Spring break in California

March 26th, 2014
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Being firmly ensconced on the Mommy track now means we are locked into taking vacations only during school breaks. At least that's what the school wants me to say, ha ha.

I miss the days when Husband and I could just take off in shoulder seasons when the price, the crowds, or the weather suited us. I also miss when traveling halfway around the world inspired feelings of anticipation and excitement rather than fear and weariness in me.

Set against this backdrop, we picked a spring break destination that was reasonably close and child-friendly, California. We then chose to split the trip between southern and northern areas.

Natural Bridges State Beach, California

Natural Bridges State Beach, California

The first three and a half days were in Irvine, the last four and a half were in Santa Cruz. In Irvine: Olivia's godmother and Disneyland. In Santa Cruz: relatives and a visit to some of my university memories.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Here's a glance at what we did:

Saturday: Fly in to LAX

Sunday & Monday: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park

Arriving in San Jose, CA

Arriving in San Jose, CA

Tuesday: Fly to San Jose. Check into a hotel in Santa Cruz.

Wednesday: Drive West Cliff Drive to end up at Natural Bridges State Park. Hike the woods, explore tide pools. Stroll the Santa Cruz wharf. Lunch and stroll on Pacific Avenue, the main shopping area. Swim in the hotel pool.

Thursday: (A day of mystery!) Mystery Spot. Drive to San Jose. Winchester Mystery House. Dinner with calabash cousins in Campbell.

Friday: Monterey Bay Aquarium. Carmel-by-the-Sea. Dinner with cousins in Aptos.

Paternal cousins

Paternal cousins

Cousin Ashley and her family

Cousin Ashley and her family

Saturday: University of California at Santa Cruz Arboretum tour and drive around the campus. Buy gifts at Trader Joe's. If Trader Joe's ever comes to Hawaii, my omiyage strategy is in trouble. Fly home via SFO.

At UCSC Arboretum

At UCSC Arboretum

Time warps when one is on vacation. Eight days felt like three weeks (in a good way.) It was nice to visit California and then come home refreshed. In the following blogs I will detail some of the key activities to include travel tips, should anything in this agenda appeal to you!

Sea lions under Santa Cruz wharf - near top right of photo

Sea lions under Santa Cruz wharf - near top right of photo

2 Responses to “Spring break in California”

  1. Harry:

    You actually came home refreshed?!? When I come home from a vacation, I feel like I need another to recover.


  2. Diane Ako:

    Harry- Yes, I was kind of tired since we all had head colds but mentally refreshed! It was a pretty slow schedule, don't you think? I had been really stressed out before flying off but physical distance helped create mental distance. I came home without all the stress that I took up. Now that is worth the price of admission!


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