Summer Road Trip Chapter II – Anaheim & Catalina

Anaheim, Calgary, Facebook, San Fran, Travel, Uncategorized

The Route

Calgary – Kennewick

Kennewick – Redding

Redding – San Francisco

San Francisco – Anaheim

The Stay: 3 Nights

The Nest: Hotel Indigo

The Miles: SF – Anaheim: 656 Kilometres / 2,730 Kilometres Approx

Anaheim/Newport/Catalina Island

Last time I was in Anaheim, I was in grade six when my grandparents took my sister and I to visit Disneyland. This is still today, one of my favorite memories with my family, and with Jen especially.   There are many times from that trip, that I can still recall so vividly that it’s as if it were just recent. The highlight of the trip then was going down Splash Mountain a total of ten times throughout our days at Disneyland. When I was there, I don’t recall a tonne of lineups for rides. I was really excited to head back to Anaheim. To me, it’s just such a beautiful, chill place… and of course, I have some of my fondest memories there.  Couldn’t wait to begin a new journey there with Amanda who had never been.

Day 1

Anaheim was one of the few destinations, where we actually had plans, with the baseball game that evening, and then Disneyland the following day, and our final day was a trip to Catalina Island. Day 1 comprised mostly of driving, as left SF in the early AM, then sat on the freeway in LA for another chunk of the day.  We eventually arrived at our hotel around 3:30, and almost then almost fought to the death over who got to pee first.  Once we settled that out, we settled in.  Our hotel was absolutely magnificent.  Top 5 hotels I have ever been too, no question, and location was excellent.

Several hours later Amanda was finally ready, and we were able to leave.  Part of what made our hotel so great was the location.  20 steps from a California Pizza Kitchen, and a PF Changs.  Two of my favorite Murican’ establishments.  After our fantastic meal at CPK, we were off to the Angels game.  The easy highlight of the trip for me, no question.  I hadn’t been to a baseball game since I was in SoCal last when I was 12 or so, we went to an Arizona v. SD Padres game.  So I was once again like a little kid.  A lost squirrel, if you will, completely overwhelmed.  The stadium was amazing, the beer was huge, cold and well priced, there were cool team stores everywhere. It was just cool. I probably ended up having a few more of those massive beers than I should have, but, it was great. I could have spent the whole week going to ball games. I wanted to sit in every different section possible.  Oh ya, and they gave us these wicked beach bags. Which we used every day on our holiday.  So really, this game made the trip.  We wouldn’t have had those bags otherwise.  

Day 2

The thing I hate most about holidays… is sleeping on them.  I can’t, I find it to be such a waste of time, so I am always up very early, and ready to go right away.  This I think is Amanda’s favorite travel habit of mine! There is just so much to always see, do, read about that you can’t do in your sleep!  Well, again, several hours later Amanda was finally ready, and we walked to disneyland.  I was a kid yesterday at the ball game, now it was Amanda’s turn to be a kid at Disneyland.  She was prettttttty excited, it was actually cool to see.  It was her first time in Disneyland, and I’m happy to be the one to have took her.  However, as ecstatic as she was walking up too and through the gates of Disneyland, the excitement vanished quickly.  Only a couple rides in.  We went on the Star Tours ride, which is a 3D simulator ride, that’s pretty rough, though pretty cool but a lot of people left the “Star Tour” feeling a little queasy.  Then we took advantage of our fast pass to Space Mountain.  I remember Space Mountain being this cool glow in the dark like roller coaster.  Well, I thought they must have changed it, because it wasn’t glow in the dark.  It was a pitch black roller coaster, and terrifying.  This roller coaster is flying, curling, twisting, flipping… In the complete black.  You couldn’t see a thing.  People were turning on their flashlights on their phones so they could see.  At the end of the ride, we just stopped.  The whole thing just kind of shut down for about 10 minutes, with the speaker coming on in a star trooper voice telling us to be patient blah blah.  Finally we got back into the dock, and got the hell out of there.  I have no idea still what happened, but something wasn’t right.  The ride shut down later that night.   After our bad experience on Star Tours, and then another on Space Mountain.  We weren’t really having it.  I was feeling a little off, and Amanda was feeling downright sick.  So we took a break, departed “Tommorowland” and had lunch.  

