It is now a month after vacation, I think it is about time I share the memories! (Photo link at the bottom of the post)
So Katie and I ventured to Disneyland/California Adventure the last full week of October, just before Halloween. It was nice because the parks were decorated for the occassion which made it really special. The weather was perfect the entire time…a comfortable warm in the mid 70s during the day and would cool down into the 60s by night. We stayed at the Castle Inn and Suites one since it was a nice deal online and two we could walk to and from the park.
Day 1 was really just the drive out, getting to the room and unpacking. After we got settled we ventured to Downtown Disney to check out some of the shops and entertainment. It was Sunday night so there was still a ton of people leaving the parks we had to fight through to get around. We ate at the House of Blues restaurant, I got a delicious lobster mac ‘n’ cheese and Katie got a fairly tasty pasta dish. For an apetizer we got a jalapeño cornbread that was intended to come out prior to the food but somehow came after…was only OK but still worth it. HOB didn’t have the greatest wine selection, so we decided to try the outdoor wine bar Uva afterwards but we were fairly disappointed. Took forever for someone to even get to our table and weren’t really acknowleged after we did get our wine, so we decided to call it an evening.
Day 2 (Monday) we grabbed a big beakfast at IHOP and learned the hard way that it is a lot more expensive to eat at IHOP next to a theme park. They did however have a really good vanilla flavored coffee that they were willing to make to go. We arrived at the gates to a bunch of people, probably most people’s last day of a 3 day weekend. It is always magical to walk under the bridges and onto mainstreet…you just feel like a kid again and the feeling just overwhelms you. The first stop was at Town Hall where I had Katie wait outside while I got our anniversary buttons. I suppose it was much nicer than making her wear ears all over the park, though many people disagree and think I should’ve stuck with the ears haha! Nice thing about the button is when cast members and other people see you wear it, they basically wish you a happy anniversary. We both felt super special from that, I’m an attention whore so of course I had a good time with it. Normally I run to the back of Adventureland to start off the rides with Indiana Jones but unfortunately it was closed for refurbishing. Many will argue that you must go on It’s A Small World to get brainwashed into Disney mode to really enjoy it, but it was closed as well. Our first official ride was Thunder Mountain. Given my recent dizziness and what not, I learned after this ride that rides didn’t make me worse so I think i literally did a happy dance. Katie on the other hand I think started to feel it, and it ended up snowballing after this point. We also did Splash Mountain early, where I sat at the front of the log and took the majority of the splash. There was a family of 4 behind us that was going on the ride for the first time, and I demanded they thank me for taking the splash becuase they all walked away COMPLETELY DRY. Next up was the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion and Pirates for the first part of the day. I don’t think we waited more than 10 minutes to get on each one of these rides. As soon as we finished Pirates, somehow the lines exploded and everything was 35-55 minutes. We ate lunch at the French Market…I got my jumbalaya with cornbread and Katie pretty much got the same thing just without mushrooms. We also decided to get coffee, it was not good LOL. Next up was Astro Blasters, I kicked butt and Katie was a great sidekick. In her defense…I have done that ride before and had practice. Across the way we did Star Tours which was revamped recently to include more of the better known Star Wars characters and made C-3PO the captain rather than that other robot. Overall the ride made me just as motion sick in the past, the addition of characters was nice but I think the original was better. While in Tomorrowland, we hit up Space Mountain next which was themed with space ghosts to go with halloween. I think this is always one of the best rides in the park. The last ride we did was Finding Nemo, I love the ride but it is a tight squeeze and kids are smelly. We decided to just walk around the park, go into shops and hang out in Toon Town before heading back. We got a bunch of funny pictures from the rubber jail cell and the dumbell cemented to the ground. Dinner was at Tortilla Joe’s, I’ve done flights of tequila there in the past but I was just so tired from walking it just didn’t happen. The food was only OK but we didn’t really care since we were wiped. One thing I really appreciated was the jacuzzi at the hotel…it felt so good to just soak in hot water and relax.
Day 3 (Tuesday) was California Adventure day. Breakfast was at La Brea bakery where we got breakfast sandwiches, was fairly quick and inexpensive given the area. The day started with Soarin’ Over California, I think this is my favorite ride of this park. The feeling of flying (even though I hate flying), the images, the smells, the breeze effect…plus I love California and will eventually end up there one day and you see all the beauty in this ride. We had to walk around for a bit at the animation studios and did some voice overs from Beauty and the Beast. We also decided to see what charaters we were, Katie was Eve from Wall-E and had no idea who it was and was all sad LOL. I had to explain she was awesome and that Wall-E is an awesome love story and should be excited. We were still shaken up so we decided the best way to feel better was to go on Grizzly River Rapids. By the way, with it being a Tuesday there were no lines at all, the LONGEST wait we had was 10 minutes and I think we waited 7 out of those 10 minutes. Now Grizzly River Rapids is a circular tube that goes through “rapids”, the idea is for everyone to get wet equally because you are spinning. FALSE. We got a little wet but the other people in the tube with us were doused. What better way to dry off after than to go on Tower Of Terror and be dropped from way up high? The picture was awesome…gotta love the preview screens and iPhone camera LOL. Scared shitless? Yes. Time for alcohol and lunch. We had lunch at Paradise Pier where I get my Red Trolley Ale from the Karl Strauss beer truck there. Katie got a margarita from the margarita stand. We both got bread bowls of broccoli and cheddar soup from the Pacific Wharf Cafe. I’ve eaten here every time I visit and I think Katie agrees that it tasted amazing. After lunch was pretty laid back, we checked out Cars Land but it really looked more meant for kids than adults. We saw the Muppets show, the Little Mermaid ride, and checked out some shops. This night was our anniversary dinner that we ate at Wine Country Trattoria. I had the lasagna bolognese and Katie had a similar pasta dish, since it was a wine place we paired it with a zin and malbec. Overall it was a really nice place and cool to eat at a fancier place in the parks. We were a little early when we had dinner so we didn’t quite catch the World of Color show but I think we were wiped when we were done.
Day 4 (Wednesday) was our last day in the park, we decided we would just go back on all the rides that we really liked. Both parks were practically empty so it was nice having our pick of what we wanted to do. We decided to start the day out with the penny arcades since my mom gave us some coin rolls before we left, theres just something magical about getting your fortune told or looking at a comedy through flipping pictures. We made our way to Splash Mountain since it was sunny out and was going to be the warmest day of the trip. Right after the first mini-drop of the ride, they stop us inside the mountain and a voice comes on saying we were temporarily stopped, figuring this was normal so they could get all the logs synced back up. After almost 10 minutes of sitting the voice came back on saying that a cast member would be there to assist us off of the rides and to remain seated…WHAAAAT?!?! Soooo someone came and really enforced the picture taking policies and led us in a single file line off of the ride. This whole experience was cool but disheartening…you see the artsy side of everythine when you’re in the park but when you go on the outside, it looks just like a normal dirty building. APPARENTLY, some dude had a heart attack or something in one of the logs in front of us…we knew this because the paramedics wheeled him by us and security pushed us out of the way so they could get through. Disney PR also apparently has good cardio skills as they were able to keep up with the paramedics with the legal papers for the guy fairly well. To make up for the whole thing the cast member gave us front of the line passes and we grabbed a picture with them to show how cool we all were LOL. We later used this pass to come back on Splash Mountain once it reopened later in the day. As far as the other rides, we hit up Pirates a few times, did Jungle Cruise, also went through Sleeping Beauty’s castle which I’ve never done before (given all my trips there), went on Snow White, and did the Mark Twain Riverboat and Tom Sawyers Island. Seriously I’ve never been on that island and it was so cool all the fun things there, I felt like a kid going on an adventure. Next we looked at the World of Tomorrow and the interactive houses. Funny in the “house of the future” we actually already have a ton of the stuff they thought we were gonna have…personally I felt it was a bit outdated. The changing