Thursday, June 15, 2017

bart and ashli take southern california

These two lovebirds had the crazy idea to leave all four of their children with Bart's mom for five days so they could have a little getaway just the two of them.  Bart had a conference to attend in Anaheim, so Ashli decided to tag along and they made a little vacation out of it!
We got into Anaheim super late Wednesday night, and we were glad that our travels went smoothly (except for the cheating we had to do to get a shuttle to the rental car place).  Thursday morning, Bart went to his conference, and I drove myself to downtown L.A. to do some (business!) shopping at the Fashion District.   The traffic on the L.A. freeway was just as bad as I expected it to be, which ended up not bothering me near as much as I thought it would.  I was a little scared of some of the areas I had to drive through, but once I got where I wanted to be, it was awesome!

When I was done shopping, and Bart was done with his conference, we checked into our hotel, which just happened to be the Grand Californian Resort hotel at Disneyland!  This was the view out of our hotel room.  Pretty snazzy, right? We got some lunch in Downtown Disney, checked out some stores there and then headed to an Anaheim Angels game!

Friday morning, Bart got up and went to his conference again, and I headed to Disneyland, by myself!  Yes. I'm one of those people who go to Disneyland completely alone, and I loved every second of it.  Not that I loved it more than being there with my children, but let's just say I learned another way to appreciate being there!
Because we were staying at the Grand Californian, I was able to use the "secret" guests-only park entrance that took me straight into California Adventure, right near Soarin'.  I had told Bart that I probably wouldn't go on any rides by myself.  But that lasted all of 90 seconds.  I took this picture of me with the Soarin' sign just to show Bart that I had made it into the park.  I started to walk away, saw that the line was short, and thought to myself, "I can't just walk past Soarin' and not go on it!?"  so I went by myself.  The best part about it was listening to two women behind me talk about the most random places they've ever travelled to.  They both decided that the most random place was Orem, UT.  Orem is my hometown.  I told them as much. They were embarrassed.  I just laughed.
I ate breakfast by myself, watching the cars from Radiator Springs Racers zoom past.  Then I walked around taking selfies, shopping, and going on a few other rides that I didn't think Bart would want to go on.

Can someone please buy me this purse?  It's like $80 and I just couldn't justify it as a souvenir, but I'm in love with it! Thanks in advance!

Around noon, Bart's conference let out for the day, but his ticket didn't let him into the parks until 4:00, so I mustered up the strength, and somehow I was able to walk out of the parks before closing time.  Willingly.  That has never happened to me ever. But I was excited to hang out with my man, so that helped.  A little. 

We had lunch in Downtown Disney, took a nap, and were ready to head back to the parks.  I never understood why couples would go to Disneyland without their kids.  That is until we went a few years ago with four adults and SEVEN little kids.  Not that we didn't love that trip, because we did, but it did make me think that going sans children would be fun in its own way.  I loved it!

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorite rides, and the first movie is my all-time favorite movie!

It was the most magical day, and I can't wait to do it again, very soon! (hopefully)

Saturday morning, while Bart was at his conference again, I slept in (hurray!), shopped in Downtown Disney, and wondered why I was that close and not actually in the parks again (guys, I think there is something wrong with me...).  As soon as Bart was done, we headed to Cafe Rio for lunch and then straight to Newport Beach.

It was super windy that day, so our plans to actually play at the beach changed into walking in the sand, soaking up the rays, and talking about how we could rearrange our lives a bit so we could live right there on the beach!

Next we drove to Balboa Island and walked around, talked some more about what it would be like to live there, and of course...

try one of the world-famous frozen bananas!

The next day, when Bart's conference concluded for good, we checked out of our Disney hotel (sniff!), and drove along one of my favorite mountain passes into Laguna Beach.  We drove up on the cliffs, admiring the ridiculously expensive homes, and took a little hike up to the Top of the World.  We've been here before, but it was still breathtaking to be able to see out to the ocean on one side, and out to the valley on the other.

We couldn't leave without heading down to the water one last time.

Next we drove through another awesome mountain pass, saw a bit of southern California that doesn't look like the rest that I had seen, and arrived at the home of some dear friends who we haven't seen for a few years, the Lunas!
We were able to catch up with them, see their cute kiddos, see their gorgeous new home, talk about the good old days, and eat their delicious food.  It was so good to see them, and made me miss them all over again!

The next morning, bright and early, we headed to LAX to catch our flight home.  It was so hard to leave after such a great trip, but the only thing that made it doable, was knowing that I was now only hours away from snuggling my four littles!
Also, sidenote: the earth is amazing!  These are some of the views out the window of my plane between California and the Midwest.  Such diverse, breathtaking views.  And there is so much of our country I haven't seen yet, let alone the whole world.  I think I should travel more!

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