Destination Orange County

Dedicated to Orange County

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Panorama Nature Preserve

Panorama Nature Preserve is located in Fullerton and contains a wildlife preserve filled with California native plants that attract local birds and insects. The main attraction of the place is a one-mile hike to the highest point in Fullerton, overlooking the neighboring cities.


My friend and I decided to take the 3-mile (or more) hike to the “fullerton peak”(as I am calling it) that comes around from the other side. We hiked along the trail that goes through a golf course and a residential area. Upon reaching there, we saw the neighboring cities of Yorba Linda, Santa Ana, and Anaheim, amongst others, as well as the hike trail that we took to get there. We were very proud!

On our way, we recognized Toyon, Cholla Cactus,California Encelia, Bush Monkeyflower, and Pampas Grass (plants-all except Pampas Grass is native to Southern California). We also found a song sparrow, a house finch, and a bewick’s wren amongst the native birds (at least that’s what we thought they were).






^Can you see my house way out there? (I can’t either.)

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Laguna Woods and Laguna Hills Libraries

OC Public Libraries: Laguna Woods Branch
24264 El Toro Road
Laguna Woods, CA 92637

This is a city hall/library/chamber of commerce all put together in one building. The library was a desk with a young man sitting on the other side. This library is basically for residents of Laguna Woods to order library books to be sent to this branch, so that they can pick them up here. There wasn’t really much action so I stayed for a little  while and searched the library catalog. Then I headed to Laguna Hills.



^this was the desk


OC Public Libraries: Laguna Hills Technology Library
25555 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

When I saw the outside, I got excited. It was a large building and my insides jumped with joy. “It must be a huge library”, I told myself (this OC Library Challenge is making me think my friends are right-I am a nerd).


However, when I went inside, this library was kind of similar to the Laguna Woods one. There was a room filled with computers (well, it does say Laguna Hills Technology Library on their website, so it was silly of me to expect a library with only books). There were shelves at the back of the room with books, but that was all. There was not a huge collection of books, so this library serves the purpose of computer access for its residents.


I always wondered, while on this challenge, why there were so many branches in the Laguna area (including the Aliso Viejo library because that is pretty close in proximity as well). My conclusion is that some of these libraries provide quick services, like book holds, pick-ups, and computer access to its residents for convenience. Library patrons can still search online catalogs, find books of interest, and finally have the inter-library loan system make it easy for them to pick up their books at a library conveniently located near them.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Laguna Beach Library

OC Public Libraries: Laguna Beach Branch
363 Glenneyre St.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651



Located amidst small streets and too much traffic, the view from the library was still pretty amazing.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ladera Ranch Library

OC Public Libraries: Ladera Ranch Branch
29551 Sienna Parkway
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

I must say that Ladera Ranch is a beautiful city. The directions getting to the library are a little confusing, and I made a wrong turn because I have not really encountered traffic circles (roundabouts) in my everyday adventures.

The library is located next to an elementary school so I would not recommend going there around 2:30pm, when school gets out. It took me a while to get out to the main street.

The library itself is small and located on the upstairs level of a Greek-style building. It had a nice selection of GRE prep books.








Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spinner’s Turkish Kebab

16076 Harbor Boulevard,
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

HALAL seal

Our community has been blessed with many Turkish restaurants in the past couple of years. There have been three that I know, which have opened up in the past three years, only a couple of miles away from each other.

I think the atmosphere of this restaurant was definitely friendly. There was much activity because there were three little girls, all around 3 years old, running around. I found out that the restaurant was opened up by three brothers and each one had a daughter.


I ordered Beef Doner Kebab- thin slices of seasoned beef that are cooked on a flame broiler. The taste was quite different than what I’ve eaten before and I really enjoyed it. I wish the portion size was a little bigger, but I think I am just a big-eater. The dish was served with rice, bread, hummus, and salad on the side. The service was prompt and owners were friendly.


Food: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Laguna Niguel Library

OC Public Libraries: Laguna Niguel Branch
30341 Crown Valley Parkway
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

The area was really nice. I loved the city of Laguna Niguel.



