Freixenet Presents, Night of the Living Dead!

It’s no secret that I ADORE movie screenings at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Especially the Halloween screenings. I mean, horror movies in a cemetery? It’s perfect!! The only thing that makes it better? Free alcohol.

This year’s final showing of the season was sponsored by Freixenet, and all of the guests were given free bottles of bubbly!

“Night of the Living Dead” + a McDonald’s picnic + free bottles of cava (Spanish champagne) + a night with my awesome girl gang = pure happiness.

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Woooo free Freixenet!

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My picnic feast. So fancy.

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My awesome girl gang. Love these gals!!

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Freixenet photo booth!

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Awesome photo of the event that I stole from the Cinespia website, cause it’s waaaaaay better than any of the photos I took lol.

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ZOMBIEEEEEEEEESSS. Love the Cinespia photo booths!!

Though the screenings are over for this year, they will be back next summer with more great movies and fun events! Check out their website and sign up for their mailing list to stay posted about upcoming showings!


 

 

This Is Halloween! Hiking to Pumpkin Rock

High in the hills of Norco overlooking the Jurupa Valley and the 15-freeway lives the iconic Pumpkin Rock. This hike is a seasonal favorite for locals, and it’s the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit!

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The trailhead in George Engalls Equestrian Park

I recently went on this hike and wrote a piece on it for Weekend Sherpa, so I won’t get into too many details about it on here.

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I just wanted to share my photographs with all of you because I like how they turned out and only a few of them made it into the published story.

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This hike was super fun, and very easy. Only around 2 miles or so. And it’s really easy to get to, being only a few minutes from the freeway. But for full details and directions to the trailhead, check out my story on Weekend Sherpa!


 

 

Point Dume

Point Dume is located in LA County in the glamorous city of Malibu. This beach features headlands, cliffs, rocky beaches, and tidepools. And at the right time of year, it’s also a perfect beach for whale watching.

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To get to the beach, from the top of Point Dume at Cliffside Dr, follow a little path till you reach the stairs. Then take the stairs down, down, down…so far down…until you reach the water. At the bottom of the stairs it is mostly rocks, so if you are looking for a sandy beach, hug the side of the cliff and follow it to the left. You’ll see the sand and better water for swimming over there.

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This beach is a good beach to sit around and hang out. Get a tan, splash around in the water, check out the tide pools and Nature Preserve…but it’s not a very “active” beach. It’s a lot of work to get to the beach, and even just bringing our picnic was difficult. Because of it’s lack of accessibility, this isn’t a good beach for surfing or family fun (in my opinion). And on top of that, there are a lot of big rocks in the water. But it’s perfect for relaxing with a book and watching the waves.

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Though we were unable to visit it because it was under construction at the time, Point Dume has a Nature Preserve that is supposed to be pretty cool. So I can’t really offer up any opinions or advice on this part of the beach. But if you go and it is open, I would definitely check it out if I were you. Access to the Preserve begins at the cul-de-sac at the end of Westward Beach Rd, and a gradually ascending trail leads to a viewing platform offering views of the Santa Monica Bay, north Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains, and even Catalina Island on a clear day. So it sounds like it would be pretty awesome to see if you get a chance. Please stay on the trail to help preserve the sand dune!!

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I’m just gonna come straight out and say it: parking is a bitch at Point Dume. There is an official parking lot on Cliffside Dr, but there are only about 10 parking spots. Which are basically always full, and have a 2hr parking limit anyways. There is also a pay lot at the end of Westward Beach Rd, but you should also assume it will most likely be full. Though it’s always worth a shot. Odds are you will end up having to park in the residential areas down the street. Be prepared for a long walk just to get to the stairs that lead to the beach. And as is the case everywhere in LA, CHECK THE SIGNS POSTED WITH PARKING RESTRICTIONS. And be respectful of the residents.

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MY THOUGHTS ON POINT DUME: It was definitely a very beautiful beach, but not very practical for a real beach day. Those stairs getting up and down the cliff are fierce, and way too challenging to navigate holding any sort of beach gear. Those stairs could also present a challenge for bringing small children. This is a good beach to just bring a blanket and relax for a couple hours, maybe do the Nature Preserve trail (though I can’t really comment on that part since it was closed for repairs when we were there).

