Sunday, September 9, 2012

Summer '12 California Trip

A few weeks ago, the boyfriend and I hopped on the plane en route to Orange County, California. Joe had been to California once before, but I told him that trip didn't count since it was for work and he was only in LA area for 24 hours. 

Not only did my parents want to see me (at least) once during my summer vacation from classes, but they wanted to meet Joe, and I was craving a break from the Texas weather. What better way to beat the heat than to leave the kitchen--am I right?!

Now, how do you show someone ALL of your hometown in just three days? Especially when your hometown is in the beautiful state of California? I decided it was time to get my tourist gear on and show Joe the landmark sites and attractions that make my home-state a great place to visit. From Newport Beach to the Huntington Beach disc golf course, from Old Towne Orange to Main St. in Huntington Beach, from Disneyland to UC Irvine area, I gave my man the glorious, drawn out tour of California, making sure he saw everything from the beautiful beaches to the hole-in-the-wall diners and bars.

Pictured: Myself in front of the Newport Beach shore line. We went to the beautiful shores of Newport Beach so Joe could get the full effect of California Beach scenery. Isn't this panoramic feature cool?! Joe downloaded the PhotoSynth app on his iPhone to be able to capture beautiful panoramic scenes while we were on vacation.

Pictured: Joe and myself at Taco Mesa in Costa Mesa. I made sure to show Joe the difference between Tex-Mex and Surf-n-Turf (California) Mex. We enjoyed some beach-style Mexican seafood at Taco Mesa with complimenting Sangria.

Pictured: Joe posing with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. What So-Cal vacation would be complete without a trip to Disneyland? Because I worked at the Disneyland Resort for a few years, I had been gifted several complimentary tickets seasonally to use with family and friends. I took advantage of these tickets and shared "The Happiest Place on Earth" with Joe for a full day. We're talkin' 10 AM to 11 PM with no stops in between!

Pictured: Joe and myself in front of the Hollywood Blvd. mural in California Adventure. I made sure to take advantage of every photo-op available, like this surprisingly realistic mural in California Adventure.

Pictured: the World of Color lake in California Adventure. I thought California Adventure was the perfect "sample" to show Joe different highlights of my hometown state. Just look at the mix of sunlight, lake, and palm trees pictured!

Pictured: Joe and myself in front of the brand new Cars Land. Cars Land was merely an idea when I moved to Texas last year. I had heard the rumors and seen the walls being blocked off for where they considered putting the new attractions, but I never got to see the final product in all its glory. It was great to experience a Disney "first" with Joe.

Pictured: myself in front of the Cars Land scenery. Doesn't it look like I'm actually on the side of the Grand Canyon or some place of the sort?! Loved the realistic details in Cars Land. 

Pictured: The outside building of the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride. This is by far one of my FAVORITE rides in Disneyland as a whole. I was so happy when I saw they wait was a mere 7 minutes for this one! I grabbed Joe's hand and dragged him through the spooky hotel, and giggled as he screamed on all the drops! Hee hee.

Pictured: Minnie Mouse on Main St. in Disneyland. After we were done enjoying all that California Adventure had to offer, we headed across to the world-famous Disneyland and began to take on all the popular rides at the resort.

Pictured: Joe and I on the Space Mountain ride. It was near the end of the day; Joe and I were exhausted. We had gone on over 15 rides, saw several parades and shows, watched the fireworks, and walked around for hours. But I couldn't let him leave the park without riding on my absolute FAVORITE ride in Disneyland--Space Mountain. He was a little hesitant to go wait in the 15-minute line, but once we sat front row for the last roller coaster of the day, he enjoyed every moment of the ride, and thanked me after for making him go on it :-) 

Pictured: Joe and myself in our California shirts. What summer trip would be complete without a souvenir? At the end of our Disneyland trip, during our walk back to the car through Downtown Disney, I stopped and picked up this shirts as a conclusion to our trip. I figured they were convenient and something we'd actually wear and recall our fun trip with each time we use them :-)

So that, in total, was our fun California trip. Joe concurred that he got to see most of California, and that he had a wonderful time. My family loved meeting him, and it was great to be back on my stomping grounds... even for just a few short days.

How many of you went on fun trips this summer? Maybe even vacationed in a different town than your own? Link those posts up, I would love to see! :-)



  1. Cars Land was incredible, right? It totally looked real.

  2. Looks like you two had a great time!! I would love to visit California one day and go to Disneyland! I've been to Disney world in florida and they have space mountain too! It's my favorite! So glad you got to get away to see your family and introduce the boyfriend :) Have a great week!!

  3. How fun! I've never been to California, but hope to some day. I linked up my last day of vacation and added links for the other posts from our vacation :)

    It was so great to meet you on Saturday!


  4. It looks like you guys had a lot of fun! Great pictures

  5. This made me miss living in OC. I must say that Taco Mesa is pretty unique though. There are many different types of Mexican places in California and I wouldn't label it all "Surf and Turf". Go to some places in the heart of Santa Ana and you have to speak Spanish just to order.


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