Wednesday, July 25, 2012

West Coast? Best Coast: Part 2, Where Can I Actually Find the Happiest Place on Earth?

Let's just say I didn't realize how much I loved California until I left it.
Put your stunna shades on

But anyway, our travels began in Long Beach. I had only actually SWAM in the ocean once before in my entire life (this means I had my actual bathing suit on my body and more than just my ankles got wet). With Jess and Kori, I met Cait, Alex and Obi at the beach, splashed around, saw the sunset, and were so freakin' pleased.

First night at the beach with Kori
Redondo Beach
I had booked a hotel somewhere near-ish the wedding venue, and as we were driving down the street I was having a mini anxiety attack because the hotels that we were passing were SO sketch. Luckily, the El Dorado Coast Hotel wasn't terrible, even if I did have to collect my room key from behind a plexi-glass window as if I was at the movie theater or the bank. (Why DO they have those at movie theaters anyway?) I stayed there with Hunter and Kori, and it was a blast. The three of us have taken trips together before, and it's always outrageously fun. (You should be jealous).  Saturday before the wedding we made our way BACK to Long Beach with some of Kori's friends, where we met Cait and Alex again, and even saw the elusive Ben Hogen for a minute! It is seriously so great to be on vacation but surrounded by your closest friends, especially in such a beautiful place. Sunday we tried Redondo Beach, which was even more beautiful (if that's possible). The one complaint I have about the beach is the SAND. I hate it! I'm used to rocky beaches, and for all you rocky beach haters out there, let me assure you that you never have to dig sand out of your butt after a day at the beach in Washington. Kori, Hunter and I didn't even have the luxury of a place to get the sand off that day, so we shopped and ate while our butts were like sandpaper- soooo not pleasant.
Hunty, our tour guide

Disney lovers, for the moment
After we dropped Hunter off at Long Beach Airport (which looks like it came straight out of the 1960's), Kori and I got some much needed rest and prepped to go to...DISNEYLAND!! Disneyland started out happily enough- we went to the brand spankin' new Cars Land in California Adventure and had pretty good luck getting on rides in a reasonable amount of time. But about that whole "happiest place on earth" thing? It's not that I don't love Disney, and it's not even that I don't love rides (I actually discovered that roller coasters are one of my truest loves), it's just that there are 5 bazillion people around you, it's hot, it's expensive, and waiting in lines isn't fun. The day WAS going really well however, until we had the terrible idea to meet Mickey Mouse. He has his own house in Toon Town or wherever, and the sign in from of the seemingly tiny house said the wait was 10 minutes. 10 minutes you say??
Cars Land was the best thing ever
Yes, we will wait 10 minutes for an adorable photo of ourselves with this beloved mouse. These 10 minutes turned into 70 minutes, and Mickey continued lying to us. "I'll be waiting for you in the back yard", he lies. Save yourself this nonsense and go to a character breakfast. After the Mickey mess, we went to ride Indiana Jones. And it was pretty fun. But as soon as we got out, I realized I HAD LOST MY IPHONE ON THE RIDE. At this moment, Disneyland grew dark, dementors swarmed in to give me the kiss of death, and the happiest place on earth was officially my own personal hell. Luckily I knew where it was- it was on Indiana Jones! What I didn't know is if it had been stolen, run over by those damn jeeps, or been tossed into a pile of dirt. At midnight, when the park closed, I went to check on my baby. It hadn't been found. I went home. I called back the next morning. Nothing. BUT THEN, around 9:30 AM, the dear lost and found woman (who I had cried hysterically to an hour and a half earlier) called and told me my phone had been found and was waiting for me!!!! I felt nothing but gratitude for the Disneyland maintenance man who had walked the track of the Indiana Jones ride in search of my phone. So Disneyland might not be the happiest place on earth, but at least it isn't the UNhappiest.
Jessy Poo and I at Long Beach

10 Places Happier Than Disneyland:

10. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC
9. Red Robin
8. River Front Park in Spokane, Wash.
7. The Energy Solutions Arena (specifically when the Celtics are playing)
6. The Louvre
5. Adam and Jesse's wedding
4. Any beach in the world
3. Britney Spears concert
2. The airport when Elder Hansen came home from his mission
Some of my nearest and dearest
1. The Cabin when it is filled with my nearest and dearest

All in all, California was awesome! I wish I could do it all over again. <3

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

West Coast? Best Coast: Part 1, I Adore Adam and Jesse

I have just completed a month long vacation-a-thon. No, I did not have the money to do this. But I did it anyway. My story begins in California...


The handsome groomies and I, after getting really sweaty at the reception. STILL CUTE. 

 Before this, I had only been to the Golden State once. It was for my cousin's wedding when I was 15, and since my memory is really bad I barely remember it. What I do remember is my Mom FREAKING out about California drivers, California freeways, California rush hour traffic, etc. You get the idea. Since I am a woman, anxiety-free driving isn't one of my strong points. But off i went, with Kori and Jess in tow, to drive to Los Angeles for one big, huge, exciting reason: JESSE AND ADAM'S WEDDING! There were other mini reasons for going, but this was the one I was most looking forward to.

The BYU crowd who came to the wedding. Also my best friends: Ben, Hunter (best man), Alex and Cait. 

The STUNNING view from Wayfarer's Chapel, where the wedding was held.
I met Adam and Jesse through my bff Hunter, when they were roommates in the infamous Pool House. I have yet to find two people more deserving of love and happiness. These guys always made me feel loved and important and were extremely hospitable. Needless to say, I adore them. The wedding was absolutely beautiful- perfect location, perfect weather, perfect people. I was so grateful to be there, surrounded by some of my dearest friends, celebrating their marriage. Not only did I get to see Jesse and Adam, but Cait and Alex also made it down, Hunter flew out from New York, and Ben came from Phoenix, AND I got to see the ever-charming Cary Crall. Some of the loveliest people in the whole world, all together in Southern California. I was so happy. Every day I'm so grateful I have the friends that I do, the kind that are hilarious and fun and accepting and supportive of one another. And also SO darn attractive. How did I get so lucky? Aside from the fabulous wedding, I also got to go to the beach, and to Disneyland, and spend time with more lovely friends. But more about that later.