As most of you know Bryan coaches volleyball. He coaches indoor volleyball at Pope High School AND he coaches a year round beach volleyball program called Southern Select Sand. Over the course of the beach season several of his girls qualified for various national championships - one of which was being played in Hermosa Beach, California (AAU Nationals). Lucky for me I was able to tag along with Bryan on this trip. Since the beach house was rented for a full week Bryan and I along with Coach Dave and his lovely wife Lori, flew out to sunny California a few days before the tournament started to take in some of the west coast.
Looking to the left from the pier Rocky coastline in the distance. If we ever go again I want to take a drive over to have a closer look.
Looking to the right from the pier. See the mountains in the distance?
Looking back to the right from the pier. Seriously - rows and rows of houses on top of each other. There is hardly anything green! This was the most bizarre thing to me. I am so use to big green trees and lots of lush green grass.
Looking back to the left from the pier. More houses.
I have never been to California so I was pretty excited. I thought it was beautiful, but completely different than what you find on the east coast and in the Gulf. Hermosa Beach is a lively area that offered coarse dark sand, freezing ocean water, houses as far as the eye can see (most were pretty killer), mountains and rocky coastlines in the distance and stunning sunsets. The atmosphere in general was very laid back and low key.
Taken from the top deck of the beach house.
Since we made the journey out to the west coast sans kids we did what any intelligent adults would do...we hit up Disneyland and Disney California Adventure! We couldn't be that close to the parks and not go. Early Monday morning after our Sunday arrival we woke up and took Uber to the parks. It took about 45 minutes to get there. Thankfully we left early enough that we missed traffic. I must admit that I had a fabulous time cruising around the parks with just Bryan. With just the two of us we were able to hustle through both parks and get everything on our list accomplished during our one LONG day there.
Now please don't get me wrong...I totally enjoyed Disneyland and thought it was fantastic, but I wasn't overly impressed. Gasp! I heard it was small, but I guess it was just much smaller than I expected. The size did help getting from point A to point B much easier. The castle is pretty, but very little and honestly somewhat underwhelming. Gasp again! When Bryan and I saw it we both laughed. Like I said, we really enjoyed it and are happy we chose to go, but I don't necessarily feel like I must go again.
Space Mountain is temporarily being called Hyper Space Mountain and has a Star Wars theme. Bryan and I loved it...of course. This was the only attraction we did twice.
Big Thunder Mountain - not a bad picture for being in the middle of a ride.
Just before taking this picture a couple was standing out in front of the castle and the guy proposed. Everyone started clapping. Cute moment.
With all of that said we absolutely LOVED Disney California Adventure and would definitely visit this park again if given the chance. It was laid out nicely and simply put: fun. We ended up spending more time in DCA than DL because we loved it so much.
Tower of Terror
Y'all Cars Land is so adorable.
I couldn't stop thinking about Bryce and how much he would love it. The details are perfect. It looks just like the movie! I posted a ton of snaps on Snapchat from our day at DL and DCA and I thought I had saved the story, but apparently that didn't happen, which was a bummer. I had a ton of snaps from Cars Land that I wanted to show Bryce.
Pretzel bites from one of the cones at the Cozy Cone Motel.
Toy Story Mania
I got pretty excited about the bread at dinner. This carb lover was in heaven. I was good and only ate one small portion. I was also tempted to stuff the rest in our backpack and decided not too when Bryan looked at me and said, "Are you being serious"? Ha!
After spending several hours in DCA we left and headed back over to Disneyland to fit in a few rides we didn't get to earlier in the day. We also watched a little of the firework show while making our way to one of the attractions. I love the fireworks, but they are never high on my to-do list in the parks. I hate the wait before the show and I hate the crowds that gather so we've been known to skip them and enjoy rides instead. We closed down the parks and were both completely spent. We were gone a total of 17 hours so the next day I was virtually useless, but we did manage a bike ride, relaxing on the beach and dinner with Dave and Lori.
Bryan had girls playing on Wednesday so we spent most of the day on the beach. Surprisingly the temperature was in the upper 70's. It may have reached the low 80's at one point, but it was far from hot. There was a nice breeze and very low humidity, which this Georgia girl was not use to at all! Needless to say the low humidity and nice breeze didn't prevent me from getting burned. I did have on sunblock, but I should have known better.
Courts in front of us and behind us.
This is what we did all day. Sat and watched volleyball. It was very relaxing and fun to watch.
This is Lori. We were on our way to dinner. There are all sort of shops and restaurants sprinkled throughout the area making it easy to walk everywhere. Tons of people bike, skateboard, inline skate, etc. If I ever go back I will definitely bring my skates and Bryan said he will bring his skateboard. Then we can show them how it's done. Hahaha!
I left bright and early on Thursday morning to catch a flight back to Georgia so I could be home for Bryce's actual birthday on the 22nd. No way was this mom going to miss one of my babe's birthdays! Bryan had girls playing the rest of the week and didn't make it back home until late afternoon Sunday.
I really enjoyed the trip. I loved getting to visit an area I had never been to before and I thought the little bit of the west coast I saw was lovely, BUT I am definitely an east coast girl.
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