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2010 February | Ryan's Blog

Archive for February, 2010

Escondido Canyon Trail and Waterfalls – Malibu, CA

After lunch at Geoffrey’s, it was time to work off a few calories on the Escondido Canyon Trail.   The trail head is actually 1 mile up the hill from the parking lot; however you will not mind the astonishing views of multi million dollar homes and the Malibu coastline.   I highly recommend this hike after it has recently rained.  The sky was so clear you could see all the way to Palos Verdes.   It will also ensure that the waterfalls are at their best. 

A very important note about the hike – If you are going to the water falls, make sure you go left at the first T, and go upstream (makes sense, right?).   Also, when you get to the first waterfall, don’t think you’re finished.   There are more falls up a rather steep mini-climb (well worth it).

The trail is very well maintained.  At about 4.2 miles you should give yourself about 2 hours to fully enjoy the park.  Difficulty wise it wasn’t too bad.  I actually thought the 1 mile hike up the road to the trailhead was the most strenuous.  I look forward to coming back again soon! 

Official Website:
http://www.lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=12

Contact Info:
27200 Winding Way
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 589-3200

Trail Head:
 34° 1’54.07″N
118°46’21.36″W

Parking Lot:
 34° 1’33.93″N
118°46’48.24″W

 

Geoffrey’s – Malibu, CA

So I had a day off of work and was trying to think of something to do.  I get so few off I didn’t want to waste it.  I was going over several hiking trails, and found Escondido Canyon.  Of course you need to eat before you hike, and luckily I found this amazing place next to the trail called Geoffrey’s.  

While you may feel a bit underdressed in your hiking cloths, jeans and t-shirts are just fine for lunch.   When you pull in, you will need to valet your car (unless you can find parking on PCH).  It’s only $5 and included on your bill.  

When you walk through the entrance to the patio to be seated, breathtaking panoramic views of the Malibu coastline hit you on all sides.  It was a perfectly clear day and you could see all the way to Palos Verdes, Catalina, and the Channel Islands.

Enough on the view – the real reason you go to a restaurant is to eat, right?   You won’t be disappointed.  I ordered the lunch filet with vegetables.  Extremely tender and perfectly seasoned, the filet was accompanied by a exquisite sauce. 

If lunch is any indication of dinner, I would imagine it would be absolutely amazing.  I’d love to come back for a sunset dinner on a full moon to enjoy the view and great food.

Official Website:
http://www.geoffreysmalibu.com/

Contact Info:
27400 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA  90265
(310) 457-1519

Restaurant:
 34° 1’31.06″N
118°46’10.70″W

 

Geoffrey's Malibu on Urbanspoon

Fresh Foods Cafe – Long Beach, CA

My friend told me about this place in Long Beach that has an amazingly fresh and progressive menu.   While it is a bit hard to find, it is well worth the hunt!  It is located right in the Catalina Landing Building (where the Catalina Express departs).  They even have 90 minute free parking if you can find it (use the coordinates below).  

I’ve been to Fresh Foods Cafe several times now, and I still haven’t tried everything I wanted to try on the menu.  They have great daily specials to spice things up.   Every time I get the soup – it is always amazing.   If you like fresh salads, you can watch them make it in front of you. 

Prices are very reasonable – every time I went I never paid more than $12.   My favorites would be the turkey sandwich, and rotisserie chicken.  Both are extremely moist.  The bread is extremely fresh and must be made daily.   Their motto is “Everything Fresh, Every Day.  We do not buy it, we make it.”  I go back so often I signed up for their “I like it Fresh” club which gets you free food after so many dines.

Official Website:
http://freshfoodscafe.com/

Contact Info:
340 Golden Shore
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 980.9200

Cafe:
 33°45’48.22″N
118°12’1.63″W

 

Fresh Foods Cafe on Urbanspoon

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2010 – Las Vegas, NV

Since the end of COMDEX, I’ve always wanted to attend the Consumer Electronics Show.   I knew it was big, but didn’t expect it to be as expansive as it was.   I only gave myself two days, which was not enough.   Next year I’ll plan on spending at least 2 1/2 days.  

Registration was quick and easy online.  It is free as long as you do it early enough.   You will receive a badge in the mail, so you only have to go to the badge holder pickup area once arriving. 

Take time before the conference to plan out what areas you want to see.  This will help you bypass all of those iPhone skin displays that seem to take up an entire hall. 

By far the best and most amazing display was Samsung’s.   Showcasing its new LED TVs – both 2D and 3D, the exhibit featured several flowers all focused to a central area.  When standing in the middle of the display, it felt like you were in electronics heaven.   

http://www.samsung.com/us/

 

Also notable was the Microsoft exhibit.   I was particularly impressed with the new Windows 7 multi-touch capabilities.  It basically converts your monitor into a big iPhone/iPod Touch.   There will undoubtedly be many new innovations in software utilizing this new functionality. 


http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=320-1172

 

Another item that had an incredible “cool” factor was the HoloAD.  It basically lets you display your ad in 3-D without using glasses.   The applications for this in the advertising world are endless. 

http://www.innovision.com.tw/hoload.html

 

CES Official Website:
http://www.cesweb.org/

Contact Info:
(866) 233-7968

Main Exhibit Halls:
 
36° 7’55.57″N
115° 9’10.21″W

Germaine’s Luau – Oahu Hawaii

Our trip was winding down and we still hadn’t made it to a Luau.   We were a bit skeptical that it would be touristy, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised with Germaine’s.   At about $70/person, it was a great value.  The price included transpiration to/from the Luau from Waikiki (about a 30 minute ride), 3 drink tickets, dinner AND the show. 

The bus picks you up and the party starts.  The guide we had cracked jokes the entire ride along with giving us a few lessons on Hawaiian culture.  It made the ride go by pretty quick.   They plan it out so you arrive around sunset (amazing view). 

Before the show starts, you get to whiteness the “Royal” ceremony where they bring up the pig from the outdoor imu (underground oven).  Shortly after, dinner is served.   Don’t be shy and ask for extra Kalua Pig – it is absolutely amazing – super moist with a unique smoked flavor. 

After everyone gets food from the buffet, the show starts.   The cast takes you through several tribal dances/rituals from Tahiti, Samoa, New Zealand and Hawaii.   My favorite was the fire thrower. 

Everyone in our party was very happy with the level of quality and service provided.  We would definitely go back.

Official Website:
http://www.germainesluau.com/

Contact Info:
91-119 Olai Street  
Kapolei,Hawaii  96707
(800) 367-5655

Luau:
 21°17’51.51″N
158° 6’18.62″W