Monday, February 26, 2018

2017: The Year of Travel | Los Angeles & Disneyland

Off on another trip! This time to Los Angeles.

We planned a trip to the Los Angeles area in the spring to take advantage of the kids' school break. We aren't super familiar with the area even though we've been a number of times, but we managed to cram in as much as we could in the 4 days we were there. With 2 of those days dedicated to Disneyland and Universal Studios, the rest of our time here was pretty leasurely.

Fabric by the pound at Michael Levine's Loft.

Day 1 Highlights
  • Lunch at a hot pot restaurant. (Hot pot is our kids' current food obsession.) 
  • My first visit to the Fashion District where I bought at least 20+ lbs of fabric. In retrospect, I probably could've paced myself better especially since we ended up needing to purchase another carry-on to take it all home in. 
  • A drive around the Griffith Observatory. We have yet to actually visit because it's always packed when we go. 
  • A 30+ minute wait in the drivethrough at Randy's Donuts. We had no idea it was a "thing" until it was too late. The donuts were quite good, but I'm not sure if the wait really justified them.
  • Dinner with family. It's always great to see my family and have a home cooked meal. Nothing can really beat that. 

Day 2 Highlights

  • Did you know there's a Richard Nixon Library and Museum located at the birthplace/resting place of the 37th president? Yeah, we didn't either until we happened upon it on our way to our friends' house. We had a great time visiting with our old friends which made for a nice relaxing day.
  • Downtown Disney and dinner at Goofy's Kitchen. We only had one day in Disneyland so we decided to explore Downtown Disney and have our character dining experience the night before. We haven't done a character dining meal since before Isabelle was 2 so we thought this would be as great of a time as ever. In retrospect, this is not our favorite character dining but we did enjoy our time in Downtown Disney. 

Day 3 in Disneyland

Our day in Disneyland started out pretty gloomy. The torrential rainpour started in the morning and soaked us through before lunch even though we came prepared with ponchos. It was absolutely freezing, but we stuck it out and it turned out to be one of the best days we've ever had in the park. The rain made it so the park was pretty empty and we didn't have to deal with crowds or too many lines. The rain let up in the late afternoon just in time for the kids to take part in the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple program which was amazing to watch. 

We had a great spot to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Our favorite rides in Disneyland have to be Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Star Tours which we were able to bounce back and forth from throughout the day. We've always loved It's a Small World, but the kids seem to be getting old enough that they are enjoying Tomorrowland more than any other land. We spent a considerable amount of time checking out all the Star Wars merch and building our own droids at the Droid Factory too.

It's always sad to say goodbye at the end of the day. Until next time, Disneyland!

With a great trip to Disneyland finally under our belt (the last couple of times have been less than magical), we were excited and ready to spend our last day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios for the very first time. It was a long and exhausting day dealing with the weather, but I'm so happy we all toughed it out. The Disney magic was definitely there this time and it was all worth it in the end.
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