Empty Nest Downsize Update: A walk in the Lower Arroyo Seco Natural Park

While exploring our new neighborhood on our daily walk, we have found some beautiful places to enjoy nature.


Our recent move and downsize to a smaller, much older home is now described as our “rightsize” move. Our new city, Pasadena, is 75 miles miles away from the beach community where we lived for 23 years and it has been a complete 180 degree turn in so many ways.

We have moved from a larger home to a home half the size and in need of extensive renovation. Living near the ocean, we took full advantage of walking along the gorgeous beach paths nearby with our dog Rocco.

Now we live in a completely different topography and are experiencing an entirely different sort of daily walk. When Craig and I chose this new neighborhood, we intentionally wanted to live near the Arroyo Seco and Rose Bowl where the walking trails are natural (no cement) with glorious views of the mountains, surrounded by a lush forest of trees.

One of our first priorities was to explore our surroundings and start to create a daily walking routine! We have not been disappointed, it is so beautiful in the morning with the rays of sunshine floating through the trees and the slight breeze sending the smells of breakfast from the homes on the hills that border the Arroyo. The trail is not crowded, easy to maneuver, and a peaceful yet energizing way to begin the day.

In the afternoon we have travel a little over a mile to the Rose Bowl where many people walk the circumference of the Bowl. There are several gigantic parks that surround the Rose Bowl and Rocco is alway up for a long-ball toss/retrieve. It feels rather surreal spending leisure time on the grounds of the Rose Bowl. It is such an iconic symbol of many New Year’s Day football games as well as home to my beloved UCLA Bruins.

Although I dearly miss the smell of the ocean and open spaces of the beach, I am embracing this new exercise adventure with gusto and walking the Arroyo everyday is a welcome highlight. It is just so beautiful!



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Our quaint little neighborhood library


An archery range in the Arroyo Seco Park



 Where do you take a walk near your home?

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25 thoughts on “Empty Nest Downsize Update: A walk in the Lower Arroyo Seco Natural Park”

  1. Suzanne,

    Love these pictures. The trees are so pretty. I can see why you miss the ocean. I spend as much time as I can at Jekyll Island in the summer, and I dearly love it. But, as a native mountain girl, you’re going to love those woods too! Great walking trails. My favorite place to walk near-by is Pisgah National Forest (5 minutes) or DuPont (10 minutes) or just downtown for a stroll (2 seconds). Hope the move is going well. So enjoy your posts.


    • Thank you Cinthia~ We have always lived at the beach, so walking in a forest (daily) is such a new experience. I love the woods and look forward to finding more trails nearby! I would love to see photos (or you write a post) about your walks!

  2. It’s always nice to have nature and green areas to enjoy and exercise…I totally love that area in Pasadena, time to go back to visit the Huntington for 2015

  3. Enjoyed your post today and especially the photos. When I come for a visit a walk will need to be included. Crystal Cove is one of my favorite places to walk or the trail/path in San Clemente starting at Ole Hanson.

  4. One can certainly get used to particular walking routes near one’s home. Although my walking route was through a more residential area than yours, I had to find new routes when we moved this summer. Fortunately there are a number of nice walking trails in my new neighbourhood. I love the scenery around your new home. Enjoy your walks.

  5. Congratulations on your downsizing move and inheriting a new walking environment. We have either beach of riverwalks where we live although at the moment it is a bit too hot and humid to walk far. I am opting for swims in the ocean and creeks instead.

  6. The Arroyo Seco has been a favorite spot of ours for 15 years. We live nearby in South Pasadena and often walk this very walk. Have been there rain and shine forever it seems like, and it’s a perfect way to calm down and think, plan and just enjoy nature. Saw a couple of bunnies the other day!

    • Katerina: Lucky you to have been able to walk the Arroyo for so long! It never is crowded, I only pass a couple of people and a few dogs, I just love it. I can’t wait to find other places to walk/hike in the area.

  7. So happy to see your post about the simple pleasure of walking your neighborhood. I do often and always discover things I didn’t know were there, new plants, renovations, trails, seasonal changes. Living in an older neighborhood helps too. It’s not cookie-cutter and there’s mature vegetation – all makes for an interesting stroll. Well done.

    • Yes Elaine – the simples pleasures can be the most fulfilling. We are excited about this big change and are getting used to the new terrain.

  8. Looks like you are settling in nicely. My neighborhood is great for a stroll, but for a long walk I usually drive to a nearby reservoir, or walk along the banks of the Charles River. Doesn’t the Rose Bowl have a great flea market?

    • Walking along the Charles is a beautiful spot. Yes the Rose Bowl has a famous flea market. You just gave me an idea for a blog post! Hope you are staying warm in the East!

  9. Suzanne, Love your new neighborhood photos! I’ve never really experienced that part of Pasadena much but it really seems charming as does the photo of your new home. I love that style. While I’ve spent the last 27 years here in Lake Arrowhead, I’ve also had a second home, being a motor-yacht, in NPB. We sold that a few years back after 15 years of non stop maintenance…and fun. I miss it but I too am looking forward to the “right size” life and that was part of it. Since all my children have their own homes and businesses, I don’t need to worry about room for them or even for the grand children as they are all close by. I still have a big home though but am working on my husband to do the right size move as well. We will maintain a small home (condo) here and one I hope at the beach. He wants the desert. Perhaps thats our dilemma. From this point, I’d like to start doing some wellness retreats as my daughters are both holistic and therapist, plus I’ve got the perfect venue! and many supporters. I’ve a ton of experience in coordinating large events, so this will be simple and fun. I still keep up with my real estate and have great assistants. I like the idea of balancing that with the wellness retreats for inspiration and creativity. I admire what you’ve done with your blogs and web page. You have inspired me and hope we get a chance to get together some time in the future. Congratulations on all your successes, especially in keeping together a long term marriage. That is something to be proud of and not always so easily accomplished after the kids have grown. Kudos. I will let you know about the retreats:)


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