Dripping Caves: Hiking Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park @Orange County, California

alisosignA few days before Christmas, we picked up Angel Boy (my son– and yes, we still call him Angel Boy even though he’s thirty-two-years old!) from the John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

We drove RIGHT BY South Coast Plaza but my mind was too excited to see my baby to care about stopping at Chanel or Valentino or Cartier or Gucci or Harry Winston….HARRY WINSTON!!

Crap, did I just miss an opportunity to check out Chanel???

Sigh, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.

Aliso hike

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park is a jewel of solitude and natural beauty in hectic Orange County.

It comprises approximately 4,500 acres of wilderness and natural open space land. Originally, part of the Juaneno or Acajchemem tribal land, it later was owned by Don Juan Avila, Louis Moulton, the Mission Viejo Company, and now is under the jurisdiction of OC Parks.

Within the park lands are mature oaks, sycamores, and elderberry trees, two year-round streams, and over thirty miles of official trails. Many rare and endangered plants and animals make this park their home. This park is designated as a wildlife sanctuary.

To get to the main trailhead for Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, exit the 5 freeway at Alicia Parkway and head towards the ocean.

Of course it was imperative that we feed the child. Whether they’re four or thirty-two, the first thing they think about is FOOD! I had prepared a huge amount of food for the hungry traveler and we ate it at a picnic table near the entrance to the trailhead, under a canopy of old shade trees. He ate a couple of his favorite sandwiches: tuna with celery, apples, nuts, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, and lettuce — along with Lentil Cookies, Snickerdoodles, Veggie Chips, Persimmon Bread, and an apple and an orange. We never fail to marvel at the AMOUNT of food Angel Boy can pack away…and that doesn’t include the nuts and raisins for the hike.

What’s up with that kind of metabolism?

He eats so much and burns it all and needs to eat again every couple of hours or so. This is just his normal — I once took him to an endocrinologist to make sure his levels were OK, and we learned that he’s just an extremely efficient food user. All I can say is that he didn’t get that from me.

After almost eight miles, we drove home — exhausted –but in a good way, and restored by the fragrance of Southern California buckwheat and sage.

Of course it was time for dinner and another feast of epic proportions: the stuff of mom-joy, that’s for sure.

Shadow and light, me and my tugboat man.

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Great blue heron.

aliisobirdA hidden pocket of water.

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More water, rushing over rocks.

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A gorgeous meadow and hills, but look at the houses on the hill.
So close to civilization!

aliso4Fairy-like foot bridge.
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alisodrippingcave

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Another cool cave.

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Some leaves DO change color in SoCal!alisotree

A happy mom ‘cos my Angel Boy was home,
even if only for a few days.

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Boys DO Make Passes at Girls Who Wear Glasses. Oh YES, They DO.

Kate Spade glasses2

Newsflash: Eyeglasses are the new aphrodisiac.

Sasssy and sexxxxy in a slightly beeyotchy way.

That describes both me AND my new Kate Spade glasses, don’t you agree?

Can’t wait for my tugboat man to see the new me. He loves the sexy librarian look…

Aren’t those polka dots TDF?

And the hair? It looks like my head had a curl explosion.
Oopsie, it seems as if the picture on the wall behind me is slightly askew; my OCD side will fix it immediately, since I clearly have no control over my hair.

And yes, that IS my enchanting bathroom, and no, I’m not wearing any makeup.

Kate Spade glassesIt’s a different world now than when I first needed to wear glasses. Back then, it tolled the death knell if you aspired at all to be a popular gal and hang out with the cool kids.

I was continually taunted with.such witticisms as,  “Hey, Coke-bottle‘s here. Ha Ha.”

Not so funny to be the target of mean girls. 

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to wear contact lenses.

But now, wearing glasses is just another important fashion accessory, not a signal to the world that the wearer is a bookish nerd, not that there’s anything wrong with that!

If you live in the San Diego area and need new frames, come to Carlsbad and check out
Andrews Optical on Grand for a huge selection and great customer service.

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Stop Wolf Hunts Now

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Ghandi

Pretty In Pink

Elephants, wolves, coyotes; helping to raise awareness and rid the world of animal cruelty is a depressing mission, that’s for sure.

It makes me appreciate even more the beauty in a flower, especially flowers in every shade of pink.

Begonias
pink flowerMandevilla — I call it a “Hello Kitty” pink.
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I can’t wait ’til it completely covers the arbor in pink blooms.

pinkflowerFuschia
When my son was little, we lived in Hillcrest, an older part of San Diego. The next door neighbors were in their late seventies and fell in love with our little guy, the grandchild they never had. They were both amazing gardeners and taught me how to propagate and grow fuschias and I’ve loved them ever since. It’s so easy to cut off a small piece of new (or old) growth and simply stick it in a pot —  and wait. It might take a while, but they all root and eventually grow into these beauties. Hummingbirds LOVE them, too.
They grow well here in So Cal if they have lots of water; fuschias are very thirsty!

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Enjoy your Sunday; keep cool and hydrate!

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Desert Solitude

In case you were wondering–if you were spending any time at all thinking about ME while you’re going about your daily tasks, I can verify this to be true….Chanel and Valentino CAN coexist with hiking boots and backpacks, y’all.

We’re going to the Anza Borrego desert for a couple of days to camp and hike before the next big swell hits on Sunday.

Yes, I do pop a squat behind a bush off the trail.

I do sleep in a sleeping bag and not always on 800 thread count sheets!

There’s no internet, obvs, but I’ll take lots of pix and post upon our return when I’m a surf widow.

Have a lovely weekend!

XOXO
Princess Rosebud of Enchanted Seashells

My tugboat man and I were gone all day…gym in the morning, and then a trip to downtown San Diego for a pair of shoes for him and what I got is a post for another day…I think this is a lovely and inspiring quote and thought I’d share it! Hope your Friday was spectacular!

Explorer's Guide Maritime Academy

Have a great weekend!

~Explorer’s Guide Maritime Academy Staff

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