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Be a beer connoisseur with a California brewery tour! Part I

It’s very easy to live an eat-drink-and-be-merry lifestyle in the west coast, particularly in California, where craft breweries are abundant. In fact, with the amount of establishments that serve delicious brews of various flavors, it makes total sense to make a road trip out of it with your very own California brewery tour!

21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco

21st amendment brew free or die ipaAs one of the most diverse and interesting cities in the country, San Francisco is home to a myriad of brew pubs to visit for the first time. One of the most essential stops a beer tourist must hit to begin an enjoyable beer expedition is 21st Amendment, conveniently located downtown. Among the variety of beers they have on tap, the most popular one of their year-round brews is the Brew Free! Or Die IPA, a hoppy golden IPA that surprises you with an initial kick but goes down real smooth. Saison fans might like to try out the Sneak Attack, a Belgian-style farmhouse ale and 21st Amendment’s version of a winter beer that’s only available till end of March. Upcoming Event: Homebrew day in the BG! Visit 21st Amendment on March 16, 2014 (Sunday) between 12nn and 4pm and hang out at the beer garden to learn about the establishment’s brewing method.

Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma

lagunitas ipaOnce you’re done trying out the brews and sampling 21st Amendment’s delectable lunch menu, you can get on Highway 101 and head to your next stop, another one of California’s pride and joys when it comes to great beer. Lagunitas is well known in the craft beer circuits for its IPA, more than anything else – it’s the number one IPA in the state of California for a reason. With a perfect balance of malt and hops, this beer’s tried-and-true combination of sweet and bitter definitely deserves seconds (or thirds). Upcoming Events: Daily tours of the brewery that require no reservations, hell yeah! Beer Dinner! On March 18, 2014 (Tuesday), the company’s head chef will be creating a series of coursed meals designed to complement a variety of Lagunitas brews. Enjoy a night of good food, great beer, and live music and buy tickets here.

RussianRiver Brewing Company, Santa Rosa

russian river brewing pliny the elderContinue up Highway 101 until you hit Santa Rosa, where the microbrewery responsible for Pliny the Elder – a popular double IPA that’s best enjoyed fresh – gets a regular onslaught of beer tourists every year. Russian River has a long list of brews – super-hoppy California ales, Belgian ales, and barrel aged beers, among others – for you to try, so getting them all via sampler (along with a meatball sandwich or a pizza, which they also serve) is highly recommended. Upcoming Event: Anniversary Party! Celebrate Russian River Brewing Company’s tenth anniversary on April 5, 2014 (Saturday) from 8pm to 11:30pm by coming for an evening of entertainment and some aged brews from the pub’s cellar.

BearRepublic Brewing Co., Healdsburg

bear republic cafe 15 racerIf you’re approaching the limits of your beer-tastin’ capabilities, then make Healdsburg your last stop and visit Bear Republic, medal recipient at the recently concluded 2014 Good Food Awards held in San Francisco, California. Its award-winning brew Café Racer 15 double IPA is a must-try for its bold, aggressive, and hoppy aromas that ends with dry, malty smoothness. This brewery also has a long list of brews and all of them are high on the hops, so be sure to bring your booze-drinkin’ A-game and end your brewery tour on a high note with one of their selections. Upcoming Events: Beer tours are every Saturday at 10am, by appointment only. Weekday Happy Hours at 3pm St. Patty’s Day! Come to the Bear Republic Brewpub on March 17, 2014 (Monday) and enjoy a specially crafted menu that includes succulent corned beef simmered in the brewery’s own Big Bear Black Stout.

Find all the Hidden Mickeys in Disneyland

Going to Disneyland is almost certainly every kid’s – and every adult’s, really (that’s where I went on my honeymoon) – dream come true. It is the happiest place on earth. You will never run out of things to do at the park: go on awesome rides more than once, watch shows, see your favorite Disney characters come to life. You can even go on a scavenger hunt, but instead of looking for whos its and whats its and thing-a-mabobs, your task is to find all the Hidden Mickeys in Disneyland. A Hidden Mickey is a design element cleverly added into various Disney properties, including movies and TV shows, merchandise, and yes, locations, rides, and other attractions in a Disney theme park. The most obvious and popular Hidden Mickey is composed of three circles combined, making it look like a shape that resembles someone needing no introduction: hidden mickey While it may seem easy to spot potential Hidden Mickeys everywhere there are circular objects, true Hidden Mickeys will always be proportionally correct: one big circle, two smaller circles exactly where Mickey’s ears should be. They are also rather obscure and camouflaged, making it more challenging to find them. Finally, Hidden Mickeys are always hidden within Disney-related things and places, so if you run into a live giraffe with a Mickey-shaped spot, no matter how incredible that is, it doesn’t count. On your next trip to Disneyland, do allot some time to go on a Hidden Mickey hunt with your companions (the more, the merrier!). They are everywhere in the park, but here are some places you can start your search:

