Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trip Report Tuesday: California Day 1 // Arrival and Huntington Beach

While I was away (from this blog and from home ;)) I was off enjoying the trip of a lifetime!  My family and I wrapped up summer and kicked off fall exploring the gorgeous state of California!  The first week we traveled throughout Cali and the second week we spent at Disneyland!  Wanna take virtual vacations with me on Tuesdays again?  Glad to hear it, because new installments of Trip Report Tuesday will be coming your way weekly once again, starting NOW!

Day 1 - Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Come fly with me, 

Let's fly, let's fly away!"...

Our trip to California could not have gone any more smoothly!  When we arrived at airport security there was absolutely no one in line!  This is the first time Princess had actual physical identification (as she has a Driver's Permit now), so she pulled it out to show along with her airline ticket.  The kind TSA gentlemen asked how old she was, said she didn't need to show him her ID, and gave her a pass allowing her to keep her shoes on through security screening!  Little One was told at her age she could keep her shoes on as well and we breezed through the screening while the nicest TSA employees I'd ever met showed us on through.  We always allow for crazy long lines and possible delays getting through security, so we had some major free time on our hands!  I'd much prefer to relax and wait to board than be frantically rushing to get there.  This was ideal in my eyes!  We grabbed some yummy eats, watched the sunrise, and chatted in eager anticipation about all that we were looking forward to in the next two weeks!

We arrived at John Wayne Airport in Orange County gaining two hours from the time zone we departed from which was oh so nice!  We picked up our rental car, and cue the first road trip song, "We're going to Surf City, gonna have some fun ... Surf City, here we come!"

Huntington Beach {AKA:  Surf City} was such a fun and gorgeous spot to kick off our California vacation!  

We had lunch reservations at Ruby's Diner which sits at the end a pier with windows looking out at the ocean!  Greasy diner food with a view, this is vacation!

After lunch we stopped at some of the shops along the pier.  I needed a magnet just like that surf board above (of course)!  Let me tell you, since I'm used to buying souvenirs at Disney Parks, when we shop elsewhere on vacations everything seems like a bargain! ;)

As we strolled along the pier we spotted a familiar face, Ray Comfort!  Years ago his sermons Hell's Best Kept Secret and True & False Conversion had a tremendous impact on Jason and I!  Having the opportunity to meet him, shake his hand, thank him for serving the Lord faithfully, and share what an impact his ministry has had in our lives was one of the highlights of that beautiful day!  

When we said our goodbyes Mr. Comfort reached into his wallet and pulled out a Subway gift card.  He gave it to us saying he knew we'd be spending a fortune at Disneyland and that he'd like to treat our family to dinner!  My eyes tear up just remembering it.  It's so sweet meeting someone and seeing how genuine they are. The meeting and moment was a true delight!

Once we made our way off the pier and onto the sandy shore we had to wade in the ocean!

Once we washed away the sand from our toes, we hopped back into our rental and enjoyed a beautiful drive to Visalia.

Upon arrival we immediately checked in to a Hampton Inn for the night.  

I loved the sticky notes on the headboards assuring my germaphobic mind that everything was clean. Although I must admit my (seen-too-many-dateline-episodes-on-hotels) mind still has trust issues.  It all appeared very clean though! ;)

It was late and we hadn't grabbed dinner so we each chose an item from the hotel's small convenience store.  Things like bags of chips and cup o' noodles were on the menu for us that night.  We laughed about it, filled our tummies, and went to bed with happy hearts eager for the adventures that the next day would bring!

Hope you'll be back to hear about day 2 next Tuesday!  

Looking forward to sharing our adventures in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks!  There we saw the world's tallest tree and a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon!  Pop by next week for all the delightful details!

Psst... My husband, Jason, just published the perfect accompaniment for this post on our family's YouTube channel,  Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat!  

You'll find 2016 Disneyland and CA Road Trip - Day 1 HERE!  While visiting our YouTube channel, we'd love it if you'd subscribe to catch a new video each week!

Join me in the adventures to come!
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  1. Looks like a great start to your California vacation. I can't wait to see more next week!

  2. That burger!!!! Mmmm!!!!! I just love each and every detail! I have a thing for people watching in airports, so an early arrival is PERFECT! And Ray Comfort on the beach with a Subway gift card?! AMAZING! And really, clean hotels cannot be beat! I'm always terrified of booking hotels I've never before stayed for the same germaphobic reasons! Looking forward to next Tuesday!

  3. So excited to hear all about your California trp and so glad you are blogging again!!

  4. Excited to read more trip reports! I've done my fair share of traveling (thanks to my last job) and I don't think I ever had such an easy airport check in like that! What luck you guys had! Sounds like your trip started out wonderfully. Can't wait to hear more!

  5. Sounds like you had a great start to your amazing vacation! I'd love to make it back to So Cal some day! Huntington Beach looks amazing! Looking forward to reading next weeks report. :)

  6. Can I be part of your family for a little while?? You guys have so much fun!

  7. Wow, what an amazing trip!! I can't wait until our kids get a little older so we can do stuff like this! You guys had so much fun.

  8. YAY for new trip reports!! Glad to learn new details about the trip - like how you met Ray Comfort!! How funny that you ran into quite a few people that you knew of!
    And happy to see new Eat, Sleep, Dis, Repeat videos too! :)

  9. I found a moment to come along on your trip! Lincoln is asleep in his little dockatot at the foot of my bed. I laughed at your dateline comment, so many trust issues. Ick. I was researching laundry machines for the new house and I saw this tiny one for dorm rooms. I wanted it just because it was cute, but if you were truly paranoid you could bring it on all hotel stays and wash the bedding yourself =)


I would love to hear from you today! I enjoy reading each and every comment I receive. (I do moderate them before they're published. Gotta keep it family friendly! ;)) Let's chat! B.Y.O.C. {Bring Your Own Chocolate!}