The O.C. Fan Girl Road Trip

Growing up I was obsessed with the TV show, The OC – as many teen girls were. I used to daydream about living on the coast of California like the characters in the show and how wonderful it would be. It wasn’t until now, after our road trip to my dream destination,¬†did I realize that dream was just a dream. Taking that road trip to California made me realize that moving to Newport wasn’t going to make my life like theirs. And it wasn’t because Newport isn’t where they filmed the show… ūüėČ

Long ago I found an online guide showing all the filming locations from The OC.

Check it out here (http://www.seeing-stars.com/OC/).

I picked each place I wanted to see and added it to my bucket list. Of course on the trip, we were pressed for time due to all¬†the different places¬†we planned to see,¬†that many of those places in California I just crossed off the list because they didn’t seem as important. The places we did go however made my inner fan girl scream with joy.

First stop was Newport Beach where I¬†stepped into the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The town was filled with fishing wharfs, dive bars, and hipsters. It¬†seemed like¬†a cute old fisherman town with a lot of stories to tell. We walked the boardwalk with seagulls flying over us and skateboarders whizzing by. We grabbed lunch at a little pizza joint and shopped in a few gift shops. I loved the vibe the town gave and I didn’t want to leave. Newport Beach looked nothing like it had on the show, and that’s because the show was actually filmed in Redondo Beach a little ways North down the California Coast – our next stop.

Redondo Beach was just as adorable as Newport Beach. As we approached the boardwalk, I gazed in awe – the lifeguard houses, the surfers, the boardwalk with it’s shops and restaurants – it was exactly like The OC. I was filled with excitement as we walked down the boardwalk and started following our map. See map below.

Redondo Beach Pier Map. Credit: http://www.seeing-stars.com/OC/PierMap.shtml

We took a stroll past the “Bait Shop” and continued around the lower level of the plaza. We¬†saw the “flags” that you see multiple times on the show when they are walking and biking on the pier. We gazed out over the water and breathed in the ocean air. It was peaceful and fulfilling.

We went into some of the different shops and bought some beach memorabilia before going into the Pier Diner. We made sure to sit in the exact booth where the gang would sit in each episode. Above the booth, hung a photo of The OC gang with their autographs. It felt so surreal.

The restaurant must have changed hands at some point, or maybe they just altered it for the show. The diner had a front desk where you could order your food and most of it was Asian unlike on the show. Our booth, the bathroom, and the restaurant itself didn’t look very clean, but I don’t regret going in there at all. It was an experience I will never forget. My adolescent dreams came true.

“Welcome to the OC, Bitch.”

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Joshua Tree Adventure Tour

This Joshua Tree adventure tour was a very different kind of tour, but in a great way. We were a little hesitant and excited at first getting into a Hummer, that picked us up at our hotel, to ride around Palm Desert for a few hours. It turned out to be great and very enjoyable being able to learn about the history and facts Joshua Tree and Coachella Valley had to offer in a unique way.

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First stop on the tour was Coachella Valley Preserve-Thousand Palms Oasis featuring a small trail with tall, magnificent palm trees and the mysterious animals who live in them. The preserve system was once designed years ago to protect a threatened reptile, the fringe-toad lizard, and now it is a refuge for many other species of animals and plants as well.  The water you will find in this oasis is part of the San Andreas earthquake fault line.

Second stop was Joshua Tree National Park. We took an off-road back entrance, that seemed as though only the locals knew about. Looters, graffiti, and trash littered the vast desert. As we drove deeper into Joshua Tree, the roads became a rocky, hazardous terrain meant only for off-road vehicles. As we laughed and thrashed around in the back of the vehicle, the tour guide told us about the many different wildlife and plants that live there.

A while later, we stopped and got out of the Hummer to take a walk around and get some photos of these magnificent trees. Joshua Tree National Park was not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting to see a few trees and that’s it, but there were millions of trees with tons of history and beautiful scenery. These trees grow about 3 inches every year for the first 10 years and then an inch and a half every year after that. They may take 60 years to fully mature and they can live for more than 500 years and some reach about 40 feet high!

Another unique plant I saw was the Creosote Bush. This bush grows in the hottest deserts in the United States. Interesting fact, when you blow hot air on the leaves, they smell like rain. Try it, you will be amazed!

Adventure Hummer Tours was a great choice for us to see a little bit of what Joshua Tree National Park had to offer. We had a blast and our tour guide was great. It was even more enjoyable having your other half with you. If you are staying in the Palm Desert area or just driving through, don’t miss out on this beautiful park.

Thank you for reading.

 

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A Mt. Shasta Adventure

Before noticing the gorgeous mountain with snow on top towering over the town, I had no idea what Mt. Shasta really was. I heard about the beauty, but I never knew what the area really looked like. Thick forests, small shops, hippies and hillbillies, and small families enjoying a quiet life. Despite all of that, tourists filled the town, but respected their surroundings to let the locals live peacefully. This beauty and uniqueness allowed Mt. Shasta to stand out to me. I had never seen or been to any place like it.

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Mt. Shasta is one of the towns in the US with the cleanest water that has won actual awards. Visit the local park where you can actually taste a sip. The water takes about 50 years to make it down the mountain to the small area in the park where you can drink it. You can drink 50 year old water! It will be the purest and cleanest water you will ever taste.

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The mountain is known to have special Ora that many transients flock to,¬†to do¬†whatever transients do. I‚Äôve never seen so many and it was really unique to see how they live. Shacks decorated with tie die decor, the smell of pot lingering, and seeing those eating plants, while trying to fulfill a pure, clean, natural life. If you’d like, bring a tent and live like them. There are plenty of areas to camp out with plenty of water to drink and apparently, plants to eat!

Nestled deep in the woods is Mt. Shasta Lake. Take a picnic, take a canoe/kayak, and enjoy a day to yourselves. You will most likely be up there alone or only with a couple other people. It is so quiet and serene you will never want to leave.

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