Welcome to my adventures!

Bustinwheels Travel & Adventures
- Europe
- Hawaii
- Maui
- Oahu
- Portland, Oregon
- Las Vegas
- New York
- San Francisco
- Vancouver Island


Bustinwheels Hiking Adventures
- Yosemite National Park
- Mammoth Mountain
- San Gorgonio Mountain
- Chino Valley
- Peter's Canyon
- Grand Canyon
- Arizona Sonora Desert
- Lake Cachuma
- La Purisima

Bustinwheels Dirt Biking Adventures
- Ocotillo Wells
- Barstow - Slash X Ranch Cafe

Bustinwheels Cycling Adventures
- Tour de Phoenix
- Tour de Tucson
- Solvang Century
- Solvang Prelude
- Palm Springs Century
- Tandem Rides

Bustinwheels Wine Tasting Adventures
- Los Olivos
- Foxen Canyon
- Solvang
- Wine Ghetto (Lompoc)
- Napa Valley
- Temecula

Bustinwheels Harely Adventures
- Riding the Harley from Bostin, Maine to
- Yorba Linda, California
- Laughlin and Nevada/California State Line
- Solvang
- San Diego
- Foxen Canyon

Bustinwheels Mountain Biking Adventures
- Aliso Canyon Woods
- Fullerton Loop
- Chino Hills
- Holy Jim
- Nelder Grove (Yosemite)
- Mt. Charleston (Nevada)
- Peter's Canyon

Other Adventures
- Heart Attack Grill, Arizona
- Diversity Tattoo, Las Vegas
- Cold Springs Tavern, Santa Barbara
- Pirate Dinner Show, Buena Park, CA
- Dolphins in the Sea, Newport Beach, CA


Videos from my Bustinwheels Channel On YouTube:

Travel Tips/Links:

Contact Me or Brian

olivia@bustinwheels.com

brian@bustinwheels.com



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We, Bustinwheels (Olivia) and Brian love to share our travel adventures with our friends and family. We love to bike, hike, ride the Harley, the dirt bikes, take trains, airplanes and drive automobiles. Life is not easy, but we try to make it an adventure. Be good or be good at it! We hope you enjoy our website.

Follow us on our adventures and let us know what you think by sending me an email me at: olivia@bustinwheels.com

Yosemite 2013

Hiking in Yosemite National Park was, as always, spectacular!

North Dome Hike

Taft Point and the Fissures to Sentinel Dome

Lake Elizabeth

Lewis Creek

Yosemite West




Europe!
We had a wonderful time in Europe. We visited a new city every three days and saw as many museums, cathedrals, basilicas, and ate at every type of restaurant we could find. We flew to Madrid from LA, then flew to Paris, flew to Venice, took the train from Venice to Florence to Rome. Our flight back to LA from Rome was a very long one, but it all worked out and we are ready to put our wings back on and head back to Florence.

Madrid - Puerta de Alcala, Plaza de Cibeles, Paseo de Prado, The Royal Palace, Catedral de la Almudena, The Prado Museium, San Jeronimo Catedral, Plaza Mayor.

Madrid was a true treat. We had no idea what to expect from this country. The culture is proud and the city of Madrid has a lot to offer. The subway is the cleanest I have seen on this trip and the bus system is easy to follow! The Prado Museo was the best organized and cataloged museum I have ever been in and I have been to world famous museums such as the Met in NYC, the Louvre in Paris and the Vatican Museum. You must not miss the Prado.

Our Flamenco show was fantastic, just wish we could have arrived earlier for better seats as it gets filled and it's first come first serve. We bought our tickets a day in advance. The Corral de la Moreria has shows nightly and although the dancers are world class, the guitaritsts are even more amazing, playing their solos during the show. Fabulous! Eating at Tapas bars is the thing to do in Madrid, and it's inexpensive. Small appetizers with wine or Cruzcampo beer is the way to save money. I will definitely be visiting Madrid again someday, but next time we will spend more than just 3.5 days.