I would recommend only bringing supplies you can easily sling over a shoulder. You’ll want at least one hand free to use the handrail on the stairs, and whatever you bring, you’ll have to carry for a loooooong time.

There is also little to no shade at this beach (so bring a hat and sunblock) and no restroom facilities (so go ahead of time, hold it, or use nature’s giant toilet).

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LOCATION/DIRECTIONS:

From Santa Monica: follow Pacific Coast Hwy 18-miles west to Westward Beach Road. Turn toward the ocean, go beyond the fee collection station to the very end of the road.

From the 101-Freeway: exit at Kanan Road, follow it south 12-miles to Pacific Coast Hwy, then turn right. Westward Beach Road is over the rise, at the foot of the hill.

To access Point Dume State Preserve: access begins from the cul-de-sac at the end of Westward Beach Road.


USEFUL INFO:

  • Beach is open sunrise to sunset.
  • Dogs are not allowed on trails in the Point Dume Natural Preserve or on the beach.

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For more information, visit the Point Dume State Beach website.


 

Bargain Hunting at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet

Now I don’t really know about the rest of the world, but here in southern CA, swap meets are kinda a big deal. Locals flock to them on the weekends to pick up toys, household goods, new pets, electronics, gifts, furniture… you name it, they probably sell it at the swap meet…at ridiculously low prices. It is a budget shopper’s paradise!

There are several of them throughout the area, but there is one that stands out among the rest: the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet.

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By far the largest swap meet around, it also features live music, tons of food and beer choices, and hundreds of vendors. The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet is more than just a place to find some great deals- it is a day (or night) of fun for the whole family! Or possibly a unique date night option.

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Back in 1948, 18 acres of land were purchased in an unincorporated part of LA County known as “Dairy Valley.” The land consisted of a dairy and an orange grove, but the new landowners had other plans for it. They began constructing a drive-in theater.

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Full House, a cool metal cover band, was playing when we arrived.

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Robbie showing off the banner featuring his band.

The “La Mirada Drive-In Theatre” opened in 1950 as one of the largest drive-in theaters in the country. It could hold over 1000 cars! The name “La Mirada” was used because the city of Santa Fe Springs didn’t exist yet, and La Mirada was the closet city.

The theater was set up in a way to reserve a good portion of the grounds for future possible projects, including ideas for walk-in theaters, restaurants, or even a heliport. That area (as well as the drive-in theater, eventually) is what became the swap meet.

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It was 15 years before the swap meet was open to the public. In 1965, the “La Mirada Swap Meet” opened for the first time. The dirt field in front of the property provided ample parking for the thousands of swap attendees. Nowadays, more than a million people visit the swap meet every year.

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In 1990, the drive-in theater ceased daily operations due to decreasing attendance and the rising popularity of the swap meet. They installed stadium lighting and began LA’s first outdoor night swap meet. A couple years later, they officially changed the name to “Santa Fe Springs Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet.”

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The Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet now has over 500 vendors selling everything from collectibles to clothing, electronics to crafts. Pretty much anything you could want. Their slogan is, “Come for the bargains, stay for the fun!”.

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I recommend bringing your appetite to the swap meet, cause there are tons of tasty food options! A full snack bar, food trucks, and kiosk carts selling all sorts of fun food offerings, including their famous menudo available for breakfast, for those with stronger stomachs than me (I just can’t get on board with eating tripe).

To quench your thirst, there is a beer garden serving more than 20 beers on tap. But they are most famous for their micheladas (served all day long!).

My food picks: churros, michelaguas, and bacon-wrapped hot dogs.

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The swap meet has a large stage and covered seating area featuring live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This area also includes large HD TVs showing popular sporting events. To see the swap meet’s schedule of events and weekly band lineup, check out their calendar!

However what brought us here on this particular weekend was a special after hours event in which Robbie’s band was playing. KROQ (106.7, southern California’s alternative rock radio station) hosted a “Roq of the 90’s” show featuring four nineties-era tribute bands including Nirvanish, Green ToDay (Robbie’s band!), Lose Your Illusion, and Slaves Against the Machine. Totally an awesome lineup.

