This week we had big plans to visit Channel Islands National Park for the first time. We flew into LAX on Monday with three days of boat tours out to the islands booked. Well, a funny thing happened. Ok, a not so funny thing happened. LA got hit with a crazy rain storm so much so that Disneyland actually closed early there was so much rain.
We were reminded quickly that travel does not always go as planned and some days you have to just make it up on the go. We spent a huge chunk of Monday hanging out with Jessi from Shuggilippo. You all need to check out her site and YouTube videos! She is crazy funny and makes me literally laugh out loud. We spent the afternoon sitting at a barbecue place discussing life, blogging and trying to make John giggle. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.
After laughing our way through the afternoon, we headed to Oxnard to check into the hotel and see what the world had planned for us. The Courtyard Marriott Oxnard was our home for the few days we were in town. The room was great and in the perfect location near the freeway but far enough away it wasn’t too loud.
We got a call that our Tuesday tour was canceled due to the weather which left us an entire day free to explore. We had heard so many great things about the area from Ciaran from Momfluential. She told us we HAD TO GO to Waypoint Cafe and I am so glad she did. Oh my YUM!
One of the cool things about the Waypoint Cafe is you are right next to the airport. Plus the food is ah-mazing! Seriously that cinnamon roll was beyond delicious. We loved this restaurant so much we went back two days in a row! We are already talking about going again when we plan another trip to Channel Islands National Park.
Since we had the entire day to wander around, we spent part of the morning at the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center. The visitor center has a great tidewater tank giving you a close-up look at what’s under the water in the park. The also have fun, interactive exhibits where you can make your husband give you funny faces. Lol!
I know it won’t surprise anyone that my Park Ranger Husband managed to find a new park to visit since we couldn’t make it to the Channel Islands. We had never visited the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area so this was the perfect chance to get our parks stamp and check out a new park.
As we pulled into the parking lot I kept hearing bird calls that were not what I expected to hear. When we reached the visitor center and looked up there was a group of Green Parrots in the trees above our heads. We have traveled all over the world to try and see parrots and they just happened to be right above us outside of LA. So not what I thought I would see!
One of the cool places within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is the Paramount Ranch. You may recognize some of these buildings from being in many Western movies and TV shows including Dr. Quinn Medicane Woman starring Jane Seymour.
The joy in the unplanned and unexpected always makes me smile. Our travel plans did not work out how we planned them today yet we ended up having a fantastic time. While we didn’t get to visit Channel Islands National Park as planned we did get to watch the sun go down along the Pacific Coast Highway, explore the Paramount Ranch which is part of the Santa Monica National Recreation area and so much more. There are no guarantees when traveling that things will work out as planned but thankfully there are always adventures to be had.
On our way out of the park, we decided to drive to Malibu and up the Pacific Coast Highway. This has been on my travel bucket list for a while so it was so much fun!
The sunset was ah-mazing! We stopped at a small roadside park so I could take some pics with the water and a lifeguard stand. I don’t know what it is about the lifeguards stands but I just love photographing them.
You know we had to have at least one trip to In-n-Out while in California.
Woohoo!!! On Wednesday the weather cleared up and we were good to go for our wildlife cruise with Island Packers!
My super cute boat date… 🙂
Can we talk about dreams coming true for a moment? Last week we visited Channel Islands National Park and one of my childhood dreams came true. I am still so in awe of the moment. We were on a @Islandpackers wildlife cruise out of @visitvccoast. On our way to and from Anacapa Island, our boat was literally surrounded by Common Dolphins. Hundreds of them played in the waters around the boat. I may or may not have taken about 1600+ photos of the event. I couldn’t take my finger off the shutter I was so dang excited. We had such an amazing time that we are already talking about returning to Ventura/Oxnard in a couple of weeks so we can take another Island Packers cruise to the Channel Islands NP.
This cruise was seriously a dream come true!!!! The Island Packers crew was amazing and made sure we had everything we needed. I also think they might be dolphin whisperers because we saw hundreds and hundreds of Common Dolphins. The boat was literally surrounded by dolphins and I was giddy! Total dream moment.
Growing up I wanted to be a marine biologist and work with dolphins. In college, I had the chance to work with Bottlenose Dolphins in Hawaii. Truly since I was a kid I have been pretty darn obsessed with dolphins. To see hundreds of them leaping out of the water around us was beyond amazing.
We took 1600+ pics of the dolphins and the wildlife cruise around Anacapa Islands with Island Packers. I have so many more pics to share with you all! So many!
Flowers blooming in January…..what heavenly place is this! We left a foot + of snow in our yard and I have to say flowers and green grass was amazing to see! Now to find ways to spend more time in the Ventura/Southern California area.
Sadly it was time to head home to the cold. We are already planning a re-do trip so we can step foot on the Channel Islands and hopefully see more dolphins!
I took myself on a me date to end the week. I set the goal at the beginning of the year of spending more time reading and just walking away from the computer. I started the Book fo Joy and I am LOVING IT!
We can’t have a weekly diary post without at least 2 pics of kitty kitty and fluffy. That would just not be right.
In case you missed our previous diary posts, you can find them here
Week 1 – From Jamaica to Germany
Week 2 – The start of our European adventures
Week 3 – Viking River Cruise along the Danube River
Week 4 – Star Wars Roque One Event kicks off
Week 5 – Lucasfilm visit and more
Week 6 – Aliens in New Mexico
Week 9 – Kicking off 2017 and cold weather oh my!
Week 10 – Vegas and a new tattoo