Sanity Refill – Magic of the Holidays

The REAL Magic of the Holidays is not where you’d think…

I know most people say that the magic of [traveling for] the holidays is simply being with your family – or those whom you’d rather call your family and loved ones. However, there is a certain amount of magic spending the holidays alone. I’m not talking hermit style- shut in, never getting out of bed and not showering (cause that’s gross UNLESS you’re camping)… I’m referring to taking a mind clearing, go anywhere adventure – alone.

Doing what makes you happy and what you love is more important [to me & my sanity] than being coerced into a family gathering where no one is actually  as happy as the fake smile on their faces.  You say you’re happy to just spend time with each other and tell one another you love them – but why should it take a holiday for that!? My parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, etc.. should all want to tell me these things, ANY day of the year. I’ll gladly call you up on Monday, March 6th 2017 and tell you how special you are… the date has no relevance to anything other than it comes after March 5th – nor should a day dictate when I say I love my family.  I certainly don’t have any special attachment to hearing it on Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, New Years, or any other hallmark holiday.

This December 24th-25th (yes, Christmas Eve to X-Mas Day … & Hanukkah) I decided MY party was going to be in my car, at the beach, at a campground, away from anyone I already knew, alone. Cruising around the campground on my skateboard saying “Happy Holidays” (in my floppy blue elf hat) to the families camping beside me was so much more fulfilling than sitting in a room at my childhood home, pretending that was where I wanted to be. It’s probably also why all our family gatherings has a near constant flow of alcohol… it’s Happy Juice! AND makes Happy JEWS. 😀

My SOHO (Solo-Holiday) Camping trip was ever so wonderful. I had no agenda, no schedule and no one I was forced to say anything to. I could have gone mute for the  two days if I had wanted. I got to sit in complete peace and serenity while watching the sun set over the waves crashing in the pacific ocean. Birds were flying & chirping, and the wind was blowing, reminding me it was winter.  I got to walk and hike around where and when I wanted, at my own pace, taking all the ridiculous selfies I wanted to! I saw wetlands, tar-pit remains, creatures, beautiful views and true smiles. It was a true gift to myself –a peace and sanity refill.  

As the Campin’ Chix slogan/motto goes – “LEAVING BEHIND VANITY IN SEARCH OF OUR SANITY”      I need to live by my own motto more often. Maybe you should try it too?

Happy any day of the year! Love yourself! Love your loved ones. Remind them often. And make sure to find time to do what makes YOU HAPPY.   — [Campin’ Chix W]

(all photos from this trip belong to the Campin’ Chix and were taken along the PCH and in Carpinteria, CA)

 

 

Murphy’s Road (Pacific Palisades)

◘ Murphy’s Road Trails – Santa Monica mountains, located in the Pacific Palisades, just above Sunset Blvd.

◘ Easy Hike – choose between a paved road or various dirt trail paths

◘ Parking – Before you walk down “1599 Casale Road” – you have to try to find parking in the local neighborhood. Then walk down a winding road till you see a sign that says “Hiking Trails” – then follow the dirt road till it looks like you’re trespassing.

◘ Chix Chatter Hike Thoughts – This was a fun place to explore and I definitely want to go back. It’s a 10 minute drive from where I am, so that was “uber” convenient (parking sucks- Uber wouldn’t be a bad idea!). There are multiple trails available here and you can choose between wanting to walk the paved road, or the few actual dirt trails that take you down into the hills.

They don’t make this place overly inviting, but it is nestled right in the middle of a nice neighborhood. Once you park, you have to walk about .25 miles before you get to anything. Then your real choices come in – if you wish to take a really steep trail of stairs down (remember you have to walk back up them!) – there is a trail head on the left before you hit the yellow guarded “entrance.” Look for steep stairs made out of giant planks of wood. Nothing is labeled here. This “stair trail” had good amounts of shade – but you have to be ok with heights, narrow walk-ways, steep tiny stairs and beautiful views. (Photos below)

If you want to walk to the old “Boy Scouts Road” – just keep walking up the paved road. Big yellow road barriers make it look like you’re not welcome, but it’s really there to stop car traffic, not friendly hikers/walkers. Dogs are allowed on leash I believe.

