If you’re a parent with young children like me, planning a vacation can be a complicated, tedious, albeit exciting task. Take this California-Seattle-Vancouver trip we had some time ago as an example, but let’s focus on California first…particularly Los Angeles and nearby attractions and sceneries.
Apart from thinking of places to visit that both us parents and children would enjoy in the city, deciding to stay in a hotel or availing vacation rentals in Los Angeles, or renting a smaller apartment was also on the to-do list. It was convenient to have relatives living there where we stayed for just a few days so as not to impose. 😉
Of course, a visit to California won’t be complete without planning a trip to Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Then you need to consider various things to do – other awesome places to visit, experience new adventures, food to taste, etc. Personally, I think there’s no other place that could offer all that and more but Los Angeles, a.k.a. “The Big Orange” and the “City of Angels”.
Vacationing in L.A. makes for a truly memorable experience especially since there are so many things to do and places to visit aside from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. What’s more, the weather is just perfect for different activities – outdoor adventure trips, food trips, swimming, shopping, or just walking along and soaking up what downtown Los Angeles has to offer.
When we went there, there was no way I was leaving out Disneyland from the itinerary. The trick to enjoying a magical Disney sojourn is to plan. It can be overwhelming especially with all the attractions waiting to be explored and experienced by every visitor in the world-renowned tourist destinations. However, armed with determination, I was able to wrestle my way through planning the Los Angeles/Disneyland trip.
After booking, I browsed for helpful tools in planning the “Disney” vacation, as my children called it. The Disney website was especially helpful as I gathered information about the attractions and restaurants in the resort. I also looked for audio-visual materials with images and narratives about Disney parks. Believe it or not, there is a Disney Planning Spreadsheet, which is a worksheet and a calendar for organizing schedules. When you have kids, accomplishing this spreadsheet is a must. I particularly found the Disney Crowd Level Chart helpful in picking the right date for the trip. We were able to schedule the trip during off-season, so the crowd was light and we didn’t have to wrangle our way in. (Highlights to this trip was blogged separately.)
After our Disneyland sojourn, we went back to the hotel and recharged for next day’s adventures. Because all of us in the family love to eat, we decided to try out the infamous food trucks of Los Angeles. There is a website especially dedicated to finding out which trucks are expected to park in specific locations.
Here’s a tip: most of the food trucks serve fusion cuisine at extremely affordable prices. I particularly enjoyed the truck that offered Korean menu – Japchae, Kimbab, and Kalbi. They even have kimchi quesadilla and kogi sliders!
There was a truck serving a dish called Cheesy Mac and Rib Melt, combining grilled cheese with grilled fall-off-the-bone tender ribs with a choice of three types of bread. Can you guess who ordered it? Other delectable goodies served by the food trucks included potato hash with peanut and leek sauce, veggies grilled with parmesan and herbs, spicy sausage and kale with fried egg and aioli, and roasted pumpkin and egg with spinach, mint, cilantro and yogurt. Yum! Kids love potatoes mostly, so they never get hungry after hopping from one place to another.
Los Angeles is also just minutes away from places of natural beauty such as Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. Hubby and I didn’t pass up on the chance of bringing the kids at Lake Tahoe.
Moreover, since it’s seldom that we get to enjoy frolicking in the beach, we made sure to visit some of the sizzling beaches and breathtaking coastline of California.
Homes of the Stars
Oh, and did I mention we got to see how it’s like to live like a movie star when we toured around some of L.A.’s extravagant houses? Yes, we felt that one of the best ways to enjoy a truly lavish vacation is to go on the famed Hollywood tour. L.A.s’ lush green neighborhoods are a welcome view from all the busyness around. Palm tree, pine trees, and a handful more of them in rows until the end of streets, you’d forget how