About lesleycarter

Traveling and extremes have encompassed my life for 30 years; from white-water rafting, skydiving, paragliding, bungee jumping, rock climbing, caving, swimming with dolphins, swimming with beluga whales, and base jumping, I've tried every "bucketlist" adventure I could imagine. My wedding day in Jamaica even included a little bit of rock climbing followed by a trapeze act in my gown. I've been to 34 countries and I envision 100 more!

Highlights From Our California Route 66 Road Trip

California Route 66 road trip

Starting in sunny Santa Monica and ending in the dramatic California desert near the Nevada border, Athena and I went on a California Route 66 road trip. Legendary Route 66, also known as the “Mother Road”, follows the strip of highway that was the main route for 20th century pioneers heading west in search of the California dream. With stops in Santa Monica, Hollywood, Pasadena, Victorville, Barstow, and Joshua Tree, I followed the historic route enough to get the true “Mother Road” feel and added a few worthy detours to fit my travel style. These were the highlights of our Route 66 road trip in California.  Continue reading

Complete Joy at Santa Monica Pier’s Pacific Park

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CaliforniaWhen Darren and I first moved to California, I wanted to visit Santa Monica Pier before anything else. It is the end of Route 66 but the beginning of a new life for us. I had seen it on tv shows and movies but I never thought I would see it with my own eyes. When I did, it was as glorious as I had envisioned. Now, five years later, Athena had a similar experience at Santa Monica Pier.  Continue reading

Hornblower Dinner Cruise in Newport Beach

Hornblower Dinner Cruise, Newport Beach, California Hornblower Cruises are always visible in Newport marina. They are like a moving billboard for themselves. The guests appear happy, the boats look luxurious, and the location is ideal. We figured it was time we gave them a try for ourselves. They market celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries, but we like to celebrate every day. Rather than waiting for a special occasion, we like to bring the special occasion to us. We booked a Saturday night dinner cruise including a 3 hour yacht cruise, four-course dinner, a boarding glass of champagne, soda, coffee, tea, and water included, private tables, DJ entertainment, and a dance floor. We cruised Newport Beach in style, dined on scrumptious food, and danced until the music stopped. It was like New Year’s Eve but it was February 27th. Continue reading

Pool Fun at DoubleTree Golf Resort in Palm Springs

Suite view at DoubleTree Golf Resort in Palm Springs

When we arrived at DoubleTree Golf Resort in Palm Springs and pulled back the curtains in our room to a massive pool with a stunning view, we had our bathing suits on before we could count to ten. The temperature was 88 degrees and the sun was making everything shimmery. It was our version of a dream and we were happy to enjoy it.  Continue reading

Excited for Upcoming Events in SoCal

segerstrom center for the arts

After three weeks of nonstop travel, we’re back home in SoCal and excited for upcoming local events. Starting tonight, I have an amazing line-up of musicals, ballet, and extravagant shows. Here’s what’s to come in SoCal: Continue reading

Athena’s Mall of America Bucketlist

Carousel at Mall of AmericaMany of my trips include Athena and I try to incorporate fun activities that she will enjoy into my schedule, but my trip to Mall of America was all about her. From morning until night, I allowed her to choose every activity, every ride, every meal, every store, and almost every stop. (Sometimes I needed a bathroom break or to check in to the hotel, but the rest was up to her.) What resulted was one of the most amazing trips for both of us and a bucketlist adventure that we should allow our children at least once in their young lives. When she’s having fun, I’m usually having fun. Watching her make decisions also showed me how capable she is and how much she’s grown. Come along on Athena’s bucketlist version of Mall of America.  Continue reading

Inspired by Climbing in Chattanooga

Rock Climbing at High Point in Chattanooga

On our last day in Chattanooga, we were scheduled to go rock climbing at High Point Climbing & Fitness. I love rock climbing but I never thought Athena would be as interested at such a young age. It ended up being her favorite activity of the entire trip and she was fearless. I don’t know what I was thinking waiting so long to bring her but I’m glad we experience it now. Kids love to climb. They climb on everything. Why not bring them to a place where they can literally climb the walls and they have a safety when they fall? It’s genius!  Continue reading