Southern California Attractions

5 Places To Visit In Southern California Before School Starts

For that one last, great, Instagram Post.

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I moved to Irvine, California in 2003. Northern California was my birthplace, but Southern California is where I grew up, lived, and loved. For those of you lucky enough to call this great place home, or for those of you who are just visiting, here's a list to the best places to visit before leaving or returning elsewhere for college- ranked in no particular order.

1. Sunken City, San Pedro

Located in the sleepy town of San Pedro, there is a rich history to these scenic spots. Sunken City has gained popularity recently, especially with Instagrammers, as its dystopian and graffiti-covered ruins provide a haunting backdrop for breathtaking photos. Created in the 1920's as an idyllic village filled with beach bungalows overlooking the ocean, a devastating landslide plunged the resort-like area into the rocks below, creating what would eventually become known as the "Sunken City" to locals. This area is now a popular hiking spot and provides a thrill for those seeking adventure, as it requires a bit of trespassing to access. This is by no means an encouragement, but if you do decide to check this spot out, be mindful of the restrictions and hazards it poses.

2. Pirate's Tower, Laguna Beach

There are 5 beaches that every Southern Californian knows: Huntington, Newport, Dana Point, Corona Del Mar, and Laguna. However, in between these massive and popular spots, are hidden gems tucked away with their entrances often harder to reach, and sometimes in residential areas. Pirate's Tower, as affectionately known by locals, is located within Victoria Beach. The history of this structure spans back to the 1940's, where a wealthy landowner was inspired by the gold-like quality of the beaches and desired to possess a piece of architecture that would bring him back to the tales of pirates and sparkling islands he loved. Beyond being a spot for captivating photos, there are legends that coins were buried beneath the foundation of the tower. This is most definitely a spot worth checking out.

3. Potato Chip Rock, San Diego

Beyond the thrilling, and rather unsettling picture it gives, I have a fond connection with Potato Chip Rock- simply because it reminds my fat ass of, you guessed it, potato chips. Located on top of Mt. Woodson in the middle of an 8 mile long trip hike, this particular scenic spot is not for the faint of heart. Although the trail to reach this iconic land mass is nothing too challenging, expect a full day of hot sun and trudging through inclined pathways. Attempt with only the closest of friends and family. If you make to the ascent, however, you'll be rewarded with one of the best views of San Diego, with a cool photo on top of a thin sliver of rock to boot. Be warned though, this rock can and will one day break, so best see it now and exercise caution while doing so.

4. Watt's Towers, Los Angeles

From afar, these art structures blend into the L.A. Skyline with their industrial and utilitarian silhouettes. Artist Simon Rodia worked for 34 years, since 1921, to singlehandedly build these towering monuments to a "Nuestro Pueblo" (our town) out of simple materials and pure ingenuity- without any scaffolding or modern equipment. Today, these structures are a fun and enriching area to visit, as well as a beautiful and different backdrop for the perfect photo. Entrance requires a small fee, and you can hear more about Rodia's passion and message, as well as see his other works once inside. It's definitely worth a look around.

5. Deep Creek Hot Springs, San Bernardino

Two weeks out of Japan, I found myself horribly missing one of the best experiences I had in the country: Hot springs. Called "onsen", the Japanese have had a long history with these beneficial bodies of water, and it is thought to cleanse and reinvigorate the soul to bathe in an onsen. Unfortunately, America, or more specifically, Southern California is not quite as abundant in its hot spring water sources, and what little exists lies often at the end of an arduous hike and without the luxurious offerings of the Japanese ones (my favorite was this little place, tucked away in the town of Hakone that featured a fresh milk vending machine from a local farm!). Since returning home, I began my research on places that could scratch this incessant need and stumbled upon Deep Creek Hot Springs, a natural basin of sulfurous spring water located in a 3.6-mile trail just outside Hesperia. Although quite well known, this spot was utterly relaxing and soothing after the dusty hike, and I found it to be sufficiently uncrowded during the weekday that I went. unforgettable memory taking a day trip to.

Southern California is a wonderful place. In N Out greets visitors and residents alike with their iconic red, white and yellow, and you are never more than 90 minutes from a local beach. These are just a few of the places that I believe would make a great day trip- however, there are undoubtedly more. Los Angeles alone is home to countless trendy rooftop bars, quirky museums, and hidden hot spots. Don't even get me started on the San Diego County. Before you return to a full schedule and nights of stress, treat yourself and/or your loved ones to a day or night out to a scenic and unforgettable memory.

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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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5 Vital And Helpful Tips I Live By When Packing For A Trip

Try and pack smarter, not harder.

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If you are anything like me, you tend to overpack thinking you are being a great packer and being ready for any scenario that life may throw at you. Well, that is, unfortunately untrue, and I have learned that you are only doing more harm than good. Over the years, I have come up with five tips I always use when traveling and have been proven to work. You've heard of the five golden rules of life, and, well, these are the five golden rules/tips of packing.


1. Start with a packing list.

This is the best tip I could give to anyone else who is getting ready to travel. Making a list is very useful, especially when stressed about your travel. You will not forget anything because you have it all written down. A packing list is a great way to keep organized when packing.

2. Use space bags.

Now, this is a tip my dad lives by. Space bags are great when you are packing because it protects your clothes and makes room to put a lot in your suitcase. The crazy story of a time when my dad was traveling, and his friend's bag was soaked with the shampoo he brought on the plane. All his clothes and everything inside the suitcase was ruined. So always use space bags because you never know what could happen on the flight. You can buy a space bag here.

3. Pack the essentials first.

I will be honest and say that I do over-pack a lot. I use the line "just in case" as an excuse to pack my entire house. But I have learned that packing for "just in case" is a waste of time. When you first sit down to pack, lay out all your essentials. For example, clothes that you will wear during the trip. You will be surprised to see how effective it is.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Chicago Is The Best City In The World

4. ALWAYS pack an extra outfit in your carry on.

This tip is one that I have been very grateful that I used. A while ago during my trip to Canada, my check-in bag was missing and delayed for multiple hours. Luckily I had an extra outfit to keep me fresh and not feel gross. It is always crucial to this in your carry on In case of emergencies such as your bag getting lost.

5. Put identification on your suitcase.

Everyone in the airport somehow tends to have the same black or red suitcase that you have, which only means confusing when you're trying to find your check-in bag. To quickly identify your suitcase, put a sticker, or tie a ribbon on the handle. You can easily pick up your suitcase and leave. This will prevent any sneaky people trying to steal or claim that your suitcase is theirs.

P.S.: Use a bright color ribbon or a different sticker. Also, tie the ribbon properly to make sure it's secured.


I live by these five packing tips every time I travel so I hope you can use them the next time you take a trip!

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