It’s official – we love California. I know, we only spent a short amount of time there but let’s face it… it’s California. It’s awesome.
In my last post, I talked alllll about the conference I went to in Anaheim. However, we arrived in California early & stayed a couple of days extra so we could really enjoy it since I was spending so much time at the conference, plus we wanted to spend more time with Mike’s aunt and uncle! While I was at the conference, Mike got to hang out with his uncle & in the evenings we were treated to dinners and great conversation. It was definitely one of the best trips I’ve ever been on.
So, where did we go & what did we do?
Our first night in California, after arriving and registering for the conference, we headed to Mike’s aunt & uncle’s house and I got to meet them for the first time! They are so nice & their house is gorgeous. After we got settled in, we were off to go sightsee and have dinner. We went to Newport Beach (which was gorgeous) and it was so much fun just walking along the beach and down the boardwalk and taking it all in.
After wandering around the beach, Mike’s aunt and uncle took us to a nearby seafood restaurant (I can’t remember the name now…) where we had scallops sashimi in a ponzu sauce (so delicious!) and crap cakes as appetizers and I had grilled shrimp & scallops as my meal. It was delicious! After day 2 of the conference, Mike, his aunt and uncle, and I met up with some of their other family members for dinner at Roy’s (a Hawaiian/Pacific Rim restaurant) where we had spicy edamame and lobster potstickers to start off, then I got a trio of fish (Salmon, Mahi Mahi, and Butterfish) as my meal and we all shared some amazing pineapple upside down cake and molten chocolate lava cake for dessert! Once again, the food was amazing & it was so nice to meet more of Mike’s family.
On Friday night (after day 3 of the conference), Mike’s aunt made homemade lobster tails from the Florida Keys and we had an amazing strawberry/watermelon salad, corn on the cob, and some fresh veggies on the side. His aunt & I also (of course) enjoyed some wine! Another amazing night in SoCal <3
What was supposed to be day 4 of the conference ended up being a day spent in Venice & Santa Monica! We wanted to explore California some more so we headed out to the coast and met up with Lyndsay and her boyfriend. I really enjoyed spending more time with her and of course getting to see more of Cali. We had lunch at the Santa Monica boardwalk and just walked along the beach and hung out. I saw the “Muscle Beach” that is right next to the Santa Monica pier which was interesting, oh and I put my feet in the Pacific Ocean for the first time!!! Lyndsay got to experience not only my first In-N-Out but also my first time in the Pacific Ocean haha! I know I have said this over and over but it was just so much fun. We left Santa Monica a little bit before dinner time so we could get dinner with Mike’s aunt and uncle. Since we got back a little bit late, we decided to go to a Lebanese/Mediterranean restaurant that night. I really enjoyed the tabbouleh 🙂
Up next was our last day in California. We were sad that our trip was coming to an end, but also excited to have one more fun day. We originally were going to head down to San Diego, but we had been talking about the mountains so much that we decided to go check those out instead. We drove up to Big Bear Lake and had lunch, did a little exploring, then headed back in time to have one last dinner with Mike’s aunt and uncle. Once again, I was blown away by California’s beauty. The pictures I took of the mountains don’t even do it justice. We enjoyed the drive just as much as the destination, too. Once we got up to Big Bear, we stopped at the Big Bear Lake Brewing Company for lunch (and of course I had to try a beer!). Afterwards, we headed down to the lake to check it out. I wish we had more time because we definitely would’ve rented some kayaks or something! We’re already planning a trip back during the winter so we can go skiing too.
Our final meal with Mike’s aunt and uncle was yummy italian food (eggplant parmesan and manicotti) with some AMAZING wine. I think it was a Cabernet Sauvignon by Jordan. Haven’t been able to find it here in Ohio but it was SO good. We spent the rest of the night relaxing and hanging out and packing up… it was sad to leave after such an amazing trip, but now we can look forward to coming back! I’m so so glad this trip happened, even against bad circumstances and poor timing, it was SO worth it.
Thanks again for following along with our California adventures! 🙂
Have you ever been to California? What are you favorite parts/spots/things to see/etc?