Heads Carolina, Tails California
So I started out my trip to California with a bright and cheery drive to the airport at 3:45AM. I know, I know- why did I leave so early for the Charleston airport if my flight wasn't until 6AM. Well apparently if you thought that, you've never actually met me before. Before the flight, I lost count of how manyFriends episodes I watched and how many times I checked Instagram. It had been about a year since I'd flown by myself, so naturally I was a little nervous.
My flight was heading to Atlanta, so of course it was packed. I always manage to get seats in the back, which I swear is where they stick all the first time fliers. (due to the people beside me!) Once in Atlanta, I met up with travel buddy/sister, Emily! We had a quick 45 minute-ish layover, so we hopped on the tram and headed to our terminal. I've also never flown for a super long distance, so the almost five hour flight to LAX had me lowkey freaking out. I had a middle seat in between two strangers, but praise the lord I had a TV that had new episodes of Law & Order: SVU! Blessed. The guy beside me had a little baby that kept laughing and playing with me, so that was entertaining when I needed a break from SVU (which didn't happen often). I felt a little weird about watching such a graphic show with a baby beside me, but that'll probably be the life of my children one day... soooo.
Once we were in LA, I had my celeb radar on for anyone and everyone at the airport, but nothing. Since it was out first time in CA, we had a few things that we wanted to do separately than just go to Disney, so we rented a car. Highly recommended if you don't mind driving in LA traffic and own a navigation system aka a phone. We rented a car with Enterprise and somehow managed to get an upgrade while still paying only $10 for an SUV. I swear my sister should have gone into sales or something.
Our first destination was Laguna Beach: the real Orange County. Don't make fun, but I was seriously obsessed with the high school drama filled reality show on Mtv many moons ago. Sort of still am. I watched every season, own most of them on DVD, and even watched all their spinoff shows. Isn't that what all 14-year-old girls do? I never imaged California to be so hilly. We literally had to drive through a canyon to get to Laguna. But it was totally worth it. The beach was beautiful and cold, but we did see a few surfers out. Our dad is from California, so we literally grew up hearing "you can't surf on the Atlantic Ocean". So I guess it was nice to see "real" surfers for once.
We walked on the beach mainly just taking in all the cliffs and caverns along the way. Once we were back on the main street, we set out to find some of the shows more recognizable places. (Surf & Sport- duh!) While walking on the street, my shoe literally broke. The bottom fell off and was barely hanging on. So I pretty much had to drag my foot on the ground while trying to blend in like a local. So yeah, totally didn't stand out or anything. A fun fact about me- I always over pack when going places. Take too many shoes, outfits when I only need one thing. Never fails. Except this trip. This trip I only allowed myself to take one pair of shoes- THE ONES THAT BROKE TWELVE HOURS INTO THE TRIP! Thankfully we were able to stop at my ol' faithful- Target- to get a new pair. They weren't what I wanted, but they worked. Grr.
After our Laguna roadtrip + a stop at Target, we ended up grabbing dinner at In-N-Out. (or Out-R-Inn as I called it the whole time- where my OSU peeps at!?!) No, we did not order off the "secret menu", haters! I ordered a burger and fries- a meal I don't do too often these days.
The next day was our first magical day at Disneyland! Not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for all the cheesy amusement rides Disney has to offer. But for the record, Disneyland is for adults- not kids! Hate me for saying that, but whatever. At one point, my foot literally got ran over by a stroller. No thanks.
We rode rides pretty much the entire day! I chickened out and refused to ride Space Mountain and Tower of Terror. (I don't do well when I can't see what's in front of me.) But I did do Screamin, the rollercoaster at the California Adventure park. We chowed down on lobster nachos and every appetizer on the menu at Cove Bar- highly recommended if you go! We rode rides literally all day staying until closing time when the fireworks and "snow" started to fall.
The next morning we had a special walking tour of the park. We did the "walk in Walt's footsteps tour". It was pretty cool. We got to hear special audio clips about when the park first opened, we got to skip some long lines to ride some of the originals. A special part of the tour- getting to go INSIDE of Walt's studio apartment in the park. Above the fire station when you first walk into the park, Walt Disney had an apartment that he stayed at instead of driving home. We were guarded by about four park workers (I guess so we wouldn't try to steal something???) but we did get to set foot inside!
