When my dad told me he was visiting at the end of August, I peed myself. I was so excited beyond words, obviously... not only for my sake, but for his too. I get my adventous drive, exotic taste and vagabond spirit from my Pap. Very committed to building a career and more importantly, a family - he hasn't ventured too far from home in the last 25 years. I knew I had to make this trip packed full of all things California and one to truly be rememberd.
When I asked him what he wanted to do he said, "Whatever Stef. San Diego seems cool." haha, what a help. But countered with his adventurous side, my dad is very easily entertained and content in most situations. He would have been just fine hanging out in my little bungalow watching foreign films on netflix all day. But that wasn't about to happen with the beach at my front door and Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County in my backyard.
First things first, dad's gotta eat. We caught up on life while eating burnt bacon and cinnamon rolls, downed to 2 cups of coffee each and raved about my mushroom and onion garnish.
Next things next, dads gotta nap. Because dads nap! After a little two hour slumber he was ready to conquer the world.
Laguna Beach, only 30 minutes south of Newport Beach (my home town) was our first stop on the list and a MUST SEE for any out-of-towners. I enjoyed hearing my dad "ooh" and "ahh" at the beautiful coastline. Sharing joy + new experiences with the people in my life are truly one of my favourite things.
That night we dined at Natraj Cuisine of India, a tiny little restaurant right on the Pacific Coast Highway and caught the sun setting on our drive back north to my place in Newport.
The next two days were a beautiful, messy whirlwind! I say messy because we didn't really have a mapped out plan, which was also, beautiful. I knew my dad wanted to see San Diego but I hadn't really explored there too much myself, so we just spent the day driving down the coast hitting every little beach town SD has to offer. Stopping at a taco joint for lunch in Encinitas and then ending up in the city a few hours later. We hadn't planned to go to the Midway museum, which was America's longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century - but it was more than perfect, because I don't know many other people who would enjoy walking around an old Navy ship all afternoon with me, besides dad.
The next day was his last day and of course, the LA day... I had to show him the essentials, the Venice boardwalk + Hollywood; two crazy, beautiful, must-see places that you can and want to pass through pretty quickly. And we did... after getting our quirky fix at the boardwalk, I took him to a much subtler side of town; Abbot Kinney Ave. We stopped at the Butcher's Daughter for lunch, a sleek vegetarian cafe diner adorned with beautiful plants and flowers and everything hipster.
We spent quite a while on this cool little strip, going in and out of shops and gazing at the gorgeous, hip, people who call this place home. Including, Dad's first celebrity siting, Michelle Rodriguez, strutting down the street with her motorcycle helmet in tow. He was cooled out about that... "that was cool" he said.
After Venice we made our way to Hollywood, and with a quick drive past the Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Blvd sidewalk stars, we headed toward the Observatory to watch the sunset. I had actually never been, so it was exciting to experience something new that I had heard so much about with someone I love so much. And it was another thing Dad and I would so enjoy together. We gazed at the sites this place had to offer, nestled on the side of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park, and geeked out on all the science behind the high-quality Zeiss and solar telescopes. The sun set there on the last day and we headed home soon after.
BUT NOT before a stop to In N out... our last supper together. We found ourselves a seat in the chaos, shared a table with a cute couple and ate and enjoyed our classic burgers with excessive amounts of spread together. I made sure not to forget a hat for my dad. I made him wear it.
He loved it.
AND I LOVED HIM :) & that was our time together in Southern California, memories I'll never forget and if you can believe, my love has grown for Papo, so sappy... but so true.
Daddy's girl signing off here.
(Below you will find snapshots from our epic weekend via my nikon point and shoot !)