Discovering New Worlds at the 2014 @LACountyFair

Discovering New Worlds at the 2014 LA County Fair

By Erin

*Disclosure: I was invited out to attend the media night for purposes of this post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own as I’ve had a lifelong love for the LA County Fair!* 2014_LACF_4color It’s that time again everyone! Time for Southern California’s biggest end-of-summer bash, the L.A. County Fair, which starts TODAY! This year the fair is back, with so much to explore from Aug. 29-Sept. 28, the fair is bigger and better than ever! Besides all the yummy food I will show you in a bit, the fair lights up the night with Luminasia A larger-than-life Chinese lantern display, that takes the ancient art form of lantern making to a whole new level. Luminasia takes fair-goers through a whole new world filled with colorful replicas of iconic landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, the Hollywood Sign, and the Eiffel Tower. Giant dragons, flowers and a pagoda also roam the land. These lanterns were handmade by nearly 50 artisans who traveled more than 7,000 miles from Zigong, China to transform the hillside into an evening attraction that is bound to take your breath away. This is Luminasia’s first-ever appearance in California and is the jewel of the evening attractions at the fair this year. (*There is an extra charge to enter into the world of Luminasia*) Liminasia LACF

The Eiffel Tower at Luminasia

What Else is New at LACF?

There are so many new and wonderful additions to the fair this year, visitors will be delighted with their new discoveries and treasure their tried and true traditional fair favorites. Kicking off its 92nd anniversary by opening its doors to new worlds of discovery, lighting up the night with oversized custom-built lanterns; where zonkeys and kangaroos roam the land, award-winning beer and wine can be sampled, and world-class entertainment takes the stage again.

Hall of HEROES

See your favorite Super Heroes at the Hall of Heroes in the Cityscape, a thriving metropolis of skyscrapers and super heroes. Celebrate the science behind beloved superheroes of comic books and real-life heroes. Enter the Metropolis and come face to face with Spiderman and Superman or meet one of our local home-town heroes: law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect and serve us to keep us safe.

Mojo’s Wild & Crazy Lagoon

The animals are one of my favorite things about the fair, and you will see many special critters roaming about. I’m most looking forward to the zonkeys, being that they are a part of the equine family. ;) Then mosey on over to Mojo’s Wild & Crazy Lagoon where you will meet Mojo, a Weeper Capuchin monkey and her friends. They have a new home on the water and are sure to be involved in some monkey business. Other animal friends reside at the Peacock Paradise, Fiona’s Perch, Kangaroo Cove and the Enchanted Village. Take a peak at the sea lions at Beneath the Sea and then read your way through an adventure in America’s Kids, where we are celebrating the exciting worlds of children’s literature. LA County Fair Critters

Just a couple of the interesting and unique critters I met at last years fair. ;)

The FOOD!

My most favorite part of the fair though, has to be the FOOD! ;) You will be able to satisfy all your favorite food cravings here at the fair – deep-fried, on-a-stick, BBQ, dipped in chocolate and anything else you care to imagine. You could eat here for days at the fair and not once eat the same thing twice. With over 300 choices (including Mexican, Italian, Asian and Greek flavors, along with L.A.’s best food trucks) you will need to come back more than once to try everything! What’s new this year? New this year is: Ramen burgers, Sriracha corndogs, funnel cake corndogs, Tequila-infused pickle poppers, and a complete gluten-free menu.

Chicken Charlie’s New at Chicken Charlie’s this year is the Triple-decker Krispy Kreme Cheeseburger and the Bacon-wrapped Zucchini! LACF Krispy Kreme Hamburger

The Krispy Kreme Triple Decker Cheeseburger! Yikes!!

LACF Chicken Charlie

Bacon Wrapped Zucchini

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Gluten Free Fine Dining at Darren’s in Manhattan Beach!

Gluten Free Fine Dining at Darren’s in Manhattan Beach!

By Erin

Only a block from the beach and located in the heart of Manhattan Beach, Darren’s features a variety of savory small plates and delicious fine dining options. Set in a posh yet welcoming and relaxed environment, you will feel at home quickly with the extremely friendly staff. Equipped with a full-bar and an extensive wine list, along with seasonal specialty cocktails you are sure to find something to quench your thirst. Darren’s also has a nice Happy Hour and Bar Menu that is perfect for watching the big games on their flat screen TV. When I was invited to come over and give Darren’s a try, I couldn’t resist. The best thing was how accommodating they are at Darren’s. My friend is on a very strict Gluten Free diet, and they made sure everything served was gluten free (unless otherwise stated). Why don’t we take a look around now?

Darrens

 The outside of Darren’s. It’s clearly marked, making it easy to find,which is always nice! :)

Darrens Tables

Inside, the tables are very intimate and cozy. I loved how bright and airy it was. Perfect for taking all of my pictures… ;)

Darrens Menus

A peek at the menus here at Darren’s.

Darrens Drinks

We started out with a couple of drinks to get started with. Pictured here is the Bath Water-American Harvest Vodka, St. Germain, Cucumbers, Fresh Basil and Lemon Juice. On the left is the Strawberry Kiss- Stoli Strawberry Vodka, Fresh Lemon, Fresh Strawberries, and a Kiss of sparkling wine. Both were made very strong.

Darrens Drink

A Little bit later we tried this one, called The Bear-Stoli Blue Berry, Fresh Lemon, Fresh Blue Berries, Basil Press. This was my favorite drink. Not quite as strong, with just enough of a fruity sweet taste from the berries.

Darrens GF Crab Cake

The first dish we tried was the Crab Cake-Jumbo Lump Crab, Daikon Sprouts, Soy Dry Mustard Sauce, Sriracha, Sweet Soy Sauce. The Crab Cake we had was a little bit different than what is stated on the menu as this one was made Gluten Free for us and it was VERY delicious!! We had fun trying to figure out all the different flavors it was that we were tasting.

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Relaxation and Good Times out on the Colorado River

Relaxation and Good Times out on the Colorado River

By Erin

Labor Day is just right around the corner. Where has the summer gone? It always goes by way too fast! One place that I love to spend labor day weekend at is out at the river. Just about a 4-4/1/2 hour drive depending on traffic and if you stop to grab a bite to eat and take a bathroom break or not. Whether you stay in Parker, Havasu, or just somewhere along the river, it’s always a good time. I have been spending my days at this wonderful place for as long as I can remember.

River Life

A beautiful view awaits right outside the front door. Ready to go out for a float?

River Girls

During the warm summer months, the river is a great place to cool off at with friends and family! It can get pretty busy though, look at all the boats!

River Food

If you’re hungry, one of my favorite places to dine at while at the river is at El Sarape in Parker, AZ. Here is the carne asada plate! It’s so good!

River Fun

A river trip isn’t complete without some cool drinks! Cheers! A boat ride is also customary, there are some fun floating bars and restaurants you can drive right up to and dock your boat at! Shown here on the right is the Roadrunner! It’s fun to go there at night for some drinks, dancing and just hanging out. It’s also a good place to grab some breakfast at!

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