Summer in SoCal: Week 7

This week was pretty packed — and pretty fun.

7/16: Meet Addie.

Welcome to the West Coast, @adbalenger!

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We went to high school together for all four years, but we didn’t become good friends until senior year, when we were editors-in-chief of Valhalla, our school’s yearbook. Since then, we’ve had some … memorable times together (the Miss Lakeside pageant and prom, just to name two), and Addie’s first time on the West Coast provided plenty more. (As in, LOL remember that time we went to Los Angeles?)

Tuesday, we grabbed lunch at In-N-Out so she could order off the secret menu before stopping by Newport Beach so she could see, well, a beach.

7/17: We spent the morning at Laguna Beach, laying out by the ocean and walking around the area.

I can see why this is a popular proposal spot in Laguna Beach.

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Then, I introduced her to Yogurtland, my new favorite fro-yo place. (Sorry, Menchie’s.)

7/18: We went to Mission San Juan Capistrano, which is known for being one of the most beautiful missions in all of California:

I don’t know much about missions (or, really, about Catholicism, though half of my family is Catholic), so it was cool to learn about them and what life was like there.

Learning lots about my Catholic ancestors.

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While we were in the southern part of Orange County, we stopped by what O.C. calls the “Deep South” — San Clemente. The beach was rocky but beautiful, and oddly enough, an Amtrak rail separated the beach and the town.

What Southern California calls the "Deep South."

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7/19: My birthday weekend began with these from my parents, who know me oh so well:

Beautiful way to start my day (and my birthday celebration a bit early). My parents know me well.

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It was overcast, so Addie and I walked around Fashion Island for a bit. The sun didn’t come out, unfortunately, so we didn’t get to go to the beach. But we did get to go to Native Foods Cafe for lunch and had delicious food off the vegetarian, half gluten-free menu. I love these parking spots in The CAMP, the Costa Mesa complex in which Native Foods is located:

Wouldn't expect anything else from The Camp.

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7/20: We celebrated my 20th birthday with a trip to Disneyland — Addie had never been, and I hadn’t been since I was little. I even got a birthday button:

And so #Disneybirthday begins. @adbalenger

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We spent a great deal of time in Fantasyland, where the “Alice in Wonderland” rides are located. Playing Alice in sixth grade was how I got into acting, so I’ve always loved her character and anything related to it:

Alice will forever be one of my favorites. Thinking of White Rabbit @kateshafer

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The entrance to Fantasyland is the infamous castle:

The castle.

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And while we were there, we saw the Evil Queen, another one of my former acting roles:

Once upon a time, I played her in a children's theater play. #DramaClub

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Don’t worry, we explored the entire park, not just Fantasyland. I loved Space Mountain and Splash Mountain, and our ride on the latter resulted in a pretty priceless picture.  We stayed for the parade on Main Street, U.S.A., which was also pretty cool.

And in Innoventions, I even saw Disney’s own School of Journalism:

Disneyland's School of Journalism display.

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7/21: We woke up to find my roommate Hannah gone, and a sweet note in her place. She’s starting a full-time job in just a few weeks!

Marie, Addie and I decided to go to L.A., where we had some … adventures. Our first stop was the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

Obligatory Walk of Fame photo of a great actor.

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From Hollywood Boulevard, we had a pretty good view of the infamous sign:

The sign.

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We ate some delicious Mexican food there before going to find the infamous Sunset Strip. We spent a few hours doing that.

Then, we went to Santa Monica Pier, where lots of movies are filmed:

Santa Monica Pier, where lots of movies (and the diner scenes on "The O.C") are filmed.

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By the time we were ready to leave, it was getting late — public transportation took longer than we expected. But little did we know that the adventure would continue when we got off the train at Long Beach as we tried to remember where we parked.

7/22: Addie and I spent the morning at Newport Beach. Because of the U.S. Open of Surfing in nearby Huntington Beach and an area surf camp, there were tons of surfers there:

So many surfers.

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We got frozen bananas and walked up the pier a bit. Newport’s one of my favorite beaches here.

My favorite beach. #latergram

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We were going to go to the OC Fair, but we didn’t realize it was closed on Mondays. So, we spent a few hours at Corona del Mar State Beach instead:

Corona del Mar

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Marie, Addie and I then watched “Mulan” and “Clueless,” which was a pretty solid end to the night.

7/23: I took Addie to the airport this morning. This past week was so much fun!

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