Sunday, August 22, 2010


Had a GREAT week in California.  I think we did everything on my "must do in California" list.  Lots of fun, relaxing, time together, walking, and palm trees. =)  Quick recap of the trip:

Monday - August 16th

Flew out of Indy at 6:30am which meant we were up at 3am and at the airport by 4.  Layover in Detroit, in California by 11:30 local time.  Picked up our car, saw our one and only celebrity (Tony Shalhoub).  Went to downtown LA to see the (500) Days of Summer park, ate, and then headed to Hollywood to see the sign, walk of stars, and handprints in the cement.  Had supper with my cousin Matt & his wife Cheri who live in the area.  Then headed to our cottage in Redondo Beach where we were in bed by 9pm (midnight back home which meant we had a 21 hour day).

Tuesday - August 17th

Ate breakfast on the Redondo Beach pier at the diner featured in The OC (this was my pick).  Smaller than expected but I was still really excited about it.  Drove to San Pedro, made 2 quick stops before heading to catch our ferry to Catalina Island.  Spent the day there - ate, did a bus tour, went to the beach, walked around, shopped, ate, etc.  Very nice island, Matt's favorite part of the trip.

Wednesday - August 18th

Day at Universal Studios, Hollywood.  I was very surprised to see they only had 13 rides/shows/attractions and only one of those would qualify as a roller coaster.  My favorite part was the studio tour and King Kong 360 3-D.  It was a hot day in the sun but fun.  They do the theatrics way better than Kings Island but the thrills aren't nearly as exciting.  Got back to the cottage late and pretty tired.

Thursday - August 19th

Packed up from our Redondo Beach cottage, spent a little more time at the pier (had more The OC sites to find) and then headed to Newport Beach.  I had wanted to go there for over half my life and it was crazy to finally make it.  Not what I was expecting, very much a beach town but I really really enjoyed it.  Walked on the Newport and Balboa piers, waded in the ocean, shopped, and had Balboa Bars.  After the ice cream I said I could go home happy, now that I had one of those. =)  From Newport we headed to San Diego.  Traffic was almost as bad as LA.  Nice to get the hotel and have a little more privacy than our cottage but we had a handicap room which meant bad shower.  Oh well.  This still may have been my favorite day of our trip.

Friday - August 20th

Spent the day at the San Diego Zoo.  It's huge!!  We got lost multiple times and we even had a map!  Spent 9 hours there and I still don't think we saw everything (somehow we missed the seals??).  Luckily they had the "Skyfari" and buses to help save our feet.  I liked the koalas and pandas the best.  We actually got back to the hotel in the daylight and ate our Chinese leftovers for supper (huge servings!!).  Relaxed and got packed up for home.

Saturday - August 21st

Last day of our trip. =(  We checked out of our hotel at 10:30ish and headed to Coronado Island, near San Diego.  Stopped at a park which had nice views.  Tried to drive into town but it was crazy traffic so we just headed north.  Stopped at San Clemente State Beach for a quick stop and then to In-N-Out Burger for lunch (on my "to do" list).  Took almost 30 minutes to get our food and it was 1:30 in the afternoon!  Crazy.  Burgers were good though and I'm glad we waited.  From there decided to head back to Newport since we kinda knew our way around from the other day.  Parking was insane there too but we found a spot, spent a little more time at the Newport pier and shopping before continuing north.  Didn't have nearly as much traffic as I was expecting.  Stopped about 10 miles south of LA for a last Jamba Juice stop and time to relax before heading to the airport.  Walked around a mall and Target (I can't stay away, even on vacation) and then headed to LA to turn in our car and get the shuttle to the airport.  Within 50 minutes of turning in our car we were at the airport, checked in, and through security.  Not bad.  Then it was waiting, a nice supper at McDonalds, and the red-eye flight home.  Got into Indy at 5:30am (IN time) and home home at 8:30. Changed and headed to 9am Mass.

It was a quick trip but it was so nice to get away and have time together.  I love traveling and seeing new places.  I even like flying (but we've never really had a bad experience).  Now it's back to work tomorrow and making the most of the rest of summer.

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