Guys, making this blog post just has me wishing so much that I was back in Sunny California!! Today i’m sharing photos from the first half of my recent California vacation at the beginning of March. We spent 9 days in the state, and traveled from San Diego to San Francisco along the Route 1 coast, hitting all sorts of great stops along the way.
We started our journey bright and early, 3am, at BWI airport. Robbie was NOT in the mood for my selfies! But, I swore to myself that for this vacation we would have photos that actually included me, so I was on a mission! We left so early because we wanted to utilize the time difference, and have a full day of activity as soon as we landed in California. We left around 6:15am, EST, but landed in San Diego around 9:00am.
Once we landed, we got our rental car and hit the road. Our first stop was Balboa Park. We actually got there a little too early, and most of the shops weren’t open. But, it was actually really great to get to walk around and just take in the sights without a lot of other people around. The Spanish Village Art Center was seriously gorgeous, as was all the architecture throughout the park. We hit the Natural History Museum after walking around the park for a while, and of course we had to stop and take a picture with a slide of Redwood. Robbie literally only agreed to go to California because he wanted to see Redwood trees. After we finished exploring the museum, we were HUNGRY. I decided I was feeling some brunch food, and thus I googled “best brunch in San Diego.”
The results turned up a place called Hash House a Go Go, and lemme tell ya, google was on point. When they brought out our food, it was the biggest pancake i’ve ever seen in my life! We ordered the banana brown sugar pancake and it was SO GOOD. There are a few of these restaurants throughout the US, and we vowed that if/when we’re ever in a city that this place exists, we’re going there again. We would have eaten there again the following day if we didn’t have a strict schedule to abide by!
After we stuffed our faces, we headed out to La Jolla to see some sea lions. I WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS! They are so damn cute, I just wanted to snuggle them all. But, alas, you are not allowed to touch them, and it turns out they also smell prettttty terrible! I loved them, and had a blast, Robbie however was skeptical. When I was taking his photo, he got too close and the one directly behind him gave a serious stink eye and started honking. You can see by his face he was not as amused as I was.
After spending what Robbie considered an excessively long time admiring the sea lions, we headed to The Cave Store to take a walk down into one of the La Jolla Coves. It was a neat experience, but much smaller than I remember seeing when researching it online. Still, worth the $5 to head down there, and I definitely got my exercise in trekking back up those stairs! We were pretty beat after we finished exploring the cave, so we called it a day. We headed back to our hotel to relax, soak in the hot tub, and rest for our next day, DISNEYLAND!
Day two of our trip was the day I was most excited about, Disneyland!! We started our morning grabbing breakfast at our hotel. The restaurant also had a mascot, The Waffle King, so of course we had to grab a photo with him. After breakfast we hit the road for the drive from San Diego to Anaheim, which was about an hour and 15 minutes. I have only been to Disney once in my life (Disney World) and I was about 5 years old. I was really excited to go back, and explore Disneyland!
When we arrived, our initial plan was to do Disneyland first, and then California Adventure. But, upon walking in it looked like most people also had than plan, so we opted to start in California Adventure first. We got our Max Passes (which if you don’t know what this is, LOOK IT UP, it’s so worth it!!) and we got ourselves in line for the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride. While waiting for our time slot, we explored and just took in the sights. Disneyland is seriously it’s own little world, I could spend the entire day not even riding rides but just walking around.
We rode a few more rides in California Adventure, grabbed some lunch, and then headed over to Disneyland! I was pretty pumped to ride a lot of the rides here, because I vividly remember them as a child but was too young to ride them. Space Mountain was top of my list and it was so much fun! We also really loved the Matterhorn and The Haunted Mansion. I did not love It’s a Small World, but I had to do it anyway, because it’s just part of the experience!
We tried a lot of classic Disney snacks while we were there as well. The Dole Whip was amazing, and so was “The Grey Stuff” from Beauty and the Beast, which is my favorite Disney movie. It’s a chocolate cupcake on top of a shortbread cookie, filled with raspberry filling, and smothered in grey icing. So good!
Best part of the day hands down was meeting Chewbacca. Robbie was SO EXCITED! Chewy was also much nicer than Darth Vader, who gave me all sorts of sass! Sadly we did not get to meet any Disney princesses, but we did spot a few from afar. Day 3 was reserved for the WB Studio Tour, and exploring Los Angeles. I’ll be honest, I was worried about how this day would turn out. I hate heavy traffic, and Los Angeles is notorious for being a treacherous place to drive. But, we actually got incredibly lucky and had no issues at all! We didn’t venture into Hollywood because it was Oscars weekend and i’m not insane, but we did explore some of downtown LA.
First thing we did was hit the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. We started off seeing the set they call “Everytown USA.” This set is used on so many movies and TV shows including but not limited to: Shameless, Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Full House, etc.
The red building with stained glass windows is the exterior set for The Alibi Room on Shameless, and the yellow diner building is the exterior for Patsy’s Pies.
A lot of the set used to be parts of Gilmore Girls! You can see the barn which was Mrs. Patty’s, the brown storefront was Luke’s Diner, and while it wasn’t actually in the square anymore, we did get to see the gazebo as well.Next on the tour was the best part, all things Harry Potter!!!! If you know me at all then you know I LOVE Harry Potter. Always <3 Needless to say I was like a kid in a candy store. All the items in here are real props from the movies. While we were there we also had the option to get sorted. Sadly… I was sorted into Slytherin. But I think the hat was just having an off day. I know that deep down i’m really a Ravenclaw. Robbie also was sorted into Slytherin but was happier about it than I was. They also had props and items from Fantastic Beasts which was neat! I really loved the costumes, and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.!
From there we headed to see some Batman memorabilia, and then hit the set of The Big Bang Theory. No photos were allowed on that set but it was very cool to see! Also so much smaller than I expected it to be. It looks like such a large space on the show but it’s really very tiny. Next was off to the set of Ellen! I shared some butt space with Tom Hanks who has a dedicated seat in the audience for whenever he wants to drop by.
We finished the tour with the set of Central Perk from Friends! Why has Friends not had a revival like all these other tv shows lately? Can we start a petition? BRING BACK FRIENDS YA’LL.
After our tour, we headed to downtown LA for some lunch at the District Market. There were so many amazing choices, so we got a few things! We tried some gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some amazing Vietnamese food, and a slice of pizza. From there, we headed over to The Last Bookstore which was one of the places I was really excited to see! Definitely worth stopping by if you’re in downtown LA.
From there we headed back towards our hotel in Santa Monica. We hit the pier for some leisurely time strolling down the beach and the boardwalk. We rode the worlds most terrifying ferris wheel while we were there. (don’t ride a ferris wheel on a windy day guys, it’s horrible!) We finished our night with a funnel cake. When you’re at the beach you gotta have a funnel cake!
Next week i’ll be sharing part 2 of my vacation as we head farther up the coast. We hit Hearst Castle, explore Big Sur and Pfeiffer Beach, and San Francisco!