Friday, September 11, 2015

The Second Wave (in two parts): Part II

Saturday 31 July 2015
Today we drove north up the PCH for Maddie to see the University of California at Santa Barbara.

It's only about a 2 hour drive from LA and the views are beautiful. We stopped in Malibu to load up on Starbucks. 

We also stopped at an In-n-Out, but Mad wasn't hungry, so we just used the bathroom. :P

Once we arrived in Santa Barbara, we headed right to the campus. Oh man!! It's BEAUTIFUL! Seriously. I was super kicking myself for not having gone there. Lol. It sit rights on the ocean and it's just glorious. There grounds are very nice and there are TONS of bike paths. They even have traffic circles for bikes. How cool!!

I was feeling kind of sad about it and was texting my cousin Manda about how I really messed up by not going to school there. She replied, "I wish I could have made a lot of my 17 year old decisions with a 30 year old mind". Lol. Touche. She always knows just the right thing to say to cheer me up. <3

From the campus, we headed to downtown Santa Barbara. I've driven through, but had never really stopped to explore. 

It's an adorable place with lots of Spanish influence. We wandered around on the streets and ducked into many of the boutique shops. 

We got delicious burgers back in a little courtyard and walked around some more before heading home to LA.

 Burger aftermath. I don't look pleased, but I was. :D
Sunday 1 August 2015
Is it really August already? How?! 

I picked Mad and Sherry up in the morning and we toured around my area a bit. I drove them over the canals in Venice, but they didn't have much interest in the famous boardwalk.

We decided to do the drive down to Long Beach and around the coast (this is a go-to for me if you can't tell ;)) to show them where I used to live. 

I miss Long Beach so much, so it's always nice to go there and I like to show it off. 

The drive was beautiful as almost always and we arrived in Long Beach just in time for dinner.

We hit up a very American/SoCal cafe called Simzys. It was another hit. :)

Playing hangman

And we, OF COURSE, had to get cupcakes for dessert

Monday 2 August 2015
Today is Sherry and Maddie's last day, so I was able to get out of work to go sightseeing with them in Hollywood.

As glamorous as it gets. ;)
We had a slow morning before I scooped them up to head to Hollywood for the TMZ tour! Haha! I've never done this tour, but Maddie watches the show sometimes and had some interest, so my Aunt graciously paid for us to go.

Maddie finally had her In-n-Out nearby on Sunset Blvd and it was a mad always. Funnily enough, this is the same In-n-Out where I brought Toni and Hannah.

Amazingly, it took us like 45 MINUTES to drive the ONE MILE up to where the tour was starting at the Hollywood and Highland mall. It was NUTS...even for LA. 

After a tense and stressful one mile car ride (lol...seriously. FORTY FIVE MINUTES!!), we arrived JUST in time for the tour and they were kind enough (Thank GOD) to let us use the bathroom first. I'm not sure I would have survived without that restroom break.

The tour was pretty fun and entertaining. I didn't see anything new, but I did learn some new stuff. We rode in a open air van around Hollywood, Sunset, and Beverly Hills. I enjoyed all the little celebrity tidbits. 

Our guide. She was a blast.

Some highlights...

I actually met my ex boyfriend Davide here. Haha!

Lol. I look thrilled. I think I was still recovering from the traffic.

The only celebrity we actually saw was Ben Stein (my Aunt Sherry spotted him first!) 

LOL. There he is!! The young girls sitting next to me had no idea who he was and I found myself referencing "Win Ben Stein's Money". Remember that?! I think they thought I was insane. Bueller? Bueller? Blank stare. 
After the tour, we walked and walked and walked for miles on Hollywood Blvd to see the Billy Joel star. Haha. But, we saw lots of others on the way and got a good taste for Hollywood (blech).

We headed back to Santa Monica and had dinner at the super California spot 'Blue Plate Taco'. I think this place is overhyped, but it was actually pretty yummy this time and you can't beat the views.

Fiesta at the Blue Plate
I think it was the perfect end to a California trip. I hope Sherry and Maddie had as much fun as I did with them. :) 

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