January 24, 2015

Sequoia's


The Sequoia National Park was kind of magical. Five hours away from much of
civilization, tucked on the mountain top are forests with trees as tall as skyscrapers.

Even the drive is beautiful, with winding routes and lumbering trees and the air
getting more crisp and fresh the higher you go up.

We settled in to our room at the Wuksachi Lodge and then headed back out
to explore the Sequoia trees.


There was still a thin layer of snow covering the ground and the air was a bit chilly,
but it actually felt like winter, for a change!



I could practically break in to a Frozen song, while looking at this scene!



The sequoia trees are huge and some of the largest in the world and one of the
largest living organisms on earth. How's that for impressive?!


Not to mention, incredibly beautiful.

A photo posted by Kylie Ladd (@californiakylie) on






I kinda felt like I was in the Ewok forest, when here. Anyone else?


After a thorough day of exploring, we headed back up to the lodge, sipping on wine
and appetizers until the sun went down and all the stars came out, which was
another extraordinary sight.

It was so nice to break away from the day-to-day rut of things. This January's been
especially challenging between long work hours, apartment hunting, and maid of
honor duties. Not that I'm not grateful, but a necessary break was needed. The
Sequoia National Park is a great escape, although I could've used a little more
cell phone reception, I'm not going to lie. No Snapchat or Instagram or anything!
I'm not too much of a nature girl, I admit. How did people live without iphones?

Until the next adventure...

January 20, 2015

In the Midst of Winter









































January gives me the blues. There's no way around it. I kind of hate January. It's like
a pro-longed hangover from the holiday season but there's not even morning after
mimosas. This month has been particularly brutal and I feel more stressed than I've
ever been in my life. And that's including the time I spent trying to get Coachella
tickets. Which is something. And this quote's been getting me through the hours and
the days, knowing that I can push through little by little, no matter what life throws this
way.

P.S. More pics of Sequoia's coming soon!
Here's to a better week for everyone :)

January 8, 2015

Spaghetti Squash


So! As part of my whole new year's resolution thing, I made a list of somewhat
ambitious or adventurous recipes I wanted to try, spaghetti squash being one of
them. Also on the list was get a Victoria's Secret body (again), save lots of money
(also again) and travel to some new destinations! I'd like to think that spaghetti
squash is helping that whole Victoria's Secret body because guess what...you're
eating vegetables! It's amazing!

It's like pasta but it's not! It's super healthy and actually pretty damn tasty.
I almost couldn't believe it and I was really surprised to find out how easy it was too.

I nabbed it from this blogger's recipe book Steamy Kitchen- which is where
you can find the recipe.

The only difference I made was, I added a few cherry tomatoes and a good
topping of myzthra cheese to give it a saltier pinch. I even briefly debated adding
some turkey sausage to the mix to really round it out but left it as is for now.


After you bake your squash for 45 minutes and cut in half, you scrape the  squash
and it ends up looking like this. How cool is that?! I geeked out over it big time.

The finished result! Let me know what you guys think! And what your fun new years
resolutions are!

January 5, 2015

Mallory Square

The rest of our first day in Key West with the fam, continued with us taking it easy.
We dined at a local restaurant that was right on the bay and not too far from Mallory
Square.




I think everything looks better over the rim of a margarita glass, don't you? ;)






And we feasted! On pub fare but delicious nonetheless. We nibbled on lobster
sliders (my fave), giant prawns and one very juicy burger. It was enough for a
gal to forget all her gym resolutions and get right down to the belly of it.


Around sunset, all the tourists gather around Mallory Square to watch the sunset.
There's music playing and a looseness in the air that comes just as the sun sets on
the Atlantic. Mallory Square is the main plaza and the sunset celebration was
definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. Revolving around the square are all
sorts of performers, arts, decorations and stands.






After the sun had finally set, my family returned to our rooms to retire for the evening.
Feeling still a bit restless, me and the brother set out to see what adventures were to be
had on Duval Street, the main drag of Key West. You know those nights were you go,
"Oh, I'll only have one drink or so." Well, that's how my night started, but a couple of
mojito's and one gay bar later, I was back in the room, having partied a little too hard.
What can I say, the gay's know how to have one helluva good time!

January 1, 2015

Blue Heaven


A quick recap of the family trip to the Florida Keys for this winter break! I've been
working from home this week and can't say how nice it is to work from bed in full
on pajama mode. I think this is the life meant for me.

A photo posted by Kylie Ladd (@kyladd) on


So me and the family did something we haven't done in ages- take a family trip!
Instead of sticking around for Christmas in California, we decided to go somewhere
a bit warmer and a tad more tropical. We had a redeye late at night and arrived in
Miami all bleary-eyed and tired, driving down through the Keys. It was a gorgeous
ride and nothing but ocean on either side.

We stopped at Bahia Honda State park on recommendation from a friend. I was
about ready to plop right down and get mighty comfortable! But we trekked on,
about an hour more, before arriving in Key West.





Our first stop was of course, food! We stopped at Blue Heaven, a local favorite
and another recommendation.

Trailing all around Key West are roosters! Brightly colored and only a tad noisy
with their crowing, they strut around the island like they own the place and they
certainly add to the island charm. It was so funny to see all the roosters walking
around and dipping beneath our feet at lunch, with a trail of tiny chickadees
following! Unfortunately, my national geographic photo skills aren't up to par
yet.
I opted for the shrimp melt sandwich. The shrimp were perfectly juicy and
the sandwich just oozed with cheese. Perfect.

A photo posted by Kylie Ladd (@kyladd) on

Key West is a popular Christmas destination and it's easy to see why. Although the
island itself wasn't anything like I expected! It's a bit of a cross between New Orleans,
The Pirates of Caribbean ride at Disneyland (the best parts of course and without any
real pirates or guns or Johnny Depp or anything) and palm trees galore. A blue heaven
in its' own right.

http://www.blueheavenkw.com/

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