Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 7- LA

If you had been looking for Rebekah and I at 7am this morning, you would have found us walking on our way to a bus stop. Walking 1.5 miles to be exact. Getting up that early was not the easiest thing in the world, (especially since I did not go to bed until 2:15am the night before!) but once we were up and walking, it was surprisingly relaxing! The breeze was blowing, we were talking and the 1.5 miles passed extremely quickly. We took the bus to a metro, and that to another metro. I like riding the metros better then the buses, because they have been on time for the most part. Once we arrived at the food pantry, we had orientation, and got working! This work was different from San Diego’s because it was all behind the scene getting to food ready to hand out, instead of actually handing it out. I enjoyed the work a ton! I can’t really tell you which I liked better, because they are both very different, but there is just something so gratifying about going out of your way to do something you know will help someone else!

We were working in a big refrigerator room, sorting through crates and crates and crates of food. We had to check the dates, make sure the container was ok, box it with other items from it’s category, and then sort all the boxes. The process repeated it’s self over and over and over, but when you are working with a bunch of people and talking and laughing you don’t really notice how much work you are doing! My favorite part of it was sorting the eggs. Many of the eggs were broken so we had to throw those away and put all the good ones in cartons together. It’s really fun to throw egg after egg into a big trashcan J Next time your stressed, just take a carton of eggs and throw them against something!

After the pantry we were trying to find lunch. The first restaurant I had found via Urbanspoon was not open for lunch, and so we just hopped on a bus and decided to get off when we saw something. We found an adorable little restaurant that was in an interesting (not so nice) part of town. The food was excellent though! It was a little Slider shop. I order the Chicken Fajita Slider and a salad. The salad had a wonderful vinaigrette on it, and the slider was good. I also tried some of Rebekah’s mac and cheese, and she didn’t like it, so we switched meals J They had deep-fried twinkeis, which I had never had, so we ordered it to split it. WELL I still can’t even look at fried stuff because of the Monte Cristo sandwich I had last night. My body does not appreciated when I eat fried stuff, and I usually can’t eat anything fried for a week without feeling sick. Needless to say, Rebekah at the Twinkies J

We headed back to the hotel, and are now having a much needed relaxing night! Tomorrow is a full day of Disney!


Day 6- San Diego to LA!

As the sun came up, and the birds started to chip this morning, we were out the door on our way to the train station! It was very sad to say goodbye to our first stop together, especially since every day we had spent in San Diego I fell more and more in love. But it was time to move on to our next adventure, and adventure is exactly what we got!
Lots of luggage on the bus :)

Our train ride from SD to LA went very smoothly this morning, but once we arrived we had to figure out the bus system to make it to the hotel. It took me about 30 minutes of using my Iphone and looking at maps and asking directions (and debating on whether we should get a taxi or not,) to finally find out where we needed to go. Then it was four transfers and two hours of bus riding ahead of us.  The first three transfers went smoothly, but when we arrived at our third and final transfer, the bus didn’t show. We waited for quite some time and then called the transportation center only to find out that the bus we were waiting on did not come to that stop. It was only 1.3 miles to our hotel, but 1.3 miles with 6 different bags and about 150 pounds of luggage is a very long 1.3 miles. We were going to walk it until I got the genius idea to call the hotel and see if they could come pick us up. They could, but it would be about 20 minutes. So for 20 minutes we sat on the curb, eating some Baskin Robins that we had picked up as we were sitting right in front of the store.

We finally got to the hotel, unpacked and settled in, and then it was off to Disneyland! The bus ride there was again, crazy. We found out that the day-bus passes we had bought only worked on Los Angeles county buses, and the 3 buses we needed to get to Disney were Fullerton county and Orange county. Despite buses being late and my Iphone messing up, we finally arrived at Disney late in the afternoon. 

We headed into Disneyland park, as we had dinner reservations there. We have stood in line for about 20 minutes for the Matterhorn, (and we probably have about 15 minutes left) when the speaker comes up and announces that there are some technical difficulties, and they have to shut down for at least 45 minutes. We decide to be one of the few people to actually wait, and we sit down and play would-you-rather for the time. It ends up starting up in just about 40 minutes, and after a very satisfactory ride we head towards our dinner reservations at the Café Orleans.

