If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll know we just got back from a week long trip out west! We love when we are able to get away to the west coast, because we just love California and hey, when the winter in Ohio is still going strong for the fifth month in a row, getting away to warmer weather is a bit essential for our sanity. For this trip, we flew into Las Vegas. There are a couple of reasons I did this, but the main reason is that there were no direct flights to anywhere in California from any of the airports we would usually fly out of. I am a pretty big non-stop flight snob, and unless my layover is long enough that I can get out and explore the area, I have no desire to sit in the airport waiting for my connecting flight. I just can’t.
So we flew into Las Vegas, got our rental car and headed to Seven Magic Mountains. Seven Magic Mountains is about 10 miles from LAS and about a 20 or so minute drive. If you’re headed to California from Vegas, its an easy stop. If you’re not familiar with what Seven Magic Mountains is, its an art installation in the middle of the desert by Ugo Rondinone. Honestly, they do just look like large stacks of painted rocks, but they’re kitschy and fun and we loved taking pictures there.
After we were done there, we headed to Anaheim! The drive from the Las Vegas Airport to Anaheim took us about 4 hours with traffic and stops and its mostly a drive through the desert. Not difficult, so if you’re flying into Vegas, download yourself a playlist and you’ll be there before you know it.
Our first day in Anaheim, we just explored a bit of the city and found one of our new favorite food spots, the Anaheim Packing House. If you’re visiting Anaheim on a non Disney day or trip, be sure to check this place out. While some people online said its basically just a glorified food court, we thought we were in food Heaven. Lots of foods to try and the entire building itself is just beautiful. They have everything from fried chicken sandwiches to hot pots to ramen bowls. Lots of fun options for sure! We especially loved Mini Monster for fun drinks and the Crepe Coop for delicious crepes and pastries.
Afterwards, we checked out Downtown Disney, which reminded us a lot of the old Downtown Disney at WDW. Its a great place to start your trip off if you have a limited number of days on your tickets.
The next day, we started our Disneyland vacation! Let me tell you, I have heard a LOT about Disneyland. And not all good things either. So I tried to go in with no expectations whatsoever. I was pleasantly surprised to be honest. Yes the castle is small. But in the cutest way! And guys, sorry, but the rides there are so much better. I understand the difficulties WDW faces with refurbing its rides, but I wish the rides at WDW were as good as Disneyland. Sigh.
Its such a nostalgic Park and we loved that it was familiar but different.
We tried all things Pixar Fest and will be sure to write about our experiences in some upcoming posts. If I had one piece of advice- try all the Pixar themed churros! So good.
We continued with our Disneyland trip at California Adventure and got to see our first ever Paint the Nite Parade! So magical! With small touches of the Main Street Electrical Parade, I was definitely starting to remember why I had loved that parade so much in the first place.
If you know much about us, you will know that we need a break from the crowds. And Disneyland sure has some crowds. Wow. So we took a break from the Parks for a beach trip to Laguna Beach. I’ve been to Laguna before and I love it, so why not get some sun and sand time, amirite?! And we were able to hunt down our very own Rapunzel-esque tower!
We stayed at The Ranch at Laguna Beach which we will be doing a full review on the blog soon, in case you want a little getaway from Disneyland yourself. Its located in a canyon and was really the perfect resort to relax and refresh!
When we returned to Disneyland to finish out our trip, we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, which was a complete surprise for G and I loved her reaction to the surprise! I luckily was able to snag an OK deal using hotels.com. It wasn’t cheap, but it was a heck of a lot cheaper than if I had booked directly.
Our last two days there, we tried to get in as much Pixar Fest fun as we could and seeing the new Together Forever fireworks show at Disneyland Park was high on the list. Such a fun show, especially for you Pixar fans!
If you remember the first part of this post, I never mentioned the other reason we flew into Las Vegas. I have been wanting for a while to see Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. I love hiking and exploring, especially off the beaten path places, and this Park has had my interest for a little while now. Its about an hour from the airport, so that made it super convenient for us to spend our last two days there.
If you’re into hiking and nature, this should be on your must do list. Such a cool place with landscapes like nothing I have ever seen. Did we land on Mars?! Maybe! Complete with pink and red sand, this place was just stunning.
We had so much exploring and hiking this area. There’s basically no cell service there so honestly it was a great escape from everything.
And did I mention the views?! Ahhhhh
So that sums it up! Another great trip in the books and lots of new information we will be passing along to you all! Thanks for following along!