Does anyone remember when we were inLaJolla? Well, already 10 weeks have passed since we were there! Crazy, I know! I still wanted to recap some of our time there, so I can remember it in the future! (I have a terrible memory….this may be the only chance I’ll have of any hint of memories of the trip.) When we last left off, my sweet mom (fondly known on the blog as Sassy Kat), was in town visiting us to enjoy La Jolla and take a trip to Disneyland. We also spent a day shopping around La Jolla, but one of the best days was when we went to the aquarium! Louis and I visited there a few weeks before my mom came, and I wanted to head back because I knew she would love it!
Sassy Kat loved looking at the relaxing, beautiful exhibits full of the sea creatures!
We even had a sweet little sting ray smile at us. 🙂
I couldn’t get over how vibrantly colored the exhibits, fish, and underwater plants were! It made me wish I could scuba dive to see them on a grander scale in the ocean as nature intended.
Let’s take a moment to admire how beautiful my mom is. She was totally rocking the Cali style!
Aside from her looks, she’s got a great personality. 😉 Sassy Kat is definitely a kid at heart! We were laughing our way through the aquarium, and I’m sure everyone there thought we were crazy!
We wandered outside to the balcony where you could touch starfish and sea cucumbers in the tide pool exhibits. We mostly enjoyed the beautiful weather, the breath-taking views, and being together.
Seriously, when I told you before that everyone probably thought we were crazy? I wasn’t kidding. We both share the philosophy that life is too short to worry about being embarrassed at the cost of having fun.
We enjoyed one last sweeping view from the aquarium and decided it was time to head down to the water to enjoy some lunch.
When I looked up our restaurant, it was only a mile or so from the aquarium. In Texas, that probably would have meant a straight, flat shot. However, I forgot we were in California. A 30-minute walk up, down, and all around mountains hills, we finally reached our destination! Guess we were burning calories for the food we were about to enjoy?
We couldn’t complain though, because the view on our walk was absolutely stunning, as usual.
Not to mention, I was with my amazing mom, and that’s ALWAYS a fun time!
We finally arrived at Caroline’s Seaside Cafe. If you’re ever in La Jolla, I definitely recommend checking it out! Our sandwiches were delicious, and they had a great assortment of soups, salads, and fresh, yummy dishes. The view was spectacular as well!
If anyone’s curious, my nail polish is “Easy Going” by Sinful Colors. It was a gift from Sassy Kat. 🙂
After our yummy lunch, we wandered down closer to the water. I understand why Californians want to be outside all the time! The sound of the ocean, the cool breeze, the sun shining down…it was all so relaxing. We spent some time sitting on a bench and just enjoying the environment and each other’s company.
Did I mention this is part of a college campus? There were students sitting all over the place studying textbooks and writing papers on their laptops. Um, can you imagine walking out of your dorm and being feet from the ocean? I loved going to Texas A&M, but I can’t deny La Jolla is definitely a little bit more beautiful than good ole’ College Station.
We were pooped after our long walk all around La Jolla, so we headed back to the hotel to rest up until dinner. Once Louis got off work, we all went to Torrey Pines golf course to pick up some souvenirs for my dad. He’s an amazing golfer (like got a full scholarship to play in college and grew up on a golf course amazing), so we knew he’d love some items from the famous course. I only wish he could have visited with my mom, so he could have played! I’m sure he would have dominated all the holes! While we were there, some super important putting championship was going on (how obvious is it I know nothing about golf?), and we were just talking and laughing away right by the players before we realized how quiet everyone else was. Oops. Very typical. Just living life and half the time totally unaware of what else is going on around us! Hopefully my mom and I didn’t embarrass Louis too much. As you can see below, the course was absolutely beautiful!