 I had looked up what Disneyland restaurant foodies recommend, and this was the main one. We ordered the Pommes fries, which we were told was a must, and they certainly did not disappoint. Rebekah got a chicken dish, that she said was just ok, and I got the Monte Cristo sandwich that is world famous. After the fries we were both pretty full, and when we saw our plates, we almost groaned. They could have each served quite a few people. My sandwich was turkey, ham and Swiss, coated in a light batter and fried. Then sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with a berry puree. Basically what it tasted like was a ham, turkey and Swiss sandwich wrapped in a funnel cake with a berry sauce to go on top. This may sounds utterly disgusting, and as I write this I can not believe I actually at it, but let me tell you, in some very strange way the flavor’s go together wonderfully! It was SO good. And I don’t think I am the only one who thought that because there were quite a few others who had ordered it!


After dinner we rode a few more rides, including Peter Pan which is one of my favorites! It is a simply kiddy ride, but it feels like you are really flying through the air on a ship, and it quite… magical. We headed over to California Adventure park to watch the Wonder of Colors show, which is magnificent. It is my favorite show at a Disney Park!

Finding Nemo being projected onto water in the World of Color show.

Then it was back over to DisneyLand park for another hour before closing. The lines were wonderfully short, and we basically did everything we wanted to do in Disneyland park! One of my favorite moments was riding Thunder Mountain Railroad at midnight. We were laughing, the whole roller coaster car was screaming and yelling and just having a good time. And it was midnight.

It's a Small World in one of the rides that we rode around 11pm. The outside was beautiful all lit up!

Now it is way to late for words, and we have quite the day going on tomorrow to, so I am going to sign out and hope I can wake up in the morning! Gooodnight from Los Angeles!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 5- San Diego

Whew! Today started of with a relaxing morning hanging at the apartment with our host. Then we headed down to Point Loma University to check it out for Rebekah’s sister who is considering going there. 

The first thing that struck me about it is how gorgeous the campus was. Most of the campus overlooks the ocean, and you could feel the Ocean breeze all day long. 

The people there were really friendly, though the food was not the best I have had at a college. The dorms were very symmetrical, which make OCD me happy. There were so many flower's in bloom, it was exciting!

Over all, I think it was a beautiful campus, and if I were looking for a college that alone would put it in for the running. 

After that we walked a mile to a bus stop! At first I was like “really, a mile? We just walked all over a college campus for 3 hours!” But it was fine, because we walked through a bunch of really nice neighborhoods. One of the things I have noticed about San Diego is how different each house is. A very Victorian house is next to a barn house which is next to the most modern house you have ever seen. These neighborhoods were no exception! Also, one of the neighborhoods was on a big hill, and was over looking the San Diego harbor. Such a 
gorgeous view.

Once we finally did arrive at the bus stop we took it to Sea Port Village, a little quaint area on the water that our host had recommended. I am so glad she did! 

It had lots of cute little shops and bakeries, even a cupcake shop that sold fair trade coffee! (If you are wondering about fair-trade, talk to my sister.)

The village had a little peninsula that stuck out and people went fishing off of it, as well as a big grassy area that many people flew kites on. There was a guy there who sold kites, and had 2 of the biggest kites I have ever seen in my life!

My favorite shop in the village was an shop for Urban girls. It has so many amazing little treasures; from Toms, to Vera Bradley, to beads made by women in Uganda, even adorable handmade scarves!

There was a wooden toy store right next store, that I thought I would just glance through. But then there was this toy, that Rebekah had to show me. It was a little wooden bear that would walk up two strings just by you simply pulling the ends. It was really addicting, so I ended up getting one! If you don't understand what I am talking about, just come over to my house some time and try it out :) There was also a man who do a fire-breathing show. I didn't stay for that long but what I did stay for was very neat!

 After Sea Port Village, we headed to a little restaurant called Arrivederci. I had seen it while looking out the window as we rode on the bus last night, and I had thought it looked really good. I looked it up on Urbanspoon, and it had excellent reviews, so I decided if we didn’t find anywhere better we could go there. I am SO glad we did not find anywhere better! It is by far the best food we have had the whole trip. I am a lover of Italian food, and this Italian food was very, very good! We got the brucetta to start. Brucetta is probably my all time favorite appetizer and I order it a lot of places. The best brucetta I have ever had is at a little restaurant in Georgetown, DC called il Canale. Well I am pleased to say that the brucetta tonight came in a very close second! For my entrée I got the lobster ravioli, which the waiter said was really good. I was not disappointed one bit! I was just absolutely delicious and I am gladly awaiting lunch time tomorrow when I will get to finish up the leftovers!

