Earlier this year, I traveled to DFW (Texas) for my brother and sister in law’s baby shower. They welcomed a healthy baby boy in early March. Fun fact: baby boy shares a birthday with our maternal grandpa, Bumpy! (IYKYK!) Ideally, we wanted to fly to Texas this summer to meet Baby but buying three plane tickets is a little expensive + my brother, SIL, and baby are flying to Ohio this summer for July 4th weekend and again in September for a wedding. So I’ll get to spend time with them a couple of times this year, which made me feel better about this decision. We found reallllly inexpensive rates to LAX through Spirit Airlines – Thurs night – Tues afternoon. I’ve never flown them before and flying with a toddler on low budget airline made me a little nervous due to their flight schedules (only about one flight a day so if anything happens – flight delays, miss connecting flight, etc…. you’re kind of stuck at the airport until the next flight/next day. Just my thoughts). Luckily these flights were direct both ways so I felt more comfortable booking and not being stranded in another state/another airport I’m unfamiliar with.
My uncle and aunt live in Long Beach, CA and will be retiring to Spain soon. We absolutely must visit them in Spain, too, but I haven’t been out to visit them in CA and they have the cutest bungalow house with the best backyard patio. Plus, enough space for the three of us to visit for a couple of days – we had to take advantage!
We didn’t have a lot of plans, we just wanted to see their CA lifestyle, tour Long Beach, visit some beaches, eat good food… and then my aunt brought up Disneyland for our toddler!! We were able to reserve tickets (everything is online now and it’s a little annoying that the ticket prices aren’t a flat rate. It’s based on day and projected volume. We planned to go on a Monday so the tickets were pretty much what you’d predict to pay).
So now that we had a couple of ideas for activities and events to do during our trip… time to pack!
I’ll admit that I am an overpacker! Through Spirit, we paid for one check on bag. ONE. BAG. This would need to fit my clothes/shoes/toiletry, Max, and Olivia’s items… so this was a challenge. I knew that Long Beach is known for being comfortable, casual, liveable… think skateboarders… For a casual outfit, I couldn’t resist color. I brought a short, flirty, oversized dress with a tropical print from the Jojo Fletcher x Resa collab vs a pink, floral, strapless midi dress for a more fitted look. The temps in LBC dropped from what apple weather was showing as we packed. Luckily I brought a jean jacket to pair with dresses because it was colder than I prepared for.
Not that we actually had plans for a “date night” since we traveled with our toddler, but a nice dinner out was a possibility. Maxi dresses can be dressed up or down and figured they are a safe choice. A bold print would mean minimal jewelry so packed these two options for our trip. The green tropical print is another Jojo Fletcher x Resa collab and the other dress is an Amazon find. The material is a thicker, sweater style fabric. Perfect for a cool California night.
What’s Long Beach without going to… the Beach?! But actually, I text my Aunt to ask if locals went to the beach or if that was too touristy. LOL. She said locals do go to the beach and she recommended Seal Beach for families (She also grew up going there). I have a hard time deciding between a colorful suit & coverup or sticking to the basic neutral…. What’s your vote?!
Last, but not least, what’s California without a trip to… DISNEYLAND?! This wasn’t the objective of our trip, but since we had a free week day, we decided to purchase a one day ticket to Disney. I’ve been to Disney World, but never Disneyland. I hesitated thinking Olivia would be too young, but she’s so into princesses right now, I really wanted her to experience this. We’ll save the Disney World plans for when she’s a little older, but DisneyLand is perfect for now because we aren’t planning on visiting the park for more than one day.Olivia’s favorite ride was The Little Mermaid. A lot of the rides were identical to Disney World. But such a fun experience!! We didn’t bring a stroller and planned to rent one, but when Olivia was ready for a nap, I searched on the app and the stroller rentals were alllll the way at the entrance. We were in Toon Town at the very back of the park. Ugh. So Max and I grabbed a snack, sat on a bench, and to my surprise, Olivia laid down on my lap and napped!! When she woke up, we were walking through Mickey’s house and he was saying Hi to her, haha. She actually still talks about this trip and asks to go back. So special.