Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

When we went down to Huntington Beach we walked on the pier and watched the surfers.

Many people say Huntington Beach is the "Surfing Capital of the World".  The US Open of Surfing is held there every year with as many as 50 other competitions to keep the surfers busy.

It was amazing to watch the surfers, they made it look so easy! We were freezing on the pier so I can't even imagine how cold the water was.  I would love to learn to surf one day, but I'll wait until it's a little warmer out.

After the sun went down we headed back toward Dana Point for dinner and then the IlluminOcean- 40 Nights of Holiday Lights celebration.

The main event was a boat parade in the harbor.

The boats were all decorated for Christmas.  They were in a contest but I guess there won't be a clear winner until January when the parade is officially over.

I personally loved the sailboats, the tall ones looked especially beautiful outlined in lights.

The lights festival that went along with the boat parade really brought the christmas spirit to the ocean that night.

The trees lining the path were wrapped in blue and green lights and we decided it made them look like seaweed.

The whale in a Christmas hat was one of my favorites because it reminded me of the whale watch we went on, not to mention we were at the same harbor where that took place.

There was a 50ft tall tree in the park that had lights that moved in synch with christmas music, all the music made me want to dance.

My mom really loved all of the palm trees that were lit up.  It was fun to experience Christmas celebrations in such a different way then back home.

Tonight we are in Maryland and we're going to go to my Aunts house for our annual Christmas Eve party. I hope you all have a really wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On The West Coast With Whales in the Water

One of my favorite things we've done while in California is go on a whale watch.

The first things we saw were dolphins and sea lions.

It was so exciting to see them splashing around.

We were lucky to see a whale.  A lot of people who go on whale watches don't get to see one.

Apparently the one we saw was a female grey whale that was about 50 ft long and weighed around 40 tons.  It was stunning to see a creature of such size and grandeur. 

There were a lot of sailboats out that day, they looked beautiful gliding across the water.

On the way back to shore we saw a group of sea lions sleeping on a buoy- they sure are cute! 

After the whale watch we went to a place called Crystal Cove.

There are cottages there that have been around since the 1930's, they are working on restoring them so people can rent them out again for the summer.

I had such a wonderful time with my mom and my aunt.  My aunt and I are flying home today and I'm sad to go but it'll be nice to see my friends again.

The pacific ocean is truly beautiful, my aunt and I have decided that we like it better than the Atlantic Ocean and the East Coast.

It's nice how uncrowded California is in December.  I can't even imagine how packed the beaches must be in the summer.

The sunset that night just kept getting better and better as time wore on, I'm glad we got to watch the whole thing.

We all agreed that this was the prettiest sunset we saw while we were there.

All in all it was a wonderful day and I'm glad I got to spend it with two people that I love very much.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Laguna Canyon

On Saturday we went on our first California hike in Laguna Canyon.  Not even 10 minutes into our hike we wandered into this small patch of trees that was full of hummingbirds.

They were so tiny and surprisingly tame, they hardly paid any attention to us.

As it turns out, we hiked about 8 and a half miles on that path.  We had only intended to go for a few hours but I guess we got caught up in the hike (or maybe we were lost but we enjoyed it all the same).

The view from the top of the mountain was incredible.  On one side you could see the pacific ocean and to the other side you could see saddle back mountain in the distance.

It's fascinating to see all of the different varieties of plants that grow here compared to Ohio.

The hike was long and tiring but it was beyond beautiful and the view was worth it.

Parts of it were steep and my legs were sore the day after but it was nothing compared to the time my family hiked Mt. Washington.

I have lots more to share with you all, this week has been so full of fun I've hardly had time to look through all the pictures I've taken!  I hope you've enjoyed the photos so far, goodness knows I've had fun taking them.  I hope everyone has a nice weekend!