A Very Californian Trip Recap Part 2: Sunny SoCal

Well...my vacation is over. (Insert bummed face here.) It's back to the daily grind for me and boy do I feel revived. I don't know if it's something California puts in their water but I feel like a million pounds has been lifted off my shoulders. I cannot even begin to tell you how badly I needed this adventure. When I left you last, I had just completed my time in the surreal Yosemite Valley and was headed towards sunny Southern California. So let's talk about what sort of shenanigans I got myself into...

Day 6

I woke up early to get a run in with Raven's adorable puppy Bane because Raven and I were headed to DISNEYLAND! I knew I was going to be eating my face off because that's what you do when you go to Disneyland! Bane is the perfect running companion. He is a beautiful dog and I love being able to dog-nap him whenever I get the chance. (Don't we look intimidating in this picture? No funny business here! Just running like beasts!)

Whenever sh*t hits the fan, I go to Disneyland. I know it's cliche and feel free to roll your eyes at me but Disneyland holds a very special place in my heart. I grew up at Disneyland and then when my Brother passed away, it's where I'd go when I couldn't get a handle on my grief. So it was at the very top of my list when I decided to add the second leg of my trip.

Disneyland was disgustingly hot and I couldn't have been happier to be sweating my face off. My favorite way to do Disneyland is not to plan and just to go where the wind takes us. We started off at California Adventure and ended up riding a whole bunch of rides including my absolute favorite ride, Toy Story Midway Mania. Raven spent the entire ride yelling at me because I turn into a competitive monster and get pretty brutal about accumulating points. (Luckily Raven forgave me for acting like an animal. But I can't help it! I had to see if I still could get a high score! I HAVE TO WIN!)

We spent the rest of our time at CA Adventure sampling craft beer, riding rides, hottie hunting and acting like dorks.

We have a tradition when we go to Disneyland to take jumping pictures in front of the castle. We've been doing it for years but it's hilarious to give the jumping picture capturing power to some random stranger. Watching them try to capture everyone in the air is probably the funniest thing you could ever do. God bless patient strangers who just want to get it right. It took us a billion tries and 2 different strangers and we couldn't get it right.

We ate dinner at my second favorite restaurant Naples and then ended up in the area between the two parks. Raven wanted us to wait there for her Mom (Mama Lucy) who I had just gotten off the phone with. I told her we would go to the ride they were about to ride and meet them when they got off. Then Raven said Mama Lucy actually wanted to meet us in the middle of the two parks. I got all sorts of annoyed and was like, "WHY DON'T WE JUST GO MEET HER INSIDE THE PARK!" Turns out Raven was coordinating with our good friend Bryan to meet us and surprise me! He bear tackled me from behind and I screamed bloody murder. Best surprise ever! After hugging and jumping up and down, we went to meet up with Mama Lucy and ride Radiator Springs Racers because she had gotten us all fastpasses.

Then we raced over to Disneyland so I could see the fireworks. Disneyland is getting ready for it's 60th Anniversary and have a really terrible fireworks show playing until their new show debuts. It's about 5 seconds long but still magical enough to make me cry. After I pulled myself together we rode all the big rides we missed earlier in the day and then headed back to Raven's. It was a perfect Disney Day.

Day 7

Friday was a lazy day. Raven and I woke up and went to visit our good friend Amanda Lopez at Shampoo Cocktails to color and cut my hair. I wanted a change so Amanda gave me some really beautiful highlights and a much needed hair cut. She is a hair wizard and I trust her to do her thing because she's so great at what she does. I hate change so it's a very big deal when I get my hair done.

My Mom, Raven and I spent the rest of the day walking around Laguna Beach eating burritos and checking out the art galleries. We were wiped from Disneyland the day before so a low key day was totally in order.

Day 8

Beach day! San Diego was experiencing a GLORIOUS heat wave and there is no better way to take advantage of a heat wave than by going to the beach! My best friends Catie and Anta, Anta's husband Chuck, their Mom Cathy and I all went over to our favorite local beach Stone Steps for some fun in the sun. Chuck loves to surf so I asked him if he would teach me! Growing up in Carlsbad almost everyone is a surfer and I regret not learning how to surf! I got up on my third try and was surfing like a pro within 15 minutes. I can't believe I didn't start surfing earlier. Serious regrets! It was SO much fun!

Day 9

Sunday was my Grandfather's birthday and God was it special to be able to be there to celebrate. My Grandfather (We call him Poppy) has set an unbelievably high bar for what to look for in a guy. He's supportive, kind, funny, warm, intelligent, driven, loving, optimistic, handsome, inclusive, innovative, generous and most importantly fun. Growing up he and GM made everything we did from a Doctor's appointment to family road trips something to look forward to. He is so selfless it hurts and the way he looks at all of us you feel like he's giving you a huge bear hug. He's quite the gift and I am so happy I got to celebrate him with our family.

I spent the night back at Raven's because I was flying out of Long Beach the following day. This trip really put some things into perspective. I learned a lot about myself as I got to spend time with all my childhood friends. I absolutely love New York and it's home for the next 5 to 10 years, but there's something magical about living close to your family and where the sun is always shining. I have a lot to do before I go back to California but in the meantime I can't wait to see what I'm capable of. Now it's back to marathon training because I've been slacking the last couple of days and I am desperate to run. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.