California Family Vacation! {Photos}

  Sorry for the hiatus, everyone! My little family and I just got back from a week and a half-long vacation visiting my family and friends in Southern California, and we had a blast! This was Mark's furthest trip from home, not to mention his first time on an airplane, and he loved it!

Venice Beach, CA
  We started our adventures with a trip to Venice Beach, where Mark took his first swim in any ocean. Jace was having a grand old time wading in the shallow waves and playing on the sandy beach playground!

  Next up was a venture on the Los Angeles Metro subway system to Hollywood and Highland, the heart of the Walk of Fame and home of the Graumanns Chinese and El Capitan Theaters. It was a hot sunny day on the strip, so we did all we could to stay on the shaded side of the street.

We were photobombed by Gandalf.
  Throughout the week we visited various friends and places. From weeknight hangouts with close friends to the Harry Potter-themed Whimsic Alley shops (quite amazing, they even have a Great Hall you can rent out for special events!), we covered a lot of bases.

Daddy & Jace at "Platform 9 3/4"
 Our trip rounded up with a trip for Mommy and Daddy to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. I figured this was probably the last chance we'd have for a long while to go to any theme park without kids, so we took advantage of having Grandma and Grandpa around to watch Jace for the day. The last time I'd been to Disneyland was 2009, back in the day when I lives in So Cal and had a season pass to the park. Back then, Cars Land hadn't even started production yet so I was so excited to hear that it was now finished. I can't speak highly enough about how amazing it was...just like being in Radiator Springs in the movie! We didn't make it over to Cars Land until dark, so we got to see the brightly colored neon lights on each and every attraction. LOVED IT!

Highlight of the day: Cars Land!
We got to meet Jace's favorite character: Mater!

Happy and tired faces leaving Disneyland!
   My heart will always belong to Los Angeles and Southern California. I grew up and lived there until only a few short years ago, and still get a thrill from visiting each time. If you're planning a vacation to the area soon I highly recommend checking out Disneyland and it's surrounding attractions, especially if you have young children or are young at heart yourself. It really is a magical place!

One of my favorite snapshots of the trip. Jace and Daddy playing at Venice Beach!