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  • California Poppies – They’re Here!

    Posted on March 28th, 2017 acimetta No comments
    Closeup of California Poppies in bloom.

    The poppies looked like they were glowing with their vibrant orange hue!

    Looking for something different to do this weekend? How about checking out the California Poppies in the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve? The poppies are in bloom and you only have a few weeks left to view them.

    My trip to see the California Poppies

    It was my first time visiting the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve a week ago. It was an easy hour and a half drive that allowed us to enjoy the rolling hills and farmland on the way. As we got close to the state reserve, there were poppies growing on the roadside. People were pulling over everywhere to spontaneously enjoy the poppies! But I wanted to get to the reserve where there was going to be a much larger expanse of flowers. The traffic came pretty much to a standstill as cars waited on Lancaster Road to turn into the reserve and pay for parking. We quickly realized it would be easier to park on the side of the road and walk into the reserve. It’s cheaper too! So even less of a reason not to make the trip! It was hot out there so we took our water and made the long walk into the park. And it was worth it! We feasted our eyes on a glowing carpet of orange.

    There were a handful of trails to follow. Picnic tables were available. And there was a small museum where you could learn more about… well, what else… the poppies.

    Wide angle shot of a field of California Poppies. Flowers fill the screen.

    Wide angle shot of a field of California Poppies.

    Closeup of California Poppies in bloom.

    The poppies looked like they were glowing with their vibrant orange hue!

    Image of a massive expanse of California poppies under a big sky with really cool clouds.

    Wide angle shot of a massive expanse of California poppies under a really cool sky.

    We headed to where we thought there would be the fewest amount of people and the largest number of petals. It was hard to avoid the crowds, but more importantly we avoided stepping on any flowers! We got lots of great photos and enjoyed the state flower. I will admit that I was on the lookout for rattlesnakes the whole time, but happy to report that I didn’t see any. Although now that I know that the rattlesnakes actually protect the poppies by killing all the rodents that would otherwise snack on the petals, I’m a new found fan of the rattlers. And apparently, rattlesnakes try to avoid people and use their rattler as a first alert system to let you know they’re there. Just give them space and they will slither away.

    It was a fun day with great weather to enjoy the outdoors and a beautiful landscape. My partner-in-crime was my on-again, off-again boyfriend and that’s a whole other story… but at least he knew about the poppies. He is handy to have around sometimes.

    Good things to Know for Your California Poppies Excursion

    Parking is $10 per car. There are other rates for seniors, handicapped, and buses. But you can also park on Lancaster Road for free and walk into the park.

    Other flowers include goldfields, lupine, and lacy phacelia.

    If you can get away during the week even better. The weekends are jam packed with visitors.

    There are eight miles of trails and areas that are paved to accommodate wheelchairs. The state reserve takes their poppies seriously so no tramping through the fields! There is a fine for killing any flowers.

    Leave Spot home. Only service dogs allowed.

    No tramping through the fields. It compacts the soil leaving it useless for new flower growth.

    And this is really important: Strong winds and cold weather cause the poppies to curl up. So check the weather before you go. For more info: visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627

    Selfie of me and Robert in front of a field of poppies.

    Selfie with the poppies

  • South Bay Events March – April 2017

    Posted on March 25th, 2017 acimetta No comments

    Spring is finally here and it looks like the worst of the rain is over so… time to get back outside! Here are some fun South Bay Events in the upcoming month.

    It’s Paella week at Basque Kitchen! If you’ve never tried Paella, it’s a rice dish originating on the central coast of Spain and comes in vegetarian, fish and mixed versions. Basque claims they are “Abducting unsuspecting paella lovers everywhere” March 22-26. Located on the Redondo Beach Pier. Click here for details.

    The City of El Segundo is having its 100th anniversary concert on Saturday March 25. Admission is FREE! For more info, click here.

    The 2017 Multicultural Film Festival is happening from March 31 to April 2 at several locations in Palos Verdes. To find out where and when, click here.

    The Annual LA Harbor International Film Festival is going on March 16-19 at the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro. Click here for schedule and tickets.

    Put your running shoes on for the 2nd Annual Matzoh Ball Run/Walk on Sunday March 26. Benefitting the kids of Hillel Hebrew Academy, it takes place at Dockweiler Beach. Click here for more info and to register.

    Don’t forget the Torrance Antiques Street Faire featuring over 200 sellers! Sunday March 26 from 8AM to 3PM. 1317 Sartori Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

    It’s no April Fool’s joke! The first annual Whisky, Wine and a Splash of Love event will take place on April 1 in Manhattan Beach. Sample fine wine, whisky and bourbon to benefit the P.S. I Love You foundation. For tickets, click here.

    The Annual Culture Fashion Competition is being hosted by the Multicultural Film Festival on April 1. Everyone is welcome to show off their wearable art inspired by the culture of any country you choose. Click here to register!

    Enjoy an overnight adventure, and spend the night on the Battleship USS Iowa! Take this extraordinary and rare opportunity to sleep on a real battleship. Tour the ships, have dinner in the mess hall and Q&A with legendary Veterans and more. Overnight April 1-2. Click here to book your passage!

    For more nautical fun, check out the Queen Mary’s 2nd Annual Fantasea Magic Festival. The Academy of Magical Arts and The Magic Castle team offer a day of magic, mentalists, illusions dinner shows, mind readers and even a haunted tour of the ship. Saturday April 8. For more info and tickets, click here!

    Easter is just around the corner! Come back next week for a list of upcoming Easter events in the South Bay.