A Visit to Catalina Island

It begins with a boat ride…

Located off the coast of Southern California, Catalina Island is a vacation destination and adventure start to finish. From the beautiful vistas to the quaint town of Avalon, Catalina is worthy of its hundred plus years as a travelers’ oasis. To get to the island you have two options, boat or helicopter. Most of the islands visitors go by way of ocean travel which takes a little over an hour.

There are two major towns on the island but Avalon is by far the most popular and iconic. Much of the island is undeveloped and now home to herds of bison, wild foxes, and deer. You can even catch sight of a bald eagle if you head out on one of the nature tours of the island.

JazzTrax Festival. Hearing live music where Hollywood stars of the Golden Age partied is a thrill. Or you can catch a movie downstairs in the art deco theatre. Taking a Casino Tour to learn the building’s history is a great way to get a look at everything as well.

Another adventure on Catalina Island is the underwater activities. Swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling are a big draw.  One option to see the abundant sea life is to get in and get wet, but certain months of the year that is less enticing than others. If you want to get up close and personal while staying dry give the Glass Bottom Boat Tour a try. You can go out and give catching your dinner a try too. The island is known for its great fishing.

High5Dogs Leash and Harness Review

Innovation from High5Dogs

There are a ton of options out there for pet owners these days when it comes to leashes and harnesses, but most of these are pretty standard. I mean a leash is a leash right? I confess that has been my belief for some time, but not any longer. High5Dogs has opened my eyes to features I never knew I was missing out on. Their leashes and harnesses have a variety of options for you and your furbaby.

High5Dogs has a two great products for dog owners on the go, their CLIC Leash and CLIC Shoulder Leash. On the most basic level these two leashes are made up of two ropes connected by a clip. If you find yourself needing both hands or at a cafe and want to hook your dog up this is unbelievably convenient and can be done one handed. It is also safer than unhooking your dog to loop the leash or tying one end up. This is a great option for anyone that frequents dog friendly eateries or has their pet with them running errands.

The CLIC shoulder leash has a segment long enough to lope around you and allow for hands free dog walking. This same easy to clip system makes it convenient to switch from hands on to hands free. I can not tell you the number of times I wish I had this option or just that the leash loop was not on my wrist and my dog pulling while I tried to carry something two handed. For anyone that has arthritis or other issues when walking their dog this is a great choice and easy to loop on and off with the center clip.

Be Part of Space Nation #orbitlaunch

Space is not as far away as you may think.

We have all been fascinated with the idea of space travel. Seeing the Earth from above and being closer to the stars is an experience only a handful of humans have had the opportunity to achieve. There are places on earth where travelers might feel like they are on the moon, but to truly make that trip is more than most people can imagine. Just because space is far away doesn’t mean we can’t be part of a community that reaches for the cosmos. The Space Nation Astronaut Program.

What does it take to be an astronaut? Now with just a smartphone and the Space Nation App that launches  February 2018 you can find out. Astronauts have special skills that go beyond formal education. There are characteristics both physical and mental that all of us have and have the potential to develop. Space Nation approaches training on three fronts, Mind, Body, and Social. All three of these are important to success as a space explorer.

Dia de los Muertos at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Day of the Dead LA style!

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrated Oct. 31-Nov. 2nd to remember friends and family that have passed away. There are many traditions and cultural influences on the Day of the Dead which were all on display at this year’s event located in the Los Angeles Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The history of the festival has found the perfect setting in this historic memorial park and they have crafted a day to honor the dead that the whole family can enjoy.

Held this year on Oct.28th from noon till midnight the 18th annual Dia de los Muertos was a musical, colorful, and heart warming experience. Whether you are a local or visitor for the holiday taking the time to walk through the decorated lanes of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and watch the performances staged there is a must. The costumes by participants and enthusiasts of all ages crowd the grounds making a beautiful display of life and death at every stage.

