Touristy Tuesday: Anaheim, CA Edition

Touristy Tuesday is back! I know, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted one of these! I fell out of touch there for a bit, but I’m back on the blogging bandwagon.

After our week in Vegas, Abe and I were ready for a change of pace. We hightailed it out of Sin City and headed toward the most wholesome place on Earth – Disneyland! We spent one week in Anaheim, recovering from the raucous adventure the night before.

Our take on that “Disney Magic”

Abe had never been to Disney before and since we were staying blocks from the park we made it the number one priority for the week. And miraculously we still had enough money left after Vegas to afford the gate entry!

We had a great time exploring the park in the day. We did the Buzz Lightyear ride (a personal favorite) and Abe smoked me with his laser accuracy. They must teach you how to use space lasers in the Navy, because for never having been to Disney he had some real talent there.

We also did some classic rides, like Space Mountain and It’s a Small World After All. I had missed It’s a Small World the first time I went to Disneyland and didn’t realize how old school it was. I can definitely see why that song is infamous now.

After spending the day in the most magical place in America, we ventured over to Hollywood.

The Tater Team with the Giant Idaho Potato Truck was in town! They travel so much that we were bound to ‘ketchup’ with them again!

That Tater Team Ellis and Kaiti, plus the driver Paul, came with Abe and I to a show at The Second City Comedy Club. We were meeting up with Lady Ketchup Kylie, a former Hotdogger from Class XXIV, and her friends.

I had seen a show at The Second City in Chicago with my friend David in May right before starting the job and was really excited to go to another performance. This one was a lot different. It featured Fred Willard (Second City alumni) and it was all Halloween skits, that were scripted. The Second City is known for improv, so that was kind of surprising. Even still, it was a really good performance. Until that week I didn’t even realize that there was more than one location for The Second City!

We went back to Disney later in the week, this time to Downtown Disney. Now clearly I misunderstood – I was hoping to take shots with Buzz and Woody and then do a toast with Mickey Mouse.

I don’t care how ridiculous this photo is. It’s Disney!

Apparently that is NOT what downtown Disney is! None the less, we enjoyed our $15 drinks and the people watching that came with.

Work while we were in Anaheim was pretty fun as well. We went to a Latin Festival, and while it was a long day, there was great entertainment.

That included BMX bike tricks, Abe’s favorite Latin band, and watching a team assemble a 1,500 foot long burrito!

(Yes, it was delicious. I snagged Abe and I two 6″ sections – which is more burrito than anyone really needs.)

We also had a maintenance day in LA, which meant that Abe and I made a make-shift office at Manhattan Beach. Will I ever find a better job than one where I get to walk the beach and hang out on the pier all day?

After Anaheim we made the drive to Phoenix, Arizona. No touristy Tuesday for Phoenix because I was just there for two days before leaving for D.C. and the Marine Corps Marathon. (Big shout out to Abe for packing up all my stuff when I didn’t come back to Phoenix and had to meet him in Albuquerque!)

We are going back to Anaheim next week though and I’m looking forward to making the most of our final time in LA while in the Southwest region with the Wienermobile!


Touristy Tuesday: Hollywood & Simi Valley, CA Edition

When in Hollywood do as the locals do and meet someone famous – am I right?

Our week was kickstarted last week with a trip into the Entertainment Capital of the world to meet up with Dave Ihlenfeld. Dave was a Hotdogger back in the day, but more importantly he wrote the book “Dog Days” about his year with the Wienermobile. He knew we were in the area from following us on Twitter (@Wienermobile) and we made plans to get together. He wanted to show his girlfriend and her family the Wienermobile – who can blame him, it’s certainly one way to impress!

Penning the tell-all Wienermobile book isn’t Dave’s only claim to fame – he is also a writer for Family Guy! In exchange for the grand tour of the 27′ long hot dog he graciously took us on a walk-through of the Family Guy offices.

Dave will be the first to admit it – the offices were a little underwhelming. I’ll be honest, I expected a lot of buzzing around, people yelling animatedly on cell phones, and lots and lots of food. Instead, the offices were hidden in a nondescript office building. Walking in we almost missed the Oprah Winfrey Network offices as they were so unassuming. Despite lacking the glitz and glam I was expecting, the offices did deliver on ample amounts of food.

