The past week has been a blur of days that were as fun as they were exhausting. Our legs ache, our feet are blistered, but Ryan and myself are as happy as two kids in a toy store... (or as ourselves, in a toy store...).
On Friday, we loaded up the car and headed south down the coast. We spent the morning winding alongside steep cliffs with incredible ocean views. The long day of driving was broken up with a stop in Monterey, a pretty coastal town full of sea lions and more importantly, seafood.
As we wandered Fisherman's Wharf in search of a delicious dinner, we were overwhelmed with options. Each restaurant offered a sample of their clam chowder, proclaiming it to be the best. We were happy to taste each one and make the decision ourselves. What won us over in the end was one restaurant that served a free appetizer of buffalo style calamari. As huge fans of buffalo chicken wings, we had to try it. Oh my goodness, whoever thought of that combination was pure genius. It was delicious.
We contemplated ordering a second round, but decided to share a main course instead. Continuing the seafood theme, we ordered cioppino, a mixture of crab, shrimp, mussels, oysters and calamari all drowning in a tomato broth. Our tastebuds were not disappointed.
After our great dinner we wandered the wharf, stopping to watch the sea lions before heading back to the car to continue the journey.
The rest of the way seemed to take an eternity as we headed towards Los Angeles. We drove through the night up massive hills fearing that our car would overheat. We finally reached LA and for a brief few moments took in the view of the lit-up downtown from the freeway. Shortly after midnight we reached Anaheim, and just a short distance down the road from our hotel we drove past the entrance to Disneyland! It was late and we were tired, but I couldn't help but to be excited for the next day.
We reached the comfort of our hotel room and called it a night after what had been a very long day of driving.
The next day was the day that I'd waited my entire childhood for. Ryan and I were bound for Disneyland!! As we entered the gates I grew more and more excited as I spotted Mickey Mouse everything. It was insanely busy but I didn't care. I was finally in Disneyland and I was going to love it.
Ryan and I spent the day running between Disneyland and California Adventure, grabbing fast passes, eating Mickey shaped pretzels and ice cream, and riding rides.
I won't go as far as to detail our day to day activities, because that would be one extra long blog. I can assure you that we had an amazing time and that Disneyland is not overrated, at least in my opinion. We spent 3 days in the park before it was time to head north again. The highlights? Splash Mountain, California Screamin', Space Mountain, the nightly fireworks and the World of Colour show, which put the fountains of the Burj Khalifa and Bellagio to shame.
After fulfilling my childhood dream, it was time to make Ryan's come true. We were off to Six Flags Magic Mountain, to spend the day riding some of the world's craziest rollercoasters. We loaded up the car, determined to get an early start to make it across LA by 10:30 am. As we were putting the last few items in the car I saw something out of the corner of my eye that could potentially ruin our entire day. "Umm, Ryan…" I said, reluctantly. "…we have a flat tire." We looked at each other in silence, suddenly much less excited about our day than we had been minutes earlier. I left him to assess the situation as I went inside to check out. Fortunately, it was an easy fix. Ryan's emergency car kit came in handy as he filled the tire up and we continued on our way. We were headed into rush hour traffic, but aside from a few back up areas it wasn't nearly as terrible as we'd expected it to be.
We arrived at the park just before the gates opened, forgetting all about the tire and focusing on having fun. Once the park was open we headed to pick up our Flash Pass. We'd paid double the admission fee for it, but it was well worth it. For the entire day we skipped the massive lines and proceeded to the front, waiting a maximum of 10 minutes for the popular rides and hopping straight on for many of them. Best of all, once we'd finished the ride our pass enabled to ride again, angering the people waiting for their turn. It was great. In the +40 degree heat we rode rollercoasters and water rides non-stop from the time the park opened until it closed at night. I've never been happier about the fact that I don't have a weak stomach, although a few of the coasters left me feeling a bit dizzy for awhile afterwards. Ryan was ecstatic, particularly after riding the insane X2 rollercoaster.
The park closed and we left on a happy adrenaline high. Having made no plans for the evening, we continued driving until we came across a row of motels along the interstate. We stopped at each one until we were so tired that we settled for a somewhat sketchy place that offered free wifi and breakfast. How could we pass that up? Ryan examined the bedding and we reluctantly crawled onto the rock hard mattress. It looked like one of those motels on TV where criminals running from the law hide, but it beat the Walmart parking lot. At least we could have a shower. We got through the night and hit the road, happy to leave.
Back to the I-5 interstate we went, driving through the state of California, passing vineyards, deserts, and mountains.
We made it to Oregon and pulled into a slightly nicer motel to spend the evening. Tomorrow it's back to the road and onto Washington!