Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Avoiding Coyote Chaos

Whether you live in Laguna Beach or Chicago, coyotes have been causing quite a raucous lately. There have been many sightings where I live in recent weeks, not only in the canyon, but in neighborhoods. Here are some helpful tips to help keep you, your family and your pets safe. -Always keep your dog on a leash and avoid retractable leashes. -Keep your dogs close to you. If you spot a coyote, pick up your dog if it's small. If it's a bigger dog, bring it closer and put it behind you. -Carry a big stick on walks and hikes. -Officers advise not to leave food and water outside for our pets, especially during the drought. -Barking attracts coyotes during the December to March breeding season, so try to keep your dogs from barking and bring them in at night. -If you encounter a coyote, back slowly away while hazing it - yell, wave your arms, use a whistle or other noisemaker, use a squirt gun, throw rocks at it. -If you often see a coyote on your regular walking route, avoid that path for a few months. You may be passing a den with pups or a mate. -And lastly, pay attention while you're out walking. Be on the lookout. If you notice a coyote in the distance, as opposed to right in front of you, you have more time to figure out what to do and options to avoid it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Turn Boredom to Bitchin' This Weekend

People keep saying how boring January is - after all the holiday hubbub in December. I say... "You're bored? Then, quit complaining and get outside!" Here's a list of the top 5 FREE things you can do in Laguna Beach this long holiday weekend (and pretty much all year round). 5. Farmers Market in the Lumberyard Parking Lot. Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Rain or shine. This is a CERTIFIED California Farmers Market, which means it's “The Real Thing” - California grown and certified by the state of California. Farmers are selling their crops directly to the public, so the farmers and consumers are saving money – no packing, shipping and wholesale costs. Buy delicious fruits and vegetables, then go home and either invent your own recipe or find something online that incorporates what you bought. If you're trying to eat well as you begin 2015, this is a fabulous place to start! Bring sturdy bags or a cart/baby stroller and clear out some room in your fridge before you leave. 4. Laughing Yoga. Yes, that's right! LAUGHING YOGA! I did it once for a documentary-style t.v. show I was on once called “This is Why You’re Single”... and it was freakin’ hilarious!!! Meet at the northernmost end of Main Beach. Sunday through Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. The instructor uses the practice of laughter as a form of exercise. 3. Hike Laguna! Top of the World, Alta Laguna Park, Laguna Canyon, Crystal Cove - the list goes on and on. BRING YOUR CAMERA OR CELL PHONE and capture some amazing, scenic shots! And prove to your friends that you did it! A few specific things this weekend – Keep It Wild Volunteer Day. Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Saturday morning. Help restore the wild lands. Great lesson for the kids. Edible and Useful Plant Hike – Saturday morning at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. 2. Gallery tour. Art Walk is fabulous, but that’s only once a month. Check out the galleries when they’re less crowded and even make your own map based on what kind of art you’re interested in. LagunaArt.com is a fabulous website that has over 60 Laguna galleries listed with a map to see how close they all are to each other. You can search art based on your taste – abstract, landscape, pop art, realism, etc. Make your own set schedule or just wander in and out. 1. Coast Highway Walk. Park around Bluebird Canyon near Surf and Sand Resort and just stroll. Go in every single store, restaurant, you name it – just to see what they sell. Check out merchandise, prices, etc. Stay for 2 seconds, stay for a half an hour. We locals drive by these businesses every single day, but are we really that familiar with every business on PCH? BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN TOWN. People travel from all over the world to spend time in Laguna and we GET to be here every day. This is an awesome way to spend the day. You can even get to know some of the merchants. YOU CAN DO ALL THESE THINGS ENTIRELY FOR FREE, BUT IF YOU WANT TO SPEND A LITTLE DOUGH, TAKE YOUR TIME, GRAB A COFFEE AND ENJOY THE OCEAN VIEW WHILE SITTING ON A PICNIC TABLE OR GRAB LUNCH AT ANY OF THE SPOTS ALONG THE WAY. The weather is supposed to be in the low 70s through Monday, so the conditions should be just about perfect. Wear comfy shoes and enjoy a little leisurely exercise. The Visitors Center Downtown is a great resource for all things happening in Laguna – NOT JUST FOR VISITORS. 381 Forest Avenue. Pamphlets, brochures. Website too. Visitlagunabeach.com. Have a blast and be sure to tell me about your experience.