Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Trip to California



I'm so excited because we are going to California in the late spring!  I've never visited and it's going to be a kid palooza vacation, but I just know it's going to be great!  On our list?  Disneyland, Legoland and San Diego.  Our Empty Nest list includes a trip to Disney (San Diego Zoo too) and I've always wanted to visit.  I grew up very close to Disney World but planning a trip there seems really overwhelming to me and yet Disneyland seems doable.

Lately, two blogging friends, Leah and Holly, have both made visits to some of these exact same spots and it's been super helpful to read their posts about their trips.  So I'm hoping if any of you have advice to share, that you will.  I'd love to hear about any can't miss spots, secret tips, avoid at all costs advise, best food to eat, etc.

Also, in planning our trip to Disney, I hear a lot about character dining.  Should we do that even though the children are 9 and 12?  I'm tending toward no, but am not sure what to do!






12 comments:

  1. OMG. you are going to have so much fun! I was just getting ready to write a post about disney tips...haha. Maybe I will get that done before you go. Ezra is definately too old for the character dining at Disneyland these days, it may not be worth the cost. We did the restuarant that is inside of the Pirates of the Carribean ride (I think its called The Blue Bayou... that may be more mature as you are sitting in a restuarant inside of the ride and its kind of cool. The only other thing I can say is learn about the Fast Pass, they are life savers. And get to the show sights early (you can get special standing areas for a price). Can't wait to hear about your trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love it if you did a post about Disney tips!

      Delete
  2. That is great! Southern California is wonderful. If y'all can fit it in go to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library north of Los Angeles; it is quite amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I loved our visit to Crystal Cove State Park and I think the little cottages would be something you would enjoy! I so wanted to stay in one, but they were booked full for our visit! The Beachcomber is a fabulous place to eat and it is right on the water. The link below should take you to my blog post about our visit.

    http://paynduo.blogspot.com/2012/09/crystal-cove.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amy! I LOVE those cottages and their story.

      Delete
  4. Ahhh! I have a road trip planned that includes those spots, but haven't been able to twist my husband's arm to fly is out there to a starting point yet! Maybe next summer... :(. I had Joshua Tree National Park on my list - if you'll have a car, drivable from there I think. Can't wait to read about it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joshua Tree National Park is certainly on my "must go to list someday." I'm going to look into it and see if it can be this trip.

      Delete
  5. I'm so excited for you! I've lived in LA all my life except for college in Orange County and my husband is from Orange County and grew up in the shadow of Dland. It looks like you're not making it up to LA, but if you do end up coming up to the city, I have a whole list of must-not-miss places! As for SD and OC, our family likes to stop in Del Mar, a small beach community in SD county when driving to and from San Diego. For Dland, I'd say no to the character breakfast. The characters are not hard to find/meet at the park itself. There's a little shop on main street that does silhouettes and every few years, we get new ones done there of the kids. The ladies in the shop cut them by hand, and it's fun to watch them too! California Adventure is most definitely worth it now (it wasn't so much before, but they've expanded a lot and it's must better now) so - if you have time - try to go to both parks. Take the monorail to Downtown Disney for meals when you can - the food is much better off-site (Tortilla Jo's, Naples, and Catal pretty good) than eating at the overpriced fast food cafeteria places scattered around the park. There are good places in the park too though - restaurants we like inside the park: Carnation Cafe on main street, Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square...haven't tried Blue Bayou also in New Orleans Square but have heard good things). Also, apparently the restaurants at Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel are good too. Get fast passes. Try to go on a weekday if you can.

    Legoland is fun, especially for the lego lover, but it's nowhere near as fun or as well-maintained as Disneyland. The Lego hotel lobby is worth a look-see (the restaurant buffet is pretty good too!) - it's kind of a lego-lovers dream.

    I know I don't comment often, but you're welcome to email me with any questions you have. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nina- Thank you so much for the great information! I'm particularly happy to get the food recommendations and will definitely be looking for the silhouette shop. We can't really fit LA in on this trip so we thought we'd save it for another trip- there's so much to do in California! Do I have you email? It's not attached to your name on the comment form, would you mind sending it to me? thanks so much!

      Delete
  6. You will have such a lovely time and as to character dining, I'm with you on no because the whole trip will be fun enough without it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you are all right about the character dining, thanks for your input!

      Delete
  7. Hey, hey, I just read this. I haven't blogged yet about our favorite thing we did in San Diego. We did the SEAL tour which is very touristy, but was perfect. We learned so many interesting things about San Diego and being on the water was super fun. I am going to have that blog post done soon!

    ReplyDelete

 
Blogging tips