Hike to Jim Morrison Cave

Happy 2016 friends!!

I hope you all had a fabulous and eventful New Years!

Mine was spent with friends and champagne 😉 But that being said, I am so ready for a brand new year. I am currently unemployed (sad face) but I already have so many plans for 2016. One of which includes my own business but we’ll keep that our little secret for now hehe

In between applying for jobs and countless Netflix binges, I’ve found some time for some pretty cool adventures! So I am proud to present my first post of the new year…the Jim Morrison Cave!

jim morrison cave malibu hike

Located in the hills of Malibu, the Jim Morrison cave is well hidden at the top of a mountain. I actually found out about this hike through Instagram so I packed up my bag, grabbed a friend and trekked my way up to Malibu.

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1000 Steps Beach Day // Laguna: Part 4

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

It’s been way too long since I’ve done a Thousand Steps post, mostly due to weather conditions created by El Nino. With so many big swells and high tides, it’s been extremely tough to find a time to be able to get over to the pools when it wasn’t the middle of the night. But two weeks ago, the ocean gods aligned and gave us a whole four hours of play time at the pools!

Some baby barrels breaking on the shore.

Some baby barrels breaking on the shore.

My friend Tessa and I were lucky enough to find some free time during the week so the beach was particularly empty. We trekked over the rocks and over to our secret spot to discover we were the only people at both pools. The 70 degree water wasn’t too bad either 🙂

Playing mermaid with my beautiful friends.

Playing mermaid with my beautiful friends.

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Hawaiian Adventure // MAUI

This summer, I had the best week of my entire life. IN MAUI!! This was my very first time to the islands and to say I was excited would be a bit of an understatement. I spent two weeks packing and getting my gear together. The morning of our flight finally arrived and the nerves set in (flying in a suspended aircraft over miles of ocean is not my idea of a good time guys). 6 and a half hours later, we landed on Maui and I was immediately stunned by the palm trees that lined literally every single street. Even the airport was an open building, with the warm Hawaiian breeze flowing through baggage claim. Although it took awhile to grab our bags, pick up our rental car and get to the hotel, we were able to drive along the coast for our 45 min journey to the hotel.

I’m pretty sure I was in shock the whole first day we were there because everything around me was so beautiful. The water was the clearest shade of blue I’ve seen in my whole life and there were pineapples everywhere weeeeee! Our hotel, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, was gorgeous. I noticed that most buildings on the island had similar architecture and were very open with fresh air flowing from everywhere. Located right on the water, we were steps from the beach and even had an ocean view – does it get any better?! Fast forward 30 minutes from getting to our room and my sister and I practically ran downstairs to jump in the 80 degree water.

Day 1 in Maui jumping for joy. Source: Instagram @mmaaddzz

Day 1 in Maui jumping for joy. Source: Instagram @mmaaddzz

I’ve decided to break up our daily activities because we did SO MUCH in just one week. Follow along below 🙂

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Color Run LA

Who wouldn’t want to be covered in colorful, bright powder all day!?

I recently participated in my first-ever Color Run and I was so excited that I got to do it so close to home at Dodger Stadium. My friends and I decided to do it very last minute (typical) and I knew I wanted to bring my trusty and durable GoPro along for the ride.

It was a pretty cloudy day which was nice since we didn’t have the sun beating down on us all day. The crowd was much larger than I expected too! We each got our own little race kit which consisted of a shirt, our number, a couple of tattoos and a sweatband. We gathered along the Start line as they let us start running in waves just to kill the crowding a little bit.

As we ran through each color station, dozens of people along the sidelines blasted us with color! Sunglasses are definitely a good idea if you plan on participating in a Color Run since they help shield your eyes from the powder. And don’t worry about being the best runner – secret fact: my friend and I pretty much walked the whole thing so we could get pictures…whoops!

Once we crossed the finished line, there were already people crowded around the stage listening to the DJ. This was easily my favorite part of the day because every time the bass dropped, everyone threw their color packets into the air!

Here’s a little video I put together for you guys to show you how awesome it was 🙂 I recommend putting it in HD before clicking play so you can get the whole effect!

All video shot with my GoPro Hero4 Silver.

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1000 Steps Beach Day // Laguna

Clear waters, caves, rock climbing, natural pools…1000 Steps Beach has it all! After hearing so many of my friends gush about Laguna’s most famous beaches, I had to check it out for myself. I had seen pictures of the beautiful pools all across Instagram and yet they still seemed unreal. The stairs were totally worth it and I can now say this beach is definitely my favorite.

I decided to go on a Sunday with my friend Tiffani. We were able to find parking pretty quick, and all street parking is free too! (yay!) Luckily there isn’t really 1,000 steps; there’s actually only 250. And they were a heck of a lot steeper/small than I thought they would be. As soon as we got to the stairs, we were met with groups of people in yoga pants and nikes climbing up and down the narrow staircase. The beach was beautiful and the sand was so soft. We headed down the beach all the way to the left where the cave was and set up camp on the side of some smooth rocks that were out of the waves’ reach.

Our spot on the rocks!

Our spot on the rocks!

To actually get to the pools at the “private beach”, the tide has to be low enough so you can climb over the rocks. I highly recommend checking the tide report before you go if you want to get to the pools! Flip flops are also extremely helpful because the climb will tear your feet up if you go barefoot! Ouch!

When the tide went finally went down enough, we started our climb over the rocks. Tide pools were everywhere and there were so many crabs in between the rocks! Once we finally got to the secluded rocks, we noticed how crowded the pools were so we decided to tan on the beach for a while to wait for the groups to leave.

One of the beautiful, amazing pools!