Here are lots of pics of Green ToDay! Believe me when I say this is only a small portion of what I actually took. I just can’t help it.

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My boyfriend “Rob Cool” and Kevin “The Other Guitar Player”

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And here’s a video Robbie filmed during their set. Check it out!

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Seriously THE BEST Green Day tribute band around.

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❤ ❤ ❤

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For a list of their upcoming shows and booking info, visit the Green ToDay website!

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That moment when you are trying to photograph the event and accidentally catch bae with a “deer in the headlights” look

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This event was tons of fun! I always love watching my man play, and the rest of the bands totally rocked too! Because of the nature of our particular visit, I wasn’t able to see very much of the swap meet itself or experience all of the foods and tasty treats I would’ve liked. All the more reason to go again!


LOCATION:

13963 Alondra Blvd‎.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

(562)921-4359

Major cross streets: Alondra Blvd and Valley View Ave

FREE PARKING!


ADMISSION:

Tuesday – Thursday: Free
Friday Night: $2.50
Saturday: $1.00
Sunday: $1.50


Have any favorite vendors or favorite swap meet foods? Share them in the comments!

For additional information, visit the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet website.


 

The Original LA Farmer’s Market

Living in southern CA with its year-round good weather, there is never a shortage of farmer’s markets to check out. Pretty much every city has one, so you never have to travel far for fresh products and handmade goods. However, only one of them is a must-see destination for visitors: the Original Los Angeles Farmer’s Market. This is the grand-daddy of all of southern CA’s farmer’s markets and is a piece of early Los Angeles history. Plus it’s just super fun.

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In 1880, A.F. Gilmore and his business partner bought two dairy farms near the city of Los Angeles. 10 years later, they decided to break off the partnership and divide their land and businesses. Gilmore took control over their 256-acre ranch at the corner of 3rd & Fairfax.

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When digging new wells in attempts to expand his dairy herd in the early 1900s, Gilmore struck oil. The cows were quickly replaced with oil derricks. However when the borders of Los Angeles were expanded to include Gilmore’s property, the derricks were no longer permitted to continue drilling for oil on a large scale.

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And so the property remained vacant until the 1930s (1934 to be exact, the peak of the Great Depression), when two entrepreneurs approached A.F. Gilmore’s son, E.B. Gilmore, with a grand idea.

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Check out them apples.

Fred Beck and Roger Dahlhjelm wanted to create a place where local farmers could set up stands to sell their fresh-off-the-farm produce, and the vacant lots at the corner of 3rd & Fairfax seemed like an ideal location. Gilmore agreed to give it a shot, and so in July of 1934, the first batch of farmers and merchants arrived to sell their goods out of the back of their trucks.

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Fresh squeezed juices! Yummy!!

By the end of 1934, the market had grown to the point where merchants, including restaurants, grocers, and farmers, began moving into permanent stalls, turning the farmer’s market into what it is today. The fact that the market was able to thrive during the worst economic point of U.S. history is really a testament to the ingenuity of the entrepreneurs and the farmers who participated right from the start. They knew it would be a success.

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The iconic farmer’s market clock tower was added in 1948. It originally featured the phrase “An Idea” painted above the entrance, paying homage to the founders of the market and the original 18 tenants. However the clock tower now lives above shops.

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It has since grown into a must-see destination for locals and travelers alike, providing a unique blend of old and new LA. The market was here, in this exact same location, before Los Angeles as we know it even existed. And now it’s in the center of one of the poshest areas of the city. It’s crazy thinking how much has changed over the last 100 years.

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There are dozens of produce vendors, restaurants, and specialty food shops located throughout the farmer’s market. You’ll definitely want to go there hungry, because there is so much tasty food available to purchase!

The permanent shops and eateries, as well as experiencing history,  are the main reasons to head to this particular farmer’s market. As far as produce goes, there isn’t a ton available, and you’re better off buying produce from a market in any of the surrounding cities that is less crowded and has easier parking and more produce choices. Coming here for your weekly grocery shopping would be way too much of a hassle, unless you lived within walking distance.

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The market is located right next to The Grove, which is arguably the best outdoor mall in southern CA. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth popping over there for a bit to check out all the cool stores and restaurants.

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The farmer’s market also hosts events throughout the year, including live music every Friday and Saturday. Click here for their calendar of events!

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LOCATION

6333 W.3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90036
Telephone: (323) 933-9211

HOURS OF OPERATION

Monday – Friday: 9am – 9pm
Saturday: 9am – 8pm
Sunday: 10am – 7pm
Some merchant hours may vary. Please call individual businesses to confirm their hours.

PARKING AT FARMERS MARKET

Parking is available in either of the Market’s two convenient lots. Parking rates are enforced 24 hours a day.
Parking Rates WITH Validation
90 minutes free validation with purchase from a Farmers Market merchant
$3 for first 15 minutes after 90 minute validation period
$1 for each additional 15 minutes thereafter
$24 maximum
*Lost ticket pays maximum
Parking Rates WITHOUT Validation
$2 for each 15 minutes
$30 maximum
*Lost ticket pays maximum
Additional parking is also available in The Grove Parking Structure, next door. One hour parking in the structure is free.
*Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Diners Club accepted at all parking exits.*

For more information, visit the Original LA Farmer’s Market website.

A Test of Endurance: Backpacking to Sykes Hot Springs

“I need to figure out someplace to go this month over a long weekend. Any ideas?” I should know better by now than to ask my sister questions like this. Of course she has ideas. And they usually involve water. That girl is obsessed with waterfalls and natural hot springs. She suggested we try backpacking to Sykes Hot Springs in Big Sur. Lucky for us, we live close enough to one of the most beautiful parts of California that driving to Big Sur for just a weekend is totally feasible.

Now we are by no means experienced backpackers. But the trip seemed easy enough: 7 hour drive, camp the night, spend the next day hiking 10 miles to Sykes Campground, check out the hot springs, sleep, get an early start and hike the 10 miles back to the car. The grand plan was to get back to LA by 9 so we could go to the Tam o’Shanter to see one of our favorite bands, Waking Kate, play.

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We ended up leaving LA a little later than planned, but that was ok. Our only real objective for the day was to get to Big Sur and find a place to stay the night. And I am pleased to report the drive went off without a hitch, and we arrived in Big Sur by the late evening, maybe around 9pm? It was cold, but not too bad (we took this trip in late April). However, the weather reports for the weekend were looking bleak.

The morning proved the weather reports true: it was officially raining. It started out as just a drizzle, but by the time we finished packing, we were in a downpour. We somehow managed to get everything all squared away though, and after a quick stop at Big Sur Station to acquire a fire permit (required if you want to use a stove or start a fire of any kind while in the backcountry. Read fire restrictions here) and directions to the trailhead (located at the far end of the Big Sur Station parking lot. Overnight parking permits available at kiosks in the parking lot), we were ready to go!

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Luckily the rain let up just as we were starting our trek along the Pine Ridge Trail.The weather was decent, the sights were beautiful, and our spirits were high. That didn’t last though. It wasn’t long before the rain started again. And it didn’t stop.

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Within an hour we were soaked from head to toe, even though we were wearing rain gear. A rain jacket only repels so much water; eventually it couldn’t keep up with the amount of rain being dumped upon us.

Now this trail…I don’t know how we didn’t notice in any of our trip research that the Pine Ridge Trail is graded as strenuous. For a more experienced backpacker, or at least someone in really good shape, the trail probably wouldn’t be too hard. Sure there was a lot of elevation gains and losses, but there were also plenty of mostly level areas to help break it up. But we are not experienced backpackers. So the struggle was very real. And it was even worse in the rain. It took us around 8 hours to get to the campground. On the bright side, it finally stopped raining though.

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As you descend into Sykes Campground, you encounter a river- the majority of the campground is across the river. If you go up river a bit (to the right of the trail), that is where the river is the most shallow and easiest to cross. There is usually a rope set up to help hikers cross the river. The river is pretty swift moving, so be careful when crossing (it was also freezing cold). During times of heavy rains, the river is actually too dangerous to cross, so use your best judgment and maybe reschedule your trip if the weather has been too gnarly.

