Amarinyo Gelato

It is hotter in the Valley compared to other places in Los Angeles. Maybe not as hot as Palmdale, but the weather here is surely not West Los Angeles because the hills and mountains separate us from the beach. As soon as you go over the hills, the weather is a 20 degree difference.

With that being said, the Valley needs to have amazing ice cream everywhere you go.  Gladly Amarinyo Gelataria is close by our house.

I was not kidding that I needed ice cream. It’s 7:30 PM and it’s 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Amarinyo gelato

Ferraro Rocher (top) and Pistachio (bottom) gelato.

Amarinyo Gelataria

15355 Sherman Way e,
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Hike 23/52 Porter Ranch Trails #3

Date: June 11th
Neighborhood: Porter Ranch
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Weather: Cloudy, breezy, overall perfect June gloom weather
Distance: 2.2 miles


Continue reading Hike 23/52 Porter Ranch Trails #3

Hike 15/52 Porter Ranch/Limekiln Canyon Trail

This is the second time at Porter Ranch trails. I still can’t believe I can find this sort of serenity in the valley.

Date: March 19th

Neighborhood: Porter Ranch

Difficulty: 3

Weather: Cloudy, cool

Distance: 3.97 miles (out and back)


Porter Ranch Trails

Hike 10/52 Fryman Canyon

Date: March 5th

Neighborhood: Studio City

Distance: 3 mile loop

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Weather: Sunny, cool

Trailhead address: 3431 Fryman Rd, Studio City, CA 91604

Fryman Canyon

View of the Valley — it must be beautfiul during dusk!

Continue reading Hike 10/52 Fryman Canyon

Hike 7/52: Porter Ranch Trails/Limekiln Canyon Trail

Date: February 26th

Neighborhood: Porter Ranch

Difficulty: 3

Weather: Cloudy, cool

Distance: 3.46 miles (out and back)

Trailhead location: Limekiln Canyon Trail (Rinaldi Entrance). It’s next to the strip mall with Walmart and Jo-Ann’s Fabric.


This is another gem I found in the valley. Who knew that next to the super strip mall was a park with a stream and lush trees. For a moment you’ll forget you’re surrounded by track houses until you look up and see a glimpse of homogenous tile roofs.

If on some weekends I don’t have time to hike, this is a great place to go. It may be in the suburbs, but it’s fairly challenging will all the uphill and downhill climbs.

Hike 4/52: Woodley Park

Date: January 24th

Neighborhood: Van Nuys/Lake Balboa

Difficulty: 1

Weather: Evening, cool

Miles: 1.6 miles


You can see the 405 Freeway from here. And Encino. And Sherman Oaks.


This was the same day I went walking along the Tujunga Wash. Yes, it was a weekday and I took that day off because I work 6 days last week and that day was my make-up day. My husband came home from work and wanted to go walk around the park. This was our nowadays rare work weekday outing. Gladly we enjoy having this piece of green space nearby.

Again at the time, I thought during the course of the 52 Hike Challenge I’d be making multiple trips to Balboa Park exploring all its quadrant. In retrospect, I was wrong.

Hike 3/52 Tujunga Wash to the Great Wall of Los Angeles

Date: January 24th

Neighborhood: Van Nuys/North Hollywood/Valley Glen

Difficulty: 1

Weather: Sunny with intermittent clouds

Miles: 4.5 miles (out and back)

Trailhead: 13440 Sherman Way (approximately). You’ll see the entrance gates to the wash. For more details go to All Trails.


I love urban hikes. For me, there’s something about urban hikes that makes things magical — like an instant oasis from the busy neighborhood bringing some sort of respite to clear your mind and that disbelief asking yourself “am I in LA?” or “am I in the Valley?” Since starting 52 Hike Challenge, that has been my reaction: am I in LA? The answer is “Yes”; About all my hikes are in the Greater Los Angeles area. I’ve lived in LA all my life and through these hikes, it has brought me a different set of lenses I have not found in LA before.

For this hike, I walked along the Tujunga wash from Van Nuys and kept going until I found the Great Wall of Los Angeles. It’s one of the longest mural in the world illustrating the history of Los Angeles.

As of today, I have been on 21 hikes. A large bulk of it credits to the City Slicker Challenge which I’ll go over more in a future post. In the beginning of April, I told myself to not hike as aggressively. There has been some weeks I’ve hiked 2 or even 3 times. In March, I hiked 10 times at different places. I wanted to dedicate a majority of my April to do some housework, start some home projects, resume my creative projects, journal, reflect — but unexpectedly, April was my busiest month at work. I was on the edge of burning out. It was a reminder that I needed my time to breathe and pursue those said hobbies.






Hike 1/52 – Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve

20170102_105420=Sepulveda Wildlife Basin

I’ll be doing a lot of retro-posting of my hiking trips since I am doing the 52-Hike Challenge. I would love to journal my journey.

Date: January 2nd

Miles: 2.6

Neighborhood: Lake Balboa

This park is close to our house and we walked around the Wildlife Reserve as the first hike of year. At the time, I thought I’d be coming here multiple times for the 52 Hike Challenge — in fact, I thought half of my hikes would be me walking around this park. I kept wondering how would I find time to dedicate a few hours of my weekend to hike a few miles.

The Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve is part of the Lake Balboa Park campus — it’s huge. There’s plenty of opportunities for exploring such as going to the dam, Japanese garden,  lake, or dog park. When you walk around the Wildlife Reserve, you forget you’re near the 405 freeway until you hear honking and screeching of cars. For me or for anyone who lives in the Valley, this is a quick and convenient way to find a piece of nature in this urban hike.