Friday, May 23, 2014

My Mom Visits the OC

I can't believe May is almost over! I've spent another amazing month here in paradise. This last weekend was especially amazing because I got to share it with my Mother aka my best friend. I'm extremely close to my Mom so being away from her is one of the hardest parts of living here in California. I didn't get to see her for her birthday or Mother's Day so I was excited to celebrate, catch up, and show her around the OC. She was here Saturday-Wednesday which didn't feel close to long enough. We had a great time, and were lucky enough to be able to fit in everything we wanted to do. 
On Saturday we went to the Irvine Spectrum which I've blogged about before. A quick recap: the spectrum is an outdoor mall with shops, restaurants, ferris wheel, fountains, outdoor music, etc. We ended up going to The Cheesecake Factory because honestly who doesn't love The Cheesecake Factory? We ate way too much food and ended up going home and watching countless episodes of Friends on DVD. Watching Friends has always been one of our favorite things to do together. On Sunday morning we first went to The Top of the World in Laguna Beach which I've blogged about before. We hiked to the highest point and then sat and enjoyed the view while catching up and talking for hours. Next we went to the beach at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach, again which I've blogged about before. Here we laid in the sun, listened to the waves, and explored tide pools in the rocks. For dinner we went to my favorite restaurant so far, K'ya Bistro in Laguna Beach. They specialize in tapas so you can get a lot of different food items for a reasonable price. My favorite dish on the menu is the lobster risotto. Everything we've had there has been amazing. The restaurant can get loud and crowded, but it is worth it for a delicious meal. 
Top of the World, the mountain side
The ocean side
Crystal Cove State Park 
Peaceful
I love the color of that water
Taking our Christmas photo early this year
Feeling extra blessed to have the people I love here with me
Watching the sunset
Laguna Beach
My beautiful Mother
K'ya Bistro 
On Monday we went to the most magical place on Earth...Disneyland! We bought tickets online the day before and were able to print them out to avoid the lines at the park. We paid $17 for parking and had to be shuttled over to the park on a bus. There are two parks, Disneyland and California Adventure. We only bought one day one park passes so we chose to go to Disneyland. I was hoping that since we were going on a Monday there wouldn't be long lines. There was still about an hour wait for all the rides, but I'm sure it is better than what it would be in the summer. I grew up going to Disney World, and even though I knew the two parks are not comparable, I was a little disappointed. I did appreciate seeing where the Disney franchise had started and where it has come over the last 75+ years. My favorite rides were Splash Mountain and Matterhorn Bobsleds. The day was really long and exhausting, but I'm glad I got to share the first time experience with my Mom. 
Walt Disney 
Buzz
Thor protecting us 
Snack time 
Bobsled ride 
Storybook Land 
Splash Mountain
Princess castle 
When I was growing up, my Mom would wake me up bright and early every Sunday morning to watch Hour of Power on TV which is a televised church service that is based out of Garden Grove, CA. On Tuesday morning we finally decided to go to the place we had seen on TV for all those years. Unfortunately when we got to the Crystal Cathedral we found out due to finical difficulties the church had been bought by the Catholic church and has since been renamed the Christ Cathedral. The main cathedral is closed until 2016 when renovations are complete, but we were able to walk the grounds with a tour guide and explore. The cathedral even from just the outside is breathtaking. Made completely of glass panes, you can see the reflections of palm tress and blue skies. It was sad to see the place and family that we had religiously (no pun intended) watched for all those years now gone. Although it is not the place I remember exactly from my childhood, it is still magical and I highly recommend a trip here. 
So tall you can see it from miles away 
My Mom bought a "brick" on that wall somewhere
The original church before the stunning Crystal Cathedral was built  
Fountains, my favorite 
Blue skies 
Palm trees
Reflections 
Looking up
The school on the grounds 
More fountains 
The cemetery 
Culture Center 
The million dollar bathroom
What the glass panes look like from the other side
My momma 
What the inside of the cathedral looks like now
I love water!
I was sad to see my Mom leave on Wednesday morning, but I'll be home in a few weeks for a wedding. I had so much fun with her and loved spending quality time together. With the upcoming holiday weekend I can't wait to share what my boyfriend and I end up doing!
XoXo,
Valerie