Disneyland Trip Report Part 1- Santa Monica

Okay, so I wasn’t sure if I should just do the Disneyland leg of the trip or the whole thing, but I figured, why not do the whole thing… I will go in saying this won’t be a very well-organized trip report as I’m not great at them.  I read a couple of trip reports of other people and it looks like most people go day-to-day and as I have a HORRIBLE short-term memory, that will be a bit of a challenge, but I will do my best.

We didn’t do a whole lot in LA but it was a nice trip spent at my cousin’s home with her two kitties.

We got on the road around 9:30 after getting coffee at Peet’s and filling the tires up with a little more air. We made really good time and stopped once to use the restroom, fill up on gas, and get Subway for lunch.  Well… I got Subway and my mom got a disgusting chicken McWrap at McDonalds that she took two bites of and tossed the rest because it was truly gross… 

Back on the road.

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Before we knew it, we were heading into the grapevine.

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We got to my cousin’s in 5 hours and 45 minutes and only hit traffic about a mile from her home.  I think that’s pretty good coming from Sacramento.

When we got there we took our stuff upstairs and settled in a bit before going out to the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Mace was not amused at the intruders in his home… Emmie was nowhere to be found. She’s quite skittish… She’d pop up here and there but wasn’t too keen on us either. 🙂

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The has a really cute courtyard.

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We walked all the way to the end to have dinner at PF Changs.

They had a lot of dinosaur topiary throughout the Promenade. I fiddled around with a photo editing app my cousin showed me as the pictures didn’t come out that great with my iPhone.

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They had a beautiful Christmas Tree set up at one end.

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This Mexican restaurant had some interesting holiday decorations going on.

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This vendor was selling a device that creates a laser show on the ground.

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After dinner, we walked back to the other end of the Promenade and went for a little look-see in Nordstrom.

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Not sure what, but HGTV had something going on at this end.

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After a walk through Nordstrom, we headed back and watched a pretty disturbing Dateline about a terrorist attack on a mall in Kenya.  THAT’s what I need before going to bed! I can’t watch those shows!

The next morning we took our time getting out the door and went to a restaurant called California Chicken Cafe. The food was SO good! We even saw Giuliana Ransic and my cousin spotted George Newburn (from Scandal and Father of the Bride among other things) while we were there. I am so not used to seeing celebrities and I just prefer to not bring attention to myself  because I dont’ know who to act in that kind of situation…

Bad picture, but my cousin was trying to be discrete!

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Anyway, I ordered the 1/4 chicken with roasted potatoes and vegetable soup. It was SO good!!!

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After lunch, we just ran around doing some errands at Michael’s, Marshall’s and Macy’s.

The mall where Macy’s is located is HUGE and really nice.

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They had a nice view of LA from the 3rd floor of the mall.

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After running around, we went back and rested a bit before heading out to dinner at an Italian restaurant where they serve olive oil with a TON of garlic that comes out with the bread. I was burping up garlic for the rest of the night but it was SOOO good!

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I couldn’t decide on what to get so I just ordered spaghetti with meatballs and holy cow was it a big dish! It was easily 3 or 4 servings for me! It was very good though!

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After dinner, Erin and I went and got Frozen yogurt for dessert and we went back to her place for the night.

Sunday morning, we went out for a walk along the beach near Santa Monica Pier. We walked from the parking lot where we parked to the Pier and back. I think we walked at least 2 miles but my walking app crapped out on me so I never could figure out what we did…

It was a beautiful day for a walk. It must have been in the mid 60s and not too breezy.

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They have a couple of really nice (and expensive) hotels right along the walkway.

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The Shutters

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We walked to the beach on the other side of the Pier and walked to the end of this little path that led to the water.

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What I wouldn’t give to live in one of those apartments looking over the water…

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After our walk, we went back and got ready for the day, ate left overs for lunch, then packed up to head off to Anaheim.

We stayed at the Marriott Suites Hotel in Garden Grove.  It’s right on Harbor Boulevard two miles down the street from the entrance to the park.  They had a shuttle that only went there and the hotel next door which was nice because we never had problems with it being too full.

We got a king suite on hotwire for $80 per night.  They charge for internet and parking and since we weren’t spending much more time than sleeping and getting ready in the room, we didn’t bother.  I hate it when hotels charge for internet… I think that’s really in bad taste and it’s usually the bigger hotel corporations that do it… Don’t they get enough money from everything else? And why do we have to pay for parking?! It’s ridiculous and it’s not like we have a choice to park somewhere else… 

At the very least it was a nice hotel with a comfortable bed that was actually king sized.

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The living room even had two pictures of Space Mountain and the Astro Orbiters from Tomorrowland above the bed. I love that they had a touch of Disney in their room.

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After a quick check of the room, we headed back out to the mall in Santa Ana that my mom likes for a minute, and had the traditional chicken dinner at Knott’s Berry Farm. 

It was great as usual. I don’t think they’ve changed a thing as long as I’ve been alive at the very least.

These are amazing biscuits.  They aren’t nearly as large as this picture looks but they give you plenty and you can always ask for more.  They come with butter and plenty of Knott’s jam to choose from.  I always go with Boysenberry (when in Rome) as they invented it after all.

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It comes with a TON of food. I was going to get this smaller plate that they had for a couple of years but they took it off the menu! 😦

It was SOOOO good!!!  Luckily I only eat fried chicken here and it’s not even once a year.

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It comes with soup or rhubarb and salad too but I didn’t eat much of it and it was away before I remembered to take a picture. It’s not like you’ll die without a picture of soup and salad anyway…

So I am going to stop here for the first part of my trip report as all we did after that was go back to the hotel, unpack a little and get to bed so we could get up early to get into the park.

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