Winter in Laguna / Tablerock Beach

What’s winter?

It’s the middle of November here in Southern California and the weather is still nice enough for a beach day! So we packed our bags and headed down to Tablerock Beach in Laguna. Camera gear in hand, I was prepared for a pretty awesome sunset…and it did not disappoint.

Tablerock is probably one of my top five favorite beaches in Laguna, maybe even top three. Whatever direction you go in, there’s epicness. There’s also a little perch to the right if you climb up so you have an awesome view of the whole beach as well as the sunset. Located smack in the middle of the beach is also a little rock formation that you can climb and take some pretty sweet pictures as well.

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End of Summer // Lake Havasu

It’s happening guys…summer is ending 😦

I can’t believe how fast this summer has flown by and how much fun I’ve had. It’s weird to think that I won’t have to go back to school this fall, but I’m looking forward to continuing my free time.

My parents were all set to go on our annual end-of-summer trip to Lake Havasu in Arizona. 85 degree waters, wakeboarding, tubing, rock jumping, bikinis…I’M SOLD. By some miracle I was able to get all my shifts covered at work so we packed up our boat and headed across the state for a couple days.

Taking in the sunset from the water.

Taking in the sunset from the water.

One of the best things about Havasu is really the amount of activities you can do on just one lake. The first day was spent just relaxing around our friend’s vacation house rental which comes complete with an infinity pool overlooking the valley, game room, movie room and overall perfection.

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San Diego Adventure

Hello again! After a quick break to focus on my last semester of school, (graduating in one month YAY!) I finally have a brand new post for you guys! My friend Tiffani and I decided to take a day trip down to San Diego last week and it was so much more amazing than I could have imagined! We brought along my GoPro to capture our day:

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Our first stop was La Jolla. I had seen beautiful pictures of the coves and beach on Instagram before so I was stoked to finally be able to check it out! Once we got there, I was surprised to see sea lions lying all over the beach! We tried to be respectful and keep our distance, but I still managed to snag a few pictures of the little guys.

After climbing through some caves, we also got to do a little sea glass hunting while checking out the tide pools. The water was so clear, I just wish the water at home was the same! Unfortunately the water was a little too cold to snorkel, but it was fun to watch the sea lions swim and bob around in the water with everyone.

After wandering along the coast for a couple hours, we headed to Blacks Beach. For those who don’t know, it’s also a nude beach…interesting, I know haha but first we had to climb down a massive cliff. Once we were finally down at the beach, we set up camp close to the water and tried not to look at the naked old guys running along the beach woah!

The sand was black (who would’ve thought haha) and there was sooo much open beach space which was nice after a crowded day in La Jolla. We also brought along our friend Peter the Pineapple for some artsy photo opportunities. Once sunset began to creep up, we packed our bags and hiked back up the cliff to watch the beautiful view from the top. It was stunning! And we definitely got our workouts in for the day yeah!

Overall, it was definitely one of the most fun beach days I’ve had in a really long time and it was definitely worth the two hour drive! After stopping for burritos on the way home, I was wiped out and ready for bed. Even though it was a bit of a drive, I will definitely be coming back here soon! I would recommend making a whole day of it like we did so you have enough time to check out all the awesome different spots. I also wouldn’t recommend taking any young kids down to Blacks Beach since people do let it all hang out!

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A beautiful end to a beautiful beach day!

Thank you guys for your patience, I’ll be cranking out more posts for ya this week as I sort through all the pictures I’ve taken these last couple weeks 🙂

Hint hint: it involves 1000 steps hehe

xoxo,
Maddy

Sunset Session at Victoria Beach

Hello again friends!

My finals are officially over as of today and I am done interning which means I have the next six weeks to do nothing but explore and post – YAY! I’m so excited to finally be able to just relax and sleep in and upload pictures.