It took us awhile, but finally we were ready to go again and enjoy Disneyland, or try.  We just needed to get out of the “Tomorrowland” town. The rest was great, besides how fricking busy the whole place was. It was crazy, especially on a Wednesday; I was convinced it wouldn’t be too bad. Hahahah! Wrong. The one thing I remember about DL last time, was that oftentimes we just walked right up to the ride and got on, then got off, and walked back up and went again. If I recall, we had a 3 day pass, but I think we did every ride a few times each. Including Splash ten times, and Space Mountain a few times too… with lights on.  This was not the case this time, I think the shortest wait time we had in a line was probably 30 minutes without a fast pass, and the longest probably about an hour, even with fast passes, there were times we still waited 20 minutes or so to get on the ride. It was CRAY! We had to be pretty selective of what we wanted to do as an hour would go by, and we’d only get one thing done, by the time you wait, do the ride, and exit. Then, we’d usually have to find a washroom to pee, or get ice cream, or a pretzel or whatever other snacks. The ride I was waiting for all day was Splash Mountain, and of course the wait time for this was two hours, and I wasn’t doing that so we had to save it to the end before we left around 9:30. It was just as cool as I remember.

Day 3

Another early day, having to be at the Newport Catalina ferry terminal to board by 8:30am.  We predicted the traffic terribly, and arrived at the ferry around 8:50, then had a battle parking, so I parked in the only lot I could find, a two hour lot. Our ferry returned to Newport at 5:45, so two hours should…umm… cover it? The ship left at 9:00am.  By the time my parking war ended, I got to the boat at … ahh about 8:58pm.  Rumor has it, Amanda wasn’t thrilled with me.   After I harassed Amanda about getting sick on the kids ride, she got her revenge on me en route to Catalina as I barely stomached it. Along with the rest of the ship.  Though, in the beginning it was a beautiful trip, we saw many dolphins jumping in and out of the water, along with a few whales.  The dolphins was cool, I had never seen a dolphin before, so to see 15-20 of them alongside our boat was quite fascinating.  The rest of our time on the ship after that however… was horrible.   

Finally, we docked in Catalina, and I couldn’t be happier, I tried to hide from Amanda that I barely survived that, but, she knew right away. Might have been my ghostlike complexion. Not sure. Anyway, we went to this restaurant a couple on the boat had recommended, and it was great. Largest menu I have seen and fantastic food.  Well priced too which was a new thing for us on this trip.  

Catalina was absolutely beautiful. I didn’t even know it was a real place, I just thought it was a fictional land from Step Brothers. But, it was certainly real, and stunning. We walked along the beach for a bit, checked out some cool shops, then parked it on the beach, where I had a exceptional nap. Unfortunately, we only had the day there, and had to board the ship again at 4:30 and set sail home. I was terrified of going on this again, and thought I was going to vomit foresure. I changed our seating arrangement and sat outside, on the top and told myself the fresh air would help me. It did, the ride back seemed much, much better.   We arrived back in Newport around 6:00, and headed back to Anaheim for dinner at PF Changs, and then called it a day, and a trip to Anaheim as we’d leave to LA/El Segundo via Laguna Beach in the AM.

Final Synopsis

I absolutely love(d) Anaheim, and area. I would go back anytime, and for any length of time. There are so many beautiful areas all around. If I were to go back, I think I would probably go back without a trip to Disneyland, I think as an adult, it’s cool for a day, but the crowds of people were enough for me to be satisfied with going once as an adult.  Though, I’d maybe try California Adventure Park.  

If you’re going…

  1. If you haven’t done Disneyland, of course go for a day, but before you get too far… Create a plan of action.  Commit to lineups.  
  2. Absolutely go to an Angels game. No question.
  3. Catalina is also a must. I think it was $60 per person on the boat, and it’s awesome. Despite the hour to get there.
  4. Take a day for Newport Beach area, and as well Laguna

Next Time

  1. I’d certainly spend a few nights in the Laguna/Newport Area
  2. Go to more Angels games!
  3. Rest & Relax.
  4. More time at the beaches

And thats Chapter II on our journey!  After Anaheim, we detoured through Laguna Beach and headed towards LA.  I’ll have that for you soon! 

– B