When we got back from the cruise, we spent a few days in Nashville before flying out to California. We had a little over a week there before flying out to begin traveling internationally again!
Brennan and I have talked about going to Disneyland for a long time. We love Disney World and had annual passes for several years, but he had never been to Disneyland. I went for a quick day trip in college while I was student teaching in LA, but I forgot a lot of what I saw there. We were both really excited about the idea of spending a few days in Anaheim and experiencing the original Disney park.
Our hotel (The Westin Anaheim) was right across the street from the back of California Adventure. This was the view from the front of the hotel-you can see right into the park! Coming from Disney World where the parks are in a bubble, Disneyland felt tucked into the middle of a city. We were able to walk from our hotel over to the park in about 30 minutes. We arrived on Tuesday, spent the day at the hotel, and I went to have dinner with my friend Tia from college and meet her baby!
Wednesday was our first day in the park. We arrived early and began riding attractions right away. While many of them were familiar to us, they were still different in small ways from their Disney World counterpart. Some rides are unique to Disneyland, like the Matterhorn bobsleds or the canoes (that they actually let you paddle on!).
We knew we were going to take a break in the middle of the day, so we decided to ride Splash Mountain before heading back to the hotel. It was in the low 60s and breezy, so not exactly water attraction weather, but we knew this would be the last time we would ride it before they redo the theme, so we went for it. We got SOAKED. Every single piece of clothing I wore was drenched and my socks and shoes were squishy. I was so glad to have dry, warm clothes back at the hotel!
Later on in the evening, we went back to Disneyland and met up with Tia, her husband Ethan, and Marshall. We rode a few things, walked around, and caught up since it had been several years since we had seen each other. Going to Disneyland was so fun, but meeting up with them made it even more special.
On Thursday, we spent the day at California Adventure. This park is made up of several themed areas, all about different parts of life in California. We both commented multiple times about how much we enjoyed the atmosphere, in addition to the really fun rides. Our favorite of the day was WebSlingers, a Spiderman themed ride that uses mapping technology to let your arms be the control for the game. It was the only ride we did multiple times over the 2 days we spent at the parks. We also had dill pickle popcorn, which sounds weird, but was actually delicious!
We spent the evening walking around, enjoying the ambiance of the park. We were on our way out to go to a reservation for drinks, but a VIP tour guide stopped us and asked if we were going to watch World of Color (the nighttime show). We said no and he said, "Oh, I was going to offer you some VIP seats if you want to use them during the show." We decided to stay and give up our reservation-it was well worth it! We were centered on the lake and were able to see everything from our chairs. When a tour guide asks if you want to do something, always say yes!
Trader Sam's is a tiki bar that we have heard about since we got our Disney passes, but we never went to the one in Orlando. Tia & Ethan told us we couldn't miss it, so we went to the one at the Disneyland Hotel. I'm so glad we went. We had seats at the bar, so we were able to watch the bartenders make all the drinks. When people order specific drinks, things happen in the restaurant, like a "volcano" exploding or a "rainstorm". It's a whole experience to order your drinks and there are artifacts in there that go along with the Jungle Cruise ride and tell more of the back story. Not only is it a great experience, but the drinks were really good too! It was the perfect way to end our few days at Disneyland.
On Friday, we took an Uber from Anaheim to our hotel (tommie Hollywood) in Hollywood. We got there in the evening, so we didn't have time to do much other than go to dinner. If you are ever in Hollywood or the LA area, you need to go to Justin Queso's Tex Mex. The food was incredible! We really loved it.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to do much in Hollywood outdoors because it rained the entire time we were there. We mostly hung out at the hotel and worked on our plans, watched a few movies, and went back to Justin Queso for dinner again!
We moved from Hollywood to another hotel (Hotel Figueroa) in downtown LA on Monday. Hotel Figueroa is a historic hotel, with its coffin shaped pool and neon sign on top of the building. Our time there was mostly spent getting ourselves ready for leaving the country-doing laundry at a laundromat, going to Target to get several last minute items, and doing some final bookings for our upcoming trips. We were able to visit Grand Central Market one evening, but most of the food stalls were closed by the time we got there. We didn't take a lot of photos because we were mostly doing real life things, just while living at this hotel. It was a nice place to be based until we headed to the airport on Wednesday evening to leave for our next adventure!
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.