I know, man. It’s basically the end of summer and I am STILL writing about a trip that happened at the beginning of July. But look, this was a long trip and I have other commitments that don’t allow me to write these things full-time. Like, a family for one. Also, a job for the other.
I guess what I am trying to say is…
Seriously. Are you really complaining about this with all the other horrors of the world? It’s just a blog.
Onto Day 15.
On Day 15, we weren’t really in a HUGE rush to get out the door so we woke up probably around 8AM or so. Which is late. For us.
While the original plan was to eat the Lard Lad donut Laura bought us the night before for breakfast, as mentioned in this post…
…The original plan didn’t account for the scientific fact that it’s impossible to not eat a donut when it’s right in front of you and no one besides your family who already know what a disgusting person you are is watching.
So yeah, the donut was gone. Is what I’m saying.
But thankfully, they did serve breakfast at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, where we were staying.
Unfortunately we had to leave our rooms for breakfast.
But I mean, it was right downstairs and they had donuts.
But the donuts were only regular-sized and not giant and pink like the ones at Lard Lad. Just little, normal-sized donuts like normal-sized people eat.
Oh right. Sorry. Being that the Falzones were already on a flight back home and the Chagnons were already enjoying their day at Disneyland, it was just the 8 of us – the Goodreaus and Nerneys – for breakfast and actually for most of the day.
So we walked down to Café Sierra in the lobby and sat down for breakfast.
Now, the waiter brought our menus over and I heard tell of a la carte menus, but we only had eyes for the top corner of the menu.
I know. TWO buffet options. What is this? Xanadu?
And I won’t even bother with any sort of ruse here. Of course I got the Universal Buffet option. On account of it’s the other buffet option plus more buffet. Seems a no-brainer.
So it came with the Executive Buffet, which is sort of like a plussed-up Continental. Sushi? For breakfast? What is this? Xana…um, I mean…Paradise? What is this? Paradise?
And it also came with the additional Universal Buffet.
So I loaded up my plate and brought it back to the table.
But as I saw everyone else returning to the table, I noticed donuts on each of their plates. To which my brain went “hrm,” My stomach went “uhhh,” and my mouth went “the hell?”
I went back up to the buffet and it turned out I completely missed….THIS.
A WALL OF DONUTS!!! I wish I could explain how it felt when I came upon this modern-day wonder. I imagine it’s what the kids felt like when Willy Wonka was like, “lick the wallpaper.” Like, I felt like there was probably some sort of unsanitary nature to this whole thing but I didn’t care on account of it was a wall of donuts.
My plate went from totally geek to totally chic.
I mean, there are like pieces of fruit on there to ensure I didn’t get any suspicious looks. But beyond that, there was some biscuits and gravy, sushi, that breakfast pizza situation, some sort of fried corn beef hash fritter thing, eggs, bacon, a frakkin pork bao bun. And of course a donut. I went with coconut.
My dream is that in years to come, this plate will become some sort of cult icon to be recreated at holiday tables. Like the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving toast, popcorn, jelly bean, milkshake meal.
One can dream.
Breakfast was insane delicious town. After we filled up, it was time to hit the road once again. The drive was about an hour or so to our next destination – Huntington Beach.
Throughout our first 14 days of this trip, we spent time in cities, mountains, valleys, vineyards, theme parks, etc. But crazily enough, even though we had visited the shore here and there and stayed across the street from a beach, we never once had an actual “beach day” until today. So you know, this was exciting.
Our first stop was our home for the day – The Waterfront Beach Resort.
Place. Was. Awesome. Quite possibly my favorite hotel of the entire trip. And adding to its supreme awesomeness was that, even though we were rolling in at like 11:30AM, our rooms were ready! Well played, Waterfront Beach Resort.
The interior of our room was a good size. The beds were VERY comfortable and I am just really into the whole hardwood thing hotels have been moving towards. On account of carpets are gross.
But the real draw is the view from the balcony.
Looking straight out, you have a clear view of Huntington Beach and the Pacific beyond.
Looking down, you have ONE of the resort’s pools and hot tub area.
And even to the right, you have a pretty nice view as well.
