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Christmas in California

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).

Our backyard was steps away from the beach.
Our backyard was steps away from the beach.
The pool and hot tub, a couple of my favourite spots.
The pool and hot tub, a couple of my favourite spots.
Palm trees everywhere!
Palm trees everywhere!

We had many long walks along the beach <3
We had many long walks along the beach <3

Generation Y tanning.
The infamous Oceanside pier.
The infamous Oceanside pier.
Views from the pier.
Views from the pier.
I went for runs with views like this.
I went for runs with views like this.

We had gorgeous Birds of Paradise blooming everywhere.
We discovered Bagby's, a microbrewery, which we frequented a few times.
We discovered Bagby’s, a microbrewery, which we frequented a few times.
Every Thursday, there's a day market and night market. Lots of cute crafts and trinkets!
Every Thursday, there’s a day market and night market. Lots of cute crafts and trinkets!

Beaches

We visited a few beaches around the Oceanside area when the weather was exceptional (+22ish), but it was chillier than that most days.

Sunsets

The variety and beauty of California sunsets was nearly incomprehensible. So much colour!

This was the view from our house.
This was the view from our house.

Hikes

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.

The view were pretty, but it was fairly windy, making it very cold.
The view were pretty, but it was fairly windy, making it very cold.

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It was windy!
It was windy!
The Peace Bridge was built in 1925.
The Peace Bridge was built in 1925.
We found loads of oranges on the way home!
We found loads of oranges on the way home!

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.

To the left is the "potato chip" rock ledge. We were told it was a one hour wait!
Yep, that looks long. (To the left is the “potato chip” rock ledge.)

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:

Christmas

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).

Learning from the best…
Success!
…success!

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!

Beauty.
Beauty.

Hollywood

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!

LA

Rodeo Drive

We walked down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, grabbed a bite to eat and headed back.

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One thing we can be thankful for… we had no snow and above zero temperatures for the whole holiday season!

Published in North American Roadtrip

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