After the tour, we headed to the hotel to change. Sidenote- I do like that everything is walking distance at Disneyland. Everything is right across the street. Anyway, we headed back to the park to do all the fun things again! We literally rode anything and everything again! Emily and I shut down the park this night because it was our last night at Disneyland! While strolling around the New Orleans part of the park, we saw some people coming out of the exclusive Club 33. I made eye contact with one of the older guys and he stopped us and asked if we wanted their fast passes. (passes that get you onto rides without waiting in the lines!) The passes had thirteen rides each on them, so basically we could have rode anything we wanted for the rest of the evening. They also had Club 33 member on them, so workers thought we were high rollers. Lol, kinda. Leaving the park was sad, but I'll be back one day!
Saturday morning we woke up with another busy day! It was gameday back in Indy, so that meant we had a 5PM kickoff time in LA. We started by driving to Long Beach, home of our Pa! :) We checked out their high school, which is actually super nice I think. My dad says it's a dump, but also talks about is all the time! Ha- it's also where Cameron Diaz and Snoop Dog (Lion?) went to high school!
After we departed Long Beach, we headed up to the Santa Monica pier! So so so so pretty! All of these beaches have such a beach town feel! The lifeguard stands, piers, people! I loved it there. We grabbed lunch on the pier then decided we were going to rent bikes and ride them along the path that ran beside the beach. Right when we went to ride them, the most serious case of fog in the history of the world came in. We literally couldn't even see the ocean from the beach. So, what a scenic ride it was. Still so much fun though! I love seeing everyone just running or riding places. Wish I could do that here in Charleston, but living downtown and working across the bridge causes me some difficulty riding a bike to work.
I reached out to The Ohio State Alumni Club of Los Angeles before we left to find a good bar to watch the Big 10 Championship. They said most of the younger crowd went to a bar that was close to Hollywood Blvd, so we headed that way after we left Santa Monica. We browsed Hollywood veryyyy briefly. Probably could have spent a half day just walking around, but kickoff was soon and we needed a seat! By the time we got back to the bar, the place was PACKED! Tears filled my eyes to see so many Buckeyes! :) We found an empty table that we later shared with some boys that also needed a spot! Naturally everyone was awesome and we made friends with a lot of people around us! The table beside us had some interesting people + stories. So if anyone is interested in who we sat by, ask me in person because you wouldn't believe me if you read it on here!
Towards the end of the game (and a few drinks later) everyone starting to get a little wild! Ohio State ended up winning and the amount of O-H's and yelling from chairs was insane! I wish we could have stayed and partied, but we did have an early flight back to the real world. :( We hugged all of our new friends by, made another quick trip to Hollywood Blvd, then headed back to the hotel.
The next day was pretty much spent on an airplane. The trip back I was seated beside Emily (on the back of the plane, again!) but we had a TV again! I watched a lot of Friends episodes and even started watching Will & Grace. This flight was a little chaotic. One of the overhead bins got stuck shut and of course those people hadddd to get inside. (they didn't get it open until after we landed). We had horrible turbulence at one point, so hello panic attack. And at some point towards the end of the flight, some older lady got locked inside the bathroom. Lord.
Once we landed in Detroit, it was time to say goodbye. After a tear filled hug, we headed to our terminals where I ate my second meal of the day (a chocolate chip muffin) and watched another episode of Friends. I wasn't lucky enough to get my own seat, so I attempted to sleep for the two hour flight back to Charleston. After picking up my bag, finding my car, paying to park, and missing the exit to get to my house, I FINALLY made it home to take a shower and get to sleep by 12:30AM. I was physically dead at that point.
The trip was beyond magical though! And forever grateful that my friends and sister asked me to join the fun! If anyone ever wants to go to Disney or pay me to take their kids there (depending on age)- LOOK ME UP! I probably would. If anyone ever just wants to go to CA, also look me up! Always down for the trips! :)