The library was small and there was not much action, but I did find a lot of GRE Prep books=)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Special Thai Restaurant

511 S Brookhurst St
Anaheim, CA 92804

HALAL seal 

Great food. Good price. Just a little small. 

This business would be at a greater advantage if they could somehow figure out a way to accommodate the large number of customers that choose to dine here. It gets pretty stuffed on Fridays. They have an amazing buffet for only $9.99 per person (minus tax) on Fridays and Sundays. There is a huge selection of food and it tastes AWESOME! Service can be a little lacking sometimes.

Food: 4.5/5

Service: 3/5

Overall: 3.5/5

Plate no.1= (Clockwise starting from top) Chicken Tom Khai Soup, Papaya Salad (my fav),Beef Salad


Plate no. 2= (Clockwise starting from top) Steamed rice, Yellow Chicken Curry, Beef Panang, Garlic Shrimp


Plate no.3= (clockwise starting from the top) Fried rice, Kung Pao Chicken, Chicken Chili Basil, Spicy fish


Plate no. 4= French fries, Fried shrimp, Baked Chicken, plus an unknown item.


Plate no. 5= Vegetable Chow mein-(which I was unable to finish)


P.S. Drinks sold separately

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hatam Persian Restaurant

1112 North Brookhurst Street
Anaheim, CA 92801

HALAL seal

This place does not look like anything special from the outside. In fact, you can’t really tell that it’s a restaurant. It’s located behind a gas station and placed next to a grocery store. The front does not show any signs of life inside, except the voices from behind. Once you are seated inside, it’s a cozy living room space turned into an eating area. The food seems a bit expensive when you read the menu with the prices, but the portions are HUGE. It’s well worth the money.

They brought some pita bread wrapped in cloth.


We ordered a salad and ate it with the pita bread.

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The main dish I ordered was called Fesenjon. It’s a chicken stew simmered in pomegranate sauce. It had a sweet taste and the tender chicken pieces went well with the sauce. It cost $12.99 and I think the portion size was generous. I ended up taking a large portion of it home since I was unable to finish it.


This is my dad’s all-time favorite restaurants.

Food: 3.5/5

Service: 3/5

Overall: 3/5

Sunday, August 8, 2010

San Juan Capistrano Library

OC Public Libraries: San Juan Capistrano Branch
31495 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675


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Very beautiful location. I loved the outside area, where you could sit and read. It looked like there was a Jacuzzi as well, but I don’t know if people actually use it.


The library inside was great. It seemed like an old church converted into a library and I liked that feeling.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

San Clemente Library

OC Public Libraries: San Clemente Branch
242 Avenida Del Mar
San Clemente, CA 92672

The library is located amidst a very busy area. Parking was difficult to find and the streets were very narrow.

The library was large-sized and well-organized.

When I was coming back (at around 4pm), the streets were a lot less crowded. I drove a little farther down towards the beach and it was gorgeous. I wish I could have taken pictures at the beach, but I couldn’t find parking in the vicinity.


^from the back (after I had parked my car)


^the sign at the front


^the front entrance of the library

Friday, July 16, 2010

Los Alamitos-Rossmoor Library

OC Public Libraries: Los Alamitos/Rossmoor Branch
12700 Montecito
Seal Beach, CA  90740

I absolutely loved the area. The library was very organized. I didn’t have to look through a catalog to find the topics I was looking for. It had signs on every section of shelves, listing the topics that can be found there.

There was wireless internet access, but the internet was too slow for some reason even though the signal was excellent.

There were many people there and the librarians seemed friendly and nice.



Monday, July 12, 2010

Irvine Public Libraries

OC Public Libraries: Heritage Park Branch
14361 Yale Avenue
Irvine, CA. 92604


The library was average sized, but felt a little stuffy. It was packed with people. I didn’t look around as I had a physics midterm to prepare for.


OC Public Libraries: University Park Branch
4512 Sandburg Way
Irvine, CA 92612 

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This library was medium sized, but the way it was set up was very nice. I love the location. It’s in a nice residential area.


OC Public Libraries: Katie Wheeler Branch
13109 Old Myford Rd.
Irvine, CA 92602

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My favorite out of all three was the Katie Wheeler Branch. It was small, but the place was very cozy. There was a park outside with lots of greenery=)

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