Tuesday, July 6, 2010

California Recap, Part One

After collecting five pounds of seashells, enduring a wicked sunburn and taking 1,400 photos, we're finally back from our Californian vacation - with just a touch of jet lag as a souvenir! As you can imagine, there's far too much to share in just one post. Read on for part one of our coastal getaway.

We arrived in Los Angeles on June 24 - just in time for the evening rush hour traffic. I had no intention of driving in that mess and planned to add Nate as a second driver to the rental car agreement from Avis. That's when we hit our first vacation snag. Avis requires a second driver to show a driver's license and a credit card (even though the car was already paid for on my credit card). Nate only has a debit card. While his debit card could be processed as a Visa, Avis refused to accept it.

Their policy made no sense, especially since Nate could have purchased the rental on his debit card online before arriving and then seamlessly put me on as a second driver when we arrived in L.A. I called the less-than-helpful customer service number when I got to the hotel. The representative agreed that the policy was "strange," but wasn't able to do anything about it. She suggested that we visit another Avis location in person to see what they could do - too bad the location she directed us to didn't exist. Then, we reviewed the papers Avis gave us with our rental agreement, which listed additional offices in the L.A. area, including an office in Glendora. Nope, that office no longer existed either. Thanks for nothing, Avis. I relinquished myself to the fact that I'd be the primary driver for our getaway, but it wasn't the low-stress vacation I was expecting.

We were in Glendora for the first four days of our vacation for a friend's wedding. We stayed at the Garden Inn and Suites on Route 66, which was deceivingly cute on the outside. At $80 a night, we definitely overpaid for the sketchy room with a mirror that spanned almost an entire wall. Classy.

One of Glendora's gems is the tree at the appropriately named "Big Tree Park." We stumbled across it one morning after a wrong turn in search of Starbucks. The fig tree was planted in the late 1880s and has the most amazing root system.

Nate was standing up in the wedding, so he had groomsman's duties to attend to - including a day at Newport Beach with the groom.

The guys spent hours tumbling in the waves.

I tagged along to bake in the sun, which I took a bit too literally and wound up with the worst sunburn I've ever had!

I ventured into the ocean for a little while, mostly because I spotted a gorgeous shell near the water's edge. A wave knocked me over shortly after.

Building a sandcastle with Nate was worth the sun damage.

After the wedding festivities wrapped up, we were finally free of all obligation. And is there a better place to celebrate childlike freedom than Disneyland?

We spent a few minutes mapping our strategy to maximize our Disneyland adventure.

I could barely wait to purchase an obligatory pair of Mickey ears. The best part of the Disney experience was enjoying the attractions I vaguely remember riding nearly two decades ago. I'm still a fan of "It's a Small World," even if Nate would rather jump ship.

Check back tomorrow for part two of our Californian adventure, including sand dunes, a giant rock and fat squirrels.


  1. Jessica you have no idea how it warms my heart to see these pictures of the two of you playing locally. It looks like a great time was had (sans sunburn of course) - and I can't wait to see the rest of your trip.

    That picture of you in the tree is FANTASTIC!! I have very, very close friends in Glendora and have seen that tree firsthand. It's soooo cool to see you in it too! (sorry I'm having a nerd moment).

    BTW - what.is.wrong.with.avis???

  2. Your trip sounds really fun so far, though I do feel you on the pains of rental car agencies! How terrible that the company doesn't even keep its staff up-to-date on current locations. My BF was also unable to be the 2nd driver on the car I rented when I was in LA, and I was NOT pleased, as I hate driving, especially in LA traffic! But it turned out okay in the end. Anyway, I look forward to reading the rest of your adventures! That tree looks too cool, and I <3 your pair of personalized Mickey Mouse ears! =)

  3. Welcome back sweetie! I adore the whole post...It sounds like you both had a blast...That hat...hahaha...so sweet! Now I want one too:) Cant wait for tomorrow to hear more:)
    Muah and Happy Tuesday

  4. Welcome back Jessica, it looks like you had an amazing time! xx

  5. Oooh so fun!! :D That is sooo annoying about the car though XD But it looks and sounds like you had lots of fun!! Can't wait for more

  6. Ughh I hate dealing with rental car companies. I had a horrible experience with Budget last month and still haven't seen the refund they promised after charging me double due to lost paperwork. What a mess! Anyway, glad to see that aside from the Avis situation, you all still had fun. Looks like a fabulous get away!

    Lovely B.

  7. Bummer about avis and your sunburn :( I'm glad you had a nice vacation otherwise.

  8. Looks like a generally good weekend! I love D-land and it was cooler than normal in SoCal which helps for a day at Disney!

    xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

  9. Your California vacation looks fabulous, Jessica! I love Disneyland and your mickey mouse ears with your name are too cute! Glad you had a blast!


  10. Love your photos, sorry about the sunburn!! But Disney looks like so much fun, can't wait to see the rest!

    Chic on the Cheap

  11. You should've used my tea bag method for sunburn!
    It really works. And Disneyland is my fave place ever. Wish I was there now!!

  12. Hi. Love your photos. Apply plenty of aloe to your sunburn!

  13. hi! yup, there seems to be problems with blogger comments.

    i love disneyland! and yea, inns like that are pretty sketchy and often are rip-offs. some of the more legit ones are comfort inns or best western.

    i'm excited to see part2 of this post. :)

    <3, Mimi

  14. It looks like you had a fabulous time in LaLa land! Cant wait to read part two!

  15. Looooove that you rocked the ears! I'm not the only one...YAY! Sounds like a killer vaycay for sure. : )

  16. fun times!! looking forward to more recaps.


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