It would have probably been hard to leave this whole scene…
…if it wasn’t for the beach across the street.
So off to the beach the 8 of us went. The resort offers beach chairs and towels for their guests to bring to the beach as well. And we had to make a quick stop at the resort gift shop to buy a football as the kids appeared to have lost it somewhere along the trip. It worked out though since the shop also had beer and wine. Which we appeared to also have lost somewhere along the trip.
Oh wait. Never mind. There it is. In my belly. And liver. I do appear to have misplaced some brain cells though.
Like I said, the beach was right across the street.
And as you can see, it was relatively empty. So the 7 of us set up camp (Matt was handling a work call. On account of he’s some sort of big shot. Like Frankie Valli or something.).
Myles pretty much did this as he is wont to do on beach days.
And to be honest, I also did that for a little while. But the water was too much to resist.
The water was warmish that day. Didn’t take too long to get used to. And the waves were pretty insane. Verah big. And verah powerful. We did some body surfing out there and we got knocked all over the place. At one point, I felt my feet go over my head as I went tumbling into shore.
So I mean. It was fun. Is what I’m saying.
Look at Owen. He’s having fun.
Aw, Nickie’s having fun too.
Matt joined us soon after and we started talking lunch. None of us really wanted to go anywhere so we started contemplating getting some food delivered to us on the beach. We checked GrubHub and Nickie saw that Subway would deliver to us, which made the kids pretty excited so we all took turns putting our orders in. Which is never as smooth as one would hope.
And when she went to order it, she noticed that she had it set for our home address. D’oh.
At that point, the whole plan crumbled. Matt, Laura, and Jack decided they were going to hit the beach shack for something quick. The rest of us made the decision to walk back to the pool to see what they had for food. And also to swim. In pool.
As we were walking there, Owen was particularly bummed about the whole “no Subway” thing so I checked on the app again, found a Subway, and put my order in alongside Nickie’s, Myles’s, Will’s, and Owen’s for delivery to the pool.
We found some chairs over near the hot tub. And immediately hopped in.
Our chairs were also right next to a gentleman who was blaring gangster rap from his phone? It was an odd scene to say the least. I have no issue whatsoever with gangster rap. I love it, actually. But time and place, man.
Our chairs were also right next to the waterslide. So I mean, obviously we tried that thing out. Once or thrice.
The food came after 30 minutes or so. And erm, I mean…it was MOSTLY right. I, for example, ordered a steak and cheese with mayo, pickles, and jalapenos on a footlong Italian bread.
I ended up with a steak and cheese with nothing on it on a footlong Wheat.
Close enough? As you can see though, Nickie ordered me a Mai Tai to pair it with so it didn’t really matter much.
After we finished our lunch, Will walked back over to join the rest of the Nerneys on the beach. As Matt had the grandiose idea to try his hand at surfing.
According to reports, this picture represents the only portion of the surfing experience spent upright.
But huzzah Nerneys for at least giving it a go.
Us Goodreaus meanwhile decided to take a break from the waterslides and 2Pac and head over to the resort’s quieter pool.
While I do like me a good waterslide, this pool was definitely preferable. They also had a hot tub, it was less crowded, and offered a nice place to sit, relax, and stare out at the ocean. Without actually having to be on the beach. Win.
Plus guess what? THEY HAD MAI TAIS ALSO!
Eventually, the Nerneys made their way back and we hung out for an hour or so. Or to put it in terms better understood – another Mai Tai or so.
The evening was approaching, though. So at some point, we had to return our towels and get back up to our rooms to get ready for dinner.
At around 7 or so, we emerged with a plan to meet in the lobby. And I mean, you know this hotel is nice. On account of they had a giant Adirondack chair in the lobby.
The Nerneys joined us soon after and we walked out into the early evening. I tried my best to get a picture of the boys in front of this Huntington Beach sign, but this was the best I could do – Myles and Jack posing, Owen looking in the opposite direction, and Will nowhere to be found.
Ansel Adams I ain’t.
We walked down the beach and were between two different places to eat – Sandy’s Beach Shack or Duke’s. Both were in the same building so at least we didn’t have to go traipsing all over the place. Even though I sometimes quite enjoy traipsing. Well at least I enjoy saying traipsing.
