Our First Time at Disneyland!

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Its no secret that we are a bit Disney obsessed, I mean hello, that's where our wedding and honeymoon was. TIP: One of the things that we do when we are looking for a weekend getaway is to use Kayak and select “no specific destination”. That way we can just enter our max budget and the max amount of time we want to spend in the air and then get all of the estimates for all of the locations around us. This is what we did for Anaheim, we found really cheap flights to Los Angeles and then decided to spend the weekend at Disneyland!

Where we stayed

We stayed at the Majestic Anaheim Garden hotel. It was so cute, it looked like a Seven Dwarfs cottage from Snow White. It was so close to the parks and there was a shuttle. It was a win, win, win lol, we would definitely stay again! The shuttles ran on the half hour and it was never too crowded on the bus, we always were able to get on right away. We arrived at our hotel at about 1:00 PM, changed and hopped on the next available shuttle to the parks.

Breakdown of the Day

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When we got there I hadn’t realized that it was the opening weekend for Pixar Fest. Our first day we spent at Disneyland. We had from about 2:00 PM-12:00 AM. When we first booked the trip, I was really worried about not being there right away in the morning but we had ample time to enjoy our day and explore!

We were starving so our first stop in the park was at Alien Pizza Planet in Tomorrowland for a slice of pizza.. they also had the CUTEST green alien macaroons at Pizza Planet! I am noticing a trend of us eating at the first chance we get when we arrive places... Anywho, while we were eating lunch we got on the Disneyland App and snagged our first fast pass! When it came to food though, I really found about 1000 more treats I would have liked to try after I left. Need to plan a trip back!

TIP: The extra $10 to get the fast passes was worth it, it was all on our phones and very easy to use. Coming from Disney World and having to pick fast passes a month or two in advance, I was a little stressed out that we might not get any, but we had zero problems.

Fast-passes we got

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Throughout the day we got fast passes for Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Soarin’ and Star Wars ride. Other rides that we just stood in line for were the Matterhorn ride, Finding Nemo submarine, Indiana Jones’ Adventure, the Jungle cruise and so many more. Our main objective was to ride all of the rides that weren’t at Disney World first and then add in ones that we’ve been on before. Both of our favorite rides were Space Mountain, but I did really like the Indiana Jones Ride!

After our full day of travel, we turned in around 9:00 pm, it turns out we didn’t need a full day at Disneyland after all. One thing we would definitely do differently if we went back would be to get the park hopper pass so we could go between California Adventure and Disneyland as we pleased. On the second day, we found ourselves wishing we could go on some of the big rides at Disneyland again!

 

48 hours in Seattle

For our 1 year anniversary, Dustin surprised me with a short weekend getaway to Seattle. Seattle is a place that we had both wanted to go but just didn’t think it was in the cards for us this year. Usually I am the one who does a lot of the planning but it was so much fun to be able to take the backseat to this trip and just enjoy it! It was such a fun trip and seriously so unexpected!

Where we stayed

Dustin used our Expedia points to book our hotel. TIP: If you aren’t using something like Expedia or Hotels.com to earn rewards you are basically losing money! We stayed at Inn at the Market and it was literally RIGHT in the middle of everything that we wanted to do. We were like a block away from Pike Place Market and it was perfect. It was also so cute! I should have gotten pictures of our room, I really need to remember to do that going forward! The hotel staff were so helpful with recommendations for food. Most hotels do this now but they held our luggage while we explored because our room wasn’t ready and then again on Sunday when we checked out.

Where we ate

-Lunch at Zeek’s Pizza.. OH SO GOOD. I got the pizza called the Weekend Hippie.. Drool! Also, we got Cider flights and they were also good! We loved the first three on this list but the last was not for us lol

-Appetizers at Fisherman’s Restaurant on Pier 57, crab cakes and the calamari were the bomb diggity.. anyone else still say that? No? Just me?? Moving on…

-Drinks at The Diller Room, it was a cool atmosphere with tasty drinks but it did get crowded quickly! The bartender at Fisherman’s Restaurant actually told us to go here while we were getting appetizers! TIP: Always ask the locals where they go, they know best!