While we weren’t able to meet Seth MacFarlane we did get an inside glimpse of how the process works. We saw the recording studio, the writers rooms, and a few edit bays.

Like any office, there is also plenty of paperwork. This picture is of a single script, with each color representing a revision!

On our trip we also met someone who might as well be famous! Audi, Dave’s girlfriend, is a stunt double for Eva Longoria. How cool is that?! She showed us some of her work, including being blown out of a building. Alright, I’m officially impressed with the both of them!

To end our sweet morning in Hollywood, we had one more stop to make – at Frosted Cupcakery! I literally had Abe slam on the breaks so I could run in – the place was just too adorable not to stop.

I was not disappointed as it proved to be another opportunity for s’mores! The cupcake was sinfully delicious and gone quicker than it took me to run in! I’m just not a girl to pass up the opportunity for froyo or a decadent cupcake!

The day got a little less cool and a lot nerdier after that – I was off to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library for the afternoon!

Reagan’s library is now the third presidential library I’ve been to in the last three months. Most recently I visited the Bill Clinton Library in Little Rock, AK with my mom and sister after graduation.

Before that, I toured the JFK library in Boston with Zahra over spring break. (Who needs beer and bikinis when you’ve got the Cold War?!)

I’ve also been to both Nixon and Truman’s libraries with Sam over the years.

But back to Reagan. This was a special library for me to visit because I had already been to his boyhood home in Dixon, Illinois. I had gone with my family back when I lived in Rockford, and it was really fun to see some of that history again. My favorite story is about how Reagan saved dozens of people during his time as a life guard on the Rock River, but it was a lot of girls who thought he was cute and wanted him to rescue them!

I was probably most excited to see Air Force One at the library though! Isn’t it everyone’s dream to get to be on Air Force One at least once? Since I doubt I’ll ever get to actually fly with it, I took this as an opportunity to check it off my bucket list! I also got another stamp for that National Park (and Landmark) Passport!

The library was situated at the top of this beautiful, steep bluff overlooking Simi Valley. WOWed by the absolutely breathtaking views and ready to take on the challenge of summiting what essentially was a mountain, I decided to make a detour on my long run for the week to run it up.

I carboloaded the night before and then laced up for my first real long run of marathon training. For me, marathon training doesn’t actually kick into high gear until my first run beyond the half marathon mark. I can do 13.1 any day of the week, but anything more than that feels a bit like uncharted territory.

The Reagan Mountain came around Mile 5 of my 14 mile run and I dubbed it my first Fourteener. Fourteen miles and part of it was up a mountain – yeah, I think that counts! Running up the hill there were shuttle stops for museum guests along the way. That was motivating as I moved from shuttle stop 11 all the way up to 1. The street was also chronologically lined with flags of the presidents. About halfway up I decided to take a quick walking break – I never expected to be so excited about Zachary Taylor!

The run up Reagan Mountain was an awesome inspiration for the rest of my run, which went well. I ran a pace almost a full minute slower than my long run last week though – I still have no idea how I held such a quick pace for that run!

After running fourteen miles, a food festival was most definitely called for. Abe and I had heard about a Salsa festival in Oxnard, CA and decided to check it out. Now I have to share a kid of funny story – when we were invited I thought to myself, “Oh cool, do we get a bag of chips and just try a bunch of different salsas?” It was a good two days later when I realized it was Salsa Dancing!! Oops!

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was a salsa tasting tent at the festival though!

Looking back, we didn’t spend much time at all in Simi Valley this week. Sunday we headed back to the Claremont area to San Dimas for a car show.

We saw a few shenanigans alongs the way!

Sunday evening we met up with Duane, Abe’s friend, again. He has quite a few tattoos and Abe has been on the hunt for a good place to go for his next one. Duane recommended a great local artist and the three of us headed out there for Abe to get some of that L.A. Ink!

He ended up getting the Hecho en Mexico eagle in red, white, and green and red, white, and blue. It turned out badass to say the least.

Last night we wrapped up our final night in L.A. by heading to the only bar within walking distance of our hotel. Despite being a hole in the wall, this place was great. Abe and I made our breakout stage debut with a grammy-worthy karaoke performance of Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places”.

It was an unbelievably busy week at work, but we still managed to do and see quite a bit on the road.

Looking forward to some surprises this week! Up next: Fresno, California, and what’s that – back to Monterey? You’ll just have to wait to hear about that one! But as always – …