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We didn’t notice the rope crossing until after we forded the river on our own at a much deeper area. Live and learn.

Once you get across the river, the campground is a little farther up river (keep going to the right). Shortly you will see all the campsites lining the river. By the time we got there we were soaked, tired, freezing, starving, and every other miserable adjective you can think of. The temperature dropped to around 50 degrees, and we knew we had to get warm, fast. The fear of getting hypothermia was starting to become very real. Literally everything in our packs was completely soaked. EVERYTHING. At this point, we had no idea how to get dry or how to warm ourselves. I don’t think I have ever felt so completely helpless. we tried building a fire, but all the wood and twigs were too wet to light. It was time to break out the emergency blankets (thank you Mom and Dad for putting one in my Christmas stocking every year!).

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One of my favorite parts about the outdoors community is the sense of camaraderie. We are all out there for the same reason: a love of the outdoors and the thrill of adventure. A couple of backpackers just arriving to the campground saw our situation and realized we were in a bad way. They had extra dry clothes in their packs, and offered to let us borrow some for the night. One of the men even took a jacket off his back to lend us. If it weren’t for the kindness of these complete strangers, I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done. Essentially, they saved us.

So we made it through the night! The whole situation left us fiercely behind schedule, but we didn’t go through all that suffering to not see the hot springs. So we threw our original plans to the wind and went to find the hot springs before starting the hike back.

The hot springs are around a mile down river from the campground, on the opposite side of the river. But don’t use the same river crossing. Eventually the other side of the river becomes impassable. Stay on the same side as the campground until that side becomes impassable, and then cross to the other side. From there, you can follow a trail through additional campsites until you reach the hot springs. There is quite a bit of boulder scrambling involved, so you’ll definitely want to wear decent shoes. We kept wondering how we would know when we got there, but the hot springs are pretty hard to miss. The air starts smelling like sulfur as you get close, and the pools definitely look like little pools.

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And they are AMAZING! Nice and warm, but not too hot. There are three different pools: the first one you encounter is the smallest, and fits maybe two people. Keep hiking a little and then you come across the other two. If you look down towards the river, you will find the biggest pool, fitting around six people. If you look up, you will find the medium sized pool, fitting around four people. That is the one we used. Since we hiked to Sykes on a Friday, and reached the hot springs early Saturday morning, the pools were nice and empty and we had it mostly to ourselves. However, the hot springs get crazy busy during the weekend, so plan accordingly. I guess some people like to enjoy the springs in the nude, but I sure wouldn’t. There was all kinds of debris and junk in the water, and all the rocks in the pools were really slimy. I was glad to have a bathing suit and water shoes.

The rest of the trip went pretty smoothly, and I don’t have much to report. The weather was beautiful, and the clothes we were wearing dried quickly. The hike was so much more enjoyable! Or at least it would’ve been, if we weren’t still suffering from the mishaps of the day before and weren’t in a race against the sun, trying to finish the hike before nightfall.

We ended up hiking maybe the last 1/4 mile in the dark, and practically collapsed from exhaustion when we reached the car. The biggest downside to being so far behind schedule? We still had to drive home that night, after spending all day hiking. And since both of my travel companions have poor eyesight (especially at night), I had to drive the entire way home without any help or breaks. Yikes. We didn’t get home till after 4am. I guess having everything go smoothly would’ve made the trip more pleasant, but our adventure makes a far better story!

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Find additional information about Sykes Campground and the Pine Ridge Trail here.

40th Anniversary Screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”!!

Since its release in 1975, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has become a cult classic. With a strange and bizarre plot, iconic characters, flashy costumes and oddly catchy songs, this movie has gathered a devoted following over the years.

In honor of its 40th anniversary, Hollywood Forever Cemetery did a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” on Halloween. And my goodness… what a party!! This amazing night featured circus performers, shadow dancers, a glam dance party and a themed photo booth. Costumes were required for entry and movie-viewing props were encouraged (anyone who’s been to a midnight showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” knows what I’m talking about!).

