California Adventures: San Francisco

We spent a wonderful day in San Francisco as one of the stops on our cruise. Unfortunately, I was getting over a cold and Damon was healing from a dental procedure. So our first stop was a pharmacy. And, of course, along the way, mini-man fell asleep. On the plus side, it gave us time to get to the pharmacy and make some plans.

When we go on cruises, we try to be adventurous and not make concrete plans. We just make a list of goals and try to accomplish as much as possible. 

Our first stop was a trip on a San Francisco Trolley ( a must as Damon LOVES trains!). Unfortunately, that love doesn’t seem to have been passed on to mini-man. The gears on the trolley made loud noises and it freaked him out. He clung to me and cried a lot. 

Luckily, we got to the end of the line pretty quickly, which happened to be really close to a park. Mini-man loves being able to run around.

At this point, we were pretty hungry, so we headed to lunch. We stumbled upon a highly rated burger place and man were those burgers good! Mini-man loved the fries 😝

After filling up, we headed back towards the area where the ship was docked and managed to make our way to Ghirardelli! I think our adventure was a bit much for mini-man – he fell asleep again! But Damon and I were able to enjoy some amazing ice cream.

Once mini-man woke up, we were able to play in the grass with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Our next stop was the infamous Fisherman’s Warf, where we got to look at The Rock (I always think of Sean Connery). During this stops, Damon sat on a wooden bench to rest. At one point he wanted to get a picture and slid down the bench – and received a splinter!

Once we got back, Damon felt uncomfortable so we went in search of the onboard doctor. Much to Our surprise, we discovered that the splinter was an inch long! Thank goodness for the doctor.

Afterwards, we decided to walk around the ship and stumbled upon a gorgeous sunset by the Golden Gate Bridge. Silver lining – we got to see this beautiful sunset due to Damon’s injury.

A definite adventure for us but a fun time was had by all 💗

California Adventures: Pasadena

Pasadena is a beautiful city just north of  Glendale. I wish we could have experienced more in Pasadena, but we did enjoy several activities and sites, including:

  • The Rose Parade

  • The Pasadena City Orchestra

  • The Kidspace Museum

  • And of course, The Gamble House – a.k.a. Doc Browns House!

California Adventures: Food!

I am a huge foodie. Something I only discovered when I got to college and love spending time eating and/or making amazing food. In fact, when I was very annoyed when I was pregnant because my body only wanted healthy food. Any good with spice or variety made me ill.

So when I found out we were moving to Glendale I was thrilled. In Orlando, we have good food but it’s mainly large, chain restaurants. California is home to a wide variety of food and restaurants.

Some of my favorites include:

  • Porto’s Barkery (and dangerous since it was within walking distance)
  • Frida’s Mexican Restaurant
  • Sushi on Brand
  •  Trattori Amici
  • Everest Burger
  • Too many fast food restaurants within walking distance
  • See’s

I’ll really miss all these amazing culinary experiences. 

California Adventures: Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara is a perfect sea-side town. Quaint shops line the main street, beautiful beaches, and wonderul restaurants.

We had a wonderful day walking through town, enjoying a delicous Mexican lunch while watching this small town come to life.

California Adventures: Our Apartment

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I dislike driving. Added to the fact that I’m shy and it makes living in a new place difficult for me. However, with a new child, I wanted to be able to take him places to have fun. 

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when we found our apartment in Glendale. 

Large hallways allowed mini-man to race around in his walker and learn to walk. 

Nice, spacious public areas with ample seating, bbq’s, and firepits. 

An amazing pool area with cabanas to enjoy.

The apartment itself has been great for our family – lots of space for mini-man to play!.

All-in-all, a fun place for mini-man to explore for the past year. 

California Adventures: Cruising

As any mom knows, trying to travel with young children can be difficult. So what is a couple of travelers to do when they want to see a lot of places but also have a baby? Cruising!

As Floridians, we have taken a lot of cruises to most of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. So we were eager to have the chance to explore a lot of the west coast without restricting mini-man to his car seat.

We managed to take two cruises while we were here – one along the west coast, stopping in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and San Diego, and one to the Mexican Riviera (very love boat).