Madrid is a gorgeous city that deserves at least a week to explore the museums, the culture and even sit in on a bull-fight! Oh yes, they take their jamon (ham), bullfighting and meat very seriously. They are definitely conquistadores! You definitely do not need a car in Madrid unless you are driving to another town like we did. The metro in Madrid is extremely efficient and inexpensive. You can purchase weekly passes to ride the metro, and that includes bus rides also. I highly recommend the pass.

Burgos -
Driving to Covarrubias just south of Burgos was a European driving experience never to forget. We rented a BMW and drove to my hometown, Covarrubias. Built in the 14th century, the village is still occupied by 630 residents and is like any other village in Europe. People from all over the world, even Norway, come to visit this town. A must for anyone staying in Spain as a day trip from either Madrid or Burgos.

Other places to see in Madrid: (The Royal Palace, The Prado Museum, Iglesia San Jeronimo de Real, La Torre de Orro (Bar), Plaza Mayor, Flamenco at the Moreria and photos of the Gran Hotel Velazquez 5-Stars from me).


Covarrubias Photos

One of the hi-lights of our trip to Madrid, was driving to the 14th Century Village of Covarrubias. Built in the province of Burgos in the community of Castile and León. It has 640 inhabitants, and it is near Mecerreyes and Hortigüela. Covarrubias is situated in the valley of the river Arlanza, which is extensively wooded with Spanish Juniper. Part of the area belonging to the municipality is included within a Special Protection Area for bird-life such as vultures.

Covarrubias features picturesque vernacular buildings in a natural setting that attracts many tourists, some of whom come from abroad. Covarrubias and Tønsberg in Norway have entered a friendship agreement as the result of a medieval connection with Christina of Norway, Infanta of Castile. A church honouring Saint Olaf II of Norway was built in the 14th century.

One of the first areas to be reconquered from the Moors in the late ninth century, Covarrubias had an influence on Castile and its language. The river is popular for swimming and canoeing. One feature, Fuente Azul, is 6 km away. It has a mild climate, and a diverse cuisine: its black pudding is famous in Burgos province, and it produces grapes, Arlanza (DO), and cherries.

Paris, France- Paris is a bustling city with more tourists that I have ever seen in California. The city is filled with immigrants from all over the world and travelers from across the globe. We had no problem communicating with anyone, especially since I speak Spanish. The people were much friendly than I remember them to be and the Parisians really want your business badly. Times are tough in every country and I think that's why the Parisian "attitude" is finally taking a turn for the best! Take a look at our photos of Paris and enjoy the trip with us.
Notre Dame
Eiffel Tower
Pere Lechaise Cemetery - where Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison from the Doors are buried
Montmartre and Louise Michel Square
The Louvre Museum
Palace of Versailles
Seine River Ride
L As du Fallafel - the best place eat in Paris and probably the most inexpensive!
Walking in Paris

Venice, Italy - Hot, Hot, Hot!!! I have never experienced so much heat in Europe before, but the humidity is really what killed us here. It was stifling, however, we managed to get through the three days that we stayed here. Next time, I will skip Venice. Not my favorite destination as it was 12 years ago, and although it's still beautiful and scenic as ever, Murano was the place to be. We went to Murano and it was fantastic! Not many people there and it was much cooler. Murano is the island where glass art is created. I bought a gorgeous necklace and a pair of earrings here.
First Day in Venice - getting acquainted
Murano, Italy - the Glass Island
Venetian Park - a place to relax
Last Day in Venice - ready to leave for another adventure in Florence

Florence, Italy - This was my favorite city in Italy! We should have spend six days here instead of going to Venice, but Brian had not ever been to Venice before. We arrived in Florence and headed out to the Duomo and then rented a motorcycle (BMW). We drove from Florence to Pisa and almost got run over by a speeder while we were going 180 km per hour! People drive very fast in Italy, so watch out and move over to the slow lane. The countryside is defintely beautiful, but to be honest with you, it reminds me a lot of the Santa Barbara areas of Los Olivos and Foxen Canyon in the spring time. Nevertheless, it is a place that we want to return to some day.
Getting Pisa from Florence on a Motorcycle!
Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence - a cathedral