From Torrey Pines, we headed to downtown La Jolla for some more souvenir shopping. We happened to catch it right at sunset, and, as usual, it was breathtaking. We spent about 30 minutes just admiring the beautiful sunset, snapping pictures, and marveling at how stunning it was. I tried to capture some of the sunset below…my pictures really can’t do it justice though.I couldn’t have imagined a better trip for my mom to make out to La Jolla to visit us. The entire time we just laughed and had a blast being together. It was great to have her bring a piece of home out to California during our long trip. I’m so thankful we’ll always have these memories!
When one of my favorite people is within an hour of one of my favorite places, what else is there to do besides go to DISNEYLAND?! My mom has been with my dad before, but they visited in 1980! Check this out…
How much are you loving my mom’s purple tube top and my dad’s short white shorts? Surely not as much as I am. Anyway, as I was saying…it was Sunday, and we were heading to Disneyland!
How cute is my mom?? We were up early and leaving the hotel around 5:30 AM to get to Disneyland by park opening, and of course it started drizzling (for the first time ALL summer) as we were headed out. I’m pretty sure this Disney poncho is one Amy got on a Disney World trip in high school. Our family has been Disney fans for quite some time 🙂
When we finally arrived at the park, we hopped on a tram and headed to Disneyland!
We were obviously super psyched to be there. We lined up on Main Street right in front of the castle, and as soon as the park officially opened, we headed straight for Fantasyland. My mom’s favorite Disney ride is Peter Pan’s Flight, so we wanted to make that our first ride of the day.
After boarding a magical flying ship to travel over London with Peter, we decided to enjoy the rest of Fantasyland. That included Snow White’s Scary Adventure (which actually seriously scares me), Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (which ends with the rider traveling to Hell…I can’t make this stuff up), and pictures in front of some various Fantasyland landmarks.
We also made sure to enjoy a couple of boat rides near Fantasyland. The first was Storybook Land Canal boats. This ride was so cute! We hadn’t been on it before, and it was full of miniature sculptures from various Disney movies. The sights may look unimpressive below, but they were beautifully crafted and the accompanying music and tour guide really made this ride special.
Another boat ride we had to enjoy was “it’s a small world.” No trip to a Disney park is complete without riding this classic at least once. Even though this ride is also at Disney World, the Disneyland version has integrated some Disney characters and princesses throughout their version of the ride. It was fun to try to seek them out in their respective countries and states! I won’t bore you with pictures of the inside of the ride, but trust me that it’s a happy, fun Disney classic!
The happiest cruise that ever sailed!
We then made the very unfortunate decision to go on Finding Nemo Submarines. We had heard great things about how fun it was. Nope. It was so crowded and claustrophobic. My mom immediately pulled out her fan to cool herself off, and poor Louis was so tall he could barely bend down far enough to see out of the submarine window. We thought the ride would never end.
You may notice above that we all have on Mickey or Minnie shirts. I am always down for wearing character shirts, but Louis isn’t such a huge fan. My mom really wanted us all in Disney shirts for pictures though. She asked Louis if she promised to ride Space Mountain if he would bite the bullet and wear a Mickey shirt. He only agreed if she would ride Splash Mountain as well. Shocking all of us (probably herself most of all), she AGREED! Louis and I hustled over to the Disney store before she arrived and found the coolest Mickey shirt I’ve ever seen. Then, my poor mom was locked into facing her fear of thrill rides. After Fantasyland, we finally convinced her it was time to tackle her first terror of the day: Space Mountain.
I can safely promise to everyone reading this, that I have never laughed as hard in my ENTIRE LIFE as I did when my mom rode Space Mountain. I was laughing so hard I almost threw up. Yes. Threw up from laughter.
My mom seriously SCREAMED the entire ride. She alternated between, “OH MY GOSH!!!”, “HELP!!!!!”, AND “I’M GOING TO DIE!!!!!!”. I told Louis later, I would have paid $500 for a video of her on the ride. It was probably the highlight of my entire summer.
After the thrill of Space Mountain, we decided something slightly tamer was in order. We hopped on Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, and my mom promptly tripled my score! She’s like some sort of shooting wizard!
We then headed over to New Orleans Square to enjoy Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and lunch at French Market. On our way there, we stopped for a picture with Aladdin and Jasmine.
