Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Break Round 1: Part 1

My spring break is a week long like every other school in America. Unlike every other school in America, my current university is on the quarter system. Which means that the week before spring break is not midterm week but finals week, and if you don't have any finals you go home early. I had one final on Monday and I flew home that night. Thank. God. Hello two week spring break. Because I have two weeks off and knew that I would be sitting at home watching Netflix the entire time, I invited my friend Clarae to my hometown and to Southern California with me.
Stanford Shopping Center
We began our trip by getting breakfast at the Palo Alto Creamery in Downtown Palo Alto with my friend from theatre, Bethany (who will soon be showcased in College Spotlight!). All you need to know is I unknowingly spent $6.50 on orange juice and I'm still mad. After breakfast, we drove to my high school and walked around my former school's newly finished and updated campus. After our walk around my school, we went to Stanford Shopping Center and stopped by some stores that Clarae doesn't have her in hometown. We ended up getting lunch at The Melt and walking around a bit more. The next day we grabbed lunch with my high school friend Caroline (who already has been showcased in College Spotlight!) at Coupa Cafe in Downtown Palo Alto as well. After breakfast, we packed up our suitcases and threw them in the car to drive to Southern California. Before driving all the way down, we got lunch with Clarae's extended family at Veggie Grill, a new find for me!             
Post Veggie Grill, Pre-Disney
After Veggie Grill we drove down the I-5 to Newport Beach where we would be staying for the weekend. Before getting to our sleeping grounds we got dinner at the Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney which was delicious as usual! We reached the house at about 1am and crashed right after that. We woke up bright and early to get ready for Disney. We met my friend who is a cast member at Disney who generously let us into the parks with one of her employee perks free of charge. Shoutout to Jasmine for being the literal hookup. Cast members are genuinely some of the kindest, most patient, and hardworking people I have ever come in contact with.
Middle of California, off the I-5
Meeting Chewie in the Star Wars Launch Bay
We had a wonderful first day in Disneyland full of fun and festivities, meeting lots of characters and riding lots of rides. We stayed in Disneyland park the entire first day. It was pretty busy considering many people were on spring break, but we managed to get our way around the park.
Lobster Nachos at Cove Bar in Disney's California Adventure
Our day two consisted of park hopping, but we started at California Adventure. We grabbed World of Color fast passes and hopped in the single riders line for Radiator Spring Racers before looking for food. If you haven't been or don't know: California Adventure has amazing food. We ate lunch at Cove Bar where we got some no-jitos and their delicious Lobster Nachos. Pro tip if you don't absolutely drop dead love spice: take the green jalapeƱos off. I really like jalapeƱos and peppercinis typically and Clarae doesn't so as she was removing them from our nachos I ate a whole one. It was the most intense spice I have ever put in my mouth and I would never ever want to relive that moment. Seriously. Take them off. Besides that 10/10 lobster nachos and no-jitos.
Meeting Cinderella in Fantasy Faire at Disneyland
No-Jitos at Cove Bar
One of the really cool things you can do in the parks right now due to Star Wars take over is meet some of the characters from the new Star Wars movie. When my mom and I went to Disney in December we met Chewbacca and Darth Vader. However, since the new movie has come out, they have replaced Darth Vader with Kylo Ren. Let me premise this by saying that I was absolutely terrified of meeting Darth Vader. He was taller than me (most people aren't) and had on a mask and was just generally very foreboding. So in going in to meet Kylo Ren, I figured I'd be fine since I'd already experienced the fear.
Meeting Kylo Ren at Star Wars Launch Bay
Wrong wrong wrong. While waiting outside the meet and greet room, a character attendant began talking to Clarae about being in the resistance as such. Clarae apparently was acting fishy because he told on us. We were instructed to go into the room after all character attendants has disappeared for a few minutes. People kept whispering things to Kylo and after he finished taking pictures with the party before us, he went out of our view in the area we were standing in the room. For those who haven't been, the Launch Bay meet and greets are closed off so only one or two parties are in the meet and greet room at one time. So Clarae and I were completely isolated when he decided to swoop around the corner of the room where we were standing and get in our faces. Oh. My. God. Genuinely the most terrifying moment of my life.
Meeting Snow White at Fantasy Faire in Disneyland
Our day after Disney consisted of going to Fashion Island shopping mall and looking at cute boutiques on Balboa Island. I introduced Clarae to the beauty of the Pressed Juicery. Our second day in SoCal without Disney and also the day we drove home, we took the ferry to the peninsula and walked around the beach and down the pier to a diner called Ruby's. It was very relaxing and nice to be in warm and sunny beach weather with everyone so happy playing around us in the sand.
On the Balboa Island Pier
The beach and warmth of the world really puts me at peace and it was a nice closing chapter to our week long spring break trip. The ocean was so beautiful and everyone around us was so joyful. We walked past a psychic and decided to get our palms read. We both have pretty optimistic futures it looks like, and she was quite good at reading our presents as well. Even if you don't believe in psychics, it was a fun little adventure for us. We rode the ferry back and packed up my car to prepare to drive home. Our seven hour drive went quickly and soon we were home in the Bay Area.
The Stanford Dish hike
Monday, the day Clarae left, we woke up and ate breakfast at home before driving to The Stanford Dish hike in Palo Alto/Woodside. After that we drove to Downtown Palo Alto and got salads and sandwiches at Sprout. We ended back up at my place where we watched The Little Mermaid 2 before driving to San Jose International airport to ship Clarae back home. Luckily, I will see her in less than a week to begin our school's spring term!

Our long week went by extremely quickly and I'm still confused because I feel like I should still be in Southern California. Happily however, I am in my own bed at home and am comforted by the familiar sounds that run through my house daily. I'm really glad to be around my family and my hometown that I love so much. Spring Break has made me grateful and reflective of a lot of things, and I am excited to update you all more on my reflections and other happenings the rest of this week.

I have also decided to try to stick to a consistent schedule of updating this blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so you all know when to check back for new posts. I'm still fairly new to this whole blogging thing so we'll see how I keep up with that. However, that is my goal for now and I plan on sticking with it! Since this post went up on a Wednesday, be sure to look out for a new post this Friday!

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