Together 12 years (13 years in October) married 3 years! My oh my, has time gone by fast.
Robert and I decided that we wanted to take a short little vacation (that was actually planned last-minute) to Southern California and not only celebrate our anniversary there but also Father’s Day and my birthday. See, we have many special occasions that goes on in June. Have I even mentioned that Robert’s birthday is in June as well? Since I planned a surprise birthday dinner for him this year, we just decided to celebrate the other 3 occasions that were coming up.
Now, I’ve been to California many of times. More times than I can actually count. So visiting Cali sometimes gets exciting but not that exciting (if you know what I mean). This time it was special and lovely. We wanted to go to new beaches, try new food places out, explore, and sight see! And, we did just that.
Father’s Day- Malibu, California
I’ve always wanted to visit Malibu, just never had the time to do so. Well, this time I planned a whole day there.
When we first arrived we went straight to El Matador Beach. This beach is famous for their large rocks and sea caves. Let me tell you, it was quite beautiful! Definitely breath-taking in person! To get down to the beach you do have to go down a little hill and then take some stairs down (that’s the easy part, going up is the hard part).
*FYI- There were some oil patches on the ground that washed up shore from the ocean. Be careful and don’t step in it, trust me it will be a pain to get off if you do! Robert accidentally stepped in one and didn’t notice it at that time. We ended up finding out when we got back into the car and started smelling a very strong oil smell. It actually started to make me nausceous. We pulled over because we though we may be having some car issues, but found out that some of the oil got onto the gas pedal and carpet in the car. With that said, I don’t know if I would recommend swimming at that beach, because of the oil spots in the ocean and there was alot of seaweed. If you drive down the coast of Malibu, there are more beaches that you’ll pass that I would recommend swimming at, like we did.
After sight-seeing we found a beach (with no oil spots in the ocean and not as much seaweed) and beached it there for a couple of hours. The water was freezing, so I didn’t have to worry about the kids having to play in the water. However, this beach is VERY rocky! It was hard for my daughters to even go swimming, even if they wanted too. So be sure to bring swim shoes if you go here. Regardless, the girls had a lot of fun running back and forth from the waves, finding seashells, and playing in the sand.
After we spent a couple of hours on the beach it was dinner time. Now before we went on our trip, I did some research on the BEST places to eat in the areas we were going to be at during our trip. Malibu Seafood was one of them. We first drove by this restaurant on our way to Malibu Beach and the line was VERY long!! So we weren’t sure if we wanted to wait in that line (especially with 2 hungry children). We decided to drive by the restaurant to check if the line was long again, and lo and behold we got LUCKY! There was barely a line. Good luck on finding a parking spot though. The restaurant only has about 10-15 FREE parking spots. There is another parking area right next to the restaurant, but you do have to pay to park there.
Luck was on our side again and we found a free parking spot. SCORE!
My husband got their famous fish & chips and I got the calamari rings with rice pilaf. We also shared a clam chowder sourdough bowl…YUMM!
Let me just say the food was AMAZING, which explains the long line! It did not disappoint, that’s for sure.
Father’s Day dinner was a success!
After we ate dinner, we were so exhausted from traveling, beachin it, and all the food we just consumed. So we headed to our hotel. We ended up staying at Howard & Johnson By Wyndham in Fullerton, California. The hotel was nice. The room, ehh it was ok (definitely needs some TLC), the pool we LOVED! They do offer a free breakfast buffet, but we never ate there. Sleeping in during this vacation was very much on the agenda!
Balboa- Day 2
Robert and I came to Balboa one other time when Melia was 2 and Avery was only a couple of months old (it was our first trip as a family of 4), and we loved it! We remember eating at this delicious BBQ place, riding some rides, and hanging out at the beach with HUGE waves. Well, 5 years later, everything is exactly the same as it was! Since we missed out on breakfast we came there starving. We immediately went looking for the BBQ place we ate at 5 years ago, and guess what.. it was still there!
If you ever try this place out, get the burnt ends (they sell out quickly) and corn balls (just like corn nuggets). This place taste exactly how I remember it 5 years ago! DELICIOUS!!