Rome, Italy - Rome, or as the Romans say, "Roma" was truly a learning experience. I was so proud to be Catholic here because the city boasts more Catholic Churches, basilicas, cathedrals and shrines than any other city in Europe. We went to the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. We saw St. Peter's tomb, which is located underneath the basilica and learned so much about Christianity, art history and saints. Honestly, you don't have to be a Christian or Catholic to love this city. You just have to love HISTORY!
Castel Sant Angelo
The Pantheon
The Coloseum, Coloseo, Colosseum - whichever way you want to spell it
San Giovanni
Basilica de San Peitro in Vincoli
The Vatican
St. Peter's Basilica
Walking around in Rome


Oregon in July, 2012
Brookside Inn
This was my first trip to Oregon, so I didn't know what to expect, and having trained for a half-marthon for only three months was definitely not enough. It was also my first bed and breakfast ever and all the credit goes to Brian for picking the Brookside Inn in Dundee. It was spectacular and the grounds were private, serene, quaint and safe.

The innskeeper/owner, Susan was a wonderful hostess and made us some oats and pancakes hot off the gridle! The blackberries and raspberries were picked off the vine in Susan's garden and the coffee was pressed daily. Most of the guests were there to run the half-marathon so we had lots to talk about.

The best part of the trip was that Angela and Mike were there and credit is due to them for telling us about the Fueled by Fine Wine run.

Brookside Inn Bed & Breakfast off Abbey Road offerred an old-style porcelain bath tub about six feet long and three feet deep. Okay, I may be exagerrating a bit, but it was extremely useful after the long 13 mile run. I highly recommend Brookside Inn if you are visitng the Portland, Dundee, Yamhill area in Oregon.

Fueled by Fine Wine, Half-Marathon through the Vineyards was mostly insanely uphill. I was there for support for Brian, Angela, and Mike. I happily made a toast to the bunch just the night before and polished off a bottle of Lemelson Chardonnay at Nicks in McMinnville. We all had a great dinner and I had no intention on running the entire 13 miles. Brian knew I would only start with him and head back to the starting line at about 2 or 3 miles.

At 6 miles a woman had said to me, it's all down hill from here! She was a liar! I had no idea what to expect and should have brought my trailshoes! I'm not complaining, but I was totally unprepared for these kind of hills and then there was the patchy grass throught the vineyards that made it even more challenging. Overall, if I were to score the run between a 1 and 5, with 1 being the easiest, I would give it a 5. The views were definetly a 5 also and the weather was the best of all. I loved the wine glasses and the medallion at the end of the run, so it was well worth the aches and pains.

I should have taken a clue right before the race when a woman stood next to me pointing at the route map that was marked in red and said, "every red line is a hill!" She wasn't joking either! I recommend this run and will probably do it again next year for the challenge.

Brian finished the run first, Angela 2nd, Mike 3rd, and I finally came in 4th after three long hours. I was never so happy to be finished a sporting event EVER. Call me crazy.

Downtown Portland, Oregon offers an abundance of micro-breweries and some very interesting and unique import stores. It reminds me of a very gypsy-eclectic place to live with a lot of artistic students roaming the streets after school. The people are very friendly and it's easy to get around the city if you have don't have a car with lots of very good methods of public transportation.
Oregon is definitely a place to go back to and so close to the Washington border, it made it easy for us to visit with Brian's step-son and daughter-in-law. They were very welcoming and their 3 kids were so much fun!. There is no doubt that we will return again someday!

"Don't Wake Me Up - Out and Out!"
(Inside joke)






Yosemite National Park
Lodging at Yosemite Woods in Yosemite West. Brian and I made a bonzai trip to Yosemite this summer. We left Friday night, right after work from Irvine, California and drove up through Fresno (5 to the 99 to the 41 North), but we hit so much traffic! Every single freeway we took had lane closures. Departure time was 5:30 pm, arrival time in Yosemite West was 2 am. Yup, it took us 8.5 hours! That's how long it take to drive to San Francisco. It should have only taken a little over 5 hours, but nevertheless, we made the best of it. So we slept in on Saturday in our comfy bed in our little house we rented for two nights in Yosemite Woods. I highly recommend this place to stay for your next visit in Yosemite if you want to stay near the southern entrance of the park. It's close to Wawona, close to Glacer Point Road and about 40 minutes from the Valley. I have been staying here for the past 10 years now and I wouldn't stay anywhere else, except for the Ritz. Okay, I'm just kidding, there is not a Ritz in Yosemite. This special little house is surrounded by pine trees and you can view a spectacular sunset at the top. I must warn you though there are lots of stairs to be climbed up and down, but it's in a serene location and it's a slice of heaven.