When we reached the building, we checked both places out. Both had good menus, but Duke’s seemed a bit more formal. We were looking for something on the beach.
With a Tiki vibe.
Called Sandy’s Beach Shack.
And Sandy’s Beach Shack fit the bill.
We kind of already knew we would end up picking Sandy’s. On account of Colton and Cassie from The Bachelor have been known to eat here from time to time. And I was hoping to run into Colton. So I could ask him about…well…you know. The ‘V’ word?
I really don’t know what that word means and I thought Colton might.
They never showed, but we did actually end up sitting where they usually sit, the waitress informed us. So at least we got to enjoy the view Colton and Cassie have. I mean, when they are not staring into each other’s eyes. And questioning their life choices.
We were also split into an adult and kids table. So the night was already off to a smashing start.
Now, I know the sign out front said world famous Mai Tais, but as I had already had three Mai Tais that day, I opted for something a little less…erm…stomach-eating.
Whiskey always makes sense.
To start with, we got the Ahi Poke Stack. This trip, we were all about the poke.
Stuff was good. The poke tasted rull fresh and the jalapeno and avocado were a really nice touch.
I could have sworn we got more appetizers, but this seems to be the only picture I have of any sort of starter. Let’s pretend we also got the calamari though. It’s fun to pretend.
I also only got a picture of my meal, which was the Ahi Tuna tacos. Yep, I double-down’ed on the Ahi that night.
Would you look at the SIZE of that avocado?
These were tasty as well. The entire meal was lovely at Sandy’s. From the food to the view to the whole vibe of the place. In fact, it was also dog-friendly and I mean, of course we were missing Lilo big time by this point so we made a point to pat every dog we saw.
After dinner, we started walking back to the room. I was insanely full, but some DID stop off for ice cream. I have no pictures of this, but I remember it because of the fact that even I know it made no sense I didn’t get any ice cream.
When we got back to the room, the Chagnons let us know they had made it to the hotel as well after their day at Disneyland. So we made plans to meet up with them at the hotel’s rooftop bar. The boys hung back in the room.
Laura hung back as did Courtney and Emily so Nickie, Matt, and I went up to grab a drink and wait for George and Stephanie to arrive. And of course the view was amazing.
I grabbed three Scotches for me, Matt, and George (followed by a beer each) while Nickie and Stephanie had some white wine. We only had time for two drinks before they closed but in that time, we had probably closer to 3-4 hours worth of laughs. Mainly, because of this…
Let me explain. The Nerneys and us have had sort of a running joke about people that wear jackets like shawls. It’s a pet peeve of ours. I mean, if you have sleeves, use them. I don’t want to overstate things but if you wear a jacket like a shawl, you look like a mental patient.
One night on Martha’s Vineyard, we had a few drinks with Matt and Laura and went out to dinner. After we sat down at our table, a girl sat down next to us wearing a denim jacket as a shawl and we had a hard time controlling ourselves. Well, honestly, Matt had a hard time controlling himself. Long story short, it was pretty obvious to this girl we didn’t agree with her fashion choices.
So we got to talking about it that night in Huntington Beach and Matt put on Nickie’s jacket as a shawl. The white wine in the picture is for effect. Laughter ensued. And bonus? I am pretty sure Matt doesn’t want me posting that picture.
The one I posted before.
With him wearing the jean jacket as a shawl.
Ugh, this one…
Like I said, the bar was closing soon so we all ended up leaving soon after the whole shawl incident. And for some reason, the four of us hopped on the wrong elevator? When we got off, we had literally no idea where we were. We ended up finding our way and everything, but it was harrowing.
Harrowing, I say.
So that was our day in Huntington Beach. It was pretty pretty pretty good. And now, only two more days left before this trip is over. But don’t fret. Day 16 is chock full of crap. See you then!
For the record, I am actually quite proud of that picture. Satire at it’s finest. Also, I totally surfed. I was in the water, with a surf board, with waves going by. That’s all the components of surfing. Just because I wasn’t upright and swallowed a significant amount of sea water doesn’t change anything.
I feel like “at its finest” is a stretch.