We skipped the complimentary breakfast at the hotel because this was travel day and that means Norm’s for breakfast. Their pancakes are the best ever. And it fills us up until dinner so we don’t have to stop to eat on the way home.
As usual, we had the “Bigger, Better Breakfast,” which is the best deal even if you just eat the pancakes. It comes with ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns and pancakes. I skip the ham and bacon, eat a couple of sausage links, half the pancakes, and the hash browns because they are pretty amazing, too. I am so getting hungry!
Our drive home was uneventful and it was so good to see the kitties. Scott, our pet sitter from before, had agreed to take care of the kitties even though we now live way beyond his normal boundaries. He is awesome and the only pet sitter we trust in Las Vegas. Thank you, Scott!
We woke up feeling like we’d accomplished all we’d set out to do on this trip and thought about driving back home. Maybe it was the overcast skies. We were missing waking up to the desert sunshine. But then we became aware of a bit more business we needed to take care of in Irvine so we repeated yesterday’s breakfast/coffee routine, and drove back to Irvine. It was quite a successful morning, and we were glad we stayed.
By lunch time we made our way back up PCH to Duke’s in Huntington Beach, noticing the heavy traffic in the opposite direction. Oh yeah, it was some big Volleyball championship going on off the pier – lol! So we left the Challenger with Valet and were seated in the bar since we wanted to eat off the regular menu and not the brunch.
Rich had the Waikiki Classic, which was ribs, chicken, rice, and macaroni salad with a Mai Tai, and I had the coconut shrimp off the appetizer menu with a Margarita since it was Cinco de Mayo or as Rich called it “Cinco de Mai Tai.”
After lunch, we walked the Huntington Beach pier, looking in shops and soaking up the beautiful day.
We returned to the room for our usual nap, and then got up to get ready for Mass at our favorite church. It was a huge blessing for us, outdoing even the last time we were there.
The day had been so wonderful, we were thankful we hadn’t left that morning.
Overcast skies at the beach allowed us to sleep in a bit more than we do in bright sunny Las Vegas, which feels odd to us – lol! Eventually, we got up and Rich made our first cup of coffee in the room. Then he went to bring back the better coffee and some complimentary breakfast, which has improved since our last few stays.
We showered, dressed, and drove to Irvine to take care of some personal business. Some of the neighborhoods remind us a lot of Summerlin – beautiful but houses are situated in interesting ways to make the most of the precious land. And then there’s UCI – I’m quite familiar with it – several of my classmates went there and I had plans before my family moved to the PNW and I ended up at SJSU. Long story short.
Business done, we drove to Newport Beach and back to Huntington Beach where we grabbed tacos and chips from Surf City Tacos to share back in our room. Delicious food, friendly personal staff with a great local vibe.
We were stuffed but had dinner plans at Napa Rose. We took a nap, hoping to be hungry by dinner. 🙂
We left Las Vegas at around 9:00 but since we’re 30 minutes north of where we used to live, we basically left at our usual 9:30 departure time, arriving around 1:30/2:00 pm with our usual lunch stop at Tommy’s in Barstow.
Tommy’s Tamale – Yum!!
This was our first trip from LV to SoCal in our Black Challenger, although the one we rented at LAX last summer was exactly the same – lol!
Btw, Las Vegas is booming again and has grown quite a bit since we left in May of 2017, and this is felt on the Vegas freeways and on I-15 from LV to SoCal. We also noticed the change in Inspection station, which is now much closer to the Cal/Neva border than it was before. Fridays used to be pretty smooth sailing, but now it feels more like a Saturday.
Also, instead of staying near Disneyland, we chose to stay in Huntington Beach so we had another half hour on the other end of the drive. But we were more in the mood to relax at the beach than spend most of our time at Disneyland since we weren’t planning on entering the parks this trip.
After settling into our room, we took a nap and instead of going out for dinner, we opted to make something in our villa. Pizza, as I recall, with some wine we’d brought from home. It felt so good to be here again!
The two-story villa (instead of high rise) is nice for a change
Studio with King Bed
Convenient to have a kitchen – our version of DVC
This seems to be a year of firsts… the first trip back to Disneyland… the first Mother’s Day since… Speaking of the first Mother’s Day since… it’s not only the first Mother’s Day since we lost Skipper, but it’s the first Mother’s Day since my father died. And it’s the first Mother’s Day since Rich’s dad died.
So what do our fathers have to do with Mother’s Day? Well, it was the first Mother’s Day after my father’s mother died that prompted him to respond to my letter to him. And Rich’s dad played a part in this.
There we were on the last day of our Alaska cruise waiting to disembark, on Mother’s Day, and the four of us sitting in our cabin (Rich’s parents, Rich, and me) and Rich’s dad was talking about something providential. Something about what he said stuck in my mind, and I held onto that hope.
And when we returned home and turned on the computer, I saw my father’s email called “Knowledge.” I’d been waiting for two months to hear from him, wondering if I would or not. I’d found my dad’s brother and had written to him and he forwarded my contact information to my father. And I waited and waited and waited. Finally, on Mother’s Day my father felt prompted to reach out to me because it was his first Mother’s Day since his mother had passed. From what I’ve heard, she was pretty special.
Yes, this is a tough year for us. But once we get past the first… since the last… it should get easier.
Happy Mother’s Day! Never underestimate the power of a loving mother.
My Paternal Grandmother and 5 Sons (my dad is the oldest)
We made our first trip back to the Disneyland Resort and the beach after returning to Las Vegas and it was tough not leaving from our former home where Skipper and Buddy and Lovey lived. And then not returning to that house.
Sometimes we drive over there or do something in that area and it feels like Skipper should be in that house waiting for us.
Realizing this will be the first Mother’s Day after Skipper’s death brought back a surge of grief. So I’ve been remembering him though photos. Pet lovers understand. For one thing, he was my constant companion for 18 years. It was hard losing any of our cats but Skipper was special. But like they say, “Don’t be sad it’s over, be happy that it happened” or something like that.
I think Shadow senses my mood because he’s howling the way he did for three weeks, 24/7, after Skipper died in Florida. We have mixed feelings about that Florida house, Skipper loved it but once he was gone, we were done.
We’ll be posting a trip report soon but first some favorite photos of Skipper, first two taken in 2010 when he was 10, followed by photos taken on his 18th birthday last year.