One of the beautiful, amazing pools!

We finally made our way over to the pools and it was the most awesome, crazy, beautiful thing ever! The first pool was a giant rectangle and actually looked like a real pool since it was out of reach of the waves. The second pool was on the edge of a cliff almost. Since the waves were particularly big that day, they would crash against the rocks and create a huge spray over the end of the pool.

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I decided I absolutely had to jump in since nobody else was (and for the sake of an artsy Instagram picture hehe). The water was freezing, but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! There were even steps into the pool and you could walk around the edge and watch the waves crash.

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We even met some people from Huntington that were swimming the pools with us. Shows what a small world it is! Once it was time to head home, we made the climb back over all of the rocks and through the cave again. We finally got to the part I had been dreading: the stairs! After hearing people who were working out saying things like “Alright, this is our fourth and final time up these steps” I figured I would be totally fine. Hey if they can do it four times, I can do it once right? So, so wrong. We stopped twice on the way up the 250 stairs and finally made it to the top! It wasn’t until the next day that my calves started burning. Yowzaaaa.

I am absolutely coming back to this amazing beach! Even though summer is around the corner, I’ll be going back on a weekday just to hopefully skip the crowds that were there when we went. So make sure you pick a good day, watch the tides, bring flip flops and explore everything!

We took a ton of pictures when we went, so I’ve posted my favorites below. Enjoy!! 🙂

xoxo,
Maddy

Climbing Waterfalls

I’ve noticed in the past year that hiking has become a huge trend. It’s now a fun activity that friends do for both the physical and adventurous aspect of it. And with so many different places to hike, you’re bound to find a trail you like.

I have recently embraced the hiking trend in the past couple months and the next on my list was a waterfall hike. I had a lot of friends who had already hiked Escondido Trail in Malibu and had heard the waterfall was a hit or miss. But since the “storm of the century” hit a couple weeks ago, I figured I would try my luck and crossed my fingers that the waterfalls weren’t dry.

Climbing some crazy trees halfway through our hike!

Climbing some crazy trees halfway through our hike!

Heading out with a group of six friends, we drove an hour up to Malibu to begin our hike. The sprawling, luxurious houses were somewhat intimidating during the first couple of miles, but once we actually got into the valley, the whole trail became more beautiful. The first waterfall wasn’t really as big as I had imagined it, but it was so darn cute. It reminded me of a little grotto, with water dropping from its extensive moss. There was even a small place to stand at the top once you climbed up.

The top of the first waterfall!

The top of the first waterfall!

We got somewhat turned around after the first waterfall since it was all our first time’s on that trail. After literally climbing the side of a small mountain for a while, we were greeted by a barbed wire and “NO TRESPASSING” sign. Unfortunately, that also meant we had to climb down the side without slipping, but we were able to find some fellow hikers who pointed us toward the second waterfall.

And it was A W E S O M E.

The second waterfall was exactly as I had pictured it. With three different heights and a small pool at the bottom, there was a heavy drizzle falling between the rocky layers. And when I say heavy drizzle, I mean enough water to soak us while we climbed to the top of the first opening. In case you’re having trouble imagining what this waterfall looks like, I’ve slipped in quite a few pictures below 🙂

Climbing the waterfall was definitely the sketchiest part of the hike. Moss was everywhere and everything was slippery. With the help of a long rope and a couple sturdy tree branches, we were all able to climb to the top and experience the wonder of the waterfall. It was truly one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had.

The whole hike only took about two hours to finish. It was one roundabout trail so once you reached the second waterfall, you were hiking back on the same trail you came from. There weren’t very many trail markers after the first waterfall either so it was pretty hard to know which way you should take to get to the second waterfall. But it was definitely in my top three favorite hikes! Make sure you check the weather before you go and check if the waterfalls will be dry because that was the main attraction of the whole hike.

We also saw this snazzy “Rasta Bus” on the way up! I’m not really sure what it is or what it does, but it just looked too awesome to NOT take a picture haha enjoy!

rasta bus

The Mythical Beach

lighthouse

Laguna Beach. It has everything I wish my beaches in Long Beach had — clear blue water, tide pools, hiking, starfish, caves and hidden beaches. I recently ventured down to Laguna for a day trip before the spring semester of classes started. I’ve tried to get to Victoria Beach before, but had never been able to actually find the hidden beach. For those who have never seen or heard of it, you’ve probably seen pictures of its natural pools and old school lighthouse on the sand.

Unfortunately, high tide was at 9 a.m. the day I decided to go so the pool had just emptied and the tide pools were not yet low enough to find the usual clusters of starfish and other sea critters. The water was in the low 60s, but for the sake of awesome pictures, my friend Miranda and I dove in with my underwater camera to capture some sweet shots.

shaka

While the rest of the country is experiencing a ‘polar vortex’, California has pretty much avoided any winter weather. Even in the middle of January, I was able to have an 80 degree beach day AND go swimming in the water. Just another reason California is awesome!

While had to hike over some rocks to get to Victoria Beach, it was totally worth it. We were relatively secluded for most of the day, with the exception of people strolling through to get some pictures of the lighthouse. The tide only lowered a tiny bit in the few hours we were there, but we still managed to find a few starfish!

starfish

For anyone who has never been to Laguna, I highly recommend it. All of my favorite beaches are here and the water is always beautifully clear. Parking can get a little complicated depending on the beach you go to and how busy the sand is that day, but I’ve found you can almost always find a spot on PCH. And tide pools are everywhere!

We ended up taking over 100 pictures in just the 3 hours we were on the beach (typical girls haha) so here are just a few from our Victoria Beach adventure earlier this week. Enjoy! 🙂