I was 20 years old when I took my first ever vacation. Growing up, my family didn’t really take any trips or vacations… the only trips we did take was traveling to Mexico 2x year to visit my family. We did that up until I was 8 years old.
But I never got to experience a real vacation… with the amusement parks, and plane rides, hotel rooms, etc.
Dont get me wrong, my trips to Mexico to see my family were always fun and special to me. I hold those moments as teasures… I have fantastic and fun memories about our shopping and food experiences… they were great times! (I can expand on my Mexico trips in a future post)
But my first vacation was when I was twenty years old and I went to California with some friends. We went to Disneyland (my childhood dream! 😊), Hollywood, Newport, Santa Monica, and my Favorite: The Ocean(my lifelong dream).
Growing up, my family didn’t have the money or time to take trips to all the fancy and fun amusement parks that kids dream of going to. We lived in the beautiful desert, so I never saw a beach but always dreamed of it. We never even flew on a plane for any of our trips to Mexico. I had never truly experienced a big city either.
I joined the military at 17… so I have traveled and flown on a plane, and lived in other states… but those were obviously work related and not for pleasure… lol
My 2013 trip to the golden state was my first real experience of vacation and I wish I could explain how much it meant for me when I finally saved up enough money and experienced my childhood (and adulthood desires)
I honestly felt like a little kid when I arrived at Disneyland! We went in October so the whole park was fall festive and decorated for Halloween! 👻🎃 it was so fun! And the “haunted mansion” attraction and ride was decked out and turned into The Nightmare Before Christmas! I had never been on a roller coaster so when I rode Space Mountain, I was so nervous but loved it! (I’ve since then been on crazier and much bigger roller coasters)
I loved all the shops and restaurants and remember going to an old fashioned Ice cream shop and having the most delicious orange soda ice cream float and eating a tasty churro! I remember falling in Love with Minnie Mouse’s house and how adorable it was!
BUT my most favorite part of my Disneyland experience was the firework show at the castle at the end of the night! Even though I was already an adult at Disneyland for my first time, I still had the time of my life and I’m eager to go back!
NEWPORT, SANTA MONICA, AND HOLLYWOOD:
I’ll be honest right off the bat: I was so unimpressed with Hollywood… I’m glad I got the experience, but it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.
Trashy streets, dirty sidewalks, crazy people in costumes, polluted air that you can smell… lol it just wasn’t my favorite… but it was nice seeing it and realizing that it’s not like the movies.
SANTA MONICA was lovely! Clean, pretty, calm, and gorgeous! The pier was so fun and the cute little bookstores and quaint coffee shops were like something I dream about! And I get to go back this summer and i can’t wait!
It was my first time at Nordstrom, Joe’s Crab Shack, and the beach!
The beach was definitely my favorite part. I had it as #1 on my bucket list to go to the beach. I had always wanted to go, and to finally see and be in the presence of one of God’s loveliest creations was amazing for me!
And it probably sounds silly to some about how exciting and fun all of this was… but for me it was a brand new experience… i never had the privilege to take trips and vacations like this. So to finally get to do it and know I worked hard as a young adult to take myself on a vacation was rewarding and an experience that will forever keep California as a special place in my heart!
I’ve since been to California about 3 more times… luckily my boyfriends sister lives there, so we get to go there to see her! And I’ve since traveled more and seen different places and different parts of California.
Now California isn’t a place I ever see myself living… why? For one, they have horrible gun laws (too liberal for me), and I’ve always been a Southwest girl.
As much as I love the beach, I’m definitely a mountain girl who prefers quiet and small towns.
But California will always be a place I’ll go back to to vacation! It will always be special since it was the very first place I took my first vacation at!
Where is your favorite place to vacation? How old were you when you took your first vacation? Let me know!
Here are some other photos of other trips to California that I’ve taken!
[ALL PHOTOS ARE MINE]