We did it, we went to Disneyland for Spring break and survived. There was some concerns about busy days, over stimulating and crowds, but we managed and we had a whole lot of fun doing it. We will be doing that again. This is part 1 of a 5 part series.
We arrived at LAX in the evening on Saturday night. We chose to stay in Newport Beach because our family has a timeshare that worked at a hotel in that suburb. It was a great choice for our family, but meant up early to drive to the park each day. But also made us really slow down, plan and get away from the Disney traffic.
Let’s talk Newport. Newport is the a cool place. It is a coastal southern city in California in Orange County. You know what that means…the Real Housewives of Orange County, the OC, and Arrested Development. Sadly, we did not see any celebrities, but we understood why they live in the area. It is gorgeous, lush, posh and so Californian.
Our first day we slept in a bit and made a stop for lunch at one of our family favorite spots, Panera Bread. We first learned about Panera when a family friend lived in North Carolina. Since then, any time we are in the United States, we dine at Panera at least once. We had Mac and cheese, which is really one of our family favorites, turkey chili and sandwiches. It was delicious and filling. After lunch we had to pick up breakfast items and snacks because we knew we’d be eating breakfast at the hotel and bringing snacks with us to the park.
We checked out Pavilion’s Grocery Store. It was cool market and like most stores in the states, had a liquor store on site. We picked up fruit, veggies and wide variety of snacks that we can’t get here in Canada. Most of it junk food, but its vacation and we always enjoy trying the stuff we don’t have access too at home.
We spent the rest of day exploring the area and made our way to Balboa Island. We even passed the Original Banana Stand (Arrested Development reference). It is quaint and very coastal feeling with small homes, harbour-side restaurants and a even a seaside fair/amusement area. To get to Balboa Island, you need to take a ferry. This shocked our family when Joan (GPS) demanded we board a ferry. There was a resounding shocked “ferry” exclaimed in our vehicle when this was declared. Regardless, we actually put our trust in Joan and made our way across the inlet on a three car ferry.
While exploring Balboa Island we made a quick trip to the beach so the cupcakes could find some shells. The tide was coming and the lil’ cupcake was a victim, or so she demonstrated. Apparently surf and a tired and hungry little four year old, don’t mix. We whisked a cold little girl up to the pier to watch the sea lions stealing fish from the people fishing off the pier and to eat dinner at Ruby’s on the Pier. Ruby’s is a 50’s diner that serves classic American fair. Burgers, malts, milkshakes and fries. Food was ok, nothing spectacular. But it was nice to watch the sunset as we ate dinner on a pier.
Our first day wasn’t too crazy, and the girls made a great haul on seashells, but we needed to get back to the hotel and go to bed, because the next day is DISNEY DAY!!!!