Monthly Archives: January 2012

State Parks: Los Encinos SHP

Los Encinos State Historic Park is located in Encino, CA. It really is just right in the middle of the city, taking up a couple of city blocks. On one side, through the orange trees, it runs into a grocery store parking lot. Yet, the park still manages to be a lovely, quiet, refuge from any city noise or bustle. We visited on a weekend day, and there were several families out letting their kids run around, feeding the ducks, and picnicking.

The adobe is open for free guided tours, but I think at this point they are by appointment only. However, the visitor center (in another of the buildings) is unlocked during regular park hours so that visitors can go look around.

There are a lot of orange trees and other plants on the property.

There’s also a pond with lots of ducks in it. You can buy little bags of birdseed and feed them. The ducks get really excited about this.

Its just a nice park, a great place to go walk around on the weekend, and an interesting museum/visitor center. Currently its open Wednesday – Sunday from 10-5, but it would probably be best to check the website before you go.


State Parks: San Pasqual Battlefield SHP

First of all, I am really quite embarrassed by my lack of state park posts. We did visit quite a few parks last summer, but once I started graduate school in the fall we were no longer able to see as many. I neglected to really post any blogs at all, but hopefully I’ll get a few done here in the next few weeks.

Most of the 70 state parks scheduled to close will be still be closing by this summer. A handful have been saved, either through private partnerships or being taken over by another park system (national, county, or city). Hopefully more parks will be able to stay open at least on a limited basis in this way. I would highly encourage you to support the California State Parks Foundation, or at least to go to their site if you’re interested in finding out more.

Over Memorial Day weekend last year, we went down to Escondido to see San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park. For such a small park, this one is really great. The visitor center has excellent exhibits, beautiful views, and a short yet very informative video about the Mexican-American War. Travis and I felt much better about ourselves as California citizens after watching this; we realized as we went in the visitor center that we really knew nothing about that war. The person staffing the visitor center was incredibly knowledgeable about the history of the area.

The park has a nice quarter mile nature trail as well as a longer (one mile I believe) trail. However, when we visited, the longer trail had not been maintained in a while, and we were advised not to try it. I don’t know whether or not this is still true, but I would assume that it is, due to the ongoing budget issues.

The view out to the valley from the visitor center and from the nature trail is really lovely. The valley is where the majority of the battle was fought.

At any rate, I highly recommend this park. It is basically next door to the San Diego Wild Animal Park in Escondido and is currently still open on Saturdays and Sundays.

New Year’s Dinner

Cooked dinner for the first time in our new house today! I made a pot of collard greens and some cheesy grits, then just included fried chicken from Albertson’s (best grocery store fried chicken ever). It was pretty good, although the grits weren’t the best I’ve ever made.

I also tried to think about New Year’s resolutions. I made a resolution that I would try to do meatless Mondays. Then (as shown above), I promptly forgot that it was Monday. Next week! My other resolutions are:

1. Take my multivitamin.
2. Don’t get so stressed out all the time.

We’ll see how it all goes. Happy New Year!