Our cross-America roadtrip started because my parents extended us a great offer – Christmas in California. We decided to join them, but take the long way around (so a three day roadtrip turned into four months).
After our car broke down, our intended two-weeks-with-the-parents stay turned into six weeks. My husband definitely got to know his in-laws well during this time!
We rented a near-oceanfront condo in Oceanside, California. I passed through this town nearly 12 years ago on a missions trip to Mexico and loved the atmosphere. The surf town is hopping during the summer, but, unfortunately for us, it was a bit dead (and colder than we expected).
We visited a few beaches around the Oceanside area when the weather was exceptional (+22ish), but it was chillier than that most days.
The variety and beauty of California sunsets was nearly incomprehensible. So much colour!
Frank A Miller Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park
On Christmas Day, we drove to Riverside, CA to go to the Frank A Miller Mount Rubidoux Memorial Park (more info on this blogpost) for a short family hike.
Mount Woodson Trail – Potato Chip Rock
This trail, a 12km round trip, was a great workout (some people were running this!). It’s dog-friendly with great views of Lake Poway for the first portion.
At the top of the mount exists a “potato chip” looking rock. When we turned a corner, the lineup was ridiculous. We read somewhere that, if you happen to go on a weekend, you can expect a lineup longer than at Disneyland.
People weren’t joking… we were told it was a one hour wait to get to the rock. So we took a picture in front of it and called it a day.
A fun thing to do was watch people pose on top of the rock:
The views were awesome all around:
My brother flew down for a couple weeks, and part of the Christmas fun was making nearly 350 perogies as a family (a tradition of sorts, which seems to have started… this year).
We spent Christmas in Hawaii a number of years ago and I remember taking a lamp and making it into a Christmas tree. This year, we did the same, but there was an actual fake plant in the house!
We went to Hollywood for an obligatory Hollywood tour; don’t pay more than $20 per person – use your bargaining power. I’ve been to LA/Hollywood before (five years ago now), so it wasn’t anything special for me. The rest of the family hadn’t, so it was good for them to see!
We walked down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, grabbed a bite to eat and headed back.
One thing we can be thankful for… we had no snow and above zero temperatures for the whole holiday season!