We went on our annual trip to California during the middle part of August, this time only staying for about a week. Summers in California can be very hot – but at least we knew the humidity wouldn’t be too bad. Instead of flying through Ottawa (and therefore having at least one stop), we parked our car at my parents house and flew out of Toronto. This made the whole “travelling” part of the day so much easier it did not take 8+ hours of airport/airplane time to get to California, followed by a 2 hour drive. We checked in one bag and had carry-on for the rest of our luggage. The flight was the smoothest I’ve had in awhile but the movie selection was disappointed. I ended up watching Big Bang Theory for both arriving and departing flights. Temecula was our destination for the first few days, but we opted to just get a hotel suite rather than a house as it was just the three of us.
We did all the typical things we do during our California trips including:
- An afternoon at Oceanside Beach
- Emilio’s Mexican food (after missing it for 2 years as they always close for 2 weeks in the summer)
- DisneyLand (this time focusing on California Adventure)
- Huntington Beach
- Laguna Beach
- Cheesecake Factory and Trader Joe’s
This year we also had a free day to drive up and visit Joshua Tree National Park. What a spot! If you have a free day, I would definitely encourage you to visit the park. The scenery is amazing and there are very easy hikes if you are not really into the whole hiking scene. It does get very hot and most of the hikes the park recommends during the day are the easier ones. We also took a drive down an 18 mile ‘off road’ adventure since we had a Jeep 4-wheel drive as a rental vehicle.
Disney was fun as always. I did purchase a park hopper to visit both parks. I’m not sure I will do that again on a day that the park(s) are open during a reduced hours day. In other years we were in the park by 9am at the latest – this year California Adventure didn’t open until 10am and by the time we got the “big ticket” ride (that Car’s speedster ride) done, it was already well past 11am. It really limited on how many rides we could go on. That and all the rides we wanted to go on had long waits. We managed to get on all the rides we wanted to go on at California Adventure. At 4pm, Max was starting to get tired, so we went to the hotel for a rest. He napped for an hour and then was good to go. We had a delicious fried chicken dinner at the Plaza Inn (one plate was big enough for both P and I) and then went on Star Tours, the Buzz ride, that Finding Nemo ride, Autopia and then watched the Main Street Electrical Parade. Notice that we only stayed in Tomorrowland – it is our favorite section and it was just easier to stay there. At 10:58 we had choice of one more ride and tried to get on Space Mountain but it was shut down. We thought about running to the Matterhorn but opted not too – a good thing because we heard it shut down too. We went on that Astro Orbiter ride and Max was the last kid to go for a ride.
The beaches were great and this year we managed to go to three of them. Going to the beach is really cheap in California – you pay for parking (which was very reasonable) and pack a cooler with drinks and snacks and spend the afternoon in the waves. Max went in the waves this time – and he did a few rolls. One wave at Laguna knocked us both down. Max also tried boogie boarding and seemed to get the hang of it.
I also ate lots of delicious food! California does not disappoint in the food department.