Petting Alpacas in Temecula. (Video)

Part of the experience I enjoyed while visiting Temecula was signing up to feed and pet a few Alpacas. As it was my first time bonding with these types of animals, I wasn’t sure how I felt about them. However, after much bonding I grew to love them in the end.

The Alpacas are cute especially with their bushy furs hanging right around their eyes. It made me wonder how the heck they are able to see under all that fur?

The tour started off with a guide discussing about the owner’s story in how she started her Alpaca ranch to the details about the animal’s fur. I found it intriguing and even more when I was able to feed the Alpacas in their pen.

Like any other animals, they get excited when food arrives. As soon as I walked in the pen they smelled the pellets and I immediately had my hands tied. A group of them surrounded me waiting to be fed. It scared me a bit as they were almost the same height as me but, I managed.

Luckily, remembering the introduction from our guide about what to do and what not to do around Alpaca animals helped me prepare for this moment. I slowly warmed up while feeding my new Alpaca friends in the pen and handed the food with no issues.

This activity, I thought, was a fun experience and I highly suggest it to anyone coming to Temecula.

Read my previous post on Old Town, Temecula or my first day in Temecula.

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Exploring Old Town Temecula. (Video)

You can’t come to Temecula without seeing Old Town. It is one of the main attraction aside from wine tasting and it is a must see in my opinion.

Truthfully, I didn’t have high hopes for Temecula at first because it reminded me of a previous experience I had visiting near the area that turned out to be disappointing. However, this trip completely changed my mind. Aside from my relaxing accommodation, I truly enjoyed seeing Old Town with its restored buildings along the main street, eating delicious meals, and window shopping. I found myself staying here for over 2 hours.

Food

For dinner, my Airbnb host recommended eating at Goat and Vine, a pizza place that I now also recommend. Keep in mind there are a ton of restaurants to choose from in this area that are just as good. For food, I ended up ordering the chicken salad sandwhich and the steak gorgonzola pizza. I was satisfied and full.

One thing to note, since Old Town is a prime location for socializing (eating and drinking over the weekend) I highly suggest adding yourself on a wait list a few hours before your eating schedule. It seemed that all of the restaurants were fully booked on a Saturday night, not including people arriving on the spot; just something to be aware of before coming here on a whim and expecting to be seated may not be a smart thing to do.

Parking

Another tip to keep in mind is parking. The main street is definitely congested with people and traffic. Therefore, if you want to find parking without competing with other people, the best thing to do is use the public parking located 3 blocks up away from the main street. I found out about this public parking a day too late but, it was convenient when I came back to Old Town the next day.

Lastly, enjoy yourself exploring the main streets and don’t forget to also walk down the side streets. There are plenty of stores that are hidden and are worth looking into.

See my post on my first day in Temecula.

The Quiet Side of Temecula. (Video)

A busy work week for me usually means retreating to a quieter weekend getaway. Temecula came to mind as a perfect spot in re-setting. It was a place that was easy to reach (within an hour) from home yet, far enough to feel like I am in another world.

What’s great about Temecula is that it’s known as a wine country town. Therefore, finding a place that matched what I was looking for wasn’t a problem. My needs were met when I found a place on Airbnb, a studio apartment owned by a superhost couple that was nestled in between mountains, away from the traffic noise and most of all secluded.

When I arrived I was greeted by my host who helped me carry my bags up to my room. He showed me around and I was in awe of the balcony that overlooked the avocado trees with the mountains in the background. The wine (pictured above) was provided by my host, a nice touch I thought. As you can imagine, the balcony became my go to spot for the rest of the trip.

The studio apartment itself was built a few years ago by my host. He had informed me that he bought this property way beyond my years and got a good price. Now, retired he and his wife decided to use it as means for business (a great idea don’t ya think?).

To be continued….

Snapshot of Morro Bay, CA

Morro Bay was a ray of sunshine. It’s a coastal city about an hour and 50 minutes north from Santa Barbara known for Morro Rock, an extinct volcanic mound towards the end of the bay. You can’t miss it because it stands around 576 feet tall.

Getting here was easy if you take the right turn. I missed it and ended up going through the wetlands which was actually not a bad detour. When I finally arrived in downtown, I was happy to be able to find parking quickly and made my way to the harbor.

The bay was my favorite part. I sat in one of the benches and watched kayaks and boats pass by for a few minutes. Then, I decided to walk around a bit in downtown. I walked into one of the stores that sold knick knacks and then decided to eat in one of the restaurants right by the water. The food was pretty good.

A few minutes after lunch, I made my way to Morro Rock. There were a ton of tourists around. The day was a bit cool but, good enough for a walk. I roamed around for a bit then decided it was time to go back to my hotel.

Santa Barbara on the go.

With no specific plans in mind, I went to downtown Santa Barbara in the morning to see what it’s all about. My handy weather app told me that the rain was suppose to come in in the next 24 hours, therefore, I took full advantage of my time outside before it started pouring.

Strolling through downtown was quite nice. They seemed to have all of the standard restaurants, shops or grocery stores that you would find in any other town. One of the things I found was the gum alley way that was known for the gum wall similar to Seattle. I peeked along with a few other tourists taking photos of the wall with gums stuck to it that deemed cool and nasty at the same time.

I passed through the Old Mission and saw a long line for people to see Santa Clause. The kids and adults looked excited and festive for the holidays. Some of the restaurants even had christmas lights decors. Saying this town was definitely in the holiday mood would be underrated to say the least.

The sun was still beaming and I probably spent an hour and a half before I decided to leave for Morro Bay.

To be continued…

Going Off-The Grid Camping at Lytle Creek.

lytle creek | astintabroad

People would not believe me if they knew I’m “camping” off the grid, in rough roads and deep in the mountains. It is a definite contrast to my everyday lifestyle where I spend most of my time detailing designs for high-end clientele. Before that trip, my boss had asked about my weekend plans and I briefly mentioned about going camping. Her reaction didn’t seem at all pleased and asked what entails camping. lol It was quite an interesting conversation, to say the least. Speaking to someone who likely has never camped in her life, I summarized my camping details. Pick a location, bring your friends, make sure you have plenty of food and water and enjoy nature w/o a cell phone. I think I didn’t sell her on the no wifi zone part but, for me, it is a blessing.  Continue reading “Going Off-The Grid Camping at Lytle Creek.”

Driving In Between Southern California and Arizona.

Driving

From my last post, I mentioned about going on a road trip over Thanksgiving weekend to Arizona. Driving from O.C. to Scottsdale was a 5-hour trip which, for us took longer than we expected. Between listening to songs, playing games, and eating snacks in the car, it became apparent that we were bored. We found ourselves in yet, another spare of the moment decision and decided to stop to see the Salton Sea State lake and the Salvation Mountain. Continue reading “Driving In Between Southern California and Arizona.”

A Golden Hour in Lecco.

Lecco-Main

Our final exam ended, Italy is on a long holiday and the sun was out. What a perfect time to explore a new city with my travel partner V. Around mid-afternoon today, V and I hopped on a train and made it in Lecco an hour and a half later. It was absolutely a beautiful day. Even though Lecco is a small town, I enjoyed the view of the lake and simply spending the day here. Nothing more and nothing less.

This lake was unbelievable. It’s much bigger than it looks in the photo.

We arrived to a sunny day with 7 degree celsius temperature. Yes, it was cold but, warmer than Milan. I never would’ve thought in the million years that I would survive a weather this cold but, here I am. Lots of families, couples and tourists wondered around the lake like us.

IMG_2830.JPGThis is further down the lake away from the city center. I caught a good glimpse of this walking path with no one around. Zing!

Then the golden hour came around. Gotta love the reddish tones in the sky.

Ok, we didn’t actually spend all day walking around the lake. We had time to shop and walk around the city center. Although, the best time for me was definitely wondering around the lake and taking in the view. Can you blame me?

Until next time…Arrivederci Lecco.