If you want a more of a traditional trail, you have to follow the paved road about 3/4 mile and then you’ll see (on the left again) what looks like it should be a trail head -but again, it’s not marked. You’ll know it by the two poles that look like they start a walkway. This is a narrow up & down dirt trail, much like one you’d find on most hikes. This trail does have some shady spots which is nice on 85 degree days like this one. The paved road route has almost ZERO SHADE… that’s the trade off for it being super easy  but takes you to a really cool abandoned building, that is Nazi historical. (That is for a day when it’s less hot)

As you can see, there is of course wildlife. Cute birdies, lizards, bugs, bees – but I didn’t encounter anything that looked like it would eat me. The views are awesome – great scenic view of Pacific Palisades, the ocean, and rich people’s back yards!  It was not heavily trafficked which is really one of the best parts. In fact I saw no one else on the dirt trails – only people walking the road.

◘ CAMPIN’ CHIX FINAL THOUGHTS – 
GO HERE! You can make your hike anywhere from about 1 mile to 7 miles depending on your route. Good views, fun trails, low traffic and abandoned historical buildings at the end!

And don’t forget to share the love, follow us! Here, on Instagram  and on Facebook!  @campinchix

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Ready, Set… HIKE!

Location: Eaton Canyon – Pasadena, CA. 

This past weekend we went hiking at a newer spot for us – Eaton Canyon Trail. It’s out near south Pasadena, and it was delightful. It’s an easy hike, just under 4 miles, that ends at a waterfall. Sadly due to the drought, there isn’t much water falling. None the less, the hike was very nice. The only tough parts were the sun and a lot of climbing over rocks/boulders. So if those two “obstacles” don’t bother you – I definitely recommend taking a drive out there.

There are so many awesome spots still left to check out just within the Los Angeles Dept of Parks and Rec! So anyone who isn’t thrilled living in LA – I say go hike! You’ll forget you’re living in the land of traffic.

Second best part is getting to spend time in the adorable suburbs where we stopped at a few great Mom & Pop shops – one of them of course to get ice cream! You gotta try Mother Moo Creamery. They have really good, fresh ice cream in a variety of odd flavors. It was awesome! I had Brown Sugar & Oatmeal and it was like eating breakfast. I wish I COULD eat that for breakfast everyday!

The other spot you HAVE to stop at (if you like Tea) is T-Neer – they have a wide variety of loose leaf teas for great prices! It’s a family run business (Mom, Dad and Daughter!) – and the tea comes from their home land in Sri Lanka. I got a couple ounces of their Orange Oolong tea, and it’s soooo good. You can also just sit and enjoy a cup of tea while you’re there along with a snack. Like I said, highly recommend this place!

Sometimes the best days are the lazy ones when you get to take a nice hike with your friends, then cool off with some ice cream. A delightful way to spend a Saturday!

Let us know your thoughts! Or you if you have any trails or ice cream shops you think WE need to try!

 

Light, Bluetooth & Speaker, Oh My!

For those who like to bring cool gadgets with them when they’re camping, hiking, or just out for the day – I found a very nifty new toy. It’s wireless and chargeable, has color changing lights and a built in bluetooth speaker! You can play music, make calls, or just use it as a light source for your dance party. It’s a fun multi-tasker, that I actually originally bought to use in my bedroom, but soon came to the brilliant conclusion that it would work wonders in the middle of the forest as a lantern!

This particular one even came with a micro-SD card so you can add music directly to the memory card, so you don’t need your phone. Or you can just connect it up to your telefono or other music device and play your tunes that way. It also have an AUX jack and cord provided and a mirco-USB connector for charging.

The coolest part is that when you turn on the light, it has multiple settings, and to change them, you just TAP the TOP. Makes me feel so very powerful. It has dim, normal and bright white options, then transitions into Green, Blue or Red. OR it will do an auto cycle through the colors if you like the party effect!

There are a lot of these devices out there in the ether to purchased. I got this Bluetooth Speaker Light  on Amazon for $20. I highly recommend it. Even if it’s just for that special night where you want some groovy-sexy tunes and mood lighting ::wink-wink::

[Campin Chix W]

Solar [Lantern] Light Party!

Product review time! 

Product – “Luci Inflatable Solar Light” made by MPOWERD

My thoughts: AWESOME!

I have 2 actually – one of the “Luci Lux”and one of the “Luci Color” lanterns. They are really quite a simple yet ingenious idea. They have so many uses! Although mine were purchased with the intention of using them when camping, I have already found myself using the color one at home for a fun, low light accent when I’m feeling like I want to have a 1 man party! Or when I just want that sexy ambiance… (wink).