Then, with a tummy full of yummy French food and after much encouragement from us, my mom decided it was time to tackle Splash Mountain. We lent her one of our Disney World ponchos and sped through the line with the FastPasses Louis had wisely obtained. The funniest part of this journey was after the drop inside the mountain in the darkness. Once we reached that drop, my mom started screaming, “I PASSED OUT! I NEED TO GET OFF THE RIDE! I’M PASSED OUT!” I had to control my laughter long enough to assure her that she was not passed out, since she was talking to me. I still don’t know how she convinced herself to get on this ride! I’m so proud of how brave she was! Check out what a champ she was…
After getting soaked on Splash Mountain, we headed to the bathroom, so my mom could change out of her wet clothes. She really came prepared! 🙂 Knowing that Space and Splash were over, it was like a weight was lifted off of her shoulders! We set off to enjoy the rest of the day. First up was character pictures!
After hanging around in Toontown for a bit, we decided to do some souvenir shopping before dinner on Main Street. As we were walking towards Main Street, I ran into a cast member I met on 4th of July. His name was Levi, and he was so friendly. He remembered me as well, and while we talked, I told him how my mom was visiting Disneyland, and we were spending the day fitting in all of her favorite things. He asked us to hold on for a moment, and when he came back, he told us he had put us on the list for VIP Fireworks viewing!!! We were soooo excited! I know it sounds cheesy, but I seriously think God had me meet him on July 4th, so I would see him again with my mom and be able to have VIP seats for her Disney day. Full of excitement we headed to look for my mom a Disney ornament and Henry some monogrammed Mickey ears! You’re never too young to start being a Disney fan, after all.
We also stopped on Main Street to watch Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. It’s such an amazing parade, and while the princess float was going by, Belle noticed my mom and waved right at her! She was beautiful…definitely still my favorite princess!
After the parade, my mom treated us to a delicious dinner at Carnation Cafe on Main Street. We enjoyed the special of the day (Shrimp Alfredo Penne Pasta), and Louis ordered Mac ‘n Cheese (because he’s a big kid at heart).
Not long after dinner, it was time to grab our snacks for Magical Fireworks Spectacular and head to our VIP seats! The view was absolutely incredible. The show was so beautiful, and I’m so thankful my mom got to experience it with us from our amazing seats.
After the Magical show, we strolled over to enjoy Fantasmic! in the Rivers of America. Finally, we enjoyed a late night ride on Haunted Mansion and snapped some pictures in front of the castle as the park was closing for the evening.
It was such an amazing day, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it! I loved how my mom was brave enough to ride Splash & Space Mountain. I loved how we got to meet so many characters. I loved that we opened and closed the park. And I LOVED that we got VIP seats for the fireworks. We had SUCH a blast, and I love that we got to experience Disneyland with my mom! Hopefully next time we head to a Disney park, it will be with the whole family!
About a month ago (already a month!?!), my wonderful mother, Sassy Kat, came to visit us in La Jolla! I was so excited to see her and spend time showing her around where Louis and I have been living this summer. She flew in on a Saturday, and Louis and I were so excited to greet her at the airport!
Louis obviously helped me make made the “welcome” sign as my artistic skills are those of a 4-year old (and that’s being generous). As soon as my mom landed, we all hopped in the car and headed down to the La Jolla Cove for dinner and a beautiful view of the ocean! First, we grabbed dinner at The Prospect Bar & Grill, where Louis and I have dined before.
We had a great time catching up and enjoying dinner until the live music for the night showed up and played so loud we could barely think! Once the music started up, we finished eating and decided to walk along the cove to see the seals and waves. Of course, we wanted to snap some shots in front of the water, which led to this series of pictures.
We are constantly laughing when we’re together 🙂
I was SO happy she was finally in La Jolla! I promise Louis was there, too. Need proof?
Am I blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people or what? We enjoyed the (cloudy 🙁 ) sunset down on the shore cliffs after we climbed under a fence to get closer to the water. Such rebels, I know.
