Why I Love Riverside

Thursday, November 21, 2013

It's safe to say most people are Riverside haters. And while at some point in my life I have been one, I have to say it's home and there are some good things about it! For one, it's where all of my family and my hubby's family lives and there's something to be said for that (free babysitting!). But on top of that I have gathered a few other reasons to as why the Inland Empire ain't all bad. :) Yes, some people here wear their boxers and jeans to the local beach (sorry, Newport). And then there are quite a few tatted up girls with skunk-like hair dye jobs but we aren't all bro ho's! I promise! Here is why I continue to live in the city of dirt...

1. Mission Inn:

This old hotel has housed celebrities and presidents alike over the years and has THE BEST Christmas lights in southern California. This was the view from our hotel room last year. Stunning! 

we dressed up fancy for M's work party

and a bit more casual to walk the streets below
2. Mt. Rubideaux and Sycamore Canyon
When we used to live closer to downtown I would run up Mt. R all the time. It's the perfect amount of incline and just the right distance (4 miles).

back in the day when I hiked it with B and her friend Charlotte
Sycamore Canyon is closer to our current home and M loves hiking there too:

the picture cracks me up. It's from last year and B is straight Aladdin riding on a camel here.
3. Lux Clothing Store:

Super cute clothes at affordable prices...win win! I love their selection of clothes and I also enjoy shopping local. They girls who work there are very sweet and helpful!

4. Simple Simons, Substation, and Backstreet:

I couldn't do it. I couldn't pick just ONE of my favorite sandwich shops so I highlighted three. There are even a couple other local ones (Jammin' Bread, Butch's) that I love too! Simple Simons has a total hipster vibe and is located in downtown Riverside. Substation is by the UCR campus and has the friendliest owner EVER and a great 70's atmosphere (order the Big Dude!). Finally, Backstreet is located in the heart of Riverside and has the most beautiful outdoor patio area to relax in. All of their sandwiches are different but oh so tasty! You won't be let down.

simple simons


5. Hunter Park
While we have only been to this park once it was a pretty amazing trip! The second and fourth Sunday of every month a couple of guys who love trains run the show and allow people to ride free! It's a legit track and mini train and B loved it. I bet she would be even more interested in it now that she's gotten older.

choo! choo!
And that's a wrap! See, Riverside isn't all ghetto bad! ;)

And if you are every in the great city of Chicago check out Kendra's top picks for the windy city below!

Why I Love Chicago
One of my favorite things to do is get lost for a day, forget about my normal obligations and lose myself in the hustle and bustle of the city I love. There are so many things to do in the city; I can guarantee a new experience each "me" day. After thinking long and hard about some of the best things to do in the city, I have managed to narrow it down to my favorite few things that are unique to Chicago.

1. Getting my head in the game
Chicago has a sports team in each of the major leagues, baseball, football basketball and hockey. Some of the seasons overlap, so there is almost a guarantee that I will be able to attend at least one sporting event, sometimes even multiple games in a month. Although hockey isn't quite mainstream these days, it is certainly popular here. Our Blackhawks just won another Stanley Cup! Hockey games are great fun for the entire family, or for a night out with a few friends.
2.  On an adventure
When I am feeling particularly adventurous, I like to visit the Skydeck in Willis Tower.  Willis tower is one of the tallest buildings in the world, and on the 103rd floor they have created a glass box to overlook the city.  It almost feels like you're skydiving or floating when you are in it! The glass box extends out from the building, truly a unique and exhilarating experience. Remind yourself that each side is made of three layers of half inch glass, laminated together into one unit. Don't forget to breath, and don't take the stairs!
3.  An overnighter
Chicago is such a beautiful and unique city, and to really appreciate how spectacular it is it's necessary to stay overnight. An overnight stay will enable you to enjoy the skyline and the city lights at night. Seeing the city change from business to nightlife first hand is so interesting, and as a mom it helps me remember that I can still get out and have fun, too. An overnight in Chicago can be a romantic getaway for me and the hubby or a fun overnight with my girlfriends. Booking a hotel on sites such as Gogobot guarantees a great room for a good price.  
4.  Getting some grub
Let's face it: food is always a major player in my days away. If I don't have to cook, I want to enjoy it! South Water Kitchen, located right in the loop, is one of my staples when I'm in the city. Not only is the restaurant owned by a native Chicagoan, it's also fairly priced. They open at 6 and serve all three meals, making this a hit for nearly everyone in the family, even my pickiest eaters.
Chicago is such a lively city all year round, and with these suggestions you can visit at any time of year and really get to see the city. Chicago truly is a gem, and I love the fact that I can live here for years and still discover new and exciting places to see.


  1. Sounds like a great city to raise a family! I love our city too. It's where we grew up, our families live here and it's so close to SF and lots of museums, etc. The only thing I don't like are the home prices...

  2. Love this and love your intro {sorry Newport!}...haha! We used to love the play on 909 versus 949. So silly! ;)

  3. Great post! We love Riverside too, it will always be "home". And after all we are the original 714!


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