-More drinks… After The Diller Room we walked up the street a bit to this Kereoke bar called the Blarney Stone Pub and Restaurant. Honestly, it was one of our most fun nights ever! We watched people sing karaoke and played pool all night and had bar food/snacks for dinner. It was just fun! Speaking of karaoke.. does anyone else think of Baby Mama every time they say Karaoke… haha

-Coffee at the original Starbucks of course! We collect the “You are Here” mugs from Starbucks, its a fun way to remember where we have been with our morning coffee. Sadly ours broke in our recent move so it looks like we’re going to have to go back.. ;)

-Breakfast at Seatown Seabar, we had a really late breakfast, I’d like to thank the karaoke... I had the biscuits and gravy and Dustin had the crab cakes Benedict(noticing a trend for his breakfast choices?) lol ;) But they were both delicious.

-Lunch/Dinner… Because we had such a late breakfast we had an early dinner at Cantina de San Patricio, YUM. We had enchiladas and chips with guac! It was fun, we sat outside and just people watched(our favorite)

What we did

-Pike Place Market.. I could literally spend all day at markets. I love them, the beautiful flowers, fresh fruits and veggies, the hustle and bustle. Its so much fun! It was also cool because most of the venders in the market would ship what you bought back to your house. So you could get a fish and they would mail it to you lol

-Wings over Washington - If you have been to Disney World or Disneyland then its like Soarin’! It was really cool and I recommend doing it! It is a simulator ride but we still really loved it.

-Centennial Park.. we rented the Lime bikes and went to the Centennial park, it was a peaceful getaway right in the middle of the city with such pretty views of the water! Plus there were the cutest dogs everywhere.

-Gum wall.. definitely something to see but tbh…it was gross lol.. the smell was a bit much for me. But when we were on this trip someone told us that they have to completely clean the wall about every 6 months but I’ve also read that its only been cleaned once.. either way.. GROSS. Anyone know the actual answer?

-Chihuly Garden and Glass, we aren’t usually people who go into museums but this one intruged us. It was a blown glass museum and now every time we see blown glass anywhere we look at each other and say Chihuuuuuuuuuly in our most proper accents.. its a thing now and I don’t think we could stop saying it even if we tried lol

-Seattle Aquarium.. Dustin and I love anything having to do with animals.. zoos, aquariums, petting zoos, deer on the side of the road.. our dogs *insert cry laugh face*, ANYWHO…. but it was such a good one! If you have the time, definitely add the aquarium to your list, it was so so good. Just to be clear on how much we love aquariums.. the first thing we did in Boston when we moved here was buy a membership to the Aquarium haha

-Space Needle.. SO here’s the thing. I did not enjoy being in the space needle on a windy and rainy day. It was a bit terrifying and I am not usually scared of heights. But, we went in anyways.. it was alright. We probably wouldn’t pay to go in it again but if you’ve never been and its in the budget, knock your self out. We paid I think $30 each and were up there for like 10 minutes and that is including the ride in the elevator both up and down and waiting in line to get on the elevator in the air.

-The MoPOP museum, we didn’t go in but we took full advantage of the pink/purple-ish wall outside of the building. Once we got back to the hotel I looked into what it was and I really wish we would have gone in! It looks awesome. If you’ve been let me know in the comments if you liked it!

-Seattle’s Great Wheel.. we actually bought these tickets in combination with Wings over Washington. I think it was like 15 for the ferris wheel and 10 for Wings Over Washington. The ferris wheel was cool but again it was cloudy, so we couldn’t see very far. Definitely go if it’s a sunny day!

We packed SO much stuff into 48 hours but it was so worth it! It was also awesome because everything was pretty close and we really didn’t have to walk very far to get next to the destination on the list. We will have to go back though because we found more things we wanted to go after we left lol (doesn’t that always happen)?! Have you been to Seattle? What did we miss?! Let us know in the comments!

San Francisco Travel Diary: Day 2

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Day 2 began very early, we set off around 8 and we had no real plan for the morning. We decided to stop when our noses could no longer handle the fabulous smells coming from Beach Street Grill Organics. Dustin had the Fresh Crab Benedict- LOOKED awesome, tasted better, but I will let you guys be the judge of how it looks! We ate outside and the weather was perfect. February is actually a surprisingly great time to visit San Francisco. Of course, we were coming from the arctic soooo…..

After breakfast, we headed to check in for our reservations at the Alcatraz Excursions tour. From breakfast to Pier 33 it was about a 15-minute walk, perfect to undo the yummy food we couldn’t tear ourselves away from. With a little time to spare we stopped at Pier 39 to watch the sea lions- they were hilarious to watch! I am in love with them….they are an attraction all on their own!