The lanterns flatten down to the size of thick, hearty pancake for storage – and inflate with one good blow. They take a couple hours to charge via a solar panel on the bottom of the lantern – which is super easy especially if you’re camping! The light lasts about six hours, which so far has been plenty of time when I’ve needed it. I keep one in my home and one with the camping gear. They are excellent sources of emergency light! AND you don’t have to worry about pesky batteries, which always seem to be missing or dead when you need them! Like when your printer runs out of ink the night before your paper is due… [Murphy’s Law!]

luci lightThis is what the solar panel on the bottom looks like..The whole product is ridiculously easy to use! And it’s just plain fun!

Would I recommend this item? ABSOLUTELY!

Thanks for making an awesome product you peeps over at MPOWERD! You rock!

 

– Campin’ Chix [W]

 

Forever Young… and Friends!

If you’ve read the “About Us” section on our blog, you know this blog was all started by two best friends who’ve been camping together since childhood. We’ve actually been friends our entire lives. We were forced into it initially by our mothers, and later as we evolved into our own, so did our friendship. It’s a beautiful thing ::queue corny music:: (which you can find at the bottom of the post, hehe!).

Knowing someone your entire life and evolving with them can be quite fun and competitive – as we were always comparing who was taller, who was skinnier, who had bigger boobs… you know, really important things when you’re 12. As “adults” we laugh about these things, but one thing we’ve always been blessed with, other than our awesomely, amazing, fantastic, open and loving friendship – is that we continue to look like we’re still 12. Bless the genes (not jeans) we were given!

Recently we took a new photo resembling the one that we posted on our “About Us” page – the inspirational image to our blog… and here it is:

Now it’s your turn to guess the age gap! How many years has it been since the top photo was taken?? I want your comments people! 

us now and then

And for your musical enjoyment while you contemplate this ever important question…

We’ve made it more than 2 decades already – cheers to all life long friends out there, this post is for you! 

-Campin’ Chix [W]

Up, Up & Away!

Most of us all have a bucket list – whether it’s an actual written list, a mental list or a bucket with random items written in a row – we all have ideas of things we want to do in our lifetime. This last weekend I got to cross another fun one off my list – Hot Air Ballooning!IMG_20160725_063233413

I got a taste of it at the young, ripe age of 11 – and ever since, I’ve wanted to go back up and actually get to enjoy the champagne they serve. What’s better than some good bubbly, hundreds of feet off the ground!? And all while watching the beautiful sunrise at 5:30 AM. It was a most pleasant, serene morning activity that I got to share with my mother dearest. (Did I mention this was a birthday present from 2 years ago? Luckily if you hand me endless amount of champagne, I forget time easily!) Have I also mentioned that I am NOT a morning person?? And yet I would still get up at the ass-crack of dawn to do it again.

As we drove over to the meeting spot, it was as dark as night outside… cause well, it was still almost night time. Did you know there was a FOUR AM in the morning!? I though it was like Bigfoot – believed but not factual.

Needless to say, the trip was a blast! Our pilot, Chris, was a hoot and the champagne made you feel that much more “floaty” as you drifted aimlessly in the sky for an hour. I have to give balloon pilots a lot of props after learning from Chris about what it takes to fly, own and maintain one of those massive balloon beasts! (They’re like $300k to purchase! And they’re made in Spain!) Also, how every inch of the pilot’s arm hair isn’t singed off by now will always be a mystery! (because he’s constantly under the flame propelling thrower that “inflates” the balloon and all… Hence the name “hot air” balloon…) Just being near the bustling flame as it burst up into the balloon atmosphere made me shut up about the mere 100 degree weather we were living in that weekend. Temecula is HOT in the summer! Guess that’s how they get you to visit all their vineyards and drink lots of wine – hot weather brainwash!

If going up in a hot air balloon isn’t on your list – it should be! And if it IS, then I highly recommend Sunrise Balloons and you can usually get a deal through Groupon. And if you can choose your pilot, which you normally cannot – still ask for Chris! Now go outside and stop looking at your phone/computer/tablet!

[Over and Out. Campin’ Chix -W]

If Dr. Seuss Were a Camper…

“I’ve camped when it’s hot, I’ve camped on a cot, I’ve even camped in a hot, dusty parking lot.

I’ve camped in the rain, I’ve camped while in pain, I’ve camped next to a loud moving train.

I’ve camped with the bears, had to hike up steep stairs, and I’ve camped in a tent with  huge, open tears!

I’ve camped in the sand, I’ve camped on BLM land, and I’ve camped next to a canyon that’s grand.

I’ve camped in cars, beneath many a bright stars… Heck, I’d camp on frickin’ Mars…if I could.”

-Campin’ Chix [W]