We got a couple to take this after we awkwardly laughed and talked for about 15 minutes behind them while they were probably trying to enjoy a romantic sunset. Oops. Also, how cute is Sassy Kat in her scarf? Such a Cali girl.
We headed home after that though to hit the hay early because we had BIG plans for Sunday. ALL DAY at DISNEYLAND! Don’t worry…that’s going to get its own post entirely. 🙂
Stay tuned to read all about our VIP day at Disney!
Quite a few weeks ago, Louis and I visited the Birch Aquarium here in La Jolla. We went on an overcast Sunday afternoon and enjoyed a few hours of walking around the building admiring both the amazing sea life and the beautiful views around the aquarium. Being so close to the ocean and being part of the Scripps Research Center and UCSD allows for the aquarium to have several interesting exhibits. And, of course, being built on a cliff less than a mile from the ocean allows for both great views and a large assortment of fish and species to research.
One of the first exhibits to greet us inside was their assortment of jellyfish. I could have stood there for hours and watched them. They were SO relaxing and serene looking. The coral jellyfish were my 2nd favorite type, and my favorite type were the moon jellies shown in the video I captured.
Another neat area was their Kelp Exhibit, which was one of the largest indoor aquarium tanks I’ve ever seen. They do several daily feeding shows you can watch, and they also have a live stream on their website called the Kelp Cam. I tried to include some children in the picture below so you could get a grasp of how large this exhibit was.
After we admired the kelp for a while, we journeyed over to a different exhibit. There, we saw a cute little fish that was scooping up rocks with his mouth and then spitting them out to form either a pile, a hole, or both??? I snagged a quick video while we observed him. There were no volunteers around for me to ask what he was up to, but we enjoyed watching him for a bit! I feel like I should have added the Rocky theme song to the video or something…too much?
We finally headed outside on the back deck of the aquarium to take in the beautiful views and enjoy the tide pool exhibit. In the tide pool there were different types of starfish and fish you could touch. Some were super slimy, and some were rough and spiky! We “pet” the different species and then stood around awkwardly looking for someone to take our picture 🙂
Once we were done on the balcony we headed inside to the seahorse exhibit. The coolest seahorse in my opinion was the Weedy Seadragon. It looked so wispy and fragile and was barely drifting through the water.
There was also a bizarre video in this area explaining that the male seahorses develop the babies in their stomach and give birth to them. The video showed a male seahorse giving birth, and the only way I can describe it is that it looked like he was sneezing out the babies about 15-20 at a time. Seriously bizarre. It’s so crazy how diverse sea creatures are and how HUGE the ocean is. There is SO much of it that is totally undiscovered and unexplored. It’s like an entirely different world!
Our quick, educational visit was a fun way to spend our afternoon! I still have SO many things that have happened that I need to blog about! I’ll try to catch up in the next couple of weeks. Until then!
Oops! I’ve let too much time go by since my last La Jolla Life post! We’re currently on Week 7 (what!?!) of our summer adventure, so I have a lot to catch y’all up on. We’ve had visitors, explored more, and had several Disneyland excursions, but I’ll save those details for some other posts! Here is a summary of some of the other Cali “adventures” we’ve experienced.
I’ve been spending some time with Louis’s coworker’s wife and daughters while we’re all here for the summer. They have been so sweet to let me “hoard in” on their mother-daughter time! A couple of weeks ago, we spent the day exploring the Westfield UTC Mall and Mt. Soledad. The malls here are basically all outdoor due to the year-round beautiful weather, and I can’t complain!
We explored the various shops and ate outdoors at their food court. The mall even had a Tesla store, which doesn’t mean much to me. However, that is Louis’s current dream car as it is apparently masterfully engineered and electric. Naturally, I had to take a picture of the store front for him, and we have since returned to explore the store and dream of future purchases.
After we had our fill of the mall, we drove over to Mt. Soledad. This “mountain” holds a memorial for veterans and offers an amazing panoramic view of all of La Jolla and San Diego.
