 7 am (it was supposed to be 6 but it took me over an hour to find it, and I was not by myself).
Woke up early in the next morning because there were still places I wanted to see and I had a flight to catch at 3pm BUT I was so in love with the city that I decided to stay one more day. The canadian crew and the hostel crew were gone but I met a brazilian couple and we walked around town for hours, saw some pretty amazing spots and finished the day at the absinth museum where I ended my short relationship with it. Think about the most disgusting taste possible (I might be exaggerating a little bit), it is the taste of real absinth (I found out there that I had “fake” absinth shots the night before). You see them preparing it and the smell of the sugar burning is so good and sweet that you go for it thinking it is going to be delicious and it is just awful (and yes, it does take you only 1 minute to get a little buzz).
The brazilian crew left and I spent the last night with my hawaiian friends I met the night before, we accidentaly bumped into each other when I was walking, by myself, trying to find my hostel for the last time. We walked around Prague for hours and it was a super great way to end my visit to this town that is just AWESOMEEEE, SWEEEEET, AMAAAAAZING!!!!
Tips: Watching the sunset by the Charles Bridge is awesome, make sure you do not miss that while you are there.
Something you do not want to know but I am going to teel you anyways: I walked so much in Prague that by the time I got back to the hostel on the last night both my feet were bleeding. Worth it!
Ok, I did not even start to talk about it and I already have goose bumps all over my body. Close your eyes and think about the most perfect beach you could imagine then open your eyes and look at the picture below:
Didn’t you just imagine this beach? (If you say no, you are lying or you know nothing about beaches)
Lanikai is a beach located in my favorite hawaiian island, Oahu. (Nobody needs to know that I haven’t been in any of the other ones…) It is on the
middle shore windward coast by Kailua beach. It is not very easy to be found since the access is limited by residential properties. There is a bus that takes you there and I am sure the driver is going to be more than happy to help you find it. Make sure you get the right buses because you have to transfer. The public transportation there is almost as bad as here in San Diego, if you get the wrong one the ride there from town can last veeeeeery long, and I say that because it happened to me and it was not fun at all.
Lanikai has the bluest water and the softest white sand in the island and it is a perfect place for swiming/ kaiaking all year long, it is one of the few beaches on Oahu that does not have shore break waves. Also, If you are a picture freak like me, it is a perfect place to spend some time taking shots (Calm down, I am still talking about pictures, do not get excited, you cannot drink at the beach there).
Tip: If you are planning on staying all day long there, make sure you bring water and food. You will not find any of that or any facilities around there.
Something that does not matter for you but matters a lot for me: I am going to Hawaii again in December, going to spend two weeks there during the holidays. Lanikai is, for sure, where I want to again the most.
To read listening to Beach in Hawaii by Ziggy Marley ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T39bawhsEZQ )
This is going to be a very odd post. VERY odd. I know that I am supposed to be showing you super cool places I have been to and I know that by all means you probably expect to see a great view, a great monument or whatever great but not a Pumpkin Patch.
How did I end up there? My cousin and her boyfriend are here visiting so my brother and I were giving them a quick tour around PB (Pacific Beach, San Diego – CA) when we saw this Halloween thingy across the street and we decided to go there. My cousin was taking pictures from outside and this girl who was working there invited us in. We were definitely not thinking about buying anything but the pumpkins were soooo cool (they have different sizes and colors) that after a while there you really feel like buying
The best part was that we got to make our Halloween Pumpkin (or whatever it is called) there, they have all the tools + a lot of nice people ready to handle people like us (“turists”) who do not celebrate Halloween and know nothing about craving pumpkins and customizing them.
We also got to drink hot apple sider to stay warm while we were there and they gave us a bunch of candy ( I am sure the candy part was because we were super excited acting like 5 year olds).
I know it sounds silly and everything but we had the greatest time there and since I heard “aaaaawesome” a few times I thought it would be worth to share. It was an unique and spontaneous experience that I might not be able to repeat so I am very glad I did it. (See the final result below hahaha)
If you want to check it out, the address is 870 Garnet Avenue at Bayard (open from 10 to 10).
Tip: Go at night, during the day you probably will not enjoy the Halloween decorations as much.
P.S. The final result was actually after we got home… we put a candle inside and it looks pretty awesome outside on the balcony table 😉