Band: Pilgram performing at Dia De Los Muertos

Images of skeleton’s and faces painted as stylized representations may be familiar, but there are many more personal touches to this spiritual holiday. Graves become tributes, shrines to loved ones that have died. They are decorated with flowers, pictures, candles, and even the departed’s favorite food and drink. It is done in an effort to lure the souls where they can hear prayers offered and stories told in remembrance of their life. Some of the influences go even further back to the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. Aztec dancers in traditional garb put on displays and paraded through the grounds to pay tribute to their history.

Destination LA: McCabe’s Guitar Shop

Santa Monica California has sun, surf, and music…

One of this L.A.’s treasures is McCabe’s Guitar Shop where you can expect to find more than just stringed musical instruments and lessons on how to use them. People come to hear from those that have mastered their craft. Concerts at McCabe’s are an intimate small stage affair that feels like what it is, getting up close and personal with an artist. Whether you are a fan of the performer(s) or just looking for a destination to hear live music, this is the place to keep an eye on with a history of greats going back five decades.
For my experience I was lucky enough to catch an all time personal favorite, Langhorne Slim, in a pared down solo performance in the back room. Telling stories and singing from a single chair, which at times could barely contain his energy and need to move, Langhorne entranced fans and first timers alike with a mix of folk, rock, and country twang. How do I know? I’m a fan from back before his first album Electric Love Letter came out in 2004. The couple next to me had been tracking him for a few years, since they first encountered him as an opening act. The group behind me were new to the experience of seeing Langhorne Slim on stage just like my date, and by the end they were total converts.

Coastal Country Jam in Huntington Beach

Coastal Country Jam LogoAs if the beaches of Southern California aren’t enough on their own, events like the Coastal Country Jam, held this year on September 23-24, should lure you from near and far. With a great line-up that included such bands as Lady Antebellum, Brett Young, Eli Young Band, and Old Dominion, this two day festival is a must for country music fans or just music lovers. And yes, in case you were wondering, there were plenty of cowboy boots in the sand at Huntington Beach.

Coastal Country Jam in Huntington Beach CaliforniaThe Coastal Country Jam was a small village of interesting shops, food vendors, music stages, and a giant ferris wheel over looking the ocean along Huntington Beach California. Days in the sun, colorful sunsets, and crescent moons were an added appeal to the quality music that blasted from the main stage. This concert brought the best parts of laid back beach life to entertainment. Loads of beach chairs, giant beanbag chairs for two, and hammocks were set out for comfortable listening. A plus being that all seats had to be low so even from the ground the views were great.

Canvas Food Truck Review

The Canvas Food Truck
in Los Angeles is a great stop, wherever they happen to be parked!The Canvas Food Truck in Los Angeles

There is always something to be said about a great burger. Whether that burger is beef, chicken, turkey, or salmon, we are burger lovers. The Canvas Food Truck is a great place to get a burger and they have all of those patty option so you can take your pick. For those that want a cooler option they have wraps and salads as well so check out their full menu. I got to sample two of their signature creations with a side of delicious shoe string garlic fries.

With cute names like “The Chick” and “The Bird” the Canvas Food Truck’s two white meat options are popular choices. I got a taste of “The Chick” and enjoyed how refreshing and light it was. The meat was seasoned to perfection and topped with cucumbers, mixed greens, and tomato. The cheese on the burger is mozzarella and that is finished with a roasted pepper aioli. I am a fan of cucumbers on a sandwich or burger and that addition was the icing on the cake to finish this off and take it to the next level. If you are cutting back on your red meat this is a definite highlight of the menu.

Dr. Brown’s Breast Pump Caryall Tote Review

This breast pump tote is a great carryall for new moms.

Dr. Brown
has hit the market with another new product to add to a mom’s arsenal. With a baby to carry or push and all the items we need to take care of our little one’s needs, hands are at a premium. Good storage and mobility is a must, both of which are provided by this Breast Pump Carryall.

The name says it, carryall. With a section sized to fit most electric breast pumps and a bottle cooler bag this tote is prepared to handle what you need to carry. There is plenty of room for other items too that you will need for a day out. The bag has a nice neutral gray color that matches most outfits or at least doesn’t stand out and scream diaper bag. It can easily be carried into any professional environment discreetly for moms that need to pump at work.