Hiiiiiii friends. Happy Thursday! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! We’re chilling here and enjoying the Tucson rain after an amazing long weekend in California.
I got back from Santa Barbara Thursday night, put the girls to bed, did laundry, and packed our big suitcase for our flight BACK to California on Friday. The planning with this one was just a little bit crazy, but totally worth it. We picked up Liv from school and headed straight to the airport for our flight to San Diego.
When I was first planning this trip, I briefly considered driving up to Anaheim. It’s about a 9-hour drive and the thought of all of us crammed into the car for that long made me break out into hives, so I just got plane tickets to San Diego. I figured we could enjoy a little time in SD and make the short drive to Anaheim in a rental car. It ended up working out perfectly!
The girls are PRO travelers now (we made it!!!!) so I read Crazy Rich Asians (still making my way through it) while they ate snacks and watched a movie on the iPad. The flight was insanely short and before we knew it, we were right back in Ocean Beach, feeling almost like we lived there again.
Going back to San Diego always floods me with nostalgia. It’s one of the most incredible places, with gorgeous weather and so much to do. While I don’t think it’s our *forever spot* it’s such a great place to visit. Now that we’re a drive or very short flight away, I’m excited for more trips back!
We had dinner at the one and only OB Noodle House. The pho was just like we all remembered it
and we all love the lettuce wraps, busting with umami and dipped into chili sauce.
After dinner, we headed to Betsy’s house. Their family drove up to Anaheim early that evening, so we had their house to ourselves and snuggled their 3 dachshunds for the night.
Saturday morning was breakfast at Better Buzz,
and then we hit the road to Disney!
We were at Disney for two days and used park hoppers for Disneyland and California Adventure. (They also have a new Max Fast Pass system which is $10 per ticket; you just add it through the app and can book Fast Passes there. We were new to this since we’re used to the Magic Bands at Disney World, but it was very easy.) Our trip aligned with the fall and Halloween decor, and it made me so excited for the upcoming season. The girls lived their best lives riding rides, hugging characters, clapping and dancing along to the Paint the Night Parade, and we all enjoyed the festive fall treats.
Madre joined us for this trip and having her with us was the best ever. I’ve taken the girls to Disney a few times by myself, and while it’s magical no matter what, it’s fun to have someone else to enjoy their joy if that makes any sense. My mom and I would catch each other’s eye when the girls did something particularly hilarious or adorable. I’ve always loved Disneyland, but kids really take it to the next level.
We were able to spend the weekend blitzing around the parks with madre, and meeting up with Betsy, her husband, and kiddos. Betsy’s boys are like the girls’ cousins, so they all had a blast hanging out together.
Some of the highlights:
– The Plaza de la Familia in California Adventure.
If you’re going to Disney anytime soon, definitely check this out. They have the most beautiful alcove where you can write memories of beloved family members and hang them from chains, face painting, a room decorated to look like Miguel’s house, and fantastic Mexican food. We got tamales, rice, chicken and bean burritos, and sat in front of the stage to watch live mariachis.
10/10 get the Coco cake.
– Dinner at Goofy’s Kitchen
This was our first time at Goofy’s Kitchen and the girls loved it. We tend to enjoy the character meals because there’s something for everyone (Akershus in Epcot is the BEST), and the girls get to see so many of their favorite characters at once. Goofy’s Kitchen is a typical Disney huge buffet (with a variety of healthy options + kiddo-centered food) and all the desserts.
During dinner, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Pluto, Mickey, and Minnie all stopped by the table to give hugs to the kiddos and take pictures. P also restrained herself from accosting the characters, so I’m calling it a win. (When she was really little, she grabbed onto Donald’s tail and tried to follow him around the restaurant.)
– The Paint the Night Parade
This is one of those core memories I’ll remember from the trip. I wasn’t quite sure if the girls would be too tired to go to the parade, but they were wide awake at 8:45, so we decided to go for it. It’s like the *new* version of the Electric Parade, with bright illuminated floats of all of the classic characters. The girls sat in front of madre and me, and were clapping and dancing in their seats the entire time. It was the sweetest ever.
– A margarita from Tortilla Jo’s at the end of the second night. After a full day at the park, a cold margarita with 1/2 salt hits.the.spot
– P meeting Spiderman
P and I dipped out of Frozen Live a little early since she had to use the restroom, and on the way out, she saw Spiderman doing a character greeting across the street.
“Mama, I need to see Spiderman!”
“You really want to meet him? The line is kind of long.”
“Yes, I need to meet him. I need to see him.”
I couldn’t say no to that, so we stood in line and she waited so patiently to meet him. When it was finally her turn, Spiderman was SO kind and genuine. He stooped down to her level, asked her name and a bunch of other questions, and then told her to flex her muscles for the picture. I could tell by the little look on her face that she was a little starstruck and so excited about what was happening. She talked about it for the next couple of hours.
– Livi’s Coco Mickey ears! We love all things Coco.
When we got back to San Diego before our flight on Monday, we had time to chill in Liberty Station for a bit. We took the girls to Kid Ventures to get the wiggles out -they got to run free and play for over an hour- and grabbed coffee at Moniker General. Moniker was one of my writing spots when we lived in San Diego and it felt like I was supposed to park at a table and write Post Baby Bod. 😉
It was a quick and easy flight back, a Whole Foods frenzy for grocery essentials, the quickly back in the game of school, dance, gymnastics, work, and the usual life stuff. I’m already trying to brainstorm another fun trip for their fall break… No matter what happens, I have a feeling we’ll be back at Disney again soon. We can never stay away for too long.
Where’s your go-to vacay spot when you’re looking for a quick getaway? Any ideas for a fun place to take the girls (low-key but lots for them to do)?
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see ya soon!