I apologize for the long delay, I just came back from my summer traveling adventure in Southern California and Chicago. I'm bummed while writing this because it makes me wish I was back in either one of those places! On the bright side, there is still half a summer vacation left with much more adventure and blissful moments to come. And now first, I can share with you my Californian adventure!
Our first stop in the Golden State was Los Angeles. We left from Cleveland at about seven in the morning and landed at about noon, which was nine in the morning in Cali. My mom and I picked up our rental car and drove right to In-N-Out Burger in Culver City because we were starving as heck! It was worth the wait to eat, nothing satisfies my stomach like a juicy double-double.
After lunch, we drove to Venice Beach and walked to the Santa Monica Pier. We walked into a few shops, took some pictures, and watched the surfers at the beach below catch some big waves. It was really cool not only to embrace the Californian atmosphere but to see the famous pier for the first time!
After the pier, my mom and I drove to my favorite spot in LA, the Grove. I absolutely love visiting there, it has the majority of my favorite stores (Anthropologie, J. Crew, Zara, Madewell, Barnes & Noble, etc.), it has many cool Hollywood events throughout the year, and it's the great place to spot celebrities! Unfortunately, there was no sight of Ellen DeGeneres or Jennifer Aniston. Though on the bright side, we got to stroll through the original Farmer's Market!
My family and I love all Farmer's Market, especially this one because it's more wide-open and has more options for purchases to buy. Plus, they have much more food options, such as bakeries, juice bars, sandwich shops, pizza parlors, because a various amount of fresh foods that make an enjoyable lunch.
After a successful hour in the Grove, we drove for an hour and a half to Mission Viejo to stay two nights with our good friends. We had a pleasant dinner at a Mexican restaurant near the lake, and then we treated ourselves with ice cream at Creamistry. What's so cool was that it was made freshly just by using liquid nitrogen and cream, how cool is that?! And the ice cream was so creamy and delicious, I wish there was a Creamistry located in Northeast Ohio!
The next morning we took a trip to Laguna Beach and ate a wonderful breakfast at the Rooftop, which was literally a rooftop restaurant! Nothing makes a morning better with a view of the beach and warm cup of a warm coffee with lots of vanilla.
After breakfast, we could not resist a walk on the beach shore and a stroll throughout the small town nearby.
We drove back to our friends' house and decided to have a small pool party with dinner included. I was super excited because I finally got to use my new donut float! It was so fun and relaxing to float around in the nice pool, I still DONUT wish that paradise had to end!
The next morning, we joined one of our friends for a sweaty workout at a boot camp called Mission Viejo. It was a very tough workout, but it was so worth it. If you're looking for a good gym to find your motivation, WrightWay Fitness is the place to go!
If you want to learn more about WrightWay Fitness, go check it out at http://www.wrightwayfit.com, I guarantee you won't regret it!
We packed up our belongings and drove straight to our next destination, San Diego. My dad had a business conference to attend for the week, so we made reservations at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort.
That night we spent walking around downtown Coronado and checking out some of the area's coolest sights, including the famous Hotel Del Coronado. The resort is full of super sweet restaurants and shops, it's like a hotel and mall combined! It kind of felt like walking around the Titanic.
Fun fact, it's the same place where Marlyin Monroe's Some Like It Hot was filmed!
My mom and I's original plan on our first full day in San Diego was to visit SeaWorld, but instead we were inspired to take a trolley tour around the city. We toured downtown, Little Italy, Balboa Park, and stopped in Old Town. We walked around the historic area and admired the old-fashioned architecture and buildings. And lucky for us, it was Taco Tuesday!
The next day, we took our inner daredevils to a whole new level ... paragliding. As much as it was terrifying, it was such a surreal and amazing experience. The thought of jumping off a cliff and soaring through the sky, no boat or car attached, never came across me. Once I got into the air, however, I felt like I was flying like Peter Pan!
Even though one of my worst fears is heights, I can guarantee that it is an experience that you will never forget for the rest of your life. If you're like my dad and get motion sickness, however, it may not be a super good choice.
One of my favorite beaches in California is La Jolla. The love the way the rocks are formed along the shoreline with grottos in between. The color of the ocean was a sapphire blue, and the best part was watching sea lions swim near the beach!
The dock pier was the perfect place to catch a better glimpse of the seals and beautiful ocean, despite getting hit by a few big cold waves.
Our final day was a more history-based day. My parents and I drove to USS Midway Aircraft Carrier. Not only is it a Navy Pier museum consisting of many aircrafts used during big wars, most of which were built in Southern California.
We got to take a tour throughout the never-ending corridors of the ship, including some of the biggest control rooms I have ever seen. It was mostly the history behind everything that fascinated me. To think of all the men and women who fought, both in air and on land, is incredible. Walking through the each room and up every stair made me feel like I was a part of all those historical events.
Before our last Californian dinner, we walked around the beautiful Balboa Park and checked out the landscape and stunning art collections. The lush gardens were the coolest attractions of the park. The bushes and trees were very-well trimmed, and flowers blossomed practically everywhere. Walking through a lovely garden resort is a great way to sum up the final adventures in the beautiful state.
I was sad to leave, and I am still sad that I left. But I know I'll be back again many more times in the future. Hopefully one day I will be able to attend the Oscars and get the opportunity to explore new areas in the Southern state as well as visit old favorites.
Next stop, Chicago!