Hiking to Dewey Point
This year we decided to try a new trail. The hike to Dewey Point was the perfect training hike for Clouds Rest. Dewey Point is between a moderate and difficult hike depending on how fast you want to get to the summit. Begin at the McGurk Meadows sign. The trailhead begins at the Mc Gurk trail and after a few miles on the trail you will see the marker to Dewey Pt. McGurkHiked to Dewey Point via McGurk Meadows Trail. The trail was amazing with flowers blooming, small ponds along the way. We saw a huge deer on the trail. The summit was exceptional with a gorgeous of view looking down at the valley and El Capitan. 5 Hours round-trip, includes a long lunch at the top. I recommend this hike and give it 5 STARS! I must warn you though, when you get to the summit, there are two crows waiting to greet you and take any food scraps you may have. They are very social and like having their photos taken. I nick-named them Heckyl and Jeckyl. To the right is Heckyl himself who loved our peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Guess that's better than a bear chasing us down to eat it!

Hiking to Clouds Rest
We did this hike last year in 2011 and it seemed much easier. It was a little more difficult this year because we had not trained much, but nevertheless, it was another spectacular day of views, weather and company. We met other hikers along the way and put in about 13 miles round-trip. This is hike is rated difficult and not for beginners. You should have some consistent athletic background if you attempt this hike.
Clouds Rest
Once we reached the summit we were sure to take twice as many photos than last year and it was very busy up there! We met some young teens that experienced a bear tearing up their campground the night before and left them with only one can of beans. They loved the experience and didn't seem to mind that 4 or 5 of them would be sharing a can of beans. The hike back to the car was a little painful since this was our second big hike in a row.


Distance:  14.5 miles (23.3 km) round trip

Trailhead Elevation:  8,150 feet (2,450 meters)
Clouds Rest Elevation:  9,926 feet (3,025 meters)
Elevation Gain:  1,775 feet (540 meters)

For more information on Yosemite Hikes, go to this wonderful website that describes the level of difficulty of each hike. Yosemite Hikes.com

Hawaii

Waikiki, Oahu

waikiki view copy

We arrived in the afternoon and the weather could not have been more perfect in May!. It was about 75 degrees with a high of 80 and the evenings were 70 degrees every night. Flip flops, shorts and tank shirts were all the clothes we brought. Hilton Hawaiian VillageFrom Honolulu Airport, we took a shuttle to the Hilton Hawaiian Village where we were staying. The HHW is spectacular and I highly recommend it for those of you who are headed to Waikiki.

The staff is friendly and attentive and the village has plenty of places to eat, shop, and yes, of course, have a Mai Tai, which I did! If you rent a car, it will cost you $24 per day to park it there, so don't say I didn't warn you about the extra expense! Mai Tai's are around $11 each and they are delicious, but expensive, so make sure you drink every drop!

Kahanamoku Beach at the HHW has been voted #2 in the Nation by Dr. Beach, kahanamoku"Kahanamoku Beach" is bounded by the Ala Wai small boat harbor and the Hilton Hawaiian Village catamaran pier. A shallow offshore reef protects this beach from the big waves, making it a great swimming area for families with children.

Before going to Waikiki, we had made a list of activities we wanted to do. Brian wanted to hike, and maybe rent a motorcycle and I wanted to snorkel. Our travel agent told us not to rent a car, which was a huge mistake. I should have known better than that, because there are so many places throughout the island to snorkel, that you must have a car.

The Bus
transit line (name of the busses) is a great and cheap way of getting around the island and rides only cost $2.50, but you can't get into those beaches off the tourist path. So needless to say, we rented a car in Waikiki near our hotel for several days and paid the $24 per day parking at the HHW.

Hiking on Waikiki
Our first hike was to the top of Diamond Head. dhbrianDiamond Head is the name of a volcanic crater that looks like a fish from the top looking down into it and it faces the Pacific Ocean. From Waikiki, it's all you see when you look to the south. It was originally named Laeahi by the ancient Hawaiians which meant "brow of the tuna."

There are two sets of stairs once you get towards the top. dhtop











The first flight of stairs have 99 steps and the other, 76 steps.

There is also a 225-foot unlit tunnel. The hike is classified as easy to moderate, but there is no shade and in the hot sun, you can get dehydrated, so please take plenty of water.
viewfromdhdhstairs











The view is spectacular and the crater is enormous. You can see the entire west side of the island, from Waikiki to Koko Head. Worth every step and drop of sweat! I swear it!

One more thing to mention is that if you go to the top of the stairs and into the bunker, the trail continues throught the bunker, and if your tall, you will have to squat down and climb up the stair to get on the other side of the bunker. You may miss it if you're not watching out for the stairs.

Waimea Valley, “The Valley of the Priests,” consists of 1,875 acres and has been a sacred place for more than 700 years of Native Hawaiian history.
waterfallWaimea, gained its title around 1090 when the ruler of O‘ahu awarded the land to the kähuna nui.  Descendants of the high priests lived and cared for much of the Valley until 1886.

We actually visited Waimea two times. The first time we parked in the valley and paid only $5.00 for beach parking, but it was quite a walk to get to Waimea Bay for snorkeling, and worth it. The parking area was so lush and green, that it peaked our interest, so we decided to go back the the valley to hike to the waterfalls the next day.valleysteps

The price to get into the Valley is $15 per person, but there is a coupon in most of the Hawaiian Tourist handouts that give you 1/2 off the 2nd adult. Make sure you get there early enough so you have plenty of time to see the gardens, swim in the falls, and have lunch or an early dinner.

You can spend 5-6 hours in the valley in awe of the gorgeous flowers, and looking for peacocks. The hike is mostly flat and is great for beginners.

flowersSnorkeling
Kahanamoku Beach was the first spot that we snorkeled. The beach located right in front of our hotel and room has crystal clear waters and we could see the turtles swimming every day that we were there.

Waimea Bay was beautiful. waimeabayWe simply parked at the Valley for $5.00 bridge, walked across the bridge, spread our towels out near the shore by the lifeguard station and geared up and swam out. It was a great adventure and as we drifted towards the rocks on the right we had the privilege to swim with two gi-normous turtles. They were so amazingly awesome, and I have never swam with them like this before. We were practically stalking them and they swim a lot faster than I had ever given them credit for! Unfortunately for us, we did not have an underwater camera with us this day, but it was a great experience we will always remember.

Hanauma Bay is both a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District. hanaumaThe H Bay opens at 6 am during the summer and is visited by millions during the year, so get there as early as possible if you don't want to bump into people snorkeling in the water. There are restrooms and showers. The cost is $7.50 and you must watch a movie on the history and conservation of the bay before going onto the beach.

The conservation is very tight due to the damage of the coral, which is what the sea life needs for survival. The bay is in a horse shoe shape, and was once blasted years ago to place cables and phone lines to connect folks from Hawaii to the western part of the US. The bay was formed by a volcano and is an ancient crater.
oliviaatbay
There are hundreds of turtles that nest here and over 400 species of fish. I highly recommend snorkeling here, although Brian and I did hit a rough current, the visibility was amazing. We got smart and bought a camera on our way to the bay. Don't go here without one!

We saw so many fish, we couldn't keep up with them. We swam past the reef and after a couple of hours, I got very exhausted and went back in for a break. There is an abundance of fish, so don't feel that you have to rush through this bay. Take your time and enjoy it! I wish we would have snorkeled here when we first arrived. I would have insisted on coming back daily.

