Part two of our Cali trip was the real purpose of the trip in the first place, to visit Dan’s sister Becky! She moved out there in August to start a new teaching job and so we hadn’t seen her in a long time, it was the perfect excuse to go out West, and have a final little babymoon as a family of three.
We met up with Becky and her boyfriend Dave in Huntington Beach. We had a few hours to kill before they got there so we headed down to the beach and let Ada run around in the sand and we laid in the sun unwinding from the zoo that was Hollywood Blvd. and the LA traffic we came through to get there.
An hour or so of salty sea air does wonders, and so does people watching! We enjoyed a relaxing hour with our toes in the sand before heading back up to Main St. where we were meeting them. We met up at this cute Mexican Restaurant called Avila’s El Ranchito. We didn’t get any food, just some drinks while we waited for them, but it was a cool location that was half inside, half outside and right on the main drag to the beach. Once they arrived we walked down to Sandy’s Beach Shack which was right on the beach. We caught the tail end of an amazing sunset on our way down, and Ada was oh so happy to see her Aunt Becky after almost 4 months!!
Sandy’s Beach Shack was awesome, we were able to eat outside on the patio. It was cool, (but not so much for us Buffalonians), and they had heaters all along the wall which kept us comfy! Great burgers, I had an awesome Cobb salad and they had some great beers and margaritas, (not that I would know, but everyone else said so!) Then we headed back to Becky’s apartment to get settled in!
Ada helped Aunt Becky decorate her Christmas tree the next morning and after lounging around and having a home cooked breakfast, we packed up and headed out for a day at Laguna Beach.
Laguna was a pretty cool town with some great views. We went on a hunt to find Ada some beach toys and ended up stumbling into some really cute little shops along the way and of course stopped to take some family photos (again).
We ended up at Crystal Cove State Park for the day, which was a perfectly secluded little beach with perfect sandcastle sand!! It wasn’t that warm out, but it was comfortable to sit in the sun and Ada of course couldn’t care less about the temperature of the air or the water!
The water was too cold for me, but I took the bump down to the waters edge to take pictures of everyone!
That night we did dinner at a fantastic Mexican Restaurant called Tempo Urban Kitchen. It was an awesome spin on Mexican food, or I guess a gourmet Mexican restaurant. They had great cocktails and even did a table side bourbon drink that they lit on fire. Ada was at the end of her rope that night and didn’t really want to be out and about anymore, so she had a short temper and just wanted to get up and keep me following her around the restaurant. It was also very loud in there and I think just set her off.
Our last day with Aunt Becky we had planned to do Disneyland. But after pricing it out for a day, I didn’t feel like we’d get our moneys worth, so we decided on Downtown Disney instead. Thankfully Ada is still at the age where she doesn’t really know the difference! We didn’t do many rides last time when we were in Disney World, we spent most of our time meeting the characters instead and I think because she was getting a little worn down with this trip she didn’t even notice there were no rides or characters. We walked through the “park” and popped into a few stores. We let her pick out a souvenir and Becky wanted to get her a Christmas gift, so she was able to get two things, which at her age is better then a ride. We got coffees and popcorn and browsed more stores then called it a day before heading back and laying low at the apartment pool the rest of the afternoon. Of course after everything we did, I asked Ada her favorite part of visiting Aunt Becky and she said “swimming in the pool”. Its always the easiest and cheapest things they enjoy the most! Lesson learned!
We said our goodbyes to Aunt Becky and Dave when we went to bed that night, they got up early Monday morning to head into work. We locked up the apartment shortly after and headed off to our third and final part of our Cali Road trip. Stay tuned for Part three: San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado!