Living Life in the Mountains: Mount Baldy & Mountain High

The final thing that I did when I was in California was go to the mountains. For someone who grew up at/below sea level (and has continued to live at/below sea level), the mountains are fascinating to me. I've always wanted to learn how to snowboard, much to my family's dismay (I'm very accident prone). So two of my best friends (A & M) took me to the mountains to do just that. 

The only thing? Mother Nature didn't want to cooperate with us. We knew that the weather was crap on the ground, but we decided to go to the mountains anyways, hoping for the best. Unfortunately we got the worst. We knew that Mt. Baldy was closed so we decided to head up to Mountain High instead. The entire way there, I was in awe of everything. It was rainy, then we went through a desert portion, and finally we got to the snow. That is what I love about California. So many different weather conditions in one small area. 

When we got to Mountain High, we all got out the car and it was rainy/sleety and cold. We didn't think it would be too bad...until we got up to the lifts. The wind was so bad I was being pushed over...we mulled it over and decided (after the lady at the window told us to go home) to turn back and go play in the snow somewhere else. It was super disappointing, but there wasn't really anything that we could do about it. 

We ended up deciding to go to Mt. Baldy because the weather was crap at Mt. High so we figured it may be a bit better there. We ate at Mt. Baldy Lodge which is the cutest little diner at the bottom of the mountain. Because of the crappy weather earlier, the restaurant was absolutely dead. The coffee was amazing and the food was great. Plus, I couldn't beat the company. While A & M have been friends for a while, recently they've become even better friends. I couldn't imagine not having them in my life. 

After we ate lunch, we ended up going up and playing in the snow for an hour or so. It was absolutely insane and so much fun. I have never felt more out of shape in my entire life - though I didn't realize that altitude was a thing I had to account for. We used our arms to pull ourselves out of steep inclines because the snow was over our knees in some places (I'm about 5'7"). We climbed up the mountain a couple of times and slid back down. It's the most fun I've had in quite some time.  

While I don't know where I'll end up next, I hope it's somewhere near the mountains (and beach...and desert).

My trip back to California begins here, we get the best first meal ever, I forgot to take pictures (per usual), I got really bitter about how California has three Canes, we got really toasty at The Cove Bar, and had a blast at Six Flags
Image Map

The Perfect Day for Six Flags

Another day that I don't have pictures from is the Saturday we went to Six Flags Magic Mountain. I am a very cautious person when it comes to roller coasters. While I love them, going on them absolutely terrifies me. I had been to Six Flags Magic Mountain one time before. Last year they had this crazy flash sale and buying an annual pass for the rest of 2016 and all of 2017 was actually cheaper than buying a one day ticket so my ex bought it for me. It was incredibly kind, and the gift that keeps on giving.

We woke up early the morning after getting toasted at Disney to go to Six Flags. Luckily it was three of us going and we all weren't hung over (thank god). Traffic to get there wasn't too bad and we had killer views of the mountains (hills, whatever) on the way in. We went on a Saturday which can usually be hit or miss depending on the crowds. Thankfully for us, the weather was good and the crowds were pretty much nonexistent. 

I think we only ended up going on three or four rides before calling it quits. Two of us had passes, but the third person didn't mind leaving at around 3pm. We went on my favorite ride, Twisted Colossus, which was the most important part to me and X which was important to the other two that I went with. Me riding roller coasters consists of shutting my eyes from the moment we get on the ride and laughing and smiling the entire way, only to reopen my eyes when the ride fully stops. Though I have been known to open at false stops. 

The most terrifying part of the day? Going on Lex Luthers Drop of Doom. I'm all about rides and roller coasters but free falling rides scare me to no end. I don't have a huge fear of hight's more of a fear of falling. The entire time waiting in line I just kept looking at my two friends being like WHAT DID YOU GET ME INTO and they just laughed and congratulated me on conquering a fear. I refused to open my eyes, even though they both kept telling me the view was beautiful (I'm sure it was). 

All in all going to Six Flags was so much fun for me. I'm so thankful that I can just go in for a few hours whenever I please (when I'm in California that is). 

My trip back to California begins here, we get the best first meal ever, I forgot to take pictures (per usual), I got really bitter about how California has three Canes, then we got really toasty at The Cove Bar
Image Map

Disney's Cove Bar: Worth Every Penny

One thing that California has that Orlando doesn't is Disney's California Adventure & The Cove Bar. Florida also doesn't have my best friends, so there's that too? One of my favorite things to do whenever I come back for a quick trip is to go to Disneyland & California Adventure. Most times we'll get to California Adventure around 11 when Cove Bar opens so we can all sit around, have a couple drinks, and eat some good food. 

This time, we grabbed a quick margarita at the margarita stand on their pier, then went to head in line. Because it had been raining that day, they were only opening a little bit of their restaurant so it was a little bit more of a wait than normal. The last time we went we got Fun Wheels & Lobster Nachos and while it was good, it wasn't anything that I really wanted to get again. This time? Earthquakes & Wings and oh my goodness was it good. 

After sitting for a few hours & talking we decided to go meet a friend who had just gotten off of work in the Pier area. Because there was a festival going on at this time for the Lunar New Year we decided to get a couple more beers and just hang out a little bit. Because it was a weird misty day, the parks weren't too crowded. We rode Screamin', Heimleich's Choo Choo Train, and Maters Junkyard Jamboree before heading over to Disneyland. 

In Disneyland it was getting cold, rainy and a little more crowded (and we were getting exhausted) so we went to ride Autopia & Space Mountain, then got some food and headed out. It was such a good day and so worth every penny spent. 

My trip back to California begins here, we get the best first meal ever, I forgot to take pictures (per usual), then I got really bitter about how California has three Canes
Image Map

I'm Bitter About California: They Have Canes

One of the things that I'm most bitter about leaving California is the fact that they have THREE Raising Canes locations in Southern California near where my friends/I used to live. THREE LOCATIONS. How many do they have in Florida near where I live? NONE. Fun Fact: the closest one they have to where I live is in Mobile, Alabama. That is about 7 hours away from me. Cane's was founded on my college's campus, LSU, where they serve chicken. Yes, that's right just chicken. 

Cane's has been my guilty pleasure for forever. Now, I know people say that Zaxby's or Popeye's or KFC are pretty much similar. Wrong. There's seriously nothing that I've found like Cane's. One of my favorite things is the fact that all locations feel the same. They're decorated differently, with the memorabilia from the different surrounding local teams. The food tastes the same & the sweet tea is just as sweet. 

Whenever I go back to California, I have to eat here at least once if not more than that. This trip, I got very lucky and we ended up going twice. Once for lunch on Thursday before heading to nannying and the second time right before I got on the plane. Sharing a little bit of my hometown food with the people I love in a place that feels like home is one of the greatest things. Almost all of my friends back in California are obsessed with Canes so it feels like I did something amazing for them. 

My trip back to California begins here, we get the best first meal ever, then I forgot to take pictures (per usual)
Image Map

California Without Pictures: Coronas & Ceviche and Super Bowl Sunday

There's a lot of things that I did in California that I don't have pictures of (which sounds way dirtier than it actually is haha). There are two days that I loved more than anything that I didn't actually take pictures of: Coronas & Ceviche and Super Bowl Sunday. 

On Thursday, after helping nanny for a little bit we had Coronas & Ceviche night at one of my good friend's apartments. We all sat around drinking corona's & eating ceviche (which I'd ever had before) and just talking and laughing. We were going to watch The Road to El Dorado but we all couldn't stop laughing and talking instead. We ended up listening to the Moana soundtrack and dancing around the room. It was such a good time. After, M & I were going home and had a fun jam session in the car. It reminded me so much of when I used to live in CA.

Friday we went to Disney & Saturday we did Six Flags -- they both deserve their own posts because oh my goodness it was crazy. 

Sunday however, was Super Bowl Sunday and oh my goodness was it a good day. It's probably best that there are no pictures from that day considering just how much we drank that day. M's dad laughed because every time someone or a couple walked into the house they came carrying a case of beer. At least we all know how to have a good time? I probably spent the majority of the game outside playing Flip Cup, Beer Pong, and all other kinds of crazy drinking games with the majority of people there. We laughed and had a good time, until the carne asada tacos ran out. Then it got serious as we all had the munchies so we ordered pizza. Best decision by us, hands down. Spending Super Bowl Sunday at M's house surrounded by friends - probably the best Super Bowl I've had in a long time.

My trip back to California begins here, then we get the best first meal ever
Image Map

My Forever First Meal in California: In-N-Out

I decided to go to California in early February right after our traveling blackout was lifted from work. After a crazy end to the busy easy season, it was a much needed vacation. I flew in on Virgin America, which was actually not too bad this time around. It was a packed flight, as it usually is flying MCO to LAX, but I didn't find it to be too bad. Getting out the plane was the hardest part. When I fly Virgin I usually only pack a carry on bag, which was a challenge because I am hands down the worst packer known to man. 

I was flying to California (into LAX specifically) when the protests of the Immigrant Ban were happening. I wasn't quite sure what this meant for me or for my friend M coming get me, but it had actually cooled off a lot by the time I got there. I didn't actually see any protestors when I flew in late on a Wednesday night, however when M was trying to come get me she saw them in Terminal 1, coming toward me in Terminal 3. She was able to pick me up really easily (after she got through the horrendous traffic) and we were Anaheim bound. 

My first request, even after having been awake for 18 hours at this point, was for In-n-Out. There's a long standing tradition that I have (for almost two years now) that every time I go back to California, my first meal is In-N-Out. M was more than happy to oblige me so we stopped by one on the way to her house. We got to sit and chat and just act like it was old times. Personally I always get the double double. I eat pretty much the entire burger, and about four fries and I'm good. If you ever want a really good chocolate shake, they have a bomb one. All in all my first meal in California was the best, plus then I got to go home and snuggle my best friend and be loved on by her family. 

My trip back to California begins here
Image Map

Going Back to California

I used to go to California on a schedule - every four months - to visit my ex-boyfriend. However, after we broke up I realized that when I went back, it wouldn't be to spend time with him but to spend a lot more time with friends. Plus, I wouldn't be going back on a four month schedule anymore...I would have to decide when I wanted to visit. Don't get me wrong, I saw friends when I was there but it was mainly to see him. 

To be quite honest, the idea of going back terrified me. Although I had a life in California before C, it's weird going back to a place that you spent so much time with one person. I was nervous & terrified to go back, but most of all I was excited. Going back, I went to spend a week with my best friend M. She's the kindest and realest person you will ever meet. Her family welcomed me with open arms & I am so grateful for that. 

I spent five whole days there (a Wednesday night - Tuesday afternoon trip) and we did so much. Every minute was filled to the brim with people that I adore & memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. In the short time I was there I ate more comfort food than I have in the past month, went to Disneyland, Six Flags, watched the Super Bowl with some amazing people, and attempted to go snowboarding. There will be more in depth posts about each thing because one post here just wouldn't do it justice.

California means the world to me. It's the one place I keep going back to time after time, wondering why I never gave it more of my time. Each time I go back, I'm greeted with love, and surrounded by laughter. Not only the people, but also the landscape awes me time after time. While I'm not quite sure (right now) where I'll end up in August, I know that California is definitely a possibility. 
Image Map

Latest Instagrams

© From the South. Design by Fearne.