Sailing on the Makini Catamaran
After snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, we headed back to Honolulu to climb aboard the Makini Catamaran makinifor a ride on the Makini! We got a great view of Waikiki from the Pacific Ocean, enjoyed some cocktails and worked on our tans. The crew was great and the bartender the best! She made us some very tasty Mai Tai's. brianonmakiniWe searched for dolphins and whales, but due to very choppy seas, we didn't spot any, but the ride was an adventure as we slammed against waves on this very hot summer day and they sprayed us enough to keep us cooled down.

The Makini sails on various adventures, so it's best to visit their website for more information. crewCaptain Johnny handled the Makini smoothly and kep us guest on board. I highly trust him and recommend the Makini and their crew for sailing in the seas of Oahu.




Places
Other places to check out in Oahu:
Sunsets
International Market Place for shopping
Dole Pineapple Express
Pali Lookout

Kahaluu Bay - Windy side of the Island
Turtle Bay


Great Places to Eat:
Breakfast
Harry's
Wailana
Dukes at the Outrigger


Dinner
Dukes at the Outrigger
The Chart House
Buzz's Steak House



Foxen Canyon Wine Trail

Riding the Harley's up the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail

Riding Tandum in Solvang
Solvang Century, March 10, 2012

Brian riding up Drum CanyonCanyon Velo at Hotel Corque

Riding the Solvang Century was a challenge so I convinced Brian to opt for the 70 mile ride due to my exhaustion. It was freezing with a cold breeze in the morning. I had on about 4 layers of bike clothing on and didn't take anything off during the entire ride. We started with Canyon Velo, but lost them somewhere on Santa Rosa Road. Thank goodness for Los Alamos! We stopped at Charley's to have a snack and drink some water. Last year we consumed some great beer and wine, but this year, we saved the wine for going up Drum Canyon. Dennis was inspiring going up the canyon and all I could do was video tape while Brian got us up the hill. The only thing that saved me was thinking about the wineries we were going to the next day! Cheers! Video of us riding Drum Canyon below.

Riding up Drum Canyon Video


Ocotillo Wells Dirt Biking Adventure!
Riding Ocotillo Wells
It was a great day today! Riding in the mud at Ocotillo Wells. It rained here just a couple of days ago, but that's alright because the moist dirt was easier to ride on and there wasn't so much dust flying around. No one got hurt today, but there were a couple of close calls with Rebecca riding the bike. She seemed to really like the walls on the wash and almost crashed into one on Tule Wash. There was plenty of mud to ride through, which was something I just could not resist doing! The bike was muddy, but thanks to Brian, he was able to wash most of it off. Thanks Brian. We parked off the SR22 rode to Gas Dome, Pumpkin Patch and Shell Reef all via Pole Line Road! It was a blast! Looking forward to going back on April 21st.

The Dirty Girls posing with their muddy clothesThe guysA True Mallard Duck RV

Video of Rebecca Almost Running Into the Wash


Tour de Palms Spring - Century Ride
February 11, 2012
Here we are at the starting line at the Tour de PALM SPRINGS. Brian and I are doing the full century (100 miles) and it's 8 am. SPECIAL THANKS to the La Quinta High School Band at the SAG stop. They were rocking the riders and we were so happy to have some live entertainment to keep us going to the finish line. 100 miles in under six hours was not bad for a windy day. Overall the ride was our first and definitely not the last. This was my favorite Century ever. Although the wind was extreme during the first 10 miles, the rest of the ride on Dillon Road was fantastic. We gained speeds of almost 50 mph and met a lot of other tandem riders! Ride on!



SAG Stop 3 with La Quinta High School Band.
They ROCK!

Last Years Trips - 2011

Training for the Tour de Tucson, 11/19/2011
Watch Brian's GOPRO Videos
Starting Line for 60 mile Ride (video)


The Solvang Prelude, November 5th, 2011
Metric Century Ride (64 Miles)



The Solvang Prelude was a hit despite the hard rain and sometimes hail that fell the night before. The weather was 38 degrees in the morning, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun shining upon us gave us warmth and strength. We finished the ride on "Split Personality" our tandem, in 3 hours and 45 minutes! The route took us through Solvang, Foxen Canyon and Los Olivos without a hitch!