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The Alcatraz tour is streamlined and organized a definite plus when your time is limited. It is a short boat ride over to the island and then we were able to walk around the island on our own. They had an audio tour, I usually don’t love the audio tours but this one was interesting and informative. We learned so much about the prison itself and the day to day life of the prisoners and guards. This tour was not one to miss, take the time to book a tour with them. Just make sure you do it a couple of weeks in advance because they fill up fast! They also have a night tour, and I was told that needed to be booked even further in advance. The cost was worth the experience for sure, we would recommend doing it to anyone. Has anyone ever done the night tour? I'm not sure it would be for me…..ghosts…spoooooky!

The tour took 3 hours from start to finish including the boat ride times. We starting walking back towards Pier 39 to find some grub. We stopped at Eagle Cafe. We sat outside at the bar on the patio and saw the most amazing views of Alcatraz, the bay and Pier 39. A great place for people watching if I might add. The french fries were great, we both got the Crab Salad sandwhich. It wasn't what we were expecting but it was fine.

After lunch we walked by the bay all the way to the beach in front of the Maritime Museum. We took our shoes off and walked in the sand.They had a foot shower to wash off the sand and then we headed to Ghiradelli Square for a sweet treat. We got our chocolate squares and sat on the grassy hill for almost 3 hours. Being from Minnesota, the sun was a stranger and we couldn't be happier to be laying in the sun. There were dogs and people everywhere just relaxing, it was perfect! We headed back to the hotel to change for dinner.

We started our evening with oysters on the half shell and a glass of wine at the Wines of California Wine Bar. It was the perfect setting, we sat on the patio and watched the boats on the water. They had the prettiest lights and it was peaceful in the middle of the busy pier. Further down the pier at Hana Zen is where we had dinner, the sushi was amazing! We reccommend the Lion King roll, only a bit obsessed with Disney....its fine.... We ended our night by sitting on the benches listening to the sea lions on the pier, amazing!

 

San Francisco Travel Diary: Day 1

where we stayed

When we were planning our weekend getaway to San Francisco, we knew we wanted to stay in Fishermans Warf. Most of what we wanted to do and see were there so we decided to stay at Holiday Inn Fishermans Wharf. This hotel was perfect for what we needed it for. It was close to everything, and it was a great place to crash for the night, with such short trip- we knew we wouldn’t be in the room often. It was reasonably priced and the staff was great, they let us check in at 10 AM rather than the standard 3 PM- for free I might add!

DAY 1:

We knew we wanted to maximize our time in San Francisco so we booked the earliest flight Friday morning. We arrived around 9:15 and got to our hotel at 10:00, we were hungry because our stomachs thought it was lunchtime for sure. We checked into our hotel and immediately went to find food. I had never been to In & Out Burger so obviously we ate lunch there. 

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After lunch, we set off to explore. As a rookie mistake we started walking uphill (we seriously recommend NOT doing that)! We started walking and walking and walking...and while it was fun, we ended up wearing ourselves out from too much walking. We should have utilized some public transportation and saved our feet from the abuse. We ended up taking the trolley from Fishermans Wharf to downtown San Francisco. The trolley took us right to the center of Union Square, where we found one of my favorite activities a plenty....shopping.

We didn’t spend much time in downtown, we did a bit of window shopping and then took the trolly back to Fishermans Wharf. We waited for about 30 minutes to get on the trolley but could have saved a lot of time walked up the street a bit and just hopped on. TIP: Just make sure you have your ticket ready if you go that route! We got off the trolley and headed back to the hotel to change for dinner. 

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We basically ate our way through San Francisco and we weren’t mad about it. We headed out from the hotel on the hunt for drinks. We stopped at Franciscan Crab Restaurant for drinks and calamari. We sat at the bar and the views were amazing. Drinks, Calamari and views...the trifecta of awesomeness. After we walked further to the pier, and stopped to eat dinner at Fog Harbor Fish House! Our service was fantastic and so was the food. Dustin had an entire Dungeness crab and I had the lobster mac n’ cheese. YUM! Can you really go wrong with lobster mac n' cheese? After all this yummieness and being completly full.... we were exhausted from traveling and walking {and eating} so we headed back to our hotel to pass out in a splendid food coma.