Suburbs to Countryside Getaway

Having lived in Pasadena for the last 10 years, I surely have gotten accustomed to sticking to what I know. Of course, I do yearn for a quick getaway into the countryside hills, but really, I don’t know where to go sometimes!

My skin was itching with the travel bug and I knew I had to go and do something quick. Thinking on my toes, I headed out to Arcadia’s REI where I walked into a mammoth room full of adventure gear ranging from camping tents to hiking shoes to portable doggy beds. But, what really caught my breathe was the amount of travel books that can tell me where to visit and stay. Jackpot! A kind gentleman stopped by and asked me if I needed any help, to which I responded, “You know, I want to get away, but not REALLY get away. Do you know what I mean? There’s so much to explore in LA that I don’t even know where to start! Can you point me in the right direction?”.

“You know, I want to get away, but not REALLY get away. Do you know what I mean? There’s so much to explore in LA that I don’t even know where to start! Can you point me in the right direction?”.

Next thing I know, Tony (kind man at REI) began to tell me of all the hiking trails in the San Bernardino Mountains, the breathtaking aerial tram in Palm Desert, Mount Wilson and many wonderful places that are a mere few hours away. I was in awe. No, I was in shock why I didn’t think of this earlier. It turns out, Tony has spent the last 8 out of 10 summers outside of the US, mostly traveling worldwide to seek out his passion of mountain climbing. From Tibet, India to Machu Picchu, Tony has done it all. I’m jealous. Again, why didn’t I think of that earlier? So much can be accomplished if you put your mind to it. I knew I liked Tony for being a risk taker!

Shortly thereafter, I headed over to the Alexandria Metaphysical Bookstore which celebrated it’s Grand Opening in a new location up the street on Lake Avenue in Pasadena. The bookstore has since outgrown the former location and moved into a bigger space with move foot traffic. In case you missed it, they offered free aura readings, 5 minute tarot card readings, free cookies and a light massage. What I like best about the store are all the spiritual knick-knacks such as sage, incense, dowsing crystals, tarot decks, and wide assortment of books. And of course, what did I do? I left with a deck of tarot cards. I think I’ve found a new hobby!

You’d think that my weekend would have ended there, but fortunately for me I also spent the rest of my Sunday at a lovely family charity festival in Malibu…

From the suburbs of Pasadena to country side getaway in Malibu, I feasted my eyes as I drove through the dirt roads entering Malibu Family Wines Estate to celebrate the 9th Annual Family Fundraiser for City Hearts. The countryside hills of the winery were home to zebra’s, bison, horses, sheep, and exotic animals alongside lush grapevines. I didn’t even know this existed! Again, who would have thought?

The thing that really got me was how friendly and generous the Semlers (owners of Malibu Family Wines) were to all their guests, patrons and vendors. I don’t think I met a single person who wasn’t happen with the turnout. I mean, come on – the little kids were hula hooping their eyes out with Hoopadelic! And to see their moms and dads, who were wearing neatly pressed slacks and button up shirts, hooping alongside was even more tear jerking. The exquisite food from The Sunset, The Fry Girl, Scrumptious Cupcakes and Dandy Don’s Ice Cream filled me up big time. It makes me wonder why people don’t come out to festivals more often.

In my mind, I think the memories created in a fun-filled day full of sunshine is ultimately worth it. And it goes well with a glass of 2002 Cabernet from Malibu Family Wines. Gulp.

I agree that there is a certain type of family that comes out when possible, but for some, it may seem like a trek to haul the kids, aunts and uncles out to an event 45 minutes away. In my mind, I think the memories created in a fun-filled day full of sunshine is ultimately worth it. And it goes well with a glass of 2002 Cabernet from Malibu Family Wines. Gulp.

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ — Malibu Family Wines hosts the Ninth Annual Family Fun Fest, Harvest & Crush Event benefiting City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, Sunday, September 13, 2009, 12:30-3:30 p.m. at the 1,000-acre Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu. Event proceeds benefit City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, the 24-year old arts intervention non-profit organization that transforms the lives of disadvantaged and at-risk children through the highest quality arts education, training and experiences. Nic Harcourt, the ultimate musical tastemaker and one of the most influential DJs in America, will serve as emcee and will spin the music.

Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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