After the ride we cleaned up and went wine tasting off Foxen Canyon

and fell in love with some wines at Firestone Winery. Later we visited at one of our favorites...Palmina Winery in the Wine Ghetto in Lompoc! We then headed off to Stolpman's to pay Alicia a visit! If you are ever in Lompoc, you should check out "The Wicked Shamrock" which is a great local bar to visit, the address is 143 N "H" St, Lompoc, CA 93436. Get there early though because they have a cover charge after dark.
There website is not that great but the prices of their beer and the atmosphere is exciting!

If you don't like Danish food, try this great Chinese restaurant in Solvang, Mandarin Touch, or as the locals call it, "The Touch" and check out their bar. The locals like to hang out there and they have a good band on the weekends.

If you like Italian food and are staying in Lompoc for the evening, try La Botte. The restaurant is owned by a couple from Italy.
Nick and Caterina came from Marsala, Italy to Chicago where they opened their first Italian restaurant in 1969. Wanting to enjoy California sunshine, the family relocated to Lompoc in 1981. The food is delicious, but it gets busy, so either make reservations, or get there early.

For a trendy Italian place to eat in Solvang, try Cecco's. Their flat thin pizza is delicious and they have a fantastic selection of wines.

Yosemite National Park - Again!
September 29 to October 1, 2011

That's Twice This Year!

September 29th - Hiking in Hetch Hetchy

September 30th - Clouds Rest Hike

October 1st - Yosemite Valley

Mammoth Mountain - Labor Day Weekend

It's been at least 20 years since I have been to Mammoth Mountain. It's been longer for Brian and we are excited about hiking to Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls. We are also taking our mountain bikes and going up the gondola, but I made sure Brian understands that we have to take the easiest trail down the mountain! Follow us to a great long weekend (five days) in Mammoth, which is made up of lava domes from volcanoes that erupted 57,000 years ago!

Day 1 - Let's get out of OC! Heading for Mammoth in the Sierra Nevada's.

Rainbow Falls, Mammoth, CA
Rainbow Falls in Mammoth, California

Day 2 - Follow us on a hike to Devil's Postpile, Rainbow Falls and Reds Meadow

Day 3 - Mountain biking on Mammoth and hiking from the Gondola!

Day 4 - Hiking to Mammoth Crest from the trail head at Lake George - best hike so far!


Yosemite National Park - June 21 to June 26, 2011
Hiking, mountain biking and more hiking. There was so much snow EVERYWHERE that we couldn't hike a couple of trails and had to stop in the snow at Lake Osterander because we couldn't find it in the snow! What a fantastic weekend and the water was melting fast. Follow us on a great adventure in Yosemite.

6/21 Lone Pine, Dow Motel

6/22 Lone Pine to Yosemite National Park

6/22 Hiking to Lukens Lake in the snow!

6/23 Nelder Grove, mountain biking in the forest!

6/24 Osterander Lake Hike in the snow again!

6/24 Glacier Point View

6/25 Hiking to the Tuolumne Grove and driving to the Valley

6/26 Our last day. We took Brian's parents to Glacier Point to see the view before we went home


Grand Canyon - Memorial Weekend
This was my first time ever to the Grand Canyon and what a great way to see it, on the back of a bike!!! Follow me on a great trip to the Grand Canyon, hiking the Bright Angel Trail, stopping in Sedona and having a drink at a local saloon in Jerome!

Yorba Linda, California via Peggy Sues in Barstow to Williams, Arizona

Williams, Arizona - On the Grand Canyon Railroad to the South Rim then down Bright Angel Trail

Williams to Sedona. Stopped in Jerome for a drink at a saloon, then on to Seligman for the night!

Seligman to Home

St. Patrick's Day in New York City, 2011
This was Brian's second trip to NYC and my third. We covered a lot of ground on this whirlwind NYC trip and I need to point out that next time we come here, we are skipping the Natural History Museum and we are heading straight to the Met. St. Patty's was fantastic and Central Park was full of life and green.

3/16 Arriving in New York City - Battery Park and the Spiderman Musical off Broadway

3/17 St Patrick's Day Parade and run through Central Park

3/18 World Trade Center, China Town, and Little Italy

3/19 American Museum of Natural History and The Metropolitan Museum


dirtbiking