Always costume enthusiasts, my sister, my best friend and I dressed up as the singers from the “Lady Marmalade” music video featuring Pink, Lil’ Kim, Christina Aguilera and Mya (but our group Mya wasn’t able to join us that evening).

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Here is the music video for reference:

And like usual, picnics were allowed, so we packed a fabulous one!

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There is something so delightful about eating in costume…

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And then it was show time! Tim Curry gave a very touching introduction to the movie, and then it began…

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It was a sold out show!

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It was really dark and hard to capture on film, but it looked so beautiful when everyone held up lights during “There’s A Light”.

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Also hard to capture on film- how incredibly awesome it was to see an entire audience of a few hundred people all doing the “Time Warp” together. Seriously…it was so cool I could cry.

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You have to use your imagination to picture people dancing in the bottom half of this photo…

Let’s do the Time Warp agaaaaaaaaain!!!!!!!!

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“The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” good friends and wine…what an amazing way to spend Halloween!

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Yes, these heels were very treacherous to wear in grass. But necessary for the costumes.

Our photo even made it on to the Cinespia website. Yes!!

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I have loved this movie since I was 10 years old, so getting to be part of such a cool 40th anniversary celebration was truly an amazing experience.

This showing wrapped up the 2015 Hollywood Forever movie season, but be sure to check out their website for other cool cinema events!

Extraterrestrial Snacks at Alien Fresh Jerky!

Driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, you don’t really have many places where you can stop for gas or food. The farther you get from LA, the most desolate the drive becomes.

And then you see it…the little town of Baker, rising out of the desert like a fast-food oasis. Of all the places to stop on the drive to Vegas (and by that I mean like the four cities you pass during the 3+ hour drive, length of journey depending on what part of LA you are coming from and how bad traffic is), this is my favorite. It feels like a nice halfway point. Plus Baker has something the other cities don’t: Alien Fresh Jerky!!

Selling fresh and delicious beef jerky and other assorted snacks in an extra-terrestrial themed shop, Alien Fresh Jerky is a must-see stop out in the California desert.

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Gotta love the parking signs!

There are lots of fun alien photo-ops in the parking lot…

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We come in peace

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If you throw a few quarters into the UFO, you get a little show. Seriously, do it. It is hilariously bad and anti-climatic.

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Being underwhelmed and confused by the UFO show…awesome hehe

But the best part of course is the jerky itself. They have lots of unique and interesting flavors, and you can sample as much as you want before buying anything. And the samples are self-serve, which I love, because I always feel so awkward asking employees for more samples.

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This is seriously the best beef jerky you will find in the state of California.

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My favorite flavor- Colon Cleaner Hot!!

Sure, you could stop at a regular fast-food restaurant or mini-mart for snacks on the road, but stopping for alien fun and deliciously amazing jerky at Alien Fresh Jerky is so much better!

And since you are stopping in Baker for Alien Fresh Jerky, while you are there be sure to look across the street…Baker is also home to the World’s Tallest Thermometer!

If you never find yourself passing through Baker but still want to try this amazing jerky, visit their online store.

Mickey’s Halloween Party!

All the parts of Halloween I love the most have absolutely nothing to do with scary stuff. Which is why of all the local Halloween events out there, Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland is my favorite! Happening on select dates throughout the month of October, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a special event that occurs after the park closes to the public. In the early evening (around 5 or 6 p.m., depending on the day), Disneyland closes to the general public and remains open for only guests of the party. And then the Halloween fun begins!!

They only sell a limited number of tickets for this event, which is cool because it keeps the crowd fairly small (compared to a normal day at Disneyland). None of the lines for rides are very long, especially later in the evening. But the best part about Mickey’s Halloween Party is that you are allowed to wear costumes! This is the only time adults and older kids are allowed to wear costumes inside the park, so we always take advantage of it. This year, my family and I dressed up as characters from ‘Cinderella.’

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Me as Cinderella and my mom as the Fairy Godmother

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During the Halloween Party, there are several “Treat Trails” throughout the park. These are pretty much just like going trick-or-treating! And the adults can do it too (yes!!).

