Travel Diary: California Summer 2018

Goodmorning and Happy Thursday! Today, I am going to share with you my trip to Cali this Summer with my fam. We got back a week ago and I am finally collecting all my memories together and I am so ready to share them with you! If you saw my “California (Photography)” blog post, then you would’ve already seen some of my adventures, but just in pictures. We left on June 29th and came back on July 4th. Our trip was short, but sweet and packed with a ton of adventures.

June 29th: We flew into San Jose Airport around 4pm and, of course, went straight to In n Out after we got our rental car. From there, we drove for about 3 1/2 hours to Monterey where we spent the night. We stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn, which was a beautiful place to stay. It was in a beautiful location and updated. My family and I spent some time at the water front and got to see the beautiful scenic portion of Monterey, then finished off the night with a jazz treat from our hotel.

June 30th: The next morning, we headed toward historic downtown Monterey for some Starbucks (’cause ya know your Washingtonians need their Starbucks… am I right?). Then we headed over to Heart Castle, which was a couple hours out of the way. Y’all… let me tell you… this place was absolutely stunning! If you have never heard of the Hearst Family or been to the castle, I highly recommend you check it out and learn about it and the family. This beautiful castle holds some much art, culture, and beauty. It’s absolutely breathtaking. After Hearst we headed off to Santa Barbara. On our way there, we stopped by this incredibly larger rock, which used to be volcanic apparently. It also brought us to a beautiful beach and very blue water. We finished off this day staying with and spending some time with family.

July 1st: After a yummy breakfast with our fam, we said our goodbyes and drove up to our hotel right next to Universal Studios. We stayed at Hilton Los Angeles / Universal City. We took a few Ubers, because driving through LA and Hollywood is just insane, but we ended up going to the Walk of Fame and Griffith Observatory. We finished our day out by walking over to Universal City and enjoying some super yummy food at Karl Strauss Brewing Company. We ended up going back the next night too, because it was just that good. Then we checked in for the night to get a good nights rest for….

July 2nd: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS!!! The thing my family and I were looking forward to the most was hands down Universal Studios. We had never been and since I got my family hooked on Harry Potter, it was only necessary that we go. We were able to get in an hour early, since we bought tickets online, which saved us on lines. We took a break in the afternoon, because it had gotten really warm and we were all quite tired. After dinner we spend the rest of our night there and then crashed when we hit out hotel room. Our favorite rides were Harry Potter and the Unforgiving Journey and Jurassic Park. Also, Butterbeer is absolutely incredible. OBSESSED!

July 3rd: The next morning, we started our day with Starbucks (duh) and headed out on our 5 hour car ride to San Jose. We took the very dry and brown route since it was saving us a good hour from going on Highway 101. When we arrived to San Jose, we stopped at the Winchester Mansion, which was quite weird, but also really interesting. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend reading up on it and Mrs. Winchester who’s house it was. We ate dinner at this yummy Mexican Restaurant down the road from the mansion called Consuelo. Then we headed to our hotel, Marriott Cupertino, which was amazing. They lacked a pool, but the hotel itself was so modern, clean, and very well kept. Considering they allow dogs there too, you could have never noticed. However, the complimentary breakfast for our next morning was not very good at all.

July 4th: Fourth of July was now among us, which meant our trip had come to an end. Fun fact, this was the first Fourth I had ever not celebrated. Crazy, right? We hung around our hotel and the area our hotel was in that morning, then flew out around 2pm to go home.

Annnnd it’s been go, go, go craziness since we’ve been home! Although our trip was so much fun, I am so glad to be home and back into a routine(ish). Also, I truly missed my bed.What kind of trips are you going on / have gone on this summer? Let me know in the comments below!!Until next Tuesday, have a beautiful weekend and enjoy the great outdoors!xx Maddie

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