As you can see above, it was a rare overcast day in La Jolla. However, the views were beautiful, and the memorial was very touching. While I will always be a Texas girl at heart, I do love the terrain here. The hills (mountains? cliffs?) offer so many wonderful views regardless of if we’re sightseeing or simply driving around.
Another activity that often occurs when I’m with “the girls” is hairstyling. Below is their youngest daughter’s creation with my hair on the left. She kept saying this was The Princess Style. I also got to try The Princess Jasmine Style and The Princess Belle Style. On the right, I’m proud to claim that fishtail braid. 🙂
Louis and I have also tried a few new restaurants since my last post. The first “restaurant” is none other than Krispy Kreme!
We each sampled their glazed donuts because, to us, that should be the heart of any donut establishment. Louis also tried a chocolate iced with sprinkles, while I opted for plain chocolate iced. Overall? Meh. The best part was the cute hat that Louis is modeling above. Now having tried Dunkin’ Donuts (YUCK.) and Krispy Kreme (meh.), I can safely say Shipley’s FAR surpasses any other donut chain. Honestly, that is one of the reasons we are most excited about going home to Texas. 🙂
Another California restaurant we sampled is Islands. Their main menu item is their burgers, but they offer other American food as well.
Their tag line is “Fine Burgers & Drinks.” I think they mean ‘fine’ as in high quality, but to us, it meant ‘fine’ as in yeah…it’s ok. Hah! Our burgers weren’t terrible, but they weren’t anything to write home about either. (I guess they were notable enough to blog about though? 😉 )
After Islands, we decided to branch out and try…wait for it…another burger place! Just kidding! This place does offer burgers, but they have several other options as well. Stacked is a trendy, cool restaurant located in Fashion Valley Mall. The coolest part about Stacked? Each table has an iPad on it, and that’s how you place your order! Everything from drinks to dessert! You can even request for your drink to be refilled from the iPad! The entire meal, I kept saying, “It’s like we’re living in the FUTURE!!!”
The iPads were so awesome and so simple to use. You just “drag and dropped” whatever you wanted to add to your entree, and swiped it to the right if you wanted to remove it. You could also drop things next to your entree if you wanted them on the side. We were even able to pay by simply swiping our credit card on the iPad attachment. If this is the way of the future, waiters and waitresses better start looking for new career paths! Our burgers here were delicious, and we hope to return here before we journey home! The mall it was located at is amazing, too! It is the mall pictured in my intro photo at the top of this post, and it was gorgeous to walk around as the sun was setting.
Another fun thing I wanted to add in this post, is a plug about the Aggie Network! I mentioned how I ran into an Aggie I know at the San Diego Zoo. Since then, I met a sweet Aggie here on a mission trip at our hotel, AND we saw a car with a Former Student Century Club member decal on the back of their Tahoe. I creepily left them the note below on their windshield. Even though they had no way of getting in touch with us, I still wanted them to know there was another unit of the Aggie Network staying at their hotel! Too much? Oh well. The Aggie girl I met at breakfast, said she actually reached out to them as well, and that it was a sweet couple that graduated in 1958! Looks like they’ve been carrying on the Aggie Spirit for quite awhile! Gig ’em!
Finally, I want to give a shout out to all of the landscape artists and gardeners around La Jolla. All of the greenery, succulents, flowers, and general beauty around here is stunning! I keep seeing a particular black succulent that I affectionately coined “the Louis plant.” I said if he was turned into a plant this would be him because it is so beautiful and unique, and his favorite color is black. 🙂
The outside is black, however the inside is a vibrant fuchsia. They grow up on a tan stem, which makes them tall…also like Louis 🙂 Their scientific name is the Aeonium arboreum Zwartkop, and they are also known as “Black Rose.”
Ok! Whew! That’s a long summary for now! Look for more posts soon including details about other experiences we’ve had here! Thanks for checking in…I’ll try to post more this week!