After eating, Robert and the kids wanted to ride the ferris wheel. I decided to stay back before I would get sick, from just eating. They do have a ferry you can ride which will take you to Balboa Island. We skipped out on riding the ferry to Balboa Island because we didn’t have cash. I believe it was 50 cents for kids 5 and under and $1.00 for adults. There really isn’t much to do on the island besides look at gorgeous homes and walk the boardwalk (which I love to do).
Right behind the Balboa Fun Zone is Balboa Beach. If you are looking for a beach with big waves, this place is it! It’s not a place where surfers come though because the waves don’t get big until they comes to shore, but it sure would be good for boogie boarders!
We spent the whole day here, playing in the sand, dipping in for a half a second, and finding seashells.
Sand castles… or as Avery called it “her space ship”!
After Balboa, we ended up going back to the hotel and as if the girls weren’t tired from beach at the beach all day, they wanted to go swimming in our hotel pool. So, swimming it was!
The pool was heated which felt great.. except getting out of the pool when it’s 60 degrees.. that’s a bit chilly!
After we showered, we actually met up with my cousins and aunt, who actually came from Las Vegas too and were spending a couple of nights in LA (but going to Universal Studios). We searched for a place to eat and decided to eat at Unami Burger. When we arrived to the restsaurant I caught a glamps of a building next door, which I’ve been DYING to go too!
This place is opened until 11pm.. it was 930pm when we arrived. Most of the restaurants were already closed, which made me really sad, but it was still nice to walk around and take some great photos!
We did however bought some bubble tea at Mini Monster. I got the honey milk tea, and the girls shared a monster cloud Thai tea… yum!
This is a place that I definitely want to come back when all the restaurants are open!
Alright, if you want a good ass burger, come here! I got the Unami Burger (of course) and added a fried egg on mine, and omg so glad I did! The burger was delicious! Robert ate the lollipop bbq wings and they were yummy (as he says)!
Laguna, CA- Day 3
Another day of sleeping in. We didn’t get to Laguna until about 1230pm and again since we missed breakfast we were all starving! We drove down the coast (and let me say it’s beautiful in Laguna) but parking was a… umm ok I’m not going to use that language.. let’s just say it was a pain! So we just kept driving and driving. Well, we eventually drove into Dana Point. At that point my kids were hangry and crying! So we stopped at the first restaurant we came across, which was Angelina’s Pizzeria.
, right off the bat I wasn’t really craving pizza. The menu was confusing (at least for me) and nothing looked or seemed appetizing… AT ALL! I even debated about having the girls just eat pizza there since they were so hungry and my husband and I will find something else to eat, but then I said screw it.. we’ll just try it out and eat here.
So, I ordered 2 Saporita Pizzas (one for the girls and one for Robert and I, since the pizzas are only 12-inch). OMG… let me just say DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER. The pizza was amazing! The girls even ate the whole 12 inch pizza! It’s not your typical Pizza Hut pizza. It’s what I call a real pizza! The sauce, the dough, the cheese, the toppings, were all simply delicious! As far as price, it is a little more on the pricey side (especially for pizza) and especially for lunch. It ended up costing us $60 (including drinks and tip), but it was definitely worth it. Also, the customer service was great!
After lunch, we checked out one of the beaches. We thought we were near Victoria Beach, but ended up on the other side of it at Treasure Island Beach.
Ok, I have to say Laguna, California has officially won my heart! It is just gorgeous! I don’t know if all of Laguna is like where we were but man was it lovely! I could not get over how breath-taking it was!
When we got down to Treasure Island Beach, we didn’t stay long because my main goal was to get to Victoria Beach. So we headed back to the car and tried to find this specific beach. Well, we found the beach, but found out that there were no bathrooms down at the beach. So after much deliberation we decided not to go down since we wouldn’t know what to do if the girls needed to go you know what!! Not to mention it was going to be a lot of walking and stair that they would have to do. So we just decided to head back to the hotel and go swimming at the pool.
The kids loved this pool, except there was one problem.. bees! This is the day Melia encountered her first bee sting and where momma freaked out a little bit!