I recently purchased the new GoPro Hero 4 Silver and so far, I’m in love!! The back LED screen is incredibly helpful to scope my pictures immediately after taking them. A couple of my friends and me decided to head down to Victoria Beach in Laguna last night to test out the GoPro’s night settings. The sunset was incredible and I was even able to capture an amazing time lapse while I was there! Here’s the video below 🙂

I had the time lapse setting on for pretty much the whole hour and a half that I was down there and it only came out to a quick 7 second video! The tide was also unusually high so there were a couple moments when the waves would splash up over the rocks and shoot almost fifteen feet into the air! The beach was practically empty since it was a little chilly and it’s the middle of December, but we didn’t let that stop us 🙂 Check out the couple of pictures below that I took before setting up my time lapse. I should also mentioned that the pictures have not been edited at all either – hashtag no filter 😉

Sorry for the quick little update, but I wanted to give you guys something for being so patient while I finished up my finals. There will be many more pictures to follow of my Winter Break adventures!

xoxo
Maddy

1000 Steps Beach Day // Laguna: Part 3

1000 Steps Beach Day // Laguna is still our most searched and viewed post! And as much as you guys love reading about it, I love going there! We’ve already done Part 2 so why not go for 3? After all, the third time’s a charm!

The tides have been pretty funky lately, especially with the huge swells that hit Southern California a couple weeks back. With high tides and my busy school & intern schedule, it was really hard to find time to make it back to the pools. But the beach gods were on my side last weekend! The tides were finally below 1 ft and the weather was a sunny 80 degrees! I was lucky enough to take my friend who has never been either so I was excited to show her how amazing the private beach was.

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We didn’t head down to Laguna until about 2 pm since low tide was at 4 pm. And with this damn time change, it gets dark around 4:30 anyways. It does take about 15 minutes to climb over to the pools from the main beach, but we were amazed at how empty the pools were once we got there. It was a Saturday after all! The water was a little chilly, but do-able so we swam around in the water a bit and played mermaids 🙂

The sunset was SPECTACULAR! Watching the sun go down over the ocean while sitting on the edge of a beautiful rock pool made all of my problems suddenly go away. And once the sun set, the darkness came quickly. We had to use the flashlights on our phones to get back through the cave because it was pitch black! I always advise people who go to the pools to time your climb there and back very carefully – the tides and the darkness are your two biggest enemies.

Overall, it was the best beach day I’ve had in a really long time 😀 Now that summer is over and the weather is cooling off, it’s a great time to make your way down to the pools if you haven’t been yet. Or you can just check out the pictures below 😉

Have a happy and yummy Thanksgiving friends!

The Mythical Beach

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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!

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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! 🙂

The Hidden Hike

The gym.

It’s not a very likeable or enjoyable place for most people. If I had my way, I’d be able to get in shape just by sitting on my couch, watching Netflix and eating pizza. But unfortunately, this just doesn’t happen – so I like finding every possible alternate to going to the gym. Hiking is a great way to stay fit and also lets me avoid the gym altogether. Ocean hikes are definitely at the top of my list because the breathtaking views generally help take my mind off the horrible burning in my legs while hiking giant hills.

We decided to cross Palos Verdes off our list first, and we were not disappointed! Abalone Cove Shoreline Park had everything we were looking for: ocean views, a great workout, tide pools, hidden caves and a variety of paths. And it only took us 20 minutes to drive there which made it even better. We had no idea such an awesome and beautiful hike was hidden right in our backyard. Even the rocks along the beaches were perfect! Unfortunately, we got there right at high tide so some of the tide pools were impossible to get to. We did, however, manage to find some higher up with all kinds of sea critters in them.

Sea critters hanging out in the tide pools.

Sea critters hanging out in the tide pools.

There were so many different paths to take up in the hills, but we generally took the ones that were right along the ocean. After hiking up a narrow, steep path, we finally arrived at the top of a cliff right as the sun was setting. It was the most peaceful, gorgeous sunset I think I’ve ever seen. All of my problems and stress just seemed to slip away as we watched the ocean gobble up the sun.

Watching the sunset from the top of a cliff...doesn't get much better than that!

Watching the sunset from the top of a cliff…doesn’t get much better than that!

Simply put, the hike was perfect; there wasn’t one bad thing about it. You get a front row seat to a beautiful California sunset from almost any trail you take, even at high tide we were able to check out the awesome tide pools, it had everything from flat to steep trails depending on your preference or badass level and the trails were practically empty! If you’re looking for an ocean trail hike, then be sure to check this place out.

Enjoying the sunset at the end of our awesome hike!

Enjoying the sunset at the end of our awesome hike!

*Note: Be sure to check their hours before you go! They generally want you off the trails by 4 p.m. or dusk. For more information, take a peek at their website HERE.