Author: coleen

Taking a Step Into the Unusual in Carlsbad

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When you choose to go on a vacation, you want to go somewhere that’s going to wow you and make you feel like you’re the first ever visitor. It’s why people head into unknown corners of the word; they want to see somewhere untouched and unused by the masses. They want to feel like they’ve discovered a hidden secret, one that no one else knows about.

Nestled by the coast in North County San Diego is a small town called Carlsbad, and it’s one such place that’s tucked away from the rest of the state – the perfect escape for a beach vacation. Known as “The Village by the Sea”, this town spans 7 miles along the Pacific Ocean and as San Diego is home to some of the best US weather, Carlsbad itself receives over 250 sunshine days every year. When you want a vacation that’s warm, interesting and on the beach, Carlsbad gives you everything that you want – plus more.

Finding the hidden gems in Carlsbad isn’t hard, but it’s interesting, and there are so many things to do in Carlsbad that you won’t have anticipated when you first visit. Below, you’ll find some of the most unusual gems that Carlsbad can offer you, from property to places to visit. Let’s take a look at some of those unusual places below.

  • Paradise Shores. You can rent any house you like on Airbnb, or settle for a hotel to stay in for the duration of your vacation. Paradise Shores is a 5,800 square foot beachfront property that sits on half an acre of land. The Agua Hedionda Lagoon is where to go and Paradise Shores has a private sandy beach, a pool and jacuzzi for guests to enjoy. You can find a full array of water sports equipment available to use and the private beach even has its own sound system to enjoy.
  • Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Carlsbad has several lagoons to enjoy and Agua Hedionda, where Paradise Shores is located, is the most popular to visit. It’s so good for watersports, including paddleboarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, jet skiing and waterskiing. It’s visited throughout the summer but because San Diego is blessed with sunshine most of the year, there really isn’t a bad time to visit this lagoon.
  • Calavera Lake’s Cave, Volcano & Labyrinth. A 110 acre preserve, you get around four miles of biking trails and hiking trails to explore in detail. There is a 400 acre reservoir that is a home to hundreds of different species of plant and animal, and most of these are considered to be endangered due to the development of the area destroying the natural habitat. The cave that you can visit was used as a rock quarry in the past, and Mount Calavera itself is a 22 million year old volcanic plug. It’s extinct, don’t worry, but the plug formed when magma hardened on the vent on an active volcano, so it was once a rumbling force of natural energy. Did you know that there are only 3 volcanic plugs in Southern California? Well, now you do and this is one of them! The labyrinth is a must-see, as it’s man-made and you can find out more about it here.
  • Batiquitos Lagoon. Those who love the natural world and hiking will love the picturesque area of hiking trails and wildlife that add to the Batiquitos Lagoon. The trails are 3 miles long and while it’s not the place to do water sports, it is somewhere you can walk peacefully and just drink in the views.
  • Flower Fields. If you’re going to visit Carlsbad at any point in the year, make sure you’re here when the Spring months roll in. the Flower Fields are simply incredible to enjoy when in full bloom, between March and May particularly. You can admire the rows of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus that fill the field and you can buy tickets online here. You can even go on a tour of the Fields and learn a little about the history of it. You are also allowed to take a wander on your own but bring your camera; those close up shots of the flowers in bloom aren’t to be missed. They have been a staple for the county since 1965 and over the years, there have been thirteen colours cultivated to bring you this natural beauty that you see today.
  • U-Pick Carlsbad Strawberry Company. It’s one of those summer activities that families love to get involved in, and picking your own strawberries is delicious fun for all. You pay a little more than you would at a grocery store, but the strawberries have a freshness that you won’t find in your average produce aisle. You are right next door to the Flower Fields, so you can make a whole day of being in nature with your family. Sure, LEGOLAND is something to be visited, but there’s something wonderful about going away from the regular attractions and getting involved in the natural world.
  • Antique Shops. The Carlsbad Village has more than enough to stroll and grab a bite to eat, with tons of boutiques to choose from and visit. However, the antique shops off of State Street in the Village is where you want to be to discover some of the best hidden gems in the town.
  • Lhooq/Exrealism Rare Bookstore. Alongside the antique shops is the quirky rare bookstore, where you can sip an espresso with your new (old) books that you buy. It’s definitely not what you would expect to be in a commercialized area of town, but browsing the rare books can mean you find something of a keepsake.

All of these hidden areas may well be something to be seen in Carlsbad, but it’s also the place to go for some major attractions. LEGOLAND and the aquarium, the K1 Speed racing course and even hot air balloon rides are all on offer in Carlsbad. There’s something for everyone and you need to consider it for your next vacation.