Rebekah's dinner

My lobster ravioli

My sister is a Tiramisu conisor. Once we finally did arrive at the bus stop we took it to Sea Port Village, a little quaint area on the water that our host had recommended. I am so glad she did! It had lots of cute little shops and bakeries, even a cupcake shop that sold fair trade coffee! (If you are wondering about fair-trade, talk to my sister.). She always tries Tiramisu at ever restaurant that offers it, and so naturally I have tried a lot of Tiramisu along with her. I decided to order theirs’, and I am very glad I did! It was wonderful, not the best I have ever tasted, but again, close to the top! One thing that really made it stand out is that you could tell they made their whipped cream part in the middle themselves. Some Tiramisu’s we have tried use something that tastes just like cool whip, and it’s disgusting!

What another wonderful day in San Diego! I have definitely fallen in love with this city (especially it’s weather and beaches!) And I am going to be oh-so-sad when we have to say good bye tomorrow!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 4- San Diego

Zoo day! Today we spent most of the day at the San Diego zoo. I have wanted to go to the San Diego zoo for as long as I have known about it. I love zoo’s and animals, and this is one of the biggest in the world! We got there bright and early, and after glancing at a map realized that it was humongous, and we had no idea where to start! A very friendly zoo guide started us in the right direction, and we took a tour over the entire zoo on the Skyfari! (Like a ski lift that goes over the whole park.) We then headed over to the Panda exibit (one of two in the United States. The other is in the National Zoo in DC! I have been to both now J)  Panda’s honestly are some of my least favorite animals. Both of the one’s we saw were sound a sleep, so they weren’t that exciting. But it’s still fun to say we saw them! Next we headed up on something called the skywalk. It was like  moving walkway that went up high to one of the exhibits. That was quite fun! We walked around and saw most of the animals.. and then stopped for a quiet picnic lunch we had packed. I think my favorite animals we saw were the monkeys (the little one’s that swing around and play), the peacock, and the baby giraffe! (Two weeks old!)

We then decided to take the double decker bus tour around the zoo. I had resisted it at first as I am really not a fan of any type of tour. But we decided to do it, and I am so glad! The tour guide was hilarious and told us so many neat facts. Did you know? That the original Dr. Suess, when he started writing his books, went to the San Diego zoo to find thing to draw. The San Diego zoo actually has quite a collection of plants. (Their collection of plants is estimated to be worth more then their animals!) Many of the plants in his books are after plants in the zoo. Even the Trufflea trees from  The Lorax! Also, Walt Disney sent an artist over to sketch some animals for the original Lion King… and we saw the actual meercat he sketched. We saw the original Timone!

Over all I am glad we went, but I don’t think I would go again, at least not until I have kids to share the experience with. The price is expensive to get in-like the price of an amusement park-and I am just not sure it’s worth it.

Once we had finished up at the zoo, we had a good part of the afternoon left, and so we decided to head to a theatre to see the movie Brave. It was a very enjoyable movie! Not Disney’s best, but certainly not their worst.

After, Rebekah had found a restaurant from Diner’s, Drive-in’s and Dives, and we headed over to check it out. It’s known for it’s chicken and dumplings, which is what we both got. It came with an entire meal (salad, side, bread, another side.) and was so filling! I have over half of it left over, but it was delicious. I am not going to say it’s the best chicken and dumplings I have ever had, but it comes close to the top!

Today was definityl a very full day, but an amazing one! I feel like I am starting to get a really good sense of San Deigo, not only directional wise, but also a feel for the people. We have met so many nice and friendly people it sometimes surprises me, but I love it! I have really enjoyed riding the bus everywhere. It’s relaxing, we talk and read, and even sometimes meet people (like some from France the other day!) You also get to see quite a bit of the city through the different routes. It’s sad that tomorrow is our last day here, but I am looking forward to all we have planned :)

The view we spend much time looking at.

The Skyfari

San Diego skyline

Baby Kola

Polar bear

Red panda

Sleeping Panda's

Pretty Birdie's

Such a beautiful creature


Chicken and dumplings plate

So Rebekah was cold and put a shirt she had in her backpack on. She asked if she looked alright, and I said she looked like a hobo. Then she started to pose like one. (In our defense, we has just had a whole piece of chocolate cake.)

The moving walkway! 

We did a little photo booth thing. :) There are some funny pictures on there!

Dinner! I

His picture in the restaurant!