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These giant ghost Mickey’s are at the entrance to every Treat Trail, so you can spot them from afar

12087276_10153072421861227_5839172888975610689_oAs you walk through the Treat Trail, you stop at stands along the way where Disneyland employees give you massive amounts of candy (this is included in the price of your admission ticket). And you can go through the Treat Trails as many times as you want. Yay for candy!!

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Candy stand!

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Look at all this candy… nom nom nom

If getting boatloads of free candy isn’t your thing, don’t worry- all of the rides, restaurants, and shops remain open during the party.

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It’s A Small World, decorated for the party

 

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Haunted Mansion!

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Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy…a special version of the ride they do during the Halloween season

And yes, it is super fun going on rides dressed like Cinderella.

The whole event is filled with Halloween fun, like this candy corn colored cotton candy:

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And the Cadaver Dans Barbershop Quarter, singing spooky songs in the mists of the Rivers of America:

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And then all the cool Halloween decorations they only put out during Mickey’s Halloween Party:

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The fog crawls over the Rivers of America

 

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Jack’o Lanterns surround Walt Disney

 

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Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, spooky version!

Mainstreet is always one of my favorite places to photograph…

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Rides, costumes, and lots of candy…Mickey’s Halloween Party is the perfect place to go to enjoy Halloween the way you used to when you were a kid! Oh, and the kids will like it too.

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We really love Coke and popcorn ❤

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This event always sells out, so make sure to get your tickets early!! Tickets can be purchased online through the Disneyland website.

La Musique Francaise au Troubadour

Even if you have never been to Los Angeles, odds are fairly high you have heard of the Troubadour. This iconic venue is where many legendary musicians of the 1960s-90s got their big break into the music industry. A quick glance through the Troubadour’s history is well worth the time. Bands like Metallica and Warrant played their debut shows at the Troubadour, Eagles’ members Don Henley and Glenn Frey met there, groups such as Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan were known to stop by for late night jam sessions…the list goes on and on.

Luckily for music fans, the Troubadour is still a functioning music venue today. They are host to live bands from all over the world, the majority of whom are lesser known artists, which is in keeping with the Troubadour’s early years. Recently one of my best friends had an extra ticket to see French-Canadian performer Coeur de Pirate at the Troubadour, and I jumped at the chance to go with her! Not only was I super excited to go to this amazing venue, but I also love checking out new bands.

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There is no official parking lot for the Troubadour, but there is a parking structure across the street the costs around $15 for the evening. And they know when there is a concert so they are sure to stay open late enough to accommodate concert goers.

The Troubadour is standing room only, and guests are permitted to start lining up outside the venue an hour before the doors open.

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The front bar inside the venue is like a small music history museum. Be sure to take a few minutes to see the cool stuff they have on display!

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Whiskey in hand, I was ready to see the show! Knowing I was in a place that once housed Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan was beyond awesome!! It was enough to make any music lover giddy.

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Sophie Auster opened for Coeur de Pirate, and I was blown away by her performance. Auster’s songs are a melodic blend of soulful lyrics and folk-inspired music that all at once feels pleasantly retro and thoroughly modern. She played an acoustic set that combined original music and cover songs, and by the time she finished, I knew I had to buy her album.

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And then it was time for Coeur de Pirate!

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Coeur de Pirate, featuring singer/songwriter/pianist Beatrice Martin, hails from Montreal and has a sound uniquely their own. Combining elements of indie rock, pop, classic rock, electronic, and dance music, Coeur de Pirate put on a show that had the audience dancing and singing along till the very end. Martin’s soulful songwriting (though granted, she sang half of the songs in French so I am not sure what they were about) was perfectly suited to the intimacy of this small venue, and she formed a connection with her audience members, creating an awesome energy in the room.

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A couple things that are important to note before heading to a show at the Troubadour are to be prepared to stand for a really long time, and to dress cool because the venue gets incredibly hot and humid. There is about zero air flow inside once the floor gets packed, so you will likely head home drenched in sweat and with sore feet. But really, it is a small price to pay to experience live music in a historic place.

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For a calendar of upcoming shows at the Troubadour and to purchase tickets, visit their website.