We absolutely loved these vacations. We got to see a lot of what the west coast has to offer while getting to relax and enjoy ourselves. I’d highly recommend both of these cruises to any family.

California Adventures: Glendale

One I’m the things I hate most about California is driving – the freeways are crazy and filled with reckless, speeding drivers. Add a baby into the car and I become a mess behind the wheel. So when Damon got transferred, I was adamant that our new place be close to activities for us to enjoy without a lot of driving.

Where we ended up met a lot of those requirements – downtown Glendale!

Why? We are within walking distance to a variety of stores and restaurants – including: the Americana, Glendale Galleria, Goodwill, Chipotle, Burger King, and much more. I am going to miss being so close to a variety of  restautants (sushi, italian, Mexicans…). At home, most restaurants are chain restaurants that don’t offer a lot of variety. 

Walking distance to fun playgrounds for mini-man to enjoy.

We are also within close distance to stores and play areas to enjoy as a family.

As much as I am thrilled to be going home, I will miss Glendale.

California Adventure: The Beach

One of the first weekend we were here we took mini-man to the beach. A big change from Orlando, where the nearest beach is 90 minutes away and has tons of public access, the closest beach to uabwas several hours away. Then when we finally arrived, there was very little public parking and access to the beach was limited – very rocky terrain.

But being the adventurous people we are, we went down the path and ended up in a rocky area of the beach. After walking for over an hour we finally found a spot where we could sit – but you can imagine how tired we all were. We cooled off in the ocean – mini-man loved his feet in the water – but were more than ready to head home.

At this point mini-man was crying and I didn’t have the energy to go back the way we came. Unfortunately, each access point back to the car was private. Damon and I agreed to split at this point – he want back the way we came and I headed for the nearest public access point with mini-man.

Thank goodness we met some nice people who let mini-man and me use their private access. I got to the shade and called Damon immediately. As soon as he showed up, mini-man passed out.

Needless to say this adventurous trip was a bit much for all of us. We soon discovered that our pool was just steps away from our front door and a  much easier place to take mini-man for some water fun. 

California Adventures: The Rose Parade

The Rose Parade is a California staple. For as long as I can remember, my family and I have gotten up on New Years Day, made breakfast and hunkered down to watch the Rose Parade. When we moved to the East Coast, we made sure to watch the California broadcasts with Bob and Stephanie (the east coast people cut out too much of the parade, have too many interviews, and just overall don’t know what they are talking about). So you can imagine how excited I was to learn that we were moving to Glendale – a short drive to Pasadena: Home of the Rose Parade.

Since we have mini-man, I went ahead and got stadium seating so we wouldn’t have to get up early and wait for the parade in the cold. Totally worth it – we arrived in plenty of time to park and find our seats. However, there were a few things I didn’t realize:

  • Long wait: we had to arrive early before they closed the gates. But that’s usually before the parade itself starts. And we were 90 minutes from the start of the parade – which meant we wait for a long time.
  • Unusual pre-show: People know that you are waiting there. So they march in the street yelling all sorts of things. I think I was told I’d be going to be damned numerous times by a variety of groups. Definitely something you don’t see on TV.
  • It’s quiet: you watch the parade on tv and you hear music and commentary. In person, you don’t hear commentary and barely hear the music.

All-in-all, I was very disappointed seeing the parade. I’m glad I got to experience the parade but next year, I’m staying home where it’s warm and I can see the parade better. 

California Adventures: Top 15

Over the past year, we’ve had numerous adventures together. Here is our top 15 adventures, in no particular order (I tried but I kept redoing it – there were too many amazing adventures):

  1. Pasadena Children’s Museum
  2. Los Angeles Zoo
  3. Disneyland
  4. The Queen Mary
  5. Irving Park Railroad
  6. San Diego
  7. San Francisco
  8. Pasadena
  9. Food
  10. Santa Barbara 
  11. Our Apartment
  12. Cruising
  13. Glendale
  14. Beach
  15. Rose Parade

Join us over the next two weeks as we go through our biggest adventures while we countdown our last days in Glendale.