Melia was swimming and swam to the edge of the pool and right where we tried to grab the edge there was a bee! I’m guessing the bee was in the pool and someone swooped the bee outside of the water onto the edge. She freaked out for a bit, but surprisingly didn’t cry. I panicked because I knew that if she was allergic to bees it could get bad. I’ve never been stung by a bee before so I had no clue if I was allergic to a bee, but my husband said he was stung before and was not allergic.
Well, of course I needed to figure out what to look for, etc., so I became Google queen. We watched her very carefully and I am happy to say she is A-OK! No emergency room stops that we had to make! PHEEWWW!
You wouldn’t believe, even after getting stung from a bee, you would think she was done with the pool… well nope!
After some fun in the pool, Robert and I wanted to have a very nice dinner to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary, which was on June 20th. Since I did some research before hand I found another must place to eat; Mama D’s Italian Kitchen in Newport Beach, CA.
OK, guys I can seriously write a whole entire blog on just this restaurant alone. I cannot tell you how amazing this place seriously is! I will always recommend this place to anyone and everyone who will be going to California!
Let me start off by saying, when I reviewed this place, it was nothing but 5 stars and nothing but amazing reviews on their food and customer service. Boy were they all right!
Since they are only open from 4pm-830pm on that, I knew going in (just from the reviews) that there was going to be a wait. However, while you are waiting they have servers outside serving you warm garlic bread. They will serve you wine. They have water for you in case you want something other than wine. They even have a magician to keep you occupied!
We waited about 40 minutes and once we got in you seriously feel at home. The servers and waiters are all awesome and have top-notch customer service! Their goal is to make you happy and if you are not satisfied, they will do whatever it takes to make you satisfied.. seriously!
Of course when we got seated we got more of their delicious garlic bread with fresh garlic and olive oil dipping sauce (yummm)!
I ended up ordering the “classic fettuccine pasta” and added chicken. I also got the Mama d’s Original Pink Sauce (which I highly recommend)! OMG was the pasta to die for! SOOO DELICIOUS!
After we stuffed our faces and trying to eat more than half of the pasta (which didn’t quite work out) we couldn’t even think about dessert. However, they still brought out complimentary homemade chocolate chip cookies!
They also brought out a treasure chest filled with toys for the girls to be able to an item out of, AND on top of that, they brought out mints and lollipops for the girls! Talk about customer service! Holy smokes! Mama D’s needs to come to Vegas!!! This place was WORTH EVERY PENNY! I will definitely come back here again, that’s for sure!
After our amazing dinner experience, we ended up driving around the coast and day dreamed of which million dollar beach house we were going to get.
We then called it a night…
Back home to Vegas- Day 4
Yup, you know it.. slept in again! What can I say.. waking up early just wasn’t what we had planned on this vacation. After packing up and checking out, we decided to have brunch at the famous Roscoes Chicken & Waffles before heading back to Las Vegas.
If you are craving some fried chicken and near a Roscoes Chicken & Waffles, this is the place to get it from! I don’t think I’ve ever had more tasting fried chicken than I have had here! Also, their waffles were simply delicious. I don’t know what they do to that batter, but man was it good! So was it worth all the hype you see? YUP, I THINK SO!
I am going to be honest, this place is a little pricey for breakfast, but yet another place that was yummy and worth the money. If you’re not having it all the time.. it’s worth the splurge!
Last stop before Vegas was a new place we’ve been wanting to stop by, Eddie World!
This place is right past or before Barstow, CA. It’s actually located in Yermo, CA. If you’re craving ice cream, pizza, sandwiches, candy and more candy.. then this is your stop before your destination! It also makes a great bathroom pit stop.
I can honestly say this trip was one for the books. As much as we explored new beaches, and relaxed; we also tried many new and absolutely delicious restaurants. This was one of those trips that everything we ate was nothing but amazing! I have nothing but positive things to say about this trip and all the places we ate at.
If you every visit California or happen to live in Califnornia, give these places a shot! Trust me you will not be disappointed!!!
All with love,