Saturday, June 25, 2011

Visit the Santa Ana Zoo - Things to Do in Orange County 85

Living in Orange County, it's almost a daily thing to drive on the 405, 55, and 5 Freeway. But did you know right behind that freeway, there's a whole zoo that you can check out?

Where the 55 Freeway and 5 Freeway cross in Irvine/Santa Ana, there's actually a zoo where us OC residents can visit.

The zoo is actually pretty large considering its in the middle of the city. It's a bit hidden, but shouldn't be too difficult to find. It was fun to imagine that there's a bunch of animals behind that freeway wall off of the 5 freeway.

The Santa Ana Zoo is famous for their monkeys. They have a ton of monkeys here for you to see. And they're real cute.

The rumor is that the land owner here at the zoo is a big monkey lover, and the person lets the zoo operate as long as there are so many monkeys kept here. It's an interesting rumor, and maybe it's really true.

The zoo is a great place for families to visit. You can enjoy by checking out the variety of animals here. If you get bored, you can try to ride an elephant. That's a lot of fun.

After you ride the elephant, you can also ride the miniature train which runs around the zoo. That's also a big hit with the kids.

After checking out the zoo, I just couldn't get over the fact that there are so many animals living behind that freeway. It was a shocking experience for me since I've lived in OC for over 20 years, never knowing about the Santa Ana Zoo.

So next time you have time with the kids, I recommend you visiting the Santa Ana Zoo if you haven't already done so. It's going to be a fun experience for the entire family.

Santa Ana Zoo

1801 E Chestnut Ave
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 835-7484

Mon-Sun 10 am - 4 pm

Adults (age 13+): $8.00
Seniors (age 60+): $5.00
Children (age 3-12): $5.00

(excluding holidays)
Adults (age 13+): $4.00
Seniors (age 60+): $2.50
Children (age 3-12): $2.50

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Portola Coffee Lab inside the OC Mart Mix - Things to Do in Orange County 84

So, there's a new cool place to hang out in Orange County. It's called the OC Mart Mix. Located by the 405 freeway off of the Harbor exit. It's inside the huge furniture collection mall called the SOCO or South Coast Collection.

What I'm featuring today is the new hip coffee shop inside the OC Mart Mix. I'll be covering the entire OC Mart Mix at a later post pretty soon.

As explained a few times already, Portola Coffee Lab is a very cool coffee joint inside the OC Mart Mix. :) They are new and hip, and I say that because they have an awesome way of brewing their own coffee.

They use these cool siphon type of device to slowly brew their iced coffee each day. But keep in mind, there's only very limited supply, and the demand is high. So you'll be lucky to get a cup. When we went, they were still in the process of brewing it, so we weren't able to get a cup. They said, it takes 4 hours (?) or so to brew a batch.

Instead, the guys at Portola Coffee was nice enough to show off their latte art skills and make us a cup of cappuccino. Great cup of coffee!

They did also have an iced mocha using a house made ganache, so the mocha was extremely rich and chocolaty. I don't think I've ever had a mocha so chocolaty.

In addition to the awesome espresso drinks that they make, they also roast their own beans. So these guys are pretty serious about their coffee.

Overall, this place is pretty awesome.

So hope you can go check out the new hip hangout of OC Mart Mix, and have a cup of coffee at Portola Coffee Lab!

Portola Coffee Lab

The OC Mart Mix
3313 Hyland Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


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