Last week I recounted what happened on the first 3 days of our California vacation. If you haven’t already, please go check out the first three days of our vacation here. This week I want to tell you about what happened on the next part of our trip.
California Vacation Day 4 – May 14
WE WENT TO DISNEYLAND!!!
This was probably the only day that we actually planned to do something. Granted, we planned it literally the day before to actually go to Disneyland, but we knew when we booked the trip to California that we, for sure, were going to go to Disney.
I woke up bright and early and made sure I was showered and my backpack was packed way before Cameron woke up. Once we were ready and our bellies were full, we hit the road to Anaheim.
Anaheim from Carlsbad is about 67 miles so it was going to take us about an hour to get there. It was nearly impossible to contain our excitement as we passed all of the alluring views of California.
As we drew nearer to Disney, we got a glimpse of Angel Stadium of Anaheim from the I-5. The home of Mike Trout and the Angels. As a baseball nerd, this was literally the coolest thing for me.
Finally! We got to Disneyland and the parking was absolutely amazing! I lived in Orlando for many many years and have experienced Disney parking and I must say California has got it made! Their parking garages remind me of Universal Orlando’s parking. It was so easy to maneuver and everybody is in a central location. No walking miles from the parking lots to the parks and we didn’t have to worry about coming back to a hot car because the car is in a garage and not an open-faced lot. Winning!
We go through security and wait to get on the trolley to the entrance of the parks. Once on the trolley, it finally hit! We were at Disneyland!!!
We bought our one-day park hopper, thanks to the Disney gift card my boss gave me for Christmas, and were off to Disney’s California Adventure.
Right away I had to get in the Disney spirit and bought myself some Minnie Ears. The ones I got were the 2019 Disney Parks Sequined Headband with Satin Bow. I got these because I wanted to commemorate my first visit to Disneyland and these had the year already on them.
I wanted to take some time out to explain what the Disney MaxPass is and if it is even worth it. Disney MaxPass is $15 per person per ticket per day. to me it is 100% worth it! Much like the traditional FASTPASS system, you can skip the line by reserving times to ride certain rides. MaxPass allows you to make a FASTPASS reservation for rides ans some shows from your smartphone. It allows you to essentially hop from ride to ride without standing in line or running all over the park to collect FASTPASSes.
You must download the Disneyland Mobile App and link park tickets to use MaxPass and all FASTPASSes are electronically linked to the user’s park ticket. You can hold more than one FASTPASS reservation at a time, but there are waiting periods during which you will be temporarily ineligible to make a ride reservation.
MaxPass also includes unlimited downloads of PhotoPass photos taken any day MaxPass is active. We didn’t really use this feature because we didn’t take that many pictures, but I’ll definitely be sure to use it next time.
To me, I think it was super convenient and we were able to ride most of the rides we wanted to ride thanks to this app. If you ask me, I say make sure you get it!
I’m not going to go too in detail about what we rode and what we saw only because I want you all to go and experience it for yourselves.
Disney’s California Adventure
The one thing that I really enjoyed in California Adventure would have to be Cars Land! When that movie first came out, my family and I were obsessed. My grandpa still quotes Mater to this day. The Disney Imagineers really did a great job of making Radiator Springs come to life. It looked almost identical to everything that they had in the movie. I was thoroughly impressed! The Radiator Springs Racers was easily my favorite ride in California Adventure. (The Incredicoaster was closed)
After spending a few hours in California Adventure, we made our way over to THE Disneyland. I was so excited to walk down Main Street and see the Sleeping Beauty Castle. As we were walking down Main Street, I was so underwhelmed by the castle. I knew that this castle was much smaller than the one in Orlando, but I didn’t think it would be that much smaller. Also, the castle was still under construction so we didn’t even get to see the full thing.
Either way we enjoyed every ride we could. My two highlights would have to be being able to watch the beginning of the fireworks from the It’s A Small World boat and going on Hyperspace Mountain. After a fun filled day, we made our way back home to Carlsbad.
California Vacation Day 5 – May 15
After a fun filled day at Disneyland, we decided to just stay at the Resort and just enjoy what they had to offer. It was actually pretty chilly and definitely too cold for us to go in the ocean, so we just enjoyed it from a distance. We even got to enjoy one of the many fire pits they had on property.
After being outside for a while we decided to make our own dinner. We made shrimp and lobster scampi and spinach linguini with local red wine. It was awesome to create a meal with my best friend. We spend the rest of the evening inside with the fireplace on. Perfect day to just relax and enjoy each others’ company in such a beautiful location.
California Vacation Day 6 – May 16
Today was another “let’s see where we end up” day. We ended up sleeping in a little and just decided to get up and get out. So we got in the car and just drove up the coast.
We just wanted to take in the beauty of the California beaches. Our first stop was in San Clemente. We got out and decided to stack some rocks. It was so therapeutic hearing the ocean waves crashing, a child laughing, and trains passing by. I felt one with the Earth. It was awesome! After stacking rocks, we put our feet into the freezing cold Pacific.
We headed back to the car and once we got to the feet washing station I noticed something brown in between my toes. I instantly thought the worse. Had I stepped in something that a dog left behind? After a few minutes of rubbing it out with the sand another gentleman walked up and he too had the same stuff on his feet. We determined that it was crude oil. He said that in Huntington Beach he saw that they were drilling. Huntington Beach was a few miles north of where we were in San Clemente. So, if in the coming weeks you hear about some sort of catastrophic oil spill in the Pacific just know that they’ve been trying to hide/downplay it for a while.
Newport Beach and Laguna Beach
We continued north and passed through Laguna Beach and Newport Beach until we got to Huntington Beach. It was certainly cool to see all of these wealthy areas that I’ve seen on TV. I made me think of the MTV show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. Hello early 2000’s!
At Huntington Beach we decided to get out and walk down the Huntington Beach Pier. As an ex-Floridian, the winds we experienced on the Pier reminded me of the weather reporters during hurricanes being pushing away by the wind.
The views from the Pier were beautiful! The way the sun glistened off the water was breath-taking. We snagged a few pictures, but we mostly took mental photos. The wind was really strong so decided to get out of the wind and walk down Main Street to grab a bite to eat.
After walking down Main Street for a while, we stopped in the Main Street Wine Company to try some local beers and wine. After some talking with our bartender I got a red meritage wine. If you don’t know what that is, check it out here. The bartender did a really great job of describing it and I got the perfect wine experience in Huntington Beach. All I wanted was to drink some good California wine on this vacation and I did just that!
We stopped in a gift shop on the way back and got some goodies for us to take back home to remember our time in Huntington Beach. On the way home, we took the scenic route and drove through Laguna Hills.
I hope you enjoyed reading this part of our California vacation. Be sure to check in next week to find out about our last part of our trip. It will definitely not disappoint!