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Why You Should Consider Road Tripping Instead of Flying

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Traveling by air is definitely one of the best advances of our time since it allows us to reach the other side of the world within a matter of hours, which is something that would have been incomprehensible a hundred years ago, so in that sense we are extremely blessed and have more opportunities than we’ve ever had, and this is only going to be something that continues to get better.

However, if you’ve spent any significant amount of time traveling through airports or on planes, then you’ll know that this mode of transportation is simply a means to an end and not exactly the most enjoyable or comfortable.

From standing in long lines at check-in desks and security, to being cramped into tiny seats where you may or may not have to endure inconsiderate people around you, air travel can really be quite annoying and stressful at times, so if you can find another way to travel such as by road or rail, then it could be worth considering for shorter and domestic trips if you have a bit more time to spare and don’t really need to fly.

The good thing is with road trips even on longer journeys is that you don’t have to do the whole trip all at once and can make stops along the way, either at rest stops for a few hours, or overnight somewhere like a hotel near Shawnee, Oklahoma if you need more of a rest and aren’t overly pressed for time.

In this post we’re going to share with you some of the top benefits of taking a road trip over flying when you can.

You can make it a trip in and of itself:

When you’re traveling on the open road, there’s so much to see along the way, so this can actually be part of the trip instead of just the journey to get there. You can stop off at different towns and cities as you go and this can be a fun and relaxing way to break up your journey.

It will be more relaxing:

Forget those annoying airport lines, short connecting flights that you have to rush to when flying. This is a big benefit of traveling by road that you don’t have to deal with any of this stuff. You can go completely at your own pace as long as your schedule allows.

It could be cheaper:

Although flights are far cheaper than they used to be, they can still be expensive, depending on the time of year you’re traveling and if you have to buy tickets for more people than just you. Airports are also notoriously expensive, so in this sense, traveling by road is far cheaper than air travel.

It can be more comfortable:

If you want to go for a full on road trip experience, then you can ditch the car for something like an RV which is basically like a small house or hotel on wheels in some cases, and this is without a doubt far more comfortable and enjoyable than being squeezed into a tiny airplane seat anytime.

How To Throw the Ultimate Christmas Party

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The holiday season is the perfect excuse to get together with those you love and throw a festive party. However, the responsibility of hosting this event, while fun and exciting, is also quite daunting. After all, you want things to go to plan and for your guests to have fun, but, with the expectations set by sitcoms and holiday films, it can be difficult to compete. Instead of spending your entire evening worrying, here are six tips to help you throw the ultimate Christmas party.

  1. Invite The Right People

The whole purpose of a party is to have fun with friends and family, which is why you should consider your guest list carefully. Make sure you invite people you know do or can get along well together and keep new introductions to a minimum. You could also avoid individuals you know will cause tension. This helps to prevent awkward silences or family feuds throughout the night.

  1. Call For Ugly Sweaters

For a great conversation starter and a few giggles during festivities, you can ask that all guests attending your party wear an ugly Christmas jumper. If you didn’t want to be so strict with your dress code, then you could have them come in festive colors, like red and green, instead. This will boost the festive vibes of your party and get everyone in the Christmas spirit.

  1. Stick To Simple Decorations

The extravagant Christmas parties often shown on TV set an unrealistic and overwhelming standard for everyone else. Instead of filling your home with tinsel, lights, and more, you should just stick with the basics. As long as you have a tree and a few sprigs of mistletoe here and there, your guests will be more than happy, especially if everyone is dressed up festive anyway.

  1. Remember The Festive Drinks

Every party needs food available to tide guests over, but, more often than not, it’s the drinks that most care about. With that in mind, you should ensure you have plenty of festive options to choose from. To make this easier, you could hire a bartending service, like The Bartender Company. With their help, you can create and serve custom Christmas drinks to your guests.

  1. Create A Festive Playlist

No party is ever truly complete without music. Because of this, you should take the time to create a long playlist full of festive jams. If you need some help building this playlist, then you could ask all of your guests to choose and add their favorite Christmas song to the mix. This means that everyone will have a chance to listen to music they love.

  1. Keep The Entertainment Coming

There is only so much standing around, drinking, and talking that your guests can do before they grow bored. To keep everyone in high spirits, you should plan plenty of activities to keep them entertained throughout the night. You could plan festive party games, set up a photo booth full of Christmas props, or sing along to your party playlist on a karaoke machine.

Throwing a Christmas party can be a daunting task, but, hopefully, with the tips above, yours will be a huge success.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!