room to sync with the story was AWESOME though. Literally we sat in a big chair like little kids to listen to the story of Peter Pan and his shadow dart across the room and a child firing the cannon attached to the bed. Yes, you read that right, a cannon attached to the bed. We grabbed lunch at the Buzz Lightyear Lunch Port place and then headed over to California Adventure. Before leaving Disneyland, we stopped off at the shops to get some ice cream and gifts. Both of us love coffee so we grabbed some Disney coffee and gifts for other people. We had done pretty much everything we wanted to do the previous day, so we started with Grizzly River Rapids. I GOT DRENCHED. Seriously I looked like someone took a fire hose and just open sprayed me DRENCHED. Remember yesterday? Yeah I was the unlucky one this time. There was a family from Ireland in the tube with us and they could not contain themselves from laughing. Lovely girlfriend joined in with them as well. RUDE! Anyways…after being soaked I needed revenge so we went on the Toy Story Mania where I kicked ass and was told I was a good shot. This annoyed le girlfriend so we went to go grab beer and margaritas again at the pier. Whilst drying off, we took a tour of how they made the bread for the sourdough breadbowls where we ate lunch the previous day and also got some Ghirardelli chocolates. At this point we were super tired from 3 days of nonstop walking, and the one last thing I wanted to do was get a picture in the net of fish from Finding Nemo…but lazy parents just kinda left their kids there so they would not get out of the way. Finally just took a picture in there, you can see I made a little friend in there because he ended up being in the picture with me…Asshole. We limped our way out of the park back to Downtown Disney to do all of our gift buying, we figured it’d be easier to do it the last night of the trip that way we didn’t have to haul bags around and worry about anything getting broken. We stopped off for dinner at Tony Roma’s and had some famous potato skins and tasty pasta dishes. Needless to say when we got back to the hotel we passed out.
Day 5 (Thursday) was our final day of the trip, we wanted to hit up the beach for at least one day. I grew up going to Huntington Beach and that isn’t too far from the parks. It was such a nice day, perfect beach weather. We walked around the town area to grab coffee and a breakfast sandwich and then layed out in the sand for awhile. The water was cold, but I still went in for like a half hour. I’m surprised I don’t have any hypothermic reactions because even though its normal conditions for the Pacific its still freezing to humans. I think Katie made it in the water just below her knees and then was all NOPE. After a few hours at the beach we decided to head home, it was pre-rush hour so I figured it’d be a fairly quick drive home. WRONG. We hit sooo much traffic going back and the drive back took close to 7 hours. We got home later on at night, and I swear my house still has that “new house” smell when we walked in and it was super comforting. Luckily we both had the following day off plus the weekend to unwind from the drive and get everything back on track.
Overall, it was an amazing 1 year anniversary…we both had such a great time and can’t wait to go back. We both were a little motion sick by the last day in the park so we are HOPING it was a one time thing and not a getting older thing because we definitely want to do this again. I did actually get sick but it wasn’t until a week after we were back and was the flu so nothing related. ALL BETTER now, had a great Thanksgiving and got to see family that I haven’t seen in years. Its also really nice that everyone loves Katie too, she is always the center of attention at any family event. The following Saturday we did a Friendsgiving with some good friends from high school and it was just amazing. Total different experience of Thanksgiving and made for a great holiday weekend. Up next is Christmas, been buying lots and lots of gifts for the lady and family and friends, here is what it currently looks like. I can’t justify buying a bigger tree mainly because my house isn’t THAT big plus I can fit more presents under this one! I recently re-did my yard with a new sprinkler system and planted ryegrass. As soon as it comes in, I will have my homewarming party. Nevermind the fact its been a year as of November 30th I’ve lived here. Don’t judge me monkey. OOH and I also put up lights outside this year, makes my house look pretty and when I come home at night I know which one is mine and I won’t keep accidentally pulling into my neighbor’s driveway LOL.
That’s all for now til I blog about all the awesome things I got for Christmas! You can view all of the pics from our Disney adventure here: