Monday, April 2, 2012


It's true. We did it. We went to California by ourselves. Best spring break ever.
Day One-Travel
Emily and myself attended a 9am farewell. I was so antsy the entire time, I literally pushed Emily out the chapel doors, no time for chit chat we had places to go. We then picked up the one and only Alyssa Marie Benson and we were on our way. With our handy GPS to guide us we set out on one heck of an adventure.
The drive was fairly uneventful until we passed through St. George. That's when we ran into these geeks.
I couldn't resist once I saw their car, I started waving at them like a manic from the backseat. Gimmie a break, it was a long drive and I was bored. Boy oh boy did they instantly love us. Who knows how long they drove by our side, oh wait I do, too dang long! Despite our attempts to shake them they kept right with us, all the while this bozo was sticking his head out the sunroof.
Alright, and maybe I stuck my head out our sunroof a couple times too, remember this is a 11 hour drive, I was bored. Sometime before the California boarder we lost them, shortly after the California boarder we got stuck in stand still traffic for 2 hours. This might sound terrible, but nay, two hour traffic simply equals a two hour dance party. Just like that we threw the car in park opened the doors and cranked the speakers. Thus began the theme of our trip, "Dancing through California." Our dance moves attracted a car full of boys parked next to us. Turns out they were jujitsu competitors on their way home to LA from a tournament in Vegas. We chatted with them for a bit and had them show us their best moves. Just as we ran out of things to say to them and it started getting awkward traffic started moving. Perfect. After that is was smooth sailing all the way to Orange County. OC is where we had our fist encounter with a toll road. Seriously? Those things suck, a lot. None of us had ever seen a toll road before, and it was late, and it was dark, and we didn't have cash, so we flew through the Fastpass lane. Like magic, real hard core Harry Potter magic, the GPS took us right to our wonderful, fantastic, funny, kind, gracious cousin Jenny's house. Now lets just take a second and talk about how this whole trip could not have happened with out Jenny. She was kind enough to let the three of us stay at her house for the entirety of our trip. We could not be more grateful! Not only did she provide us room and board but she let us in on a bunch of fantastic places to go that lead to some great adventures. Jenny and her family are THEE greatest!
Day Two- Santa Monica
You better believe we slept in. Once we woke up, we gawked at the green grass, lime tree, orange tree, AND avocado tree in Jenny's backyard. Honestly? What kind of alternate universe were we in where you could grow your own avocados? Once the shock wore off we turned our faith over to the GPS again and ended up at the Santa Monica Pier.
The beach, the ocean, the sun, the crazies, we were in heaven. We laid out on the beach for a bit, splashed in the water, and chased a few seagulls. As we walked through the parking lot heading to the pier we spotted the unbelievable.
How? Honestly, what were the chances? Math and Science would probably say one in a bazillion, probably. Okay, but Santa Monica is a big place so we for sure were not going to run into them. Ya right. As we were walking around on the pier checking out the spot were the one and only Phil Dunphy took his first class at trapeze school Alyssa suddenly, and rapidly, starts whispering, "That's them, that's them, that's them." Act cool they WILL NOT recognize us. Instantly we hear hushed voices behind us saying, "Is that them? Is that those girls? I swear that is them!" We high tailed it out of there. No way were we going to deal with that, no way. We wondered around the pier for a bit more and then winded up at muscle beach. I had spring fever and a sudden shot of confidence that lead me to believe I could climb the rope, swing from the rings, and master the parallel bars. I was terribly wrong. But the three of us sure had a good time messing around on the gymnastics equipment. On the way outa town we left the geeks a little note asking them to stop following us.
Later that night we took a stroll around Jenny's neighborhood. Lots of cars honked at us, Emily got the honks, and we took some cool pictures.
Day Three- Ellen / Sunset Beach
We wanted to be on the Ellen show so bad. We somehow got it in our heads that even though we didn't have tickets if we just showed up we could talk our way onto the show. Well we didn't talk our way onto the show but we did talk our way into the parking garage. Yes yes I know you are all amazed that we talked our way into free parking, we were pretty jazzed about it too. We waited outside the Ellen Show in the "Standby Ticket" line even though we had no such tickets. After about on hour some official looking Ellen person told us we had no chance of getting in. Crushed and heartbroken we drove to Sunset beach. I think what really turned this day around was when we saw there was a Jack in the Box at Sunset beach. If there is one thing that Emily loves it is tacos. You may not know but you can get two tacos at Jack in the Box for 99 cents. Emily went nuts. Alyssa and myself listened to some ridiculous Emily math as she tried to explain to us how much it would cost her to eat two tacos for every meal for a week. It reminded me a little of this video. But not that extreme, but still really funny. We had the beach to ourselves, it was glorious. We played in the water, danced, and worked on Emily's sunburn all day.
Day Four- Disneyland
I mean really do I even need to say any more? It was magic.

