The truth was, this was most likely the last time we'd be coming home to Arizona until we move back in August of 2014.
Things may change, who knows, but for now that's the only thing on the calendar.
So we basically shoved absolutely everything we could into this one-week trip. We did it, and we did it well.
On Wednesday night, May 22, we arrived in California with intense cases of deja vu.
Driving the same roads we had driven hundreds of times throughout our college career was weird, to say the last. As we pulled up to the exit for CBU, we both had the jitters. We realized it was basically our two year anniversary since graduating from CBU and going on our last choir tour as seniors; we hadn't been to CBU since May of 2011. We both remember vividly gathering up that last bit of stuff from our tiny little campus apartment, ringing our doorbell for the last time, and walking away with tears streaming down our faces.
That seems like forever ago.
I was going to surprise Dusty, but ended up having to tell him that I was having our friend Jon meet us at CBU for a quick visit. He also brought along his girlfriend, Lisette, and a few other choir friends, Evan and Bob. It was so much fun, and such a random assortment of friendly faces.
We walked around campus to reminisce, and to see all of the new improvements. It's crazy how much a place we once knew so well can change in so little time. I guess it's the same with people, too.
I really hope we have another reason to visit CBU soon, because I would love to go and eat in the caf and experience it in the glory of school days. We're old alumni now!
We left CBU and our friends in kind of bittersweet spirits, but it was really, really good to see them and totally worth the 10pm campus visit.
Next stop was Mission Viejo, as we were spending the night with our very dear friends Britany and Bryce!
They were going to be joining us on our Disney visit and we were thrilled. We got to their apartment late, so we couldn't scream in excitement across the parking lot, but my soul was screaming.
We had seen pictures of their apartment and I talk to Britany on an almost-daily basis, so it felt like coming to a place I had been to before. It felt so nice to be with them again! We stayed up late, the boys began a (phone app) Battleship tournament that will probably last until they die, and we all finally went to sleep in anticipation of the early morning and amazing day ahead!
Waiting for the tram always brings out the crazy excitement. It's jittery, you want to push everyone out of your way, you can already smell the churros...
Something deadly, something disastrous.
But only for Britany, because she was the only one who had never had chickenpox before.
The little squirmy child behind us was covered in chickenpox, people.
Dusty's expression slowly turned to horror when he observed the many scabby spots (which my mom says probably means he was no longer contagious, but I'm still pretty perturbed by the whole experience).
In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, there's a moment when the bride is walking down the aisle and per the supposed Greek custom, all her Greek relatives begins spitting at her.
The groom's father shockingly exclaims, "Ohmygod".
For us, this was one of those moments.
|Forget Waldo, where's Britany!|
We hadn't been to Disneyland since our senior year of college, and since then they have redone the entire entrance to California Adventure. It was like a completely different park!
We had a stellar group. Dusty's friends Steven and Rob, Britany and Bryce, the two of us, and then Becky's birthday group of her, her sister Katy and her friends Emma and Aubrey!
Becky's group got there before us and were in line for a ride, so our arriving group decided our first stop would be Cars Land.
We could not wait to experience this reincarnation of Radiator Springs from the movie Cars. :)
It was so much fun! They did such a great job. It really felt like we were walking through the movie.
We walked through the entire area, then hopped on the Cars Land ride. Which was so fun.
We also made a quick detour over to Tower of Terror while we waited for our fast passes! Probably one of the best rides in California Adventure.
I just love Disneyland!
All of our ride pictures throughout the day were cracking me up.
I never buy those photos, but I think if I ever did, I'd have a mighty fine collection from this day.
It started out as an amazing day, cloudy and cool, before it got kind of muggy and hot. But it was still a perfect day, in the high 70's to 80's.
We met up with Becky's birthday group around Paradise Pier, and spent the rest of the day together as a large group. It was awesome.
While we waited outside of Midway Mania, we grabbed our first churro of the day and began trying out festive hats. It was the best thing we could think of to pass the time.
|Waiting for Becky, Disney-style.|
|The birthday girl!|
|My friends :)|
As we made our way through the park, we were constantly greeted with loud music and even some Phineas and Ferb floats, which prompted some dancing among some (Britany) of our group.
These pictures are probably the best things I've ever seen, but in order to protect the rockin' moves of my dear friends and their privacy as dancers, I'll only share one.
And away we went!
At one point we totally ditched the boys and went on a girls-only trip to the Ferris Wheel.
The Disneyland Ferris Wheel has certain carts that rock back and forth perilously. So naturally we chose this option.
A few of our girls were not very into the idea, but were very brave in going with us anyway.
And it was awesome.
After we met back up with the boys, we went around the corner and grabbed some bread bowls for lunch and hung out for a while in the shade.
Which happened to be Starbucks!
I can't really explain my extreme pleasure that there is a Starbucks in Disneyland. It kind of combines two of my favorite things in the world!
|I'd love to know what this conversation was.|
With happy drinks in hand, we headed off to the Magic Kingdom!
Cute happy montage:
(Sometimes, words aren't even needed.)
It's always a little hard to throw together a group of people that known each other on different levels, varying from strangers to best friends. But all in all the entire group was so chill, and we just had a blast going from place to place. I was so glad we were able to celebrate with Becky on her birthday trip, and hopefully her sister and friends didn't mind us crashing too much! :)
In my opinion, it was the perfect day.
I kept referring to this trip as "the suicide trip" to California because we drove over 13 hours roundtrip for a single day of fun. And it was totally worth it.
|There we go. :)|
Our last stop for the night was the best pineapple delight in the world.
The pineapple Dole Whip stand at the entrance to Adventureland!
After a long day of crazy fun, we needed a treat to end it all.
I can't help but think of Becky whenever pineapple (or pina colada) is mentioned, because we ate way too much pineapple growing up...and honestly had a lot of weird pineapple memorabilia, like jewelry and fashionable shirts and stuff. One of these days a tacky-tiki-pineapple-string-lights birthday party is gonna have to happen for one of us.
I call dibs.
Great day, everyone.
Not gonna lie, this whole post is making me quite wistful.
Our time in California was almost up.
We said goodbye to everyone, then rode the tram back with Britany and Bryce, and said goodbye in the parking structure.
It was a very quick goodbye. No carrying on, no crying, just a "See ya!" and running for our lives before things got too sad.
I stood and hid behind a pillar, staring at them walking away until they disappeared.
We drove an hour or so to Redlands, where we spent the night with our cousins :) we stayed for an hour or two, catching up and talking about life. I've really missed living near them! They're the best.
The next morning we had one more stop to make.
On our way home, we exited in Indio and got to see our beloved, impregnated friend Lauren.
Her and her hubby Aaron are expecting their first baby in September, and are so excited. And we're excited because she's going to make such a great mom. It'll be great to watch their little family grow, and before too long we'll be much closer and can visit more often!!
Spending three years in Virginia has meant that we miss a lot of things...pregnancies, babies, birthdays, holidays. So I'm really glad we got the opportunity to actually see her before her little boy is born, when she's still in the happy expectant stage.
Picking her up and seeing their condo, and sitting and having breakfast with her was so lovely. I've missed my little friend.
We went to a cute local breakfast spot, and just enjoyed each other's company like the old days. We caught up on each other's lives and munched on waffles and omelettes. Not much can beat that.
We still had two glorious days in Arizona to have, to hold and to cherish from this day on.
But those are for another time.