Your car

Yes, the ‘Find all the Hidden Mickeys in Disneyland’ contest may start the moment you get into the car with your family and friends. When you look up Disneyland Drive on your smartphone for directions, switch on the satellite view. It’s between the Grand Californian and Paradise Pier Hotels: hidden mickey disneyland drive BAM. Your first (and the biggest) Hidden Mickey, and you haven’t even arrived at the park yet.

Parking lot

hidden mickey parking lot Check the concrete floors on the Daisy level in section 2A and you might find a Hidden and textured Mickey on the ground two spots away from the pillar. Also check every level for posters that have Disney characters dancing amidst confetti – some of those pieces are Mickey-shaped.

Posters, signs, posts, and statues

hidden mickey security check sign Once you arrive at the Entrance Plaza, there will be a number of benches around the plaza that obviously have Mickey-shaped arm rests as well as a compass on the floor in the center of the esplanade, so you might as well skip those. Try finding a Hidden Mickey masquerading as a Dalmatian spot at the Disneyland Kennel Club. Check all the ticket and information booth signs and posters you run into, for some of them may have the familiar symbol in them. hidden mickey rivet   The iron tree guards encasing plants in the plaza have Mickey-shaped rivets, while window counters have Mickey-shaped brackets. Most sign posts, street lamps, and turnstiles have Mickey patterns in them, and some are completely noticeable and out in the open.

hidden mickey lamp

Décor, rides, and games

hidden mickey magic shop Paintings, bookcases, gift shop displays, wallpapers and the like will almost always include an homage to the beloved Disney character – observe how certain objects are arranged and see how they form the three-circle configuration whenever possible. Check doors and wall designs for decorative accents that form a Hidden Mickey. hidden mickey ride Screws that keep rides together will most definitely be in the shape of Mickey. Go over every door, window, machine, console, cubicle, and gondola you get into and you’re bound to uncover a myriad of Hidden Mickeys. hidden mickey lock For a more comprehensive Hidden Mickey expedition, consult this list*.   *compiled by

The Best Donut Places in California

California Donuts "For over 25 years, California Donuts #21 Inc. has been proud of serving only the greatest of donuts… All of our donuts are traditionally hand cut to perfection, made with the finest ingredients. With our focus on quality, we assure that with eat bite… you will enjoy the sweetness & fluffiness of the one and only 'California Donuts'." Soruce: ca donuts Source: Yelp Located at 3540 W 3rd St Los Angeles, CA 90020 Koreatown, Wilshire Center Sidecar Donuts and Coffee "Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee is a specialty doughnut and coffee shop that infuses an exciting, soulful energy into the art of doughnut making, while using only the finest ingredients possible. From the moment you bite into one of Sidecar’s delectable treats, you will surely agree that these are no ordinary doughnuts!" Source: l Source: Yelp Located at 270 E 17th St Ste 18 Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Donut Bar "Donut Bar is a completely different kind of donut company. While focusing on the real ingredients, flavors, textures and design of artisan donuts, Donut Bar promotes and celebrates an artisan baking culture that first appeared in Europe and America in the 1940s which has recently been revived by small groups of like minded out of the box thinkers in America." Source: donut bar Source: Yelp Located at 631 B St San Diego, CA 92101 b/t B St & 7th Ave in Downtown What are you favorite donut places in California? Do you like them plain and simple, or filled and covered with goodies? Let us know in the comments!

Dude, I'm a California Local.

Whether you have lived in California all of your life, or you have only seen portrayals on television, most people know how a California local is stereotyped. With relaxed demeanors and a chill personalities, California creates a culture all of it's own. We natives may say "like" enough to get made fun of and can sometimes seem a bit TOO relaxed, but we are honestly just always about enjoying life and having a good time. Watch Saturday Night Live's hilarious take on the local California bro...we especially think the part about starting a clothing line is entertaining ;)

Snowboarding in the Desert?

So everybody knows that you can go both surfing and snowboarding all in one day in California. But did you know that you could also throw in Desert boarding? You definitely would need a few extra toys to get the job done, but check out how these guys did some shredding on the dunes of Glamis. Source: Network A Youtube Channel

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