We woke up bright and early to get our moneys worth and I'll tell you what 16 hours later we sure had our moneys worth. When we got to Disneyland we meet up with Alyssa's friend Zac Flores and he became our personal tour guide. Turns out if you are a local and have a season pass you know your way around Disney like nobody's business! We named the ride we wanted to get on next and Zac directed us like we were a flock of Asian tourists. It was a beautiful day and the lines were surprisingly short, in fact we walked right on to Splash Mountain. Pure bliss.
Around two o'clock we hit a little speed bump. We were waiting in line for Goofy's Flight School and suddenly Emily and Alyssa turned into 6 year olds with heat stroke. I feared we weren't going to make it through the rest of the day. We headed to our car for our picnic lunch where I forced Emily to drink an entire bottle of water in hopes of saving our day of Disney. Within 10 minutes both Alyssa and Emily were sound asleep with no signs of waking up anytime soon. I got very scared. We had only been at Disneyland for half a day and these two were obviously done. I was petrified to wake them up in fear that they would only be more grumpy then they were when they fell asleep. So I did they only thing I could think to do, I turned off the AC and let the car quickly work its way up to a billion degrees. This is when we had a true Disneyland miracle. Although slightly groggy at first the heat woke both of them up and within minutes they had come full circle and were ready for the rest of the day. It was truly like they had been reborn. The second half of the day was great, we rode every ride and watched Emily chase Pluto down Main Street, what more could we ask for? Later in the day we had to decided whether we wanted to go to the parade or wait in line for Screamin California. Alyssa and myself both quickly said that we would much rather go on Screamin California, however when we said this you could visible see the effect it had on Emily. Alyssa and I exchanged a glance, worried that we were crushing Emily's inner child we were on the verge of changing our minds when Emily turned her head and looked up at the roller coaster in complete and utter fear. Emily could have cared less about the parade she was just using it as a way to get out of going on Screamin California. Well I will tell you what we saw right through her. We got her on that roller coaster and what do you know she loved it, typical. To end our night off right we watched the amazing firework show, rode Tower of Terror one last time, and watched Fantasmic. Disney really knows how to put on a show, incredible.

  Day Five- Laguna
For our last day on the sunny west coast we headed out to Laguna Beach.
It was a little chilly out so besides a flock of surfers we were the only ones at the beach. We spent a few hours mesmerized by the surfers, I'll tell ya what that is some amazing stuff . It didn't take long before these surfers started asking us questions about what we were doing and where we were from. They seemed to particularity like Alyssa.
We even had a few offer to show us around the city, maybe we should have let them, it would have made for one heck of a good story. After a full day at the beach Emily's legs were perfectly fired so we took off to dinner. We decided to try out Ruby's Diner because everyone told us we HAD to go there. We punched the address into the magic GPS and off we went.
"Turn left on Perry Avenue. Then board ferry."
Silence fell over the car followed by wait, what did that just say? So many people had recommend Ruby's to us yet not one had mentioned that we would need to take an auto ferry to get there, you would think that might be something you would tell three girls from Utah. Well the GPS hadn't failed us yet so we drove the car right on to that ferry and sure enough it took us across the sea to Ruby's.
The burgers were amazing, so delicious!
We could not get over the fact that we had taken a ferry to get there. Easily one of the best adventures of the week.
Day Six: Homeward Bound
We packed our bags early and said a tearful goodbye to sunny California. It was smooth sailing all the way to the Nevada border. That's were we stopped to ride Desperado at Buffalo Bills. Alyssa and I did all we could to get Em on it but she had rode it once before and there was no chance of getting her back on. Back in '96 Desperado was the worlds tallest, steepest, and fastest roller coaster, it was a rush, and a fantastic way to top off our trip.
And that folks is a wrap, 2269 miles later the journey was over.

Need to give a quick shout out to Jewelz and Nat, their incredible blog is where we discovered the song Speaks by Matt Pond. A shout out to Kendall Hawkins as well for introducing us to the song Can't Hold Us by Macklemore. I kid you not when I say we listened to these two songs nearly a hundred times on the trip, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

Spring break 2012 will always be one of the greatest trips of my life.
Emily herself has put together a little video of our trip, it's a real keeper, enjoy