In October 2021 we had a family trip planned to L.A. to attend my elder brother’s wedding, so we decided to add on two days to explore the Anaheim area before the wedding. We haven’t taken a family trip in all of 2020 and 2021 except to visit my sister in law in Chicago, so I was really looking forward to spending some time away. Due to COVID, we avoided doing anything super crowded for safety reasons, especially since we had a wedding to attend. Honestly, just being anywhere other than home was good enough for me.
Hyatt Regency Orange County
We booked a stay at the Hyatt Regency in OC because of its proximity to attractions and the family suites which included bunk beds. The kids have never really slept on a bunk bed before, with the exception of my brother’s place- where I slept in between them both on the bottom bunk. But they’re older now and they were very, very excited to sleep on the bunk beds. The room was standard, but the nice thing was there was a separation between the king bed, and the bunk bed. The bunk room had its own TV and dresser, so the girls really felt they had their own room. And the bathroom was in between us so everyone had easy access. The room definitely could use an update, but it fulfilled our needs, so we were happy with it.
We used the pool once because it wasn’t warm enough outside. And we did have breakfast at the hotel restaurant twice, pictured below.
Santa Ana Zoo
We did think about driving to San Diego Zoo, but ended up choosing to go to Santa Ana Zoo which was way closer. It’s a smaller scale zoo, extremely affordable and not crowded at all, especially since it was a weekday. They do have two or three rides for small children, which are only open on the weekends. Nonetheless, all of us really enjoyed it.
We visited Utopia Caffe for halal breakfast and we were blown away! Are all the restaurants in LA so fancy and amazing? This place felt like we walked into an actual European cafe somewhere in Paris. The food was so good but the ambiance made it a wonderful memory for us. I’ll just share pictures so you can see for yourself. I’m still dreaming of going back!
Legoland Carlsbad, CA
While we were at breakfast at the lovely Utopia, we decided in the spur of the moment to go visit Legoland, which was about an hour’s drive to Carlsbad. The kids were over the moon and I thought why not, it’s an outdoor activity and it was a weekday so school was open. And true enough, the park was pretty empty. There were no waits for any rides. The kids loved and it and it brought back memories of taking my elder two when they were toddlers back in 2017. It was a great way to spend the day, and I’m really happy we went.
We also did a visit to Downtown Disney and walked all the way down the street. It was okay, and we did see the entrance to DisneyLand and it was a long, crowded line. We saved a trip to Disneyland for another trip when we would have more time to recuperate from the exhaustion that comes with it. We also visited Dave’s Hot Chicken which is a halal Nashville chicken place and it was pretty good if you’re looking for some dirty, fried goodness.
It was a great trip, even if it were just three days long, it was a nice break after a long time. The kids can’t wait to go back, and even I wouldn’t mind exploring LA some more! Have you ever been to L.A. or Orange County? Comment below with your favorites 🙂
Thanks for reading!